Skip to main content

Full text of "History of the revolutions in Europe; from the subversion of the Roman Empire in the west to the Congress of Vienna"

See other formats

'^ :yif)?^ 

























K mbelllshed w It Ii. K ngravlnga, 

VOL. I. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1846, by 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Connecticut. 


Publisher's Notice, 5 

Author's Preface, •• 7 

Life of Koch, 13 

Chaptbs L 
Intnxlaction, •. 17 

Chapter II. — Period I. 

From the Invasion of the Roman Empire in the West, by 
the Barbarians, to the time of Charlemagne, A. D. 
406—800, 41 

Chapter III. — Period II. 
From Charlemagne to Otto the Oreat, A. D. 800—962, . . 63 

Chapter IV. — Period III. 
From Otto the Great to Gregory the Great, A. D. 962—1074, 79 

Chapter V. — Period IV. 
From Pope Gregory VIII. to Boniface VIII. A. D. 1074—1300, 101 

Chapter VI. — Period V. 

From Pope Boniface VIII. to the taking of Constantinople 

by the Turks, A. D. 1300—1453, 165 

Chapter VII. — Period VI. 

From the taking of Constantinople by the Turks, to the peace 

of Westphalia, A. D. 1453—1648, 2m 


Chapter VIII. — Period "VII. 

From the Peace of Westphalia to that of Utrecht, A. D. 

1648—1713, 3 

Chapter IX. — Period VIIL 

From the Peace of Utrecht to the French Revolution, A. D. 

.713—1789, 57 

Chapter X. — Period IX. 

From the commencement of the French Revolution, to the 

downfall of Buonaparte, A. D. 1789—1815, .... 140 

Chapter XI. 

The Military Predominance of France, under the sway of 

Napoleon Buonaparte, A. D. 1802—1810, 198 

Chapter XII. 

The Decline and Downfall of the Empire of Buonaparte, 

A. D. 1810— 1816, 258 


F-rom the second Restoration of the Bourbons, A. D 1815, 

to the French Revolution in July, 1830, 303 

Revolution in Belgium, A. D. 1830, 328 

Revolution in Poland, A. D. 1830, 329 

Revolution in Greece, A. D. 1821—1827, 341 

War between Russia and Turkey, A. D. 1828 and 1829, . 361 
England, from A. D. 1816, till the passing of the Reform 

Bill in 1832, 365 

Notes, 377 


The Publisher of the present edition of Koch's Revolutions, 
has been induced to prepare this work for publication on account 
of the very high reputation which it has in Europe, and its general 
adoption there in Literary Institutions, as the outline of instruc- 
tion in the portion of History which it embraces. Its high merit 
would no doubt have obtained for it an earlier reprint from the 
American press, but for the errors with which the English trans- 
lation abounds. These defects, it is hoped, will not be found in 
the present edition, which has been revised by a gentleman who 
has endeavored not only to correct the faults of language, but also 
to strike from its pages all expressions of principles inconsistent 
with the liberal spirit of philosophical history. 

A practical acquaintance with the work as a Manual of History, 
has convinced this gentleman of its admirable adaptation to this 
purpose, and enabled him to recommend it for its fidelity, impar- 
tiality, conciseness, clear argument, enlightened spirit, and learned 
research. Omitting no important event, and dwelling very fully 
upon those which have had great influence in producing the per- 
manent changes which the civilized world has undergone in the 
last fifteen centuries, it may almost Ciaim, he thinks, the united 
advantages of a compendious and an elaborate History. 

In order perfectly to adapt the work to the present time, a sketch 
of the late Revolutions in France, Belgium, Poland, and Greece, 
^as been prepared with much labor and care, and added to the 

yi publisher's notice. 

present edition, making it the most complete historical work as 
Modem Europe, yet offered to the public. 

In full confidence that it will be found deserving of the high 
character it has sustained abroad, as a valuable and faithful 
guide to a knowledge of the History of Modern Europe, it is now 
offered to the patronage of the friends of Useful Knowledge, by 



Thb work here presented to the public, is a summary of the Revolutions, 
\ioth general and particular, which hare happened in Europe since the 
oxtinction of the Roman Empire in the fifth century. As an elementary 
book, it will be found useful to those who wish to have a concise and ge- 
nufal view of the successive revolutions that have changed the aspect of 
states and kingdoms, and given birth to the existing policy and establish- 
ed order of society in modern times. 

W ithout some preliminary acquaintance with the annals of these revo- 
lutions, we can neither study the history of our own country to advantage, 
nor appreciate the influence which the different states, formed from the 
wreck of the ancient Roman Empire, reciprocally exercised on each other. 
Allied as it were by the geographical position of their territories, by a 
conformity in their religion, language, and manners, these states contract- 
ed new attachments in the ties of mutual interests, which the progress of 
civilization, commerce, and industry, tended more and more to cement 
and confirm. Many of them whom fortune had elevated to the summit 
of power and prosperity, carried their laws, their arts and institutions, 
both civil and military, far beyond the limits of their own dominions. 
The exten.sive sway which the Romish hierarchy held for nearly a thou- 
sand years over the greater part of the European kingdoms, is well known 
to every reader of history. 

This continuity of intercourse and relationship among the powers of 
Europe, became the means of forming them into a kind of republican sys- 
tem ; it gave birth to a national law and conventional rights, founded on 
the agreement of treaties, and the usages of common practice. A lauda- 
ble emulation sprung up among contemporary states. Their jealousies, 
and even their competitions and divisions, contributed to the progress of 
civilization, and the attainment of that high state of perfection to which 
sdl human sciences and institutions have been carried by the nations of 
modem Europe. 

It is these political connexions, this reciprocal influence of kingdoms 
and their revolutions, and especially the varieties of system which Europe 
has experienced in the lapse of so many ages, that require to be developed 



in a general view, such as that which professes to be the object of the pre- 
sent work. 

The author has here remoddled his " Views of the Revolutions of the 
Middle Ages," (published in 1790,) and extended or abridged the different 
periods according to circumstances. In continuing this work down to 
the present time, he has deemed necessary to conclude at the French 
Revolution, as the numerous results of that great event are too much in- 
volved in uncertainty to be clearly or impartially exhibited by contempo- 
rary writers.* 

The work is divided into eight periods of l5ine,t accordmg with the 
principal revolutions which have changed, in succession, the political 
state of Europe. At the head of each period, is placed either the desig- 
nation of its particular revolution, or that of the power or empire which 
held the ascendancy at the time. In limiting his treatise solely to the 
Revolutions of Europe, the writer has not touched upon those of Asia and 
the East, except in so far as they have had immediate influence on the 
destinies of Europe. Conscious also that the distinguishing characteristic 
of an historian is veracity, and that the testimony of a writer who has 
not himself been an eye-witness of the events he records, cannot be relied 
on with implicit confidence, the author has imposed on himself the invar 
riable rule of citing, with scrupulous care, the principal authorities and 
vouchers of each period and country that have guided him during his 
researches, in selecting and examining his materials by the torch of pa- 
tient criticism. Without this labour and precaution, the work would 
have been of no avail as an elementary help to those who were desirous 
of acquiring a more minute and solid knowledge of history. 

As a useful and subsidiary accompaniment, an Introduction has been 
prefixed, in which are given some general remarks on history and geogra- 
phy, as also on genealogy and chronology, which may be regarded as 
auxiliary sciences. These preliminary notices are followed by a short 
outline of ancient history, down to the time of the Barbarian invasion in 
the fifth century. With this grand era the present work properly com- 
mences, when a new series of kingdoms and governments sprung ?ip in 

* In the edltimi of 1823, from which the present translation is made, the Tableau haa 
been continued by the Editor, M. Schcell, down to the 20th of NoTember, ISlSi 
t Nine in the laat editions, inclading the continaatl<>a. 


Christopher William Koch, equally distinguished as a 
lawyer and a learned historian, was born on the 9th of May 1737 
at Bouxwilier, a small town in the seigniory of Lichtenberg in 
Alsace, which then belonged to the Prince of Hesse-Darmstadt. 
His father, who was a member of the Chamber of Finance 
under that prince, sent him to an excellent school in his native 
place, where he received the rudiments of his education. At 
the age of thirteen, he went to the Protestant Univc-^ity of 
Strasbourg, where he prosecuted his studies under the celebrated 
Schoepflin. Law was the profession to which he was de'^tined; 
but he showed an early predilection for the study of history, 
and the sciences connected with it, such as Diplomatics, or the 
art of deciphering and verifying ancient writs and chartularieSy 
Genealogy, Chronology, &c. Schoepflin was not slow to appre- 
ciate the rising merit of his pupil, and wished to make him the 
companion of his labours. He admitted him to his friendship, 
and became the means of establishing him as his successor in 
that famous political academy, which his reputation had formed 
at Strasbourg, by attracting to that city the youth of the first 
families, and from all parts of Europe. Koch devoted much of 
his time to the Canon Law, and soon gave a prooi of the pro- 
gress he had made in that branch of study, by the Academical 
Dissertation which he published in 1761, under the title of 
Commenlatio de Collatione dignitatum et beneficiornm ecclesi- 
asticorum in imperio Romano- Germanico. This treatise was 
a prelude to his Commentary on the Pragmatic Saiiction, 
which he published in 1789 — a work which excited an extra- 
ordinary sensation in Catholic Germany, and procured the 
author the favourable notice of such prelates as were most 
eminent for learning and piety. 

After taking his academic degree, Koch repaired to Paris in 
1762, where he staid a year ; honoured with the society of the 
most distinguished literati in the capital, and frequenting the 
Royal Library, wholly occupied in those researches which pre- 
pared him for the learned labours in which he afterwards en 
gaged. On his return to Strasbourg, he wrote the continua- 
tion of the Historia Zari7igo-Badensis, of which the first volume 
only was drawn up by Schospflin. All the others are entirely 
the work of Koch, though they bear the name of the master 
who had charged him with the execution of this task. Schospflin 
bequeathed to the city cf Strasbourg, in 1766, his valuable 

VOL. I. i? 


library and his cabiret of antiques, on condition that Koch 
should be appointed keeper; which he was, in effect, on the 
death of the testator in 1771. He obtained, at the same time, 
the title of Professor, which authorized him to deliver lectures; 
for the chair of Schcepflin passed, according to the statutes of 
the University, to another professor, — a man of merit but inca- 
pable of supplying his place as an instructor of youth in the 
study of the political sciences. The pupils of Schcepflin were 
thus transferred to Koch, who became the head of that diplo- 
matic school, which, for sixty years, gave to the public so great 
a number of ministers and statesmen. 

In 1779 the Government of Hanover offered him the chair of 
public German Law in the University of Gottingen, which he 
declined. Next year the Emperor Josepeh II., who knew well 
how to distinguish merit, complimented him with the dignity 
of Knight of the Empire, an intermediate title betw.een that o 
baron and the simple rank of noblesse. About the same perioa 
he obtained the chair of Public Law at Strasbourg, which he 
held until that University was suppressed at the French Revolu- 
tion. Towards the end of 1789, the Protestants of Alsace sent 
him as their envoy to Paris, to solicit from the King and the 
Constitutional Assembly, the maintenance of their civil and re- 
ligious rights, according to the faith of former treaties. He 
succeeded in obtaining for them the decree of the 17th of 
August 1790, which sanctioned these rights, and declared that 
the ecclesiastical benefices of the Protestants were not included 
among those which the decree of the 1st of November prece- 
ding, had placed at the disposal of the nation. The former 
decree was moreover extended and explained by an act, bearing 
date December 1st 1790. Both of these were approved and 
ratified by the King. 

Meantime, the terrors and turbulence of the Revolution had 
dispersed from Strasbourg that brilliant assemblage of youth, 
which the reputation of the professors, and the natural beauties 
of the place, had attracted from all quarters. These disastrous 
events interrupted the career of Koch, at a time when he was 
capable of rendering the most imp^"tant services to his country. 
From that moment he devoted h -elf to public afiair;'. Being 
appointed a Member of the first ^iOgislative Assembly, he op- 
posed the faction which convulsed the nation, and ultimately 
subverted the throne. When President of the Committee o'f 
that Assembly, he exerted himself for the maintenance of peace ; 
and, in a Report which he made in 1792, he foretold the cala 
mities which would over elm France, if war should be 
declared against Austria. Th" republican faction, by their 


clamours, silenced the remonstrances of Koch, when, on the 
20th of April, he spoke in opposition to a measure which proved 
so fatal to France. An official letter which he addressed, 10th 
of August, to the constituted authorities of the Lower Rhine, 
sufficiently expressed the horror with which that day's proceed- 
ings had inspired him. He procured, moreover, the concurrence 
of his fellow-citizens in a resistance, which he had then some 
reason to hope would be made a common cause by the other 
provinces. This letter drew down upon him the persecution 
of the ruling party. He was immured in a prison, where he 
languished for eleven months, and from which he had no pros- 
pect of escape, except to mount the scaffold. The revolution 
of the 9th Thermidor restored him to liberty, when he was ap- 
pointed, by the voice of his fellow-citizens, to the Directory of 
their provincial department. He endeavoured by all means iu 
his power to defeat the measures that were taken to injure his 
constituents ; and had influence enough, it is said, to prevent 
the sale of the funds belonging to manufactories and hospitals. 
He then resumed with pleasure those functions which he had 
unwillingly accepted ; in 1795, he recommenced his professorship 
of public law, and returned with new zeal to his literary labours, 
which had been too long interrupted. Six years he spent in 
these useful occupations ; from which, however, he was once 
more detached by a decree of the Senate, which nominated him 
a member of the Tribunal. This nomination Koch accepted, 
in the hope of being useful to his Protestant countrymen, and 
to the city of Strasbourg, in obtaining the re-establishment of 
the reformed religion, and its restoration iu the University. 
He did, in effect, exert himself much in behalf of religion, ac- 
cording to the confession of Augsburg, as well as of the Pro- 
testant Academy at Strasbourg, which was suppressed at this 

The Tribunal having been suppressed, Koch declined all places 
of trust or honour which were offered him; and only requested 
permission to retire, that he might have a short interval for him- 
self between business and the grave. A pension of 3000 francs 
was granted him, without any solicitation on his part. In 1808, 
he returned to Strasbourg, where he continued to devote him- 
self to letters, and in administering to the public good. About 
the end of 1810, the Grand-master of the University of Franco 
conferred on him the title of Honorary Rector of the Academy 
of Strasbourg. His health, which had been prolonged by a life 
of great temperance and regularity and the peace which results 
from a good conscience, became disordered in 1812, when he 
fell into a slate of languor, which terminated bis life on the 25tb 


of October 1813. His colleagues, the professors of Strarbourg, 
erected to his memory a monument of white marble in the 
churcn of St. Thomas, near those of Schcepflin and Oberlin ; 
which was executed by M. Ohnmacht, an eminent sculptor in 
Strasbourg. One of his biographers has pronounced the fol- 
lowing eulogium on Koch : — "A noble regard for justice and 
truth, a penetration beyond common, a diligence unrivalled in 
historical researches, a remarkable talent in arranging and illus- 
trating his subject, an incorruptible integrity of principle, and 
unclouded serenity of mind, with a zealous desire of rendering 
his researches, his information and activity, useful to his species 
— these were the prominent features of the mind and character 
of this amiable man." In addition to this, it has been remarked, 
that although Professor Koch had not the art of a graceful or 
even a fluent elocution, no man ever possessed in a higher de- 
gree the talents and qualifications of a public instructor. Like 
Socrates, he had a manner peculiar to himself. He was no* so 
much a teacher of sciences, as of the means of acquirng them. 
He could inspire his scholars with a taste for labour, and knew 
how to call forth their several powers and dispositions. Though 
a man of the most domestic habits, and a lover of children, Koch 
never married. 

Two lives of this celebrated professor have been written by 
foreigners. The one is by M. Schweighreuser junior, a profes- 
sor at Strasbourg; and the other is prefixed to the new edition 
of the Histoire des Traites de Paix, by M. Schcell, the editor 
and continuator of several of our author's works. This latter 
biographer has accompanied his sketch wiih a descriptive cata- 
logue of all Koch's works, the principal of which are the fol- 
lowing : — 1. Tables Genealogiqites des Maisons Souceraines du 
Midi et de V Quest de I' Europe. 2. Sanctio Pragmaiica Ger 
manoruin illustrata. 3. Abrege de I'His/oire des Traites d 
Paix entre les Puissances de VEurope. A new edition of this 
work appeared in 1818, enlarged and continued by M. Schoell 
down to the Congress of Vienna and the Treaty of Paris, 1815. 
4. Table des Traites entre la France et les Puissances Stran- 
ger es, depuis la Paix de Westphcdit, SfC. 5. Tableau des Revo- 
lutions de VEurope, Sj-c. 6. Tables Genealogigues des Maisons 
Sotiveraines de VEst et du Nord de VEurope. This work Avas 
published, after the author's death, by M. Schoell. Besides 
these, Koch left various manuscripts, containing memoirs of hi« 
own life ; and several valuable papers on the ancient ecclesias 
lical history and literature of his native province. 

A. C. 



History has viery properly been considered as that particulai 
branch of philosophy, which teaches, by examples, how men 
ought to conduct themselves in all situations of life, both pub- 
lic and private. Such is the infirmity and incapacity of the 
human mind, that abstract or general ideas make no lasting 
impression on it ; and often appear to us doubtful or obscure, — 
at least if they be not illustrated and confirmed by experience 
and observation. 

It is from history alone, which superadds to our own expe- 
rience that of other men and of other times, that we learn to 
conquer the prejudices which we have imbibed from education, 
and which our own experience, often as contracted as our edu- 
cation, tends in general rather to strengthen than to subdue or 
destroy. " Not to know," says Cicero, " what happened before 
we were born, is to remain always a child ; for what were the 
life of Man, did we not combine present events with the recol- 
lections of past ages ?" 

There are certain principles or rules of conduct that hold 
irue in all cases ; because ihey accord and consist with the in- 
variable nature of things. To collect and digest these, belongs 
to the student of history, who may, in this way, easilv form to 
himself a system, both of morals and politics, founded on the 
combined judgment of all ages, and confirmed by universal ex- 
perience. Moreover, the advantages that we reap from the 
study of history are preferable to those we acquire by our own 
experience ; for not only does the knowledge we derive from 
this kind of study embrace a greater number of objects, but it 
is purchased ac the expense of others, while the attainments we 
make from personal experience often cost us extremely dear. 

" We may learn wisdom," says Polybius, "either from our 
own misfortunes, or the misfortunes of others. The knowledge,'' 
adds that celebrated historian, " which we acquire at our own 
expense, is undoubtedly the most efficacious ; but that which we 
learn from the misfortunes of others is the safest, in as much 
as we receive instruction without pain, or danger to ourselves." 
This knowledge has also the advanf^. ' of being in general 
more accurate, and more complete thu. ■ which we derive 
from individual experience. To history ulone it belongs to 
judge with impartiality of public characters and political mea 



sures,. which aie often either misunderstood oi not properly ap- 
preciated by iheir contemporaries ; and while men individually. 
and from their own observation, can see great events as it were 
but in part, hisvory embraces the whole in all its various details. 
Thus, for example, we can see but imperfectly all the bearings 
of that mighty revolution which is now 1793, passing before 
our eyes; audit will remain for posterity to perceive all its 
influence and eiTects, and to judge of its different actors with- 
out feelings of irritation or party spirit. 

It is a fact universally admitted, that all ranks, and profes- 
sions of men, tind in history appropriate instruction, and rules 
of conduct suited to their respective conditions. In occupying 
the mind agreeably with such a vast diversity of subjects, it 
serves to form the judgment, to inspire us with the ambition of 
glory, and the love of virtue. Those especially who devote 
themselves to the study of politics, or who are destined to the 
management of public affairs, will discover in history the struc- 
ture and constitution of governments, their faults, and their 
advantages, their strength and their weakness ; they will find 
there the origin and progress of empires, the principles that 
have raised them to greatness, and the causes which have pre- 
pared their fall. The philosopher, and the man of letters, will 
there trace the progress of the human mind, the errors and il- 
lusions that have led it astray ; the connexion of causes and 
effects ; the origin of arts and sciences, their changes, and their 
influence on society ; as well as the innumerable evils that 
have sprung from ignorance, superstition and tyranny. 

History, in short, avails more than all precepts to cure us of 
those mistakes originating in self-love, and national partiality. 
He who knows no other country than his own, easily persuades 
niraself, that the government, manners, and opinions of the lit- 
tle corner of the earth which he inhabits, are the only ones con- 
sistent with reason and propriety. Self-love, so natural to man., 
cherishes this prejudice, and makes him disdain alt other na- 
tions. It is only by an extensive acquaintance with history, 
and by familiarizing ourselves with the institutions, customs, 
and habits of different ages, and of different countries, that we 
learn to esteem wisdom and virtue, and to acknowledge ta- 
lents wherever they exist. Besides, when we observe, that 
though revolutions are continually changing the face of king- 
doms, nothing essentially new ever happens in the world, we 
cease to be longer the slaves of that extravagant admiration, 
and that credulous astonishment which is generally the charac- 
*.eri.stic of ignorance, or the mark of a feeble mind. 

The most important attribute of history is truth, and in ordel 


to find this out, it is necessary to examine the materials which 
serve as the elements and evidences of history, by the test of 
sound criticism. These materials are of two kinds : I. Public 
Acts and Records, such as medals, inscriptions, treaties, char- 
ters, official papers ; and in general, all writings drawn up or 
published by the established authorities. II. Private ivriters, 
viz. authors of histories, of chronicles, memoirs, letters. &c. 
These writers are either contemporary, or such as live remote 
from the times of which they write. 

Public acts and official records, are the strongest evidences 
we can possibly have of historical truth ; but as, in differeni 
ages, there have been fabricators of pretended acts and wri- 
tings, it becomes necessary, before making use of any public 
document, to be assured that it is neither spurious nor falsified. 
The art of judging of ancient charters or diplomas, and discri- 
minating the true from the false, is called Diploviatics ; ' in 
the same way as we give the name of Numismatics to the art of 
distinguishing real medals from counterfeit. Both of these 
sciences are necessary in the criticism of history. 

It will not be out of place to subjoin here some rules that 
may serve as guides in the proper selection of historical docu- 

1. The authority of any chartulary or public act is preferable 
to that of a private writer, even though he were contemporary. 
These public registers it is always necessary to consult, if pos- 
sible, before having recourse to the authority of private writers ; 
and a history that is not supported by such public vouchers must 
in consequence be very imperfect. 

2. When public acts are found to accord with the testimony 
of contemporary authors, there results a complete and decisive 
proof, the most satisfactory that can be desired, for establishing 
the truth of historical facts. 

3. The testimony of a contemporary author ought generally 
to be preferred to that of an historian, who has written long 
after the period in which tl>e events have happened. 

4. Whenever contemporary writers are defective, great cau- 
tion must be used with regard to the statements of more mo- 
dern historians, whose narratives are often very inaccurate, or 
altogether fabulous. 

5. The unanimous silence of contemporary authors on any 
memorable event, is of itself a strong presumption for suspect- 
ing, or even for entirely rejecting, the testimony of very recent 
Wi iters. 

6. Historians who narrate events that have happened ante- 
rior to the times in which they lived, do not, properly speaking 

20 CHAPTER 1. 

deserve credit, except in so far as they make us acquainted with 
the sources whence they have drawn their information. 

7. In order to judge of the respective merits of historians, 
and the preference we ought to give some beyond others, it is 
necessary to examine the spirit and character of each, as well 
as the circumstances in which they are placed at the time of 

Hence it follows : — That we ought to distrust an historian 
who is deficient in critical discernment, who is fond of fables, 
or who scruples not, in order to please and amuse his readers, 
to alter or disguise the truth : That as impartiality is an essen- 
tial quality in a historian, we must always be on our guard 
against writers who allow their minds to be warped aside by 
the prejudices of their nation, their party, or their profession ; 
for, in order to be impartial, the historian must form his judg- 
ment on actions themselves, without regard to the actors: That 
historians who have had a personal concern in the transactions, 
or been eyewitnesses of the events they describe, or who, wri- 
ting by the permission or authority of government, have had 
free access to national archives and public libraries, ought al- 
ways to be preferred to those who have not enjoyed the same 
advantages: That among modern historians, he who has writ- 
ten last often deserves more confidence than those who have 
handled the same subject before him ; inasmuch as he has had 
it in his power to obtain more exact information, to avoid all 
party spirit, and rectify the errors of his predecessors. 

There are several auxiliary sciences which may be said to 
constitute the very foundation of history ; and among these, geo- 
graphy, genealogy, and chronology, hold the first rank. In 
truth, no fact can be fully established, nor can any narrative 
possess interest, unless the circumstances relating to the times 
and places in which the events have happened, as well as to 
the persons who have been concerned in them, be previously 
made known, and distinctly explained. It is obvious, therefore, 
that geography, genealogy, and chronology, are the faithful in- 
terpreters and inseparable companions of history. 

Geography may be divided into mathematical, physical, and 
political; according to the difTerent objects which it embraces. 
Mathematical geography regards the earth, considered as a 
measurable body. Physical geography has for its object to 
examine the natural or physical structure of the earth ; while 
political geography illustrates the different divisions of the earth 
which men have invented, such as kingdoms, states, and pro- 
vinces. This science is also divided, relatively to the times of 
which it treats, into ancient middle-age, and modern geography. 


Ancient geography is that which explains the primitive state of 
the world, and its political divisions prior to the subversion of 
ihe Roman Empire in the west. By the geography of the middle 
ages, is understood tliat which acquaints us with the political 
state of the nations who figured in history from the fifth century 
to the end of the fifteenth, or the beginning of the sixteenth. 
Modern geography represents to us the state of the world and 
iis political divi-sions, from the sixteenth century to the present 

Antiquity has handed down to us the works of several very 
eminent geographers, the most celebrated of whom are Strabo, 
Ptolemy, Pomponius Mela, Pausanias, and Stephanus of Byzan- 
tium. Among the moderns who have laboured in this depart- 
ment of geography, those more particularly deserving of notice, 
are Cluverius,Cellarius,Briet,D'Anville, Gosselin, Mannert, and 

The geography of the middle ages is but little known ; and 
remains yet a sort of desert which demands cultivation. There 
does not exist a single geographical work which gives a correct 
representation of that new order of things, which the German 
nations introduced into Europe after the downfall of the Roman 
Empire in the fifth century. The literati of France and Ger- 
many have thrown some rays of light on certain parts of these 
obscure regions ; but no nation in Europe can yet boast of having 
thoroughly explored them. 

Of modern authors, the most conspicuous as the restorer of 
geographical science, is Sebastian Munster, a German, who 
published a voluminous work on cosmography, towards the 
middle of the sixteenth century. The Flemings and the Dutch 
have been among the earliest cultivators of geography since 
the revival of letters. Ortelius, Gerard Mercator, Varenius, 
Janson, Bleau, and Fischer, are well known by the maps and 
learned works which they have produced. 

Among the number of celebrated French geographers are to 
be reckoned Sanson, Delisle, Cassini, D'Anville ; and more 
recently Zannoni, Bauche, Mentelle, Barbie du Bocage, Malte- 
Brun, &c. Delisle is the first who submitted geography to the 
touchstone of astronomical observation. Biisching, a German, 
wrote a work on geography, which has been translated ?nto 
several languages, and has received various additions and 
improvements, especially in the hands of the French transla- 
tors. M. Ritter, a professor at Berlin, published a work in 
which he gives a new and scientific form to geography. 

It was during the latter half of the eighteenth century, that 
he attention of the learned was turned more particularly towards 


geography, when a series of the most elegant maps appeared in 
all the principal states of Europe. The wars that sprung from 
the revolution encouraged several engineers and geographers, 
both foreigners and Frenchmen, to publish those masterpieces 
of their art, the charts and plans of the countries that had served 
as the theatre of hostilities. 

Connected with geography is the science of Statistics, or the 
study of the constitution and political economy of states. Two 
Italians, Sansovino and Botero, about the end of the sixteenth 
century, were the first that atienipted to treat this as a particular 
science, separate and distinct from geography. The Germans 
followed nearly in the footsteps of the Italian writers ," ihey 
introduced statistics into their Universities as a branch of study, 
and gave it also the name by whicli it is still known.- It was 
chiefly, however, during the course of the eighteenth century 
that the governments of Europe encouraged the study of this 
new science, which borrows its illustrations from history, and 
constitutes at present an essential branch of national polity. 

Genealogy, or the science which treats of the origin and 
descent of illustrious families, is not less important to the 
knowledge of history, than geography. It teaches us to know 
and distinguish the principal characters that have acted a con- 
spicuous part on the theatre of the world; and by giving us 
clear and explicit ideas of the lies of relationship that subsist 
among sovereigns, it enables us to investigate the rights of 
succession, and the respective claims of rival princes. 

The study of Genealogy is full of, difficulties, on account of 
the uncertainty and fabulous obscurity in which the origin of 
almost every great family is enveloped. Vanitjs aided by flattery 
has given birth to a thousand legendary wonders, that fall to 
pieces at the touch of sound criticism. It is by the light of this 
science that we learn to distinguish certainties from probabilities, 
and probabilities from fables and conjectures. Few families 
who have occupied the thrones of former dynasties, or who now 
hold pre-eminent rank in Europe, can trace their genealogy 
beyond the twelfth century. The House of Capet is the only 
one that can boast of a pedigree that reaches back to the middle 
of the ninth century. The origin of the royal families of 
Savoy, Lorrain, Brunswick, England, and Baden, belongs to the 
eleventh century ; all the others are of a date posterior to thes' 

A single fact in diplomatics has proved sufficient to discred 
a multitude of errors and fables, that tradition had engraft' 
on the legends of the dark ages. From the examinations ti 
have been made of ancient charters and records, there is abu 
dant evidence that, prior to the twelfth centurv. nmong famil' 


even the most illustrious, the distinction of surnames was un- 
known. The (jrealesl noblemen, and the presumption is much 
stronger that common gentlemen, never used any other signa- 
ture than their baptismal name ; to which they sometimes an- 
nexed that of the dignity or order with which they were invested. 
There was therefore little chance of distinguishing families 
from each other, and still less of distinguishing individuals of 
one and the same family. It was only towards the end of the 
eleventh century, and during the era of the crusades, that the use 
of family names was gradually introduced; and that they began, 
in their public transactions, to superadd to their baptismal and 
honorary names, that of the country or territory they possessed, 
or the castle where they had their residence ; and it must have 
required nearly two hundred years before this practice became 
general in Europe. 

The Germans were the first, after the Eeformation, who 
combined the study of genealogy with that of history. Among 
their most distinguished genealogists may be mentioned Rein- 
erus Reineccius, Jerome Henninges, Elias Reusner, Nicolas 
Rittershusius, James- William Imhof, and the two Gebhards of 
Luneburg, father and son. The work of Henninges is much 
sought after, on account of its raritj^ ; but the genealogical 
labours of the two Gebhards are particularly remarkable for the 
profound and accurate criticism they display. The principal 
writers on this subject among the French are, D'Hozier, Gode- 
froy, Andrew Duchesne, St. Marthe, Father Anselme, Chazot de 
Nantigny, and M. de St. Allais. 

Chronology, or the science of computing time, represents 
facts or events in the order in which they have occurred. The 
historian ought by no means to negleet to ascertain, as nearly 
as possible, the exact and precise date of events ; since, without 
this knowledge, he will be perpetually liable to commit anachro- 
nisms, to confound things with persons, and often to mistake 
effects for causes, or causes for effects. 

This study is not without its difRcullies, which are as perplex- 
ing as they are singularly various, both in kind and degree. 
These embarrassments relate chiefly, 1. To the age of the 
world ; 2. The different forms of the year ; 3. The number of 
years that elapsed from the creation to the birth of Christ; 4. 
The variety of epochs or periods of reckoning time. 

Many of the ancient philosophers maintained that the world 
was eternal. Ocellus Lucanus, a Greek philosopher of the Py- 
thagorean sect, attempted to prove this hypothesis, in a treatise 
entitled De TJniverso, which the Marquis D'Argens and the 
Abbe Batteux have translated into French. Aristotle followed 



in the footsteps of Ocellus. His opinion as to the eternity of 
.he universe, is detailed at length in his commentaries on Physics. 

Some modern philosophers, as Buffon, Hamilton, Dolomieu, 
Saussure, Faujas de St. Fond, &c. have assigned to our globe 
an existence long anterior to the ages when history commences. 
Their reasoning they support by the conformation of the globe 
itself, as well as the time that must have necessarily elapsed 
before the earth, in the progressive operations of nature, could 
be rendered a suitable habitation for man. 

The most ancient account that we have of the origin of the 
world, and of the human race, is derived from Moses. This 
leader and lawgiver of the Jewish nation, lived about 1500 years 
before Christ ; and nearly 1000 before Herodotus, the most an- 
cient profane author whose works have been handed down to 
our times. According to Moses and the Jewish annals, the 
history of the human race does not yet comprehend a period of 
six thousand years. This account seems to be in opposition to 
that of several ancient nations, such as the Egyptians, Indians, 
Chaldeans, Thibetians, and* Chinese, who carry back their chro- 
nology to a very remote date, and far beyond what Moses has 
assigned to the human race. But it is sufficient at present to 
remark, that this high antiquity, which vanity has led these na- 
tions to adopt as a reality, is either altogether imaginary, or 
purely mythological, founded on a symbolical theology, whose 
mysteries and allegories have been but little understood. This 
primeval epoch is usually filled with gods and demigods, who 
are alleged to have reigned over these nations for so many my- 
riads of years. 

Traditions so fabulous and chimerical will never destroy the 
authenticity of Moses, who independently of his nativity, and 
the remote age in which he lived, merits implicit credit from 
the simplicity of his narrative, and from the circumstance, that 
there has never yet been discovered on the surface, or in the 
internal structure of the earth, any organic evidence or work of 
human art, that can lead us to believe that the history of the 
world, or more properly speaking, of the human race, is ante- 
cedent to the age which the Jewish legislator has assigned it. 

With regard to the division of time, a considerable period 
must, no doubt, have elapsed before men began to reckon by 
years, calculated according to astronomical observations. Two 
sorts or forms of computation have been successively in use 
among different nations. Some have employed solar years, cal- 
culated by the annual course of the sun ; others have made use 
of lunar years, calculated by the periodical revolutions of the 
moon. All Christian nations of the present day adopt the solar 



year; while the lunar calculation is that followed by the Ma- 
hometans. The solar year consists of 365 days, 5 hours, 48', 
45", 30'" : the lunar year, of 354 days, 3 hours, 48', 38", 12'". 

The invention, or more properly speaking, the calculation of 
the solar year, is due to the ancient Egyptians, who, by the 
position of the^r country, as well as by the periodical overflow- 
ings and ebbings of the Nile, had early and obvious induce- 
ments for making astronomical observations. The solar year 
has undergone, in process of time, various corrections and de- 
nominations. The most remarkable of these are indicated by 
the distinctions, still in use, of the Julian, the Gregorian, and 
the Reformed year. 

Julius Caesar introduced into the Roman empire, the solar or 
Egyptian year, which took from him the name of the Julian 
year. This he substituted instead of the lunar year, which the 
Romans had used before his time. It was distinguished, on ac- 
count of a slight variation in the reckoning, into the common 
and bissextile or leap year. The common Julian year consist- 
ed of 365 days ; and the bissextile, which returned every four 
years, of 366 days. This computation was faulty, inasmuch 
as it allowed 365 days, and 6 entire hours, for the annual re- 
volution of the sun ; being an excess every year, of 11', 14", 
30'", beyond the true time. This, in a long course of ages, 
had amounted to sev^eral days ; and began, at length, to derange 
the order of the seasons. 

Pope rrregory XIII. ,•* wishing to correct this error, employed 
an able mathematician, named Louis Lilio, to reform the Julian 
year, according to the true annual course of the sun. A new 
calendar was drawn up, which was called after the name 
of that pontiff", the Gregorian calendar ; and as, in consequence 
of the incorrectness of the Julian era, the civil year had gained 
ten days, the same Pope ordered, by a bull published in 15S1, 
that ttiese should be expunged from the calendar ; so that, in- 
stead of the 5th of October 15S2, they should reckon it the 15th. 

The Catholic States adopted this new calendar without the 
least difficulty; but the Protestants in the Empire, and the 
rest of Europe, as also the Russians and the Greeks, adhered 
to the Julian year ; and hence the distinction between the old 
and new style, to which it is necessary to pay attention in all 
public acts and writings since the year 1582 of the Christian 
era. The difference between the old and new style, which, 
until 1699, was only ten days, and eleven from the commence- 
ment of 1700, must be reckoned twelve days during the pre- 
sent century of 1800; so that the 1st of January of the old 
year, answers to the 13th of the new. 

VOL. T. 3 



The Reformed Year or Calendar, as it is called, is distinct 
from the Gregorian, and applies to the calculation of the year, 
which was made by a professor at Jena, named Weigel. It 
differs from the Gregorian year, as to the method of calculating 
the time of Easter, and the other moveable feasts of the Chris- 
tian churches. The Protestants of Germany, Holland, Den- 
mark and Switzerland, adopted this new calendar in 1700 
Their example was followed in 1752, by Great Britain ; and in 
1753, by Sweden; but since the year 1776, the Protestants of 
Germany, Switzerland and Holland, abandoned the reformed 
calendar, and adopted the Gregorian ; and there is, properly 
speaking, no nation in Europe at this day, except the Russians 
and the Greeks, which makes use of the Julian calendar, or 
old style/ 

But it is not merely the variations that have prevailed as to 
the form and computation of the year, that have perplexed the 
science of chronology ; the different methods of commencing 
it, have also been the source of much confusion. The Romans, 
from the time of Julius CsBsar, began the year on the first of 
January. The ancient Greeks at first reckoned from the win- 
ter solstice, and afterwards from midsummer; the Syro-Mace- 
donians or Seleucidse, commenced from the autumnal equinox. 
The sacred year of the Jews, began Avith the first new moon 
after the vernal equinox, that is, in the month of March ; and 
their civil year began with the new moon immediately follow- 
ing the autumnal equinox, that is, in the month of September. 

The same diversity of practice which we observe among the 
ancients, existed also in the middle ages. The Franks, under 
the Merovingian kings, began the year with the month of March. 
The Popes began it sometimes at Christmas, or the 25th of De- 
cember ; sometimes on the 1st of January; and sometimes on 
the 25th of March, called indiscriminately the day of the Annun- 
ciation or Incarnation. Under the Carlovingian princes, two 
methods of beginning the year were generally prevalent in 
France, — the one fixed its commencement at Christmas, or the 
25lh of December, and the other at Easter ; that is, at the day 
on which that moveable feast happened to fall. This latter 
custom prevailed also under the Capetian kings, and it was not 
suppressed until near the middle of the sixteenth century. 
Charles IX., by an edict published in 1564, ordered, that in 
France the year should henceforth commence on the 1st of Ja- 
nuary. Previously to this edict, it sometimes happened, from 
the variable date of Easter, that the same month was found to 
occur twice in one and the same year. For example, the year 
1358 having begun on the 1st of April, on which Easter day 


happened to fall, did not terminate until the 20th of April fol- 
owiiio", that is, on the eve preceding Easter. There were con- 
sequently in this year, nearly two complete months of April. 
Since the reign of Charles IX., it has continued the invariable 
practice in France to begin the year on the 1st of January. 

In England, the year used to commence on the 25th of March, 
and the old style was there observed until 1753 ; when, by vir- 
tue of an act of Parliament, passed in 1752, the beginning of 
the year was transferred to the 1st of January. It was decreed 
also, at the same time, that, in order to accommodate the En- 
glish chronology to the new style, the 3d of September 1752, 
should be reckoned the 14th of the same month. ' 

It is easy to conceive the perplexity and confusion that must 
have been introduced into chronology, as much by the differ- 
ence of styles as by the different methods of commencing the 
y^ear. Nothing is more probable, than that we should here 
find mistakes and contradictions which, in reality, have no ex- 
istence ; and the more so, as the writers or recorders of public 
lets, who employ these different styles, or date the beginning of 
.he year variously, never give us any intimation on the sub- 
ject ; and all reckon promiscuously from the year of Christ's 
nativity, without informing us whether they follow the old or 
the new style — whether they commence the year in the month 
of January or March, at Easter or at Christmas. 

Modern chronologists have found much embarrassment in 
calculating the number of years that elapsed between the crea- 
tion and the birth of Christ. Father Petau, one of the most 
learned men in this science, admits, that this point of chrono- 
logy is to be established rather by probable conjectures than so- 
lid arguments. There have even been reckoned, according to 
Fabricius, about a hundred and forty different opinions respect- 
ing the epoch of Christ's nativity. Some fix this era in the 
year of the world 3616, while others carry it back to the year 
6484. This great discordance of opinions arises from the con- 
tradictions found to exist between the three principal texts of the 
Old Testament. The Hebrew text, for instance, to which most 
chronologists gives the preference, fixes the deluge in the year 
of the world 1656 ; while, according to the Samaritan text, it 
happened in 1307 ; and, according to the Septuagint, in 2242. 
The system at present most accredited, is that of Archbishop 
Usher, an Irish prelate, who, founding his calculation on the 
Hebrew text, fixes the date of Christ's nativity in the year of 
the world 4000. 

A variety of epochs prevailed at different times; as most na- 
tions, both ancient and modern, who had governments and laws 



of their own, adopted chronological eras that were peculiar to 
themselves. The ancient Greeks had their Olympiads, and 
the Syro-Macedonians the era of the Seleucidae. The Romans 
calculated by consulships, which became the era of their public 
acts ; and besides these, their historians used to reckon from 
the foundation of the city, which goes back 752 years before 
Christ, or 3249 after the creation. The era of Dioclesian, in- 
troduced in honour of that emperor, and sometimes also called 
the era of the martyrs, began in the year 2S4 after Christ, and 
was for a long time used in the West. But, without stopping 
here to enumerate the different eras of antiquity, we shall rather 
restrict ourselves at present to the pointing out of those that 
belong more properly to modern history, viz. 1. The era of 
the modern Greeks. 2. Of the modern Jews. 3. Of the Spa- 
niards. 4. The Hegira, or Mahometan era. 5. The Diony- 
sian, or Christian era. 

The era of the modern Greeks is known by the name of the 
Mundane era of Constantinople. It begins 5508 years before 
the birth of Christ. The first year of the Incarnation thus falls 
in the year of the world 5509 ; and, consequently, the year 
1823 of the Christian era answers to the year 7331 of the Mun- 
dane era of Constantinople. Under this system, two kinds of 
years are in use, the civil and the ecclesiastical. The former 
commences with the month of September, the other has begun 
sometimes on the 21st of March, and sometimes on the 1st of 
April. This era is followed, even at this day, by the Greek 
church. The Russians, who adopted it from the Greeks, along 
with the Christian religion, made use of it even in their civil 
acts, until the reign of Peter the Great. That emperor, in 
1700, abolished the Mundane era of Constantinople, and sub- 
stituted in its place, the Christian era, and the Julian calendar 
or old style. 

The modern Jews have likewise a mundane era ; as they 
reckon from the creation of the world. It commences on the 
7th of October of the Julian year, and reckons 3761 years be- 
fore Christ. The year 3762" of the Avorld, is the first of the 
Christian era, according to the Jews ; and the current year 
(1823) answers to the year 5583 of their mundane era. 

In Spain, the era began with the year of Rome 714, thirty- 
eight years before the birth of Christ ; being the time when the 
triuiTivirate was renewed between Caesar Octavianus, Mark An- 
tony, and Lepidus. The Spaniards, wishing to give Octavia- 
nus some testimony of their satisfaction on being comprehended 
within his province, began a new era with this event,^ which 
orevailed not only in Spain and Portugal, but also in Afrir-*, 


and those parts of France which were subject to the dominion 
of the Visigoths. It is of great importance to know, that the 
Spaniards and Portuguese constantly employed this era in their 
annals and public acts, so late as tlae 14th and 15th centuries, 
when they substituted the Christian era in its place. 

The era which the Mussulman nations follow is that of Ma- 
homet, called the Hegira, or the Flight of the Prophet. It be- 
gan on the 16th of July 622 A. C, and is composed of lunar 
years. In order to find out in what year of the vulgar era any 
given year of the Hegira falls, it is necessary first to reduce 
the lunar into solar years, and then add the number 622. For 
example, the year 1238 of the Hegira, answers to the year 1S23 
of the vulgar, or Christian era. It began on the ISth of Sep- 
tember 1822, and ended on the 7th of the following September 

Dionysius or Denys the Little, a Roman Abbe, who lived in 
the time of the Emperor Justinian, about the year of Christ 530, 
was the author of the vulgar era, which afterwards received a 
more perfect form from the hands of the venerable Bede, an 
English monk, about the year 720. Before that time, the Latins, 
or Christians of the West, employed the era of the Consuls, or 
that of Dioclesian. Denys the Little, imagining it would be 
more convenient for the Christians to reckon their time from the 
birth of Christ, applied himself with great industry to calculate 
the number of years that had elapsed from the Incarnation to 
his own times. Modern chronologists have remarked, that 
both Denys and Bede were mistaken in their calculations ; but 
a difference of opinion prevails on this subject, as may be 
seen in the learned work of Fabricius. There are some of 
these chronologists who date the birth of Christ thirty-four years 
earlier, while others find a difference of but one year, or at most 
four, between the true epoch of the nativity, and that adopted 
by Denys. This disagreement of the modern chronologists has 
given rise to the distinction between the true era of the birth 
of Christ, and the Vulgar or Dionijsian era, which the general 
usage has now consecrated and established. 

In France, this era was not introduced until the eighth century. 
We find it employed, for the first time, in the acts of the Coun- 
cils of Germany, Liptines, and Soissons, held in the years 
742-3-4, under Pepin, surnamed the Short. The Kings of 
France never used it in their public acts, until the end of the 
ninth century; and the Popes only since the eleventh. 

In order to compare the different eras, and to facilitate the 
process of reducing the years of one into those of another, a 
scheme has beeen proposed called the Julian period. The in- 
vention of this is due to Joseph Scaliger, a professor at Leyden, 

30 CHAPTER 1. 

and well known by his chronological works. He gave it the 
name of Julian, because the Julian year served as the basis of 
it. It is composed of the several products of the cycles of the 
sun, the moon, and the indictions multiplied bjj- each other. 

The cycle of the sun is a period, or revolution of twenty- 
eight solar years ; at the end of which the same order of years 
returns, by a kind of circle or cycle. Its use is to indicate the 
days on which each year commences, and the Dominical Let- 
ters. These are the first seven letters of the alphabet, a, b, c, 
D, E, F, G, which are employed to indicate the seven days of the 
week, more particularly the Sabbath {dies Dominica.) At the 
end of twenty-eight years, of which this cycle is composed, 
there returns a new order or series of years, so similar to the 
preceding, that the dominical letters again answer exactly to the 
same days. 

The cycle of the moon comprises nineteen lunar years, twelve 
of which are called common, and the remaining seven interca- 
lary ; these yield a product of 6939 days 18 hours, according 
to the calculation of the ancients ;" and are equal to nineteen 
Julian or solar years. By means of this cycle always re- 
curring, the new moons fall again on the same days and the 
same hours on which they had happened nineteen years before ; 
so that, for all the new moons, the cycle which is to come is 
entirely similar to the preceding. The cipher which indicates 
the year of the cycle, is called ihe golden ?nanber, because they 
used to write it in characters of gold in the ancient calendars, 
where it was employed to mark the times of the new moons. 

The cycle of indiations is a cycle which recurs every fifteen 
years ; and which, like those already mentioned, was frequent- 
ly employed in charters and public records. The origin of 
these indictions is generally referred to a contribution or cess 
appointed, for fifteen years, by the Romans, and afterwards re- 
newed for the same period. They began in the reign of Con- 
stantine the Great, that is, about the year of Christ 313, and are 
distinguished into three kinds ; 1. That of Constantinople, 
which was employed by the Greek Emperors, and began on 
the 1st of September; 2. That which was termed the Imperial, 
or Cajsarean indiction, the use of which was limited to the 
West, and which began on the 25th of September ; and, 3. 
The Roman or Pontifical indiction, which the Popes employed 
in their bulls. This last began on the 25lh of December, or 
the 1st of January, according as the one or the other of these 
days was reckoned by the Romans the first of the new year. 

The cycle of the sun, comprising twenty-eight years, and 
that of the moon nineteen, when multiplied together, give a 


product of 532, which is called the Paschal cycle, because it 
serves to ascertain the feast of Easter. The product of 5'32, 
multiplied by 15, the cycle of indictions, amounts to the num- 
ber 7980, which constitutes the Julian period. Within the com- 
pass of this period may be placed, as it were, under one view^ 
these different eras and epochs, in order to compare and recon- 
cile them with each other ; adopting, as their common term, the 
nativity of Christ, fixed to the year 4714 of the Julian period. 

History has been divided, according to the different subjects 
of which it treats, into Civil, Ecclesiastical, and Literary. 
Civil and political history is occupied entirely with events 
that relate to mankind, as distributed into societies, and united 
together by governments, laws, and manners. Ecclesiastical 
history is confined to those events that properly belong to reli- 
gion. Literary history treats more particularly of the origin, 
progress, and vicissitudes of the arts and sciences. The His- 
tory of Philosophy, which is a subdivision of Literary History, 
illustrates the different systems of philosophy that have flou 
rished in the world, both in ancient and modern times. 

Another division of history, according to its extent, is .nat ot 
Universal, General, and Particular History. Universal hisiory 
gives a kind of outline or summary of the events of all the na- 
tions that have figured on the earth, from the remotest ages to 
the present time. 

By general history, is understood that which treats of the 
revolutions that have happened in the world, whether of great 
states or confederate powers, or of several nations combined to- 
gether, by various and complicated interests. Thus, there may 
be a general history of France, or of Great Britain, a general 
history of the United Provinces, a general history of Europe, 
&c. Particular history embraces, in detail, the events of a par- 
ticular people, or province, or city, or illustrious individual. 

Finally, in regard to the time of which it treats, history is 
distinguished into Ancient and Modern, d,nd that of the Middle 
Ages. Ancient history is that of the nations who flourished 
from the time of the creation to the fifth century; while the 
history of the middle ages has, for its object, the revolutions 
that took place from the fifth to the end of the fifteenth century. 
What is now termed modern history, is that which retraces the 
events of the last three centuries. 

This division, which applies more particularly to the history 
of Europe, is founded on the great revolutions which this part 
of the world experienced in the fifth and fifteenth centuries. 
The revolution of the fifth century ended in the subversion of 
the Roman empire in the West, and gave birth to the principaJ 


states in modern Europe ; while that of the fifteenth cuitury, 
which dates its commencement from the destruction of the 
Eastern empire, brought along with it the revival of literature 
and the fine arts, and the renovation of civil society in Europe. 

Although ancient history does not enter into the plan of the 
following work, nevertheless it appeared necessary to give here 
a brief sketch of it to the reader, with the view of connecting 
the order of time, and the chain of the great events that have 
occurred from the remotest ages to the present day. We have 
divided it into three periods, the first of which embraces 3000, 
the second 1000, and the third 500 years. 

The first period, which comprises thirty centuries, is almost 
wholly fabulous. The notices of it that have been transmitted 
to us are very imperfect. The order of time cannot be estab- 
lished on any solid foundation. Even the authenticity of the 
famous Parian marbles, has been called in question as spurious ; 
and there is no other chronology that can guide our steps 
through this dark labyrinth of profane history. The only lite- 
rary monuments that are left us of these remote and obscure 
ages, are the books of Moses and the Jews. Herodotus, the 
earliest profane historian, wrote more than a thousand years 
after Moses, and about 450 before Christ. He had been prece- 
ded several centuries by Sanchoniathon the Phoenician ; but 
the work of this latter historian is lost, and there exists only a 
few scattered fragments of it in Porphyry and Eusebius. 

It appears, therefore, that of the 4500 years that fall within 
the compass of ancient history, the first thirty centuries may, 
without inconvenience, be retrenched. Amidst the darkness oi 
those ages, we discover nothing but the germs of societies, gov- 
ernments, sciences and arts. The Egyptians, the Israelites, the 
Phoenicians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, or Chaldeans, 
made then the most conspicuous figure among the nations of 
Asia and Africa. 

The Egyptians and Chaldeans were the first who cultivated 
astronomy. Egypt was long the nursery of arts and sciences. 
The Phoenicians, without any other guide than the stars, boldly 
traversed unknown seas, and gave a vast extent of intercourse 
to their commerce and navigation. They founded many 
celebrated colonies, such as Carthage in Africa, and Malaga and 
Cadiz on the shores of Spain. 

The history of Europe, which is utterly unknown during the 
first two thousand years, begins to exhibit in the third millenary, 
a few slight notices of ancient Greece. A multitude of petty 
stales had then taken root ; most of which, as Argos, Athens 
and Thebes, had been founded by colonies from Egypt. The 


Greeks, in imitation of the Phoenicians, applied themselves to 
arts, navigation, and commerce. They established numerous 
colonies, not only on the coast of Asia Minor, but on those of 
Italy and Sicily. That in lower Italy or Calabria, was known 
by the name of Magna Grsecia. 

It was during the second period of ancient history, or in the 
fourth millenary, that great and powerful monarchies arose ; 
which contributed to the progress of arts and civilization, and 
the perfection of society. These are commonly reckoned five, 
viz. the Egyptian, the Assyrian, the Persian, the Macedonian, 
and the Roman ; all of which successively established therr' 
selves on the ruins of each other. 

The history of the two first monarchies is enveloped ift 
mystery and doubt. Of the ancient Egyptians, nothing now 
remains but their pyramids, their temples, and obelisks, — monu- 
ments which can only attest the power and grandeur of the 
ancient sovereigns of Egypt. 

As to the Assyrian antiquities, the contradictions that we find 
between the narratives of Herodotus and Ctesias, cannot fail to 
make us reject, as fabulous, the details of the latter, respecting 
the magnificence of Ninus, Semiramus, and Sardanapalus, the 
supposed monarchs of Assyria and Babylon. Nothing certain 
is known of this empire, or the conquests of these kings, 
beyond what we find recorded in the annals of the Jews. 
Shalmaneser, King of Assyria, subdued the kingdom of Sama- 
ria or Israel, about the year of the world 3270 ; and Nebu- 
chadnezzar, one of his successors, conquered that of Judah and 
Jerusalem, about the year 3403. 

The Persian monarchy was founded by Cyrus, who put an 
end to the dominion of the Assyrians and Babylonians, by taking 
the city of Babylon, about the year of the world 3463. The 
empire, when at its greatest height, under Darius Hystaspes, 
comprehended all that part of Asia which stretches from the 
Indus to the Caspian Sea, and from the Euxine to the shores of 
the Mediterranean. Egypi in Africa, and Thrace in Europe, were 
subject to its laws. After a duration of nearly two centuries^ 
it was finally destroyed by the Macedonians in the year 3672. 

Greece, which was at first divided into several petty king- 
doms, changed its condition towards the commencement of ihe 
fourth millenary; when its principal cities, till then governed 
by kings, formed themselves into detached republics. An en- 
thusiasm for liberty spread over all Greece, and inspired every 
bosom v.'ith the love of glory. Military bravery, as well as arts, 
and talents of all kinds, were fostered and encouraged by public 
games, the principal of which were the Olympic. Two cities, 

34 - CHAPTER I. 

Athens and Lacedemon, fixed upon themselves for 'a time ^.* 
eyes of all Greece. Solon was the legislator of the former, iajd 
Lycurgus of the latter. To these two republics all the rest suc- 
cumbed, either as allies, or by right of conquest. Athens has 
rendered herself immortal by the victories which she gained 
over the Persians, at the famous battles of Marathon, Salamis, 
and Platcea; fought a. m. 3512, 3522, and 3523. 

The ascendency which these victories procured the Atheni- 
ans over the rest of the Greek states, excited the jealousy of 
the Lacedemonians, and became the principal cause of the 
famous civil war which arose in 3572, between these two repub- 
lics, and which is known by the name of the Peloponnesian war. 
This was followed by various other civil wars ; and these dis- 
asters contributed to greatly exhaust the Greeks, and to break 
that union which had been the true source of their prosperity 
and their glory. Philip, King of Macedon, had the address to 
turn these unhappy divisions to his own advantage, and soon 
made himself master of all Greece. The battle of Chseronea, 
which he gained over the Athenians about the year of the 
world 3664, completed the conquest of that country. 

Alexander the Great, son of Philip, afterwards attacked the 
Persian empire, which he utterly overthrew, in consequence of 
the three victories which he gained over Darius Codomannus. 
the last of the Persian kings, at the passage of the Granicus ia 
3668, at Issus in 3669, and near Arbela in 3672. 

The monarchy founded by Alexander fell to pieces after hi« 
death. From its wreck were formed, among others, by three 
of his generals, the three kingdoms of Macedon, Syria anc 
Egypt ; all of which were conquered in succession by the Ro- 
mans, A. M. 3835, 3936, and 3972. Greece itself ha^d been 
reduced to a Roman province, after the famous sack of Corinth, 
and the destruction of the Achcean league, a. m. 3856, or 144 
years before Christ. 

The empire of the Greeks was succeeded by that of the 
Romans, which is distinguished from all its predecessors, not 
more by its extent and duration, than by the wisdom with 
which it was administered, and the fine monuments of all kinds 
which it has transmitted to posterity. The greatness of this em- 
pire was not, however, the achievement of a single conqueror, 
but the work of ages. Its prosperity must be chiefly ascribed 
to the primitive constitution of the Republic, which inspired the 
Romans with the love of liberty, and the spirit of patriotism — 
which animated them to glory and perseverance, and taught 
them to despise dangers and death. Their religion, likewise, 
served as a powerful engine to restrain and direct the multitude, 
according to the views and designs of the government. 


The earlier part of the Roman history may be divided into 
inree periods. The first of these represents Rome under the 
sovernment of kings ; from the time of its foundation, about 
the year of the world 3249, to the expulsion of Tarquin the 
Proud, and the establishment of the Republic, in 3493. The 
second extends from the establishment of the Republic, in the 
year of Rome 245, to the first Punic war, in the year of the 
City 490, and of the world 3738. The third commences with 
the first Punic war, and terminates at the battle of Actium. 
which put an end to the Republican government, and re-estab- 
lished monarchy under Augustus, in the year of Rome 723. 

During the first of these periods, the Romans had to sustain 
incessant wars with their neighbours, the petty states of Italy. 
They subdued the whole of that peninsula in course of the 
second period ; and it was not till the third, that they carried 
their arms beyond their own country, to conquer the greater 
portion of the then known world. The first two periods of the 
Roman history, are full of obscure and uncertain traditions. In 
those remote ages, the Romans paid no attention to the study of 
letters. Immersed entirely in the business of war, they had no 
other historical records than the annals of their pontiffs, which 
perished in the sack of Rome, at the time of its invasion by the 
Gauls, in the year of the City 365. 

The most ancient of their historians was Fabius Pictor, who 
wrote his Annals in the sixth century after ihe foundation of 
Rome, or about the time of the second Punic war. These 
Annals, in which Fabius had consulted both tradition and 
foreign authors, are lost; and we possess no information on 
these two periods of Roman history, except what has been left 
us by Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and Titus Livius, who both 
wrote in the reign of Augustus, and whose narratives often re- 
semble a romance rather than a true history. 

The cultivation of letters and arts among the Romans, did 
not, properly speaking, commence until the third period; and 
after they had had intercourse with civilized nations, as the 
Carthaginians and Greeks. It was not until 434 years after the 
building of the city, that they struck their first silver coinage ; 
and ten years afterwards, they equipped their first fleet against 
the Carthaginians. It is at this period, also, that truth begins 
to dawn upon their history, and to occupy the place of fable 
and tradition. Besides their native historians, Titus Livius, 
Floras, and Velleius Paterculus, several Greek authors, as Po- 
lybius, Plutarch, Appian of Alexandria, Dion Cassius, &c. have 
•"urnished useful memorials on this period. The history of 
Polybius, especially, is a work of the highest merit. The 


Statesman will there find lessons on politics and government 
and the soldier instructions in the art of war. 

A long series of foreign wars put the Romans in possession 
of the Isles of the Mediterranean, Spain, Northern Africa, 
Egypt, Gaul, Illyria, Macedonia, Greece, Thrace, and all Asia, 
as far as the Euphrates. The destruction of the powerful re- 
public of Carthage was the grand cast of the die that decided 
the empire of the world in favour of the Romans. 

Carthage was a colony which the ancient Phenicians had 
founded on the coast of Africa, near the modern city of Tunis, 
in the year of the world 3119, and 130 before the founding of 
Rome. In imitation of their mother country, the Carthaginians 
rendered themselves famous by their merchandise and their 
marine. The extent to which they carried their commerce, and 
the force necessary for its protection, rendered their arms every 
where victorious. They gradually extended their conquests 
along the shores of Africa, in Spain, and the islands of the 

The attempts which they had made to get possession of 
Sicily, was the occasion of embroiling them in a war with the 
Romans. For nearly two hundred years, Rome and Carthage 
disputed between them the empire of the world; and it wae 
not until these two mighty rivals had, more than once, made 
each other tremble for their independence, that the Carthaginians 
yielded to the yoke of the conqueror. Their capital, after a 
siege which lasted nearly three years, was completely laid in 
ruins by the famous Scipio iEmilianus, the scholar of Polybius 
No monument of the Carthaginians now remains to point out 
the ancient splendour of that republic. Their national archives, 
and all the literary treasures they contained, perished with the 
city, or were destroyed by the Romans. The destruction of 
Carthage happened in the year of Rome 60S, and of the world 
3856, the same year that witnessed the sack of Corinth. 

The fall of Carthage, and more especially the conquest of 
Greece, Egypt, and the Asiatic kingdoms, occasioned a wonder- 
ful revolution in the manners and government of the Romans 
The riches of the East, the arts and institutions of the van 
quished nations, brought them acquainted with luxuries they 
had never known, which soon proved the fatal harbingers of 
vice. Their patriotism and love of liberty insensibly declined, 
and became extinct : powerful and ambitious citizens fomented 
insurrections and civil wars, which ended in the subversion of 
the republican government, and the establishment of monarchy. 
Two triumvirates appeared in succession. The first consisted 
y'i Pompey, Csesar, and Crassus, and was dissolved in cons^*- 

Rome plundered by the Vandals. Vol. l,p. 41. 

Anglo-Saxons landing in England. Vol. 1, p. 4S. 


quence of the civil war that arose among the triumvirs. Ccesar, 
having conquered Pompey at the battle of Pharsalia, in the 
year of Rome 706, became master of the empire, under the title 
of perpetual dictator. This new elevation of fortune he did 
not long enjoy ; he was assassinated in the senate by a band of 
conspirators, at the head of whom was Brutus, in the year of 
Eome 710, and 42 before the birth of Christ. 

A second triumvirate was formed between Mark Antony, 
Caesar Octavianus, and Lepidus. Many thousands of illustri- 
ous Romans, and among others Cicero, were at this time pro- 
scribed, and put to death by order of the triumvirs. Jealousy 
having at length disunited these new tyrants, Octavianus stripped 
Lepidus of his power, and defeated Mark Antony in the famous 
naval battle which took place near the promontory of Actium, 
in the year of Rome 72.3. Antony having been assassinated in 
Egypt, immediately after his defeat, Caesar Octavianus became 
sole master of the empire, which he afterwards ruled with 
sovereign authority under the name of Augustus. 

At this time the Roman empire comprehended the finest 
countries of Europe and Asia ; with Egypt and all the northern 
part of Africa. It was bounded on the west by the Rhine and 
the Danube, and on the east by the Euphrates. The successors 
of Augustus added the greater part of Britian to the empire. 
Trajan carried his victorious arms beyond ;he Danube; he con- 
quered the Dacians, who inhabited those countries known at 
present under the name of Hungary, Transylvania, Moldavia, 
Walachia, and Bessarabia. In the East this prince extended the 
limits of the empire beyond the Euphrates, having subdued 
Mesopotamia, Assyria, Armenia, Colchis and Iberia, (or Geor- 
gia;) but the conquests of Trajan were abandoned by his suc- 
cessors, and the empire again shrunk within the bounds pr> 
scribed by Augustus. 

This empire, which extended from north to south nearly six 
hundred leagues, and more than a thousand from east to west, 
viz. from the 24^^ to the 56° of latitude, comprised a total of 
180,000 square leagues. The population, during its m jst 
flourishing state, may be estimated at about 120,000,000, — a 
population which equals that of modern Europe, with tlie ex- 
ception of Great Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Russia and Turkey. 

The government which had been introduced, was an absolute 
monarchy, only clothed with the foriUs. oi the ancient republic. 
Under the populaT titles of consul, tribune of the people, gene- 
ral, grand pontiff, censor, &c. the prince united in fiimself a!! 
the various attributes of supreme power. The senate indeed 
enjoyed extensive prerogatives; the legislative power, which 

VOL. I. 4 


had been reserved at first for the people, was afterwards trans- 
ferred to this body ; but as the military were wholly subordinate 
to the prince, and as he had also at his command a numerous 
guard, it is easy to perceive that the authority of the senate was 
but precarious, and by no means a counterpoise to that of the 

A government so constructed could not insure the welfare 
and happiness of the people, except under princes as humane ax 
Titus, as just and enlightened as Trajan and the Antonines ; or 
so long as the forms introduced by Augustus should be respect- 
ed. It could not fail to degenerate into arbitrary power, under 
tyrants such as Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, and Domitian ; and 
the senate must then have been but a servile instrument in the 
hands of the prince, employed by him to facilitate the means of 
satiating his passions and his tyranny. 

The maxims of absolute power soon became the fashionable 
and favourite doctrine. Civilians began to teach publicly, that 
all the authority of the senate and the people was transferred to 
the prince ; that he was superior to the laws ; that his power 
extended to the lives and fortunes of the citizens ; and that he 
might dispose of the state as his own patrimony. These en- 
croachments of despotism, joined to the instability of the imperial 
throne, the decay of military discipline, the unbridled license of 
the troops, the employing whole corps of barbarians in their 
wars, must all be reckoned among the number of causes that 
hastened the downfall of the Roman empire. 

Constanline the Great, was the first of the emperors that em- 
braced Christianity, and made it the established religion of the 
state in 324. He quitted the city of Rome, the ancient residence 
of the Csesars, and fixed his capital at Byzantium, in 330, which 
took from him the name of Constantinople. Anxious to provide 
for the security of his new capital, he stationed the flower of his 
legions in the East, dismantled the frontiers on the Rhine and 
the Danube, and dispersed into the provinces and towns, the 
troops who had heretofore encamped on the borders of these 
great rivers. In this way he secured the peace and tranquillity 
of the interior, and infused, for a time, a new vigour into the 
government ; but he committed a great mistake in giving the 
first example of making a formal division of the state between 
his sons, without regard to the principle of unity and indivisi- 
bility which his predecessors had held .sacred. It is true, this 
separation was not of long continuance ; but it was renewed 
afterwards by Theodosius the Great, who finally divided the 
empire between his two sons in the year 395; Arcadius had the 
eastern, and Honorius the western part of the empire. This 


alter comprehended Italy, Gaul, Britain, Spain, Northern Afri- 
ca, Rhetia, Vindelicia, Noricum, Pannonia, and Illyria. It was 
during the reign of Honurius, and under the administration of 
his minister Stilicho, that the memorable invasion of the barba- 
rians liappened, which was followed shortly after, by the de- 
struction of the Western Empire. 

It is with this great event, which gave birth to a variety of 
new states and kingdoms, that the following History of the Revo- 
lutions of Europe commences. It is divided into nine sections 
or periods of lime, according to the successive changes which the 
political system of Europe experienced from the fifth to the 
nineteenth century. 

In the first, which extends to the year SOO, the barbarians, 
who invaded the Western Empire, formed new stales in Spain, 
Gaul, and Italy; and produced a complete revolution in the 
governments, laws, manners, letters, and arts of Europe. It was 
during this period that the Franks gained the ascendency over 
the other European nations ; that the Popes laid the ground- 
work of their secular power; that Mahomet founded a new re- 
ligion in Asia, and an empire which extended through Africa 
into Spain. 

In the second period, which extends from SOO to 962, a vast 
empire was erected, and again dismembered, after enjoying a 
short-lived splendour. From its wreck were formed new king- 
doms, which have served as the basis for several states of mo- 
dern times. Others were established by the Normans, Russians, 
and Hungarians. 

In the third period, which terminates with the year 1072, 
Germany became the preponderating power, and began to de- 
cline, through the abuse of the feudal system.- The House oi 
Capet mounted the throne of France ; and the Normans achiev- 
ed the conquest of England. The Northern nations, converted 
to Christianity, began to make some figure in history: the mo- 
narchy of Russia became great and powerful ; while the Greek 
empire, and that of the Romans, fell into decay. 

During \.\\e fourth period, which ends with the year 1300, the 
Roman Pontiffs acquired an immense sway. This is also the 
epoch of the Crusades, which had a powerful influence on the 
liocial and political state of the European nations : The dark- 
ness of the middle ages began gradually to disappear; the esta- 
blishment of communities, and the enfranchisement of the serfs, 
gave birth to new ideas of liberty. The Roman jurisprudence 
was restored from the neglect and oblivion into which it had 
fallen, and taught in the universities : Italy was covered with a 
rnultitude of republics, and the kingdom of the two Sicilies, and 



of Portugal were founded: The inquisition was established m 
France, and Magna Charta in England : The Moguls in the east 
raised, by their conquests, a powerful and extensive empire. 

The Jiftk period, which ends at the taking of Constantinople 
by the Turks in 1453, witnessed the decline of the Pontifical 
jurisdiction : Learning and science made some progress, and 
various important discoveries prepared the way for still greater 
improvements: Commerce began to flourish, and extend its in- 
tercourse more widely: The European states assumed their 
present form ; while the Turks, an Asiatic race, established their 
dominion in Europe. 

The sixfk period, from 1453 to 164S, is the epoch of the re- 
vival of the belles lettres, and the fine arts ; and of the discovery 
Amenca: It is also that of the Reformation of religion accom- 
I 'ished in Germanj'-; the influence of which has extended over 
all the countries in the world. It was likewise during this 
period that Europe was desolated by religious Avars, which 
ev(. ntually must have plunged it again into a state of barbarism. 
The peace of VV^estphalia became the basis of the political sys- 
tem of Europe. 

In the seve?itk period, from 164S to 1713, this federal system 
was turned against France, whose power threatened to overturn 
the political balance of Europe. The peace of Utrecht set 
bounds to the ambition of its aspiring monarchs, while that of 
Oliva adjusted the contending claims of the North. 

The European states, delivered from the terror of universal 
dominion, began to think the establishment of it an impossibility j 
and losing conceit of the system of political equipoise, they sub- 
stituted in its place maxims of injustice and violence. 

The eighth period, which comes down to 17S9, is an epoch 
of weakness and corruption, during which the doctrines of a 
libertine and impious philosophy led the way to the downfall of 
thrones and the subversion of social order. 

[The consequences of this new philosophy bring us to the 
niiith period, during which, Europe was almost entirely revolu- 
tionized. The present history terminates with the year 1815, 
which forms a natural division in this revcdutionary epoch; the 
final results of which can be known onlv to posterity ] 




From the hivasion of the Roman Empire in the West by the 
Barbarians, to the time of Charlemagne, a. d. 406 — 800. 

The Roman empire had, for many years, been gradually 
tending towards its downfall. Its energies were exhausted ; 
and it required no great eflbrts to lay prostrate that gigantic 
power which had almost lost its strength and activity. The 
vices of the government, the relaxation of discipline, the ani- 
mosities of faction, and the miseries of the people, all announced 
the approaching ruin of the empire. Divided by mutual jea- 
lousies, enervated by luxury, and oppressed by despotism, the 
Romans were in no condition to withstand the numerous swarms 
of barbarians from the North, who, unacquainted with luxury, 
and despising danger and death, had learned to conquer in the 
ranks of the Imperial armies. 

Several of the Emperors, guided b}"- a short-sighted policy, 
had received into their pay entire battalions of foreigners; and 
to recompense their servicies, had assigned them sett't-inents in 
the frontier provinces of the empire. Thus the Franks obtained, 
by way of compensation, territories in Belgic Gaul; while simi- 
lar grants were made in Pannonia and in Thrace, to the Vandals, 
Alans, Goths, and other barbarians. This liberality of the Ro- 
mans, which was a true mark of weakness, together with the 
vast numbers of these troops which they employed in their wars, 
at length accustomed the barbarians to regard the empire as their 
prey. Towards the close of the year 406, the Vandals, the 
Suevi, and the Alans, sounded the tocsin of that famous inva- 
sion which accelerated the downfall of the Western empire. 
The example of these nations was soon followed by the Visi- 
goths, the Burgundians, the Alemanns,' the Franks, the Huns, 
the Angles, the Saxons, the Heruls, the Ostrogoths, and the 
Lombards. All these nations, with the exception of the Hums 
were of German origin. 



The Van pals, it appears, were originally settled in that part 
of northern Germany which lies between the Elbe and the Vis- 
tula. They formed a branch of the ancient Suevi, as did also 
the Burgundians and the Lombards. After the third century, 
and under the reign of the Emperor Probus, we find them, with 
the Burgundians, engaged in warring against the Romans on 
the Rhine. In the time of Aurelian, (272) they established them- 
selves in the western part of Dacia, that is, in Transylvania, and 
a part of modern Hungary. Oppressed in these districts by the 
Goths, they obtained from Constantine the Great, settlements in 
Pannonia, on condition of rendering mililavy service to the 
Romans. They remained in Pannonia, until the commencement 
of the fifth century, when they set out on their emigration to- 
wards Gaul. It was on this occasion that they associated them- 
selves with the Alans, a people originally from Mount Caucasus, 
and ancient Scythia; a branch of which, settled in Sarmatia 
near the source of the Borysthenes or Dnieper, had advanced 
as far as the Danube, and there made a formidable stand against 
the Romans. In their passage through Germany, the Vandals 
and the Alans joined a body of the Suevi, who also inhabited 
the banks of the Danube, eastward of the powerful nation of the 
Alemanns. United in this rude confederacy, they entered Gaul, 
plundering and destroying wherever they went. Mayence, 
Worms, Spire, Strasbourg, and many flourishing cities of Gaul, 
were pillaged by these barbarians. 

The Goths,^ the most powerful of these destructive nations, 
began to rise into notice in the tbird century, after the time of 
the Emperor Caracalla. They then inhabited the country be- 
tvveen the Vistula, the Dniester, the Borysthenes, and the Tanais 
Oi Don. It is not certain whether they were originally from 
thLise regions, or whether, in more remote times, they Inhabited 
Scandinavia, from which, according to Jornandes, a Gothic au- 
thr>T, they emigrated at an early period. It is however certain, 
thai they were of German extraction ; and that, in the third and 
fourth centuries, they made the Caesars tremble on their thrones. 
The Emperor Aurelian was compelled (274) to abandon the pro- 
vince of Dacia to their dominion. 

This nation, the first of the German tribes that embraced the 
Christian religion,^ was divided, in their ancient settlements 
beyond the Danube, into two principal branches. They who 
inhabited the districts towards the east and the Euxine Sea, 
between the Dniester, the Borysthenes, and the Tanais, were 
called Ostrogoths ; the Visigoths were the branch which extend- 
ed westward, and occupied ancient Dacia, and the regions situ- 
ated between the Dniester, the Danube and the Vistula. At- 

PERIOD I. A. D, 406—800. ^ 

lacked in these vast countries by tlie Huns, (375) some were 
subjugated, and others compelled lo abandon their habitations. 
A part of the Visigoths then fixed their abode in Thrace, in 
Maesia, and the frontiers of Dacia, with consent of the emperors ; 
who granted also to the Ostrogoths settlements in Pannonia. 
At length the Visigoths, after having twice ravaged Italy, sacked 
and plundered Rome, ended their conquests by establishing 
themselves in Gaul and in Spain. One branch. of these Goths 
appears to have been the Thuringians, whom we find in the 
fifth century established in the heart of Germany, where they 
erected a very powerful kingdom. 

The Franks were probably a confederacy which the German 
tribes, situated between the Khine, the Maine, the Weser, and 
the Elbe, had formed among themselves, in order to maintain 
their liberty and independence against the Romans. Tacitus, 
who wrote about the commencement of the second century, did 
not know them under this new name, which occurs for the first 
time in the historians of the third century. Among the German 
tribes who composed this association, we find the Chauci, the 
Sicambri, the Chamavi, the Cherusci, the Bructeri, the Catti, 
the Ampsivarii, the Ripuarii, the Salii, fee* These tribes, 
though combined for the purposes of common defence, under 
the general name of Franks, preserved, nevertheless, each their 
laws and form of government, as well as their particular chiefs, 
and the names of their aboriginal tribes. In the fourth, and 
towards the beginning of the fifth century, the whole country 
lying within the Rhine, the Weser, the Maine, and the Elbe, 
was called Fra?icia. 

Another confederation of the German tribes, was that of the 
Ai.EMANNs; unknown also to Tacitus. It took its origin about 
the commencement of the third century. Their territories ex- 
tended between the Danube, the Rhine, the Necker, the Main, 
and the Lahn. On the east, in a part of Franconia and modem 
Suabia, they had for their neighbours and allies the Suevi, 
who, after having long formed a distinct nation, were at length 
blended with the Alemanns, and gave their country the name 
of Suabia. The Alemanns rendered themselves formidable to 
the Romans, by their frequent inroads into Gaul and Italy, in the 
third and fourth centuries. 

The Saxons, unknown also to Tacitus, began to make a 
figure in history about the second century, when we find their 
settled beyond the Elbe, in modern Holstein, having for their 
neighbours the Angles, or English, inhabiting Sleswick Proner 
These nations were early distinguished as pirates and free 
booters ; and, while the Franks and the Alemanns spread thenr 

44 CHAPTER ir. 

selves over the interior of Gaul, the Saxons infested the coasts 
and even extended their incursions into Britain. The Franks 
having penetrated into Gaul with their main forces, the Saxons 
passed the Elbe, and in course of time, occupied, or united in 
alliance with them, the greater part of ancient Francia, which 
took from them the name of Saxony. There they subdivided 
themselves into three principal branches ; the Ostphalians to 
the east, the Westphalians to the west, and the Angrians or 
Angrivarians, whose territories lay between the other two, 
along the Weser, and as far as the confines of Hesse. 

The Huns, the most fierce and sanguinary of all the nations 
which overran the Roman Empire in the fifth century, came 
from the remote districts of northern Asia, which were altogether 
unknown to the ancient Greeks and Romans. From the de- 
scriptions which the historians of the fifth and sixth centuries 
have given us of them, we are led to believe, that they were 
Kalmucks or Monguls originally. The fame of their arms had 
begun to spread over Europe so early as the year 375 of the 
Christian era. Having subdued the Alans, and crossed the 
Tanais, they subverted the powerful monarchy of the Goths, and 
gave the first impulse to the great revolution of the fifth cen- 
tury, which changed the face of all Europe. The Eastern empire 
first felt the fury of these barbarians, who carried fire and sword 
wherever they went, rendered the Emperors their tributaries, 
and then precipitated themselves on the West under the conduct 
of the famous Attila.* 

Several of the nations we have now enumerated, divided 
among themselves the territories of Gaul. This province, one 
of the richest and most important in the Western empire, was 
repeatedly overrun and devastated by the barbarous hordes of the 
fifth century. The Visigoths were the first that formed settle- 
ments in it. On their arrival under the command of King Atulf 
or Adolphus, (412,) they took possession of the whole country 
lying within the Loire, the Rhine, the Durance, the Mediter- 
ranean, and the Alps. Toulouse became their capital, and the 
residence of their kings. 

The Burgundians, a people, it would appear, originally from 
the countries situated between the Oder and the Vistula, fol- 
lowed nearly in the track of the Visigoths ; as we find them, 
about the year 413, established on the Upper Rhine and in 
Switzerland. After the dissolution of the empire, they suc- 
ceeded in establishing themselves in those parts of Gaul, known 
by the names of the Sequanois, Lyonnois, Viennois and Nar- 
bonnois, viz. in those districts which formed, in course of time, 
the two Burgundies, the provinces of Lyonnois, Dauphiny and 

PERIOD I. A. D. 406— SOO. 45 

Provence on this side of the Durance, Savoy, the Pays ae Vaud, 
the Valais and Switzorkmd." These cou.ilries then assumed 
the name of the Kingdom of the Burgundians. 

The Alemaxni and the SuEVi became flourishing nations on 
the banks of the Upper Rhine and the Danube. They invaded 
those countries in Gaul, or the Geriuauia Prima of the Romans, 
known since under the names of Alsace, the Palatinate, May- 
ence, &c. ; and extended their conquests also over a considerable 
part of Rhetia and Vindelicia. 

At length the Franks, having been repulsed in different ren- 
counters by the Romans, again passed the Rhine (430,) under 
the conduct of Clodion their chief; made themselves masters 
of the greater part of Belgic Gaul, took possession of Tournay, 
Cambray and Amiens ; and thus laid the foundation of the new 
kingdom of France in Gaul. The Romans, however, still main- 
tained their auth-^rity in the interior of that province, and the 
brave ^tius their general made head against all those hordes 
of barbarians who disputed Vv'ilh him the dominion of Gaul. 

It was at this crisis that the Huns made their appearance on 
the theatre of war. The fierce Attila, a man of great military 
talents, after having overthrown various states, conquered Pan- 
nonia, and diflerent provinces of the Eastern empire on the right 
bank of the Danube, undertook his fi?.mous expedition into Gaul. 
Marching along the Danube from Pannonia, at the head of an 
innumerable army,' he passed the Rhine near the Lake of Con- 
stance, pillaged and ravaged several places, and spread the terror 
of his arms over all Gaul. The Franks and the Visigoths united 
their forces Avith those of the Roman General, to arrest the 
progress of the barbarian. A bloody and obstinate encounter 
took place (451,) on the plains of Chalons-sur-Marne, or Mery- 
sur-Seine, according to others. Thierry, King of the Visigoths, 
and more than a hundred and sixty thousand men, perished on 
the field of battle. Night separated the combatants ; and Attila, 
who found his troops too much exhausted to renew ihe combat, 
resolved to retreat. The following year he made a descent 
on Italy, and committed great devastations. This proved his 
last expedition ; for he died suddenly on his return, and the 
monarchy of the Huns expired with him. 

The defeat of the Huns did not re-establish the shattered and 
ruinous affairs of the Romans in Gaul. The Salian Franks,' 
under their kings, Meroveus and Childeric I., the successors of 
Clodion, extended their conquests more and more ; till at length 
Olovis, son of Childeric I., put an end to the dominion of the 
Romans in that country, by the victory which he gained in 486; 
at Soissons, over Syagfius, tlie last of the Roman generals, who 

46 CHAPTER n. 

died of a broken heart in consequence of this defeat. The Ale- 
manns afterwards having disputed with him the empire of the 
Gauls, he routed them completely (496,) at the famous battle of 
Tolbiac or Zulpich f seized their estates, and soon after em- 
braced Christianity. Emboldened by his new creed, and backed 
by the orthodox bishops, he attacked the Visigoths, who were 
of the heretical sect of Arius, defeated and killed their king, 
Alaric II., in the plains of Vougle, near Poitiers, (507,) and 
stripped them of all their possessions between the Loire and the 
Pyrenees.'" Gaul became thus, by degrees, the undisputed 
possession of the Franks. The descendants of Clovis added to 
their conquests the kingdom of the Burgundians (534,) which 
they totally overthrew. 

These same princes increased their possessions in the interioi 
of Germany, by the destruction of the powerful kingdom of the 
Thuringians (531,) comprising those vast countries between the 
Werra, the Aller, the Elbe, the Saal, the Mulda, and the Danube ; 
and which are now known under the names of Saxony, Thvi 
ringia, Franconia, the Upper Palatinate," &cc. This kingdom 
they divided with their allies the Saxons, who obtained the nor 
thern part of it, situated between the Unsti'ut and the Saal. 

While the Visigoths, the Burgundians, the Franks and the 
Alemanns, were disputing with each other the conquest of Gaul, 
the Vandals, the Suevi, and the Alans, turned their ambitious 
views towards Spain. After having settled some years in Gaul, 
these tribes passed the Pyrenees (409,) to establish themselves 
in the most fertile regions oi Spain. The Vandals seized Boe- 
tica, and a part of Gallicia ; the Suevi seized the rest of Gal- 
licia ; while the Alans took possession of Lusitania, and the 
province of Carthagena. The Alans afterwards submitted to 
the sway of Gonderic, King of the Vandals (420,) while the 
Suevi preserved their native princes, who reigned in Gallicia 
and Lusitania ; this latter province having been abandoned by 
the Vandals, (427,) when they passed into Africa. 

Meanwhile new conquerors began to make their appearance 
in Spain. The Visigoths, pressed by the Romans in Gaul, 
took the resolution of carrying their arms beyond the Pyrenees. 
Under the conduct of their King, Adolphus^ they made them- 
selves masters of the city of Barcelona (in 415.) Euric, one of 
the successors of this prince, took from the Romans (472) all 
that yet remained of their possessions in Spain ; and Leovigild, 
another of their kings, completed the conquest of all that coun- 
try (584,) by reducing the kingdom of the Suevi. The mo- 
narchy of the Visigoths, which in its flourishing state comprised, 
besides the continent of Spain, Septimania or Languedoc in 

PERIOD I. A. D. 406—800. 4 

Gaul, and Mauritania Tingitana in Africa, maintained its exist- 
ence until the commencement of the eighth century; when, as 
we shall afterwards see, it was finally overthrown by the Arabs. 

Northern Africa, one of the finest possessions of the Romans, 
was wrested from them by the Vandals. Count Boniface, who 
had the government of that country, having been falsely accused 
at the court of the Emperor Valentinian III., and believing him- 
self ruined in the esteem of that prince, invited the Vandals over 
to Africa ; proposing to them the surrender of the provinces 
intrusted to his command. Genseric was at that time king of 
the Vandals. The preponderance which the Visigoths had ac- 
quired in Spain, induced that prince to accept the offer of the 
Roman General; he embarked at the port of Andalusia, (427,) 
and passed with the Vandals and the Alans into Africa. Mean- 
time, Boniface having made up matters amicably with the Impe- 
rial court, wished to retract the engagements which he had 
made with the Vandals. Genseric nevertheless persisted in his 
enterprise. He carried on a long and obstinate war with the 
Romans ; the result of which turned to the advantage of the 
barbarians. Genseric conquered in succession all that part of 
Africa pertaining to the Western empire, from the Straits of 
Cadiz as far as Cyrenaica, which was dependent on the empire 
of the East. He subdued likewise the Balearic Isles, with 
Sardinia, Corsica and a part of Sicily. 

The writers of that age who speak of this invasion, agree in 
painting, in the most lively colours, the horrors with which it 
was accompanied. It appears that Genseric, whose whole sub- 
jects, including old men and slaves, did not exceed eighty thou- 
sand persons, being resolved to maintain his authority by terror, 
caused, for this purpose, a general massacre to be made of the 
ancient inhabitants of Africa. To these political severities were 
added others on the score of religion ; being devoted with all 
his subjects to the Arian heresy, he as well as his successors 
became the constant and implacable persecutors of the orthodox 

This prince signalized himself by his maritime exploits, and 
by the piracies vvhich he committed on the coasts of Italy and 
the whole Roman empire. Encouraged, as is supposed, by the 
Empress Eudoxia, who wished to avenge the death of her hus- 
band Valentinian III., he undertook an expedition into Italy, 
(455,) in which he made himself master of Rome. The city 
was pillaged during fifteen days by the Vandals, spoiled of all 
its riches and its finest monuments. Innumerable statues, orna- 
ments of temples, and the gilded cupola of the temple of Jupiter 
Capitolinus, were removed in order to be transported to Africa; 

48 CnAPTER 11. 

together witn many thousands of illustrious captives. A ve«se. 
loaded with the most precious monuments of Rome, perished 
in the passage. 

The dominion of the Vandals in Africa lasted about a hundred 
years. Their kingdom was destroyed by the Emperor Justinian, 
who reunited Africa to the empire of the East. Gilimer, the 
last king of the Vandals, was conquered by Belisarius, (534,) 
and conducted by him in triumph to Constantinople. 

Britain, inaccessible by its situation to most of the invaders 
that overran the Western empire, was infested, in the fifth cen- 
tury, by the northern inhabitants of that island, — the free Britons, 
known by the name of Caledonians or Picts, and Scots. The 
Romans having withdrawn their legions from the island (446,) 
to employ them in Gaul, the Britons, abandoned to their own 
strength, thought proper to elect a king of their own nation, 
named Vortigern ; but finding themselves still too weak to resist 
the incursions of the Picts and Scots, who, breaking over the 
wall of Severus, pillaged and laid waste the Roman province, 
they took the imprudent resolution of calling in to their succour 
the Angles, Saxons, and Jutlanders, who were already dis- 
tinguished for their maritime incursions. A body of these An- 
glo-Saxons arrived in Britain (450,) in the first year of the reign 
of the Emperor Marcian, under the command of Hengist and 
Horsa. From being friends and allies, they soon became ene- 
mies of the Britons ; and ended by establishing their own do- 
minion in the island. The native islanders, after a protracted 
struggle, were driven into the piovince of Wales, where they 
succeeded in maintaining their independence against their new 
conquerors. A number of these fugitive Britons, to escape 
from the yoke of the invaders, took rei^ige in Gaul. There 
they were received by the Franks into Armorica and part of Ly- 
^nnois, to which they gave the name of Brittany. 

The Anglo-Saxons founded successively seven petty king- 
doms in Britain, viz. Kent, Sussex, Wessex, Essex, Northum- 
berland, East Anglia, and Mercia. Each of these kingdoms 
had severally their own kings ; but they were all united in a 
political association, known by the name of the Heptarchy. 
One of the seven kings was the common chief of the confede- 
racy ; and there was a general convention of the whole, called 
wittenagemot, or the assembly of the wise men. Each king- 
dom was likewise governed by its own laws, and had its seua- 
late assemblies, whose power limited the royal authority. 
This federal system continued till the ninth century, when Eg- 
bert the Great succeeded in abolishing the Heptarchy (827,^ and 
raised himself to be King over all England 

PERIOD I. A. D. 406—800. 49 

In the midst of this general overthrow, there were still to be 
seen in Italy the phantoms of the Roman emperors, feebly sup- 
porting a dignity which had long since lost its splendour. This 
fine country had been desolated by the Visigoths, the Huns, 
and the Vandals, in succession, without becoming the fixed re- 
sidoui^e of any one of these nations. The conquest of that an- 
cient seat of the first empire in the world, was reserved for the 
Heruls and the Rugians. For a long time, these German na- 
tions, who are generally supposed to have emigrated from the 
coasts of the Baltic Sea, had been approaching towards the 
Danube. They served as auxiliaries to the Romans in Italy, 
after the example of various other tribes of their countrymen. 
Being resolved to usurp the dominion of that country, they 
chose for their king Odoacer, under whose conduct they seized 
Ravenna and Rome, dethroned Romulus Momyilus Augustu- 
lus, the last of the Roman Emperors (476,) and put an entire 
end to the empire of the West. 

The Heruls did not enjoy these conquests more than seven- 
teen years, when they were deprived of them in their turn by 
the Ostrogoths. This nation then occupied those extensive 
countries on the right bank of the Danube, in Pannonia, Illy- 
ria, and Thrace, within the limits of the Eastern empire. They 
had rendered themselves formidable to the Romans in that 
quarter, by their frequent incursions into the very heart of the 
empire. The Emperor Zeno, in order to withdraw these dan- 
gerous neighbours from his frontiers, encouraged their king 
Theodoric, as is alleged, to undertake the conquest of Italy 
from the Heruls. This prince immediately penetrated into the 
country ; he defeated the Heruls in several actions ; and at 
length forced Odoacer to shut himself up in the city of Ravenna 
(489,) where, after a siege of three years, he fell into the hands of 
the conqueror, who deprived him at once of his throne and his life. 

Theodoric deserves not to be confounded with the other bar- 
barous kings of the fifth century. Educated at the court of 
Constantinople, where he passed the years of his youth, he had 
learned to establish his authority by the equity of his laws, 
and the wisdom of his administrations. He ruled an empire 
which, besides Italy, embraced a great part of Pannonia, Rhetia. 
Noricum, and Illyria. 

This monarchy, formidable as it was, did not exist beyond 
the space of sixty years : after a sanguinary warfare of eigh- 
teen years, it was totally subverted by the Greeks. The Em- 
peror Justinian employed his generals, Belisarius '^ and Nai 
ses, in recovenng Italy and Sicily from the hands of the Goths 
This nation defended their possessions with determined obsti 

VOf,. T. 5 


nacy. Encouraged by Totila, one of their last kings, they 
maintained a protracted struggle against the Greeks, and with 
considerable success. It was during this war that the city of 
Rome was pillaged afresh, and at length (517,) dismantled by 
the Goths. Totila sustained a complete defeat at the foot of 
the Apennines in Umbria (552,) and died of the wounds which 
he had received in the action. His successor Teias was by no 
means so fortunate in military affairs. In a bloody battle which 
he fought with Narses, in Campania (553,) he was vanquished 
and slain. His dominions passed into the hands of the Greeks, 
with the exception of that part of Rhetia and Noricum which 
the Alemanns occupied, and which, during the war between the 
Greeks and the Goths, had become the possession of the Franks. '^ 

A new revolution happened in Italy, (568,) by the invasion 
of the Lombards. This people, who originally inhabited the 
northern part of Germany on the Elbe, and formed a branch 
of the great nation of the Suevi, had at length fixed themselves 
in Pannonia (527,) after several times changing their abode. 
They then joined with the Avars, an Asiatic people, against the 
Gepidse, who possessed a formidable dominion in ancient Dacia, 
on the left bank of the Danube, This state was soon over- 
turned by the combined forces of the two nations, and the whole 
territories of the Gepidae passed (565) under the dominion of 
the Avars. The Lombards also abandoned to them their pos- 
sessions in Pannonia, and went in quest of new settlements 
into Italy. It was in the spring of 568 that they began theii 
route, under the conduct of their King Alboin, who, without 
coming to regular combat with the Greeks, took from them, in 
succession, a great number of cities and provinces. Pavia 
which the Goths had fortified with care, was the only town 
that opposed him with vigorous resistance ; and it did not sur- 
render till after a siege of three years, in 572. The Lombard 
kings made this town the capital of their new dominions, which 
besides Upper Italy, known more especially by the name o.' 
Lombardy, comprehended also a considerable part of the middle 
and lower districts, which the Lombards gradually w^rested 
from the Greeks. 

The revolution of which we have just now given a summary 
view, changed the face of all Europe ; but it had a more par- 
ticular influence on the fate of ancient Germany. The Ger- 
manic tribes, whose former boundaries were the Rhine and the 
Danube, now extended their territories beyond these rivers. 
The primitive names of those nations, recorded by Tacitus, fel] 
mto oblivion, and were replaced by those of five or six grand 
confederatious, viz. the Franks, Saxons. Frisians, Alemanns, 

PERIOD I. A. D. 406—800, 51 

Suabians, and Bavarians,^^ which embraced all the regions af- 
terwards comprehended under the name of Germany. 

The Alemanns, and their neighbours the Suabians, occupied, 
along with the Bavarians, the greater part of what is called 
Upper Germany, on both sides of the Danube as far as the Alps. 
The Franks, masters of a powerful monarchy in Gaul, preserved, 
under their immediate dominion beyond the Rhine, a part of 
ancient France, together with the territories of which they had 
deprived the Alemanns'^ and the Thuringians. In short, in 
all Lower Germany, no other names were to be found than 
those of the Thuringians, Saxons, and Frisians ; and as to the 
eastern part, situated beyond the Saal and the Elbe, as it had 
been deserted of inhabitants by the frequent emigrations of the 
German tribes, and by the total destruction of the kingdom of 
the Thuringians, it was seized in turn by the Slavi, or Slavo- 
nians, a race distinguished from the Germans by their language 
and their manners. 

This nation, different colonies of which still occupy a great 
part of Europe, did not begin to figure in history until the 
fourth century of the Christian era. Jornandes, a Gothic writer 
of the sixth century, is the first author who mentions them. 
He calls them Slavi, or Slaviiia ; and distinguishes them into 
three principal branches, the Venedi, the Slavi, and the Ames, 
whose numerous tribes occupied the vast countries on the north 
of the Euxine Sea, between the Vistula, the Niester, the Nie- 
per, &c. It was after the commencement of the sixth century 
that these nations emigrated from their ancient habitations, and 
spread themselves over the east and south of Europe. On the 
one side, they extended their colonies as far as the Elbe and 
the Saal; on the other, they crossed the Danube, and penetra- 
ted into Noricum, Pannonia, and lUyria; occupying all thosti 
countries known at this day under the names of Hungary, 
Sclavonia, Servia, Bosnia, Croatia, Dalmatia, Carniola, Carin- 
ihia, Sliria, and the march of the Venedi. The history of the 
sixth century, presents nothing more memorable than the bloody 
wars which the emperors of the East had to maintain against 
the Slavians of the Danube. 

Those colonies of them who first distinguished themselves 
on the Elbe, the Havel, the Oder, and in the countries situated 
to the north of the Danube, were the Czechi, or Slavi of Bo- 
hemia; the Sorabians inhabiting both sides of the Elbe, be- 
tween the Saal and the Oder, in the countries now known under 
the names of Misnia, Saxony, Anhalt and Lower Lusace ; the 
Wilzians, or Welatabes, and the Abotrites, spread over Braa- 
J.enburg, Pomerania, and Mecklenburg proper ; and, lastly, the 


Moravi, or Moravians, settled in Moravia, and in a part of mo* 
dem Hungary. We find, in the seventli century, a ctiief named 
Samo, who ruled over many of these nations. He fought suc- 
ce.ssfully against the armies of King Dagobert. It is supposed 
that this man was a Frank merchant, whom several of the Sla- 
vian tribes had elected as their chief. 

There is one thing which, at this period, ought above all to 
fix our attention, and that is the influence which the revolution 
of the fifth century had on the governments, laws, manners, 
sciences, and arts of Europe. The German tribes, in establish- 
ing themselves in the provinces of the Western empire, mtro- 
duced along with them the political institutions by which they 
had been governed in their native country. The governmeiiia 
of ancient Germany were a kind of military democracies, under 
generals or chiefs, with the prerogatives of kings. All matters 
of importance were decided in their general assemblies, com- 
posed of freemen, having the privilege of carrying arms, anj 
going to war.^^ The succession to the throne was not heredi- 
tary ; and though it became so in fact in most of the new Germaa 
states, still, on the accession of their princes, they were atten- 
tive to preserve the ancient forms, which evinced the primitive 
right of election that the nation had reserved to itself. 

The political division into cantons [gaio,) long used in ancient 
Germany, was introduced into all the new conquests of the Ger- 
man tribes, to facilitate the administration of justice. At the 
head of every canton was a justiciary officer, called Grav, in 
Latin Co7nes, who held his court in the open air, assisted by a 
certain number of assessors or sheriffs. This new division 
caused a total change in the geography' of Europe. The ancient 
names of the countries were every where replaced by new ones ; 
and the alterations which the nomenclature of these divisions 
underwent in course of time, created no small embarrassment 
in the study of the history and geography of the middle ages 

Among the freemen who composed the armies of the German 
nations, we find the grandees and nobles, who were distinguished 
by the number of men-at-arms, or freemen, whom they carried 
in their train. '^ They all followed the king, or common chief, 
of the expedition, not as mercenaries or regular soldiers, but as 
volunteers who had come, of their own accord, to accompany 
him. The booty and the conquests which they made in war, 
they regarded as a common property, to which they had all an 
equal right. The kings, chiefs, and grandees, in the division 
of their territories, received larger portions than the other mili- 
tary and freemen, on account of the greater efforts they had 
made, and the greater number of warriors who had followed 

PERIOD I, A. D. 406 — 800. fli 

them to the field. These lands were given them as property 
in every respect free ; and although an obligation was implied 
of iheir concurring in defence of the common cause, yet it was 
rather a sort of consequence of the territorial grant, and not im- 
posed upon them as a clause, or essential condition of the tenure. 

It is therefore wrong to regard this division of lands as having 
given rise to fiefs. War was the favourite occupation, the only 
honourable rank, and the inalienable prerogative of a German. 
They were soldiers not of necessity or constraint, but of their 
own free will, and because they despised every other employ- 
ment, and every other mode of life. Despotism was, therefore, 
never to be apprehended in a government like this, where the 
leat body of the nation were in arms, sat in their general as- 
semblies, and marched to the field of war. Their kings, how- 
ever, soon invented an expedient calculated to shackle the 
national liberty, and to augment their own influence in the pub- 
lic assemblies, by the number of retainers which they found 
means to support. This expedient, founded on the primitive 
manners of the Germans, was the institution of fiefs. 

It was long a custom among the ancient Germans, that their 
chiefs should have, in peace as well as in war, a numerous suite 
of the bravest youths attached to their person. Besides provi- 
sions, they supplied them with horses and arms, and shared with 
them the spoil which they took in war. This practice subsisted 
even after the Germans had established themselves in the pro- 
vinces of the Western Empire. The kings, and, after their 
example, the nobles, continued to entertain a vast number of 
companions and followers ; and the better to secure their alle- 
giance, they^ranted them, instead of horses and arms, the enjoy- 
ment of certain portions of land, which they dismembered from 
their own territories. 

These grants, known at first by the name of benefices^ and 
afterwards o^Jlefs, subjected those who received them to personal 
services, and allegiance to the superiors of whom they held 
them. As they were bestowed on the individual possessor, and 
on the express condition of personal services, it is obvious that 
originally fiefs or benefices were not hereditary; and that they 
returned to the superior, when the reason for which they had 
been given no longer existed. 

The laws and jurisprudence of the Romans were in full prac- 
tice through all the provinces of the Western Empire, when the 
German nations established themselves there. Far from super- 
seding or abolishing them, the invaders permitted the ancient 
inhabitants, and such of their new subjects as desired it, to live 
conformably to these laws, and to retain them in thgir cruris of 



justice. Nevertheless, without adopting this system of juris- 
prudence, which accorded neither with the rudeness of their 
manners, nor the imperfection of their ideas, they took great 
care, after their settlement in the Roman provinces, to have their 
ancient customs, to which they were so peculiarly attached, di- 
gested and reduced to writing. 

The Codes of the Salian and Ripuarian Franks, those of the 
Visigoths, the Burgundians, the Bavarians, the Anglo-Saxons, 
the Frisians, the Alemanns, and the Lombards, were collected 
into one body, and liberty given to every citizen to be governed 
according to that code of laws which he himself might choose. 
All these laws wore the impress of the military spirit of the 
Germans, as well as of their attachment to that personal liberty 
and independence, which is the true characteristic of human 
nature in its primitive state. According to these laws, every 
person was judged by his peers; and the right of vengeance 
was reserved to the individuals, or the whole family, of those 
who had received injuries. Feuds, which thus became heredi- 
tary, were not however irreconcilable. Compromise was allow- 
ed for all private delinquencies, which could be expiated, by 
paying to the injured party a specified sum, or a certain number 
of cattle. Murder itself might be expiated in this manner ; and 
every part of the body had a tax or equivalent, which was more 
or less severe, according to the different rank or condition of 
the offenders. 

Every freeman was exempt from corporal punishment; and 
in doubtful cases, the law obliged the judges to refer the parties 
to single combat, enjoining them to decide their quarrel sword 
in hand. Hence, we have the origin of the Judgments of God, 
as well as of Challenges and Duels.^^ These customs of the 
German nations, and their singular resolution in persisting in 
them, could not but interrupt the good order of society, encou- 
rage barbarism, and stamp the s^me character of rudeness on all 
their conquests. New wants sprung from new enjoyments 
while opulence, and the contagion of example, taught them to 
contract vices of which they had been ignoranL, and which they 
did not redeem by new virtues. Murders, oppressions, and rob- 
beries, multiplied every day ; the sword was made the standard 
of honour, the rule of justice and injustice ; cruelty and perfidy 
became every where the reigning character of the court, the 
nobility and the people. 

Literature, with the arts and sciences, felt above all the bane- 
ful effects of this revolution. In less than a century 3f:c the 
first invasion of the barbarians, there scarcely remained ix s.agle 
trace of the literature and fine arts of the Romans. Learning, 

PEBioD I. A. D. 406 — 800. S6 

it is true, had for a long time been gradually falling into decay, 
and a corrupt taste had begun to appear among the Romans in 
works of genius and imagination ; but no comparison can be 
made between the state of literature, such as it was in the West 
anterior to the revolution of the fifth century, and that which we 
find there after the conquests of the German nations. 

These barbarians, addicted solely to war and the chase, de- 
spised the arts and sciences. Under their destructive hands, 
the finest monuments of the Romans were levelled to the ground ; 
their libraries were reduced to ashes ; their schools and semi- 
naries of instruction annihilated. The feeble rays of learning 
that remained to the vanquished, were unable to enlighten or 
civilize those enemies to knowledge and mental cultivation. 
The sciences, unpatronised and unprotected by those ferocious 
conquerors, soon fell into total contempt. 

It is to the Christian religion alone, which was embraced, in 
succession, by the barbarous destroyers of the empire, that we 
owe the preservation of the mutilated and venerable remains 
which we possess of Greek and Roman literature.^" The cler- 
gy, being the authorized teachers of religion, and the only inter- 
preters of the sacred writings, were obliged by their office to 
have some tincture of letters. They thus became, over all the 
East, the sole depositaries of learning; and for a long series of 
ages, there was nobody in any other rank or profession of life, 
that occupied themselves with science, or had the slightest ac- 
quaintance even with the art of writing. These advantages 
which the clergy enjoyed, contributed in no small degree to 
augment their credit and their influence. Every where they 
were intrusted with the management of state affairs ; and the 
offices of chancellor, ministers, public notaries, and in general, 
all situations where knowledge or the art of writing was indis- 
pensable, were reserved for them ; and in this way their very 
name {dericus) became as it were the synonyme for a man of 
letters, or any person capable of handling the pen. The bish 
ops, moreover, held the first rank in all political assemblies, and 
in war marched to the field in person, at the head of their vassals. 
Another circumstance that contributed to raise the credit and 
the power of the clergy was, that the Latin language continued 
to be employed in the Roman provinces which had been sub- 
jected to the dominion of the German nations. Every thing 
was written exclusively in the Roman tongue, which became the 
language of the church, and of all public acts ; and it was long 
before the German dialects, which had become universally pre- 
valent, could be reduced to writing. The corrupt pronunciation 
of the Latin, and its mixture with foreign idioms and contsruc 


tiona, gSLve birth, in course of time, to new languages, which 
still retain evidence of their Roman origin, such as the Italian, 
Spanish, Portuguese, French and English languages. In the 
fifth and following centuries, the Teutonic language, or that 
spoken by the conquerors of Gaul, was called liiigtia Francica; 
this was distinguished from the lingua Romaiia, or the language 
spoken by the people ; and which afterwards gave rise to the 
modern French. It appears, therefore, from what we have just 
stated, that the incursion of the German tribes into the provinces 
of the West, was the true source of all the barbarity, ignorance 
and superstition, in which that part of Europe was so long and 
so universally buried. 

There would have been, therefore, every reason to deplore a 
revolution, not less sanguinary in itself than disastrous in its 
consequences, if, on the one hand, it had not been the instru- 
ment of delivering Europe from the terrible despotism of the 
Romans ; and, on the other, if we did not find, in the rude in- 
stitutions of the German conquerors, some germs of liberty, 
which, sooner or later, were sure to lead the nations of Europe 
to wiser laws, and better organized governments. 

Among the states which rose on the ruins of the Roman em- 
pire, that of the Franks acquired the preponderance ; and, for 
several ages, it sustained the character of being the most pow- 
erful kingdom in Europe. This monarchy, founded by Clovis, 
and extended still more by his successors, embraced the whole 
of Gaul except Languedoc, which belonged to the Visigoths.'" 
The greater part of Germany also was subject to it, with the 
exception of Saxony, and the territories of the Slavi. After it 
had fallen into decay, by the partitions and civil wars of the 
descendants of Clovis, it rose again, solely however by the wis- 
dom and ability of the ma^'ors of the palace, who restored it once 
more to its original splendour. 

