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Christendom and the Crusades 

The Great Empire of Jengis Khan and His Successors 

The Renascence of Western Civilization 

Princes, Parliaments, and Powers 

The New Democratic Republics of America and France 

The Career of Napoleon Bonaparte 

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At the supreme moment in the Cathedral of NOtre Dame, December 2, 

1804, Napoleon took the crown from the Pope and placed it on his own 

head. (From the painting by David) 

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NEW YORK .1022 

PubBihad by aRmnffwaant with Hi* Maomillan Company and with t 
Barfow of Bavtowa Campamr. ALL tUGBTS BKSBRVBD 

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bt the macmillan company 

Copyright, 1920, 1921 and 1922 
By H. G. wells 

Set up and electrotyped. Published November, 1920 
Third Edition revised and rearranged September, 1921 
Fourth Edition revised and rearranged November, 1922 


BY P. F. CoLUEB ft Son Company 

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§ 1. The Western World at its Lowest Ebb. § 2. The 
Fevdal System. § 3. The Frankish Kingdom of the 
Merovingians. § 4. The Christianization of the West- 
ern Barbaricms. § 5. Charlemagne becomes Emperor 
of the West § 6. The Personality of Charlemagne. 
§ 7. The French and the Germans become Distinct 
§ 8. The Normans, the Saracens, the Hungarians, and 
the SeljvJe Turks. § 9. How Constantinople Appealed 
to Rome. § 10. The Crusades. § 11. The Crusades 
a test of Christianity. § 12. The Emperor Frederick 
II. § 13. Defects wnd Limitations of the Papacy. 
§ 14. A List of Leading Popes. 


LET us turn again now from this intellectual renas- 
cence in the cradle of the ancient civilizations to the 
affairs of the Western world. We have described the 
complete economic^ social, and political break up of the 
Boman imperial system in the west, the confusion and dark- 
ness that followed in the sixth and seventh centuries, and the 
struggles of such men as Cassiodorus to keep alight the flame 
of human learning amidst these windy confusions. For a 
time it would be idle to write of states and rulers. Smaller 
or greater adventurers seized a castle or a countryside and 
ruled an uncertain area. The British Islands, for instance, 
were split up amidst a multitude of rulers ; numerous Keltio 
chiefs in Ireland and Scotland and Wales and Cornwall 
fought and prevailed over and succumbed to each other; the 
English invaders were also divided into a number of fluctua- 
ting ^^kingdoms/' Kent, Wessex, Essex, Sussex, Mercia, 


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Northumbrian and East Anglia^ which were constantly at war 
with one anotiier. So it was over most of the Western world. 
Here a bishop would be the monarch, as Gregory the Great 
was in Eome; here a town or a group of towns would be 
under the rule of the duke or prince of this or that. Amidst 
the vast ruins of the city of Borne half-independent families 
of quasi-noble adventurers and their retainers maintained 
themselves. The Pope kept a sort of general predominance 
th^!lre, but he was sometimes more than balanced by a ^^Duke 
of Borne.'' The great arena of the Colosseum had been made 
into a privately-owned castle, and so too had the vast cir- 
cular tomb of the Emperor Hadrian; and the adventurers 
who had possession of these strongholds and their partisans 
waylaid each other and fought and bickered in the ruinous 
irtreets of the once imperial city. The tomb of Hadrian was 
known after the days of Gregory the Great as the Castle 
of St. Angelo, the Castle of the Holy Angel^ because when 
he was crossing the bridge over the Tiber on his way to St. 
Peter's to pray against the great pestilence which was devas- 
tating the city, he had had a vision of a great angel standing 
over the dark mass of the mausoleum and sheathing a sword, 
and he had known then that his prayers would be answered. 
This Castle of St Angelo played a very important part in 
Boman affairs during this age of disorder. 

Spain was in much the same state of political fragmenta- 
tion as Italy or France or Britain; and in Spain the old 
feud of Carthaginian and Boman was still continued in the 
bitter hostility of their descendants and heirs, the Jew and 
the Christian. So that when the power of the Caliph had 
swept along the North African coast to the Straits of Gi- 
braltar, it found in the Spanish Jews ready helpers in its 
invasion of Europe. A Moslem army of Arabs and of 
Berbers^ the nomadic Hamitic people of the African desert 
and mountain hinterland who had been converted to Islam, 
crossed and defeated the West Goths in a great battle in 711. 
In a few years the whole country was in their possession. 

In 720 Islam had reached the Pyrenees, and had pushed 
round their eastern end into France; and for a time it 

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seamed that the faith t?aa likely to liubjugate Gaul as easily 
ai it had Bubjugated the Spanish peninsula. But presently 
it struck against somethitig hard, a new kingdom of the 
Franks^ which had h^i^ consolidating itself for aome two 
centuries in the Shineland and Korth France. 

Of this Frankish kingdom, the precursor of France and 
Germany, which formed the western bulwark of Europe 
against the faith of Muhammad, as the Byzantine empire 
behind the Taurus Mountains formed the eastern, we shall 
now have much to tell ; but first we must give some account 
of the luew ^rstem of social groupings out of which it arose. 

§ 2 

It is necessary that the reader should have a definite idea 
of the social condition of western Europe in the eighth cen* 
tnry. It xtas not a barbarism* Eastern Europe was still 
barbaric and savage; things had progressed but little beyond 
the state of affairs described by Gibbon in his account of 
the mission of PHsoUS to Attila (lee p4 675). But western 
Europe was a shattered civilization, without law^ without 
administration, With roads destroyed and education dis- 
organized but still with great numbers of people with civilized 
ideas and habits imd traditions* It was a time of confusion, 
of brigandage, of crimes unpunished and universal inse^ 
curity. It is 'Very interesting to trace how out of the uni- 
versd. mSlee, the beginnings of a new order appeared. In 
a modem breakdown there would probably be the formation 
of local vigilance societiesi which would combine and restore 
a police administration and a roughly democratic rule. But 
in the broken-down western empire of the sixth, s^enthi 
and eighth centuries, men's ideas turned rather to leaders 
than to committees, and the centres about which affairs 
crystallized were here barbaric chiefs, here a vigorous bishop 
or some surviving claimant to a Boman official position^ here 
a long'recogniaed landowner or man of ancient family, and 
here again some vigorous usurper of power* No solitary 
man was safe. So men were forced to link themselves with 

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others, preferably people stronger than themselves. The 
lonely man chose the most powerful and active person in his 
district and became his man. The freeman or the weak 
lordling of a petty territory linked himself to some more 
powerfol lord. The protection of that lord (or the danger 
of his hostility) became more considerable with every such 
accession. So very rapidly there went on a process of politi- 
cal crystallization in the confused and lawless sea into which 
the Western Empire had liquefied. These natural associa- 
tions and alliances of protector and subordinates grew very 
rapidly into a system, the feudal system, traces of which are 
still to be found in the social structure of every European 
community west of Bussia. 

This process speedily took on technical forms and laws 
of its own. In such a country as Gaul it was already well 
in progress in the days of insecurity before the barbarian 
tribes broke into the empire as conquerors. The Franks 
when they came into Gaul brought with them an institution, 
which we have already noted in the case of the Macedonians, 
and which was probably of very wide distribution among the 
liTordic people, the gathering about the chief or war king 
of a body of young men of good family, the companions or 
comitatus, his counts or captains. It was natural in the 
case of invading peoples that the relations of a weak lord 
to a strong lord shoidd take on the relations of a count to 
his king, and that a conquering chief should divide seized 
and confiscated estates among his companions. From the 
side of the decaying empire there came to feudalism the idea 
of the grouping for mutual protection of men and estates; 
from the Teutonic side came the notions of knightly associa- 
tion, devotion, and personal service. The former was the 
economic side of the institution, the latter the chivalrous. 

The analogy of the abrogation of feudal groupings with 
crystallization is a very close one. As the historian watches 
the whirling and eddying confusion of the fourth and fifth 
century in Western Europe, he begins to perceive the ap- 
pearance of these pyramidal growths of heads and subordi- 
nates and sub-subordinates, which jostle against one another, 

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brancli, dissolve again, or coalesce. ^^We use the term 
feudal system' for convenience sake, but with a degree of 
impropriety if it conveys the meaning ^systematic/ Feudal- 
ism in its most flourishing age was anything but systematic 
It was confusion roughly organized. Great diversity pre- 
vailed everywhere, and we should not be surprised to find 
some different fact or custom in every lordship. Anglo-Nor- 

man feudalism attained in the eleventh and twelfth centuries 
a logical completeness and a uniformity of practice which, in 
the feudal age proper, can hardly be found elsewhere through 
so large a territory. . . . 

"The foundation of the feudal relationship proper was the 
fsf, which was usually land, but might be any desirable 
thing, as an office, a revenue in money or kind, the right to 

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collect a toll, or operate a mill. In return for the fief, 
the man became the vassal of his lord ; he knelt before him, 
and, with his hands between his lord's hands, promised him 
fealty and service. . . . The faithful performance of all 
the duties he had assumed in homage constituted the vassaVs 
right and title to his fief. 80 long as they were fulfilled, 
he, and his heir after him, held the fief as his property, 
practically and in relation to all under-tenants as if he were 
the owner. In the ceremony of homage and investiture, 
which is the creative contract of feudalism, the obligations 
assumed by the two parties were, as a rule, not specified iu 
exact terms. They were determined by local custom. . . • 
In many points of detail the vassaPs services differed widely 
in different parts of the feudal world. We may say, how-- 
ever, that they fall into two classes, general and specific. 
The general included all that might come under the idea 
of loyalty, seeking the lord's interests, keeping his secrets, 
betraying the plans of bis enemies, protecting his family, 
etc. The specific services are capable of more definite state- 
ment, and they usually received ejcact definition in custom 
and sometimes in written documents. The most character- 
istic of these was the military service, which included ap- 
pearance in the field on summons with a certain force, often 
armed in a specified way, and remaining a specified length 
of time. It often included also the duty of guarding the 
lord's castle, and of holding one's own castle subject to the 
plans of the lord for the defence of his fief. . • . 

"Theoretically regarded, feudalism covered Europe vnth 
H network of these fiefs, rising in graded ranks one above 
the other from the smallest, the knight's fee, at the bottom^ 
to the king at the top, who was the supreme landowner, or 
who held the kingdom from Qod. . . .'* ^ 

But this was the theory that was super-imposed upon the 
established facts. The reality of feudalism was its volun- 
tary co-operation. 

"The feudal state was one in wiiich, it has been said, 

^ EncyclopoBdia Bfiianmoh article "Feudalism/' by Professor G. B. 

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private law had usurped the place of public law/' But 
rather is it truer that public law had failed aud vanished 
and private law had come in to fill the yaoauuLt Public 
duty had become private obligation. 


We have already mentioned various kingdoms of the 
barbarian tribes who set up a more or less flimsy dominion 
over this or that area amidst the debris of the empire, the 
kingdoms of the Suevi and West Goths in Spain, the East- 
Gothic kingdom in Italy, and the Italian Lombard kingdom 
which succeeded the Goths after Justinian had expelled the 
latter and after the great pestilence had devastated Italy. 
The Frankish kingdom was another such barbarian power 
which arose first in what is now Belgium, and which spread 
southward to the Loire, but it developed far more strength 
and solidarity than any of the others. It was the first real 
state to emerge from the universal wreckage. It became 
at last a wide and vigorous political reality, and from it are 
derived two great powers of modem Europe, France and the 
German Empire. Its founder was Clovis (481-511), who 
began as a small king in Belgium and ended with his south- 
em frontiers nearly at the Pyrenees. He divided his king- 
dom among his four sons, but the Franks retained a tradi- 
tion of unity in spite of this division, and for a time fraternal 
wars for a single control united rather than divided them. 
A more serious split arose, however, through the Latinization 
of the Western Franks, who occupied Romanized Gaul and 
who learnt to speak the corrapt Latin of the subject popula* 
tion, while the Franks of the Rhineland retained their Low 
German speech. At a low level of civilization, differences 
in language cause very powerful political strains. For a 
hundred and fifty years the Frankish world was split in two, 
Neustria, the nucleus of France, speaking a Latinish speech, 
which became at last the French language we know, and 
Austrasia, the Rhineland, which remained German. * 

iThe Franks differed from the Swabians and South Germans^ and 

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We will not tell here of the decay of the dynasty, the 
Merovingian dynasty, founded by Clovis; nor how in Aus- 
trasia a certain court official, the Mayor of the Palace, 
gradually became the king de facto and used the real king 
as a puppet. The position of Mayor of the Palace also 
became hereditary in the seventh century, and in 687 a 
certain Pepin of Heristhal, the Austrasian Mayor of the 
Palace, had conquered^Drastria and reunited all the Franks. 
He was followed in/Tliyby his son, Charles Martel, who 
also bore no higher mle than mayor of the palace. (His 
poor little Merovingian kings do not matter in the slightest 
degree to us here.) It was this Charles Martel who stopped 
the Moslems. They had pushed as far as Tours when he 
met them, and in a great battle between that place and 
Poitiers (732) utterly defeated them and broke their spirit. 
Thereafter the Pyrenees remained their utmost boundary; 
they came no further into Western Europe. 

Charles Martel divided his power between two sons, but 
one resigned and went into a monastery, leaving his brother 
Pepin sole ruler. This Pepin it was who finally extinguished 
the descendants of Clovis. He sent to the Pope to ask 
who was the true king of the Franks, the man who held 
the power or the man who wore the crown ; and the Pope, 
who was in need of a supporter, decided in favour of ike 
Mayor of the Palace. So Pepin was chosen king at a gath- 
ering of the Frankish nobles in the Merovingian capibd 
Soissons, and anointed and crowned. That was in J5^ 
The Franco-Germany he united was consolidated by nla 
son Charlemagne. It held together until the death of his 
grandson Louis (840), and then France and Germany broke 

came much nearer the Anglo-Saxons in that they spoke a 'liow Ger- 
man" and not a ^'High German" dialect. Their language resembled 
plattdeutsch and Anglo*Saxon, and was the direct parent of Dutch and 
Flemish. In fact, the Franks where they were not Latinized became 
Flemings and "Dutchmen" of South Holland (North Holland is still 
Friesisch — i.e. Anglo-Saxon). The "French" which the Latinized 
Fruiks and Burgundians spoke in the seventh to the tenth centuries 
was remarkably like the Rumansch language of Switzerland, judging 
from the vestiges that remain in old documents. — ^H. H. J. 

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away again'— to the great injury of mankind. It was not a 
difference of race or temperament, it was a difference of lan- 
guage and tradition that split these Frankish peoples asunder. 
That old separation of Neustria and Austrasia still works 
out in bitter consequences. In 1916 the ancient conflict of 


Neustria and Austrasia had broken out into war once more. 
In the August of that year the present writer visited Sois- 
sons, and crossed the temporary wooden bridge that had 
been built by the English after the Battle of the Aisne from 
the main part of the town to the suburb of Saint M6dard. 
Canvas screens protected passengers upon the bridge from 
the observation of the German sharpshooters who were snip- 
ing from their trenches down the curve of the river. He 

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went with his guides across a field and along by the wall 
of an orchard in which a German shell exploded as he 
passed. So he reached the battered buildings that stand 
upon the site of the ancient abbey of St. M^ard, in which 
the last Merovingian was deposed and Pepin the Short was 
crowned in his stead. Beneath these ancient buildings 
there were great crypts,^ very useful as dug-outs — ^for the 
German advanced lines were not more than a couple of 
hundred yards away. The sturdy French soldier lads were 
cooking and resting in these shelters, and lying down to 
sleep among the stone coffins that had held the bones of 
their Merovingian kings. 


The populations over which Charles Martel and King 
Pepin ruled were at very different levels of civilization in 
different districts. To the west and south the bulk of the 
people consisted of Latinized and Christian Kelts; in the 
central regions these rulers had to deal with such more or 
less Christianized Germans as the Franks and Burgundians 
and Alemanni; to the north-east were still pagan Frisians 
and Saxons ; to the east were the Bavarians, recently Chris- 
tianized through the activities of St. Boniface; and to the 
east of tiiem again pagan Slavs and Avars. The "Pagan- 
ism^' of the Germans and Slavs was very similar to the primi- 
tive religion of the Greeks ; it was a manly religion in which 
temple, priest, and sacrifices played a small part, and its 
gods were like men, a kind of "school prefects'' of more 
powerful beings who interfered impulsively and irregularly 
in human affairs. The Germans had a Jupiter in Odin, a 
Mars in Thor, a Venus in Freya, and so on. Throughout 
the seventh and eighth centuries a steady process of con- 
version to Christianity went on amidst these German and 
Slavonic tribes. 

It will be interesting to English-speaking readers to note 
that the most zealous and successful missionaries among the 
Saxons and Frisians came from England. Christianity was 

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twice planted in the British Isles. It was already there 
while Britain was a part of the Soman Empire; a martyr^ 
St. Alban, gave his name to the town of St Albans, and 
nearly every yiaitor to Oanterbnry has also visited little old 
St. Martin's church, which was used during the Boman times. 
From Britain, as we have already said, Christianity spread 
beyond the imperial boundaries into Ireland — the chief 
missionary was St. Patrick — and there was a vigorous mon' 
astic movement with which are connected the names of St* 
Columba and the religious settlements of lona. Then in 
the fifth and sixth centuries came the fierce and pagan 
English, and they cut off the early Church of Ireland from 
the main body of Christianity. In the seventh century 
Christian missionaries were converting the English, both 
in the north from Ireland and in the south from Rome* 
The Rome mission was sent by Pope Gregory tiie Great 
just at the dose of the sixth century. The story goes that 
he saw English boys for sale in the Roman slave market) 
though it is a little difficult to understand how they got there. 
They were very fair and good-looking. In answer to his 
inquiries, he was told that they were Angles. "Not Angles, 
but Angels/* said he, "had they but the gospel." 

The mission worked through the seventh century. Be^ 
fore that century was over, most of the English were Chris^ 
tians; though Mercia, the central English kingdom, held 
out stoutly against the priests and for the ancient f aitii and 
ways. And there was a swift progress in learning upon 
the part of these new converts. The monasteries of the 
kingdom of Northumbria in the north of England became 
a centre of light and learning. Theodore of Tarsus was one 
of the earliest archbishops of Canterbury (669-690). 
"While Greek was utterly unknown in the west of Europe, 
it was mastered by some of the pupils of Theodore. The 
monasteries contained many monks who were excellent 
ispholars. Most famous of all was Bede, known as the Ven- 
erable Bede (673-785), a monk of Jarrow (on Tyne). 
He had for his pupils the six hundred monks of that mon- 
astery^ besideli the many strangers who came to hear him. 

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He gradually mastered alL the learning of his day, and 
left at his death forty-five volumes of his writings^ the 

most important of which are *The Ecclesiastical History of 
the English' and his translation of the Gospel of John into 
jEnglish. His writings were widely knovm and used through- 

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cut Europe. He reckoned all dates from the birth of Christ, 
and through his works the use of Christian chronology be- 
came common in Europe. Owing to the large number of 
monasteries and monks in Northumbria, that part of Eng- 
land was for a time far in advance of the south in civiliza- 
tion.^' ^ 

In the seventh and eighth centuries we find the English 
missionaries active upon the eastern frontiers of the Frank- 
ish kingdom. Chief among these was St Boniface (680- 
755), who was bom at Crediton, in Devonshire, who con- 
verted the Frisians, Thuringians, and Hessians, and who 
was martyred in Holland. 

Both in England and on the Continent the ascendant rulers 
seized upon Christianity as a unifying force to cement their 
conquests. Christianity became a banner for aggressive 
chiefs — ^as it did in Uganda in Africa in the bloody days 
before that country was annexed to the British Empire. 
After Pepin, who died in 768, came two sons, Charles and an- 
other, who divided his kingdom ; but the brother of Charles 
died in 771, and Charles then became sole king (771-814) 
of the growing realm of the Franks. This Charles in known 
in history as Charles the Great, or Charlemagne. As in the 
case of Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, prosperity 
has enormously exaggerated his memory. He made his wars 
of aggression definitely religious wars. All the world of 
north-western Europe, which is now Great Britain, Francr^, 
Germany, Denmark, and Norway and Sweden, was in tiie 
ninth century an arena of bitter confiict between the old 
faith and the new. "Whole nations were converted to Chris- 
tianity by the sword just as Islam in Arabia, Central Asia, 
and Africa had converted whole nations a century or so 

With fire and sword Charlemagne preached the Gospelof 
the Cross to the Saxons, Bohemians, and as far as the Danube 
into what is now Hungary; he carried the same teaching 
down the Adriatic Coast through what is now Dalmatia, 

1 A Oeneral Hkiary of Europe, Thatcher and Schwill. 

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and drove the Moslems back from the Pyrenees as f ar aa 

Moreover, he it was who sheltered Egbert, an exile from 
Wessex^ in England^ and assisted him presently to establish 
himself as King in Wessex (802). Egbert subdued the 
Britons in Cornwall, as Charlemagne conquered the Britons 
of Brittany, and, by a series of wars, which he continued 
after the death of his Frankish patron, made himself at 
last the first King of all England (828). 

But the attacks of Charlemagne upon the last strongholds 
of paganism provoked a vigorous reaction on the part of the 
unconverted. The Christianized English had retained very 
little of the seamanship that had brought them from the 
mainland, and the Frames had not yet l:^ome seamen. As 
the Christian propaganda of Charlemagne swept towards 
the shores of the North and Baltic Seas, the pagans were 
driven to the sea. They retaliated for the Christian perse- 
cutions with plundering raids and expeditions against the 
northern coasts of France and against Christian England. 
These pagan Saxons and English of the mainland and their 
kindred from Denmark and Norway are the Danes and 
Northmen of our national histories. They were also called 
Vikings, ^ which means "inlet-men,'* because they came 
from the deep inlets of the Scandinavian coast. They came 
in lonff black galleys, making little use of sails. Most of 
our information about these wars and invasions of the pagan 
Vikings is derived from Christian sources, and so we have 
abundant information of the massacres and atrocities of 
their raids and very little about the cruelties inflicted upon 
their pagan brethren, the Saxons, at the hands of Charle* 
magne. Their animus against the cross and against monks and 
nuns was extreme. They delighted in the burning of mon- 
asteries and nunneries and the slaughter of their inmates. 

Throughout the period between the fifth and the ninth 
centuries these Vikings or Northmen were learning seaman- 
ship, becoming bolder, and ranging further. They braved 
the northern seas until the icy shores of Greenland were a 

iN. B. — ^Vik-ings, not Vi-kings, Vik = a fiord or inlet. 

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familiar haunt; and by the ninth century they had aettle- 
ments (of which Europe in general knew nothing) in 




America. In the tenth and eleventh centuries many of their 
fiagas began to be written down in Iceland. They saw the 
world in terms of valiant adventure. They assailed the 

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walrus, the bear, and the whale. In their imaginations, a 
great and rich city to the south, a sort of confusion of Home 
and Byzantium, loomed large. They called it ^TSiiklagird'' 
C'Miehaers court) or Micklegarth. The magnetism of 
Micklegarth was to draw the descendants of these Northmen 
down into the Mediterranean by two routes, by the west and 
also across Bussia from the Baltic, as we shall tell later. 
By the Eussian route went also the kindred Swedes. 

So long as Charlemagne and Egbert lived, the Vikings 
were no more than raiders; but as the ninth century wore 
on, these raids developed into organized invasions. In 
several districts of England the hold of Christianity was by 
no means firm as yet. In Mercia in particular the pagan 
Northmen found sympathy and help. By 886 the Danes 
had conquered a fair part of England, and the English 
king, Alfred the Great, had recognized their rule over their 
conquests, the Dane-law, in the pact he made with Guthrum 
their leader. A little later, in 912, another expedition under 
Kolf the Ganger establish^ itself upon the coast of France 
in the region that was known henceforth as Normandy 
(= Northman-dy). But of how there was presently a fresh 
conquest of England by the Danes, and how finally the Duke 
of Normandy became King of England, we cannot tell at 
any length. There were very small racial and social dif- 
erences between Angle, Saxon, Jute, Dane, or Norman ; and 
though these changes loom large in the imaginations of the 
English, they are seen to be very slight rufflings indeed of 
the stream of history when we measure, them by the standards 
of a greater world. The issue between Christianity and 
paganism vanished presently from the struggle. By the 
Treaty of Wedmore the Danes agreed to be baptized if they 
were assured of their conquests; and the descendants of 
Eolf in Normandy were not merely Christianized, but they 
learnt to speak French from the more civilized people about 
them, forgetting their own Norse tongue. Of much greater 
significance in the history of mankind are the relations of 
Charlemagne with his neighbours to the south and east, and 
to the imperial tradition. 

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Through Charlemagne the tradition of the Roman Csesar 
was revived in Europe. The Roman Empire waa dead 
and decaying ; the Byzantine Empire was far gone in decline ; 
but the education and mentality of Europe had sunken to a 
level at which new creative political ideas were probably 
impossible. In all Europe there survived not a tithe of 
the speculative vigour that we find in the Athenian literature 
of the fifth century b. o. There was no power to postulate 
a new occasion or to conceive and organize a novel political 
method. Official Christianity had long overlaid and accus- 
tomed itself to ignore those strange teachings of Jesus of 
iNazareth from which it had arisen. The Roman Churchy 
clinging tenaciously to its possession of the title of pontifex 
maanmuSj had long since abandoned its appointed task of 
achieving the Kingdom of Heaven. It was preoccupied with 
the revival of Roman ascendancy on earth, which it con- 
ceived of as its inheritance. It had become a political body, 
using the faith and needs of simple men to forward its 
schemes. Europe drifted towards a dreary imitation and 
revivial of the misconceived failures of the past. For 
eleven centuries from Charlemagne onwards, "Emperors^' 
and '^Caesars" of this line and that come and go in 
the history of Europe like fancies in a disordered 
mind. We shall have to tell of a great process of mental 
growth in Europe, of enlarged horizons and accumulating 
power, but it was a process that went on independently of, 
and in spite of, the political forms of the time, until at last 
it shattered those forms altogether. Europe during 
those eleven centuries of the imitation Caesars which 
began with Charlemagne, and which closed only in the mon- 
strous bloodshed of 1914-1918, has been like a busy factory 
owned by a somnambulist, who is sometimes quite unimpor- 
tant and sometimes disastrously in the way. Or rather tiian 
a somnambulist, let us say by a corpse that magically simu- 
lates a kind of life. The Roman Empire staggers, sprawls^ 

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is thrust oflf the stage, and reappears, and — if we may carry 
the image one step further — it is the Church of Eome which 
plays the part of the magician and keeps this corpse alive. 

And throughout the whole period there is always a struggle 
going on for the control of the corpse between the spiritual 
and various temporal powers. We have already noted the 
spirit of St. Augustine's City of Ood. It was a book which 
we know Charlemagne read, or had read to him — ^for his 
literary accomplishments are rather questionable. He con- 
ceived of this Christian Empire as being ruled and main- 
tained in its orthodoxy by some such great Csesar as himself. 
He was to rule even the Pope. But at Eome the view taken 
of the revived empire differed a little from that. There 
the view taken was that the Christian Caesar must be anointed 
and guided by the Pope — ^who would even have the power 
to excommunicate and depose him. Even in the time of 
Charlemagne this divergence of view was apparent. In the 
following centuries it became acute. 

The idea of the revived Empire dawned only verygradually 
upon the mind of Charlemagne. At first he was simply the 
ruler of his father's kingdom of the Franks, and his powers 
were fully occupied in struggles with the Saxons and Ba- 
varians, and with the Slavs to the east of them, with the 
Moslem in Spain, and with various insurrections in his own 
dominions. And as the result of a quarrel with the King 
of Lombardy, his father-in-law, he conquered Lombardy and 
North Italy. We have noted the establishment of the Lom- 
bards in North Italy Hbout 670 after the great pestilence, and 
after the overthrow of the East Gothic kings by Justinian. 
These Lombards had always been a danger and a fear to the 
Popes, and there had been an alliance between Pope and 
Prankish King against them in the time of Pepin. Now 
Charlemagne completely subjugated Lombardy (774), sent 
his father-in-law to a monastery, and carried his conquests 
beyond the present north-eastern boundaries of Italy into 
Dalmatia in 776. In 781 he caused one of his sons, Pepin, 
who did not outlive him, to be crowned Bang of Italy in 

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Thero was a new Pope, Leo III, in 795, who seems from 
the first to have resolved to make Charlemagne emperor. 
Hitherto the court at Byzantium had possessed a certain in- 
definite authority over the Pope. Strong emperors like 
Justinian had bullied the Popes and obliged them to come to 
Constantinople; weak emperors had annoyed them ineffec- 
tively. The idea of a breach, both secular and religious, 
with Constantinople had long been entertained at the Ljtr 
eran,* and in the prankish power there seemed to be just 
the support that was necessary if Constantinople was to be 
defied. So at his accession Leo III sent the keys of the 
tomb of St. Peter and a banner to Charlemagne as the symbols 
of his sovereignity in Rome as Kinc of Italy. Very soon 
the Pope had to appeal to the protection he had chosen. He 
was unpopular in Rome; he was attacked and ill-treated in 
the streets during a procession, and obliged to fly to Ger- 
many (799). Eginhard says his eyes were gouged out and 
his tongue cut off; he seems, however, to have had both ayes 
and tongue again a year later. Charlemagne brought him 
bad: and reinstated him (800). 

Then occurred a very important scene. On Christmas 
Day, in the year 800, as Charles was rising from prayer in 
the Church of St. Peter, the Pope, who had everything in 
read^ess, clapped a crown upon his head and hailed him 
CsBsar ^nd Augustus. There was great popular applausew 
But Eginhard, the friend and biographer of Charlemagne, 
Bays' that the new emperor was by no means pleased by this 
coup of Pope Leo*s. If he had known this was to happen, 
he said, "he^^ould not have entered the church, great fes- 
,tival though it was." No doubt he had been thinking and 
talking of making himself emperor, but he had evidently 
not intended that the Pope should make him emperor. He 
had had some idea of marrying the Empress Irene, who at 
that time reigned in Constantinople, and so becoming mon- 
arch of both Eastern and Western Empires. He was now 
obliged to accept the title in the manner that Leo III had 

^The Lateran was the ear Her palace of the Popes in Rome. Later 
the^ occupied the Vatican. 

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adopted as a gift from the Pope, and in a way that estranged 
Constantinople and secured the separation of Borne from the 
Byzantine Church. 

At first Byzantium was unwilling to recognize the imperial 
title of Charlemagne. But in 810 a great disaster fell upon 
the Byzantine Empire. The pagan Bulgarians, under their 
Prince Emm (802-814), defeated and destroyed the armies 
of the Emperor Nicephorus, whose skull became a drinking- 
cup for Krum. The greater part of the Balkan peninsula 
was conquered by these people. (The Bulgarian and the 
English nations tibus became established as political unities 
almost simultaneously.) After this misfortune Byzantium 
was in no position to dispute this revival of the empire in 
the West, and in 812 Charlemagne was formally recognized 
by Byzantine envoys as Emperor and Augustus. 

So the Empire of Bome, which had died at the hands of 
Odoaoer in 476, rose again in 800 as the "Holy Soman 
Empire." While its physical strength lay north of the Alps, 
the centre of its idea was Bome. It was therefore from the 
beginning a divided thing of uncertain power, a claim and 
an argument rather than a necessary reality. The German 
sword was always clattering over the Alps into Italy, and 
missions and legates toiling over in the reverse direction. 
But the Germans could never hold Italy permanently, be- 
cause they could not stand the malaria that the ruined, neg- 
lected, undrained country fostered. And in Bome, as well 
as in several other of the cities of Italy, there smoiildered a 
more ancient tradition, the tradition of the aristocratic rer 
public, hostile to both Emperor and Pope. 


In spite of the fact that we have a life of him written by 
his contemporary, Eginhard,* the character and personality 
of Charlemagne are difficult to visualize. EgiiAard lacks 
vividness ; he tells many particulars, but not the particulars 
that make a man live again in the record. CharlemagnOi 

1 Eginbard's JUfe of Karl the Great. (Glaister.)^ 

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he says, was a tall man, with a rather feeble voice; and he 
had bright eyes and a long nose. ^^The top of his head 
was round," whatever that may mean, and his hair was 
"white." He had a thick, rather short neck, and "his belly 
too prominent/^ He wore a tunic with a silver border, And 
gartered hose. He had a blue cloak, and was always girt 
with bid sword, hilt and belt being of gold and silver. He 
was evidently a man of great activity, one imagines him 
xnoving quickly, and his numerous love affairs did not inter- 
fere at all with his incessant military and political labours. 
He had numerous wives and mistresses. He took much 
e^ieroise, was fond of pomp and religious ceremonies, and 
ffave generously* He was a man of very miscellaneous activ- 
ity and great intellectual enterprise, and with a self-oon- 
fidence that is rather suggestive of William II, the ex-Qer- 
maxi Emperor, the last, perhaps for ever, of this series of 
imitation Ceesars in Europe which Charlemagne began. 