These mayors, from being originally merely grand-masters of 
the court, rose by degrees to be prime ministers, governors of 
the state, and ultimately to be kings. The founder of their 
greatness, was Pepin d'Heristal, a cadet of the dynasty of the 
Carlo vingians, which succeeded that of the Merovingians, to- 
wards the middle of the eighth century. Under the Merovin- 
gian princes, the sovereignty was divided between two principal 
kingdoms, viz. that of Austrasia, which comprehended East- 
ern France, being all that part of Gaul situated between the 
Meuse, the Scheld, and the Rhine; as well as the German pro- 
vinces beyond the Rhine, which also made a part of that mo- 
narchy. The whole of Western Gaul, lying between the Scheld, 
the Meuse and the Loire, was called Neustria. Burgundy, 

PERIOD I. A. D. 406 — 800. 67 

Aquitain, and Provence, were considered as dependencies of this 
latter kingdom. 

Dag-obert II., King of Austrasia, having been assassinated, in 
678, the King of Neustria, Thierry III., would in all probability 
have reunited the two monarchies ; but the Austrasians, who 
dreaded and detested Ebroin, Mayor of Neustria, elected a 
mayor of their own, under the nominal authority of Thierry. 
This gave rise to a sort of civil war between the Austrasians and 
the Neustrians, headed by Pepin Heristal, Mayor of Austrasia, 
and Bertaire, Mayor of Neustria, who succeeded Ebroin. The 
battle which Pepin gained at Testry, near St. Quentin (687,) 
decided the fate of the empire ; Bertaire was slain, and Thierry 
III. fell under the power of the conqueror. Pepin afterwards 
confirmed to Thierry the honours of royalty, and contented him- 
self with the dignity of mayor, and the title of Duke and Prince 
of the Franks ; but regarding the throne as his own by right of 
conquest, he vested in himself the sovereign authority, and 
granted to the Merovingian Prince, nothing more than the mere 
externals of majesty, and the simple title of king. Such Avas 
the revolution that transferred the supreme authority of the 
Franks to a new dynasty, viz. that of the Carlovingians, who 
with great moderation, still preserved, during a period of sixty- 
five years, the royal dignity to the Merovingian princes, whom 
they had stripped of all their power.*' 

Pepin d'Heristal being dead (714,) the partizans of the ancient 
dynasty made a last effort to liberate the Merovingian kings 
from that dependence under which Pepin had held them t;o long. 
This prince, in transferring the sovereign authority to his grand- 
son Theodvvald, only six years of age, had devolved on his 
widow, whose name was Plectrude, the regency and guardian- 
ship of the young mayor. 

A government so extraordinary emboldened the factious to 
attempt a revolution. The regent, as well as her grandson, were 
divested of the sovereigntv, and the Neustrian grandees chose 
a mayor of their own party named Rainfroy ; but their triumph 
was only of short duration. Charles Martel, natural son of 
Pepin as is supposed, having escaped from the prison where he 
had been detained by the regent, passed into Austrasia, and then 
caused himself to be proclaimed duke, after the example of his 
father. He engaged in a war against Chilperic II. and his mayor 
Rainfroy ; three successive victories which he gained, viz. at 
Stavelo, Vinci near Cambray, and Soissons, in 716-17-18, made 
him once more master of the throne and the sovereign authority. 
The Duke of Aquitain having delivered up King Chilperic to 
him, he confirmed anew the title of royalty to that prince ; and 


shortly after raised his glory to its highest pitch, by the brilliant 
victories which he gained over the Arabs (732-737,) in the plains 
of Poitiers and Narbonne. 

Pepin le Bref, (or the Short) son and successor of Charles 
Martel, finding his authority established both within and with- 
out his dominions, judged this a favourable opportunity for re- 
uniting the title of royalty to the power of the sovereign. He 
managed to have himself elected King in the General Assem- 
bly of the Franks, which was convened in the Champ-de-Mars, 
in the neighbourhood of Soissons. Childeric III. the last ot 
the Merovingian kings, was there deposed (752,) and shut up 
in a convent. Pppin, with the intention of rendering his person 
sacred and inviolable, had recourse to the ceremony of corona- 
tion ; and he was the first King who caused himself to be 
solemnly consecrated and crowned in the Cathedral of Sois- 
sons, by St. Boniface, first archbishop of Mayence.— The 
example of Pepin was followed soon after by several princes and 
sovereigns of Europe. The last conquest he added to his do- 
minion was the province of Languedoc, which he took (759; 
from the Arabs. 

The origin of the secular power of the Roman pontifTs com- 
mences with the reign of Pepin. This event, which had so 
peculiar an influence on the religion and government of the Euro- 
pean nations, requires to be detailed at some length. 

At the period of which we write, there existed a violent con- 
troversy between the churches in the East, and those in the 
West, respecting the worship of images. The Emperor Leo 
the Isaurian had declared himself an-ainst this worship, and had 
proscribed it by an imperial edict (726.) He and his successors 
persisted in destroying these objects of idolatry, as well as in 
persecuting those who avowed themselves devotees to this 
heresy. This extravagant zeal, which the Roman pontifTs 
blamed as excessive, excited the indignation of the people 
against the Grecian Emperors.-^ In Italy, there were frequent 
rebellions against the imperial officers that were charged with 
the execution of their orders. The Romans especially, took 
occasion, from this, to expel the duke or governor, who resided 
in their city on the part of the emperor ; and they formally 
erected themselves into a republic (730,) under the pontificate 
of Gregory II., by usurping all the rights of sovereignty, and, 
at the same time, reviving the ancient names of the senate and 
the Roman people. The Pope was recognised as chief or head 
of this new republic, and had the general direction of all affairs, 
both at home and abroad. The territory of this republic, formed 
of the dutchy of Rome, extended, from north to south, from 

PERIOD I. A. D. 406—800. 59 

Viterbo as far as Terracina ; and from east to west, from Narnl 
to the mouth of the Tiber. Such was the weakness of the 
Eastern empire, that all the efforts of the emperors to reduce 
the Romans to subjection proved unavailing. The Greek vice- 
roy — the Duke of Naples, who had marched to besiege Rome, 
was killed in battle, together with his son ; and the exarch him- 
self was compelled to make peace with the republicans. 

This state of distress to which the Grecian empire was re- 
duced, afforded the Lombards an opportunity of extending their 
possessions in Italy. Aistolphus their king attacked the city of 
Ravenna (751,) where the exarchs or governors-general of the 
Greeks had fixed their residence ; and soon made himself master 
of it, as well as the province of the exai;chate,-'' and the Pen- 
tapolis. The exarch Eutychius was obliged to Ry, and took 
shelter in Naples. 

This surrender of the capital of Grecian Italy, emboldened 
the Lombard King to extend his views still farther ; he demanded 
the submission of the city and dutchy of Rome, which he con- 
sidered as a dependency of the exarchate. Pope Stephen II. 
became alarmed, and began to solicit an alliance with the 
Greek empire, whose distant power seemed to him less formi- 
dable than that of the Lombards, his neighbours ; but being 
olasely pressed by A.istolphus, and finding that he had no suc- 
co ir to expect from Constantinople, he determined to apply for 
ppLteclion to the Franks and their King Pepin. 

The Franks, at that time, held the first rank among the na- 
tions of Europe ; their exploits against the Arabians had gained 
them a high reputation for valour over all the West. StephoTi 
repaired in person to France, and in an interview which he had 
with Pepin, he found means to interest that prince in his cause. 
Pepin did not yet regard himself as securely established on a 
throne which he had so recently usurped from the Merovingian 
princes ; more especially as there still existed a son of Childeric 
III., named Thierry, and a formidable rivalry in the puissant 
dukes of Aquitain, who were cadets of the same family. He 
had no other right to the crown than that of election ; and this 
title, instead of descending to his sons, might perhaps serve as 
a pretext for depriving them of the sovereignty. Anxious to 
render ihe crown hereditary, he induced the Pope to renew the 
ceremony of his coronation in the Church of St. Denis; and, 
at the same time, to consecrate his two sons, Charles and Car- 
loman. The Pope did more ; he disengaged the King from the 
oath which he had taken to Childeric, and bound all the nobility 
of the Franks, that were present on the occasion, in the name 
of Jesus Christ and St. Peter, to preserve the royal dignity in 

60 CHAPTER n. 

the right of Pepin and his descendants; and lastly, that be 
might the more effectually secure the attachment of Pepin and 
his sons, and procure for himself the title of being their pro- 
tector, he publicly conferred on them the honour of being patri- 
cians of Rome. 

So great condescension on the part of the Pope could not but 
excite the gratitude of Pepin. He not only promised him suc- 
cour against the Lombards ; he engaged to recover the exarchate 
from their hands, and make a present of it to the Holy See ; 
he even made him a grant of it by anticipation, which he signed 
at the Castle of Chiersi-sur-l'Oise, and which he likewise caused 
to be signed by the princes his sons.^ It was in fulfilment of 
these stipulations that Pepin undertook (755-56) two successive 
expeditions into Italy. He compelled Aistolphus to acknowledge 
himself his vassal, and deliver up to him the exarchate with 
the Pentapolis, of which he immediately put his Holiness in 
possession. This donation of Pepin served to confirm and to 
extend the secular power of the Popes, which had already been 
augmented by various grants of a similar kind. The original 
document of this singular contract no longer exists ; but the 
names of the places are preserved which were ceded to the 
pontifical hierarchy.*'' 

In the conclusion of this period, it may be proper to take some 
notice of the Arabs, commonly called Saracens,^' and of their 
irruption into Europe. Mahomet, an Arab of noble birth, and 
a native of Mecca, had constituted himself a prophet, a legisla 
tor, and a conqueror, about the beginning of the seventh century 
of the Christian era. He had been expelled from Mecca (622) 
on account of his predictions, but afterwards returned at the 
head of an army; and having made himself master of the city, 
he succeeded by degrees, in subjecting to his yoke the numerous 
tribes of Arabia. His successors, known by the name of Ca- 
liphs, or vicars spiritual and temporal of the prophet, followed 
the same triumphant career. They propagated their religion 
wherever they extended their empire, and overran with their 
conquests the vast regions both of Asia and Africa. Syria, 
Palestine, Egypt, Barca, Tripoli, and the whole northern coasts 
of Africa, were won from the Greek empire by the Caliphs; 
who at the same time (651) overthrew the powerful monarchy 
of the Persians ; conquered Charasm, Transoxiana, and the In- 
dies, and founded an empire more extensive than that of the 
Romans had been. The capital of the Caliphs, vvh'ch had ori- 
ginally been at Medina, and afterwards at Cufa, was transferred 
(661) by the Caliph Moavia I. to Damascus in Syria ; and by 
the Caliph Almanzor, to Bagdad in Irak-Arabia, (766) which 
was founded hv that prince. 

Flight of Mahomet. Vol. 1, p. CO. 

Ci'uwninsr ot L'lrdrlcinngnc. Vol. 1, p. GO. 

PERIOD 1. A. D. 406—800. 61 

It was under the Caliphate of Walid (711,) that the Arabs 
first invaded Europe, and attacked the monarchy of the Visigoths 
in Spain. This monarchy had ah'eady sunk under the feeble- 
ness of its kings, and the despotic prerogatives which the gran- 
dees, and especially the bishops, had arrogated to themselves. 
These latter disposed of the throne at their pleasure, having 
declared it to be elective. They decided with supreme authority 
in the councils of the nation, and in all affairs of state. Muza 
at that time commanded in northern Africa, in name of the Ca- 
liph Walid. By the authority of that sovereign, he sent into 
Spain one of his generals, named Taric or Tarec-Abenzara, 
who, having made a descent on the coasts of Andalusia, took 
his station on the hill which the ancients called Calpe, and which 
has since been known by the name of Gibraltar (Gibel-Taric,J 
or the hill of Taric, in commemoration of the Arabian general. 

It was in the neighbourhood of the city Xeres de la Frontera, 
in Andalusia, that Taric encountered the army of the Visigoths, 
commanded by their King Roderic. The battle was decisive, 
as the Visigoths sustained a total defeat. Roderic perished in 
the flight; and Muza, the Arabian governor, having arrived to 
second the efforts of Taric, the conquest of all Spain followed 
as a consequence of this victory.^ Septimania, or Languedoc, 
which then made a part of the Visigothic monarchy, passed "j* 
the same time under the dominion of the Arabs. 

These fierce invaders did not limit their conquests in Europe 
to Spain and Languedoc ; the Balearic Isles, Sardinia, Corsica, 
part of Apulia and Calabria, fell likewise under their dominion : 
they infested the sea with their fleets, and more than once car- 
ried terror and desolation to the very gates of Rome. It is pro- 
bable even that all Europe would have submitted to their yoke, 
if Charles Martel had not arrested the career of their victories. 
He defeated their numerous and warlike armies in the bloodv 
battles which were fought near Poitiers and Narbonne (732- 
737,) and at length compelled them to shut themselves up 
within the province of Languedoc. 

The unity of the empire and the religion of Mahomet, did 
not long remain undivided. The first dynasty of the Caliphs, 
that of the Ommiades, was subverted ; and all the princes of 
that family massacred by the Abassides (749,) who seized the 
caliphate.^"-' A solitary descendant of the Ommiades, named Ab- 
dalraham, grandson of the fifteenth Caliph Huscham, was 
saved in Spain, and fixed his residence at Cordova ; and beincr 
acknowledged as Caliph by the Mussulmans there, he detached 
that province from the great empire of the Arabians. v756.) 

This revolution, and the confusion with which it was accorr.- 

voL. I. 6 


panied, gave fresh courage to the small number of Visigoths, 
who, to escape the Mahometan yoke, had retired to the moun- 
tains of Asturias. Issuing from their retreats, they retaliated 
on the Infidels ; and towards the middle of the eighth century, 
they laid the foundation of a new Christian state, called after- 
wards the kingdom of Oviedo or Leon. Alphonso I., sur- 
named the Catholic, must be regarded as the first founder of 
this new monarchy.^" 

The Franks, likewise, took advantage of these events, to ex- 
pel the Arabs from Languedoc. Pepin took possession of the 
cities of Nismes, Maguelonne, Agde, and Beziers (752,) which 
were delivered up to him by a noble Goth, named Osmond. 
The reduction of Narbonne was by no means so easy a task. 
For seven years he continued to blockade it ; and it was not 
until 759 that he became master of the city, and the whole of 

The loss of Spain, on the part of the Abassides, was soon 
after followed by that of Northern Africa. Ibrahim Ben-Aglab, 
naving been sent thither as governor by the Caliph of Bagdad, 
Haroun Alrashid (800,) he found means to constitute himsell 
sovereign prince over the countries, then properly termed Afri- 
ca ; of which Tripoli, Cairoan, Tunis, and Algiers, formed a 
part. He was the founder of the dynasty of the Aglabites ;^' 
while another usurper, named Edris, having conquered Numi- 
dia and Mauritania, called by the Arabs Mogreb, founded that 
of the Edrissites. These two dynasties were overturned (about 
908) by Aboul Cassem Mohammed, son of Obeidallah, who 
claimed to be descended from Ali, by Fatima, daughter of the 
prophet ; he subjected the whole of Northern Africa to his 
yoke, and took the titles of Mahadi and Caliph. From him 
were descended the Caliphs, called Fatimites, who extended 
their conquests to Egypt, and laid there the foundation of Ka- 
herah, or Grand Cairo (968,) where they established the seat 
of their caliphate, which, in the twelfth csntury, was destroyed 
by the Ayoubides. 

The irruption of the Arabs into Spain, disastrous as it was, 
did not fail to produce etfects beneficial to Europe, which ovyes 
its civilization partly to this circumstance. The Abassidian 
Caliphs, aspiring to be the protectors of letters and arts, began 
to found schools, and to encourage translations of the most 
eminent Greek authors into the Arabic language. Their ex- 
ample was followed by the Caliphs of Cordova, and even by 
the Fatimites, who held the sovereignty of Egypt and Northern 
Africa. In this manner a taste for learning was communicated 
to ail the Mahometan states. From Bagdad it passed to Cairo ; 

PERIOD II. A. D. 800—962. 63 

and from the banks of the Euphrates and the Nile, it spread 
itself as far as ihe Tagus. Mathematics, ^- Astronomy, Che- 
mistry, Medicine, Botany, and Materia Medica, were th-e sci- 
ences which the Arabians affected chiefly to cultivate. They 
excelled also in poetry, and in the art of embodying the fictions 
of imagination in the most agreeable narratives. Ehazes, Aver- 
roes, Avicenna, are among the number of their celebrated phi- 
losophers and physicians. Elmacin, Abulfeda, Abulpharagius, 
and Bohadin, as historians, have become famous to all posterity. 
Thus Spain, under the Mahometans, by cultivating many 
sciences little known to the rest of Europe, became the semi- 
nary of the Christians in the West, who resorted thither in 
crowds, to prosecute in the schools of Cordova the study of 
learninGf and the liberal arts.''^ The use of the numerical cha- 
racters, the manufacture of paper, cotton, and gun-powder, 
were derived to us from the Arabians, and especially from the 
Arabians of Spain. Agriculture, manufactures, and naviga- 
tion, are all equally indebted to the Arabians. They gave a 
new impulse to the commerce of the Indies ; from the Persian 
Gulf they extended their trade along the shores of the Mediter- 
ranean, and to the borders of the Black Sea. Their carpets, 
and embroideries in gold and silver, their cloths of silk, and their 
manufactures in steel and leather, maintained for years a ce- 
lebrity and a perfection unknown to the other nations of Europe. 



Fro??i Charle^nagae to Olho the Great, a. d. SCO — 962. 

The reign of Charles the Great forms a remarkable epoch in 
the history of Europe. That prince, who succeeded his father 
Pepin (768,) eclipsed all his predecessors, by the superiority of 
his genius, as well as by the wisdom and vigour of his admin- 
istration. Under him the monarchy of the Franks was raised 
to the highest pinnacle of glory. He would have been an ac- 
complished prince, and worthy of being commemorated as the 
benefactor of mankind, had he known how to restrain his im- 
moderate thirst for conquest. 

He carried his victorious arms into the centre of Germany ; 
and subdued the warlike nation of the Saxons, whose territories 
extended from the Lower Rhine, to the Elbe and the Baltic 
sea After a bloody war of thirty-three years, he compelled 
thern to receive his yoke, and to embrace Christianity, by the 


peace which he concluded with them (803) at Sahz on the 
Saal. The bishoprics of Munster, Osnaburg, Minden, Pader- 
born, Verden, Bremen, Hildesheim, and Halberstadt, owe their 
origin to this prince. Several of the Slavonian nations, the 
Abotrites (789,) the Wilzians (805,) the Sorabians (806,) the 
Bohemians (811,) &c., acknowledged themselves his tributaries ; 
and by a treaty of peace which he concluded with Hemming, 
King of Jutland, he fixed the river Eyder, as the northern 
limit of his empire against the Danes. Besides these, the 
powerful monarchy of the Avars,' which comprehended all the 
countries known in modern times by the names of Austria, 
Hungary, Transylvania, Sclavonia, Dalmatia and Croatia, was 
completely subverted by him (791 ;) and he likewise despoiled 
the Arabians of all that part of Spain which is situated between 
the Pyrenees and the Ebro (796,) as also of Corsica, Sardinia, 
and the Balearic Isles. In Spain he established military com- 
manders under the title of Margraves. 

Of these conquests, the one that deserves the most particu- 
lar attention is that of Italy, and the kingdom of the Lombards. 
At the solicitation of Pope Adrian I., Charles undertook an ex- 
pedition against the last of the Lombard kings. He besieged 
that prince in his capital at Pavia ; and having made him pri- 
soner, after a long siege, he shut him up in confinement for the 
rest of his days, and incorporated his dominions with the mo- 
narchy of the Franks. T.'. : Dukes of Benevento, who, as 
vassals of the Lombard kings, then occupied the greater part of 
Lower Italy, were at the same time compelled to acknowledge 
the sovereignty of the conquerors, who allowed them to exer- 
cise their hereditary rights, on condition of their paying an 
annual tribute. The only places in this part of Italy that re 
mained unsubdued, were the maritime towns, of which the 
Greeks still found means to maintain the possession. 

In order to secure the conquest of this country, as well as to 
protect it against the incursions of the Arabians, Charles estab- 
lished several marches and military stations, such as the 
marches of Friuli, Tarento, Turin, Liguira, Teti, &c. The 
downfall of the Lombards, put an end to the republican govern- 
ment of the Romans. During the blockade of Pavia, Charles 
having gone to Rome to be present at the feast of Easter (774,) 
was received there with all the honours due to an Exarch 
and a Patrician ; and there is incontestable proof that he after- 
wards received, under that title, the rights of sovereignty over 
Rome and the Ecclesiastical States. 

The Patrician dignity, instituted by Constantine the Great, 
ranked, in the Greek empire, next after that of emperor. It was 

PERIOD II. A. D. 800 — 962. 65 

of such consideration, that even barbarian kings, the destroyers 
of the ancient Roman empire in the West, became candidates 
for this honour at the Court of Constantinople. The exarchs 
of Ravenna were generally invested with it, and exercised under 
this title, rather than that of exarch or governor, the authority 
which they enjoyed at Rome. Pope Stephen II. had, twenty 
years before, conferred the patriciate on Pepin and his sons ; 
although these princes appear never to have exercised the right, 
regarding it merely as an honorary title, so long at least as the 
kingdom of the Lombards separated them from Rome and the 
States of the Church. Charles no sooner saw himself master 
of that kingdom, than he aftected to add to his titles of King of 
the Franks and Lombards that of Patrician of the Romans ; and 
oegan to exercise over Rome and the Ecclesiastical States those 
rights of supremacy which the Greek emperors and exarchs had 
enjoyed before him. 

This prince returned to Rome towards the end of the year 
800, in order to inquire into a conspiracy which some of the 
Roman nobility had concerted against the life of Pope Leo III. 
The whole affair having been discussed in his presence, and 
the innocence of the Pope clearly established, Charles went to 
assist at the solemn mass which was celebrated in St. Peter's 
Church on Christmas day (800.) The Pope, anxious to show 
him some public testimony of his gratitude, chose the moment 
when the prince was on his knees al the foot of the grand altar, 
to put the imperial crown on his head, and cause him to be pro- 
claimed to the people Emperor of the Romans. 

From this afi'air must be dated the revival of the Roman Em- 
pire in the West, — a title which had been extinct for three hun- 
dred years. The emperors of the East who, during that inter- 
val, had continued exclusively in the enjoyment of that title, 
appeared to have some reason for opposing an innovation which 
might eventually become prejudicial to them. The contest 
which arose on this subject between the two emperors, was at 
length (803) terminated by treaty. The Greek emperors recog- 
nised the new dignity of Charles (812 ;) and on these conditions 
they were allowed to retain those possessions, which they still 
held by a feeble tenure in Italy. 

In thus maintaining the imperial dignity against the Greek 
emperors, Charles added nothing to his real power ; he acquired 
from it no new right over the dismembered provinces of the 
Western empire, the state of which had, for a long time past, 
been fixed by specific regulations. He did not even augment 
his authority over Rome, where he continued to exercise the 



same rights of superiority under the title of emperor, which he 
had formerly done under that of patrician. 

This prince, whose genius soared beyond his age, did not 
figure merely as a warrior and a conqueror ; he was also a le- 
gislator, and a zealous patron of letters. By the laws which he 
published under the title of CapiUdaries, he reformed several 
abuses, and introduced new ideas of order and justice. Com- 
missioners nominated by himself, were charged to travel through 
the provinces, to superintend the execution of the laws, listen 
to the complaints of the people, and render justice to each 
without distinction and without partiality. He conceived like- 
wise the idea of establishing a uniformity of weights and mea- 
sures throughout the empire. Some of the laws of that great 
man, however, indicate a disposition tinctured with *he barba- 
rism and superstition of his age. The Judgments of God are 
expressly held by him to be legal tests of right and wrong, and 
the greater part of crimes expiable by money. By a general 
law, which he passed in 779, introducing the payment of eccle- 
siastical tithes, and which he extended to the vanquished Saxons 
(791,) he alienated the affections of that people; and the code 
which he dictated on this occasion, is remarkable for its atrocity ; 
which their repeated revolts, and frequent returns to paganism, 
cannot justify. 

As to his patronage and love of letters, this is attested by the 
numerous schools which he founded, and the encouragements 
he held out to them ; as well as the attention he showed in in- 
viting to his court, the most celebrated learned men from every 
countr)'^ in Europe. He formed them into a kind of academy, 
or literary society, of which he was himself a member. When 
at an advanced age, he received instruction in rhetoric, logic 
and astronomy, from the famous Alcuin, an Englishman, to 
whom he was much attached. He endeavoured also to improve 
his vernacular tongue, which was the Teutonic, or lingua 
Francica, by drawing up a grammar of that language, giving 
German names to the months and the winds, which had not yel 
received them ; and in making a collection of the military songs 
of the ancient Germans. He extennod an equal protection t( 
the arts, more especially architecture, a taste for which he had 
imbibed in Italy and Rome. Writers of those times speak 
with admiration of the palaces and edifices constructed by his 
orders, at Ingelheim, near Mentz, atNimeguen, on the left bank 
of the Waal, and at Aix-la-Chapelle. These buildings were 
adorned with numerous paintings, as well as marble and mosaic 
work, which he had brought from Rome and Ravenna. 

The empire of Charlemagne, which may bear a comparison 

PERIOD II. A. D. 800—962. 67 

as to its extent with the ancient empire of the West, embraced 
the principal part of Europe. All Gaul, Germany, and Spain 
as far as the Ebro, Italy to Benevento, several islands in the 
Mediterranean, with a considerable part of Pannonia, composed 
this vast empire, which, from west to east, extended from the 
Ebro to the Elbe and the Raab ; and from south to north, from 
the dutchy of Benevento and the Adriatic Sea to the River Ey- 
der, which formed the boundary between Germany and Denmark. 

In defining the limits of the empire of Charlemagne, care 
must be taken not to confound the provinces and states incor- 
porated with the empire with those that were merely tributary. 
The former were governed by officers who might be recalled at 
the will of the prince ; while the latter were free states, whose 
only tenure on the empire was by alliance, and the contributions 
they engaged to pay. Such was the policy of this prince, that, 
besides the marches or military stations which he had established 
on the frontiers of Germany, Spain, and Italy, he chose to retain 
on different points of his dominions, nations who, under the 
name of tributaries, enjoyed the protection of the Franks, and 
might act as a guard or barrier against the barbarous tribes of 
the east and north, who had long been in the habit of making 
incursions into the western and southern countries of Europe. 

Thus the dukes of Benevento in Italy, who were simply vas- 
sals and tributaries of the empire, supplied as it were a rampart 
or bulwark against the Greeks and Arabians; while the Scla- 
vonian nations of Germany, Pannonia, Dalmatia, and Croatia, 
though feudatories or vassals of France, were governed, never- 
theless, by their own laws, and in general did not even profess 
the Christian religion. 

From this brief sketch of the reign of Charlemagne, it is easy 
to perceive, that there was then no single power in Europe for- 
midable enough to enter into competition with the empire of the 
Franks. The monarchies of the north, Denmark, Norway, and 
Sweden, and those of Poland and Russia, were not then in ex- 
istence ; or had not emerged from the thick darkness that still 
covered those parts of continental Europe. England then pre- 
sented a heptarchy of seven confederate governments, the union 
of which was far from being well consolidated. The kings of 
this confederacy were incessantly engaged in war with each 
other ; and it was not until several years after Charlemagne, 
that Egbert the Great, kving of Wessex, prevailing in the contest 
constituted himself King of all England, in 827. 

The Mahometan part of Spain, after it was separated from 
the great empire of the Caliph's, was engaged in perpetual war- 
fare with the East. The Ommiades, sovereigns of Cordova 


far from provoking their western neighbours, whose valour they 
had already experienced, showed ihenriselves, on the contrary, 
attentive to preserve peace and good understanding with ihem. 
The Greek emperors, who were continually quarrelling with the 
Arabs and Bulgarians, and agitated by factions and intestine 
commotions, could no longer be an object of suspicion or rivalry 
to the monarchy of the Franks. 

Thus did the empire of Charlemagne enjoy the glory of being 
the ascendant power in Europe ; but it did not long sustain its 
original splendor. It would have required a man of extraordi- 
nary talents, to manage the reins of a government so extensive 
and so complicated. Louis-le-Debonnaire, or the Gentle, the 
«on and successor of Charles, did not possess a single qualifi- 
cation proper to govern the vast dominions which his father had 
bequeathed to him. As impolitic as he was weak and super- 
stitious, he had not the art of making himself either loved or 
feared by his subjects. By the imprudent partition of his domi- 
nions between his sons, which he made even in his lifetime, he 
planted with his own hand those seeds of discord in his family, 
which accelerated the downfall of the empire. The civil wars 
which had commenced in his reign continued after his death. 
Louis, surnamed the German, and Charles the Bald, combined 
against their elder brother Lothaire, and defeated him at the fa- 
mous battle of Font ?;wiv m Burgundy (S41,) where all the flower 
of the ancient nobiIii_\ peris'iel Louis and Charles, victorious in 
this engagement, obliged their brother to take refuge in Italy. 
They next march-^d to Strnsbourg, wnere they renewed their alli- 
ance (842,) and confirmed it by oath at the head of their troops.* 

These princes were < n tb point of dividing the whole mo- 
narchy between them, wbt-n, by the interference of the nobility, 
they became reconciled to their elder brother, and concluded a 
treaty with him at Verdun (843,) which finally completed the 
division of the empire. By this formal distribution Lothaire 
retained ..he imperial dignity, with the kingdom of Italy, and the 
provinces situated between the Rhone, the Saone, the Meuse, 
the S'Jxeld, the Rhine, and the Alps. Louis had all Germany 
beyoJid the Rhine, and on this side of the river, the cantons of 
May iiice. Spire, and Worms ; and, lastly, all that part of Gaul 
whicn extends from the Scheld, the Meuse, the Saone, and the 
Rhone, to the Pyrenees, fell to the lot of Charles, whose division 
also comprehended the March of Spain, consisting of the pro- 
vince of Barcelona, and the territories which Charlemagne had 
conquered, beyond the Pyrenees. 

It is with this treaty, properly speaking, that modern France 
commences, which is but a department of the ancient empire of 

PERIOD II. A. D. 800—962. €0 

the Franks, or monarchy of Charlemagne. For a long time it 
retained the boundaries which the conference at Verdun had 
assigned it ; and whatever it now possesses beyond these limits, 
was the acquisition of conquests which it has made since the four- 
teenth century. Charles the Bald was in fact then the first King 
of France, and it his from him that the series of her kings com- 
mences. It was moreover under this prince that the govern- 
ment of the Neustrians or Western Franks assumed a new 
aspect. Before his time it was entirely of a Frankish or German 
constitution ; the manners and customs of the conquerors of 
Gaul every where predominated ; their language (the lingua 
Francica) was that of the court and the government. But after 
the dismemberment of which we have spoken, the Gauls ira- 
oorted it into Neustria or Western France ; the customs and 
popular language were adopted by the court, and had no small 
influence on the government. This language, which was then 
known by the name of the RomaiL or Roma)ice, polished by the 
refinements of the court, assumed by degrees a new and purer 
form, and in course of time became the parent of the modern 
French. It was therefore at this period, viz. the reign of 
Charles the Bald, that the Western Franks began, properly 
speaking, to be a distinct nation, and exchanged their more 
ancient appellation for that of French ; the name by which they 
are still known. 

At this same period Germany was, for the first time, embo- 
died into a monarchy, having its own particular kings. Louis 
the German, was the first monarch of Germany, as Charles the 
Bald was of France. The kingdom of Louis for a long time 
was called Eastern France, to distinguish it from the Western 
kingdom of that name, which henceforth exclusively retained 
the name of France. 

The empire of Charlemagne, which the ti'eaty of Verdun had 
divided, was for a short space reunited (SS4) under Charlea 
surnamed the Fat, younger son of Louis the German, and King 
of Germany ; but that prince, too feeble to support so great a 
weight, was deposed by his German subjects (887,) and their 
example was speedily followed by the French and the Italians 
The vast empire of the Franks was thus dismembered for eve 
(888,) and besides the kingdoms of France, Germany, and Italy, 
it gave birth to three new States — the kingdoms of Lorraine, 
Burgundy, and Navarre. 

The kingdom of Lorraine took its name from Lothaire II., 
younger son of the Emperor Lothaire I., who, in the division 
which he made of his estates among his sons (855,) gave to this 
Lothaire the provinces situated between the Rhine, the Meuse 

70 OH AFTER ra. 

and the Scheld, known since under the name of Lorraine, Al- 
sace, Treves, Cologne, Juliers, Liege, and the Low Countries. 
At the death of Lothaire IL, who left no male or legitimate 
heirs, his kingdom Avas divided by the treaty of Procaspis (870,) 
into two equal portions, one of which was assigned to Louis 
the German, and the other to Charles the Bald.^ By a subse- 
quent treaty, concluded (S79) between the sons of Louis, iur- 
named the Stammerer, King of France, and Louis the Young, 
King of Germany, the French division of Lorraine was ceded 
to this latter prince, who thus reunited the whole of that king- 
dom. Ii remained incorporated with Germany, at the time when 
the last dismemberment of that monarchy took place, (S9-5,) on 
the deposition of Charles the Fat. Arnulph, King of Germany, 
and successor of Charles, bestowed the kingdom of Lorraine on 
Swentibald his natural son, who after a reign of five years, was 
deposed by Louis, surnamed the Infant, son and successor of 
Arnulph. Louis dying Avithout issue, (912,) Charles the Sim- 
ple, King of France, took advantage of the commotions in Ger- 
many, to put himself in possession of that kingdom, which was 
at length finally reunited to the Germanic crown by Henry, 
surnamed the Fowler. 

Two new kingdoms appeared under the name of Burgundy, 
viz. Provence or Cisjurane Burgundy, and Transjurane Bur 
gundy. The founder of the former was a nobleman named 
Boson, whose sister Charles the Bald had espoused. Elevated 
by the king, his brother-in-law, to the highest dignities in the 
state, he was created, in succession, Count of Vienna, Duke of 
Provence, Duke of Italy, and Prime Minister, and even obtained 
in marriage the Princess Irniengarde, daughter of Louis II., 
Emperor and King of Italy. Instigated by this princess, he did 
not scruple to raise his ambitious views to the throne. The 
death of Louis the Stammerer, and the troubles that ensued, 
afforded him an opportunity of attaching to his interest most of 
the bishops in those countries, intrusted to his government. In 
an assembly which he held at Mantaille in Dauphinti, (879,) he 
engaged them by oath to confer on him the royal dignity. The 
schedule of this election, with the signatures of the bishops affix- 
ed, informs us distinctly of the extent of this new kingdom, 
which comprehended Franche-Comte, Ma^on, Chalons-sur-Sa- 
one, Lyons, Vienne and its dependencies, Agde, Viviers, Usez, 
with their dependencies in Languedoc, Provence, and a part of 
Savoy. Boson caused himself to be anointed king at Lyons, 
by the archbishop of that city. He maintained possession of 
his usurped dominions, in spite of the combined efforts which 
were made by the kings of France and Germany to reduce him 
to subjection. 

PERIOD 11. A. D. 800—962. 71 

The example of Boson was followed soon after by Rodolph, 
{»-overnor of Transjurane Burgundy, and related by the female 
side to the Carlovingians. He was proclaimed king, and crown- 
ed at St. Maurice in the Valais ; and his new kingdom, situa- 
ted between Mount Jura and the Penine Alps, contained Swit- 
zerland, as far as the River Reuss, the Valais, and a part of 
Savoy. The death of Boson, happening about this time, fur- 
nished Rodolph with a favourable opportunity of extending his 
frontiers, and seizing a part of the country of Burgundy. 

These two kingdoms were afterwards (930) united into one. 
Hugo, king of Italy, exercised at that time the guardianship of 
the young Constantine, his relation, the son of Louis, and grand- 
son of Boson. The Italians, discontented under the government 
of Hugo, and having devolved their crown on Rodolph II., king 
of Transjurane Burgundy, Hugo, in order to maintain himself 
on the throne of Italy, and exclude Rodolph, ceded to him the 
district of Provence, and the kingdom of his royal ward. Thus 
united in the person of Rodolph, these two kingdoms passed to 
his descendants, viz. Conrad, his son, and Rodolph III., his 
grandson. These princes are styled, in their titles, sometimes 
Kings of Burgundy ; sometimes Kings of Vknne or Aries; 
sometimes Kings of Provence and Alleniania. They lost, in 
course of time, their possessions beyond the Rhone and the 
Saone; and in the time of Rodolph III., this kingdom had for 
its boundaries the Rhine, the Rhone, the vSaone, the Reuss, and 
the Alps. 

Navarre, the kingdom next to be mentioned, known among 
the ancients under the name of Vasconia, was one of the pro- 
vinces beyond the Pyrenees, which Charlemagne had conquered 
from the Arabs. Among the counts or wardens of the Marches, 
. called by the Germans Margraves, which he established, the 
most remarkable were those of Barcelona in Catalonia, Jacca 
in Arragon, and Pampeluna in Navarre. All these Spanish 
Marches were comprised within Western France, and within 
the division which fell to the share of Charles the Bald, on the 
dismemberment of that monarchy among the sons of Louis the 
Gentle. The extreme imbecility of that prince, and the calam 
ties of his reign, were the causes why the Navarrese revolted 
from France, and erected themselves into a free and indepen- 
dent state. It appears also, that ihey were implicated in the 
defection of Aquitain (853,) when it threw off the yoke of 
Charles the Bald. Don Garcias, son of the Count Don Gar- 
cias, and grandson of Don Sancho, is generally reckoned the 
first of their monarchs, that usurped the title of Ki7ig of Pam- 
peltma, (858.) He and his successors in the kingdom of Na 


varre, possessed, at the same time, the province of Jacca in 
Arragon. The Counts of Barcelona were the only Spanish 
dependencies that, for many centuries, continued to acknowledge 
the sovereignty of the Kings of France. 

On this part of our subject, it only remains for us to point our 
the causes that conspired to accelerate the downfall of the em- 
pire of the Franks. Among these we may reckon the inconve- 
niences of the feudal system, — a system as unfitted for the pur- 
poses of internal administration, as it was incompatible with the 
maxims that ought to rule a great empire. The abuse of fiefs 
was carried so far by the Franks, that almost all property had 
become feudal ; and not only grants of land, and portions of 
large estates, but governments, dukedoms, an-d counties, were 
conferred and held under the title of fiefs. The consequence 
of this was, that the great, by the allurement of fiefs or benefices, 
became devoted followers of the kings, while the body of the 
nation sold themselves as retainers of the great. Whoever re- 
fused this vassalage was despised, and had neither favour nor 
honour to expect.'* By this practice, the liberty of the subject 
was abridged without augmenting the royal authority. The 
nobles soon became so powerful, by the liberality of their kings, 
and the number of their vassals they found means to procure, 
that they had at length the presumption to dictate laws to the 
sovereign himself. By degrees, the obligations which they 
owed to the state were forgotten, and those only recognised 
which the feudal contract imposed. This new bond of alliance 
was not long in opening a door to licentiousness, as by a natural 
consequence, it was imagined, that the feudal superior might be 
changed, whenever there was a possibility of charging him with 
a violation of his engagements, or of that reciprocal fidelity which 
he owed to his vassals. 

A system like this, not only overturned public order, by plant- 
ing the germs of corruption in every part of the internal admi- 
nistration ; it was still more defective with regard to the external 
operations of government, and directly at variance with all plans 
of aggrandizement or of conquest. As war was carried on by 
means of slaves or vassals only, it is easy to perceive that such 
armies not being kept constantly on foot, were with difficulty put 
in motion ; that they could neither prevent intestine rebellion, 
nor be a protection against hostile invasion; and that conquests 
made by means of such troops, must be lost with the same faci- 
iity that they are won. I permanent military, fortresses and 
carrisons, such as we tiiiu .n modern tactics, were altogether 
unknown among the Franks. These politic institutions, mdis- 
pen^able in great empires, were totally repugnant to the genius 

Henry IV., Emperor of Germany, submitting to Pope 
Gregory VII. Vol. 1, p. 108. 

Peter the Hermit preaching to the Crusaders. Vol. 1, p. 110. 

PERIOD n. A. D. 800—962. 73 

of the German nations. They did not even know what is meant 
by finances, or regular systems of taxation. Their kings had 
no other pecuniary resource than the simple revenues of their' 
demesnes, which served for the maintenance of their court. 
Gratuitous donations, the perquisites of bed and lodging, fines, 
the third of which belonged to the king, rights of custom and 
loll, added but little to their wealth, and could not be reckoned 
among the number of state resources. None but tributaries, or 
conquered nations, were subjected to the payment of certain im- 
posts or assessments ; from these the Franks were exempted ; 
they would have even regarded it as an insult and a blow struck 
at their national liberty, had they been burdened with a single 

It is obvious, that a government like this, so disjointed and 
incoherent in all its parts, in spite of the advantages which ac- 
crued to it from nourishing a spirit of liberty, and opposing a 
sort of barrier against despotism, was nevertheless far from being 
suitable to an empire of such prodigious extent as that of the 
Franks. Charlemagne had tried to infuse a new vigour into 
the state by the wise laws which he published, and the military 
stations which he planted on the frontiers of his empire. Raised, 
by the innate force of his genius above the prejudices of the age 
in which he lived, that prince had formed a system capable of 
giving unity and consistency to the state, had it been of longer 
duration. But this system fell to pieces and vanished, when 
no longer animated and put in execution by its author. Disorder 
and anarchy speedily paralyzed every branch of the government 
and ultimately brought on the dismemberment of the empire. 

Another cause which accelerated the fall of this vast empire, 
was the territorial divisions, practised by the kings, both of the 
Merovingian, and the Carlovingian race. Charlemagne and 
Louis the Gentle, when they ordered the empire to be divided 
among their sons, never imagined this partition would terminate 
in a formal dismemberment of the monarchy. Their intention 
was rather to preserve union and amity, by means of certain 
rights of superiority, which they granted to their eldest sons, 
whom they had invested with the Imperial dignit^^ But this 
subordination of the younger to their elder brothers was not of 
long continuance; and these di^^isions, besides naturally weak- 
ening the state, became a source of perpetual discord ; and 
reduced the Carlovingian princes to the necessity of courtmo- 
the grandees, on every emergency , and gaining their interest 
by new gifts, or by concessions which went to sap the founda- 
tion of the throne. 

This exorbitant power of the nobles, must also be reckoned 

VOL. I. 7 


among the number of causes that hastened the decline of the 
empire. Dukes and Counts, besides being intrusted with the 
justice and police of their respective governments, exercised, at 
the same time, a military power, and collected the revenues of 
the Exchequer. So many and so different jurisdictions, united 
in one and the same power, could not but become dangerous to 
the royal authority ; while it facilitated to the nobles the means 
of fortifying themselves in their governments, and breaking, by 
degrees, the unity of the state. Charlemagne had felt this in- 
convenience; and he thought to remedy the evil, by succes- 
sively abolishing the great dutchies, and dividing them into 
several counties. Unfortunately this policy was not followed 
out by his successors, who returned to the ancient practice of 
creating dukes ; and besides, being educatc-t and nurtured in 
superstition by the priests, they put themselves wholly under 
dependence to bishops and ecclesiastics, who thus disposed of 
the slate at their pleasure. The consequence was, that govern- 
ments, at first alterable only by the will of the King, passed 
eventually to the children, or heirs, of those who were merely 
administrators, or superintendents, of them. 

Charles the Bald, first King of France, had the weakness to 
constitute this dangerous principle into a standing law, in the 
parliament which he held at Chiersi (877,) towards the close of 
his reign. He even extended this principle generally to all 
fiefs ; to those that held immediately of the crown, as well as to 
those which held of laic, or ecclesiastical superiors. 

This new and exorbitant power of the nobles, joined to the 
injudicious partitions already mentioned, tended to sow fresh 
discord among the different members of the state, by exciting a 
multitude of civil wars and domestic feuds, which, by a neces- 
sary consequence, brought the whole body-poliiic into a state of 
decay and dissolution. The history of the successors of Charle- 
magne presents a sad picture, humiliating and distressing to 
humaniiy. Every page of it is filled with insurrections, devas- 
tations, and carnage : princes, sprung from the same blood, 
armed against each other, breathing unnatural vengeance, and 
bent on mutual destruction : the royal authority insulted and 
despised by the nobles, who were perpetually at war with each 
other, either to decide their private quarrels, or aggrandize them- 
selves at the expense of their neighbours ; and, finally, the citi- 
zens exposed to all kinds of oppression, reduced to misery and 
servitude, without the hope or possibility of redress from the 
government. Such was the melancholy situation of the States 
that composed the Empire of Charlemagne, when the irruption 
of new barbarians, the Normans from the extremities of the 

PERIOD 11. A. D. 800—962, 75 

North, and the Hungarians from the back settlements of Asia^ 
exposed it afresh to the terrible scourge of foreign invasion. 

The Normans, of German origin, and inhabiting ancient 
Scandinavia, that is to say, Sweden, Denmark, and modern 
Norway, began, towards the end of the eighth century, to cover 
the sea with their ships, and to infest successively all the mari- 
time coasts of Europe.^ During the space of two hundred years, 
they continued their incursions and devastations, with a fierce- 
ness and perseverance that surpasses all imagination. This phe- 
nomenon, however, is easily explained, if we attend to the state 
of barbarism in which the inhabitants of Scandinavia, in general, 
were at that time plunged. Despising agriculture and the arts, 
they found themselves unable to draw from fishing and the 
chase, the necessary means even for their scanty subsistence. 
The comfortable circumstances of their neighbours who culti- 
vated their lands, excited their cupidity, and invited them tfl 
acquire by force, piracy, or plunder, what they had not sufficient, 
skill to procure by their own industry. They were, moreover 
animated by a sort of religious fanaticism, which inspired theni 
with courage for the most perilous enterprise. This reckless 
superstition they drew from the doctrines of Odin, who was the 
god of their armies, the rewarder of valour and intrepidity in 
war, receiving into his paradise of Valhalla, the brave who fel. 
beneath the swords of the enemy ; while, on the other hand, 
the abode of the wretched, called by them Helvete, was pre- 
pared for those who, abandoned to ease and effeminacy, prefer- 
red a life of tranquillity to the glory of arms, and the perils of 
warlike adventure. 

This doctrine, generally diffused over all the north, inspired 
the Scandinavian youth with an intrepid and ferocious courage, 
which made them brave all dangers, and consider the sangui- 
nary death of warriors as the surest path to immortality. Often 
did it happen that the sons of kings, even those who were 
already destined as successors to their father's throne, volun- 
teered as chiefs of pirates and brigands, under the name of Sea 
Kings, solely for the purpose of obtaining a name, and signaliz- 
ing themselves by their maritime exploits. 

These piracies of the Normans, which at first were limited 
to the seas and countries bordering on Scandinavia, soon ex- 
tended over all the western and southern coasts of Europe. 
Germany, the kingdoms of Lorraine, France, England, Scot- 
land, Ireland, Spain, the Balearic Isles, Italy, Greece, and even 
the shores of Africa, were exposed in their turn to the insults 
and the ravages of these barbarians." 

France more es^oecially suffered /'-om their incursions, under 


the feeble reigns of Charles the Bald, and Charles the Fat. 
Not content with the havoc which they made on the coasts, 
they ascended the Seine, the Loire, the Garonne, and the Rhone, 
carrying fire and sword to the very centre oi the kingdom. 
Nantes, Angers, Tours, Blois, Orleans, Mons, Poitiers, Bour- 
deaux, Rouen, Paris, Sens, Laon, Soissons, and various other 
cities, experienced ihe fury of these invaders. Paris was three 
times sacked and pillaged by them. Robert the Strong, a scion 
of the roj'al House of Capet, whom Charles the Bald had created 
(861,) Duke or Governor of Neustria, was killed in battle (S66,) 
while combating with success against the Normans. At length, 
the terror which they had spread every where was such, that the 
French, who trembled at the very name of the Normans, had 
no longer courage to encounter them in arms ; and in order to 
rid themselves of such formidable enemies, they consented to 
purchase their retreat by a sum of money; a wretched and 
feeble remedy, which only aggravated the evil, by inciting the 
invaders, by the hope of gain, to return to the charge. 

It is not however at all astonishing, that France should have 
been exposed so long to these incursions, since, besides the in- 
efficient state of that monarchy, she had no vessels of her own 
to protect her coasts. The nobles, occupied solely with the 
care of augmenting or confirming their growing power, offered 
but a feeble opposition to the Normans, whose presence in the 
kingdom caused a diversion favourable to their views. Some 
of them even had no hesitation in joining the barbarians, when 
they happened to be in disgrace, or when they thought they had 
reason to complain of the government. 

It was in consequence of these numerous expeditions overall 
the seas of Europe, that the monarchies of the North were 
formed, and that the Normans succeeded also in founding several 
other states. It is to them that the powerful monarchy of the 
Russians owes its origin ; Ruric the Norman is allowed to have 
been its founder, towards the middle of the ninth century.'^ He 
and the grand dukes his successors, extended their conquests 
from the Baltic and the White Sea, to the Euxine ; and during 
the tenth century they made the emperors of the East to trem- 
ble on their thrones. In their native style of piratical warfare, 
they embarked on the Dnieper or Borysthenes, infested with 
their fleets the coasts of the Black Sea, carried terror and dismay 
to the gates of Constantinople, and obliged the Greek emperors 
to pay them large sums to redeem their capital from pillage. 

Ireland was more than once on the point of being subdued by 
the Normans, during these piratical excursions. Their first in- 
vasion of this island is stated to have been in the year 795 

PERIOD II. A. D. 800 — 962. 77 

Gieat ravages were committed by the barbarians, who conquer- 
ed or founded the cities of Waterford, Dublin, and Limerick, 
which they formed into separate petty kingdoms. Christianity 
was introduced among ihem towards the middle of the tenth 
century ; and it was not till the twelfth, the time of its invasion 
by the English, that they succeeded in expelling them from the 
island, when they were dispossessed of the cities of Waterford 
and Dublin (1170) by Henry II. of England. 

Orkney, the Hebrides, the Shetland and Faroe Islands, and 
the Isle of Man, were also discovered and peopled by the Nor- 
mans.^ Another colony of these Normans peopled Iceland, 
where they founded a republic (874,) which preserved its inde- 
pendence till nearly the middle of the thirteenth century, when 
that island was conquered by the Kings of Norway.^ Norman- 
dy, in France, also received its name from this people. Charles 
the Simple, wishing to put a check on their continual incur- 
sions, concluded, at St. Clair-sur-Epte (892,) a treaty with Rollo 
or Rolf, chief of the Normans, by which he abandoned to them 
all that part of Neustria which reaches from the rivers Andelle 
and Aure to the ocean. To this he added a part of Vexin, 
situated between the rivers Andelle and Epte ; as also the ter- 
ritory of Bretagne. Rollo embraced Christianity, and received 
the baptismal name of Robert. He submitted to become a vas- 
sal of the crown of France, under the title of Duke of Norman- 
dy ; and obtained in marriage the princess Gisele, daughter of 
Charles the Simple. In the following century, we shall meet 
with these Normans of France as the conquerors of England, 
and the founders of the kingdom of the two Sicilies. 

The Hungarians, a people of Turkish or Finnish origin, 
emigrated, as is generally supposed, from Baschiria, a country 
lying to the north of the Caspian Sea, between the Wolga, the 
Kama, and Mount Ural, near the source of the Tobol and the 
Jaik, or modern Ural. The Orientals designate them by the 
generic name of Turks, while they denominate themselves 
Magiars, from the name of one of their tribes. After having 
been long dependent on the Chazars,"^ a Turkish tribe to the 
north of the Palus Maeotis, they retired towards the Danube, to 
avoid the oppressions of the Patzinacites ;'i and established 
themselves (887) in ancient Dacia, under the auspices of a chief 
named Arpad, from whom the ancient sovereigns of Hungary 
derive their origin. Arnulph, King of Germany, employed 
♦hese Hungarians (892) against the Slavo-Moravians, who pos- 
sessed a flourishing state on the banks of the Danube, the 
' Morau, and the Elbe.'"- While engaged in this expedition, they 

were attacked again in their Dacian possessions by ihe Patzina- 

-7 # 

75 CHAPTER in. 

cites, who succeeded at length in expelling them from these 
territories.^^ Taking advantage afterwards of the death of 
Swiatopolk, king of the Moravians, and the troubles conse- 
quent on that event, they dissevered from Moravia all the coun- 
try which extends from the frontiers of Moldavia, Waliachia 
and Transylvania, to the Danube and the Morau. They con- 
quered, about the same time, Panno):»''^> w'th a part of Noricum, 
which they had wrested from the uermans ; and thus laid the 
foundation of a new state, known since by the name of Hungary 

No sooner had the Hungarians established themselves in 
Pannonia, than they commenced their incursions into the prin- 
cipal states of Europe. Germany, Italy, and Gaul, agitated by 
faction and anarchy, and even the Grecian empire in the East, 
became, all in their turn, the bloody scene of their ravages and 
devastations. Germany, in particular, for a long time felt the 
effects of their fury. All its provinces in succession were laid 
waste by these barbarians, and compelled to pay them tribute. 
Henry I., King of Germany, and his son Oiho the Great, at 
length succeeded in arresting their destructive career, and de- 
livered Europe from this new yoke which threatened its in- 

It was in consequence of these incursions of the Hungarians 
and Normans, to which may be added those of the Arabs and 
Slavonians, that the kingdoms which sprang from the empire of 
the Franks lost once more the advantages which the political 
institutions of Charlemagne had procured them. Learning, 
which that prince had encouraged, fell into a state of absolute 
languor; an end was put both to civil and literary improvement, 
by the destruction of convents, schools, and libraries ; the po- 
lity and internal security of the states were destroyed, and 
commerce reduced to nothing. England was the only excep- 
tion, which then enjoyed a transient glory under the memora- 
ble reign of Alfred the Great. That prince, grandson of Egbert 
who was the first king of all England, succeeded in expelling 
the Normans from the island (SS7,) and restored peace and tran- 
quillity to his kingdom. After the example of Charlemagne, 
he cultivated and protected learning and the arts, by restoring 
the convents and schools which the barbarians had destroyed; 
inviting philosophers and artists to his court, and civilizing his 
subjects by literary institutions and wise regulations.^^ It is 
to be regretted, that a reign so glorious was so soon followed 
by new misfortunes. After the Normans, the Danes reappeared 
in England, and overspread it once more with turbulence and 

During these unenlightened and calamitous times, we hud 

PERIOD III. A. D. 962—1074. 71 

the art of navigation making considerable progress. The Nor- 
mans, traversing the seas perpetually with their fleets, learned 
to construct their vessels with greater perfection, to become 
better skilled in wind and weather, and to use their oars and 
sails with niore address. It was, moreover, in consequence of 
these invasions, that more correct information was obtained re- 
garding Scandinavia, and the remote regions of the North. 
Two Normans, Wolfstane and Other, the one from Jutland, 
and the other from Norway, undertook separate voyages, in 
course of the ninth century, principally with the view of mak- 
ing maritime discoveries. Wolfstane proceeded to visit that 
part of Prussia, or the Esthoiiia of the ancients, which was re- 
nowned for its produce of yellow amber. Other did not con- 
fine his adventures to the coasts of the Baltic ; setting out from 
the port of Heligoland, his native country, he doubled Cape 
North, and advanced as far as Biarmia, at the mouth of the 
Dwina, in the province of Archangel. Both he and Wolfstane 
communicated the details of their voyages to Alfred the Great, 
who made use of them in his Anglo-Saxon translation of Orosius. 
Besides Iceland and the jVorthern Isles, of which we have 
already spoken, we find, in the tenth century, some of the fugi- 
tive Normans peopling Greenland ; and others forming settle- 
ments in Finland, which some suppose to be the island of 
Newfoundland, in North America.'^ 



From Otho the Great, to Gregory the Ch'eat. a. d. 962 — 1074. 

While most of the states that sprang from the dismembered 
empire of the Franks, continued to be the prey of disorder and 
anarchy, the kingdom of Germany assumed a new form, and 
for several ages maintained the character of being the rulinor 
power in Europe. It was erected into a monarchy at the 
peace of Verdun (843,) and had for its first king Louis the 
German, second son of Louis the Gentle. At that time it 
comprised, besides the three cantons of Spire, Worms, and 
Mayence, on this side the Rhine, all the countries and pro- 
vinces beyond that river, which had belonged to the empire of 
the Franks, from the Eyder and the Baltic, to the Alps and 
the confines of Pannonia. Several of the Slavian tribes, also, 
were its tributaries. 

From the first formation of this kingdom, the royal authority 


was limited ; and Louis the German, in an assembly held al 
Marsen (S51,)had formally engaged to maintain the states i?i their 
rights and privileges ; to folloio their counsel and advice : ana 
to consider them as his triie colleagues and coadjutors in all the 
affairs of government. The states, however, soon found means 
to vest in themselves the right of choosing their kings. The 
first Carlovingian monarchs of Germany were hereditary. 
Louis the German even divided his kingdom among his three 
sons, viz. Carloman, Louis the Young, and Charles the Fat- 
but Charles having been deposed in an assembly held at Frank- 
fort (887,) the states of Germany elected in his place Arnulph, a 
natural son of Carloman. This prince added to his crown both 
Italy and the Imperial dignity. 

The custom of election has continued in Germany down to 
modern times. Louis I'Enfant, or the Infant, son of Arnulph, 
succeeded to the throne by election ; and that prince having died 
very young (911,) the states bestowed the crown on a French 
nobleman, named Conrad, who was duke or governor of France 
on the Rhine, and related by the female side to the Carlovin- 
gian line. Conrad mounted the throne, to the exclusion o. 
Charles the Simple, King of France, the only male and legiti- 
mate heir of the Carlovingian line. This latter prince, how- 
ever, found means to seize the kingdom of Lorrain, which 
Louis the Young had annexed to the crown of Germany. On 
the death of Conrad I. (919,) the choice of the states fell on 
Henry I., surnamed the Fowler, a scion of the Saxon dynasty 
of the kings and emperors of Germany. 

It was to the valour and the wisdom of Henry I., and to his 
institutions, civil and military, that Germany was indebted foi 
its renewed grandeur. That monarch, taking advantage of the 
iniestine troubles which had arisen in France under Charles the 
Simple, recovered possession of the kingdom of Lorrain, the 
nobility of which made their submission to him in the years 
923 and 925. By this union he extended the limits of Germa 
ny towards the west, as far as the Meuse and the Scheld. Th 
kings of Germany afterwards divided the territory of Lorrait 
into two governments or dutchies, called Upper and Lower Lor- 
rain. The former, situated on the Moselle, was called the 
dutchy of the Moselle ; the other, bounded by the Rhine, ihe 
Meuse, and the Scheld, was known by the name of Lothiers or 
Brabant. These two dutchies comprised all the provinces of 
the kingdom of Lorrain, except those which the emperors 
judged proper to exempt from the authority and jurisdiction of 
the dukes. The dutchy of the Moselle, alone, finally retained 
the name of Lorrain j and passed (1048) to Gerard of Alsace, 

PERIOD in. A. D. i)G2— 1074, 81 

from whom descended tlie dukes of that name, who in the eigh- 
teenth century, succeeded to the Imperial throne. As to the 
dutchy of Lower Lonain, the Emperor Henry V. confen-ed it on 
Godfrey, Count of Louvain (1106), whose male attendants kept 
possession of it, under the title of Dukes of Brabant, till \355, 
when it passed by female succession to the Dukes of Burgun- 
dy, who found means also to acquire, by degrees, the greater 
part of Lower Lorrain, commonly called the Low Countries. 

Henry L, a prince of extraordinary genius, proved himself 
the true restorer of the German kingdom. The Slavonian 
tribes who inhabited the banks of the Saal, and the country be- 
tween the Elbe and the Baltic, committed incessant ravages on 
the frontier provinces of the kingdom. With these he waged 
a successful war, and reduced them once more to the condition 
of tributaries. But his policy was turned chiefly against the 
Hungarians, who, since the reign of Louis II., had repeatedly 
renewed their incursions, and threatened to subject all Germa- 
ny to their yoke. Desirous to repress effectually that ferocious 
nation, he took the opportunity of a nine years truce, which he 
had obtained with them, to construct new towns, and fortify 
places of strength. He instructed his troops in a new kind 
of tactics, accustomed them to military evolutions, and above 
all, he formed and equipped a cavalry sufficient to cope with 
those of the Hungarians, who particularly excelled in the art 
of managing horses. These depredators having returned with 
fresh forces at the expiry of the truce, he completely defeated 
them in two bloody battles, which he fought with them (933) 
near Sondershausen and Merseburg; and thus exonerated Ger- 
many from the tribute which it had formerly paid them.^ 

This victorious prince extended his conquests beyond the 
Eyder, the ancient frontier of Denmark. After a prosperous 
war with the Danes (931,) he founded the margravate of Sles- 
wick, which the Emperor Conrad II. afterwards ceded back 
^1033) to Canute the Great, King of Denmark. 

Otho the Great, °.on. and successor of Henry I., added ihe 
kingdom of Italy to the conquests of his father, and procured 
also the Imperial dignity for himself, and his successors in Ger- 
many. Ital^ had become a distinct kingdom since the revolu- 
tion, which happened (888) at the death of the Emperor Charles 
the Fat. Ten princes in succession occupied the throne during 
the space of seventy-three years. Several of these princes, such 
as Guy, Lambert, Arnulf, Louis of Burgundy, and Bereno-er I., 
were invested, at the same time, with the Imperial dignity. Be- 
renger I. having been assassinated (924,) this latter dignity 
ceased entirely, and the city of Rome was even dismembered 
from the kingdom of Italy. 


The sovereignty of that city was seized by the famous Maro*- 
zia, widow of a nobleman named Alberic. She raised her sod 
to the pontificate by the title of John XI. ; and the better to es- 
tablish her dominion, she espoused Hugo King of Italy (932,) 
who became, in consequence of this marriage, master of Rome. 
But Alberic, another son of Marozia, soon stirred up the people 
against this aspiring princess and her husband Hugo. Having 
driven Hugo from the throne, and shut up his mother in prison, 
he assumed to himself the sovereign authoril}', under the title 
oi Patrician of the B.omans. At his death (954,) he transmit- 
ted the sovereignty to his son Octavian, who, though only nine- 
teen years of age, caused himself to be elected pope, by the title 
of John XII. 

This epoch was one most disastrous for Italy. The weak- 
ness of the government excited factions among the nobility, 
gave birth to anarchy, and fresh opportunity for the depredations 
of the Hungarians and Arabs, who, at this period, were the 
scourge of Italy, which they ravaged with impunity. Pavia, 
the capital of the kingdom, was taken and burnt by the Hunga- 
rians. These troubles increased on the accession of Berenger 
II. (950,) grandson of Berenger I. That prince associated his 
son Adelbert with him in the royal dignity; and the public 
voice accused them of having caused the death of King Lothaire, 
son and successor of Hugo. 

Lothaire left a young widow, named Adelaide, daughter of 
Rodolph II., King of Burgundy and Italy. To avoid the impor- 
tunities of Berenger II., who wished to compel her to marry his 
son Adelbert, this princess called in the King of Germany to 
her aid. Otho complied with the solicitations of the distressed 
queen ; and, on this occasion, undertook his first expedition into 
Italy (941.) The city of Pavia, and several other places, having 
fallen into his hands, he caused himself to be proclaimeo ^^ing 
of Italy, and married the young queen, his protegee. Berenger 
and his son, being driven for shelter to their strongholds, had 
recourse to negotiation. They succeeded in obtaining for them- 
selves a confirmation of the royal title of Italy, on condition of 
doing homage for it to the King of Germany ; and for this pur- 
pose, they repaired in person to the diet assembled at Augsburg 
(952,) where they took the oath of vassalage under the hands 
of Otho, who solemnly invested them with the royalty of Italy ; 
reserving to himself the towns and marches of Aquileia and 
Verona, the command of which he bestowed on his brother the 
Duke of Bavaria. 

in examining more nearly all that passed in this affair, it ap- 
pears that it was not without the regret, and even contrary to 

PERIOD m. A. D. 962—1074. 83 

the wish of Adelaide, that Otlio agreed to enter into terms of 
accommodation with Berenger, and to ratify the compact which 
Conrad, Duke of Lorrain, and son-in-law of the Emperor, had 
made with that prince. Afterwards, however, he lent a favour- 
able ear to the complaints which Pope John XII., and some 
Italian noblemen had addressed to him against Berenger and 
his son ; and took occasion, on their account, to conduct a new 
army into Italy (961.) Berenger, too feeble to oppose him, re- 
tired a second time within his fortifications. Otho marched 
from Pavia to Milan, and there caused himself to be crowned 
King of Italy ; from thence he passed to Rome, about the com- 
mencement of the following year. Pope John XII., who had 
himself invited him, and again implored his protection against 
Berenger, gave him, at first, a very brilliant reception ; and re- 
vived ihe Imperial dignity in his favour, which had been dor- 
inant for thirty-eight years. 

It was on the 2d of February 962, that the Pope consecrated 
and crowned him Emperor ; but he had soon cause to repent of 
this proceeding. Otho, immediately after his coronation at 
Rome, undertook the siege of St. Leon, a fortress in Umbria, 
where Berenger and his Queen had taken refuge. While en- 
gaged in the siege, he received frequent intimations from Rome 
of the misconduct and immoralities of the Pope. The remon- 
strances which he thought it his duty to make on this subject, 
offended the young Pontiff, who resolved, in consequence, to 
break off union with the Emperor. Hurried on by the impe- 
tuosity of his character, he entered into a negotiation with Adel- 
bert; and even persuaded him to come to Rome, in order to 
concert with him measures of defence. On the first news of 
this event, Otho put himself at the head of a large detachment, 
with which he marched directly to Rome. The Pope, however, 
did not think it advisable to wait his approach, but fled with the 
King, his new ally. Otho, on arriving at ihe capital, exacted a 
solemn oath from the clergy and the people, that henceforth 
they would elect no pope without his counsel, and that of the 
Emperor and his successors." Having then assembled a coun- 
cil, he caused Pope John XII. to be deposed ; and Leo VII 
was elected in his place. This latter Pontiff was maintain? a 
in the papacy, in spite of all the efforts which his adversary 
made to regain it. Berenger II., after having sustained a Umg 
siege at St. Leon, fell at length (964) into the hands of the con- 
queror, who sent him into exile at Bamberg, and compelled his 
son, Adelbert, to take refuge in the court of Constantinople. 

All Italy, to the extent of the ancient kingdom of the Lutu- 
bards, fell under the dominion of the Germans : only a few 


maritime towns in Lower Italy, Avith the greater part of Apulia 
and Calabria, still remained in the power of the Greeks. This 
•kingdom, together with the Imperial dignity, Otho transmitted 
to his successors on the throne of Germany. From this time 
the Germans held it to be an inviolable principle, that as the im- 
perial dignity was strictly united with the royalty of Italy, kings 
elected by the German nation should, at the same time, in virtue 
of that election, become kings of Italy and Emperors. The 
practice of this triple coronation, viz. of Germany, Italy, and 
Rome, continued for many centuries ; and from Otho the Great, 
till Maximilian I. (150S,) no king of Germany took the title of 
Emperor, until after he had been formally crowned by the Pope. 

The kings and emperors of the house of Saxony, did not 
terminate their conquests with the dominions of Lorrain and 
Italy. Towards the east and the north, they extended them be- 
yond the Saal and the Elbe. All the Slavonian tribes between 
the Havel and the Oder • the Abotrites, the Rhedarians, the 
Wilzians, the Slavonians on the Havel, the Sorabians, the Dale- 
mincians, the Lusitzians, the Milzians, and various others ; the 
dukes also of Bohemia and Poland, although they often took up 
arms in defence of their liberty and independence, were all re- 
duced to subjection, and again compelled to pay tribute. In order 
to secure their submission, the Saxon kings introduced German 
colonies into the conquered countries ; and founded there several 
margravates, such as that of the North, on this side of the Elbe, 
afterwards called Brandenburg ; and in the East, those of Misnia 
and Lusatia. Otho the Great adopted measures for promulga- 
ting Christianity among them. The bishopric of Oldenburg 
in Wagria, of Havelberg, Brandenburg, Meissen, Merseburg, 
Zeitz; those of Posnania or Posen, in Poland, of Prague in Bo- 
hemia; and lastly, the metropolis of Magdeburg, all owe their 
origin to this monarch. His grandson, the Emperor Otho III., 
founded (in 1000) the Archbishopric of Gnesna, in Poland, to 
which he subjected the bishoprics of Colberg, Cracow, and 
Breslau, reserving Posen to the metropolitan See of Magdeburg. 

The Saxon dynasty became extinct (1024) with the Emperor 
Henry II. It was succeeded by that of Franconia, commonly 
called the Salic. Conrad II., the first emperor of this house, 
united to the German crown, the kingdom of Burgundy; or, as 
it is sometimes called, the kingdom of Aries. This monarchy, 
situate between the Rhine, the Reuss, Mount Jura, the Soane, 
the Rhone, and the Alps, had been divided among a certain 
number of counts, or governors of provinces, who, in conse- 
quence of the weakness of their last kings, Conrad and Rodolph 
HI., had converted their temporary jurisdictions into hereditary 

PERIOD m. A. D. 962—1074. 85 

and patrimonial offices, after the example of the French nobility, 
who had already usurped the same power. The principal and 
most puissant of these Burgundian nobles, were the Counts of 
Provence, Vienne, (afterwards called Dauphins of Vienne,) Sa- 
voy, Burgundy, and Montbelliard ; the Archbishop of Lyons, 
Besancon, and Aries, and the Bishop of Basle, &c. The con- 
tempt in which these powerful vassals held the royal authority, 
induced Rodolph to apply for protection to his kinsmen the 
Emperors Henry II. and Conrad II., and to acknowledge them, 
by several treaties, his heirs and successors to the crown. It 
was in virtue of these treaties, that Conrad II. took possession 
of the kingdom of Burgundy (1032) on the death of Rodolph III. 
He maintained his rights by force of arms against Eudes, 
Count of Champagne, who claimed to be the legitimate suc- 
cessor, as being nephew to the last king. 

This reunion was but a feeble addition to the power of the 
German emperors. The bishops, counts, and great vassals of 
the kingdom they had newly acquired, still retained the au- 
thority which they had usurped in their several departments; 
and nothing was left to the emperors, but the exercise of their 
feudal and proprietory rights, together with the slender remains 
of the demesne lands belonging to the last kings. It is even 
probable, that the high rank which the Burgundian nobles en- 
joyed, excited the ambition of those in Germany, and emboldened 
them to usurp the same prerogatives. 

The emperors Conrad II. (i03.3) and Henry III. (1038,) were 
both crowned Kings of Burgundy. The Emperor Lothaire 
conferred the viceroyalty or regency on Conrad Duke of Zah- 
ringen, who then took the title of Governor or Regent of Bur- 
gundy. Berthold IV., son of Conrad, resigned (1156,) in favour 
of the Emperor Frederic I., his rights of viceroyalty over that part 
of the kingdom situate beyond Mount Jura. Switzerland, at 
that time, was subject to the Dukes of Zahringen, who, in order 
to retain it in vassalage to their government, fortified Morges, 
Mouden, Yverdun, and Berthoud ; and built the cities of Fri- 
bourg and Berne. On the extinction of the Zahringian dukes. 
(1 191,) Switzerland became an immediate province of the empire. 
It was afterwards (1218) formed into a republic , and the other 
parts of the kingdom of Burgundy or Aries were gradually 
united to France, a.-i we shall see in course of our narrative. 

The Hungarians, since their first invasion under Louis I'En- 
fant, had wrested from the German crown all its possessions in 
Pannonia, with a part of ancient Noricum ; and the boundaries 
of Germany had been contracted within the river Ens in Bava- 
ria. Their growing preponderance afterwards enabled the Ger- 
VOL. 1. 8 

86 CHAPTER rv. 

mans to recover from the Hungarians a part of their conquests 
They succeeded in expelling them, not only from Noricum, but 
even from that part of Upper Pannonia which lies between 
Mount Cetius, or Kahlenberg as it is called, and the river Leita. 
Henry III. secured the possession of these territories by the 
treaty of peace which he concluded (1043) with Samuel, sur- 
named Aba, King of Hungary. This part of Hungary was 
annexed to the eastern Margravate, or Austria, which then be- 
gan to assume nearly its present form. 

Such then was the progressive aggrandizement of the German 
empire, from the reign of Henry I. to the year 1043. Under 
its most flourishing state, thai is, under the Emperor Henry III,, 
it embraced nearly two-thirds of the monarchy of Charlemagne. 
All Germany between the Ehine, the Eyder, the Oder, the Leita, 
and the Alps ; all Italy, as far as the confines of the Greeks in 
Apulia and Calabria; Gaul, from the Ehine to the Scheldt, the 
Meuse, and the Rhone, acknowledged the supremacy of the 
emperors. The Dukes of Bohemia and Poland, were their tri- 
butaries ; a dependence which continued until the commotions 
which agitated Germany put an end to it in the thirteenth century, 

Germany, at this period, ranked as the ruling power in Europe ; 
and this preponderance was not owing ao much to the extent of 
her possessions, as to the vigour of h r government, which still 
maintained a kind of system of political unity. The emperors 
may be regarded as true monarchs, dispensing, at their pleasure, 
all dignities, civil and ecclesiastical — possessing very large do- 
mains in all pai. > of the empire — and exercising, individually, 
various branches of the sovereign power ; — only, in affairs of 
great importance, asking the advice or consent of the grandees. 
This greatness of the German emperors gave rise to a system 
of polity which the Popes took great care to support with all 
their credit and authority. According to this system, the whole 
of Christendom composed, as it were, a single and individual 
republic, of which the Pope was the spiritual head, and the 
Emperor the secular. The duty of the latter, as head and patron 
of the Church, was to take cognizance that nothing should be 
done contrary to the general welfare of Christianity, It was 
his part to protect the Catholic Church, to be the guardian of its 
preservation, to convocate its general councils, and exercise such 
rights as the nature of his office and the interests of Christianity 
seemed to demand. 

It was in virtue of this ideal system that the emperors enjoyed a 
precedency over other monarchs, with the exclusive right of elect- 
ing kings ; and that they had bestowed on them the title of mas- 
ters of the world, and sovereign of sovereigns, A more impor- 

PERIOD III. A. D. 962—1074. 87 

tanl prerogative was that which they possessed in the election of 
the Popes. From Olho the Great to Henry IV., all the Roman 
pontiffs were chosen, or at least confirmed, by the emperors. 
Henry III. deposed three schismatical popes (1046,) and sub- 
stituted in tiieir place a German, who took the name of Clement 
II. The same emperorafterwards nominated various other popes 
of his own nation. 

However vast and formidable the power of these monarchs 
seemed to be, it was nevertheless far from being a solid and 
durable fabric ; and it was easy to foresee that, in a short time, 
it would crumble and disappear. Various causes conspired to 
accelerate its downfall ; the first and principal of which necessa- 
rily sprang from the constitution of the empire, which was faulty 
in itself, and incompatible with any scheme of aggrandizement 
or conquest. A great empire, to prolong its durability, requires 
a perfect unity of power, which can act with despatch, and com- 
municate with facility from one extremity to the other ; an 
armed force constantly on foot, and capable of maintaining the 
public tranquillity; frontiers well defended against hostile inva- 
sion ; and revenues proportioned to the exigencies of the state. 
All these characteristics of political greatness were wanting in 
the Gemaii empire. 

That empire was elective; the states co-operated jointly with 
the emperors in the exercise of the legislative power. There 
were neither permanent armies, nor fortresses, nor taxation, nor 
any regular system of finance. The government was without 
vigour, incapable of protecting or punishing, or even keeping 
m subjection, its remote provinces, consisting of nations who 
differed in language, manners, and legislation. One insurrec- 
tion, though quelled, was only the forerunner of others ; and 
the conquered nations shook off the yoke with the same facility 
as they received it. The perpetual wars of the emperors in 
Italy, from the first conquest of that country by Otho the Great, 
prove, in a manner most evident, the strange imbecility of the 
government. At every change of reign, and every little revo- 
lution which happened in Germany, the Italians rose in arms, 
and put the emperors again to the necessity of reconquering 
that kingdom ; which undoubtedly it was their interest to have 
abandoned entirely, rather than to lavish for so many centuries 
their treasures and the blood of their people to no purpose. The 
climate of Italy was also disastrous to the Imperial armies; 
and many successions of noble German families found there a 
foreign grave. 

An inevitable consequence of this vitiated constitution, was 
he decline of the royal authority, and the grad-ual increase of 


the power of the nobility. It is important, however, to remark 
that in Germany the progress of the feudal system had been 
much less rapid than in France. The dukes, counts, and mar- 
graves, that is, the governors of provinces, and wardens of the 
marches, continued for long to be regarded merely as imperial 
officers, without any pretensions to consider their governments 
as hereditary, or exercise the rights of sovereignty. Even fiefs 
remained for many ages in their primitive state, without being 
perpetuated in the families of those to whom they had been 
originally granted. 

A total change, however, took place towards tl\e end of the 
eleventh century. The dukes and counts, become formidable 
by the extent of their power and their vast possessions, by de- 
grees, constituted themselves hereditary officers; and not content 
with the appropriation of their dutchies and counties, they took 
id vantage of the weakness of the emperors, and their quarrels 
with the popes, to extort from them new privileges, or usurp tho 
prerogatives of royalty, formerly reserved for the emperors 
alone. The aristocracy, or landed proprietors, followed 'Sha 
example of the dukes and counts, and after the eleventh century, 
they all began to play the part of sovereigns, styling them- 
selves, in their public acts, By the Grace of God. At length fiefs 
became also hereditary. Conrad II. was the first emperor that 
permitted the transmission of fiefs to sons and grandsons; the 
succession of collateral branches was subsequently introduced. 
The system of hereditary feudalism became thus firmly esta- 
blished in Germany, and by a natural consequence, it brought 
on the destruction of the imperial authority, and the ruin of 
the empire. 

Nothing, hoAvever, was more injurious to this authority than 
the extravagant power of the clergy, whom the emperors of the 
Saxon line had loaded with honours and benefactions, either 
from a zeal for religion, or with the intention of using them as 
a counterpoise to the ambition of the dukes and secular nobility. 
It was chiefly to Otho the Great that the bishops of Germany 
were indebted for their temporal power. That prince bestowed 
on them large grants of land from the imperial domains ; he 
gave them towns, counties, and entire dukedoms, with the pre- 
rogatives of royalty, such as justiciary powers, the right of coin- 
ing money, of levying tolls and other public revenues, &c. 
These rights and privileges he granted them under the feudal 
law, and on condition of rendering him military servitude. 
Nevertheless, as the disposal.of ecclesiastical dignities belonged 
then to the crown, and fiefs had not, in general, become heredi- 
Uiry, the Emperor still retained possession of those which he 

PERIOD ]U. A. D. 962 — 1074, 8> 

coTiferred on the clergy ; these he bestowed on whomsoever he 
judged proper ; using them, however, always in conformity with 
hisr own views and interests. 

The same policy that induced Otho to transfer to the bishops 
a large portion of his domains, led him also to intrust them with 
the government of cities. At that time, there was a distinction 
of towns into royal and prefectorial. The latter were dependent 
on the dukes, while the former, subject immediately to the king, 
gave rise to what has since been called imperial cities. It was 
in these royal cities that the German kings were in the practice 
of establishing counts and burgomasters or magistrates, to ex- 
<^rcise in their name the rights of justice, civil and criminal, the 
.evying of money, customs, &c. as well as other prerogatives 
usually reserved to the King. Otho conferred the counties, or 
governorships of cities where a bishop resided, on th 3 bishops 
themselves, who, in process of time, made use of this n 3w power 
to subject these cities to their own authority, and reader them 
mediate and episcopal^ instead of being immediate and royal as 
they were originally. 

The successors of Otho, as impolitic as himself, imitated his 
example. In consequence of this, the possessions of the crown 
were, by degrees, reduced to nothing, and the authority of the 
emperors declined with the diminution of their wealth. The 
bishops, at first devoted to the emperor? , both from necessity 
and gratitude, no sooner perceived their own strength, than they 
were tempted to make use of it, and to join the secular princes, 
in order to sap the imperial authority, as well as to consolidate 
their own power. To these several causes of the downfall of 
.le empire must be added the new power of the Roman pontiffs, 
^he origin of which is ascribed to Pope Gregory VII. In the 
following Period, this matter will be treated more in detail; 
meantime, we shall proceed to give a succinct view of the other 
states that figured during this epoch on the theatre of Europe. 

The dynasty of the Ommiades in Spain, founded about the 
middle of the eighth century, was overturned in the eleventh. 
An insurrection having happened at Cordova against the Ca- 
liph Hescham, that prince was dethroned (1030,) and the caliph- 
ale ended with him. The governors of cities and provinces, 
and the principal nobility of the Arabs, formed themselves into 
independent sovereigns, under the title of kings; and as many 
petty Mahometan States rose in Spain as there had been prin- 
cipal cities. The most considerable of these, were the king- 
doms of Cordova, Serille, Toledo, Lisbon, Saragossa, Tortosa, 
Valencia, Murcia, &c. This partition of the caliphate of Cor- 
doY-, enabled the princes of Christendom to aggrandize their 



power at the expense of the Mahometans. Besides the king-- 
doms of Leon and Navarre, there existed in Spain at the com- 
mencement of the eleventh century, the county of Castille, which 
had been dismembered from the kingdom of Leon, and the 
county of Barcelona, which acknowledged the sovereignty of 
the Kings of France. 

Sancho the Great, King of Navarre, had the fortune to unite 
in his own family all these different sovereignties, with the ex- 
,';eption of Barcelona ; and as this occurred nearly at the same 
time with the destruction of the caliphate of Cordova, it would 
have been easy for the Christians to obtain a complete ascen- 
dency over the Mahometans, if they had kept their forces united. 
But the King of Navarre fell into the same mistake that had 
been so fatal to the Mahometans; he divided his dominions 
among h s sons (1035.) Don Garcias, the eldest, had Navarre, 
and was he ancestor of a long line of Navarrese kings ; the 
last of whom, John d'Albert was deposed (1512) by Ferdinand 
the Catholic. From Ferdinand, the younger son. King of Leon 
and Castille, were descended all the sovereigns of Castille and 
Leon down to Queen Isabella, who transferred these kingdoms 
(1474,) by marriage, to Ferdinand the Catholic. Lastly, Don 
Ramira, natural son of Sancho, was the stem from whom sprung 
all the kings of Arraf on, down to Ferdinand, v.'ho by his mar- 
riage with Isabella, hi ppened to unite all the different Christian 
States in Spain ; anvl put an end also to the dominion of the 
Arabs and Moors in 'hat peninsula. 

In France the royal authority declined more and more, from 
the rapid progress which the feudal system made in that king- 
dom, after the feeble reign of Charles the Bald. The Dukes 
and the Counts, usurping the rights of royalty, made war on 
each other, and raised on every occasion the standard of revolt. 
The kings, in order to gain over some, and maintain others in 
their allegiance, were obliged to give up to them in succession 
every branch of the royal revenue ; so that the last Carlovin- 
gian princes were reduced to such a state of distress, that, far 
from being able to counterbalance the power of the nobility, they 
had hardly left wherewithal to furnish a scanty subsistence for 
their court. A change of dynasty became then indispensable ; 
and the throne, it was evident, must fall to the share of the most 
powerful and daring of its vassals. This event, which had long 
been foreseen, happened on the death of Louis V., surnamed the 
Slothful (987,) the last of the Carlovingians, who died childless 
at the age of twenty. 

Hugh Capet, great-grandson of Robert the Strong, possessed 
at that time the central parts of the kingdom. He wa.s Count 

PERIOD in. A. D. 962—1074. 91 

of Paris, Duke of France and Neustria; and his brother Henry 
was master of the dutchy of Burgundy. It was not difficult for 
Hugh to form a party ; and under their auspices he got himselt 
proclaimed king at Noyon, and crowned at Rheims. Charles 
Duke of Lorrain, paternal uncle of the last king, and sole legiti- 
mate heir to the Carlovingian line,-' advanced his claims to the 
crown ; he seized, by force of arms, on Laon and Rheims ; but 
being betrayed by the Bishop of Laon, and delivered up to his 
rival, he was confined in a prison at Orleans, where he ended 
his days (991.) 

Hugh, on mounting the throne, restored to the possession of 
ihe crown, the lands and dominions which had belonged to it 
between the Loire, the Seine, and the Meuse. His power gave 
a new lustre to the royal dignity, which he found means to ren- 
der hereditary in his family ; while at the same time he per- 
mitted the grandees to transmit to their descendants, male and 
female, the dutchies and counties which they held of the crown, 
reserving to it merely the feudal superiority. Thus the feudal 
government was firmly established in France, by the hereditary 
tenure of the great fiefs ; and that kingdom was in consequence 
divided among a certain number of powerful vassals, who ren- 
dered fealty and homage to their kings, and marched at their 
command on military expeditions; but who nevertheless were 
nearly absolute masters in their own dominions, and often dic- 
tated the law to the sovereign himself. Hugh was the progeni- 
tor of the Capetian dynasty of French kings, so called from his 
own surname of Capet. 

England, during the feeble reigns of the Anglo-Saxon princes, 
successors to Alfred the Great, had sunk under the dominion of 
priests and monks. The consequence was, the utter ruin of its 
finances, and its naval and military power. This exposed the 
kingdom afresh to the attacks of the Danes (991,) who imposed 
on the English a tribute or tax, known by the name of Danegelt. 
Under the command of their kings Sueno or Sweyn I., and Ca- 
nute the Great, they at length drove the Anglo-Saxon kings from 
their thrones, and made themselves masters of all England 
(1017.) But the dominion of the Danes was only of short con- 
tinuance. The English shook ofTtheir yoke, and conferred their 
crown on Edward the Confessor (10-12) a prince of the royal 
blood of their ancient kings. On the death of Edward, Harold, 
Earl of Kent, was acknowledged King of England (1066 ;) but 
lie met with a formidable competitor in the person of AVilliam 
Duke of Normandy. 

This prince had no other right to the crown, than that founded 
on a verbal promise of Edward the Confessor, and confirmed by an 


oath which Harold had given him while Earl of Kent. William 
landed in England (October 14th 1066,) at the head of a conside- 
rable army, and having offered battle to Harold, near Hastings in 
Sussex, he gained a complete victory. Harold was killed in 
the action, and the conquest of all England was the reward of 
the victor. To secure himself in his new dominions, William 
constructed a vast number of castles and fortresses throughout 
all parts of the kingdom, which he took care to fill with Nor- 
man garrisons. The lands and places of trust of which he had 
deprived the English, were distributed among the Normans, and 
other foreigners who were attached to his fortunes. He intro- 
duced the feudal law, and rendered fiefs hereditary ; he ordered 
the English to be disarmed, and forbade them to have light in 
their houses after eight o'clock in the evening. He even at- 
tempted to abolish the language of the country, by establishing 
numerous schools for teaching the Norman-French ; by pub- 
lishing the laws, and ordering the pleadings in the courts of 
justice to be made in that language ; hence it happened that the 
ancient British, combined with the Norman, formed a new sort 
of language, which still exists in the modern English. William 
thus became the common ancestor of the kings of England, 
whose right to the crown is derived from him, and founded on 
.he Conquest. 

About the time that William conquered England, another co- 
lony of the same Normans founded the kingdom of the two 
Sicilies. The several provinces of which this kingdom was 
composed, were, about the beginning of the eleventh century, 
divided among the Germans, Greeks, and Arabians,"* who were 
incessantly waging war with each other. A band of nearly a 
hundred Normans, equally desirous of war and glory, landed in 
that country (1016,) and tendered their services to the Lombard 
princes, vassals of the German empire. The bravery which 
>hey displayed on various occasions, made these princes desirous 
oi" retaining them in their pay, to serve as guardians of their 
frontiers against the Greeks and Arabians. The Greek princes 
very .loon were no less eager to gain their services ; and the 
Duke of Naples, with the view of attaching them to his interest, 
ceded to them a large territory, where they built the city of 
Aversa, three leagues from Capua. The emperor Conrad H. 
erected it into a county (1038,) the investiture of which he 
granted to Rainulph, one of their chiefs. 

At this same period the sons of Tancred conducted a new 
colony from Normandy into Lower Italy. Their arrival is gen- 
erally referred to the year 1033 ; and tradition has assigned to 
Tancred a descent from Rollo or Robert L Duke of Normandy 

PERIOD III. A. D. 962—1074. 93 

These new adventurers undertook the conquest of Apulia (1041,) 
which they formed into a county, the investiture of which they 
obtained from Henry III. Robert Guiscard, one of the sons of 
Tancred, afterwards (1047) completed the conquest of that pro- 
vince ; he added to it that of Calabria, of which he had also 
deprived the Greeks (1059,) and assumed the title of Duke of 
Apulia and Calabria. 

To secure himself in his new conquests, as well as in those 
which he yet meditated from the two empires, Robert concluded 
a treaty the same year with Pope Nicholas II., b\' which that 
Pontiff confirmed him in the possession of the dutchies of Apulia 
md Calabria ; granting- him not only the investiture of these, but 
promising him also that of Sicily, whenever he should expel 
the Greeks and Arabians from it. Robert, in his turn, acknow- 
ledged himself a vassal of the Pope, and engaged to pay him 
an annual tribute of twelve pence, money of Pavia, for every 
pair of oxen in the two dutchies.^ Immediately after this treaty, 
Robert called in the assistance of his brother Roger, to rescue 
Sicily from the hands of the Greeks and Arabs.'' No sooner had 
he accomplished this object, than he conquered in succession 
the principalities of Bari, Salerno, Amalfi, Sorrento, and Bene- 
vento; this latter city he surrendered to the Pope. 

Such is the origin of the dutchies of Apulia and Calabria ; 
which, after a lapse of some years, were formed into a kingdom 
under the name of the Two Sicilies. 

As to the kingdoms of the North, the light of history scarcely 
began to dawn there until the introduction of Christianity, which 
happened about the end of the tenth or beginning of the eleventh 
century." The promulgation of the Gospel opened a way into 
the North for the diffusion of arts and letters. The Scandina- 
vian states, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, which before that 
time were parcelled out among independent chiefs, began then 
to form plans of civil government, and to combine into settled 
monarchies. Their new religion, however, did not inspire these 
nations with its meek and peaceable virtues, nor overcome their 
invincible propensity to wars and rapine. Their heroism was 
a wild and savage bravery, which emboldened them to face all 
dangers, to undertake desperate adventures, and to achieve sud- 
den conquests, which were lost and won with the same rapidity. 

Harold, surnamed Blaatand, or Blue teeth, was the first sole 
monarch of the Danes, who with his son Sweyn received bap- 
tism, after being vanquished by Otho the Great (96-5.) Sweyn 
relapsed to paganism ; but his son Canute the Great, on his 
accession to the throne (1014,) made Christianity the established 
religion of his kingdom. He sent for monks from other coun- 


tries, founded churches, and divided the kingdom into diocesaes. 
Ambitious to distinguish himself as a conqueror, he afterwards 
subdued England and Norway (1028.) To these he added a 
part of Scotland and Sweden ; and conferred in his own life- 
time on one of his sons, named Sweyn, the kingdom of Nor- 
way, and on another, named Hardicanute, that of Denmark. 
These acquisitions, however, were merely temporary. Sweyn 
was driven from Norway (1035;) while England and Scotland 
also shook off the Danish yoke (1042,) on the death of Hardi- 
canute ; and Magnus King of Norway, even made himself mas- 
ter of Denmark, which did not recover its entire independence 
until the death of that prince (1047.) 

The ancient dynasty of Kings who occupied the throne of 
Denmark from the most remote ages, is known by the name of 
Skioldiuigs, because, according to a fabulous tradition, they 
were descended from Skiold, a pretended son of the famous 
Odin who, from being the conqueror, was exalted into the deity 
of the North. The kings who reigned after Sweyn II. were 
called Estrithides, from that monarch, who was the son of Ulf 
a Danish nobleman, and Estrith, sister to Canute the Great. It 
was this Sweyn that raised the standard of revolt against Mag- 
nus King of Norway (1044,) and kept possession of the throne 
until his death. 

In Sweden, the kings of the reigning family, descended, as is 
alleged, from Regner Lodbrok, took the title of Kings of Upsal, 
the place of their residence. Olaus Skotkonung changed this 
title into that of King of Sweden. He was the first monarch of 
his nation that embraced Christianity, and exerted himself to 
propagate it in his kingdom. Sigefroy, Archbishop of York, 
who was sent into Sweden by Ethelred King of England, bap- 
tized Olaus and his whole family (1001.) The conversion cf 
the Swedes would have been more expeditious, had not the zeal 
of Olaus been restrained by the Swedish Diet who decided for 
full liberty of conscience. Hence the strange mixture, both of 
doctrine and worship, that long prevailed in Sweden, where Je- 
sus Christ was profanely associated with Odin, and the Pagan 
goddess Freya confounded with the Virgin. Anund Jacques, 
son of Olaus, cbntributed much to the progress of Christianity ; 
and his zeal procured him the title o[ Most Christian Kiiig. 

In Norway, Olaus I., surnamed Tryggueson, towards the end 
of the tenth century, constituted himself the apostle and mis- 
sionary of his people, and undertook to convert them to Chris- 
tianity by torture and punishment. Iceland and Greenland ^ 
were likewise converted by his efforts, and afterwards became 
nis tributaries (1029.) One of his successors. Olaus II., called 

PERIOD III. A. D. 962—1074. 96 

tbe Fat, and also the Saint, succeeded in extirpating paganism 
irom Norway (1020 ;) but he used the cloak of religion to «?- 
lyblish his own authority, by destroying several petty kings, 
wtio before this time possessed each their own dominions. 

Christianity was likewise instrumental in throwing some ray- 
of light on the history of the Sclavonian nations, by imparting 
to them the knowledge of letters, and raising them in the scale 
of importance among the civilized nations of Europe. The 
Sclavonians who were settled north of the Elbe, had been sub- 
dued by the Germans, and compelled to embrace Christianity. 
The haughtiness and rigour of Thierry, Margrave of the North, 
nduced them to shake off the yoke, and to concert a general 
insurrection, which broke out in the reign of Otho II. (982., 
The episcopal palaces, churches and convents, were destroyed; 
and the people returned once more to the superstitions of pagan- 
ism. Those tribes that inhabited Brandenburg, part of Pome- 
rania and Mecklenburg, known formerly under the name of 
Wilzians and Welatabes, formed themselves into a republican 
or federal body, and took the name of Luitizians. The Abo- 
trites, on the contrary, the Polabes, and the Wagrians,'-* were 
decidedly for a monarchical government, the capital of which 
was fixed at Mecklenburg. Some of the princes or sovereigns 
of these latter people were styled Kings of the Venedi. The 
result of this general revolt was a series of long and bloody wars 
between the Germans and Sclavonians. The latter defended 
their civil and religious liberties with a rernarkable courage and 
perseverance ; and it was not till after the twelfth century, that 
they were subdued and reduced to Christianity by the continued 
eflforts of the Dukes of Saxony, and the Margraves of the North, 
and by means of the crusades and colonies which the Germans 
despatched into their country."^ 

The first duke of Bohemia that received baptism from the 
hands, as is supposed, of Methodius, bishop of Moravia (894,) 
was Borzivoy. His successors, however, returned to idolatry ; 
and it was not till near the end of the tenth century, properly 
speaking, and in the reign of Boleslaus II., surnamed the Pious, 
that Christianity became the established religion of Bohemia 
(999.) These dukes were vassals and tributaries of the German 
empire ; and their tribute consisted of 500 silver marks, and 120 
oxen. They exercised, however, all the rights of sovereignty 
over the people ; their reign was a system of terror, and they 
seldom took the opinion or advice of their nobles and grandees. 
The succession was hereditary in the reigning dynasty ; and 
the system of partition was in use, otherwise the order of suc- 
cession would have been fixed and permanent. Over a numbei 


of these partitionary princes, one was vested with certain rights 
of superiority, under the title of Grand Prince, according to a 
custom found very prevalent among the half civilized nations 
yf the north and east of Europe. ^^ The greater proportion or 
the inhabitants, the labouring classes, artisans, and domestics, 
were serfs, and oppressed by the tyrannical yoke of their mas- 
ters. The public sale of men was even practised in Bohemia; 
the tithe, or tenth part of which, belonged to the sovereign. The 
descendants of Borzivoy possessed the throne of Bohemia until 
1306, when the male line became extinct. 

The Poles were a nation whose name does not occur in his- 
tory before the middle of the tenth century ; and we owe to 
Christianity the first intimations that we have regarding this 
people. Mieczislaus I., the first duke or prince of the Poles of 
whom we possp?« any authentic accounts, embraced Christianity 
(966,) at the solicitation of his spouse Dambrowka, sister ot 
Boleslaus II., duke of Bohemia. Shortly after, the first bish- 
opric in Poland, that of Posen, was founded by Otho the Great. 
Christianity did not, however, tame the ferocious habits of the 
Poles, who remained for a long time without the least progress 
in mental cultivation.^- Their government, as wretched as that 
of Bohemia, subjected the great body of the nation to the most 
debasing servitude. The ancient sovereigns of Poland were 
hereditary. They ruled most despotically, and with a rod ot 
iron ; and, although they acknowledged themselves vassals and 
tributaries of the German emperors, they repeatedly broke out 
into open rebellion, asserted their absolute independence, and 
waged a successful war against their masters. Boleslaus, son 
of Mieczislaus I., took advantage of the troubles which rose in 
Germany on the death of Otho III., to possess himself of the 
Marches of Lusatia and Budissin, or Bautzen, which the Em- 
peror Henry II. afterwards granted him as fiefs. This same 
prince, in despite of the Germans, on the death of Henr}^ II. 
(1025,) assumed the royal dignity. Mieczislaus II., son of Bo- 
leslaus, after having cruelly ravaged the country situate between 
the Oder, the Elbe, and the Saal, was compelled to abdicate the 
throne, and also to restore those provinces which his father had 
wrested from the Empire. The male descendants of Mieczis- 
laus I. reigned in Poland until the death of Casimir the Great 
(1370.) This dynasty of kings is known by the name of the 
Piasts, or Piasses, so called from one Piast, alleged to have 
been its founder. 

Silesia, which was then a province of Poland, received the 
light of the Gospel when it first visited that kingdom ; and had 
for its apostle, as is supposed, a Eomish priest named Geoffry, 
who is reckoned the first bishop of Smogra (966.) 

PERIOD III. A. D. 962—1074. 97 

In Russia, Vladimir the Great, great-grandson of Ruric, was 
the first grand duke that embraced Christianity, (98S.) He was 
baptized at Cherson in Taurida, on the occasion of his marriage 
with Anna Romanowna, sister of Basil II. and Constantino VIII., 
Emperors of Constantinople. It was this prince that introduced 
the Greek ritual into Russia, and founded several schools and 
convents. The alphabet of the Greeks was imported into Rus- 
sia along with their religion ; and from the reign of Vladimir, 
that nation, more powerful and united than most of the other 
European states, carried on a lucrative commerce with the Greek 
empire, of which it became at length a formidable rival. 

At the death of that prince (1015,) Russia comprehended 
those vast regions which, from east to west, extend from the Icy 
Sea and the mouth of the Dwina, to the Niemen, the Dniester, 
and the Bug ; and southw^-d of this last river, to the Carpathian 
Mountains, and the connnes of Hungary and Moldavia. The 
city of Kiow on the Dnieper, was the capital of the empire, and 
the residence of the Grand Dukes. This period also gave rise 
to those unfortunate territorial partitions which, by dividing the 
Russian monarchy, exposed it to the insults and ravages of xhe 
neighbouring nations. Jaroslaus, one of the sons of Vladinur, 
made himself famous as a legislator, and supplied the Novogo- 
rodians with laws to regulate their courts of justice. No less 
the friend and protector of letters, he employed himself in trans- 
lating Greek books into the Sclavonian language. He founded 
a public school at Novogorod, in which three hundred children 
were educated at his sole expense. His daughter Anna married 
Henry I., King of France ; and this princess was the common 
mother of all the kings and princes of the Capetian dynasty. 

Hungary was divided, in the tenth century, among several 
petty princes, who acknowledged a common chief, styled the 
Grand Prince, whose limited authority was reduced to a simple 
pre-eminence in rank and dignity. Each of these princes as- 
sembled armies, and made predatory excursions, plundering and 
ravaging the neighbouring countries at their pleasure. The 
East and the West suffered long under the scourge of these atro- 
cious pillagers. Christianity, which was introduced among them 
about the end of the tenth century, was alone capable of soft- 
ening the manners, and tempering the ferocity of this nation 
Peregrine, bishop of Passau, encouraged by Otho the Greai., 
and patronized by the Grand Prince Geisa, sent the first mis- 
sionaries into Hungary (97.3.) St. Adelbert, bishop of Praguo. 
had the honour to baptize the son of Geisa, called Waic (994,) 
but who received then the baptismal name of Stephen. 

This latter prince, having succeeded his father (997,) changed 

VOL. I. 9 


entirely the aspect of Hungary. He assumed the royal dignity, 
with the consent of Pope Sylvester II., who sent him on this 
occasion the Angelic Crow7i,^'^ as it is called ; the same, accord- 
ing to tradition, which the Hungarians use to this day in the 
coronation of their kings. At once the apostle and the law- 
giver of his country, Stephen I. combined politics with justice, 
and employed both severity and clemency in reforming his sub- 
jects. He founded several bishoprics, extirpated idolatry, banish- 
ed anarchy, and gave to the authority of the sovereign, a vigour 
and efficiency which it never before possessed. To him like- 
wise is generally ascribed the political division of Hungary into 
counties, as also the institution of palatines, and great officers 
of the crown. He conquered Transylvania, about 1002-3, ac- 
cording to the opinion of most modern Hungarian authors, and 
formed it into a distinct government, the chiefs of which, called 
Vaivodes, held immediately of his crown. 

The history of the Greek empire presents, at this time, nothing 
but a tissue of corruption, fanaticism and perfidy. The throne, 
as insecure as that of the Western empire had been, was filled 
alternately by a succession of usurpers ; most of whom rose 
from the lowest conditions of life, and owed their elevation 
solely to the perpetration of crime and parricide. A supersti- 
tion gross in its nature, bound as with a spell the minds of the 
Greeks, and paralyzed their courage. It was carefully cherished 
by the monks, who had found means to possess themselves of 
the government, by procuring the exclusion of the secular clergy 
from the episcopate ; and directing the attention of princes to 
those theological controversies, often exceedingly frivolous, 
which were produced and re-produced almost without inter- 
mission.''^ Hence originated those internal commotions and 
distractions, those schisms and sects, Avhich more than once 
divided the empire, and shook the throne itself. 

These theological disputes, the rivalry between the two pa- 
triarchs of Rome and Constantinople,'^ and the contests respect- 
ing the Bulgarian converts, led to an irreparable schism between 
the churches of the East and the West. This controversy was 
most keenly agitated under the pontificate of John VIII., and 
when the celebrated Photius was patriarch of Constantinople; 
and in spite of the efforts which several of the Greek emperors 
and patriarchs afterwards made to effect a union with the Romish 
See, the animosity of both only grew more implacable, and 
ended at last in a final rupture between the two churches. A 
government so weak and so capricious as that of Constantinople 
could not but be perpetually exposed to the inroads of foreign 
enemies. The Huns, Ostrogoths, Avars, Bulgarians, Russians- 

PERIOD III. A. D. 962—1074. 99 

Hungarians, Chazars, and Patzinacites, harassed the empire on 
the side of the Danube ; while the Persians"' were incessantly 
exhausting its strength in the East, and on the side of the Eu- 
phrates. All these nations, however, were content with merely 
desolating the frontiers of the empire, and imposing frequent 
contributions on the Greeks. It was a task reserved for ine 
Lombards, the Arabs, the Normans, and the Turks, to detach 
from it whole provinces, and by degrees to hasten its downfall. 

The Lombards were the first that conquered from the Greeks 
the greater part of Italy. Palestine, Syria, and the whole pos- 
sessions of the Empire in Greater Asia, as well as Egypt, Nor- 
thern Africa, and the Isle of Cyprus, were seized in the seventh 
century by the Arabs, who made themselves masters of Sicily, 
and three times laid siege to Constantinople (669, 717, 719.) 
They would have even succeeded in taking this Eastern capital, 
and annihilating the Greek empire, had not the courage of Leo 
the Isaurian, and the surprising effects of the Gre.geois, or Greek 
Fire,'^ rendered their efibrts useless. At length, in the eleventh 
century, the Normans conquered all that remained to the Greeks 
in Italy ; while the Seljuk Turks, who must not be confounded 
with the Ottoman Turks, deprived them of the greater part of 
Asia Minor. 

Turk is the generic appellation for all the Tartar nations, ^^ 
mentioned by the ancients under the name of Scythians. Their 
original country was in those vast regions situate to the north 
of Mount Caucasus, and eastward of the Caspian Sea, beyond 
the .lihon, or Oxus of the ancients, especially in Charasm, Tran- 
soxiana, Turkestan, &c. About the eighth century, (he Arabs 
had passed the Oxus, and rendered the Turks of Charasm and 
Transoxiana their tributaries. They instructed th(?m m the re- 
ligion and laws of Mahomet ; but, by a transition rather extra- 
ordinary, it afterwards happened, that the vanquished imposed 
the yoke on their new masters. 

The empire of the Arabs, already enfeebled by the territorial 
losses which have been mentioned, declined more and more, 
from about the middle of the ninth century. The Caliphs of 
Bagdad had committed the mistake of trusting their persons to 
a military guard of foreigners,'-' viz. the Turks, who, taking ad- 
vantage of the effeminacy of these princes, soon arrogated to 
themselves the whole authority, and abused it so far, as to leave 
the Caliphs entirely dependent on their will, and to vest in them- 
selves the hereditary succession of the government. Thus, in 
the very centre of the caliphate of Bagdad, there rose a multi- 
tude of new sovereignties or dynasties, the heads of which, 
under the title of Emir or Commander, exercised the supreme 


power ; leaving nothing more to the Caliph than a pre-eminence 
of dignity, and that rather of a spiritual than a temporal nature. 
Besides the external marks of homage and respect which were 
paid him, his name continued to be proclaimed in the mosques, 
and inscribed on the coined money. By him were granted all 
letters-patent of investiture, robes, swords, and standards, accom- 
panied with high-sounding titles ; which did not, however, pre- 
vent these usurpers from maltreating their ancient masters, 
insulting their person, or even attempting their lives, whenever 
it might serve to promote their interest. 

A general revolutioii broke out under the caliph Eahdi. That 
prince, wishing to arrest the progress of usurpation, thought ot 
creating a new minister, whom he invested with the title of 
Eviir-al-Omra, or Commander of Commanders ; and conferred 
on him powers much more ample than those of his vizier. This 
minister, whom he selected from the Emirs, officiated even in 
the grand mosque of Bagdad, instead of the caliph ; and his 
name was pronounced with equal honours in the divine service 
throughout the empire. This device, which the caliph employ- 
ed to re-establish his authority, only tended to accelerate its 
destruction. The Bowides, the most powerful dynasty among 
the Emirs, arrogated to themselves tTie dignity of Chief Com- 
onander (945,) and seized both the city and the sovereignty of 
Bagdad. The Caliph, stripped of all temporal power, was then 
only grand Iman, or sovereign-pontiffof the Mussulman religion, 
under the protection of the Bowidian prince, who kept him as 
his prisoner at Bagdad. 