The mental life that Eginhard records of him is interest- 
ing, because it not only gives glimpses of a curious character, 
but serves as a sample of the intellectuality of the time. 
He could read probably; at meals he "listened to music or 
reading/' but we are told that he had not acquired the art 
of writing; "he used to keep his writing-book and tablets 
under his pillow, that when he had leisure he might practise 
his hand in forming letters, but he made little progress in 
an art begun too late in life." He had, however, a real 
respect for learning and a real desire for knowledge, and 
he did his utmost to attract men of learning to his court* 
Among others who came was Alcuin, a learned Englishman. 
All those learned men were, of course, clergymen, there 
being no other learned men, and naturally they gave a 
strongly clerical tinge to the information they imparted to 
their master. At his court, which was usually at Aix4a- 
Chapelle or Mayence, he maintained in the winter months 
a curious institution called his "school," in which he and 
his erudite associates affected to lay aside all thoughts of 
worldly position, assumed names taken from the classical 
writers or from Holy Writ, and discoursed upon theology and 

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literature. Charlemagne himself was "David." He devel- 
oped a considerable knowledge of theology^ and it is to him 
that we must ascribe the addition of the words filio que to 
the Nicene Creed, an addition that finally split the Latin 
and Greek Churches asunder. But it is more than doubtful 
if he had any such separation in mind. He wanted to add 
a word or so to the creed, just as the Emperor William II 
wanted to write operas and paint pictures,^ and he took 
up what was originally a Spanish innovation. 

Of his organization of his empire there is little to be said 
here. He was far too restless and busy to consider the 
quality of his successor or the condition of political stability, 
and the most noteworthy thing in this relationship is that 
he particularly schooled his son and successor, Louis the 
Pious (814-840), to take the crown from the altar and 
crown himself. But Louis the Pious was too pious to ad- 
here to those instructions when the Pope made an objection. 

The legislation of Charlemagne was greatly coloured by 
Bible reading; he knew his Bible well, as the times went; 
and it is characteristic of him that after he had been crowned 
emperor he required every male subject above the age of 
twelve to renew his oath of allegiance, and to undertake 
to be not simply a good subject, but a good Christian. To 
refuse baptism and to retract after baptism were crimes 
punishable by death. He did much to encourage architec- 
ture, and imported many Italian architects, chiefly from 
Savenna, to whom we owe many of the pleasant Byzantine 
buildings that still at Worms and Cologne and elsewhere 
delight the tourist in the Bhineland. He founded a 
number of cathedrals and monastic schools, did much to 
encourage the study of classical Latin, and was a dis* 
tinguished amateur of church music. The possibility of his 
talking Latin and understanding Greek is open to discussion; 
probably he talked Erench-Latin. Erankish, however, was 
his habitual tongue. He made a collection of old German 

1 The addition was discreetly opposed by Leo III. "In the correspon- 
dence between them the Pope assumes the liberality of a statesman 
and the prince descends to the prejudice and passions of a priest."-— 
Gibbon^ cnap. Iz. 

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songs and tales, but these were destroyed by his successor 
Louis the Pious on account of their paganism. 

He corresponded with Haroun-al-Raschid, the Abbasid 
Caliph at Bagdad, who was not perhaps the less friendly to 
him on account of his vigorous handling of the Omayyad 
Arabs in Spain. Gibbon supposes that this "public corre- 
spondence was founded on vanity," and that "their remote 
situation left no room for a competition of interest." But 
with the Byzantine Empire between them in the East, and 
the independent caliphate of Spain in the West, and a com- 
mon danger in the Turks of the great plains, they had three 
very excellent reasons for cordiality. Haroun-al-Easchid, 
says Gibbon, sent Charlemagne by his ambassadors a splen- 
did tent, a water clock, an elephant, and the keys of the 
Holy Sepulchre. The last item suggests that Charlemagne 
was to some extent regarded by the Saracen monarch as the 
protector of the Christians and Christian properties in his 
dominions. Some historians declare explicitly that there 
was a treaty to that effect. 

§ 7 

The Empire of Charlemagne did not outlive his son and 
successor, Louis the Pious. It fell apart into its main con- 
stituents. The Latinized Keltic and Prankish population of 
Gaul begins now to be recognizable as- FrancS > though this 
France was broken up into a number of dukedoms and prin- 
cipalities, often with no more than a nominal unity; and 
German-speaking peoples between the Ehine and the Slavs 
to the east similarly begin to develop an even more frag- 
mentary intimation of Ggjjnany. When jit length a real 
emperor reappears in Western Europe (962))^ he is not a 
Frank, but a fifl^tpn f the conquered in Gfeicmany have be- 
come the masters. 

It is impossible here to trace the events of the ninth and 
tenth centuries in any detail, the alliances, the treacheries, 
the claims and acquisitions., Everywhere there was lawless- 
ness, war, and a struggle for power. In 987 the nominal 

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kingdom of France passed from the hands of the Carlo - 
ving ja n s, the last descendants of Charlemagne, into tiie 
VSSnS^i Hu g^ Cape t, who founded a new dynasty. Most 
of his alleged subordinates were in fact independent, and 

FRANCE at iShc dose efAz IQg^ 

willing to make war on the king at the slightest provocation. 
The dominions of the Duke of Normandy, for example, were 
more extensive and more powerful than the patrimony of 
Hugh Capet Almost the only unity of this France over 

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which the king exercised a nominal authority lay in the 
common resolution of its great provinces to resist incorpora- 
tion in any empire dominated either by a German ruler 
or by the Pope. Apart from the simple organization dic- 
tated by that common will, France was a mosaic of prac- 
tically independent nobles. It was an era of castle-build- 
ing and fortification, and what was called "private war*^ 
throughout all Europe, 

The state of Rome in the tenth century is almost inde- 
scribable. The decay of the Empire of Charlemagne left 
the Pope without a protector, threatened by Byzantiimi and 
the Saracens (who had taken Sicily), and face to face with 
the unruly nobles of Rome. Among the most powerful of 
these were two women, Theodora and Marozia, mother and 
daughter,* who in succession held the Castle of St. Angelo 
(§ 1), which Theophylact, the patrician husband of Theo- 
dora, had seized with most of the temporal power of the 
Pope; these two women were as bold, unscrupulous, and 
dissolute as any male prince of the time could have been, 
and they are abused by historians as though they were ten 
times worse. Marozia seized and imprisoned Pope John X 
(928), who speedily died under her care. She subsequently 
made her illegitimate son pope, under the title of John XI. 
After him her grandson, John XII, filled the chair of St. 
Peter. Gibbon^s account of the manners and morals of 
John XII takes refuge at last beneath a veil of Latin foot- 
notes. This Pope, John XII, was finally degraded by the 
new German Emperor Otto, who came over the Alps and 
down into Italy to be crowned in 962.^ 

This new line of Saxon emperors, which thus comes into 
prominence, sprang from a certain Henry the Fowler, who 

1 Gibbon mentions a second Theodora, the sister of Marozia. 

* This period is a tangled one. The authority is Gregorovius, HiS' 
iory of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages. John X owed the tiara 
to his mistress, the elder Theodora, but he was '*the foremost states- 
man of his age." He fell in 928 owing to Marozia. John XI became 
Pope in 031 (after two Popes had intervened in the period 928-931) ; 
he was Marozia's son, possibly by Pope Sergius III. John XII did 
not come at once after John XI, who died in 936; there were several 
Popes in between; and he became Pope in 955.— £• B. 

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was elected King of Germany by an assembly of German 
nobles, princes and prelates in 919. In 936 he was suc- 
ceeded as King by his son, Otto I, surnamed the Great, who 
was also elected to be his successor at Aix-la-Chapelle, and 
who finally descended upon Rome at the invitation of John 
XII, to be crowned emperor in 962. His subsequent deg- 
radation of John was forced upon him by that pope's 
treachery. With his assumption of the imperial dignity, 
Otto I did not so much overcome Rome as restore the ancient 
tussle of Pope and Emperor for ascendancy to something 
like decency and dignity again. Otto I was followed by 
Otto II (973-983), and he again by a third Otto (983- 

The struggle between the Emperor and the Pope for as- 
cendancy over the Holy Roman Empire plays a large part 
in the history of the early Middle Ages, and we shall have 
presently to sketch its chief phases. Though the church 
never sank quite to the level of John XII again, neverthe- 
less the story fluctuates through phases of great violence, 
confusion, and intrigue. Yet the outer history of Christen- 
dom is not the whole history of Christendom. That the 
Lateran was as cunning, foolish, and criminal as most other 
contemporary courts has to be recorded ; but, if we are to keep 
due proportions in this history, it must not be unduly em- 
phasized. We must remember that through all those ages, 
leaving profound consequences, but leaving no conspicuous 
records upon the historian's page, countless men and women 
were touched by that Spirit of Jesus which still lived and 
lives still at the core of Christianity, that they led lives that 
were on the whole gracious and helpful, and that they did 
unselfish and devoted deeds. Through those ages such lives 
cleared the air and made a better world possible. Just as 
in the Moslem world the Spirit of Islam generation by 

1 There were three dysasties of emperors in the early Middle Ages: 
Saxon: Otto I (962) to Henry II, ending 1024. 
Salian: Conrad II to Henry V, ending about 1125. 
Hohenstauf en : Conrad III to Frederic II, ending in 1260. 
The Hohenstaufens were Swabian in origin. Then came the Habs- 
burgB with Rudolph I in 1273, who lasted until 1918. 

Wells 1— *Vol. IIX 

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3 p- a 

5" o 


CD 2 

B §. 
5" «> 

crq 00 

S B 

2 P» 

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This defeat of the Moorish InYadei i, 732, checked them for 
ever at the Pyrenees and gave the Frank leader the name oi 
"Martel. " the Hammer. (Painting by Puvis de Chavannes) 

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generation produced its crop of courage, integrity, and kind- 

§ 8 

While the Holy Boman Empire and the kingdoms of 
France and England were thus appearing amidst the extreme 
political fragmentation of the civilization of Western Eu- 
rope, both that civilization and the Byzantine Empire were 
being subjected to a threefold attack: from the Saracen pow- 
ers, from the Northmen, and, more slowly developed and 
most formidable of all, from a new westward thrust of the 
Turkish peoples through South Kussia, and also by way of 
Armenia and the Empire of Bagdad from Central Asia. 

After the overthrow of the Omayyads by the Abbasid 
dynasty, the strength of the Saracenic impulse against Europe 
diminished. Islam was no longer united. Spain was un- 
der a separate Omayyad Caliph, North Africa, though 
nominally subject to the Abbasids, was really independent, 
and presently (969) Egypt became a separate power with 
a Shiite Caliph of its own, a pretender claiming descent 
from Ali and Fatima ( the Fatimite Caliphate) . These Egyp- 
tian Fatimites, the green flag Moslems, were fanatics in com- 
parison with the Abbasids, and did much to embitter the 
genial relations of Islam and Christianity. They took Jeru- 
salem, and interfered with the Christian access to the Holy 
Sepulchre. On the other side of the shrunken Abbasid do- 
main there was also a Shiite kingdom in Persia. The chief 
Saracen conquest in the ninth century was Sicily; but this 
was not overrun in the grand old style in a year or so, but 
subjugated tediously through a long century, and with many 
set-backs. The Spanish Saracens disputed in Sicily with 
the Saracens from Africa. In Spain the Saracens were giv- 
ing ground before a renascent Christian effort. Neverthe- 
less, the Byzantine Empire and Western Christendom were 
still so weak upon the Mediterranean Sea that the Saracen 
raiders and pirates from North Africa were able to raid 
almost unchallenged in South Italy and the Greek Islands. 

WtllB 2— Vol. lU 

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But now a new force was appearing in the Mediterranean, 
We have already remarked that the Eoman Empire never 
extended itself to the shores of the Baltic Sea, nor had ever 
the vigour to push itself into Denmark. The Nordic Aryan 
peoples of these neglected regions learnt much from the em- 
pire that was unable to subdue them; as we have already 
noted, they developed the art of shipbuilding and -became 
bold seamen ; they spread across the North Sea to the west, 
and across the Baltic and up the Eussian rivers into the very 
heart of what is now Russia. One of their earliest settle* 
ments in Russia was Novgorod the Great. There is the same 
trouble and confusion for the student of history vnth these 
northern tribes as there is with the Scythians of classical 
times, and with the Hunnish Turkish peoples of Eastern 
and Central Asia. They appear under a great variety of 
names, they change and intermingle. In the case of Britain, 
for example, the Angles, the Saxons, and Jutes conquered 
most of what is now England in the fifth and sixth centu* 
ries ; the Danes, a second wave of practically the same people, 
followed in the eighth and ninth; and in 1016 a Danish 
King, Canute the Great, reigned in England, and not only 
over England, but over Denmark and Norway. His sub- 
jects sailed to Iceland, Greenland, and perhaps to the Ameri- 
can continent. For a time, under Canute and his sons, 
it seemed possible that a great confederation of the North- 
men might have established itself. Then in 1066 a third 
wave of the same people flowed over England from the "Nor- 
man" state in France, where the Northmen had been settled 
since the days of Rolf the Ganger (912), and where they had 
learnt to speak French. William, Duke of Normandy, be- 
came the William the Conqueror (1066) of the English his- 
tory. Practically, from the standpoint of universal history, 
all these peoples were the same people, waves of one Nordic 
stock. These waves were not only flowing westward, but 
eastward. Already we have mentioned a very interesting 
earlier movement of the same peoples under the name of 
Goths from the Baltic to the Black Sea. We have traced 
the splitting of these Gt^ths into the Ostrogoths and the Yisi- 

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goths^ and the adventurous wanderings that end at last in 
the Ostrogoth kingdom in Italy and the Visigoth states 
in Spain. In the ninth century a second movement of the 
Northmen across Eussia was going on at the same time that 
their establishments in England and their dukedom of Nor- 
mandy were coming into existence. The population of 
South Scotland, England, East Ireland, Flanders, Nor- 
mandy, and the Eussias have more elements in common than 
we are accustomed to recognize. All are fundamentally 
Gothic and Nordic peoples. Even in their weights and meas- 
ures the kinship of Eussian and English is to be noted; both 
have the. Norse inch and foot, and many early Norman 
churches in England are built on a scale that shows the use 
of the sajene (7ft.) and quarter sajene, a Norse measure still 
used in Eussia. These "Eussian'' Norsemen travelled in 
the summer-time, using the river routes that abounded in 
Eussia ; they carried their ships by portages from the north- 
ward-running rivers to those flowing southward. They ap- 
peared as pirates, raiders, and traders both upon the Caspian 
and the Black Sea. The Arabic chroniclers note their appa- 
rition upon the Caspian, and learnt to call them Eussians. 
They raided Persia, and threatened Constantinople with a 
great fleet of small craft (in 865, 904, 941 and 1043.)* 
One of these Northmen, Eurik (drca 850), established him- 
self as the ruler of Novgorod and his successor, the duke Oleg, 
took Eief, and laid the foundations of modem Eussia. 
The fighting qualities of the Eussian Vikings were speedily 
appreciated at Constantinople ; the Greeks called them Varan- 
gians, and an Imperial Varangian bodyguard was formed. 
After the conquest of England by the Normans (1066), a 
number of Danes and English were driven into exile and 
joined these Eussian Varangians, apparently finding few ob- 
stacles to intercourse in their speech and habits. 

Meanwhile the Normans from Normandy were also find- 
ing their way into the Mediterranean from the West. They 
came first as mercenaries, and later as independent invaders ; 

iTh^se dates are from Gibbon. Beazley gives 865, 904-7, 935, 944, 
971«-e. JiHiatory of Buaaia, Clarendon Frees.) 

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and they came mainly, not, it is to be noted, by sea, but in 
scattered bands by land. They came through the Rhineland 
and Italy partly in the search for warlike employment 
and loot, partly as pilgrims. For the ninth and tenth centu- 
ries saw a great development of pilgrimage. These Nor- 
mans, as they grew powerful, discovered themselves such 
rapacious and vigorous robbers that they forced the Eastern 
Emperor and the Pope into a feeble and ineffective alliance 
against them (1053). They defeated and captured and were 
pardoned by the Pope ; they established themselves in Cala- 
bria and South Italy, conquered Sicily from the Saracens 
(1060-1090), and under Robert Guiscard, who had entered 
Italy as a pilgrim adventurer and began his career as a brig- 
and in Calabria, threatened the Byzantine Empire itself 
(1081). His army, which contained a contingent of Sicil- 
ian Moslems, crossed from Brindisi to Epirus in the re- 
verse direction to that in which Pyrrhus had crossed to 
attack the Roman Republic, thirteen centuries before (275 
B. ۥ). He laid seige to the Byzantine stronghold of Du- 

Robert captured Durazzo (1082), but the pressure of 
affairs in Italy recalled him, and ultimately put an end to 
this first Norman attack upon the Empire of Byzantium, 
leaving the way open for the rule of a comparatively vigor- 
ous Conmenian dynasty (1081-1204). In Italy, amidst 
conflicts too complex for uis to tell here, it fell to Robert 
Guiscard to besiege and sack Rome (1084) ; and Gibbon 
notes with quiet satisfaction the presence of that contingent 
of Sicilian Moslems amongst the looters. There were in the 
twelfth century three other Norman attacks upon the Eastern 
power, one by the son of Robert Guiscard, and the two others 
directly from Sicily by sea. . . . 

But neither the Saracens nor the Normans pounded quite 
so heavily against the old empire at Byzantium or against 
the Holy Roman Empire, the vamped-up Roman Empire of 
the West, as did the double thrust from the Turanian centres 
in Central Asia, of which we must now tell. We have already 
noted the westward movement of the Avars, and the Turk- 
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ish Magyars who followed in their track. From the days of 
Pepin I onward, the Frankish power and its successors in 
Germany were in conflict with these Eastern raiders along 
all the Eastern borderlands. Charlemagne held and pun- 
ished them, and established some sort of overlordship as far 
east as the Carpathians; but amidst the enfeeblement that 
followed his death, these peoples, more or less blended now 
in the accounts under the name of Hungarians, led by the 
Magyars, re-established their complete freedom again, and 
raided yearly, often as far as the Rhine* They destroyed, 
Gibbon notes, the monastery of St Gall in Switzerland, and 
the town of Bremen. Their great raiding period was be- 
tween 900 and 950. Their biggest effort, through Germany 
right into France, thence over the Alps and home again by 
North Italy, was in 938-9. 

Thrust southward by these disturbances, and by others to 
be presently noted, the Bulgarians established themselves 
under Krum, between the Danube and Constantinople. 
Originally a Turkish people, the Bulgarians, since their first 
appearance in the east c^ Russia, had become by repeated 
admixture almost entirely Slavonic in race and language. 
For some time after their establishment in Bulgaria they 
remained pagan. Their king, Boris (852-884), entertained 
Moslem envoys, and seems to have contemplated an adhesion 
to Islam, but finally he married a Byzantine princess, and 
handed himself and his people over to the Christian faith. 

The Hungarians were drubbed into a certain respect for 
civilization by Heniy the Fowler, the elected King of Ger- 
many, and Otto the First, the first Saxon emperor, in the 
tenth century. But they did not decide to adopt Christian- 
ity until about a. d. 1000. Though they were Christian- 
ized, they retained their own Turko-Finnic language (Mag- 
yar), and they retain it to this day. 

Bulgarians and Hungarians do not, however, exhaust the 
catalogue of the peoples whose westward movements embodied 
the Turkish thrust across South Russia. Behind the Hun- 
garians and Bulgarians thrust the Khazars, a Turkish people, 
with whom were mingled a very considerable proportion of 

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Jews who had been expelled from Constantinople, and who 
had mixed with them and made many proselytes. To these 
Jewish Khazars are to be ascribed the great settlements of 
Jews in Poland and Eussia/ Behind the Khazars again, 
and overrunning them, were the Petschenegs (or Patzinaks), 
a savage Turkish people who are first heard of in the ninth 
century, and who were destined to dissolve and vanish as 

^?^ COMtN^ oTth^ SBtTXXKS^' 


the kindred Huns did five centuries before, [And while the 

trend of all these peoples was westward, we have, when we 

are thinking of the present population of these South Eus- 

sian regions, to remember also the coming and going of 

the Northmen between the Baltic and the Black Sea, who 

interwove with the Turkish migrants like warp and woof, 

i"A Turkish people whose leaders had adopted Judaism/' says 
Harold Williams. 

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and bear in mind also that there was a considerable Slavonic 
population^ the heirs and descendants of Scythians^ Sarma^ 
tianjB, and the like, already established in these restless, law* 
less, but fertile areas. All these races mixed with and re- 
acted upon one another. The universal prevalence of Sla- 
vonic languages, except in Hungary, shows that the popula- 
tion remained predominantly Slav. And in what is now 
Roumania, for all the passage of peoples, and in spite of 
conquest after conquest, the tradition and inheritance of 
the Roman provinces of Dacia and Moesia Inferior still kept 
a Latin speech and memory alive. 

But this direct thrust of the Turkish peoples against 
Christendom to the north of the Black Sea was, in the end, 
not nearly so important as their indirect thrust south of it 
through the empire of the Caliph. We cannot deal here 
with the tribes and dissensions of the Turkish peoples of 
Turkestan, nor with the particular causes that brought to 
the fore the tribes under the rule of the Seljuk clan. In 
the eleventh century these Seljuk Turks broke with irresist* 
ible force not in one army, but in a group of armies, and 
under two brothers, into the decaying fragments of the 
Moslem Empire. For Islam had long ceased to be one 
empire. The orthodox Sunnite Abbasid rule had shranken 
to what was once Babylonia ; and even in Bagdad the Caliph 
was the mere creature of his Turkish palace guards. A 
sort of mayor of the palace, a Turk, was the real ruler. 
East of the Caliph, in Persia, and west of him in Palestine, 
Syria, and Egypt, were Shiite heretics. The Seljuk Turks 
were orthodox Sunnites; they now swept down upon and 
conquered the Shiite rulers and upstarts, and established 
themselves as the protectors of the Bagdad Caliph, taking 
over the temporal powers of the mayor of the palace. Very 
early they conquered Armenia from the Greeks, and then, 
breaking the bounds that had restrained the power of Islam 
for four centuries, they swept on to the conquest of Asia 
Minor, almost to the gates of Constantinople. The mountain 
barrier of Cilicia that had held the Mosl^n so long had been 
turned by the conquest of Armenia from the north-east, Un- 

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der Alp Arslan, who had united all the Seljuk power in his 
own hands, the Turks utterly smashed the Byzantine army all 
the battle of Manzikert, or Melasgird (1071). The effect of 
this battle upon people^s imaginations was very great. Is- 
lam, which had appeared far gone in decay, which had been 
divided religiously and politically, was suddenly discovered 
to have risen again, and it was the secure old Byzantine 
Empire that seemed on the brink of dissolution. The loss 
of Asia Minor was very swift. The Seljuks established 
themselves at Iconium (Konia), in what is now Anatolia- 
In a little while they were in possession of the fortress of 
Nicffia over against the capital. 

§ 9 

We have already told of the attack of the Normans upon 
the Byzantine Empire from the west, and of the battle of 
Durazzo (1081) ; and we have noted that Constantinople had 
still vivid memories of the Russian sea raids (1043). Bul- 
garia, it is true, had been tamed, but there was heavy and 
uncertain warfare going on with the Petschenegs. North 
and west, the emperor's hands were full. This swift ad- 
vance of the Turks into country that had been so long se- 
curely Byzantine must have seemed like the approach of 
final disaster. The Eastern Emperor, Michael VII, under 
the pressure of these convergent dangers, took a step that 
probably seemed both to himself and to Eome of the utmost 
political significance. He appealed to the Pope, Gregory 
VII, for assistance. His appeal was repeated still more 
urgently by his successor, Alexius Comnenus, to Pope Urban 

To the counsellors of Eome this must have presented itself 
as a supreme opportunity for the assertion of the headship 
of the Pope over the entire Christian world. 

In this history we have traced the growth of this idea of 
a religious government of Christendom — and through Chris- 
tendom of mankind — and we have shown how naturally and 
tow necessarily, because of the tradition of the world em- 
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pire, it found a centre at Eome. The Pope of Borne was the 
only Western patriarch; he was the religious head of a 
vast region in which the ruling tongue was Latin ; the other 
patriarchs of the Orthodox Church spoke Greek, and so were 
inaudible throughout his domains; and the two words FUio 
que, which had been added to the Latin creed, had split 
off the Byzantine Christians by one of those impalpable and 
elusive doctrinal points upon which there is no reconcilia- 
tion. (The final rupture was in 1054.) The life of the 
Lateran changed in its quality with every occupant of the 
chair of St Peter: sometimes papal Bome was a den of 
corruption and uncleanness, as it had been in the days of 
John XII; sometimes it was pervaded by the influence of 
widely thinking and nobly thinking men. But behind the 
Pope was the assembly of the cardinals, priests, and a great 
number of highly educated officials, who never, even in the 
darkest and wildest days, lost sight altogether of the very 
grand idea of a divine world dominion, of a peace of Christ 
throughout the earth that' St. Augustine had expressed. 
Through all the Middle Ages that idea was the guiding 
influence in Bome. For a time, perhaps, mean minds would 
prevail there, and in the affairs of the world Bome would 
play the part of a greedy, treacherous, and insanely cunning 
old woman ; followed a phase of masculine and quite worldly 
astuteness perhaps, or a phase of exaltation. Came an 
interlude of fanaticism or pedantry, when all the pressure 
was upon exact doctrine. Or there was a moral collapse, 
and the Lateran became the throne of some sensuous or 
SBSthetie autocrat, ready to sell every hope or honour the 
church could give for» money to spend upon pleasure or 
display. Yet, on the whole, the papal ship kept its course, 
and came presently into the wind again. 

In this period to which we have now come, the period of 
the eleventh century, we discover a Bome dominated by the 
personality of an exceptionally great statesmanf ^Tdg 
who occupied various official positions under a successi^ 
of Popes, and finally became Pope himself jujid©i*--tte''iiaine 
of Gregory V II (1073-lOSa)^-— WTlKd that under his 

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influence, vice, sloth, and corruption have been swept out of 
the church, that the method of electing the Popes has been re- 
formed, and that a great struggle has been waged with the Em- 
peror upon the manifestly vital question of "investitures,'^ the 
question whether Pope or temporal monarch should have the 
decisive voice in the appointment of the bishops in their do- 
Tuains. How vital that question was we can better realize 
when we bear in mind that in many kingdoms more than a 
quarter of the land was clerical property. Hitherto the Eo- 
man clergy had been able to marry; but now, to detach them 
effectually from the world and to make them more completely 
the instruments of the church, celibacy was imposed upon all 
priests. • • • 

Gregory VII had been prevented by his struggle over the 
investitures from any effectual answer to the first appeal 
from Byzantium; but he had left a worthy successor in 
Urban II (1087-1099); and when the letter of Alexius 
came to hand. Urban seized at once upon the opportunity it 
afforded for drawing together all the thoughts and forces 
of Western Europe into one passion and purpose. Thereby 
he might hope to end the private warfare that prevailed^ 
and find a proper outlet for the inmiense energy of the Nor- 
msaiSn He saw, too, an opportunity of thrusting the Byzan- 
tine power and Church aside, and extending the influence of 
the Latin Church over Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. The 
envoys of Alexius were heard at a church council, hastily 
summoned at Piacenza (= Placentia), and next year (1095) 
at Clermont, Urban held a second great council, in which 
all the slowly gathered strength of the Church was organized 
for a universal war propaganda against the Moslems. Pri- 
vate war, all war among Christians, was to cease until the in- 
fidel had been swept back and the site of the Holy Sepulchre 
was again in Christian hands. 

The fervour of the response enables us to understand the 
great work of creative organization that had been done in 
Western Europe in the previous five centuries. In the begin- 
ning of the seventh century we saw Western Europe as a 
ehaos of social and political fragments, with no common 

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idea nor hope, a system shattered ahnost to a dust of self-seek* 
ing individuals. Now in the dawn of the eleventh century 
there is everywhere a conunon belief, a linking idea, to which 
men may devote themselves, and by which they can co-operate 
together in a universal enterprise. We realize that, in spite 
of much weakness and intellectual and moral unsoundness, 
to this extent the Christian Church has worked. We arc 
able to measure the evil phases of tenth-century Rome, the 
scandals, the filthiness, the murders and violence, at their 
proper value by the scale of this fact. No doubt also all 
over Christendom there had been many lazy, evil, and 
foolish priests ; but it is manifest that this task of teaching 
and co-ordination that had been accomplished could have 
been accomplished only through a great multitude of right- 
living priests and monks and nuns. A new and greater 
amphictyony, the amphictyony of Christendom, had come 
into the world, and it had been built by thousands of anony- 
mous, faithful lives. 

And this response to the appeal of Urban the Second 
was not confined only to what we should call educated peo- 
ple. It was not simply knights and princes who were will- 
ing to go upon this crusade. Side by side with the figure 
of Urban we must put the figure of Peter the Hermit, a type 
novel to Europe, albeit a little reminiscent of the Hebrew 
prophets. This man appeared preaching the crusade to the 
common people. He told a story — ^whether truthful or un- 
truthful hardly matters in this connection — of his pilgrimage 
to Jerusalem, of the wanton destruction at the Holy Sepul- 
chre by the Seljuk Turks, who took it in 1073, and of the 
exactions, brutalities, and deliberate cruelties practised upon 
the Christian pilgrims to the Holy Places. Barefooted, 
dad in a coarse garment, riding on an ass, and bearing a 
huge cross, this man travelled about France and Germany, 
and everywhere harangued vast crowds in church or street or 

Here for the first time we discover Europe with an idea 
and a soul ! Here is a universal response of indignation at 
the story of a remote wrong, a swift understanding of a 

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common cause for ricli and poor alike. You cannot 
imagine this thing happening in the Empire of Augustus 
CflBsar, or indeed in any previous state in the world's 
history. Something of the kind might perhaps have 
been possible in the far smaller world of Hellas, or in Arabia 
before Islam, But this movement affected nations, king- 
doms, tongues, and peoples. It is clear that we are dealing 
with something new that has come into the world, a new 
clear connection of the common interest with the conscious- 
ness of the common man. 

§ 10 

From the very first this flaming enthusiasm was mixed with 
baser elements. There was the cold and calculated scheme 
of the free and ambitious Latin Church to subdue and re- 
place the emperor-ruled Byzantine Church; there was the 
freebooting instinct of the Normans, who were tearing Italy 
to pieces, which turned readily enough to a new and richer 
world of plunder ; and there was something in the multitude 
who now turned their faces east, something deeper than love 
in the human composition, namely, fear-born hate, that the 
impassioned appeals of the propagandists and the exaggera- 
tion of the horrors and cruelties of the infidel had fanned 
into flame. And there were still other forces ; the intolerant 
Seljuks and the intolerant Fatimites lay now an impas- 
sable barrier across the eastward trade of Genoa and 
Venice that had hitherto flowed through Bagdad and 
Aleppo, or through Egypt. They must force open these 
closed channels, unless Constantinople and the Black 
Sea route were to monopolize Eastern trade altogether. 
Moreover, in 1094 and 1095 there had been a pestilence 
and famine from the Scheldt to Bohemia, and there was 
great social disorganization. "No wonder,'^ says Mr. Er- 
nest Barker, "that a stream of emigration set towards the 
East, such as would in modern times flow towards a newly 
discovered goldfield — a stream carrying in its turbid waters 
hucksters, fugitive monks and escaped villeins, and marked 

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by the same motley grouping, the same fever of life, the 
same alternations of affluence and beggary, which mark the 
rush for a goldfield to-day." 

But these were secondary contributory causes. The fact 
of predominant interest to the historian of mankind is this 
will to crusade suddenly revealed as a new mass possibility 
in human affairs. 

qVdip fo mustratz iiie FIR5T CRU5AP&- 

The story of the crusades abounds in such romantic and 
picturesque detail that the writer of an Outline of History 
must ride his pen upon the curb through this alluring field. 
The first forces to move eastward were great crowds of un- 
disciplined people rather than armies, and they sought to 
make their way by the valley of the Danube, and thence 

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southward to Constantinople. This was the "people's cru- 
sade.'^ Never before in the whole history of the world had 
there been such a spectacle as these masses of practically 
leaderless people moved by an idea* It was a veiy crude 
idea. When they got among foreigners, they do not seem 
to have realized that they were not already among the infidel. 
Two great mobs, the advance guard of the expedition, com- 
mitted such excesses in Hungary, where the language must 
have been incomprehensible to them, as to provoke the Hun- 
garians to destroy them. They were massacred. A third 
host began with a great pogrom of the Jews in the Ehineland 
— ^for the Christian blood was up — and this multitude was 
also dispersed in Hungary. Two other hosts under Peter 
got through and reached Constantinople, to the astonishment 
and dismay of the Emperor Alexius. They looted and com- 
mitted outrages as they came, and at last he shipped them 
across the Bosphorus, to be massacred rather than defeated 
by the Seljuks (1096). 

This first unhappy appearance of the "people" as people 
in modern European history was followed in 1097 by the 
organized forces of the First Crusade. They came by di- 
verse routes from France, Normandy, Flanders, England, 
Southern Italy and Sicily, and the will and power of them 
were the Normans. They crossed the Bosphorus and cap- 
tured NicsBa, which Alexius snatched away from them before 
they could loot it. They then went on by much the same route 
as Alexander the Great, through the Cilician Gates, leaving 
the Turks in Konia unconquered, past the battle-field of 
the Issus, and so to Antioch, which they took after nearly a 
year's siege. Then they defeated a great relieving army 
from Mosul. A large part of the Crusaders remained in 
Antioch, a smaller force under Godfrey of Bouillon (in 
Belgium) went on to Jerusalem. "After a little more than 
a month^s siege, the city was finally captured (July 15). 
The slaughter was terrible; the blood of the conquered ran 
down the streets, until men splashed in blood as they rode. 
At nightfall, 'sobbing for excess of joy,' the crusaders came 
to the Sepulchre from their treading of the winepress, and 

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pat their blood-stained hands together in prayer. So, on that 
day of July, the First Crusade came to an end/^ ^ 

The authority of the Patriarch of Jerusalem was at once 
seised upon by the Latin clergy with the expedition, and 
the Orthodox Christiana found themselves in rather a worse 
eaae under Latin rule than under the Turk. There were 
already Latin principalities established at Antioch and 
Edesaa) and there began a struggle for ascendancy between 
these various courts and kings, and an unsuccessful attempt 
to make Jerusalem a property of the Pope. These are com- 
plioationa beyond our present scope. 

Let U8 quote^ however, a characteristic passage from 
Qibbon :— * 

"In a style less grave than that of history, I should perhaps 
compare the Emperor Alexius to the jackal, who is said to iol* 
low the steps and to devour the leavings of the lion. What- 
ever had been his fears and toils in the passage of the First 
Crusade, they were amply recompensed by the subsequent 
benefits which he derived from the exploits of the Eranks. 
His dexterity and vigilance secured their first conquest of 
NicsBa, and from this threatening station the Turks were 
compelled to evacuate the neighbourhood of Constantinople. 
While the Crusaders, with blind valour, advanced into the 
midland countries of Asia, the crafty Greek improved the 
favourable occasion when the emirs of the sea coast were re- 
called to the standard of the Sultan. The Turks were driven 
from the isles of Ehodes and Chios; the cities of Ephesus 
and Smyrna, of Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea were re- 
stored to the empire, which Alexius enlarged from the 
Hellespont to the banks of the Maeander and the rocky shores 
of Pamphylia. The churches resumed their splendour; the 
towns were rebuilt and fortified ; and the desert country was 
peopled with colonics of Christians, who were gently re- 
moved from the more distant and dangerous frontier. In 
these paternal cares we may forgive Alexius, if we forget 
the deliverance of the holy sepulchre; but, by the Latins, 

IE. Barker^ art. ''Crusades," EnoyohpcBdia BritanrUca. 

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he was stigmatized with the foul reproach of treason and de- 
sertion. They had sworn fidelity and ohedience to his 
throne; but he had promised to assist their enterprise in 
person, or at least, with his troops and treasures; his base 
retreat dissolved their obligations ; and the sword, which had 
been the instrument of their victory, was the pledge and 
title of their just independence. It does not appear that the 
emperor attempted to revive his obsolete claims over the 
kingdom of Jerusalem, but the borders of Cilicia and Syria 
were more recent in his possession and more accessible to 
his arms. The great army of the Crusaders was annihilated 
or dispersed ; the principality of Antioch was left without a 
head, by the surprise and captivity of Bohemond ; his ransom 
had oppressed him with a heavy debt ; and his Norman fol- 
lowers were insufficient to repel the hostilities of the Greeks 
and Turks. In this distress, Bohemond embraced a magnani- 
mous resolution, of leaving the defence of Antioch to his 
kinsman, the faithful Tancred ; of arming the West against 
the Byzantine Empire, and of executing the design which he 
inherited from 'the lessons and example of his father Guis- 
card. His embarkation was clandestine; and if we may 
credit a tale of the Princess Anna, he passed the hostile 
sea closely secreted in a coffin. (Anna Comnena adds, that 
to complete the imitation, he was shut up with a dead cock ; 
and condescends to wonder how the barbarian could endure 
the confinement and putrefaction. This absurd tale is un- 
known to the Latins.) But his reception in France was 
dignified by the public applause and his marriage with the 
king's daughter; his return was glorious, since the bravest 
spirits of the age enlisted under his veteran command ; and 
he repassed the Adriatic at the head of five thousand horse 
and forty thousand foot, assembled from the most remote 
climates of Europe. The strength of Durazzo and prudence 
of Alexius, the progress of famine and approach of winter, 
eluded his ambitious hopes ; and the venal confederates were 
seduced from his standard. A treaty of peace suspended the 
fears of the Greeks." 

We have dealt thus lengthily with the First Crusade, be- 

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cause it displays completely the quality of all these expedi- 
tions. The reality of the struggle between the Latin and 
the Byzantine system became more and more nakedly ap- 
parent. In 1101 came reinforcements, in which the fleet of 
the mercantile republics of Venice and Genoa played a 
prominent part, and the power of the kingdom of Jerusalem 
was extended. The year 1147 saw a Second Crusade, in 
which both the Emperor Conrad III and King Louis of 
France participated. It was a much more stately and far 
less successful and enthusiastic expedition than its predeces- 
sor. It had been provoked by the fall of Edessa to the 
Moslems in 1144. One large division of Germans, instead 
of going to the Holy Land, attacked and subjugated the 
still pagan Wends east of the Elbe. This, the Pope agreed, 
counted as crusading, and so did the capture of Lisbon, and 
the foundation of the Christian kingdom of Portugal by the 
Flemish and English contingents. 

In 1169 a Kurdish adventurer, named Saladin, became 
ruler of Egypt, in which country the Shiite heresy had now 
fallen before a Sunnite revival. This Saladin reunited the 
eflForts of Egypt and Bagdad, and preached a Jehad, a Holy 
War, a counter-crusade, of all the Moslems against the 
Christians. This Jehad excited almost as much feeling in 
Islam as the First Crusade had done in Christendom. It 
was now a case of crusader against crusader; and in 1187 
Jerusalem was retaken. This provoked the Third Crusade 
(1189). This also was a grand affair, planned jointly by the 
Emperor Frederick I (known better as Frederick Barba- 
rossa), the King of France, and the King of England (who at 
that time owned many of the fairest French provinces). The 
papacy played a secondary part in this expedition ; it was in 
one of its phases of enf eeblement ; and the crusade was the 
most courtly, chivalrous, and romantic of all. Religious 
bitterness was mitigated by the idea of knightly gallantry, 
which obsessed both Saladin and Eichard I (1189-1199) of 
England (Cceur-de-Lion), and the lover of romance may very 
well turn to the romances about this period for its flavour. 
The crusade saved the principality of Antioch for a time, 

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but failed to retake Jetusalem. The Christians, however^ 
I'emained in possession of the sea coast of Palestine. 

By the time of the Third Crusade, the magic and wonder 
had gone out of these movements altogether. The common 
people had found them out* Men went, but only kings and 
nobles 6ti*aggled back ; and that often only after heavy taxa- 
tion for a ransom. The idea of the crusades was cheapened 
by their too frequent and trivial use. Whenever the Pope 
quarrelled with any one now, or when he wished to weaken 
the dangerous power of the emperor by overseas exertions, 
he called for a crusade, until the word ceased to mean any* 
thing but an attempt to give flavour to an unpalatable war. 
There was a crusade against the heretics in the south of 
France, one against John (King of England), one against 
the Emperor Frederick II. The Popes did not understand 
the necessity of dignity to the papacy. They had achieved 
a moral ascendancy in Christendom* Forthwith they began 
to fritter it away* They not only cheapened the idea of 
the oruBades, but they made their tremendous power of ex- 
communication, of putting people outside all the sacraments, 
hopes, and comforts of religion, ridiculous by using it in mere 
disputes of policy, Frederick II was not only crusaded 
against, but excommunicated*--without visible injury. He 
was excommunicated again in 1239, and this sentence was 
renewed by Innocent IV in 1245. 

The bulk of the Fourth Crusade never reached the Holy 
Land at all. It started from Venice (1202), captured Zara, 
encamped at Constantinople (1203), and finally, in 1204, 
stormed the city. It was frankly a combined attack on the 
Byzantine Empire. Venice took much of the coasts and 
islands of the empire, and a Latin, Baldwin of Flanders, was 
set up as emperor in Constantinople. The Latin and Greek 
{^ijiirches were declared to be reunited, and Latin emperors 
ruled as conquerors in Constantinople from 1204 to 1261. 

In 1212 occurred a dreadful thing, a children's crusade. 
An excitement that could no longer affect sane adults wafi 
spread among the children in the south of France and in the 
Khone valley* A crowd of many thousands of French boys 

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marched to Marseilles; they were then lured on board ship 
by slave traders, who sold them into slavery in Egypt. The 
Rhineland children tramped into Italy, many perishing by 
the way, and there dispersed. Pope Innocent III made 
great capital out of this strange business. "The very chil- 
dren put us to shame,'^ he said; and sought to whip up 
enthusiasm for a Fifth Crusade. This crusade aimed at 
the conquest of Egypt, because Jerusalem was now held 
by the Egyptian Sultan; its remnants returned in 1221, 
after an inglorious evacuation of its one capture, Damietta, 
with the Jerusalem vestiges of the True Cross as a sort of 
consolation concession on the part of the victor. We have 
already noted the earlier adventures of this venerable relic 
before the days of Muhammad when it was carried off by 
Chosroes II to Ctesiphon, and recovered by the Emperor 
Heraclius. Fragments of the True Cross, however, had 
always been in Rome at the church of 8. Oroce-in-Geru- 
salemme, since the days of the Empress Helena (the mother 
of Constantino the (Jreat) to whom, says the legend, its hid- 
ing-place had been revealed in a vision during her pilgri- 
mage to the Holy Land.* 

The Sixth Crusade (1229) was a crusade bordering upon 
absurdity. The Emperor Frederick II had promised to go 
upon a crusade, and evaded his vow. He had made a false 
start and returned. He was probably bored by the mere 
idea of a crusade. But the vow had been part of the bar- 
gain by which he secured the support of Pope Innocent III 
in his election as emperor. He busied himself in reorganiz- 
ing the government of his Sicilian kingdom, though he had 
given the Pope to understand that he would relinquish those 
possessions if he became emperor; and the Pope was anxious 

i**The custody of the True Cross, which on Easter Sunday waa 
solemnly exposed to the people, was entrusted to the Bishop of Jm) 
salem; and he alone might gratify the curious devotion of the pilgri&iv, 
hy the gift of small pieces, which they encased in ^Id or gems, and 
carried away in triumph to their respective countries. But, as this 
gainful branch of commerce must soon have been annihilated, it was 
found convenient to suppose that the marvellous wood possessed a se- 
cret power of vegetation, and that its substance, though continually 
diminished, still remained entire and unimpaired.'' — Gibbon. 

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to stop this process of consolidation by sending him to the 
Holy Land. The Pope did not want Frederick II, or any 
German emperor at all in Italy, because he himself wished 
to rule Italy. As Frederick II remained evasive, Gregory 
IX excommunicated him, proclaimed a crusade against him, 
and invaded his dominions in Italy (1228). Whereupon the 
Emperor sailed with an army to the Holy Land. There he 
had a meeting with the Sultan of Egypt (the Emperor spoke 
six languages freely, including Arabic) ; and it would seem 
these two gentlemen, both of sceptical opinions, exchanged 
views of a congenial sort, discussed the Pope in a worldly 
spirit, debated the Mongolian rush westward, which threat- 
ened them both alike, and agreed finally to a commercial 
convention, and the surrender of a part of the kingdom of 
Jerusalem to Fr^erick. This indeed was a new sort of 
crusade, a crusade by private treaty. As this astonishing 
crusader had been excommunicated, he had to indulge in 
a purely secular coronation in Jerusalem, taking the crown 
from the altar with his own hands, in a church from which 
all the clergy had gone. Probably there was no one to 
show him the Holy Places ; indeed these were presently all 
put under an interdict by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and 
locked up ; manifestly the affair differed altogether in spirit 
from the red onslaught of the First Crusade. It had not 
even the kindly sociability of the Caliph Omar's visit six 
hundred years before. Frederick II rode out of Jerusalem 
almost alone, returned from this unromantic success to Italy, 
put his affairs there in order very rapidly, chased the papal 
armies out of his possessions, and obliged the Pope to give 
him absolution from his excommunication (1230). This 
Sixth Crusade was indeed not only the reductio ad ahsurdum 
of crusades, but of papal excommunications. Of this Fred- 
erick II we shall tell more in a later section, because he 
^as very typical of certain new forces that were coming into 
European affairs. 

The Christians lost Jerusalem again in 1244; it was taken 
from them very easily by the Sultan of Egypt when they at- 
tempted an intrigue against him. This provoked the Seventh 

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Crusadp, the Crusade of St. Louis, King of France (Louis 
IX), who was taken prisoner in Egypt and ransomed in 
1250. Not until 1918, when it fell to a mixed force of 
French, British, and Indian troops, did Jerusalem slip once 
more from the Moslem grasp. • . . 

One more crusade remains to be noted, an expedition to 
Tunis by this same Louis IX, who died of fever there. 

§ 11 

The essential interest of the crusades for the historian of 
mankind lies in the wave of emotion, of unifying feeling, 
that animated the first. Thereafter these expeditions be- 
came more and more an established process, and less and less 
vital events. The First Crusade was an occurrence like the 
discovery of America; the later ones were more and more 
like a trip across the Atlantic. In the eleventh century, 
the idea of the crusade must have been like a strange and 
wonderful light in the sky; in the thirteenth one can imagine 
honest burghers saying in tones of protest, "What ! another 
crusade !" The experience of St. Louis in Egypt is not like 
a fresh experience for mankind; it is much more like a 
round of golf over some well known links, a round that was 
dogged by misfortune. It is an insignificant series of events. 
The interest of life had shifted to other directions. 

The beginning of the crusades displays all Europe satu- 
rated by a naive Christianity, and ready to follow the leading 
of the Pope trustfully and simply. The scandals of the 
Lateran during its evil days, with which we are all so familiar 
now, were practically unknown outside Rome. And Gregory 
VII and Urban II had redeemed all that. But intellectually 
and morally their successors at the Lateran and the Vatican ^ 
were not equal to their opportunities. The strength of the 

xThe Popes inhabited the palace of the Lateran until 1305, when a 
French Pope set up the papal court at Avignon. When the Pope re- 
turned to Rome in 1377 the Lateran was almost in ruins, and the 
palace of the Vatican became the seat of the papal court. It was, 
among other advantages^ much nearer to the papal stronghold^ the 
Caetle of St. Angelo. 

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papacj lay in the faith men had in it, and it used that faith 
fio carelessly as to enfeeble it. Kome has always had too 
much of the shrewdness of the priest and too little of the 
power of the prophet. So that while the eleventh century 
was a century of ignorant and confiding men, the thirteenth 
was an age of knowing and disillusioned men. It was a 
far more civilized and profoundly sceptical world. 

The bishops, priests, and the monastic institutions of 
Latin Christendom before the days of Gregory VII had been 
perhaps rather loosely linked together and very variable in 
quality; but it is clear that they were, as a rule, intensely 
intimate with the people among whom they found themselves, 
and with much of the spirit of Jesus still alive in them; 
they were trusted, and they had enormous power within the 
conscience of their followers. The church, in comparison with 
its later state, was more in the hands of local laymen and the 
local ruler; it lacked its later universality. The energetic 
bracing up of the church organization by Gregory VII, which 
was designed to increase the central power of Rome, broke 
many subtle filaments between priest and monastery on the 
one hand, and the country-side about them on the other. 
Men of faith and wisdom believe in growth and their fellow 
men ; but priests, even such priests as Gregory VII, believe in 
the false "efiiciency" of an imposed discipline. The squabble 
over investitures made every prince in Christendom suspi- 
cious of the bishops as agents of a foreign power; this 
suspicion filtered down to the parishes. The political 
enterprises of the papacy necessitated an increasing de- 
mand for money. Already in the thirteenth century it was 
being said everywhere that the priests were not good men, 
that they were always hunting for money. 

In the days of ignorance there had been an extraordi- 
nary willingness to believe the Catholic priesthood good and 
wise. Eelatively it was better and wiser in those days. 
Great powers beyond her spiritual functions had been en- 
trusted to the church, and very extraordinary freedoms. Of 
this confidence the fullest advantage had been taken. In the 
Middle Ages the church had become a state within the state. 

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It had its own law courts. Oases involving not merely 
priests, but monks, students, crusaders, widows, orphans, 
and the helpless, were reserved for the clerical courts; and 
whenever the rites or rules of the church were involved, there 
the church claimed jurisdiction over such matters as wills, 
marriages, oaths, and of course over heresy, sorcery, and 
blasphemy. There were numerous clerical prisons in which 
offenders might pine all their lives. The Pope was the 
supreme law-giver of Christendom, and his court at Rome 
the final and decisive court of appeal. And the church levied 
taxes; it had not only vast properties and a great income 
from fees, but it imposed a tax of a tenth, the tithe, upon 
its subjects. It did not call for this as a pious benefaction ; 
it demanded it as a right. The clergy, on the other hand^ 
were now claiming exemption from lay taxation. 

This attempt to trade upon their peculiar prestige and 
evade their share in fiscal burdens was certainly one very 
considerable factor in the growing dissatisfaction with the 
clergy. Apart from any question of justice, it was impolitic. 
It made taxes seem ten times more burthensome to those who 
had to pay. It made every one feel the immunities of the 
church. And a still more extravagant and unwise claim 
made by the church was the claim to the power of dispenga^ 
tiotk The Pope might in many instances set aside the laws 
of the church m individual cases; he might allow cousins to 
marry, permit a man to have two wives, or release any one 
from a vow. But to do such things is to admit that the 
laws affected are not based upon necessity and an inherent 
righteousness; that they are in fact restrictive and vexatious. 
The lawgiver, of all beings, most owes the law allegiance. 
He of all men should behave as though the law compelled 
him. But it is the universal weakness of mankind that what 
we are given to administer we presently imagine we own. 

§ 12 

The Emperor Frederick II is a very convenient example 
iA ^ sort of doubter and rebel the thirteenth century could 

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produce. It may be interesting to tell a little of this intelli- 
gent and cynical man. He was the son of the German Em- 
peror, Henry VI, and grandson of Frederick Barbarossa, 
and his mother was the daughter of Roger I, the Norman 
King of Sicily. He inherited this kingdom in 1198, when 
he was four years old ; his mother was his guardian for six 
months, and when she died. Pope Innocent III (1198 to 
1216) became regent and guardian. He seems to have had 
an exceptionally good and remarkably mixed education, and 
his accomplishments earned him the flattering title of 
Stupor mundi, the amazement of the world. The result of 
getting an Arabic view of Christianity, and a Christian view 
of Islam, was to make him believe that all religions were 
impostures, a view held perhaps by many a stifled observer 
in the Age of Faith. But he talked about his views; his 
blasphemies and heresies are on record. Growing up under 
the arrogant rule of Innocent III, who never seems to have 
realized that his ward had come of age, he developed a 
slightly humorous evasiveness. It was the papal policy to 
prevent any fresh coalescence of the power of Germany and 
Italy, and it was equally Frederick's determination to get 
whatever he could. When presently opportunity offered him 
the imperial crown of Germany, he secured the Pope's sup- 
port by agreeing, if he were elected, to relinquish his posses- 
sions in Sicily and South Italy, and to put down heresy in 
Germany. For Innocent III was one of the great persecuting 
Popes, an able, grasping, and aggressive man. (For a Pope, 
he was exceptionally young. He became Pope at thirty- 
seven.) It was Innocent who had preached a cruel crusade 
against the heretics in the south of France, a crusade that 
presently became a looting expedition beyond his control. 
So soon as Frederick was elected emperor (1211),^ Innocent 
pressed for the performance of the vows and promises he 
had wrung from his dutiful ward. The clergy were to be 
freed from lay jurisdiction and from taxation, and exem- 

1 He was crowned emperor in 1220 by Honorins III, the successor of 

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plary cruelties were to be practised upon the heretics. None 
of which things Frederick did. As we have already told, 
he would not even relinquish Sicily. He liked Sicily as a 
place of residence better than he liked Germany. 

Innocent III died baffled in 1216, and his successor, 
Honorius III, effected nothing. Honorius was succeeded by 
Gregory IX (1227), who evidently came to the papal throne 
with a nervous resolution to master this perplexing young 
man. He excommunicated him at once for failing to start 
upon his crusade, which was now twelve years overdue ; and 
he denounced his vices, heresies, and general offences in a 
public letter (1227). To this Frederick replied in a far 
abler document addressed to all the princes of Europe, a doc- 
ument of extreme importance in history, because it is the 
first clear statement of the issue between the pretensions of 
the Pope to be absolute ruler of all Christendom, and the 
claims of the secular rulers.^ This conflict had always been 
smouldering; it had broken out here in one form, and there 
in another ; but now Frederick put it in clear general terms 
upon which men could combine together. 

Having delivered this blow, he departed upon the pacific 
crusade of which we Kave already told. In 1239, Gregory 
IX was excommunicating him for a second time, and re- 
newing that warfare of public abuse in which the papacy had 
already suffered severely. The controversy was revived after 
Gregory IX was dead, when Innocent IV was Pope; and 
again a devastating letter, which men were bound to remem- 
ber, was written by Frederick against the church. He de- 
nounced the pride and irreligion of the clergy, and ascribed 
all the corruptions of the time to their pride and wealth. 
He proposed to his fellow princes a general confiscation of 
church property — ^for the good of the church. It was a 
suggestion that never afterwards left the imagination of the 
European princes. 

We will not go on to tell of his last years or of the dis- 
aster at Parma, due to his carelessness, which cast a shadow 
of failure over his end. The particular events of his life 

iSome authorities deny his authorship of this letter. 

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are far les3 significant than its general atmosphere. It is 
possible to piece together something of his court life in 
Sicily. He is described towards the end of his life as ^'red, 
bald, and short-sighted'^ ; but his features were good and 
pleasing. He was luxurious in his way of living, and fond 
of beautiful things. He is described as licentious. But 
it is clear that his mind was not satisfied by religious scep- 
ticism, and that he was a man of very effectual curiosity and 
inquiry. He gathered Jewish and Moslem as well as Chris- 
tian philosophers at his court, and he did much to irrigate 
the Italian mind with Saracenic influences. Through him 
Arabic numerals and algebra were introduced to Christian 
students, and among other philosophers at his court was 
Michael Scott, who translated portions of Aristotle and the 
commentaries thereon of the great Arab philosopher Aver- 
roes (of Cordoba). In 1224 Frederick founded the Uni- 
versity of Naples, and he enlarged and enriched the great 
medical school at Salerno University, the most ancient of 
universities. He also founded a zoological garden. He left 
a book on hawking, which shows him to have been an acute 
observer of the habits of birds, and he was one of the first 
Italians to write Italian verse. Italian poetry was indeed 
born at his court. He has been called by an able writer, 
"the first of the modems," and the phrase expresses aptly 
the unprejudiced detachment of his intellectual side. His 
was an all-round originality. During a gold shortage he in- 
troduced and made a success of a coinage of stamped leather, 
bearing his promise to pay in gold, a sort of leather bank- 
note issue.^ 

In spite of the torment of abuse and calumny in which 
Frederick was drenched, he left a profound impression upon 
the popular imagination. He is still remembered in South 
Italy almost as vividly as is Napoleon I by the peasants 
of France ; he is the "Gran Federigo." And German scholars 

tPerbaps parchment rather than leather. Such promises on parch- 
ment were also used by the Carthaginians. V^as Frederick's money 
toi inheritance from an old tradition living on in Sicily since Cartha- 
ginian times?— E. B. 

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declare that^ in spite of Frederick's manifest dislike for 
Germany, it is he, and not Frederick I, Frederick Barba- 
rossa, to whom the German legend originally attached — ^that 
legend which represents a great monarch slumbering in a 
deep cavern, his beard grown round a stone table, against a 
day of awakening when the world will be restored by him 
from an extremity of disorder to peace. Afterwards, it 
seems, the story was transferred to the Crusader Barbarossa, 
the grandfather of Frederick II. 

A difficult child was Frederick II for Mother Church, and 
he was only the precursor of many such difficult children. 
The princes and educated gentlemen throughout Europe read 
his letters and discussed them. The more enterprising uni« 
versity students found, marked, and digested the Arabic 
Aristotle he had made accessible to them in Latin. Salerno 
cast a baleful light upon Rome. All sorts of men must 
have been impressed by the futility of the excommunications 
and interdicts that were levelled at Frederick. 


We have said that Innocent III never seemed to realize 
that his ward, Frederick II, was growing up. It is equally 
true that the papacy never seemed to realize that Europe 
was growing up. It is impossible for an intelligent modem 
student of history not to sympathize with the underlying idea 
of the papal court, with the idea of one universal rule of 
righteousness keeping the peace of the earth, and not to 
recognize the many elements of nobility that entered into the 
Lateran policy. Sooner or later mankind must come to one 
universal peace, imless our race is to be destroyed by the 
increasing power of its modem destructive inventions ; and 
that universal peace must needs take the form of a govern- 
ment, that is to say a law-sustaining organization in the 
best sense of the word religious ; a government ruling men 
through the educated co-ordination of their minds in a com- 
mon conception of human history and human destiny. 

The papacy we must now recognize as the first clearly 

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conscious attempt to provide such a government in the world. 
We cannot too earnestly examine its deficiencies and inade- 
quacieSy for every lesson we can draw from them is nec- 
essarily of the greatest value to us in forming our ideas of 
our own international relationships. We have tried to sug- 
gest the main factors in the breakdown of the Eoman Republic 
and it now behooves us to attempt a diagnosis of the failure 
of the Eoman Church to secure and organize the good will 
of mankind. 

The first thing that will strike the student is the inter* 
mittence of the efforts of the church to establish the world 
City of God. The policy of the church was not whole- 
heartedly and continuously set upon that end. It was only 
now and then that some fine personality or some group of 
fine personalities dominated it in that direction. The king- 
dom of God that Jesus of Nazareth had preached was over- 
laid, as we have explained, almost from the beginning by the 
doctrines and ceremonial traditions of an earlier age, and 
of an intellectually inferior type. Christianity almost from 
its commencement ceased to be purely prophetic and creative. 
It entangled itself with archaic traditions and human sacri- 
fice, with Mithraic blood-cleansing, and priestcraft as ancient 
as human society, and with elaborate doctrines about the 
structure of the divinity. The gory forefinger of the Etrus- 
can pontifex maximus emphasized the teachings of Jesus of 
Nazareth; the mental complexity of the Alexandrian Greek 
entangled them. In the inevitable jangle of these incompat- 
ibles the church had become dogmatic In despair of other 
solutions to its intellectual discords it had resorted to arbi- 
trary authority. Its priests and bishops were more and 
more moulded to creeds and dogmas and set procedures; 
by the time they became cardinals or popes they were usually 
oldish men, habituated to a politic struggle for immediate 
ends and no longer capable of world-wide views. They no 
longer wanted to see the Kingdom of God established in the 
hearts of men — ^they had forgotten about that ; they wanted 
to see the power of the church, which was their own power, 
dominating men. They were prepared to bargain even with 

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the bates and fears and lusts in men's hearts to ensure that 
power. And it was just because many of them probably 
doubted secretly of the entire soundness of their vast and 
elaborate doctrinal fabric, that they would brook no dis- 
cussion of it. They were intolerant of questions or dissent, 
not because they were sure of their faith, but because they 
were not. They wanted conformity for reason of policy. 
By the thirteentii century the church was evidently already 
morbidly anxious about the gnawing doubts that might pres- 
ently lay the whole structure of its pretensions in ruins. 
It had no serenity of soul. It was hunting everywhere for 
heretics as timid old ladies are said to look under beds 
and in cupboards for burglars before retiring for the night. 
We have already mentioned the Persian Mani, who was 
crucified and flayed in the year 277. His way of represent- 
ing the struggle between good and evil was as a stru^le 
between a power of light which was, as it were, in rebellion 
against a power of darkness inherent in the universe. All 
these profound mysteries are necessarily represented by 
symbols and poetic expressions, and the ideas of Mani stiff 
find a response in many intellectual temperaments to-day. 
One may hear Manichsean doctrines from many Christian 
pulpits. But the orthodox Catholic symbol was a different 
one. These Manichsean ideas had spread very widely in 
Europe, and particularly in Bulgaria, and the south of 
Prance. In the south of Prance the people who held them 
were called the Cathars or Albigenses. Their ideas jarred 
so little with the essentials of Christianity, that they be- 
lieved themselves to be devout Christians. As a body they 
lived lives of conspicuous virtue and purity in a violent, 
undiscijflined, and vicious age. But they questioned the 
doctrinal soundness of Rome and the orthodox interpreta- 
tion of the Bible. They thought Jesus was a rebel against 
the cruelty of the God of the Old Testament, and not his 
harmonious son. Closely associated with the Albigenses 
were the Waldenses, the followers of a man called Waldo, 
who seems to have been quite soundly Catholic in his theol- 
<>gy, but equally offensive to the church because he denounced 

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the riches and luxury of the clergy. This was enough for 
the Lateran, and so we have the spectacle of Innocent 111 
preaching a crusade against these unfortunate sectaries, and 
5)emiitting the enlistment of every wandering scoundrel at 
loose ends to carry fire and sword and rape and every con- 
ceivable outrage among the most peaceful subjects of the 
King of France. The accounts of the cruelties and abomina- 
tions of this crusade are far more terrible to read than any 
account of Christian martyrdoms by the pagans, and they 
have the added horror of being indisputably true. 

This black and pitiless intolerance was an evil spirit 
to be mixed into the project of a rule of God on eartlu 
This was a spirit entirely counter to that of Jesus of Naz- 
areth. We do not hear of his smacking the faces or wring- 
ing the wrists of recalcitrant or unresponsive disciples. 
But the Popes during their centuries of power were always 
raging against the slightest reflection upon the intellectual 
sufficiency of the church. 

^jjAnd the intolerance of the church was not confined to 
?iyligiou8 matters. The shrewd, pompous, irascible, and 
ratiier malignant old men who manifestly constituted a 
dominant majority in the councils of the church, resented 
any knowledge but their own knowledge, and distrusted any 
thought at all that they did not correct and control. They 
set themselves to restrain science, of which they were evi- 
dently jealous. Any mental activity but their own struck 
them as being insolent. Later on they were to have a great 
struggle upon the question of the earth's position in space, 
and whether it moved round the sun or not. This was 
really not the business of the church at all. She might 
very well have left to reason the things that are reason's, 
but she seems to have been impelled by an inner necessity 
to estrange the intellectual conscience in men. 

Had this intolerance sprung from a real intensity of con* 
viotion it would have been bad enough, but it was accom- 
panied by a scarcely disguised contempt for the intelligence 
and mental dignity of the common man that makes it far 
less acceptable to our modern judgments, and which no doubt 

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made it far less acceptable to the free spirits of the time. 
We have told quite dispassionately the policy of the Roman 
church towards her troubled sister in the East Many of the 
tools and expedients she used were abominable. In her 
treatment of her own people a streak of real cynicism is 
visible. She destroyed her prestige by disregarding her own 
teaching of righteousness. Of dispensations we have already 
spoken. Her crowning folly in the sixteenth century was 
the sale of indulgences, whereby the sufferings of the soul 
in purgatory could be commuted for a money payment* 
But the spirit that led at last to this shameless and, as it 
proved, disastrous proceeding, was already very evident in 
the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. 