Such was the sad situation of the Arabian empire, fallen 
from its ancient glorjs when a numerous Turkish tribe, from 
the centre of Turkestan, appeared on the stage, overthrew the 
dominions of the Bowides ; and, after imposing new fetters on 
the caliphs, laid the foundation of a powerful empire, known by 
the name of the Seljukldes. This roving tribe, which took its 
name from Seljuk a Mussulman Turk, after having wandered 
for some time with their flocks in Transoxiana, passed the 
Jihon to seek pasturage in the province of Chorasan. Rein- 
forced by new Turkish colonies from Transoxiana, this coali- 
tion became in a little time so powerful, that Togrul Beg, 
grandson of Seljuk, had the boldness to cause himself to be 
proclaimed Sultan in the city of Niesa-bur,^ the capital of Cho- 
rasan, and formally announced himself as a conqueror (1038.) 
This prince, and the sultans his successors, subdued by de- 
grees most of the provinces in Asia, which formed the caliphate 
of Bagdad.-^ They annihilated the power of the Bowides 
reduced the Caliphs to the condition of dependents, and at 
iength attacked also the possessions of the Greek empire 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. J 01 

Alp-Arslan, the nephew and immediate successor of Togrui 
Beg, gained a signal victory in Armenia, over the Emperor 
Romanus Diogenes (1071) who was there taken prisoner. 
The confusion which this event caused in the Greek empire, 
was favourable to the Turks, who seized not only what re- 
mained to the Greeks in Syria, but also several provinces in 
Asia Minor, such as Cilicia, Isauria, Pamphylia, Lycia, Pisidia, 
Lycaonia, Cappadocia, Galatia, Pontus, and Bythinia. 

The empire of the Seljukides was in its most flourishing 
state under the sultan Malek Shah, the son and successor of 
Alp-Arslan. The caliph Cayem, in confirming to this prince 
the title of Sultan and Chief Commander, added also that of 
Commander of the Faithful, which before that time had never 
been conferred but on the caliphs alone. On the death of Ma- 
lek (1092,) the disputes that rose among his sons occasioned a 
civil war, and the partition of the empire. These vast territories 
were divided among three principal dynasties descended from 
Seljuk, those of Iran, Kerman, and Roum., or Rome. This 
latter branch, which ascribes its origin to Soliman, great-grand- 
son of Seljuk, obtained the provinces of Asia Minor, which 
the Seljukides had conquered from the Greeks. The princes 
of this dynasty are known in the history of the Crusades by 
the name of Sultans of Iconium or Cogni, a city of Lycaonia, 
where the sultans established their residence after being de- 
prived by the crusaders of the city of Nice in Bythinia. The 
most powerful of the three dynasties was that of the Seljukides 
of Iran, whose sway extended over the greater part of Upper 
Asia. It soon, however, fell from its grandeur, and its states 
were divided into a number of petty sovereignties, over which 
the Emirs or governors of cities and provinces usurped the 
supreme power." These divisions prepared the way for the 
conquests of the crusaders in Syria and Palestine ; and fur- 
nished also to the Caliphs of Bagdad the means of shaking off 
the yoke of the Seljukides (1152,) and recovering the sove- 
reignty of Irak- Arabia, or Bagdad. 



From Pope Gregory VII. to Boniface VIII. a. d. 1074 — 1300. 
A NEW and powerful monarchy rose on the ruins of the Ger- 
man empire, that of the Roman Pontiffs; which monopolized 
both spiritual and temporal dominion, and extended its influ- 

9 * 


ence over all the kingdoms of Christendom. This supremacy 
whose artful and complicated mechanism is still an object ol 
astonishment to the most subtle politicians, was the work of 
Pope Gregory VII., a man born for great undertakings, as re- 
markable for his genius, which raised him above his times, as 
for the austerity of his manners and the boundless reach of his 
ambition. Indignant at the depravity of the age, which was 
immersed in ignorance and vice, and at the gross immorality 
which pervaded all classes of society, both laymen and ecclesi- 
astics, Gregory resolved to become the reformer of morals, and 
the restorer of religion. To succeed in this project, it was ne- 
cessary to replace the government of kings, which had totally 
lost its power and efficiency, by a new authority, whose salutary 
restraints, imposed alike on the high and the low, might restore 
vigour to the laws, put a stop to licentiousness, and impose a 
reverence on all by the sanctity of its origin. This authority 
was the spiritual supremacy of the Pope, of which Gregory was 
at once the creator and inventor. 

This extraordinary person, who was the son of a carpenter 
at Saona in Tuscany, named Bonisone, or according to others, 
descended of a Roman family, had paved the way to his future 
greatness under the preceding pontiffs, whose counsels he had 
directed under the title of Cardinal Hildebrand. While Cardi- 
nal, he engaged Pope Nicolas II. to enter into a treaty with 
Robert Guiscard (1059,) for procuring that brave Norman as an 
ally and a vassal of the Holy See. Taking advantage, like- 
wise of the minority of Henry IV., he caused, this same year, 
in a council held at Rome, the famous decree to be passed, 
which, by reserving the election of the pontiffs principally to 
the cardinals, converted the elective privileges which the em- 
perors formerly enjoyed in virtue of their crown rights, into a 
personal favour granted by the Pope, and emanating from the 
court of Rome. 

On the death of Pope Nicolas II., Cardinal Hildebrand pro- 
cured the election of Alexander II., without waiting for the or- 
der or concurrence of the Imperial court ; and he succeeded in 
maintaining him in the apostolical chair against Pope Honorius 
II., whom the reigning empress had destined for that honour. 
At length, being raised himself to the pontifical throne, scarce- 
ly had he obtained the Imperial confirmation, when he put in 
execution the project which he had so long been concerting and 
preparing, viz. the erecting of a spiritual despotism,^ extend- 
ing to priests as well as kings ; making the supreme pontiff the 
arbiter in all affairs, both civil and ecclesiastical— the bestower 
of favours, and the dispenser of crowns. The basis of this 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 103 

dominion was, that the Vicar of Jesus Christ ought to be su- 
perior to all human power. The better to attain his object, he 
began by withdrawing himself and his clergy from the autho- 
rity of the secular princes. 

At that time the city of Rome, and the whole ecclesiastical 
states, as well as the greater part of Italy, were subject to the 
kings of Germany, who, in virtue of their being kings of Italy 
and Koman emperors, nominated or confirmed the popes, and 
installed the prefects of Rome, who there received the power of 
the sword in their name. They sent also every year commis- 
sioners to Rome, to levy the money due to the royal treasury. 
The popes used to date their acts from the years of the empe- 
ror's reign, and to stamp their coin with his name ; and all the 
higher clergy were virtually bound and subject to the secular 
power, by the solemn investiture of the ring and the crosier. 
This investiture gave to the emperors and the other sovereigns 
the right of nominating and confirming bishops, and even of de- 
posing them if they saw cause. It gave them, moreover, the 
right of conferring, at their pleasure, those fiefs and royal pre- 
rogatives which the munificence of princes had vested in the 
Church. " The emperors, in putting bishops and prelates in 
possession of these fiefs, used the symbols of the ring and the 
crosier, which were badges of honour belonging to bishops and 
abbots. They made them, at the same time, take the oath of 
fidelity and allegiance ; and this was the origin of their depen- 
dence, and their obligation to furnish their princes with troops, 
and to perform military service. 

Gregory VII. prohibited, under pain of excommunication, all 
sovereigns to exercise the rights of investiture, by a formal de- 
cree which he published in a council assembled at Rome in 1074. 
There was more than the simple ceremony of the ring and the 
crosier implied in this interdict. He aimed at depriving princes of 
the right of nominating, confirming, or deposing prelates, as well 
as of receiving their fealty and homage, and exacting military 
service. He thus broke all those ties by which the bishops 
were held in allegiance and subordination to princes ; making 
them, in this respect, entirely independent. In suppressing in- 
vestitures, the pontiff had yet a more important object in view. 
It was his policy to withdraw both himself and his successors, 
as well as the whole ecclesiastical state, from the power of the 
German kings; especially by abolishing the right which these 
princes had so long exercised of nominating and confirming the 
Popes. He saw, in fact, that if he could succeed in rendering 
the clergy independent of the secular power, it would follow, by 
a natural consequence, that the Pope, as being supreme head of 



the clergy, would no longer be dependent on the emperors , 
while the emperor, excluded from the nomination and investi- 
ture of bishops, would have still less right to interfere in the 
election of pontiffs. 

This affair, equally interestmg to all sovereigns, was of the 
utmost importance to the kings of Germany, who had committed 
the unfortunate error of putting the greater part of their domains 
into the hands of ecclesiastics ; so that to divest those princes 
of the right to dispose of ecclesiastical fiefs, was in fact to de- 
prive them of nearly the half of their empire. The bishops, 
vainly flattering themselves with the prospect of an imaginary 
liberty, forgot the valuable gifts with which the emperors had 
loaded them, and enlisted under the banners of the Pope, They 
turned against the secular princes those arms which the latter 
had imprudently trusted in their hands. 

There yet subsisted another bond of union which connected 
the clergy with the civil and political orders of society, and 
gave them an interest in the protection of the secular authority, 
and that v/as, the marriages of the priests ; a custom in use at 
that time over a great part of the West, as it still is in the Greek 
and Eastern Churches. It is true, that the law of celibacy, al- 
ready recommended strongly by St. Augustine, had been adopted 
by the Romish Church, which neglected no means of introducing 
it by degrees into all the churches of the Catholic communion. 
It had met with better success in Italy and the south of Europe 
than in the northern countries ; and the priests continued to 
marry, not only in Germany, England, and the kingdoms of the 
North, but even in France, Spain, and Italy, notwithstanding 
the law of celibacy, which had been sanctioned in vain by a 
multitude of councils. 

Gregory VII., perceiving that, to render the clergy completely 
dependent on the Pope, it would be necessary to break this 
powerful connexion, renewed the law of celibacy, in a council 
held at Rome (1074;) enjoining the married priests either to 
quit their wives, or renounce the sacerdotal order. The whole 
clergy murmured against ihe unfeeling rigour of this decree, 
which even excited tumult and insurrection in several countries 
of Germany ; and it required all the firmness of Gregory and 
his successors to abolish clerical marriages, and establish the 
law of celibacy throughout the Western churches.^ In thus 
dissolving the secular ties of the clergy, it was far from the in- 
tention of Gregory VII. to render them independent. His designs 
were more politic, and more suitable to his ambition. He wished 
to make the clergy entirely subservient to his own elevation, and 
even to employ them as an instrument to humble and subd 
the power of the princes. 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 106 

The path had already been opened up to hiin by the False 
Decretals., as they were called, forged about the beginning of the 
ninth century, by the famous impostor Isidore, who, with the 
view of diminishing the authority of the metropolitans, advanced 
in these letters, which he attributed to the early bishops of 
Rome, a principle whose main object was to extend the rights 
of the Romish See, and to vest in the popes a jurisdiction till 
then unknown in the church. Several Popes before Gregory 
VII. had already availed themselves of these False Decretals; -^ 
and they had even been admitted as true into different collec- 
tions of canons. Gregory did not content himself with rigidly 
enforcing the principles of the impostor Isidore. He went even 
farther ; he pretended to unite, in himself, the plenary exercise 
both of the ecclesiastical and episcopal power ; leaving nothing 
to the archbishops and bishops but the simple title of his lieu- 
tenants or vicars. He completely undermined the jurisdiction 
of the metropolitans and bishops, by authorizing in all cases an 
appeal to the Court of Rome ? reserving to himself exclusively 
the cognizance of all causes termed major — including more es- 
pecially the privilege of judging and deposing of bishops. This 
latter privilege had always been vested in the provincial councils, 
who exercised it under the authority, and with the consent of 
the secular powers. Gregory abolished this usage ; and claimed 
for himself the power of judging the bishops, either in person 
or by his legates, to the exclusion of the Synodal Assemblies. 
He made himself master of these assemblies, and even arroga- 
ted the exclusive right of convocating General Councils. 

This pontiff, in a council which he held at Rome (1079,) at 
length prescribed a new oath, which the bishops were obliged 
to take ; the main object of which was not merely canonical 
obedience, but even fealty and homage, such as the prelates, as 
lieges, vowed to their sovereigns; and which the pontiff claimed 
for himself alone, bearing that they should aid and defend, 
cigainst the whole world, his new supremacy, and what he called 
the roTjal rights of St. Peter. Although various sovereigns 
maintained possession of the homage they received from their 
bishops, the oath imposed by Gregory nevertheless retained its 
full force; it was even augmented by his successors, and ex- 
tended to all bishops without distinction, in spite of its incon- 
sistency with that which the bishops swore to their princes. 

Another very effectual means which Gregory VII. made use 
of to confirm his new authority, was to send, more frequently 
than his predecessors had done, legates into the different states 
and kingdoms of Christendom. He made them a kind of gov- 
ernors of provinces, and invested them with the most ample 


powers These legates soon obtained a knowledge of all the 
affairs of the provinces delegated to their care ; Avhich greatly 
impaired the authority of the metropolitans and provincial coun- 
cils, as well as the jurisdiction of the bishops. A clause was 
also inserted, in the form of the oath imposed on the bishops, 
which obliged them to furnish maintenance and support for 
these legates ; a practice which subsequently gave place to fre- 
quent exactions and impositions on their part. 

While occupied with ihe means of extending his power over 
the clergy, Gregory did not let slip any opportunity of making 
encroachments on the authority of princes and sovereigns, which 
he represented as subordinate to that of the Church and the 
Pope. As supreme head of the Church, he claimed a right of 
inspection over all kings and their governments. He deemed 
himself authorized to address admonitions to them, as to the 
method of ruling their kingdoms; and to demand of them an 
account of their conduct. By and by, he presumed to listen to 
the complaints of subjects against their princes, and claimed the 
right of being a judge or arbiter between them. In this capacity 
he acted towards Henry IV., emperor of Germany, who en- 
joyed the rights of sovereignty over Rome and the Pope. He 
summoned him to Rome (1076,) for the purpose of answering 
before the synod to the principal accusations which the nobles 
of Saxony, engaged in disputes with that prince, had referred to 
the Pope. The emperor, burning with indignation, and hurried 
on by the impetuosity of youth, instantly convoked an assembly 
of bishops at Worms, and there caused the pontiff to be deposed. 
No sooner was this sentence conveyed to Rome, and read in 
presence of the Pope in a council which he had assembled, than 
Gregory ventured on a step till then quite unheard of. He im- 
mediately thundered a sentence of excommunication and depo- 
sition against the Emperor, which was addressed to St. PeteB 
and couched in the following terms : — 

" In the name of Almighty God, I suspend and interdict from 
governing the kingdom of Germany and Italy, Henry, son of 
the emperor Henry, who, with a haughtiness unexampled, has 
dared to rebel against thy church. I absolve all Christians 
whatever from the oath which they have taken, or shall here- 
after take, to him ; and henceforth none shall be permitted to do 
him homage or service as king; for he who would disobey the 
authority of thy Church, deserves to lose the dignity with which 
he is invested. And seeing this prince has refused to submit 
as a Christian, and has not returned to the Lord whom he hath 
forsaken, holding communion with the excommunicated, and 
despising the advice which I tendered him for the safety of bis 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 107 

soul, I load him with curses in thy name, to the end that peo- 
ple may know, even by experience, that thou art Peter, and that 
on tliis rock the Son of the living God has built his church; 
and that the gates of hell shall never prevail against it." 

This measure, which seemed at first to have been merely the 
effect of the pontiff's impetuosity, soon discovered of what im- 
portance it was for him to persevere, and what advantage he 
might derive from it. In humbling the emperor, the most pow- 
erful monarch in Europe, he might hope that all the other 
sovereigns would bend before him. He omitted nothing, there- 
fore, that might serve to justify his conduct, and endeavoured 
to prove, by sophistries, that if he had authority to excommuni- 
cate the emperor, he might likewise deprive him of his dignity ; 
and that the right to release subjects from their oath of allegi- 
ance was an emanation and a natural consequence of the power 
of the Keys. The same equivocal interpretation he afterwards 
made use of in a sentence which he published against the same 
prince (1080,) and which he addressed to the Apostles St. Peter 
and St. Paul, in these terms : " You, fathers and princes of the 
apostles, hereby make known to the whole world, that if you 
can bind and unbind in heaven, you can much more, on earth, 
take from all men empires, kingdoms, principalities, dutchies, 
marquisates, counties, and possessions, of whatsoever nature 
they may be. You have often deprived the unworthy of patri- 
archates, primacies, archbishoprics, and bishoprics, to give them 
to persons truly religious. Hence, if you preside over spiritual 
affairs, does not your jurisdiction extend a fortiori to temporal 
and secular dignities? and if you judge the angels who rule 
over princes and potentates, even the haughtiest, will you not 
also judge their slaves ? Let then the kings and princes of the 
earth learn how great and irresistible is your power! Let them 
tremble to conr.emn the commands of your church ! And do you, 
blessed Peter, and blessed Paul, exercise, from this time forward, 
your judgment on Henry, that the whole earth may know that 
he has been humbled, not by any human contingencies, but solely 
by your power." Until that time, the emperors had exercised 
the right of confirming the Popes, and even of deposing them, 
should there be occasion ; but, by a strange reverse of preroga- 
tives, the popes now arrogated to themselves the confirmation oi 
the emperors, and even usurped the right of dethroning them. 

However irregular this step of the pontiff might be, it did not 
fail to produce the intended effect. In an assembly of the Im- 
perial States, held at Tribur (1076,) the emperor could only 
obtain their consent to postpone their proceeding to a new 
election, and that on the express condition of his submitting 


himself to the judgment of the Pope, and being absolved imme 
diately from the excommunication he had incurred. In conse 
quence of this decision of the States, Henry crossed the Alps 
in the middle of winter, to obtain reconciliation with the Pope, 
who then resided with the famous Coantess Matilda, at her 
Castle of Canossa, in the Modenese territory. Absolution was 
not granted him, however, except under conditions the most hu- 
miliating. He was compelled to do penance in an outer court 
of the castle, in a woollen shirt and barefooted, for three suc- 
cessive days, and afterwards to sign whatever terms the pontiff 
chose to prescribe. This extraordinary spectacle must have 
spread consternation among the sovereigns of Europe, and 
made them tremble at the censures of the Church. 

After this, Gregory VII. exerted his utmost influence to en- 
gage all sovereigns, without distinction, to acknowledge them- 
selves his vassals and tributaries. " Let not the emperor 
imagine," says he, in a letter which he wrote to the German 
nation, " that the church is subject to him as a slave, but let him 
know that she is set over him as a sovereign." From that time 
the pontiff' regarded the empire as a fief of his church ; and 
afterwards when setting up a rival emperor to Henry IV., in 
the person of Hermann of Luxemburg, he exacted from him a 
formal oath of vassalage. Gregory pursued the same conduct 
in I'egard to the other sovereigns of Europe. Boleslaus II., 
King of Poland, having killed Stanislaus Bishop of Cracow, 
who had ventured to excommunicate him, the pontiff' took oc- 
casion from this to depose that prince; releasing all his sub- 
jects from their oath of fidelity, and even prohibiting the Polish 
bishops henceforth to crown any king without the express con- 
sent of the Pope. 

This aspiring pontiff" stuck at nothing ; he regarded nothing, 
provided he could obtain his object. However contrary the 
customs of former times were to his pretensions, he quoted 
them as examples of authority, and with a boldness capable of 
imposing .any thing on weak and ignorant minds. It was thus 
that, in order to oblige the French nation to pay him the tax of 
one penny each nouse, he alleged the example of Charlemagne, 
and pretended that that prince had not merely paid this tribute, 
but even granted Saxony as a fief to St. Peter ; as he had con- 
quered it with the assistance of that apostle. In writing to 
Philip I. of France, he expressed himself in these terms: 
" Strive to please St. Peter, who has thy kingdom as well as 
thy soul in his power; and who can bind thee, and absolve in 
heaven as well as on earth." And in a letter which he addressed 
to the Princes of Spain, he attempted to persuade them, that the 

PEEIQD IV. A. D. 1074—1300 109 

kingdom of Spain, being originally the property of the Holy 
See, they could not exonerate themselves from paying him a 
tax on all the lands they had conquered fro-m the Infidels. 

He affirmed to Solomon, King of Hungary, that Stephen I., 
on receiving his crown at the hands of Pope Silvester II., had 
surrendered his kingdom as free property to the Holy See ; and 
that, in virtue of this donation, his kingdom was to be considered 
as a part of the domain of the church. He wrote in exactly the 
same style to Geysa his immediate successor. In one of his 
letters to Sueno, King of Denmark, he enjoins him to deliver 
up his kingdom to the power of the Romish See. He refused 
(1076,) to grant the royal dignity to Demetrius Swinimir, Duke 
of Croatia and Dalmatia, except on the express condition, that 
he should do him homage for his kingdom, and engage to pay 
the Pope an annual tribute of two hundred golden pieces of By- 
zantium. This pontiff had the art of disguising his ambition so 
dexterously, under the mask of justice and piety, that he pre- 
vailed with various other sovereigns to acknowledge themselves 
his vassals. Bertrand, Count of Provence, transferred to him 
his fealty and homage, to the prejudice of those feudal obliga- 
tions he owed to the Empire. Several princes of Italy and Ger 
many, influenced by artifice or intimidation, abandoned the 
emperor, and put themselves under submission to the Pope. 
His efforts were not equally successful with William the Con- 
queror, King of England, whom he had politely invited by letter, 
to do him homage for his kingdom, after the manner of his royal 
predecessors. That prince, too wise to be duped by papal im- 
position, replied, that he was not in a humour to perform homage 
which he had never promised, and which he was not aware naa 
ever been performed by any of his predecessors. 

The successors of Gregory VII., followed in the path he had 
opened up ; giving their utmost support to all his maxims and pre- 
tensions. In consequence, a very great number of the princes 
of Christendom, some intimidated by the thunders of ecclesias- 
tical anathemas, others with a view to secure for themselves 
the protection of the Holy See, acknowledged these usurped 
powers of the Popes. The Kings of Portugal, Arragon, England, 
Scotland, Sardinia, the two Sicilies, and several others, became, 
in course of time, vassals and tributaries to the Papal See ; and 
there is not a doubt, that the universal monarchy, the scheme 
of which Gregory VII. had conceived, would have been com- 
pletely established, if some of his successors had been endowed 
with his vast ambition, and his superior genius. 

In every other respect, circumstances were such as to hasten 
and facilitate the progress of this new pontifical supremacy. It 

VOL. I. ^f* 


had commenced in a barbarous age, when the whole of the 
Western world was covered with the darkness of ignorance , 
and when mankind knew neither the just rights of sovereignty, 
nor the bounds which reason and equity should have set to the 
authority of the priesthood. The court of Rome was then the 
only school where politics were studied, and the Popes the only 
monarchs that put them in practice. An extravagant supersti- 
tion, the inseparable companion of ignorance, held all Europe 
in subjection ; the Popes were reverenced with a veneration 
resembling that which belongs only to the Deity; and the whole 
world trembled at the utterance of the single word Excommu- 
nication. Kings were not sufficiently powerful to oppose any 
successful resistance to the encroachments of Rome ; their au- 
thority was curtailed and counteracted by that of their vassals, 
who seized with eagerness every occasion which the Popes 
offered them, to aggrandize their own prerogatives at the expense 
of the sovereign authority. 

The Emperor of Germany, who was alone able to countervail 
this new spiritual tyranny, was at open war with his grand vas- 
sals, whose usurpations he was anxious to repress; while they, 
disrespecting the majesty of the throne, and consulting only 
their own animosity against the emperor, blindly seconded the 
pretensions of the pontiff. The emperor, however, did all in 
his power to oppose a barrier to this torrent of ecclesiastical 
despotism ; but the insolence of Gregory became so extrava- 
gant, that, not content to attack him with spiritual weapons, he 
set up rival emperors, and excited intestine wars against him ; 
and his successors even went so far as to arm the sons against 
their own father. Such was the origin of the contests which 
arose between the Empire and the Papacy, under the reign of 
Henry IV., and which agitated both Germany and Italy for a 
period of several centuries. They gave birth, also, to the two 
factions of the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, the former Imperial, 
and the other Papal, who for a long coiirse of time tore each 
other to pieces with inconceivable fury. 

Henry V., son and successor of Henry IV., terminated the 
grand dispute about the investitures of the ring and the crosier. 
By the Concordat which he concluded at Worms (1122) with 
Pope Calixtus II., he renounced the ceremony of the ring and 
the cross ; and granting to the "churches free liberty of election, 
he reserved nothing to himself, except the privilege of sending 
commissioners to the elections, and giving to the newly elected 
prelates, after consecration, the investiture of the regatian rights, 
by means of the sceptre, instead of the ring and crosier. The 
lies of vassalage which connected the bishops with the empe- 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. Ill 

rors, were still preserved by this transaction, contrary to the in- 
tentions of Gregory VII. ; but the emperors being obliged to 
approve of the persons whom the Church should hereafter pre- 
sent, lost their chief influence in the elections, and were no 
longer entitled, as formerly, to grant or refuse investiture. 

These broils with the court of Rome, the check which they 
gave to the Imperial authority, joined to the increasing abuses 
of the feudal system, afforded the princes and states of the Em- 
pire the means of usurping the heritable succession of their 
dutchies, counties, and fiefs ; and of laying the foundations of a 
new power, which they afterwards exercised under the name of 
territorial superiority. Frederic II., compelled by the pressure 
of events, was the first emperor that sanctioned the territorial 
rights of the states by charters, which he delivered to several 
princes, secular and ecclesiastic, in the years 1220 and 1232. 
The Imperial dignity thus lost its splendour with the power of 
the emperors ; and the constitution of the Empire was totally 
changed. That vast monarchy degenerated by degrees into a 
kind of federal system ; and the Emperor, in course of time, 
became only the common chief, and superior over the numerous 
vassals of which that association was composed. The extra- 
ordinary efforts made by the Emperors Frederic I. and II. of the 
house of Hohenstaufen,'* to re-establish the tottering throne of 
the empire, ended in nothing; and that House, one of the most 
powerful in Europe, was deprived of all its crowns, and, perse- 
cuted even to the scaffold. 

The empire thus fell into gradual decay, while the pontifical 
power, rising on its ruins, gained, day by day, new accessions 
of strength. The successors of Gregory VII. omitted nothing 
that policy could suggest to them, in order to humble more and 
more the dignity of the Emperors, and to bring them into a state 
of absolute dependence, by arrogating to themselves the express 
right of confirming, and even of deposing them j^ and com- 
pelling them to acknowledge their feudal superiority. Being 
thus no longer obliged to submit their election to the arbitration 
of the Imperial court, the ambitious pontiffs soon aspired to 
absolute sovereignty. 

The custom of dating their acts, and coining their money 
with the stamp and name of the emperor, disappeared after 
the time of Gregory VII. ; and the authority which the empe- 
rors had exercised at Rome, ceased entirely with the loss of the 
prefecture or government of that city ; which Pope Innocent III. 
look into his own hands (119S,) obliging the prefect of Rome 
to swear the usual oath of homage to the Apostolic See, which 
that magistrate owed to the emperor, from whom he received 


the prefecture. Hence it happened, that the chiefs of the Em- 
pire, obliged to compromise with a power which they had learned 
to dread, had no longer any difficulty in recognising the entire 
independence of the Popes ; even formally renouncing the 
rights of high sovereignty which their predecessors had enjoyed, 
not only over Rome, but over the Ecclesiastical States. The 
domains of the church were likewise considerably increased 
by the acquisitions which Innocent III. made of the March 
of Ancona, and the dutchy of Spoleto ; as well as by the per- 
sonal, property or Patrimony of the Countess Matilda,^ which 
the Emperor Frederic II. ceded to Honorius III. (1220,) and 
which his successors in the Apostolic chair formed into the pro- 
vince known by the name of the Patrimony of St. Peter. 

One of the grand means which the Popes employed for the 
advancement of their new authority, was the multiplication of 
Religious Orders, and the way in which they took care to man- 
age these corporations. Before the time of Gregory VII., the 
only order known in the West was that of the Benedictines, 
divided into several families or congregations. The rule of St, 
Benedict, prescribed at the Council of Aix-la-Chapelle (817) to 
all monks within the empire of the Franks, was the only one 
allowed by the Romish Church ; just as that of St. Basil was, 
and still is, the only one practised in the East by the Greek 
Church. The first of these newly invented orders was that of 
Grammont in Limosin (1073,) authorized by Pope Gregory VII. 
This was followed, in the same century, by the order of Char- 
treux, and that of St. Antony.'^ The Mendicant orders took 
their rise under Innocent III., near the end of the twelfth, and 
beginning of the thirteenth century. Their number increased 
in a short time so prodigiously, that, in 1274, they could reckon 
twenty-three orders. The complaints which were raised on this 
subject from all parts of Christendom, obliged Pope Gregory to 
reduce them, at the Council of Lyons, to four orders, viz. the 
Hermits of St. William or Auguslines, Carmelites, the Minor 
or Franciscan friars, and the Preaching or Dominican friars. 
The Popes, perceiving that they might convert the monastic, 
orders, and more particularly the mendicants, into a powerful 
engine for strengthening their own authority, and keeping the 
secular clergy in subjection, granted by degrees to these frater- 
nities, immunities and exemptions tending to withdraw them 
from the jurisdiction of the bishops, and to emancipate them 
from every other authority, except that of their Heads, and the 
Popes. They even conferred on them various privileges, such 
as those of preaching, confession, and instructing the young; 
as being the most likely means to augment their credit and their 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 133 

influence. The consequence was, that the monks were fre- 
quently employed by the Popes in quality of legates and mis- 
sionaries ; they were feared and respected by sovereigns, sin- 
gularly revered by the people, and lei slip no occasion of exahing 
a power to which alone they owed their promotion, their re- 
spectability, and all the advantages they enjoyed. 

Of all the successors of Gregory VII., he who resembled him 
most in the superiority of his genius, and the extent of his 
knowledge, was Innocent III., who was of the family of the 
Counts of Segni, and elevated to the pontificate at the age of 
37. He was as ambitious as that pontiff, and equally fertile 
in resources ; and he even surpassed him in the boldness of 
his plans, and the success of his enterprises. Innocent an- 
nounced himself as the successor of St. Peter, set zip by God 
to govern not only the Church, hut the tohole world. It was 
this Pope who first made use of the famous comparison about 
the sun and the moon : As God, says he, has placed two great 
luminaries in. the firmament, the one to rule the day, and the 
other to give light by night, so has he established two grand 
porvers, the pontifical and the royal ; and as the moon receives 
her light from the sun, so does royalty borroio its splendour 
from the Papal authority. 

Not content to exercise the legislative power as he pleased, 
by means of the numerous decretals which he dispersed over 
all Christendom, this pontiff was the first that arrogated to him- 
self the prerogative of dispensing with the laws themselves, 
in virtue of what he termed the plenitude of his power. It is 
to him also that the origin of the Inquisition is ascribed, that 
terrible tribunal which afterwards became the firmest prop of 
sacerdotal despotism ; but what is of more importance to re- 
mark, is, that he laid the foundations of that exorbitant power, 
which his successors have since exercised in collating or pre- 
senting to ecclesiastical dignities and benefices. 

The secular princes having been deprived of their rights of 
nomination and confirmation, by the decrees of Gregory VII. 
and his successors, the privilege of electing bishops was re- 
stored to the clergy and congregation of each church, and to 
the chapters of convents ; the confirmation of the elected pre- 
lates belonged to their immediate superiors ; and collation to 
the other ecclesiastical benefices was reserved for the bishops 
and ordinaries. All these regulations were changed towards 
the end of the twelfth century. The canons of cathedral 
churches, authorized by the Court of Rome, claimed to them- 
selves the right of election, to the exclusion of the clergy and 
the people ; while the Popes, gradually interfering with elec- 



tions and collations, found means to usurp the nomination and 
collation to almost all ecclesiastical benefices. The principle of 
these usurpations was founded on the false decretals ; accord- 
ing to which all ecclesiastical jurisdiction emanates from the 
court of Rome, as a river flows from its source. It is from the 
Pope that archbishops and bishops hold that portion of authori- 
ty with which they are endowed ; and of which he does not 
divest himself, by the act of communicating it to them; but is 
rather the more entitled to co-operate with them in the exercise 
of that jurisdiction as often as he may judge proper. 

This principle of a conjunct authority, furnished a very plau- 
sible pretext for the Popes to interfere in collation to benefices. 
This collation, according to the canon law, being essential to 
the jurisdiction of bishops, it seemed natural that the Pope, 
who concurred in the jurisdiction, should also concur in the 
privileges derived from it, namely, induction or collation to be- 
nefices. From the right of concurrence, therefore, Innocent III. 
proceeded to that of prevetitio?i, being the first pontiff' that mad« 
use of it. He exercised that right, especially with regard m 
benefices which had newly become vacant by the death of their 
incumbents, when at the Court of Rome ; in which cases it 
was easy to anticipate or get the start of the bishops. In the 
same manner, this right was exercised in remote dioceses, by 
means of legates a latere, which he dispersed over the diflerept 
provinces of Christendom. 

From the right of prevention were derived the provisional 
mandates, and the Grdces Expectatives, (reversionary grants or 
Bulls) letters granting promise of church livings before they 
became vacant. The Popes not having legates every where, 
and wishing, besides, to treat the bishops with some respect, 
began by addressing to them letters of recommendation in fa- 
vour of those persons for whom they were anxious to procure 
benefices. These letters becoming too frequent and importu- 
nate, the bishops ventured to refuse their compliance ; on which 
the Popes began to change their recommendations into orders 
or mandates ; and appointed commissioners to enforce their 
execution by means of ecclesiastical censures. These man- 
dates were succeeded by the Grdces Expectatives, which, pro- 
fcriy speaking, were nothing else than mandates issued for be- 
nefices, wl'iose titulars or incumbents were yet alive. Lastly 
appeared the Reservatiojis, which were distinguished into ge- 
neral and special. The first general reservation was that of 
benefices becoming vacant by the incumbents dying at the Court 
of Rome. This was introduced by Pope Clement IV. in 
1265, in order to exclude for ever the bishops from the right of 
'Concurrence and prevention in benefices of that kind. 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. lit- 

This first reservation was the forerunner of several others, 
.such as the reservation of all cathedral churches, abbeys, and 
priories; as also of the highest dignities in cathedral and colle- 
giate churches ; and of all collective benefices, becoming vacant 
during eight months in the year, called the Pope's months, so 
that only four months remained for the ordinary collators ; and 
these too, encroached upon by mandates, expectatives, and re- 
servations. The Popes having thus seized the nomination to 
episcopal dignities, it followed, by a simple and natural process, 
that the coiifirmation of ail prelates, without distinction, was in 
like manner reserved for them. It would have even been reck- 
oned a breach of decorum to address an archbishop, demanding 
from him the confirmation of a bishop nominated by the Pope, 
so that this point of common right, which vested the confirma- 
tion of every prelate in his immediate superior, was also anni- 
hilated ; and the Romish See was at length acknowledged over 
the whole Western world, as the onl}"^ source of all jurisdiction, 
and all ecclesiastical power. 

An extraordinary event, the offspring of that superstitious age 
served still more to increase the power of the Popes; and that 
was the Crusades, which the nations of Europe undertook, at 
their request and by their orders, for the conquest of Palestine 
or the Holy Land. These expeditions, known by the name of 
Holy Wars, because religion was made the pretext or occasion 
of them, require a somewhat particular detail, not merely of the 
circumstances that accompanied them, but also of the changes 
which they introduced into the moral and political condition of 
society. Pilgrimages to Jerusalem, which v/ere in use from 
the earliest ages of Christianity, had become very frequent about 
the beginning of the eleventh century. The opinion which then 
very generally prevailed, that the end of the world was at hand, 
induced vast numbers of Christians lo sell their possessions in 
Europe, in order that they might set out for the Holy Land, 
there to await the coming of the Lord. So long as the Arabs 
were masters of Palestine, they protected these pilgrimages, 
from which they derived no small emoluments. But when the 
Seljukian Turks, a barbarous and ferocious people, had con- 
quered that country (1075) under the Caliphs of Egypt, the pil- 
grims saw themselves exposed to every kind of insult and op- 
pression.^ The lamentable accounts which they gave of these 
outrages on their return to Europe, excited the general indigna- 
tion, and gave birth to the romantic notion of expelling these 
Infidels from the Holy Land. 

Gregory VII. was the projector of this grand scheme. He 
addressed circular letters to all the sovereigns o Europe, and 


invited them to make a general crusade against the TuTk.*?, 
Meantime, however, more pressing interests, and his quarrek 
with the Emperor Henry IV., obliged him to defer the projected 
enterprise ; but his attention was soon recalled to it by the re- 
presentation of a pilgrim, called Peter the Hermit, a native of 
Amiens in Picardy. Furnished with letters from the Patriarch 
of Jerusalem to the Pope and the princes of the West, this 
ardent fanatic traversed the whole of Italy, France, and Germa- 
ny ; preaching every where, and representing, in the liveliest 
colours, the profanation of the sacred places, and the miserable 
condition of the Christians and poor pilgrims in the Holy Land. 
It proved no difficult task for him to impart to others the fanati- 
cism with which he was himself animated. His zeal was pow- 
erfully seconded by Pope Urban II., who repaired in person to 
France, where he convoked the council of Clennont (1095,) and 
pronounced, in full assembly, a pathetic harangue, at the close 
of which they unanimously resolved on the Holy War. It was 
decreed, that all who should enrol their names in this sacred 
militia, should wear a red cross on their right shoulder : that 
they should enjoy plenary indulgence, and obtain remission of 
all their sins. 

From that time the pulpits of Europe resounded with exhor- 
tations to the crusades. People of every rank and condition 
were seen flocking in crowds to assume the signal of the cross ; 
and, in the following year, innumerable bands of crusaders, from 
the different countries of Europe, set out, one after another, on 
this expedition to the East.^ The only exception was the Ger- 
mans, who partook but feebly of this universal enthusiasm, on 
account of the disputes which then subsisted between the Em- 
peror and the court of Rome.'° The three or four first divisions 
of the crusaders, under the conduct of chiefs, who had neither 
name nor experience, marched without order and without disci- 
pline ; pillaging, burning, and wasting the countries through 
which they passed. Most of them perished from fatigue, hun- 
ger, or sickness, or by the sword of the exasperated nations, 
whose territories they had laid desolate." 

To these unwarlike and undisciplined troops succeeded regu- 
lar armies, commanded by experienced officers, and powerful 
princes. Godfrey of Bouillon (1096,) Duke of Lorrain, accom- 
panied by his brother Baldwin, and his cousin Baldwin of Bourg, 
with a vast retinue of noblemen, put himself at the head of the 
first body of crusaders. He directed his march through Ger- 
many, Hungary, and Bulgaria, towards Constantinople, and 
was soon followed by several French princes, such as Hugh the 
Great, brother of Philip I. King of France ; Robert Duke of 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074— 1300. 117 

Normandy, son of William the Conqueror ; Stephen VI., Count 
of Blois ; Eustace of Bouloo-ne, brother t« Godfrey de Bouillon, 
and Robert Count of Flanders, who all preferred the route by 
Italy. They passed the winter in the environs of Bari, Brin- 
disi, and Otranto ; and did not embark for Greece until the fol- 
lowing spring. Boemond, Prince of Tarentum, son to Roger, 
Earl of Sicily, at the instigation of the French grandees, took 
the cross, after their example, and carried with him into the 
East the flower of the Normans, and the noblesse of Sicily, 
Apulia, and Calabria. Lastly, Raymond IV., Count of Tou- 
louse, accompanied by the Bishop of Puy, traversed Lombardy, 
Friuli, and Dalmatia, on his passage to the Holy Land. 

The general rendezvous of the crusaders was at Chalcedon 
in Bythinia. It is supposed that their forces united, amounted 
to six hundred thousand combatants. They commenced their 
exploits with the siege of Nice, capital of the empire of Roum, 
of which they made themselves master, after having repulsed the 
Turks who had advanced under the command of the Sultan 
Kili-Arslan, the son of Soliman, premier sultan of Roum. Ano- 
ther victory gained over the same sultan (1097) in the Gorgo- 
nian valley in Bythinia, opened for the crusaders a passage into 
Syria. There they undertook the siege of the strong city of 
Antioch, which they carried after an immense loss of lives (1098.) 
Having at length arrived in Palestine, they planned the attack 
of Jerusalem, which the Caliph of Egypt had just recovered 
from the Turks ; and which the crusaders, in their turn, carried 
by assault front the Egyptians (1099.) This city was declared 
the capital of a new kingdom, the sovereignty of which was be 
stowed on Godfrey of Bouillon, though he refused to take the 
title of king. This famous prince extended his conquests by a 
splendid victory, which he gained that same year near Ascalon, 
over the Caliph of Egypt. On his death, his brother Baldwin 
succeeded him, and transmitted the throne to his cousin Bald- 
win of Bourg, whose posterity reigned in Jerusalem until the 
destruction of that kingdom by Saladin (1187.) 

Besides the kingdom of Jerusalem, which comprehended Pa- 
lestine, with the cities of Sidon, Tyre, and Ptolemais, the cri" 
saders founded several other states in the East. The earldom 
of Edessa, first conquered by Baldwin, brother of Godfrey, 
passed to several French princes in succession until the year 
1144, when it was subdued by Atabek-Zenghi commonly called 
Sanguin. The principality of Antioch fell to the share of Boe- 
mond, prince of Tarentum, whose heirs and descendants added 
to it, in 1188, the County of Tripoli, which had been founded 
(!. nO) by Raymond, Count of Toulouse, one of the crusaders 


But they were deprived both of the one and the other of these 
sovereignties by the Mamelukes in 1268, uho afterwards (1289) 
conquered Antioch and Tripoli. Lastly, the kingdom of Cyprus 
which Richard Coeur-de-Lion, King of England, took from the 
Greeks (1191,) was surrendered by that prince to Guy de Lu- 
signan, whose posterity reigned in Cyprus till the year 1487, 
when that island was taken possession of by the republic of 

The transient duration of these different states, presents no- 
thing suprising. The Christians of the East, disunited among 
themselves, surrounded on all hands, and incessantly attacked 
by powerful nations, found themselves too remote from Europe 
to obtain from that quarter any prompt or effective succour. It 
was, therefore, impossible for them long to withstand the efforts 
of the Mahometans, who were animated as well as the Chris- 
tians by a sectarian zeal, which led them to combine their forces 
against the enemies of their religion and their prophet. The 
enthusiasm of religious wars did not however become extinct 
until nearly two centuries. It was encouraged and supported 
by the numerous privileges which popes and sovereigns con- 
ferred on the invaders, and by the rich endovt^ments that were 
made in their favour. All Europe continued to be in motion, 
and all its principal sovereigns marched in their turn to the 
East, either to attempt new conquests, or maintain those which 
the first crusaders had achieved. 

Six grand crusades succeeded to the first ; all of which were 
either fruitless, or at least without any important and durable 
success. Conrad III., Emperor of Germany, and Louis VII., 
King of France, undertook the second (1147,) on account of the 
conquests of Atabek-Zenghi, who, three years before, had made 
himself master of Edessa. The third (1189) was headed by 
the Emperor Frederic I., surnamed Barbarossa ; Philip Augus- 
tus King of France ; and Richard Coeur-de-Lion of England ; 
and the occasion of it, was the taking of Jerusalem by the fa- 
mous Saladin (1187.) The fourth was undertaken (1202,) at 
the pressing instigation of Innocent III. Several of the French 
and German nobility uniting with the Venetians, assumed the 
cross under the command of Boniface, Marquis of Montferrat ; 
but instead of marching to Palestine, they ended their expedi- 
tion by taking Constantinople from the Greeks. The fifth cru- 
sade (1217) was conduct'ed by Andrew, King of Hungary, at- 
tended by many of the princes and nobility of German}-, who 
had enlisted under the banner of the Cross in consequence of 
the decrees of the council of Lateran (1215.) The Emperor 
Frederic II. undertook the sixth (1228.) By a treaty which he 

PERiOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 119 

concluded with the SuUan of Egypt, he obtained the restoration 
of Jerusalem and several other cities of Palestine ; although 
tliey did not long continue in his possession. The Carizniian 
Turks, oppressed by the Moguls, seized on the Holy Land 
(1244,) and pillaged and burnt Jerusalem. That famous city, 
together with the greater part of Palestine, fell afterwards under 
the dominion of the Sultans of Egypt. 

The seventh and last grand crusade, was undertaken by Louis 
IX. King of France (1248.) He conceived it necessary to be- 
gin his conquests by that of Egypt; but his design completely 
miscarried. Being made prisoner with his army after the action 
at Mansoura (12f50,) he only obtained his liberty by restoring 
Damietta, and paying a large ransom to the Sultan of Egypt. 
The unfortunate issue of this last expedition, slackened the zeal 
of the Europeans for crusading. Still, however, they retained 
two important places on the coast of Syria, the cities of Tyre 
and Ptolemais. But these places having been conquered by the 
Mamelukes (1291,) there was no longer any talk about crusades 
to the East ; and all the attempts of the Court of Rome to revive 
them proved ineffectual. 

It now remains for us briefly to notice the effects which re- 
sulted from the crusades, with regard to the social and political 
state of the nations in Western Europe. One consequence of 
these, was the aggrandizement of the Roman Pontiffs, who, 
during the whole period of the crusades, played the part of su- 
preme chiefs and sovereign masters of Christendom. It was at 
their request, as we have seen, that those religious wars were 
undertaken ; it was they who directed them by means of their 
legates, — who compelled emperors and kings, by the terror of 
their spiritual arms, to march under the banner of the Cross — 
who taxed the clergy at their pleasure, to defray the expenses 
of these distant expeditions, — who took under their immediate 
protection the persons and effects of the Crusaders, and eman- 
cipated them, by means of special privileges, from all depend- 
ence on any power, civil or judiciary. The wealth of the clergy 
was considerably increased during the time of which we speak, 
both by the numerous endowments which took place, and by 
the acquisition which the Church made of the immense landed 
property which the pious owners sold them on assuming the 
badge of the Cross. 

These advantages which the See of Rome drew from the 
crusades in the East, were inducements to undertake similar 
expeditions in the West and North of Europe. In these quar- 
ter"? '"ve find that the wars of the cross were carried on, 1. 
Agamst the Mahometans of Spain and Africa. 2 Against the 


Emperors and Kings who refused obedience to the orders of the 
Popes. ^'^ 3. Against heretical or schismatic princes, such as the 
Greeks and Russians. 4. Against the Slavonians and other 
Pagan nations, on the coasts of the Baltic. 5. Against the 
Waldenses, Albigenses, and Hussites, who were regarded as 
heretics. 6. Against the Turks. 

If the result of the crusades was advantageous to the hier- 
archy, if it served to aggrandize the power of the Roman Pop 
tiffs, it must, on the contrarj^ have proved obviously prejudicial 
to the authority of the secular princes. It was in fact during 
this period that the power of the emperors, both in Germany 
and Italy, was sapped to the very foundation ; that the royal 
nouse of Hohenstaufen sunk under the determined efforts of the 
Court of Rome ; and that the federal system of the Empire gained 
gradual accessions of strength. In England and Hungary, we 
observe how the grandees seized on the opportunity to increase 
their own power. The former took advantage of their sove- 
reign's absence in the Holy Land, and the latter of the protec- 
tion which they received from the Popes, to claim new privi- 
leges and extort charters, such as they did from John of England, 
and Andrew II. of Hungary, tending to cripple and circumscribe 
the royal authority. 

In France, however, the result was different. There, the 
kings being freed, by means of the crusades, from a crowd of 
restless and turbulent vassals who often threw the kingdom into 
a state of faction and discord, were left at liberty to extend their 
prerogatives, and turn the scale of power in their own favour 
They even considerably augmented their royal and territorial 
revenues, either by purchasing lands and fiefs from the proprie- 
tors v/ho had armed in the cause of the cross ; or by annexing 
to the crown the estates of those who died in the Holy Land, 
without leaving feudal heirs ; or by seizing the forfeitures ol 
others who were persecuted by religious fanaticism, as heretics 
or abettors of heresy. Finally, the Christian kings of Spain, 
the sovereigns of the North, the Knights of the Teutonic order, 
and of Livonia, joined the crusades recommended by the Popes, 
from the desire of conquest ; the former, to subdue the Ma- 
hometans in Spain, and the others to vanquish the Pagan 
nations of the North, the Slavonians, Finns, Livonians, Prus- 
sians, Lithuanians, and Courlanders. 

It is to the crusades, in like manner, that Europe owes the 
use of surnames, as well as of armorial bearings, and heraldry. '^ 
It is easy to perceive, that among these innumerable armies of 
crusaders, composed of different nations and languages, some 
mark, or symbol was necessary, in order to distinguish particular 

PBBIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 121 

nations, or signalize their commanders. Surnames and coats 
of arms were employed as these distinctive badges ; the latter 
especially were invented to serve as rallying points, for the vas- 
sals and troops of the crusading chiefs. Necessity first intro- 
duced them, and vanity afterwards caused them to be retained. 
These coats of arms were hoisted on their standards, the knights 
got them emblazoned on their shields, and appeared with them 
at tournaments. Even those who had never been at the cru- 
sades, became ambitious of these distinctions ; which may be 
considered as permanently established in families, from about 
the middle of the thirteenth century. 

The same enthusiasm that inspired the Europeans for the 
crusades, contributed in like manner to bring tournaments into 
vogue. In these solemn and military sports, the young noblesse 
were trained to violent exercises, and to the management of 
heavy arms ; so as to gain them some reputation for valour, and 
to insure their superiority in war. In order to be admitted to 
these tournaments it was necessary to be of noble blood, and to 
show proofs of their nobility. The origin of these feats is ge- 
nerally traced back to the end of the tenth, or beginning of 
the eleventh century. Geoffrey of Preuilly, whom the writers 
of the middle ages cite as being the inventor of them, did no 
more, properly speaking, than draw up their code of regula- 
tions. France was the country from which the practice of 
tournaments diffused itself over all other nations of Europe. 
They were very frequent, during all the time that the crusading 
mania lasted. 

To this same epoch belongs the institution of Religious and 
Miliiary Orders. These were originally established for the 
purpose of defending the new Christian States in the East, for 
protecting pilgrims on their journey, taking care of them when 
sick, &c.; and the vast wealth which they acquired in most of the 
kingdoms of Europe, preserved their existence long after the 
loss of the Holy Land ; and some of these orders even made 
a conspicuous figure in the political history of the Western 

Of all these, the first and most distinguished was the Ordei 
of St. John of Jerusalem, called afterwards the Order of Mal- 
ta. Prior to the first crusade, there had existed at Jerusalem a 
church of the Latin or Romish liturgy, dedicated to St. Mary, 
and founded by some merchants of Amalfi in the kingdom of 
Naples. There was also a monastery of the Order of St. Be- 
nedict, and a hospital for the relief of the poor or afflicted pil' 
grims. This hospital, the directors of which were appointed 
by the Abbot of St. Mary's, having in a very short tit le become 

VOL, I. 11 


immensely rich by numerous donations of lands and £e3gnf>nes 
both in Europe and Palestine, one of its governors named Ge- 
rard, a native of Martigues in Provence, as is alleged, took the 
regular habit (1100,) and formed with his brethren a distinct 
congregation, under the name and protection of St. John the 
Baptist. Pope Pascal II., by a bull issued in 1114, approved 
of this new establishment, and ordained, that after the death of 
Gerard, the Hospitallers alone should have the election of their 
superintendent. Raymond du Puy, a gentleman from Dau- 
phine, and successor to Gerard, was the first that took the title 
of Grand Master. He prescribed a rule for the Hospitallers ; 
and Pope Calixtus II., in approving of this rule (1120,) divided 
the members of the order into three classes. The nobles, called 
Knights of Justice, were destined for the profession of arms, 
making war on the Infidels, and protecting pilgrims. The 
priests and chaplains, selected from the respectable citizens, 
were intrusted with functions purely ecclesiastical ; while the 
serving brethren, who formed the third class, were charged with 
the care of sick pilgrims, and likewise to act in the capacity of 
soldiers. These new knights were known by the name of 
Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, and were dis- 
tinguished by wearing a white octagon cross on a black habit. 

After the final loss of the Holy Land, this order established 
themselves in the Isle of Cyprus. From this they passed into 
Rhodes, which they had conquered from the Infidels (1310.) 
This latter island they kept possession of till 1522; and being 
then expelled by Soliman the Great, they obtained (1530) from 
Charles V., the munificent grant of the Isle of Malta, under the 
express terms of making war against the Infidels. Of this place 
they were at length deprived by Buonaparte in 179S. 

The order of Templars followed nearly that of St. John. Its 
first founders (1119) were some French gentlemen ; the chief 
of whom were Hugo de Payens, and Geoffi'ey de St. Omer. 
Having made a declaration of their vows before the Patriarch 
of Jerusalem, they took upon themselves the special charge of 
maintaining free passage and safe conduct for the pilgrims to 
the Holy Land. Baldwin, king of Jerusalem, assigned them 
an apartment in his palace, near the temple, whence they took 
the name of Knights of the Temple, and Templars. They ob- 
tained from Pope Honorius II. (1120) a rule, with a white habit; 
to which Eugene III. added a red cross octagon. This order, 
after accumulating vast wealth and riches, especially in France, 
and distinguishing themselves by their military exploits for 
nearly two centuries, were at length suppressed by the Council 
•f Vienna (1312.) 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 123 

The Teutonic order, according to the most probable opinion, 
took its origin in the camp before Acre, or Ptolemais. The 
honour of it is ascribed to some charitable citizens of Bremen 
and Lubec, who erected a hospital or tent with the sails of their 
vessels, for the relief of the numerous sick and wounded of their 
nation. Several German gentlemen having joined in this esta- 
blishment, ihoy devoted themselves by a vow to the service of 
the sick; as also to the defence of the Holy Land against the 
Infidels. This order, known bv the name of the Teutonic 
Knights of St. Mary of Jerusalem, received confirmation from 
Pope Celestin III. (1192,) who prescribed for them the rule of 
the Hospital of St. John, with regard to their attendance on the 
sick; and with regard to chivalry or knighthood, that of the 
order of Templars. Henry Walpott de Passenheim was the 
first grand master of the order; and the new knights assumed 
the white habit, with ablackcross, to distinguish them from the 
other orders. It was under their fourth grand master, Hermann 
<le Sallza (1230,) that they passed into Prussia, which they 
conquered (1309.) They fixed their chief residence at Marien- 
burg; but having lost Prussia in consequence of a change in 
the religious sentiments of their grand master, Albert de Bran- 
denburg (152S,) they transferred their capital to Mergentheim 
in Franconia. 

A fourth order of Hospitallers founded in the Holy Land, was 
that of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, who had for their principal 
object the treatment of lepers;^'* and who, in process of time, 
from a medical, became a military order. After having long 
resided in the East, where they distinguished themselves in the 
Holy wars, they followed St. Louis into France (1254,) and 
fi.ved their chief seat at Boigny, near Orleans. Pope Gregory 
XIII. united them with the order of St. Maurice, in Savoy; 
and Henry IV. with that of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, in 
France. On the model, and after the example of these four 
military orders, several others were founded in succession, in 
various kingdoms of Europe.'^ All these institutions contri- 
buted greatly to the renown of chivalry, so famous in the Middle 
Ages. The origin of this latter institution is earlier than the 
times of which we now speak, and seems to belong to the tenth, 
or the beginning of the eleventh century. The anarchy of feu- 
dalism being then at its height, and robberies and private quar- 
rels every where prevailing, several noble and distinguished 
individuals, devoted themselves, by a solemn vow, according to 
the genius of the times, to the defence of religion and its minis- 
ters ; as also of the fair sex, and of every person suffering from 
distress or oppression From the end of the eleventh century, 


to the time when the crusades beg-an, we find chivalry, with its 
pomp and its ceremonies, established in all the principal states 
of Europe. This salutary institution, by inspiring the minds 
of men with new energy, gave birth to many illustrious cha- 
racters. It tended to repress the disorders of anarchy, to revive 
order and law, and establish a new relationship among the na- 
i.ions of Europe. 

In general, it may be said, that these ultra-marine expeditions 
prosecuted with obstinacy for nearly two hundred years, hasten- 
ed the progress of arts and civilization in Europe. The cru- 
saders, journeying through kingdoms better organized than 
their own, and observing greater refinement in their laws and 
manners, were necessarily led to form new ideas, and acquire 
new information with regard to science and politics. Some 
vestiges of learning and good taste had been preserved in Greece, 
and even in the extremities of Asia, where letters had been 
encouraged by the patronage of the Caliphs. The city of Con- 
stantinople, which had not yet suffered from the ravages of the 
barbarians, abounded in the finest monuments of art. It pre- 
sented to the eyes of the crusaders, a spectacle of grandeur and 
magnificence that could not but excite their admiration, and calJ 
forth a strong desire to imitate those models, the sight of which 
at once pleased and astonished them. To the Italians especially, 
it must have proved of great advantage. The continued inter- 
course which they maintained with the East and the city of 
Constantinople, afforded them the means of becoming familiar 
with the language and literature of the Greeks, of communica- 
ting the same taste to their own countrymen, and in this way 
advancing the glorious epoch of the revival of letters. 

About the same time, commerce and navigation were making 
considerable progress. The cities of Italy, such as Venice, 
Genoa, Pisa, and others, in assisting the Crusaders in their ope- 
rations, by means of the transports, provisions, and warlike stores 
with which they furnished them, continued to secure for them- 
selves important privileges and establishments in the seaports 
of the Levant, and other ports in the Greek empire. Their 
example excited the industry of several maritime towns in 
France, and taught them the advantage of applying their atten- 
tion to Eastern commerce. In the North, the cities of Ham- 
burgh and Lubec, formed, about the year 1241, as is generally 
supposed, their first commercial association, which afterwards 
became so formidable under the name of the Hanseatic League.^^ 
The staple articles of these latter cities, consisted in marine 
stores, and other productions of the North, which they exchanged 
for the spiceries of the East, and the manufactures of Italy and 
the Low Countries. 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 125 

The progress of industry, the protection which sovereigns 
extended to it, and the pains they took to check the disorders of 
feudalism, contributed to the prosperity of towns, by daily aug. 
menting" their population and their wealth. This produced, 
about the times we are speaking of, an advantageous change in 
the civil and social condition of the people. Throughout the 
principal states of Europe, cities began, after the twelfth centu 
ry, to erect themselves into political bodies, and to form, by de 
grees, a third order, distinct from that of the clergy and nobility 
Before this period, the inhabitants of towns enjoyed neither civil 
nor political liberty. Their condition was very little better than 
that of the peasantry, who were all serfs, attached to the soil. 
The rights of citizenship, and the privileges derived from it, 
were reserved for the clergy and the noblesse. The Counts, oi 
governors of cities, by rendering their power hereditary, had 
appropriated to themselves the rights that were originally at- 
tached to their functions. They used them in the most arbi 
trary way, and loaded the inhabitants with every kind of oppres 
sion that avarice or caprice could suggest. 

At length, the cities which were either the most oppressed, 
or the most powerful, rose in rebellion against this intolerable 
yoke. The inhabitants formed themselves into confederations, 
to which they gave the name of Coriumaies or Free Corpora- 
tions. Either of their own accord, or by charters, obtained very 
often on burdensome terms, they procured for themselves a free 
government, which, by relieving' them from servitude, and all 
impositions and arbitrat^y exactions, secured them personal liberty 
and the possession of their effects, under the protection of their 
own magistrates, and the institution of a militia, or city guard. 
This revolution, one o-f the most important in Europe, first look 
place in Italy, where it was occasioned by the frequent inter- 
regnums that occurred in Germany, as well as by the distur- 
bances that rose between the Empire and the priesthood, in the 
eleventh century. The anathemas thundered against Henry 
IV., by absolving the subjects from the obedience they owed 
their sovereign, served as a pretext to the cities of Italy for 
shaking off the authority of the Imperial viceroys, or bailiffs^ 
who had become tyrants instead of rulers, and for establishing 
free and republican governments. In this, they were encoura- 
ged and supported by the protection of the Roman pontiffs, 
whose sole aim and policy was the abasement of the Imperial 

Before this period, several maritime cities of Italy, such as 
Naples, Amalfi, Venice, Pisa, and Genoa, emboldened by the 
advantages of their situation, by the increase of their population 



and their commerce, had already emancipated themselves from 
the Imperial yoke, and erected tliemselves into republics. Their 
example was followed by the cities of Lombardy and the Vene- 
tian territory, especially Milan, Pavia, Asti, Cremona, Lodi, 
Como, Parma, Placentia, Verona, Padua, &c. All those cities, 
animated with the enthusiasm of liberty, adopted, about the be- 
ginning of the twelfth century, consuls and popular forms of 
government. They formed a kind of military force, or city 
guard, and vested in themselves the rights of royalty, and the 
power of making, in their own name and authority, alliances, 
wars, and treaties of peace. From Italy, this revolution ex- 
tended to France and Germany, the Low Countries, and Eng- 
land. In all these different states, the use of Communes, or 
boroughs, was established, and protected by the sovereigns, who 
employed these new institutions as a powerful check against 
the encroachments and tyranny of the feudal lords. 

In France, Louis the Fat, who began his reign in llOS, was 
ihe first king that granted rights, or constitutional charters, to 
certain cities within his domain, either from political motives, 
or the allurement of money. The nobility, after his example, 
eagerly sold liberty to their subjects. The revolution became 
general; the cry for liberty was raised every where, and inte- 
rested every mind. Throughout all the provinces, the mhabi- 
bants of cities solicited charters, and sometimes without waiting 
for them, they formed themselves voluntarily into communities, 
electing magistrates of their own choice, establishing companies> 
of militia, and taking charge themselves of the fortifications and 
wardenship of their cities. The magistrates of free cities in 
northern France, were usually called mayors, sheriffs, and lisr- 
erymen ; while, in the south of France, they were called syndics 
and consuls. It soon became an established principle, that kings 
alone had the power to authorize the erection of corporate towns. 
Louis VIII. declared that he regarded all cities in which these 
corporations were established, as belonging to his domain. They 
owed military service directly and personally to the king ; while 
such cities as had not these rights or charters, were obliged to 
follow their chiefs to the war. 

In Germany, we find the emperors adopting the same policy 
as the kings of France. The resources which the progress of 
commerce and manufactures opened to the industry of the in- 
habitants of cities, and the important succours which the empe- 
rors, Henry IV. and V., had received from them in their quar- 
rels with the Pope and the princes of the Empire, induced them 
to take these cities under their protection, to augment their num- 
ber, and multiply their privileges. Henry V. was the first em- 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. "tSfr 

peror that adopted this line of policy. He granted freeaom to 
the inhabitants of several cities, even to artisans and tradesmen ; 
whose condition, at that time, was as degraded and debased as 
that of serfs. He extended to them the rank and privileges of 
citizens, and thub gave rise to the division of cities into classes 
and corporations of trades. This same prince set about repair- 
ing the fault which the emperors of the house of Saxony had 
committed, of giving up to the bishops the temporal jurisdiction 
in all the cities wherein they resided. He gradually superse- 
ded these rights, by the new privileges which he granted to the 
inhabitants of cities. The emperors, his successors, followed 
his example; in a little time, several of these cities threv/ oft 
the yoke of their bishops, while others extricated themselves 
from the jurisdiction of their superiors, or provosts, whether 
imperial or feudal, and adopted, in imitation of the cities in Italy 
and France, magistrates of their own choosing, a republican 
form of government, and a municipal polity. 

This liberty in cities, gave new vigour to industry, multiplied 
the sources of labour, and created means of opulence and power, 
till then unknown in Europe. The population of these cities 
increased with their wealth. Communities rose into political 
consequence ; and we find them successively admitted to the 
diets and national assemblies, in all the principal states of Eu- 
rope. England set an example of this ; and though English 
authors are not agreed as to the precise time when the Commons 
of that kingdom were called into Parliament, it is at least cer- 
tain that their first admission belongs to the reign of Henry III. 
(about 1265 or 1266,) and that the formal division of the Par- 
liament into two houses, is as late as the reign of Edward III.^^ 
France followed the example of England; the convocation of 
the states, by Philip the Fair (1303,) on the subject of his dis- 
putes with Pope Boniface VIII., is considered as the first assem- 
bly of the Stales-general, composed of the three orders of the 
kingdom. As to Germany, the first diet in which the cities of 
the Empire appeared in the form of a third order, was that of 
Spire (1309,) convoked by the Emperor Henry VII., of the 
house of Luxembourg. Afterwards, we find these cities exer- 
cising a decisive or deliberative voice at the diet of Frankfort 
(1344,) under Louis the Bavarian. 

In all these states, we find the sovereigns protecting more es- 
pecially those free cities which aided them in checking the de- 
vastations, and putting a stop to the fury of private or intestine 
wars. The most powerful of the feudal chiefs, finding every 
where cities in a capacity to defend themselves, be:came less en- 
terprising in their ambition ; and even the nobles of inferior 


rank learned to respect the power of these communities. The 
royal authority was thereby strengthened ; and the citieS; natu- 
rally inclining to the sovereigns that protected them, served as 
a counterpoise in the general assemblies, to the power of the 
clergy and the noblesse, and were the means of obtaining those 
subsidiary supplies necessary for the exigencies of the slate. 

The liberty which the inhabitants of cities had thus procured 
by the establishment of these communities, or corporate bodies, 
extended itself to the inhabitants of the country, by way of en- 
franchisements. Various circumstances concurred to render 
die use of these more frequent, after the twelfth century. The 
.'sovereigns, guided by the maxims of sound policy, set the first 
example of this within their own demesnes ; and they were 
speedily imitated by the feudal lords and nobles, who, either out 
of courtesy to their sovereigns, or to prevent the desertion of 
their vassals, or acquire new dependents, were compelled to 
grant liberty to the one, and mitigate the servitude of the other. 
The communities, or chartered cities, likewise seconded and 
promoted these enfranchisements, by the protection which they 
granted to the serfs against their feudal superiors. 

In Italy, we perceive these enfranchisements following as 
an immediate consequence of the institution of communities. 
The continual feuds that arose among the numerous republics 
which had lately thrown off the yoke of authority, made the 
liberty of the serfs a measure absolutely necessary, in order to 
augment the numberofcitizensqualified to bear arms, and hold 
places of trust. Bonacurso, Captain of Bologna (1256,) pro- 
posed to his fellow-citizens, and carried ihe law of enfranchise- 
ment. All those who had serfs were obliged to present them 
before the Podesta, or Captain of the people, who affranchised 
them for a certain sum or lax, v/hich ihe republic paid to the 
owner. The feudal superiors, finding that these enfranchise- 
ments had a powerful support in the liberty of the free cities, 
were obliged either to meliorate the condition of their serfs, or 
grant them liberty. 

In France, afier the twelfth century, and the reign of Louis 
the Fat, these enfranchisements began to be frequent. The son 
and successor of that prince, Louis VII., by royal letter (1180,) 
affranchised all the serfs which the crown possessed at Orleans, 
and within five leagues of iu Louis X. passed a general law 
(1315,) for the enfranchisement of all serfs belonging to the 
crown. He there made a positive declaration, that slavery teas 
contrary to nature, which intended that all men by birth should 
be free and equal ; that, since his kingdom was den-minated 
the kingdoja of the Franks, or Freemen, it appeared just and 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 1S6 

right that the fact should correspond loith the name. He invited, 
at the same time, all the nobility to imitate his example, by 
granting- liberty to their serfs. That prince v/ould have en- 
nobled the homage he paid to nature, if the gift of liberty had 
been gratuitous on his part; but he made it a mere object of 
finance, and to gratify those only who could afford to pay for it; 
whence it happened, that enfranchisements advanced but very 
slowly ; and examples of it are to be found in history, so late as 
the reign of Francis I. 

In Germany, the number of serfs diminished in like manner, 
after th% twelfth century. The crusades, and the destructive 
wars which the Dukes of Saxony and the Margraves of the 
North carried on with the Slavian tribes on the Elbe and the 
Baltic, having depopulated the northern and eastern parts of 
Germany, numerous colonies from Brabant, the Netherlands, 
Holland and Friesland, were introduced into these countries, 
where they formed themselves into establishments or associa- 
tions of free cultivators of the soil. From Lower Germany the 
custom of enfranchisements extended to the Upper provinces, 
and along the banks of the Rhine. This was encouraged by 
the free cities, which not only gave a welcome reception to the 
serfs who had fled to shelter themselves from oppression wi*hin 
their walls, but they even granted protection, and th^ .ights of 
citizenship, to those who had settled within the precincts or 
liberties of the town ;^^ or who continued, without changing 
their habitation, to reside on the lands of their feudal superiors. 
This spirited conduct of the free cities put the nobles of Ger- 
many to the necessity of aiding and abeiting, by degrees, either 
the suppression or the mitigation of slavery. They reimbursed 
themselves for the loss of the fine or tax which they had been 
in the habit of levying, on the death of their serfs, by an aug- 
mentation of the quit-rent, or annual cess which they exacted 
from them on their being affranchised. 

In the Low Countries, Henry II., duke of Brabant (1218,) 
in his last will, granted liberty to all cultivators of the soil ; — 
he affranchised them on the right of mortmain, and ordained, 
that, like the inhabitants of free cities, they should be judged by 
no otlier than their own magistrates. In this manner, liberty 
by degrees recovered its proper rights. It assisted in dispelling 
the clouds of ignorance and superstition, and spread a new 
lustre over Europe. One event which contributed essentially 
to give men more exact notions on government and jurispru- 
Jence, was the revival of the Roman law, which happened 
about the time we now speak of. The German tribes that de- 
strayed the Western Empire in the fifth century, would natu- 


rally despise a system of legislation, such as that of the Romans 
which neither accorded with the ferocity of their manners, nor 
the rudeness of their ideas. In consequence, the revolution 
which occasioned the downfall of that empire, brought at the 
same lime the Eoman jurisprudence into desuetude over all 
the Western world. ''-^ 

A lapse of several centuries, however, was requ'_ed, to rec- 
tify men's ideas on the nature of society, and to prepare them 
for receiving the laws and institutions of a civilized and re- 
fined government. Such was the general state and condition 
of political knowledge, when the fame of a celebrated civilian, 
called Irnerius, who taught the law of Justinian publicly at 
Bologna, about the commencement of the twelfth century, at- 
tracted to that academy the youth of the greater part of Europe. 
There they devoted themselves with ardour to the study of this 
new science. The pupils, instructed by Irnerius and his suc- 
cessors, on returning home, and being employed in the tribunals 
and public offices of their native country, gradually carried into 
practice the principles which they had imbibed in the school ot 
Bologna. Hence, in a short time, and without the direct inter- 
ference of the legislative authority, the law of Justinian was 
adopted by degrees, as a subsidiary law in all the principal 
states of Europe. Various circumstances contributed to acce- 
lerate the progress of this revolution. People had felt for a 
long time the necessity of a new legislature, and the insuffi- 
ciency of their national laws. The novelty of the Roman 
laws, as well as their equity and precision, arrested the atten- 
tion of all Europe ; and sovereigns found it their interest to 
protect a jurisprudence, whose maxims were so favourable to 
royalty and monarchical power, and which served at once to 
strengthen and extend their authority. 

The introduction of the Roman jurisprudence was soon fol- 
lowed by that of the Canon law. . The Popes, perceiving the 
rapid propagation of this new science, and eager to arrest its 
progress, immediately set themselves to the work of raising that 
vast and astonishing edifice the Canon law, as an engine to pro- 
mote the accomplishment of their own greatness. Gralian, a 
monk of Bologna, encouraged by Pope Eugenius III., compiled 
a collection of Canons, under the title of the Decret, which he 
arranged in systematic order, to serve as an introduction to the 
study of that law. This compilation, extracted from difl^erent 
authors who had preceded him, recommended itself to the world 
by its popular method, which was adapted to the genius of the 
times. Pope Eugenius III. gave it his approval in 1152 
and ordained that it should be read and explained in the schools 

PERIOD IV. A. D 1074—1300. 181 

This collection of Gratian soon obtained a wide and most suc- 
cepfeful reception ; from the schools it passed to the public tri- 
bunals, both civil and ecclesiastical, /t length, Pope Gregory 
IX., in imitation of the Emperor Justinian, who had caused a 
collection of his own statutes, and those of his predecessors, to 
be made by Tribonian, ordered his chaplain Raymond de Pen- 
nafort to compile and digest, in their proper order, all the deci- 
sions of his predecessors, as well as his own ; thus extending to 
common practice, what had been originally established but for 
one, and for particular cases. He published his collection 
(1235) under the name of Decretals, with an injunction, that it 
should be employed both in the tribunals and in the schools. 

If this new system of jurisprudence served to extend the juris- 
diction, and strengthen the temporal power of the Popes, it did 
not fail at the same time to produce salutary eflects on the 
governments and manners of Europe. The peace, or truce of 
God, which some bishops of France, in the eleventh century, 
had instituted as a check on the unbridled fury of private quar- 
rels and civil discord, was established, by the Decretals, into a 
general law of the church.-" The judgments of God, till then 
used in the of justice, trial by single combat, by hot 
iron, hot and co;J water, the cross, &c. were gradually abolished. 
The restraints of the Canon law, added to the new information 
which had diffused its light over the human mind, were instru- 
mental in rooting out practices which served only to cherish 
and protract the ancient ferocity of manners. The spirit of 
order and method which prevailed in the new jurisprudence, 
soon communicated itself to every branch of legislation among 
the nations of Europe. The feudal law was reduced to syste- 
matic order; and the usages and customs of the provinces, till 
then local and uncertain, were collected and organized into a 
regular form.-' 

Jurisprudence, having now become a complicated science, 
demanded a long and laborious course of study, which could no 
onger be associated with the profession of arms. The sword 
was then obliged by degrees to abandon the courts of justice, 
and give place to the gown. A new class of men thus arose, 
• hat of the law, who contributed by their influence to repress 
•he overgrown power of the nobility. 

The rapid progress which the new jurisprudence made, must 
be ascribed to the recent foundation of universiiies. and the en 
couragements which sovereigns granted these literary corpora- 
lions. Before their establishment, the principal public schools 
were those which were attached either to monasteries, or cathe- 
dra' and collegiate churches. There were, however, only a few 


colleges instituted ; and these in large cities, such as Rome, 
Paris, Angers, Oxford, Salamanca, &c. The sciences thero 
taught were comprised under the seven liberal arts, viz. Gram- 
mar, Rhetoric, Dialectics or Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music, 
and Astronomy. The first three were known by the name of 
Triviuvi ; and the other four, which make part of mathematics, 
by that of Qiiadrivium. As for Theology and Jurisprudence 
they did not as yet figure among the academic sciences ; and 
there was no school of medicine prior to that of Salerno — the 
only one of which any traces are discovered, towards the end of 
the eleventh century. 

These schools and academies cannot, by any means, be put 
in comparison with modern universities ; which differ from thenr. 
essentially, both as to the variety of sciences which are pro- 
fessed, and by their institutions as privileged bodies, enjoying a 
system of government and jurisdiction peculiarly their own. 
The origin of these Universities is coeval with the revival of 
the Roman law in Italy, and the invention of academic degrees. 
The same Irnerius who is generally acknowledged as the re- 
storer of the Roman law at Bologna, was also the first that 
conceived the idea of conferring, with certain solemnities, doc- 
torial degrees ; and granting license or diplomas to those who 
excelled in the study of jurisprudence. Pope Eugenius III. 
(1153,) when he introduced the code of Graiian into the aca- 
demy of Bologna, gave permission to confer the same degrees 
in the Canon law, as had been customary in the Civil law. 
These degrees were much coveted and esteemed on account of 
the honours, immunities, and prerogatives which the sovereign 
had attached to them. Nothing however contributed more to 
bring universities into favour, than the privileges and immuni- 
ties which the Emperor Frederic Barbarossa conferred on them 
(115S,) by his A^ithentic, (or rescript, called Habita.) The ex- 
ample of this prince was speedily followed -by the other so- 
vereigns of Europe. 

The teaching of jurisprudence passed from the school of 
Bologna to the difTerent academies of Europe. Theology also 
was soon admitted, as well as medicine; and these completed 
the four faculties, as they were called, of which the univer- 
sities were composed. That of Paris was the first which com- 
bined all the faculties. It was completed under the reign of 
Philip Augustus, from whom it obtained its earliest charter, 
about the year 1200. Except itself there are only the univer- 
sities of Bologna, Padua, Naples, Toulouse, Salamanca, Coimbra, 
Cambridge, and Oxford, that date their origin in the thirteenth 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074— 1300. ia3 

The downfall of the Imperial authority, and of the house of 
Hohensiaufen, and the new power usurped by the princes and 
•Stales of the Empire, occasioned a long series of troubles in 
Germany, and that frightful state of anarchy, known by the 
name of the Grand hiterregnvnn. Strength then triumphed 
over law and right; the government was altered from its basis; 
and no other means were found to remedy this want of public 
security, than by forming alliancies and confederations, such as 
that of the Rhine,^-* and the Hanseatic League, vvhich began 
to appear about this time (1253.) The election of the Empe- 
rors, in which all the princes and states of the empire had for- 
merly concurred, became then the privilege solely of the great 
officers of the crown, who, towards the middle of the thirteenth 
century, claimed for themselves exclusively the right of elect- 
ing, and the title of Electors.-^ The princes and states of the 
Empire, anxious to confirm their growing power, sought to pro 
mote only the feeblest emperors, who were incapable of sup 
porting the rights and pi'erogatives of the crown. The electors, 
in particular, had no other object in view, than to derive a lucra- 
tive traffic from elections ; bargaining every time with the can- 
didates for large sums, and obtaining grants or mortgages of 
such portions of the Imperial demesnes as suited their con- 
venience. One only of these weak emperors, Kodolph, Count 
of Hapsburg in Switzerland, (1273) disappointed the expecta- 
tions of his electors. He repressed by force of arms, the dis- 
orders of anarchy, restored the laws and tribunals to their 
pristine vigour, and reconquered several of the Imperial domains 
from the usurpers who had seized them. 

Inconsequence of the revolutions which we have now detailed, 
we find very important and memorable changes accomplished in 
the different provinces of the Empire. The princes and State.s 
of the Germanic body, regarding as their own patrimony the 
provinces and fiefs with which they were invested, thought 
themselves further authorized to portion them out among their 
sons. The usage of these partitions became general after the 
thirteenth century ; and this wrought the downfall of some o( 
the most powerful families, and tended to multiply almost to 
infinity the dutchies, principalities, and earldoms of the Empire. 
The EmperoFs, far from condcmnitig this practice, which by no 
means accorded with the maxims of the feudal law, on the con- 
trary gave it their countenance, as appearing to them a proper 
mstrument for humbling the power of the grandees, and acqui- 
ring for themselves a preponderating authority in the Empire. 

The ancient dntchies of Bavaria and Saxony experienced a 
new revolution on the fall of the powerful house of the 
VCTL. I. 12 


Guelphs, which was deprived of both these dutchies hy the sen- 
tence of proscription which the Emperor Frederic I. pronouncea 
against Henry the Lion (IISO,) Dulve of Bavaria and Saxonj'- 
The first of these dutchies, which had formerly been dismembered 
from the Margravate of Austria by Frederic I. (1156,) and 
erected into a dutchy and fief holding immediately of the Em- 
pire, was exposed to new partitions at the time of which we 
now speak. The bishoprics of Bavaria, Stiria, Carinthia, Car- 
niola, and the Tyrol, broke their alliance with Bavaria; and the 
city of Ratisbonne, which had been the residence of the ancient 
dukes, was declared immediate, or holding of the crown. It 
was when contracted within these new limits that Bavaria was 
conferred, by Frederic I. (IISO,) on Otho, Count of Wittelsbach, 
a scion of the original house of Bavaria. This house afterwards 
acquired by marriage (1215) the Palatinate of the Rhine. It 
was subsequently divided into various branches, of which the 
two principal were the Palatine and the Bavarian. 

As to the dutchy of Saxony, which embraced, under the 
Guelphs, the greater part of Lower Germany, it completely 
changed its circumstances on the decline of that house. Ber- 
nard of Aschersleben, younger son of Albert named the Bear, 
first Margrave of Brandenburg, a descendant of the Ascanian 
line, had been invested in the dutchy of Saxony by Frederic I. 
(IISO,) but was found much too feeble to support the high rank 
to whi(dr he had been elevated. In consequence, the title, or 
qualification to the dutchy of Saxony and the Electorate, was 
restricted, under the successors and descendants of that prince, 
to an inconsiderable district, situated on both sides of the Elbe ; 
called since the Electoral Circle, of which Wittenberg was the 
capital. The princes of Pomerania and Mecklenburg, the Counts 
of Holstein and Westphalia, and the city of Lubeck, took advan- 
tage of this circumstance to revolt from the authority of the Duke 
of Saxony, and render themselves immediate. A part of West- 
phalia was erected into a distinct dutchy, in favour of the Arc! 
bishop of Cologne who had seconded the Emperor in his schemes 
of vengeance against the Guelphic princes. This latter house, 
whose vast possessions had extended from the Adriatic Sea to the 
Baltic and ihe Northern Ocean, retained nothing more of its 
ancient splendour than the free lands which it possessed in Lower 
Saxony, and wliich the emperor Frederic II. (1235) converted 
into a "dutchy, and immediate fief of the empire, in favour of 
Otho the Infant, grandson of Henry the Lion, and the new 
founder of the House of Brunswick. 

The extinction of the House of Hohenstaufen having occa- 
sioned a- vacancy in the dutchies of Suabia and Franconia the 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. .35 

different states of these provinces, both secular and e^clei'asti- 
cal, found means to render themselves also immediate, (1268.) 
A number of cities which had belonged to the domains of the 
ancient dukes, were raised to the rank of free and imperial 
cities; and the Houses of Baden, Wurteinberg, Hohen-Zollern, 
and Furstenberg, date their celebrity from this period. The 
death of the anti-emperor, Henry le Raspon (1247,) last land- 
grave of Thuringia, gave rise to a long war between the Mar- 
graves of Misnia and the Dukes of Brabant, who mutually 
contested that succession. The former advanced an Expecta- 
tive, or deed of Reversion of the Emperor Frederic II., as well 
as the claims of Jutta, sister of the last landgrave ; and the others 
maintained those of Sophia, daughter of the langrave Louis, 
elder brother and predecessor of Henry le Raspon. At length, 
by a partition which took place (1264,) Thuringia, properly so 
called, was made over to the house of Misnia; and Henry of 
Brabant, surnamed the Infant, son of Henry II. Duke of Bra- 
bant, and Sophia of Thuringia, was secured in the possession of 
Hesse, and became the founder of a new dynasty of landgraves — 
those of the House of Hesse. 

The ancient dukes of Austria, of the House of Bamberg, hav- 
ing become extinct with Frederic the Valiant (1246,) the suc- 
cession of that dutchy was keenly contested between the niece 
and the sisters of the last duke ; who, though females, could lay 
claim to it, in virtue of the privilege granted by the emperor 
Frederic Barbarossa. Ottocar II., son of Wenceslaus, king of 
Bohemia, took advantage of these troubles in Austria, to possess 
himself of that province (1251.) He obtained the investiture of 
it (1262) from Richard, son of John king of England, who had 
purchased the title of Emperor at a vast expense; but Rodolph 
of Hapsbourg, treating him as a usurper, made war upon him, 
defeated and slew him in a battle which Avas fought (1278) at 
Marchfeld, in the neighbourhood of Vienna. The dutchies of 
Austria, Stiria, Carinthia, and Carmula, being then detached 
from the kingdom of Bohemia, were declared vacant, and de- 
volved to the Empire. The investiture of these the Emperor 
conferred (1282) on Albert and Rodolph, his own sons. Al- 
bert, the eldest of these princes, who was afterwards Emperor 
became the founder of the Hapsbourg dynasty of Austria. 

In Italy, a great number of republics arose about the end of 
the eleventh, or beginning of the twelfth century. These re- 
publics, though they had cast off the Imperial authority, and 
cla-'med to themselves the rights of sovereignty, protested, never- 
theless, their fealty to the Emperor, u'hom they agreed to recog- 
nise as their supreme head. The Emperors, Henry V., Lo 


thaire the Saxon, and Conrad III., saw then^iseives comperied to 
tolerate -^n usurpation which they were too feeble to repre=;s. 
But Frederic Barbarossa being- determined to restore the royalty 
of Italy to its ancient splendour, led a powerful army into that 
kingdom (1158 ;) an J in a diet which he assembled on the plains 
of Ronc&glia, in the territory of Placentia, he caused a strict in- 
vestigation to be made by the lawyers of Bologna, into the rights 
on which he founded his pretensions to the title of King of Italy. 
The opposition which the execution of the decrees of that diet 
met with on the part of the Milanese, induced the Emperor to 
undertake the siege of their city. He made himself master of it 
in 1162, razed it to the foundation, and dispersed the inhabi'ants. 

This chastisement of the Milanese astonished the Italiaiis, 
but without abating their courage. They afterwards took ad- 
vantage of the reverses of the Emperor, and the schism which 
had arisen in the Romish Church, to form a league with the 
principal cities of Lombardy (1167,) into vv^hich they drew the 
King of the Two Sicilies, as well as Pope Alexander III., whom 
the Emperor treated as a schismatic. The city of Milan was 
rebuilt in consequence of this league ; as also that of Alexan- 
dria, called della Paglia. The war was long protracted ; but 
the Emperor being abandoned by Henry the Lion, Duke of Ba- 
varia and Saxony, the most powerful of his vassals, received a 
defeat at Lignano, which obliged him to make an accommoda- 
tion with Pope Alexander III., and to sign, at Venice, a treaty 
of six years with the confederate cities (1177.) This treaty was 
afterwards converted, at Constance, into a definitive peace 
(1183;) by virtue of which, the cities of Italy were guaranteed 
in the forms of government they had adopted, as well as in the 
exercise of the regalian rights which they had acquired, whether 
by usage or prescription. The Emperor reserved for himself 
the investiture of the consuls, the oath of allegiance, which was 
to be renewed every ten years, and all appeals, in civil cases, 
where the sum exceeded the value of twenty-five imperial livres, 
(about 1500 francs.) 

The Emperor Frederic II., grandson of Frederic I., and heir, 
in right of his mother, to the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, made 
new eflforts to restore the prerogatives of the Empire in Italy. 
But the cities of Lombardy renewed their league, into which 
they drew Pope Gregory IX. (1226,) whose dignity and power 
would be endangered if the Emperor, being possessor of the 
Two Sicilies, should succeed in conquering the cities of Lom- 
bardy. The war which ensued (1236,) was long and bloody. 
The Popes Gregory IX. and Innocent IV., went so far as to 
preach up a crusade against the Emperor, as if he had been an 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 137 

infidel ; while that unfortunate prince, after the most courageous 
and indefatigable efforts, had tiie mortification to see his troops 
once more discomfited by the forces of the League. 

The cities of Italy were no sooner delivered from the terror 
of the Emperors, than they let loose their fury against each 
other; impelled by the rage of conquest, and torn by the inter- 
nal factions of the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, as well as by 
the contests which had arisen between the noblesse and the free 
cities. The partisans of the nobles in these cities, were strength- 
ened by the very measures which had been taken to humble 
them. The chartered towns by destroying- that multitude of 
seignories, earldoms, and marquisates wim which Lombardy 
swarmed before the twelfth century, and by incorporating them 
with their own territories, obliged the deserted nobles and gran 
dees to seek an establishment within their walls. These latter, 
finding their partisans united and powerful, soon attempted to 
seize the government; and hence arose an interminable source 
of civil discord, which ended with the loss of liberty in the greater 
part of these communities. 

To arrest these evils, and put a check to the ambition of the 
powerful citizens, they adopted the plan of intrusting the gov- 
ernment to a single magistrate, to be called the Podesta, who 
should be chosen in the neighbouring cities. This scheme was 
but a palliative rather than a remedy ; and in order to guarantee 
themselves from the oppression of the nobles, the corporations 
of several cities gradually adopted the plan of conferring a sort 
of dictatorship on one of the powerful citizens, or on some prince 
or nobleman, even though he were a stranger, under the title of 
Captain ; hoping, in this way, to succeed in re-establishing 
peace and order. These chiefs or captains contrived, in process 
of time, to render absolute and perpetual, an authority which at 
first was temporary, and only granted on certain conditions. 
Hence the origin of several new independent sovereignties which 
were formed in Italy during the course of the fourteenth century 

Venice and Genoa at that time eclipsed all the republics of 
Italy, by the flourishing state of their navigation andcommerce. 
The origin of the former of these cities is generally dated as fai 
back as the invasion of the Huns under Attila (452.) The cru- 
elty of these barbarians having spread terror and flight over the 
whole country, many of the inhabitants of ancient Venetia, took 
refuge in the isles and lagoons on the borders of the Adriatic 
Gulf ; and there laid the foundation of the city of Venice, which, 
whether we regard the singularity of its construction, cr the 
splendour to which it rose, deserves to be numbered -among the 
wonders of the world. At first its government was popular, and 



administered by a bench of tribunes whose power was annual 
The divisions which arose among these yearly administrators, 
occasioned the election of a chief (697,) who took the tide of 
Duke or Doge. This dignity was for life, and depended on the 
suffrages of the community ; but he exercised nevertheless the 
righfs of sovereignty, and it was not till after a long course oi 
time that his authority was gradually abridged ; and the govern- 
ment, which had been monarchical, became again democratical. 

Venice, which from its birth was a commercial city, enjoyed 
in the middle ages nearly the same renown which Tyre had 
among the trading cities of antiquity. The commencement of 
its grandeur may be dated from the end of the tenth century, 
and under the magistracy of the Doge Peter Urseolo II., whom 
the Venetians regard as the true founder of their state (992.) 
From the Greek emperors he obtained for them an entire liberty 
and immunity of commerce, in all the ports of that empire ; and 
he procured them at the same time several very important ad- 
vantages, by the treaties which he concluded with the emperor 
Otho III. and with the Caliphs of Egypt. The vast increase of 
their commerce, inspired these republicans with a desire to ex- 
tend the contracted bounds of their territory. One of their first 
conquests was the maritime cities of Istria, as well as those of 
Dalmatia ; both of which occurred under the magistracy of Peter 
Urseolo II., and in the year 997. They were obliged to make 
a surrender of the cities of Dalmatia, by the emperors of the 
East, who regarded these cities as dependencies of their empire ; 
while the kings of Croatia and Dalmatia also laid claim to them. 
Croatia having passed into the hands of the Kings of Hungary, 
about the end of the eleventh century, these same cities became 
a perpetual source of troubles and wars between the Kings oi 
Hungary and the Republic of Venice; and it was not till the 
fifteenth century that the Republic found means to confirm its 
authority in Dalmatia. 

The Venetians having become parties in the famous League 
of Lombardy, in the eleventh century, contributed by their ef- 
forts, to render abortive the vast projects of the Emperor Frede- 
ric I. Pope Alexander III., as a testimony of his gratitude, 
granted them the sovereignty of the Hadriatic (1177,)2^and this 
circumstance gave rise to the singular ceremony of annually 
marrying this sea to the Doge of Venice. The aggrandizement 
of this republic was greatly accelerated by the crusades, espe- 
cially the fourth (1204,) which was followed by the dismem- 
berment of the Greek empire. The Venetians, who had joined 
this crusade, obtained for their portion several cities and ports 
in Dalmatia, Albania, Greece and the Morea • as also the Islands 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074 — 1300. I9B 

of Corfu, Cephalonia, and Candia or Crete. At length, towards 
the end of the thirteenth century, this republic assumed the pe- 
culiar form of government which it retained till the day of its 
destruction. In the earlier ages its constitution was democratic, 
and .he power of the Doge limited by a grand council, Avhich 
wa: chosen annually from among the different classes of the 
citizens, by electors named by the people. As these forms gave 
occasion to troubles and intestine commotions, the Doge Pietro 
Gradenigo, to remove all cause of discontent in future, passed 
a law (1298,) which abrogated the custom of annual elections, 
and fixed irrevocably in their office all those who then sat in 
the grand council, and this to descend to their posterity for 
ever. The hereditary aristocracy thus introduced at Venice, 
did not fail to excite the disv^ontent of those whose families this 
new law had excluded from the government ; and it was this 
which afterwards occasioned various insurrections, of which 
that of Tiepolo (1.310) is the most remarkable. The partisans 
of the ancient government, and those of the new, attempted to 
decide the matter by a battle in the city of Venice. Tiepolo 
and his party were defeated, and Querini, one of the chiefs, 
"vas killed in the action. A commission of ten members was 
nominated to inform against the accomplices of this secret con- 
spiracy. This commission, which was meant to be but tem- 
porary, was afterwards declared perpetual ; and, under the 
name of the Council of Ten, became one of the most formida- 
ble supports of the aristocracy. 

The city of Genoa, like that of Venice, owed her prosperity 
to the progress of her commerce, which she extended to the 
Levant, Constantinople, Syria, and Egypt. Governed at first 
by Consuls, like the rest of the Italian states, she afterwards 
1190) chose a foreign Podesta or governor, to repress the vio- 
lence of faction, and put a check on the ambition of the nobles. 
This governor was afterwards made subordinate to a Captain of 
the people, whom the Genoese chose for the first time in 1257, 
without being able yet to fix their government, Avhich ex- 
perienced frequent variations before assuming a settled and 
permanent form. These internal divisions of the Genoese did 
not impede the progress of their commerce and their marine. 
The crusades of the 12th and 13th centuries, the powerful suc- 
cours which these republicans gave to the crusaders, and to the 
Greeks, as well as the treaties which they concluded with the 
Moorish and African princes, procured them considerable esta- 
blishments in the Levant, and also in Asia and Africa. Caflfa, 
a famous seaport on the Black Sea, and the port of Azoph, the 
ancient Tanais, at the mouth of the Don, belonged to them • 


and served as entrepots for their commerce with China and the 
Indies. Smyrna in Asia Minor, as also the suburbs of Pera 
and Galata at Constantinople, and the isles of Scio, Metelin 
and Tenedos, in the Archipelago, were ceded to them by the 
Greek emperors. The kings of Cyprus were their tributaries. 
The Greek and German emperors, the kings of Sicily, Cas- 
tillo and Arragon, and the Sultans of Egypt, jealously sought 
their alliance, and the protection of their marine. Encouraged 
by these successes, they formed a considerable territory on the 
continent of Italy, after the 12th century, of which nothing but 
a fragment now remains to them. 

Genoa had at that time, in its immediate neighbourhood, a 
dangerous rival of its power and greatness. This rival was 
Pisa, a flourishing republic on the coast of Tuscany, which 
owed its prosperity entirely to the increase of its commerce and 
marine. The proximity of these two slates- — the similarity of 
their views and their interests — the desire of conquest — and 
the command of the sea, which both of them desired, created a 
marked jealousy between them, and made them the natural and 
implacable enemies of each other. One of the principal sub- 
jects of dispute was the possession of Corsica and Sardinia,^*' 
which the two republics contested at the point of the sword, 
after having, by means of their combined force, expelled the 
Moors, toward the middle of the eleventh century. Pisa, ori- 
ginally superior to Genoa in maritime strength, disputed with 
her the empire of the Mediterranean, and haughtily forbade the 
Genoese to appear within those seas with their ships of war. 
This rivalry nourished the animosity of the two republics, and 
rendered it implacable. Hence a continual source of mutual 
hostilities, which were renewed incessantl}^ for the space of 200 
years, and only terminated in 1290 ; when, by the conquest ol 
Elba, and the destruction of the ports of Pisa and Leghorn, 
the Genoese effected the ruin of the shipping and commerce of 
the Pi^an republic. 

Lower Italy, possessed by the Norman princes, under the title 
af Dutchy and Comte, became the seat of a new kingdom in the 
eleventh century — thai of the two Sicilies. On the extinction 
of the Dukes of Apulia and Calabria, descendants of Eobert 
Guiscard, Roger, son of Roger, Count of Sicily, and sovereign 
of that island, united the dominions of the two branches of the 
Norman dynasty (1127 ;) and being desirous of procuring for 
himself the royal dignity, he attached to his interest the Anti- 
pope Anacletus II., who invested him with royalty by a bull 
(1130,) in which, however, he took care to reserve the territorial 
right and an annual tribute to the Church of Rome. This 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 141 

prince received the crown of Palermo from the hands of a car- 
dinal, whom the pope had deputed for the express purpose. On 
the death of the Emperor Lothaire, he succeeded in dispossess- 
ino- the Prince of Capua, and subduing the dutchy of Naples 
(1139;) thus completing the conquest of all that is now deno- 
minated the kingdom of Naples. William II., grandson of 
Roger, was the principal support of Pope Alexander III. ; and 
of the famous League of Lombardy formed against the Empe- 
ror Frederic Barbarossa. The male line of the Norman princes 
having become extinct in William II., the kingdom of the Two 
Sicilies passed (11S9) to the House of Hohenstaufen, by the 
marriage which the Emperor Henry IV., son of Frederic Bar- 
barossa, contracted with the Princess Constance, aunt and here- 
trix of the last king. Henry maintained the rights of his wife 
against the usurper Tancred, and transmitted this kingdom to 
his son Frederic II., who acquired by his marriage with Jolande, 
daughther of John de Brienne, titular King of Jerusalem, the 
titles and arms of this latter kingdom. ' The efforts which Fre 
deric made to annihilate the League of Lombardy, and confirm 
his own authority in Italy, drew down upon him the persecution 
of the court of Rome, who taking advantage of the minority of 
the young Conradin, grandson of Frederic II., wrested the 
crown of the two Sicilies from this rival house, which alone 
was able to check its ambitious projects. Mainfroi, natural son 
of Frederic II., disgusted with playing the part of tutor to the 
young Conradin, in which capacity he at first acted, caused him- 
self to be proclaimed and crowned, at Palermo, King of the Two 
Sicilies, (1258.) The Popes Urban IV., and Clement IV., dread- 
ing the genius and talents of this prince, made an offer of that 
kingdom to Charles of Anjou, Count of Provence, and brother of 
St. Louis. Clement IV. granted the investiture of it (1265) to 
him and his descendants, male and female, on condition of his 
doing fealty and homage to the Holy See, and presenting him 
annually with a white riding horse, and a tribute of eight million 
ounces of gold. Charles, after being crowned at Rome, marched 
against Mainfroi, with an army chiefly composed of crusaders. 
He defeated that prince, who was slain at the battle of Bene- 
vento (1266,) which was soon after followed by the reduction of 
the two kingdoms. One rival to Charles still survived, the 
young Conradin, the lawful heir to the throne of his ancestors. 
Charles vanquished him also, two years afterwards, in the plains 
of Tagliacozzo ; and having made him prisoner, together with 
his young friend Frederic of Austria, he caused both of these 
princes to be beheaded at Naples (29th October 126S.) 

Charles did not long enjoy his new dignity. While he was 


preparing to undertake a crusade against Michael Paleologus, 
a schismatic prince who iiad expelled the Latins from Constan- 
tinople, he had the mortification to see himself dispossessed of 
Sicily, on the occasion of the famous Sicilian Vespers (1282.) 
This event, which is generally regarded as the result of a con- 
spiracy, planned with great address by a gentleman of Salerno, 
named John de Procida, appears to have been but the sudden 
effect of an insurrection, occasioned by the aversion of the Sici- 
lians to the French yoke. During the hour of vespers, on the 
second day of Easter (30th March,) when the inhabitants of 
Palermo were on their way to the Church of the Holy Ghost, 
situated at some distance from the town, it happened that a 
Frenchman, named Drouette, had offered a private insult to a 
Sicilian woman : hence a quarrel arose, which drew on a gene- 
ral insurrection at Palermo. All the French \vho were in the 
city or the neighbourhood were massacred, \vith the exception 
of one gentleman from Provence, called William Porcellet, who 
had conciliated all hearts by his virtues. This revolt gradually 
extended to the other Sicilian cities. Every where the French 
were put to death on the spot. Messina was the last that caught 
the infection; but there the revolution did not take place till 
thirty days after the same event at Palermo, (29ih April 1282.) 
It .is therefore not true, that this massacre of the French hap- 
pened at the same hour, and at the sound of the vesper bells, 
over all parts of the island. Nor is it more probable, that the 
plot had been contrived by Peter III., King of Arragon ; since 
the Palermitans displayed at first the banner of the church, 
having resolved to surrender to the Pope; but being driven from 
this resolution, and dreading the vengeance of Charles, they 
despatched deputies to the King of Arragon, who was then 
cruising with a fleet off the African coast, and made him an offer 
of their crown. This prince yielded to the invitation of the 
Palermitans; he landed at Trapani, and thence passed to Pa 
lermo, where he was crowned King of Sicily. The whole 
island submitted to him ; and Charles of Anjou was obliged to 
raise the siege of Messina, which he had undertaken. Peter 
entered and took possession of the place, and from that time 
Sicily remained under the power of the Kings of Arragon ; it 
became the inheritance of a particular branch of the Arragonese 
princes ; and the House of Anjou were reduced to the single 
kingdom of Naples. 

Spain, which was divided into several sovereignties, both Chris- 
tian and Mahometan, presented a contmvial spectacle of commo- 
tion and carnage. The Christian States of Castille and Arragon, 
were gradually increased by the conquests made over the Maho- 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. U'.i 

metans ; while the kingdom of Navarre, less exposed to con- 
quest by its local situation, reiriained nearly in its original state 
of mediocrity. This latter kingdom passed in succession to 
female heirs of different houses. Blanche of Navarre, daughter 
of Sancho VI., transferred it to the Counts of Champagne (1234.) 
On the extinction of the male line of that house, in Henry I. of 
Navarre (1274,) Joan I., his daughter and heiress, conveyed that 
kingdom, together with the Comtes of Champagne and Brie, 
to the crown of France. Philip the Fair, husband of that prin- 
cess, and. his three sons, Louis le Hutin, Philip the Long, and 
Charles the Fair, were, at the same time, kings byth of France 
and Navarre. Finally, it was Queen Joan II., daughter of 
Louis le Hutin, and herelrix of Navarre, who transferred that 
kingdom to the Himily of the Counts d'Evreux, and relinquished 
the Comtes of Champagne and Brie to Philip of Valois, suc- 
cessor of Charles the Fair to the throne of France (1336.) 

The family of the Counts of Barcelona ascended tiie throne 
of Arragon (1131,) by the marriage of Count Raymond-Beren- 
guier V. with Donna Petronilla, daughter and heiress of Ramira 
11., King of Arragon. Don Pedro II., grandson of Raymond- 
Berenguier, happening to be at Rome (1204,) was there crowned 
king of Arragon by Pope Innocent III. On this occasion he 
did homage for his kingdom to that ponlifT, and engaged, for 
himself and successors, to pay an annual tribute to the Holy 
See. Don James I., surnamed the Conqueror, son of Don Pedro 
II., gained some important victories over the Mahometans, from 
whom he took the Balearic Isles (1230,) and the kingdom of 
Valentia,-^ (123S.) Don Pedro III. eldest son of Don James I., 
had dispossessed Charles I. of Anjou and Sicily, which drew 
down upon him a violent persecution on the part of Pope Martin 
IV., who was on the eve of publishing a crusade against him, 
and assigning over his estates to Charles of Valois, a younger 
brother of Philip called the Hardy, king of France. Don James 
II., younger son of Don Pedro III., succeeded in making his 
peace with the Court of Rome, and even obtained from Pope 
Boniface VJII. (1297) the investiture of the Island of Sardinia. 
on condition of acknowledging himself the vassal and tributary 
of the Holy See for that kingdom, which he afterwards obtained 
by conquest from the republic of Pisa. 

The principal victories of the Christians over the Mahome- 
tans in Spain, were reserved for the kings of Castille, whose 
history is extremely fertile in great events. Alphonso VI.. 
whom some call Alphonso I., after having taken Madrid and 
Toledo (1085,) and subdued the whole kingdom of Toledo, was 
on the point of altogether expelling the uMahometans from Spain 


when a revolution which happened in Africa augmented their 
forces by fresh numbers, and thus arrested the progress of the 
Castilian prince. 

The Zeirides, an Arab dynasty, descended from Zeiri, son of 
Mounad, reigned then over that part of Africa which compre- 
hends Africa properly so called (viz. Tripoli, Tunis, and Algiers,) 
and the Mogreb (comprehending Fez and Morocco,) which they 
had conquered from the Fatimite caliphs of Egypt. It hap- 
pened that a new apostle and conqueror, named Aboubeker, son 
of Omer, collected some tribes of Arabs in the vicinity of Sugul- 
messa, a city in the kingdom of Fez, and got himself proclaimed 
Commander of the Faithful. His adherents took the name of 
Moralethvi, a term which signifies zealously devoted to religion; 
and whence the Spaniards have formed the names Almoravides 
and Marahmdhs. Having made himself master of the city of 
Sugulmessa, this warlike Emir extended his conquests in the 
Mogreb, as well as in Africa Proper, whence he expelled the 
Zeirides. His successor, Yousufi', or Joseph, the son of Tas- 
chefin, completed the conquest of these countries ; and built the 
city of Morocco (1069,) which he made the capital of the Mogreb, 
and the seat of his new empire. This prince joined the Ma- 
hometans of Seville, to who^^e aid he marched with his victorious 
troops, defeated the king of Castille at the battle of Badajos 
(1090,) and subdued the principal Mahometan states of Spain, 
such as Grenada and Seville, &c. 

The empire of the Almoravides was subverted in tlie twelfth 
century by another Mahometan sect, called the Moahedins, oi 
Almohades, a word signifying Unitarians. An upstart fanatic, 
named Ahdalmo7imen, was the founder of this sect. He was 
educated among the mountains of Sous, in Mauritania, and 
assumed the quality of Emir (1120,) and the surname of Mo- 
hadi, that is, the Chief- — the leader and director of the faithful. 
Having subdued Morocco, Africa, and the whole of the Mogreb, 
he annihilated the dynasty of the Almoravides (1146,) and at 
the same time vanquished the Mahometan states in Spain. He 
took also (1160) from the Normans Tunis, Mohadie, and Tripoli, 
of which they had taken possession. One of his successors, 
named Naser-Mohammed, formed the project of re-conquering 
the whole continent of Spain. The immense preparations which 
he made for this purpose, alarmed Alphonso VIII. , king of Cas- 
tille, who immediately formed an alliance with the kings of Ar- 
ragon and Navarre, and even engaged Pope Innocent III. to 
proclaim a crusade against the Mahometans. The armies of 
Europe and Africa met on the confines of Castile and Andalusia 
(1C12;) and in the environs of the city Ubeda wa.s fought a 

Venice in the 16th Century. Vol. 1^ p. ]o«. 

Zenghis Khan, the Mogul Prince. Vol. 1, p. 155. 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 146 

bloody battle, which so crippled the power of the Almohades, as 
to occasion in a short time the downfall and dismemberment of 
their empire.^ 

About this period (1269,) the Mahometans of Spain revoked 
afresh from Africa, and divided themselves into several petty 
states, of which the principal and the only one that existed for 
several centuries, was that of the descendants of Naser, Kings 
of Grenada. Ferdinand III., King- of Castille and Leon, took 
advantage of this event to renew his conquests over the Ma- 
hometans. He took from them the kingdoms of Cordova, Mur- 
cia, and Seville (1236, et seq.,) and left them only the single 
kingdom of Grenada. 

These wars against the Mahometans were the occasion of 
several religious and military orders being founded in Spain. 
Of these, the most ancient was that founded and fixed at Alcan- 
tara (1156,) whence it took its name; having for its badge or 
decoration a green cross, in form of the lily, ox Jleur-de-lis. The 
order of Calatrava was instituted in 1158; it was confirmed by 
Pope Alexander III. (1164,) and assumed as its distinctive mark 
the red cross, also in form of the lily. The order of St. James 
of Campostella, founded in 1161, and confirmed by the same 
Pope (1175,) was distinguished by a red cross, in form of a 
sword- Finally, the order of Montesa (1317,) supplanted that 
of the Templars in the kingdom of Arragon. 