Long before the seed of criticism that Frederick II had 
sown had germinated in men's minds and produced its in- 
evitable crop of rebellion, there was apparent a strong feel- 
ing in Christendom that all was not well with the spiritual 
atmosphere. There began movements, movements that now- 
adays we should call "revivalist,*' within the church, that 
implied rather than uttered a criticism of the sufficiencjf'^^ 
her existing methods and organization. Men sought fresh 
forms of righteous living outside the monasteries and priest- 
hood. One notable figure is that of St. Francis of Assisi 
(1181-1226). We cannot tell here in any detail of how 
this pleasant young gentleman gave up all the amenities and 
ease of his life and went forth to seek Gk)d ; the opening of 
the story is not unlike the early experiences of Gautama 
Buddha. He had a sudden conversion in the midst of a life 
of pleasure, and, taking a vow of extreme poverty, he gave 
himself up to an imitation of the life of Christ, and to the 
service of the sick and wretched, and more particularly to 
the service of the lepers, who then abounded in Italy. He 
was joined by great multitudes of disciples, and so the first 
Friars of the Franciscan Order came into existence. An 
order of women devotees was set up beside the original con- 
fraternity, and in addition great numbers of men and women 
were brought into less formal association. He preached, 
unmolested by the Moslems^ be it noted| in Egypt and Pales- 

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tine, though the Fifth Crusade was then in progress. His 
relations with the church are still a matter for discussion. 
His work had been sanctioned by Pope Innocent III, but 
while he was in the East there was a reconstitution of his 
order, intensifying its discipline and substituting authority 
for responsive impulse, and as a consequence of these changes 
he resigned its headship. To the end he clung passionately 
to the ideal of poverty, but he was hardly dead before the 
order was holding property through trustees and building a 
great church and monastery to his memory at AssisL The 
disciplines of the order that were applied after his death 
to his immediate associates are scarcely to be distinguished 
from a persecution ; several of the more conspicuous zealots 
for simplicity were scourged, others were imprisoned, one 
was killed while attempting to escape, and Brother Bernard, 
the "first disciple," passed a year in the woods and hills, 
hunted like a wild beast. 

This struggle within the Franciscan Order is a very 
interesting one, because it foreshadows the great troubles 
that were coming to Christendom. All through the thir- 
teenth century a section of the Franciscans were 
straining at the rule of the church, and in 1318 four of 
them were burnt alive at Marseilles as incorrigible heretics. 
There seems to have been little difference between the teach- 
ing and spirit of St. Francis and that of Waldo in the 
twelfth century, the founder of the murdered sect of Wal- 
denses. Both were passionately enthusiastic for the spirit 
of Jesus of !N'azareth. But while Waldo rebelled against the 
church, St. Francis did his best to be a good child of the 
church, and his comment on the spirit of official Christianity 
was only implicit. But both were instances of an outbreak 
of conscience against authority and the ordinary procedure 
of the church. And it is plain that in the second instance, 
as in the first, the church scented rebellion. 

A very different character to St. Francis was the Spaniard 
St. Dominic (1170-1221), who was, of all things, orthodox. 
He had a passion for the argumentative conversion of here- 
tioB, and he was commissioned by Pope Innocent III to go 

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and preach to the Albigenses. His work went on side by 
side with the fighting and massacres of the crusade; whom 
Dominic conld not convert, Innocent's crusaders slew; yet 
his very activities and the recognition and encouragement of 
his order by the Pope witness to the rising tide of discussion, 
and to the persuasion even of the papacy that force was no 
remedy. ]^ several respects the development of the Black 
Friars or Dominicans — tiie Franciscans were the Grey Friars 
—nahows the Soman church at the parting of the ways, com- 
mitting itself more and more deeply to organized dogma, 
and so to a hopeless conflict with the quickening intelligence 
and courage of mankind. She whose one duty was to lead, 
chose to compel. The last discourse of St. Dominic to the 
heretics he had sought to convert is preserved to us. It is 
a signpost in history. It betrays the fatal exasperation of a 
man who has lost his faith in the power of truth because 
his truth has not prevailed. *Tor many years," he said, 
^T. have exhorted you in vain, with gentleness, preaching, 
praying, and weeping. But according to the proverb of 
my country, Svhere blessing can accomplish nothing, blows 
ziiay avail.' We shall rouse against you princes and pre- 
lates, who, alas I will arm nations and kingdoms against the 
land . . • and thus blows will avail where blessings and 
gentleness have been powerless." ^ 

The thirteenth century saw the development of a new 
institution in the church, the papal Inquisition. Before 
this time it had been customary for the Pope to make oc- 
casional inquests or inquiries into heresy in this region or 
that, but now Innocent III saw in the new order of the 
Dominicans a powerful instrument of suppression. The 
Inquisition was organized as a standing inquiry under their 
direction, and with fire and torment the church set itself, 
through this instrument, to assail and weaken the human 
conscience in which its sole hope of world dominion resided. 
Before the thirteenth century the penalty of death had been 
inflicted but rarely upon heretics and unbelievers. Now in 
a hundred market-places in Europe the dignitaries of the 

i SnoyclapcBdia BritaiMHOa, art. '^Domiiiic." 
W«Ui S— Vol. lu 

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church watched the blackened bodies of ita antagonists, for 
the most part poor and insignificant people, bttrn and sink 
pitifully, and their own great mission to mankind bum and 
sink with them in dust and ashee. 

The beginnings of the Franciscans and the Dominicans 
were but two among many of the new foiiees that were aris- 
ing in Christendom, either to help or shatter the churchy 
as its own wisdom might decide. Those two orders the 
church did assimilate and use, though with a little violence 
in the case of the former. But other forces were more 
frankly disobedient and critical. A century and a half 
later came Wycliffe (1320-1384). He was a learned doctor 
at Oxford; for a time he was Master of Balliol ; and he held 
various livings in the church. Quite late in his life he 
began & Series of outspoken criticisms of the corruption of 
the clergy and the unwisdom of the church. He organisjed 
a number of poor priests, the Wycliffites, to spread his ideas 
throughout England; and in order that people should judge 
between the church and himself, ho translated the Bible 
into English. He was a more learned and far abler man 
than either St. Francis or St. Dominic. He had supporters 
in high places and a great following among the people; 
and though Rome raged against him, and ordered his im- 
prisonment, he died a free man, still administering the 
Sacraments as parish priest of Lutterworth. But the black 
and ancient spirit that was leading the Catholic church to 
its destruction would not let his bones rest in his grave. 
By a decree of the Coimcil of Constance in 141§, his remains 
were ordered to be dug up and burnt, an order which was 
carried out at the command of Pope Martin V bv Bishop 
Fleming in 1428. This desecration was not the tne act of 
some isolated fanatic; it was the official act of the church. 


The history of the papacy is confusing to the general 
reader because of the multitude and abxmdance of the Popes. 
They mostly began to reign as old men, and their reigns 

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WM ^&t%f kmtAg^ leii thaii two years each* But ^er* 
tain of the Popes stand out and supply convenient handles 
ht the iitttd«2&i to grasp* Such was Gregory I (590-604) 
tho QUsL%^ the first monkish Pope, the friend of Benedict, 
the sender of the English mission. Other noteworthy Popes 
are leo III (796^816), who crowned Charlemagne^ the 
scandalous Popes John XI (981-986) and John XII (965- 
963)) whieh later was deposed by the Emperor Otto I^ and 
the gr^at Hilddbrand, who ended his days as Pope Greg^ 
ory YII (10tS-^1085)9 and who did so much by establishing 
the Celibacy of the clergy, and insisting upon the supremacy 
of the (shurch orer kings and princes, to centralize the power 
of ibk ohurdl ih Borne. There was a great struggle between 
Hildebrand and the emperor^lect, Henry IV, upon the ques- 
tion of inyestitures. The emperor attranpted to depose the 
pope ; the pope excommunicated the emperor and released his 
subject princes from their allegiance. The emperor was 
obliged to go in penitence to the pope at Canossa (1077), 
and to Hwait forgiveness for three days clad in sackcloth and 
barefooted in the snoW in the oourtyard of the castle. The 
ncatt Pope but one after Gregory VII was Urban 
II (108T-'1099)) the Pope of the First Crusade. The period 
from the time of Gregory VII onward for a century and a 
half, was the great period of ambition and effort for the 
dbtroh. There was a real sustained attempt to unite all 
Christtodom Under a purified and reorganized church. 

The betting up of Latin kingdoms in Byria and the Holy 
Land, in religious communion with Borne, after the First 
Crusade^ marked the opening stage of a conquest of Eastern 
Christianity by Bome that reached its climax during the 
Latin rule in Constantinople (1204-1261). 

In 1176, at Venice, the Emperor Frederick BarbarosSa 
Tredericdc I) knelt to tiie Pope Alexander III, recognized his 
^iritual supremacy, and swore fealty to him. But after 
the death of Alexander III, in 1181, the peculiar weakness 
of the papacy, its liability to fall to old and enfeebled men, 
bsesme manifest. Five Popes tottered to the Lateran to die 
within the space of ten years. Only with Innocent III 

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(1198-1216) did another vigorous Pope take up the great 
policy of the City of God. 

Under Innocent III, the guardian of that Emperor Fred- 
erick II, whose career we have already studied and the five 
Popes who followed him, the Pope of Rome came nearer to 
being the monarch of a united Christendom than he had ever 
been before, and was ever to be again. The empire was 
weakened by internal dissensions, Constantinople was in 
Latin hands, from Bulgaria to Ireland and from Norway 
to Sicily and Jerusalem the Pope was supreme. Yet this 
supremacy was more apparent than real. For, as we have 
seen, while in the time of Urban the power of faith was 
strong in all Christian Europe, in the time of Innocent III 
the papacy had lost its hold upon the hearts of princes, 
and the faith and conscience of the common people was 
turning against a merely political and aggressive church. 

The church in the thirteenth century was extending its 
legal power in the world, and losing its grip upon men's 
consciences. It was becoming less persuasive and more 
violent. No intelligent man can tell of this process, or 
read of this process of failure without very mingled feelings* 
The church had sheltered and formed a new Europe through- 
out the long ages of European darkness and chaos; it had 
been the matrix in which the new civilization had been cast. 
But this new-formed civilization was impelled to grow by 
its own inherent vitality, and the church lacked sufficient 
power of growth and accommodation. The time was fast ap- 
proaching when this matrix was to be broken. 

The first striking intimation of the decay of the living and 
sustaining forces of the papacy appeared when presently 
the Popes came into the conflict with the growing power 
of the French King. During the lifetime of the Emperor 
Frederick II, Germany fell into disunion, and the French 
king began to play the role of guard, supporter, and rival 
to ^e Pope that had hitherto fallen to the Hohenstaufen 
emperors. A series of Popes pursued the policy of sup- 
porting the French monarchs. French princes were estab* 

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lished in the kingdom of Sicily and Naples, with the support 
and approval of Rome, and the French kings saw before 
them the possibility of restoring and ruling the Empire of 
Charlemagne. When, however, the German interregnum 
after the death of Frederick II, the last of the Hohenstauf ens, 
came to an end and Rudolf of Habsburg was elected first 
Habsburg Emperor (1273), the policy of the Lateran began 
to fluctuate between France and Germany, veering about 
with the sympathies of each successive Pope. In the East 
in 1261 the Greeks recaptured Constantinople from the 
Latin emperors, and the founder of the new Greek dynasty, 
Michael Palseologus, Michael VIII, after some unreal tenta- 
tives of reconciliation with the Pope, broke away from 
the Roman communion altogether, and with that, and the 
fall of the Latin kingdoms in Asia, the eastward ascendancy 
of the Popes came to an end. 

In 1294 Boniface VIII became Pope. He was an Italian, 
hostile to the French, and full of a sense of the great tradi- 
tions and mission of Rome. For a time he carried things 
with a high hand. In 1300 he held a jubilee, and a vast 
multitude of pilgrims assembled in Rome. "So great was 
the influx of money into the papal treasury that two assist- 
ants were kept busy with rakes collecting the offerings that 
were deposited at the tomb of St Peter.'^ ^ But this fes- 
tival was a delusive triumph. It is easier to raise a host 
of excursionists than a band of crusaders. Boniface came 
into conflict with the French king in 1302, and in 1303, as 
he was about to pronounce sentence of exconmiunication 
against that monarch, he was surprised and arrested in his 
own ancestral palace, at Anagni, by Guillaume de Nogaret. 
This agent from the French king forced an entrance into 
the palace, made his way into the bedroom of the frightened 
Pope — ^he was lying in bed with a cross in his hands — and 
heaped threats and insults upon him. The Pope was liber- 
ated a day or so later by the townspeople and returned to 

iJ. H. Bobiiiflon. 

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Rome; but there he was seized upon and again made pris- 
oner by the Orsini family, and in a few weeks' time the 
shooked and disillusioned old man died a prisoner in their 

The people of Anagni did resent the first outrage, and 
rose against Nogaret to liberate Boniface, but then Anagni 
was the Pope's native town. The important point to note 
is that the French king, in this rough treatment of the head 
of Christendom, was acting with the full approval of his 
people; he had summoned a council of the Three Estates of 
France (lords, chnrch, and commons) and gained theit 
consent before proceeding to extremities. Neither in Italy, 
Germany, nor England was there the slightest general mani^ 
festation of disapproval at this free handling of the soveis 
eign pontiff. The idea of Christendom had decayed until 
its power over the minds of men had gone. 

Throughout the fourteenth century the papacy did nothing 
to recover its moral sway. The next Pope elected, Clement 
V, was a Frenchman, the choice of King Philip of France. 
He never came to Rome. He set up his court in the town 
of Avignon, which then belonged not to France, but to the 
Papal See, though embedded in French territory, and there 
his successors remained until 1377, when Pope Gregory XI 
returned to the Vatican palace in Eome. But Gregory XI 
did not take the sympathies of the whole church with him. 
Many of the cardinals were of French origin, and their 
habits and associations were rooted at Avignon- When in 
1378 Gregory XI died, and an Italian, Urban VI, was 
elected, these dissentient cardinals declared the election in- 
validy and elected another Pope, the anti-Pope, Clement 
VIl. This split is called the Great Schism. The Popes 
remained in Rome, and all the anti-French powers, the 
Emperor, the King of England, Hungary, Poland, and the 
North of Europe were loyal to them. The anti*Popes, on 
the other hand, continued in Avignon, and were supported 
by the King of France, his ally the King of Scotland, Spain, 
Portugal, and various German princes. Each Pope excom- 
municated and cursed the adherents of his rival, so that by 

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one standard or another all Christendom was damned dur- 
ing tbi6 tiffife (18T8-1417). Thfe lamentable effect of this 
split ttpon the solidarity of Christendom it is impossible 
to dkaggerate« Is it any marvel that suoh men as Wydiffe 
begA& to ti^ach men to think on their own account when the 
fountain of truth thus squirted against itself! tn 1417 the 
Great Sdhism was healed at the Council of Constance> the 
same cdtmcil that dug up and burnt Wyclitfe^s bones, and 
whioh^ iks we shall tell later^ caused the burning of John 
Huss ; at this council, Pope and anti-Pope resigned or were 
swept aside, and Martin V became the sole Pope of a for- 
mally reunited but spiritually very badly strained Christen- 

How later on the Coimcil of Basle (1437) led to a fresh 
schism, and to further anti-Popes, we cannot relate here. 

Such, briefly, is the story of the great centuries of papal 
ascendancy and papal decline. It is the story of the failure 
to achieve the very noble and splendid idea of a unified and 
religious world. We have pointed out in the previous sec- 
tion how greatly the inheritance of a complex dogmatic 
theology encumbered the church in this its ambitious adven- 
ture. It had too much theology, and not enough religion. 
But it may not be idle to point out here how much the 
individual insufficiency of the Popes also contributed to the 
collapse of its scheme and dignity. There was no such level 
of education in the world as to provide a succession of 
cardinals and popes with the breadth of knowledge and 
outlook needed for the task they had undertaken ; they were 
not sufficiently educated for their task, and only a few, by 
sheer force of genius, transcended that defect. And, as 
we have already pointed out, they were, when at last they 
got to power, too old to use it. Before they could grasp the 
situation they had to control, most of them were dead. It 
would be interesting to speculate how far it would have 
tilted the balance in favour of the church if the cardinals 
had retired at fifty, and if no one could have been elected 
Pope after fifty-five. This would have lengthened the aver- 
age reign of each Pope, and enormously increased the con- 

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tinuity of the policy of the church. And it is perhaps pos* 
sible that a more perfect system of selecting the cardinals, 
who were the electors and counsellors of the Pope, might 
have been devised. The rules and ways by which men 
reach power are of very great importance in human affairs* 
The psychology of the ruler is a science that has still to be 
properly studied. We have seen the Eoman Bepublic 
wrecked, and here we see the church failing in its world 
mission very largely through ineffective electoral methods. 

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(The Age of the Land Ways) 

§ 1, Asia at the End of the Twelfth Century. § 2. The 
Bise and Victories of the Mongols. § 3. The Travels 
of Marco Polo. § 4. The Ottoman TurJcs and Con- 
stantinople. § 5. Why the Mongols were not Christian- 
ized. § 5a. Kublai Khan Founds the Yuan Dyruisty. 
§ 5b. The Mongols Bevert to Tribalism. § 5c. The 
Kipchah Empire and the Tsar of Muscovy. § 5d. 
Timurlane. § 5e. The Mongol Empire of India. 
§ 5f. The Mongols and the Gipsies. 

WE have to tell now of the last and ^eatest of all the 
raids of nomadism upon the civilizations of the 
East and West. We have traced in this history 
the development side by side of these two ways of living, 
and we have pointed out that as the civilizations grew more 
extensive and better organized, the arms, the mobility, and 
the intelligence of the nomads also improved. The nomad 
was not simply an uncivilized man, he was a man specialized 
and specializing along his own line. From the very begin- 
ning of history the nomad and the settled people have been 
in reaction. We have told of the Semitic and Elamite raids 
upon Sumeria; we have seen the Western empire smashed 
by the nomads of the great plains and Persia conquered and 
Byzantium shaken by the nomads of Arabia. The Mongol 
aggression, which began with the thirteenth century, was the 
last of these destructive reploughings of human association. 


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From entire obscurity the Mongols came very suddenly 
into history towards the dose of the twelfth century. They 
appeared in the country to the north of China, in the land 
of origin of the Huns and Turks, and they were manifestly 
of the some strain as these peoples. They were gathered 
together under n chief, with whpse nam^ we will m% t» the 
memory of the reader; under his son Jengis Khan their 
power grew with extraordinary swiftness. 

The reader will already have an idea of the gradual break- 
ing up of the original unity of Islam. In the beginning of 
the thirteenth century there were a number of separate and 
discordant Moslem states in Western A&uat There was 
Egypt (Palestine and much of Syria) under the succensors 
of Saladin, there wa3 the Seljjuk power in Asia Itfiuor, there 
wag still an Abbasid caliphate in Bagdad, and to the ^m% of 
this again there had grown up a very coiwiid^rable ^»ipire, 
the Eharismian empire, that of the Turkish prineeg from 
Khiva who had conquered a number of fri^gmentary Seljuk 
principalities and reigned from the Gauges valley to the 
Tigris. They had but an insecure hold on the Persian and 
Indian populations. 

The state of the Chinese civilization was equally inviting 
to an enterprising invader. One last glimpse of China in 
this history was in the seventh century during the opening 
years of the Tang dynasty, when that shrewd and able 
emperor Tai-t9ung was weighing the respective merits of 
Nestorian Christianity, Isilam, Buddhism, and the teaching 
of the Lao Tse, and on the whole inclining to the opinion that 
Lao Tse was as good a teacher as any. We have described 
his reception of the traveller Yn^n Chwang. Tai-tsung 
tolerated all religions, but several of his successors (conducted 
a pitiless persecution of the Buddhist faith ; it flourished in 
spite of these persecutions, and its monasteries played ft some- 
what analogous part in at first sustaining learning and ^ter- 
wards retarding it, that the Christian nionaqtic organization 
did in the West. By the tenth century the great Tang 
dynasty was in an extreme state of decay; the usual degener- 

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ative process through a series of voluptuaries and ineapables 
had gone on, and China broke up again politically into a 
variable number of contending states, "The age of the Ten 
States/* an age of confusion that lasted through the first half 
of the tenth century. Then arose a dynasly, the Northern 
Sung (960-1127), which established a sort of unity, but 
which was in constant struggle with a number of Hunnish 
peoples from the north who were pressing down the eastern 
coast. For a time one of these peoples, the Khitan, pre- 
vailed. In the tweKth century these people had been sub- 
jugated and had given place to another Hunnish empire^ 
the empire of the Kin, with its capital at Pekin and its 
southern boundary south of Hwangho. The Sung empire 
shrank before this £in empire. In 1138 the capital was 
shifted from Nankin, which was now too close to the northern, 
frontier, to the city of Han Chau on the coast. From 1127 
onward to 1295, the Sung dynasty is known as the Southern 
Sung. To the north-west of its territories there was now 
the Tartar empire of the Hsia ; to the north, the Kin empire — 
both states in which the Chinese population was under rulers 
in whom nomadic traditions were still strong. So that here 
on the east also the main masses of Asiatic mankind were 
under uncongenial rulers and ready to accept, if not to wel- 
come, the arrival of a conqueror. 

Northern India we have already noted was also a con- 
quered country at the opening of the thirteenth century. It 
was at first a part of the Khivan empire, but in 1206 an 
adventurous ruler, Kutub, who had been a slave and who 
had risen as a slave to be governor of the Indian province, 
set up a separate Moslem state of Hindustan in Delhi. Brah- 
minism had long since ousted Buddhism from India, but 
the converts to Islam were still but a small ruling minority 
in the land. 

Such was the political state of Asia when Jengis Khan 
b^an to consolidate his power among the nomads in the 
country between Lakes' Balkash and Baikal in the beginning 
of jbhe thirteenth century. 

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The career of conquest of Jengis Khan and his immediate 
successors astounded the world, and probably astounded no 
one more than these Mongol Khans themselves. 

The Mongols were in die twelfth century a tribe subject 
to those Kin who had conquered North-east China. They 
were a horde of nomadic horsemen living in tents, and sub- 
sisting mainly upon mare's milk products and meat. Their 
occupations were pasturage and hunting, varied by war. 
They drifted northward as the snows melted for summer 
pasture, and southward to winter pasture after the custom 
of the steppes. Their military education began with a suc- 
cessful insurrection against the Kin. The empire of Kin 
had the resources of hdf China behind it, and in the struggle 
the Mongols learnt very much of the military science of 
the Chinese. By the end of the twelfth century they were 
already a fighting tribe of exceptional quality. 

The opening years of the career of Jengis were spent in 
developing his military machine, in assimilating the Mon- 
gols and file associated tribes about them into one organized 
army. His first considerable extension of power was west- 
ward, when the Tartar Kirghis and the Uigurs * (who were 

1 The Uighurs filst appear in the 6th century, when they were knows 
as the Kao-ku or High Carts, one of the two main divisions of the 
Turks in and around Northern Mongolia. Their period of independent 
greatness was from 750-850 a. d., corresponding with the height of the 
glory of the famous T'ang Dynasty. 

The Uighurs attained a very high level of culture, and recent ar- 
chsBological research has hrought to light a vast amount of Uighur 
literature and art from which we learn that Christianity, Buddhism 
and Manieh»ism were all practised in their kingdom, the utmost 
tolerance being observed while Manichaeism was tiie state religion. 
The Uighurs were certainly the moat civilized of aU the noruem 
neighbours of China, and though their kingdom was destroyed in 850 
by a northern Turkish tribe, the Khirgiz, the Uighurs by no means 
disappear from history, and up to the 15th century we constantly find 
small Uighur principalities and states springing up, while during the 
whole of this period the Uighurs were extensively employed in Mu- 
hammadan chancelleries^ playing much the same role in the govern- 

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the Tartar people of the Tarim basin) were not so much 
conquered as induced to join his organization. He then 
attacked the Kin empire and took Pekin (1214). The 
KWtftn people, who hgd been so |•ece^tly subdu^ by the 
Kin, threw ip their fortunes with hig, wd were of very gre^t 
help to him. The settled Chinese population went on sow- 
ing and reaping find trading during this change pf makers 
without lending its weight to either side, 

We have already n^entipned the very recent Kharismi^PL 
empire of Turkestan, Persia and Ifprth Jndia. This em- 
pire extended eastward to Kashgar, and it mnst have seemed, 
one rf the most progressiye and hopeful einpires of the time- 
Jengi§ Khan, while still engaged in thi^ war with the Kin 
empire, sent envoys to Kbarismia* Tbey were put to death, 
an almopt incredible stupidity. The Kharismisn govem- 
inent, to nse the political jargon gf to-day, had decided not 
to ^^reeogni^e'^ Jengis Khan, and took this spirited eourse 
with him. Thereupon (1218) the great host of hprsen^en 
that Jengis Khftn h^d consolidated and disciplined swept 

ment offices of TuFkestan as the Hindus under the Delhi Mpghula and 
th^ Bengalis under the British in India. 

The pe|rio4 of oriental history beginning ^ith the appearance of 
Jengis £[han in the 13th century and ending with the conquest al 
Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks, tells us of the rise and f^)} P^ 
a great oumber of Turkish ^^i^astiea in Ceqtval J^i^., I^difik an^ 
Persia; and it is curious to note that in most cases these dynasties 
were fpnnded hy men who had )}egup life as slaves. In an i)i)pub- 
lishe4 Fersiaa M|S. of th0 13th century the foUpwing curious acpount 
of the Turka occurs: — 

''It is jQommon knowledge that all races and classes while th^y re- 
main among their own people and }n their owu country are honoured 
and respected; but wl^eu they gp abroad they become miserable and 
abject. The Turks on the contrary while they remain anaong their 
own people are merely a tribe ampujg many tribes, and epjojr no partic- 
ular power or status. But when t|iey leave their own pquntry and 
come to Q. Muhammadan country (the more remote they i^re from t^eir 
own hopaes and relatives, the more highly they are valued and appre- 
ciated) they become Amirs and Generalissimos. Now from the cuiys 
of Adam down to the present day no slave bought at a price has ever 
become ?4ng except a,mong the Turks; and among the sayings of Af- 
rasyab, who was king pf the Turks, and was extraordinarily wi<^e and 
learned, was his dictuna that the Turk is like a pearl in Jtq shell at 
the bottom of the sea, whicii only becomes valuable wheu it leaves the 
sea, and adorns the diadems of kings and the ears of Mdes.*'—- D. R. 

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over the Pamirs and down into Turkestan* It was well 
armed, and probably it had some guns and gunpowder for 
siege work — ^for the Chinese were certainly using gunpowder 
at this time^ and the Mongols learnt its use from them. 
Eashgar, Khokand, Bokhara fell and then Samarkand, the 
capital of the Kharismian empire. Thereafter nothing held 
the Mongols in the Kharismian territories. They swept 
westward to the Caspian, and southward as far as Lahore. 
To the north of the Caspian a Mongol army encountered a 
Eussian force from Kieff. There was a series of battles, in 
which the Russian armies were finally defeated and the 
Grand Duke of Kieff taken prisoner. So it was the Mongols 
appeared on the northern shores of the Black Sea. A panic 
swept Constantinople, which set itself to reconstruct its forti- 
fications. Meanwhile other armies were engaged in the 
conquest of the empire of the Hsia in China. This was 
annexed, and only tiie southern part of the Kin empire re- 
mained unsubdued. In 1227 Jengis Khan died in the midst 
of a career of triumph. His empire reached already from 
the Pacific to the Dnieper. And it was an empire still vig- 
orously expanding. 

Like all the empires founded by nomads, it was, to begin 
with, purely a military and administrative empire, a frame- 
work rather than a rule. It centred on the personality of 
the monarch, and its relations with the mass of the popula- 
tions over which it ruled was simply one of taxation for the 
maintenance of the horde. But JengiflL-Khan had called to 
his aid a very able and experience Jadministrator of the Kin 
empire, who was learned in all the traditions and science of 
the Chinese. This statesman, Yeliu C hutsai, was able to 
carry on the affairs of the MongSsTong^ter the death of 
Jengis Khan, and there can be little doubt that he is one 
of the great political heroes of history. He tempered the 
barbaric ferocity of his masters, and saved innumerable cities 
and works of art from desti*uction. He collected archives 
and inscriptions, and when he was accused of corruption, his 
sole wealth was found to consist of documents and a few 
musical instruments. To him perhaps quite as much as to 

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Jengis is the efficiency of the Mongol military machine to 
be ascribed. Under Jengis, we may note further, we find 
the completest religious toleration established across the en- 
tire breadth of Asia. 

At the death of Jengis the capital of the new empire was 
still in the great barbaric town of Karakorum in Mongolia, 
There an assembly of Mongol leaders elected Ogdai Ehan, 
the son of Jengis, as his successor. The war against the 
vestiges of the Kin empire was prosecuted until Kin was 
altogether subdued (1234). The Chinese empire to the south 
under the Sung dynasty helped the Mongols in this task, 
so destroying their own bulwark against tiie universal con- 
querors. The Mongol hosts then swept right across Asia to 
Russia (1235), an amazing march, Kieflf was destroyed in 
1240, and nearly all Russia became tributary to the Mongols. 
Poland was ravaged, and a mixed army of Poles and Ger- 
mans was annihilated at the battle of Liegnitz in Lower 
Silesia in 1241. The Emperor Frederick II does not seem 
to have made any great efforts to stay the advancing tide, 

*T[t is only recently," says Bury in his notes to Gibbon's 
Decline and Fail of the Roman Empire, "that European 
history has begun to understand that the successes of the 
Mongol army which overran Poland and occupied Hungary 
in the spring of a. d. 1241 were won by consummate strategy 
and were not due to a mere overwhelming superiority of 
numbers. But this fact has not yet become a matter of 
common knowledge ; the vulgar opinion which represents the 
Tartars as a wild horde carrying all before them solely by 
their multitude, and galloping through Eastern Europe with- 
out a strategic plan, rushing at all obstacles and overcoming 
them by mere weight, still prevails. . . . 

"It was wonderful how punctually and effectually the ar- 
rangements of the commander were carried out in opera- 
tions extending from the lower Vistula to Transylvania. 
Such a campaign was quite beyond the power of any Euro- , 
pean army of the time, and it was beyond the vision of any 
European commander. There was no general in Europe, 
from Frederick II downward, who was not a tyro in strategy 

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WWPii^—— — IP»P— — — , ■ Jl l 1 IIII 1. 1 H I -I li p 11 ■ii M ii II ii ni ii 11 1 I ii L iiiiiiiii— ^— — — ■■ 

oompared to Subutai. It should also be noticed that the 
Mongols embarked upon the enterprise with full knowledge 
of the political situation of Hungary and the condition of 
Poland — they had taken care to inform themselves by a well- 
organized system of spies; on the other hand, the Hungarians 
and Christian powers, like childish barbarians, knew hardly 
anything about their enemies/' 

But though the Mongols were victorious at Liegnitz, they 
did not continue their drive westward. They were getting 
into woodlands and hilly country, which did not suit their 
tactics ; and so they turned southward and prepared to settle 
in Hungary, massacring or assimilating the kindred Magyar, 
even as these had previously massacred and assimilated the 
mized Scythians and Avars and Huns before them. From 
the Hungarian plan they would probably have made raida 
west and south as the Hungarians had done in the ninth 
century, the Avars in the seventh and eighth, and the Hung 
in the fifth. But in Asia the Mongols were fighting a stiff 
war of conquest against the Sung, and they were also raiding 
Persin and Asia Minor; Ogdai died suddenly, and in 1242 
there was trouble about the succession, and recalled by this, 
the undefeated hosts of Mongols began to pour back itcross 
Hungary and Rumania towards the east. 