The Kings of Castille and Arragon having conquered from 
the Arabs a part of what is properly called Portugal, formed it 
into a distinct government, under the name of Portocalo, or Por- 
tugal. Henry of Burgundy, a French prince, grandson of Ro 
bert, called the Old, Duke of Burgundy, and great-grandson of 
Robert II., King of France, having distinguished himself by his 
bravery in the wars between the Castillians and the Mahome- 
tans, Alphonso VI., King of Castille, wished to attach the young- 
prince to him by the ties of blood ; and, for this purpose, gave 
him in marriagr Vis daughter the Infant Donna Theresa; and 
created him Count of Portugal (1090.) This State, including 
at first merely the cities of Oporto, Braga, Miranda, Lamego, 
Viseo, find Coimbra, began to assume its present form, in the 
reign of Alphonso I., son of Count Henry. The Mahometans, 
alarmed at the warlike propensities of the young Alphonso, had 
marched with a superior force to attack him by surprise. Far 
from being intimidated by the danger, this prince, to animate 
the courage of his troops, pretended that an apparition from hea- 
ven had authorized him to proclaim himself King in the face ol 
the army, in virtue of an express order which he said he had 
received from Christ. ^'^ He then marched against the enemy, 

VOL. I. 13 


and totally routed them in the plains of Ourique (1139.) Thi? 
victory, famous in the annals of Portugal, paved the vi^ay for the 
conquest of the cities Leiria, Santarem, Lisbon, Cintra, Alcazar 
do Sal, Evora, and Elvas, situated on the banks of the Tag^s 
Moreover, to secure the protection of the Court of Rome against 
the Kings of Leon, who disputed with him the independence of 
his new state, Alphonso took the resolution of acknowledging 
himself vassal and tributary to the Holy See (1142.) He after- 
wards convoked the estates of his kingdom at Lamego, and 
there declared his independence by a fundamental law, which 
also regulated the order of succession to the throne. Sancho I., 
son and successor of Alphonso, took from the Mahometans he 
town of Silves in Algarve ; and Alphonso III., soon afti. 
(1249,) completed the conquest of that province. 

The first Kings of Portugal, in order to gain the protection of 
the Court of Rome, were obliged to grant extensive benefices to 
the ecclesiastics, with regalian rights, and the exemption of the 
clergy from the secular jurisdiction. Their successors, how- 
ever, finding themselves firmly established on the throne, soon 
changed their policy, and manifested as much of indifference for 
the clergy as Alphonso I. had testified of kindness and attach- 
ment to them. Hence originated a long series of broils and 
quarrels with the Court of Rome. Pope Innocent IV. deposed 
Sancho II. (1245,) and appointed Alphonso III. in his place. 
Denys, son and successor of this latter prince, was excommuni- 
cated for the same reason, and compelled to sign a treaty (1289,) 
by which the clergy were re-established in all their former rights. 

In France, the whole policy of the Kings was directed against 
their powerful vassals, who shared among them the finest pro- 
vinces of that kingdom. The Dukes of Burgundy, Normandy, 
and Aquitaine ; the Counts of Flanders, Champagne, and Tou- 
louse ; the Dukes of Bretagne, the Counts of Poitiers, Bar, 
Blois, Anjou and Maine, Alen^on, Auvergne, Angouleme, Pe- 
rigord, Carcassonne, ^^ &c. formed so many petty sovereigns, 
equal in some respects to the electors and princes of the Ger- 
manic empire. Several circumstances, however, contributed to 
maintain the balance in favour of royalty. The crown was he- 
reditary, and the demesne lands belonging to the king, which, 
being very extensive, gave him a power which far outweighed 
that of any individual vassal. Besides, these same demesnes 
being situate in the centre of the kingdom, enabled the sovereign 
to observe the conduct of his vassals, to divide their forces, and 
prevent any one from preponderating over another. The per- 
petual wars which they waged with each other, the tyranny 
which they exercised over their dependants, and the enlighten- 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074^ 1300. 147 

ej policy of several of the French kings, by degrees re-estab- 
lished the royal authority, which had been almost annihilated 
under the last princes of the Carlovingian dynasty. 

It was at this period that the rivalry between France and Eng- 
land had its origin. The fault that Philip I. committed, in 
making no opposition to the conquest of England, by William 
Duke of Normandy, hie- vassal, served to kindle the flame of war 
between these princes. The war which took place in 1087, was 
the first that happened between the two nations ; it was renewed 
under the subsequent reigns, and this rivalry was still more in- 
creased, on occasion of the unfortunate divorce between Louis 

VII. and Eleanor of Poitou, heiress of Guienne, Poilou, and 
Gascogne. This divorced Princess married (1152) Henry, sur- 
named Plantagenet, Duke of Normandy, Count of Anjou and 
Maine, and afterwards King of England; and brought him, in 
dowry, the whole of her vast possession:. But it was reserved 
for Philip Augustus to repair the fiiuils of his predecessors. 
Thi«; great monarch, whose courage was equal to his prudence 
and his policy, recovered his superiority over England ; he 
strengthened his power and authority by the numerous acces- 
sions which he made to the crown-lands, ^^ (1180-1220.) Be- 
sides Artois, Vermandois, the earldoms of Evreux, Auvergne, 
and Alenf;on, which he annexed under different titles, he took 
advantage of the civil commotions which had arisen in England 
agamst King John, to dispossess the English of Normandy, An- 
jou, Maine, Lorraine, and Poitou (1203 ;) and he maintaiixed 
these conquests by the brilliant victory which he gained at Bou- 
vines (1214,) over the combined forces of England, the Empe- 
ror Otho, and the Count of Flanders. •'- 

Several of the French kings were exclusively occupied with 
the crusades in the East. Louis VII., Philip Augustus, and 
Louis IX. took the cross, and marched in person to the Holy 
Land. These ultra-marine expeditions (1147, 1248,) which re- 
quired great and powerful resources, could not but exhaust 
France ; while, on the contrary, the crusades which Louis VIII. 
undertook against the Albigenses and their protectors, the Counts 
of Toulouse and Carcassonne, considerably augmented the royal 
power. Pope Innocent III., by proclaiming this crusade (1208,) 
raised a tedious and bloody war, which desolated Languedoc ; 
and during which, fjinaticism perpetrated atrocities which make 
humanity shudder. Simon, Count Monfort, the chief or general 
of these crusaders, had the whole estates of the counts of Tou- 
louse adjudged him by the Pope. Amauri, the son and heir ol 
Simon, surrendered his claims over these forfeitures to Louis 

VIII. King of France (1226 ;) and it was this circumstance thai 


induced Louis to march in person at the head of the crusaders, 
against the Count of Toulouse, his vassal and cousin. He died 
at the close of this expedition, leaving to his son and successor, 
Louis IX., the task of finishing this disastrous war. By the 
peace which was concluded at Paris (1229,) between the King 
and the Count, the greater part of Languedoc was allowed to re- 
main in the possession of Louis. One arrangement of this 
treaty was the marriage of the Count's daughter with Al- 
phonso, brother to the King ; with this express clause, that 
failing heirs of this marriage, the whole territory of Toulouse 
should revert to the crown. The same treaty adjudged to the 
Pope the county of Venaissin, as an escheat of the Counts of 
Toulouse ; and the Count of Carcassonne, implicated also in 
the cause of the Albigenses, was compelled to cede to the King 
all right over the viscounties of Beziers, Carcassonne, Agde, 
Rodez, Albi, and Nismes. One consequence of this bloody 
war was the establishment of the terrible tribunal of the In- 
quisition,^^ and the founding of the order of Dominicans."'* 

Henry II., a descendant of the house of Plantagenet, having 
mounted the throne of England, in right of his mother Ma- 
tilda, annexed to that crown the dutchy of Normandy, the coun- 
tries of Anjou, Touraine, and Maine, together with Guienne, 
Gascogne and Poitou. He afterwards added Ireland, which he 
subdued in 1172. This island, which had never been con- 
quered, either by the Romans, or the barbarians who had deso- 
lated Europe, was, at that time, divided into five principal 
sovereignties, viz. Munster, Ulster, Connaught, Leinsier, and 
Meath, whose several chiefs all assumed the title of Kings. 
One of these princes enjoyed the dignity of monarch of the 
island; but he had neither authority sufficient to secure inter- 
nal tranquillitjs nor power enough to repel with success the 
attacks of enemies from without. It was this state of weakness 
that induced Henry to attempt the conquest of the island. He 
obtained the sanction of Pope Adrian IV., by a bull in 1155, and 
undertook, in a formal engagement, to subject the Irish to the 
jurisdiction of the Holy See, and the payment o{ Peter^s pence ?^ 
The expulsion of Dermot, king of Leinster, who had rendered 
himself odious by his pride and his tyranny, furnished Henry 
with a pretext for sending troops into that island, to assist the 
dethroned prince in recovering his dominions. The success of 
the English, and the victories which they gained over Roderic, 
King of Connaught, who at that time was chief monarch of the 
island, determined Henry to undertake, in person, an expedition 
into Ireland (in October 1172.) He soon reduced the provinces 
of Leinster and Munster to submission ; and after having con- 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 149 

Mructed several forts, and nominatea a viceroy and other crown 
officers, he took his departure without completing the conquest 
of the island. Roderic, Kingof Connaught, submitted in 1175 ; 
but it was not till the reign of Queen Elizabeth that the entire 
reduction of Ireland was accomplished. 

In England, the rashness and rapacity of John, son of Henry 
II. occasioned a mighty revolution in the government. The 
iliscontented nobles, with the Archbishop of Canterbury at their 
head, joined in a league against the King. Pope Innocent III. 
formally deposed him, made over his kingdom to the Crown of 
France, and proclaimed a crusade against him in every coun- 
try of Europe. John obtained an accommodation with the 
Pope; and in order to secure his protection, he consented to be- 
come a vassal of the Church, both for England and Ireland ; 
engaging to pay his Holiness, besides Peter's pence, an annual 
tribute of a thousand marks. But all in vain ; the nobles per 
sisted in their revolt, and forced the King to grant them the 
grand charter of Magna Charta, by which he and his succes- 
sors were for ever deprived of the power of exacting subsidies 
without the counsel and advice of Parliament ; which did not 
then include the Commons. He granted to the city of London, 
and to all cities and burghs in the kingdom, a renewal of 
their ancient liberties and privileges, and the right of not being 
taxed except with the advice and consent of the common coun- 
cil. Moreover, the lives and properties of the citizens were 
secured by this charter; one clause of which expressly pro- 
vided, that no subject could be either arrested, imprisoned, dis- 
possessed of his fortune, or deprived of his life, except by a 
legal sentence of his peers, conform to the ancient law of the 
country. This charter, which was renewed in various subse- 
quent reigns, forms, at this day, the basis of the English 

King John, meantime, rebelled against this charter, and 
caused it to be rescinded by Pope Innocent III., who even is- 
sued a bull of excommunication against the barons ; but they, 
far from being disconcerted or intimidated, made an offer of 
their crown to Louis, son of Philip Augustus King of France. 
This prince repaired to England, and there received the fealty 
and homage of the grandees and the nation. John, abandoned 
by all his subjects, attempted to take refuge in Scotland ; but 
he died in his flight at the castle of Newark. His death made 
a sudden change in the minds and sentiments of the English. 
The barons forsook the standard of the French prince, and 
rallied round that of young Henry, son of King John, whose 
long and unfortunate reign was a succession of troubles and 



intestine wars. Edward I., son and successor of Henry III., as 
determined and courageous as his father had been weak and 
indolent, restored tranquillity to England, and made his name 
illustrious by the conquest which he made of the principality ol 

This district, from the most remote antiquity, was ruled by 
Its own native princes, descended from the ancient British kings. 
Although they had been vassals and tributaries of the kings of 
England, they exercised, nevertheless, the rights of sovereignty 
in their own country. Lewellyn, prince of Wales, having es- 
poused the cause of the insurgents in the reign of Henry III., 
and made some attempts to withdraw from the vassalage of the 
English crown, Edward I. declared war against him (1282;) 
and in a battle fought near the Menau, Lewellyn was defeated 
and slain, with two thousand of his followers. David, his bro- 
ther and successor, met with a fate still more melancholy. Hav- 
ing been taken prisoner by Edward, he was condemned to death, 
and executed like a traitor (1283.) The territory of Wales was 
annexed to the crown; the king created his eldest son Edward, 
Prince of Wales ; a title which has since been borne by the 
eldest sons of the kings of England. 

At this period, the kingdoms of the North presented, in gen- 
eral, little else than a spectacle of horror and carnage. The 
warlike and ferocious temper of the Northern nations, the want 
of fixed and specific laws in the succession of their kings,^** gave 
rise to innumerable factions, encouraged insolence, and foment- 
ed troubles and intestine wars. An extravagant and supersti- 
tious devotion, by loading the church with wealth, aggravated 
still more the evils with which these kingdoms were distracted. 
The bishops and the new metropolitans,^" enriched at the ex- 
pense of the crown-lands, and rendered bold by their power, 
and the strength of their castles, domineered in the senate and 
the assemblies of the states, and neglected no opportunity of 
encroaching on the sovereign's authority. They obtained, by 
compulsion, the introduction of tithes, and the immunity of the 
ecclesiastics ; and thus more and more increased and cemented 
the sacerdotal power. ^^ This state of trouble and internal com- 
motion tended to abate that ardour for maritime incursions 
which had so long agitated the Scandinavian nations. It did 
not, however, prevent the kings of Denmark and Sweden from 
ur.deriaking, from time to time, expeditions by sea, under the 
nane of Crusades, for the conversion of the Pagan nations of 

he North, whose territories they were ambitious to conquer. 
The Siavians, who inhabited the coasts of the Baltic, were 

liien constantly committing piracies, in imitation of the ancient 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 151 

Normans, plundering and ravaging the provinces and islands 
of Denmark. Valdemar I., wishing to put an end to these de- 
vastations, and thirsting moreover for the glory of converting to 
Christianity those nations against whom all the efforts of the 
Germans had failed, attacked them at different times with his 
numerous flotillas. He took and pillaged several of their towns, 
such as Arcona and Carentz or Gariz, in the isle of Rugen 
<116S,) Julin, now called Wollin, and Stettin, two seaports in 
"-"omerania (1175-6.) He made the princes of Rugen his vas- 
sals and tributaries, and is generally regarded as the founder of 
Dantzic (1165,) which originally was merely a fort constructed 
by the Danes. Canute VI., son and successor of Valdemar I., 
followed the example of his father; he reduced the princes of 
Pomerania (1183) and Mecklenburg (1186,) and the Counts of 
Schwerin (1201,) lo a state of dependence; he made himself 
master of Hamburg and Lubec, and subdued the whole of Hol- 
stein. Valdemar II. assumed the title of King of the Slavians, 
and Lord of Nordalbingia. He added Lauenburg, a part of 
Prussia, Esthonia, and the Isle of Oesel, to the conquests of his 
predecessors, and became the founder of the cities of Stralsund 
and Revel (1209 and 1222.) 

This prince, m.aster of nearly the whole southern coast of the 
Baltic, and raised to the summit of prosperity by the superiority 
of his commercial and maritime power, commanded for a time 
the attention of all Europe ; but an unforeseen event eclipsed 
his glory, and deprived him of all the advantages of his victories 
and his conquests. Henry, Count of Schwerin, one of the vas- 
sals of Valdemar, wishing to avenge an outrage which he pre- 
tended to have received from him, seized that prince by surprise 
(1223,) and detained liim for three years prisoner in the castle 
of Schwerin, This circumstance aroused the courage of the 
Oiner vanquished nations, who instantly took to arms. Adol- 
phus. Count of Schauenburg, penetrated into Holstein, and 
subdued the princes of Mecklenburg and Pomerania, with the 
cities of Hamburg and Lubec. Valdemar, restored to liberty, 
made several efforts to reconquer his revolted provinces ; but a 
powerful confederacy being formed against him, he was defeat- 
ed in a battle fought (1227,) at Bornhoevet, near Segeberg, in 
Holstein. Of all his conquests, he retained only the Isle of 
Rugen, Esthonia, and the town of Revel, which, in course of 
lime, were lost or abandoned by his successors. 

Sweden, which had been governed in succession by the dy- 
nasties of Slenkil, Sicerkar, and St. Eric, was long a prey to 
internal dissensions, which arose principally from the two dif- 
ferent forms of worship professed and authorized by the state. 


The whole nation, divided in their religious sentiments, saw 
themselves arranged into two factions, and under two reigning 
families, mutually hating and exasperated against each other, 
for nearly half a century. Two, and sometimes more, princes 
were seen reigning at once from 1080 till 1133, when the throne 
began to be occupied ultimately by the descendants of Sweyn 
and St. Eric. During all this time, violence usurped the place 
of right, and the crown of Sweden was more than once the 
prize of assassination and treason. 

In the midst of these intestine disorders, we find the Swedes 
even attempting foreign conquests. To these they were insti- 
gated both by the genius of the age, which encouraged crusades 
and military missions, as well as by the desire of avenging the 
piracies which the Finlanders, and other Pagan tribes of the 
North, committed from time to time on the coasts of Sweden. 
St. Eric became at once the apostle and the conqueror of Fin- 
land (1157;) he established also a Swedish colony in Nyland, 
and subdued the provinces of Helsingland and Jamptland. 
Charles 1., son of Swerkar, united the kingdom of Gothland to 
Sweden, and was the first that took the title of these two king- 
doms. Eric, surnamed Laspe, or the Lisper, resumed the cru- 
sading system of warfare ; and, in the character of a missionary, 
conquered Tavastiaad and the eastern part of Bothnia. Birger, 
a prince of the Folkungian dynasty, who ascended the throne 
of Sweden in 1250, conquered, under the same pretext, Carelia 
and Savolax, and fortified Viburg. He compelled the inhabit- 
ants of these countries to embrace the Christian religion (1293,) 
and annexed them to Finland. We find, also, several of the 
Swedish kings undertaking missionary expeditions against their 
Pagan neighbours the Esthonians, who, from time to time, com- 
mitted dreadful ravages on the coasts of Sweden. These ex- 
peditions, which were always esteemed sacred, served as an 
excuse for the sovereigns of the North in avoiding the crusades 
to the Holy Land, in which they took no part.-*-' 

Prussia and the Prussians are totally unknown in history be- 
fore the end of the tenth century. ""^ The author of the Life oi 
St. Adelbert of Prague, who suffered martyrdom in Prussia in 
the reign of Otho III., is the first that mentions them under this 
new name (997.) Two hundred years after, the Abbe of Oliva, 
surnamed the Christian, became the apostle of the Prussians, 
and was appointed by Pope Innocent III. the first bishop ot 
Prussia (1215.) This idolatrous nation, haughty and indepen- 
dent, and attached to the reigning superstition, having repulsed 
all the efforts that were repeatedly made to convert them to 
Christianity, Pop« Honorius III., in the true spirit of his age, 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 152 

published a Crusade against them (1218,) to proselytize them ** 

by force. Armies of crusaders were poured into Prussia, and 
overran the whole country with fire and sword. The Prussians 
took cruel vengeance on tlie Polonese of Masovia, who had 
made common cause against them with the crusaders of the 
East. At length, Conrad, duke of Masovia, finding himself too 
weak to withstand the fury of the Prussians, called in the Teu- 
tonic knights to his aid ; and, anxious to secure for ever the as- 
sistance and protection of that order, he made them a grant of 
the territory of Culm ; and moreover, promised them whatever 
lands he might conquer from the common enemy (1226.) This 
contract having been sanctioned by the Emperor Frederic II., 
the knights speedily came into possession of their new domin- 
ions (1230.) They extended themselves by degrees over all 
Prussia, after a long and murderous war, which they had car- 
ried on against the idolatrous natives. That country, which 
had been peopled by numerous German colonies in succession, 
did not submit to the yoke of the Teutonic order, until the 
greater part of its ancient inhabitants had been destroyed. The 
Knights took care to confirm their authority and their religion 
in Prussia, by constructing cities and forts, and founding 
bishoprics and convents. The city of Koninsberg ''^ on the 
Pregel, was built in 1255; and that of Marienburg on the No- 
gat, which became the capital of the Order, is supposed to have 
been founded in 1280. 

The Teutonic knights completed the conquest of that coun- 
try (1283,) by the reduction of Sudavia, the last of the eleven 
provinces which composed ancient Prussia. We can scarcely 
conceive how a handful of these knights should have been able, 
in so short a time, to vanquish a warlike and powerful nation, 
inspired with the love of liberty, and emboldened by fanaticism 
to make the most intrepid and obstinate defence. But we ought 
to take into consideration, that tlie indulgences of the court of 
Rome allured continually into Prussia a multitude of crusaders 
from all the provinces of the Empire; and that the knights 
gained these over to their ranks, by distributing among them 
the lands which they had won by conquest. In this way, their 
numbers were incessantly recruited by new colonies of crusa- 
ders, and the nobles flocked in crowds to their standard, to seek 
territorial acquisitions in Prussia. 

The increase of commerce on the Baltic, in the twelfth cen- 
tury, led the Germans to discover the coasts of Livonia. Some 
merchants from Bremen, on their way to Wisby, in the island 
of Gothland, a seaport on the Baltic very much frequented at 
^hat time, were thrown by a tempest on the coast near the mouth 


of the Dwina (1158.) The desire of" gain induced them to enter 
into a correspondence with the natives of the country ; and, 
from a wish to give stability to a branch of commerce which 
might become very kicrative, they attempted to introduce the 
Christian religion into Livonia. A monk of Segeberg in Hol- 
stein, named Mainard, undertook this mission. He was the first 
bishop of Livonia (1192,) and fixed his residence at the castle of 
Uxkull, which he strengthened by fortifications. Berthold, his 
successor, wishing to accelerate the progress of Christianity, aa 
well as to avoid the dangers to which his mission exposed him, 
caused the Pope to publish a crusade against the Livonians. 
This zealous prelate perished sword in hand, fighting against 
the people whom he intended to convert. The priests, aftei 
this, were either massacred or expelled from Livonia; but, in a 
short time, a new army of crusaders marched into the country, 
under the banner of Albert, the third bishop, who built the city 
of Riga, (1200) which became the seat of his bishopric, and after- 
wards the metropolitan see of all Prussia and Livonia. The 
same prelate founded the military order of the Knights of Christ 
or Sword-bearers, to whom he ceded the third of all the coun- 
tries he had conquered. This order, confirmed by Pope Inno- 
cent III. (1204,) finding themselves too weak to oppose the 
Pagans of Livonia, agreed to unite with the Teutonic order 
(1237,) who, at that time, nominated the generals or provincial 
masters in Livonia, known by the names of Heermeister and 
Laridineistcr. Pope Gregory IX., in confirming the union of 
these two orders, exacted the surrender of the districts of Revel, 
Wesemberg, Weisensteiu, and Hapsal, to Valdemar II., which the 
knights, with consent of the Bishop of Dorpat, had taken from him 
during his captivity. This retrocession was made by an act pass- 
ed at Strensby, (12-'^S.) Several documents which still exist in 
the private archives of the Teutonic order at Koningsberg, and 
especially two, dated 1249 and 1254, prove that, at this period, 
the bishops of Riga still exercised superiority, both temporal and 
spiritual, over these Knights Sword-bearers, although they were 
united with the Teutonic order, which was independent of these 
bishops. The combination of these two orders rendered them so 
powerful, that they gradually extended their conquests over all 
Prussia, Livonia, Courland, and Semigallia ; but they could 
never succeed farther than to subject these nations to a rigorous 
servitude, under pretence of conversion. 

Before we speak of Russia and the other Eastern countries of 
Europe, it will be necessary to turn our attention for a little to 
the Moguls, whose conquests and depredations extended, in the 
thirteenth century, from the extremity of northern Asia, over 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074 — 1300. 155 

Russia and the greater part of Europe. The native country of 
this people is found to be those same regions which they still 
inhabit in our day, and which are situated to the north of the 
great wall of China, between Eastern Tartary and modern Buk- 
haria. They are generally confounded willi the Tartars, from 
whom they diifer essentially, both in their appearance and man- 
ners, as well as in their religion and political institutions. This 
nation is divided into two principal branches, the Ehtths or 
Oelots, better known by the name of Calmucs, and the Moguls, 
properly so called. These latter, separated from the Calmucs 
by the mountains of Altai, are now subject to the dominion of 

The Moguls, scarcely known at present in the history of Eu- 
rope, owe their greatness to the genius of one man — the famous 
Zinghis Khan. This extraordinary person, whose real name 
was Temudgin, or, according to Pallas, Dcejnutschin, was born 
in the year 1163, and originally nothing more than the chief of 
a particular horde of Moguls, who had settled on the banks of 
the rivers Onon and Kerlon, and were tributary to the empire of 
Kin. His first exploits were against the other hordes of Mo- 
guls, whom he compelled to acknowledge his authority. Em 
boldened by success, he conceived the romantic idea of aspiring 
to be the conqueror of the world. For this purpose, he assem- 
bled near the source of the river Onon, in 1206, all the chiefs 
of the Mogul hordes, and the generals of his armies. A certain 
pretender to inspiration, whom the people regarded as a holy 
man, appeared in the assembly, and declared that it was the will 
of God that Ternudgin should rule over the whole earth, — that 
all nations should submit to him, — and that henceforth he should 
bear the title of Tschinghis-Kha7i, or Most Great Emperor.^ 

In a short time, this new conqueror subdued the two great 
empires of the Tartars ; one of which, called also the empire of 
Kin, embraced the whole of Eastern Tartary, and the northern 
part of China ; the other, that of Kara-Kitai, or the Khitans, ex- 
tended over Western Tartary, and had its capital at Kaschgar 
in Bukharia."*^ He afterwards attacked the Carismian Sultans 
who ruled over Turkestan, Transoxiana, Charasm, Chora- 
san, and all Persia, from Derbent to Irak-Arabia and the Indies. 
This powerful monarchy was overturned by Zinghis-Khan, in 
the course of six campaigns ; and it was during this war that 
the Moguls, while marching under the conduct of Toushi, the 
eldest son of Zinghis-Khan, against the Kipzacs or Capchacs, 
to the north of the Caspian Sea, made their first inroad into 
the Russian empire. Zinghis, after having subdued the whole 
of Tangout, died in the sixty-fifth year of his age (1227.) His- 


torians have remarked in him the traits of a great man, bom 
to command others, but whose noble qualities were tarnished by 
the ferocity of his nature, which took delight in carnage, plun- 
der, and devastation. Humanity shudders at the recital of the 
inexpressible horrors exercised by this barbarian, whose maxim 
was to exterminate, without mercy, all who offered the least re- 
sistance to his victorious arms. 

The successors of this Mogul conqueror followed him in his 
career of victory. They achieved the conquest of all China, 
overturned the caliphate of Bagdat, and rendered the sultans of 
Iconium their tributaries.'** Octai-Khan, the immediate succes- 
sor of Zinghis, despatched from the centre of China two pow- 
erful armies, the one against Corea, and the other against the 
nations that lie to the north and north-west of the Caspian Sea. 
This latter expedition, which had for its chiefs Gayouk, son of 
Octai, and Batou, eldest son of Toushi, and grandson of Zinghis- 
Khan, after having subdued all Kipzak, penetrated into Russia, 
which they conquered in 1237. Hence they spread over Poland, 
Silesia, Moravia, Hungary, and the countries bordering on the 
Adriatic Sea ; they plundered cities, laid waste the country, 
and carried terror and destruction wherever they went.'*^ Ail 
Europe trembled at the sight of these barbarians, who seemed 
as if they wished to make the whole earth one vast empire of 
desolation. The empire of the Moguls attained its highest point 
of elevation under Cublai, grandson of Zinghis, towards the end 
of the 13th century. From south to north, it extended from 
the Chinese Sea and the Indies, to the extremity of Siberia ; 
and from east to west, from Japan to Asia Minor, and the fron- 
tiers of Poland in Europe. China, and Chinese Tartary formed 
the seat of the empire, and the residence of the Great Khan ; 
while the other parts of the dominions were governed by princes 
of the family of Zinghis Khan, who either acknowledged the 
Great Khan as their supreme master, or had their own particular 
kings and chiefs that paid him tribute. The principal subordi- 
nate Khans of the race of Zinghis, were those of Persia, Zagatai, 
and Kipzac. Their dependence on the Great Khan or emperor 
of China, ceased entirely on the death of Cublai (1294,) and the 
power of the Moguls soon became extinct in China.'*'' 

As for the Moguls of Kipzac, their dominion extended over 
all the Tartar countries situated to the north of the Caspian and 
the Euxine, as also over Russia and the Crimea. Batou-Khan, 
eldest son of Toushi, was the founder of this dynasty. Being 
addicted to a wandering life, the Khans of Kipzac encamped on 
the banks of the Wolga, passing from one place to another with 
their tents and flocks, according to the custom of the Mogul and 

Death of Joan of Arc. \n\. !, p. \v:^. The English in- 
humanly burned this Heroine as a Sorceress. 

Death of Coustantine XV. in Defending Constantinople. 
Vol. 1, p. 20Q. 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 157 

Tartar nations.^''' The principal sect of these Khans was called 
the Grand or Golden Horde or the Horde of Kipzac, which was 
long an object of the greatest terror to the Russians, Poles, 
Lithuanians and Hungarians. Its glory declined towards the 
end of the fourteenth century, and entirely disappeared under 
the last Khan Achmet, in 1481. A few separate hordes were 
all that remained, detached from the grand horde, such as those 
of Cassan, Astracan, Siberia and the Crimea ; — all of which were 
in their turn subdued or extirpated by the Russians. ^^ 

A crowd of princes, descendants of Vlademir the Great, had 
shared among them the vast dominions of Russia. One of these 
princes invested with the dignity of Grand Duke, exercised cer- 
tain rights of superiority over the rest, who nevertheless acted 
the part of petty sovereigns, and made war on each other. The 
capital of these Grand Dukes was Kiow, which was also regard- 
ed as the metropolis o( the empire. Andrew I. prince of Suzdal, 
having assumed the title of Grand Duke (1157,) fixed his resi- 
dence at Vlademir on the river Kliazma, and thus gave rise to a 
kind of political schism, the consequences of which were most 
fatal to the Russians. The Grand Dutchy of Kiow, with its 
dependent principalities, detached themselves by degrees from 
the rest of the empire, and finally became a prey to the Lithu- 
anians and Poles. 

In the midst of these divisions and intestine broils, and when 
Russia was struggling with difficulty against the Bulgarians, 
Polowzians,'*'* and other barbarous tribes in the neighbourhood, 
she had the misfortune to be attacked by the Moguls under 
Zinghis Khan. Toushi, eldest son of that conqueror, having 
marched round the Caspian, in order to attack the Polowzians, 
encountered on his passage the Princes of Kiow, who were 
allies of that people. The battle which he fought (1223,) on 
the banks of the river Kalka, was one of the most sanguinary 
lecorded in history. The Russians were totally defeated ; six 
of their princes perished on the field of battle ; and the whole 
of Western Russia was laid open to the conqueror. The Mo- 
guls penetrated as far as Novogorod, wasting the whole country 
on their march with fire and sword. They returned by the same 
route, but without extending their ravages farther. In 1237 
they made a second invasion, under the conduct of Bato.u, son 
of Toushi, and governor of the northern parts of the Mogul 
empire. This prince, after having vanquished the Polow- 
zians and Bulgarians, that is, the whole country of Kipzac. 
entered the north of Russia, where he took Rugen and Moscow, 
and cut to pieces an army of the Russians near Kolomna. 
Several other towns in this part of Russi'' were sac' 5d by the 

VOL. I. 14 


Moguls, in the commencement of the following year. The 
family of the Grand Duke, Juri II., perished in the sack of Vla- 
demir ; and he himself fell in the battle which he fought with 
the Moguls near the river Sita. Baton extended his conquests 
in Northern Russia as far as the city Torshok, in the territory ol 
Novogorod. For some years he continued his ravages over the 
whole of Western Russia ; where, among others, he took Kiow, 
Kaminiec in Podolia, Vlademir and Halitsch. From this we 
may date the fall of the Grand Dutchy of Kiow, or Western 
Russia, which, with its dependent principalities in the following 
century, came into the possession of the Lithuanians and Poles. 
As for the Grand Dutchy of Vlademir, which comprehended 
Eastern and Northern Russia, it was subdued by the Moguls 
or Tartars, whose terrible yoke it wore for more than twe 
hundred years. ^ 

An extraordinary person who appean d at this disastrous 
crisis, preserved that part of Russia from sinking into total 
ruin. This was Prince Alexander, son of the Grand Duke, 
Jaroslaus II., who obtained the epithet or surname of Neivski, 
from a victory which he gained over the Knights of Livonia 
near the Neva, (1241.) Elevated by the Khan Batou, to the 
dignity of Grand Duke (1245,) he secured, by his prudent con- 
duct, his punctuality in paying tribute, and preserving his al- 
legiance to the Mogul emperors, the good will of these new 
masters of Russia, during his whole reign. When this great 
prince died in 1261, his name was enrolled in their calendar of 
saints. Peter the Great built, in honour of his memory, a con- 
vent on the banks of the Neva, to which he gave the name of 
A-lexander Nev\'ski ; and the Empress Catherine I., instituted 
an order of knighthood that was also called after the name of 
that prince. 

Poland, which was divided among several princes of the 
Piast dynasty, had become, at the lime of which we speak, a 
prey to intestine factions, and exposed to the incursions of the 
neighbouring barbarians. These divisions, the principal source 
of all the evils that afflicted Poland, continued down to the 
death of Boleslaus II. (1138,) who, having portioned his es- 
tates among his sons, ordered that the eldest should retain the 
district of Cracow, under the title of Monarch, and that he 
should exercise the rights of superiority over the provincial 
dukes and princes, his brothers. This clause, which might 
have prevented the dismemberment of the state, served only lo 
kindle the flame of discord among these coUegatory princes. 
rJiadislaus, who is generally considered as the eldest of these 
sons, having attempted to dispossess his brothers (1146.) tne^ 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 159 

rose in arms, expelled him from Poland, and obliged liis de- 
scendants to content themselves with Silesia. His sons founded, 
in that country, numerous families of dukes and princes, who 
introduced German colonies into Silesia; all of which, in course 
of time, became subject to the kings of Bohemia. Conrad, son 
of Casimir the Just, and grandson of Boleslaus III., was thr^ 
ancestor of the Dukes of Cujavia and Masovia. It was this 
prince who called in the assistance of the Teutonic Knights 
against the Pagans of Prussia, and established that order in 
the territory of Culm (12.30.) 

The Moguls, after having vanquished Russia, took posses- 
sion of Poland (1240.) Having gained the victory at the battle 
of Schiedlow, they set fire to Cracow, and then marched to 
Lifnitz in Silesia, where a numerous army of crusaders were 
assembled under the command of Henry, duke of Breslau. 
This prince was defeated, and slain in the action. The whole 
of Silesia, as well as Moravia, was cruelly pillaged and deso- 
lated by the Moguls. 

Hungary, at this period, presented the spectacle of a warlike 
and barbarous nation, the ferocity of whose manners cannot be 
better attested than by the laws passed in the reigns of Ladis- 
laiis and Coloman, about the end of the eleventh and beginning 
of the twelfth century. Crimes were then punished either with 
the loss of liberty, or of some member of the body, such as the 
eye, the nose, the tongue, &c. These laws were published in 
their general assemblies, which were composed of the king 
the great officers of the crown, and the representatives of the 
clergy and the free men. All the other branches of the execu- 
tive power pertained to the kings, who made war and peace at 
their pleasure ; while the counts or governors of provinces 
claimed no power either personal or hereditary.'^^ 

Under a government so despotic, it was easy for the kings 
of Hungary to enlarge the boundaries of their states. Ladis- 
laus took from the Greeks the dutchy of Sirmium (1080,) com- 
prising the lower part of Sclavonia. This same prince extend- 
ed his conquests into Croatia, a country which was governed 
for several ages by the Slavian princes, who possessed Upper 
Sclavonia, and ruled over a great part of ancient Illyria and 
Dalmatia, to v/hich they gave the name of Croatia. Dircislaus 
was the first of these princes that took the title of king (in 984.) 
Demetrius Swinitnir, one of his successors, did homage to the 
Pope, in order to obtain the protection of the Holy See (1076.) 
The line of these kings having become extinct some time after, 
Ladislaus, whose sister had been married to Demetrius Swini- 
mir, took advantage of the commotion that had arisen in Croatia, 


and conquered a great part of that kingdom (1091,) and es- 
pecially Upper Sclavonia, which was one of its dependencies. 
Coloman completed their conquest in 1102, and the same year 
he was crowned at Belgrade king of Croatia and Dalmatia. In 
course of a few years, he subdued the maritime cities of Dal- 
matia, such as Spalatro, Trau, and Zara, which he took from 
the republic of Venice.^- The kingdom of Rama or Bosnia, 
fell at the same tiaie under his power. He took the title of 
King of Rama (1103;) and Bela II., his successor, made over 
the dutchy of Bosnia to Ladislaus, his younger son. The so- 
vereignty of the Kings of Hungary was also occasionally ac- 
knowledged by the princes and kings of Bulgaria and Servia, 
and even by the Russian princes of Halitsch and Wolodimir. 

These conquests gave rise to an abuse which soon proved 
fatal to Hungary. The kings claimed for themselves the right 
of disposing of the newly conquered provinces in favour of their 
younger sons, to whom they granted them under the title of 
dutchies, and with the rights of sovereignty. These latter made 
use of their supreme power to excite factions and stir up civil wars. 

The reign of King Andrew II. was rendered remarkable by a 
revolution which happened in the government (1217.) This 
prince having undertaken an expedition to the Holy Land, which 
he equipped at an extravagant and ruinous expense, the nobles 
availed themselves of his absence to augment their own power, 
and usurp the estates and revenues of the crown. Corruption 
had pervaded every branch of the administration ; and the king, 
after his return, made several ineffectual efforts to remedy the 
disorders of the government, and recruit his exhausted finances. 
At length he adopted the plan of assembling a general Diet 
(1222,) in which was passed the famous decree or Golden Bull 
which forms the basis of that defective constitution which pre- 
vails in Hungary at this day. The property of the clergy and 
the noblesse were there declared exempt from taxes and military 
cess; the nobles acquired hereditary possession ot the royal 
grants which they had received in recompense for their services ; 
they were freed from the obligation of marching at their ovn\ 
expense on any expedition out of the kingdom ; and even the 
right of resistance was allowed them, in case the king should 
infringe any article of the decree. It was this king also (An- 
drew II.) that conferred several important privileges and immu- 
nities on the Saxons, or Germans of Transylvania, who had been 
invited thither by Geisa II. about the year 1142. 

Under the reign of Bela IV. (1241,) Hungary was suddenly 
inundated with an army of Moguls, commanded by several chiefs, 
the principal of whom were Batou, the son of Toushi, and Ga- 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300 16s 

youk, son of the great Khan Octal. The Hungarians, sunk in 
efTeminac}'' and living in perfect security, had neglected to pro- 
vide in time for their defence. Having at length rallied round 
the banner of their king, they pitched their camp very negli- 
gently on the banks of the Sajo, where they were surprised by 
the Moguls, who made terrible havoc of them. Coloman, the 
king's brother, was slain in the action j and the king himself 
succeeded with difficulty in saving himself among the isles of 
Dalmatia. The whole of Hungary was now at the mercy of 
the conqueror, who penetrated with his victorious troops into 
Sclavonia, Croatia, Dalmatia, Bosnia, Servia, and Bulgaria; 
ev<;fy where glutting his fury with the blood of the people, 
,'nich he shed in torrents. These barbarians seemed determin- 
ed to fix their residence in Hungary, when the news of the death 
of the Khan Octai, and the accession of his son Gayouk to the 
throne of China, induced them to abandon their conquest in less 
than three years, and return to the East loaded with immense 
booty. On hearing this intelligence, Bela ventured from his 
place of retreat and repaired to Hungary, where he assembled 
the remains of his subjects, who were wandering in the forests, 
or concealed among the mountains. He rebuilt the cities that 
were laid in ashes, imported new colonies from Croatia, Bohe- 
mia, Moravia, and Saxonj^ ; and, by degrees, restored life and 
vigour to the state, which had been almost annihilated by the 

The Empire of the Greeks, at this time, was gradually verg- 
ing towards its downfall. Harassed on the east by the Selju- 
kiun Turlis, infested on the side of the Danube by the Hunga- 
rians, the Patzina. ites, the Uzes and the Cumans ; ^^ and torn 
to pieces by factious and intestine wars, that Empire was making 
but a feeble resistance to the incessant attacks of its enemies, 
when it was suddenly threatened wiih entire destruction by the 
effects of the fourth crusade. The Emperor Isaac Angelus had 
been dethroned by his brother, Alexius III. (1195,) who had 
cruelly caused his eyes to be put out. The son of Isaac, called 
also Alexius, found means to save his life ; he repaired to Zara, 
in Dalmatia (1203,) to implore the aid of the Crusaders, who, 
after having assisted the Venetians to recover that rebellious 
city, were on the point of setting sail for Palestine. The young 
Alexius offered to indemnify the Crusaders for the expenses of 
any expedition which they might undertake in his favour; he 
gave them reason to expect a reunion of the two churches, and 
considerable supplies, both in men and money, to assist them in 
reconquering the Holy Land. Yielding to these solicitations, 
the allied chiefs, instead of passing directly to Syria, set sail for 

14 * 


Constantmople. They immediately laid siege to the city, ex- 
pelled the usurper, and restored Isaac to the throne^ in conjunc- 
tion with his son Alexius. 

Scarcely had the Crusaders quitted Constantinople, when a 
new revolution happened there. Another Alexius, surnamed 
Mourzoujle, excited an insurrection among the Greeks ; and 
having procured the death of the Emperors Isaac and Alexius, 
he made himself master of the throne. The Crusaders imme- 
diately returned, again laid siege to Constantinople, which they 
took by assault ; and after having slain the usurper, they elected 
a new Emperor in the person of Baldwin, Earl of Flanders, and 
one of the noble Crusaders. ^^ This event transferred the Greek 
Empire to the Latins (1204.) It was followed by a union of 
the two churches, which, however, was neither general nor per- 
manent, as it terminated with the reign of the Latins at Con 

Meantime, the Crusaders divided among themselves the pro- 
vinces of the Greek Empire, — both those which they had al- 
ready seized, and those which yet remained to be conquered. 
The greater part of the maritime cotists of the Adriatic, Greece, 
the Archipelago, the Propontis, and the Euxine ; the islands of 
the Cyclades and Sporades, and those of the Adriatic, were ad- 
judged to the republic of Venice. Boniface, Marquis of Monl- 
ferrat, and commander-in-chief of the crusade, obtained for his 
share the island of Crete or Candia, and all that belonged to the 
Empire beyond the Bosphorus. He afterwards sold Candia to 
the Venetians, who took possession of it in 1207. The other 
chiefs of the Crusaders had also their portions of the dismem- 
bered provinces. None of them, however, were to possess the 
countries that were assigned them, except under the title of vas- 
sals to the Empire, and by acknowledging the sovereignty of 

In the midst of this general overthrow, several of the Greek 
princes attempted to preserve the feeble remains of their Em- 
pire. Theodore Lascaris, son-in-law of the Emperor Alexius 
HI., resolved on the conquest of the Greek provinces in Asia. 
He had made himself master of Bitliynia, Lydia, part of the 
coasts of the Archipelago, and Phrygia, and was crowned Em- 
peror at Nice in 1206. About the same period, Alexius and 
David Commenus, grandsons of the Emperor Andronicus I., 
having taken shelter in Pontus, laid there the foundation of a 
new Empire, which had for its capital the city of Trebizond. 

At length Michael Angelas Commenus took possession of 
Durazzo, which he erected into a considerable state, extending 
from Durazzo to the Gulf of Lepanto, and comprehending Epi 

PERIOD IV. A. D. 1074—1300. 163 

rus, Acarnaflia, Etolia, and part of Thessaly. All these princes 
assumed the rank and dignity of Emperors. The most power- 
ful among them was Theodore Lascaris, Emperor of Nice. His 
successors found little difficulty in resuming, by degrees, their 
superiority over the Latin Emperors. They reduced them at 
last to the single city of Constantinople, of which Michael Pa- 
leologus, Emperor of Nice, undertook the siege ; and, with the 
assistance of the Genoese vessels, he made himself master of it 
in 1261. Baldwin II., the last of the Latin Emperors, fled to 
the Isle of Negropont, whence he passed into Italy ; and his 
conqueror became the ancestor of all the Emperors of the House 
of Paleologus, that reigned at Constantinople until the taking ot 
hat capital by the Turks in 1453. 

It now remains for us to cast a glance at the revolutions of 
Asia, closely connected with those of Europe, on account of the 
crusades and expeditions to the Holy Land. The Empire of 
the Seljukian Turks had been divided into several dynasties or 
distinct sovereignties ; the Atabeks of Irak, and a number of 
petty princes, reigned in Syria and the neighbouring countries ; 
the Fatimite Caliphs of Egypt were masters of Jerusalem, and 
part of Palestine, when the mania of the crusades converted that 
region of the East into a theatre of carnage and devastation. 
For two hundred years Asia was seen contending with Europe, 
and the Christian nations making the most extraordinary efforts 
to maintain the conquest of Palestine and the neighbouring 
states, against the arms of the Mahometans. 

At length there arose among the Mussulmans a man of su- 
perior genius, who rendered iiimself formidable by his warlike 
prowess to the Christians in the East, and deprived them of the 
fruits of their numerous victories. This conqueror was the 
famous Saladin, or Salaheddin, the son of Ayoub or Job, and 
founder of the dynasty of the Ayoubites. The Atabek Noured- 
din, son of Amadoddin Zenghi, had sent him into Egypt (1168) 
to assist the Fatimite Caliph .against the Franks, or Crusaders 
of the West. While there, he was declared vizier and general 
of the armies of the Caliph ; and so well had he established his 
power in that country, that he effected the substitution of the 
Abassidian Caliphs in place of the Fatimites ; and ultimately 
caused himself to be proclaimed Sultan on the death of Noured- 
din (1171,) under whom he had served in the quality of lieu- 
tenant. Having vanquished Egypt, he next subdued the 
dominions of Noureddin in Syria; and, after having extended 
his victories over this province, as well as Mesopotamia, Assyria, 
Armenia and Arabia, he turned his arms against the Christians 
in Palestine, whom he had hemmed in, as it were, with his 


conquests. These princes, separated into petty sovereignties, 
divided by mutual jealousy, and a prey to the distractions of 
anarchy, soon yielded to the valour of the heroic Mussulman. 
The battle which they fought (1187,) at Hittin, near Tiberias 
(or Tabaria,) was decisive. The Christians sustained a total 
defeat ; and Guy of Lusignan, a weak prince without talents, 
and the last King of Jerusalem, fell into the hands of the con- 
queror. All the cities of Palestine opened their gates to Saladin, 
either voluntarily or at the point of the sword. Jerusalem sur- 
rendered after a siege of fourteen days. This defeat rekindled 
the zeal of the Christians in the West ; and the most powerful 
sovereigns in Europe were again seen conducting innumerable 
armies to the relief of the Holy Land. But the talents and 
bravery of Saladin rendered all their efforts unavailing ; and it 
was not till after a murderous siege for three years, that they 
succeeded in retaking the city of Ptolemais or Acre ; and thus 
arresting for a short space the total extermination of the Chris- 
tians in the East. 

On the death of Saladin, whose heroism is extolled by Chris 
tian as well as Mahometan authors, his Empire was divided 
among his sons. Several princes, his dependants, and known 
by the name of Ayoubites, reigned afterwards in Egypt, Syria^ 
Armenia, and Yemen or Arabia the Happy. These princes 
quarrelling and making war with each other, their territories 
fell, in the thirteenth century, under the dominion of the Mamc 
lukes. These Mamelukes (an Arabic word which signifies a 
slave) were Turkish or Tartar captives, whom the Syrian mer- 
chants purchased from the IMoguls, and sent into Egypt under 
the reign of the Sultan Saleh, of the Ayoubite dynasty. That 
prince bought them in vast numbers, and ordered them to be 
trained to the exercise of arms in one of the maritime cities of 
Egypt. ••"' From this school he raised them to the highest offices 
of trust in the state, and even selected from them his own body 
guard. In a very short time, these slaves became so numerous 
and so powerful, that, in the end, they seized the government, 
after having assassinated the Sultan Touran Shah, (son and 
successor of Saleh,) who had in vain attempted to disentangle 
himself of their chains, and recover the auihority which they 
had usurped over him. This revolution (1250) happened in the 
very presence of St. Louis, who, having been taken prisoner at 
the battle ofMansoura, had just concluded a truce often years 
with the Sultan of Egypt. The Mameluke Ibeg, who was at 
first appointed regent or Atabek, was soon after proclaimed Sul- 
tan of Egypt. 

The dominion of the Mamelukes existed in Egypt for the 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 165 

space of 263 years. Their numbers being constantly recruited 
by Turkish or Circassian slaves, they disposed of the throne of 
Egypt at their pleasure ; and the crown generally fell to the 
share of the most audacious of the gang, provided he was a na- 
tive of Turkistan. These Mamelukes had even the courage to 
attack the Moguls, and took from them the kingdoms of Damas- 
cus and Aleppo in Syria (1210,) of which the latter had dispos- 
sessed the Ayoubite princes. All the princes of this latter 
dynasty, with those of Syria and Yemen, adopted the expedient 
of submitting to the Mamelukes ; who, in order to become mas- 
ters of all Syria, had only to reduce the cities and territories 
which the Franks, or Christians of the West, still retained in 
their possession. They first attacked the principality of Antioch, 
which they soon conquered (1268.) They next turned their 
arias against the county of Tripoli, the capital of which they 
took by assault (1289.) The city of Ptolemais shared the same 
fate ; after an obstinate and murderous siege, it was carried 
sword in hand. Tyre surrendered on capitulation ; and the 
Franks were entirely expelled from Syria and the East in the 
year 1291. 



From, Pope Boniface VIII. to the taking of Constantinople by 
the Turks, a. d. 1300—1453. 
At the commencement of this period, the Pontifical power 
was in the zenith of its grandeur. The Popes proudly assumed 
the title of Masters of the World ; and asserted that their author- 
ity, by divine right, comprehended every other, both spiritual 
and temporal. Boniface VIII. went even farther than his pre- 
decessors had done. According to him, the secular power was 
nothing else than a mere emanation from the ecclesiastical ; 
and this double power of the Pope was even made an article of 
belief, and founded on the sacred scriptures. " God has in- 
trusted," said he, " to St. Peter and his successors, two swords, 
the one spiritual, and the other temporal. The former can be 
exercised by the church alone ; the other, by the secular princes, 
for the service of the church, and in submission to the will ol 
the Pope. This latter, that is, the temporal sword, is subordi- 
nate to the former; and all temporal authority necessarily de- 
pends on the spiritual, which judges it; whereas God alone can 
judge the spiritual power. Finally," added he, " it is absolutely 


indispensable to salvation, that every human creature be subject 
to the Pope of Rome." This same Pope published the first 
Jubilee (1300,) with plenary indulgence for all who should visit 
the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul at Rome. An immense 
crowd from all parts of Christendom flocked to this capital of 
the Western world, and filled its treasury with their pious 

The spiritual power of the Popes, and their jurisdiction over 
the clergy, was moreover increased every day, by means of 
dispensations and appeals, which had multiplied exceedingly 
since the introduction of the Decretals of Gregory IX. They 
disposed, in the most absolute manner, of the dignities and be- 
nefices of the Church, and imposed taxes at their pleasure on 
all the clergy in Christendom. Collectors or treasurers were 
established by them, who superintended the levying of the 
dues they had found means to exact, under a multitude of dif- 
ferent denominations. These collectors were empowered, by 
means of ecclesiastical censure, to proceed against those who 
should refuse to pay. They were supported by the authority 
of the legates who resided in the ecclesiastical provinces, and 
seized with avidity every occasion to extend the usurpation of 
the Pope. Moreover, in support of these legates appeared a 
vast number of Religious and Mendicant Orders, founded in 
those ages of ignorance ; besides legions of monkti dispersed 
over all the states of Christendom. 

Nothing is more remarkable than the influence of the papal 
authority over the temporalities of princes. We find them in- 
terfering in all their quarrels — addressing their commands to 
all without distinction — enjoining some to lay down their 
arms — receiving others under their protection — rescinding and 
annulling their acts and proceedings — summoning them to their 
court, and acting as arbiters in their disputes. The history of 
the Popes is the history of all Europe. They assumed the 
privilege of legitimating the sons of kings, in order to qualify 
them for the succession ; they forbade sovereigns to tax the 
clergy ; they claimed a feudal superiority over all, and exer- 
cised it over a very great number ; they conferred royalty on 
those who were ambitious of power ; they released subjects 
from their oath of allegiance ; dethroned sovereigns at their 
pleasure ; and laid kingdoms and empires under interdict, to 
avenge their own quarrels. We find them disposing of the 
states of excommunicated princes, as well as those of heretics 
and their followers ; of islands and kingdoms newly discovered ; 
of the property of infidels or schismatics ; and even of Catholics 
who refused to bow before the insolent tyranny of the Popes.* 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 167 

Thus, it is obvious that the Court of Rome, at the time of which 
we speak, enjoyed a conspicuous preponderance in the political 
svslem of Europe. But in the ordinary course of human af- 
fairs, this power, vast and formidable as it was, began, from the 
fourteenth century, gradually to diminish. The mightiest em- 
pires have their appointed term ; and the highest stage of their 
elevation is often the first step of their decline. Kings, be- 
coming more and more enlightened as to their true interests, 
learned to support the rights and the majesty of their crowns, 
against the encroachments of the Popes. Those who were 
vassals and tributaries of the Holy See, gradually shook off the 
yoke ; even the clergy, who groaned under the weight of this 
spiritual despotism, joined the secular princes in repressing 
these abuses, and restraining within proper bounds a power which 
was making incessant encroachments on their just prerogatives. 

Among the causes which operated the downfall of the Pon- 
tifical power, may be ranked the excess of the power itself, 
and the abuses of it made by the Popes. By issuing too often 
their anathemas and interdicts, they rendered them useless and 
contemptible ; and by their haughty treatment of the greatest 
princes, they learned to become inflexible and boundless in their 
own pretensions. An instance of this may be recorded, in the 
famous dispute which arose between Boniface VIII. and Philip 
the Fair, King of France. Not content with constituting him- 
self judge between the King and his vassal the Count of Flan- 
ders, that Pontiff maintained, that the King could not exact 
subsidies from the clergy without his permission ; and that the 
fight of Regale (or the revenues of vacant bishoprics) which 
e\\e Crown enjoyed, was an abuse which should not be tolera- 
ted.-* He treated as a piece of insanity the prohibition of 
Philip against exporting either gold or silver out of the king- 
iom ; and sent an order to all the prelates in France to repair 
-n person to Rome on the 1st of November, there to advise 
measures for correcting the King and reforming the State. He 
declared, formally, that the King was subject to the Pope, as 
well in temporal as spiritual matters ; and that it was a fool- 
ish persuasion to suppose that the King had no superior on 
earth, and was not dependent on the supreme Pontiff. 

Philip ordered the papal bull which contained these ex- 
travagant assertions to be burnt , he forbade his ecclesiastics to 
leave the realm ; and having twice assembled the States-Ge- 
neral of the kingdom (1302 — 3,) he adopted, with their advice 
and approbation, measures against these dangerous pretensions 
of the Court of Rome. The Three Estates, who appeared for 
the first time in these Assemblies, declared themselves strongly 


in favour of the King, and the independence of the crown. In 
consequence, the excommunication which the Pope had threat- 
ened against the King proved ineffectual. Philip made his 
appeal to a future assembly, to which the three orders of the 
State adhered.^ 

The Emperor Louis of Bavaria, a prince of superior merit, 
having incurred the censures of the Church for defending the 
rights and prerogatives of his crown, could not obtain absolu- 
tion, notwithstanding the most humiliating condescensions, and 
the offer which he made to resign the Imperial dignity, and 
surrender himself, his crown and his property, to the discretion 
of the Pope. He was loaded with curses and anathemas, after 
a series of various proceedings which had been instituted 
against him. The bull of Pope Clement VL, on this occasion, 
far surpassed all those of his predecessors. " May God (said 
he, in speaking of the Emperor) smite him with madness and 
disease ; may heaven crush him with its thunderbolts ; may 
the wrath of God, and that of St. Peter and St. Paul, fall on 
him in this world and the next ; may the whole universe com- 
bine against him ; may the earth swallow him up alive ; may 
his name perish in the first generation, and his memory disap- 
pear from the earth ; may all the elements conspire against 
him ; may his children, delivered into the hands of his enemies, 
be massacred before the eyes of their father." The indignity 
of such proceedings roused the attention of the princes and 
states of the Empire ; and on the representation of the Electo- 
ral College, they thought proper to check these boundless pre- 
tensions of the Popes, by a decree which was passed aW.the Diet 
of Frankfort in 1338. This decree, regarded as the fundamen- 
tal law of the Empire, declared, in substance, that the Imperial 
dignity held only of God ; that he whom the Electors had 
chosen emperor by a plurality of suff^rages, was, in virtue of that 
election, a true king and emperor, and needed heither confirma- 
tion nor coronation from the hands of the Pope ; and that all 
persons who should maintain the contrary, should be treated as 
guilty of high treason. 

Among other events prejudicial to the authority of the Popes, 
one was, the translation of the Pontifical* See from Rome to 
Avignon. Clement V., archbishop of Bordeaux, having been 
advanced to the papacy (1305,) instead of repairing to Rome, 
had his coronation celebrated at Lyons ; and thence he trans- 
ferred his residence to Avignon (1309,) out of complaisance 
to Philip the Fair, to whom he owed his elevation. The suc- 
cessors of this Pope continued their court at Avignon until 
1367. when Gregory XI- asjain removed the See to Rome. 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 169 

This sojourn at Avignon tended to weaken the authority of the 
Popes, and diminish the respect and veneration which till ther 
had been paid them. The prevailing opinion beyond the Alps 
admitted no other city than that of Rome for the true capital o 
St. Peter ; and they despised the Popes of Avignon as aliens 
who, besides, were there surrounded with powerful princes, t(r 
whose caprice they were often obliged to yield, and to make 
condescensions prejudicial to the authority they had usurped 
This circumstance, joined to the lapse of nearly seventy years 
caused the residence at Avignon to be stigmatized by the Italians 
under the name of the Babylonish Captivity. It occasioned alsc 
the diminution of the papal authority at Rome, and in the Ec 
clesiastical States. The Italians, no longer restrained by the 
presence of the sovereign pontiffs, yielded but a reluctant obe- 
dience to their representatives ; while the remembrance of their 
ancient republicanism induced them to lend a docile ear to those 
who preached up insurrection and revolt. The historian Rienzi 
informs us, that one Nicolas Gabrini, a man of great eloquence, 
and whose audacity was equal to his ambition, took advantage 
of these republican propensities of the Romans, to constitute 
himself master of the city, under the popular title of Tribune 
(1347.) He projected the scheme of a new government, called 
the Good Estate, which he pretended would obtain the accepta- 
tion of all the princes and republics of Italy ; but the despotic 
power which he exercised over the citizens, whose liberator and 
lawgiver he affected to be, soon reduced him to his original in- 
significance ; and the city of Rome again assumed its ancient 
form of government. Meantime the Popes did not recover their 
former authority ; most of the cities and slates of the Ecclesi- 
astical dominions, after having been long a prey to faction and 
discord, fell under the power of the nobles, who made an easy 
conquest of them ; scarcely leaving to the Pope a vestige of the 
sovereign authority. It required all the insidious policy of 
Alexander VI., and the vigilant activity of Julius II., to repair 
the injury which the territorial influence of the Pontifis had suf- 
fered from their residence at Avignon. 

Another circumstance that contributed to humble the .papal 
authority, was the schisms which rent the Church, towards the 
end of the fourteenth, and beginning of the fifteenth century. 
Gregory XL, who had abandoned Avignon for Rome, being dead 
(1378,) the Italians elected a Pope of their own nation, who 
took the name of Urban VI., and fixed his residence at Rome. 
The French cardinals, on the other hand, declared in favour ot 
the Cardinal Robert of Geneva, known by the name of Clemen 
VII., who fixed his capital at Avignon. The whole of Chris 

VOT,. I. 15 


tendom was divided between these two Popes ; and this grand 
schism continued from 1378 till 1417. At Rome, Urban VI. 
was succeeded bj'' Boniface IX., Innocent VII., and Gregory 
XII. ; while Clement VII. had Benedict XIII. for his successor 
at Avignon. In order to terminate this schism, every expedient 
was tried to induce the rival Popes to give in their abdication ; 
but both having refused, several of the Cardinals withdrew their 
allegiance, and assembled a council at Pisa (1409,) where the 
two refractory Popes were deposed, and the pontifical dignity 
conferred on Alexander V., who was afterwards succeeded by 
John XXIII. This election of the council only tended to in- 
crease the schism. Instead of two Popes, there arose three ; 
and if his Pisan Holiness gained partisans, the Popes of Rome 
and Avignon contrived also to maintain each a number of sup- 
porters. All these Popes, wishing to maintain their rank and 
lignity with that splendour and magnificence which their pre- 
decessors had displayed before the schism, set themselves to 
invent new means of oppressing the people ; hence the immense 
number of abuses and exactions, which subverted the discipline 
of the church, and roused the exasperated nations against the 
court of Rome. 

A new General Council was convoked at Constance (1414) 
by order of the Emperor Sigismund ; and it was there tliat the 
maxim of the unity and permanency of Councils was established, 
as well as of its superiority over the Pope, in all that pertains 
to matters of faith, to the extirpation of schism, and the refor- 
mation of the church both in its supreme head, and in its subor- 
dinate members. The grand schism was here terminated by 
the abdication of the Roman pontifl', and the deposition of those 
of Pisa and Avignon. It was this famous council that gave 
their decision against John Huss, the Reformer of Bohemia, 
and a follower of the celebrated Wicklifi' His doctrines were 
condemned, and he himself burnt at Constance; as was Jerome 
of Prague, one of his most zealous partisans. As to the mea- 
sures that were taken at Constance for effecting the reformation 
of the Church, they practically ended in nothing. As their 
main object was to reform the court of Rome, by suppressing 
or limiting the new prerogatives which the Popes for several 
centuries had usurped, and which referred, among other things, 
to the subject of benefices and pecuniary exactions, all those 
who had an interest in maintaining these abuses, instantly set 
themselves to defeat the proposed amendments, and elude re- 
dress. The Council had formed a committee, composed of the 
deputies of different nations, to advise means for accomplishing 
this reformation, which the whole world so ardently desired. 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 171 

This committee, known by the name of the College of Reformers. 
had already made considerable progress in their task, when a 
question was started, Wlielher it was proper to proceed to any 
reformation without the consent and co-operation of the visible 
Head of the Church ? It was carried in the negative, through the 
intrigues of the cardinals; and, before they could accomplish 
this salutary work of reformation, the election of a new Pope 
had taken place (1417.) The choice fell on Otho de Colonna, 
who assumed the name of Martin V., and in conformity with a 
previous decision of the council, he then laid before them a 
scheme of reform. This proceeding having been disapproved 
by the different nations of Europe, the whole matter was 
remitted to the next council ; and in the meanwhile, they did 
nothing more than pass some concordats, with the new Pope, 
as to what steps they should take until the decision of the ap- 
proaching council. 

This new council, which was assembled at Basle (1431) by 
Martin V., resumed the suspended work of reformation. The 
former decrees, that a General Council was superior to the Pope, 
and could not be dissolved or prorogued except by their own 
free consent, were here renewed ; and the greater part of the 
reserves, reversions, annats, and other exactions of the Popes, 
were regularly abolished. The liberty of appeals to the Court 
of Rome, was also 'circumscribed. Eugenius IV., successor to 
Martin V., alarmed at the destruction thus aimed at his author- 
ity, twice proclaimed the dissolution of the Council. The first 
dissolution, which occurred on the 17th of December 1431, was 
revoked, at the urgent application of ihe Emperor Sigismuud, 
by a bull of the same Pope, issued on the 15th of December 
1^33. In this he acknowledged the validity of the Council, 
and annulled all that he had formerly done to invalidate its au- 
thority. The second dissolution look place on the 1st of Octo- 
ber 1437. Eugenius then transferred the Council to Ferrara, 
and from Ferrara to Florence, on pretext of his negotiating a 
union with the Greek church. This conduct of the Pope oc- 
casioned a new schism. The prelates who remained at Basle, 
instituted a procedure against him ; they first suspended him 
for contumacy, and finally deposed him. Amadous VIII., Ex- 
duke of Saxony, was elected in his place, under the name ol 
Felix v., and recognised by all the partisans of the Council as 
the legitimate Pope. This latter schism lasted ten years, Fe- 
lix V. at length gave in his demission ; and the Council, which 
had withdrawn from Basle to Lausanne, terminated its sittings 
in 1449. 

The French nation adopted several of tlic decices of the 


Council of Basle ia the famous Pragmatic Sanction, which 
Charles VII. caused to be drawn up at Bourges (1438;) and 
whose stipulations served as the basis of what is called the 
Liberties of the Gallican Church. The example of the French 
was speedily followed by the Germans, who acceded to these 
decrees, at the Diet of Mayence in 1439. The Court of Rome 
at length regained a part of those honourable and lucrative right.s 
of which the Council of Basle had deprived them, by the con- 
cordats which the Germans concluded (1448) with Nicholas V., 
and the French (1516) with Leo X. The Councils of which 
we have now spoken, tended materially to limit the exorbitant 
power of the Roman pontiffs, by giving sanction to the princi- 
ple which established the superiority of General Councils over 
the Popes. This maxim put a check to the enterprising ambi- 
tion of the Court of Rome ; and kings availed themselves of it 
to recover by degrees the prerogatives of their crowns. The 
Popes, moreover, sensible of their weakness, and of the need 
they had for the protection of the sovereigns, learned to treat 
them with more attention and respect. 

At length the new light which began to dawn about the four- 
teenth century, hastened on the progress of this revolution, by 
gradually dissipating the darkness of superstition into which 
the nations of Europe were almost universally sunk. In the 
midst of the distractions which agitated the Empire and the 
Church, and during the papal schism, several learned and in- 
trepid men made their appearance, who, while investigating the 
origin and abuse of the new power of the Popes, had the courage 
to revive the doctrine of the ancient canons, to enlighten the 
minds of sovereigns as to their true rights, and to examine with 
care into the justs limits of the sacerdotal authority. Among 
the first of these reformers was John of Paris, a famous Do- 
tninican, who undertook the defence of Philip the Fair, King of 
France, against Pope Boniface VIII. His example was follow- 
ed by the celebrated poet Dante Alighieri, who took the part of 
the Emperor Louis of Bavaria against the Court of Rome. Mar- 
silo de Padua, John de Janduno, William Ockam, Leopold de 
Babenberg, &c. marched in the track of the Italian poet ; and 
among the crowd of writers that signalized themselves after the 
grand schism, three French authors particularly distinguished 
themselves, Peter d'Ailly, Nicholas de Clemange, and John 
Gerson, whose writings met with general applause. Most of 
these literary productions, however, were characterized by bad 
taste. The philosophy of Aristotle, studied in Arabic transla- 
tions, and disfigured by scholastic subtleties, reigned in all the 
schools, imposed its fetters on the human mind, and nearly ex- 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 173 

tinguished every vestige of useful knowledge. The belles let- 
tres were quite neglected, and as yet had shed no lustre on the 
sciences. Sometimes, however, genius broke with a transient 
splendour through the darkness of this moral horizon ; and 
several extraordinary persons, despising the vain cavils of the 
schools, began to study truth in the volume of nature, and to 
copy after the beautiful models of antiquity. Such was Roger 
Bacon (1294,) an Englishman, and a Franciscan friar, who has 
become so famous by his discoveries in chemistry and mechani- 
cal philosophy. Danie (1321,) nurtured in the spirit of the an- 
cients, was the first that undertook to refine the Italian language 
into poetry, and gave it the polish of elegance and grace in 
his compositions. He was succeeded by two other celebrated 
authors, Petrarca and Boccacio (1374-5.) 

The period of which we speak gave birth to several new in- 
ventions, which proved useful auxiliaries to men of genius, and 
tended to accelerate the progress of knowledge, letters, and arts. 
Among the principal of these may be mentioned the invention 
of writing paper, oil-painting, printing, gunpowder, and the ma- 
riner's compass ; to the effects of which, Europe, in a great 
measure, owes its civilization, and the new order of things 
which appeared in the fifteenth century. 

Before the invention of paper from linen, parchment was gen- 
erally used in Europe for the transcribing of books, or the draw- 
ing out of public deeds. Cotton paper, which the Arabs brought 
from the East, was but a poor remedy for the scarceness and 
dearth of parchment. It would appear, that the invention of 
paper from linen, and the custom of using it in Europe, is not 
of older date than the thirteenth century. The famous Mont- 
faucon acknowledges, that, in spite of all his researches, both in 
France and Italy, he could never find any manuscript or char- 
ter, written on our ordinary paper, older than the year 1270, 
the time when St. Louis died. The truth is, we know neither 
the exact date of the invention of this sort of paper, nor the name 
of the inventor.^ It is certain, however, that the manufacture 
of paper from cotton must have introduced that of paper from 
linen; and the only question is, to determine at what time the 
use of linen became so common in Europe, as to lead us to sup- 
pose they might convert its rags into paper. The cultivation 
of hemp and flax being originally peculiar to the northern coun- 
tries, it is probable that the first attempts at making paper of 
linen rags were made in Germany, and the countries abounding 
in flax and hemp, rather than in the southern provinces of Eu- 
rope. The most ancient manufactory of paper from linen to be 
met with in Germany, was established at Nuremberg (1390.) 



The invention of oil-painting is generally ascribed to tlie two 
brothers Van-Eick, the younger of whom, known by the name 
of John of Bruges, had gained considerable celebrity about the 
end of the fourteenth century. There is, however, reason to 
believe that this invention is of an older date. There are two 
authors who have carried it back to the eleventh century, viz. 
Theophilus and Eraclius, whose works in manuscript have been 
preserved in the library at Wolffenbuttel, and in that of Trinity 
College, Cambridge ; and who speak of this art as already known 
in their times. According to them, all sorts of colours could be 
mixed up with linseed oil, and employed in painting; but they 
agree as to the inconvenience of applying this kind of painting 
to images or portraits, on account of the difficulty in drying 
colours mixed with oil. Admitting the credibility of these two 
authors, and the high antiquity of their works, it would appear, 
nevertheless, thai they made no great use of this invention ; 
whether it may be that painters preferred to retain their for- 
mer mode, or that the difficulty of drying oil colours had dis- 
couraged them. It is, however, too true, that the finest inven- 
tions have often languished in unmerited neglect, long before 
men had learned to reap any adequate advantage from them. 
Were the Van-Eicks the first that practised this style of paint- 
ing ? Or did John of Bruges, the younger of the brothers, and 
who carried it to the highest degree of perfection, invent some 
mixture or composition for increasing the exsiccative qualities 
of linseed or nut oil ; especially with regard to colours not easily 
dried ? It belongs to connoisseurs and artists to examine these 
questions, as well as to decide whether the pictures, alleged to 
have been painted in oil-colours before the time of the Van- 
Eicks, were executed with any degree of perfection in that style 
of painting.** This invention totally changed the system and 
the principles of the art of painting. It gave birth to rules as 
to light and shade, and procured modern painters one advantage 
over the ancients, that of rendering their works much more 

One of the most important inventions is that of printing; 
which was borrowed, it would appear, from the an of engraving 
on wood ; while this latter owes its origin to the moulding or 
imprinting of common cards, which seems to have suggested the 
first idea of it. The use of cards was borrowed from Italy ; 
though we find this custom established in Germany soon after 
the commencement of the fourteenth century, where card- 
makers formed a distinct trade, about four and twenty years be- 
fore the invention of printing. It is probable that the Germans 
were the first who designed models and proper casts for the im- 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 175 

pression of cards.' The desire of g^ain, suggested to these 
card-makers the idea of engraving on wood, after the same 
manner, all kinds of figures or scenes from Sacred History, 
accompanied with legends, or narratives, intended to explain 
their meaning. It was from these legends, printed in single 
folios, and published also in the form of books, or rather of im- 
pressions from engravings on solid blocks of wood, that the art 
of typography took its origin.^ This wonderful art, to which 
Europe owes its astonishing progress in the sciences, consists 
of two distinct inventions, — that of the moveable types, and that 
of the font. The former belongs to John Gutenberg, a gentle- 
man of Mayence, who made his first attempt in moveable types 
at Strasbiirg, in 1436 ; the other, which is generally attributed 
to Peter Schcsffer of Gernsheim, took place at Mayence in 1452, 
Gutenberg resided at Strasburg, from 1424 till 1445. Being a 
noble senator of that city, he married a lady of rank ; and during 
the twenty years of his residence there, he cultivated all sorts 
of occult arts, especially that of printing. It was chiefly in re- 
ference to this latter art that he contracted an acquaintance with 
several of his wealthy fellow-citizens, one of whom, named 
Andrew Drizehn, having died, his heirs brought an action against 
Gutenberg on account of some claims which ihey laid to his 
charge. The magistrate ordered an inquiry to be instituted, the 
original copy of which, drawn up in 1439, was discovered by 
Schoepflin (1745) in the archives of the city, and is still preserv- 
ed in the public library at Strasburg. According to this au- 
thentic document, it appears, that from the year 1436, there 
existed a printing-press at Strasburg, under the direction of 
Gutenburg, and in the house of Andrew Drizehn, his associate; 
that this press consisted of forms, that were fastened or locked 
by means of screws ; and that the types, either cut or engraved, 
which v/ere enclosed within these forms, were moveable.^ 

Gutenburg, after his return to Mayence, still continued his 
typographical labours. While there, he contracted an acquaint- 
ance with a new associate in the exercise of his art (1445) — the 
fumous John Faust, a citizen of Mayence. This second alliance 
continued only five years ; and it is within this interval, as is 
generally supposed, that the invention of the font, or casting of 
types, should be placed ; as well as that of the die and the mould 
or matrix, by the help of which the art of typography was brouoht 
nearly to its present state of perfection.'" Some disputes, which 
had arisen between these new associates, having dissolved their 
partnership, Faust obtained the press of Gutenberg, with all its 
printing apparatus, w'hich had fallen to him by sequestration. 
Gutenberg, however fitted up another press, and continued to 


print till the time of his death, in 1468. Not one of the books 
which issued from the press of this celebrated man, either 
at Stiasburg or Mayence, bears the name of the inventor, or the 
date of the impression ; wiiether it was that Gutenberg made a 
secret of his invention, or that the prejudices at the cast to which 
he belonged prevented him from boasting of his discovery. ^^ 
Faust, on the contrary, no sooner saw himself master of Guten- 
berg's presses, than he became ambitious of notoriety, an ex- 
ample of which he gave by prefixing his name and that of Peter 
Schoeffer to the famous Psalter, which they published in 1457. 

The arts of which we have just spoken, in all probability, 
suggested the idea of engraving on copper, of which we can 
discover certain traces towards the middle of the fifteenth cen- 
tury. The honour of this invention is generally ascribed to a 
goldsmith of Florence, named Maso Finiguerra, who is supposed 
to have made this discovery about the year 1460, while engrav- 
ing figures on silver plate. Baccio Baldini, another Florentine, 
Andrew Montegna, and Mark Antony Raimondi, both Italians, 
followed in the steps of Finiguerra, and brought this art to a 
high degree of perfection. There is, however, some cause to 
doubt whether Finiguerra was exactly the first to whom the 
idea of this sort of engraving occurred ; since, in difl"erent cabi- 
nets in Europe, we find specimens of engraving on copper, of a 
date earlier than what has been assigned to Finiguerra. If, 
however, the glory of this invention belongs in reality to the 
Italians, it is quite certain that the art of engraving on copper, 
as well as on wood, was cultivated from its infancy, and brought 
to perfection, in Germany. The first native engravers in that 
country who are known, either by their names or their signa- 
tures, in the fifteenth century, were Martin Schoen, a painter and 
engraver at Col mar, where he died in 1486; the two Israels 
Von Mecheln, father and son, who resided at Bockholt, in West- 
phalia ; and Michael Wolgemuth of Nuremberg, the master of 
the celebrated Albert Durer, who made so conspicuous a figure 
about the end of the fifteenth and beginning of the sixteenth 

Next to the invention of printing, there is no other that so 
much arrests our attention as that of gunpowder, which, by in- 
troducing artillery, and a new method of fortifying, attacking, 
and defending cities, wrought a complete change in the whole 
art and tactics of war. This invention comprises several disco- 
veries which it is necessary to distinguish from each other. 1 
The discovery of nitre, the principal ingredient in gunpowder, 
and the cause of its detonation. 2. The mixture of nitre with 
sulphur and charcoal, which, properly speaking, forms the in- 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 177 

vention of gunpowder. 3. The application of powder to tire- 
works. 4. Its employment as an agent or propelling power 
for throwing stones, bullets, or other heavy and combustible 
bodies. 5. Its employment in springing mines, and destroying 

All these discoveries belong to different epochs. The know 
ledge of saltpetre or niire, and its explosive properties, called 
detonation, is very ancient. Most probably it was brought to 
us from the East (India or China,) where saltpetre is found in a 
natural slate of preparation. It is not less probable that the 
nations of the East were acquainted with the composition of 
gunpowder before the Europeans, and that it was the Arabs who 
first introduced the use of it into Europe. The celebrated Roger 
Bacon, an English monk or friar of the thirteenth century, was 
acquainted with the composition of powder, and its employment 
in fire-works and public festivities ; and according to all appear- 
ances, he obtained this information from the Arabic authors, 
who excelled in their skill of the chemical sciences. The em- 
ployment of gunpowder in Europe as an agent for throwing balls 
and stones, is ascertained to have been about the commencement 
of the fourteenth century ; and it was the Arabs who first avail- 
ed themselves of its advantages in their wars against the Span- 
iards. From Spain the use of gunpowder and artillery passed 
to France, and thence it gradually extended over the other 
States of Europe. As to the application of powder to mines, 
and the destruction of fortified works, it does not appear to 
have been in practice before the end of the fifteenth cen- 
tury.^- The introduction of bombs and mortars seems to have 
been of an earlier date (1467.) The invention of these in 
Europe, is attributed to Sigismund Pandolph Malatesta, Prince 
of Rimini ; but in France they were not in use till about the 
reign of Louis XIII. Muskets and matchlocks began to be in- 
troduced early in the fifteenth century. They were without 
spring-locks till 1517, when for the first lime muskets and pis- 
tols with spring-locks were manufactured at Nuremberg. 

Several circumstances tended to check the progress of fire- 
arms and the improvement of artillery. Custom made most 
people prefer their ancient engines of war ; the construction of 
cannons was but imperfect ;'•' the manufacture of gunpowder 
bad ; and there was a very general aversion to the newly in- 
vented arms, as contrary to humanity, and calculated to extin- 
guish military bravery. Above all, the knights, whose science 
WPS rendered com])letely useless by the introduction of fire- 
arms, set themselves with all their might to oppose this invention. 

From what we have just said it is obvious, that the common 


tradition which ascribes the invention of gunpowder to a certain 
monk, named Berthold Schwartz, merits no credit whatever. 
This tradition is founded on mere hearsay ; and no writers 
agree as to the name, the country, or the circumstances of this 
pretended inventor ; nor as to the time and place when he made 
this extraordinary discovery. Lastly, the mariner's compass, 
so essential to the art of navigation, was likewise the produc- 
tion of the barbarous ages to which we now refer. The ancients 
were aware of the property of the magnet to attract iron ; but 
its direction towards the pole, and the manner of communica- 
ting its magnetic virtues to iron and steel, were unknown even 
to all those nations of antiquity who were renowned for their 
navigation and commerce. This discovery is usually attributed 
to a citizen of Amalfi, named Flavio Gioia, who is said to have 
lived about the beginning of the fourteenth century. This tra 
dition, ancient though it be, cannot be admitted, because we 
have incontestable evidence that, before this period, the polarity 
of the loadstone and the magnetic needle were known in Europe ; 
and that, from the commencement of the thirteenth century, the 
Proven5al mariners made use of the compass in navigation. ^^ 

It must be confessed, however, that we can neither point out 
the original author of this valuable discovery, nor the true time 
when it was made. All that can be well ascertained is, that 
the mariner's compass was rectified by degrees ; and that the 
English had no small share in these corrections. It is to this 
polar virtue or quality of the loadstone, and the magnetic 
needle, that we owe the astonishing progress of commerce and 
navigation in Europe, from the end of the fifteenth century. 
These were already very considerable at the time of which we 
speak, although navigation was as yet confined to the Mediter- 
ranean, the Baltic, and the shores of the Indian ocean. 

The cities of Italy, the Hanseatic towns, and those of the 
Low Countries, engrossed, at that time, the principal commerce 
of Europe. The Venetians, the Genoese, and the Florentines, 
were masters of the Levant. The Genoese had more espe- 
cially the command of the Black Sea, while the Venetians laid 
claim exclusively to the commerce of India and the East, which 
they carried on through the ports of Egypt and Syria. This 
rivalry in trade embroiled these two republics in frequent dis- 
putes, and involved them in long and sanguinary Avars. The 
result turned in favour of the Venetians, who found means to 
maintain the empire of the Mediterranean against the Genoese. 
The manufactories of silk, after having passed from Greece 
into Sicily, and from Sicily into the other parts of Italy, at 
length fixed their principal residence at Venice. This city 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 179 

came at length to furnish the greater part of Kurope with silk 
mercery, and the productions of Arabia and India. The Italian 
merchants, commonly known by the name of Lombards, ex- 
tended their traffic through all the different states of Europe. 
Favoured by the privileges and immunities which various 
sovereigns had granted them, they soon became masters of the 
commerce and the current money of every country where they 
established themselves ; and, in all probability, they were the 
first that adopted the practice of Letters or Bills of Exchange, 
of which we may discover traces towards the middle of the 
thirteenth century. 

The Hanseatic League, which the maritime cities on the 
Baltic had formed in the thirteenth century, for the protection 
of their commerce against pirates and brigands, gained very 
considerable accessions of strength in the following century, 
and even became a very formidable maritime power. A great 
number of the commercial cities of the En)pire, from the Scheld 
and the isles of Zealand, to the confines of Livonia, entered 
successively into this League ; and many towns in the interior, 
in order to enjoy their protection, solicited the favour of being 
admitted under its flag. The first public act of a general con- 
federation among these cities, was drawn up at the assembly of 
their deputies, held at Cologne, in 1364. The whole of the 
allied towns were subdivided into quarters ox circles; the most 
ancient of which were the Venedian quarter, containing the 
southern and eastern coasts of the Baltic; the Westphalian, 
for the towns on the western side ; and the Saxon, compre- 
hending the inland and intermediate towns. A fourth circle or 
quarter was afterwards added, that of the cities of Prussia and 
Livonia. The boundaries of these different circles and their 
capital towns varied from time to time. The general assem- 
blies of the League were held regularly every three years, in 
the city of Lubec, which w-as considered as the capital of the 
whole League ; while each of the three or four circles had also 
their particular or provincial assemblies. 

The most flourishing epoch of this League was about the 
end of the fourteenth and the early part of the fifteenth cen- 
tury. At that time, the deputies of more than fourscore cities 
appeared at its assemblies ; and even some towns who had not 
the privilege of sending deputies were, nevertheless, regarded 
as allies of the League. Having the command of the whole 
commerce of the Baltic, their cities exercised at their pleasure 
the rights of peace and war, and even of forming alliances. 
They equipped numerous and powerful fleets, and offered bat- 
tle to the sovereigns of the North, whenever they presumed to 


interfere with tli^ir monopoly, or to restrict the privileges and 
exemptions which they had the weakness to grant them. The 
productions of the North, such as hemp, flax, timber, potash, 
tar, corn, hides, furs, and copper, with the produce of the 
large and small fisheries on the coast of Schonen, Norway, 
Lapland, and Iceland, ^^ formed the staple of the Hanseatic. 
commerce. They exchanged these commodities, in the west- 
ern parts of Europe, for wines, fruits, drugs, and all sorts of 
cloths, which they carried back to the North in return. Their 
principal factories and warehouses, were at Bruges for Flan- 
ders, at London for England, at Novogorod for Russia, and at 
Bergen for Norway. The merchandise of Italy and the East 
\vas imported into Flanders, in Genoese or Venetian bottoms, 
which, at that time, carried on most of the commerce of the 
Levant and the Mediterranean. 

Extensive as the trade of the Hanseatic cities was, it proved 
neither solid nor durable. As they were themselves deficient 
in the articles of raw materials and large manufactories, and 
entirely dependent on foreign traffic, the industry of other na- 
tions, especially of those skilled in the arts, had a ruinous effect 
on their commerce; and, in course of time, turned the current 
of merchandise into other channels. Besides, the want of 
union among these cities, their factions and intestine divisions, 
and their distance from each other, prevented them from ever 
forming a territorial or colonial power, or obtaining possession 
of the Sound, which alone was able to secure them the exclu- 
sive commerce of the Baltic. The sovereigns of Europe, per- 
ceiving at length more clearly their true interests, and sensible 
of the mistake they had committed in surrendering the whole 
commerce of their kingdom to the Hanseatic merchants, used 
every means to limit and abridge their privileges more and 
more. This, in consequence, involved the confederate towns in 
several destructive wars with the Kings of the North, which 
exhausted their finances, and induced one city after another to 
abandon the League. The English and the Dutch, encouraged 
by the Danish Kings, took advantage of this favourable oppor- 
tunity to send their vessels to the Baltic ; and by degrees they 
appropriated to themselves the greater part of the trade that 
had been engrossed by the Hanseatic Union. But what is of 
more importance to r'^mark, is, that this League, as well as that 
of Lombardy, having been formed in consequence of the state 
of anarchy "into which the Empire had fallen in the middle 
ages, the natural result was, that it should lose its credit and its 
influence in proportion as the feudal anarchy declined, and when 
the administration of the Empire had assumed a new form, and 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 181 

the landed rjobility, emboldened by the accessions which the 
seventeentli century had made to their power, had found means 
to compel their dependent cities to return to their allegiance, 
after having made repeated efforts to throw off their authority, 
encouraged as ihey were by the protection which the League 
held out to them. 

In this manner did the famous Hanseatic League, so formi- 
dable at the time of which we now speak, decline by degrees 
during the course of the seventeenth century, and in the eai;ly 
part of the eighteenth ; and during the Thirty Years War it be- 
came entirely extinct. The cities of Lubec, Hamburg and Bre- 
men, abandoned by all their confederates, entered into a new- 
union for the interests of their commerce, and preserved the an- 
cient custom of treating in common with foreign powers, under 
the name of the Hanse Towns. 

The cities of Italy and the North were not the only ones that 
made commerce their pursuit in the fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries. Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, and other towns in the 
Netherlands, contributed greatly to the prosperity of trade by 
their manufactures of cloth, cotton, camlets, and tapestry; arti- 
cles with which they supplied the greater part of Europe. The 
English exchanged their raw wool with the Belgians, for the 
finished manufactures of their looms, while the Italians furnish- 
ed them with the productions of the Levant, and the silk stuffs 
of India. Nothing is more surprising than the immense popu- 
lation of these cities, whose wealth and affluence raised their 
rulers to the rank of the most powerful princes in Europe. The 
city of Bruges was, as it were, the centre and principal reposi- 
tory for the merchandise of the North and the South. Such an 
entrepot was necessary, at a time when navigation was yet in 
its infancy. For this purpose, Flanders and Brabant were ex- 
tremely proper, as these provinces had an easy comnmnication 
with all the principal nations of the Continent ; and as the great 
number of their manufactories, together with the abundance of 
fish which their rivers afforded, naturally attracted a vast con- 
course of foreign traders. This superiority, as the commercial 
capital of the Low Countries, Bruges retained till nearly the 
end of the fifteenth century, when it lost this preponderance, 
which was then transferred to the city of Antwerp. 

The intestine dissensions with which the cities of Flanders 
and Brabant were agitated, the restraints which were incessant- 
ly imposed on their commerce, and the frequent wars which 
desolated the Low Countries, induced, from time to time, a great 
many Flemish operatives about the fourteenth century, and the 
Teign of Edward III., to take refuge in England, where they 

VOL. I, 16 


established their cloth manufactories under the immediate pro- 
tection of the crown. One circumstance which more particu- 
larly contributed to the prosperity of the Dutch commerce, was 
the new method of sailing and barrelling herring, which was 
discovered about the end of the fourteenth century (or 1400) b\' 
a man named William Beukelszoon, a native of Biervliet, near 
Sluys. The new passage of the Texel, which the sea opetied 
up about the same time, proved a most favourable accident for 
the city of Amsterdam, which immediately monopolized the 
principal commerce of the fisheries, and began to be frequented 
by the Hanseatic traders. 

We now return to the history of Germany. The Imperial 
throne, always elective, was conferred, in 1308, on the princes 
of the House of Luxembourg, who occupied it till 1438, when 
the House of Hapsburg obtained the Imperial dignity. It was 
under the reign of these two dynasties that the government of 
the Empire, which till then had been vacillating and uncertain, 
began to assume a constitutional form, and a new and settled 
code of laws. That which was published at the Diet of Frank- 
fort in 1338, secured the independence of the Empire against 
the Popes. It was preceded by a League, ratified at Rense by 
the Electors, and known by the name of the General Union of 
the Electors. The Golden Bull, drawn up by the Emperor 
Charles IV. (1356,) in the Diets of Nuremberg and Metz, fixed 
the order and the form of electing the Emperors, and the cere- 
monial of their coronation. It ordained that this election should 
be determined by a majority of the suffrages of the seven Elec- 
tors — and that the vote of ihe Elector, who might happen to be 
chosen, should also be included. Moreover, to prevent those 
electoral divisions, Avhich had more than once excited factions 
and civil wars in the Empire, this law fixed irrevocably the 
right of suffrage in the Principalities, then entitled Electorates. 
It forbade any division of these principalities, and for this end 
it introduced the principal of birthright, and the order of suc- 
cession, called agnate, or direct male line from the same father. 
Finally, the Golden Bull determined more particularly the rights 
and privileges of the electors, and confirmed to the electors of 
the Palatinate and Saxony the viceroyalty or government of the 
Empire during any interregnum. 

The efforts which the Council of Basle made for the reforma- 
tion of the church excited the attention of the Estates of the em- 
pire. In a diet held at Mayence (1439,) they adopted several 
decrees of that council, by a solemn act drawn up in presence 
of the ambassadors of the council, and of the kings of France, 
Castille, Arragon, and Portugal. Among these adopted decrees, 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 183 

which were not afterwards altered, we observe those which 
establish the superiority of councils above the Popes, which 
prohibited those appeals called omisso medio, or immediate, and 
enjoined the Pope to settle all appeals referred to his court, by 
commissioners appointed by liim upon the spot. Two concor- 
dats, concluded at Rome and Vienna (1447^8,) between the 
Papal court and the German nation, confirmed these stipulations. 
The latter of these concordats, however, restored to the Pope 
several of the reserves, of which the Pragmatic Sanction had 
deprived him. He was also allowed to retain the right of con- 
^nrming the prelates, and enjoying the annats and the alternate 

The ties which united the numerous states of the German 
empire having been relaxed by the introduction of hereditary 
feudalism, and the downfall of Imperial authority, the conse- 
quence was, that those states, which were more remote from 
the seat of authority, by degrees asserted their independence, or 
were reduced to subjection by their more powerful neighbours. 
[t was in this manner that several provinces of the ancient 
kingdom of Burgundy, or Aries, passed in succession to the 
crown of France. Philip the Fair, taking advantage of the dis- 
putes which had arisen between the Archbishop and the citizens 
of Lyons, obliged the Archbishop, Peter de Savoy, to surrender 
to him by treaty (1312) the sovereignty of the city and its de- 
pendencies. The same kingdom acquired the province of Dau- 
phiny, in virtue of the grant which the last Dauphin, Humbert 
II., made (1349) of his estates to Charles, grandson of Philip de 
Valois, and first Dauphin of France. Provence was likewise 
added (1481) to the dominions of that crown, by the testament 
of Charles, last Count of Provence, of the House of Anjou. 
As to the city of Avignon, it was sold (1348) by Joan I., Queen 
of Naples, and Countess of Provence, to Pope Clement VI., 
who at the same time obtained letters-patent from the Emperor 
Charles IV., renouncing the claims of the Empire to the sove- 
reignty of that city, as well as to all lands belonging to the Church. 

A most important revolution happened about this time in 
Switzerland. That country, formerly dependent upon the king- 
dom of Burgundy, had become an immediate province of the 
Empire (1218,) on the ex'inction of the Dukes of Zahringen, 
who had governed it unJer the title of Regents. About the 
beginning of the fourteenth century, Switzerland was divided 
into a number of petty slates, both secular and ecclesiastical. 
Among these we find the Bishop of Basle, ihe Abbe of St. Gall, 
the Counts of Hapsburg, Toggenburg, Savoy, Gruyeres, Neuf- 
rhatel, WcrJ'.rbo'"';, Bucheck, &c. The towns of Zurich, So- 


leure, Basle, Berne, and others, had the rank of free and imperial 
cities. A part of the inhabitants of Uri, Schweitz, and Under- 
walden, who held immediatelj' of the Empire, were governed 
by their own magistrates, under the title of Cantons. They 
were placed by the Emperor under the jurisdiction of governors, 
who exercised, in his name and that of the Empire, the power 
of the sword in all these cantons. Such was the constitution 
of Switzerland, when the Emperor Albert I. of Austria, son of 
Rodolph of Hapsburg, conceived the project of extending hi? 
dominion in that country, where he already had considerable 
possessions, in his capacity of Count of Hapsburg, Kyburg, 
Baden, and Lentzburg. Being desirous of forming Switzerland 
into a principality, in favour of one of his sons, he made, in 
course of time, several new acqi'isitions of territory, with the 
view of enlarging his estates. Ihe Abbeys of Murbach, Ein- 
siedel, Interlaken, and Disentis, and the Canons of Lucerne, sold 
him their rights and possessions in Glaris, Lucerne, Schweitz, 
and Underwalden. He next directed his policy against the 
three immediate cantons of Uri, Schweitz, and Underwalden; 
and endeavoured to make them acknowledge the superiority of 
Austria, by tolerating the oppressions which the governors exer- 
cised, whom he had appointed to rule them in the name of the 
Empire. It was under these circumstances that three intrepid in- 
dividuals, Werner de Stauflach,a native of the canton of Schweitz, 
Walter Fiirst, of Uri, and Arnold de Melchlhal of Underwalden, 
took the resolution of delivering their country from the tyranny of 
a foreign yoke.^^ The conspiracy which they formed for this pur- 
pose, broke out on the 1st of January 1308. The governors, 
surprised in their castles by the conspirators, were banished the 
country, and their castles razed to the ground. The deputies 
of the three cantons assembled, and entered into a league of ten 
years for the maintenance of their liberties and their privileges; 
reserving however to the Empire its proper rights, as also those 
claimed by the superiors, whether lay or ecclesiastical. Thus 
a conspiracy, which was originally turned only against Austria, 
terminated in withdrawing Switzerland from the sovereignty of 
the German empire. The victory which the confederates gained 
over the Austrians at Morgarten, on the borders of the canton of 
Schweitz, encouraged them to renew their league at Brunnen 
(1315;) and to render it perpetual. As it was confirmed by oath, the 
confederates, from this circumstance, got the name o^Eidge/iossen, 
which means, boiatd by oath. This league became henceforth 
the basis o.f the federal system of the Swiss, who wcro. not long 
in strengthening their cause by the accession of other cantons. 
The city of Lucerne, having shaken off the yoke of Hapsburg, 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 186 

joined the League of Brunnen in 1332, Zurich in 1351, Glaris 
and Zug 1353, and Berne in 1355. These formed the eight 
ancient cantons. 

The situation of the confederates, however, could not fail to 
be very embarrassing, so long as the Auslrians retained the vast 
possessions which they had in the very centre of Switzerland. 
The proscription which the Emperor Sigismund and the Coun- 
cil of Constance, issued against Frederic, Duke of Austria (1415,) 
as an adherent and protector of John XXIII., at length fur- 
nished the Swiss with a favourable occasion for depriving the 
house of Austria of their possessions. The Bernese were the 
first to set the example; they took from the Austrian Dukes, 
the towns of Zoffingen, Aran, and Bruck, with the counties of 
Hapsburg and Lentzburg, and the greater part of Aargovia. Ky- 
burg fell into the hands of the Zurichers ; the Lucernese made 
themselves masters of Sursee ; and the free bailiwicks, with the 
county of Baden, the towns of Mellingen and Bremgarten, were 
subdued by the combined forces of the ancient cantons, who. 
since then, have possessed them in conrmon. 

In the kingdom of Lorraine a new power rose about this time 
(1363,) that of the Dukes of Burgundy. Philip the Hardy, 
younger son of John the Good, King of France, having been 
created Duke of Burgundy by the King his father, married 
Margaret, daughter and heiress of Louis III., last Count of 
Flanders. By this marriage he obtained Flanders, Artois, 
Franciie-Comtd, Nevers, Rethel, Malines, and Antwerp, and 
transmitted these estates to his son John the Fearless, and his 
grandson Philip the Good. This latter prince increased them 
still more by several new acquisitions. The Count of Namur 
.sold him his whole patrimony, (1428.) He inherited from his 
cousin Philip of Burginidy, the dutchies of Brabant and Lim- 
bourg, (1430.) Another cousin, the famous Jaqueline de Ba- 
varia, made over to him by treaty (1433) the counties of Hainault, 
Holland, Zealand, and Friesland, Finally, he acquired also the 
dulchy of Luxembourg and the county oi' Chiny, by a compact 
which he made with the Princess Elizabeth (1443,) niece of the 
Emperor Sigismund. These different accessions were so much 
the more important, as the Low Countries, especially Flanders 
and Brabant, were at that lime the seat of the most flourishing 
manufactories, and the principal mart of European commerce. 
Hence it happened, that the Dukes of Burgundy began to com- 
pete with the first powers in Europe, and even to rival the Kings 
of France. 

Among the principal reigning families of the Empire, several 
revolutions took place. The ancient Slavonic dynasty of the 

16 * 


Dukes and Kings of Bohemia became extinct with "Wenceslaua 
v., who was assassinated in 1306. The Emperor Henry VII., 
of the house of Luxembourg, seized this opportunity of trans- 
ferring to his own family the kingdom of Bohemia, in which he 
invested his son John (1309,) who had married the Princess 
Elizabeth, sister to the last King of Bohemia. John, having 
made considerable acquisitions in Bohemia, was induced to cede, 
by treaty with Poland, the sovereignty of that province. The 
Emperor Charles IV., son of John, incorporated Silesia, as also 
Lusatia, with the kingdom of Bohemia, by the Pragmatics 
which he published in 1355 and 1370. The war with the Hus- 
sites broke out on the death of the Emperor Wenceslaus, King 
of Bohemia (1418;) because the followers of John Huss, and 
Jerome of Prague, had refused to acknowledge, as successor of 
that prince, the Emperor Sigismund, his brother and heir, whom 
they blamed for the martyrdom of their leaders. This war 
one of the most sanguinary which the spirit of intolerance and 
fanaticism ever excited, continued for a long series of years 
John de Trocznova, surnamed Ziska, general-in-chief of the 
Hussites, defeated several times those numerous armies of cru- 
saders, which were sent against him into Bohemia; and it was 
not till long after the death of that extraordinary man, that Si- 
gismund succeeded in allaying the tempest, and re-establishing 
his own authority in that kingdom. 

The house of Wiltelsbach, which possessed at the same time 
the Palatinate and Bavaria, was divided into two principal 
branches, viz. that of the Electors Palatine, and the Dukes of 
Bavaria. By the treaty of division, which was entered into at 
Pavia (1329,) they agreed on a reciprocal succession of the two 
branches, in case the one or the other should happen to fail of 
heirs-male. The direct line of the Electors of Saxony of the 
Ascanian House happening to become extinct, the Emperor 
Sigismund, without paying any regard to the claims of the 
younger branches of Saxony, conferred that Electorate (1423,) 
as a vacant fief of the Empire, on Frederic the Warlike, Mar- 
grave of Misnia, who had rendered him signal assistance in the 
war against the Hussites. This Prince had two grandsons, 
Ernest" and Albert, from whom are descended the two principal 
branches, which still divide the House of Saxony. 

The Ascanian dynasty did not lose merely the Electorate of 
Saxony, as we have just stated ; it was also deprived, in the 
preceding century, of the Electorate of Brandenburg. Albert, 
surnamed the Bear, a scion of this house, had transmitted this 
latter Electorate, of which he was the founder, to his descend- 
ants in direct line, the male heirs of which failed about the be- 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 187 

ginning of the fourteenth century. The Emperor Louis of 
Bavaria then bestowed it on his eldest son Louis (1324,) to the 
exclusion of the collateral branches of Saxony and Anhalt. The 
Bavarian Princes, however, did not long preserve this Electo- 
rate ; they surrendered it (1373) to the Emperor Charles IV., 
whose son Sigismund ceded it to Frederic, Burgrave of Nu- 
remberg, of the House of Hohenzollern, who had advanced him 
considerable sums to defray his expeditions into Hungary. This 
Prince viras solemnly invested with the electoral dignity by the 
Emperor, at the Council of Constance (1417,) and became the 
ancestor of all the Electors and Margraves of Brandenburg, as 
well as of the Kings of Prussia. 

The numerous republics which had sprung up in Italy, in th^ 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries, were torn to pieces by contend- 
ing fiictions, and a prey to mutual and incessant hostilities. 
What contributed to augment the trouble and confusion in that 
unhappy country was, that, during a long series of years, no 
Emperor had repaired thither in person, or made the smallest 
attempt to restore the Imperial authority in those states. The 
feeble efforts of Henry VII., Louis o/" Bavaria, and Charles IV., 
only served to prove, that in Italy the royal prerogative was 
without vigour or effect. Anarchy evevy where prevailed ; and 
that spirit of liberty and republicanism which had once anima- 
ted the Italians gradually disappeared. Disgusted at length 
with privileges which had become so fatal to them, some of these 
republics adopted the plan of choosing new masters ; while 
others were subjected, against their inclinations, by the more 
powerful of t)ie unbles. The Marquises of Este seized Modena 
and Reggie (133'^,) and obtained the ducal dignity (1452) from 
ihe Emperor Frederic III. Mantua fell to the house of Gonza- 
ga, who possessed that sovereignty first under the title of Mar- 
graves, and afterwards under that of Dukes, which was confer- 
red on them by the Emperor Charles V. in 1530. But the 
greater part of these Italian republics fell to the share of the 
Visconti of Milan. The person who founded the prosperity of 
their house was Matthew Visconti, nephew of Otho Visconti, 
Archbishop of Milan. Invested with the titles of Captain and 
Imperial Viceroy in Lombardy, he continued to make himself 
acknowledged as sovereign of Milan (1315,) and conquered in 
succession all the principal towns and republics of Lombardy. 
His successors followed his example : they enlarged their terri- 
tories by several new conquests, till at length John Galeas, great 
grandson of Matthew Visconti, obtained, from the Emperor Wen- 
ceslaus (1395,) for a sum of a hundred thousand florins of gold 
which he paid him, the title of Duke of Milan for himself a»d 



all his descendants. The Visconti familjr reigned at Milan till 
1447, when they were replaced by thai of Sforza. 

Among the republics of Italy who escaped the catastrophe of 
the fourteenth century, the most conspicuous were those of 
Florence, Genoa and Venice. The city of Florence, like all 
the others in Tuscany, formed itself into a republic about the 
end of the twelfth century. Its government underwent frequent 
changes, after the introduction of a democracy about the middle 
of the thirteenth century. The various factions which had agi- 
tated the repvablic, induced the Florentines to elect a magistrate 
(1292,) called Gonfaloniere de Justice, or Captain of Justice; 
invested with power to assemble the inhabitants under his stand- 
ard, whenever the means for conciliation were insufficient tO' 
sxippress faction and restore peace. These internal agitations, 
however, did not prevent the Florentines from enriching them- 
selves by means of their commerce and manufactures. They 
succeeded, in course of time, in subjecting the greater part of 
the free cities of Tuscany, and especially that of Pisa, which 
they conquered in 1406. The republic of Lucca was the only 
one that maintained its independence, in spite of all the efforts 
which the Florentines made to subdue it. The republican form 
of government continued in Florence till the year 15.30, when 
the family of the Medici usurped the sovereignty, under the 
protection of the Emperor Charles V. 

The same rivalry which had set the Genoese to quarrel with 
the Pisans, excited their jealousy against the Venetians. The 
interests of these two Republics thwarted each other, both in the 
Levant and the Mediterranean. This gave rise to a long and 
disastrous series of wars, the last and most memorable of which 
was that of Chioggia (1376-82.) The Genoese, after a signal 
victory which they obtained over the Venetians, before Pola in 
the Adriatic Gulf, penetrated to the very midst of the lagoons 
of Venice, and attacked the port of Chioggia. Peter Doria made 
himself master of this port ; he would have even sui-prised Ve- 
nice, had he taken advantage of the first consternation of the 
Venetians, who were already deliberating whether they should 
abandon their city and take refuge in the isle of Candia. The 
tardiness of the Genoese admiral gave them time to recover 
themselves. Impelled by a noble despair, they made extraordi- 
nary efforts to equip a new fleet, with which they attacked the 
Genoese near Chioggia. This place was retaken (24th June 
13S0,) and the severe check which the Genoese there received, 
may be said to have decided the command of the sea in favour 
of the Venetians. But what contributed still more to the down- 
fall of the Genoese, was the instability of their government, and 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 189 

the internal commotions of the republic. Agitated by continual 
divisions between the nobles and the common citizens, and in- 
capable of managing their own affairs, they at length surrender- 
ed themselves to the power of strangers. Volatile and incon- 
stant, and equally impatient of liberty as q[ servitude, these 
fickle republicans underwent a frequent change of masters. 
Twice (1396-1458) they put themselves under the protection of 
the Kings of France. At length they discarded the French, 
and chose for their protector either the Marquis of Montferrat 
or the Duke of Milan. Finally, from the year 1464, the city of 
Genoa was constantly regarded as a dependency of the dutchy 
of Milan, until 1528, when it recovered once more its ancient 
state of independence. 

While the Republic of Genoa was gradually declining, that 
of Venice was every day acquiring new accessions of power. 
The numerous establishments which they had formed in the 
Adriatic Gulf and the Eastern Seas, together with the additional 
vigour which they derived from the introduction of the heredi- 
tary aristocracy, were highly advantageous to the progress of 
their commerce and marine. The treaty which they concluded 
with the Sultan of Egypt (1343,) by guaranteeing to their re- 
public an entire liberty of commerce in the ports of Syria and 
E;-Ypt, as also the privilege of having consuls at Alexandria and 
Dixinascus, put it in their power gradually to appropriate to 
themselves the whole trade of India, and to maintain it against 
the Genoese, who had disputed with them the commerce of the 
East, as well as the command of the sea. These successes en- 
couraged the Venetians to make new acquisitions ; the turbu- 
lent slate of Lombardy having afforded them an opportunity of 
enlarging their dominions on the continent of Italy, where at 
first they had possessed only the single dogeship of Venice, and 
the small province of Istria. They seized on Treviso, and the 
whole Trevisan March (1388,) which they took from the pow- 
erful house of Carrara. In 1420 they again got possession ot 
Dalmatia, which they conquered from Sigismund, King of Hun- 
gary. This conquest paved the way for that of Friuli, which 
they took about the same time from the Patriarch of Aquileia, 
an ally of the King of Hungary. At length, by a succession of 
good fortune, they detached from the dutchy of Milan (1404) 
the cities and territories of Vicenza, Belluno, Verona, Padua, 
Brescia, Bergamo, and Cremona (1454,) and thus formed a con- 
siderable estate on the mainland. 

Naples, during the course of this period, was governed by a 
descendant of Charles, of the first House of Anjou, and younger 
brother of St. Louis. Queen Joan I., daughter of Robert, King 


of Naples, having no children of her own, adopteo a younger 
prince of the Angevine family, Charles of Durazzo, whom she 
destined as her successor, after having given hitn her niece in 
marriage. This ungrateful prince, in his eagerness to possess 
the crown, took aiins against the Queen his benefactress, and 
compelled her to solicit the aid of foreign powers. It was on this 
occasion that Joan, after rescinding and annulling her former 
deed of adoption, made another in favour of Louis I., younger 
brother of Charles V., King of France, and founder of the second 
House of Anjou. But the succours of that prince came too late 
to save the Queen from the hands of her cruel enemy. Charles 
having made himself master of Naples and of the Queen's per- 
son (1382,) immediately put her to death, and maintained him- 
self on the throne, in spite of his adversary Louis of Anjou, who 
obtained nothing more of the Queen's estates than the single 
county of Provence, which he transmitted to his descendants, 
together wii,h his claim on the kingdom of Naples. Joan IL, 
daughter and heiress of Charles of Durazzo, having been at- 
tacked by Louis in. of Anjou, who wished to enforce the rights 
of adoption which had descended to him from his grandfather 
Louis I., she implored the protection of Alphonso V., King of 
Arragon, whom she adopted and declared her heir (1421 ;) but 
afterwards, having quarrelled with that prince, she changed her 
resolution, and passed a new act of adoption (1423) in favour of 
that same Louis of Anjou who had just made war against her 
Rene of Anjou, the brother and successor of that prince, took 
possession of the kingdom of Naples on the death of Joan II. 
(1435;) but he was expelled by the King of Arragon (1445,) 
who had procured from Pope Eugenius IV. the investiture of 
that kingdom, which he transmitted to his natural son Ferdi- 
nand, descended from a particular branch of the Kings of Na- 
ples. The rights of the second race of Angevine princes, were 
transfen-ed to the Kings of France, along with the county ol 
Provence (1481.) 

Spain, which was divided into a variety of sovereignties both 
Christian and Mahometan, presented at this time a kind of sepa- 
rate or distinct continent, whose interests had almost nothing in 
common with the rest of Europe. The King's of Navarre, Cas- 
tillo, and Arragon, disagreeing among themselves, and occupied 
with the internal affairs of their own kingdoms, had but little 
leisure to attempt or accomplish any foreign enterprise. Of all 
the Kings of Castillo at this period, the most famous, in the 
wars against the Moors, was Alphonso XI. The Mahometan 
kings of Morocco and Grenada having united their forces, laid 
siege to the city of Tariffa in Andalusia, where Alphonso, as- 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 191 

sisted by the King of Portugal, ventured to attack them in the 
neighbourhood of that place. He gained a complete victory over 
the Moors (1340;) and this was followed by the conquest of 
various other cities and districts,- among others, Alcala-Real. 
and Algeziras. 

While the Kings of Castille were extending their conquests 
in the interior of Spain, those of Arragon, hemmed in by the 
Castillians, were obliged to look for aggrandizement abroad. 
They possessed the country of Barcelona or Catalonia, in virtue 
of the marriage of Count Raymond Berenger IV. with Donna 
Petronilla, heiress of the kingdom of Arragon. To this ihey 
added the county of Rousillon, and the seignory or lordship of 
Montpelier, both of which, as well as Catalonia, belonged to the 
sovereignty of France. Don James I., who conquered the king- 
dom of Valencia and the Balearic Isles, gave these, with Rou- 
sillon and Montpelier, to Don James his younger son, and from 
whom were descended the Kings of Majorca, the last of whom, 
Don James III., sold Montpelier to France (1349.) Don Pedro 
III., King of Arragon, and eldest son of Don James I., took 
Sicily, as we have already seen, from Charles I. of Anjou. 
Ferdinand II., a younger son of Don Pedro, formed a separate 
branch of the kings of Sicily, on the extinction of w-hich (1409,) 
that kingdom reverted to the crown of Arragon. Sardinia was 
incorporated with the kingdom of Arragon by Don James II., 
who had conquered it from the Pisans. Finally, Alphonso V., 
King of Arragon, having deprived the Angevines of the king- 
dom of Naples, established a distinct line of Neapolitan kings. 
This kingdom was at length united with the monarchy of Arra- . 
gon by Ferdinand the Catholic. 

In Portugal, the legitimate line of kings, descendants of 
Henry of Burgundy, had tailed in Don Ferdinand, son and suc- 
cessor of Don Pedro III. This prince had an only daughter 
named Beatrix, born in criminal intercourse with Eleanora 
Tellez de Meneses, whom he had taken from her lawful hus- 
band. Being desirous to make this princess his successor, he 
married her, at the age of eleven, to John I., King of Castille : 
securing the throne to the son who should be born of this union, 
and failing him, to the King of Castille, his son-in-law. Fer- 
dmand dying soon after this marriage, Don Juan, his natural 
brother, and grand-master of the order of Aviez, knowing the 
aversion of the Portuguese for the Castillian swa}'-, turned this 
to his own advantage, by seizing the regency, of which he had 
deprived the Queen-dowager. The King of Castille imme- 
diately laid siege to Lisbon ; but having miscarried in this en- 
terprise, the States of Portugal assembled at Coimbra, nnd 


conferred the crown on Don Juan, known in history by the 
name oi Johii the Bastard. This prince, aided with troops from 
England, engaged the Castillians and their allies the Frencli, 
at the famous battle fought on the plains of Aljuharota (14th 
August 13S5.) The Portuguese remained masters of the field, 
and John the Bastard succeeded in maintaining himself on the 
throne of Portugal. The war, however, continued several 
years between the Portuguese and the Castillians, and did not 
terminate till 1411. By the peace which was then concluded, 
Henry III., son of John I., King of Castille, agreed never lo 
urge the claims of Queen Beatrix, his mother-in-law, who had 
no children. John the Bastard founded a new dynasty of kings, 
who occupied the throne of Portugal from 1385 lo 15S0. 

In France, the direct line of kings, descendants of Hugh 
Capet, having become extinct in the sons of Philip the Fair, 
the crown passed to the coFlateral branch of Valois (1328.) 
which furnished a series of thirteen kings, during a period o! 
two hundred and sixty-one years. 

The rivalry between France and England, which had sprung 
up during the preceding period, assumed a more hostile charac- 
ter on the accession of the family of Valois. Till ihen, the 
quarrels of the two nations had been limited to some particular 
territory, or province ; but now they disputed even the succes- 
sion to the throne of France, which the kings of England claimed 
as their right. Edward III., by his mother, Isabella of Franco, 
was nephew lo Charles IV., the last of the Capelian kings in a 
direct line. He claimed the succession in opposition to Philip 
VI., surnamed de Valois, who being cousin-german to Charles, 
was one degree more remote than the King of England. The 
claim of Edward was opposed by the Salic law, which excluded 
females from the succession to the throne ; but, according to the 
mterpretation of that prince, the law admitted his right, and 
must be understood as referring to females personally, who 
were excluded on account of the weakness of their sex, and 
not to their male descendants. Granting that his mother, Isa- 
bella, could not herself aspire to the crown, he maintained that 
she gave him the right of proximity, which qualified him for 
the succession. The States of France, however, having de- 
cided in favour of Philip, the King of England did fealty and 
homage to that prince for the dutchy of Guienne ; but he laid 
no claim to the crown until 1337, when he assumed the title 
and arms of the King of France. The war which began in 
1338, was renewed during several reigns, for the space of a 
hundred years, and ended with the entire expulsion of the Eng- 
Ksh from France. 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 193 

Nothing could be more wretched than the situation of this 
kingdom during the reign of Charles VI That prince having 
iallen into a state of insanity in the flower of his age, two par- 
ties, those of Burgundy and Orleans, who had disputed with 
each other abiut the regency, divided the Court into factions, 
and kindled the flames of civil war in the four corners of the 
kingdom. John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, and uncle 
to the king, caused Louis, Duke of Orleans, the King's own 
brother, to be assassinated at Paris (1407.) He himself was 
assassinated in his turn (1419) on the bridge of Montereau, 
in the very presence of the Dauphin, who was afterwards king, 
xnder the name of Charles VII. These dissensions gave the 
fclnglish an opportunity for renewing the war. Henry the V. 
of England gained the famous battle of Agincourt, which was 
followed by the conquest of all Normandy. Isabella of Ba- 
varia then abandoned the faction of Orleans, and the party of 
her son the Dauphin, and joined that of Burgundy. Philip 
the Good, Duke of Burgundy, and son of John the Fearless, 
being determined to revenge the death of his father, which he 
laid to the charge of the Dauphin, entered into a negotiation 
with England, into which he contrived to draw Queen Isabella, 
and the imbecile Charles the VI. By the treaty of peace con- 
cluded at Troyes in Champagne (1420,) it was agreed that 
Catharine of France, daughter of Charles VI. and Isabella of 
Bavaria, should espouse Henry V., and that, on the death of 
the King, the crown should pass to Henry, and the children of 
his marriage with the Princess of France ; to the exclusion of 
the Dauphin, who, as an accomplice in the murder of the Duke 
of Burgundy, was declared to have lost his rights to the crovvn, 
and was banished from the kingdom. Henry V. died in the 
flower of his age, and his death was followed soon after by that 
of Charles VI. Henry VI., son of Henry V. and Catharine of 
France, being then proclaimed King of England and France, 
fixed his residence at Paris, and had for his regents his two 
uncles, the Dukes of Bedford and Gloucester. 

Such was the preponderance of the English and Burgundian 
^jarty in France at this period, that Charles VII., commonly 
called the Dauphin, more than once saw himself upon the 
point of being expelled the kingdom. He owed his safety en- 
tirely to the appearance of the famous Joan of Arc, called the 
Maid of Orleans. This extraordinary woman revived the 
drooping courage of the French. She compelled the English 
to raise the siege of Orleans, and brought the King to be 
crowned at Rheims (1429.) But what contributed still more to 
retrieve the party of Charles VII., was the reconciliation of that 
vor,. T. 17 


prince with the Dulce of Burgundy, which took place at the 
peace of Arras (1435.) The Duke having then united hra 
forces with those of the King, the English were in their turn 
expelled from France (1453,) the single city of Calais being a'l 
that remained to them of their former conquests. 

An important revolution happened in the government of 
France under the reign of Charles VII. The royal authority 
gained fresh vigour by the expulsion of the English, and the 
reconciliation of various parties that took place in consequence. 
The feudal system, which till then had prevailed in France, fell 
by degrees into disuse. Charles was the first king who estab- 
lished a permanent militia, and taught his successors to abandon 
the feudal mode of warfare. This prince also instituted Com- 
yanies of ordonance (1445 ;) and, to defray the expense of their 
maintenance, he ordered, of his own authority, a certain impost 
■o be levied, called the Tax of the Gejis-d'armes. This stand- 
mg army, which at first amounted only to six thousand men, 
was augmented in course of time, while the royal finances 
increased in proportion. By means of these establishments, 
the kings obtained such an ascendancy over their vassals that 
they soon found themselves in a condition to prescribe laws to 
them, and thus gradually to abolish the feudal system. The 
most powerful of the nobles could make little resistance against 
a sovereign who was always armed ; while the kings, imposing 
taxes at their pleasure, by degrees dispensed with the necessity 
of assembling the stales-general. The same prince secured the 
liberties of the Galilean church against the encroachments of 
the Court of Rome, by solemnly adopting several of the decrees 
of the Council of Basle, which he caused to be passed in the 
National Council held at Bourges, and published under the title 
of the PragmatAc Sanctio?i (1438.) 

In England, two branches of the reigning family of the Plan- 
tagenets, those of Lancaster and York, contested for a long 
time the right to the crown. Henry IV., the first king of the 
House of Lancaster, was the son of John of Gaunt, Duke of 
Lancaster, and grandson of Edward III. King of England. He 
usurped the crown from Richard II., whom he deposed by act 
of Parliament (1399.) But instead of enforcing the rights 
which he inherited from his father and grandfather, he rested 
his claims entirely upon those which he alleged had devolved 
to him in right of his mother, Blanch of Lancaster, great grand- 
daughter of Edward, surnamed Hunchback, Earl of Lancaster. 
This prince, according to a popular tradition, was the eldest son 
of Henry III., who, it was said, had been excluded from the 
throne by his younger brother Edward I., on account o' his de 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 195 

formity. This tradition proved useful to Henry IV. in excluding 
ihe rights of the House of Clarence, who preceded him in ibe 
order of succession. This latter family was descended from 
Lionel, Duke of Clarence, and elder brother of John of Gaunt. 
Philippine, daughter of Lionel, was married to Edward Morti- 
mer, by whom she had a son, Roger, whom the Parliament, by 
an act passed in 13S6, declared presumptive heir to the crown. 
Ann Mortimer, the daughter of Roger, married Richard, Duke of 
York, son of Edward Langley, who was the younger broihei 
of John of Gaunt, and thus transferred the right of Lionel to 
the Royal House of York. 

The Princes of the House of Lancaster are known in Eng- 
lish history by the name of the Red Rose, while those of York 
were designated by that of the White Rose. The former of 
these Houses occupied the throne for a period of sixty-three 
years, during the reigns of Henry IV., V., VI. It was under 
the feeble reign of Henry VI. that the House of York began to 
advance their right to the crown, and that the civil war broke 
out between the two Roses. Richard, Duke of York, and heiv 
to the claims of Lionel and Mortimer, was the first to raise the 
standard in this war of competition (1452,) which continued 
more than thirty years, and was one of the most cruel and san- 
guinary recorded in history. Twelve pitched battles were 
foughi between the two Roses, eighty princes of the blood pe- 
rished in the contest, and England, during the whole time, pre- 
sented a tragical spectacle of horror and carnage. Edward IV., 
son of Richard, Duke of York, and grandson of Ann Mortimer, 
ascended the throne (1461,) which he had stained with the blood 
of Henry IV., and of several other Princes of the House of 

In Scotland, the male line of the ancient kings having become 
extinct in Alexander III., a crowd of claimants appeared on the 
field, who disputed with each other the succession of the throne. 
The chief of these competitors were the two Scottish families 
of Baliol and Bruce, both descended by the mother's side from 
the Royal Family. Four princes of these contending families 
reigned in Scotland until the year 1371, when the crown passed 
from the House of Bruce to that of Stuart. Robert II., son ot 
Walter Stuart and Marjory Bruce, succeeded his uncle David 
II., and in his family the throne remained until the Union, when 
Scotland was united to England about the beginning of the 
seventeenth century. Under the government of the Stuarts, 
the royal authority acquired fresh energy after being long re- 
strained and circumscribed by a turbulent nobility. Towards 
the middle of the fifteenth century, James I., a very accomplished 


prince, gave the first blow to the feudal system and the exorb'- 
tant power of the grandees. He deprived them of several of 
the crown-lands which they had usurped, and confiscated the 
property of some of the most audacious whom he had con- 
demned to execution. James II. followed the example of his 
father. He strengthened the royal authority, by humbling the 
powerful family of Douglas, as well as by the wise laws which 
he prevailed with his Parliament to adopt. 

The three kingdoms of the North, after having been long 
agitated by internal dissensions, were at length united into a 
single monarchy by Margaret, called the Semiramis of the North. 
This princess was daughter of Valdemar III., the last King of 
Denmark of the ancient reigning family, and widow of Haco 
VII., King of Norway. She was first elected Queen of Den- 
mark, and then of Norway, after the death of her son, Olaus 
v., whom she had by her marriage with Haco, and who died 
without leaving any posterity (1387.) The Swedes, discon- 
tented with their King, Albert of Mecklenburg, likewise be- 
stowed their crown upon this princess. Albert was vanquished 
and made prisoner at the battle of Fahlekoeping (1389.) The 
whole of Sweden, from that time, acknowledged the authority 
of Queen Margaret. Being desirous of uniting the three king- 
doms into one single body-politic, she assembled their respective 
Estates at Calmar (1397,) and there caused her grand-nephew 
Eric, son of Wratislaus, Duke of Pomerania, and Mary of 
Mecklenburg, daughter of Ingeburg, her own sister, to be re- 
ceived and crowned as her successor. The act which ratified 
the perpetual and irrevocable union of the three kingdoms, was 
approved in that assembly. It provided, that the united states 
should, in future, have but one and the same king, who should 
be chosen with the common consent of the Senators and Depu- 
ties of the three kingdoms ; that they should always give the 
preference to the descendants of Eric, if there were any ; that 
the three kingdoms should assist each other with their combined 
forces against all foreign enemies ; that each kingdom should 
preserve its own constitution, its senate, and national legisla- 
ture, and be governed conformably to its own laws. 

This union, how formidable soever it might appear at first 
sight, was by no n)eans firmly consolidated. A federal system 
of three monarchies, divided by mutual jealousies, and by dis- 
similarity in their laws, manners, and institutions, could present 
nothing either solid or durable. The predilection, besides, 
which the kings of the union who succeeded Margaret showed 
for the Danes ; the preference which they gave them in the 
distribution of favours and places of trust, and the tone of su 

PERIOD V. A. D, 1300—1453. 197 

periority which they affected towards their allies, tended natu- 
rally to foster animosity and hatred, and, above all, to exasperate 
the Swedes against the union. Eric, after a very turbulent 
reign, was deposed, and his nephew, Christopher the Bavarian. 
was elected King of the union in his place. This latter prince 
having died without issue, the Swedes took this opportunity of 
breaking the union, and choosing a king of their own, Charles 
Canutfeon Bonde, known by the title of Charles VIII. It was 
he who induced the Danes to venture likewise on a new elec- 
tion ; and this same year they transferred their crown to Chris- 
ian, son of Thierry, and Count of Oldenburg, descended by 
Che female side from the race of their ancient kings. This 
prince had the good fortune to renew the union with Norway 
(1450;) he likewise governed Sweden from the year 1437, 
when Charles VIII. was expelled by his subjects, till 1464, 
when he was recalled. But what deserves more particularly 
to be remarked, is the acquisition which Christian made of the 
provinces of Sleswick and Holstein, to which he succeeded 
(1459,) by a disposition of the States of these provinces, after 
the death of Duke Adolphus, the maternal uncle of the new 
King of Denmark, and last male heir of the Counts of Hol- 
stein, of the ancient House of Schauenburg. Christian I. was 
the progenitor of all the Kings v^^ho have since reigned in Den- 
mark and Norway. His grandson lost Sweden ; but, in the 
last century, the thrones both of Russia and Sweden were 
occupied by princes of his family. 

Russia, during the whole of this period, groaned under the 
degrading yoke of the Moguls and the Tartars. The Grand 
Dukes, as well a.^ the other Russian princes, were obliged to 
solicit the confirmation of their dignity from the Khan of Kip- 
zack, who granted or refused it at his pleasure. The dissen- 
sions which arose among these northern princes, were in like 
manner submitted to his decision. When summoned to appear at 
his horde, they were obliged to repair thither without delay, and 
often suffered the punishment of ignominy and death. ^^ The 
contributions which the Khans at first exacted from the Rus- 
sians in the shape of gratuitous donations, were converted, in 
course of time, into regular tribute. Bereke Khan, the suc- 
cessor of Batou, was the first who levied this tribute by officers 
of his own nation. His successors increased still more the 
load of these taxes ; they even subjected the Russian princes 
to the performance of military service. 

The Grand Ducal dignity, which for a long time belonged 
exclusively to the chiefs of the principalities of Vladimir ana 
Kiaso, became common, about the end of the fourteenth cea 

17 # • 


lury, to several of the other principalities, who shared among 
them the dominion of Russia. The princes of Rezan, Twer, 
Smolensko, and several others, took the title of Grand Dukes, 
to distinguish themselves from the petty princes who were es- 
tablished within their principalities. These divisions, together 
with the internal broils to which they gave rise, emboldened 
the Lithuanians and Poles to carry their victorious arms into 
Russia ; and by degrees they dismembered the whole western 
part of the ancient empire. 

The Lithuanians,'^ who are supposed to have been of the 
same race with the ancient Prussians, Lethonians, Livonians, 
and Esthonians, inhabited originally the banks of the rivers 
Niemen and Wilia ; an inconsiderable state, comprehending 
Samogitia and a part of the ancient Palatinates of Troki and 
Wilna. After having been tributaries to the Russians for a 
long time, the princes of Lithuania shook off their yoke, and 
began to aggrandize themselves at the expense of the Grand 
Dukes, their former masters. Towards the middle of the 
eleventh century, they passed the Wilia, founded the town ofKier- 
now, and took from the Russians Braclaw, Novgorodek, Grodno, 
Borzesc, Bielsk, Pinsk, Mozyr, Polotsk, Minsk, Witepsk, Orza, 
and Mscislaw, with their extensive dependencies. Ringold 
was the first of these princes that assumed the dignity of Grand 
Duke, about the middle of the thirteenth century. His succes- 
sor Mendog orMindow, harassed by the Teutonic Knights, em- 
braced Christianity about the year 1252, and was declared King 
of Lithuania by the Pope ; though he afterwards returned to 
Paganism, and became one of the most cruel enemies of the 
Christian name. Gedimin, who ascended the throne of the 
Grand Duke (1315,) rendered himself famous by his new con- 
quests. After a series of victories which he gained over the 
Russian Princes, who were supported by the Tartars, he took 
possession of the city and Principality of Kiow (1320.) The 
whole of the Grand Dutchy of Kiow, and its dependent princi- 
palities on this side the Dnieper, were conquered in succession. 
The Grand Dukes of Lithuania, who had become formidable to 
all their neighbours, weakened their power by partitioning tneir 
estates among their sons ; reserving to one, under the title of 
Grand Duke, the right of superiority over the rest. The civil 
dissensions which resulted from these divisions, gave the Poles 
an opportunity of seizing the principalities of Leopold, Przemysl, 
and Halitsch (1340,) and of taking from the Lithuanians and 
their Grand Duke Olgerd, the whole of Volhynia and Podolia, 
of which they had deprived the Russians (1349.) 

Nothing more then remained of the ancient Russian Empire 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 199 

except the Grand Dutchy of Wolodimir, so called from the town 
of that name on the river Kliazma, where the Grand Dukes Oi 
Eastern and Northern Russia had their residence, before thej' 
had fixed their capital at Moscow; which happened about the 
end of the thirteenth or the beginning of the fourteenth century. 
This Grand Dutchy, which had several dependent and subor 
dinate principalities, was conferred by the Khan of Kipzach 
(1320) on Iwan or John Danilovitsh, Prince of Moscow, who 
transmitted it to his descendants. Demetrius Iwanovitsh, grand- 
son of Iwan, took advantage of the turbulence which distracted 
the grand horde, and turned his arms against the Tartars. As- 
sisted by several of the Russian princes his vassals, he gained 
a signal victory near the Don (1380,) over the Khan Temnic- 
Mamai, the first which gained the Russians any celebrity, and 
which procured Demetrius the proud epithet of Donski, or con- 
queror of the Don. This prince, however, gained little advan- 
tage by his victory ; and for a long time after, the Tartars gave 
law to the Russirins and made them their tributaries. Toktamish 
Khan, after having vanquished and humbled Mamai, penetrated 
as far as Moscow, sacked the city, and massacred a great num- 
ber of the inhabitants. Demetrius was forced to implore the 
mercy of the conqueror, and to send his son a hostage to the 
horde in security for his allegiance. 

The chief residence of the Teutonic Order, which had for- 
merly been at Verden, was fixed at Marienburg, a city newly 
built, which from that time became the capital of all Prussia. 
The Teutonic Knights did not limit their conquests to Prussia; 
ihey took from the Poles Dantzic or Eastern Pomerania (1311,) 
situated between the Netze, the Vistula, and the Baltic Sea, and 
known since by the name of Pomerelia. This province was 
definitively ceded to them, with the territory of Culm, and 
Michelau, by a treaty of peace which was signed at Kalitz 
(1343.) The city of Dantzic, which was their capital, increased 
considerably under the dominion of the Order, and became one 
of the principal entrepots for the commerce of the Baltic. 01 
all the exploits of these Knights, the most enterprising was that 
which had for its object the conquest of Lithuania. Religion, 
and a pretended gift of the Emperor Louis of Bavaria, served 
them as a pretext for attacking the Lithuanians, who were Pa- 
gans, in a murderous war, which continued almost without in- 
terruption for the space of a century. The Grand Dukes of 
Lithuania, always more formidable after their defeat, defended 
their liberties and independence with a courage and perseverance 
almost miraculous; and it was only by taking advantage of the 
dissensions which had arisen in the family of the Grand Duke 


that they succeeded in obtaining possession of Samogitia. by 
the treat}' of peace which was concluded at Racianz (1404.) 

The Knights of Livonia, united to the Teutonic Order under 
the authority of one and the same Grand Master, added to their 
former conquests the province of Esthonia, which was sold to 
them by Valdemar IV., King of Denmarlc. ^^ The Teutonic 
Knights were at the zenith of their greatness, about the begin- 
ning of the fifteenth century. At that time they were become 
a formidable power in the North, having under their dominion 
the whole of Prussia, comprehending Pomerania and the New 
March, as also Samogitia, Courland, Livonia and Esthonia. ^ 
A population proportioned to the extent of their dominions, a 
well regulated treasury, and a flourishing commerce, seemed to 
guarantee them a solid and durable empire. Nevertheless, the 
jealousy of their neighbours, the union of Lithuania with Po- 
land, and the conversion of the Lithuanians to Christianity, 
which deprived the Knights of the assistance of the Crusaders, 
soon became fatal to their Order, and accelerated their down- 
fall. The Lithuanians again obtained possession of Samogitia, 
which, with Sudavia, was ceded to them by the various treaties 
which they concluded with that Order, between 1411-1436. 

The oppressive government of the Teutonic Knights — their 
own private dissensions, and the intolerable burden of taxation — 
the fatal consequence of incessant war — induced the nobles and 
cities of Prussia and Pomerania to form a confederacy against 
the Order, and to solicit the protection of the Kings of Poland. 
This was granted to them, on their signing a deed of submission 
to that kingdom (1454.) The result was a long and bloody 
war with Poland, which did not terminate till the peace of Thorn 
(1466.) Poland then obtained the cession of Culm, Michelau 
and Dantzic ; that is to say, all the countries now comprehended 
under the name of Polish Prussia. The rest of Prussia was 
retained by the Teutonic Order, who promised, by means of 
their Grand Master, to do fealty and homage for it to the Kings 
of Poland. The chief residence of the Order was then trans- 
ferred to Koningsberg, where it continued until the time when the 
Knights were deprived of Prussia by the House of Brandenburg. 

At length, however, Poland recovered from this state of weak- 
ness into which the unfortunate divisions of Boleslaus III. and 
his descendants had plunged it. Uladislaus IV. surnamed the 
Dwarf, having combined several of these principalities, was 
crowned King of Poland at Cracow (1320.) From that time 
the Royal dignity became permanent in Poland, and was trans- 
mitted to all the successors of Uladislaus. -^ The immediate 
successor of that Prince was his son Casimir the Great, who 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 201 

renounced his rights of sovereignty over Silesia in favour of the 
King of Bohemia, and afterwards compensated this loss by the 
acquisition of several of the provinces of ancient Russia. He 
likewise took possession of Red Russia (1340,) as also of the 
provinces of Volhynia, Podolia, Chelm and Belz, which he con- 
quered from the Grand Dukes of Lithuania (1349,) who had 
formerly dismembered them from the Russian Empire. 

Under Casimir the Great, another revolution happened in the 
government of Poland. That Prince, having no children of his 
own, and wishing to bequeath the crown to his nephew Louis, 
his sister's son, by Charles Robert King of Hungary, convoked 
a g«meral assembly of the nation at Cracow (1339,) and there 
got the succession of the Hungarian Prince ratified, in opposi- 
tioi. to the legitimate rights of the Piast Dynasty, who reigned 
in Masovia and Silesia. This subversion of the hereditary 
right of the different branches of the Piasts, gave the Polish 
Nobles a pretext for interfering in the election of their Kings, 
until at last the throne became completely elective. It also 
afforded them an opportunity for limiting the power of their 
Kings, and laying the foundation of a republican and aristocratic 
government. Deputies were sent into Hungary (1355,) even 
during the life of Casimir, who obliged King Louis, his intended 
successor, to subscribe an act which provided that, on his ac- 
cession to the crown, he should bind himself, and his successors, 
to disburden the Polish nobility of all taxes and contributions ; 
that he should never, under any pretext, exact subsidies from 
them ; and that, in travelling, he should claim nothing for the 
support of his court, in any place during his journey. The an- 
cient race of the Piast sovereigns of Poland ended with Casimir 
(1370,) after having occupied the throne of that kingdom for 
several centuries. 

His successor in Poland and Hungary was Louis, surnamed 
the Great. In a Diet assembled in 1382, he obtained the con- 
currence of the Poles, in the choice which he had made of Sigis- 
inund of Luxembourg, as his son-in-law and successor in both 
kingdoms. But on the death of Louis, which happened imme- 
diately after, the Poles broke their engagement, and confeired 
(heir crown on Hedwiga, a younger daughter of that Prince. It 
was stipulated, that she should marry Jagellon, Grand Duke of 
Lithuania, who agreed to incorporate Lithuania wiih Poland, 
to renounce Paganism, and embrace Christianity, himself and 
all his subjects. Jagellon was baptized, when he received the 
name of Uladislaus, and was crowned King of Poland at Cracow 
(1386.)*^ It was on the accession of JagelIon,that Poland and 
Lithuania, long opposed in their interests, and implacable enemies 


of each other, were united into one body politic under the au- 
thority of one and the same King. Nevertheless, for nearly 
two centuries, Lithuania still preserved its own Grand Dukes, 
who acknowledged the sovereignty of Poland ; and it was not, 
properly speaking, till the reign of Sigismund Augustus, that 
the union of the two states was finally accomplished (1569.) 
This important union rendered Poland the preponderating power 
of the North. It became fatal to the influence of the Teutonic 
Order, who soon yielded to the united efforts of the Poles and 

Uladislaus Jagellon did not obtain the assent of the Polish 
nobility to the succession of his son, except by adding new pri- 
vileges to those which they had obtained from his predecessor. 
He was the first of the Polish kings who, for the purpose of im- 
posing an extraordinary taxation, called in the Nuncios or De- 
puties of the Nobility to ihe General Diet (1404,) and established 
the use of Dietines or provincial diets. His descendants enjoyed 
the crown until they became extinct, in the sixteenth century. 
The succession, however, was mixed; and although the princes 
of the Houseof Jagellon might regard themselves as hereditary 
possessors of the kingdom, nevertheless, on every change of 
reign, it was necessary that the crown should be conferred by 
the choice and consent of the nobility. 

In Hungary, the male race of the ancient kings, descendants 
of Duke Arpad, had become extinct in Andrew III. (1301.) The 
Crown was. then contested by several competitors, and at length 
fell into the hands of the House of Anjou, the reigning family 
of Naples. Charles Robert, grandson of Charles II. King of 
Naples, by Mary of Hungary, outstripped his rivals, and trans- 
mitted the Crown to his son Louis, surnamed the Great (1308.) 
This Prmce, characterized by his eminent qualities, made a dis- 
tinguished figure among the Kings of Hungary. He conquered 
from the Venetians the whole of Dalmatia, from the frontiers of 
Istria, as far as Durazzo ; he reduced the Princes of Moldavia, 
Walachia, Bosnia and Bulgaria, to a state of dependence ; and 
at length mounted the throne of Poland on the de,jth of his uncle 
Casimir the Great. *•' Mary, his eldest daughter, succeeded 
him in the kingdom of Hungary (1382.) This Princess mar- 
ried Sigismund of Luxembourg, who thus united the monarchy 
of Hungary to the Imperial crown. 

The reign of Sigismund in Hungary was most unfortunate, 
and a prey to continual disturbances. He had to sustain the 
first war against the Ottoman Turks ; and with the Emperor of 
Constantinople, as his ally, he assembled a formidable army, 
with which he undertook the siege of Nicopolis in Bulgaria 

PERIOD V. A. D. 1300—1453. 203 

Here he sustained a complete defeat by the Turks. In his re- 
treat he was compelled to embark on the Danube, and directed 
his flight towards Constantinople. This disaster was followed 
bv new misfortunes. The malcontents of Hungary offered theiv 
Crown to Ladislaus, called the Magnanimous, King of Naples, 
who took possession of Dalmatia, which he afterwards surren- 
dered to the Venetians. Desirous to provide for the defence 
and security of his kingdom, Sigismund acquired, by treaty with 
the Prince of Servia, the fortress of Belgrade (1425,) which, by 
Its situation at the confluence of the Danube and the Save, 
seemed to him a proper bulwark to protect Hungary against the 
Turks. He transmitted the crown of Hungary to his son-in-law, 
Albert of Austria, who reigned only two years. The war with 
the Turks was renewed under Uladislaus of Poland, son of 
Jagellon, andsuccessor to Albert. That Prince fought a bloody 
battle with them near Varna in Bulgaria (1444.) The Hungari- 
ans again sustained a total defeat, and the King himself lost his 
life in the action. ^"^ The safety of Hungary then depended en- 
tirely on the bravery of the celebrated John Hunniades, governor 
of the kingdom, during the minority of Ladislaus, the posthu- 
mous son of Albert of Austria. That general signalized himselt 
in various actions against the Turks, and obliged Mahomet II. 
to raise the siege of Belgrade (1456,) where he lost above twenty- 
five thousand men, and was himself severely wounded. 

The Greek Empire was gradually approaching its downfall, 
under the feeble administration of the House of Paleologus, who 
had occupied the throne of Constantinople since the year 1261. 
The same vices of which we have ah-eady spoken, the great 
power of the patriarchs and the monks, the rancour of theological 
disputes, the fury of sectaries and schismatics, and the internal 
dissension to which they gave rise, aggravated the misfortunes 
and disorders of the state, and were instrumental in hastening 
on its final destruction. John I. and his successors, the last 
Emperors of Constantinople, being reduced to the sad necessity 
of paying tribute to the Turks, and marching on military expe- 
ditions, at the command of the Sultans, owed the preservation 
of their shattered and declining Empire, for some time, entirely 
to the reverses of fortune which had befallen the Ottomans ; and 
to the difliculties which the siege of their capital presented to a 
barbarous nation unacquainted with the arts of blockade. 

The power of the Ottoman Turks look its rise about the end 
of the thirteenth ceqtury. A Turkish Emir, called Ottoman, 
or Osman, was its original founder in Asia Minor. He was 
one of the number of those Emirs, who, after the subversion of 
the Seljukians of Roum or Iconium, by the Moguls, shared 


among them the spoils of their ancient masters. A part */ 
Bithynia, and the whole country lying round Mount Olympus, 
iell to the share of Ottoman, who afterwards formed an alliance 
with the other Emirs, and invaded the possessions of the Greek 
Empire, under the feeble reign of the Emperor Andronicus II. 
Prusa, or Bursa, the principal city of Bithynia, was conquered 
by Ottoman (1327.) He and his successors made it the capital 
of their new state, which, in course of time, gained the ascen- 
dency over all the other Turkish sovereignties, formed, like thai 
of Ottoman, from the ruins of Iconium and the Greek Empire. 

Orchan, the son and successor of Ottoman, instituted the 
famous Order of the Janissaries, to which in a great measure 
the Turks owed their success. He took from the Greeks the 
cities of Nice and Nicomedia in Bithynia; and, after having 
subdued most of the Turkish Emirs in Asia Minor, he took the 
title of Sultan or King, as well as that of Pacha, which is equi- 
valent to the title of Emperor. His son Soliman crossed the Hel- 
lespont, by his orders, near the ruins of ancient Troy, and took 
the city of Gallipoli, in the Thracian Chersonesus (1358.) The 
conquest of this place opened a passage for the Turks into Eu- 
rope, when Thrace and the whole of Greece was soon inundate^/ 
by these new invaders. Amurath I., the son and successor ol 
Orchan, made himself master of Adrianople and the whole 
of Thrace (1360;) he next attacked Macedonia, Servia and 
Bulgaria, and appointed the first Beglerbeg, or Governor-genera. 
i»f Romelia. Several Turkish princes of Asia Minor were 
obliged to acknowledge his authority; he made himself master 
of Kiutaja, the metropolis of Phrygia, which afterwards became 
the capital of Anatolia, and the residence of the governor of thai 
province (13S9.) Amurath was slain at the battle of Cassova, 
which he fought with the Despot of Servia, assisted by his nume- 
rous allies. In this bloody battle the Despot himself was slain 
and both sides equally claimed the victory. Bajazet I., the suc- 
cessor of Amurath, put an end to all the Turkish sovereignties 
which still subsisted in Asia Minor. He completed the reduc- 
tion of Bulgaria, and maintained the possession of it by the 
signal victory which he gained at Nicopolis (1396) over Sigis 
mund, King of Hungary. The Greek Empire would have yield 
ed to the persevering efforts of that prince, who had maintained, 
for ten years, the siege of Constantinople, had he not been at- 
tacked, in the midst of these enterprises, by the famous Timour. 
the new conqueror of Asia. 

Timour, commonly called Tamerlane, was one of those Mogu. 
£mirs who had divided amongst them the sovereignty of Trans- 
oxiana, after the extinction of the Mogul dynasty of Zagatai- 

PERIOD V. A.v. 1300—1453. 205 

Transoxiana was the theatre of his first exploits ; there he 
usurped the whole power of the Khans, or Emperors of Zagatai, 
and fixed the capital of his new dominions at the city of 
Samarcand (1369.) Persia, the whole of Upper Asia, Kipzach, 
and Hindostan, were vanquished by him in succession; where- 
ver he marched, he renewed the same scenes of horror, blood- 
shed, and carnage, which had marked the footsteps of the 
first Mogul conqueror.-^ Timour at length attacked the do- 
minions of Bajazet in Anatolia (1400.) He fought a bloody 
and decisive battle near Angora, in the ancient Gallogrecia, 
which proved fatal to the Ottoman Empire. Bajazet sustained 
an entire defeat, and fell himself into the hands of the con- 
queror. All Anatolia was then conquered and pillaged by the 
Moguls, and there Timour fixed his winter quarters. Meantime 
he treated his captive Bajazet with kindness and generosity; 
and the anecdote of the iron cage, in which he is said to have 
confined his prisoner, merits no credit. Sherefeddin Ali, who 
accompanied Timour in his expedition against Bajazet, makes no 
mention of it; on the contrary, he avers that Timour consented 
to leave him the Empire, and that he granted the investiture of 
it to him and two of his sons. Bajazet did not long survive his 
misfortune ; he died of an attack of apoplexy (1403,) with which 
he was struck in the camp of Timour in Caramania. 

Timour, a short time after, formed the project of an expedi- 
tion into China; but he died on the route in 1405, at the age 
of sixty-nine. His vast dominions were dismembered after his 
death. One of his descendants, named Babour, founded a pow- 
erful Empire in India, the remains of which are still preserved 
under the name of the Empire of the Great Mogul. The inva- 
sion of Timour retarded for some time the progress of the Turk- 
ish Empire. The fatal dissensions, which arose among the sons 
of Bajazet, set them at open war with each other. At length 
Amurath II., the son of Mahomet I., and grandson of Bajazet, 
succeeded in putting a stop to these divisions, and restored the 
Empire to its primitive splendour. He deprived the Greeks of 
all the places which still remained in their hands on the Black 
Sea, along the coast of Thrace, in Macedonia and Thessaly. 
He even took, by assault, the wall and forts which they had 
constructed at the entrance of the isthmus of Corinth, and car- 
ried his ravages to the very centre of the Peloponnesus. 

The two heroes of the Christians, John Hunniades and Scan- 
derbeg, arrested the progress of the Ottoman Sultan. The 
former, who was General of the Huno-arians, boldly repulsed 
the Sultan of Servia, whom he was ambitious to conquer. The 
other, a Greek Prince, who possessed one of the petty states of 

VOL. I. 18 

206 CHAPTER V/. 

Albania of which Croja was the capital, re?nste<i with success 
the repeated attacks of the Turks. Supported by a small bm 
well disciplined army, and favoured by the mountains wilh which 
his territory vvas surrounded, he twice compelled Amurath to 
raise the siege of Croja. At length appeared Mahomet II., the 
son and successor of Amuralh, (1451.) This Prince, who was 
raised to the Ottoman throne in the twentieth year of his age, 
conceived the design of achieving the conquest of the Greek 
Empire, by the taking of Constantinople. He succeeded in 
overcoming all the difficulties which obstructed this enterprise, 
in which several of his predecessors had failed. At the head 
of an army of three hundred thousand combatants, supported 
by a fleet of 300 sail, he appeared before that capital, and com- 
menced the siege on the 6th April 1453. The besieged having 
only from SOOO to 10,000 men to oppose the superior force of 
the enemy, yielded to the powerful and redoubled efforts of the 
Turks, after a vigorous defence of fifty-three days. The city 
was carried by assault, 29th May, and delivered up to the un- 
restrained pillage of the soldiers. Constantine, surnamed 
Dragases, the last of the Greek Emperors, perished in the first 
onset ; and all the inhabitants of that great and opulent city 
were carried into slavery.^" Mahomet, on entering the very 
day of the sack, saw nothing but one vast and dismal solitude. 
Wishing afterwards to attract new inhabitants to this city, which 
he proposed to make the seat of his Empire, he guaranteed an 
entire liberty of conscience to the Greeks who might come 
to settle there ; and authorized them to proceed to the elec- 
tion of a new patriarch, whose dignity he enhanced by the 
honours and privileges which he attached to it. He restored 
also the fortifications of the city, and, by way of precaution 
against the armaments of the Venetians and other western 
nations, which he had some reason to dread, he constructed 
the famous castle of the Dardanelles, at the entrance of the 

This conquest was followed by that of Servia, Bosnia, Alba- 
nia, Greece, and the whole Peloponnesus or Morea, as well as 
most of the islands of the Archipelago. The Greek Empire of 
Trebizond, on the coast of Asia Minor, submitted in like man- 
ner to the law of the conqueror (1466.) David Commenus, the 
last Emperor, fell by the swords of the Mahometans, and with 
him perished many of his children and relations. Such a rapid 
succession of conquests created an alarm amono; the powers of 
Christendom. In an assembly, which Pope Pius II. held at 
Mantua (1459,) he proposed a general association among the 
powers of the West against the Turks. A crusade was pub- 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453—1648. 207 

Mshed by his orders, and he was on the point of setting out in 
person at the head ot this expedition, when he was suddenly cut 
off by deatn at Ancona (1464,) where he had appointed the 
general rendezvous of ihe confederate tioops. This event, add- 
ed to the terror wnich the arms of Mahomet had created among 
the nations of the West, disconcerted the plans of the Crusa- 
ders, and was the means of dissolving their confederacy. The 
Turkish Empire ihus tiecame firmly established in Europe, and 
the Tartars ol tne CTrimeu put themselves at the same time 
under the protection oi u\v Porte. 


rrF.ioD VI. 

IProm ihe taking of Comtantinople by the Turks, to the Peace 
of Westphaiia.—A. d. 1453—1648. 

The revolution which happened in the fifteenth century en- 
tirely changed the face of Europe, and introduced a new system 
of politics. This revolution was not achieved by any combina- 
tions of profound policy, nor by the operation of that physical 
force which generally subverts thrones and governments. It 
was the result of those progressive changes which had been 
produced in the ideas and understandings of the nations of Eu- 
rope, by the improvements and instuutions of preceding times ; 
as well as by the invention of paper and printing, of gunpowder, 
and the mariner's compass. By means of these, the empire of 
letters and arts was greatly extended, and various salutary im- 
provements made in the religion, matmers, and governments of 
Europe. The people by degrees shook ofT the yoke of barba- 
rism, superstition, and fanaticism, which the revolution of the 
fifth century had imposed on them, and from that time the 
prmcipal States of Europe began to acquire the strength, and 
gradually to assume the form, which they have since maintained. 

Several extraordinary events, however, conspired to accelerate 
these happy changes. The Belles Lettres and the Fine Arts 
shone out with new splendour, after the downfall of the Greek 
Empire. The celebrated Petrarch, and his disciples Boccacio 
and John of Ravenna, were the first that made the Italians ac- 
quainted with ancient literature, as the true source and standard 
of good taste. They prepared the way for a vast number of the 
Grecian literati, who, to escape the barbarity of the Turks, had 
fled into Italy, where they opened schools, and brought the study 

208 CHAPTER vn. 

of Greek literature into considerable repute. The most celebrated 
of these Greek refugees Avere, Manuel Chrysoloras, Cardinal 
Bessarion, Theodore Gaza, George of Trebizond, John Argyro- 
philus, and Demetrius Chalcondyles. Protected by the family 
of the Medicis at Florence, they assisted in forming those fine 
geniuses which arose in Italy during the fifteenth century, such 
as Leonard Aretin, the two Guarini, Poggio of Florence, Ange- 
lo Politian, and many others. Academies, or Free Societies, 
were founded at Eome Naples, Venice, Milan, Ferrara and 
Florence, for the encouragement of ancient literature. 

From Italy the study of the ancient arts passed to the other 
states of Europe. They soon diffused their influence over every 
department of literature and science, which by degrees assumed 
an aspect totally new. The scholastic system, which till then 
had been in vogue in the pulpits and universities, lost its credit, 
and gave place to a more refined philosophy. Men learned to 
discriminate the vices of the feudal system, and sought out the 
means of correcting them. The sources of disorder and anarchy 
were gradually dried up, and gave place to better organized 
governments. Painting, sculpture, and the arts in general, 
cleared from the Gothic rust which they had contracted during 
the barbarous ages, and finished after the models of the ancients, 
shone forth with renewed lustre. Navigation, under the direc- 
tion of the compass, reached a degree of perfection which at- 
tracted universal attention ; and while the ancients merely coasted 
along their own shores in the pursuit of commerce or maritime 
exploits, we find the modern Europeans extending their naviga- 
tion over the whole globe, and bringing both hemispheres under 
their dominion. 

America, unknown to the ancients, was discovered during 
this period ; as well as the route to India and the East, round 
the Continent of Africa. The notion of a fourth quarter of the 
world had long been prevalent among the ancients. We all 
recollect the Atlantis of Plato, which, according to the assertion 
of that philosopher, was larger than Asia and Africa ; and we 
know that -Sllian the historian, who lived in the reign of Adrian, 
affirmed in like manner the existence of a fourth continent of 
immense extent. This opinion had got so much into fashion, 
during the fourth and fifth centuries of the Christian era, that 
Lactantius and St. Augustine thought themselves bound in duty 
to combat it in their writings ; inveighing against the antipodes 
by reasons and arguments, the frivolousness of which is now 
very generally admitted ; but, whatever were the notions which 
the ancients might have entertained as to a fourth quarter of the 
globe, it is very certain that they knew it only from conjecture 
and that their navigation never extended so far. 

PERIOD VI. 1453—1648. 209 

The honour of this important discovery belongs to modem 
navigators, more especially to Christopher Columbus, a native 
of Genoa. From the knowledge which this celebrated man had 
ccquired in the sciences of Navigation, Astronomy, and Geo- 
crraphy, he was persuaded that there must be another hemisphere 
lymg to the westward, and unknown to Europeans, but neces- 
sary to the equilibrium of the globe. These conjectures he 
communicated to several of the courts of Europe, who all re- 
garded him as a visionary ; and it was not till after many soli- 
citations, that Isabella, Queen of Castile, granted him three 
vessels, with which he set sail in quest of the new continent, 
3d August 1492. After a perilous navigation of some months, 
he reached the Island Guanahani or Cat Island, one of the Lu- 
cayos or Bahamas, to which he gave the name of St. Salvador. 
This discovery was followed soon after by that of the Islands of 
St. Domingo and Cuba ; and in the second and third voyages 
which that navigator undertook to America (1493-1498,) he dis- 
covered the mainland or continent of the New World, especially 
the coast of Paria, as far as the point of Araya, making part of 
the province known at present by the name of Cumana. 

The track of the Genoese navigator was followed by a Flo- 
rentine merchant, named Amerigo Vesputio. Under the con- 
duct of a Spanish captain, called Alphonso de Ojeda, he made 
several voyages to the New World after the year 1497. Diffe- 
rent coasts of the continent of South America were visited by 
him; and in the maps of his discoveries which he drew up, he 
usurped a glory which did not belong to him, by applying his 
own name to the new continent ; which it has since retained. 

The Spaniards conquered the islands and a great pait of the 
continent of America ; extending their victories along with their 
discoveries. Stimulated by the thirst of gold, which the New 
World offered to them in abundance, they committed crimes and 
barbarities which make humanity shudder. Millions of the 
unfortunate natives were either massacred or buried in the sea, 
in spite of the efforts which the Spanish Bishop, Bartholomew 
de Las Casas, vainly made to arrest the fury of his country- 
men. ^ In the year after the first discovery of Columbus, Fer- 
dinand the Catholic, King of Spain, obtained a bull from Pope 
Alexander VI., by which that Pontiff made him a gift of all the 
countries discovered, or to be discovered, towards the west and 
the south ; drawing an imaginary line from one pole to the other, 
at the distance of a hundred leagues westward of Cape Verd 
and the Azores. This decision having given offence to the King 
of Portugal, who deemed it prejudicial to his discoveries in the 
East, an accommodation was contrived between the two courts, 



!n virtue of which the same Pope, by another Bull (1494,) re- 
moved the line in question farther west, to the distance of four 
hundred and seventy leagues ; so that all the countries lying tc 
the westward of this line should belong to the King of Spain, 
while those which might be discovered to the eastward, should 
fall to the possession of the King of Portugal. - It was on this 
pretended title that the Spaniards founded their right to demand 
the submission of the American nations to the Spanish Crown. 
Their principal conquests in the New World commence from 
the reign of the Emperor Charles V. It was in his name that 
Ferdinand Cortes, with a mere handful of troops, overthrew the 
vast Empire of Mexico (1521;) the last Emperors of which, 
Montezuma and Gatimozin, were slain, and a prodigious num- 
ber of the Mexicans put to the sword. The conqueror of Peru 
was Francis Pizarro (1533.) He entered the country, at the 
head of 300 men, at the very time when Atabalipa or Atahualpa 
was commencing his reign as Incas, or Sovereign of Peru. That 
prince was slain, and the whole of Peru subdued by the Spaniards. 

[The Spaniards founded various colonies and establishments 
m that part of America which they had subjected to their do- 
minion. The character of these colonies differed from that of 
the establishments wliich the Portuguese had founded in India, 
and the Dutch, the English, and the French, in different parts 
of the world. As the Spaniards were by no means a commer- 
cial nation, the precious metals alone were the object of their 
cupidity. They applied themselves, in consequence, to the 
working of mines ; they imported negroes to labour in them, 
and made slaves of the natives. In process of time, when the 
number of Europeans had increased in these countries, and the 
precious metals became less abundant, the Spanish colonists 
were obliged to employ themselves in agricultui'e, and in raising 
what is commonly called colonial produce. What we have now 
said, accounts for the limitations and restrictions which were 
imposed on the trade of these colonies by the Spanish govern- 
ment ; they wished to reserve to themselves exclusively the pro- 
fits of the mines. Commerce, which at first had been confined 
to the single entrepot of Seville, fell into the hands of a small 
number of merchants, to the entire exclusion of foreigners. As 
for the Spanish possessions in America, they were planted with 
Episcopal and Metropolitan Sees, Missions, Convents, and Uni- 
versities. The Inquisition was also introduced ; but the hierar- 
chy which was founded there, instead of augmenting the power 
of the Popes, remained in a state of coinplete dependence upon 
the Sovereigns.] 

The discovery of Brazil belongs to the Portuguese. Alvares 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453—1648. 21 . 

Cabra-, the commander of their fleet, while on his route to India, 
was driven, by contrary winds, on the coast of Brazil (1500,) and 
took possession of the country in name of the King of l^r- 
tug-al. This colony, in the course of time, became highly im- 
portant, from the rich mines of diamonds and gold which were 
discovered there. 

The Spaniards and Portuguese were at first the only mast^^Ls 
of America ; but in a short time, establishments were formed 
there by some of the other maritime nations of Europe. The 
first English colony was that of Virginia, which was conducted 
to North America by Sir Walter Raleigh (1584,) but it did not 
gain a permanent settlement till the reign of James I. This was 
afterwards followed by several other colonies which had settled 
m that part of the American continent, on account of the perse- 
cution carried on by the Stuart Kings' against the non-conform- 
ists. The first settlements of the English in the Antilles, were 
those which they formed in the Islands of Barbadoes and St. 
Christopher (1629;) to these they added the Island of Jamaica, 
which they took from the Spaniards (1655.) The date of the 
French establishments in Canada, is as old as the reigTis of 
Francis I. and Henry IV., in the years 1534 and 1604. The 
city of Quebec was founded in 1608. It was at a later period 
when the French established themselves in the Antilles. The 
origin of their colonies in Martinique and Gaudaloupe, is gene- 
rally referred to the year 1635. They gained a footing in St. 
Domingo as early as 1630, but the flourishing state of that re- 
markable colony did not begin, properly speaking, till 1722. All 
the establishments which the English and French had formed in 
America, were purely agricultural ; and in this respect they were 
distinguished from the Spanish colonies. 

The discovery of a passage by sea to the East Indies round 
Africa, belongs also to the Portuguese. It forms one of those 
great events which often take their first impulse from very slen- 
der causes. John I. surnamed the Bastard, the new founder of 
the kingdom of Portugal, being desirous of affc rding to his sons 
an opportunity of signalizing themselves, and earning the honour 
of knighthood, planned an expedition against the Moois in Africa; 
he equipped a fleet, with which he landed in the neighbourhood 
of Ceuta (1415,) of which he soon made himself master, and 
created his sons knights in the grand mosque of that city. After 
this event, the Portuguese began to have a taste for navigation 
and maritime discoveries. In this they were encouraged by the 
Infant Don Henry, Duke of Viseu, and one ot the sons of King 
John, who had particularly distinguished himself in the expedi- 
son of which we have just •^poken. That prince, who was well 


skilled in mathematics and the art of navigation, established his 
residence at Cape St. Vincent, on the western extremity of Al- 
g^rva. There he ordered vessels to be constructed at his own 
expense, and sent them to reconnoitre the coasts of Africa. From 
that time the Portuguese discovered, in succession, the Islands o^ 
Madeira (1420,) the Canaries (1424,) the Azores (1431,) and 
Cape Verd (1460.) There they founded colonies; and, ad- 
vancing by degrees along the southern shores of Africa, they 
extended their navigation as far as the coasts of Guinea and Ni- 
gritia. The islands which they had newly discovered, were 
confirmed to the Kings of Portugal by several of the Popes. The 
Canaries, however, having been claimed by the Spaniards, a 
treaty was negotiated between the two kingdoms, in virtue of 
which these islands were abandoned to Spain (1481.) 

It was under the reign of John II. that the Portuguese ex- 
tended their navigation as far as the most southerly point of 
Africa. Bartholomew Diaz, their admiral, was the first who 
doubled the Cape, which he called the Stormy Cape ; a name 
which King John changed into that of Good Hope. At length, 
after twelve years of toils, Vasco di Gama, another Portuguese 
admiral, had the glory of carrying his national flag as far as 
India. He landed at the Port of Calicut (1498,) on the Ma- 
labar coast, in the third year of the reign of Emmanuel. Several 
other celebrated Portuguese navigators, such as Almeida, Albu- 
querque, Acunga, Silveira, and de Castro, following the tract of 
Vasco di Gama, laid the foundation of the power of the Portu- 
guese in India. Francis Almeida defeated the fleet of the 
Mameluke Sultan of Egypt, in conjunction with that of the 
Kings of India (1509.) Alfonzo Albuquerque conquered Goa 
(1511,) and made it the capital of all the Portuguese settlements 
in that part of the world. About the same time, the Portuguese 
establi'^hed themselves in the Molucca Islands, with some oppo- 
sition on the part of the Spaniards. Anthony Silveira signalized 
himself by his able defence of Diu (1535.) He repulsed the 
Turks, and ruined the fleet which Soliman the Great had sent 
to the siege of that place (1547.) The King of Cambay having 
resumed the siege, he experienced likewise a total defeat from 
John do Castro, who then conquered the whole kingdom of Diu, 

The Portuguese found powerful kingdoms in India, and 
nations rich and civilized. There, nature and the industry of 
the natives, produced or fabricated those articles of commerce 
and merchandise which have since become an object of luxury 
to Europeans ; at least until the activity of the Venetians had 
furnished the inhabitants of this part of the world with them in 
such abundance, as to make them regarded as articles of abso- 

lERioDVi. A. D. 1453— 1648. 213 

lute necessity. This circumstance was the reason why the Por- 
tuguese never formed any other than mercantile establishment.n 
in India, which they erected on the coasts, without extenoing 
them into the interior. The working of the mines, and the cares 
of agricuhure, were abandoned entirely lo the natives. 

This era produced a total change in the commerce of the East. 
Formerly the Venetians were the people that carried on the 
principal traffic to India. The Jewish or Mahometan merchants 
purchased at Goa, Calicut, and Cochin, those spiceries and other 
productions of the East, which they imported into Syria by the 
Persian Gulf, and into Egypt by the Red Sea. They were then 
conveyed by a laborious and expensive land-carriage, either to 
the port of Alexandria, or that of Bairout in Syria. Thither 
the Venetians repaired in quest of the luxuries of India ; they 
fixed their price, and distributed them over all Europe. This 
commerce proved a source of vast wealth to these republicans : 
it furnished them with the means of maintaining a formida- 
ble marine, and of very often dictating the law to the other 
European powers ; but after the discovery of the new passage 
round the Cape, and the conquests of the Portuguese in India, 
the Venetians saw themselves compelled to abandon a traffic in 
which they could not compete with tlie Portuguese. This was 
a terrible blow to that republic, and the principal cause of its 
downfall. The Portuguese, however, did not profit by this ex- 
clusive commerce as they might have done. They did not, like 
other nations, constitute Companies, with exclusive commercial 
privileges ; they carried it on by means of fleets, which the go- 
vernment regularly despatched at fixed periods. In this manner, 
the commodities of the East were imported to Lisbon ; but the 
indolence of the native merchants left to other nations the care 
of distributing them through the markets of Europe. The Dutch 
were the people that profited most by this branch of industry; 
they cultivated it with so much success, and under such favour- 
able circumstances, that they at length succeeded in excluding 
he Portiiguese themselves from this lucrative traffic, by dis- 
'lossessing them of their colonies in the East. 

If the events Avhich we have now briefly detailed proved fatal 
to the Venetians, and afflicting to humanity, by the wars and 
misfortunes which they occasioned, it is nevertheless certain, 
that commerce and navigation gained prodigiously by these new 
discoveries. The Portuguese, after having maintained for some 
time the exclusive possession of the navigation and trade of the 
East, found afterwards powerful competitors in the Spaniards, 
the Dutch, English, French, and Danes, who all established 
mercantile connexions both in India and America. Hence in- 

214 CHAPTER vn. 

numerable sources of wealth were opened to the industry of the 
Europeans ; and their commerce, formerly limited to the Medi- 
terranean, the Baltic, and the Northern Seas, and confined to a 
few cities in Italy, Flanders, and Germany, was now, by means 
of their colonies in Africa, and the East and West Indies, ex- 
tended to all parts of the globe. "* The intercourse of the Por- 
tuguese with China was as early as the year 1517, and with 
Japan it began in 1542. Ferdinand Magellan undertook the 
first voyage round the world (1519,) and his example found 
afterwards a number of imitators. ^ By degrees the maritime 
power of Europe assumed a formidable aspect ; arts and manu- 
factures were multiplied ; and states, formerly poor, became rich 
and flourishing. Kingdoms at length found in their commerce, 
resources for augmenting their strength and their influence, and 
carrying into execution their projects of aggrandizement and 

[Among the causes of this revolution which took place in 
commerce, it is necessary to take into account a discovery ap- 
parently of trivial importance, but which exercised a most ex- 
traordinary influence over the civilization of Europe, viz. that 
of horse-posts for the conA'-eyance of letters. Before the sixteenth 
century, the communications between distant countries were 
few and difficult. Messengers, travelling on short journeys, on 
foot or on horseback, were their only couriers. About the be- 
ginning of the seventeenth century, and during the reign of 
Maximilian I., an Italian gentleman of the name of Francis de 
la Tour et Taxis, established the first posts in the Low Coun- 
tries. Their object at first was merely for the conveyance of 
letters by posts or post, for which he provided regular relays. 
By and by, for the sake of despatch, the use of horses was in- 
troduced, placed at certain distances. From the Low Countries 
this system found its way into Germany, where its profits 
were secured to the family of Taxis by imperial grants ; and 
from thence it spread over every civilized country in the world.] 

A revolution not less important, is that which took place in re- 
ligion about the beginning of the sixteenth century. The abuses 
which disgi'aced the court of Rome, the excess of the power, and 
the depravity of the morals of the clergy, had excited a very ge- 
neral discontent. A reformation had for a long time been deemed 
jiecessary, but there was a difference of opinion as to the me- 
thod of effecting it. The common notion was, that this task 
could be legally accomplished only by General Councils, con- 
voked under the authority of the Popes. It was easy, however, 
to perceive the inefficacy of any remedy left at the disposal of 
those very persons from whom the evil proceeded ; and the un- 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453—1648. ai5 

successful results of the Councils of Constance and Basle, had 
taught the people, that, in order to obtain redress for the abuses 
of which they complained, it was necessary to have recourse to 
some other scheme than that of General Councils. This scheme 
was attempted by the Eeformers of the sixteenth century, who 
were persuaded, that, in order to restrain the exorbitant power 
of the clergy, they ought to reject the infallibility of the Pope, 
as well as that of General Councils ; admitting no other autho- 
rity in ecclesiastical matters, than that of the sacred scriptures, 
interpreted by the lights of reason and sound criticism. 

The immediate and incidental cause of this change in reli- 
gion, was the enormous abuse of indulgences. Pope Leo X., 
who was of the family of the Medicis, and well known for his 
extensive patronage of literature and the fine arts, having ex- 
hausted the treasury of the church by his luxury and his mu- 
nificence, had recourse to the expedient of indulgences, which 
several of his predecessors had already adopted as a means of 
recruiting their finances. The ostensible reason was, the ba- 
silica of St. Peter's at Rome, the completion of which was 
equally interesting to the whole of Christendom. Offices for 
the sale of indulgences were established in all the different 
states of Europe. The purchasers of these indulgences ob- 
tained absolution of their sins, and exemption from the pains of 
purgatory after death. The excesses committed by the emis- 
saries who had the charge of those indulgences, and the scan- 
dalous means whidh they practised to extort money, brought on 
the schism to which we are about to advert. 

Two theologians, Martin Luther, and Ulric Zuingle, opposed 
these indulgences, and inveighed against them in their sermons 
and their writings ; the former at Wittemberg in Saxony ; the 
other, first at Einsiedeln, and afterwards at Zurich, in Switzer- 
land. Leo X. at first held these adversaries in contempt. He 
did not attempt to allay the storm, until the minds of men, ex- 
asperated by the heat of dispute, were no longer disposed to 
listen to the voice of calmness and conciliation. The means 
which he subsequently tried to induce Luther to retract having 
proved abortive, he issued a thundering Bull against him (1520,) 
which, so far from abating the courage of the Reformer, tended, 
on the contrary, to embolden him still more. He publicly burnt 
the Pope's Bull, together with the Canon Law, a*. Wittemberg 
(10th December,) in presence of a vast concourse of doctors 
and students from different nations, whom he had assembled for 
the purpose. From that moment Luther and Zuingle never 
ceased to preach against the abuses of the indulgences. They 
completely undermined this system of abomination, and even 


attacked various other dogmas and institutions of the Romisli 
church, such as monastic vows, the celibacy of the priests, the 
supremacy of the Pope and the ecclesiastical hierarchy. These 
ttvo celebrated men, who agreed in the greater part of their 
opinions, soon attracted a number of followers. The people, 
Jong ago prepared to shake off a yoke which had been so op- 
pressive, applauded the zeal of the Reformers; and the new 
opinions, promptly and easily diffused by means of the press, 
were received with enthusiasm throughout a great part of 

John Calvin, another Reformer, trod nearly in the footsteps 
of Zuingle. He was a native of Noyon in Picardy, and began to 
distinguish himself at Paris in 1532. Being compelled to leave 
that city on account of his opinions, he withdrew to Switzerland 
(1538;) thence he passed to Strasbourg, where he was nomi- 
nated to the office of French preacher. His erudition and his 
pulpit talents gained him disciples, and gave the name of Cal- 
vinists to those who had at first been called Zuinglians. The 
Lutherans, as well as the Zuinglians or Calvinists in Germany, 
were comprehended under the common appellation of Protest- 
ants, on account of the Protest which they took against the 
decrees of the Diet of Spire (1529,) which forbade them to 
make any innovations in religion, or to abolish the mass, until 
the meeting of a General Council. The name of Lutherans 
jwas applied more particularly to those Avho adhered to the 
Confession of Augsburg, that is, the Confession of Faith which 
they presented to the Emperor Charles V., at the famous Diet 
of Augsburg, held in 1530. 

In this manner a great part of Europe revolted from the 
Pope and the Romish Church, and embraced either the doc- 
trines of Luther, or those of Zuingle and Calvin. The half oi 
Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Prussia, and Livonia, 
adopted the Confession of Augsburg; while England, Scotland, 
the United Provinces, and the principal part of Switzerland, 
declared themselves in favour of the opinions of Zuingle and 
Calvin. The new doctrines made likewise great progress in 
France, Hungary, Transylvania, Bohemia, Silesia, and Poland. 

This revolution did not convulse merely the Church ; it in- 
fluenced the politics, and changed the form of government, m 
many of the States of Europe. The same men who believed 
themselves authorized to correct abuses and imperfections in re- 
ligion, undertook to reform political abuses with the same free- 
dom. New States sprung up ; and princes took advantage of 
these commotions to augment their own power and authority. 
Constituting themselves heads of the Church and of the religion 

Landiiii^- of Coiurnbus. Vol. ],p.2i_ 

Luther burnin^^ the Pope's Bull Vol, ], p. 21o. 

PERIOD VI. A. t). 1453—1648. 217 

of their country, they shook off the fetters of priestly influence ; 
while the clergy ceased to form a counteracting or controlling 
power in the State. The freedom of opinion which characterized 
the Protestant faith, awoke the human mind from its intellectual 
lethargy, infused new energy into it, and thus contrihuted to the 
progress of civilization and science in Europe. Even the systems 
of public instruction underwent a considerable change. The 
schools were reformed, and rendered more perfect. A multitude 
of new seminaries of education, academies, and universities 
were founded in all the Protestant States. This revolution, 
however, was not accomplished without great and various calami- 
ties. A hierarchy, such as that of the Church of Rome, sup- 
ported by all that was dignified and venerable, could not be 
attacked, or shaken to its foundation, without involving Europe 
in the convulsion. Hence we find that wars and factions arose 
in Germany, France, the Low Countries, Switzerland, Hungary, 
and Poland. The march of reformation was every where stain- 
ed with blood. 

The means that were employed to bring the quarrels of the 
Church to an amicable conclusion, tended rather to exasperate 
than allay the mischief; and if the conferences among the clergy 
of different persuasions failed, it was not to be expected that a 
better agreement, or a union of parties, could be founded on the 
basis of a General Council. The Protestants demanded an un- 
controlled liberty for the Council. They wished it to be assem- 
bled by order of the Emperor, in one of the cities of the Empire ; 
and that their divines should have a voice and a seat in its meet- 
ings. The Pope was to submit to its authority, and ail matters 
should there be decided according to the rule of the sacred Scrip- 
tures. These terms were by no means agreeable to the Catho- 
lics. Paul III. summoned a Council at Mantua (1537,) and 
another at Vicenza (1538;) but both of these convocations were 
ineffectual, as was also the proposed reform in the Court of Rome, 
made by the same Pontiff'. It was resolved at last, at the instance 
of the Catholic princes (1542,) to convoke the Council of Trent, 
though the opening of it was deferred till 1545. 

This famous Council met with two interruptions; the first 
.ook place in 1547, when the Pope, who had become alarmed at 
the success of the Imperial arms, transferred the Council to Bo- 
logna, on pretence that an epidemic distemper had broken out at 
Trent. All the prelates of the Emperor"s party remained at 
Trent, in obedience to the command of their master, v/ho pro- 
tested loudly against the assembly at Bologna, which neverthe- 
less held its ninth and tenth Sessions at that city. This latter 
Council having been dissolved by Pau. '^. (1548.,) its affairs 

VOL. I. .19 

218 CHAPTER vn. 

continued in a languid state for the next two years, wnen Pope 
Julius III., the successor of Paul, revived it, and transferred i; 
once more to Trent (1551.) Another interruption took place at 
the time when Maurice, Elector of Saxony, had made himsell 
master of Augsburg, and was marching against the Emperor 
towards Inspruck. It was then agreed to prorogue the Council, 
now in its sixteenth Session, for two years ; and to assemble 
again at the end of that period, if peace should happen in the 
mean time to be established. At length, in 1560, Pius IV., 
summoned the Council, for the third and last time, to meet at 
Trent. The session, however, did not commence till 1562 ; and 
next year its sittings were finally terminated. 

In this Council, matters were not treated in the same way as 
they had been at Constance and Basle, where each nation delibe- 
rated separately, and then gave their suffrage in common, so that 
the general decision was taken according to the votes of the dif- 
ferent nations. This form of deliberation was not at all palatable 
to the Court of Rome, who, in order to gain a preponderance in 
the assembly, thought proper to decide, by a majority of the votes 
of every individual member of the Council. The Protestant 
princes rejected entirely the authority of this Council; which, 
far from terminating the dispute, made the schism wider than 
ever. Its decisions were even condemned by several of the Ca- 
tholic sovereigns. In France, more especially, it was never 
formally published, and they expressly excluded such of its acts 
of discipline as they considered contrary to the laws of the king- 
dom, to the authority of the sovereign, and the maxims of the 
Galilean Church. 

It is nevertheless certain that this Council was instrumental in 
restoring the tottering power of the Roman pontiffs ; v/hich receiv- 
ed at the same time a new support by the institution of tlie Order 
of the Jesuits. The founder of this order was Ignatius Loyola, 
who was born at the Castle of Loyola in Guipuscoa. He made 
the declaration of his vows in the church of Montmartre at Paris 
(1534,) and obtained from Paul III. the confirmation of his new 
Society. This order was bound, by a particular vow of obedi- 
ence, more intimately to the Court of Rome ; and became one of 
the main instruments of its enormous power. From Spain the 
Society was speedily propagated in all the other Catholic States ; 
they filled cities and courts with their emissaries; undertook 
missions to China, Japan, and the Indies; and under the special 
protection of the See of Rome, they soon surpassed in credit 
and wealth every other religious order. 

In the midst of these changes which took place in civil and 
ecclesiastiral matters, wp find a new system arising in the poll- 

PERIOD. VI. A. D. 1453—1648. 219 

tical government of Europe ; the consequence of those new ties 
and relations which had been established amongst the difTerent 
powers since the close of the fifteenth century. Prior to this 
date, most of the European States were feeble, because insulated 
and detached. Occupied with their own particular interests and 
quarrels, the nations were little acquainted with each other, and 
seldom had any influence on their mutual destinies. The faults 
and imperfections inherent in the feudal system had pervaded all 
Europe, and crippled the power and the energies of government. 
The sovereigns, continually at war with their factious and power- 
ful vassals, could neither form plans of foreign conquest, nor carry 
them into execution ; and their military operations were in ge- 
neral without unity or effect. [Hence it happened, that in the 
middle ages, changes were produced in the different States, 
which so little alarmed their neighbours, that it may be said 
they were scarcely conscious of their existence. Such were the 
conquests of the English in Fraiice, which might certainly have 
compromised the independence of Europe.] 

A combination of caiises and circumstances, both physical 
and moral, produced a revolution in the manners and govern- 
ments of most of the Continental States. The disorders of 
feudal anarchy gradually disappeared ; constitutions better or- 
ganized were introduced ; the temporary levies of vassals Avere 
succeeded by regular and permanent armies ; which contributed 
to humble the exorbitant power of the nobles and feudal barons. 
The consequence was, that States formerly weak and exhausted, 
acquired strength ; while their sovereigns, freed from the tur- 
bulence and intimidation of their vassals, began to extend their 
)X)litical views, and to form projects of aggrandizement and 

From this period the reciprocal influence of the European 
States on each other began to be manifest. Those who were 
afraid for their independence, would naturally conceive the idea 
of a balance of power capable of protecting them against the in 
roads of ambitious and warlike princes. Hence those frequent 
embassies and negotiations ; those treaties of alliance, subsidies, 
and guarantees ; those wars carried on by a general combina- 
tion of powers, who deemed themselves obliged to bear a part 
in the common cause ; and hence too those projects for establish- 
ing checks and barriers on each other, which occupied the dif- 
ferent courts of Europe. 

[The system of equilibrium or the balance of power, originated 
in Italy. That peninsula, separated from the rest of the continent 
by the sea and the Alps, had outstripped the other countries in 
the career of civilization. There a multitude of independent 


States had been formed, unequal in point of power and extent ; 
but none of them had sufficient strength to resist the united 
power of the rest, or usurp dominion over them ; while at the same 
time, none of them were so contemptible in point of weakness, 
as not to be of some weight in the scale. Hence that rivalry and 
jealousy among them, which Avas incessantly watching over the 
progress of their neighbours ; and hence, too, a series of wars 
and confederacies, whose object was to maintain some degree of 
equality among them; or at least a relative proportion, which 
might inspire the Aveaker Avilh courage and confidence. The 
Popes Avho AA^ere exceedingly active in these transactions, em- 
ployed all their policy to prevent any foreign poAA^er from inter- 
fering, or establishing itself in Italy. The doctrine of political 
equilibrium passed the Alps about the end of the fifteenth cen- 
tury. The House of Austria, Avhich had suddenly risen to a 
high pitch of grandeur, was the first against which its efforts 
were directed.] 

This House, w^hich deriA^ed its origin from Rodolph of Haps- 
burg, Avho AA'as elected Emperor of Germanj^ toAvards the end of 
the thirteenth century, OAved its greatness and elevation chiefly 
to the Imperial dignity, and the diflerent family alliances Avhich 
this same dignity procured it. Maximilian of Austria, son of 
the Emperor Frederic III., married Mary of Burgundy (1477,) 
daughter and heiress of Charles the Rash, last Duke of Bur- 
gundy. This alliance secured to Austria the Avhole of the Loav 
Countries, including Franche-Comte, Flanders, and Artois. 
Philip the Fair, the son of this marriage, espoused the Infanta 
of Spain, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Castille. They 
had two sons, Charles and Ferdinand, the former of Avhom, 
knoAvn in history by the name of Charles V., inherited the Loav 
Countries in right of his father Philip (1506.) On the death of 
Ferdinand, his maternal grandfather (1516,) he became heir to 
the Avhole Spanish succession, AA'hich comprehended the king- 
doms of Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia, together Avith 
Spanish America. To these vast possessions Avere added his 
partimonial dominions in Austria, Avhich Avere transmitted to 
laim by his paternal grandfather the Emperor Maximilian I. 
About the same time (1519,) the Imperial dignity Avas conferred 
on this prince by the electors ; so that Europe had not seen, 
since the time of Charlemagne, a monarchy so poAverful as that 
of Charles V. 

This Emperor concluded a treaty Avith his brother Ferdinand, 
by which he ceded to him all his hereditary possessions in Ger- 
many. The two brothers thus became the founders of the tAVO 
principal branches of the House of Austria, viz. that of Spain, 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453—1648. 221 

which began with Charles V., (called Charles I. of Spain,") and 
ended with Charles II. (1700;) and that of Germany, of which 
Ferdinand I. was the ancestor, and which became extinct in the 
male line in the Emperor Charles VI. (1740.) These two 
branches, closely allied to each other, acted in concert for the 
advancement of their reciprocal interests ; moreover they gained 
each their own separate advantages by the marriage connexions 
which they formed. Ferdinand I. of the German line, married 
Anne (1521,) sister of Louis King of Hungary and Bohemia, 
who having been slain by the Turks at the battle of Mohacs 
(1526,) these two kingdoms devolved to Ferdinand of the House 
of Austria. Finally, the marriage which Charles V. contracted 
with the Infant Isabella, daughter of Emmanuel, King of Por- 
tugal, procured Philip II. of Spain, the son of that marriage, 
the whole Portuguese monarchy, to which he succeeded on the 
death of Henry, called the Cardinal (1580.) So vast an ag 
grandizement of power alarmed the sovereigns of Europe, who 
began to suspect that the Austrian Princes, of the Spanish and 
(xerman line, aimed at universal monarchy. The unbounded 
ambition of Charles V., and his son Philip II., as well as that 
of Ferdinand II., grandson of Ferdinand I., tended to confirm 
these suspicions ; and all felt the necessity of uniting to oppose 
a barrier to this overwhelming power. For a long time the 
whole policy of Europe, its wars and alliances, had no other 
object than to humble the ambition of one nation, whose pre- 
ponderance seemed to threaten the liberty and independence of 
the rest. 

[The system of political equilibrium, Avhich from this period 
became the leading object of every European cabinet, imtil it 
was imdermined by imjust and arbitrary interferences, and 
threatened to bury the independence of Europe in its ruins, did 
not aim at maintaining among the different states an equality 
of power or territorial possession. This would have been chi- 
merical. The object of this system was to maintain a perfect 
equality of rights, in virtue of which the weaker might enjoy 
in security all that they held by a just claim. It was purely a 
defensive and preservative system ; nor did it affect to put an 
end to all wars ; it was directed solely against the ambition and 
usurpation of conquerors. Its fundamental principle was to 
prevent any one state from acquiring sufficient power to resist 
the united efforts of the others.] 

France was the leading power that undertook the task of re- 
gulating the balance against the House of Austria. Francis I. 
and Henry II. used every effort to excite combinations against 
Charles V. Francis was the first sovereign in Europe thnt 



entered into treaties of alliance with the Turks against Austria , 
and in this way the Porte was, to a certain extent, amalgamated 
with the political system of Europe. So long as their object 
was to subvert the feudal aristocracy, and the Protestant reli- 
gion in France, Francis and Henry were strenuous defenders 
of the Germanic system, and extended their protection to the 
sovereigns of the Protestant States of the Empire, under the 
persuasion that all Europe would bend to the Austrian yoke, if 
the Emperors of that House should succeed in rendering theii 
power absolute and hereditary in the Empire. Henry IV. 
Louis XIII., and the Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin, adopted 
the same line of policy.*^ They joined in league with the 
Protestant Princes, and armed by turns the greater part of Eu- 
rope against Austria, and the Emperor Ferdinand II., whose 
ambitious designs threatened to subvert the constitution of the 
Empire. This was the grand motive for the famous Thirty 
Years' War, which was put an end to by the treaties of West- 
phalia (1648,) and of the Pyrenees (1659.) France succeeded, 
not however without prodigious efforts, in supporting the ba- 
lance against Austria ; while the federative system of the 
Empire, consolidated by the former of these treaties, and gua- 
ranteed by France and Sweden, became a sort of artificial bar- 
rier, for preserving the equilibrium and the general tranquillity 
of Europe. 

It was during this period that almost every kingdom in Eu- 
rope changed their condition, and assumed, by degrees, the form 
which they have still retained. The German Empire continued 
to experience those calamities to which every government is 
exposed, when its internal springs have lost their vigour and 
activity. Private wars and feuds, which the laws authorized, 
were then regarded as the chief bulwark of the national liberty ; 
the noblesse and the petty states in general, knew no other jus- 
lice than what the sword dispensed. Oppression, rapine and 
violence, were become universal ; commerce languished ; and 
the different provinces of the Empire presented one melan- 
choly scene of ruin and desolation. The expedients that were 
tried to remedy these disorders, the truces, the treaties (called 
the Peace of God,) and the different confederacies of the Im- 
perial states, served only to palliate, but not to cure the evil. 
The efforts which some of the Emperors made to establish the 
public tranquillity on some solid basis, proved equally abortive. 

It was not until near the end of the fifteenth century that the 
states of the Empire, impressed with juster notions of govem- 
•nent and civil subordination, consented to the total and entire 
.iholil'on of fends and intestine wars This was accomplished 

PERIOD VI A. 1 . 1453 — 164a 29S 

«n(!er the reign of Maximilian I., by the Perpetual Public 
Peace, drawn up at the Diet of Worms in 1495. All violent 
means of redress among the members of ihe Germanic Bod^ 
■were rigorously interdicted ; and all who had any complaints to 
inake against each other, were enjoined to apply to the regular 
courts of justice. This ordinance of the Public Peace, which 
was afterwards renewed and enlarged in several diets, has beeii 
regarded, smce that time, as one of the principal and funda- 
mental laws of the Empire. 

The establishment of the Public Peace rendered a reforma- 
tion necessary in the administration of justice, which had long 
b(;en in a languid and disordered state. For this purpose, the 
Imperial Chamber, which sat at first at Spire, and was after- 
wards transferred to Wetzlar, was instituted at the Diet ot 
Worms (1495.) Its object was to judge of any differences that 
might arise among the immediate members of the Germanic 
body ; as also to receive any appeals that might be referred to 
them from the subordinate tribunals. It was composed of a 
chief or head, called the Judge of the Chamber, and of a cer- 
tain number of assessors chosen from among the jurists and 
independent nobility. The institution of the Aulic Council, 
another sovereign court of the Empire, followed soon after that 
of the Imperial Chamber. Its origin is generally referred to 
the Diet of Cologne (1512.) Of the same date also is the plan 
which they adopted of dividing the Empire into ten Circles, as 
a proper expedient for maintaining the public peace, and faci- 
litating the execution of the sentences of the two Imperial 
Courts. Over ea^^h of these circles were placed princes, direc- 
tors, and colonels, whose duty it was to superintend and com- 
mand the troops of their respective districts. 

The custom of Imperial Capitulations was introduced at the 
time of the accession of Charles V. to the Imperial throne (1519."> 
The Electors, apprehensive of the formidable power of that 
prince, thought proper to limit it by a capitulation, which they 
made him sign and solemnly swear to observe. This compact 
between the new Emperor and the Electors, renewed under every 
subsequent reign, has been always considered as the grand char- 
ter of the liberties of the Germanic body. 

The dissensions on the score of religion that happened about 
the beginning of the sixteenth century, gave rise to a long series 
of troubles and civil wars, which proved of advantage to the 
House of Austria, by the confirmation of their power in the Em- 
pire. The first of these is known by the name of the war of 
Smalcalden, of which the following is a brief sketch. T\.a Em* 
peror Charles V.. in the first diet which he held at Wornif , S2\. 

224 CHAPTER Vll. 

bad issued an edict of pioscription agamst Luther and his adhe- 
»"*?nts, ordaining that they should be treated as enemies of the 
Empire, and prosecuted to the utmost rigour of the law. The 
execution of this edict was incessantly urged by the Emperor 
and the Pope's legates, until the whole Empire was in a state of 
combustion. The Catholic princes, at the instigation of Cardi' 
nal Campeggio, assembled at Ratisbonne (1524,) and there 
adopted measures of extreme rigour, for putting the edict into 
execution within their respective states. The case was by no 
means the same with the princes and states who adhered to the 
Reformation, or who gave it their protection. To apply the con- 
ditions of the edict to them, it would have been necessary to 
come to a civil war, which the more prudent members of the 
Germanic body sought to avoid. This religious schism was still 
more aggravated at the Diet of Augsburg, where the Emperoi 
issued a decree, condemning the Confession of Faith which the 
Protestant princes had presented to him. This decree limited a 
time within which they were commanded, in so far as regarded 
the articles in dispute, to confoiTn to the doctrines of the Catholic 
Church. Thus urged to extremities, the Protestant leaders de- 
termined to assemble at Smalcalden before the end of this very 
year (1530,) where they laid the foundation of a Union, or de- 
fensive alliance, which was afterAvards renewed at different time?. 
John Frederic, Elector of Saxony, and Philip, Landgrave of 
Hesse, declared themselves chiefs of this Union. In opposition 
to this confederacy, the Catholic princes instituted the Holy 
League; so called because its object was the defence of the 
Catholic religion. 

Every thing seemed to announce a civil war, when a new 
irruption of the Turks into Hungary and Austria, induced the 
Catholics to sign, at Nuremberg (1530,) a truce, or accommoda- 
tion, with the princes of the Union ; in virtue of which, a peace 
between the states of the two religions was concluded, and ap- 
proved by the Emperor ; to continue till a General Council, ot 
some new assembly should decide otherwise. This peace was 
renewed in various subequent assemblies. The Protestant 
princes, however, still persisted in their refusal to acknowledge 
the authority of Councils convoked by the Popes ; and their 
confederacy daily receiving new accessions, the Emperor, after 
having made peace vrith France, at Crepv (1544,) and concluded 
an armistice of five years with the Turks, resolved to declare 
war against these schismatics, who, presuming on their union 
and their amicable relations with foreign powers, thought them- 
selves capable of dictating laws to the Empire. He issued an 
edict of proscription (1546) against the Edector of Saxony and 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453—1648. 225 

the Landgrave of Hesse, the two chiefs of the Union ; and 
having entered into a secret alliance with Duke Maurice, a 
younger branch of the family of Saxony, and a near relation of 
the Elector, he succeeded in transferring the theatre of war from 
the Danube to the Elbe. The Elector being defeated by the 
Emperor, in an action which took place at Mecklenburg (1547,) 
fell into the hands of the conqueror ; and the Landgrave of Hesse 
met with the same fate two months after. The Union of Smal- 
calden was then dissolved, and the Emperor, who now saw him- 
self master of Germany, assembled a Diet at Augsburg, in which 
he acted the part of a dictator. A large detachmerit of his troops, 
billeted on the city, served as his body guard, while the rest of 
his army was encamped in the neighbourhood. At this diet, he 
conferred on Duke Maurice the Electorate of Saxony, of which 
he had deprived his prisoner, John Fredei'ick. The investiture 
of the new Elector took place at Augsburg (1548;) and what 
deserves to be particularly remarked in this diet is, that the Em- 
peror entered into a scheme for the entire ruin and extirpation 
of Protestantism, by compelling the princes and states of the 
Reformation to rejoin the Catholic Church, by means of a formula 
which he made them adopt, known by the name of the Interim ; 
and which, by its preliminary arrangement, allowed them only 
the use of the communion in both kinds, and the marriage ol 
their priests, until the whole matter should be decided by a 

The victories of Charles V., which seemed to have made him 
absolute master of the Empire, were soon followed by reverses, 
which eclipsed all the former glory of his reign. The Elector 
Maurice, though indebted to him for his new dignity, thought 
he might take advantage of the distressed condition to which 
that prince was reducad by the low state of his finances, to make 
a new attempt to limit his authority, and restore the Protestant 
religion. Wiih this view, having inlisted some of the princes 
of the Empire in his cause, and concluded a secret treaty with 
Henry II. of France, at Chambord, he marched with such rapi- 
dity against the Emperor, that he nearly surprised him at Ins- 
pruck, and obliged him to have recourse to the mediation of his 
brother Ferdinand, when a treaty was concluded with Maurice, 
which was signed at Passau (1552.) There the liberty of the 
Protestant worship was sanctioned ; and it Avas agreed that a 
General Council should be summoned to draw up the articles of 
a solid and permanent peace betAveen the states of both religions. 

This diet, which was long retarded by political events, did not 
assemble at Augsburg till the year 1555. There a definitive 
peace was concluded on the subject ol religion, and it was or 

226 CHAPTER Vlt. 

dained that both Protestant and Catholic states should enjoy a 
perfect liberty of worship ; and that no reunion should ever be 
attempted by any other than amicable means. The seculari- 
zing of the ecclesiastical revenues, which the Protestant princes 
hud introduced into their states, was ratified; but there was 
one of the articles of the treaty which expressly provided, that 
every prelate or churchman, who renounced his ancient faith to 
embrace the Confession of Augsburg, should lose his benefice. 
This latter clause, known by the name of Ecclesiastical Reserve, 
did not pass but with the most determined opposition. 

Differences of more kinds than one sprung from this treaty of 
peace, — the articles of which each party interpreted to their own 
advantage. Hence those stratagems which at length occasioned 
a new war — that of the Thirty Years. The Protestant Princes 
and States, wishing to provide for their own security, and to put 
an end to those arbitrary measures, of which they thought they 
had reason to complain, assembled at Heilbrunn (1594,) and 
there laid the foundation of a new union, which was confirmed 
in the assemblies held at Halle, in Suabia, in the years 1608 
and 1610. The chief promoter of this union was Henry IV. of 
France, who designed to use it as a check on the ambition of the 
House of Austria ; and as a means for canying into execution 
the grand project Avhich he meditated with regard to the pacifi- 
cation of Europe. He concluded an alliance with the Princes 
of the Union, and determined the number of troops to be furnish- 
ed by each of the contracting parties. The Catholic princes and 
States, afraid of being taken unawares, renewed their League, 
which they signed at Wurtzburg (1609.) The rich dutchy of 
Juliers, which had become vacant this same year, was contested 
by several claimants ; and as Austria was equally desirous of 
possessing it, this was made the occasion of raising poAverful 
armies in France, Germany, Italy, and the Lov/ Countries. A 
considerable numlx;r of troops had already taken the field, about 
the beginning of the year 1610, when the unexpected death of 
Henry IV. disconcerted all their measures. This changed the 
politics of the French court, and also induced the Princes of the 
Union to conclude a treaty with the League, — the articles of 
which were signed at Munich and Wildstett (1610.) 

In this manner the resentment of both parties was suspended 
for the moment ; but the cause of their disunion still remained, 
which at length (1618) kindled a war that extended from Bohe- 
mia over all Germany, and involved, in course of time, a great 
part of Europe. The history of this tedious Avar, in which poli- 
tics had as great a share as zeal for religion, may be divided into 
four principal periods, namely, the Palatine, the Danish, the 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453—1648. 227 

Swedish, and the French war. Frederick V., Elector Palatine, 
and head of the Protestant Union, having been raised to the 
throne by the Bohemian States (1619,) which had rebelled 
against the Emperor Ferdinand II., engaged in a war with that 
prince ; but being deserted by his allies, and defeated at the bat- 
tle of Prague (1620,) he was driven from Bohemia, and strippf^d 
of all his dominions. The victorious arms of Austria soon ex- 
tended their conquests over a great part of the Empire. 

Christian IV., King of Denmark, who was in alliance with 
most of the Protestant princes, next undertook the defence of the 
federal system ; but he was not more fortunate than the Elector 
Palatine had been. Being defeated by Tilly, at the famous bg.t- 
tle of Lutler (1626,) he was compelled to abandon the cause o{ 
his allies, and to sign a separate peace with the Emperor at 
Lubeck (1629.) Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, pursued 
the career of the Danish monarch. Encouraged by France, he 
put himself at the head of the Protestant princes, with the view 
of checking the ambitious projects of Ferdinand II., who, by 
means of his general, Wallenstein, whom he had created Duke 
of Friedland, and invested in the Dutchy of Mecklenburg, was 
dictating the law to the whole Empire, and even threatening 
the kingdoms of the North. Nothing co-uld be more splendid 
than the campaigns of the Swedish hero in Germany, and the 
victories which he obtained at Leipsic (1631,) and Lutzen(1632 ;) 
but having been slain in the latter action, the affairs of the 
Swedes began to decline ; and they were totally ruined by the 
defeat which they sustained at Nordlingen (1634.) From that 
time the Elector of Saxony, John George I., renounced the al- 
liance of Sweden ; and in yielding vip Lusace to the Emperor, 
he consented to a separate treaty of peace, which was signed at 
Prague (1635.) 

It was at this period that France, which till then had but fee- 
bly supported the Swedes and the Protestant Princes, thought 
it of advantage to her interests to undertake their defence against 
Austria. Having declared war against Spain, she marched 
numerous armies at once into Italy, Spain, Germany, and the 
Low Countries. Bernard, Prince of .Saxe Weimar, and the three 
French Generals, Guebriant, Turennc, and the Duke d'Enghien, 
eignalized themselves by their exploits in the Imperial war; 
while the disciples of Gustavus Adolphus, Banier, Torstenston, 
and Wrangel, distinguished themselves at the head of the Swe- 
dish armies, in the various campaigns which took place, from 
the year 1635 till the conclusion of the peace. Never were ne- 
gotiations more tedious or niore complicated than those which 
preceded the treaty of Westphalia. The preliminaries were 



Signed at Hamburg-h in 1641 ; but the opening of the Congress 
at Munster and Osnaburg, did not take place till 1644. The 
Counts D'Avaux and Servian, the plenipotentiaries of France, 
shared with Oxenstiem and Salvius, the Swedish Envoys, the 
principal glory of this negotiation, which was protracted on pur- 
pose, as the belligerent powers were daily expecting to see the 
events of the war change in their favour. It was not until the 
24th of October 1648, that the peace was finally signed at Mun- 
ster and Osnaburg. 

This peace, which Avas renewed in eveiy subsequent treaty, 
and made a fundamental law of the Empire, fixed definitively 
the constitution of the Germanic Body. The territorial rights 
of the states, known by the name of superiority — the privilege 
of making alliances with each other, and Avith foreign powers — 
and advising with the Emperor at the Diets, in every thing that 
concerned the general administration of the Empire, were con- 
firmed to them in the most authentic manner, and guaranteed 
by the consent of foreign powers. As to ecclesiastical affairs, 
the Religious Peace of 1555 was confirmed anew, and extended 
to those who were known by the name of the Reformed, or Cal- 
vinists. The state of religion, the forms of public \yorship, and 
the enjoyment of ecclesiastical benefices, throughout the whole 
Empire, were regulated according to the decree, called Uti 
possidetis of the 1st of January 1624, which was termed the 
normal, or decretory year. In this treaty, France obtained, by 
way of indemnity, the sovereignty of the three bishoprics, Metz, 
Toul, and Verdun, as well as that of Alsace. The compensa- 
tion of the other parties interested, was settled in a great mea- 
sure at the expense of the Church, and by means of secularizing 
several bishoprics and ecclesisastical benefices. 

Besides Pomerania and the city of Wismar, Sweden got the 
archbishopric of Bremen, and the bishopric of Verden. To the 
House of Brandeburg, they assigned Upper Pomerania, the 
archbishopric of Magdeburg, the bishoprics of Halberstadt, Min- 
den, and Camin. The House of Mecklenburg received, in lieu 
of the city of Wismar, the bishoprics of Schwerin and Ratzeburg. 
The princely abbey of Hirschfeld was adjudged to the Land- 
grave of Hesse-Cassel, and the choice of the bishopric of Osna- 
burg, to the House of Brunswick-Luneburg. An eighth Elec- 
torate was instituted in favour of the Elector Palatine, whom 
ihe Emperor, during the war, had divested of his dignity, which, 
with the Upper Palatinate, he had conferred on tiie Duke of 

The greater part of the provinces known by the name of the 
uow Countries, made part of the ancient kingdom of Lorraine 

fERioD VI. A. D. 1453—1648. 229 

which had been united to the German Empire since t}»e tenth 
century. The principal of these had been acquired by the Dukes 
of Burgundy, who made them over, with other estates, to the 
house of Austria (1477.) Charles V. added the provinces of 
Friesland, Groningen, and Gueldres, to the states to which he 
nid succeeded in Burgundy. He united the seventeen pro 
Vi, ces of the Low Countries into one and the same government , 
p,i ordered, by the P?'e5"???<z^zc decree which he published (1549,) 
t-iit they should never henceforth be disunited. This same 
prince, at the diet of Augsburg (1548,) entered into a negotia- 
tion with the Germanic Body, in virtue of which he consented 
to put these provTnces under their protection; under condition 
of their observing the public peace, and paying into the exche- 
quer of the Empire double the contribution of an Electorate. 
He guaranteed to the princes of the Low Countries a vote and 
a seit at the Diet, as chiefs of the circle of Burgundy. These 
pro/mces, moreover, were to be considered as free and indepen- 
der.; sovereignties, without being subject to the jurisdiction either 
of 1 he Empire or of the Imperial Chamber, who were not au- 
thorized to proceed against them, except when they were found 
in arrears with the payment of their contingent, or when they 
infringed the law of the public peace. 

Charles V. having transferred these countries to his son, 
Philip n. of Spain, they were then incorporated with the Span- 
ish monarchy ; and it was under the reign of this latter prince 
that those troubles began which gave rise to the Republic of the 
United Provinces of the Low Countries. The true origin of 
these troubles is to be found in the despotism of Philip IL, and 
in his extravagant and fanatical zeal for the Catholic religion. 
This prince, the declared enemj'- of the rights and liberties of 
the Belgic Provinces, was mortified to witness the religious pri- 
vileges which they enjoyed ; under favour of which the doc- 
trines of the Reformation were daily making new progress. 
Being resolved to extirpate this new faith, together with the 
political liberties which served to protect it, he introduced the 
tribinial of the Inquisition (1559,) as the most sure and infoili- 
blc support of despotism. With the consent and authority of 
Pope Paul IV., he suppressed, for this purpose, the metropolitan 
and diocesan rights which tbf archbishops and bishops of the 
Empire and of France had exercised in the Low Countries ; he 
instituted three new bishoprics at Utrecht, Cambray, and Mech- 
lin ; and under their jurisdiction he put thirteen new bishoprics 
which he had erected, besides those of Arras and Tournay. 
Having in this way augmented the number of his satellites in 
the assembly of the States-General, he suppressed a great m"^« 

vol,. 1. 20 


titude of abbeys and monasteries, the revenues of which he aj? 
plied to the endowment of his neAvly made bishoprics. 

These innovations, added to the publication of the decree? ol 
the Council of Trent, according to his orders, excited a verv 
general discontent. The repeated remonstrances on the pan 
of the States, having produced no effect on the inflexible mind 
oi Philip, the nobility took the resolution of formmg a confe- 
deracy at Breda, known by the name of the Comproviise. The 
confederates drew up a request, which was addressed I > Mar- 
garet of Austria, the natural daughter of Charles V., and Re- 
gent of the Low Countries, under the King of Spain. Four 
hundred gentlemen, headed by Henry de Brederode, a descen- 
dant of the ancient Counts of Holland, and Louis of Nassau., 
brother to the Prince of Orange, repaired to Brussels (1566,) 
and there presented this request, which may be considered as 
the commencement of the troubles in the Low Countries. It 
was on this account that the name of Gnieux or Beggara was 
given to the Confederates, which ha? become so famous in the 
history of these wars. 

About this same time, the populace collected in mobs in seve- 
ral towns of the Low Countries, and fell upon the churcnes and 
monasteries ; and having broken down their altars and images, 
thoy introduced the exercise of the Protestant religion by force. 
The storm, however, was calmed ; the Catholic worship was 
re-established every where ; and the confederacy of the nobles 
dissoh^ed, several of whom, distrustful of this apparent tran- 
quillity, retired to foreign countries. William Prince of Orange, 
Louis of Nassau, the Counts de Culemburg and Berg, and the 
Count de Brederode, were in the number of these emigrants. 
Philip IL, instead of adopting measures of moderation and 
clemency, according to the advice of the Regent, was deter- 
mined to avenge, in the most signal manner, this outrage against 
his religion and the majesty of his throne. He sent the famous 
Duke of Alba or Alva into the Low Countries, at the head of an 
army of 20,000 men (1567.) The Regent then gave in her re- 
signation. A general terror overspread the country. Vast 
numbers of manufacturers and merchants took refuge in Eng- 
land, carrying along with them their arts and theii industry. 
Hence the commerce and manufactures of the Low Countries, 
which had formerly been the most flourishing in Europe, fell 
entirely into decay. 

The Duke of Alva, immediately on his arrival, established a 
tribunal or court, for investigating the excesses that had been 
committed during these commotions. This council, which the 
Flemings called the " Council of Blood," informed against all 

TERIOD VL A. D. 1453 — 1648. 231 

those who had been in any way concerned with the. Gueux or 
B'.gijUrs., who had frequented their preachings, contributed tc 
the support of their ministers or the buikling of their churches ; 
or harboured and protected these heretics, either directly, or in- 
directly. Before this council, whose only judges were the 
Duke of Alva and his confidant John de Vargas, were cited 
high and low, v/itliout distinction ; and all those whose wealth 
excited their cupidity. There they instituted proceedings against 
the absent and the present, the dead and the living, and con- 
fiscated their goods. Eighteen thousand pei'sons perished by 
the hands of the executioner, and more than 30,000 others were 
entirely ruined. Among the number of those illustrious vic- 
tims of Alva's cruelty, were the Counts Egmont and Horn, who 
were both beheaded. Their execution excited a general in- 
dignation, and was the signal of revolt and civil war throughout 
the Low Countries. 

The Beggars, who seemed almost forgotten, began to revive; 
and were afterwards distinguished into three kinds. All the 
malcontents, as well as the adherents of Luther and Calvin, 
were called simply by this name. Those were called Beggars 
of the Woods, who concealed themselves in the forests and 
marshes ; never sallying forth but in the night, to commit all 
sorts of excesses. Lastly, the Maritime or Marine Beggars,, 
were those who employed themselves in piracy ; infesting the 
coasts, and making descents on the country. 

It was in this situation of afiixirs that the Prince of Orange, 
one of the richest proprietors in the Low Countries, assisted by 
his brother the Counts of Nassau, assembled different bodies of 
troops in the Empire, with which he atta-cked the Low Coun- 
tries in several places at once (1668.) Failing in these first 
attempts, he soon changed his plan ; and associating the Marine 
Beggars in the cai'se, he ventured to attack the Spaniards by 
sea. The Beggars, encouraged by that Prince, and William 
Count de la Mark, surnamed the Boar of Ardennes, took the 
city uf Brille by surprise (1572,) situated in the Isle of Voorn, 
and regarded as the stronghold of the new republic of the Bel- 
gic Provinces. The capture of the port of Brille caused a re- 
volution in Zealand. All the cities of that province, except 
Middleburg, opened their gates to the Beggars ; and their ex- 
ample was followed by most of the towns in Holland. Ari as- 
sembly of the States of this latter province met this same year 
at Dort, where they laid the found? tion of their new repiiblic. 
The Prince of Orange was there >.^clared Stadtholder or Go- 
vernor of the provinces of Holland, Zealand, Friesland, and 
Utrecht ; and they agreed never to treat with the Spaniards, ex- 

232 CHAPTER vn. 

cept by common consent. The public exercise of the refonned 
religion was introduced, according to the form of Geneva. 

This rising republic became more firmly established in con- 
sequence of several advantages which the Confederates had 
gained over the Spaniards, whose troops being badly paid, at 
length mutinied ; and breaking out into the greatest disorders, 
they pillaged several cities, among others Antwerp, and laid 
waste the whole of the Low Countries. The States-General, 
then assembled at Brussels, implored the assistance of the Prince 
of Orange and the Confederates. A negotiation was then 
opened at Ghent (1576,) between the States of Brussels, and 
those of Holland and Zealand ; where a general union, known 
by the name of the Pacification of Ghent, was signed. They 
engaged mutually to assist each other, Avilh the view of expelling 
the Spanish troops, and never more permitting them toentf^r the 
Low Countries. The Confederates, who were in alliance with 
Queen Elizabeth of England, pursued the Spaniards every 
where, who soon saw themselves reduced to the single provinces 
of Luxemburg, Limburg, and Namur. 

They were on the point of being expelled from these also, 
when the government of the Low Countries was intrusted to 
Alexander Farnese, Prince of Parma. Equally distinguished as 
a politician and a warrior, this Prince revived the Spanish inte- 
rests. Taking advantage of the dissensions which had arisen 
among the Confederates from the diversity of their religious 
opinions, he again reduced the provinces of Flanders, Artois, 
and Hainault, under the Spanish dominion. He took the city 
of Maestricht by assault, and entered into a negotiation with 
the States-General of the Low Countries at Cologne, under the 
mediation of the Emperor Rodolph IL, the Pope, and some of 
the princes of the Empire. This negotiation proved unsuccess- 
ful ; but the Prince of Orange, foreseeing that the general con- 
federacy could not last, conceived the plan of a more intimate 
union among the Provinces ; which he regarded as the most fit 
to make head against the Spaniards. He fixed on the maritime 
provinces, such as Holland, Zealand, and Friesland ; and above 
all, on those whom the same religious creed, viz. the Calvinistic, 
had attached to the same interests. The commerce of Hol- 
land, and Zealand, and Friesland, began to make new progress 
daily. Amsterdam was rising on the ruins of Antwerp. The 
flourishing state of their marine rendered these provinces for- 
midable by sea ; and gave them the means not only of repelling 
the efforts of the Spaniards, but even of protecting the neigh- 
bouring provinces which might join this Union. Such were the 
motives which induced the Prince of Orange to form the special 

PERIOD. VI. A. D. 1453 — 1648. 233 

confederacy of the Seven Provinces, the basis of which he laid 
by the famous treaty of Union concluded at Utrecht (1579.) 
Tliat Union was there declared perpetual and indissoluble and 
u was agreed that the Seven Provinces, viz. those of Gueldres, 
Holland, Zealand, Utrecht, Overyssel, Friesland, and Groningen, 
should henceforth be considered as one and the same Province 
Each of these, nevertheless, was guaranteed in the possession of 
their rights and privileges — that is, their absolute superiority m 
every thing regarding their own internal administration. 

[We may remark, however, that these insurrectionary pro- 
vinces had not originally ihe design of forming a republic. 
Their intention, at first, was only to maintain their political pri- 
vileges ; and they did not absolutely shake off the Spanish 
authority until they despaired of reconciliation. Moreover, they 
repeatedly otfered the sovereignty of their States to differeni 
foreign princes ; and it was not till the Union of Utrecht that 
the Seven Provinces became a federal republic. Consequently 
every thing remained on its ancient footing ; and some of the 
provinces even retained their Stadtholders or governors, at the 
head of their administration. Hence that mixture of monarchy, 
aristocracy, and democracy, which prevailed in these countries; 
and hence, too, the feeble lie which united them with each other, 
and which would probably have speedily broken, if Holland had 
not, by its riches and its power, obtained an influence and pre- 
ponderance which maintained the Union.] 

The declaration of the independence of the United Provinces 
did not take place till 1581 ; when the Prince of Orange induced 
the States-Genen.l to make a formal proclamation of it, out of 
revenge for the furious edicts of proscription which the Court of 
Spain had issued against him. The Prince, however, was assas- 
sinated at Delft in 1584;' and the Spaniards took advantage of 
the consternation which this event had spread among the Con- 
federates, to reconquer most of the provinces of the Low Coun- 
tries. The general Confederacy languished away by degrees ; 
and the Union of Utrecht was the only one maintained among 
the Seven Provinces. This new republic, which was in strict 
alliance with England, not only made head against the Spaniards, 
but gained a considerable increase of strength by the vast num- 
bers of refugees from the different Belgic provinces, who took 
shelter there ; as well as from France, where the persecution 
slill raged violently against the Protestants. It is calculated 
that after the taking of Antwerp by the Prince of Parma in 
1585, above a hundred thousand of these fugitives transported 
themselves to Holland and Amsterdam, carrying with them their 
wealth and their industry. 


234 CHAPTER i. 

From this date the commerce of the Confederate States lU- 
creased every day ; and in 1595 they extended it as far as India 
and the Eastern Seas. The Dutch India Company was estab- 
lished in 1602. Besides the exclusive commerce of India, which 
was gnaranteed to them by their charter, they became likewise 
a political body, under the sovereignty of the States-General of 
the United Provinces. Supported by a formidable marine, they 
acquired vast influence in the East by their conquests over the 
Portuguese, whom they dispossessed by degrees of all their 
principal establishments in India. The Spaniards, finding their 
eflbrts to reduce the Confederates by force of arms ineffectual, 
set on foot a negotiation at Antwerp (1609,) under the media- 
tion of France and England ; in consequence of which, a truce 
of twelve years was concluded between Spain and the United 
Provinces. It was chiefly during this time that the Confede- 
rates extended their commerce over all parts of the globe, while 
their marine daily increased in strength and importance ; which 
soon raised them to the rank of being the second maritime power, 
and gave them a decisive influence over the political affairs of 

At the expiration of this truce, hostilities were renewed with 
Spain. The Dutch carried on the war for twenty-five years 
with great glory, under the auspices of their Stadtholders, 
Maurice and Henry Frederic, Princes of Orange, who discovered 
great military talents. One event, which proved favourable for 
the Republicans, was the war that broke out between France 
and Spain, and which was followed by a strict alliance between 
France and the States-General. The partition of the Spanish 
Netherlands was settled by this treaty ; and the allied powers 
entered into an engagement never to make peace or truce with 
Spain, except by common consent. This latter clause, however, 
did not prevent the States-General from concluding at Munster 
a separate peace with Spain, to the exclusion of France (1648.) 
By this peace the King of Spain acknowledged the United Pro- 
vinces as free and independent States ; he gave up to them all 
the places which they had seized in Brabant, Flanders and Lim- 
burg, viz. Bois-le-Duc, Bergen-op-Zoom, Breda, and Maestricht : 
as also their possessions in the East and West Indies, in Asia 
Africa, and America. The closing of the Scheld, which was 
granted in favour of the United Provinces, entirely ruined the 
city of Antwerp, and shut out the Spanish Netherlands from ah 
maritime commerce. 