To the great relief of Europe the dynastic troubles at 
Karakorum lasted for some years, and this vast new empire 
showed signs of splitting up. Mangu Khan became the 
Great Khan in 1351, and he nominated his brother Kublai 
Khan as Governor-General of China. Slowly but surely 
the entire Sung empire was subjugated, and as it was sub- 
jugated the eastern Mongols became more and more Chinese 
in their culture and methods. Tibet was invaded and devas- 
tated by Mangu, and Persia and Syria invaded in good 
earnest. Another brother of Mangu, Hulagu, was in com- 
mand of this latter war. He turned his arms against the 
caliphate and captured Bagdad, in which city he perpetrated 
a massacre of the entire population. Bagdad was still the 
religious capital of Islam, and the Mongols had become bit- 
terly hostile to the Moslems. This hostility exacerbated tito 

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ftat«?al diBOOFd of nom^d ai^d townsmt^ft. In 1258 !14^wgu 
4i?d, md in 12flO-^fop it took the bert p«^rt of a yea? for 
the 3|opgol leaders to gather fropi the ext?ei»itiefl of this 
yi^pt empire, from Hujigary and Syria and Soind md China 
-^Kublai was ejected Great IChan, He was already deeply 
interested in Chinese affairs ; he made Jiia capital Pekin in- 
stead of Karakorum, and Persia, Syria, aid 4«ia Minor 
became virtually indepe»<fc4t wdP? hip |)?otbep Hi»l»gU| 
while the hordes of Mongols in Busaia a¥^d Asia l^^xt to 
ijussia, and various smalTpp Mongol groups in Turkestan 
became also practically separate, K^uhTai died ift 1294, md 
with hia death even the titular supremacy Qf the Qreat Khan 

M tha death of KubJai tb^re was a imm Mongol empire, 
witb ?ekin as itp capital, ipqludiiig ajl China and M^^goliaj 
ther§ was a secpnd gr^at M^ftgQJ §Pipire> that of Kipahak in 
Bngsia; there was a third m Feysia, that founded by Hnlagu, 
tbe Ilkban empire, t^ whiqh the S4juk Tnrks ip ii^ia Minor 
W<§re tributary; there wai9 a Siberian state between Kipehak 
and Mongolia; and another separate stat^ ^^Gr§at Turkey'^ 
in Turkestan. Jt is particularly ren^arkable thgt India be- 
ypnd the Punjab was n^ver invaded by the Mongola during 
this period, and that flU arwy under thp gultan of Egypt 
conapletejy defeated Ketboga, Hulagu'a general, in Palestine 
(3-360), and stopped them from entering Africa. By J260 
the impulse of Mongol conquest had already passed its zenith. 
Thereafter the Mongol ptory is one of divipipn and dooay. 

The Mongol dynasty that Kublai Khan had founded in 
China, the Yuan dynasty, lasted froni 188P until 1368. 
I^ater on a recrudescence of Mongolian energy in Western 
Asia wft9 destined to create a still more enduring mcmarchy 
in India. J»ut in the 13th and J4th centuries the Afghans 
and npt the Mongols were masters of nc^th India, aud an 
Afghan epipire extended into the Deccan. 


Ifow this story of Mongolian conquests is surely onQ of 
the most remarkable in all history. The conquests of Alex- 

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ander the Great cannot compare with them in extent. Their 
effect in diffusing and broadening men's ideas and stimulat- 
ing their imagination was enormous. For a time all Asia 
and Western Europe enjoyed an open intercourse; all the 
roads were temporarily open, and representatives of every 
nation appeared at the court of Karakorum. 

The barriers between Europe and Asia set up by the reli- 
gious feud of Christianity and Islam were lowered. Great 
hopes were entertained by the papacy for the conversion of 
the Mongols to Christianity. Their only religion so far had 
been Shamanism, a primitive paganism. Envoys of the Pope, 
Buddhist priests from India, Parisian and Italian and Chin- 
ese artificers, Byzantine and Armenian merchants, mingled 
with Arab officials and Persian and Indian astronomers and 
mathematicians at the Mongol court. We hear too much in 
history of the campaigns and massacres of the Mongols, and 
not enough of their curiosity and desire for learning. Not 
perhaps as an originative people, but as transmitters of 
knowledge and method their influence upon the world's his- 
tory has been very great. And everything one can learn of 
the vague and romantic personalities of Jengis or Kublai 
tends to confirm the impression that these men were at 
least as understanding and creative monarchs as either that 
flamboyant but egotistical figure Alexander the Great, or 
that raiser of political ghosts, that energetic but illiterate 
theologian, Charlemagne. 

The missionary enterprises of the papacy in Mongolia 
ended in failure. Christianity was losing its persuasive 
power. The Mongols had no prejudice against Christianity; 
they evidently preferred it at first to Islam; but Ae 
missions that came to them were manifestly using the 
power in the great teachings of Jesus to advance the vast 
claims of the Pope to world dominion. Christianity so 
vitiated was not good enough for the Mongol mind. To 
make the empire of the Mongols part of the Kingdom of 
Gh)d might have appealed to them; but not to make it a 
fief of a group of French and Italian priests, whose claims 

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wmmmmsaBsmBBBsss i— ^ 


were as gigantic as their powers and outlook were feebly 
who were now the creatures of the Emperor of Germany, 
now the nominees of the King of France, and now the vic- 
tims of their own petty spites and vanities. In 1269 Kublai 
Khan sent a mission to the Pope with the evident intention 
of finding some common mode of action with Western Chris- 
tendom. He asked that a hundred men of learning and 
ability should be sent to his court to establish an understand- 
ing. His mission found the Western world popeless, and 
engaged in one of those disputes about the succession that 
are so frequent in the history of the papacy. For two years 
there was no pope at all* Whan at last a pope was ap- 
pointed, he dispatched two Dominican friars to convert the 
greatest power m Asia to his rule ! Those worthy men w^re 
appalled by the length and hardship of the journey before 
them^ and found an early excuse for abandoning the e^^pedi- 

But this abortive mission was only one of a number of 
attempts to communicate, and always they were feeble and 
feeble-spirited attempts, with nothing of the conquering fire 
of the earlier Christian missions. Innocent IV had already 
sent some Dominicans to Karakorum, and Saint Louis of 
France had also dispatched missionaries and relics by way of 
Persia; Mangu Khan had numerous Nestorian Christians 
at his court, and subsequent papal envoys actually reached 
Pekin. We hear of the appointment of various legates and 
bishops to the East, but many of these seem to have lost 
themselves and perhaps their lives before they reached China. 
There was a papal legate in Pekin in 1346, but he seems to 
have been a mere papal diplomatist. With the downfall of 
the Mongolian (Yuan) dynasty (1368), the dwindling op- 
portunity of the Christian missions passed altogether. The 
house of Yuan was followed by that of Ming, a strongly 
nationalist Chinese dynasty, at first very hostile to all 
foreigners. There may have been a massacre of the Chris- 
tian missions. Until the later days of the Mings (1644) 
little more was heard of Christianity, whether Nestorian or 
Catholic, in China. Then a fresh and rather more success- 
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fill attempt to piopagate GathoUc Ohrirtiawty in Chm% wa? 
mada by Ae Jesuitji, but tbia aeeomd ciiwioaary wave reaobad 
China by the sea. 

In the year 1298 a naval battle oecunred between the Qm- 
oeae and the Venetians, in vhieh the latter were defeated* 
Among the 7,000 prisoneya taken by the Genoese was a 
Venetian gratleman named Marco Folo, who bad been a great 
traveller, and who was very generally believed by hip neigh'- 
bonra to be given to exaggeration. He bad taken part in that 
first mission to Knblai Khan, and bad gone on when the two 
Dominicans tnmed back. While tbip Ha?co Polo was a pris- 
oner in Genoa, he bailed his tedinm l^ talking of his trav- 
da to a certain writer named Rnstioiano, who wrote them 
down. We will not enter here into the vexed question of the 
exact anthenticity of Rustieiano'a stony'-'we do not eertainly 
know in what language it was wyitten^^-bnt there can be no 
doubt of the general truth of thi$ remarkable naxrative, 
which became enormoualy popular in the fourteenth and fif- 
teenth oenturiea with aU men of active intelligence, The 
TrQv^k of MarcQ Polo U one of the great booka of history. It 
opens this woyld of the thirteenth century to our imagina- 
tions, this century which saw the reign of Frederick II and 
the beginnings of the Inquisition, as no meye hiitorian's 
chronicle can do. It led directly to the discovery of America. 

It begins by tdUng of the journey of Marco's father, 
Jf icolo Polo, and uncle, IJaffeo jPoIo, to China, These two 
were Venetian merchant? of standing, living in Oonatanti- 
nopK wd aomewhen about 1260 they went to the Crimea 
and thence to Ka^an; from that place they journeyed to 
Bokhara, and at Bokhara they fell in with a party of en- 
voys from Kublai Khan to China to hia brother Hulagu in 
Peraia. The^e envoys pressed them to come on to the Great 
laan, who at that time had uever seen men of the "X^atin" 
peoples. They went on; and it is dear they made a veyy 
favourable impression upon Kublai, and mtereated him 
greatly in the civilization of Christendom. They were made 
the bearers of that request for a hundred teachers and learned 
meuy "inteUigent men acquainted wili the Seven Arts, able 

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to ©ater into controversy and able clearly to prove to idola- 
tors and other kinds of folk that the Law of Christ was best/' 
to which we have just alluded. But when they returned 
Christendom was in a phase of confusion, and it was only 
after a delay of two years that they got their authorization to 
start for China again in the company of those two faint- 
hearted Dominicans. They took with them young Marco, 
and it is due to his presence and the boredom of his subse- 
quent captivity at Genoa that this most interesting experience 
has been preserved to us. 

The three Polos started by way of Palestine and not by 
the Crimea, as in the previous expedition. They had with 
them a gold tablet and other indications from the Great 
E!han that must have greatly facilitated their journey. 
The Great Khan had asked for some oil from the lamp that 
bums in the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem; and so thither 
they first went, and then by way of Cilicia into Armenia. 
They went thus far north because the Sultan of Egypt was 
raiding the Ilkhan domains at this time. Thence they came 
by way of Mesopotamia to Ormuz on the Persian Gulf, as 
if they contemplated a sea voyage. At Ormuz they met mer- 
chants from India. For some reason they did not take ship, 
but instead turned northward through tike Persian deserts, 
and so by way of Balkh over the Pamir to Kashgar, and by 
way of Kotan and the Lob Nor (so following in the foot- 
steps of Yuan Chwang) into the Hwangho valley and 
on to Pekin. Pekin, Polo calls "Cambaluc^'; Northern 
China, "Cathay (= Ehitan) ; and Southern China of the 
former Sung dynasty, "Manzi." At Pekin was the Great 
Khan, and they were hospitably entertained. Marco 
particularly pleased Kublai; he was young and clever, 
and it is clear he had mastered the Tartar language 
very thoroughly. He was given an official position and sent 
on several missions, chiefly in South-west China. The tale 
he had to tell of vast stretches of smiling and prosperous 
country, "all the way excellent hostelries for travellers," and 
"fine vineyards, fields and gardens," of ^^any abbeys" of 
Buddhist monks, of manufacturers of '^oth of silk and gold 

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and many fine taffetas/' a "constant succession of cities and 
boroughs/' and so on, first roused the incredulity and then 
fired the imagination of all Europe. He told of Burmah, 
and of its great armies with hundreds of elephants, and how 
these animals were defeated by the Mongol bowmen, and 
also of the Mongol conquest of Pegu. He told of Japan, 
and greatly exaggerated the amount of gold in that country. 
And, still more wonderful, he told of Christians and 
Christian rulers in China, and of a certain "Prester John," 
John the Priest, who was the ^Ticing'' of a Christian people. 
Those people he had not seen. Apparently they were a tribe 
of Nestorian Tartars in Mongolia, An understandable ex* 
citement probably made Kusticiano over-emphasize what 
must have seemed to him the greatest marvel of the whole 
story, and Prester John became one of the most stimulating 
legends of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. It en- 
couraged European enterprise enormously to think that far 
away in China was a community of their co-religionists, pre- 
sumably ready to welcome and assist them. For three years 
Marco ruled the city of Yang-Chow as governor, and he 
probably impressed the Chinese inhabitants as being very 
little more of a foreigner than any Tartar would have been. 
He may also have been sent on a mission to India. Chinese 
records mention a certain Polo attached to the imperial 
council in 1277, a very valuable confirmation of the general 
truth of the Polo story. 

The Polos had taken about three and a half years to get 
to China. They stayed there upwards of sixteen. Then 
they began to feel homesick. They were the proteges of 
Kublai, and possibly they felt that his favours roused a cer- 
tain envy that might have disagreeable results after his death. 
They sought his permission to return. For a time he re- 
fused it, and then an opportunity occurred. Argon, the 
Hkhan monarch of Persia, the grandson of Hulagu, Kublai^s 
brother, had lost his Mongol wife, and on her death-bed he 
had promised not to wed any other woman but a Mongol of 
her own tribe. He sent ambassadors to Pekin and a suitable 
princess was selected, a girl of seventeen. To spare her the 

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fatigues of the caf ttvan route, it was decided to send her by 
dea with a suitable esooirt. The "Barons" in charge of het 
asked f oi* the company of the Polos because these lattei* were 
experienced traveller and sage men, and the Polos snatched 
at this opportunity of getting homeward. The expedition 
sail^ from some port on the east of South China ; they stayed 
long in Sumatra and South India, and they reached Pe^diA 
after a voyage of two years. They delivei*ed the young 
lady safely to Argon^s successor — ^foir Argon wad dead-*-*And 
nhb married Argon's 6on* The Polos then went by Tabriz 
to Trfebi^ond, sailed to Constantinople^ and got back to 
Venlee about 1295* It is related that the returned travellers, 
dressed in Tartar garb, were refused admission to their 
own house. It was some tini(& before they could establish 
their identity. Many people who admitted that, were still 
inclined to look askance at them as shabby wanderers ) and, 
in order to dispel such doubts, they gave a great feast, and 
when it Was at its height they had their old padded suits 
brought to them, dismissed the servants, and then ripped 
open these garments, whereupon an incredible displdy of 
"rubies, sapphires, carbuncles, emeralds, and diamonds'' 
poured out before the daifcled company. Even after this, 
Marco^s accounts of the size and population of China were 
received with much furtive mockery. The wits nicknamed 
hini II Milione, because he was always talking of millions of 
people and millions of ducats. 

Such was the story that raised eyebrows first in Venice 
and then throughout the' Western world. The European 
literature, and especially the European romance of the fif- 
teenth century, echoes with the names in Marco Polo's story, 
with Cathay and Cambulac and the like* 


These travels bf Marco Polo were only the beginning of a 
very considerable intercourse. Before we go on, however, 
to describe the great widening of the mental horizons of 
Europe that was now beginning^ and to which this book of 

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ti'avels was to contribute very materially, it will be conven- 
ient first to note a curious side consequence of the great Mon- 
gol conquests, the appearance of the Ottoman Turks upon 
the Dardanelles, and next to state in general terms the break- 
ing up and development of the several parts of the empire 
of Jengis Khan. 

The Ottoman Tufks were a little band of fugitives who fled 
flouth-westerly before the first invasion of Western Turkestan 
by Jengis. They made their long way from Central Asia, 
over deserts and mountains and through alien populations, 
sedcing some new lands in which they might settle. '^A 
small band of alien herdsmen," says Sir Mark Sykes, 
**wandering unchecked through orusades and counter^m* 
0ades, principalities, empires, and states* Where they 
eamped, how they moved and preserved their flocks and Wds, 
where tiiey found pasture, how they made theiir peace with 
the various chiefs through whose territories they passed, are 
questions which one may well ask in wonder." 

They found a resting-place at lAst and kindred and eon* 
genial neighbours on the table-lands of Asia Minor among 
the Seljuk Turks. Most of this country, the modem Anar 
tolia, was now largely Turkish in speech and Moslem in re- 
ligion, except that there was a considerable proportion of 
Greeks, Jews, and Armenians in the town populations. No 
doubt the various strains of Hittite, Phrygian, Trojan, lyd- 
ian, Ionian Greek, Cimmerian, Galatian, and Italian (from 
the Pergamus times) still flowed in the blood of the people, 
but they had long since forgotten these ancestral elements. 
They were indeed much the same blend of ancient Mediter- 
ranean dark^whites, Nordic Aryans, Semites and Mongolians 
as were the inhabitants of the Balkan peninsula, but they be- 
lieved themselves to be a pure Turanian race, and altogether 
superior to the Christians on the other side of the Bosphorus. 

Gradually the Ottoman Turks became important, and at 
last dominant among the small principalities into which the 
Seljuk empire, the empire of "Roum,*^ had fallen. Their 
relations with the dwindling empire of Constantinople re- 
mained for some centuries tolerantly hostile. They made 

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no attack upon the Bosphorus, but they got a footing in 
Europe at the Dardanelles, and, using this route, the route 
of Xerxes and not the route of Darius, they pushed their 
way steadily into Macedonia, Epirus, Illyria, Yugo- 
slavia, and Bulgaria, In the Serbs (Yugo-Slavs) and 
Bulgarians the Turks found people very like themselves 
in culture and, though neither side recognized it, probably 
very similar in racial admixture, with a little less of 
the dark Mediterranean and Mongolian strains than the 
Turks and a trifle more of the Nordic element. But 
these Balkan peoples were Christians, and bitterly divided 
among themselves. The Turks on the other hand spoke 
one language; they had a greater sense of unity, they 
had the Moslem habits of temperance and frugality, 
and they were on the whole better soldiers. They converted 
what they could of the conquered people to Islam; the 
Christians they disarmed, and conferred upon them the 
monopoly of tax-paying. Gradually the Ottoman princes 
consolidated an empire that reached from the Taurus moun- 
tains in the east to Hungary and Koumania in the west. 
Adrianople became their chief city. They surrounded the 
shrunken empire of Constantinople on every side. 

The Ottomans organized a standing military force, the 
Janissaries, rather on the lines of the Mamelukes who dom- 
inated Egypt "These troops were formed of levies of 
Christian youths to the extent of one thousand per annum, 
who were affiliated to the Bektashi order of dervishes, and 
though at first not obliged to embrace Islam, were one and 
all strongly imbued with the mystic and fraternal ideas of 
the confraternity to which they were attached. Highly paid, 
well-disciplined, a close and jealous secret society, the Janis- 
saries provided the newly formed Ottoman state with a pa- 
triotic force of trained infantry soldiers which, in an age of 
light cavalry and hired companies of mercenaries, was an 
invaluable asset. . • . 

"The relations between the Ottoman Sultans and the Em- 
perors has been singular in the annals of Moslem and Chris'- 
tian states. The Turks had been involved in the family 

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and dynastic quarrels of the Imperial City, were bound by 
ties of blood to the ruling families, frequently supplied troops 
for the defence of Constantinople, and on occasion hired 
parts of its garrison to assist them in their various cam- 
paigns; the sons of the Emperors and Byzantine statesmen 
even accompanied the Turkish forces in the field, yet the 
Ottomans never ceased to annex Imperial territories and 
cities both in Asia and Thrace. This curious intercourse 

^r^ OTTOMAN EMPIRE Ic&vc 1453, 

between the House of Osman and the Imperial government 
had a profound effect on both institutions ; the Greeks grew 
more and more debased and demoralized by the shifts and 
tricks that their military weakness obliged them to adopt 
towards their neighbours, the Turks were corrupted by the 
alien atmosphere of intrigue and treachery whch crept into 
their domestic life. Fratricide and parricide, the two crimes 
which most frequently stained the annals of the Imperial 
Palace, eventually formed a part of the policy of the Otto- 
man dynasty. Oae of the sons of Murad I embarked on an 

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intrigue ttrith Aadi'daious^ the son of the Greek Empetor^ 
to murdet thuir tespeotiye fathers. * . . 

^^The Byzaatine found it more easy to negotiate with the 
Ottomati Pasha than with the Pope. For years the Turks 
and By^antin^a had intermarried^ and hunted in couples 
in iStrangg by-paths of diplotuacyi The Ottoman had played 
thu Bulgaf and the Serb of Europe against the Emperor^ 
just ad the Emperor had played the Asiatic Amir against 
the Sultan; the Greek and Turkish Royal Princes had 
mutually agreed to hold each other's rivals as prisoners and 
hostages ; in f act> Turk and Byzantine policy had so lutein 
twined that it is difficult to say whether the Turkd regarded 
the Greeks fts their allies, enemies, or subjects, or whether* 
the GreiBks looked upon the Turks aa their tyrants, destroy-' 
ers, or protectors- . . ." ^ 

It was in 1453, under the Ottoman Sultan, Muhammad 
H, that Constantinople at last fell to the Moslems. He at- 
tacked it from the European side, and with a great power 
of artillety. The Greek Emperor was killed, and there 
Was mu6h looting and massacre* The great church of Saint 
Sophia which Justinian the Great had built (532) was plun- 
dered of its treasures and turned at once into a mosque. 
This event sent a wave of excitement throughout Europe, 
and an attempt was made to organize a crusade, but thd 
diiyi of the drusades were past. 

Says Sir Mark Sykes: "To the Turks the Capture of Con- 
stantinople was a crowning mercy and yet a fatal blow. 
Constantinople had been the tutor and polisher'of the Turks. 
So long ad thd Ottom&ns eould draw science, learning, phi^ 
losophy, art and tolerance from a living fountain of oivili«a* 
tioU in the heart of their dominions, so long had the Ottomans 
not toly brute force, but intellectual power. So long at 
thd Ottoman Empire had in Constantinople a free port, a 
market, a centre of world finance, a pool of gold, an exchange, 
so long did the Ottomans never lack for money and financial 
support. Muhammad was a great statesman, the moment 

1 Sir Mark Sykes^ The Caliphs* Last Heritage. 

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he entered Constantinople he endeavoured to stay the damage 
his ambition had done; he supported the patriarch, he con- 
ciliated the Greeks, he did all he could to continue Constan- 
tinople, the city of the Emperors • . . but the fatal step 
had been taken, Constantinople as the city of the Sultans 
was Constantinople no more; the markets died away, the 
culture and civilization fled, the complex finance faded from 
sight; and the Turks had lost their governors and their sup- 
port. On the other hand, the corruptions of Byzantium re- 
mained, the bureaucracy, the eunuchs, the palace guards, the 
spies, the bribers, go-betweens — all these the Ottomans took 
over, and all these survived in luxuriant life. The Turks, 
in taking Stambul, let slip a treasure and gained a pes- 
tilence. ..." 

Muhammad's ambition was not sated by the capture of 
Constantinople. He set his eyes also upon Rome. He cap- 
tured and looted the Italian town of Otranto, and it is prob- 
able that a very vigorous and perhaps successful attempt to 
conquer Italy — ^for the peninsula was divided against itself — 
was averted only by his death (1481). His sons engaged in 
fratricidal strife. Under Bayezid II (1481-1512), his suc- 
cessor, war was carried into Poland, and most of Greece was 
conquered. Selim (1512-1520), the son of Bayezid, ex- 
tended the Ottoman power over Armenia and conquered 
Egypt In Egypt, the last Abbasid Caliph was living under 
the protection cd the Mameluke Sultan — ^for the Fatimite 
caliphate was a thing of the past. Selim bought the title of 
Caliph from this last degenerate Abbasid, and acquired the 
sacred banner and other relics of the Prophet. So the Otto- 
man Sultan became also Caliph of all Islam. Selim was 
followed by Suleiman the Magnificent (1520-1566), who 
conquered Bagdad in the east and the greater part of Hun- 
gary in the west, and very nearly captured Vienna. His 
fleets also took Algiers, and inflicted a number of reverses 
upon the Venetians. In most of his warfare with the em- 
pire he was in alliance with the French. Under him the 
Ottoman power reached its zenith. 

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3 E" 

= 55. 

» B ^ 

S 5* o 

g ^ 2 

3 gS ^ 

/-> fiS M 

° as- 

'-^ 5* 

5 09 
A Oi 


6 M 

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A descendant of Jengis Khan, he conquered northern India and be- 
came Emperor of Hindustan, a successor ruling the whole peninsula. 
The British monarch's Indian title is that of the Mogul emperors, 
Kaiser-i-Hind. (From a Persian drawing of the 16th century) 

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Let Tis now very briefly run over the subsequent develop- 
ment of the main masses of the empire of the Great Khan. 
In no case did Christianity succeed in capturing the imagina- 
tion of these Mongol states. Christianity was in a phase of 
moral and intellectual insolvency, without any collective 
faith, energy, or honour; we have told of the wretched brace 
of timid Dominicans which was the Pope^s reply to the ap- 
peal of Kublai Ehan, and we have noted the general failure 
of the overland missions of the thirteenth and fourteenth 
centuries. That apostolic passion that could win whole na- 
tions to the Kingdom of Heaven was dead in the church. 

In 1305, as we have told, the Pope became the kept pon- 
tiflF of the French king. All the craft and policy of the 
Popes of the thirteenth century to oust the Emperor from 
Italy had only served to let in the French to replace hinu 
From 1305 to 1377 the Popes remained at Avignon; and 
such slight missionary effort as they made was merely a 
part of the strategy of Western European politics. In 
1877 the Pope Gregory XI did indeed re-enter Rome and 
die there, but the French cardinals split off from the others 
at the election of his successor, and two Popes were elected, 
one at Avignon and one at Rome. This split, the Great 
Schism, lasted from 1878 to 1418. Each Pope cursed the 
other, and put all his supporters under an interdict Such 
was the state of Christianity, and such were now the cus- 
todians of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. All Asia 
was white unto harvest, but there was no effort to reap it 

When at last the church was reunited and missionary en- 
ergy returned with the foundation of the order of the Jesuits, 
the days of opportunity were over. The possibility of a 
world-wide moral unification of East and West through 
Christianity had passed away. The Mongols in China and 
Central Asia turned to Buddhism ; in South Russia, Western 
Turkestan, and the Hkham Empire they embraced Islam. 

WellB 4— Vol. Ill 

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§ 5a 

In China the Mongols were already saturated with Chinese 
civilization hy the time of Kublai. After 1280 the Chinese 
annals treat Kublai as a Chinese monarch, the founder of 
the Yuan dynasty (1280--1368). This Mongol dynasty was 
finally overthrown by a Chinese nationalist movement which 
set up the Ming dynasty (1868-1644), a cultivated and ar- 
tistic line of emperors, ruling until a northern people, the 
Manchus, who were the same as the Kin whom Jengis had 
overthrown, conquered China and established a dynasty 
which gave way only to a native republican form of govern- 
ment in 1913. 

It was the Manchus who obliged the Chinese to wear 
pig-tails as a mark of submission. The pig-tailed Chinaman 
is quite a recent figure in history. Wilii the coming of the 
republic the wearing of the pig-tail has ceased to be compul- 
sory, and many Chinamen no longer wear it. 

§ 6b 

In the Pamirs, in much of Eastern and Western Turkes- 
tan, and to the north, the Mongols dropped back towards 
the tribal conditions from which they had been lifted by 
Jengis. It is possible to trace the dwindling succession of 
many of the small Khans who became independent during 
this period, almost down to the present time. The Kalmuks 
Jn the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries founded a con- 
siderable empire, but dynastic troubles broke it up before 
it had extended its power beyond Central Asia. The 
(Chinese recovered Eastern Turkestan from them about 1757. 

Tibet was more and more closely linked with China, and 
became the great home of Buddhism and Buddhist monasti- 

Over most of the area of Western Central Asia and Persia 
and Mesopotamia, the ancient distinction of nomad and 
settled population remains to this day. The townsmen de- 

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spise and cheat the nomads, the nomads ill-treat and despise 
the townsfolk. 

§ 5o 

The Mongols of the great realm of Kipchak remained no* 
madio^ and graced their stock across the wide plains of South 
Russia and Western Asia adjacent to Russia. They be- 
came not yery devout Moslems^ retaining many traces of 
their earlier barbaric Shamanism. Their chief Khan was 
the Khan of the Golden Horde. To the west, over large 
tracts of open country, and more particularly in what is now 
known as Ukrainia, the old Scythian population, Slavs with 
a Mongol admixture, reverted to a similar nomadic life. 
Theee Christian nomads, the Cossacks, formed a sort of 
frontier screen against the Tartars, and their free and ad- 
venturous life was so attractive to the peasants of Poland 
and Lithuania that severe laws had to be passed to prevent 
a vast migration from the ploughlands to the steppes. The 
serf -owning landlords of Poland regarded the Cossacks with 
considerable hostility on ihis account, and war was as fre- 
quent between the Polish chivalry and the Cossadts as it 
was between the latter and the Tartars. 

In the empire of Kipchak, as in Turkestan almost up to 
the present time, while the nomads roamed over wide areas, 
a number of towns and cultivated regions sustained a settled 
population which usually paid tribute to the nomad Khan. 
In such towns as Kieff, Moscow, and the like, the pre-Mon- 
gol. Christian town life went on under Russian dukes or 
Tartar governors, who collected the tribute for the Khan of 
the Golden Horde. The Grand Duke of Moscow gained the 
confidence of the Khan, and gradually, under his authority, 
obtained an ascendancy over many of his fellow tributaries. 
In the fifteenth century, under its grand duke, Ivan III, 
Ivan the Great (1462-1505), Moscow threw off its Mongol 
allegiance and refused to pay tribute any longer (1480). 
The successors of Constantino no longer reigned in Con- 
stantinople^ and Iran took possesion of the Byzantine double- 
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headed eagle for his arms. He claimed to be the heir to 
Byzantium because of his marriage (1472) with Zoe Palseol- 
ogus of the imperial line. This ambitious grand dukedom 
of Moscow assailed and subjugated the ancient Northman 
trading republic of Novgorod to the north, and so the founda- 
tions of the modem Bussian Empire were laid and a link 
with the mercantile life of the Baltic established. Ivan III 
did not, however, carry his claim to be the heir of the 
Christian rulers of Constantinople to the extent of assuming 
the imperial title. This step was taken by his grandson, 
Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible, because of his insane cruelties ; 
1533-1584). Although the ruler of Moscow thus came to 
be called Tsar (Csesar), his tradition was in many respects 
Tartar rather Aan European; he was autocratic after the 
unlimited Asiatic pattern, and the form of Christianity he 
affected was the Eastern, court-ruled, ^^orthodox*' form, 
which had reached Eussia long before the Mongol Qonquest, 
by means of Bulgarian missionaries from Constantinople. 

To the west of the domains of Kipchak, outside the range 
of Mongol rule, a second centre of Slav consolidation had 
been set up during the tenth and eleventh centuries in Po- 
land. The Mongol wave had washed over Poland, but had 
never subjugated it. Poland was not "orthodox,*^ but Ro- 
man Catholic in religion; it used the Latin alphabet in- 
stead of the strange Russian letters, and its monarch, never 
assumed an absolute independence of the Emperor, Poland 
was in fact in its origins an outlying part of Christendom 
and of the Holy Empire; Russia never was anything of the 

§ 5d 

The nature and development of the empire of the Ilkhans 
in Persia, Mesopotamia, and Syria is perhaps the most inter- 
esting of all the stories of these Mongol powers, because in 
this region nomadism really did attempt, and really did to a 
very considerable degree succeed in its attempt to stamp a 
settled civilized system out of existence. .When Jengis 

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Elian first invaded China, we are told that there was a 
serious discussion among the Mongol chiefs whether all the 
towns and settled populations should not be destroyed. To 
these simple practioners of the open-air life the settled 
populations semed corrupt, crowded, vicious, effeminate, 
dangerous, and incomprehensible; a detestable human 
efflorescence upon what would otherwise have been good 
pasture. They had no use whatever for the towns. The 
early Pranks and the Anglo-Saxon conquerors of South 
Britain seem to have had much the same feeling towards 
tovmsmen. But it was only under Hulagu in Mesopotamia 
that these ideas seem to have been embodied in a deliberate 
policy. The Mongols here did not only bum and massacre ; 
they destroyed the irrigation system that had endured for at 
least eight thousand years, and with that the mother civiliza- 
tion of all the Western world came to an end. Since the 
days of the priestrkings of Sumeria there had been a con- 
tinuous cultivation in these fertile regions, an accumulation 
of tradition, a great population, a succession of busy cities, 
Eridu, Nippur, Babylon, Nineveh, Ctesiphon, Bagdad. 
Now the fertility ceased. Mesopotamia became a land of 
ruins and desolation, through which #great waters ran to 
waste, or overflowed their banks to make malarious swamps. 
Later on Mosul and Bagdad revived feebly as second-rate 
towns. • • • 

But for the defeat and death of Hulagu's general Kitboga 
in Palestine (1260), the same fate might have overtaken 
Egypt But Egypt was now a Turkish sultanate; it was 
dominated by a body of soldiers, the Mamelukes, whose 
ranks, like tibose of their imitators, the Janissaries of the 
Ottoman Empire, were recruited and kept vigorous by the 
purchase and training of boy slaves. A capable Sultan such 
men would obey; a weak or evil one they would replace. 
Under this ascendancy Egypt remained an independent 
power until 1517, when it fell to the Ottoman Turks. 