The feudal system of the Swiss, which had originated in the 
fourteenth century, acquired a new importance towards the end 
of the fifteenth, by reason the success of the confederates m 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453—1648. f 988 

their war with Charles Duke of Burgundy. This prince, who 
was of a hot and turbulent spirit, was constantly occupied Avith 
projects of conquest. Taking advantage of the ruinous state of 
the finances of the Archduke Sigismund of Austria, he induced 
l>iui to sell him the territories of Brisgau and Alsace, with the 
right of repurchase (1469.) Peter de Hagenbach, a gentleman 
of Alsace, who had been appointed governor of these countries 
by the Duke, had oppressed the Austrian subjects, and harassed 
the whole neighbouring states ; especially the Swiss. The 
complaints which Avere made on this score to the Duke, having 
only rendered Hagenbach still more insolent, the Swiss, with 
the concurrence of several states of the Empire, paid down, at 
Basle, the sums stipulated in the contract for repurchasing the 
two provinces ; and, by force of arms, they re-established the 
Austrian prince in the possession of Alsace and Brisgau. They 
even went so far as to institute legal proceedings against Hagen- 
bach, who was in consequence beheaded at Brisach in 1474. 

The Duke, determined to avenge this insult, assembled an 
army of a hundred thousand men, Avith Avhich he penetrated 
through Franche-Comte into SAA^itzerland. He was defeated in 
the first action, Avhich took place at Granson (1476;) after 
AA'hich he reinforced his troops, and laid siege to Morat. Here 
he AA'as again attacked by the SavIss, aa^Iio killed eighteen thou- 
sand of his men, and seized the Avhole of his camp and baggage. 
The Duke of Lorraine, an ally of the Swiss, was then restored 
to those states of AAdiich the Duke of Burgundy had deprived 
him. This latter prince, in a great fury, came and laid siege to 
Nancy. The SavIss marched to the relief of this place, where 
they fought a third and last battle Avith the Duke, who AA^as here 
defeated and slain (1477.) 

These A'ictories of the SavIss OA'^er the Duke of Burgundy, one 
of the most poAverful princes of his time, raised the fame of their 
arms ; and made their friendship and alliance courted by the 
first sovereigns in Europe, especially by France. Their con- 
federacy, AA'hich had formerly been composed of only eight can- 
tons, Avas augmented by the accession of tAvo noAV states, Friburg 
and Soleure, Avhich Avere enrolled in the number of cantons. 

From this time the Swiss AA-ere no longer afraid to break the 
li s that bound them to the Germanic Body, as members of the 
anc °nt kingdom of Aries. The Diet of Worms, in 1495, having 
gram, "d the Emperor Maximilian succours against the French 
and th;^ Turks, the Swiss alleged their immunities, and their 
alliance vA'ith France, as a pretext for refusing their contingent 
of supplies. This demand, however, was renewed at the Diet 
of Lindau, in 1496, Avhich required them to renounce their alii- 


ance with France, and accede to the League of Swabia ; as also 
-o submit themselves to the Imperial Chamber, and the law of 
the public peace ; and to furnish their quota for the support of 
that Chamber, and the other contributions of the Empire. All 
these demands were resisted by the Helvetic Body, who regard- 
ed them as contrary to their rights and privileges. Meantime 
the Grisons had allied themselves with the Swiss, in order ro 
obtain their protection under the existing differences between 
them and the Tyrolese. 

The Emperor Maximilian seized this pretext for making war 
against the Cantons. Being desirous of vindicating the dignity 
of the Empire, which had been outraged by the Swiss, and of 
avenging the insults offered to his own family, he stirred up the 
League of Swabia to oppose them ; and attacked them in diffe- 
rent points at once. Eight battles were fought in succession, in 
course of that campaign ; all of which, with one solitary excep- 
tion, were in favour of the Swiss, while the Imperialists lost more 
than twenty thousand men. Maximilian and his allies, the Swa- 
bian League, then came to the resolution of making their peace 
with the Cantons, which was concluded at Basle (1499.) Both 
parties made a mutual restitution of what they had wrested from 
each other ; and it was agreed, that the differences between the 
Emperor, as Count of Tyrol, and the Grisons, should be brought 
to an amicable termination. This peace forms a memorable era 
in the history of the Helvetic Confederacy, whose independence, 
with regard to the German Emperor, was from that time con- 
sidered as decided ; although no mention of this was made in the 
treaty, and although the Swiss still continued for some time to 
request from the Emperors the confirmation of their immunities. 
Two immediate cities of the Empire, those of Basle and Schauff- 
hausen, took occasion, from these latter events, to solicit their 
admission into the Confederacy. They were received as allies, 
under the title of Cantons (1501 ;) and the territory of Appenzel, 
which was admitted in like manner (1-513,) formed tlie thirteenth 
and last Canton. 

The alliance which the Swiss had kept up with France, since 
the reigns of Charles VII. and Louis XL, tended greatly to se- 
cure the independence of the Helvetic Body.^ This alliance, 
which Louis XL had made an instrument for humbling the 
powder of the Duke of Burgundy, was never but once broken, in 
the reign of Louis XII., on account of the Holy Leagiie, into 
which the Swiss were drawn by the intrigues of the Bishop of 
Sion (1512.) The French were then expelled from the Milan- 
ese territory by the Swiss, who placed there the Duke Maximi- 
lian Sforza. It was in gratitude for this service, that the duke 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453 — 1648. 23? 

ceded to the Swiss, by a treaty which was concluded at Basle, 
the four bailiwicks of Lugano, Locarno, Mendrisio, and Val- 
Maggio, which he dismembered from the Milanois. Though 
conquer)rs at the battle of Novara, the Swiss experienced a san- 
guinary defeat at Marignano ; when tliey judged it for their in- 
terest to renew their alliance with France (1513.) A treaty of 
perpetual peace was signed at Friburg between these two States 
(1516,) which was soon after followed by a new treaty of alli- 
ance, concluded with Francis L at Lucerne (1521,) and regularly 
renewed under the subsequent reigns. 

The change which took place in religion, at the beginning of 
the sixteenth century, extended its influence to Switzerland, 
where it kindled the flame of civil discord. Four cantons, those 
of Zurich, Berne, Schauff hausen, and Basle, renouncing entirely 
the Romish faith, had embraced the doctrines of Zuingle and 
Calvin ; while two others, viz. Glaris and Appenzel, were divi- 
ded between the old and the new opinions. The Reformation 
having likewise found its way into the common bailiwicks, the 
Catholic Cantons rose in opposition to it (1531 ;) denying liber- 
ty of conscience to the inhabitants. Hence, a war arose be- 
tween the Cantons of the two religions ; which, however, was 
terminated the same year by a treaty of peace, guaranteeing to 
such parishes within the bailiwicks as had embraced the new 
doctrines, the liberty of still adhering to them. The same revo- 
lution extended to Geneva, whose inhabitants had declared so- 
lemnly in favour of the reformed worship, and erected themselves 
into a free and independent republic (1534.) The church of 
Geneva, under the direction of Calvin, became the centre and 
citadel of the Reformation ; while the academy founded in that 
city, produced a vast number of theologians and celebrated scho- 
Icirs. It was at this time that the duke of Savoy planned the 
bl'^ckade of Geneva, to enforce certain ancient rights which he 
> ' .med over that city ; but the Bernese espoused the cause of 
the Genevans, in virtue of the treaties of common citizenship 
which subsisted between them. This Canton having entered 
into alliance with Francis L, declared war against the duke of 
Savoy (1536 ;) and in less than three months took from him the 
Pay? de Vaud. Being desirous of interesting their neighbours 
the Friburgers in their cause, they invited them to take posses- 
sion of all those places that might suit their convenience ; and 
it was on this occasion that the city of Friburg acquired the prin- 
cipal part of its territory. These acquisitions were confirmed to 
ilie two Cantons, by the treaty which the Bernese concluded at 
j-jausanne with the duke of Savoy (1564.) 

The German Empire from time to time renewed its preten- 



sions on Switzerland, and the Imperial Chamber usurped an 
occasional jurisdiction over one or other of the Canions. Ne- 
gotiations for a general peace having commenced hi Munster 
and Osnaburg, the thirteen Cantons sent their minister or envoy 
to watch over the interests of the Helvetic Body at that congress ; 
and they obtained, through the intervention of France and Swe- 
den, that in one of the articles of the treaty it should be decla- 
red, that the city of Basle, and the other Swiss Cantons, were in 
possession of full liberty, and independent of the Empire, and 
in no respect subject to its tribunals. 

In Italy, the authority of the Emperor of Germany, which had 
silently dc-clined during the preceding centuries, languished 
more and more under the long and feeble reign of Frederic III. 
At length it was reduced to the mere ceremony of coronation, 
and the simple exercise of some honorary and feudal rights, such 
as the investitures which the Imperial Court continued to grant 
to the vassals of Lombardy. Although the Imperial dignity im- 
plied the royalty of Italy, which was considered as indissolubly 
united to it, nevertheless it was the custom that the Kings of 
Germany should have themselves crowned separately, Kings of 
Italy at Milan, and Emperors at Rome. Frederic III., having 
had certain reasons for avoiding his coronation at Milan, received 
from the hands of Pope Nicholas V., in his own capital, the two 
crowns of Italy and Rome. Maximilian I., being prevented by 
the Venetians from repairing to Italy for his coronation (1508,) 
was content to take the title of Eviperor Elect, which his succes- 
sors in the Empire have retained till the present time. Charles 
V. was the last Emperor to whom the Pope, Clement VII., ad- 
ministered th(s double coronation of King of Italy and Emperor, 
at Bologna, in 1530. 

The Popes, the Kings of Naples, the Dukes of Milan, and the 
Republics of Venice and Florence, were the principal powers 
that shared among them the dominion of Italy towards the end 
of the fifteenth century. The continual wars which these states 
waged with each other, added to the weakness of the German 
Emperors, encouraged foreign powers to form plans of aggran- 
dizement and conquest over these countries. The Kings of 
France, Charles VIII., Louis XII., and Francis I., led away by 
a mania for conquest, undertook several expeditions into Italy, 
for enforcing their claims either on the kingdom of Naples, or 
Che dutchy of Milan. They were thwarted in their schemes by 
the Kings of Spain, who, being already masters of Sicily and 
Sardinia, thought it behoved them also to extend their views to 
the Continent of Italy. Ferdinand the Catholic deprived the 
French of the kingdom of Naples (1500.) His successor, Charles 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453 — 1648. 

V".. expelled them from the Milanois, and obliged Francis i.. by 
the treaties of Madrid (1526,) Cambray (1529,) and Crep>- 
«1544,) to give up his pretensions on the kingdom of Naples, 
and the dutchy of Milan. From this time the Spaniards were 
the predominating power in Italy for more than a hundred year?*. 

In the midst of these revolutions there arose three new prin- 
cipalities within that kingdom ; those of Florence, Parma, and 
Malta. The Republic of Florence held a distinguished rank in 
Italy during the fifteenth century, both on account of the flour- 
ishing state of its commerce, and the large extent of its territory, 
which comprehended the greater part of Tuscany, and gave to 
this Republic the means of holding the balance between the 
other powers of Italy. The opulent family of the Medici here 
exercised a high degree of influence ; they ruled not by force 
but by their munificence, and the judicious use which they made 
of their great riches. The credit and popularity of the Medici, 
excited envy and persecution against them, and caused them to 
be several times banished from Florence. They were expelled 
from this latter place at the same time that Pope Clement VII., 
who was of this family, was besieged by the Imperialists in Rome 
(1'527.) That Pontiff^, in making his peace with Charles V., ob- 
tained his consent that the Medici should be re-established at 
Florence, in the state in which they were before their last ban- 
ishment. The Emperor even promised the Pope to give Alex- 
der de Medici his natural daughter in marriage, with a consid- 
erable dowry. The Florentines, however, having shown some 
reluctance to receive the Medici, their city Avas besieged by the 
Imperial army, and compelled to surrender by capitulation (15-30.) 

The Emperor, by a charter dated at Augsburg on the 2Sth of 
August following, preserved to the city of Florence its ancient 
republican forms. Alexander de Medici was declared governor- 
in-chief of the state; but this dignity was vested in himself and 
his male descendants, who could only enjoy it according to the 
order of primogeniture. He was authorized, moreover, to con- 
struct a citadel at Florence, by means of which he afterwards 
exercised an absolute power over his fellow-citizens. As for 
the ducal dignity with which the new Prince of Florence was 
vested, it properly belonged to the dutchy of Parma, in the king- 
dom of Naples, which the Emperor had conferred on him. 

Alexander de Medici did not long enjoy his new honours. 
He was universally abhorred for his cruelties, and assassinated 
by Lorenzo de Medici, one of his own near relations (1537.) 
His s\iccessor in the dutchy was Cosmo de Medici, who annexed 
to the territory of Florence that of the ancient republic of 
Sienna, which the Emperor Charles V. had conquered, and 

S40 CHAPTER vn. 

conferred on his son Philip II. in name of the Empire (1554.) 
This latter prince being desirous of seducing Cosmo from bis 
alliance with the Pope and the King of France, with whom the 
Spaniards were at war, granted him the investiture of the ter- 
ritory of Sienna, as a mesne-tenure holding of the crown of 
Spam, by way of equivalent for the considerable sums which 
he had advanced to Charles V. while he was carrying on the 
siege of Sienna. In transferring the Siennois to the Duke, 
Philip reserved for himself the ports of Tuscany, such as 
Porto Ercole, Orbitello, Telemone, Monte-Argentaro, St. Ste- 
fano, Longone, Piombino, and the whole island of Elba, with 
the exception of Porto Ferrajo. By the same treaty, Cosmo 
engaged to furnish supplies to the Spaniards, for the defence of 
Milan and the kingdom of Naples. 

At length the Medici obtained the dignity of Grand Dukes, 
on occasion of the difference that had risen between them and 
the Dukes of Ferrara, on the subject of precedency. The Pope 
terminated this dispute, by granting to Cosmo the title of Grand 
Duke of Tuscany, with the royal honours (1569.) The Em- 
peror, however, took it amiss that the Pope should undertake to 
confer secular dignities in Italy ; thus encroaching on a right 
which he alleged belonged only to himself, in virtue of his 
being King of Italy. The quarrels which this affair had oc- 
casioned between the Court of Rome and the Empire, were 
adjusted in 1576, when the Emperor Maximilian II. granted to 
Francis de Medici, the brother and successor of Cosmo, the dig- 
nity of Grand Duke, on condition that he should acknowledge 
it as a tenure of the Empire, and not of the Pope. 

Among the number of those republics which the Visconti of 
Milan had subdued and overthrown in the fourteenth century, 
were those of Parma and Placentia. They had formed a de- 
pendency of the dutchy of Milan until 1512, when Louis XII.. 
having been expelled from the Milanois by the Allies of the 
Holy League, these cities were surrendered by the Swiss to 
Pope Julius II., who laid some cla-im to them, as making part 
of the dowry of the famous Countess Matilda. The Emperor 
Maximilian ceded them to the Pope by the treaty of peace which 
he made with him in 1512. Francis I. took these cities again 
from the court of Rome, when he reconquered the dutchy of 
Milan (1515;) but this prince having also been expelled from 
the Milanois (1521,) the Pope again got possession of Parma 
and Placentia, in vir'aie of the treaty which he had concluded 
with Charles V., for the re-establishment of Francis Sforza in 
the dutchy of Milan. These cities continued to form part of 
the Ecclesiastical States until 1545, when they were dismem- 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453— J 648. 311 

bered from it by Paul III., who erected them into dutchies, and 
conferred them on his son Peter Louis Farnese, and his heirs- 
male in the order of primogeniture ; to be held under the title 
of fiefs of the Holy See, and on condition of paying an annual 
tribute of nine thousand ducats. 

I'his elevation of a man whose very birth seemed a disgrace 
to the pontiff, gave universal offence. The new Duke of Parma 
soon rendered himself so odious by his dissolute life, his crimes 
and scandalous excesses, that a conspiracy was formed against 
him ; and he was assassinated in the citadel of Placentia in 
1547. Ferdinand Gonzaga, who was implicated, as is alleged in 
this assassination, then took possession of Placentia in name of 
the Emperor; and it was not till 1557 that Philip II. of Spain re- 
stored that city, with its dependencies, to Octavius Farnese, son 
and successor of the murdered prince. The house of Farnese 
held the dutchy of Parma as a fief of the Ecclesiastical States, 
until the extinction of the male line in 1731. 

The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, after their expulsion 
from the Holy Land, had retired to the Isle of Cyprus, and from 
thence to Rhodes, in 1310, of which they had dispossessed the 
Greeks. They did not maintain possession of this place longer 
than 152.3, when Soliman the Great undertook the siege of 
Rhodes, with an army of two hundred thousand men, and a 
fleet of four hundred sail. The Knights boldly repulsed the 
different attacks of the Turks ; but being entirely dependent 
on their own forces, and receiving no succour from the powers 
of Christendom, they were compelled to capitulate, after an ob- 
stinate defence of six months. Leaving Rhodes, these Knights 
took shelter in Viterbo, belonging to the States of the Church, 
where they were cordially received by Pope Clement VII. 
There they remained until the Emperor Charles V. granted 
them the Isle of Malta, which became their principal residence 
(1530.) That prince ceded to them the islands of Malta and 
Gozzo, with the city of Tripoli in Africa, on condition of hold- 
ing them from him and his successors in the kingdom of Sicily, 
as noble fiefs, frank and free, without any other obligation than 
the annual gift of a falcon, in acknowledgment of their hold- 
ing under the crown, and presenting to the King of Sicily three 
of their subjects, of whom he was to choose one, on each va- 
cancy of the bishopric of Malta. Charles V. added another 
clause, that if ever the Order should leave Malta and fix their 
residence elsewhere, that island should revert to the King of 
Sicily. The Knights of St. John continued in the sovereignty 
of Malta and Gozzo till 1798; but they lost TripoH, in 1551. 
which was taken from them by the Turks. 

vol.. I. 21 


A memorable revolution happened at Genoa, about the begin- 
ning of the sixteenth century. That republic, after having for ti 
long time formed part of the dutchy of Milan, recovered its an- 
cient independence about the time when the French and Spon* 
ards disputed the sovereignty of Italy, and the conquest of the 
Milanois. Expelled by the Imperialists from the city of Genoa 
in 1522, the French had found means to repossess it (1527,) witli 
the assistance of the celebrated Andrew Doria, a noble Genoese, 
who had been in the service of Francis I. This distinguished 
admiral, supplanted by favourites, and maltreated by the court, 
abandoned the cause of France in the following year, and es 
poused that of the Emperor Charles V. 

The French then laid siege to the city of Naples, which was 
reduced to the last extremity, and on the point of surrendering, 
when Doria, having hoisted the Imperial flag, set sail for Naples, 
with the galleys under his command, and threw abundance of 
provisions into the besieged city. The French army, now cut 
off' from all communication by sea, soon began to experience 
those calamities from which the Imperialists had just been de- 
livered. Their whole troops being destroyed by famine and con- 
tagious disease, the expedition to Naples fell to the ground, and the 
affiiirs of the French in Italy were totally ruined. It is alleged 
that Charles V., to recompense Doria for this important service, 
offered him the sovereignty of Genoa ; and that, instead of ac- 
cepting this honour, that great man stipulated for the liberty of 
his country, whenever it should be delivered from the yoke of 
France. Courting the glory of being the liberator of his native 
city, he sailed directly for Genoa, of Avhich he made himself 
master, in a single night, without shedding one drop of blood 
(1528.) The French garrison retired to the citadel, and were 
obliged to capitulate for want of provisions. 

This expedition procured Doria the title of Father of his 
Country, which was conferred on him by a decree of the Senate. 
it was by his advice that a committee of twelve persons was 
chosen to organize a new scheme of government for the republic. 
A register was drawn up of all those families who were to com- 
pose the Grand Council, which was destined to exercise the 
supreme power. The Doge was to continue in office ten years , 
and great care was taken to remove those causes which had pre- 
viously excited factions and intestine disorders. Hence the 
establishment of the Genoese aristocracy, whose forms have 
since been preserved, with some few modifications which were 
introduced afterwards, in consequence of certain dissensions 
which had arisen between the ancient and the new nobility. 

Venice, the eldest of the European republics, had reached the 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453—1648. 240 

zenith of its greatness about the end of th"; fifteenth century. 
The vast extent of its commerce, supported by a powerful ma- 
rine, the mukiplied sources of its industry, and the monopoly 
of the trade in the East, had made it one of the richest and 
most formidable States in Europe. Besides several ports on 
the Adriatic, and numerous settlements which they had in the 
Archipelago, and the trading towns on the Levant, they gained 
ground more and more on the continent of Italy, where they 
formed a considerable territory. Guided by an artful and en- 
terprising policy, this Republic seized with marvellous avidity 
every circumstance which favoured its views of aggrandizement. 
On the occasion of their quarrels with the Duke of Ferrara, they 
obtained possession of the province of Polesino de Rovigo, by a 
treaty which they concluded with that prince in 14S4. 

Afterwards, having joined the League which the powers of 
Italy had opposed to Charles VIII. and his projects of conquest 
they refused to grant supplies to the King of Naples for the re- 
covery of his kingdom, except by his consenting to yield up 
the cities of Trani, Otranto, Brindisi, and Gallipoli. Louis XII., 
being resolved to enforce his claims on the dutchy of Milan, and 
wishing to gain over this Republic to his interest, gave up tc 
them, by the treaty of Blois (1499,) the town of Cremona, and 
the whole country lying between the Oglio, the Adda, and the 
Po. On the death of Pope Alexander VI. (1503,) they took 
that favourable opportunity of v/resling from the Ecclesiastical 
States several towns of Romagna ; among others, Rimini and 

Of all the acquisitions which the Venetians made, the most 
important was that of Cyprus. That island, one of the most 
considerable in the Mediterranean, had been conquered from the 
Greeks by Richard Cccur de Lion, King of England, who sur- 
rendered it to Guy of Lusignan (1192,) the last king of Jeru- 
salem, in compensation for the loss of hb kingdom. From Guy 
of Lusignan descended a long line of Cypiioi kings ; the last of 
whom, John III., left an only daughter, named Charlotte, who 
succeeded him in that kingdom, and caused her husband, Louis 
of Savoy, to be also crowned king. There still remained a oas- 
tard son of John III., called James, who was protected by the 
Sultan of Egypt, to whom the kings of Cyprus were tributaries, 
and who succeeded in expel) iug Cliarlotte and her husband, the 
Prince of Savoy, from the throne (1460.) James, who was de- 
sirous of putting himself under the protection of the Venetians, 
married Catherine Cornaro, daughier of Marco Corneille, a pa- 
rician of Venice. The Senate, in honour of this marriage, 
adopted Catherine, and declared her daughter of St. Mark or 


the Republic. James died in 1473, leaving a posthumous son, 
who dieJ also in the second year of his age. The Republic 
then considering the kingdom of Cyprus as their own inherit- 
ance, took possession of the natural children of James, and 
induced Queen Catherine, by various means, to retire to Venice, 
and there ^o resign her crown into the hands of the Senate, who 
assigned her a pension, with the Castle of Azolo, in Trevisano, 
for her residence ; and obtained for themselves the investiture 
of that island from the Sultan of Egypt (1490.) 

A career so prosperous was eventually followed by a reverse 
of fortune ; and several circumstances concurred to accelerate 
the decline of this flourishing republic. They received a ter- 
rible blow by the discovery of the new passage to India round 
the Cape, which deprived them of the commerce of the East; 
thus drying up the principal source of their wealth, as well as 
of their revenue and their marine. In vain did they put in 
practice all the arts of their policy to defeat the commercial en- 
terprises of the Portuguese in India ; exciting against them, first 
the Sultans of Egypt, and afterwards the Turkish Emperors, 
and furnishing these -Mahometan powers with supplies. The 
activity of the Portuguese surmounted all these obstacles. They 
obtained a firm settlement in the East, where in course of time 
they became a very formidable power. Lisbon, in place of 
Venice, became the emporium for the productions of India ; and 
the Venetians could no longer compete with them in this field of 
Eastern commerce. Besides, the good fortune which so long 
attended the undertakings of the republic, had inspired them 
with a passion for conquest. They took every opportunity of 
making encroachments on their neighbours ; and sometimes for- 
getting the counsels of prudence, they drew down upon them- 
selves the jealousy and resentment of the principal States of Italy. 

To this jealousy must be attributed the famous League, which 
Pope Julius II., the Emperor Maximilian, Louis XII., Ferdinand 
of Spain, and several of the Italian States, concluded at Cam- 
bray (1508,) for the partition of the Venetian territory on Terra 
Firma. Louis XII. gained a signal victory over the republi- 
cans near Agnadello, which was followed by such a rapid suc- 
cession of conquests, that the Senate of Venice were struck with 
consternation ; and the Republic must have been infallibly lost, 
had Louis been supported by his allies. But the Pope and the 
King of Spain, who dreaded the preponderance of the French 
in Italy, suddenly abandoned the League, and concluded sepa- 
rate treaties of peace with the republicans ; nor was the Emperor 
Maximilian long in following their example. In consequence of 
this, the Venetians, after having been menaced with a total 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453—1648. 245 

overthrow, lost only, in course of the war, the territory of Cre- 
mona and Ghiera d'Adda, with the cities and ports of Romagna 
and Apulia. But this loss was far surpassed by that which they 
experienced in their finances, their commerce and manufactures, 
on account of the expensive efforts wliich they were obliged to 
make in resisting their numerous enemies. 

The ruin of this Republic was at length completed by the 
prodigious increase of the power of the Ottomans, who took from 
them, by degrees, their best possessions in the Archipelago and 
the Mediterranean. Dragged as it were in spite of themselves, 
into the war of Charles V. against the Turks, they lost four- 
teen islands in the Archipelago ; among others Chios, Patmos, 
jEgina, Nio, Stampalia, and Pares ; and were obliged, by the 
peace of Constantinople (1540,) to surrender to the Turks Mal- 
vasia and Napoli di Romagna, the only two places which re- 
mained to them in the Morea. 

The Turks also took from them the isle of Cyprus, the finest 
of their possessions in the Mediterranean. The Sultan Selim 
II., being determined to conquer that place, attacked it with a 
superior force (1570,) although the Venetians had given him no 
ground for hostilities. He made himself master of the cities of 
Nicosia and Famagusta ; and completed the conquest of the 
whole island, before the succours which the King of Spain and 
the Pope had granted to the Venetians, could join their fleet. 
On the approach of the Christian army, the Turkish fleet re- 
tired within the Gulf cf Lepanto, where they were attacked by 
the allies under the command of Don John of Austria, a natural 
son of Charles V. The Christians gained a complete victory 
(1571.) The whole Turkish fleet was destroyed, and the Con- 
federates took immense booty. The news of this defeat struck 
terror into the city of Constantinople, and made the Grand Sig- 
nior transfer his court to Adrianople. The Christians, however, 
reaped no advantage from ilieir victory. A misunderstanding 
arose among the Confederates, and their fleets dispersed without 
accomplishing any thing. The Venetians did not return to the 
isle of Cyprus ; and knowing well that they could not reckon on 
any effectual aid on the part of their allies, they determined to 
make peace with the Turks (1573.) By this treaty they left 
the Porte in possession of Cyprus, and consented to pay it a sum 
of .300,000 ducats, to obtain the restitution of their ancient 
boundaries in Dalmatia. From this epoch, the republic of 
Venice dates its entire decay. It was evident, that it must 
thenceforth resign its pretensions as a leading power, and adopt 
a system of neutrality which might put it in condition to main 
tain peace with its neighbours. 



England, as we have mentioned above, had been the nval of 
France, while the latter now became the rival of Austria. This 
rivalry commenced with the marriage of Maximilian of Austria, 
to Mary, daughter anu heiress of Charles, last Duke of Burgun- 
dy ; by which the house of Austria succeeded to the whole do- 
minions of that Prince. The Low Countries, which at thai 
time were the principal emporium for the manufactures and com- 
merce of Europe, formed a part of that opulent succession. 
Louis XL, King of France, was unable to prevent the marriage 
of the Austrian Prince with the heiress of Burgundy ; but he 
took advantage of that event to detach from the territories of 
that princess Avhatever he found convenient. He seized on the 
dutchy of Burgundy as a vacant fief of his crown, as well as the 
seigniories of Auxerrois, Maconnois, Bar-sur-Seine, and the 
towns on the Somme ; and these different countries were pre- 
served to France by the treaties of peace concluded at Arras 
(1482) and Senlis (1493.) Such was the origin of the rivalry 
and bloody wars between France and Austria. The theatre of 
hostilities, which, under Louis XL had been in the Low Coun- 
tries, was transferred to Italy, under Charles VIIL, Louis XIL, 
and Francis L From thence it was changed to Germany, in 
the reign of Henry IL 

In Italy, besides this rivalry between the two powers, there 
was another motive, or pretext, for war, viz. the claims of France 
en the kingdom of Naples and the dutchy of Milan. The claim 
of Louis XI. on the kingdom of Naples, had devolved to him 
with the county of Provence, which he inherited in virtue of the 
will of Charles, Count of Provence, and the last male descen- 
dant of the house of Anjou (1481.) Charles VIIL, the son and 
successor of Louis XL, urgea on by youthful ambition, was de- 
termined to enforce this claim. 'He undertook an expedition 
into Italy (1494,) and took possession of the kingdom of Naples 
without striking a blow. But being opposed by a formidable 
confederacy of the Italian princes, with Maximilian at their head, 
he was obliged to abandon his conquests with the same facility 
he had made them ; and he was fortunate in being able to effect 
his retreat, by the famous victory which he gained over the al- 
lies near Foronuovo, in the dutchy of Parma. 

The claim to the dutchy of Milan, was founded on the con- 
tract of marriage between Louis, Duke of Orleans, the grandfa- 
ther of Louis XIL, and Valentine of Milan. That contract pro- 
vided, that failing heirs-male of John Galeas, Duke of Milan, 
the dutchy should fall to Valentine, and the children of her 
marriage with the Duke of Orleans. Louis XII. claimed the 
ri'dits of Valentine, his grandmother, in opposition to the princes 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453 1648. di^F 

of the family of Sforza, who had taken possession of the 
dutchy of Milan, on the extinction of the male-heirs of the 
Visconti, which happened in 1447. The difTerent expeditions; 
w'lich he undertook into Italy, both for the conquest of Milan 
and the kingdom of Naples, met with no better success than 
that of his predecessor had done ; in consequence of a new 
League, called the Holy League, which Pope Julius II. raised 
against him, and into which he drew the Emperor Maximiliaix. 
the King>5 of Arragon and England, with the Venetians and the 
Swiss. Louis XII. lost all the advantages of his conquests. 
The kingdom of Naples fell under the power of Ferdinand the 
Catholic, and the family of Sforza were reinstated in the dutchy 
of Milan. 

These Italian wars, which were renewed at different times 
under the reign of Francis I., cost France much blood and im- 
mense sums. In this struggle she was forced to succumb, and 
Francis I. bound himself, by the treaty of Crepy, to abandon his 
claims on Italy in favour of Charles V. The kingdom of Na- 
ples and the dutchy of Milan remained incorporated with the 
Spanish monarchies. Francis I., nevertheless, had the glory of 
arresting the progress of his rival, and effectually counterbalan- 
cing a power which, at that time, made all Europe tremble. 

Henry II., the son and successor of Francis I., adopted a new 
line of policy. He attacked the House of Austria, in Germany ; 
having entered into a league with Maurice, Elec'or of Saxony, 
and the Protestant princes of the Empire, to oppose Charles V. 
That league, which was ratified at Chambord (15.52,) procured 
for Henry II. possession of the bishoprics of Metz, Toul, and 
Verdun ; and he even succeeded in forcing the Emperor to raise 
the siege of Metz, which that prince had undertaken about the 
end of the year 1552. A truce of five years was agreed on be- 
tween these two sovereigns at Vaucelles ; but, in the course of 
a few months, the war was renewed, and Philip II., who had 
succeeded his father, Charles V., induced his queen, Mary of 
England, to join in it. Among the events of this war, the most 
remarkable are the victory of St. Quentin, gained by the Span- 
iards (15.57,) and the conquest of the city of Calais, by Francis, 
Duke of Guise ; the last possession of the English in France 
(155S.) The death of Queen Mary prepared" the way for a 
peace, which was signed at Chateau-Cambresis (1559,) between 
France, England, and Spain. The Duke of Savoy obtained 
there the restitution of his estates, of which Francis I. had de- 
prived him in 1536. Calais remained annexed to France. 

A series of wars, both civil and religious, broke out under the 
feeble reigns of the three sons and successors of Henry II. The 

248 CHAPTER Vll. 

great influence of the Guises, and the factions which distracted 
the court and the state, were the true source of hostiUties, though 
religion was made the pretext. Francis II. having espoused 
Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, the whole power and authority 
of the government passed into the hands of Francis, Duke of 
Guise, and the Cardinal de Lorraine, his brother, who were the 
queen's maternal uncles. The power which these noblemen en- 
ioyed excited the jealousy cf Anthony, King of Navarre, and 
his brother Louis, Prince of Conde, who imagined that the pre« 
cedency in this respect was due to them as princes of the blood, 
in preference to the Lorraine family, who might be considered 
as strangers in France. The former being Calvinists, and 
having enlisted all the leaders of that party in their cause, it was 
not difficult for the Lorraine princes to secure the interest of all 
the most zealous Catholics. 

The first spark that kindled these civil wars, was the conspi- 
racy of Amboise. The intention of the conspirators was to 
seize the Guises, to bring them to trial, and throw the manage- 
ment of affairs into the hands of the princes of the blood. The 
conspiracy having been discovered, the prince of Cond^, who 
was suspected of being at its head, was arrested ; and he would 
have been executed, had not the premature death of Francis II. 
happened in the meaniime. The queen-mother, Catherine de 
Medici, who was intrusted with the regency during the minority 
of Charles IX., and desirous of holding the balance between the 
two parties, set Conde at liberty, and granted the Calvinists the 
free exercise of their religion, in the suburbs and parts lying 
out of the towns. This famous edict (January 1562) occasion- 
ed the first civil war, the signal of which was the massacre of 
Vassy in Champagne. 

Of these wars, there liave been commonly reckoned eigPit 
under the family of Valois, viz. four in the reign of Charles IX., 
and four in that of Henry III. The fourth, under Charles IX., 
began with the famous massacre of St. Bartholomew, authorized 
and directed by the King (1572.) 

It is of some importance to notice here the Edict of Pacifica' 
tion of Henry III., of the month of May 1576. The new pri- 
vileges Avhich this edict granted to the Calvinists, encouraged 
the Guises to form a league this same year, ostensibly for the 
maintenance of the Catholic religion, but whose real object was 
the dethronement of the reigning dynasty, and the elevation of 
the Guises. The Duke of Alen^on, only brother of Henry III., 
being dead, and the King of Navarre, who professed the Cal- 
vinistic faith, having become presumptive heir to the crown, the 
chiefs of the Catholic League no longer made a secret of their 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453 — 1648. 

measures. They concluded a formal alliance (15S4,) with Philip 
II. of Spain, for excluding the Bourbons from the throne of 
France. Henry III. was obliged, by the Leaguers, to recom- 
mence the war against the Calvinists ; but perceiving that the 
Duke of Guise, and the Cardinal his brother, took every occa- 
sion to render his government odious, he caused them both to be 
assassinated at Blois (1.588,) and threw himself on the protec- 
tion of the King of Navarre. In coijvmction with that Prince, 
he undertook the siege of Paris, dur ng which he was himself 
assassinated at St. Cloud, by a Jaco )in of the name of James 
Clement (1589.) 

The dynasty of Valois ended with Henry III., after having 
occupied the throne for two hundred and sixty-one years. Under 
this dynasty the royal authority had gained considerably, both 
by the annexation of the great fiefs to the crown-lands, and by 
the introduction of regular armies, which put an end to the feu- 
dal power. Louis XI. was chiefly instrumental in bringing the 
grandees under subjection, and putting an end to the cruelties 
and oppressions of anarchy. If these changes, however, contri- 
buted to public order, it is nevertheless true that the national 
liberty suiTered by them ; that the royal authority daily I'eceived 
new augmentations ; and that, so early as the reign of Louis XII., 
it was considered as high treason to speak of the necessity of 
assembling the States-General. The practice of these assemblies, 
however, was renewed under the successors of that prince ; they 
even became frequent under the last kings of the house of Valois, 
who convoked them chiefly with the view of demanding supplies. 
Francis I. augmented his influence over the clergy by the con- 
cordat which he concluded with Leo X. (1516,) in virtue of 
which he obtained the nomination to all vacant prelatui'es ; leav- 
ing to the Pope the confirmation of the prelates, and the liberty 
of receiving the annats. 

The race of Valois was succeeded by that ol'the Bourbons, who 
were descended from Robert Count of Clermont, j^ounger son of 
St. Louis. Henry IV., the first king of this dynasty, was related 
in the twenty-first degree to Henry III., his immediate predeces- 
sor. That prince, who was a Calvinist, the more easily reduced 
the party of the League, by publicly abjuring iiis religion at St. 
Denis. He concluded a peace with the Spaniards, who were 
allies of the League, at Vervins ; and completely tranquillized 
the kingdom by the famous edict of Nantes, which he published 
in favour of the reformed religion. By that edict lie guaranteed 
to the Protestants perfect liberty of conscience, and the public 
exercise of their worship, with the privilege of filling all ofiices 
of trust : but he rendered them, at the same time, a piece of dis- 


service, by granting them forfeited places, under the name of places 
of security. By thus fostering a spirit of party and intestine 
faction, he furnished a plausible pretext to their adversaries for 
gradually undermining the edict, and finally proscribing the ex- 
ercise of the reformed religion in France. 

That great prince, after having established the of 
his kingdom at home and abroad, encouraged arts and maimfac- 
tures, and put the admini -tralion of his finances into admirable 
order, was assassinated bv Ravaillac (1610,) at the very moment 
when he was employed i i executing the grand scheme which he 
had projected for the pacification of Europe. Cardinal Richelieu, 
when he assumed the reins of government under Louis XIII., 
had nothing so much at heart as the expulsion of the Calvinists 
from their strongholds. This he accomplished by means of the 
three wars which he waged against them, and by the famous 
siege of Rochelle, which he reduced in 1628. That great states- 
man next employed his policy against the house of Austria, whose 
preponderance gave umbrage to all Europe. He took the op- 
portunity of the vacant succession of Mantua to espouse the cause 
of the Duke of Nevers against the Courts of Vienna and Mad- 
rid, who supported the Duke of Guastalla ; and maintained his 
protege in the dutchy of Mantua, by the treaties of peace which 
were concluded at Ratisbon and Querasque (1631.) Having 
afterwards joined Sweden, he made war against the two branches 
of Austria, and on this occasion got possession of the places which 
the Swedes had seized in Alsace. 

Louis XIV. Avas only four years and seven months old when 
he succeeded his father (1643.) The queen-mother, Anne of 
Austria, assumed the regency. She appointed Cardinal Ma- 
zarin her prime minister, whose administration, during the 
minority of the King, was a scene of turbulence and distrac- 
tion. The same external policy which had directed the minis- 
try of Richelieu, was followed by his successor. He prose- 
cuted the war against Austria with vigour, in conjunction with 
Sweden, and their confederates in Germany. By the peace 
which was concluded with the Emperor at Munster, besides 
the three bishoprics of Lorraine, France obtained the Land- 
graviate of Lower and Upper Alsace, Sungaw, and the pre- 
fecture of the ten Imperial cities of Alsace. Spain was ex- 
cluded from this treaty ; and the war continued between that 
kingdom and France until the peace of the Pyrenees, by which 
the counties of Roussillon and Conflans were ceded to France, 
as well as several cities in Flanders, Hainault, and Luxembourg. 

Spain, which had long been divided into several States, and 
1 stranger as it were to the rest of Europe, became all of a sud 


D. 1453—1648. 251 

den a formidable power, turning the political balance in ber own 
favour. This elevation was the work of Ferdinand the Catholic, 
a prince born for great exploits ; of a profound and fertile genius , 
but tarnishing his bright qualities by perfidy and unbounded 
ambition. He was heir to., the throne of Arragon, and laid 
the foundation of his greatness by his marriage with Isabella 
(1469,) sister to Henry VI. last King of Castille. That match 
united the kingdoms of Castille and Arragon, which were the 
two principal Christian States in Spain. Henry of Castille had 
left a daughter, named Jane, but she being considered as illegi- 
timate by the Castillians, the throne was conferred on Isabella 
and her husband Ferdinand (1474.) The Infanta Jane, in order 
to enforce her claims, betrothed herself to Alphonso V. King of 
Portugal ; but that prince being defeated by Ferdinand at the 
battle of Toro (1476,) was obliged to renounce Castille and his 
marriage with the Infanta. 

At the accession of Isabella to the throne of Castille, that 
kingdom was a prey to all the miseries of anarchy. The abuses 
of the feudal system were there maintained by violence and in- 
justice. Ferdinand demolished the fortresses of the nobles who 
infested the country ; he gave new vigour to the laws ; liberated 
the people from the oppression of the great ; and, under pretence 
of extirpating the Jews and Mahometans, he established the 
tribunal of the Inquisition (1478,) which spread universal terror 
by its unheard of cruelties. Torquemada, a Dominican, who 
was appointed grand Inquisitor (1483,) burnt in the space of four 
years near 6000 individuals. 

The Moors still retained the kingdom of Grenada. Ferdinand 
took advantage of their dissensions to attempt the conquest of it, 
in which he succeeded, after a vigorous war of eighteen years. 
Abo Abdeli, the last King of Grenada, fled to Africa. An edict, 
which was published immediately after, ordered the expul- 
sion of all the Jews ; about an hundred thousand of whom fled 
from Spain, and took shelter, some in Portugal, and others in 
Africa. Ferdinand did not include the Moors in this proscrip- 
tion, whom he thought to gain over to Christianity by means of 
persecution ; but having revolted in the year 1500, he then al- 
lowed them to emigrate. It was this blind and headlong zeal 
that procured Ferdinand the title of the Catholic Kifig, which 
Pope Alexander III. conferred on him and his successors (1493.) 
That prince also augmented his power by annexing to his croAvn 
the Grand Mastership of the Military Orders of Calatrava, Al- 
cantara, and St. James of Compostella. 

Every thing conspired to aggrandize Ferdinand ; and as if the 
Old World had not been suflicient. a New one was opened to 


Dim by the discovery of America. He was heir, by the father's 
side, to the kingdoms of Airagon, Sicily, and Sardinia. He 
got possession of Castille by his marriage, and of Grenada bv 
force of arms ; so that nothing was wanting except Navarre to 
unite all Spain under his dominion.. The Holy League, which 
Pope Julius II. had organized against Louis XII. (1511,) fur- 
nished him with a pretext for seizing that kingdom. Entering 
into an alliance with the Pope, he concerted with the King of 
England to invade Guienne, on Avhich the English had some 
ancient claims. They demanded of the King of Navarre that 
he should make common cause with the allies of the Holy 
League against Louis XII. That prince, however, wishing to 
preserve neutrality, they prescribed conditions so severe, that he 
had no other alternative left than to seek protection in France. 
Ferdinand then obtained possession of all that part of Navarre 
which lay beyond the Pyrenees. Twelve years before that time 
Ferdinand had, by the treaty -of Grenada, planned with Loui? 
XII. the conquest of the kingdom of Naples. Frederic of Ar- 
ragon was then deprived of that kingdom, and his States were 
divided between the two allied kings ; but Ferdinand having 
soon quarrelled with Louis XII. as to their respective boundaries, 
this was made a pretext for expelling the French from Naples, 
which was again united to the Spanish monarchy, in the years 
1503 and 1505. 

Charles I. of Austria, grandson of Ferdinand, and his succes- 
sor in the Spanish monarchy, added to that crown the Low 
Countries and Franche-Comte, which he inherited in right of 
his father Philip of Austria, and his grandmother Mary of Bur- 
gundy. He added likewise the kingdoms of Mexico and Peru 
on the continent of America, and the dutchy of Milan in Italy, 
in which he invested his son Philip, after having repeatedly ex- 
pelled the French in the years 1522 and 1525. 

These were all the advantages he derived from his wars 
against Francis I., which occupied the greater part of his 
reign. Blinded by his animosity against that Prince, and by his 
ruling passion for war, he only exhausted his kingdom, and im- 
paired his true greatness. Charles resigned the Spanish mo- 
narchy to his son Philip II., which then comprehended the Low 
Countries, the kmgdoms of Naples, Sicily and Sardinia, the 
dutchy of Milan, and the Spanish possessions in America. The 
peace of Chateau Cambresis, which Philip II. signed in 1559, 
after a long war against France, may be regarded as the era of 
Spanish greatness. To the states which were left him by his 
father, Philip added the kingdom of Portugal, with the Portu- 
guese po!SBC5jions in Africa, Asia, and America ; but this was the 

Execution of Charles I. IG-l'J. Vol. 1, p. 263. 

Cromwell dissolving the Long Parliament. Vol. 2, p. 28. 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453 — 1648. 253 

termination of his prosperity. His reign after that was only a 
succession of misfortunes. His revoking despotism excited the 
Belgians to insurrection, and gave birth to the republic of the 
United Provinces. Elizabeth of England having joined with 
the Confederates of the Low Countries, Philip, out of revenge, 
equipped a formidable fleet, known by the name of the Invinci- 
ble Armada, which was composed of 130 vessels of enormous 
size, manned with 20,000 soldiers, exclusive of sailors, and arm- 
ed with 1360 pieces of cannon. On entering the Channel they 
were defeated by the English (21st of July 15S8,) and tho greater 
part of them destroyed by a storm. 

From this calamity may be dated the decline of the Span3sh 
monarchy, which was exhausted by its expensive wars. Phi.ip, 
at his death, left an enormous debt, and the whole glory of the 
Spanish nation perished with him. The reigns of his feeble 
successors are only remarkable for their disasters. Philip III. 
did irreparable injury to his crown by the expulsion of the Moors 
or Morescoes (1610,) which lost Spain nearly a million of her 
mdustrious subjects. Nothing can equal the misfortunes which 
she experienced under the reign of Philip IV. During the war 
which he had to support against France, the Catalans revolted, 
and put themselves under the protection of that Crown (1640.) 
Encouraged by their example, the Portuguese likcAvise shook 
off the yoke, and replaced the House of Braganza on their 
throne. Lastly, the Neapolitans, harassed by the Duke d'Oli- 
varez, prime minister of Philip IV. revolted, and attempted to 
form themselves into a republic (1647.) These reverses on the 
part of Spain added to the number of her enemies. The famous 
Cromwell having entered into an alliance with France (165-5,) 
dispossessed the Spaniards of Jamaica, one of their richest set- 
tlements in America. 

Towards the end of the fifteenth century, Portugal had reach- 
ed a high pitch of elevation, which she owed to the astonishing 
progress of her navigation and her conmierce. John II., whose 
fleets first doubled the Cape of Good Hope, augmented the royal 
authority, by humbling the exorbitant and tyrannical power of 
the grandees. In the diet which was assembled at Evora, he 
retracted the concessions which his predecessors had made to 
the nobles, to the prejudice of the Crown. He abolished the 
power of life and death, which the lords exercised over their 
vassals, and subjected their towns and their territories to the 
jurisdiction of officers appointed by the King. The nobles, who 
were displeased at these innovations, having combined in de- 
fence of their privileges, and chosen the Duke of Braganza for 
their leader, John, without being disconcerted by this opposition 

VOL. I. 22 

254 CHAPTEE vn. 

had the Duke brought to a trial, and his head cut off, while hia 
brother was hanged in effigy. This example of severity intimi- 
dated the grandees, and made them submit to his authority. 
The most brilliant era of Portugal was that of Emmanuel and 
John III., who reigned between the years 1495 and 1557. It 
was under these two Princes that the Portuguese formed their 
powerful empire in India, of which nothing now remains but 
the ruins. 

The glory of Portugal suffered an eclipse under the feeble 
reign of Sebastian, gi-andson and immediate successor of John. 
That Prince, who came to the throne at the age of three years, 
had been brought up by the Jesuits, who instead of instructing 
him in the important arts of government, had given him the 
education of a monk. They had inspired him with a dislike 
for matrimony, but with a decided attachment for the crusades. 
Muley Mahomet, King of Morocco, having requested his assist- 
ance against his uncle Moluc, who had dethroned him, Sebas- 
tian undertook an expedition into Africa in person, carrying with 
him the flower of his nobilitj'. A bloody battle was fought near 
Alcazar, in the kingdom of Fez (1578,) where the Portuguese 
sustained a complete defeat. Sebastian was slain ; and, what is 
sufficiently remarkable, his enemy Moluc died a natural death 
during the action, while Muley Mahomet was drowned in the 

[During the reign of this king, every thing had fallen into 
decay ; even the character of the nation had begun to degenerate. 
The spirit of chivalry which had distinguished them, was ex- 
changed for mercantile adventures, which even infected the 
higher classes ; while avarice, luxury, and effeminacy, brought 
on a universal corruption. The governors of their colonies in- 
dulged in all sorts of violence and injustice. They seized the 
more lucrative branches of commerce. The military force, 
which Emmanuel and John III. had kept up in India, was 
neglected. The clergy usurped the whole wealth of the colo- 
nies, and exercised an absolute power by means of the Inquisition, 
which was no where more terrible than at Goa.] 

As Sebastian had never been married, the throne passed at 
his death to Henry the Cardinal, his grand uncle by the father's 
side, who was already far advanced in life. Perceiving his end 
approach, and that his death would involve the kingdom in con- 
fusion, he summoned an assembly of the States at Lisbon (1579,) 
in order to fix the succession. The States appointed eleven 
cammissioners, who were to investigate the claims of the diffe- 
rent candidates for the cro-wii. Philip II. of Spain, who was one 
of tbis number, did not pay tbe least reo-jird to tbp decision of 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453 — 1648. 255 

the Slates. INo sooner had he learned the death of Henry (1580,) 
than he sent the Duke of Alva, at the head of an army, to take 
possession of Portugal. The Duke defeated the troops of his 
opponent, Anthony prior of Crato, one of the claimants, who 
had proclaimed himself king ; pretending that he was the legiti- 
mate son of the Infant Don Louis, son of Emmanuel. Anthony 
had no other alternative left than to take shelter in France, and 
the whole of Portugal yielded to the yoke of the Spaniards. 

An inveterate antipathy, however, subsisted between the two 
nations, which made the Portuguese detest their Spanish mas- 
ters. This hatred was still more increased, on account of the 
losses which the Portuguese sustained, in the meantime, in their 
commerce 'and possessions in the East Indies. The lucrative 
traffic which the Confederates in the Low Countries, called the 
Dutch, carried on by importing the merchandise of the East 
from Portugal, and hawking them over the north of Europe, 
having enabled them to support the war against Spain, Philip II. 
thought to strike a fatal blow at their prosperity, by forbidding 
them all commerce with Portugal. 

That Prince, however, was deceived in his expectation. The 
Confederates, deprived of this lucrative branch of their industry, 
and after having made some unsuccessful attempts to find a 
north-west passage to India, took the resolution of sailing directly 
thither (1595,) under the conduct of Cornelius Houtman and 
Molinaar, in order to seek, at the fountain-head, those commodi- 
ties which were refused them in Portugal. No sooner had they 
attempted to form settlements in India than the Portuguese de- 
termined to prevent them, and fought with them, near Bantam, 
a town in Java, a naval battle, which ended in favour of the 

Encouraged by this first success, the Dutch undertook to de- 
prive the Portuguese of their principal possessions in India. 
The conquest which they made of the Moluccas, procured them 
the spice trade. They likewise formed settlements in the island 
of Java, where they founded the city of Batavia, which became 
ihe capital and emporium of their settlements in India. At 
length Goa and Diu were the only places that remained to the 
Portuguese of their numerous possessions in India. These im- 
portant losses greatly exasperated the Portuguese against the 
Spaniards. What added still more to their resentment was, 
that in the court of Madrid they saw a premeditated design to 
make vassals of the Portuguese ; and to cut off the most likely 
means of enabling them, sooner or later, to recover their ancient 
independence. It was with this view that their army and their 
marine were disorganized, their crown revenues dissipated, their 


uobility precludea irom the management of affairs, and the na- 
tion exhausted by exorbitant assessments. 

The revolt of the Catalans, which happened in 1640, at length 
cletermined the Portuguese to shake off the Spanish yoke. A 
conspiracy was entered into by some of the grandees, in concert 
with the Duke of Braganza, which broke out on the 1st Decem- 
ber that same year. On that day, at eight o'clock in the morn- 
ing, the conspirators, to the number of about four hundred, re- 
paired by different routes to the palace of Lisbon, where the 
vice-queen, Margaret of Savoy, and dowager, of Mantua, resided, 
with Vasconcellos the Secretary of State, who exercised the 
functions of Prime Minister of the kingdom. Part of them dis- 
armed the guard of the paloce, while others seized •Vasconcel- 
los, who was the only victim that fell a sacrifice to the public 
vengeance. They secured the person of the vice-queen, and 
took measures to protect her from insult or violence. The con- 
spirators then proclaimed the Duke of Braganza King, under 
the title of John IV. That prince arrived at Lisbon on the 6th 
of December, and his inauguration took place on the ]f5th. It 
is not a little surprising that this revolution became general m 
eight days time, and that it was not confined merely to Portugal, 
but extended even to India and Africa. Every where the Por- 
tuguese expelled the Spaniards, and proclaimed the Duke of 
Braganza. The city of Ceuta in Africa, was the only town of 
which the Spaniards found means to retain possession. 

John IV. was descended in a direct line from Alphonso, na- 
tural son of John the Bastard, who was created Duke of Bra- 
ganza. The first care of this new King of Portugal, on his ac- 
cession to the throne, was to convene an assembly of the States 
at Lisbon, in order to make them acknowledge his right tp ♦he 
crown. The States, conformably to the fundamental laws of the 
kingdom, declared that Catherine, daughter of the infant Don 
Edward, and grandmother of King John, having become the 
true and legitimate heiress to the throne on the death of Henry 
the Cardinal, her grandson John IV. was entitled to the repos- 
session of those rights of which that princess had been unjustly 
deprived by the Spaniards. The better to establish himself on 
the throne, John concluded treaties of peace with France, the 
United Provinces, the Netherlands, and Sweden ; but oonfining 
his whole ambition to maintaining the ancient limits of the king- 
dom, he remained completely inactive with regard to Spain, 
which, being overpowered by rmmerous enemies, was quice in- 
capable of carrying on the war with vigour against Portugal 
The truce and alliance which that Prince had entered into with 
the Dutch, did not prevent these republicans from continuing 

PERIOD VI. A. D. i453™1648. 257 

iheir conquests in India ; where, in process of time, they strip 
ped the Portuguese of their finest settlements. 

England, long before this time, had emerged from the state of 
turbulence and desolation into which she had been plunged by 
the destructive wars of the two Roses. A new family, that of 
the Tudors, had mounted the throne; Henry VII., who was its 
founder, claimed the croiyn in right of his mother Margaret 
Beaufort, alleged heiress of the house of Lancaster, or the Red 
Rose; and raised an insurrection against Richard III., the last 
King of the House of York. This prince being defeated and 
slain at the battle of Bosworth (1485,) Henry, who was then 
proclaimed King of England, united the titles or claims of the 
two Roses, by his marriage with Elizabeth, daughter of Edward 
IV., and heiress of York, or the White Rose. The countr}^ be- 
ing thus restored to tranquillity after thirty years of civil war, 
every thing assumed a more prosperous appearance. Agricul- 
ture and commerce began to flourish anew. Henry applied 
himself to the restoration of order and industry. He humbled 
the factious nobles, and raised the royal authority almost to a 
state of absolute despotism. 

The reformation! of religion in England began in the reign of 
his son Henry VIII. That Prince, who was of a very capricious 
character, vacillating continually between virtue and vice, ap- 
peared at first as the champion of Popery, and published a treatise 
against Luther, which procured him, from the Court of Rome, 
the title of Defender of the Faith. But a violent passion, which 
he had conceived for Anne Boleyn, having induced him to attempt 
a divorce from Catherine of Arragon, daughter of Ferdinand tha 
Catholic, he addressed himself for this purpose to Pope Clement 
VII., alleging certain scruples of conscience which he felt on ac- 
count of his marriage with Catherine, who was Avithin the de- 
grees of affinity, prohibited in the sacred Scriptures. The Pope 
being afraid to displease the Emperor Charles V., who was the 
nephew of Catherine, thought proper to defer judgment in this 
matter ; but the King, impatient of delay, caused his divorce to 
be pronounced by Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury 
(1532,) and immediately married Anne Boleyn. 

The sentence of the Archbishop was annulled by the Pope, 
who published a threatening bull against Henry. This incensed 
the King, who caused the Papal authority in England to be abro- 
gated by the Parliament, and installed himself in the capacity of 
supreme head of the English Church (1534 ;) a title which was 
conferred on him by the clergy, and confirmed by the Parliament. 
He also introduced the oath of supremacy, in virtue of which all 
who were employed in offices of trust, were obliged to acknow- 



ledge aim as head of the Church. A court of High Commission 
was established, to judge ecclesiastical causes in name of the 
king, and from whose sentence there was .lO appeal. The con- 
vents or monasteries were suppressed, and their revenues confis- 
cated to the crown (1536-1539.) Henry even became a dogma- 
tist in theology ; and discarding the principles of Luther, as well 
as those of Calvin and Rome, he framed a religion according to 
his own fancy. Rejecting the worship of images, relics, purga- 
tory, monastic vows, and the supremacy of the Pope, he gave his 
sanction, by the law of the Six Articles, to the doctrine of the 
real presence, the communion in one kind, the vow of chastity, 
the celibacy of the priests, the mass, and auricular confession ; 
inflicting very severe penalties on all who should deny or disobey 
one or other of these articles. 

This monarch, who was the first of the English kings that 
took the title of King of Ireland (1542,) was involved in the dis- 
putes which then embroiled the Continental powers ; but instead 
of holding the balance between France and Austria, he adhered 
in general to his friend and ally Charles V. agamst France. 
This conduct was regulated less by politics than by passion, and 
the personal interest of his minister Cardinal Wolsey, whom the 
Emperor had attached to his cause, by the hope of the papal tiara. 

The religion which Henry had planted in England, did not 
continue after his death. Edv/ard VI., his son and immediate 
successor, introduced pure Calvinism or Presbyterianism. 
Mary, daughter of Henry VIII., by Catherine of Arragon, on 
her accession to the throne, restored the Catholic religion (1553,) 
and likewise received the new legate of the Pope into England. 
She inflicted great cruelties on the Protestants, many of whom 
were burnt at the stake ; among others, Cranmer, Archbishop 
of Canterbury, and the Bishops of London and Worcester. 
With the view of more firmly establishing the Catholic religion 
m her dominions, she espoused Philip, presumptive heir to the 
Spanish monarchy (1554.) The restrictions with which the Eng- 
lish Parliament fettered his contract of marriage with the Queen, 
so displeased that prince, that, finding himself without p' wer or 
authority, he speedily withdrew from England. Ma^^ s reign 
lasted only five years : she was succeeded by her si .er Eliza- 
beth (1558,) daughter of Henry VIII., by Anne Bo'ejm. This 
princess once more abrogated the authority of t' e Pope, and 
claimed to herself the supreme administration both spiritual 
and temporal, within her kingdom. Though .she adopted the 
Calvnnstic principles in every thing regarding the doctrines of 
the Church, she retained many of the Romish ceremonies, and 
the government of Bishops. It was this that gave rise to the 

PEPioD VI. A. D. 1453—1648. 259 

distinction between the English or High Church, and the Cal- 
vanistic or Presbyterian. 

About the time when the High Church par'y rose in England, 
a change of religion took place in Scotland, protected by Queen 
Elizabeth. The regency of that kingdom was then vested m. 
the Queen-dowager, Mary of Lorraine, the widow of James V., 
and mother of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland and France- 
Tliat princess, who was guided solely by the councils of her 
brothers of Lorraine, had introduced a body of French troops to 
repress the followers of the new doctrines, who had formed a 
new league, under the name of the Congregation. These, re- 
inforced by the Catholic malecontents, who were apprehensive 
of falling under a foreign yoke, took the resolution of applying 
for assistance to the English Queen, which it was by no means 
difficult to obtain. Elizabeth readily foresaw, that so soon as 
Francis became master of Scotland, he would attempt to enforce 
Mary's claims to the throne of England, grounded partly on the 
assumption of her being illegitimate. A considerable number of 
English troops were then marched to Scotland, and having 
formed a juHction with the Scottish malecontents, they besieged 
the French in the town of Leith, near Edinburgh. The latter 
were soon obliged to capitulate. By the articles signed at Leith 
(1560,) the French and English troops were to evacuate Scot- 
land ; Francis IL King of France, and his wife Mary Stuart, 
were to renounce the titles and arms of the sovereigns of Eng- 
land, which they had assumed ; while a Parliament was to be 
assembled at Edinburgh for the pacification of the kingdom. 

The parliament which met soon after, ratified the Confession 
of Faith, drawn i.p and presented by the Presbyterian ministers. 
The Presbyterian worship was introduced into Scotland; and 
the parliament even went so far as to pi'ohibit the exercise 
of the Catholic religion. Mary Stuart, on her return to Scot- 
land (1561,) after the death of her husband Francis, was obliged 
to acquiesce in all these changes ; and it was with difficulty she 
was allowed the liberty of having a Catholic chapel attached to 
her court. This unfortunate princess was afterwards accused 
of having caused the assassination of Henry Darnley, her se- 
cond husband ; and being obliged to fly the country, she took 
shelter in England (1568,) where she was arrested and impri- 
soned by order of Queen Elizabeth. After a captivity of nine- 
teen years she was sentenced to death, and beheaded (ISth Feb. 
1587,) as an accomplice in the different plots which had been 
formed against the life of her royal relative. 

The troubles which the reformation of religion had excited in 
Scotland, extended also to Ireland. A kind of corrupt feudal 

260 CHAPTER vn. 

system had prevailed originally in that island, which Henry II. 
had not been able to extirpate. The English proprietors, who 
were vassaJs of the cro\vn, and governed by the laws of Eng- 
land, possessed nearly one-third of the whole country ; while 
the rest of the island was in the hands of the Irish proprietors, 
who, although they acknowledged the sovereignty of the Eng- 
lish kings, preserved nevertheless the language and manners of 
their native land; and were inclined to seize every opportunit-v 
of shaking off the English yoke, which they detested. Hence 
a continued series of wars and feuds, both among the Irish 
themselves, and against the English, who on their part had no 
other object than to extend their possessions at the expense of 
the natives. The kings of England, guided by an injudicious 
policy, for several centuries exhausted their resources in perpetual 
wars, sometimes against France, sometimes against Scotland, 
and sometimes against their own subjects, without paying the 
least attention to Ireland, of which they appear to have known 
neither the importance nor the effectual advantages which they 
might have reaped from it by means of a wise administration. 
The progress of agi'iculture and industry became thus completely 
impracticable ; a deep-rooted hatred was established between 
the islanders and the English, who in fact seemed two distinct 
nations, enemies of each other, and forming no alliances either 
by marriage or reciprocal intercourse. 

The resentment of the Irish against the English government 
was aggravated still more, at the time of the Reformation, by 
the vigorous measures that were taken, subsequently to the reign 
of Henry VIII., to extend to Ireland the laws framed in Eng- 
land against the court of Rome and the Catholic clergy. A 
general insurrection broke out in the reign of Elizabeth (1596,) 
the chief instigator of which was Hugh O'Neal, head of a clan 
in the province of Ulster, and Earl of Tyrone. Having gained 
over the whole Irish Catholics to his cause, he planned an ex- 
tensive conspiracy, Avith the design of effecting the entire expul- 
sion of the English from the island. Philip II., King of Spain, 
supplied the insurgents with troops and ammunition ; and Pope 
Clement VIII. held out ample indulgences in favour of those 
who should enlist under the banners of O'Neal, to combat the 
English heretics. This insurgent chief met at first with con- 
siderable success ; he defeated the English in a pitched battle, 
and maintained his ground against the Earl of Essex, Avhom 
Elizaljeth had despatched to the island with a formidable army. 
The rebels, however, ultimately failed in their enterprise, afte*' 
a sanguinary war which lasted seven years. Charles, Lord 
Mountjoy. governor of Ireland, drove the insurgents to their las* 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1451J- -1648. 261 

recesses, and had the glory of achieving the entire reduction of 
the island. ^ 

The maritime greatness of England began in the reign of 
Elizabeth. That Princess gave new vigour to industry and 
commerce ; and her eflbrts were seconded by the persecuting 
zeal of the French and Spanish governraent>-. The numerous 
refugees from France and the Netherlands, found a ready asy- 
lum in England, under the protection of Elizabeth ; and her 
kingdom became, as it were, the retreat and principal residence 
of their arts and manufactures. She encouraged and protected 
navigation, which the English, by degrees, extended to all parts 
of the globe. An Englishman, named Richard Chancellor, 
having discovered the route to Archangel in the Icy Sea (1555,) 
the Czar, John Basilowitz II., granted to an English company 
the exclusive privilege of trading with Russia (1569.) The 
commerce of the English with Turkey and the Levant, which 
began in 1579, was likewise monopolized by a Company of mer- 
chants. Francis Drake, a distinguished navigator, and the rival 
of Magellan, was the first Englishman that performed a voyage 
round the world, between 1577 and 15S0. The intercourse be- 
tween England and the East Indies began in 1591 ; and the 
East India Company was instituted in 1600. Attempts were 
also made, about the same time, to form settlements in North 
America ; and Walter Raleigh, who had obtained a charter from 
the Queen (1584,) endeavoured to found a colony in that part 
of the American Continent, now called Virginia, in compliment 
to Elizabeth. That colony, however, did not, properly speak- 
ing, take root or flourish till the reign of James I. The compe- 
tition with Spain, and the destruction of the Invincible Armada 
of Philip II., by the combined fleets of England and Holland, 
gave a new energy to the English marine, the value of which 
they had learned to appreciate, not merely in guarding the in- 
dependence of the kingdom, but in securing the prosperity of 
their commerce and navigation. 

The House of Tudor ended in Queen Elizabeth (1603,) after 
having occupied the throne of England about a hundred and 
eighteen years. It was replaced by that of the Stuarts. James 
VI., King of Scotland, son of Mary Stuart, and Henry Darnley, 
succeeded to the throne of England, and took the title of King of 
Great Britain, which his successors still retain. This prince de- 
rived his right to the crown, from the marriage of his great grand- 
mother, Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII., with James 
[V. of Scotland. Vain of his new elevation, and fond of pre- 
rogative, James constantly occupied himself with projects for 
augmenting his royal power and authority in England ; and by 


instilling these principles into his son, he became the true archi- 
tect of all the subsequent misfortunes of his house. 

Charles I., the son and successor of James, seldom convened 
the Parliament ; and when they did assemble, he provoked them 
by the measures he proposed, and was then obliged to dissolve 
them. Being entirely guided by his ministers Laud, Arch- 
bishop of Canterbuiy, the Earl-s of Strafford and Hamilton, and 
his Queen, Henrietta of Finance, he ventured to levy taxes ond 
impositions without the advice of Parliament. This conduct 
on the part of the King produced a general discontent. The 
flames of civil war began to kindle in Scotland, where Charles 
had introduced Episcopacy, as more favourable than Presbyte- 
rianism to Royalty. But the Scottish nobility, having fonned a 
confederacy, known by the name of the Cove7iant, for the main- 
tenance of their ecclesiastical liberties, abolished Episcopacy 
(1638,) and subsequently took up arms against the King. The 
Parliament of England, under such circumstances, rose also 
against Charles (1641,) and passed an act that they should not 
be dissolved without previously obtaining redress for the com- 
plaints of the nation. This act, which deprived the King of his 
principal prerogative, proved fatal to the royal dignity. A trial 
was instituted by the Parliament against the King's ministers. 
The Earl of Straflbrd and the Archbishop of Canterbury Avere 
beheaded ; and Charles had the weakness to sign the death-Avar 
rant of his faithful servants. 

The Presbyterians soon became the prevailing party, and ex- 
cluded the Bishops from the Upper House. The management 
of affairs fell then into the hands of the House of Commons ; 
Episcopacy was abolished ; and the Parliament of England ac- 
ceded to the Scottish Covenant. War now broke out between 
the King and the Parliament ; a battle was fought near York, 
m which the latter was victorious (1644.) Charles, seeing hi? 
affairs ruined, took the determination to throw himself into the 
arms of the Scots (1646,) who, he supposed, might still retain 
an affection for the race of their ancient Kings. He soon found 
reason, however, to repent of this step ; the Scots did not hesi- 
tate to sell him to the English Parliament for a sum of £400,000, 
Sterling, which they found necessary for the payment of their 

A new revolution, which soon after happened in the Parlia- 
ment, completed the ruin of the King. The Presbyterians, or 
Puritans, who had suppressed the Episcopalians, were crushed, 
in their turn, by the Independents. These latter were a sort of 
fanatics, who admitted no subordination whatever in the Church, 
entertained a perfect horror for royalty, and were inclined for a 

PERIOD VI. A. D, 1453—1648. 263 

republican or democratic form of government. The head and 
soul of this faction was the famous Oliver Cromwell, who, with 
great dexterity, made it an engine for raising himself to the 
sovereign authority. The whole power of the Legislature fell 
entirely into the hands of the Independent party ; who, by one 
act, expelled sixty members from the House of Commons. The 
Parliament, now completely under their dominion, appointed a 
commission of a hundred and fifty persons, whom they veste<3 
with power to try the King. In vain did the Upper House 
oppose this resolution ; in vain did the King object to the Judges 
named by the House ; the commission proceeded, and pronounced 
the famous sentence, by virtue of which Charles was beheaded 
on the 30th of January 1649. His family were dispersed, and 
saved themselves by flight. 

The revolutions in the North of Europe, about the period of 
which we now speak, were not less important than those which 
agitated the West and the South. These arose chiefly from 
the dissolution of the Union of Calmar, and the reformation in 
religion ; both of which happened about the beginning of the 
sixteenth century. The Union of Calmar, between the three 
kingdoms of the North, had been renewed several times ; but, 
being badly cemented from the first, it was at length irreparably 
broken by Sweden. This latter kingdom had been distracted 
by intestine feuds, occasioned by the ambition and jealousy of 
the nobles, which continued during the whole reign of Churles 
VIII., of the House of Bonde. After the death of that PrirjL-e 
(1470,) the Swedes, without renouncing the Union, had regu- 
larly appointed as administrators of the kingdom, from the year 
1471 till 1520, three individuals of the family of Sture, viz. 
Steno Sture, called the Old, Suante Sture and Steno Sture, 
called the Young. 

Meantime, John, King of Denmark, and son of Christian I,, 
had governed the three kingdoms since 1497, when Steno Sture 
the elder had resigned, until 1501, when he resumed the admin- 
istration. At length, however, Christian II., son of John, made 
war on Steno Sture, surnamed the Young, with a view lo 
enforce the claims AiThich he derived from the act of union. 
Being victorious at the battle of Bogesund, where Sture lost 
his life, he succeeded in making himself acknowledged by the 
Swedes as king, and was crowned at Stockholm (1520.) Within 
a short time after this ceremony, he violated the amnesty which 
he had publicly announced ; and to gratify the revenge of Gusta- 
vus TroUe, Archbishop of Upsal, whom the Swedes had deposed., 
he caused ninety-four of the most distinguished personages in tho 
kingdom to be arrested, and publicly beheaded at Stockholm 



This massacre caused a revolution, by which Sweden recover- 
ed its ancient state of independence. Gustavus Vasa put him- 
self at the head of the Dalecarlians, ambitious to become the 
liberator of his country (1521.) He was declared Regent, and 
two years after, King of Sweden. The example of the Swedes 
was soon followed by the Danes, who, indignant at the excesses 
and cruelties of Christian II., deposed him, and conferred their 
crown on Frederic, Duke of Holstein, and paternal uncle to that 
prince. Christian, after having long wandered about the Low 
Countries, was made prisoner by the Danes, and remained in 
captivity the rest of his days. The Kings of Denmark having 
renewed, from time to time, their pretensions to the Swedish 
throne, and still continued the three crowns on their escutcheon, 
several wars broke out on this subject between the two nations ; 
and it was not till the peace of Stettin (1570,) that the Danes 
acknowledged the entire independence of Sweden. 

Denmark then lost the ascendency which she had so long 
maintained in the North. The government of the kingdom un- 
derwent a radical change. A corrupt aristocracy rose on the 
ruins of the national liberty. The senate, composed wholly of 
the nobles, usurped all authority; they oven'uled the election of 
the kings, and appropriated to themselves the powers of the 
States-General, which they had not convoked since 1536 ; they 
encroached even on the royal authority, which was curtailed 
more and more every day ; while the prerogatives of the nobility 
were extended by the conditions which the Senate prescribed to 
the kings on their accession to the crown. The reformation of 
religion took place in Denmark, in the reign of Frederic I., the 
successor of Christian II. That prince employed an eloquent 
preacher, named John Tausen, and several other disciples of 
Luther, to promulgate the Protestant doctrines in his kingdom. 
In a diet held at Odensee (1527,) the King made a public pro- 
fession of the new faith ; and, in spite of the remonstrances of 
the bishops, he passed a decree, in virtue of which, liberty of 
conscience was established, and permission granted to the priests 
and monks to marry. These articles were renewed in another 
diet, assembled at Copenhagen (1530;) where the King ratified 
the Confession of Faith presented to him by the Protestant min- 
isteis, similar to what had taken place the same year at the diet 
of Augsburg. 

At length Christian III. who was elected in 1534, brought 
these changes in religion to a close. The bishops, during the 
last interregnum, had done every thing to stop the progress of 
the Reformation. The King, desirous of annihilating their 
temooral power, colluded with the principal nobility to have all 

Death of Charles the XI I. of Sweden. Vol. 2, p. 41. 

Encampment of a Reijiment of Imperial Body-Guard.-i. 
Vol. 2, p. 52. 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453—1648. 265 

the bishops in the kingdom arrested ; and having then assem- 
bled a meeting of the States at Copenhagen, he abolished Epis- 
copacy, and suppressed the public exercise of the Catholic reli- 
gion. The castles, fortresses, and vast domains of the prelates 
were annexed to the crown ; and the other benefices and reve- 
nues of the clergy were appropriated to the support of the minis- 
ters of religion, public schools, and the poor. The monks and 
nuns were left at liberty, either to quit their convent^, or remain 
there during their lives. The bishops were replaced by super- 
intendents, the nomination of whom was vested in the King; 
while each congregation retained the privilege of choosing its 
own pastors. From Denmark this revolution passed to Norway, 
which at that time, on account of having joined the party of 
Christian II., who was deposed by the Danes, lost its indepen- 
dence, and was declared a province of the kingdom of Denmark. 

The House of Oldenburg, v/hich had occupied the throne of 
Denmark since 1448, was separated in the reign of Christian 
III. into two powerful branches, viz. the Royal, descended from 
that prince ; and the family of Holstein-Gottorp, descended from 
his brother the Duke Adolphus. This latter branch was after- 
wards divided into three others, viz. those of Russia, Sweden 
and Holstein-Oldenburg. As the law of primogeniture was not 
established in the dutchies of Sleswick and Holstein, which had 
fallen into the succession of the House of Oldenburg, the Kings 
of Denmark soon found themselves under the necessity of divi- 
ding these dutchies among the younger princes of their family. 
The treaty of partition, which was entered into (1544) between 
Christian III. and his brother, had been preceded by a treaty of 
perpetual union, annexing these dutchies to the kingdom, and 
intended to preserve the throne, which was elective, in the House 
of Oldenburg ; as well as to prevent any portion of these two 
dutchies from falling into the possession of strangers. The 
union was to endure as long as the descendants of Frederic I. 
reigned in Denmark. They promised to settle, by arbitration, 
whatever differences might arise between the states of the union, 
to afford each other mutual succour against every external ene- 
my ; and to undertake no war but bjr common consent. 

The treaty of 1544 which regulated this partition, made seve- 
ral exceptions of matters that were to be managed and adminis- 
tered in common; such as, the customs, jurisdiction over the 
nobles, the bishops, and certain cities. This gave rise to a sort 
of copartnership of power, common to all the princes of the union. 
Every thing regarding either the general safety as stipulated in 
the treaty, or the exercise of these privileges included in the ex 
ceptions, was to be discussed and settled bv unanimous consent , 

VOL. I. 9n 


and for this purpose a council of regency, an exchequer, ant? 
common courts were established. This union and community 
of rights were followed, as a natural consequence, by long and 
destructive feuds between the Kings of Denmark and the Dukes 
of Holstein-Gottorp, in which the other powers of the North 
were also implicated. 

Christian IV., grandson of Christian III., was distinguished 
not more by the superiority of his talents, than by the indefati- 
gable zeal with which he applied himself to every department of 
the administration. It was in his reign that the Danes extend- 
ed their commerce as far as India. He founded the first Danish 
East India Company (1616,) who formed a settlement in Tran- 
quebar on the Coromandel coast, which had been ceded to them 
by the Rajah of Tanjore. Various manufactories of silk stuffs, 
paper, and arms, were constructed, and, several towns built un- 
der the auspices of Christian IV. The sciences were also much 
indebted to him ; he gave a new lustre to the University of Co- 
penhagen, and founded the Academy of Soroe in Zealand, be- 
sides a number of colleges. If he was unsuccessful in his wars 
against Sweden and Austria, it miist be ascribed to the narrow 
limits of his power, to the influence of the aristocratic spirit, and 
of the feudal regime which still prevailed in Denmark. He 
succeeded, however, in excluding the Swedes from access to the 
Icy Sea, which opened them a way to the coasts of Lapland, by 
obtaining possession, at the peace of Siorod (1613,) of that part 
of Lapland which extends along the Northern and Icy Seas. 
from Titisfiord to Waranger and Wardhuys. The disputes con- 
cerning the three crowns was settled by the same treaty, in such 
a way that both sovereigns were permitted to use them, without 
authorizing the King of Denmark to lay any claim to the Swe- 
dish crown. 

Sweden, which had long niaintained a struggle against Dei> 
mark, at length acquired such a preponderance over her as to 
threaten, more than once, the entire subversion of the throne. 
This preponderance was the achievement of two great men, who 
rose in the period we now speak of, viz. Gustavus Vasa, and his 
grandson Gustavus Adolphus. Gustavus Vasa was not merely 
the liberator, but the restorer of his country. Elevated to the 
throne by the free choice of the nation, he gave Sweden a power 
and an influence which it never had before. Every thing 
under him assumed a new aspect, the government, the religion, 
the finances, the commerce, the agriculture, the sciences and the 
morals of the Swedes. Instead of the assemblies of the nobles, 
formerly in use, and destructive of the national liberty, he sub- 
stituted Diets composed of the difffirent orders of the State, the 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453—1648. 267 

nobility, the clergy, the citizens, and the peasantry. By this 
means he acquired a new influence, of wliich he took advantage 
to humble the power of the church and tlie nobles, which had 
long been a source of oppression to Sweden. 

The reformation of religion, which then occupied every mind, 
appeared to Gustavus a very proper expedient to second his 
views, and introduce a better order of things. On his accession 
to the throne, he authorized the two brothers Olaus and Lau- 
rentius Petri, to preach publicly at Stockholm the doctrines of 
Luther, and did every thing in his power to accelerate the pro- 
gress of the Reformation in his kingdom. The bishops, who 
were apprehensive for their benefices and their authority, having 
drawn the greater part of the nobility over to their interest, the 
king, in the presence of a Diet of the four orders assembled at 
Westeras, took the determination of formally abdicating the 
crown. This step threw the Diet into a state of consternation, 
and encouraged the two lower orders, the citizens and peasants, 
to declare tliemselves loudly for the King. The bishops and 
nobles were obliged to comply ; and the King, resuming the 
reins of government, succeeded in overruling the deliberations 
of the Diet. By the authority of a decree, he annexed the strong 
castles of the bishops to the demesnes of the crown, and retrench- 
ed from their vast possessions whatever he judged convenient. 
The prelates at the same time were excluded from the senate ; 
the ties that bound them to the Court of Rome were broken ; 
and they were enjoined henceforth to demand confirmation from 
the King, and not from the Pope. The revenues of the clergy 
in general, and those of the convents, were left at the free dis- 
posal of the king, and the nobles were permitted to bring forward 
whatever claims they could adduce over lands granted to these 
convents by their ancestors. There was nothing now to retard 
the march of reformation. The Lutheran religion was introdu- 
ced universally into Sweden, and that event contributed not a 
little to exalt the royal authority. 

Gustavus secured the hereditary succession of the crown in 
favour of his male descendants. The States, anxious to obvi- 
ate the troubles and disorders which the demise of their kings 
had often produced, regulated the succession by an act known 
by the name of the Hereditary Union. It was passed at Ore- 
bro (1540,) and ratified anew by the States assembled at Wes- 
teras. The Union Act was renewed at the Diet of Nordkoping, 
in the reign of Charles IX. (1604,) when the succession was 
extended to females. 

The reign of Gustavus Adolphus, the son of Charles IX., 
raised ihe glory of Sweden to its height. The virtues and 

268 CHAPTER Vll. 

energies of that prince, the sagacity of his views, the admirabt* 
order which he introduced into every branch of the administra- 
tion, endeared him to his subjects ; while his military exploits, 
and his superiority in the art of war, fixed upon him the admi- 
ration of all Europe. 

Gustavus brought the wars, which he had to sustain against 
the different powers of the North, to a most triumphant conclu- 
sion. By the peace which he concluded at Stolbova with Rus- 
sia (1617,) he obtained possession of all Ingria, Kexholm, and 
Russian Carelia; and even cut that Empire off from all com- 
munication with Europe by the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic 
Sea. His success was not less brilliant in his campaigns agains! 
Sigismund III., King of Poland, Avho persisted in contesting 
with him his right to the crown of Sweden. He took from the 
Poles the whole of Livonia, with a part of Prussia ; and kept 
possession of these conquests by the six years truce which he 
concluded with the latter at Altmark (1629.) 

It was about this time that Sweden began to occupy a distin- 
guished place among the powders of Europe ; and that she was 
called on to take the lead in the League which was to protect 
the Princess and States of the Empire against the ambition of 
Austria. Gustavus, who was in alliance with France, under- 
took a task as difficult as it v/as glorious. In the short space of 
two years and a half, he overran two-thirds of Germany with 
his victorious arms. He vanquished Tilly at the famous battle 
of Leipsic (1631,) and extended his conquests from the shores 
of the Baltic to the Rhine and the Danube. Every thing yield- 
ed before him, and every place opened its gates to him. This 
great prince, who had made war a new art, and accustomed his 
army to order, and a system of tactics never before known, per- 
ished at the memorable battle of Lutzen (1632,) which the 
Swedes gained after his death, in consequence of the skilful dis- 
positions he had formed. 

This war was continued under the minority of Queen Chris- 
tina, his daughter and heir. It was still carried on, although 
the Swedes had undertaken a new war against Denmark, with 
the view of disengaging themselves from the mediation which 
Christian IV. had undertaken between the Emperor and Swe- 
den, at the congress which was to meet at Munster and Osna- 
burg. The result of that war was completely to the advantage 
of Sweden, which gained by the peace of Bromsbro (1645) the 
freedom of the Sound, as also the possession of the provinces 
and islands of Jamptland, Herjedalen, Gothland, Oesel, and Hal- 
land. Lastly, the peace of Westphalia secured to Sweden con- 
siderable possessions on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, 
such as Wismar, Bremen and Verden, and part of Pomerania. 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453—1648. 269 

The power of the Teutonic Knights, which had been greatly 
reduced during the preceding period, by the defection of a par 
of Prussia, was completely annihilated in the North, in conse- 
i^ueuce of the changes introduced by the reformation of religion. 
Albert of Brandenburg, grandson of the Elector Albert Achilles 
on his elevation to the dignity of Grand Master of the Order, 
cliought himself obliged to withdraw from Poland that fealty and 
homage to which the Knights had bound themselves by the 
treaty of Thorn in 1466. This refusal furnished matter for a 
war between them ; which began in 1519, and ended in 1521, 
by a truce of four years ; at the expiration of which the Grand 
Master, who saw the doctrines of Luther disseminated in Prus- 
sia, and who had himself imbibed these principles in Germany, 
found means to settle all differences with the King of Poland, 
by a treaty which he concluded with him at Cracow (1521.) 
He there engaged to do homage and fealty to the crown of Po- 
land, which he had refused ; and Sigismund I., who was his 
maternal uncle, granted him Teutonic Prussia, with the title of 
Dutchy. as a hereditary fief, both for himself and his male-heirs, 
and for his brothers of the House of Brandenburg and Franconia, 
and their feudal heirs ; reserving the right of reversion in favour 
of Poland, failing the male-descendants of these princes. 

The Teutonic Knights thus lost Prussia, after having possess- 
ed it for nearly three hundred years. Retiring to their pos- 
sessions in Germany, they established their principal residence 
at Mergentheim in Franconia, where they proceeded to the elec- 
tion of a new Grand Master, in the person of Walter de Cron- 
berg. The Poles, in getting rid of the Teutonic Knights, whom 
they had regarded', with jealousy, and substituting the House of 
Brandenburg in their place, never dreamed of adopting an enemy 
still more dangerous, who would one day concert the ruin and 
annihilation of their country. 

Immediately after the treaty of Cracow, the new Duke of 
Prussia made a public profession of the Lutheran religion, and 
married a daughter of the King of Denmark. This princess 
dying without male issue, he married for his second wife a prin- 
cess of the Brunswick family, by whom he had a son, Albert 
Frederic, who succeeded him in the dutchy of Prussia. The 
race of these new dukes of Prussia (1568,) as well as that of 
Franconia, which should have succeeded them, appearing to be 
nearly extinct, Joachim IL, Elector of Brandenburg, obtained 
from the King of Poland the investiture of Prussia, in fief, con- 
junctly with the reigning dukes. This investiture, which was 
renewed in f^xvour of several of his successors, secured the sue- 
vtssion of that dulchy in the electoral family of Brandenburg ;',o 



whom it devolved on the death of Albert Frederic (1618,) who 
left no male descendants. He was succeeded by the Elector 
John Sigismund, who had been coinvested with him in the 
dutchy. That prince, who had married Anne, eldest daughter 
of Albert Frederic, obtained likewise, in right of that princess, 
part of the succession of Juliers, viz. the dutchy of Cleves, the 
counties of Marck and Ravensberg, which had been adjudged 
to the house of Brandenburg, by the provisional act of partition 
concluded at Santern (1614,) and converted into a definitive 
treaty at Cleves. The grandson of John Sigismund, the Elector 
Frederic William, was a prince of superior genius, and the true 
founder of the greatness of his family. Illustrious in war as in 
peace, and respected by all Europe, he acquired by the treaty o 
Westphalia, a part of Pomerania, the archbishopric of Magde- 
burg under the title of a dutchy, with the bishoprics of Halber- 
stadt, Minden, and Camin, under the title of principalities. His 
son Frederic was the first King of Prussia. 

[The Teutonic Knights had nearly lost Livonia at the begin- 
ning of the sixteenth century ; but that province was saved by 
the courage and talents of the Provincial Master, Walter de 
Plattenberg. The Grand Duke Iwan, or John III., having 
threatened Livonia with an invasion, Plattenberg concluded a 
defensive alliance at Walik (1501,) with Alexander II., Grand 
Duke of Lithuania, and the bishops of that country. After having 
assembled troops to the number of 14,000 men, he defeated the 
Russian army, which was 40,000 strong, at Maholm ; a second 
victory, which he gained with the same number of troops over 
100,000 Russians at Pleskow (1502,) is one of the most famous 
exploits in the history of the North. Next year he concluded a 
truce of six years witk the Livonian Order, which was afterwards 
renewed for fifty years. 

It is commonly said that Walter, the Provincial Master, taking 
advantage of the distresses of the Teutonic Knights, and urging 
the repeated succours which he had furnished them against the 
Poles, purchased from them his own independence, and that of 
his Order ; but a recent author (Le Comte de Bray) has shown 
that this was not exactly the case. By a first agreement signed 
at Koningsberg (1520,) Albert of Brandenburg, who was then 
only Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, confirmed to the 
Knights of Livonia the free right of electing a chief of their own 
number, promising to sustain the individual whom they should 
nominate. He secured them the possession of the whole sqye- 
reignty of Reval and Narva ; the countries of Altentirken, Jer- 
wen, and Wierland ; as also the town and castle of Wesenberg, 
with their dependencies. This agreement was revived and 
ratified by a second, signed at Grobin (1525,) when it was for- 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453 — 1648. 271 

mally stipulated, that the relations between the Knights of Li- 
vonia and the Teutonic Order should be maintained as they w^re. 
and that the Livonians should continue to regard the Grand 
Master as their true head, and render him homage and obe- 
dience. They were forbidden to solicit from the Emperor or 
the Pope any privilege inconsistent with their allegiance. It ap 
pears, consequently, that Walter de Plattenberg did not purchaW 
the independence of his Order, but that he regarded those tie.=^ 
which existed between it and the Teutonic Order as broken, 
when Albert of Brandenburg was declared Duke of Prussia. He 
next renewed those connexions with the German Empire, which 
had existed since the thirteenth century ; and was declared by 
Charles V. (1527) a prince of the Empire, having a vote and a 
seat in the Diet. 

It was during the mastership of Plattenberg that the Lutheran 
doctrines penetrated into Livonia, where they made rapid pro- 
gress, especially in the cities. Walter dexterously turned the 
disturbances caused by the opposition of the clergy to the new 
tenets, into an occasion for establishing his authority over all 
Livonia and Esthonia, which the Order had formerly shared 
with the bishops. The citizens of Riga acknowledged him as 
their only sovereign, and expelled the archbishop. The bur- 
gesses of Revel followed their example. The clergy were so 
frightened at these movements, that the archbishop of Riga, and 
the bishops of Dorpat, Oesel, Courland and Revel, formally sub- 
mitted to the Order. The clergy themselves soon after embraced 
the reformed religion.] 

The dominion of the Knights Sword-bearers, had continued 
in Livonia until the time of the famous invasion of that country 
by the Czar, John Basilovitz IV. That prince, who had laid 
open the Caspian Sea by his conquest of the Tartar kingdoms of 
Casan and Astrachan, meditated also that of Livonia, to obtain 
a communication with Europe by the Baltic. Gotthard Kettler, 
who was then Grand Master, finding himself unable to cope 
with an enemy so powerful, implored first the assistance of the 
Germanic Body, of which he was a member ; but having got 
nothing but vague promises, he next addressed himself to Sigis- 
mund Augustus, King of Poland, and, m concert with the arch- 
bishop of Riga, he concluded with that prince a treaty of sub- 
mission at Wilna (1561;) in virtue of which, the whole of 
Livonia, with Esthonia, Courland and Semigallia, comprising 
not only what was still in the possession of the Order, but those 
parts which had boen seized by the enemy, were ceded to the 
crown of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania, on condi- 
tion that the use of the Confession of Augsburg should be pre- 
served on the same footing as it then Avas, and that all orders of 

272 CHAPTER vn. 

the State should be maintained in their goods, properties, rights, 
privileges and immunities. 

By this same treaty, Courland and Semigallia were reserved 
to Gotthard Kettler, the last Grand Master of Livonia, to be 
enjoyed by himself and his heirs-male, with the title of dutchy. 
and as a fief of the king and crown of Poland. The new Duke, 
on taking the oath of fidelity to the King of Poland, solemnly 
lajd aside all the badges of his former dignity. He married 
Anne, daughter to the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schewerin, and 
transmitted the dutchy of Courland to his male-descendants, 
who did not become extinct until the eighteenth century. Ihe 
Order of Livonia was entirely suppressed, as were also the 
archbishoprics of Riga, and the bishoprics under its jurisdiction. 

The revolution in Livonia caused a violent commotion among 
the powers of the North, who were all eager to share in ihe 
plunder. While the Grand Master of the Order was in treaty 
with Poland, the city of Revel, and the nobles of Esthonia, left 
without aid, and oppressed by the Russians, put themselves undei 
the protection of Eric XIV., King of Sweden, who obtameo 
possession of that province. The Isle of Oesel, on the contrary, 
and the district of Wyck in Esthonia, were sold to Frederic II. 
King of Denmark, by the last bishop of the island, who also 
ceded to him the bishopric and district of Pilten in Courland. 
Poland at first held the balance, and maintained Livonia against 
the Russiaiis, by the peace which she concluded Avith that power 
at Kievorova-Horca (1582.) A struggle afterwards ensued be- 
tween Poland and Sweden for the same object, which was not 
finally terminated until the peace of Oliva (1660.) 

Russia, during the period of which we now treat, assumed 
an aspect entirely new. She succeeded in throwing off the 
yoke of the Moguls, and began to act a conspicuous part on the 
theatre of Europe. The Horde of Kipzach, called also the 
Grand, or the Golden Horde, had been greatly exhausted by its 
territorial losses, and the intestine wars which followed ; while 
the Grand Dukes of Moscow gained powerful accessions by the 
union of several of these petty principalities, which had for a 
long time divided among them the sovereignty of Northern Rus- 
sia. John Basilovitz III., who filled the grand ducal throne 
about the end of the fifteenth century, knew well how to profit 
by these circumstances to strengthen his authority at home, and 
make it respected abroad. In course of several expeditions, he 
subdued the powerful republic of Novogorod, an ancient ally of 
the Hanseatic towns, and which had for a long time affected an 
entire independence. He was also the first sovereign of Russia 
that dared to refuse a humiliating ceremony, according to which 
the Grand Dukes were obliged to walk on foot before the envoys 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453—1648. 273 

that came from the Khan of Kipzach. He even suppressed the 
residence of Tartar envoys at his court ; and at length shook 
off their yoke entirely, refusing to pay the tribute which the 
Grand Dukes had owed to the Khans for several centuries. 
Achmet, Khan of Kipzach, having despatched certain deputies 
with an order, under the great seal, to demand paymenV of this 
tribute, the Grand Duke trampled the order under his feet, spit 
upon it, and then put all the deputies to death except one, whom 
he sent back to his master. 

The Khan, with the view of revenging that insult, invaded 
Russia several times, but the Grand Duke vigorously repulsed 
all his attacks ; and while he was arresting the progress of his 
arms on the borders of the Ugra, he despatched a body of troops 
to the centre of the Grand Horde, who laid every thing desolate 
(1481.) The Nogai Tartars joined the Russians to finish the 
destruction of the Grand Horde, whose different settlements on 
the Wolga they laid completely in ruins ; so that nothing more 
remained of the powerful en ^ ire of Kipzach than a few de- 
tached hordes, such as those of Casan, Astracan, Siberia, and 
the Crimea. Iwan rendered himself formidable to the Tartars ; 
he subdued the Khans of Casan, and several times disposed of 
their throne. The entire reduction of that Tartar state was ac- 
complished by his grandson, John Basil ovitz IV., who twice 
undertook the siege of Casan, and seized and made prisoner 
of the last Khan (1552.) The fall of Casan was followed by that 
of Astracan. But John was by no means so fortunate in his en- 
terprises against Livonia, which, as we have already said, he was 
obliged to abandon to Poland by the peace of Kievorova-Horca. 

John IV. was inspired with noble views of policy. Being 
anxious to civilize his subjects, he sent for workmen and artists 
from England. He requested Charles V. to send him men of 
talents, well versed in the different trades and manufactures. 
He introduced the art of printing at Moscow, and established 
the first permanent army in the country, that of the Strelitzes, 
which he employed in keeping the nobles in check. The dis- 
covery of Siberia is one of the events that belong to his reign. 
A certain chief of the Don Cossacks, named Jermak, who em- 
ployed himself in robberies on the borders of the Wolga and the 
Caspian Sea, being pursued by a detachment of Russian troops, 
retired to the confines of Siberia. He soon entered these re- 
gions at the head of seven thousand Cossacks, and having gained 
several victories over the Tartars of Siberia, and their Khan 
Kutschem, he got possession of the city of Sibir, which was their 
principal fortress (1581.) Jermak, in order to obtain his pardon 
of the Czar, made him an oflTer of all he had conquered ; which 
was agreed to by that Prince, and the troops of the Rus-siana 


then took possession of Siberia (1583.) The total reduction of 
the country, however, did not take place until the reign of the 
Czar Theodore or Fedor Iwanovitz, the son and successor of 
John, who built the city of Tobolsk (1587,) which has since be- 
come the capital of Siberia. 

Fedor Iwanovitz, a prince weak both in mind and body, was 
entirely under the counsels of his brother-in-law Boris Godunow, 
who, with the view of opening a way for himself to the throne, 
caused the young Demetrius, Fedor's only brother, to be assas- 
sinated (1591.) This crime gave rise to a long series of trou- 
bles, which ended in the death of Fedor (1598.) With him, as 
he left no children, the reigning family of the ancient sovereigns 
of Russia, the descendants of Ruric, became extinct ; after having 
occupied the throne for more than eight hundred years. 

After this, the Russian Crown was worn by persons of diffe- 
rent houses. Their reigns were disturbed by various preten- 
ders, who assumed the name of Demetrius, and were supported 
by the Poles. During fifteen years Russia presented a shock- 
ing spectacle of confusion and carnage. At length, as a remedy 
for these disasters, they thought of bestowing the crown on a 
foreign prince. Some chose Charles Philip, the brother of Gus- 
tavus Adolphus of Sweden ; and others voted for Uladislaus, the 
son of Sigismund IV., King of Poland. These resolutions tended 
only to increase the disorders of the state. The Swedes took ad- 
vantage of '.hem to seize Ingria and the city of Novogorod ; while 
the Poles took possession of Smolensko and its dependencies. 

The Russians, now seeing their monarchy on the edge of a 
precipice, adopted the plan of electing a new Czar of their own 
nation. Their choice fell on Michael Fedrovitz, w^ho became 
the founder of the new dynasty, that of Romanow (1613,) under 
whom Russia attained to the zenith of her greatness. That 
prince, guided by the sage councils of his father, Fedor Roma- 
now, Archbishop of Rostow, soon rectified all the disorders of 
the state ; he purchased peace of the Swedes, by surrendering 
to them Ingria and Russian Carelia. The sacrifices which he 
made to Poland, were not less considerable. By the truce of 
Divilina (1618,) and the peace of Wiasma (1634,) he ceded to 
them the vast territories of Smolensko, Tschernigou, and Novo- 
gorod, with their dependencies. 

Poland, at this time, presented a corrupt aristocracy, which 
had insensibly degenerated into complete anarchy. The nobles 
were the only persons that enjoyed the rights of citizenship ; 
they alone were represented in the Diets, by the nuncios or de- 
puties which they elected at the Dietines ; the honours and dig- 
nities both in church and state, and in general all prerogatives 
whatever, were reserved for them ; while the burgesses and 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453 — 1648. 276 

peasantry alone supported the whole burden of expenses. This 
constitution, at the same time, was under the control of a sort of de- 
mocracy, in as far as the nobles, without exception, were held to 
be perfectly equal in their rights and dignities. Imperfect as a 
government must have been, established on such a basis, it still 
continued, nevertheless, to preserve some degree of vigour ; and 
Poland supported, though feebly, the character of being the ru- 
ling power of the North, so long as the House of Jagellon occu- 
pied the throne. Besides Prussia, of which she had disposses- 
sed the Teutonic Knights, she acquired Livonia, and maintained 
it in spite of Russia. 

The reformation of religion was likewise promulgated in Po- 
land, where it was particularly patronized by Sigismund II. A 
great part of the senate, and more than half of the nobility 
made, with their King, a profession of the new opinions ; and if 
the reformation did not take deeper root in that kingdom, or if it 
had not a more conspicuous influence on the civilization of the 
people, it was from the want of a middle class in the kingdom, 
by which it could be supported. 

The male line of Jagellon, having become extinct with Sigis- 
mund 11. (1572,) the throne became purely elective; and it was 
ordained that, during the King's life, no successor could be ap- 
pointed ; but that the States, on his demise, should enjoy for 
ever a perfect freedom of election on every vacancy of the throne. 
Such was the origin of the Diets of Election, which, from their 
very constitution, could not fail to be always tumultuous in their 
proceedings. The nobles in a body appeared at these Diets • 
thither they repaired in arms and on horseback, ranked accord- 
ing to the order of the Palatinates, in a Camp prepared for the 
purpose near Warsaw. The custom of the Pacta Conventa. 
took its rise about the same time. Henry de Valois, who was 
elected King on the death of Sigismund II., was the first that 
swore to these conventional agreements, [by which he engaged, 
that no foreigner should be introduced either in a civil or mili- 
tary department.] These Facta, which had all the force of a 
fundamental law, specified those conditions under which the 
throne was conferred on the new monarch. The royal authori- 
ty was thus curtailed more and more, and the prerogatives of 
the nobility exalted in proportion. 

Poland, in consequence, soon lost its influence ; the govern- 
ment was altered in its fundamental principles, and the kingdom 
plunged into an abyss of calamities. Among the elective Kings 
who succeeded Henry de Valois, the last that supported the dig- 
nity of the crown against Russia, was Uladislaus IV., the son of 
Sigismund III., of the House of Vasa. In an expedition which 
he undertook into the interior of Russia (1618,) he penetrated 


as far as Moscow ; and in a second which he made (1634,) he 
compelled the Russians to raise .the siege of Smolensk© ; and 
shut them up so closely in their camp, that they were obliged to 
capitulate for want of provisions. He then made a new attack 
on the capital of Russia ; and at the peace of Wiasma, he ob- 
tained conditions most advantageous to Poland. 

In the history of Hungary, the most splendid era was the 
reign of Matthias Corvin, who, at the age of scarcely sixteen, 
had been raised to the throne by the free choice of the nation 
(1458.) Like his father the valorous John Hunniades, he was 
the t-error of the Turks during his whole reign ; he took Bosnia 
from them, and kept Transylvania, Wallachia, Moldavia, Scla- 
vonia, and Servia in dependence on his crown, in spite of the 
incessant efforts which the Turks made to rescue these provinces. 
He likewise conquered Moravia, Silesia, and Lusatia ; he even 
took Austria from the Emperor Frederic III., and came to fix 
his residence at Vienna (1485.) It was in that city that he ter- 
minated his brilliant career, at the early age of forty-seven ( 1490.) 
That great prince added to his military talents, a love for elegant 
literature, of which, from the first revival of letters, he showed 
himself a zealous protector. 

The glory of Hungary suffered an eclipse in the loss of Mat- 
thias. His successors, Uladislaus II., the son of Casimir IV. 
King of Poland, and Louis the son of Uladislaus, who held at 
the same time the crown of Bohemia, were weak and indolent 
princes, who saw Hungary torn by factions, and ravaged with 
impunity by the Turks. Soliman the Great taking advantage 
of the youth of Louis, and the distressed state in which Hungary 
was, concerted his plans for conquering the kingdom. He at- 
tacked the fortress of Belgrade (1521,) and made himself master 
of that important place, before the Hungarians could march to 
Its relief His first success encouraged him to return to the 
charge. Having crossed the Danube and the Drave without 
meeting with any resistance, he engaged the Hungarians near 
Mohacz (3526,) in that famous battle which cost them the life 
of their king and their principal nobility. Twenty-two thousand 
Hungarians were left on the field of battle, and the whole king- 
dom lay at the mercy of the conqueror. Soliman now proceeded 
as far as the Raab ; but instead of completing the conquest of 
Hungary as he might have done, he contented himself with the 
laying ^vaste all that part of the country with fire and sword ; 
and carrying several hundred thousand prisoners into slavery. 

The premature death of the young King who left no progeny, 
occasioned a vacancy in the throne of Hungary and Bohemia. 
Ferdinand of Austria who married Anne, sister to Louis, claimed 
the succession in virtue of the different treaties signed in ihf" 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453 — 1648. 277 

years 1463, 1468, 1491, and 1515, between the Austrian princes 
and the last kings of Hungary. But though the Bohemian 
States were disposed to listen to the pretensions of Ferdinand, 
it was not so with those of Hungary, who transferred the crowii 
to John de Zapolya, Count of Zips, and Palatine of Transylvania. 
That prince being hardly pressed by Ferdinand, at length de- 
termined to throw himself under the protection of the Turks. 
Soliman marched in person to his assistance, and laid siege to 
the city of Vienna (1529.) In this enterprise, however, he failed, 
after sacrificing the lives of nearly eighty thousand men. 

In 1538, a treaty was agreed on between the two competitors, 
in virtue of which th-e whole kingdom of Hungary, on the death 
of John Zapolya, was to devolve on Ferdinand. This treaty 
was never carried into execution. John at his death having 
left a son named John Sigismund, then an infant in his cradle, 
Bishop George Martinuzzi, prime minister of the deceased king, 
proclaimed the young prince, and secured for him the protec- 
tion of the Turks. Soliman undertook a new expedition into 
Hungary in his favour (1541 ;) but by a piece of signal perfidy, 
he took this occasion to seize the city of Buda, the capital of the 
kingdom, and several other places ; and banished the prince 
with his mother the queen-dowager, to Transylvania, which he 
gave up to him, with several other districts in Hungary. The 
city of Buda with the greater part of Hungary and Sclavonia 
remained in the power of the Turks ; and Ferdinand was obliged 
to pay an annual tribute for the protection of that kingdom, the 
possession of which was guaranteed to him by the truce which 
he concluded with them in 1562. 

In the midst of these unfortunate events, the Austrian princes 
had again the imprudence to alienate the affections of the Hun- 
garians, by the intolerant spirit they displayed, and the efforts 
which they incessantly made to extirpate the Protestant religion 
from that kingdom. The opinions of Luther and Calvin had 
already been propagated in Hungary during the reign of Louis, 
the predecessor of Ferdinand. They had even made great pro- 
gress ; especially in Transylvania, where the German language 
and literature were generally cultivated. The oppressions which 
the partisans of the new doctrines experienced, added to the at- 
tempts which the Austrian princes made, from time to time, to 
subvert the ancient constitution of the kingdom, excited fresh 
troubles, and favoured the designs of the discontented and am- 
bitious, who were watching their opportunity to agitate the 
state, and make encroachments on the government. Stephen 
Boischkai, Bethlem Gabor, and George Ragoczi, princes of 
Transylvania, were successively the chiefs or leaders of vhese 

\0L. T. 24 

278 CHAPTER Vll. 

malecontents, in the rejgns of Eodolph II., Ferdinand 11., and 
Ferdinand III., Emperors of Germany. According to the Paci- 
fication of Vienna (1606,) and that of Lintz (1645,) as well as 
by the decrees of the Diet of Odenburg (1622,) and of Presburg 
(1647,) these princes were compelled to tolerate the public exer- 
cise of the reformed religion ; and to redress the political com- 
plaints of the Hungarian malecontents. 

The same troubles on the score of religion, which infested 
Hungary, extended likewise to Bohemia, where the new doc- 
trines met with a much better reception, as they were in unison 
with the religious system of the Hussites, who had already nu- 
merous partisans in that kingdom. It was chiefly under the 
reign of the mild and tolerant Maximilian II. that Protestantism 
made its way in Bohemia. All those who were formerly called 
Utraquists, from their professing the Communion in both kinds, 
joined the followers either of Luther or Calvin. Rodolph II., 
the son and successor of Maximilian, was obliged, at the Diet of 
Prague (1609,) to grant them the free exercise of their worship, 
without distinction of place ; and even to extend this indulgence to 
the Protestants of Silesia and Lusatia by letters-patent, known 
by the name of Letters of Majesty ; copies of which were made 
at Prague on the 11th of July and 20th of August 1609. These 
letters were confinned by King Matthias, on his accession to the 
throne ot Bohemia ; as also by Ferdinand III., when he was 
acknowledged by the Bohemian States, as the adopted son and 
successor of Matthias. 

The different interpretations which were put on these letters 
occasioned ihe war, known in history by the name of the Thirty 
Years' War. The Emperor Matthias happening to die in the 
midst of these disturbances, the Bohemian States, regarding 
their crown as elective, annulled the election of Ferdinand II. 
(1619,) and conferred the crown on Frederic, the Elector Pala- 
tine. Being in strict alliance with the States of Silesia, Mora- 
via, and Lusatia, they declared war against Ferdinand, who was 
supported, on the other hand, by Spain, the Catholic princes of 
the Empire, and the Elector of Saxony. 

The famous battle of Prague (1620,) and the fall of the Elec- 
tor Palatine, brought about a revolution in Bohemia. The ring- 
leaders of the insurrection were executed at Prague, and their 
goods confiscated. Ferdinand, who treated that kingdom as a 
conquered country, declared that the States had forfeited their 
rights and privileges ; and, in the new constitution which he 
gave them, he consented to restore these, only on condition of 
expressly excepting the rights which they had claimed in the 
election of their kings, as well as the Letters of Majesty which 

PERIOD VI. A. D. 1453—1648. 279 

granted to the Protestants the free exercise of their worship 
But this prince did not stop with the suppression of their reli- 
gious liberties, he deprived them also of their rights of citizen- 
ship. Laws the most atrocious were published against them, 
and he even went so far as to deny them the liberty of making 
testaments, or contracting legal marriages. All their ministers, 
without exception, were banished the kingdom ; and the most 
iniquitous means were employed to bring back the Protestants 
to the pale of the Catholic Church. At length it was enjoined, 
by an edict in 1627, that all Protestants who persisted in their 
opinions should quit the kingdom within six months. Thirty 
thousand of the best families in the kingdom, of whom a hun- 
dred and eighty-five were nobility, abandoned Bohemia, trans- 
porting their talents and their industry to the neighbouring 
States, such as Saxony, Brandenburg, Prussia, &c. 

Ferdinand judged it for his interest to detach the Elector of 
Saxony from the alliance with Sweden, which he had joined. 
He concluded a special peace with him at Prague, in virtue ot 
which he made over to him the two Lusatias, which he had dis- 
stiembered from the kingdom of Bohemia, to reimburse the Elec- 
tor for those sums which he claimed, as having been the ally of 
Austria against the Elector Palatine, then King of Bohemia. 
That province was ceded to the Elector John George, for him- 
self and his successors, as a fief of the Bohemian crown, under 
the express condition, that failing the male line of the Electoral 
branch, it should pass to the female heirs ; but that it should 
then be at the option of the King of Bohemia to use the right of 
redemption, by repaying to the female heirs the sum for which 
Lusatia had been mortgaged to Saxony. This sum amounted 
to seventy-two tons of gold, valued at seven millions two hundred 
thousand florins. 

The Turkish empire received new accessions of territory, both 
in Asia and Europe, under the successors of Mahomet II., who 
had fixed their capital at Constantinople. The conquest of Bes- 
sarabia belongs to the reign of Bajazet II., about the year 1484 
That prince had a brother named Jem or Zizim, who had been 
his competitor for the throne ; and having fled to Rome, he was 
imprisoned by order of Pope Alexander VI., at the instance of 
Bajazet, who had engaged to pay the Pope a large pension for 
him. Charles VIII. of France, when he made his expedition 
into Italy for the conquest of Naples, compelled the Pope to sur- 
render up the unfortunate Zizim, whom he designed to employ 
in the expedition which he meditated against the Turks, but 
which never took place. Selim I. the son and successor of Ba- 
jazet, taking advantage of a revolution which happened in Persia, 
and of the victory which he gained near Taurus over the S'haw 


Ismail Sophi I. (1514,) conquered the provinces of Diarbekir 
and Algezira, beyond the Euphrates. 

The same prince overturned the powerful Empire of the Ma- 
melukes, who reigned over Egypt, Syria, Palestine, and part of 
Arabia. He defeated the last Sultans, Cansoul-Algouri, and 
Toumanbey (1516,) and totally annihilated that dynasty. Cairo, 
the capital of the Empire of Egypt, was taken by assault (1517,) 
and the whole of the Mameluke States incorporated with the 
Ottoman Empire. The Scheriff of Mecca likewise submitted 
to the Porte, with several tribes of the Arabs. 

Soliman the Great, who succeeded his father Selim, raised 
the Turkish Empire to the highest pitch of glory. Besides the 
island of Rhodes, which he took from the Knights of St. John, 
and the greater part of Hungary, he reduced the provinces of 
Moldavia and Wallachia to a state of dependence, and made 
their princes vassals and tributaries of his Empire. He likewise 
conquered Bagdad and Irak- Arabia, which happened, according 
to the Turkish authors, about the year 1534. 

That prince distinguished his reign, by the efforts which he 
made to increase the maritime strength of the Empire, which 
his predecessors had neglected. He took into his service the 
famous pirate Barbarossa, King of Algiers, whom he created 
Capitan Pacha, or Grand Admiral. Barbarossa equipped a fleet 
of more than a hundred sail, with which he chased the Imperi- 
alists from the Archipelago ; and infested the coasts of Spain, 
Italy and Sicily (1565.) Soliman miscarried, however, in his 
enterprise against Malta. The courageous defence made by the 
Knights, together with the arrival of the fleet from Sicily, obliged 
the Ottomans to retreat. 

The decline of the Ottoman Empire began with the death of 
Soliman the Great (1566.) The sultans, his successors, sur- 
rendering themselves to luxury and effeminacy, and shut up in 
their seraglios and harems, left to their Grand Viziers the gov- 
ernment of the Empire, and the management of the army. The 
sons of these Sultans, educated by Avomen and eunuchs, and se- 
cluded from all civil and military affairs, contracted from their 
earliest infancy all the vices of their fathers, and no longer 
brought to the throne that vigorous and enterprising spirit, 
which had been the soul of the Ottoman government, and the 
basis of all their institutions. Selim II., the son of Soliman, 
was the first who set this fatal example to his successors. In 
his time, the Turks took the Isle of Cyprus from the Venetians 
(1570,) which they maintained in spite of the terrible defeat 
which they received at Lepanto (1571,) and which was followed 
by the ruin of their marine. 


H I S T O 11 Y 


















Embelllslicd wItU Eiigi-a-t'lngs, 








From the Peace of Westphalia, to that of Utrecht. — a. d. 1648 — 


The political system of Europe underwent a great cnange at 
the commencement of this period. France, after having long 
struggled for her ovvn independence against Austria, at length 
turned the balance, and became so formidable as to combine 
against herself the whole policy and military power of Europe. 
The origin of this extraordinary influence of France, belongs to 
the reigns of Charles VII., and Louis XI. Several important 
accessions which she made at this epoch, together with the 
change which happened in her government, gave her a power 
and energy, which might have secured her a decided preponde- 
rance among the Continental States, had not her influence been 
overbalanced by Austria, which, by a concurrence of fortunate 
events, and several wealthy marriages, had suddenly risen to a 
degree of power that excited the jealousy of all Europe. Hence, 
for nearly two hundred years, it required all the political re- 
sources of France to make head against her rival ; and what 
added to her misfortunes was, that, though freed from the dis- 
traction of the Italian war, she was still agitated by civil wars, 
which employed her whole military force. 

It was not till near the middle of the seventeenth century that 
she extricated herself from this long struggle ; and that, disen- 
gaged from the shackles of her own factions and internal dis- 
sensions, her power assumed a new vigour. The well regulated 
condition of her finances, the prosperity of her commerce and 
manufactures, and the respectable state of her marine, all con- 
curred to diffuse wealth and abundance over the kingdom. 
The abasement of the House of Austria, eflfected at once by the 
treaties of Westphalia and the Pyrenees, together with the 
consolidation of the Germanic body, and the federal system of 
the Provinces in the Netherlands, put the last climax on her 
glory, and secured to her the preponderance in the political scale 
of Europe. This change in her political system was achieved 


principally by the two great statesmen, Cardinals Richelieu and 
Mazarin, who, by drying up the fountains of civil dissensions, 
and concentrating the reins of authority in the hands of the go- 
vernment, raised that monarchy to the rank which its position, 
its population, and its internal resources, had assigned it among 
the powers of the Continent. 

Mazarin left the kingdom in a flourishing state to Louis XIV., 
who, aided by the counsels and assistance of the famous Col- 
bert, became the patron of letters and the fine arts, and finished 
the work which was begun by his prime minister. Nothing 
could equal the ardour which inspired that prince for military 
fame. France would have been prosperous under his reign, 
and respected even by all Europe, had he kept nothing else in 
view than the true interests and happiness of his people ; but 
he was ambitious of that sort of glory which is the scourge of 
mankind, the glory of heroes and conquerors. Hence there re- 
sulted a long series of wars, which exhausted the strength and 
resources of the state, and introduced a new change in its po- 
litical system. The same States which had formerly made 
common cause with France against Austria, now combined 
against the former, to humble that gigantic power which seemed 
to threaten their liberty and independence. 

[In these alliances the maritime powers voluntarily took part ; 
and, having less fear than the others of falling under the yoke 
of a universal monarchy, they joined the Confederates merely 
for the protection of their commerce — the true source of their 
influence and their wealth. They undertook the defence of the 
equilibrium system, because they perceived, that a State which 
could command the greater part of the continental coasts, might 
In many ways embarrass their commerce, and perhaps become 
dangerous to their marine. They soon acquired a very great 
influence in the affairs of this system, by the subsidies with 
which from time to time they furnished the States of the Con- 
tinent. From this period the principal aim of European policy 
was their finances and their commercial interests, in place or 
religion, which had been the grand motive or pretext for the 
preceding wars. With this new system began those abuses oi 
commercial privileges and monopolies, prohibitions, imposts, 
and many other regulations, which acted as restraints on natural 
liberty, and became the scourge of future generations. It was 
then that treaties of commerce first appeared, by which every 
trading nation endeavoured to procure advantages to itself, at 
the expense of its rivals ; and it was then that the belligerent 
powers began to lay restraints and interdicts on the commerce 
of neutral States. 

PEBIOD VH. A. D. 1648 — 1713. 6 

But the political system of Europe experienced other changes 
at this period. Standing armies were introduced, and augment- 
ed to a degree that proved ruinous both to the agriculture of the 
mhabitants, and the finances of the government, which, by thi.s 
means, was rendered more and more dependent on those States, 
whose principal object was commerce. The frequent commu- 
nication between foreign courts, which the policy of Richelieu 
had rendered necessary, gave occasion for envoys and resident 
ministers ; whereas formerly scarcely any other intercourse was 
known, except by extraordinary embassies.] 

The first war that roused the European powers, was that 
which Louis XIV. undertook against Spain, to enforce the 
claims which he advanced, in name of his Queen Maria The- 
resa, over several provinces of the Spanish Netherlands, espe- 
cially the dutchies of Brabant and Limburg, the seigniories of 
Mechlin, the marquisate of Antwerp, Upper Gueldres, the 
counties of Namur, Hainault and Artois, Cambray and Cam- 
bresis, which he alleged belonged to him, in virtue of the jus 
devolutionis, according to the usage of that country. According 
to that right, the property of goods passed to the children of the 
first marriage, when their parents contracted another. Maria 
Theresa, Queen of France, was the daughter, by the first mar- 
riage of Philip IV. King of Spain; whereas Charles II., his 
successor in that monarchy, was descended of the second mar- 
riage. Louis XIV. contended, that from the moment of Philip's 
second marriage, the property of all the countries, which were 
affected by the right of devolution, belonged to his Queen ; and 
that, after the death of her father, that Princess should enjoy 
the succession. In opposition to these claims of France, the 
Spaniards alleged, that the right of aevohdion, being founded 
merely on custom, and applicable only to particular successions, 
could not be opposed to the fundamental laws of Spain, which 
maintained the indivisibility of that monarchy, and transferred the 
whole succession to Charles II. without any partition whatever. 

In course of the campaign of 1667, the French made them- 
selves masters of several cities in the Low Countries, such as 
Bruges, Furnes, Armentieres, Charleroi, Binch, Ath, Tournay, 
Douay, Courtray, Oudenarde, and Lille ; and in course of the 
following winter, they got possession of Franche-Comte. The 
Pope and several princes having volunteered their good offices 
for the restoration of peace, they proposed a congress at Aix-la- 
Chapelle ; but the principal scene of the negotiation was at the 
Hague, where Louis sent the Count d'Estrades, to treat sepa- 
rately with the States-General. This negotiation was greatly 
accelerated by the famous Triple Alliance, concluded at the 

1 * 


Hague 1668, between Great Britain, Sweden, and the States- 
General. By the terms of this treaty, the Allied Powers re- 
quired Louis to offer Spain the option, either to leave him in 
possession of the places which he had conquered, during the 
campaign of 1667, or to cede to him either the dutchy of Lux- 
emburg, or Franche-Comte with the cities of Cambray, Douay 
Aire, St. Omer, and Furnes, with their dependencies. The 
Spaniards having accepted the former of these alternatives, the 
draught of a treaty of peace was agreed on, and signed by the 
ministers of France, England, and the States-General ; and this 
scheme served as the basis of the treaty, which was concluded 
at Aix-la-Chapelle, between France and Spain (May 2d 1668.) 
In consideration of the restitutions which she had made to Spain, 
France retained, in terms of this treaty, the towns of Charleroi, 
Binch, Ath, Douay, Tournay, Oudenarde, Lille, Armentieres, 
Courtray, Bergnes, and Furnes, with their bailiwicks and de- 

This peace was soon followed by a new war, which Louis 
XIV. undertook against the Republic of the Seven United Pro- 
vinces. Wishing to be avenged on the Dutch, whom he knew 
to be the principal authors of the Triple Alliance, and consult- 
ing only his own propensity for war, he alleged, as a pretext, 
certain insulting medals which had been struck in Holland, on 
the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, and the Triple Alliance.^ In vain 
did the States-General offer him every satisfaction ; he persist- 
ed in his purpose of declaring war ; and the better to succeed in 
his design, he endeavoured first to dissolve the Triple Alliance. 
Colbert de Croissy, whom he sent to England, found means to 
detach Charles II. from the alliance, and to draw him over to 
side with Louis against the Republic. The same success at- 
tended the negotiation which he set on foot with the Court of 
Stockholm. Following the example of England, the Swedes 
renounced the Triple Alliance, and joined with France. Seve- 
ral princes of the Empire, such as the Electoi of Cologne and 
the Bishop of Munster, adopted the same line of conduct. The 
war broke out in 1672 ; and so rapid were the conquests of 
Louis, that he subdued in one single campaign the provinces of 
Gueldres, Utrecht, Overyssel, and part of Holland. He would 
have carried the city of Amsterdam, if the Dutch had not cut 
their dikes and inundated the country. 

Alarmed at these extraordinary successes, and apprehending 
the entire subversion of the Republic, the Emperor Leopold I. 
the King of Spain, the Elector of Brandenburg, and the Impe- 
rial States, leagued in their favour, and marched to their relief. 
The Parliament of England obliged Charles II. to make peace 

PERIOD vn. A. D. 1648 — 1713. 7 

with the Republic, by refusing to grant him supplies (1674.) 
The Elector of Cologne and the Bishop of Munster did the 
bame thing. Louis XIV. then thought proper to abandon his 
fTOnquests in Holland ; and directed his principal strength against 
Spain and the Germanic Stages. He subdued Franche-Comte 
in the spring of 1674 ; and in course of the same year, the 
Prince of Conde gained the battle of Senef In the following 
winter Turenne attacked the quarters of the Imperialists in 
Alsace, and chased them from that province, in spite of their 
superior numbers. That great general was slain at Saspach in 
Ortenau when he was on the point of fighting the famous battle 
with Montecuculi (Ilth Aug. 1674.) Next year Admiral du 
Que3ne gained two naval victories, near the islands of Lipari 
and Messina, over De Ruyter, who died of the wounds he had 

The Swedes, according to the secret articles of their alliance 
with France, had penetrated, in the month of December 1674, 
mio the Electorate of Brandenburg, to cause a diversion against 
the Elector Frederic William, who commanded the Imperial 
army on the Rhine ; but the Elector surprised them by forced 
marches at Rathenow, and completely routed their army near 
Fehrbellin (1675.) The Emperor then declared war against 
Sweden ; and the Elector, in concert with the princes of Bruns- 
wick, the Bishop of Munster, and the King of Denmark, strip- 
ped the Swedes of the greater part of their possessions in the 

At length, in the years 1678-79, a peace was concluded at 
iNimeguen, under the mediation of England. Louis XIV. con- 
trived to divide the allies, and to make a separate treaty with 
the Dutch, by which he restored to them the city of Maestricht, 
which he had again seized. The example of the Dutch was fol- 
lowed by the Spaniards, who in like manner signed a special 
treaty with France ; in virtue of which, they gave up to her 
Franche-Conite, with several cities in Flanders and Hainault, 
such as Valenciennes, Bouchain, Conde, Cambray, Aire, St. 
Omer, Ypres, Warwick, Waineton, Poperingen, Bailleul, Cas- 
sel, Bavay, and Maubeuge, with their dependencies. The peace 
of Munster (1648) was renewed by that which was concluded 
at Nimeguen, between France, the Empire, and the Emperor. 
France, on renouncing her right to a garrison in Philipsburg, 
got possession of the city of Friburg in Brisgaw, but refused to 
restore what sue had wrested from the Duke of Lorraine, except 
on conditions so burdensome, that the Duke would not accept 
them and preferred to abandon the repossession of his dutchy. 
As to the peace which France and Sweden had negotiated witK 


Denmark and her allies the Princes of the Empire, it was re- 
newed by different special treaties, concluded in course of the 
vear 1679. 

No sooner was the peace of Nimeguen concluded, than there 
sprung up new troubles, known by the name of the Troubles of 
the Reunions. Louis XIV., whose ambition was without bounds, 
had instituted a Chamber of Reunion, in the parliament of Metz- 
for the purpose of examining the nature and extent of the terri- 
tories ceded to him by the treaties of Westphalia, the Pyrenees, 
Aix-ia-Chapelle, and Nimeguen. This Chamber, as well as the 
Parliament of Besan9on, and the Sovereign Council of Alsace, 
adjudged to the King, by their decree, several towns and seignio- 
ries, as being fiefs or dependencies of Alsace ; as also the three 
bishoprics, Franche-Comte, and the territories which had been 
ceded to him in the Netherlands. 

The King's views were principally directed to Alsace. He 
had already tendered his claims on this province, shortly after 
the peace of the Pyrenees, when the matter had been referred 
to the decision of arbiters chosen by the Emperor himself. The 
work of arbitration was not far advanced, when it was inter- 
rupted by the Dutch war, in which the Emperor and the Em- 
nire were both implicated. The peace of Nimeguen having 
confirmed the treaty of Munster, he preferred the method of re- 
unioji to that of arbitration, for reclaiming his alleged rights. 
Taking advantage of the general terms in which the cession of 
Alsace was announced in the seventy-third and seventy-fourth 
articles of the said treaty, he claimed the absolute sovereignty 
of the whole province, and obliged the immediate states, inclu- 
ded in it, to acknowledge his sovereignty, and to do him fealty 
and homage, notwithstanding the reservations which the eighty- 
seventh article of the same treaty had stipulated in favour of 
these very States. M. de Louvois appeared before Strasburg 
at the head of the French army, and summoned that city to sub- 
mit to the King. Accordingly, it surrendered by capitulation 
on the 30th September 1681. These reunions extended also to 
the Netherlands, where the French seized, among others, the 
cities of Courtray, Dixmude and Luxemburg. 

Louis XIV., in thus taking upon himself alone the interpre- 
tation of these treaties of peace, could not but offend the powers 
interested in maintaining them. A new general league was 
projected against France, and at the Diet of Ratisbon they de- 
liberated on the means of setting on foot an Imperial army ; but 
the want of unanimity among the members of the Germanic bo- 
d;; the troubles in Hungary, which were immediately succeed- 
eJ ^ a war with the Porte, and the march of a Turkish army 

PERIOD VII. A. D. 1648 — 1713. 9 

on Vienna, threw them into a state of consternation, and pre- 
vented the Imperial Diet from adopting any vigorous resolution. 
Spain, exhausted by protracted wars, and abandoned by Eng- 
land and Holland, was quite incapacitated from taking arms. 
Mothing else, therefore, remained for the parties concerned, than 
to have recourse to negotiation. Conferences were opened at 
Frankfort, which, after having languished for fifteen months in 
that city, were transferred to Ratisbon, where a truce of twenty 
years was signed (15th August 1684) between France and Spain; 
as also between France, the Emperor and the Empire. By the 
former of these treaties, Louis retained Luxemburg, Bo vines, 
and Chimay, with their dependencies ; restoring all the places 
Avnich he had occupied in the Netherlands prior to the 20th Au- 
gust 1683. As to the treaty between France and the Emperor, 
the former retained, during the truce, the city of Strasburg, and 
the fort of Kehl, besides all the places and seigniories which 
they had taken possession of, since the commencement of the 
troubles till the 1st of August 1681. In all the places that were 
surrendered to him, Louis preserved the exercise of his sover- 
eign rights, leaving to the proprietors or seigniors the entire en- 
joyment of the fruits and revenues belonging to their territorial 

It was nearly about this same time that Louis XIV. under- 
took to extirpate Calvinism from France. Incensed against the 
Protestants by the old chancellor Letellier, and his minister Lou- 
vois, the chancellor's son, he circumscribed, by repeated declara- 
tions, the privileges which they enjoyed in virtue of former 
edicts. The holding of general synods was forbidden ; the two 
Chambers were suppressed ; and they were all, without excep- 
tion, debarred from exercising any public function. At last, 
Louis went so far as to send, immediately after the truce of Ra- 
tisbon (1684,) dragoons over all France, to endeavour, as was 
said, to convert the Protestants by gentle compulsion. This 
measure was next followed by the famous Edict of 1685, which 
revoked that of Nantes, published in 1598, and that of Nismes 
in 1629. All exercise of their religion — all assemblies for wor- 
ship, even in the house, were forbidden to the Protestants, under 
pain of imprisonment and confiscation of goods. Their churches 
were ordered to be demolished. Parents were enjoined to have 
their children baptized by the Catholic clergy, and to bring them 
up in the religion of the state. The ministers were banished, 
and the other Protestants were forbidden to depart the country, 
under pain of the galleys for men, and imprisonment and confis- 
cation for women. The rigour of these prohibitions, however, 
did not prevent a vast multitude of the French Protestants from 


removing to foreign countries, and transferring the seat of their 

industry to Germany, England, and Holland. 

This blindfold zeal for religion, however, did not hinder Louis 
from vigorously supporting the rights of his crown against the 
encroachments of the court of Rome. Among the different dis- 
"vutes that arose between him and the Popes, that which regard- 
ed the prerogative of Regale deserves to be particularly remark- 
ed. The King, by declarations issued in 1673 and 1675, having 
extended that right to all the archbishoprics and bishoprics within 
the kingdom, the bishops of Aleth and Pamiers, who pretended 
to be exempt from it, applied to the Pope, claiming his protection. 
Innocent XI. interposed, by vehement briefs Avhich he addressed 
to the King in favour of the bishops. This induced Louis to 
convoke an assembly of the French clergy, in which, besides 
the extension of the Regalt, he caused them to draw up the four 
famous propositions, which are regarded as the basis of the li- 
berties of the Gallican Church. These propositions were, (1.) 
That the power of the Pope extends only to things spiritual, and 
has no concern with temporal matters. (2.) That the authority 
of the Pope in spiritual affairs is subordinate to a general coun- 
cil. (3.) That it is even limited by the canons, the customs, 
and constitution of the kingdom and the Gallican Church. (4.) 
That in matters of faith the Pope's authority is not infallible. 

The truce which had been concluded for twenty years at Ra- 
tisbon, continued only four ; at the end of which Louis again 
took up arms. He pretended to have got information, that the 
Emperor Leopold only waited till the conclusion of the peace 
with the Turks, to make war upon him ; and he thence inferred, 
that prudence required him rather to anticipate his enemy, than 
allow himself to be circumvented. In proof of this assertion, 
he cited the treaty concluded at Augsburg in 1686, between the 
Emperor, the King of Spain, the States-General, Sweden, the 
Duke of Savoy, and the principal States of the Empire, for the 
maintenance of the treaties concluded with France. Louis 
wished moreover to enforce the claims which the Dutchess of 
Orleans, his sister-in-law, alleged to the succession of the Pala- 
tinate. That princess was the sister of Charles, the last Elector 
Palatine, of the family of Simmern, who died in 1685. She 
did not dispute the fiefs with her brother's successor in the 
Electorate ; she claimed the freeholds, which comprehended a 
considerable part of the Palatinate ; while the new Elector, 
Philip William, of the family of Neuburg, maintained that, ac- 
cording to the laws and usages of Germany, the entire succes- 
sion belonged to him, without any partition whatever. 

Besides these motives which Louis XIV. set forth in a long 

PERIOD vn. A. D. 164S— 1713. 11 

manifesto, there was another which he kept concealed, the ob- 
ject of which was, to prevent the expedition which the Prince 
of Orange. Stadtholder of the United Provinces, was preparing 
to send to England, against James II. his brother-in-law, who 
had become odious to the whole English nation. It was of great 
importance for France to maintain, on the throne of Great Bri- 
tain, a prince whom she protected, and who would always es- 
pouse her interests ; while it was easy to foresee, that if the 
Prince of Orange, the declared enemy of Louis, and the author 
of the league of Augsburg, should succeed in uniting the crown 
of England to the stadtholdership, he would not fail to employ 
this new influence, and turn the combined force of both states 
against France. The only method of preventing an event so 
prejudicial to the true interests of that kingdom would have been 
doubtless, to equip an expedition, and pitch his camp on the 
frontiers of Holland. The Court of France knew this well, and 
vet they contented themselves with sending an army to the 
khine, which took possession of Philipsburg, Mayence, and the 
whole Palatinate, as well as a part of the Electorate of Treves 
(Sept. and Oct. 1688.) Louvois, the French minister who di- 
rected these operations, had flattered himself that the Dutch, 
when they beheld the war breaking out in their vicinity, would 
not dare to take any part in the troubles of England. In this 
opinion he was deceived ; the Prince of Orange, supported by the 
Dutch fleet, effected a landing in England (16th November 1688.) 
The revolution there was soon completed, by the dethronement 
of James II. ; and Louis XIV., ending where he should have 
begun, then declared war against the States-General. This 
mistaken policy of the French minister became the true source of 
all the subsequent reverses that eclipsed the reign of Louis XIV. 
A powerful league was nov/ formed against France, which 
was joined successively by the Emperor, the Empire, England, 
Holland, Spain and Savoy (1689.) Louis XIV., in order to 
make head against these formidable enemies, recalled his troops 
from those places which they occupied in the Palatinate, and on 
the banks of the Rhine ; but in withdrawing them, he ordered 
a great number of the towns to be burnt to ashes, and laid waste 
the whole country. By this barbarity, which circumstances by 
no means called for, he only aggravated the hatred and increased 
the ardour of his enemies. War was commenced by sea and 
land ; in Italy, Spain, Ireland, the Low Countries, and on the 
Rhine. Louis supported it nobly against a great part of Europe, 
now combined against him. His armies were victorious every 
where. Marshal Luxembourg signalized himself in the cam- 
paigns of Flanders, by the victories which he gained over the 


allies at Fleurus (1st July 1690,) Steinkirk (3d Aug. 1692,) and 
Landen or Nerwinden (29th July 1693.) In Italy. Marshal Ca- 
tinat gained the battle of Stafarda (18th Aug. 1690,) and Mar- 
saglia (4th Oct. 1693) over the Duke of Savoy. The naval 
glory of France was well supported by the Count de TourviUe 
at the battles of Beachy-head (10th July 1690,) and La Hogue 
(29th May 1692.) 

However brilliant the success of her arms might be, the pro- 
digious efforts which the war required could not but exhaust 
France, and make her anxious for the return of peace. Besides, 
Louis XIV. foresaw the approaching death of Charles 11. of 
Spain ; and it was of importance for him to break the grand 
alliance as soon as possible ; as one of its articles secured the 
succession of the Spanish monarchy to the Emperor and his 
descendants, to the exclusion of the King of France. In this 
case, he wished, for his own interest, to give every facility for 
the restoration of peace ; and by the treaty which he concluded 
separately with the Duke of Savoy, he granted that Prince, be- 
sides the fortress of Pignerol, and the marriage of his daughter 
with the Duke of Burgundy, the privilege of royal honours for 
his ambassadors. This treaty, concluded at Turin (29th Aug. 
1696,) was a preliminary to the general peace, signed at Rys- 
wick, between France, Spain, England, and Holland (20th Sept. 
1697.) Each of the contracting parties consented to make 
mutual restitutions. France even restored to Spain all the towns 
and territories which she had occupied in the Low Countries, 
by means of the reunions ; with the exception of eighty-two 
places, mentioned in a particular list, as being dependencies of 
Charlemont, Maubeuge, and other places ceded by the preceding 
treaties. Peace between France, the Emperor, and the Empire 
was also signed at Rysmck. The treaties of Westphalia and 
Nimeguen were there renewed ; and the decrees of the Cham- 
ber of Reunion at Metz, and of the Sovereign Courts at Besan- 
9on and Brisach, were rescinded and annulled. Louis XIV. 
engaged to restore to the Empire all that he had appropriated to 
himself, by means of the reunions, either before or during the 
war ; that is to say, all places situated or acquired beyond the 
bounds of Alsace. The city of Strasburg was ceded to France, 
by a particular article of the treaty ; but the fortress of Kehl, the 
cities of Friburg, Brisach, and Philipsburg, were surrendered to 
the Emperor. Leopold, Duke of Lorraine, and son of Charles 
v., was reinstated in his dutchy, without any other reservation 
than that of Saar-Louis, and the city and prefecture of Longwy . 
As to the claims of the Dutchess of Orleans on the Palatinate 
they were submitted to the arbitration of the Emperor and the 

PERIOD vn. A. D. 1648—1713. 13 

King of France ; to be referred to the decision of the Pope, 
should these two Sovereigns happen to differ in opinion. 

The peace of Ryswick was followed by the war of the Spanish 
Succession, which embroiled Europe afresh, and occasioned 
considerable changes in its political state. Charles II. King of 
Spain, son of Philip IV., and last male descendant of the Spanish 
branch of the House of Austria, having neither son, nor daughter, 
nor brother, the Spanish monarchy, according to a fundamental 
law of the kingdom, which fixed the succession in the cognate 
line, appeared to belong to Maria Theresa, Queen of France 
eldest sister of Charles, and to the children of her marriage with 
Louis XIV. To this title of Maria Theresa, was opposed her 
express renunciation, inserted in her marriage-contract, and con- 
firmed by the peace of the Pyrenees ; but the French maintained, 
that that renunciation was null, and that it could not prejudice 
the children of the Queen, who held their right, not from their 
mother, but by the fundamental law of Spain. 

Admitting the validity of the Queen's renunciation, the lineal 
order fixed the Spanish succession on her younger sister, Mar- 
garet Theresa, who had married the Emperor Leopold I., and 
left an only daughter, Maria Antoinette, spouse to the Elector 
of Bavaria, and mother of Joseph Ferdinand, the Electoral 
Prince of Bavaria. 

The Emperor, who wished to prese-rve the Spanish monarchy 
m his own family, availed himself of the renunciation which he 
had exacted from his daughter, the Archdutchess Maria Antoi- 
nette, when she married Maximilian, the Elector of Bavaria, to 
appear as a candidate himself, and advance the claims of his 
mother, Maria Anne, daughter of Philip III. King of Spain, and 
aunt of Charles II. He alleged, that the Spanish succession 
had been secured to this latter Princess, both by her marriage- 
contract, and by the testaments of the Kings of Spain ; and as 
he had two sons, the Archdukes Joseph and Charles, by his 
marriage with the Princess Palatine of Neuburg, he destined 
the elder for the Imperial throne and the States of Austria, and 
the younger for the Spanish monarchy. 

These different claims having excited apprehensions of a ge- 
neral war, England and Holland, from a desire to prevent it, 
drew up a treaty of partition, in concert with Louis XIV. (11th 
Oct. 1698,) in virtue of which the Spanish monarchy was se- 
cured to Joseph Ferdinand, in case of the death of Charles II. ; 
while the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, with the ports of Tusca- 
ny, the marquisate of Finale, and the province of Guipuscoa, 
were reserved to the Dauphin of France. The Archduke 
Charles, son to the Emperor, was to have the dutchy of Milan. 

VOL. II. 9 


Although the King of Spain disapproved of the treaty, so far as 
ft admitted a partition, nevertheless, in his will, he recognised 
the Prince of Bavaria as his successor in the Spanish monarchy. 

A premature death having frustrated all the high expectations 
of that prince, the powers who had concluded the first treaty of 
partition drew up a second, which was signed at London (March 
13, 1700.) According to this, the Archduke Charles, youngest 
son of the Emperor Leopold, was destined the presumptive heir 
to the Spanish monarchy. They awarded to the Dauphin the 
dutchy of Lorraine, with the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and 
the province of Guipuscoa ; assigning to the Duke of Lorraine 
the dutchy of Milan in exchange. Louis XIV. used every effort 
to have this new treaty of partition approved by the Court of 
Vienna. He sent thither the Marquis Villars, who, after having 
been long amused with vague promises, failed entirely in his 
negotiation ; and the Emperor, whose main object was to con- 
ciliate the Court of Madrid, lost the only favourable moment 
which might have fixed the succession of the Spanish monarchy 
in his family, w^ith the consent of Louis XIV. and the principal 
Courts of Europe. 

At Madrid, this affair took a turn diametrically opposite to 
the views and interests of the Court of Vienna. Charles II., 
following the counsels of his prime minister. Cardinal Porto- 
carrero, and after having taken the advice of the Pope, and of 
the most eminent theologians and lawyers in his kingdom, de- 
termined to make a second will, in which he recognised the 
rights of Maria Theresa, his eldest sister ; and declared, that as 
the renunciation of that princess had been made solely to pre- 
vent the union of Spain with the kingdom of France, that mo- 
tive ceased on transferring the Spanish monarchy to one of the 
younger sons of the Dauphin. Accordingly, he nominated Phi- 
lip of Anjou, the Dauphin's second son, heir to his whole do- 
minions ; in case of his death, the Duke of Berri, his younger 
brother ; next, the Archduke Charles ; and lastly, the Duke of 
Savoy ; expressly forbidding all partition of the monarchy. 

Charles II. having died on the 1st of November following, 
the Junta, or Council of Regency, which he had appointed by 
his will, sent to Louis XIV., praying him to accede to the set- 
tlement of their late King, and give up his grandson to the 
wishes of the Spanish nation. The same courier had orders to 
pass on to Vienna, in case of a refusal on his part, and make 
the same offer to the Archduke. The Court of France then 
assembled a Grand Council, in which they held a deliberation 
as to what step it was best to adopt, in an affair which so nearly 
oncerned the general repose of Europe. The result of this 

PERIOD VII. A. D. 1648 — 1713. 16 

I'ouncil was, that they ought to accpde to the will of Charles 
II.. and renounce the advantages which the second treaty of 
partition held out to France. It was alleged, as the reason of 
tliis resolution, that by refusing to accept the will, Louis must 
either abandon altogether his pretensions to the Spanish mo- 
aarchy, or undertake an expensive war to obtain by conquest 
what the treaty of partition assigned him ; without being able, 
in this latter case, to reckon on the effectual co-operation of the 
two maritime courts. 

Louis XIV. having therefore resolved to accede to the will, 
Philip of Anjou was proclaimed King by the Spaniards, and 
made his solemn entry into Madrid on the 14th of April 1701. 
Most of the European powers, such as the States of Italy, Swe- 
den, England, Holland, and the kingdoms of the North, ac- 
knowledged Philip V. ; the King of Portugal, and the Duke of 
Savoy even concluded treaties of alliance with him. More- 
over, the situation of political affairs in Germany, Hungary, and 
the North was such, that it would have been easy for Louif, 
XIV., with prudent management, to preserve the Spanish crown 
on the head of his grandson ; but he seemed, as if on purpose, 
to do every thing to raise all Europe against him. It was al-* 
leged, that he aimed at the chimerical project of universal mo- 
narchy, and the union of France with Spain. Instead of trying 
to do away this supposition, he gave it additional force, by 
issuing letters-patent in favour of Philip, at the moment when 
he was departing for Spain, to the effect of preserving his rights 
to the throne of France. The Dutch dreaded nothing so much 
as to see the French making encroachments on the Spanish 
Netherlands, which they regarded as their natural barrier a- 
gainst France ; the preservation of which appeared to be equally 
interesting to England. 

It would have been prudent in Louis XIV. to give these ma- 
ritime powers some security on this point, who, since the eleva- 
tion of William Prince of Orange to the crown of Great Britain, 
held as it were in their hands the balance of Europe. Without 
being swayed by this consideration, he obtained authority from 
the Council of Madrid, to introduce a French army into the Spa- 
nish Netherlands ; and on this occasion the Dutch troops, who 
were quartered in various places of the Netherlands, according 
vO a stipulation with the late King of Spain, were disarmed. This 
circumstance became a powerful motive for King William to 
rouse the States-General against France. He found some diffi- 
culty, however, in drawing over the British Parliament to his 
views, as a great majority in that House were averse to mingle 
n\ the quarrels of the Continent; but the death of James II. a' 

16 CHAPTER Vni. 

tered the minds and inclinations of the English. Louis XIV. 
having formerly acknowledged the son of that prince as King of 
Great Britain, the English Parliament had no longer any hesi- 
tation in joining the Dutch, and the other enemies of France. 
A new and powerful league was formed against Louis. The 
Emperor, England, the United Provinces, the Empire, the 
Kings of Portugal and Prussia, and the Duke of Savoy, all 
joined it in succession. The allies engaged to restore to Aus- 
tria, the Spanish Netherlands, the dutchy of Milan, the king- 
dom of the Two Sicilies, with the ports of Tuscany ; and neven 
to permit the union of France with Spain. 

At the commencement of the war, Louis for some time main- 
tained the glory and superiority of his arms, notwithstanding 
the vast number of adversaries he had to oppose. It was not 
until the campaign of 1704 that fortune abandoned him ; when 
one reverse was only succeeded by another. The Duke of 
Marlborough and Prince Eugene defeated Marshal de Tallard at 
Hochstett or Blenheim, (Aug. 13,) Avhere he lost thirty thousand 
men, and was himself carried prisoner to England. This disas- 
ter was followed by the loss of Bavaria, and all the French pos- 
sessions beyond the Rhine. The battle which Marlborough 
gained (May 23, 1706) at Ramillies in Brabant was not less dis- 
astrous ; it secured to the allies the conquest of the greater 
part of the Netherlands ; and to increase these misfortunes, 
Marshal de Marsin lost the famous battle of Turin against 
Prince Eugene (Sept. 7,) which obliged the French troops to 
evacuate Italy. The battle which was fought at Oudenarde in 
Flanders (July 11, 1708) was not so decisive. Both sides 
fought with equal advantage ; but the duke of Burgundy, who 
was commander-in-chief of the French army, having quitted 
the field of battle during the night, contrary to the advice of 
Vendome, Marlborough made this an occasion for claiming the 

At length the dreadful winter of 1709, and the battle of 
Malplaquet, which Marlborough gained over Villars (Sept. 11,) 
reduced France to the greatest distress, and brought Louis un- 
der the necessity of suing for peace, and even descending to 
the most humiliating conditions. M. de Torcy, his minister for 
foreign affairs, was despatched to the Hague ; and, among a 
number of preliminary articles, he agreed to make restitution of 
all the conquests which the French had made since the peace of 
Munster. He consented to surrender the city of Strasburg, and 
henceforth to possess Alsace according to the literal terms of 
the treaty of Munster ; the throne of Spain was reserved for 
the archduke ; and Louis consented to abandon the interests of 

PERIOD Vll. A. D. 1648 — 1713. 17 

Philip. But the allies, rendered haughty by their success, de- 
manded of the King that he should oblige his grandson volun- 
tarily to surrender his crown, otherwise they would compel him 
by force of arms, and that within the short space of two months. 
The conferences, which had been transferred from the Hague 
to Gertruydenberg, were consequently broken off, and the war 

In this critical state of things, two unexpected events happened, 
which changed the face of affairs; and Louis XIV., far from 
being constrained to submit to the articles of the preliminaries 
at Gertruydenberg, saw himself even courted by England, and 
in a condition to dictate the law to several of the powers that 
were leagued against him. The Emperor Joseph I. died (April 
11th 1711) without leaving any male offspring. His brother the 
Archduke Charles, who took the title of King of Spain, now 
obtained the Imperial dignity, and became heir of all the States 
belonging to the German branch of the House of Austria. It 
appeared, therefore, that the system of equilibrium could not 
possibly admit the same prince to engross likewise the whole 
Spanish monarchy. This event was coupled with another, rela- 
tive to the change which had taken place in the ministry and 
Parliament of Great Britain. The Whigs, who had been the 
ruling party since the Revolution of 1689, were suddenly sup- 
planted by the Tories. This overthrow brought the Duke of 
Marlborough into disgrace, who had long stood at the head of 
affairs in England, as chief of the Whig faction. Queen Anne, 
who stood in awe of him, found no other expedient for deprivino- 
him of his influence, than to make peace with France. L'Abbe 
Gualtier, who resided at London in quality of almoner to the 
ambassador of Charles of Austria, was despatched by her Ma- 
jesty to France, to make the first overtures of peace to Louis. A 
secret negotiation was set on foot between the two Courts, the 
result of which was a preliminary treaty signed at London 
(October 8th 1711.) 

A congress was opened at Utrecht, with the view of a general 
pacification. The conferences which took place there, after the 
month of February 1712, met with long interruptions; both on 
account of the disinclination of several of the allied powers for 
peace, and because of the matters to be separately treated be- 
tween France and England, which retarded the progress of the 
general negotiation. The battle of Denain, which Marshal Vil- 
la rs gained over the Earl of Albemarle (July 24,) helped to ren- 
der the allies more tractable. Peace was signed at Utrecht in 
the month of April 1713, between France and the chief bellige- 
rent powers. The Emperor alone refused to take part in it, as 


18 CHAPTER Vra. 

he could not resolve to abandon his claims to the Spanish 

The grand aim of England in that transaction, was to limit 
the overwhelming power of France ; for this purpose she took 
care, in that treaty, to establish as a fundamental and inviolable 
iaw, the clause which ordained that the kingdoms of France and 
Spain never should be united. To effect this, it was necessary 
that Philip of Anjou should formally renounce his right to the 
crown of France ; while his brother the Duke de Berri, as well 
as the Duke of Orleans, should do the same in regard to the 
claims which they might advance to the Spanish monarchy. 
The deeds of these renunciations, drawn up and signed in 
France and in Spain, in presence of the English ambassadors, 
were inserted, in the treaty of Utrecht ; as were also the letters- 
patent which revoked and annulled those that Louis had given, 
for preserving the right of the Duke of Anjou to the succession 
of the French crown. Louis XIV. promised for himself, his 
heirs and successors, never to attempt either to prevent or elude 
the effect of these renunciations ; and failing the descendants 
of Philip, the Spanish succession was secured to the Duke 
of Savoy, his male descendants, and the other princes of his 
family, to the exclusion of the French princes. 

Another fundamental clause of the treaty of Utrecht declared, 
that no province, city, fortress or place, in the Spanish Nether- 
lands, should ever be ceded, transferred, or granted to the crown 
of France ; nor to any prince or princess of French extraction, 
under any title whatever. These provinces, designed to serve 
as a barrier for the Low Countries against France, were ad- 
judged to the Emperor and the House of Austria, together with 
the kingdom of Naples, the ports of Tuscany, and the dutchy of 
Milan ; and as tlie Emperor was not a party to the treaty, it was 
agreed that the Spanish Netherlands should remain as a deposit 
in the hands of the States-General, until that prince should ar- 
range with them, respecting the barrier-towns. The same stipu- 
lation was made in regard to that part of the French Nether- 
lands which Louis had ceded in favour of the Emperor ; such 
as Menin, Tournay, Furnes, and Furnes-Ambacht, the fortress 
of Kenock, Ypres, and their dependencies. 

England, in particular, obtained by this treaty various and 
considerable advantages. Louis XIV. withdrew his protection 
from the Pretender, and engaged never to give him harbour in 
France. The succession to the throne of Great Britain, was 
guaranteed to the House of Hanover. They agreed to raze the 
fortifications of the port of Dunkirk, which had so much excited 
the jealousy of England ; while France likewise ceded to hei 

PERIOD VII. A. D. 1648—1713. 19 

Hudson's Bay, and Straits, the Island of St. Christopher, Nova 
Scotia, and Newfoundland in America. Spain gave up Gib- 
raltar and Minorca, both of which had been conquered by the 
English during the war; they secured to her, besides, for thirty 
years, the privilege of furnishing negroes for the Spanish Ameri- 
:an colonies. 

The King of Prussia obtained the Spanish part of Gueldres, 
with the city of that name, and the district of Kessel, in lieu of 
the principality of Orange, which was given to France ; though 
he had claims to it as the heir of William III. King of England. 
The kingdom of Sicily was adjudged to the Duke of Savoy, to 
be possessed by him and his male descendants ; and they con- 
firmed to him the grants which the Emperor had made him, of 
that part of the dutchy of Milan w^hich had belonged to the Duke 
of Mantua, as also Alexandria, Valencia, the Lumelline, and the 
Valley of Sessia. Finally, Sardinia was reserved for the Elec- 
tor of Bavaria, the ally of France in that war. 

As the Emperor had not acceded to the treaty of Utrecht, the 
war was continued between him and France. Marshal Villars 
took Landau and Friburg in Brisgaw ; afterwards a conference 
took place between him and Prince Eugene at Rastadt. New 
preliminaries were there drawn up ; and a congress was opened 
at Baden in Swit/^erland, where a definitive peace was signed 
(Sept. 7th 1714.) The former treaties, since the peace of West- 
phalia, were there renewed. The Electors of Cologne and Ba- 
varia, who had been put to the ban of the Empire, and deprived 
of their estates, were there fully re-established. Sardinia, which 
had been assigned to the Elector of Bavaria, by the treaty of 
Utrecht, remained in possession of the Emperor, who likewise 
recovered Brisach and Friburg in Brisgaw, instead of Landau 
which had been ceded to France. 

Louis XIV. did not long survive this latter treaty. Never 
did any sovereign patronize literature and the fine arts like him. 
Many celebrated academies for the promotion of the arts and 
sciences owe their origin to his auspices, such as the Academy 
of Inscriptions, Belles-Lettres, Sciences, Painting, and Archi- 
tecture. His reign was illustrious for eminent men, and talents 
of every description, which were honoured and encouraged by 
him. He even extended his favour to the philosophers and lit- 
erati of foreign countries. This prince has been reproached for 
his two great partiality to the Jesuits, his confessors, and for 
the high importance which he attached to the dispute between 
the Jansenists and the Molinists, which gave rise to the famous 
Bull U7iigenUus, '^ approved by the clergy, and published by the 
King as a law of the state over all France. This illustrious 

20 CHAPTER vra. 

Pnnce ended his days after a reign of seventy-two years, fertile 
in great events ; he transmitted the crown to his great grand- 
son, Louis XV., who was only five years of age when he mount- 
ed the throne (Sept. 1, 1714.) 

In the course of this period, several memorable events hap- 
pened in Germany. The Emperor, Leopold L, having assem- 
bled a Diet at Ratisbon, to demand subsidies against the Turks, 
and to settle certain matters which the preceding Diet had left 
undecided, the sittings of that assembly were continued to the 
present time, without ever having been declared permanent by 
any formal law of the Empire. The peace of Westphalia, had 
instituted an eighth Electorate for the Palatine branch of Wit- 
tlesbach ; the Emperor, Leopold L, erected a ninth, in favour of 
the younger branch of the House of Brunswick. The first Elec- 
tor of this family, known by the name of Brunswick-Luneburg, 
or Hanover, was the Duke Ernest Augustus, whom the Em- 
peror invested in his new dignity, to descend to his heirs-male, 
on account of his engaging to furnish Austria with supplies in 
money and troops, for carrying on the war against the Turks, 
This innovation met with decided opposition in the Empire. 
Several of the Electors were hostile to it ; and the whole body 
of Princes declared, that the new Electorate was prejudicial to 
their dignity, and tended to introduce an Electoral Oligarchy. 
The Duke of BrunsAvick-Wolffenbuttel especially protested 
against the preference which was given to the younger branch 
of his House over the elder, in spite of family compacts, and the 
right of primogeniture established in the House of Brunswick. 

A confederacy Avas thus formed against the ninth Electorate. 
The allied Princes resolved, in an assembly held at Nuremberg, 
to raise an army, and apply to the powers that had guaranteed 
the treaty of Westphalia. France espoused the quarrel of these 
Princes ; she concluded with the King of Denmark, a treaty of 
alliance and subsidy against the ninth Electorate, and declared, 
before the Diet of the Empire, that she regarded this innovation 
as a blow aimed at the treaty of Westphalia. In course o1^ time, 
however, these animosities were allayed. The Princes recog- 
nised the ninth Electorate, and the introduction of the new 
Elector took place in 1708. A decree Avas passed at the Diet^ 
which annexed a clause to his admission, that the Catholic Elec- 
tors should have the privilege of a casting vote, in cases where 
the number of Protestant Electors should happen to equal that 
of the Catholics. By the same decree, the King of Bohemia, 
who had formerly never been admitted but at the election of the 
Emperors, obtained a voice in all the deliberations of the E npir& 
and the Electoral College, on condition of his paying, in ♦lime 
comuig. an Electoral quota for the kingdom of Bohemia. 

PERIOD VII. A. D. 1648—1713. 21 

The Imperial capitulations assumed a form entirely new, about 
the beginning of the eighteenth century. A difierence had for- 
merly existed among the members of the Germanic body on this 
important article of public law. They regarded it as a thing 
illegal, that the Electors alone should claim the right of drawing 
up the capitulations ; and they maintained, with much reason, 
that before these compacts should have the force of a fundamen- 
tal law of the Empire, it was necessary that they should have 
the deliberation and consent of the whole Diet. The Princes, 
therefore, .demanded, that there should be laid before the Diet a 
scheme of perpetual capitulation, to serve as a rule for the Elec- 
tors on every new election. That question had already been 
debated at the Congress of Westphalia, and sent back by it for 
the decision of the Diet. There it became the subject of long 
discussion ; and it was not till the interregnum, which followed 
the death of the Emperor Joseph I., that the principal points of 
the perpetual capitulation were finally settled. The plan then 
agreed to was adopted as the basis of the capitulation, which they 
prescribed to Charles VI. and his successors. Among other 
articles, a clause was inserted regarding the election of a king of 
the Romans. This, it was agreed, should never take place 
during the Emperor's life, except in a case of urgent necessity ; 
md that th"! proscription of an elector, prince, or state of the 
Empire, should never take place, without the consent of the 
)iet, and observing the formalities enjoined by the new capi- 

Three Electoral families of the Empire were raised to the 
Dyal dignity ; viz. those of Saxony, Brandenburg, and Bruns- 
/ick-Luneburg. Augustus II., Elector of Saxony, after hav- 
ng made a profession of the Catholic religion, was elected to 
he throne of Poland ; a dignity which was afterwards conferred, 
tlso by election, on his son Augustus III. That change of re- 
igion did not prevent the Electors of Saxony from remaining 
It the head of the Protestant interest in the Diet of the Em- 
pire, as they had given them assurance that they would make 
no innovations in the religion of their country, and that they 
would appoint a council entirely composed of Protestant mem- 
bers, for administering the affairs of the Empire. These prin- 
ces, however, lost part of their influence ; and so far was the 
crown of Poland, which was purely elective, from augmentino- 
the greatness and real power of their house, that, on the con- 
trary, it served to exhaust and enfeeble Saxony, by involving it 
in ruinous wars, which ended in the desolation of that fine 
country, the alienation of the Electoral domains, and the increase 
wf the debts and burdens of the state. 


If the royal dignity of Poland was prejudicial to the House 
of Saxony, it was by no means so with that of Prussia, which 
.he House of Brandenburg acquired soon after. The Elector, 
John Sigismund, on succeeding to the diitchy of Prussia, had 
acknowledged himself a vassal and tributary of the crown of 
Poland. His grandson, Frederic William, took advantage of 
the turbulent situation in which Poland was placed at the time 
of the invasion of Charles X. of Sweden, to obtain a grant of 
the sovereignty of Prussia, by a treaty which he concluded with 
that Republic at Welau (19th September 1657.) Poland, in re- 
nouncing the territorial rights which she exercised over Ducal 
Prussia, stipulated for the reversion of these same rights, on the 
extinction of the male line of the Electoral House of Brandenburg. 

Frederic I., the son and successor of Frederic William, having 
become sovereign of Ducal Prussia, thought himself authorized 
to assume the royal dignity. The elevation of his cousin-ger- 
man, the Prince of Orange, to the throne of Britain, and of his 
next neighbour, the Elector of Saxony, to the sovereignty of 
Poland, tempted his ambition, and induced him to enter into a 
negotiation on the subject with the Court of Vienna. The Em- 
peror Leopold promised to acknowledg-e him as King of Prussia, 
on account of a supply of ten thousand men which Frederic pro- 
mised to furnish him in the war of the Spanish Succession, 
which was then commencing. To remove all apprehensions on 
the part of Poland, who might perhaps offer some opposition, 
the Elector signed a compact, bearing, that the royal dignity of 
Prussia should in no way prejudice the rights and possession ot 
the King and States of Poland over Polish Prussia ; that neither 
he nor his successors should attempt to found claims on that part 
of Prussia ; and that the clause in the treaty of Welau, which 
secured the reversion of the territorial right of Ducal Prussia, 
on the extinction of the heirs-male of Frederic William, should 
remain in full force and vigour, never to be infringed by the new 
King or any of his successors. After these different conventions, 
the Elector repaired to Koningsberg, where he was proclaimed 
King of Prussia (18th January 1701.) It is worthy of remark, 
that on the ceremony of his coronation, he put the crown on his 
own head. 

All the European powers acknowledged the new King, with 
the exception of Finance and Spain, with whom he soon engaged 
in war. The Teutonic Knights, bearing in mind their ancient 
claims over Prussia, deemed it their duty to support them by a 
protest, and their example was followed by the Court of Rome. 
The opinion which the author of the Memoirs of Brandenburg 
delivers on this event is very remarkable. " Frederic," says he 

PERIOD vn. A. D. 1648 — 1713. 23 

** was flattered with nothing so much, as the externals of royalty, 
the pomp of ostentation, and a certain whimsical selfn-onceit, 
which was pleased with making others feel their inferiority. 
What at first was the mere offspring of vanity, turned out in the 
end to be a masterpiece of policy. The royal dignity liberated 
the House of Brandenburg from that yoke of servitude under 
which Austria had, till then, held all the Princes of Germany, 
It was a kind of bait which Frederic held out to all his posterity, 
and by which he seemed to say, I have acquired for you a title, 
render yourselves worthy of it; I have laid the foundation of 
your greatness, yours is the task of completing the structure." 
in fact Austria, by promoting the House of Brandenburg, seemed 
10 have injured her own greatness. In the very bosom of the 
Empire, she raised up a new power, which afterwards became 
Iier rival, and seized every opportunity of aggrandizement at her 

As for the Electoral House of Brunswick-Luneburg, it suc- 
ceeded, as we have observed, to the throne of Great Britain, in 
virtue of a fundamental law of that monarchy, which admitted 
females to the succession of the crown. Ernest Augustus, the 
tirst Elector of the Hanoverian line, had married Sophia, 
daughter of the Elector Palatine Frederic V., by the Princess 
Elizabeth of England, daughter of James I., King of Great 
Britain. An act of the British Parliament in 1701, extended 
the succession to that Princess, then Electress-Dowager of Han- 
over, and to her descendants, as being nearest heirs to the throne, 
according to the order established by former acts of Parliament, .- 
limiting the succession to Princes and Princesses of the Protes- 
tant line only. The Electress Sophia, by that act, was called to 
the succession, in case William III., and Anne, the youngest 
daughter of James II., left no issue ; an event which took place 
in 1714, on the death of Anne, who had succeeded William in 
the kingdom of Great Britain. The Electress Sophia was not 
alive at that time, having died two months before that princess. 
George, Elector of Hanover, and son of Sophia by Ernest Au- 
gustus, then ascended the British throne (Aug. 12, 1714,) to the 
exclusion of all the other descendants of Elizabeth, who, though 
they had the right of precedence, were excluded by being Catho- 
lics, in virtue of the Acts of Parliament 1689, 1701, 1705. 

The war of the Spanish Succession had occasioned great 
changes in Italy. Spain, after having been long the leading 
power in that country, gave place to Austria, to whom the trea- 
ties of Utrecht and Baden had adjudged the dutchy of Milan, 
the kingdoms of Naples and Sardinia, and the ports of Tuscany. 
To these she added the dutchy of Mantua, of which the Empe- 

84 CHAPTER vin. 

ror Joseph I. had dispossessed Duke Charles IV. of the House 
of Gonzaga, for having espoused the cause of France in the 
War of the Succession. The Duke of Mirandola met with a 
similar fate, as the ally of the French in that war. His dutchy 
was confiscated by the Emperor, and sold to the Duke of Modena. 
This new aggrandizement of Austria in Italy excited the jea- 
lousy of England, lest the princes of that house should take oc- 
casion to revive their obsolete claims to the royalty of Italy and 
the Imperial dignity ; and it was this which induced the Court 
of London to favour the elevation of the Dukes of Savoy, in 
order to counterbalance the power of Austria in Italy. 

The origin of the House of Savoy is as old as the beginning 
of the eleventh century, when we find a person named Berthold 
in possession of Savoy, at that time a province of the kingdom 
of Burgundy or Aries. The grandson of Berthold married 
Adelaide de Suza, daughter and heiress of Mainfroi, Marquis 
of Italy and Lord of Suza. This marriage brought the House 
of Savoy considerable possessions in Italy, such as the Marqui- 
sate of Suza, the Dutchy of Turin, Piedmont, and Val d'Aoste 
Humbert II. Count of Savoy, conquered the province of Tarcn- 
tum. Thomas, one of his successors, acquired by marriage the 
barony of Faucigny. Amadeus V. was invested by the Empe- 
ror Henry VII. in the city and county of Asli. Amadeus Vll. 
received the voluntary submission of the inhabitants of Nice, 
which he had dismembered from Provence, together with the 
counties of Tenda and Boglio ; having taken advantage of the 
intestine dissensions in that country, and the conflict between 
the factions of Duras and Anjou, who disputed the succession 
of Naples and the county of Provence. Amadeus VIII. pur- 
chased from Otho de Villars the county of Geneva, and was 
created, by the Emperor Sigismund, first Duke of Savoy (Feb. 
19, 1416.) 

The rivalry which had subsisted between France and Austria 
since the end of the fifteenth century, placed the House of Savoy 
in a situation extremely difficult. Involved in the wars which 
had arisen between these two powers in Italy, it became of ne- 
cessity more than once the victim of political circumstances. 
Duke Charles III. having allied himself with Charles V., was 
deprived of his estates by France ; and his son Philibert, noted 
for his exploits in the campaigns of Flanders, did not obtain re- 
stitution of them until the peace of Chateau Cambresis. The 
Dukes Charles Emanuel II., and Victor Amadeus II., experi- 
enced similar indignities, in the wars which agitated France 
and Spain during the seventeeth century, and which were ter- 
minated by the treaties of the Pyrenees and Turin in the years 

PERIOD VII. A. D. 1648—1713. 29 

1659, 1696. In the war of the Spanish Succession, Victor 
Amadeus II. declared at first for his son-in-law, Philip King of 
Spain, even taking upon himself the chief command of the 
French army in Italy ; but afterwards, perceiving the danger of 
his situation, and seduced by the advantageous offers which the 
Emperor made him, he thought proper to alter his plan, and 
joined the grand alliance against France. Savoy and Piedmont 
again became the theatre of the war between France and Italy. 
The French having undertaken the siege of Turin, the Duke 
and Prince Eugene forced their'army in its entrenchments be- 
fore the place, and obliged them to abandon Italy. The Empe- 
ror granted the Duke the investiture of the different estates 
which he had secured to him, on his accession to the grand 
alliance ; such as Montferrat, the provinces of Alexandria and 
Valencia, the country between the Tanaro and the Po, the Lu- 
melline, Val Sessia, and the Vigevanesco ; to be possessed by 
him and his male descendants, as fiefs holding of the Emperor 
and the Empire. 

The peace of Utrecht confirmed these possessions to the Duke ; 
and England, the better to secure the equilibrium of Italy and 
Europe, granted him, by that treaty, the royal dignity, with the 
island of Sicily, which she had taken from Spain. That island 
was ceded to him under the express clause, that, on the extinc- 
tion of the male line of Savoy, that kingdom should revert to 
Spain. By the same treaty they secured to the male descen- 
dants of that house, the right of succession to the Spanish mon- 
archy; and that clause was confirmed by a solemn law passed 
in the Cortes of Spain, and by subsequent treaties concluded be- 
tween these powers and Europe. The duke was crowned King 
of Sicily at Palermo (Dec. 21, 1713,) by the archbishop of that 
city ; and the only persons who refused to acknowledge him in 
that new capacity were the Emperor and the Pope. 

In proportion as France increased, Spain had declined in 
power, in conseqvience of the vices of her government, the fee- 
bleness of her princes, and the want of qualifications in their 
ministers and favourites. At length, under the reign of Charlea 
II., the weakness of that monarchy was such, that France de 
spoiled her with impunity, as appears by those cessions she was 
obliged to make by the treaties of Aix-la-Chapelle, Nimeguen, 
and Ryswick. Charles II. was the last prince of the Spanish 
line of the house of Austria. At his death (Nov. 1700,) a long 
and bloody war ensued about the succession, as we have already 
related. Two competitors appeared for the crown. Philip nf 
Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV., had on his side the will of 
Charles II., the efforts of his grandfather, and the wishes of thi^ 

vor,. TJ. ^ 

26 CHAPTER vin. 

Spanish nation. Charles of Austria, younger son of the Empe- 
ror Leopold I., was supported by a formidable league, which 
political considerations and a jealousy of the other powers had 
raised against France. 

Philip, who had been placed on the throne by the Spaniards, 
had already resided at Madrid for several years, when the Aus- 
trian prince, his rival, assisted by the allied fleet, took possession 
of Barcelona (Oct. 9, 1705,) where he established his capita'. 
The incessant defeats which France experienced at 'this period, 
obliged Philip twice to abando*!! his capital, and seek his safety 
in flight. He owed his restoration for the first time to Marisha' 
Berwick, and the victory which that general gained over the 
allies near Almanza, in New Castille (April 25, 1707.) The 
pxhduke having afterwards advanced as far as Madrid, the 
Uuke de Vendome undertook to repulse him.- That General, 
in conjunction with Philip V., defeated the allies, who were 
commanded by General Stahremberg, near Villa Viciosa (Dec. 
10, 1710.^ These two victories contributed to establish Philip 
on his throne. The death of Joseph I., which happened soon 
after, and the elevation of his brother, the Archduke Charles, to 
the Imperial throne and the crowns of Hungary and Bohemia, 
accelerated the conclusion of the peace of Utrecht, by which the 
Spanish monarchy was preserved to Philip V. and his descen- 
dants. They deprived him, however, in virtue of that treaty, of 
the Netherlands and the Spanish possessions in Italy, such as 
the Milanois, the ports of Tuscany, and the kingdoms of Naples, 
Sicily, and Sardinia. 

The conditions which England had exacted at the treaty ot 
Utrecht, to render effectual the renunciation of Philip V. to the 
crown of France, as well as that of the French princes to the 
monarchy of Spain, having made it necessar}' to assemble the 
Cortes or States-General, Philip took advantage of that circum- 
stance to change the order of succession which till then had sub- 
sisted in Spain, and which was known by the name of the Cas- 
tilian Sitccession. A law was passed at the Cortes (1713,) by 
which it was ordained that females should never be admitted to 
the crown, except in default of the male line of Philip ; that the 
male heirs should succeed according to the order of primogeni- 
ture ; that, failing the male line of that prince, the crown shoula 
fall to the eldest daughter of the last reigning king, and her de- 
scendants ; and, failing these, to the sister or nearest relation ol 
the last king ; always keeping in force the right of primogeniture, 
and the preference of the male heirs in the order of succession. 

France, by the sixtieth article of the treaty of the Pyrenees, 
havmg renounced the protection of Portugal, the war between 

PERIOD VII, A, D. 1648—1713. 27 

Spain and this latter power was resumed willi new vigour. 
Alphonso VI., King of Portugal, finding himself abandoned by 
his allies, resolved to throw himself on the favour of England. 
The English granted him supplies, in virtue of a treaty which 
he concluded with them (June 23d 1661,) and by which he 
ceded to them the city of Tangiers in Africa, and the isle of 
Bombay in India. France, who well knew that it was her inte- 
rest not to abandon Portugal entirely, rendered her likewise all 
the secret assistance in her power. The Count Schomberg 
passed over to that kingdom with a good number of officers, and 
several companies of French troops. The Portuguese, under 
the command of that General, gained two victories over the 
Spaniards at Aimexial, near Estremos (1663,) and at Montes 
Claros, or Villa Viciosa (1665,) which re-established their affairs, 
•and contributed to secure the independence of Portugal, When 
the war took place about the Right of Devolution, the Couit of 
Lisbon formed a new alliance with France. Spain then lea] ned 
that it would be more for her interest to abandon her projects of 
conquering Portugal, and accept the proposals of accommodation 
tendered to her by the mediation of England. 

It happened, in the meantime, that Alphonso VI., a prince of 
vicious habits, and of a ferocious and brutal temper, was de- 
throned (Nov. 23d 1667,) and the Infant Don Pedro, his brother, 
was declared Regent of the kingdom. The Queen of Alphonso, 
Mary of Savoy, who had managed the whole intrigue, obtained, 
from the Court of Rome, a dissolution of her marriage with Al- 
phonso, and espoused the Regent, her brother-in-law (April 2d 
1668.) That prince would willingly have fulfilled the engage- 
ments which his predecessor had contracted with France, but 
the English Ambassador having drawn over the Cortes of Por 
tugal to his interests, the Regent was obliged to make peace with 
Spain, which was signed at Lisbon, February 13th 1668. The 
Spaniards there treated with the Portuguese as a sovereign and 
independent nation. They agreed to make mutual restitution 
of all they had taken possession of during the war, with the 
exception of the city of Ceuta in Africa, which remained in the 
power of Spain. The subjects of both states obtained the resto- 
ration of all property alienated or confiscated during the war. 
That peace was followed by another, which Portugal concluded 
at the Hague, with the United Provinces of the Netherlands 
i(July 31st 1669,) who were permitted to retain the conquests 
they had made from the Portuguese in the East Indies. 

The Court of Lisbon was soon after involved in the war of 
the Spanish Succession which divided all Europe. Don Pedro 
\\. had at first acknowledged Philip V., and even contracted an 


alliance with him ; but yielding afterwards to the influence of 
the British minister, as well as of the Court of Vienna, he joined 
the Grand Alliance against France.' The Portuguese made a 
distinguished figure in that war, chiefly during the campaign of 
1706, when, with the assistance of the English, they penetrated 
as far as Madrid, and there proclaimed Charles of Austria. 

The Portuguese, by one of the articles of their treaty of 
accession to the grand alliance, had been given to expect, that 
certam important places in Spanish Estremadura and Gallicia 
would be ceded to them at the general peace. That engage- 
ment was never fulfilled. The treaty of peace, concluded at 
Utrecht (6th February 1715,) between Spain and Portugal, had 
ordered the mutual restitvition of all conquests made during the 
war. The treaty of Lisbon, of 1668, was then renewed, and 
especially the articles which stipulated for the restitution of all 
confiscated property. The only point which they yielded to the 
Portuguese, was that which referred to the colony of St. Sacra- 
ment, which the Portuguese governor of Rio Janeiro had estab- 
lished (1680) on the northern bank of the river La Plata, in South 
America, which was opposed by Spain. By the sixth article oi 
her treaty with Portugal, she renounced all her former claims 
and pretensions over the above colony. 

A. similar dispute had arisen between France and Portugal, 
relative to the northern bank of the Amazons river, and the terri- 
tories about Cape North, in America, which the French main- 
tained belonged to them, as making part of French Guiana. 
The Portuguese having constructed there the fort of Macapa, it 
was taken by the French govern,- r of Cayenne. By the treaty 
of Utrecht, it was agreed between France and Portugal that 
both banks of the river Amazons should belong entirely to Por- 
tugal ; and that France should renounce all right and preten- 
sions whatever to the territories of Cape North, lying between 
the rivers Amazons and Japoc, or Vincent Pinson, in South 

In England, an interregnum of eleven years followed the death 
of Charles L Oliver Cromwell, the leader of the Independent 
party, passed two Acts of Parliament, oTie of which abolished 
the House of Lords, and the other the royal dignity. The 
kingly office was suppressed, as useless to the nation, oppressive 
and dangerous to the interests and liberties of the people ; and it 
was decided, that whoever should speak of the restoration of the 
Stuarts, should be regarded as a traitor to his country. The king- 
dom being thus changed into a republic, Cromwell took on him.«^elf 
the chief direction of aflfairs. This ambitious man was not long 
in monopolizing the sovereign authority (1653.) He abolished 

PERIOD vn. A. D. 1648—1713. 29 

the Parliament called the Rump, which had conferred on him his 
power and military commission. He next assembled a new 
Parliament of the three kingdoms, to the number of one hun- 
dred and forty-four members ; and he took care to have it com- 
posed of individuals whom he knew to be devoted to his inte- 
rests. Accordingly, they resigned the whole authority into his 
hands. An act, called the Act of Government, conferred on 
him the supreme authority, under the title of Protector of 
the three kingdoms ; with the privilege of making war and 
peace, and assembling every three years a Parliament, which 
should exercise the legislative power conjunctly with himself. 

Cromwell governed England with a more uncontrolled power 
than that of her kings had been. In 1651, he passed the fa- 
mous Navigation Act, which contributed to increase the com- 
merce of Great Britain, and gave her marine a preponderance 
over that of all other nations. That extraordinary man raised 
England in the estimation of foreigners, a-nd made his Protec- 
torate respected by all Europe. After a war which he had car- 
ried on against the Dutch, he obliged them, by the treaty of 
Westminster (1654,) to lower their flag to British vessels, and 
to abandon the cause of the Stuarts. Entering into alliance 
with France against Spain, he took from the latter the island 
of Jamaica (1655) and the port of Dunkirk (165S.) 

After his death, the Generals of the army combined to restore 
the old Parliament, called the Rump. Richard Cromwell, who 
succeeded his father, soon resigned the Protectorate (April 22, 
1659.) Dissensions having arisen between the Parliament and 
the Generals, Monk, who was governor of Scotland, marched 
to the assistance of the Parliament ; and after having defeated 
the Independent Generals, he proceeded to assemble a new Par- 
liament composed of both Houses. No sooner was this Par- 
liament assembled, than they decided for the restoration of the 
Stuarts, in the person of Charles II. (ISth May 1660.) 

That Prince made his public entry into London, May 29, 
1660. His first care was to take vengeance on those who had 
been chiefly instrumental in the death of his father. He re- 
scinded all Acts of Parliament passed since the year 1633; and 
re-established Episcopacy both in England and Scotland. In- 
stigated by his propensity for absolute power, and following the 
maxims which he had imbibed from his predecessors, he adopt- 
ed measures which were opposed by the Parliament ; and even 
went so far as more than once to pronounce their dissolution. 
His reign, in consequence, was a scene of faction and agitation, 
which proved the forerunners of a new revolution.^ The ap- 
pellation of Whigs and Tories, so famous in English history 



took its rise in his reign. We could almost, however, pardoTH 
Charles for his faults and irregularities, in consideration of the 
benevolence and amiableness of his character. But it vi^as 
otherwise with James II., who succeeded his brother on the 
British throne (16th Feb. 168-5.) That Prince alienated the 
minds of his subjects by his haughty demeanour, and his extra- 
vagant zeal for the church of Rome, and the Jesuits his confes- 
sors. Scarcely was he raised to the throne, when he undertook 
to change the religion of his country, and to govern still more 
despotically than his brother had done. Encouraged by Louia 
XIV., who offered him money and troops, he was the first King 
of England that had kept on foot an army in time of peace, 
and caused the legislature to decide, that the King can dispense 
with the laws. Availing himself of this decision, he dispensed 
with the several statutes issued against the Catholics ; he per- 
mitted them the public exercise of their religion within the 
three kingdoms, and gradually gave them a preference in all 
places of trust. At length, he even solicited the Pope to send 
a; nuncio to reside at his Court ; and on the arrival of Ferdi- 
nand Dada, to whom Innocent XI. had confided this mission, 
he gave him a public and solemn entry to Windsor (1687.) 
Seven bishops, who had refused to publish the declaration re- 
specting Catholics, were treated as guilty of sedition, and ira 
prisoned by his order in the Tower. 

During these transactions, the Queen, Mary of Modena, hap- 
pened to be delivered of a Prince (20th June, 1688,) known in 
history by the name of the Pretender. As her Majesty had 
had no children for more than six years, it was not difficult to 
gain credit to a report, that the young Prince was a suppositi- 
tious child. James II., by his first marriage with Anne Hyde, 
daughter of the Earl of Clarendon, had two daughters, both Pro- 
testants ; and regarded, till then,- as heirs to the crown. Mary, 
the eldest, was married to William, Prince of Orange, and Anne, 
the youngest, to George, younger son of Frederic III., King 
of Denmark. The English Protestants had flattered themselves 
that all their wrongs and misfortunes would terminate with the 
death of James II. and the accession of the Princess of Orange 
to the throne. Being disappointed in these expectations by the 
birth of the Prince of Wales, their only plan was to dethrone 
the King. The Tories even joined with the Whigs in offering 
the crown to the Prince of Orange. William III., supported by 
the Dutch fleet, made a descent on England, and landed fifteen 
thousand men at Torbay (5th November, 1688,) without ex- 
periencing the smallest resistance on the part of James, who, 
•eeing himself abandoned by the military, took the resolution! 

PERIOD VII. A. D. 1648—1713. '31 

of withdrawing' to France, where he had already sent his Queen 
and his son, the young Prince of Wales. He afterwards re- 
turned to Ireland, where he had a strong;- party ; but being con- 
quered by William at the battle of the Boyne (11th July 1690,) 
he was obliged to return to France, where he ended his days. 

Immediately after the flight of James, the Parliament of Eng- 
land declared, by an act, that as he had violated the funda- 
mental law of the constitution, and abandoned the kingdom, the 
throne was become vacant. They, therefore, unanimously con- 
ferred the crown on William III., Prince of Orange, and Mary 
his spouse (Feb. 22, 16S9 ;) intrusting the administration of af- 
fairs to the Prince alone. In redressing the grievances of the 
nation, they set new limits to the royal authority. By an Act, 
called the Declaration of Rights, they decreed, that the King 
could neither suspend, nor dispense with the laws ; that he 
could institute no new courts, nor levy money under any pre- 
tence whatever, nor maintain an army in time of peace, without 
the consent of Parliament. Episcopacy was abolished in Scot- 
land (1694,) and the liberty of the press sanctioned. The suc- 
cession of the crown was regulated by different Acts of Parlia- 
ment, one of which fixed it in the Protestant line, to the exclu- 
sion of Catholics. Next after William and Mary and their 
descendants, was the Princess Anne and her descendants. A 
subsequent Act conferred the succession on the House of 
Hanover (1701,) under the following conditions: — That the 
King nr Queen of that family, on their accession to the throne, 
should be obliged to conform to the High Church, and the laws 
of 1689 ; that without the consent of Parliament, they should 
never engage the nation in any war for the defence of their he- 
reditary dominions, nor go out of the kingdom ; and that they 
should never appoint foreigners to offices of trust. 

The rivalry between France and England assumed a higher 
tone under the reign of William III. ; and was increased by the 
powerful efforts which France was making to improve her ma- 
rine, and extend her navigation and her commerce. The colo- 
nies which she founded in America and the Indies, by bringing 
the two nations more into contact, tended to foment their jea- 
lousies, and multiply subjects of discord and division between 
them. From that time England eagerljt seized every occasion 
for occupying France on the Continent of Europe ; and the 
whole policy of William, as we have seen, had no other aim 
than to thwart the ambitious views of Louis XIV. If this 
rivalry excited and prolonged wars which inflicted many cala- 
mities on the world, it became likewise a powerful stimulus for 
the contending nations to develope their whole faculties ; to 

32 CHAPTER vm. 

make the highest attainments in the sciences, of which they were 
susceptible ; and to carry arts and civilization to the remotest 
countries in the world. 

William III. was succeeded by Anne (1702.) It was in ner 
reign that the grand union between England and Scotland was 
accomplished, which incorporated them into one kingdom, by 
means of the same order of succession, and only one Parliament. 
That Princess had the honour of maintaining the balance oi 
Europe against France, by the clauses which she got inserted 
into the treaty of Utrecht. At her death (1st August 1714,) 
the throne of Great Britain passed to George I., the Elector of 
Kanover, whose mother, Sophia, derived her right to the British 
throne from James I., her maternal grandfather. 

The power and political influence of the United Provinces of 
the Netherlands had increased every day, since Spain acknow- 
ledged their independence by the treaty of Munster (1648.) 
Their extensive commerce to all parts of the globe, and theit 
flourishing marine, attracted the admiration of all Europe. 
Sovereigns courted their alliance ; and the Hague, the capital 
of the States-General, became, in course of time, the centre of 
European politics. That Republic was the rival of England in 
all her commercial relations ; and she ventured also to dispute 
with her the empire of the sea, by refusing to lower her flag to 
British vessels. These disputes gave rise to bloody wars be- 
tween the two States, in which the famous Dutch Admirals, 
Tromp and De Ruyter, distinguished themselves by their mari- 
time exploits. De Ruyter entered the Thames with the Dutch 
fleet (1667,) advanced to Chatham, burnt the vessels in the roads 
there, and threw the city of London into great consternation. 
Nevertheless, by the treaties of Breda (1667) and Westminster 
(16.54,) they agreed that their vessels and fleets should lower 
their flag when they met either one or more ships carrying the 
British flag, and that over all the sea, from Cape Finisterre in 
Gallicia, to the centre of Statt in Norway ; but the States-Gen- 
eral preserved Surinam, which they had conquered during the 
war ; and at the treaty of commerce which was signed at Breda, 
tJie navigation act was modified in their favour, in so far that 
the produce and merchandise of Germany were to be considered 
as productions of the ^oil of the Republic. 

It was during these wars that a change took place with regard 
to the Stadtholdership of the United Provinces. William II., 
Prince of Orange, had alienated the hearts of his subjects by his 
attempts against their liberties ; and having, at his death, left 
his wife, the daughter of Charles I. of England, pregnant of a 
son (1650,) the States-General took the opportunity of leaving 

i'KRIOD VII. A. D. 1648 — 17 J3. 35 

thai off ce vacant, and taking upon themselves the direction of 
affairs. The suspicions which the House of Orange had excited 
in Cromwell by their alliance with the Stuarts, and the resent- 
ment of John de Witt, Pensionary of Holland, against the Stadt- 
hoider, caused a secret article to be added to the treaty of West- 
minster, by which the States of Holland and West Friesland 
engaged never to elect William, the posthumous son of William 
II., to be Stadtholder ; and never to allow that the ofRce of 
Captain-General of the Republic should be conferred on him. 
John de Witt likewise framed a regulation known by the name 
of the Perpetual Edict, which separated the Stadtholdership 
from the office of Captain and Admiral-General, and which 
enacted, that these functions should never be discharged by the 
same individual. Having failed, however, in his efforts to make 
the States-General adopt this regulation, which they considered 
as contrary to the union, John de Witt contented himself with 
obtaining the approbation of the States of Holland, who even 
went so far as to sanction the entire suppression of the Stadt- 

Matters continued in this situation until the time when Louis 
XIV. invaded Holland. His alarming progress caused a revo- 
lution in favour of the Prince of Orange. The ruling faction, at 
the head of which was John de Witt, then lost the good opinion 
of the people. He was accused of having neglected military 
affairs, and left the State without defence, and a prey to the en- 
emy. The first signal of ^evolution was given by the small 
town of Veere in Zealand. William was there proclaimed 
Stadtholder (June 1672,) and the example of Veere was soon 
fallowed by all the cities of Holland and Zealand. Every where 
the people compelled the magistrates to confer the Stadtholder- 
ship on the young Prince. The Perpetual Edict was abolished, 
and the Stadtholdership confirmed to William III. by the As- 
sembly of States. They even rendered this dignity, as well as 
the office of Captain-General, hereditary to all the male and 
legitimate descendants of the Prince. It was on this occasion 
that the two brothers, John and Cornelius de Witt, were massa- 
cred by the people assembled at the Hague. 

After William was raised to the throne of Great Britain, he 
still retained the Stadtholdership, with the offices of Captain 
and Admiral-General of the Republic. England and Holland, 
united under the jurisdiction of the same prince, acted thence- 
forth in concert to ihwart the ambitious designs of Louis XIV. ; 
and he felt the effects of their power chiefly in the war of the 
Spanish Succession, when England and the States-General made 
extraordinary efforts to maintain the balance of the Continent 

34 CHAPTER vm. 

which they thought in danger. It was in consideration of these 
efforts that they gTiaranteed to the Dutch, by the treity of the 
Grand Alliance, as well as by that of Utrecht, a barrier against 
France, which was more amply defined by the Barrier Treaty, 
signed at Antwerp (15th November 1715,) under the mediation 
and guaranty of Great Britain. The provinces and towns of 
the Netherlands, both those that had been possessed by Charles 
IL, and those that France had surrendered by the treaty of 
Utrecht, were transferred to the Emperor and the House of 
Austria, on condition that they should never be ceded under any 
title whatever; neither to France, nor to any other prince except 
the heirs and successors of the House of Austria in Germany. 
It was agreed that there should always be kept in the Low 
Countries a body of Austrian troops, from thirty to thirty-five 
thousand men, of which the Emperor was to furnish three-fifths, 
and the States-General the remainder. Finally, the States- 
General were allowed a garrison, entirely composed of their own 
troops, in the cities and castles of Namui-, Tournay, Menin, 
Fumes, Warneton, and the fortress of Kenock ; while the Em- 
peror engaged to contribute a certain sum annually for the main- 
tenance of these troops. 

Switzerland, since the confirmation of her liberty and inde- 
pendence by the peace of Westphalia, had constantly adhered 
to the system of neutrality which she had adopted ; and taken 
no part in the broils of her neighbours, except by furnishing 
troops to those powers with whom she was in alliance. The 
fortunate inability which was the natural consequence of her 
union, pointed out this line of conduct, and even induced the 
European States to respect the Helvetic neutrality. 

This profound peace, which Switzerland enjoyed by means of 
that neutrality, was never interrupted, except by occasional do- 
mestic quarrels, which arose from the difference of their religious 
opinions. Certain families, froin the canton of Schweitz, had 
fled to Zurich on account of their religious tenets, and had been 
protected by that republic. This stirred up a war (1656) be- 
tween the Catholic cantons and the Zurichers, with their allies 
the Bernese ; but it was soon terminated by the peace of Baden, 
which renewed the clauses of the treaty of 1531, relative to these 
very subjects of dispute. Some attempts having afterwards been 
made against liberty of conscience, in the county of Toggenburg, 
by the Abbe of St. Gall, a new war broke ani (1712,) between 
five of the Catholic cantons, and the two Protestant cantons of 
Zurich and Berne. These latter expelled the Abbt' of St. Gall 
from his estates, and dispossessed the Catholics of the county of 
Baden, with a considerable part of the free bailiwicks which 

PERIOD m. A. D. 1648 — 1713. 35 

wore granted to them by the treaty concluded at Araw. The 
Abbe then saw himself abandoned by the Catholic cantons ; and 
it was only in virtue of a treaty, which he concluded with Zu- 
rich and Berne (1718,) that his successor obtained his restoration 

Sweden, during the greater part of this period, supported the 
fir^t rank among the powers of the North. The vigour of her 
government, added to the weakness of her neighbours, and the 
important advantages which the treaties of Stolbova, Stumsdori, 
Bromsbro, and Westphalia had procured her, secured this supe- 
riority ; and gave her the same influence in the North that 
France held in the South. Christina, the daughter of Gustavus 
Adolpiius, held the reins of government in Sweden about the 
middle of the seventeenth century ; but to gratify her propensity 
for the fine arts, she resolved to abdicate the crown (1654.) 
Charles Gustavus, Count Palatine of Deux-Ponts, her cousin- 
german, succeeded her, under the title of Charles X. Being 
nurtured in the midst of arms, and ambitious only of wars and 
battles, he was anxious to distinguish himself on the throne. 
John Casimir, King of Poland, having provoked him, by protest- 
ing against his accession to the crown of Sweden, Charles made 
this an occasion of breaking the treaty of Stumsdorf, which was 
still in force, and invaded Poland. Assisted by Frederic Wil- 
liam, the Elector of Brandenburg, whom he had attached to his 
interests, he gained a splendid victory over the Poles near War- 
saw (July 1656.) At that crisis, the fate of Poland would have 
been decided, if the Czar, Alexis Michaelovitz, who was also at 
war with the Poles, had chosen to make common cause with 
her new enemies ; but Alexis thought it more for his advantage 
to conclude a truce with the Poles, and attack the Swedes in Li- 
vonia, Ingria, and Carelia. The Emperor Leopold and the King 
of Denmark followed the example of the Czar; and the Elector 
of Brandenburg, after obtaining the sovereignty of the dutchy of 
Pru.-^^ia, by the treaty which he concluded with Poland at We- 
lau, acceded in like manner to this league, — the object of which 
was to secure the preservation of Poland, and maintain the equi- 
librium of the North. 

Attacked by so many and such powerful enemies, the King 
of Sweden determined to withdraw his troops from Poland, and 
direct his principal force against Denmark. Having made him- 
self master of Holstein, Sleswick, and Jutland, he passed the 
Belts on the ice (January 165S) with his army and artillery, and 
advanced towards the capital of the kingdom. This bold step 
intimidated the Danes so much, that they submitted to those ex- 
ceedingly severe conditions which Charles made them sign at 
Roschild (February 1658.) Scarcely was this treaty concluded. 

36 CHAPTER vm. 

when the King of Sweden broke it anew ; and under different 
pretexts, laid siege to Copenhagen. His intention was, if he had 
carried that place, to raze it to the ground, to annihilate the 
kingdom of Denmark, and fix his residence in the province of 
Schonen, where he could maintain his dominion over the North 
and the Baltic. The besieged Danes, however, made a vigor- 
ous defence, and they were encouraged by the example of Fred- 
eric III., who superintended in person the whole operations of 
the siege ; nevertheless, they must certainly have yielded, had 
not the Dutch, who were alarmed for their commerce in the Bal- 
tic, sent a fleet to the assistance of Denmark. These republi- 
cans fought an obstinate naval battle with the Swedes in the 
Sound (29th October 1658.) The Swedish fleet was repulsed, 
and the Dutch succeeded in relieving Copenhagen, by throwing 
in a supply of provisions and ammunition. 

The King of Sweden persisted, nevertheless, in his determi- 
nation to reduce that capital. He was not even intimidated by 
the treaties which France, England, and Holland, had conclu- 
ded at the Hague, for maintaining the equilibrium of the North ; 
but a premature death, at the age of thirty-eight, put an end to 
his ambitious projects (23d February 1660.) The regents who 
governed the kingdom during the minority of his son Charles 
XL, immediately set on foot negotiations with all the powers 
that were in league against Sweden. By the peace which they 
concluded at Copenhagen with Denmark (July 3, 1660,) they 
surrendered to that crown several of their late conquests ; re- 
serving to themselves only the provinces of Schonen, Bleckin- 
gen, Halland, and Bohus. The Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, the 
protege of Charles X., was secured by that treaty in the sove- 
reignty of that part of Sleswick, which had been guaranteed to 
him by a former treaty concluded at Copenhagen. The war 
with Poland, and her allies the Elector of Brandenburg and the 
Emperor, v/as terminated by the peace of Oliva (May 3d 1660.) 
The King of Poland gave up his pretensions to the crown of 
Sweden ; while the former ceded to the latter the provinces of 
Livonia and Esthonia, and the islands belonging to them ; to be 
possessed on the same terms that had been agreed on at the 
treaty of Stumsdorf in 1635. The Duke of Courland was re-es- 
tablished in his dutchy, and the sovereignty of ducal Prussia 
confirmed to the House of Brandenburg. Peace between Swe- 
den and Russia was concluded at Kardis in Esthonia ; while 
the latter power surrendered to Sweden all the places which 
she had conquered in Livonia. 

Sweden was afterwards drawn into the war against the Dutch 
by Lnuis XIV., when she experienced nothing but disasters. 

PERIOD VII. A. D. 1648 — 1718. 37 

She was deprived of all her provinces in the Empire, and only 
ros^ained possession of them in virtue of the treaties of Zell, 
Niineguen, St. Germain-en-Laye, Fountainbleau, and Lunden 
(]fJ79,) which she concluded successively with the powers in 
leaiiue against France. Immediately after that peace, a revolu- 
tion happened in the government of Sweden. The abuse which 
the nobles made of their privileges, the extravagant authority 
claimed by the senate, and the different methods which the 
grandees employed for gradually usurping the domains of the 
crown, had excited the jealousy of the other orders of the state. 
It is alleged, that John Baron Gillensliern, had suggested to 
Charles XL the idea of taking advantage of this discontent to 
augment the royal authority, and humble the arrogance of the 
senate and the nobility. In compliance with his advice, the 
King assembled the Estates of the kingdom at Stockholm (1680 ;) 
and having quartered some regiments of his own guards in the 
city, he took care to remove such of the nobles as might give 
the greatest cause of apprehension. An accusation was lodged 
at the Diet against those ministers who had conducted the ad- 
ministration during the King's minority. To them were attri- 
buted the calamities and losses of the state, and for these they 
were made responsible. The Senate was also implicated. They 
were charged with abusing their authority ; and it was proposed 
t'.iat the Stales should make investigation, whether the powers 
which the Senate had assumed were conformable to the laws of 
the kingdom. The States declared that the King was not bound 
by any other form of government than that which the constitu- 
tion prescribed ; that the Senate formed neither a fifth order, nor 
an intermediate power between the King and the States ; and 
that it ought to be held simply as a Council, with whom the 
King might consult and advise. 

A College of Reiinioti, so called, was also established at this 
Diet, for the purpose of making inquiry as to the lands granted, 
sold, mortgaged, or exchanged by preceding Kings, either in 
Sweden or Livonia ; with an offer on the part of the crown to 
reimljurse the proprietors for such sums as they had originally 
paid for them. This proceeding made a considerable augmen- 
tation to the revenues of the crown ; but a vast number of pro- 
prietors were completely ruined by it. A subsequent diet went 
even further than that of 16S0. They declared, by statute, that 
though the King was enjoined to govern his dominions accord- to the laws, this did not take from him the power of altering 
these laws. At length the act of 1693 decreed that the King 
was absolute master, and sole depository of the sovereign power; 
v/i',hout being responsible for his actions to any power on earth ; 


and that he was entitled to govern the kingdom according to his 

will and pleasure. 

It was in virtue of these different enactments and concessions, 
that the absolute power which had been conferred on Charles 
XL, was transmitted to the hands of his son Charles XII., who 
was only fifteen years of age when he succeeded his father 
■April 1, 1697.) By the abuse which this Prince made of these 
dangerous prerogatives, he plunged Sweden into an abyss of 
troubles; and brought her down from that high rank which she 
had occupied in the political system of Europe, since the reign 
of Gustavus Adolphus. The youth of Charles appeared to his 
n 'ighbours to afford them a favourable opportunity for recover- 
ing what they had lost by the conquests of his predecessors. 
Augustus II., King of Poland, being desirous to regain Livonia, 
and listening to the suggestions of a Livonian gentleman, named 
John Patkul, who had been proscribed in Sweden, he set on foot 
a negotiation with the courts of Russia and Copenhagen ; the 
result of which was, a secret and offensive alliance concluded 
between these three powers against Sweeden (1699.) Peter the 
Great, who had just conquered Azoff at the mouth of the Don, 
and equipped his first fleet, was desirous also to open up the coasts 
of the Baltic, of which his predecessors had been dispossessed by 
Sweden. War accordingly broke out in the course of the year 
1700. The King of Poland invaded Livonia ; the Danes fell 
\ipon Sleswick, where they attacked the Duke of Holstein-Got- 
torp, the ally of Sweden ; while the Czar, at the head of an 
army of eighty thousand men, laid siege to the city of Narva. 

The King of Sweden, attacked by so many enemies at once, 
directed his first efforts against Denmark, where the danger ap- 
pear id most pressing. Assisted by the fleets of England and 
Holland, who had guaranteed the last peace, he made a descent 
on the Isle of Zealand, and advanced rapidly towards Copenha- 
gen. This obliged Frederic IV. to conclude a special peace 
with him at Travendahl (Aug. 18, 1700,) by which that prince 
consented to abandon his allies, and restore the Duke of Holstein- 
Gottorp to the same state in which he had been before the war. 
Next dn-ecting his march against the Czar in Esthonia, the young 
King forced the Russians from their entrenchments before Narva 
(Nov. 30,) and made prisoners of all the general and principal 
officers of the Russian army ; among others, Field-Marshal 
General the Duke de Croi. 

Having thus got clear of the Russians, the Swedish Monarch 
then attacked King Augustus, who had introduced a Saxon army 
into Poland, without being authorized by that Republic. Charles 
vanquished that prince in the three famous battles of Riga (1701,^ 

PERIOD VII. A. D. 1648—1713. 39 

Clissau (1702,) and Pultusk (1703;) and obliged the Poles to 
depose hiin, and elect in his place Stanislaus Lecksinski, Pa- 
latine of Posen, and a protegt^ of his own. Two victories which 
were gained over the Saxons, and their allies the Russians, the 
one at Punie (1704,) and the other at Fraustadt (1706,) caused 
Stanislaus to be acknowledged by the whole Republic of Po- 
land, and enabled the King of Sweden to transfer the seat of 
war to Saxony. Having marched through Silesia, without the 
previous authority of the Court of Vienna, he took Leipzic. 
and compelled Augustus to sign a treaty of peace at Alt-Ran 
stadt, by which that Prince renounced his alliance with the 
Czar, and acknowledged Stanislaus legitimate King of Poland. 
John Patkul being delivered up to the King of Sweden, ac- 
cording to an article in that treaty, was broken on the wheel, 
for having been the principal instigator of the war. 

The prosperity of Charles XII., had now come to an end 
From this time he experienced only a series of reverses, which 
were occasioned as much by his passion for war, as by his in- 
discretions, and the unconquerable obstinacy of his character. 
The Russians had taken advantage of his long sojourn in Po- 
land and Saxony, and conquered the greater part of Ingria and 
Livonia. The Czar had now advanced into Poland, where he 
Jiad demanded of the Poles to declare an interregnum, and elect 
a new King. In this state of matters, the King of Sweden left 
Saxony to march against the Czar ; and compelled him to eva- 
cuate Poland, and retire on Smolensko. Far from listenin"-, 
however, to the equitable terms of peace which Peter offered 
him, he persisted in his resolution to march on to Moscow, in 
the hope of dethroning the Czar, as he had dethroned Auo-us- 
tus. The discontent which the innovations of the Czar had ex- 
cited in Russia, appeared to Charles a favcwrable opportunity 
for effecting his object ; but on reaching the neighbourhood ol 
Mohilew, he suddenly changed his purpose, and, instead of di- 
recting his rouLe towards the capital of Russia, he turned to 
the right, and penetrated into the interior of the Ukraine, in 
order to meet Mazeppa, Hetman of the Cossacs, who had offered 
.0 join him with all Jiis troops. Nothing could have been 
more imprudent than this determination. By thus marchino 
into the Ukraine, he separated himself from General Lewen- 
haupt, who had brought him, according to orders, a powerful ra 
inforcement fromLivonia ; and trusted himself among a fickle and 
inconstant people, disposed to break faith on every opportunity. 

This inconsiderate step of Charles did not escape the pene- 
tration of the Czar, who knew well how to profit by it. Putting 
himself at the head of a chosen body, he intercepted General 


Lewenhaupt, and joined him at Desna, two miles from Pro- 

poisk, in the Palatinate of Mscislaw. The hattle which he 
fought with that general (October 9, 170S,) was most obstinate, 
and, by the confession of the Czar, the first victory which the 
Russians had gained over regular troops. The remains of 
Lewenhaupt's army, having joined the King in the Ukraine, 
Charles undertook the siege of Pultowa, situated on the banks 
of the Vorsklaw, at the extremity of that province. It was 
near this place, that the famous battle was fought (8th July, 
1709,) which blasted all the laurels of the King of Sweden, 
The Czar gained theie a complete victory. Nine thousand 
Swedes were left on ihe field of battle ; and fourteen thousand, 
who had retired with General Lewenhaupt, towards Perevo- 
latschna, between the Vorsklaw and the Nieper, were made pri- 
soners of war, three days after the action. Charles, accompanied 
by his ally Mazeppa, saved himself with difhculty at Bender in 

This disastrous route revived the courage of the enemies of 
Sweden. The alliance was renewed between the Czar, Au- 
gustus II., and FredericIV.,King of Denm.ark. Stanislaus was 
abandoned. All Poland again acknowledged Augustus II. 
The Danes made a descent on Schonen ; and the Czar achieved 
the conquest of Ingria, Livonia, and Carelia. The States that 
were leagued against France in the war of the Spanish Suc- 
cession, wishing to prevent Germany from becoming the theatre 
of hostilities, concluded a treaty at the Hague (31st March 
1710,) by which they undertook, under certain conditions, to 
guarantee the neutrality of the Swedish provinces in Germany, 
as well as that of Sleswick and Jutland ; but the King of Swe- 
den having constantly declined acceding to this neutrality, the 
possessions of the Swedes in Germany were also seized arid 
conquered in succession. The Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, ^he 
nephew of Charles XII., was involved in his disgrace, and 
stripped of his estates by the king of Denmark (1714.) 

In the midst of these disasters, the inflexible King of Swe- 
den persisted in prolonging his sojourn at Bender, making re- 
peated efforts to rouse the Turks against the Russians. He did 
not return from Turkey till 1714, when his affairs were already 
totally ruined. The attempts which he then made, either to 
renew the war in Poland, or invade the provinces of the Em- 
pire, excited the jealousy of the neighbouring powers. A for- 
midable league was raised against him ; besides the Czar, the 
Kings of Poland, Denmark, Prussia, and England, joined it. 
Straisund and Wismar, the only places which Sweden still re- 
tained in Germany, fell into the hands of the allies ; while the 

PERIOD Vll. A. D. 1648 — 1713. 41 

Cza^* added to these losses the conquest of Finland and Savolax. 
In a situation so desperate, Charles, by the advice of his minis- 
ter, Baron Gortz, set on foot a special and secret negotiation 
with the Czar, which took place in the isle of Aland, in course 
of the year 1718. There it was proposed to reinstate Stanis- 
laus on the throne of Poland ; to restore to Sweden her pos- 
sessions in the Empire ; and even to assist her in conquering 
Norway ; by way of compensation for the loss of Ingria, Ca- 
relia, Livonia, and Esthonia, which she was to cede to the Czar. 

That negotiation was on the point of being finally closed, 
when it was broken off by the u^nexpected death of Charles 
XII. That unfortunate prince was slain (December lllh, 1718,) 
at the siege of Fredericshall in Norway, while visiting the 
trenches ; being only thirty-seven years of age, and leaving the 
affairs of his kingdom in a most deplorable state. 

The new regency of Sweden, instead of remaining in friend- 
ship with the Czar, changed their policy entirely. Baron de 
Gortz, the friend of the late King, fell a sacrifice to the public 
displeasure, and a negotiation was opened with the Court of 
G. Britain. A treaty of peace and alliance was concluded at 
Stockholm (Nov. 20, 1719,) between Great Britain and Swe- 
den. George I., on obtaining the cession of the dutchies of 
Bremen and Verden, as Elector of Hanover, engaged to send a 
strong squadron to the Baltic, to prevent any further invasion 
Irom the Czar, and procure for Sweden more equitable terms of 
peace on the part of that Prince. The example of Great Bri- 
tain was soon followed by the other allied powers, who were 
anxious to accommodate matters with Sweden. By the treaty 
concluded at Stockholm (21st January, 1720,) the King of 
Prussia got the town of Stettin, and that part of Pomerania, 
which lies between the Oder and the Peene. The King of 
Denmark consented to restore to Sweden the towns of Stral- 
&und and Wismar, with the isle of Rugen, and the part of Po- 
merania, which extends from the sea to the river Peene. Swe- 
den, on ner side, renounced in favour of Denmark, her exemp- 
tion from the duties of the Sound and the two Belts, which had 
been guaranteed to her by former treaties. The Czar was the 
only person who, far from being intimidated by the menaces of 
England, persisted in his resolution of not makif% peace with 
Sweden, except on the conditions which he had dictated to her. 
The war was, therefore, continued between Russia and Sweden, 
during the two campaigns of 1720 and 1721. Different parts 
of the Swedish coast were laid desolate by the Czar, who put 
all to fire and sword, To stop the progress of these devasta 
tions. the Swedes at length consented to accept the peace which 

/I * 


the Czar offered them, which was finally signed -at Nystadt 
(13th September 1721.) Finland was surrendered to Sweden 
on condition of her formally ceding to the Czar the provinces of 
Livonia, Esthonia, Ingria, and Carelia ; their limits to be deter- 
mined according to the regulations of the treaty. 

The ascendency which Sweden had gained in the North since 
the reign of Gustavus Adolphus, had become so fatal to Den- 
mark, that she was on the point of being utterly subverted, and 
effaced from the number of European powers. Nor did she 
extricate herself from the disastrous wars which she had to sup- 
port against Charles X., until she had sacrificed some of her 
best provinces ; such as Schonen, Bleckingen, Halland, and the 
government of Bohus, which Frederic III. ceded to Sweden by 
the treaties of Roschild and Copenhagen. It was at the close of 
this war that a revolution happened in the government of Denmark. 
Until that time, it had been completely under the aristocracy of the 
nobles ; the throne was elective ; and all power v/as concentrated 
in the hands of the senate, and the principal members of the 
nobility. The royal prerogative was limited to the command of 
the army, and the presidency in the Senate. The King was 
even obliged, by a special capitulation, in all affairs which did 
not require the concurrence of the Senate, to take the advice of 
four great officers of the crown, viz. the Grand Master, the 
Chancellor, the Marshal, and the Admiral ; who were considered 
as so many channels or vehicles of the royal authority. 

The state of exhaustion to which Denmark was reduced at 
the time she made peace with Sweden, obliged Frederic III. to 
convoke an assembly of the States-General of the kingdom. 
These, which were composed of three orders, viz. the nobility, 
the clergy, and the burgesses, had never been summoned to- 
gether ill that form since the year 1536. At their meeting at 
Copenhagen, the two inferior orders reproached the nobles with 
having been the cause of all the miseries and disorders of the 
State, by the exorbitant and tyrannical power which they had 
usurped ; and what tended still more to increase their animosity 
against them, was the obstinacy with which they maintained 
their privileges and exemptions from the public burdens, to the 
prejudice of the lower orders. One subject of discussion was, 
to find a tax, the proceeds of which should be applied to the most 
pressing wants of the State. The nobles proposed a duty on 
articles of consumption ; but under restrictions with regard to 
themselves, that could not but exasperate the lower orders. The 
latter proposed, in testimony of their discontent, to let out to the 
highest bidder the fiefs of the crown, which the nobles held at 
••ents extremely moderate. This proposal was highly resented 

PERIOD vu. A. D. 164S— 1713. 43 

by the nobility, who regarded it as a blow aimed at tnelr rights 
and properties ; and they persisted in urging a tax on articles of 
consumption, such as they had proposed. Certain unguarded 
expressions which escaped some of the members of the nobility, 
gave rise to a tumult of indignation, and suggested to the two 
leaders of the clergy and the burgesses, viz. the bishop of Zea- 
land and the burgomaster of Copenhagen, the idea of framing 
a declaration for the purpose of rendering the crown hereditary, 
both in the male and female descendants of Frederic III. It 
was not difficult for them to recommend this project to their 
respective orders, who flattered themselves that, under a heredi- 
tary monarchy, they would enjoy that equality which was denied 
them under an aristocracy of the nobles. The act of this de- 
claration having been approved and signed by the two orders, 
was presented in their name to the Senate, who rejected it, on 
the ground that the States-General then assembled, had no right 
to deliberate on that proposition ; but the clergy and the burges- 
ses, without being disconcerted, went in a body to the King, 
carrying with them the Act which offered to make the crown 
hereditary in his family. The nobles having made a pretence 
of wishing to quit the city in order to break up the Diet, care was 
taken to shut the doors. The members of the Senate and the 
nobility had then no other alternative left than to agree to the 
resolution of the two inferior orders ; and the offer of the crown 
was made to the King by the three orders conjunctly (13th October 
1660.) They then tendered him the capitulation, which was 
annulled ; and at the same time they liberated him from the oath 
■which he had taken on the day of his coronation. A sort of 
dictatorship was then conferred on him, to regulate the new con- 
stitutional charter, according to his good pleasure. All the orders 
of the State then took a new oath of fealty and homage to him, 
while the King himself was subjected to no oath whatever. 
Finally, the three orders separately remitted an Act to the King, 
declaring the crown hereditary in all the descendants of Frederic 
III., both male and female ; conferring on him and his succes- 
sors an unlimited power; and granting him the privilege of 
regulating the order both of the regency and the succession to 
the throne. 

Thus terminated that important revolution, without any dis- 
order, and without shedding a single drop of blood. It was in 
virtue of those powers which the States had conferred on him, 
that the King published what is called the Royal Law, regarded 
as the only fundamental law of Denmark. The King was there 
declared absolute sovereign, above all human laws, acknowledg- 
ing no superior but God, and uniting in his own person all the 


rights and prerogatives of royalty, without any exception whatever 
He could exercise these prerogatives in virtue of his own author 
ity ; but he was obliged to respect the Royal Law ; and he could 
neither touch the Confession of Augsburg, which had been 
adopted as the national religion, nor authorize any partition of 
the kingdom, which was declared indivisible ; nor change the 
order of succession as established by the Royal Law. That suc- 
cession was lineal, according to the right of primogeniture and 
descent. Females were only admitted, failing all the male issue 
of Frederic IIL ; and the order in which they were to succeed, 
was defined with the most scrupulous exactness. The term of 
majority was fixed at the age of thirteen ; and it was in the 
power of the reigning monarch to regulate, by his will, the tutor- 
age and the regency during such minority. 