The first destructive vigour of Hulagu^s Mongols soon 
subsided, but in the fifteenth century a last tornado of 
nomadism arose in Western Turkestan under the leadership 

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of a certain Timur the Lamei or Timur'lane. He was 
descended in the female line from Jengis Ehan. He 
established himself in Samarkand^ and spread his authority 
over Kipchak (Turkestan to South Bussia), Siberia, and 
southward as far as the Indus. He assumai the title of 
Great Khan in 1369. He was a nomad of the aavage school, 
and he created an empire of desolation from IN'orth India to 
Syria. Pyramids of skulls were his particular architectural 
fancy; after the storming of Ispahan he made one of 70,000, 
His ambition was to restore the empire of Jengis Khan as he 
conceived it, a project in which he completely failed. He 
spread destruction far and wide; the Ottoman Turks— it 
was before the taking of Constantinople and their days of 
greatness — ^and Egypt paid him tribute; the Punjab he dev- 
astated; and Delhi surrendered to him. After Delhi had 
surrendered, however, he made a frightful massacre of its 
inhabitants. At the time of his death (1405^ very little 
remained to witness to his power but a name of horror^ ruins 
and desolated countries, and a shrunken and impoverished 
domain in Persia. 

The dynasty founded by Timur in Persia was extinguished 
by another Turkoman horde fifty years later. 

§ 5b 

In 1505 a small Turkoman chieftain, Baber, a descendant 
of Timur and therefore of Jengis^ was forced after some 
years of warfare and some temporary succeBSes*-*for a time 
he held Samarkand — ^to fly with a few followers over tiie 
Hindu Kush to Afghanistan. There his band increased, and 
he made himself master of Cabul. He assembled an army, 
accumulated guns, and then laid claim to the Punjab, because 
Timur had conquered it a hundred and seven years before. 
He pushed his successes beyond the Punjab. India was in 
a state of division, and quite ready to welcome any capable 
invader who promised peace and order. After various 
fluctuations of fortune Baber met the Sultan of Delhi at 
Fanipat (1625), ten miles north of that town, and thou^ 

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he had but 25,000 men, provided, however, with guns, against 
a thousand elephants and four times as many men — ^the 
numbers, by the by, are his own estimate? — ^he gained a com- 
plete victory. He ceased to call himself King of Cabul, and 
assumed the title of Emperor of Hindustan. "This,'' he 
wrote, "is quite a different world from our countries/' It 
was finer, more fertile, altogether richer. He conquered as 
far as Bengal, but his untimely death in 1530 checked the 
tide of Mongol conquest for a quarter of a century, and it 
was only after the accession of his grandson Akbar that it 
flowed again. Akbar subjugated all India as far as Berar, 
and his great-grandson Aurungzeb (1658-1707) was prac- 
tically master of the entire peninsula. This great dynasty 
of Baber (1526^1530), Humayun (1530-1556), Akbar 
(1556-1605), Jehangir (1605-1628), Shah Jehan (1628- 
1658), and Aurungzeb (1658-1707), in which son succeeded 
father for six generations, this "Mogul (= Mongol) dy- 
nasty,'^ ^ marks the most splendid age that had hitherto 
dawned upon India. Akbar, next perhaps to Asoka, was one 
of the greatest of Indian monarchs, and one of the few royal 
figures that approach the stature of great men. 

To Akbar it is necessary to give the same distinctive at- 
tention that we have shown to Charlemagne or Constantine 
the Great. He is one of the hinges of history. Much of his 
work of consolidation and organization in India survives to 
this day. It was taken over and continued by the British 
when they became the successors of the Mogul emperors. 
The British monarch, indeed, now uses as his Indian title 
the title of the Mogul emperors Kaisar-drHind. All the other 
great administrations of the descendants of Jengis E3ian, in 
Russia, throughout Western and Central Asia and in China, 
have long since dissolved away and given place to other forms 
of government. Their governments were indeed little more 
than taxing governments; a system of revenue-collecting to 
feed the central establishment of the ruler, like the Golden 

I'^ogul" is our rendering of the Arabic spelling Mughal, which 
itself was a corruption of Mongol, the Arabic alphabet having no 
symbol for ng. — ^H. H. J. 

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Horde in South Eussia or the imperial city at Karakorum 
or Pekin. The life and ideas of the people they left alone, 
careless how they lived — ^so long as tiiey paid. So it was 
that after centuries of subjugation, a Christian Moscow and 
Kieff, a Shiite Persia, and a thoroughly Chinese China rose 
again from their Mongol submergence. But Akbar made a 
new India. He gave the princes and ruling classes of India 
some inklings at least of a common interest. If India is 
now anything more than a sort of rag-bag of incoherent states 
and races, a prey to every casual raider from the north, it is 
very largely due to him. 

His distinctive quality was his openness of mind. He set 
himself to make every sort of able man in India, whatever 
his race or religion, available for the public work of Indian 
life. His instinct was the true statesman's instinct for 
synthesis. His empire was to be neither a Moslem nor a 
Mongol one, nor was it to be Eajput or Aryan, or Dravidian, 
or Hindu, or high or low caste ; it was to be Indian. "During 
the years of his training he enjoyed many opportunities of 
noting the good qualities, the fidelity, the devotion, often the 
nobility of soul, of those Hindu princes, whom, because they 
were followers of Brahma, his Moslem courtiers devoted 
mentally to eternal torments. He noted that these men, and 
men who thought like them, constituted the vast majority of 
his subjects. He noted, further, of many of them, and those 
the most trustworthy, that though they had apparently much 
to gain from a worldly point of view by embracing tiie reli- 
gion of the court, they held fast to their own. His reflective 
mind, therefore, was unwilling from the outset to accept the 
theory that because he, the conqueror, the ruler, happened to 
be bom a Muhammadan, therefore Muhammadanism was 
true for all mankind. Gradually his thoughts found words 
in the utterance : ^Why should I claim to guide men before 
I myself am guided V and, as he listened to other doctrines 
and other creeds, his honest doubts became confirmed, and, 
noting daily the bitter narrowness of sectarianism, no matter 
of what form of religion, he became more and more wedded to 
the principle of toleration for all." 

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**The son of a fugitive emperor/^ says Dr. Emil Sohinit, 
'^m in the desert, brought up in nominal oonfinement, he 
had known the bitter side of life from his youth up. Fortune 
had given him a powerful frame, whioh he trained to sup* 
port the extremities of exertion. Physical exercise was widi 
him a passion ; he was devoted to the chase and especially to 
the fierce excitement of catching the wild horse or elephant 
or slaying the dangerous tiger. On one occasion, when it 
was necessary to dissuade the Baja of Jodhpore to abandon 
his intention of forcing the widow of his deceased son to 
mount the funeral pyre, Akbar rode two hundred and twenty 
miles in two days. In battle he displayed the utmost 
bravery. He led his troops in person during the dangerous 
part of a campaign, leaving to his generals the lighter task 
of finishing the war. In every victory he displayed humanity 
to the conquered, and decisively opposed any exhibition of 
cruelty. Free from all those prejudices which separate 
society and create dissension, tolerent to men of other beliefs, 
impartial to men of other raoes, whether Hindu or Dravidian, 
he was a man obviously marked out to weld the conflict- 
ing elements of his kingdom into a strong and prosperous 

"In all seriousness he devoted himself to the work of 
peace. Moderate in all pleasures, needing but little sleep 
and accustomed to divide his time with the utmost accuracy, 
he found leisure to devote himself to science and art after 
the completion of his State duties. The famous personages 
and scholars who adorned the capital he had built for him- 
self at Fatepur-Sikri were at the same time his friends; 
every Thursday evening a circle of these was collected for 
intellectual conversation and philosophical discussion. His 
closest friends were two highly talented brothers, Faizi and 
Abul Fazl, the sons of a learned free-thinker. The elder of 
these was a famous scholar in Hindu literature; with his 
help, and under his direction, Akbar had the most important 
of the Sanskrit works translated into Persian. Fazl, on the 
other hand, who was an especially close friend of Akbar, was 
a general, a statesman, and an organizer, and to his acUvilgr 

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Akbar's Idngdom chiefly owed the solidarity of its internal 
organisatioa." ^ 

(Such was the quality of the circle that used to meet in 
the palaces of Fatehpur-Sikri^ buildings which still stand in 
the Indian sunlight — but empty now and desolate. Fateh- 
pxuvSikriy like the city of Ambar, is now a dead city. A few 
years ago the child of a British official was killed by a 
panther in one of its silent streets.) Like Charlemagne and 
like Tai-Tsung, Akbar dabbled in religion, and had long 
discussions, that are still on record, with Jesuit missionaries. 

Akbar, like all men, great or petty, lived within the limita- 
tions of his period and its circle of ideas. And a Turkoman^ 
ruling in India, waa necessarily ignorant of much that 
Europe had been painfully learning for a thousand years. 
He knew nothing of the growth of a popular consciousness in 
Europe^ and little or nothing of the wide educational poa- 
eihilitiea that the church had been working out in the West 
Something more than an occasional dispute with a Christian 
xnissicmaTy was needed for that. His upbringing in Islam 
and his native genius made it plain to him that a great nation 
in India could only be cemented by common ideas upon a 
reli^ons basis, but the knowledge of how such a solidarity 
OQuld be created and sustained by nniversal schools, cheap 
bookSy and a. university system at once organiaed and free 
to think, to which the modero state is still feeling its way^ 
was as impossible to him as a knowledge of steamboats or 
aeroplanes. The form of Islam he faiew best was the 
narrow and fiercely intolerant form of the Turkish Sunnites. 
The Moslems were only a minority of the population. The 
problem be faced was indeed very parallel to the problem of 
Constantino the Great, But it had peculiar difficulties of 
its Qvn3U He never got beycoid an attempt to adapt Islam to 
a wide? appeal by substituting for ''There is one God, and 
Muhammad is his prophet," the declaration, *^There is one 
God, and the Emperor is his vice-regent.'* This he thought 
might form a common platform for every variety of faith 
in India, that kaleidoscope of religions. With this faith he 

»Dfi. Scknit In Helraolt^s Eisiory of the World. 

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associated a simple ritual borrowed from the Persian Zoro- 
astrians (the Parsees) who still survived, and survive to- 
day, in India. This new state religion, however, died with 
him, because it had no roots in the minds of the people about 

The essential factor in the organization of a living state, 
the world is coming to realize, is the organization of an edu- 
cation. This Akbar never understood. And he had no class 
of men available who would suggest such an idea to him or 
help him to carry it out. The Moslem teachers in India 
were not so much teachers as conservators of an intense 
bigotry ; they did not want a common mind in India, but only 
a common intolerance in Islam. The Brahmins, who had 
the monopoly of teaching among the Hindus, had all the 
conceit and slackness of hereditary privilege. Yet though 
Akbar made no general educational scheme for India, he set 
up a number of Moslem and Hindu schools. He knew less 
and he did more for India in these matters than the British 
who succeeded him. Some of the British viceroys have 
aped his magnificence, his costly tents and awnings, his 
palatial buildings and his elephants of state, but none have 
gone far enough beyond the political outlook of this mediseval 
Turkoman to attempt that popular education which is an 
absolute necessity to India before she can play her fitting 
part in the commonweal of mankind. 

§ 5p 

A curious side result of these later Mongol perturbations, 
those of the fourteenth century of which Timurlane was the 
head and centre, was the appearance of drifting batches of a 
strange refugee Eastern people in Europe, the Gipsies. 
They appeared somewhen about the end of the fourteenth 
and early fifteenth centuries in Greece, where they were 
believed to be Egyptians (hence Gipsy), a very general per- 
suasion which they themselves accepted and disseminated. 
Their leaders, however, styled themselves "Counts of Asia 
Minor." Jhey had probably been drifting about Western 

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Asia for some centuries before the massacres of Timurlane 
drove them over the Hellespont, They may have been dis- 
lodged from their original homeland — as the Ottoman Turks 
were — ^by the great cataclysm of Jengis or even earlier. 
They had drifted about as the Ottoman Turks had drifted 
about, but with less good fortune. They spread slowly west- 
ward across Europe, strange fragments of nomadism in a 
world of plough and city, driven off their ancient habitat of 
the Bactrian steppes to harbour upon European commons 
and by hedgerows and in wild woodlands and neglected 
patches. The Germans called them "Hungarians'^ and 
**Tartars,^' the French, "Bohemians.^^ They do not seem to 
Lave kept the true tradition of their origin, but they have 
a distinctive language which indicates their lost history; it 
contains many North Indian words, and is probably in its 
origin North Indian. There are also considerable Arme- 
nian and Persian elements in their speech. They are found 
in all European countries to-day; they are tinkers, pedlers, 
horsedealers, showmen, fortune-tellers, and beggars. To 
many imaginative minds their wayside encampments, with 
their smoking fires, their rounded tents, their hobbled horses, 
and their brawl of sunburnt children, have a very strong ap- 
peal. Civilization is so new a thing in history, and has been 
for most of the time so very local a thing, that it has still to 
conquer and assimilate most of our instincts to its needs. In 
most of us, irked by its conventions and complexities, there 
stirs the nomad strain. We are but halfhearted home- 
keepers. The blood in our veins was brewed on the steppes 
as well as on the ploughlands. 

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(Land Ways Give Place to Sea Ways) 

§ 1* Ghristianiiy and Popular Education. § 2, Europe 
Begins to Think for Itself. § 3, The Oreat Plague arid 
the Dawn of Communism. § 4. How Paper Liberated 
the Human Mind^ § 5. Protestantism of the Princes 
and Protestantism of the Peoples. § 6. The Reawaken' 
ing of Science. § 7* The New Growth of European 
Towns. § 8. America Comes into History. § 9. 
What Machiavelli Thought of the World. § 10. The 
Republic of Switzerland. § 11a. The Life of the 
Emperor Charles V. § 11b. Protestants if the Prince 
Jf tii« It § lie. The Intellectual Undertow. 


JUDGED by the map, the three centuries from the begin- 
ning of the thirteenth to the end of the fifteenth century 
v^ere an age of recession for Christendom. These 
centuries wei*e the Age of the Mongolian peoples. Nomad- 
ism from Central Asia dominated the known world. At the 
crest of this period there were rulers of Mongol or the Kin- 
dred Turkish race and nomadic tradition in China, India, 
Persia, Egypt, Notth Africa, the Balkan peninsula, Hungary, 

1 RenaBcence here meatis rebirth, and it is applied to the recovery of 
the entire Western world. It is not to be confused with "the Renais* 
sance/' an educational, literary, and artistic revival that went on in 
Italy and thd Weatem world affected by Italy during the fourteenth 
and fifteenth centuries. The Renaissance was only a part of the Renas* 
cence of Europe. The Renaissance was a revival due to the exhuma- 
tion of classical art and learning; it was but one factor in the very 
muoh larger and more complicated resurrection of European capacity 
and Tigour, with which we are dealing in this chapter. 


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and Bussia. The Ottoman Turk had even taken to the sea^ 
and fought the Venetian upon his own Mediterranean waters. 
In 1529 the Turks besieged Vienna, and were defeated rather 
by the weather than by the defenders. The Habsborg empire 
of Charles V paid the Sultan tribute. It was not until the 
battle of Lepanto in 1571, the battle in which Cervantes, the 
author of Don Quixote, lost his left arm, that Christendom, 
to use his words, "broke the pride of the Osmans and un- 
deceived the world which had regarded the Turkish fleet as 
invincible/' The sole region of Christian advance was 
Spain. A man of foresight surveying the world in the early 
sixteenth century might well have concluded that it was only 
a matter of a few generations before the whdle world be- 
came Mongolian — and probably Moslem. Just as to-day 
most people seem to take it for granted that European rule 
and a sort of liberal Christianity are destined to spread over 
the whole world. Few people seem to realize how recent a 
thing is this European ascendancy. It was only as the 
fifteenth century drew to its close that any indications of the 
real vitality of Western Europe became clearly apparent. 

Our history is now approaching our own times, and our 
study becomes more and more a study of the existing state 
of affairs. The European or Europeanized system in which 
the reader is living, is the same system that we see developing 
in the crumpled-up, Mongol-threatened Europe of the early 
fifteenth century. Its problems then were the embryonic 
form of the problems of to-day. It is impossible to discuss 
that time without discussing our own time. We become 
political in spite of ourselves. "Politics without history has 
no root," said Sir J. E. Seely; 'Tiistory without politics has 
no fruit.'* 

Let us try, with as much detachment as we can achieve, 
to discover what the forces were that were dividing and hold- 
ing back the energies of Europe during this tremendous out- 
break of the Mongol peoples, and how we are to explain the 
accumulation of mental and physical energy that undoubtedly 
went on during this phase of apparent retrocessicin^ and 
which broke out so impressively at its close. 

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Now, just as in the Mesozoic Age, while the great reptiles 
lorded it over the earth, there were developing in odd out-of- 
the-way, corners those hairy mammals and feathered birds 
who were finally to supersede that tremendous fauna alto- 

gether by another far more versatile and capable, so in the 
limited territories of Western Europe of the Middle Ages, 
while the Mongolian monarchies dominated the world from 
the Danube to the Pacific and from the Arctic seas to Madras 

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and Morocco and the Nile, the fundamental lines of a new 
and harder and more efficient type of human community 
were being laid down. Thi^ type of community, which is 
still only in the phase of formation, which is still growing 
and experimental, we may perhaps speak of as the "modern 
state/' This is, we must recognize, a vague expression, but 
we shall endeavour to get meaning into it as we proceed. 
We have noted the appearance of its main root ideas in the 
Greek republics and especially in Athens, in the great 
Roman republic, in Judaism, in Islam, and in the story of 
Western Catholicism. Essentially this modem state, as we 
see it growing under our eyes to-day, is a tentative combina- 
tion of two apparently contradictory ideas, the idea of a 
comimmty of faith and obedience, such as the earliest civili- 
zations imdoubtedly were, and the idea of a community of 
tvill, such as were the primitive political groupings of the 
Nordic and Hunnish peoples. For thousands of years the 
settled civilized peoples, who were originally in most cases 
dark-white Caucasians, or Dravidian or Soutibern Mongolian 
peoples, seem to have developed their ideas and habits along 
the line of worship and personal subjection, and the nomadic 
peoples theirs along the line of personal self-reliance and self- 
assertion. Naturally enough under the circumstances the 
nomadic peoples were always supplying the civilizations with 
fresh rulers and new aristocracies. That is the rhythm of all 
early history. It was only after thousands of years of cyclic 
changes between refreshment by nomadic conquest, civiliza- 
tion, decadence, and fresh conquest that the present process 
of a mutual blending of "civilized'^ and "free^* tendencied 
into a new type of community, that now demands our at* 
tention and which is the substance of contemporary history, 

We have traced in this history the slow development of 
larger and larger "civilized" human communities from the 
days of the primitive Palaeolithic family tribe. We have 
seen how the advantages and necessities of cultivation, the 
fear of tribal gods, the ideas of the priest-king and the god- 
king, played their part in consolidating continually larger 

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and more powerful societies in regions of maximnm fertility. 
We have watched the interplay of priest, who was usually 
native^ and monarch, who was usually a conqueror, in these 
carly^ civilizations, the development of a written tradition 
and its escape from priestly control, and the appearance of 
novel forces, at first apparently incidental and secondary, 
which we have called the free intelligence and the free con- 
science of mankind. We have seen the rulers of the primi- 
tive civilizations of the river valleys widening their area and 
extending their sway, and simultaneously over the less fertile 
areas of the earth we have seen mere tribal savagery develop ' 
into a more and more united and politically competent nomad- 
ism. Steadily and divergently mankind pursued one or 
other of these two lines. For long ages all the civilizations 
grew and developed along monarchist lines, upon lines of 
absolute monarchy, and in every monarchy and dynasty we 
have watched, as if it were a necessary process, efficiency 
and energy give way to pomp, indolence, and decay, and 
finally succumb to some fresher lineage from the desert or 
the steppa The story of the early cultivating oivilizatioM 
and their temples and courts and cities bulks large in himian 
history, but it is well to remember that the scene of that 
story was never more than a very small part of the land sur^ 
face of the globe. Over the greater part of the earth until 
quite recently, imtil the last two thousand years, the hardier, 
less numerous tribal peoples of forest and parUand and the 
nomadic peoples of the seasonal grasslands maintained and 
developed their own ways of life. 

The primitive civilizations were, we may say, ^^commu- 
nities of obedience" ; obedience to god-kings or kings under 
gods was their cement ; the nomadic tendency on the other 
hand has always been towards a different type of association 
which we shall here call a "community of will." In a wan- 
dering, fighting community the individual must be at once 
self reliant and disciplined. The chiefs of such communities 
must be chiefs who are followed, not masters who compeL 
This community of will is traceable throughout the entire | 
history of mankind; everywhere we find the original dispoai- 

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tion of all the nomads alike, Nordic, Semitic, or Mongolian, 
was individually more willing and more erect than that of 
the settled folk. The Nordic peoples came into Italy and 
Greece under leader kings ; they did not bring any systematic 
temple cults with them, they found such things in the con- 
quered lands and adapted as they adopted them. The Greeks 
and Latins lapsed very easily again into republics, and so did 
the Aryans in India. There was a tradition of election also 
in the earfy Frankish and German kingdoms though the 
decision was usually taken between one or other members of 
a royal caste or family. The early Caliphs were elected, the 
Judges of Israel and the *^ings" of Carthage and Tyre were 
elected, and so was the Great Khan of the Mongols until 
Kublai became a Chinese monarch. . . . Equally constant 
in the settled land do we find the opposite idea, the idea 
of a non-elective divinity in kings and of their natural and 
inherent right to rule. ... As our history has developed 
we have noted the appearance of new and complicating ele- 
ments in the story of human societies; we have seen that 
nomad turned go-between, the trader, appear, and we have 
noted the growing importance of shipping in the world. It 
seems as inevitable that voyaging should make men free in 
their minds as that settlement within a narrow horizon should 
make men timid and servile. . . . But in spite of all such 
complications, the broad antagonism between the method of 
obedience and the method of will runs through history down 
into our own times. To this day their reconciliation is in- 

Civilization even in its most servile forms has always 
offered much that is enormously attractive, convenient, and 
congenial to mankind; but something restless and untamed in 
our race has striven continually to convert civilization from 
its original reliance upon unparticipating obedience into a 
community of participating wills. And to the lurking 
nomadism in our blood, and particularly in the blood of mon- 
archs and aristocracies, we must ascribe also that incessant 
urgency towards a wider range that forces every state to 
extend its boundaries if it can, and to spread its interests 

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to the ends of the earth. The power of nomadic restless- 
ness that tends to bring all the earth under one rule, seems 
to be identical with the spirit that makes most of us chafe 
under direction and restraint, and seek to participate in 
whatever government we tolerate. And this natural, this 
temperamental struggle of mankind to reconcile civilization 
with freedom has been kept alive age after age by the mili- 
tary and political impotence of every "community of 
obedience^' that has ever existed. Obedience, once men are 
broken to it, can be easily captured and transferred ; witness 
the passive role of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and India, the orig- 
inal and typical lands of submission, the "cradles of civiliza- 
tion," as they have passed from one lordship to another. A 
servile civilization is a standing invitation to predatory free 
men. But on the other hand a "community of will" neces- 
sitates a fusion of intractable materials; it is a far harder 
community to bring about, and still more difficult to main- 
tain. The story of Alexander the Great displays the com- 
munity of will of the Macedonian captains gradually dissolv- 
ing before his demand that they should worship him. The 
incident of the murder of Clitus is quite typical of the strug- 
gle between the free and the servile tradition that went on 
whenever a new conqueror from the open lands and the open 
air found himself installed in the palace of an ancient mon- 

In the case of the Eoman Republic, history tells of the 
first big community of will in the world's history, the first 
free community much larger than a city, and how it weak- 
ened with growth and spent itself upon success until at last 
it gave way to a monarchy of the ancient type, and decayed 
swiftly into one of the feeblest communities of servitude that 
ever collapsed before a handful of invaders. We have given 
some attention in this book to the factors in that decay, be- 
cause they are of primary importance in human history. 
One of the most evident was the want of any wide organiza- 
tion of education to base the ordinary citizens' minds upon 
the idea of service and obligation to the republic, to keep 
them willing, that is; another was the absence of any medium 

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gBgagSgBB I I I aggBBgggBB B I II BgBBgBBggBaBgasaaBMqggai 


of geuerjJi mformntion to keep their activities in hanaoay, 
to enable them to wUl as one body. The community of will 
18 limited in size by the limitations set upon the possibilities 
of a community of knowledge. The concentration of prop- 
erty in a few hands and the replacement of free workers 
by slaves were rendered possible by the decay of puWiQ 
spirit and the confusion of the public intelligence that to^ 
suited from these limitations. There was, moreover, no 
efficient religious idea behind the Koman state; the dark 
Etruscan liver-peering cult of Rome was as little adapted to 
the political needs of a great community as the very similar 
Shamanism^ of the Mongols. It is in the fact ^at both 
Christianity and Islam, in their distinctive ways, did at least 
promise to aupply, for the first time in human experience, 
thi^ patent gap in the Boman republican system as well as in 
the nomadic system, to give a oommon moral education for a 
mass of people, and to supply them with a common history 
of the past and a common idea of a human purpose and des' 
tiny, that their enormous historical importance Ues. Aris-* 
totle, as we have noted, had set a limit to the ideal commu-" 
nity of a few thousand citizens, because he could not conceive 
how a larger multitude could be held together by a common 
idea. He had had no experience of any sort of education 
beyond the tutorial methods of his time. Greek education 
was almost purely vivorvoce education ; it could reach there- 
fore only to a limited aristocracy. Both the Christian church 
and Islam demonstrated the unsoundness of Aristotle's limi^ 
tation. We may think they did their task of education in 
their va3t fields of opportunity crudely or badly, but the 
point of interest to us is that tiiey did it at all. Both sus- 
tained almost world-wide propagandas of idea and inspiration. 
Both relied successfully upon the power of the written word 
to link great multitudes of diverse men together in common 
enterprises. By the eleventh century, as we have seen, the 
idea of Christendom had been imposed upon all the vast 
warring miscellany of the smashed and pulverized Western 
empire, and upon Europe far beyond its limits, as a imiting 
mi inspiring idea. It had made a shallow but effective 

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oommuiiity of will over an unprecedented area and out of an 
unprecedented multitude of human beings* Only one other 
thing at all like this had ever happened to any great section 
of mankind before, and that was the idea of a oommunity of 
good behaviour that the literati had spread throughout 

The Catholic Church provided what the B(»nan Bepublio 
had lacked, a system of popular teaching, a number of uni- 
versities and methods of intellectual inter<x)mmunication* 
By this achievement it opened the way to the new possibilities 
of human government that now became apparent in this 
Outline, possibilities that are still being apprehended and 
worked out in the world in which we are living. Hitherto 
the government of states had been either authoritative, under 
some, uncriticized and unchallenged combination of priest 
and monarch, or it had been a democracy, uneducated and 
uninformed, degenerating with any considerable increase of 
size, as Bome and Athens did, into a mere rule by mob and 
politician. But by the thirteenth century the first intima- 
tions had already dawned of an ideal of government which 
is still making its way to realization, the modem ideal, the 
ideal of a world-wide educational government, in which the 
ordinary man is neither the slave of an absolute monarch 
nor of a demagogue-ruled state, but an informed, inspired, 
and consulted part of his community. It is upon the word 
educational that stress must be laid, and upon the idea that 
information must precede consultation. It is in the practi* 
cal realization of this idea that education is a collective 
function and not a private affair that one essential distino* 
tion of the ^^odern state*^ from any of its precursors lies. 
The modem citizen, men are coming to realize, must be in- 
formed first and then consulted. Before he can vote he must 
hear the evidence; before he can decide he must know. It 
is not by setting up polling booths, but by setting up schools 
and m^ing literature and knowledge and news universally 

iBnt the Jews were already holding their community together by 
systematic education at least as early as the beginning of the Christian 

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accessible that the way is opened from servitude and con- 
fusion to that willingly coK)perative state which is the modem 
ideaL Votes in themselves are worthless things. Men had 
votes in Italy in the time of the Gracchi. Their votes did 
not help them. Until a man has education^ a vote is a use- 
less and dangerous thing for him to possess. The ideal 
community towards whi(£ we move is not a community of 
will simply; it is a cow/m/imity of knowledge and will, re- 
placing a commtunity of faith and obedience. Education 
is the adapter which will make the nomadic spirit of free- 
dom and self-reliance compatible with the co-operations and 
wealth and security of civilization. 


But though it is certain that the Catholic Church, through 
its propagandas, its popular appeals, its schools and univer- 
sities, opened up the prospect of the modem educational state 
in Europe, it is equally certain that the Catholic Church 
never intended to do anything of the sort. It did not send 
out knowledge with its blessing; it let it loose inadvertently. 
It was not the Eoman Republic whose heir the Church es- 
teemed itself, but the Roman Emperor. Its conception of 
education was not release, not an invitation to participate, 
but the subjugation of minds. Two of the greatest edu- 
cators of the Middle Ages were indeed not churchmen at 
all, but monarchs and statesmen, Charlemagne and Alfred 
the Great of England, who made use of the diurch organiza- 
tion. But it was the church that had provided the organi- 
zation. Church and monarchs in their mutual grapple for 
power were both calling to their aid the thoughts of the 
common man. In response to these conflicting appeals ap- 
peared the common man, the unofficial outside independent 
man, thinking for himself. 

Already in the thirteenth century we have seen Pope 
Gregory IX and the Emperor Frederick II engaging in a 
violent public controversy. Already then there was a sense 
that a new arbitrator greater than pope or monarchy had 

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come into the world, that there were readers and a public 
opinion. The exodus of the Popes to Avignon, and die di- 
visions and disorders of the Papacy during the fourteenth 
centjiry, stimulated this free judgment upon authority 
throughout Europe enormously. 

At first the current criticism upon the church concerned 
only moral and material things. The wealth and luxury of 
the higher clergy and the heavy papal taxation were the diief 
grounds of complaint. And the earlier attempts to restore 
Christian simplicity, the foundation of the Franciscians for 
example, were not movements of separation, but movements 
of revival Only later did a deeper and more distinctive 
criticism develop which attacked the central fact of the 
churches teaching and the justification of priestly impor- 
tance; namely, the sacrifice of the mass. 

We have sketched in broad outlines the early beginnings of 
Christianity, and we have shown how rapidly that difficult 
and austere conception of the Kingdom of God, which was 
the central idea of the teachings of Jesus of ITazareth, was 
overlaid by a revival of the ancient sacrificial idea, a doctrine 
more difficult indeed to grasp, but easier to reconcile with the 
habits and dispositions and acquiescences of everyday life 
in the Near East. We have noted how a sort of tiieocrasia 
went on between Christianity and Judaism and the cult of 
the Serapeum and Mithraism and other competing cults, by 
which the Mithraist Simday, the Jewish idea of blood as a 
religious essential, the Alexandrian importance of the Mother 
of God, the shaven and fasting priest, self-tormenting ascet- 
icism, and many other matters of belief and ritual and prac- 
tice, became grafted upon the developing religion. These • 
adaptations, no doubt, made the new teaching much more 
understandable and acceptable in Egypt and Syria and the 
like. They were things in the way of thought of the dark- 
white Mediterranean race ; they were congenial to that type. 
But as we have shown in our story of Muhammad, these ac- 
quisitions did not make Christianity more acceptable to the 
Arab nomads; to them these features made it disgusting. 
And so tooy the robed and shaven monk and nun and priest; 

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seem to have roused something like an instinctive hostility 
in the Nordic barbarians of the North and West We have 
noted the peculiar bias of the early Anglo-Saxons and North- 
men against the monks and nnns. They seem to have felt 
that the lives and habits of these devotees were queer and 

The clash between what we may call the ^^dark-white" 
factors and the newer elements in Christianity was no doubt 
intensified by Pope Gregory VIFs imposition of celibacy 
upon the Catholic priests in the eleventh century. The 
East had known religious celibates for thousands of years ; 
in the West they were regarded with scepticism and sus- 

And now in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, as the 
lay mind of the Nordic peoples began to acquire learnings 
to read and write and express itself, and as it came into 
touch with the stimulating activities of the Arab mind, we 
find a much more formidable criticism of Catholicism begin- 
ning, an intellectual attack upon the priest as priest, and 
upon the ceremony of the mass as the central fact of the 
religious life, coupled with a demand for a return to the 
personal teachings of Jesus as recorded in the Gospels. 