This constitutional law gave the Danish government a vigour 
which it never had before ; the effects of which Avere manifested 
in the war which Christian V. undertook against Sweden 
(167f5,) in consequence of his alliance with Frederic William, 
Elector of Brandenburg. The Danes had the advantage of the 
Swedes both by sea and land. Their fleet, under the command 
of Niels Juel, gained two naval victories over them, the one 
near the Isle of Oeland, and the other in the bay of Kioge, on 
the coast of Zealand (1677.) That war was terminated by the 
peace of Lunden (Oct. 6th 1679,) which restored matters be- 
tAveen the two nations, to the same footing on which they had 
been before the war. The severe check which Sweden re- 
ceived by the defeat of Charles XIL. before Pultowa, tended to 
extricate Denmark from the painful situation in which she had 
been placed with respect to that power. The freedom of the 
Sound, which Sweden had maintained during her prosperity, 
was taken from her by the treaty of Stockholm, and by the ex- 
planatory articles of Fredericsburg, concluded between Sweden 
and Denmark, (14th June 1720.) That kingdom likewise re- 
tained, in terms of the treaty, the possession of the whole dutchy 
of Sleswick, with a claim to the part belonging to the duke of 
Holstein-Gottorp, whom Sweden was obliged to remove from 
under her protection. 

Poland, at the commencement of this period, presented an 
afflicting spectacle, under the unfortunate reign of John Casimir, 
the brother and successor of Uladislaus VIL (1648.) Distracted 
at once by foreign wars and intestine factions, she seemed oA'ery 
moment on the brink of destruction ; and while the neighbour- 
ing states were augmenting their forces, and strengthening the 
hands of their governments, Poland grew gradually weaker and 
weaker, and at length degenerated into absolute anarchy. The 

PERIOD vn. A. D. 1648 — 1713. 45 

orig'in of the Liberum Veto of the Poles, which allowed the op- 
position of a single member to frustrate the deliberations of the 
'.vhole Diet, belongs to the reign of John Casimir. The first 
that suspended the Diet, by the interposition of his veto, was 
Sciiinski, member for Upita in Lithuania; his example, though 
at first disapproved, found imitators ; and this foolish practice, 
\vhich allowed one to usurp the prerogative of a majority, soon 
passed into a law, and a maxim of stale. 

Towards the end of the reign of Uladislaus VII. a murderous 
war had arisen in Poland, that of the Cossacs. This warlike 
people, of Russian origin, as their language and their religion 
prove, inhabited both banks of the Borysthenes, beyond Kiow : 
where they were subdivided into regiments, under the command 
of a general, called Hetman ; and served as a military frontier 
for Poland against the Tartars and Turks. Some infringements 
that had been made on their privileges, added to the eflorts which 
the Poles had made to induce their clerg)^ to separate from the 
Greek Church, and acknowledge the supremacy of the Pope, ex- 
asperated the Cossacs, and engendered among them a spirit of 
revolt (1647.) Assisted by the Turks of the Crimea, they in- 
vaded Poland, and committed terrible devastations. The Poles 
succeeded from time to time in pacifying them, and even con- 
cluded a treaty with them ; but the minds of both parties being 
exasperated, hostilities always recommenced with every new 
offence. At length, their Hetman, Chmielniski, being hardly 
pressed by the Poles, took the resolution of soliciting the protec- 
tion of Russia, and concluded a treaty Avith the Czar Alexis 
Michaelovitz (Jan. 16, 1654,) in virtue of which, Kiow and the 
other towns of the Ukraine, under the power of the Cossacs, 
were planted with Russian garrisons. It was on this occasion 
that the Czar retook the city of Smolensko from the Poles, as 
well as most of the districts that had been ceded to Poland, by 
the treaties of Dwilina and Viasma. That prince made also 
several other conquests from the Poles ; he took possession of 
Wilna, and several places in Lithuania, at the very time when 
Charles X. was invading Poland, and threatening that country 
with entire destruction. The Czar, however, instead of fol. ow- 
ing up his conquests, judged it more for his interest to conclude 
a truce with the Poles ^|1656,) that tie might turn his arms 
against Sweden. 

The peace of Oliva put an end to the war between Poland and 
Sweden ; but hostilities were renewed between the Russians 
and the Poles, which did not terminate till the treaty of Andrus- 
sov (Jan. 1667.) The Czar restored to the Poles a part of his 
conquests ; but he retained Smolensko, Novogorod-Sieverskoe, 

46 c±iAFrER vni- 

Tchernigov, Kiow, and all the country of the Cossacs, beyond 
the Borysthenes or Dnieper. The Cossacs on this side the 
river were annexed to Poland, and as for those who dwelt near 
the mouth of the Dnieper, called Zaporogs, it was agreed that 
they should remain under the common jurisdiction of the two 
stales ; ready to serve against the Turks whenever circumstances 
mighi require it. The wars of which we have just spoken, were 
attended with troubles and dissensions, which reduced Poland 
to the most deplorable condition during the reign of John Casi- 
mir. That prince at length, disgusted with a crown which he 
had found to be composed of thorns, resolved to abdicate the 
throne (16th Sept. 1668 ;) and retiring to France, he there ended 
his days. 

Michael Wiesnouiski, who succeeded John Casimir, after a 
stormy interregnum of seven months, had no other merit than 
that of being descended in a direct line from Coribut, the brother 
of Jagellon, King of Poland. Jlis reign was a scene of great 
agitation, and of unbridled anarchy. Four diets were interrupted 
in less than four years; the war with the Cossacs was renewed; 
the Turks and the Tartars, the allies of the Cossacs, seized the 
city of Kaminiec (1672,) the only bulwark of Poland against the 
Ottomans. Michael, being thrown into a state of alarm, con- 
cluded a disgraceful peace with the Turks ; he gave up to them 
Kaminiec and Podolia, with their ancient limits ; and even 
agreed to pay them an annual tribute of twenty-two thousand 
ducats. The Ukraine, on this side the Borysthenes, was aban- 
doned to the Cossacs, who were to be placed under the protection 
of the Turks. This treaty was not ratified by the Republic of 
Poland, who preferred to continue the war. John Sobieski, 
Grand General of the Crown, gained a brilliant victory over the 
Turks near Choczim (Nov. 11th, 1673.) It took place the next 
day after the death of Michael, and determined the Poles to con- 
fer their crown on the victorious General. 

Sobieski did ample justice to the choice of his fellow-citizens. 
By the peace which he concluded at Zarowno with the Turks 
(26th Oct. 1676,) he relieved Poland from the tribute lately pro 
mised, and recovered some parts of the Ukraine ; but the city ot 
Kaminiec was left in the power of the Ottomans, with a consid* 
erable portion of the Ukraine and Podolia. Poland then entered 
into an alliance with the House of Austria, against the Porte^ 
Sobieski became the deliverer of Vienna ; he signalized himsell 
in the campaigns of 1683 and 1684 ; and if he did not gain any 
nnportant advantages over the Turks, if he had not even the 
satisfaction of recovering Kaminiec and Podolia, it must be as- 
cribed to the incompetence of his means, and to the disunion and 

PERIOD VII. A. 1). 1648 — 1713. 47 

indifference of the Poles, who refused to make a single sacrifice 
in tliG cause. Sobieski was even forced to have recourse to the 
jirotection of the Russians against the Turks; and saw himself 
leduced to tlie painful necessity of setting his hand to the defi- 
nitive peace which was concluded with Russia at Moscow (May 
(•th, 1(386,) by which Poland, in order to obtain the alliance of 
lliat power against the Ottomans, consented to give up Smolen- 
sko, Belaia, Dorogobuz, Tchernigov, Starodub, and Novogorod- 
Sioverskoe, with their dejiendencies ; as also the whole territory 
known by the name of Little Russia, situated on the left bank of 
the Bnrysthenes, between that river and the frontier df Putivli, 
as far as Perevoloczna. The city of Kiow, with its territory as 
;letermined by the treaty, was also included in that cession. 
Finally, the Cossacs, called Zaporogs and Kiidak, who, accord- 
ing to the treaty of Andrussov, ought to have been dependencies 
of these two states, were reserved exclusively to Russia. Sobie- 
ski shed tears when he was obliged to sign that treaty at Leopold 
(or Lemberg,) in presence of the Russian ambassadors. 

The war with the Turks did not terminate until the reign of 
Augustus IL the successor of John Sobieski. The peace of 
Carlowitz, which that prince concluded with the Porte (1699,) 
procured for Poland the restitution of Kaminiec, as well as that 
part of the Ukraine, which the peace of Zarowno had ceded to 
the Turks. 

Russia became every day more prosperous under the princes 
of the House of Romanow. She gained a decided superiority 
over Poland, who had formerly dictated the law to her. Alexis 
Michaelovitz not only recovered from the Poles what they had 
conquered from Russia during the disturbances occasioned by 
the two pretenders of the name of Demetrius ; we have already 
observed, that he dispossessed them of Kiow, and all that part 
of the Ukraine, or Little Russia, which lies on the left bank of 
the Borysthenes. 

Theodore Alexievitz, the son and successor of Alexis Mi- 
chaelovitz, rendered his reign illustrious by the wisdom of his 
administration. Guided by the advice of his enlightened mi- 
nister. Prince Galitzin, he conceived the bold project of abolish- 
ing the hereditary orders of the nobility, and the prerogatives 
that were attached to them. These orders were destructive of 
all subordination in civil as well as in military afiliirs, and gave 
rise to a multitude of disputes and litigations, of which a court, 
named Rozrad, took cognizance. The Czar, in a grand assem- 
bly which he convoked at Moscow (1682,) abolished the here- 
ditary rank of the nobles. He burnt the deeds and registers 
by wh'fh thev were atV^esterl, nnd obliged every noble family to 

48 CHAPTER vm. 

produce the extracts of these registers, which they had in their 
possession, that they might be committed to the flames. That 
prince having no children of his own, had destined his younger 
brother Peter Alexievitz to be his successor, to the exclusion of 
John, his elder brr ther, on account of his incapacity. But, on 
the death of Theodore, both princes were proclaimed at once by 
the military, and the government was intrusted to the Princess 
Sophia, their elder sister, who assumed the title of Autocratix 
and Sovereign of all the Russias. Peter, who was the son of 
the second marriage of the Czar, was at that time only ten 
years of rfge. It was during the administration of the Princess 
Sophia that the peace of Moscow was concluded (May 6, 1686 ;) 
one clause of which contained an alliance, ofiensive and defen- 
sive, between Russia and Poland against the Porte. 

Peter had no sooner attained the age of seventeen than lie 
seized the reins of government, and deposed his sister Sophia, 
whom he sent to a convent. Endowed with an extraordinary 
genius, this Prince became the reformer of his Empire, which, 
under his reign, assumed an aspect totally new. By the advice 
of Le Fort, a native of Geneva, who had entered the Russian 
service, and whom he had received into his friendship and con- 
fidence, he turned his attention to every branch of the public 
administration. The military system was changed, and mo- 
delled after that of the civilized nations of Europe. He found- 
ed the maritime power of Russia, improved her finances, en- 
couraged commerce and manufactures, introduced letters and 
arts into his dominions, and applied himself to reform the lav/s, 
to polish and refine the manners of the people. 

Peter, being in alliance with Poland, engaged in the war 
against the Porte, and laid open the Black Sea by his conquest 
of the city and port of Azoff ; and it was on this occasion that 
he equipped his first fleet at Woronitz. Azoff' remained in his 
possession, by an article of the peace which was concluded with 
the Porte at Constantinople (13th July, 1700.) About the same 
time, Peter abolished the patriarchal dignity, which ranked the 
head of the Russian Church next to the Czar, and gave him a 
dangerous influence in the affairs of government. He trans- 
ferred the authority of the patriarch to a college of fifteen per- 
sons, called the Most Holy Synod, whose duty it was to take 
cognizance of ecclesiastical affairs, and in general, of all matters 
which had fallen within the jurisdiction of the patriarch, 'l:-:^ 
members of this college were obliged to take the oath at t! ": 
hands of the Sovereign, and to be appointed by him on thepC' 
sentation of the Synod. 

Being desirous of seeing and examining in person the rr.:.:> 

PERIOD vii. A. D. 1648—1713. 49 

tiers and customs of other nations, he undertook two different 
voyages into foreigri countries, divested of that pomp which is 
the usual accompaniment of princes. During these travels, he- 
cultivated the arts and sciences, especially those connected with 
commerce and navigation ; he engaged men of talents in his 
services, such as naval officers, engineers, surgeons, artists, and 
mechanics of all kinds, whom he dispersed over his vast do- 
minions, to instruct and improve the Russians. During his first 
voyage to Holland and England, the Strelitzes, the only per- 
manent troops known in Russia before his time, revolted ; they 
were first instituted by the Czar, John Basilovitz IV. They 
fought after the manner of the Janissaries, and enjoyed nearly 
the same privileges. Peter, with the intention of disbanding 
these seditious and undisciplined troops, had stationed them on the 
frontiers of Lithuania ; he had also removed them from being his 
own body-guard, a service which he entrusted to the regiments 
raised by himself. This sort of degradation incensed the Stre- 
lirzes, who took the opportunity of the Czar's absence to revolt. 
They directed their march to the city of Moscow, with the design 
of deposing the Czar, and replacing Sophia on the throne ; but 
they were defeated by the Generals Schein and Gordon, who had 
marched to oppose them. Peter, on his return, caused two 
thousand of them to be executed, and incorporated the rest among 
his troops. He afterwards employed foreign officers, either Ger- 
mans or Swedes, to instruct the Russians in the military art. 

It was chiefly during the war with Sweden that the Russian 
army was organized according to the European system. The 
Czar took advantage of the check he had sustained before Narva 
(Nov. 30, 1700,) to accomplish this important change in levying, 
equipping, and training all his troops after the German manner. 
He taught the Russians the art of combating and conquering the 
Swedes ; and while the King of Sweden Avas bent on the ruin 
of Augustus II., and made but feeble efforts against the Czar, 
the latter succeeded in conquering Ingria from the Swedes, and 
.aid open the navigation of the Baltic. He took the fortress of 
Notebarg (1702,) which he afterwards called Schlisselburg ; he 
next made himself master of Nyenschantz, Kopori, and Jamp 
(now Jamburg) in Ingria. The port of Nyenchantz was entirely 
razed ; and the Czar laid the foundation of St. Petersburg in 
one of the neighbouring islands of the Neva (May 27, 1703.) In 
the middle of» winter he constructed the fort of Cronschlot to 
serve as a defence for the new city, which he intended to make 
the capital of his Empire, and the principal dep6t for the com- 
(uerce and marine of Russia. The fortune of this "e'v ■.■,^^\\.i^\ 

VOL. II. 5 


was decided by the famous battle of Pultowa (July 8, 1709,) 
which likewise secured the preponderance of Russia in the Nortti. 

Charles XII., who had taken refuge in Turkey, used ever\ 
effort to instigate the Turks against the Russians ; and he suc- 
ceeded by dint of intrigue. The Porte declared war against the 
Czar towards the end of the year 1710 ; the latter opened the 
campaign of 1711 by an expedition which he undertook into 
Moldavia ; but having rashly penetrated into the interior of that 
province, he was surrounded by the Grand Vizier near Falczi 
on the Pruth. Besieged in his camp by an army vastly supe- 
rior to his own, and reduced to the last necessity, he found no 
other means of extricating himself from this critical situation, 
than by agreeing to a treaty, which he signed in the camp of 
Falczi (21st July 1711 ;) in virtue of which, he consented to re- 
store to the Turks the fortress of Azoff, with its territory and 
its dependencies. This loss was amply compensated by the im- 
portant advantages which the peace with Sweden, signed at Ny- 
stadt (Sept. 10, 1721,) procured the Czar. It was on this occa- 
sion that the Senate conferred on him the epithet of Great, the 
Father of his Country, and Emperor of all the Ritssias. His 
inauguration to the Imperial dignity took place, October 22d 
1721, the very day of the rejoicing that had been appointed for 
the celebration of the peace. Peter himself put the Imperial 
crown on his own head. 

That great prince had the vexation to see Alexis Czarowitz 
his son, and presumptive heir to the Empire, thwarting all his 
improvements, and caballing in secret with his enemies. Being 
at length compelled to declare that he had forfeited his right to 
the throne, he had him condemned to death as a traitor (1718.) 
In consequence of this tragical event, he published an Ukase, 
which vested in the reigning prince the privilege of nominating 
his successor, and even of changing the appointment whenever 
he might judge it necessary. This arrangement became fatal to 
Russia ; the want of a fixed and permanent order of succession 
occasioned troubles and revolutions which frequently distracted 
the whole Empire. This law, moreover, made no provision in 
cases where the reigning prince might neglect to settle the suc- 
cession during his life ; as happened with Peter himself, who 
died without making or appointing any successor (Feb. 1725.) 
Catherine I., his spouse, ascended the throne, which, after a 
reign of two years, she transmitted to Peter, son of the unfortu- 
nate Alexis. 

In Hungary, the precautions that had been taken by the States 
of Presburg to establish civil and religious liberty on a solid ba- 
sis, ■]}(] not prevent disturbances from springing up in that king- 

PERIOD VII. A. V. 1648 ITl'j. 51 

dom. The Court of Vienna, perceiving the necessity of consoh- 
diiii ng its vast monarchy, whose incoherent parts were suffering 
from the want of unity, eagerly seized these occasions for ex- 
tending its power in Hungary, where it was greatly circumscri- 
bed by the laws and constitution of the country. Hence those 
perpetudl infringements of which the Hungarians had to com- 
plain ; and those ever-recurring disturbances in which the Otto- 
man Turks, who shared with Austria the dominion of Hungary, 
were also frequently implicated. 

Transylvania, as well as a great part of Hungary, was then 
dependent on the Turks. The Emperor Leopold I. having 
granted his pi'otection to John Kemeny, Prince of Transylvania, 
against Michael Abaffi, a protege of the Turks, a war between 
the two Empires seemed to be inevitable. The Diet of Hunga- 
ry, which the Emperor had assembled at Presburg on this sub- 
ject (1662,) was most outrageous. The States, before they 
would give any opinion as to the war against the Turks, de- 
manded that their own grievances should be redressed ; and the 
assembly separated without coming to any conclusion. The 
Turks took advantage of this dissension, and seized the fortress 
of Neuheusel, and several other places. The Emperor, incapa- 
ble of opposing them, and distrustful of the Hungarian malecon- 
tents, had recourse to foreign aid. This he obtained at the Diet 
of the Empire ; and Louis XIV. sent him a body of six thou- 
sand men, under command of the Count de Coligni. An action 
took place (1664) near St. Gothard, in which the French signal- 
ized their bravery. The Turks sustained a total defeat ; but 
Montecuculi, the commander-in-chief of the Imperial army, fail- 
ed to take advantage of his victory. A truce of twenty years 
was soon after concluded at Temeswar, in virtue of which the 
Turks retained Neuheusel, Waradin, and Novigrad. Michael 
Abaffi, their tributary and protege, was continued in Transyl- 
vania ; and both parties engaged to withdraw their troops from 
that province. 

This treaty highly displeased the Hungarians, as it had been 
concluded without their concurrence. Their complaints against 
the Court of Vienna became louder than ever. They complain- 
ed, especially, that the Emperor should entertain German troops 
in the kingdom ; that he should intrust the principal fortresses 
to foreigners ; and impose shackles on their religious liberties. 
The Court of Vienna having paid no regard to these grievances, 
several of the nobles entered into a league for the preservation 
of their rights ; but they were accused of holding correspondence 
with the Turks, and conspiring against the person of the Empe- 
ror. The Counts Zrini, Nadaschdi, Frangepan, and Tatteubach 

52 CHAPTER vm. 

were condcirmed as gxiilty of high treason (1671,) and had their 
heads cut off on the scaffold. A vast number of the Protestant 
clergy were either banished or condemned to the galleys, as 
implicated in the conspiracy ; but this severity, far from abating 
these disturbances, tended rather to augment them. The sup- 
pression of the dignity of Palatine of Hungary, which took place 
about the same time, added to the cruelties and extortions of all 
kinds practised by the German troops, at length raised a general 
insurrection, which ended in a civil war (1677.) The insur- 
gents at first chose the Count Francis Wesselini as their leader, 
who was afterwards replaced by Count Emeric Tekeli. These 
noblemen were encouraged in their enterprise, and secretly abet* 
ted by France and the Porte. 

The Emperor then found it necessary to comply ; and, in a 
Diet which he assembled at Odenburg, he granted redress to 
most of the grievances of which the Hungarians had to com- 
plain ; but Count Tekeli having disapproved of the resolutions 
of this Diet, the civil war was continued, and the Count soon 
found means to interest the Turks and the prince of Transylva- 
nia in his quarrel. The Grand Vizier Kara Mustapha, at the 
liead of the Ottoman forces, came and laid siege to Vienna (July 
14, 16S3.) A Polish army marched to the relief of that place 
under their King, John Sobieski, who was joined by Charles 
IV., Duke of Lorraine, General of the Imperial troops ; they 
attacked the Turks in their entrenchments before Vienna, and 
compelled them to raise the siege (September 12, 16S3.) Every 
thing then succeeded to the Emperor's wish. Besides Poland, 
the Russians and the Republic of Venice took part in this war 
in favour of Austria. A succession of splendid victories, gained 
by the Imperial generals, Charles Duke of Lorraine, Prince 
Louis of Baden, and Prince Eugene, procured for Leopold the 
conquest of all that part of Hungary, which had continued since 
the reign of Ferdinand I. in the power of the Ottomans. The 
fortress of Neuheusel was taken, in consequence of the battle 
which the Duke of Lorraine gained over the Turks at Strigova 
(1685.) The same General took by assault the city of Buda, 
the capital of Hungary, which had been in possession of the 
Turks since 1541, The memorable victory of Mohacz, gained 
by the Imperialists (16S7,) again reduced Transylvania and 
Sclavonia vmder the dominion of Austria. These continued 
reverses cost the Grand Vizier his life ; he Avas strangled by 
order of the Sultan, Mahomet IV., who was himself deposed 
by his rebellious Janissaries. 

Encouraged by these brilliant victories, the Emperor Leopold 
assembled the States of Hungary at Presburg. He there de- 

PERIOD VII A. D. 1648—1713. - 53 

manded, that, in conrideration of tne extraordinary efforts he 
had been obliged to make against the Ottomans, the kingdom 
sliould be declared hereditary in his family. The States at 
first appeared inclined to maintain their own right of election ; 
but yielding soon to the influence of authority, they agreed to 
make the succession hereditary in favour of the males of the two 
Austrian branches ; on the extinction of which they were to be 
restored to their ancient rights. As for the privileges of the 
Slates, founded on the decree of King Andrew II,, they were 
renewed at that Diet ; with the exception of that clause in the 
diirly-first article of the decree, which authorized the States to 
oppose, by open force, any prince that should attempt to infringe 
the rights and liberties of the country. The Jesuits, who were 
formerly proscribed, were restored, and their authority establish- 
ed throughout all the provinces of the kingdom. The Protes- 
tants of both confessions obtained the confirmation of the churches 
and prerogatives that had been secured to them by the articles 
of the Diet of Odenburg ; but it was stipulated, that only Catho- 
lics were entitled to possess property within the kingdoms of 
Dalnmtia, Croatia and Sclavonia. The Archduke Joseph, son 
of Leopold I., was crowned at this Diet (December 19, 1687,) 
as the first hereditary King of Hungary. 

The arms of Austria were crowned with new victories durino 
die continuation of the war against the Turks. Albe-Royale, 
Belgrade, Semendria, and Gradisca, fell into the hands of the 
Emperor. The two splendid victories at Nissa and Widdin, 
which Louis prince of Baden gained (1689,) secured to the Aus 
trians the conquest of Servia, Bosnia, and Bulgaria. The de- 
jected courage of the Ottomans was for a time revived by their 
new Grand Vizier Mustapha Kiupruli, a man of considerable 
genius. After gaining several advantages over the Imperialists, 
he look from them Nissa, Widdin, Semendria, and Belgrade ; 
and likewise reconquered Bulgaria, Servia, and Bosnia. The 
extraordinary efforts that the Porte made for the campaign of 
the following year, inspired them with hopes of better success ; 
but their expectations were quite disappointed by the unfortu- 
nate issue of the famous battle of Salankemen, which the Prince 
of Baden gained over the Turks, (Aug. 19, 1691.) The brave 
Kiupruli was slain, and his death decided the victory in favour 
of the Imperialists. The war with France, however, which then 
occupied the principal forces of Austria, did not permit the Em- 
peror to reap any advantage from this victory ; he was even 
obliged, in the following campaigns, to act on the defensive in 
Hungary ; and it was not until the conclusion of peace wnh 
France, that he was able to resume the war against the Turks? 


64 CHAPTER Vlll, 

with fresh vigour. Prince Eugene, who was then commander- 
in-chief of the Imperial army, attacked the SuUan MustapUa 
,1. in person, near Zenta on the river Teiss (Sept. 11, 1697,) 
'.vhere he gained a decisive victory. The grand Vizier, seven- 
\iion Pachas, and two thirds of the Ottoman army, were left 
dead on the field of battle ; and the grand Seignior was com- 
pelled to fall back in disorder on Belgrade. 

This terrible blow made the Porte exceedingly anxious for 
{■taoc; and he had recourse to the mediation of England and 
Holland. A negotiation, which proved as tedious as it was in- 
tricate, was set on foot at Constantinople, and thence transfer- 
red to Carlowitz, a town of Sclavonia lying between the two 
camps, one of which was at Peterwaradin, and the other at 
Belgrade. Peace was there concluded with the Emperor 
and his allies (Jan. 26, 1699.) The Emperor, by that treaty, 
retained Hungary, Transylvania and Sclavonia, with the ex- 
ception of the Banat of Temeswar, which was reserved to the 
Porle. The rivers Marosch, Teiss, Save, and Unna, were 
fixed as the limits between the two Empires. The Count Te- 
keli, who during the whole of this war had constantly espoused 
the cause of the Porte, was allowed to remain in the Ottoman 
territory ; with such of the Hungarians and Transylvanians as 
adhered to him. 

The peace of Carlowitz had secured to the Emperor nearly 
the Avhole of Hungary ; but, glorious though it was, it did not 
restore the internal tranquillity of the kingdom, which very 
soon experienced fresh troubles. The same complaints that 
had arisen after the peace of Temeswar, were renewed after 
that of Carlowitz ; to these were even added several others, oc- 
•asioned by the introduction of the hereditary succession, at 
he Diet of 16S7, by the suppression of the clause in the thirty- 
drst article of the decree of Andrew H., by the restoration of 
he Jesuits and the banishment of Tekeli and his adherents. 
Nothing was wanted but a ringleader for the malecontents to 
lekindle the flames of civil war, and this leader was soon found 
in the person of the famous Prince Ragoczi, who appeared on 
'he scene about the beginning of the eighteenth century, and 
when the greater part of Europe were involved in the war ol 
the Spanish Succession. 

Francis Ragoczi was the grandson of George Ragoczi II., 
who had been prince of Transylvania ; and held a distinguish- 
ed rank in the States of Hungary, not more by his illustrious 
I'irlh than by the great possessions which belonged to his fa- 
niily. The Court of Vienna, which entertained suspicions of 
him on account of his near relationship with Tekeli, had kept 

PERIOD vii. A. D. 1648—1713- 55 

h\ni in a sort of captivity from his earliest infancy; and he 
Wiis not set at large, nor restored to the possession of his estates, 
until 1694, when he married a princess of Hesse-Rheinfels. 
From that time he resided quietly on his estates, holding his 
Court at Sarosch, in the district of the same name. Being sus- 
pected of having concerted a conspiracy with the malecontents, 
lie was arrested by order of the Court of Vienna (1701.) and 
carried to Neustadt in Austria, whence he escaped and retired 
10 Poland. Being condemned as guilty of high treason, and 
his estates de(ilared forfeited, he took the resolution of placing 
liimself at the head of the rebels, and instigating Hungary 
against the Emperor. France, who had just joined in the war 
with Austria, encouraged him in that enterprise, which she 
regarded as a favourable event for creating a diversion on the 
])an of lier enemy. Having arrived in Ilungary, Ragoczi pub- 
lished a manifesto (1703,) in which he detailed the motives of 
his conduct, and exhorted the Hungarians to join him, for vin- 
-dicating their ancient liberties which had been oppressed by the 
House of Austria. He soon attracted a crowd of partisans, and 
made himself master of a great part of the kingdom. The 
Transylvanians chose him for their prince (1704 ;) and the States 
of Hungary, who had united for the re-establishment of their 
<!i\v3 and immunities, declared him their chief, with the title of 
Duke, and a senate of twenty-five persons. Louis XIV. sent 
liis envoy, the Marquis Dessalleurs, to congratulate him on 
his elevatio!! ; and the Czar, Peter the Great, offered him the 
throne of Poland (1707,) in opposition to Stanislaus, who was 
protected by Charles XII. 

The House of Austria being engaged in the Spanish war, 
was unable for a long time to reduce the Hungarian malecon- 
tents. The repeated attempts which she had made to come to an 
accommodation with them having failed, the war was continued 
till 1711, when the Austrians, who had been victorious, com- 
pelled Ragoczi to evacuate Hungary, and retire to the frontiers 
of Poland. A treaty of pacification was then drawn up. The 
Emperor promised to grant an amnesty, and a general restitu- 
tion of goods in favour of all those who had been implicated in 
5 lie insurrection. He came under an engagement to preserve 
inviolable the rights, liberties, and immunities of Hungary, and 
the principality of Transylvania ; to reserve all civil and mili- 
tary ofliccs to the Hungarians ; to maintain the laws of the 
kingdom respecting religion ; and as for their other grievances, 
whether political or ecclesiastical, he consented to have them 
discussed in the approaching Diet. These articles were ap- 
proved and signed by the greater part of the malecontents, who 

56 CHAPTER vm. 

then took a new oath of allegiance to the Emperor. Ragocz> 
anil his principal adherents Avere the only persons that remain- 
ed proscribed and attainted, havmg refused to accede to these 

The Turkish Empire, once so formidable, had gradually fallen 
from the summit of its grandeur ; its resources were exhausted, 
and its history marked by nothing but misfortunes. The effe- 
minacy and incapacity of the Sultans, their contempt for the 
arts cultivated by the Europeans, and the evils of a govern- 
ment purely military and despotic, by degrees midermined its 
strength, and eclipsed its glory as a conquering and presiding 
power. We find the Janissaries, a lawless and undisciplined 
militia, usurping over the sovereign and the throne the same 
rights which the Praetorian guards had arrogated over the an- 
cient Roman Emperors. 

The last conquest of any importance which the Turks made 
was that of Candia, which they took from the Republic of Venice. 
The war which obtained them the possession of that island, 
lasted for twenty years. It began under the Sultan Ibrahim 
(1645,) and was continued under his successor, Mahomet IV, 
The Venetians defended the island Avith exemplary courage and 
intrepidity. They destroyed several of the Turkish fleets ; 
and, on different occasions, they kept the passage of the Darda- 
nelles shut against the Ottomans. At length the famous Vizier 
Achmet Kiupruli undertook the siege of the city of Candia 
(1667,) at the head of a formidable army. This siege was one 
of the most sanguinary recorded in history. The Turks lost 
above a hundred thousand men ; and it was not till after a siege 
of two jiears and four months that the place surrendered to 
them by a capitulation (Sept. 5, 1669,) Avhich at the same time 
regulated the conditions of peace between the Turks and the 
Venetians. These latter, on surrendering Candia, reserved, irr 
the islands and islets adjoining, three places, viz. Suda, Spina- 
loaga, and Garabusa. They also retained Clissa, and some 
other places in Dalmatia and Albania, which they had seizec. 
during the war. The reign of Mahomet from that time, pre- 
sented nothing but a succession of wars, of which that against 
Hungary was the most fatal to the Ottoman Empire. The 
Turks were overwhelmed by the powerful league formed 
between Austria, Poland, Russia, and the Republic of Venice, 
They experienced, as we have already noticed, a series of fatal 
disasters during that war ; and imputing these misfortunes to 
the effeminacy of their Sultan, they resolved to depose him. 
Mustapha II., the third in succession from Mahomet IV., ter- 
minated this destructive war by the peace of Carlowitz, when 

PERIOD vm. A. D. 1713 — 1789. 57 

the Turks lost all their possessions in Hungary, except Temeswar 
and Belgrade. They gave up to Poland the fortress of Kanii- 
niec, with Podolia, and the part of the Ukraine on this side the 
Nieper, which had been ceded to ihem by former treaties. The 
V^enetians, b}/ their treaty with the Porte, obtained possession 
of the Morea, which they had conquered during the war ; in- 
cluding the islands of St. Maura and Leucadia, as also the for- 
tresses of Dalmatia, Knin, Sing, Ciclut, Gabella, Castlenuovo, 
and Risano. Finally, the Porte renounced the tribute which 
Venice had formerly paid for the isle of Zante ; and the Repub- 
lic of Ragusa was guaranteed in its independence, with respect 
to the Venetians. 



From the Peace of Utrecht to the French Revolution, a. d 

[During the wars of the preceding period, arts and lettei:. 
'had made extraordinary progress ; especially in France, where 
they seemed to have reached the highest degree of perfection 
to which the limited genius of man can carry them. The age 
of Louis XIV. revived, and almost equalled those master-pieces 
which Greece had produced under Pericles, Rome under Au- 
gustus, and Italy under the patronage of the Medici. This 
was the classical era of French literature. The grandeur 
which reigned at the court of that monarch, and the glory which 
his vast exploits had reflected on the nation, inspired authors 
with a noble enthusiasm ; the public taste was retined by imi- 
tating the models of antiquity ; and this preserved the French 
writers from those extravagancies which some other nations 
have mistaken for the standard of genius. Their language, 
polished by the Academy according to fixed rules, the first and 
most fundamental of which condemns every thing that does 
Slot tend to unite elegance with perspicuity, became the general 
medium of communication among the ditferent nations in the 
civilized world; and this literary conquest which France made 
over the minds of other nations, is more glorious, and has 
proved more advantageous to her, than that universal dominion 
to which Louis XIV. is said to have aspired. 

In the period on which we are now entering, men of genius 
and talents, though they did not neglect the Belles-Lettres, 
devoted themselves chiefly to ihose sciences, and that kind of 


learning, the study of which has been diffused over all classes 
of society. Several branches of mathematics and natural philo- 
sophy, assumed a form entirely new; the knowledge of the 
ancient classics, which, till then, had been studied chiefly for the 
formation of taste, became a branch of common education, and 
gave birth to a variety of profound and useful researches. Geo- 
metry, astronomy, mechanics, and navigation, were brought to 
great perfection, by the rivaliy among the different scientific 
academies in Europe. Natural Philosophy discovered many of 
the laws and phenomena of nature. Chemistry rose from the 
rank of an obscure art, and put on the garb of an attractive 
science. Natural History, enriched by the discoveries of learned 
travellers, was divested of those fables and chimeras which 
ignorance had attributed to her. History, supported by the 
auxiliary sciences of Geography and Chronology, became a 
branch of general philosophy. 

The equilibrium among the different States, disturbed by the am- 
bition of Louis XrV., had been confirmed by the peace of Utrecht, 
which lasted during twenty-four years without any great altera 
tion. Nevertheless, in the political transactions which took place 
at this time, England enjoyed a preponderance which had beeri 
growing gradually since she had ceased to be the theatre of civil 
discord. The glory which she had acquired by the success of 
her arms in the Spanish wars, and the important advantages 
which the treaty of Utrecht had procured her, both in Europe 
and America, augmented her political power, and gave her an 
influence in general affairs which she never had enjoyed before. 
That nation carried their commerce and their marine to an extent 
which could not fail to alarm the other commercial and maritime 
states, and make them perceive that, if the care of their own trade 
and independence made it necessary to maintain a system of 
equilibrium on the Continent, it was equally important for their 
prosperity that bounds should be set to the monopolizing power 
of England. This gave rise at first to a new kind of rivalry be- 
tween France and England — a rivalry whose effects were more 
particularly manifested after the middle of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, and which occasioned an intimate alliance among the 
branches of the House of Bourbon. At a later date, and in con- 
sequence of the principles which the English professed as to the 
commerce of neutral states, the powers of the North leagued 
themselves against that universal dominion which they were 
accused of wishing to usurp over the sea. In the Ninth Period, 
we shall even see the whole Continent for a short time turned 
against that nation — the only one that has been able to preserve 
ber commerce and her independence. 

PEHioD vrn. A. D. 1713—1789. 5ft 

This preponderance of England is the first change which the 
pniincal system of Europe experienced in the eighteenth cenTur\' 
The second took place in the North. Till that time, the northern 
vountnes of Europe had never, except transiently, had any poli- 
tical connexions with the South. Russia, separated by the 
pos?essions of Sweden on the coasts of the Baltic, had belonged 
rather to Asia than to our quarter of the world. Poland; fallen 
from her ancient greatness, had sunk into a state of anarchy and 
exhaustion. Denmark and Sweden were disputing the command 
of the Baltic, and had no other influence on the politics of the 
South than that which Sweden had acquired by the personal 
qualities of some of her kings. The great war of the North, 
which broke out at the commencement of the eighteenth century, 
and the conquests of Peter the Great, which extended the limits 
of his Empire as far as the Gulf of Finland, and reduced Sweden 
to a state of debility from which she has not yet recovered, 
enabled Russia not only to take a distinguished lead in the 
North, but to become an important member in the system of 

Meantime, the foundation of the Prussian monarchy gave rise 
to a new and intermediate power between the North and the 
South; but that state remained within the bounds of mediocrity 
until the middle of the eighteenth century. At that time the 
genius of Frederic II. alone raised it to a pitch of greatness which 
enabled it to struggle against the superior force of its neighbours, 
but without menacing the independence of other states. This 
growing power of Prussia, however, occasioned a rivalry between 
it and Austria, which for seventy years had an influence on the 
politics of Europe. It produced the extraordinary spectacle of 
an intimate alliance between two ancient rivals, the Houses of 
Austria and Bourbon ; and, by dividing Germany between two 
opposite systems, it paved the way for the dissolution of that 
Empire. Such was the third change which the polity of Europe 
experienced in course of the eighteenth century. 

The fourth change was less felt than the three others ; its 
fatal consequences did not develope themselves until the Ninth 
Period. For the first time within the last three centuries, the 
sovereigns of Europe ventured to break treaties and to violate 
engagements, to declare war and undertake conquests, without 
alleging any other motives than reasons of convenience, and the 
ambition of aggrandizement. Thus the basis of the equilibrium 
system, the inviolability of possessions honourably acquired, was 
sapped, and the downfall of the whole system prepared. The 
events of the wars for the succession of Austria, furnished the 
lirst examples of this contempt for treaties; they were renewed 


in an alarming manner on the partition of Poland, and by the 
attempts which the Emperor Joseph made to seize Bavaria. The 
act of iniquity committed against Poland was often cited, during 
the period of the French Revolution, to justify all sorts of vio- 
lence and usurpation ; and it was followed by a long train of 

Commerce continued, in the eighteenth century, to be one of 
:he principal objects that occupied the Cabinets of Europe. The 
mercantile systeni was brought to great perfection, and became, 
with most nations, the basis of their administration. The mari- 
time powers turned all their attention, and bestowed the greatest 
care, on their colonies, the number and Avealth of which were 
augmented by new establishments and better regulations. In 
imitation of Louis XIV., most of the states kept up numerous 
standing armies ; a practice which they even carried to excess. 
The influence of England in Continental affairs was increased ; 
as she had no occasion to augment her own army in proportion 
to that of other kingdoms, she was able to furnish them with 
those supplies which were necessary to carry on their wars. 
Besides, since the time of Frederic II., or about the year 1740, 
tactics, and the military art in general, had reached a degree of 
perfection which seemed scarcely to admit of further improve- 
ment. Finally, the financial system of several states experienced 
a revolution, by the invention of public funds for the payment of 
national debts ; especially that instituted by Mr. Pitt, called the 
Sinking Fund.] 

The extraordinary efforts which the powers of Europe had 
made during the last century, for maintaining the equilibrium 
of the Continent against the ambitious designs of France and 
Sweden, brought on a long period of tranquillity, which gave 
these nations an opportunity of encouraging arts, industry and 
commerce, and thereby repairing the evils which the long and 
disastrous wars had occasioned. Cabinets were attentive to 
maintain the stipulations of the treaties of Utrecht and Stock- 
holm ; and, by means of negotiations, to guard against every 
hing that might rekindle a new general war. The good under- 
standing that subsisted between France and Great Britain during 
liie reign of George I. and the beginning of that of George II. — 
or, in other words, under the administration of Walpole, was the 
?ffect of those temporary interests that engrossed the attention 
of the two Courts — the one being under terror of the Pretender, 
and the other alarmed at the ambitious projects of Spain. 

The Duke of Orleans, Regent of France during the minority 
of Louis XV., was anxious to maintain that peace and political 
order which the late treaties had introduced : having it in vie'.'.' 

PERIOD vra. A. D. 1713 — 1789. 61 

•o remedy those disorders in the finance, which Louis XIV. had 
left in so deplorable a state. ^ The King of Spain, on the other 
hand, who was desirous of reviving his rights to the crown of 
France, went into the rash schemes of Cardinal Alberoni,^ his 
prime minister, purporting to renew the war ; to reconquer those 
territories which the peace of Ulrecht had dismembered from 
the Spanish monarchy ; to deprive the Duke of Orleans of the 
regency, and vest it in the King of Spain ; and to place the Pre- 
tender, son of James II., on the throne of Great Britain. 

The treaty of Utrecht, although it had tranquillized a great 
part of Europe, was nevertheless defective, in as far as it had 
not reconciled the Emperor and the King of Spain, the two prin- 
cipal claimants to the Spanish succession. The Emperor 
Charles VI. did not recognise Philip V. in his quality of King 
of Spain ; and Philip, in his turn, refused to acquiesce in those 
partitions of the Spanish monarchy, which the treaty of Utrecht 
had stipulated in favour of the Emperor. To defeat the projects 
and secret intrigues of the Spanish minister, the Duke of Or- 
leans thought of courting an alliance with England, as being 
the power most particularly interested in maintaining the treaty 
of Utrecht, the fundamental articles of which had been dictated 
by herself. That alliance, into which the United Provinces also 
entered, was concluded at the Hague (Jan. 4, 1717.) The arti- 
cles of the treaty of Utrecht, those especially which related to 
the succession of the two crowns, were there renewed ; and the 
Regent, in complaisance to the King of England, agreed to 
banish the Pretender from France, and to admit British com- 
missaries into Dunkirk to superintend that port. 

Cardinal Alberoni, without being in the least disconcerted by 
the Triple Alliance, persisted in his design of recommencing the 
war. No sooner had he recruited the Spanish forces, and 
equipped an expedition, than he attacked Sardinia, which he 
took from the Emperor. This conquest was followed by that 
of Sicily, which the Spaniards took from the Duke of Savoy 

France and England, indignant at the infraction of a treaty 
which they regarded as their own work, immediately concluded 
with the Emperor, at London (Aug. 2, 1718,) the famous Quad- 
ruple Alliance, which contained the plan of a treaty of peace, to 
be made between the Emperor, the King of Spain, and the Duke 
of Savoy. The allied powers engaged to obtain the consent of 
the parties interested in this proposal, and in case of refusal, to 
compel them by force of arms. The Emperor v/as to renounce 
his right to the Spanish crown, and to acknowledge Philip V. 
as the legitimate King of Spain, in consideration of his renoun- 

vni.. II. rt 


cing the provinces of Italy and the Netherlands, which the itealj 
of Utrecht and the quadruple alliance adjudged to the EmperoT. 
The Duke of Savoy was to cede Sicily to Austria, receiving 
Sardinia in exchange, which the King of Spain was to give up. 
The right of reversion to the crown of Spain was transferred 
from Sicily to Sardinia. That treaty likewise granted to Don 
Carlos, eldest son of Philip V., by his second marriage, the even- 
tual reversion and investiture of the dutchies of Parma and Pla- 
centia, as well as the grand dutchy of Tuscany, on condition of 
holding them as fiefs-male of the Emperor and the Empire, aftei 
the decease of the last male issue of the families of Farnese and 
Medici, who were then in possession ; and the better to secure 
this double succession to the Infante^ they agreed to introduce a 
body of six thousand Swiss into the two dutchies, to be quartered 
in Leghorn, Porto-Ferrajo, Parma, and Placentia. The con- 
tracting powers undertook to guarantee the payment of these 

The Duke of Savoy did not hesitate to subscribe to the condi- 
tions of the quadruple alliance ; but it was otherwise with the 
King of Spain, who persisted in his refusal ; when France and 
England declared war against him. The French invaded the 
provinces of Guipuscoa and Catalonia, while the English seized 
Gallicia and the port of Vigo. These vigorous proceedings 
shook the resolutions of the King of Spain. He signed the 
quadruple alliance, and banished the Cardinal Alberoni from his 
court, the adviser of those measures of which the allies com- 
plained. The Spanish troops then evacuated Sicily and Sardi- 
nia, when the Emperor took possession of the former, and Victor 
Amadeus, Duke of Savoy, of the latter. 

The war to all appearance was at an end ; peace, however, 
was far from being concluded, and there still remained many 
difficulties to settle between the Emperor, the King of Spain, 
and the Duke of Savoy. To accomplish this, and conclude a 
definitive treaty between these three powers, a Congress was 
summoned at Cambray, which was to open in 1721, under the 
mediation of France and England ; but some disputes which 
arose regarding certain preliminary articles, retarded their meet- 
ing for several years. Their first and principal object was to 
effect an exchange of the acts of mutual renunciation between 
the Emperor and the King of Spain, as stipulated by the treaty 
of the quadruple alliance. The Emperor, who Avas reluctant to 
abandon his claims to the Spanish monarchy, started difficulties 
as to the form of these renunciations. He demanded that Phi- 
lip's renunciation of the provinces of Italy and the Netherlands, 
•hould be confirmed by the Spanish Cortes. Philip demanded. 

PEKioD vin. A. D. 1713—1789. 63 

m his turn, that the renunciation of the Emperor with regard to 
Spain, should be ratified by the Slates of the Empire. To get 
clear of tliis difficulty, France and England agreed, bj' a special 
compact, signed at Paris (Sept. 27, 1721,) that the renunciations 
of both princes, however defective they might be, should be held 
valid under the guaranty of the two mediating powers. 

Scarcely was this difficulty settled, when another presented 
itself, much more embarrassing. This related to the Company'" 
of Ostend, which the Emperor had instituted, and to which, by 
charter signed at Vienna (Dec. 19, 1722,) he had granted, for 
thirty years, the exclusive privilege of trading to the East and 
West Indies, and the coasts of Africa. That establishment set 
the maritime powers at variance with the Emperor ; especially 
the Dutch, who regarded it as prejudicial to their Indian com- 
merce. They maintained, that according to the treaty of Mun- 
ster, confirmed by the twenty-sixth article of the Barrier Treaty 
(1715,) the trade of the Spaniards with the East Indies was to 
remain as it was at that time. 

Nothing in these preliminary discussions met with so much 
opposition as the grant of the eventual reversion and investiture 
of Tuscany, Parma, and Placeutia, which the Emperor had en- 
gaged, by the Quadruple Alliance, to give to Don Carlos, the 
Infante of Spain. The Duke of Parma, the Pope, and the Grand 
Duke of Tuscany joined in opposition to it. Anthony, the last 
Duke of Parma and Placentia, of the House of Farnese, de- 
manded that the Emperor should never, during his life, exercise 
over the dutchy of Parma, the territorial rights established by 
the treaty of the Quadruple Alliance. The Pope also protested 
loudly against that clause of the treaty which deprived him of 
the rights of superiority over Parma and Placentia, which his 
predecessors had enjoyed for several centuries. As for the 
Grand Duke of Tuscany, John Gaston, the last of the Medici, he 
maintained, that as his dutchy neld of God onl3s he could never 
j)erinit that it should be declared a fief of the Empire . nor recog- 
nise the Infante of Spain as heir of his estates, to the prejudice 
of his sister's rights, the widow of the Elector Palatine. 

Charles VI. without slopping at these objections, laid the 
business of these investitures before the Diet of Ratisbon ; and, 
after having obtained their consent, he caused copies to be made 
of the letters of reversion and investiture in favour of Don Carlos 
and his heirs-male. These havin9" been presented to the Con- 
gress, the King of Spain refused to receive them ; alleging the 
protests of the Pope, and the Grand Duke of Tuscany; nor 
would he agree to them, except on condition of an act of guaranty 
vn the part of the mediating powers. All these difficulties being 


settled, and the preliminaries closed, they at length proceeded 
with the conferences at Cambray (April 1724,) for the conclu- 
sion of a definitive peace between the Emperor, the King of 
Spain, and the Duke of Savoy. Eveiy thing seemed arrived 
at an amicable termination, when some diiferences arose between 
the commissioners of the Emperor and those of the mediating 
powers, which occasioned new interruptions. 

Meantime, the Duke of Bourbon, who had succeeded the Duke 
of Orleans in the ministry, sent back to Spain the Infanta Maria, 
daughter of Philip V., who had been educated at the court of 
France, as the intended spouse of Louis XV. This event broke 
up the Congress. Philip V., greatly offended, recalled his 
ministers from Cambray. Baron Ripperda, ^ whom he had sent 
as envoy to the Imperial Court put an end to the differences be- 
tween these two powers, in despite of the mediation of France. 
In consequence, a special treaty was concluded at Vienna be- 
tween the Emperor and the King of Spain (April 30, 1725.) 
This treaty renewed the renvmciation of Philip V. to the pro- 
vinces of Italy and the Netherlands, as well as that of the Em- 
peror to Spain and the Indies. The eventual investiture of the 
dulchies of Parma and Placentia, and that of the grand dutchy 
of Tuscany, were also confirmed. The only new clause con- 
tained in the treaty, was that by which the King of Spain under- 
took to guarantee the famous Pragmatic Sanction of Charles VL, 
which secured to the daughter of that prince the succession of 
all his estates. It was chiefly on this account that Philip V. 
became reconciled to the Court of Vienna. 

The peace of Vienna was accompanied by a defensive alliance 
between the Emperor and the King of Spain. Among other 
clauses, one was that the Emperor shovild interpose to obtain 
for the King of Spain the restitution of Gibraltar and the island 
of Minorca; while Philip, on his side, granted to the shipping 
of the Emperor and his subjects free entrance into his ports, and 
all innnunities and prerogatives which were enjoyed by the 
nations in the strictest commercial connexions with Spain. 
These clauses alanned England and Holland; and the intimacy 
which had been established between the Courts of Vienna and 
Madrid attracted more particularly the attention of the Duke of 
Bourbon, who dreaded the resentment of the King of Spain, as 
he had advised the return of the Infanta. To prevent any such 
consequences, he set on foot a league with England and Prus- 
sia, capable of counteracting that of Vienna, which was concluded 
at Herrenhausen, near Hanover (Sept. 3, 1725,) and is known 
by the name of the Alliance of Hanover. 

All Europe was divided between these tw^o alliances. Hoi- 

PERIOD vm. A. D. 1713 — 1789. 65 

land, Sweden, and Denmark acceded to tne alliance of Hanover. 
•Catherine I. of Russia, and the principal Catholic States of the 
Empire joined that of Vienna. The Emperor even succeeded 
•,n detaching the King of Prussia from the alliance of Hanover 
to join his own. Europe seemed then on the eve of a generai 
war; the ambassadors to the different courts were recalled. The 
English sent a numerous and powerful fleet to America, the 
Mediterranean, and the Baltic ; while the Spaniards commenced 
hostilities, by laying siege to Gibraltar. The death of the Em- 
press of Russia (May 17, 1727,) however, caused a change in 
the disposition of the Northern powers. The Emperor, seeing 
he could no longer reckon on the assistance of Russia, showed 
no anxiety to second the efforts of the Spaniards ; but wha*: 
chiefly contributed to the maintenance of peace was, that neithei 
France nor England was desirous of war. 

In this situation of affairs, the Pope interposed his mediation 
and a new preliminary treaty was signed at Paris, which or 
dained that there should be an armistice for seven years ; that 
tlie Company of Ostend should be suspended for the same time ; 
and that a new General Congress should be held at Aix-la- 

Thi.s congress was first transferred to Cambray, and thence tc 
Soissons, where it was opened in 1728. Ambassadors from 
rilmost all the Courts of Europe appeared there; and they ex- 
pected, with some reason, a happy conclusion of the business ; 
as most of the difficulties which had embarrassed the Congress 
of Cambray were settled by the peace of Vienna, and as the only 
subject for deliberation was to settle the succession of Parma and 
Tuscany. But the Emperor having demanded that the Austrian 
Pragmatic Sanction should be adopted as the basis of the arrange- 
ments for establishing the peace of Soissons, that incident be- 
came the subject of new disputes. Cardinal Fleury, then prime 
minister of France, having strongly opposed this claim of the 
Court of Vienna, the Emperor, in his turn, threw obstacles in 
the way of the negotiation at Soissons. This inclined the Car- 
dinal to make overtures to the Court of Madrid, with whom he 
concerted a secret negotiation, in which he also found means to 
associate England. 

This gave rise to a treaty of peace, union, and offensive al- 
liance, which was signed at Seville between France, Spain, and 
England (November 9, 1729.) These powers engaged to gna- 
raniee the succession of Parma and Tuscany in favour of the 
Infante Don Carlos ; and to effect this, they resolved to substitute 
six thousand Spanish troops in the Swiss garrisons, named by 
he Quadruple Alliance. The Dutch acceded to that treaty, in 


'•iSl iJHAPTER Ut. 

consideration of the engagement which the contracting powens 
came under to give them entire satisfaction with respect to the 
Company of Ostend. 

The Emperor, finding the treaty of Seville concluded ivith- 
cut his co-operation, was apprehensive of having failed m his 
j^nncipal aim, viz. the adoption of the Austrian Pragmatic Sanc- 
tion. He was indignant that the allies at Seville should pre- 
tend to lay down the law to him touching the abolition of ibe 
Ostend Company, and the introduction of Spanish troops into 
Italy. Accordingly, being determined not to comply, he imme- 
diately broke ofi' all relationship with the Court of Spain ; he 
recalled his ambassador, and took measures to prevent the Spa- 
nish troops from taking possession of Italy. The last Duke of 
Parma, Anthony Farnese, being dead (1731,) he took posses- 
sion of his dutchy by force of arms. 

At length, to terminate all these differences, the King of Eng- 
land, in concert with the States-General, opened a negotiation 
with the Emperor ; the result of which was a treaty of alliance, 
signed at Vienna, between him, England and Holland (March 
16, 1731.) In virtue of that treaty, the three contracting pow- 
ers mutually guaranteed their estates, rights and possessions ; 
England and Holland, more especially, engaged to guarantee 
the Austrian Pragmatic Sanction ; and the Emperor, on his 
side, consented to the introduction of Spanish troops into Italy, 
and to the suppression of the Company of Ostend ; he even 
agreed that the Netherlands should never carry on trade with 
the Indies, either by the Ostend Company, or any other. 

In consequence of this treaty, which was approved by the 
States-General, Don Carlos took possession of Parma and Pla- 
centia ; and the Grand Duke of Tuscany also recognised him 
as his successor. Thus terminated these long disputes about 
the Spanish Succession, after having agitated the greater part 
of Europe for upwards of thirty years. 

In the midst of these contentions, a war had arisen between 
the Porte and the Republic of Venice ; in which the Emperor 
Charles VI. was also implicated. The Turks were desirous of 
recovering the Morea, which they had been obliged to abandon 
to the Venetians at the peace of Carlowitz ; but instead of at- 
tacking that Republic, while the Emperor was engaged with the 
French war, and unable to render it assistance, they waited till 
the conclusion of the treaties of Utrecht, Rastadt, and Baden, 
before they declared hostilities. The pretexts which the Turks 
made to justify this rupture were extremely frivolous ; but they 
knew well that the Venetians, who had lived in the most com- 
plete security since the peace of Carlowitz, had neglected to re- 

PERIOD vin. A. D. 1713—1789. 67 

pair the fortifications which had been destroyed in the war, and 
that it would be easy for them to reconquer them. 

In fact, during the campaign of 1715, the Grand Vizier not 
only recovered the Morea, he even dispossessed the Venetian'^ 
of the places which they still retained in the Isle of Candia . 
arid, ai the commencement of the following campaign, they laid 
siege to the town of Corfu. Charles VI. thought he was bound, 
us the guarantee of the peace of Carlowitz, to espouse the 
t'ausc of the Venetians ; he declared war against the Porte, and 
hie example was followed by the Pope and the King of Spain, 
who united their fleets to those of the Republic. The Turks 
were defeated in several engagements, and obliged to raise the 
siege of Corfu, after sacrificing a great many liv^es. 

The campaigns of 1716 and 1717 in Hungary, were trium- 
phant for the armies of the Emperor ; Prince Eugene gained a 
brilliant victory over the Grand Vizier, near Peterwaradin (Au- 
gust 5th,) whi«h enabled him to invest Temeswar, which he 
carried after a siege of six months, and thus completed the 
conquest of Hungary. To crown his glory, that great captain 
next undertook the siege of Belgrade, regarded by the Turks 
as the principal bulwark of their Empire. The Grand Vizier 
marched to the relief of the place, at the head of a formidable 
army. He encamped before Belgrade, and enclosed the Impe- 
rial army within a semicircle, reaching from the Danube to the 
Save. Prince Eugene had then no other alternative than to 
leave his camp, and attack the Turks in their intrenchments. 
He took his measures which such address, that, in spite of the 
great superiority of the Turks, he forced them back to their 
camp, and put them completely to rout (Aug. IG, 1717.) 

This victory was followed by the reduction of Belgrade, and 
several other places on the Save and the Danube. The Porte 
began to wish for peace ; and as the Emperor, who had just been 
attacked in Italy by the Spaniards, was equally desirous to put 
an end to the war, both parties agreed to accept the mediation 
of England and Holland. A congress was opened at Passaro- 
witz, a small town in Servia, near the mouth of the Morau. A 
peace was there concluded between the three belligerent powers 
(July 21, 1718,) on the basis of the Uti possidetis. The Empe- 
ror retained Temeswar, Orsova, Belgrade, and the part of Wal- 
lachia lying on this side of the river Aluta ; as also Servia, ac- 
cording to the limits determined by the treaty, and both banks 
of the Save, from the Drino to the Unna. The Venetians lost 
the Morea, but they retained several places in Herzegovina, 
Dahnatia, and Albania, which they had conquered during the 
war. The Porte restored to them the Island of Cerigo in ihe 


The success of Charles VI. in this war procured some new 
advantages to his house, on the part of the States of Hungary. 
The Diet of 16S7, in vesting the hereditary right of that king- 
acm ia the Emperor Leopold I., had restricted that right, solely 
in. the male descendants of the House of Austria ; and Charles 
VI., on his accession to the throne, had acknowledged the elec- 
tire right of the States, in case he should happen to die without 
leaving any male offspring. This prince, finding afterwards 
that, he had no other children left than the two daughters by his 
marriage with Elizabeth princess of Brunswick, and being desi- 
rous of securing to them the succession of Hungary as well as 
his other estates, assembled a Diet at Presburg (1722,) and there 
engaged the States of the kingdom to extend the right of suc- 
cession to females, according to the order which he had estab- 
lished in the Austrian Pragmatic Sanction, and published some 
3"ears before. 

A revolution happened in the government of Sweden imme- 
diately after the death of Charles XII., and before the great war 
of tlie North was quite ended. Reduced to a state of great dis- 
tress by the folly, ambition, and inflexible obstinacy of that prince, 
Sweden saw her finest provinces occupied by the enemy, her 
commerce annihilated, her armies and her fleets destroyed. 
They attributed these disasters chiefly to the absolute power of 
Charles XII., and the abuse he had made of it. The only reme- 
dy for so many evils, they conceived, was to abolish a power 
which had become so pernicious to the State. As Charles had 
never been married, the throne, according to the hereditary law 
established in Sweden, passed to the son of the dutchess of Hol- 
stein-Gottorp, eldest sister of Charles ; but the Senate of Sweden 
preferred to him the princess Ulrica Eleonora, younger sister of 
the late king; because of the declaration she had made, renoun- 
cing all absolute power, and consenting to hold the crown only 
by the free election of the States of the kingdom. The States, 
in an assembly held at Stockholm, in the beginning of 1719, de 
clared the throne vacant, and then proceeded to the election oi 
the princess. With their act of election, they presented her with 
a new form of government, and an act known by the name of 
the Royal Assurance, which imposed new limitations on the 
royal authority. The princess signed these acts (February 21,) 
and the States declared that whoever should attempt to restore 
absolute power, should be considered as a traitor to his country. 

The government was intrusted to the queen conjunctly with 
the Senate ; while the legislative power was reserved to the 
Slates, to meet regularly every three years. The queen had 
llie right of proposing bills oT ordinances : but before these 

PERIOD 7III. A. D. 1713—1789. 6^ 

could have the force of law, they were to be submitted to the 
examination of the States, without whose consent war was never 
to be proclaimed. As for the deliberations of the Senate, it was 
resolved, that they should be decided by a plurality of suffrages, 
that the queen should have two voles, and a casting vote be- 
sides. Thus, the chief power was vested in the hands of the 
Senate, the members of which resumed their ancient title of 
Senators of the kingdom, instead of that of Counsellors to the 
King, which had been bestowed on them at the revolution of 
16S0. Ulrica Eleonora afterwards resigned the crown to her 
husband prince Frederic of Hesse-Cassel. The States, in their 
election of tliat prince (May 22, 1720,) ordained that the Queen, 
in case she should survive her husband, should be reinstated in 
her rights, and resume the crown, without the necessity of a new 
deliberation of the States. Frederic, by the Royal Assurance, 
and the form of government which he signed, agreed to certain 
new modifications of the royal power, especially concerning ap- 
pointments to places of trust. By these different stipulations, 
and the changes which took place in consequence, the power of 
the Swedish kings was gradually reduced to very narrow limits. 
It was so much the more easy to make encroachments on the 
royal power, as the King, by a radical defect in the new form 
of government, had no constitutional means of preserving the 
little authority that was left him. 

Tlie death of Augustus II. of Poland, occasioned new dis- 
turbances, which passed from the North to the South of Europe 
and brought about great changes in Italy. Louis XV. took the 
opportunity of that event to replace Stanislaus on the throne of 
Poland, who was his father-in-law, and the former protege of 
Charles XII. The Primate, and the greater part of the Polish 
nobility being in the interest of that prince, he was consequently 
elected (Sept. 12, 1733.) 

Anne Iwanowna, dutchess-dowager of Courland, and niece of 
Peter the Great, had just ascended the throne of Russia ; having 
succeeded Peter II. (June 20, 1730,) who was cut off in the 
flower of his age without leaving any progeny. The grandees, 
in conferring the crown on Anne, had limited her power by a 
capitulation which they made her sign at Mittau, but which she 
cancelled immediately on her arrival at Moscow. That princess, 
dreading the influence of France in Poland, in case of a war 
between Russia and the Porte, espoused the interests of Augus- 
tus III., Elector of Saxony, and son of the late King, whom she 
wished to place on the Polish throne. Part of the Polish nobility, 
withdrawing from the field of election, and supported by a Rus- 
sian army, proclaimed that prince, in opposition to Stanislaus., 
the protege of France. 

70 CHAPTER a. 

The Russians, reinforced by the Saxon troops, seized Warsp.-w 
and compelled Stanislaus to retire to Dantzic, where he was be- 
sieged by a Russian army, under command of Field-Marshal 
Munich, and obliged to seek safety in flight. Louis XV. wish- 
ing to avenge this injury offered to his father-in-law, and not 
being in a condition to attack Russia, resolved to declare war 
against the Emperor ; on the ground that he had marched an 
army to the frontiers of Poland, for supporting the election of 
the Saxon prince. 

Spain and Sardinia espoused the cause of Stanislaus, which 
seemed to them to be the cause of Kings in general ; while the 
Emperor saw himself abandoned by England and Holland, 
whose assistance he thought he might claim, in virtue of the 
guarantee which the treaty of Vienna had stipulated in his fa- 
vour. But these powers judged it more for their interests to 
preserve strict neutrality in this war, on the assurance which 
France had given the States-General, not to make the Austrian 
Netherlands the theatre of hostilities. The French commenced 
operations by directing the Count de Belleisle to seize Lorraine, 
the sovereign of which, Francis Stephen, son of Duke Leopold 
was to have married Maria Theresa, eldest daughter of the Em- 
peror Charles VL About the same time, Marshal Berwick 
passed the Rhine at the head of the French army, and reduced 
the fortress of Kehl. By thus attacking a fortress of the Em- 
pire, France gave the Emperor a pretext for engaging the Ger- 
manic Body in his quarrel. In fact, he declared war against 
France and her allies ; which induced the French to seize seve- 
ral places on the Moselle, and to reduce the fortress of Philips- 
burg, at the siege of which. Marshal Berwick was slain (June 
12, 1734.) 

The principal scene of the war then lay in Italy ; where the 
campaigns of 1734 and 1735 were most glorious for the allies. 
After the two victories which they had gained over the Impe- 
rialists near Parma (June 29,) and Guastalla (Sept. 17,) they 
made themselves master of all Austrian Lombardy, with the 
single exception of Mantua, which they laid under blockade. 
A Spanish army, commanded by the Duke of Montemar, ac- 
companied by the Infante Don Carlos, directed their march on 
Naples, which threw open its gates to the Spaniards. The 
victory whiLh they gained over the Imperialists at Bitonto 
(May 25,) decided the fate of the kingdom of Naples. After 
this conqu,est, the Infante passed to Sicily. He soon reduced 
that island, and was crowned King of the Two Sicilies at Pa- 
'ermo (July 3, 1735.) 

The Emperor, overwhelmed by so many reverses, and unabl<» 

, PERIOD vin. A. D. 1713 — 1789. 71 

to withstand the powers leagued against him, eagerly solicited 
assistance from Russia. The Empress Anne, who saw the war 
teiininated in Poland, and Augustus in quiet possession of the 
in'^one, despatched a body of ten thousand auxiliaries, under 
ihe command of General Count de Lacy, into Germany, m ihe 
spring of the year 1735. These troops, the first Russians who 
had appeared in that country, joined the Imperial army on the 
Rhine, which was commanded by Prince Eugene. That Gene- 
ral, however, did not svicceed in his design of transferring the 
seat of war to Lorraine. 

Matters were in this situation, when the maritime powers in- 
terposed their good offices for restoring peace between the Em- 
peror and the States leagued against him. Cardinal Fleury, 
perceiving that their mediation was not agreeable to the Impe- 
rial Court, took the resolution of concerting a secret negotia- 
tion with the Emperor, the result of which was a treaty of pre- 
liminaries; although much deliberation was necessary before 
coming to the conclusion of a definitiv'e peace. This was at 
length signed at Vienna, between France, the Emperor, and the 
Empire, on the 8th of November 1738. The former treaties of 
Westphalia, Nimeguen, Ryswick, Utrecht, and the Quadruple 
Alliance, were admitted as the basis of this treaty. Stanislaus 
renounced the throne of Poland, and retained the title only 
during his life. They gave him, by way of compensation, the 
dutchies of Lorraine and Bar, on condition that, at his death, 
they should revert with full right to France. The single coun- 
ty of Falkenstein, with its appurtenances and dependencies, 
was reserved for Francis, Duke of Lorraine. In exchange for 
the dutchy which he abdicated, that prince received the grand 
dutchy of Tuscany, whose last possessor, John Gaston, of the 
House of Medici, had just died without leaving any posterity 
(1737.) The kingdom of the Two Sicilies, with the ports of 
Tuscany, were secured to Don Carlos and his descendants, 
male and female ; and, in failure of them, to the younger bro- 
thers of that prince, and their descendants. On his part, Don 
Carlos ceded to the Emperor the dutchies of Parma and Pla- 
centia, and even renounced the rights which former treaties had 
given him over the grand dutchy of Tuscany. They restored 
to the Emperor all that had been taken from him in the pro- 
vinces of Milan and Mantua; with the reservation of the dis 
tricts of Novara and Tortona, which he was obliged to cede to 
Charles Emanuel III., King of Sardinia, together with San- 
Fidele, Torre di Forti, Gravedo, and Campo-Maggiore ; as also 
the territorial superiority of the fiefs commonly called Langhes, 
to be held entirely as Imperial fiefs. Finally, France under- 


took, m the most authentic form, to guarantee the Pragmatic 
Sanction of the Emperor. 

The Kings of Spain and Sardinia were not satisfied with the 
conditions of this treaty. The former wished to preserve the 
gviind dutchy of Tuscany, witli the dutchies of Parma and 
Placentia ; and the other had expected to obtain a larger portion 
^f Lombardy. Thus, these princes long hesitated to admit the 
articles agreed to between the courts of France and Vienna ; 
nor did they give their consent until the year 1739. 

While these disputes about the succession of Poland occupied 
a great part of Europe, a war broke out between the Turks and 
the Russians, in which Austria was also implicated. The Em- 
^I'ess Anne of Russia, wishing to recover Azoff, and repair the 
ibss which Peter the Great had sustained in his unfortunate 
campaign on the Pruth, took advantage of the war between ti:e 
Turks and the Persians, to form an alliance with Khouli Khan, 
the famous conqueror of the East, who had just subverted 
the ancient dynasty of the Sophis of Persia. The incursions 
which the Tartars had made at different times into the Russian 
provinces, without the Porte thinking proper to check them, 
served as a motive for the Empress to order an expedition 
against the Turks (1735,) and to declare war against the Porte 
soon after. It was during the campaign of 1736 that Count 
Lacy made himself master of AzofT, and that Marshal Munich, 
after having forced the lines at Perekop, penetrated into the in- 
terior of the CruTiea; but having in that expedition lost many 
of his men by famine and disease, he found it impossible to 
maintain himself in that peninsula. 

The Emperor offered himself at first as a mediator between 
the belligerent powers. A conference was opened at Niemerow 
in Poland, which proved fruitless. The Russians who had jus* 
taken Oczakoff, emboldened by their success, were desirous tc 
continue the war ; while the Emperor, without reflecting on the 
bad condition of his military strength, and the loss which he 
had sustained by the death of the celebrated prince Eugene 
(April 21, 1736,) thought only of sharing the conquest with the 
Russians. He then laid aside the character of mediator, to 
act on the defensive against the Turks ; but he had soon rea- 
son to repent of this measure. The Turks, encouraged by the 
famous Count de Bonneval, gained considerable advantages 
over the Austrians ; and in course of the campaigns of 1737 
and 1738, they dislodged them from Wallachia and Servia, re- 
took Orsova, and laid siege to the city of Belgrade in 1739. 

The Court of Vienna, in a state of great consternation, had 
recourse to the mediation of M. de Villeneuve. the French am- 

PERIOD vm. A. D. 1713 — 1789. 73 

bassador a. Constantinople, to sue for peace with the Porte ; 
Count Neipperg, who was sent by the Emperor to the Turkish 
camp before Belgrade, signed there, with too much precipita- 
tion, a treaty, under very disadvantageous terms for Austria : 
and the Empress Anne, who had intrusted the French ambas- 
sador with her full powers, consented also to a peace very un- 
favourable for Russia, notwithstanding the brilliant victory 
>vhich Marshal Munich had gained over the Turks in the neigh- 
bourhood of Choczim (Oct. 28, 1739,) which was followed by 
I he capture of that place, and the conquest of Moldavia by the 

The Emperor, by that peace, ceded to the Porte, Belgrade, 
Sabatz, and Orsova, with Austrian Servia and Wallachia. The 
Danube, the Save, and the Unna, were again settled as the 
boundary between the two Empires ; and Austria preserved 
nothing but the Banat of Temeswar, of all that had been ceded 
to her by the peace of Passarowitz. The Austrian merchants, 
bowever, were granted free passage into and out of the king- 
doms and provinces of the Ottoman Empire, both by sea and 
land, in their own vessels, with the flag and letters-patent of the 
Emperor, on condition of their paying the accustomed dues. 

Russia surrendered all her conquests, and among others 
Choczim and Moldavia. The boundaries between the two Em- 
[lires were regulated by different special agreements. The for- 
tress of Azofl' was demolished ; and it was stipulated that Russia 
should not construct any new fortress within thirty versts of that 
place, on the one side ; nor the Porte within thirty versts, on the 
side of the Cuban. Russia was even interdicted from having 
and constructing fleets or other naval stores, either on the Sea 
of Azoff' or the Black Sea. The Zaporog Cossacs continued 
under the dominion of Russia, which obtained also from the 
Porte the acknowledgment of the Imperial title. The peace be- 
tween Russia and the Porte was declared perpetual; but they 
limited that between Austria and the Porte to twenty-seven 
years. The latter was renewed under the Empress Maria 
Theresa ; and rendered also perpetual, by an agreement which 
that princess concluded with the Porte, May 25, 1747. 

The succession to Charle* VI,. the last male descendant of the 
House of Hapsburg, who died October 20th 1740, kindled a new 
general war iti Europe. That prince, in the year 1713, had 
published an order of succession, known by the name of the 
Praguiatic Sanction, which decreed, that failing his lineal heirs- 
male, his own daughters should succeed in preference to those 
of his brother the Emperor Joseph I. ; and that the succession 
of his daughters should be regulated according to the order of 


primogeniture, so that the elder should be preferred to the 

younger, and that she alone should inherit his whole estates. 
He took great pains to get this order approved by the differen*. 
hereditary States of Austria, as well as by the daughters of his 
brother Joseph I., and by the husbands of these princesses, the 
Electors of Saxony and Bavaria. He even obtained, by degrees, 
the sanction of all the principal powers of Europe. But though 
his external policy had been very active in securing the rights 
of his eldest daughter Maria Theresa, he neglected those mea- 
sures to which he ought rather to have directed his attention. 
The wretched state in which he left his finances and his army, 
encouraged a number of pretenders, who disputed the succession 
with that princess. 

Of these claimants, the principal was the Elector of Bavaria, 
who, as being descended from Anne of Austria, daughter of Fer- 
dinand I., advanced the claims of the females of the elder line, 
against those of the younger ; grounded on the contract of mar- 
riage between that princess and Albert V. Duke of Bavaria, as 
well as on the will of Ferdinand I. The Elector of Saxony, 
then King of Poland, although he had approved of the Prag- 
matic Sanction, claimed the succession, as being husband of the 
elder of the daughters of Joseph I., and in virtue of a compact be- 
tween the two brothers, Joseph I. and Charles VI., which provided, 
that the daughters of Joseph should, under all circumstances, be 
preferred to those of Charles. 

Philip v., King of Spain, laid claim to the kingdoms of Bo- 
hemia and Hungary. He grounded his rights on an agreement 
(1617) between Philip HI. of Spain and Ferdinand of Austria, 
afterwards the Emperor Ferdinand II. ; according to which 
these kingdoms were to pass to the descendants of Philip III., 
failing the male line of Ferdinand. A war had arisen between 
Spain and England on account of the clandestine traffic which 
the English carried on in Spanish America, under favour of the 
contrnct called the Assiento. Philip V. thought of turning these 
differences relative to the Austrian succession to his own advan- 
tage, either for drawing France into an alliance with him against 
Enofland, or to procure for his son Don Philip a settlement in 
Italy, at the expense of the daughter of Charles VI. 

Frederic II., Kins: of Prussia, who had just succeeded his 
father Frederic William I., judged this a favourable time for 
turning his attention to the affairs of his own kingdom, and pro- 
fitting by the troops and treasures which his father had left. 
With this view, he revived certain claims of his family tc 
several dutchies and principalities in Silesia, of which his an- 
cestors, he maintained, had been unjustly deprived by Austria 

PERioi? vui. A. D. 1713—1789. 76 

Finally, the King of Sardinia laid claim to the whole dutchy of 
Milan ; grounded on the contract of marriage between his an- 
cestor, Charles Emanuel Duke of Savoy, and the daughter of 
Philip II. of Spain. The Court of France, wishing to avail 
herself of these circumstances for humbling Austria, her ancient 
rival, set on foot a negotiation with the Elector of Bavaria, and 
engaged to procure him the Imperial crown, with a part of thr 
territories, of which he had deprived Austria. 

An alliance was concluded between France, Spain, and the 
Elector of Bavaria, which was joined also by the Kings of Prus- 
sia, Poland, Sardinia, and the two Sicilies ; and to prevent 
Russia from affording assistance to Maria Theresa, they pre- 
vailed on Sweden to declare war against that power. The 
Court of Vienna having complained of these resolutions of the 
French Cabinet, which were directly opposed to the conditions 
of the last treaty of Vienna, Cardinal Fleury, who had been 
drawn into that war by the intrigues of M. De Belleisle, alleged 
in his own justification, that the guarantee of the Pragmatic 
Sanction, which France had undertaken by that treaty, pre- 
supposed the clause Smc prejudicio tertii ; that is to say, that 
France never intended, by that guarantee, to prejudice the just 
claims of the Elector of Bavaria. 

The most active of the enemies of Maria Theresa was the 
King of Prussia, who entered Silesia in the month of December 
1710. While he was occupied in making that conquest, the 
Elector of Bavaria, reinforced by an army of French auxiliaries, 
took possession of Upper Austria ; but, instead of marching di- 
rectly upon Vienna, he turned towards Bohemia, with the inten- 
tion of conquering it. Meantime, the Electoral Diet, which was 
assembled at Frankfort, conferred the Imperial dignity on thai 
prince, (Jan. 24, 1742,) who took the name of Charles VII. 
Nothing appeared then to prevent the dismemberment of the 
Austrian monarchy, according to the plan of the allied powers. 
Tlie Elector of Bavaria was to have Bohemia, the Tyrol, and 
the provinces of Upper Austria; the Elector of Saxony was to 
have Moravia and Upper Silesia ; and the King of Prussia the 
remainder of Silesia. As for Austrian Lombard^, it was des- 
tined for Don Philip, the Infante of Spain. Nothing was left to 
the Queen, except the kingdom of Hungary, with Lower Aus- 
tria, the Dutchies of Carinthia, Stiria and Carniola, and the 
Belgic Provinces. In the midst of these imminent dangers, 
Maria Theresa displayed a courage beyond her age and sex. 
Aided by the supplies of money which England and Holland 
furnished her, and by the generous efforts which the Hungarian 
nation made in her favour, she succeeded in calming the storm 


repuiaing the enemy with vigour, and dissolving the grand 
league which had been formed against her. 

The King of Prussia, in consequence of the two victories 
which he gained at Molwitz (April 10, 1741,) and Czaslau (May 
17, 1742,) had succeeded in conquering Silesia, Moravia, and 
part of Bohemia. It was of importance for the Queen to get rid 
of so formidable an enemy. The King of Great Britain having 
interposed, certain preliminaries were signed at Breslau, which 
were followed by a definitive peace, concluded at Berlin (July 
28, 1742.) The Queen, by this treaty, gave up to the King of 
Prussia Silesia and the Comte of Glatz, excepting the princi- 
pality of Teschen, and part of the principalities of Trappau, 
Jagerndorf, and Neisse. The example of Prussia was soon fol- 
lowed by the King of Poland. This Prince, alarmed at the sud- 
den increase of the Prussian power, not only acceded to the 
treaty of Berlin, but even formed an alliance with the Queen 
against Prussia. 

The King of Sardinia, who dreaded the preponderance of the 
Bourbons in Italy, likewise abandoned the grand alliance, and 
attached himself to the Queen's interests, by a compact which 
was signed at Turin. The French and Spaniards then turned 
their arms against that Prince ; and while the King of the two 
Sicilies joined his forces with the Spaniards, an English squad- 
ron appeared before Naples, threatened to bombard the city, and 
compelled the King to recall his troops from Lombardy, and re- 
main neutral. This was not the only piece of service which 
George II. rende^'ed the young Queen. Being one of the 
powers that guaranteed the Pragmatic Sanction, he sent to her 
aid an army composed of English, Hanoverians, and Hessians. 
This, known by the name of the Pragmatic Army, fought and 
defeated the French at Dettingen (June 27, 1743.) They were 
afterwards reinforced by a body of troops which the States- 
General sent, in fulfilment of the engagement which they had 
contracted with the Court of Vienna. Lastly, that prince, in order 
to attach the King of Sardinia more closely to the interests of 
Austria, set on foot a treaty at Worms, by which the Queen 
ceded to the King of Sardinia the territory of Pavia, between 
the Po and the Tesino, part of the dutchy of Placentia, and the 
district of Anghiera, with the rights which they claimed to the 
marquisate of Finale. The King, on his part, abandoned all 
claims to the Milanois ; and engaged to support an army of 
40,000 men for the service of the Queen, in consideration of the 
supplies which England promised to pay him. 

This soon changed the aspect of affairs. The Queen recon- 
quered Austria and Bohemia. She expelled the French from 

PERIOD VUL A. D. 1713—1789. 77 

Bavaria, and drove them even beyond the Rhine The Emperor 
Charles VII. vas obliged to transfer his residence from Munich 
to Frankfort on the Maine. France, who had never acted till 
tnen but as the ally of the Elector of Bavaria, resolved, m con- 
sequence of these events, formally to declare war against the 
Queen and the King of Great Britain (March 15, 1744.) The 
King of the Two Sicilies broke his neutrality, and again joined 
his troops with the Spanish army, who were acting against the 
Queen and her ally the King of Sardinia. The war was now 
carried on with fresh vigour. Louis XV. attacked the Austrian 
Netherlands in person, and negotiated a treaty of Union, at 
Frankfort, between the Emperor, and several principal States 
of the Empire. By this treaty it was stipulated, that the allied 
princes should unite their forces, and constrain the Queen to 
acknowledge the Emperor Charles VII., and reinstate him in 
his hereditary dominions. 

It was in consequence of this treaty, that the King of Prussia 
again commenced the war, and made an attack on Bohemia. 
Prince Charles of Lorraine, who had invaded Alsace, at the 
head of an Austrian army, was obliged to repass the Rhine, and 
march to the relief of that kingdom. The French penetrated 
into Germany, and while Louis XV. laid siege to Friburg in 
Brisgaw, General Seckendorf, who commanded the Imperial 
army, reconquered Bavaria. Charles VII., who was then re- 
stored to his estates, returned to Munich. 

During these transactions, an unforeseen event happened, 
which changed the state of affairs. The Emperor died at the 
early age of forty-seven (Jan. 20, 1745,) and his son Maximilian 
Joseph II., used all expedition to make up matters with the 
Queen. By the special treaty, which he concluded with her at 
Fuessen (April 22, 1745,) he renounced the claims which his 
father had made to the succession of Charles VI. He again 
signed the Pragmatic Sanction, satisfied with being maintained 
in the possession of his patrimonial estates. The French had 
in vain endeavoured to prevent the election of the Grand Duke 
of Tuscany to the Imperial throne, who had been associated 
with his wife, Maria Theresa, in the government of her heredi- 
tary dominions. That prince, however, was elected at Frank- 
fort, under the protection of the Austrian and Pragmatic armies. 

All alliance had been concluded at Warsaw between Maria 
Theresa, Poland, England, and Holland (Jan. 8, 1745.) Au- 
gustus III. had engaged, as Elector of Saxony, to despatch an 
army of thirty thousand men to the Queen's assistance, in con- 
sideration of the subsidies which England and Holland had pro- 
mised to pay hiiii. That army being joined by the Austrians, 

7 * 


had advanced into Silesia, where they sustained a total defea* 
near Hohenfriedberg (June 4.) The victorious King of Prussia 
returned to Bohemia, and there defeated the allies a second 
time, near Sorr, in the Circle of Konigratz (Sept. 30.) He then 
attacked Saxony, in order to compel the Queen to make peace, 
by harassing the Elector her ally. The victory, which he gain- 
ed over the Saxons at Kesselsdorf (Dec. 15,) made him master 
of Dresden, and the whole Electorate, which he laid under con- 
tribution. These victories accelerated the peace between the 
King of Prussia, the Queen, and the Elector of Saxony, which 
was signed at Dresden, under the mediation of Great Britain. 
The King of Prussia restored to the Elector all his estates, the 
latter promising to pay him a million of Imperial crowns. The 
J^ueen gave up Silesia and the Comte of GJatz ; while the King, 
as the Elector of Brandenburg, acquiesced in the election of 
Francis I. to the Imperial throne. The King of England, the 
Dutch, and the States of the Empire, undertook to guarantee 
these stipulations. 

Tlie treaties of Fuessen and Presden restored tranquillity to 
the Empire ; but the war was continued in the Netherlands, 
Italy, and in the East and West Indies. The French, under 
the conduct of Marshal Saxe, distinguished themselves in the 
Netherlands. The victories which they gained over the allie? 
at Fontenoy (May 11, 1745,) andatRocoux (Oct. 11, 1746,) pro- 
cured them the conquest of all the Austrian Netherlands, excep* 
the towns and fortresses of Luxemburg, Limburg, and Gueldres 

Charles Edward, son of the Pretender, encouraged and assist- 
ed by the Court of France, landed in Scotland in August 1745. 
Being joined by a number of partisans, v/hom he found in that 
kingdom, he caused his father to be proclaimed at Perth and 
Edinburgh, assuming to himself the title of Prince of Wales, 
and Regent of the three kingdoms. The victory which he gain- 
ed near Prestonpans over the English troops, rendered him mas- 
ter of all Scotland. He next invaded England, took Carlisle, 
and advanced as far as Derby, spreading terror and consternation 
in London. George II. was obliged to recall the Duke of Cum- 
berland, with his troops, from the Netherlands. That Prince 
drove back the Pretender, retook Carlisle, and restored tranquil- 
lity ill Scotland, by defeating the Rebels near CuUoden in the 
Highlands. Charles Edward was then reduced to the necessity 
of concealing himself among the mountains, until the month of 
October following, when he found means to transport himself to 

The campaign of 1745 in Italy was glorious for the French, 
and their allies the Spaniards. Ttie Republic of Genoa, being 

PERIOD VIII. A. D. 1713 — 1789. 79 

offenaeQ at the clause in the treaty of Worms, which took from 
them the marquisale of Finale, espoused the cause of the two 
crowns, and facilitated the junction of the French army of the 
Alps with that of Lombardy. One effect of this junction was 
tne conquest of Piedmont, as also of Austrian Lombardy, except- 
ing the cities of Turin and Mantua, which the allies had laid 
under blockade. 

The fate of the war, however, experienced a. new change in 
Italy, at the opening of the following campaign. Maria The- 
resa, disengaged from the war with Prussia, sent considerable 
reinforcements into Lombardy, which gave her arms a superi- 
ority over those of the allies. The French and Spaniards were 
stripped of all their conquests, and sustained a grand defeat at 
Placentia (June 16, 1746,) which obliged them to beat a retreat. 
To add to their misfortunes, the new King of Spain, Ferdinand 
VI., who had just succeeded his father, Philip V., being dis- 
pleased with the Court of France, and unfavourably inclined 
towards his brother Don Philip, recalled all his troops from Ita- 
ly. The French had then no other alternative left than to fol- 
low the Spaniards in their retreat. Italy was abandoned to the 
Austrians, and the French troops again returned to Provence. 
The whole Republic of Genoa, witb its capital, fell into the 
hands of the Austrians. The King of Sardinia took possession of 
Finale, Savona, and the western part of the Republican terri- 
ritory. The Austrians, joined by the Piedmontese, made a 
descent on Provence, and undertook the siege of Antibes. 

An extraordinary event produced a diversion favourable for 
France, and obliged the Austrians and Piedmontese to repass 
the Alps. The Genoese being maltreated by the Austrians, 
who had burdened them with contributions and discretionary 
exactions, suddenly rose against their new masters. The in- 
surgents, with Prince Doria at their head, succeeded in expel- 
ling them from Genoa (Dec. 1746.) General Botta, who com- 
manded at Genoa, was obliged to abandon his stores and equip- 
age, that he might the more quickly escape from the territory 
of the Republic. The siege of Antibes was raised ; the allies 
repassed the Alps, and blockaded Genoa. But the French hav- 
ing sent powerful supplies by sea to that city, and at the same 
time made a vigorous attack on the side of Piedmont, relieved 
the Genoese, and obliged the enemy to retreat. 

In 1747, the French, who were already masters of the Aus- 
trian Netherlands, attacked and conquered Dutch Flanders. 
They blamed the Dutch for having sent constant supplies vO 
Maria Theresa, for having invaded the French territory, ruw 
granted a retreat through their own to iie enemy's troops, aiei 


the battle of Fontenoy. This invasion spread terror in the 
province of Zealand, who thus saw themselves deprived of their 
barrier, and exposed to the mroads of the French. The parti- 
sans of the Prince of Orange took advantage of that circum- 
stance to restore the Stadtholdership. This dignity, as well as 
vhat of Captain and Admiral-General of the Republic, had re- 
mained vacant since the death of William III. 

William IV., Prince of Nassau-Dietz, though he was testa- 
mentary heir to that prince, had only obtained the Stadtholder- 
ship of Friesland, to which was afterwards added that of Gro- 
ningen and Gueldres ; but the efforts which he made to obtain 
the other offices and dignities of the ancient Princes of Orange, 
proved ineffectual. The four provinces of Holland, Zealand, 
Utrecht, and Overyssel, persisted in their free government, and 
even refused the Prince the office of General of Infantry, which he 
had requested. France, by attacking Dutch Flanders, contribu- 
ted to the elevation of William. There was a general feeling in 
his favour in those provinces which had no Stadtholder ; the peo- 
ple of the different towns and districts rose in succession, and 
obliged the magistrates to proclaim William IV. as Stadtholder 
and Captain-General. This revolution was achieved without 
disturbance ; and without any obstacle on the part of those who 
had an interest in opposing it, but who were obliged to yield to 
the wishes of the people. They even went so far as to declare 
the Stadtholdership, as well as the offices of Captain and Admi- 
ral-General, hereditary in all the Prince's descendants, male 
and female — a circumstance unprecedented since the foundation 
of the Republic. 

This change which happened in the Stadtholdership did not, 
however, prevent the French from making neAv conquests. 
They had no sooner got possession of Dutch Flanders, than 
they attacked the town of Maestricht. The Duke of Cumber- 
land having advanced with the allied army to cover the town, a 
bloody battle took place near Laveld (July 2, 1747,) which was 
gained by the French, under the command of Marshal Saxe. 
The fortress of Bergen-op-Zoom, which was deemed impregna- 
ble by its situation and the marshes which surrounded it, was 
carried by assault by Count Lewendal, two months after he had 
opened his trenches. 

However brilliant the success of the French arms was on the 
Continent, they failed in almost all their maritime expeditions. 
The English took from them Louisburg and Cape Breton in 
America ; and completely destroyed the French marine, which 
had been much neglected, under the ministry of Cardinal Flou- 
ry. All the belligierent powers at length felt the necessity of 

PERIOD viii. A. D. 1713—1789. 81 

peace ; and there were two events which tended to accelerate 
it. The Empress of Russia, conformable to the engagements 
into which she had entered with the Courts of Vienna and 
Loudon, by the treaties of 1746 and 1747, had despatched 
Prince Repnin to the Rhine, at the head of 30,000 men. Mar- 
shal Saxe, at the same time, had laid siege to Maestricht, in 
presence of the enemy, who were 80,000 strong. The taking 
of that city would have laid open all Holland to the French, and 
threatened the Republic with the most disastrous consequences. 

A preliminary treaty was then signed at Aix-la-Chapelle, 
which was followed by a definitive peace (Oct. 18, 1748.) There 
all former treaties since that of Westphalia were renewed ; a 
mutual restitution was made on both sides, of all conquests 
made during the war, both in Europe, and in the East and West 
Indies ; and in consideration of the important restitutions which 
France had made on the Continent, they ceded to Don Philip, 
the son-in-law of Louis XV., and brother of Don Carlos, the 
dutchies of Parma, Placentia, and Guastalla ; to be possessed 
by him and his lawful heirs male. The treaty of preliminaries 
contained two conditions upon which the dutchies of Parma and 
Guastalla should revert to the Queen, and that of Placentia to 
the King of Sardinia ; viz. (1.) Failing the male descendants of 
Don Philip. (2.) If Don Carlos, King of the Two Sicilies, should 
be called to the throne of Spain. In this latter case, it was pre- 
sumed that the kingdom of the Two Sicilies should pass to Don 
Philip, the younger brother of that prince ; but they did not 
seem to recollect that the peace of Vienna (1738) had secured 
this latter kingdom to Don Carlos, and all his descendants male 
and female ; and consequently, nothing prevented that prince, 
should the case so happen, from transferring the Two Sicilies to 
one of his own younger sons ; supposing even that he were not per- 
mitted to unite that kingdom with the Spanish monarchy. The 
plenipotentiaries having perceived this oversight after the con- 
clusion of the preliminaries, took care to rectify it in the defini- 
tive treaty, by thus wording the second clause of the reversion, 
" Shoidd Don Philip, or any of his descendants, be either called 
to the tJirone of Spain, or to that of the Two Sicilies.^' 

The Empress agreed to this change, but the King of Sardinia 
was not so complaisant. In respect to him, it was necessary to 
make the definitive treaty entirely conformable to the prelimi- 
naries. It was this circumstance which prevented the King of 
the Two Sicilies, from acceding to the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. 
By that treaty the King of Sardinia was confirmed in those dif- 
ferent possessions in the Milancis which the treaty of Worms 
had adjudged him. These, however, did not include that part of 


Placentia which had just been ceded to Don Philip ; nor the 
marquisate of Finale, which the Genoese retained. That Re- 
public, and the Duke of Modena, who had always been the ally 
of France, were restored to the same state in which they were 
before the war. Silesia was guaranteed to the King of Prussia 
by the whole of the contracting powers. As for England, be- 
sides the guarantee of the British succession in favour of the 
House of Hanover, she obtained a renewal of the expulsion of 
the Pretender from the soil of France ; while this latter power, 
victorious on the continent, consented to revive the humiliating 
clause in the treaty of Utrecht, which ordered the demolition of 
the Port of Dunkirk. The only modification which was made 
to this clause was, that the fortifications of the place on the 
land side should be preserved. Lastly, by the sixteenth article 
of the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, the contract of the Assiento re- 
specting the slave trade granted to England by the treaty of 
Utrecht, was renewed in favour of the English Company of the 
Assiento, for the four years in which that trade had been inter- 
rupted during the war. * 

This peace produced no considerable change Qn the political 
state of Europe ; but by maintaining the King of Prussia in his 
conquest of Silesia, it raised a rival to Austria in the very centre 
of the Empire. The unity of the Germanic body was thus 
broken, and that body divided between the two leading powers, 
Austria and Prussia. The system of aggrandizement and con- 
venience which Frederic the Great had put in practice for de- 
priving Austria of Silesia came afterwards into vogue ; and by 
gradually undermining the system of equilibrium, which former 
treaties had introduced, it occasioned new revolutions in Europe. 

The dispute about the Austrian succession, extended its in- 
fluence to the North, where it kindled a war between Russia and 
Sweden. The Empress Anne, a little before her death (Oct. 17, 
1740,) had destined as her successor on the throne of Russia, the 
young prince Iwan or John, the son of her niece Anne of Meck- 
lenburg, by Prince Anthony Ulric of Brunswick. The Regency 
during the minority of Iwan, was conferred on her favourite 
Biron, whom she had raised to the first offices of the state, and 
created Duke of Courland. The mother of the young Emperor, 
indignant at seeing the management of affairs in the hands of a 
favourite, gained over to her interests Field-Marshal Munich, 
by whose assistance the Duke of Courland was arrested and 
banished to Siberia, whilst she herself was proclaimed Grand 
Dutchess and Regent of the Empire. 

The ministry of this princess were divided in their opinions, 
on the subject of the war about the Austrian succession. Some 

r-ERioD VIII. A. D. 1713—1789. 83 

supported the cause of Prussia, with which Eussia had just re- 
newed her treaties of alliance ; while others were inclined for 
Austria, the ancient ally of Eussia. This latter party having 
prevailed, France, in order to prevent Eussia from assisting 
!\faria Theresa, thought proper to give her some occupation m 
ihe North. It was by no means difficult to raise Sweden 
against her ; where the faction of the Hats, then the ruling 
party, was entirely devoted to the French interest. This fac- 
tion, which was opposed by that of the Bonnets, or Caps, re- 
newed the treaty of subsidy with France, and also concluded a 
treaty of perpetual alliance against Eussia (Dec. 22, 1739.) 
Encouraged by the young nobles, they flattered themselves that 
the time was come, when Sweden would repair the losses which 
she had sustained by the foolish expeditions of Charles XII. 

A Diet extraordinary was assembled at Stockholm (Aug. 
1741,) which declared war against Eussia. They alleged, 
among other motives, the exclusion of the Princess Elizabeth, 
(laughter of Peter the Great, and the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, 
from the throne of Eussia ; the assassination of Major Sinclair, 
who had been murdered, as the Swedes affirmed, by the emis- 
saries of Eussia, while bearing despatches from Constantinople 
tor the Swedish Court, and when he was passing through Silesia 
on his way to Stockholm. This declaration of war had been 
made, before the Swedes could take those measures which pru- 
dence should have dictated. They had neither an army fit for 
ai'tion, nor stores prepared in Finland ; and their General, Count 
Lewenhaupt, had nothing to recommend him but his devotion 
to the ruling party. Sweden had flattered herself that the Turks 
A\ould recommence the war with Eussia, and that she would 
thus find resources in the alliance and subsidies of France. The 
tirst action, which took place near Wilmanstrand (Sept. 3, 1741) 
was quite in favour of the Eussians ; a great number of Swedes 
were there either killed or made prisoners, and the town of Wil- 
manstrand was carried sword in hand. 

Meantime a revolution happened at St. Petersburg, which 
seemed to have brought about a favourable change for the Swe- 
dish government. The Princess Elizabeth, supported by the 
Marquis de la Chetardie, minister of France, and by a company 
of the guards whom she had drawn over to her interest, seized 
the Eegeiit Anne, her husband the Prince of Brunswick, and the 
young Emperor; all of whom she sent into exile, and caused 
herself to be proclaimed Empress. The Swedes, who haTl flat- 
tered themselves with having aided in placing that princess on 
the throne, immediately entered into negotiations with her ; but 
as they carried their pretensions too high, the conference was 
broken n(T and the W})r continued 


The campaign of 1742, proved also unfortunate for Sweden. 
I'heir army in Finland, though equal in point of strength to that 
of Bussia, durst not keep the field. They abandoned all their 
best posts one after another, and retired towards Helsingfors. 
beyond the Kymen. Shut up in this position, and besieg- 
ed by sea and land, they were obliged to capitulate. The Swe- 
dish troops returned home, the Finnish regiments laid down 
tneirarms, and the whole of Finland surrendered to the Russians. 

The States of Sweden having assembled under these circum- 
stances, and benig desirous of an accommodation with Russia, 
oiiered the throne of Sweden to Charles Ulric, Duke of Holstein- 
Gottorp, and nephew of the Empress Elizabeth. That prince, 
however, declined the offer of the Diet. He had just been de- 
clared Grand Duke, and presumptive heir to the Russian Em- 
pire, and had embraced the Greek religion. This intelligence 
astounded the Diet, who then placed on the list of candidates for 
th<^ throne, the Prince Royal of Denmark, the Duke of Deux- 
Ponts, and the Bishop of Lubec, uncle to the new Grand Duke 
of Russia. A considerable party were inclined for the Prince of 
Denmark ; and they were on the point of renewing the ancient 
union of the three kingdoms of the North in his favour. To 
prevent an election so prejudicial to the interests of Prussia, the 
Empress abated from the rigour of her first propositions, and 
offered to restore to the Swedes a great part of their conquests, 
on condition of bestowing their throne on Prince Adolphus Fre- 
deric, Bishop of Lubec. This condition having been acceded 
to. Prince Frederic was elected (July 3, 1743;) the succession to 
descend to his male heirs. A definitive peace Avas then conclu- 
ded between Russia and Sweden, at Abo in Finland. 

Sweden, by thus renouncing her alliance with the Porte, rati- 
fied anew all that she had surrendered to Russia by the peace of 
Nystadt. Moreover, she ceded to that Crown the province of 
Kymenegard in Finland, with the towns and fortresses of Frie- 
dricsham and Wilmanstrand ; as also the parish of Pyttis, lying 
to the east of the Kymen, and the ports, places, and districts, 
situated at the mouth of that river. The islands lying on the 
south and west of the Kymen were likewise included in this 
cession ; as were also the town and fortress of Nyslott, with its 
territory. All the rest of Finland was restored to Sweden, to- 
gether with the other conquests which Russia had made during 
the war. The Swedes were permitted to purchase annually in 
the Russian Ports of the Baltic, and the Gulf of Finland, grain 
to the value of 50,000 rubles, without paying any export duty. 

Portugal, about the middle of the eighteenth century, became 
the scene of various memorable events, which attracted general 

Earth iuake at Lisbon. Vol. 2, p. bO. 

Engagement of tlie Russian and Turkish Fleets off Scio, 1770. 
Vol. 2, p. 104. 

PERIOD VIIL A. D. 1713 — 1789. 8i( 

attention. John V., who had governed that kingdom from 1706 
till 1750, had fallen into a state of weakness and dotage, and 
abandoned the reins of government to Don Gaspard, his confes- 
sor, under whose administration numerous abuses had crept into 
the state. Joseph I., the son and successor of John V., on 
ascending the throne (July 31, 1750,) undertook to reform these 
abuses. By the advice of his minister, Sebastian De Carvalho, 
afterwards created Count D'Oeyras, and Marquis De Pombal, 
he turned his attention to every branch of the administration. 
He patronized the arts and sciences, encouraged agriculture, 
nanufactures, and commerce ; regulated the finances ; and used 
every effort to raise the army and navy of Portugal from that 
state of languor into which they had fallen. These innovations 
could not be accomplished without exciting discontent in the 
different orders of the state. The minister increased this by his 
inflexible severity, and the despotism which he displayed in the 
exercise of his ministerial functions ; as well as by the antipathy 
which he showed against the nobility and the ministers of reli- 
gion. The Companies which he instituted for exclusive com- 
merce to the Indies, Africa, and China, raised against him the 
whole body of merchants in the kingdom. He irritated the no- 
bility by the contempt which he testified towards them, and by 
annexing to the Crown those immense domains in Africa and 
America, which the nobles enjoyed by the munificence of former 
kings. The most powerful and the most dangerous enemies of 
this minister were the Jesuits, whom he had ventured to attack 
openly, and had even ordered to be expelled from Portugal. 
This event, which was attended with remarkable consequences, 
must be described more fully. 

During the life of John V.,a treaty had been signed between 
the Courts of Madrid and Lisbon (1750,) in virtue of which the 
Portuguese colony of St. Sacrament and the northern bank of 
the river La Plata in America, were ceded to Spain, in exchange 
for a part of Paraguay, lying on the eastern bank of the Uru- 
guay. This treaty was on the point of being carried into exe- 
cution ; the commissioners appointed for this purpose had com- 
menced their labours ; but the inhabitants of the ceded territories 
opposed the exchange, as did several individuals in both Courts. 
The Jesuits were suspected of being the authors and instigators 
of that opposition. In the territories which were to be ceded to 
Portugal, they had instituted a republic of the natives, which 
they governed as absolute masters ; and which they were afraid 
would be subverted, if the exchange in question should take 
place. They used every means, therefore, to thwart the arrange- 
ments of the two courts ; and it is alleged they even went so far 

vn:. u 8 


as to excite a rebellion among the inhabitants of the countries to 
be exchanged. The consequence was, a long and expensiv*^ 
war between the two crowns, which occasioned much bloodshed, 
and cost Portugal alone nearly twenty millions of cruzados. 

In the midst of these events, there occurred a terrible earth- 
quake, which, in the twinkling of an eye, demolished the greater 
part of Lisbon, and destroyed between twenty and thirty thou- 
sand of its inhabitants (Nov. 1, 1755.) Fire consumed whal- 
t-rei had escaped from the earthquake ; while the overflowing 
of the sea, cold and famine, added to the horrors of these ca- 
lamities, which extended even over a great part of the kingdom. 
The Jesuits were reproached for having, at the time of this distres- 
sing event, announced new disasters, which were to overwhelm 
Portugal, as a punishment for the sins of which the inhabitants 
had been guilty. These predictions, added to the commotions 
which still continued in Brazil, served as a pretext for depriving 
the Jesuits of their office of Court-confessors, shutting them out 
from the palace, and even interdicting them from hearing con 
fessions over the whole kingdom. 

The outrage which was committed against the King's person 
immediately after, furnished the minister with another pretext 
against that religious order. The King, when going by night 
to Belem, .(Sept. 3, 1758,) was attacked by assassins, who mis- 
took him for another, and fired several shots at him, by which 
he was severely wounded. Several of the first nobles in the 
kingdom were accused, among others the Duke d'Aveiro, the 
Marquis and Marchioness de Tavora, the Count d'Atougia, &c. 
as being the ringleaders in this plot against the King's life, who 
Avere sentenced to execution accordingly, [but their innocence 
was afterwards fully established.] 

The Jesuits were also implicated in this affair, and publicly 
declared accomplices in the King's assassination. They were 
proscribed as traitors and disturbers of the public peace ; theii 
goods were confiscated ; and every individual belonging to the 
order was embarked at once at the several ports of the king 
dom, without any regard to age or infirmities, and transported 
to Civita Vecchia within the Pope's dominions. The Portu 
guese minister, apprehensive that this religious order, if pre- 
served in the other states of Europe, Avould find means, sooner 
or later, to return to Portugal, used every endeavour to have 
their Society entirely suppressed. He succeeded in this at- 
tempt by means of the negotiations which he set on foot wit? 
several of the Catholic courts. In France the Society was 
dissolved, in virtue of the decrees issued by the parliament 
(1762.) Paris set the first example of this. Louis XV, declared, 

PERIOD viii. A. D. 1713—1789. 87 

.hat the Society should no longer exist within the kingdom. 
The Court of Madrid, where they had two powerful enemies 
in the ministry, Counts d'Aranda and de Camponianes, com- 
manded all the Jesuits to depart from the territory and jurisdic- 
tion of Spain ; and, at the same time, declared their goods con- 
fiscated. They were likewise expelled from the kingdom of 
Naples ; and the order was at length entirely suppressed, by a 
brief of Pope Clement XIV. (July 21, 1773.)5 

The peace of Aix-la-Chapelle had by no means restored a 
good understanding between France and England. A jealous 
rivalry divided the two nations, which served to nourish and 
multiply subjects of discord between them. Besides, the ac- 
tivity of the French in repairing their marine, which had been 
destroyed in the last war, was viewed with jealousy by Great 
Britain, then aspiring to the absolute command of the sea, and 
conscious that France alone was able to counteract her ambi- 
tious projects. Several matters of dispute, which the peace of 
Aix-la-Chapelle had left undecided, still subsisted betweeen the 
two nations, relative to their possessions in America. The prin- 
cipal of these, regarded the boundaries of Nova Scotia and Cana- 
da, and the claims to the neutral islands. Nova Scotia had been 
ceded to England, by the twelfth article of the treaty of Utrecht, 
according to its ancient limits. These limits the French had 
circumscribed within the bounds of the peninsula which forms 
that province ; while the English insisted on extending them to 
the southern bank of the river St. Lawrence, of which the ex- 
clusive navigation belonged to the French. 

The limits of Canada were not better defined than those of 
Nova Scotia. The French, with the view of opening a com- 
munication between Canada and Louisiana, had constructed se- 
veral forts along the river Ohio, on the confines of the English 
colonies in America. This was opposed by England, who was 
afraid that these establishments would endanger the safety of 
her colonies, especially that of Virginia. The neutral islands, 
(lamely theCaribees, which comprehended St. Lucia, Domini- 
ca, St. Vincent, and Tobago, still remained in a contested state, 
according to the ninth article of the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. 
The French, however, alleged certain acts of possession, by 
which they claimed the property of these islands, as well as of 
the Caicos and Turkish islands. Commissioners were appoint- 
ed on both sides to bring these disputes to an amicable termi- 
nation. A conference was opened at Paris, which began about 
the end of September 1750, and continued for several years ; 
but as neither party was disposed to act with sincerity, these 
conferences ended in nothing. The English, who saw that the 


Frencli only sought to gain time for augmenting their marine, 
hastened the rupture by committing acts of hostility in America. 

The first breach of the peace was committed on the banks of 
the Ohio, where the French, to avenge the murder of one of their 
officers, seized on Fort Necessity, belonging to the English 
(July 1754.) The English, on their side, captured two French 
vessels oft' the Bank of Newfoundland, which had refused to 
salute the English flag. They exen attacked all the French 
merchantmen which they met, and captured about three hun- 
dred of them. Thus, a long and bloody war was