We have already mentioned the career of the English- 
man Wydiffe (c. 1820-1384:), and how he translated the 
Bible into English in order to set up a counter authority to 
that of the Pope. He denounced the doctrines of the church 
about the mass as disastrous error, and particularly the 
teaching that the consecrated bread eaten in that ceremony 
becomes in some magical way the actual body of Christ. 
We will not pursue the question of transubstantiation, as 
this process of the mystical change of the elements in the 
sacrament is called, into its intricacies. These are matters 
for the theological specialist. But it will be obvious that 
any doctrine, such as the Catholic doctrine, which makes 
the consecration of the elements in the sacrament a miracu- 
lous process performed by the priest, and only to be per- 
formed by the priest, and which makes the sacrament the 
central necessity, of the religious system, enhances the im- 

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portance of the priestly order enormously. On the othet 
hand, the view, which was the typical "Protestant*' 
view, that this sacrament is a mere eating of bread 
and drinking of wine as a personal itoiembrance of 
Jesus of Nazareth, does away at last with toy particular 
need for a consecrated priest at all. Wycliffe himself did 
not go to this extremity ; he was a priest, and he remained a 
priest to the end of his life, he held that God was spiritually 
if not substantially present in the consecrated bread, but his 
doctrine raised a question that carried men far beyond his 
positions. From the point of view of the historian, the 
struggle against Home that WycliflFe opened became very 
speedily a struggle of what one may call rational or lay- 
taan^s religion making its appeal to the free intelligence and 
the free conscience in mankind, against authoritative, tradi- 
tional, ceremonial, and priestly religion. The ultimate tend- 
ency of this complicated struggle was to strip Christianity 
as bare as Islam of every vestige of ancient priestcraft, to 
revert to the Bible documents as authority, and to recover, if 
possible, the primordial teachings of Jesus. Most of its 
issues are still undecided among Christians to this day. 

Wycliffe's writings had nowhere more influence than ill 
OBohemia. About 1396 a learned Czech, John Huss, de- 
livered a series of lectures in the university of Prague based 
upon the doctrines of the great Oxford teacher. Huss be- 
came rector of the university, and his teachings roused the 
church to excommunicate him (1412). This was at the 
time of the Great Schism, just before the Council of Con- 
stance (1414-1418) gathered to discuss the scandalous dis- 
order of the church. We have already told how Ihe schism 
was ended by the election of Martin V. The oouncil as- 
pired to reunite Christendom completely. But the methods 
by which it sought this reunion jar with our modem eon- 
sciences. Wycliffe's bones were condemned to be burnt. 
Huss was decoyed to Constance under promise of a safe 
oonduct, and he was then put upon his trial for heresy. He 
was ordered to recant certain of his opinions. He replied 
that he oould not recant until he was convinced of his error. 

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He was told that it was his duty to recant if his superiors re- 
quired it of him, whether he was convinced or not. He re- 
fused to accept this view. In spite of the Emperor's safe 
conduct, he was burnt alive (1415), a martyr not for any 
specific doctrine, but for the free intelligence and free con- 
science of mankind. 

It would be impossible to put the issue between priest and 
anti-priest more clearly than it was put at this trial of John 
Huss, nor to demonstrate more completely the evil spirit in 
priestcraft. A colleague of Huss^ Jerome of Prague, was 
burnt in the following year. 

These outrages were followed by an insurrection of the 
Hussites in Bohemia (1419), the first of a series of religious 
wars that marked the breaking-up of Christendom. In 1420 
the Pope, Martin V, issued a bull proclaiming a crusade 
"for the destruction of the Wycliffites, Hussites, and all other 
heretics in Bohemia,'' and attracted by this invitation the 
unemployed soldiers of fortune and all the drifting black- 
guardism of Europe converged upon that valiant country. 
They found in Bohemia, under its great leader Ziska, more 
hardship and less loot than crusaders were disposed to face. 
The Hussites were conducting their affairs upon extreme 
democratic lines, and the whole country was aflame with en- 
thusiasm. The crusaders beleaguered Prague, but failed to 
take it, and they experienced a series of reverses that ended 
in their retreat from Bohemia. A second crusade (1421) 
was no more successful. Two other crusades failed. Then 
unhappily the Hussites fell into internal dissensions. En- 
couraged by this, a fifth crusade (1431) crossed the fron- 
tier under Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg. 

The army of these crusaders, according to the lowest es- 
timate, consisted of 90,000 infantry and 40,000 horsemen. 
Attacking Bohemia from the west, they first laid siege to the 
town of Tachov, but failing to capture the strongly fortified 
city, they stormed the little town of Most, and here, as well 
as in the surrounding country, committed the most horrible 
atrocities on a population a large part of which was entirely 
innocent of any form of theology whatever. The crusaders, 

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advancing by slow marches, penetrated further into Bohemia, 
till they reached the neighbourhood of the town of Domazlice 
(Tauss). "It was at three o'clock on August 14th, 1431, 
that the crusaders, who were encamped in the plain between 
Domazlice and Horsuv Tyn, received the news that the 
Hussites, under the leadership of Prokop the Great, were ap- 
proaching. Though the Bohemians were still four miles 
off, the rattle of their war-wagons and the song, ^All ye 
warriors of God,' which their whole host was chanting, could 
already be heard." The enthusiasm of the crusaders evap- 
orated with astounding rapidity. Liitzow^ describes how 
the papal representative and the Duke of Saxony ascended a 
convenient hill to inspect the battlefield. It was, they dis- 
covered, not going to be a battlefield. The German camp 
was in utter confusion. Horsemen were streaming oflE in 
every direction, and the clatter of empty wagons being 
driven oflp almost drowned the sound of that terrible singing. 
The crusaders were abandoning even their loot. Came a 
message from the Margrave of Brandenburg advising flight; 
there was no holding any of their troops. They were dan- 
gerous now only to their own side, and the papal representa- 
tive spent an unpleasant night hiding from them in the 
forest. ... So ended the Bohemian crusade. 

In 1434 civil war ag^in broke out among the Hussites, in 
which the extreme and most valiant section was defeated, 
and in 1436 an agreement was patched up between the Coun- 
cil of Basle and the moderate Hussites, in which the Bo- 
hemian church was allowed to retain certain distinctions from 
the general Catholic practice, which held good until the Ger- 
man Bef ormation in the sixteenth century. 


The split among the Hussites was largely due to the drift 
of the extremer section towards a primitive communism, 
which alarmed the wealthier and more influential Czech 
noblemen. Similar tendencies had already appeared among 

^iLtltzow's Bohemia, 

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the English Wycliffites. They seem to follow naturally 
enough upon the doctrines of equal human brotherhood that 
emerge whenever there is an attempt to reach back to the 
fundamentals of Christianity. 

The development of such ideas had been greatly stimula* 
t(Bd by a stupendous misfortune that had swept the world 
and laiH bare the foundations of society, a pestilence of un* 
heard-of virulence. It was called the Blad: Death, and it 
came nearer to the extirpation of mankind than any other 
evil has ever done. It was far more deadly than the plague 
of Pericles, or the plague of Marcus Aurelius, or the plague 
waves of the time of Justinian and Gregory the Great that 
paved the way for the Lombards in Italy. It arose in South 
Eussia or Central Asia, and came by way of the Crimea and 
a Genoese ship to Genoa and Western Europe. It passed 
by Armenia to Asia Minor, Egypt, and North Africa. It 
reached England in 1348. Two-thirds of the students at 
Oxford died, we are told; it is estimated that between a 
quarter and a half of the whole population of England per- 
ished at this time. Throughout all Europe there was as 
great a mortality. Hecker estimates the total as twenty- 
five million dead. It spread eastward to China, where, the 
Chinese records say, thirteen million people perished. In 
China the social disorganization led to a neglect of the river 
embankments, and as a consequence great floods devastated 
the crowded agricultural lands.^ 

Never was there so clear a warning to mankind to seek 
knowledge and cease from bickering, to unite against the 
dark powers of nature. All the massacres of Hulagu and 
Timurlane were ad nothing to this. "Its ravages,^^ says 
J. R. Green, "were fiercest in the greater towns, where filthy 
and undrained streets afforded a constant haunt to leprosy 
and fever. In the burial-ground which the piety of Sir 

1 Dr. C. 0. StaUybrasB says that this plague reached China thirty or 
forty years after its first appearance in Europe. Ibn Batuta, the 
Arab traveller who was in China from 1342 to 1346, first met with it 
on his return to Damascus. The Black Death is the human form of a 
disease endemic among the jerboas and other small rodents in the 
districts round the head of the Caspian Sea. 

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Walter Manny purchased for the citizens of London, a spot 
whose site was afterwards marked by the 
Charter House, more than fifty thousand 
corpses are said to have been interred. 
Thousands of people perished at Norwich, 
while in Bristol the living were hardly 
able to bury the dead. But the Black 
Death fell on the villages almost as fiercely 
as on the towns. More than one-half ctf 
the priests of Yorkshire are known to 
have perished; in the diocese of Norwich 
two-thirds of the parishes changed their 
incumbents. The whole organieation of 
labour was thrown out pf gear. The scar- 
city of hands made it difficult for the mi- 
nor tenants to perform the services due for 
their lands, and only a temporary abandon* 
ment of half the rent by the landowners in- 
duced the fanners to refrain from the 
abandonment of their farms. For a 
time cultivation became impossible. ^The 
sheep and cattle strayed through the fields 
and corn,' says a contemporary, *and there 
were none left who could drive them.' " 

It was from these distresses that the 
peasant wars of the fourteenth century 
sprang. There was a great shortage of 
labour and a great shortage of goods, and 
the rich abbots and monastic cultivators 
who owned so much of the land, and the 
nobles and rich merchants, were too ig- 
norant of economic laws to understand 
that they must not press upon the toilers 
in this time of general distress. They 
saw their property deteriorating, their 
lands going out of cultivation, and they 
made violent statutes to compel men to work without any 
rise in wages, and to prevent their straying in search of 

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better employment. Naiturally enough this provcfked "a 
new revolt against the whole system of social inequality which 
had till then passed unquestioned as the divine order of the 
world. The cry of the poor found a terrible utterance in 
the words of *a mad priest of Kent/ as the courtly Froissart 
calls him, who for twenty years (1360-1381) found an au- 
dience for his sermons, in defiance of interdict and imprison- 
ment, in the stout yeomen who gathered in the Kentish 
churchyards. *Mad,' as the landowners called him, it was 
in the preaching of John Ball that England first listened to 
a declaration of natural equality and the rights of man. 
^Gk)od people,' cried the preacher, things will never go well 
in England so long as goods be not in common, and so long 
as there be villeins and gentlemen. By what right are they 
whom we call lords greater folk than we ? On what grounds 
have they deserved it? Why do they hold us in serfage? 
If we all came of the same father and mother, of Adam and 
Eve, how can they say or prove that they are better than we, 
if it be not that they make us gain for them by our toil what 
they spend in their pride ? They are clothed in velvet and 
warm in their furs and their ermines, while we are covered 
with rags. They have wine and spices and fair bread ; and 
we oatcake and straw, and water to drink. They have 
leisure and fine houses; we have pain and labour, the rain 
and the wind in the fields. And yet it is of us and of our 
toil that these men hold their state.' A spirit fatal to the 
whole system of the Middle Ages breathed in the popular 
rhyme which condensed the levelling doctrine of John Ball : 
'When Adam delved and Eve span, who was then the gentle- 

iThe seeds of conflict which grew up into the Peasants' Revolt of 
1381 were sown upon ground which is strangely familiar to any writer 
in 1920. A European catastrophe had reduced production and conse- 
quently increased the earnings of workers and traders. Rural wages 
had risen by 48 per cent, in England, when an unwise executive en- 
deavoured to enforce in the Ordinance and Statute of Labourers ( 1350- 
61) a return to the pre-plague wages and prices of 1346, and aimed a 
blow in the Statute of 1378 against labour combinations. The villeins 
were driven to desperation by the loss of their recent increase of com- 
fort, and t^ outbreak came, as Froissart saw it from the angle of the 

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In two montha* from May to July, 1429, tb© leadership of llie Maid of Qrleaua 
freed this last bulwark of France from the Eoglisli aod saved ttie Frencli crown 

for Cbftrles VU 

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An elaborately decorated specimen at the Metropolitan 
Museum of Art 

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Wat Tyler, the leader of the English insurgents, was as- 
sassinated by the Mayor of London in the presence of the 
young King Richard II (1381), and his movement collapsed. 
The conununist side of the Hussite movement was a part of 
the same system of disturbance. A little earlier than the 
English outbreak had occurred the French "Jacquerie" 
(1358), in which the French peasants had risen, burnt 
chateaux, and devastated the countryside. A century later 
the same urgency was to sweep Germany into a series of 
bloody Peasant Wars. These began late in the fifteenth cen- 
tury. Economic and religious disturbance mingled in the 
case of Germany even more plainly than in England. One 
conspicuous phase of these German troubles was the Anabap- 
tist outbreak. The sect of the Anabaptists appeared in 
Wittenberg in 1521 under three "prophets," and broke out 
into insurrection in 1525. Between 1532 and 1535 the in- 
siirgents held the town of Miinster in Westphalia, and did 
their utmost to realize their ideals of a religious communism. 
They were besieged by the Bishop of Miinster, and under 
the distresses of the siege a sort of insanity ran rife in the 
town; cannibalism is said to have occurred, and a certain 
John of Leyden seized power, proclaimed himself the suc- 
cessor of King David, and followed that monarches evil 
example by practising polygamy. After the surrender of the 
city the victorious bishop had the Anabaptist leaders tor- 
tured very horribly and executed in the market-place, their 
mutilated bodies being hung in cages from a church tower to 
witness to all the world that decency and order were now re- 
stored in Miinster. . . . 

These upheavals of the common labouring men of the 
Western European countries in the fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries were more serious and sustained than anything 

Court, '*all through the too great comfort of the commonalty." Other 
ingredients which entered into the outbreak were the resentment felt 
by the new working class at the restrictions imposed on its right to 
combine, the objection of the lower clergy to papal taxes, and a frank 
^slike of foreigners and landlords. There was no touch of VSTycliffe's 
iaflnence in the rising. It was at its feeblest in Leicestershire, and 
It murdered one of the only other Liberal churchmen in England. P. G. 
WeUs 6— Vol. XII 

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that had ever happened in history before. The nearest pre- 
vious approach to them were certain communistic Muhanuna- 
dan movements in Persia. There was a peasant revolt in 
Normandy about a. j>. 1000, and there were revolts of peas- 
ants (Bagaudaa) in the later Koman Empire, but these were 
not nearly so formidable. They show a new spirit growing 
in human affairs, a spirit altogether different from the un* 
questioning apathy of the serfs and peasants in the original 
regions of civilization or from the anarchist hopelessness of 
the serf and slave labour of the Eoman capitalists. All these 
early insurrections of the workers that we have mentioned 
were suppressed with much cruelty, but the movement itself 
was never completely stamped out. From that time to this 
there has been a spirit of revolt in the lower levels of the 
pyramid of civilization. Thjere have been phases of insur- 
rection, phases of repression, phases of compromise and com- 
parative pacification; but from that time imtil this, the 
struggle has never wholly ceased. We shall see it flaring out 
during the French Bevolution at the end of the eighteenth 
century, insurgent again in the middle and at the opening of 
the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and achieving 
vast proportions in the world to-day. The socialist move- 
ment of the nineteenth century was only one version of that 
continuing revolt. 

In many countries, in France and Germany and Bussia, 
for example^ this labour movement has assumed at times an 
attitude hostile to Christianity, but there can be little doubt 
that this steady and, on the whole, growing pressure of the 
conmion man in the West against a life of toil and subser- 
vience is closely associated with Christian teaching. The 
church and the Christian missionary may not have intended 
to spread equalitarian doctrines, but behind the church was 
the unquenchable personality of Jesus of Nazareth, and even 
in spite of himself the Christian preacher brought the seeds 
of freedom and responsibility with him, and sooner or later 
they shot up where he had been. 

This steady and growing upheaval of "Labour," its de- 
velopment of a consciousness of itself as a class and of a 

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definite claim upon the world at large, quite as much as the 
presence of schools and universities, quite as much as abun* 
dant printed books and a developing and expanding process 
of scientific research, mark off our present type of civiliza- 
tion, the ^^modern civilization,'' from any pre-existing state 
of human society, and mark it, for all its incidental successes, 
as a thing unfinished and transitory. It is an embryo or it 
is something doomed to die. It may be able to solve this 
complex problem of co-ordinated toil and happiness, and so 
adjust itself to the needs of the human soul, or it may fail 
and end in a catastrophe as the Roman system did. It may 
be the opening phase of some more balanced and satisfying 
order of society, or it may be a system destined to disrup- 
tion and replacement by some differently conceived method 
of hximan association. Like its predecessor, our present 
civilization may be no more than one of those crops farmers 
sow to improve their land by the fixation of nitrogen from 
the air ; it may have grown only that, accumulating certain 
traditions, it may be ploughed into the soil again for better 
things to follow. Such questions as these are the practical 
realities of history, and in all that follows we shall find them 
becoming clearer and mor^ important, until in our last chap- 
ter we i^all end, as all our days and years end, with a re- 
capitulation of our hopes and fears — ^and a note of interroga- 


The development of free discussion in Europe during this 
age of fermentation was enormously stimulated by the ap- 
pearance of printed books. It was the introduction of paper 
from the East that made practicable the long latent method 
of printing. It is still difficult to assign the honour of 
priority in the use of the simple expedient of printing for 
multiplying books. It is a trivial question that has been 
preposterously debated. Apparently the glory, such as it 
is, belongs to Holland. In Haarlem, one Coster was print- 
ing from movable type somewhen before 1446. Gutenberg 

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was printing at Mainz about the same time. There were 
printers in Italy by 1465, and Caxton set up his press in 
Westminister in 1477. But long before this time there had 
been a partial use of printing. Manuscripts as early as the 
twelfth century display initial letters that may have been 
printed from wooden stamps. 

Far more important is the question of the manufacture of 
paper. It is scarcely too much to say that paper made the 
revival of Europe possible. Paper originated in China, 
where its use probably goes back to the second century b. c. 
In 751 the Chinese made an attack upon the Arab Moslems 
in Samarkand ; they were repulsed, and among the prisoners 
taken from them were some skilled paper-makers, from 
whom the art was learnt. Arabic paper manuscripts from 
the ninth century onward still exist. The manufacture 
entered Christendom either through Greece or by the capture 
of Moorish paper-mills during the Christian reconquest of 
Spain. But under the Christian Spanish the product de- 
teriorated sadly. Good paper was not made in Christian 
Europe until near the end of the thirteenth century, and 
then it was Italy which led the world. Only by the four- 
teenth century did the manufacture reach Germany, and 
not until the end of that century was it abundant and cheap 
enough for the printing of books to be a practicable business 
proposition. Thereupon printing followed naturally and 
necessarily, and the intellectual life of the world entered upon 
a new and far more vigorous phase. It ceased to be a little 
trickle from mind to mind ; it became a broad flood, in which 
thousands and presently scores and hundreds of thousands 
of minds participated. 

One immediate result of this achievement of printing was 
the appearance of an abundance of Bibles in the world. 
Another was a cheapening of school-books. The knowledge 
of reading spread swiftly. There was not only a great in- 
crease of books in the world, but the books that were now 
made were plainer to read and so easier to understand. In- 
stead of toiling at a crabbed text and then thinking over its 
significance, readers now could think unimpeded as they read. 

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With this increase in the facility of reading, the reading 
public grew. The book ceased to be a highly decorated toy 
or a scholar's mystery. People began to write books to be 
read as well as looked at by ordinary people. With the 
fourteenth century the real history of the European litera- 
tures begins. We find a rapid replacement of local dialects 
by standard Italian, standard English, standard French, 
standard Spanish, and, later, standard German.^ These 
languages became literary languages in their several coun- 
tries ; they were tried over, polished by use, and made exact 
and vigorous. They became at last as capable of the burden 
of philosophical discussion as Qreek or Latin. 


Here we devote a section to certain elementary state- 
ments about the movement in men's religious ideas during 
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. They are a necessary 
introduction to the political history of the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries that follows. 

We have to distinguish clearly between two entirely differ- 
ent systems of opposition to the Catholic church. They in- 
termingled very confusingly. The church was losing its 
hold upon the consciences of princes and rich and able people ; 
it was also losing the faith and confidence of common people. 
The effect of its decline of spiritual power upon the former 
class, was to make them resent its interference, its moral re- 
strictions, its claims to overlordship, its claim to tax, and to 
dissolve allegiances. They ceased to respect its power and 
its property. This insubordination of princes and rulers 
was going on throughout the Middle Ages but it was only 
when in the sixteenth century the church began to side openly 
with its old antagonist the Emperor, when it offered him its 
support and accepted his help in its campaign against heresy, 
that princes began to think seriously of breaking away from 

1 Standard Italian dates from Dante (1300) ; standard English from 
Chaucer and \V|veIiffe (13S0); standard German from Luther (1520). 

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the Soman communion and setting up fragments of a church. 
And they would never have done so if they had not per- 
ceived that the hold of the church upon the masses of m&nr 
kind had relaxed. 

The revolt of the princes was essentially an irreligious 
revolt against the world-rule of the church. The Emperor 
Frederick 11^ with his epistles to his fellow princes, 
was its forerunner. The revolt of the people against 
the church, on the other hand^ was as essentially religious. 
They objected not to the church's power, but to its weaknesses. 
They wanted a deeply righteous and fearless church to help 
them and organize them against the wickedness of power- 
ful men. Their movements against the church, within it 
and without, were movements not for release from a religious 
control, but for a fuller and more abundant religious con- 
trol. They did not want less religious control, but more — 
but they wanted to be assured that it was religious. They 
objected to the Pope not because he was the religious head 
of the world, but because he was not; because he was a 
wealthy earthly prince when he ought to have been their 
spiritual leader. 

The contest in Europe from the fourteenth century onward 
therefore was a three-cornered contest. The princes wanted 
to use the popular forces against the Pope, but not to let 
those forces grow too powerful for their own power and glory. 
For a long time the church went from prince to prince for 
an ally without realizing that the lost ally it needed to re- 
cover was popular veneration. 

Because of this triple aspect of the mental and moral con- 
flicts that were going on in the fourteenth and fifteenth and 
sixteenth centuries, the series of ensuing changes, those 
changes that are known collectively in history as the Refor- 
mation, took on a threefold aspect. There was the Refor- 
mation according to the princes, who wanted to stop the flow 
of money to Rome and to seize the moral authority, the edu- 
cational power, and the material possessions of the church 
within their dominions. There was the Reformation ac- 
cording to the people, who sought to make Christianity a 

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power against unrighteousness, and particularly against the 
unrighteousness of the rich and powerful. And finally there 
was the Reformation within the church, of which St. Erancis 
of Assisi was the precursor, which sought to restore the good- 
ness of the church and, through its goodness, to restore its 

The Reformation according to the princes took the form 
of a replacement of the Pope by the prince as the head of the 
religion and the controller of the consciences of his people. 
The princes had no idea and no intention of letting free the 
judgments of their subjects more particularly with the 
object-lessons of the Hussites and the Anabaptists before 
their eyes ; they sought to establish national churches depen- 
dent upon the throne. As England, Scotland, Sweden, 
Norway, Denmark, North Germany, and Bohemia broke 
away from the Roman conununion, the princes and other 
ministers showed the utmost solicitude to keep the movement 
well under control. Just as much reformation as would 
sever the link with Rome they permitted ; anything beyond 
that, any dangerous break towards the primitive teachings 
of Jesus or the crude direct interpretation of the Bible, they 
resisted. The Established Church of England is one of 
the most typical and successful of the resulting compromises. 
It is still sacramental and sacerdotal; but its organization 
centres in the Court and the Lord Chancellor, and though 
subversive views may, and do, break out in the lower and 
less prosperous ranks of its priesthood, it is impossible for 
them to struggle up to any position of influence and author- 

The Reformation according to the common man was very 
different in spirit from the Princely Reformation. We have 
already told something of the popular attempts at Reforma- 
tion in Bohemia and Germany. The wide spiritual up- 
heavals of the time were at once more honest, more confused, 
more enduring, and less immediately successful than the re- 
forms of the princes. Very few religious-spirited men had 
the daring to break away or the effrontery to confess tfiai 
Jhey had broken away from all authoritative teaching, and 

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that they were now relying entirely upon their own minds, 
and consciences. That required a very high intellectual 
courage. The general drift of the common man in this pe- 
riod in Europe was to set up his new acquisition, the Bible, 
as a counter authority to the church. This was particularly 
the case with the great leader of German Protestantism, 
Martin Luther (1483-1546). All over Germany, and in- 
deed all over Western Europe, there were now men spelling 
over the black-letter pages of the newly translated and printed 
Bible, over the Book of Leviticus and the Song of Solomon 
and the Revelation of St. John the Divine — strange and per- 
plexing books — quite as much as over the simple and in- 
spiring record of Jesus in the Gospels. Naturally they pro- 
duced strange views and grotesque interpretations. It is sur- 
prising that they were not stranger and grotesquer. But the 
human reason is an obstinate filing, and will criticize and 
select in spite of its own resolutions. The bulk of these new 
Bible students took what their consciences approved from the 
Bible and ignored its riddles and contradictions. All over 
Europe, wherever the new Protestant churches of the 
princes were set up, a living and very active residuum of 
Protestants remained who declined to have their religion 
made over for them in this fashion. These were the Noncon- 
formists, a medley of sects having nothing in common but 
their resistance to authoritative religion, whether of the Pope 
or the State.^ Most, but not all of these Nonconformists 
held to the Bible as a divinely inspired and authoritative 
guide. This was a strategic rather than an abiding position, 
and the modem drift of Nonconformity had been onward 
away from this original Bibliolatry towards a mitigated and 
sentimentalized recognition of the bare teachings of Jesus 
of Nazareth. Beyond the range of Nonconformity, beyond 
the range of professed Christianity at all, there is also now a 
great and growing mass of equalitarian belief and altruistic 
impulse in the modem civilizations, which certainly owes, as 
we have already asserted, its spirit to Christianity, which 

iBut Nonoonfon&ity was stamped out in (xermany. See | 11b of 
this chapter. 

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began to appear in Europe as the church lost its grip upon 
the general mind. 

Let us say a word now of the third phase of the Keforma- 
tion process, the Eeformation within the church. This was 
already beginning in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries 
with the appearance of the Black and Grey Friars (Chap, 
xxxiii., § 13). In the sixteenth century, and when it was 
most needed, came a fresh impetus of the same kind. .This 
was the foundation of the 
Society of Jesuits by Indgo 
Lopez de Recalde, better 
known to the world of to- 
day as Saint Ignatius of 

Ignatius began his 
career as a very tough and 
gallant young Spaniard. 
He was clever and dex- 
terous and inspired by a 
passion for pluck, hardi- 
hood, and rather showy 
glory. His love affairs 
were free and picturesque. 
In 1521 the French took 
the town of Pampeluna in Spain from the Emperoi* 
Charles V, and Ignatius was one of the defenders. His 
legs were smashed by a cannon-ball, and he was taken 
prisoner. One leg was badly set and had to be broken 
again, and these painful and complex operations nearly cost 
him his life. He received the last sacraments. In the night, 
thereafter, he began to mend, and presently he was convales- 
cent and facing the prospect of a life in which he would 
perhaps always be a cripple. His thoughts turned to the 
adventure of religion. Sometimes he would think of a cer- 
tain great lady, and how, in spite of his broken state, he 
might yet win her admiration by some amazing deed; and 
sometimes he would think of being in some especial and per- 
sonal way the Knight of Christ. In the midst of these con- 


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fnsions, one night as he lay awake, he tells lis, a new great 
lady claimed his attention; he had a vision of the Blessed 
Virgin Mary carrying the Infant Christ in her arms. "Im- 
mediately a loathing seized him for the former deeds of 
his life/' He resolved to give up all further thoughts of 
earthly women, and to lead a life of absolute chastity and 
devotion to the Mother of God. He projected great pilgrim- 
ages and a monastic life. 

His final method of taking his vows marks him the country- 
man of Don Quixote. He had regained his strength, and he 
was riding out into the world rather aimlessly, a penniless 
soldier of fortune with little but his arms and the mule on 
which he rode, when he fell into company with a Moor. 
They went on together and talked, and presently disputed 
about religion. The Moor was the better educated man ; he 
had the best of the argument, he said offensive things about 
the Virgin Mary that were difficult to answer, and he parted 
triumphantly from Ignatius. The young Knight of our 
Lady was boiling with shame and indignation. He hesi- 
tated whether he should go after the Moor and kill him or 
pursue the pilgrimage he had in mind. At a fork in the 
road he left things to his mule, which spared the Moor. He 
came to the Benedictine Abbey of Manresa near Montserrat, 
and here he imitated that peerless hero of the medisBval ro- 
mance, Amadis de Gaul, and kept an all'^night vigil before 
the Altar of the Blessed Virgin. He presented his mule 
to the abbey, he gave his worldly clothes to a beggar, he laid 
his sword and dagger upon the -altar, and clothed himself in 
a rough sackcloth garment and hempen shoes. He then 
took himself to a neighbouring hospice and gave himself up 
to scourgings and austerities. For a whole week he fasted 
absolutely. Thence he went on a pilgrimage to the Holy 

For some years he wandered, consumed with the idea of 
founding a new order of religious Knighthood, but not 
knowing clearly how to set about this enterprise. He be- 
came more and more aware of his own illiteracy, and the In- 
quisition, which was beginning to take an interest in his pro- 
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ceedijigSy forbade him to attempt to teach others until he 
had spent at least four years in study. So much cruelty 
and intolerance is laid at the door of the Inquisition that it 
is pleasant to record that in its handling of this heady^ im- 
aginative young enthusiast it showed itself both sympathetic 
and sane. It recognized his vigour and possible uses ; it saw 
the dangers of his ignorance. He studied at Salamanca and 
FariSy among other places. He was ordained a priest in 
1538, and a year later his long-dreamt-of order was founded 
under the military title of the "Society of Jesus.'' Like the 
Salvation Army of modem England, it made the most direct 
attempt to bring the generous tradition of military organiza- 
tion and discipline to the service of religion. 

This Ignatius of Loyola who foimded the order of Jesuits 
was a man of forty-seven ; he was a very different man, much 
wiser and steadier, than the rather absurd young man who 
had aped Amadis de Gaul and kept vigil in the abbey of 
Manresa; and the missionary and educational organization 
he now created and placed at the disposal of the Pope was 
one of the most powerful instruments the church had ever 
handled. These men gave themselves freely and wholly to 
be used by the church. It was the Order of the Jesuits 
which carried Christianity to China again after the down* 
fall of the Ming Dynasty, and Jesuits were the chief Chris- 
tian missionaries in India and North America. To their 
civilizing work among the Indians in South America we 
shall presently allude. But their main achievement lay in 
raising the standard of Catholic education. Their schools 
became and remained for a long time the best schools in 
Christendom. Says Lord Verulam (Sir Francis Bacon) : 
**As for the pedagogic part . . . consult the schools of the 
Jesuits, for nothing better has been put in practice." They 
raised the level of intelligence, they quickened the conscience 
of all Catholic Europe, they stimulated Protestant Europe 
to competitive educational efforts. . . . Some day it may be 
* we shall see a new order of Jesuits, vowed not to the service 
of the Pope, but to the service of mankind. 
And concurrently with this great wave of educational 

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effort, the tone and quality of the church was also firreatly 
improved by the clarification of doctrine and the reforms in 
organization and discipline that were made by the Council 
of Trent This council met intermittently either at Trent 
or Bologna between the years 1545 and 1563, and its work 
was at least as important as the energy of the Jesuits in 
arresting the crimes and blunders that were causing state 
after state to fall away from the Eoman communion. The 
change wrought by the Keformation within the Church of 
Eome was as great as the change wrought in the Protestant 
churches that detached themselves from the mother body. 
There are henceforth no more open scandals or schisms to 
record. But if anything, there has been an intensification 
of doctrinal narrowness, and such phases of imaginative 
vigour as are represented by Gregory the Great, or by the 
group of Popes associated with Gregory VII and Urban II, 
or by the group that began with Innocent III, no longer 
enliven the sober and pedestrian narrative. The world war 
of 1914-1918 was a unique opportunity for the Papacy; the 
occasion was manifest for some clear strong voice proclaim- 
ing the universal obligation to righteousness, the brother- 
hood of men, the claims of human welfare over patriotic 
passion. No such moral lead was given. The Papacy 
seemed to be balancing its traditional reliance upon the 
faithful Habsburgs against its quarrel with republican 

§ 6 

The reader must not suppose that the destructive criticism 
of the Catholic Church and of Catholic Christianity, and 
the printing and study of the Bible, were the only or even 
the most important of the intellectual activities of the four- 
teenth and fifteenth centuries. That was merely the popu- 
lar and most conspicuous, aspect of the intellectual revival 
of the time. Behind this conspicuous and popular awaken- 
ing to thought and discussion, other less immediately strik- 
ing but ultimately more important mental developments 

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were in progress. Of the trend of these developments we 
mnst now give some brief indications. They had began 
long before books were printed, but it was printing that re- 
leased them from obscurity. 

We have already told something of the first appearance 
of the free intelligence, the spirit of inquiry and plain 
statement, in human affairs. One name is central in the 
record of that first attempt at systematic knowledge, the 
name of Aristotle. We have noted also the brief phase of 
scientific work at Alexandria. From that time onward the 
complicated economic and political and religious conflicts of 
Europe and Western Asia impeded further intellectual prog- 
ress. These regions, as we have seen, fell for long ages 
under the sway of the Oriental type of monarchy and of 
Oriental religious traditions. Eome tried and abandoned 
a slave-system of industry. The first great capitalistic sys- 
tem developed and fell into chaos through its own inherent 
rottenness. Europe relapsed into universal insecurity. The 
Semite rose against the Aryan, and replaced Hellenic civili- 
zation throughout Western Asia and Egypt by an Arabic 
culture. All Western Asia and half of Europe fell under 
Mongolian rule. It is only in the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries that we find the Nordic intelligence struggling 
through again to expression. 

We then find in the growing universities of Paris, Ox- 
ford, and Bologna an increasing amount of philosophical 
discussion going on. In form it is chiefly a discussion of 
logical questions. As the basis of this discussion we find 
part of the teachings of Aristotle, not the whole mass of 
writings he left behind him, but his logic only. Later on 
his work became better known through the Latin translations 
of the Arabic edition annotated by Averroes. Except for 
these translations of Aristotle, and they were abominably 
bad translations, very little of the Greek philosophical lit- 
erature was read in Western Europe imtil the fifteenth 
century. The creative Plato— as distinguished from the 
scientific Aristotle — ^was almost unknown. Europe had the 
Greek criticism without the Greek impulse. Some neo- 

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Platonic writers were known, but neo-PIatonism had much 
the same relation to Plato that Christian Science has to 

It has been the practice of recent writers to decry the 
philosophical discussion of the mediaeval "schoolmen'^ as ter 
dious and futile. It was nothing of the sort. It had to re- 
tain a severely technical form because the dignitaries of the 
church, ignorant and intolerant, were on the watch for 
heresy. It lacked the sweet clearness, therefore, of fearless 
thought. It often hinted what it dared not say. But it 
dealt with fundamentally important things, it was a long 
and necessary struggle to clear up and correct certain in- 
herent defects of the human mind, and many people to-day 
blunder dangerously through their neglect of the issues the 
schoolmen discussed. 

There is a natural tendency in the human mind to exag- 
gerate the differences and resemblances upon which classifi- 
cation is based, to suppose that things called by different 
names are altogether different, and that things called by the 
same name are practically identical. This tendency to ex- 
aggerate classification produces a thousand evils and injus- 
tices. In the sphere of race or nationality, for example, a 
^^uropean'^ will often treat an ^^Asiatic'^ almost as if he 
were a different animal, while he will be disposed to regard 
another "European" as necessarily as virtuous and charm- 
ing as himself. He will, as a matter of course, take sides 
with Europeans against Asiatics. But, as the reader of 
this history must realize, there is no such difference as the 
opposition of these names implies. It is a phantom differ- 
ence created by two names. ... 

The main mediaeval controversy was between the 
"Eealists'^ and the "Nominalists," and it is necessary to 
warn the reader that the word "Realist" in mediaeval dis- 
cussion has a meaning almost diametrically opposed to 
^^ealist" as it is used in the jargon of modem criticism.. 
The modem "Realist" is one who insists on materialist de- 
tails ; the mediaeval "Realist" was far nearer what nowadays 

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we should call an Idealist, and his contempt for incidental 
detail was profound. The Realists outdid the vulgar ten- 
dency to exaggerate the significance of class. They held 
that there was something in a name, in a common noun that 
is, that was essentially real. For example, they held there 
was a typical "European,'* an ideal European, who was far 
more real than any individual European. Every European 
was, as it were, a failure, a departure, a flawed specimen of 
this profounder reality. On the other hand the Nominalist 
held that the only realities in the case were the individual 
Europeans, that the name "European" was merely a name 
and nothing more than a name applied to all these instances. 
Nothing is quite so difficult as the compression of philo- 
sophical controversies, which are by their nature voluminous 
and various and tinted by the mental colours of a variety of 
minds. With the difference of Realist and Nominalist 
stated baldly, as we have stated it here, the modern reader 
unaccustomed to philosophical discussion may be disposed to 
leap at once to the side of the Nominalist. But the matter 
is not so simple that it can be covered by one instance, and 
here we have purposely chosen an extreme instance. Names 
and classifications differ in their value and reality. While 
it is absurd to suppose that there can be much depth of class 
difference between men called Thomas and men called 
William, or that there is an ideal and quintessential Thomas 
or William, yet on the other hand there may be much pro- 
founder differences between a white man and a Hottentot, 
and still more between Homo sapiens and Homo neander- 
thalensis. While again the distinction between the class of 
pets and the class of useful animals is dependent upon very 
slight differences of habit and application, the difference of 
a cat and dog is so profound that the microscope can trace 
it in a drop of blood or a single hair. When this aspect of 
the question is considered, it becomes understandable how 
Nommalism had ultimately to abandon the idea that names 
were as insignificant as labels, and how, out of a revised and 
amended Nominalism, there grew up that systematic at- 

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tempt to find the truel — the most significant and fruitful — 
classification of things and substances which is called 
Scientific Research. 

And it will be almost as evident that while the tendency 
of Realism, which is the natural tendency of every un- 
tutored mind, was towards dogma, harsh divisions, harsh 
judgments, and uncompromising attitudes, the tendency of 
earlier and later Nominalism was towards qualified state- 
ments, towards an examination of individual instances, and 
towards inquiry and experiment and scepticism. 

So while in the market-place and the ways of the common 
life men were questioning the morals and righteousness of 
the clergy, the good faith and propriety of their celibacy, and 
the justice of papal taxation ; while in theological circles their 
minds were set upon the question of transubstantiation, the 
question of the divinity or not of the bread and wine in the 
mass, in studies and lecture-rooms a wider-reaching criticism 
of the methods of ordinary Catholic teaching was in progress. 
We cannot attempt here to gauge the significance in this pro- 
cess of such names as Peter Abelard (1079-1142), Albertus 
Magnus (1193-1280), and Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). 
These men sought to reconstruct Catholicism on a sounder 
system of reasoning. They turned towards Nominalism. 
Chief among their critics and successors were Dims Scotus 
;(?-1308), an Oxford Franciscan and, to judge by his 
' sedulous thought and deliberate subtleties, a Scotchman, and 
Occam, an Englishman ( ? -1347). Both these latter like 
Averroes made a definite distinction between theological and 
philosophical truth ; they placed theology on a pinnacle, but 
they placed it where it could no longer obstruct research; 
Duns Scotus declared that it was impossible to prove by 
reasoning the existence of God or of the Trinity or the credi- 
bility of the Act of Creation ; Occam was still more insistent 
upon this separation — ^which manifestly released scientific 
inquiry from ^dogmatic control. A later generation, benefit- 
ing by the freedoms towards which these pioneers worked, and 
knowing not the sources of its freedom, had the ingratitude 
to use the name of Scotus as a term for stupidity, and so we 

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have our English word "Dunce/* Says Professor Pringle 
Pattison/ "Occam, who is still a Scholastic, gives us the 
Scholastic justification of the spirit which had already taken 
hold upon Eoger Bacon, and which was to enter upon its 
rights in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.'* 

Standing apart hy himself because of his distinctive 
genius is this Eoger Bacon (about 1210 to about 1293), who 
was also English. He was a Franciscan of Oxford, and a 
very typical Englishman indeed, irritable, hasty, honest, and 
shrewd. He was two centuries ahead of his world. Says 
H. O. Taylor of him,^ 

"The career of Bacon was an intellectual tragedy, con- 
forming to the old principles of tragic art: that the hero's 
character shall be large and noble, but not flawless, inas- 
much as the fatal consummation must issue from character, 
and not happen through chance. He died an old man, as 
in his youth, so in his age, a devotee of tangible knowledge. 
His pursuit of a knowledge which was not altogether learning 
had been obstructed by the Order of which he was an un- 
happy and rebellious member; quite as fatally his achieve- 
ment was deformed from within by the principles which he 
accepted from his time. But he was responsible for his ac- 
ceptance of current opinions ; and as his views roused the dis- 
trust of his brother Friars, his intractable temper drew their 
hostility on his head. Persuasiveness and tact were needed 
by one who would impress such novel views as his upon his 
fellows, or, in the thirteenth century, escape persecution for 
their divulgence. Bacon attacked d6ad and living worthies, 
tactlessly, fatuously, and unfairly. Of his life scarcely any- 
thing is known, save from his allusions to himself and others ; 
and these are insufiicient for the construction of even a slight 
consecutive narrative. Born; studied at Oxford; went to 
Paris, studied, experimented; is at Oxford again, and a 
Franciscan; studies, teaches, becomes suspect to his Order, 
is sent back to Paris, kept under surveillance, receives a letter 
from the Pope, writes, writes, writes — ^his three best-known 

^ EnoyclopcBdia Britannica, article "Scholasticism.'* 
a The Medieval Mind, by Henry Osborn Taylor, 

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works; is again in trouble^ confined for many years, re- 
leased^ and dead, so very dead, body and frame alike, until 
partly unearthed after five centuries." 

The bulk of these *Hhree best-known works" is a hotly 
phrased and sometimes quite abusive, but entirely just at- 
tack on the ignorance of the times, combined with a wealth 
of suggestions for the increase of knowledge. In his pas- 
sionate insistence upon the need of experiment and of collect- 
ing knowledge, the spirit of Aristotle lives again in him. 
"Experiment, experiment," that is the burthen of Roger 
Bacon. Yet of Aristotle himself Roger Bacon fell foul. He 
fell foul of him because men, instead of facing facts boldly, 
sat in rooms and pored over the bad Latin translations 
which were then all that was available of the master. "If I 
had my way," he wrote, in his intemperate fashion, "I should 
bum all the books of Aristotle, for the study of them can 
only lead to a loss of time, produce error, and increase 
ignorance," a sentiment that Aristotle would probably have 
echoed could he have returned to a world in which his works 
were not so much read as worshipped — and that, as Roger 
Bacon showed, in these most abominable translations. 

Throughout his books, a little disguised by the necessity 
of seeming to square it all with orthodoxy for fear of the 
prison and worse, Roger Bacon shouted to mankind, ^^Cease 
to be ruled by dogmas and authorities; looh at the world 1^' 
Four chief sources of ignorance he denounced; respect for 
authority, custom, the sense of the ignorant crowd, and the 
vain proud unteachableness of our dispositions. Overcome 
but these, and a world of power would open to men : — 

"Machines for navigating are possible without rowers, so 
that great ships suited to river or ocean, guided by one man, 
may be borne with greater speed than if they were full of 
men. Likewise cars may be made so that without a draught 
animal they may be moved cum impetu incBstimahili, as we 
deem the scythed chariots to have been from which antiquity 
fought. And flying machines are possible, so that a man 
may sit in the middle turning some device by which artificial 
wings may beat the air in the manner of a flying bird." 

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Occam, Roger Bacon, these are the early precursors of a 
great movement in Europe away from ^^ealism" towards 
reality. For a time the older influences fought against the 
naturalism of the new Nominalists. In 1839 Occam's books 
were put under a ban and Nominalism solemnly con- 
demned. 'As late as 1473 an attempt belated and unsuc- 
cessful, was made to bind teachers of Paris by an oath to 
teach Realism. It was only in the sixteenth century with 
the printing of books and increase of intelligence that the 
movement from absolutism towards experiment became mas- 
sive, and that one investigator began to co-operate with 

Throughout the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries ex- 
perimenting with material things was on the increase, items 
of knowledge were being won by men, but there was no inter- 
related advance. The work was done in a detached, furtive, 
and inglorious manner. A tradition of isolated investigation 
came into Europe from the Arabs, and a considerable amount 
of private and secretive research was carried on by the al- 
chemists, for whom modem writers are a little too apt with 
their contempt. These alchemists were in close touch with 
the glass and metal workers and with the herbalists and 
medicine-makers of the times ; they pried into many secrets 
of nature, but they were obsessed by "practical" ideas ; they 
sought not knowledge, but power; they wanted to find out 
how to manufacture gold from cheaper materials, how to 
make men immortal by the elixir of life, and such-like vulgar 
dreams. Incidently in their researches they learnt much 
about poisons, dyes, metallurgy, and the like ; they discovered 
various refractory substances, and worked their way towards 
clear glass and so to lenses and optical instruments ; but as 
scientific men tell us continually, and as ^^practicaV' men 
still refuse to learn, it is only when knowledge is sought for 
her own sake that she gives rich and unexpected gifts in any 
abundance to her servants. The world of to-day is still 
much more disposed to spend money on technical research 
than on pure science. Half the men in our scientific labora- 
tories still dream of patents and secret processes. ,We live 

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to-day largely in the age of alchemists, for all our sneers at 
their memory. The ^T^usiness man" of to-day still thinks of 
research as a sort of alchemy. 

Closely associated with the alchemists were the astrologers, 
who were also a "practical'' race. They studied the stars — 
to tell fortunes. They lacked that broader faith and under- 
standing which induces men simply to study the stars. 

Not until the fifteenth century did the ideas which Eoger 
Bacon first expressed begin to produce their first-fruits in 
new knowledge and a widening outlook. Then suddenly, as 
the sixteenth century dawned, and as the world recovered 
from the storm of social trouble that had followed the pesti- 
lences of the fourteenth century, Western Europe broke out 
into a galaxy of names that outshine the utmost scientific 
reputations of the best age of Greece. Nearly every nation 
contributed, the reader will note, for science knows no 

One of the earliest and most splendid in this constellation 
is the Florentine, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), a man 
with an almost miraculous vision for reality. He was a 
naturalist, an anatomist, an engineer, as well as a very great 
artist. He was the first modem to realize the true nature 
of fossils,^ he made note-books of observations that still amaze 
us, he was convinced of the practicability of mechanical 
flight. Another great name is that of Copernicus, a Pole 
(1473-1543), who made the first clear analysis of the move- 
ments of the heavenly bodies and showed that the earth moves 
round the sun. Tycho Brahe (1546-1601), a Dane work- 
ing at the university of Prague, rejected this latter belief, but 
his observations of celestial movements were of the utmost 
value to his successors, and especially to the Gterman, Kepler 
(1571-1630). Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was the founder 
of the science of dynamics. Before his time it was believed 
that a weight a hundred times greater than another 
weight would fall a hundred times as fast. Galileo denied 
this. Instead of arguing about it like a scholar and a gentle- ' 

1 op. Chap, ii, § 1, towards the end. 

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man, he put it to the coarse test of experiment bj dropping 
two unequal weights from an upper gallery of ihe leaning 
tower of Pisa — to the horror of all erudite men. He made 
what was almost the first telescope, and he developed the 
astronomical views of Copernicus ; but the church, still strug- 
gling gallantly against the light, decided that to believe that 
the earth was smaller and inferior to the sun made man and 
Christianity of no account, and diminished the importance 
of the Pope ; so Galileo, under threats of dire punishment, 
when he was an old man of sixty-nine, was made to recant 
this view and put the earth back in its place as the immov- 
able centre of the universe. He knelt before ten cardinals in 
scarlet, an assembly august enough to overawe truth itself, 
while he amended the creation he had disarranged. The 
story has it that as he rose from his knees, after repeating 
his recantation, he muttered, '^Eppur si muove" — "it moves 

Newton (1642-1727) was born in the year of Galileo's 
death. By his discovery of the law of gravitation he com- 
pleted the clear vision of the starry universe that we have to- 
day. But Newton carries us into the eighteenth century. 
He carries us too far for the present chapter. Among the 
earlier names, that of Dr. Gilbert (1540-1603), of Col- 
chester, is pre-eminent. Roger Bacon had preached experi- 
ment, Gilbert was one of the first to practise it. There can 
be little doubt that his work, which was chiefly upon magnet- 
ism, helped to form the ideas of Francis Bacon, Lord 
Verulam (1561-1626), Lord Chancellor to James I of Eng- 
land. This Francis Bacon has been called the "Father of 
Experimental Philosophy," but of his share in the develop- 
ment of scientific work far too much has been made.^ He 
was, says Sir R. A. Gregory, "not the founder but the 
apostle" of the scientific method. His greatest service to 
science was a fantastic book. The New Atlantis. "In his 
New Atlantis, Francis Bacon planned in somewhat fanciful 
language a palace of invention, a great temple of science, 

1 See Gregoiy's Discovery, chap. vi. 

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where the pursuit of knowledge in all its branches was to 
be organized on principles of the highest efficiency.'* 

From this Utopian dream arose the Royal Society of 
London, whieh received a Eoyal Charter from Charles II 
of England in 1662. The essential use and virtue of this 
society was and is pvhlication. Its formation marks a 
definite step from isolated inquiry towards co-operative 
work, from the secret and solitary investigations of the al- 
chemists to the frank report and open discussion which is 
the life of the modem scientific process. For the true scien- 
tific method is this : to trust no statements without verifica- 
tion, to test all things as rigorously as possible, to keep no 
secrets, to attempt no monopolies, to give out one's best 
modestly and plainly, serving no other end but knowledge. 

The long-slumbering science of anatomy was revived by 
Harvey (1578-1657), who demonstrated the circulation of 
the blood. . . . Presently the Dutchman, Leeuwenhoek 
(1632-1723) brought the first crude microscope to bear 
upon the hidden minuti» of life. 

These are but some of the brightest stars amidst that in- 
creasing multitude of men who have from the fifteenth 
century to our own time, with more and more collective 
energy and vigour, lit up our vision of the universe, and inr 
creased our power over the conditions of our lives, 


We have dealt thus fully with the recrudescence of scien- 
tific studies in the Middle Ages because of its ultimate im- 
portance in human affairs. In the long run, Eoger Bacon 
is of more significance to mankind than any monarch of his 
time. But the contemporary world, for the most part, 
knew nothing of this smouldering activity in studies and 
lecture-rooms and alchemist^s laboratories Aat was presently 
to alter all the conditions of life. The church did indeed 
take notice of what was afoot, but only because of the disre- 
gard of her conclusive decisions. She had decided that the 
earth was the very centre of God's creation, and that the Pope 

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was the divinely appointed ruler of the earth. Men's ideas 
on these essential points, she insisted, must not be 
disturbed by any contrary teaching. So soon, how^ 
ever, as she had compelled Galileo to say that the world did 
not move she was satisfied ; she does not seem to have realized 
bow ominous it was for her that, after all, the earth did 

Very great social as well as intellectual developments were 
in progress in Western Europe throughout this period of the 
later Middle Ages. But the human mind apprehends events 
far more vividly than changes ; and men for the most party 
then as now, kept on in their own traditions in spite of the 
shifting scene about them. 

In an outline such as this it is impossible to crowd in the 
clustering events of history that do not clearly show the 
main process of human development, however bright and pic- 
turesque they may be. We have to record the steady growth 
of towns and cities, the reviving power of trade and money, 
the gradual re-establishment of law and custom, the extension 
of security, the supersession of private warfare that went 
on in Western Europe in the period between the first crusade 
and the sixteenth century. Of much that looms large in our 
national histories we cannot tell anything. We have no 
space for the story of the repeated attempts of the English 
kings to conquer Scotland and set themselves up as Kings of 
France, nor of how the Norman English established them- 
selves insecurely in Ireland, (twelfth century) and how 
Wales was linked to the English crown (1282). All through 
the Middle Ages the struggle of England wi^ Scotland and 
France was in progress; there were times when it seemed 
that Scotland was finally subjugated and when the English 
king held far more land in France than its titular sovereign. 
In 3ie English histories this struggle with France is too often 
represented as a singlehanded and almost successful attempt 
to conquer France. In reality it was a joint enterprise 
undertaken in concert first with the Flemings and Bavarians 
and afterwards with the powerful French vassal state of 
Burgundy to conquer and divide the patrimony of Hugh 

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Capet. Of the English rout by the Scotch at Bannockbum 
(1314), and of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, the 
Scottish national heroes, of the battles of Crecy (1346) and 
Poitiers (1356) and Agincourt (1415) in France, which 
shine like stars in the English imagination, little battles in. 
which sturdy bowmen through some sunny hours made a 
great havoc among French knights in armour, of the Black 
Prince and Henry V of England, and of how a peasant girl, 
Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans, drove the English out of 
her country again (1429-1430), this history relates nothing. 
For every country has such cherished national events. They 
are the ornamental tapestry of history, and no part of the 
building. Rajputana or Poland, Russia, Spain, Persia, and 
China can all match or outdo the utmost romance of 
western Europe, with equally adventurous knights and 
equally valiant princesses and equally stout fights against the 
odds. Nor can we tell how Louis XI of France (1461- 
1483), the son of Joan of Arc's Charles VII, brought Bur- 
gundy to heel and laid the foundations of a centralized 
French monarchy. It signifies more that in the thirteenth 
and fourteenth centuries, gunpowder, that Mongol gift, came 
to Europe so that the kings (Louis XI included) and the 
law, relying upon the support of the growing towns, were able 
to batter down the castles of the half-independent robber 
knights and barons of the earlier Middle Ages and consoli- 
date a more centralized power. The fighting nobles and 
knights of the barbaric period disappear slowly from history 
during these centuries; the Crusades consumed them, suci 
dynastic wars as the English Wars of the Roses killed them 
off, the arrows from the English longbow pierced them and 
stuck out a yard behind, infantry so armed swept them from 
the stricken field; they became reconciled to trade and 
changed their nature. They disappeared in everything but 
a titular sense from the west and south of Europe before they 
disappeared from Germany. The knight in Germany re- 
mained a professional fighting man into the sixteenth 

Between the eleventh and the fifteenth centuries in western 

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Europe, and particularly in France and England, there 
sprang up like flowers a multitude o£ very distinctive and 
beautiful buildings, cathedrals, abbeys and the like, the 
Gothic architecture. This lovely efflorescence marks the ap- 
pearance of a body of craftsmen closely linked in its b^io- 
nings to the church. In Italy and Spain too the world was 
beginning to build freely and beautifully again. At first 
it was the wealth of the church that provided most of these 
buildings ; then kings and merchants also began to build. 

From the twelfth century onward, with the increase of 
trade, there was a great revival of town life throughout 
Europe. Prominent among these towns were Venice, with 
its dependents Ragusa and Corfu, Genoa, Verona, Bologna^ 
Pisa, Florence, Naples, Milan, Marseilles, Lisbon, Bar- 
celona, Narbonne, Tours, Orleans, Bordeaux, Paris, Ghent, 
Bruges, Boulogne, London, Oxford, Cambridge, Southamp- 
ton, Dover, Antwerp, Hamburg, Bremen, Cologne, Mayence, 
Nuremberg, Munidi, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Breslau, Stettin, 
Dantzig, Konigsberg, Riga, Pskof, Novgorod, Wisby, and 

"A West German town, between 1400 and 1500,* embodied 
all the achievements of progress at that time, although from 
a modem standpoint much seems wanting. . . . The streets 
were mostly narrow and irregularly built, the houses chiefly 
of wood, while almost every burgher kept his cattle in the 
house, and the herd of swine which was driven every morn- 
ing by the town herdsman to the pasture-ground formed an in- 
evitable part of city life.* In Frankfort-on-Main it was un- 
lawful after 1481 to keep swine in the Altstadt, but in the 
Keustadt and in Sachsenhausen this custom remained as a 
matter of course. It was only in 1646, after a corresponding 
attempt in 1556 had failed, that the swine-pens in the in- 
ner town were pulled down at Leipzig. The rich burghers, 
who occasionally took part in the great trading companies, 
were conspicuously wealthy landowners, and had extensiv© 

1 From Dr. Tille in Helmolt's History of the World. 

2 Charles Dickens in his American Notes mentions swine in Broad* 
way. New York, in the middle nineteenth century. 

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courtyards with large bams inside the town walls. Tho 
most opulent of them owned those splendid patrician houses 
which we still admire even to-day. But even in the older 
towns most houses of the fifteenth century have disappeared ; 
only here and there a building with open timber-work and 
overhanging storeys^ as in Bacharach or Miltenburg, reminds 
us of the style of architecture then customary in the houses 
of burghers. The great bulk of the inferior population, who 
lived on mendicancy, or got a livelihood by the exercise of 
the inferior industries, inhabited squalid hovels outside the 
town; the town wall was often the only support for these 
wretched buildings. The internal fittings of ihe houses, even 
amongst the wealthy population, were very defective accord- 
ing to modern ideas ; the Gothic style was as little suitable for 
the petty details of objects of luxury as it was splendidly 
adapted for the building of churches and town halls. The 
influence of the Eenaissance added much to the comfort of 
the house. 

"The fourteenth and fifteenth century saw the building of 
numerous Gothic town churches and town halls throughout 
Europe which stiD in many cases serve their original purpose. 
The power and prosperity of the towns find their best ex- 
pression in these and in Ae fortifications, with their strong 
towers and gateways. Every picture of a town of the six- 
teenth or later centuries shows conspicuously these latter 
erections for the protection and honour of the town. The 
town did many things which in our time are done by the 
State. Social problems were taken up by town administra- 
tion or the corresponding municipal organization. The 
regulation of trade was the concern of the guilds in agree- 
ment with the council, the ,care of the poor belonged 
to the church, while the council looked after the protection of 
the town walls and the very necessary fire brigades. The 
council, mindful of its social duties, superintended the filling 
of the municipal granaries, in order to have supplies in years 
of scarcity. Such store-houses were erected in almost every 
town during the fifteenth century. Tariffs of prices for the 
sale of all wares, high enough to enable every artisan to 

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make a good livelihood, and to give the purchaser a guarantee 
for the quality of the wares, were maintained. The town 
was also the chief capitalist ; as a seller of annuities on lives 
and inheritances it was a banker and enjoyed unlimited 
credit. In return it obtained means for the construction 
of fortifications or for such occasions as the acquisition of 
sovereign rights from the hand of an impecunious prince/' 

For the most part these European towns were independent 
or quasi-independent aristocratic republics. Most admitted 
a vague overlordship on the part of the church, or of the em- 
peror or of a king. Others were parts of kingdoms, or even 
the capitals of dukes or kings. In such cases their internal 
freedom was maintained by a royal or imperial charter. In 
England the Royal City of Westminster on the Thames 
stood cheek by jowl witii the walled city of London, into 
which the King came only with ceremony and permission. 
The entirely free Venetian republic ruled an empire of de- 
pendent islands and trading ports, rather after the fashion 
of the Athenian republic. Genoa also stood alone. The 
Germanic towns of the Baltic and North Sea from Riga to 
Middelburg in Holland, Dortmund, and Cologne were loosely 
allied in a confederation, the confederation of the Hansa 
towns, under the leadership of Hamburg, Bremen, and Lu- 
beck, a confederation which was still more loosely attached to 
the empire. This confederation, which included over seventy 
towns in all, and which had depots in Novgorod, Bergen, 
« London, and Bruges, did much to keep the northern seas 
clean of piracy, that curse of the Mediterranean and of the 
Eastern seas. The Eastern Empire throughout its last phase, 
from the Ottoman conquest of its European hinterland in 
the fourteenth and early fifteenth century until its fall in 
1468, was practically only the trading town of Constantino- 
ple, a town state like Genoa or Venice, except that it was 
encumbered by a corrupt imperial court. 

The fullest and most splendid developments of this city 
life of the later Middle Ages occurred in Italy. After the 
end of the Hohenstaufen line in the thirteenth century, the 
hold of the Holy Roman Empire upon North and Central 

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Italy weakened, although, as we shall tell, German Emper- 
ors were still crowned as kings and emperors in Italy np to 
the time of Charles V (circ. 1530), There arose a number 
of quasi-independent city states to the north of Rome, the 
papal capital. South Italy and Sicily, however, remained 
under foreign dominion. Genoa and her rival, Venice, were 
the great trading seaports of this time ; their noble palaces, 
their lordly paintings, still win our admiration. Milan, at 
the foot of the St. Gothard pass, revived to wealth and power. 
Inland was Florence, a trading and financial centre which, 
tinder the almost monarchical rule of the Medici family in 
the fifteenth century, enjoyed a second "Periclean age.*' 
But already before the time of these cultivated Medici 
'^bosses,'' Florence had produced much beautiful art. 
Giotto's tower (Giotto, bom 1266, died 1337) and the 
Duomo (by Brunellesco, bom 1377, died 1446) already ex- 
isted. Towards the end of the fourteenth century Florence 
became the centre of the rediscovery, restoration, and imita- 
tion of antique art (the ^^Renaissance'' in its narrower sense). 
Artistic productions, unlike philosophical thought and scien- 
tific discovery, are the ornaments and expression rather than 
the creative substance of history, and here we cannot at- 
tempt to trace the development of the art of Filippo Lippi, 
Botticelli, Donatello (died 1466), Leonardo da Vinci (died 
1519), Michelangelo (1475-1564), and Raphael (died 
1520). Of the scientific speculation of Leonardo we have 
already had occasion to speak. 


In 1453, as we have related, Constantinople fell. 
Throughout the next century the Turkish pressure upon 
Europe was heavy and continuous. The boundary line be- 
tween Mongol and Aryan, which had lain somewhere east 
of the Pamirs in the days of Pericles, had receded now to 
Hungary. Constantinople had long been a mere island of 
Christians in a Turk-ruled Balkan peninsula. Its fall did 
much to interrupt the trade with the East. 

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Of the two rival cities of the Mediterranean, Venice was 
generally on much better terms with the Turks than Genoa. 
Every intelligent Genoese sailor fretted at the trading mo- 
nopoly of Venice, and tried to invent some way of getting 
through it or round it. And there were now new peoples 
taking to the sea trade, and disposed to look for new ways 
to the old markets because the ancient routes were closed to 
them. The Portuguese, for example, were developing an 
Atlantic coasting trade. The Atlantic was waking up again 
after a vast period of neglect that dated from tibe Eoman 
murder of Carthage. It is rather a delicate matter to decide 
whether the western European was pushing out into the At- 
lantic or whether he was being pushed out into it by the 
Turk, who lorded it in the Mediterranean until the Battle 
of Lepanto (1571). The Venetian and Genoese ships were 
creeping round to Antwerp, and the Hansa town seamen 
were coming south and extending their range. And there 
were considerable developments of seamanship and shipbuild- 
ing in progress. The Mediterranean is a sea for galleys 
and coasting. But upon the Atlantic Ocean and the North 
Sea winds are more prevalent, seas run higher, the shore is 
often a danger rather than a refuge. The high seas called 
for the sailing ship, and in the fourteenth and fifteenth cen- 
turies it appears keeping its course by the compass and the 

By the thirteenth century the Hansa merchants were al- 
ready sailing regularly from Bergen across the grey cold 
seas to the Northmen in Iceland. In Iceland men knew of 
Greenland, and adventurous voyagers had long ago found a 
further land beyond, Vinland, where the climate was pleasant 
and where men could settle if they chose to cut themselves 
off from the rest of human kind. This Vinland was either 
Nova Scotia or, what is more probable. New England. 

All over Europe in the fifteenth century merchants and 
sailors were speculating about new ways to the East. The 
Portuguese, unaware tibat Pharaoh Necho had solved the 
problem ages ago, were asking whether it was not possible 
to go round to India by the coast of Africa. Their ships 

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followed in the course that Hanno took to Cape Verde (1445). 
They put out to sea to the west and found the Canary Isles, 
Madeira, and the Azores.^ That was a fairly long stride 
across the Atlantic. In 1486 a Portuguese, Diaz, reported 
that he had rounded the south of Africa. . . . 

A certain Genoese, Christopher Columbus, began to think 
more and more of what is to us a very obvious and natural 
enterprise, but which strained the imagination of the fifteenth 
century to the utmost, a voyage due west across the Atlantic 
At that time nobody knew of the existence of America as a 
separate continent. Columbus knew that the world was a 
sphere, but he underestimated its size ; the travels of Marco 
Polo had given him an exaggerated idea of the extent of 
Asia, and he supposed therefore that Japan, with its reputa- 
tion for a great wealth of gold, lay across the Atlantic in 
about the position of Mexico. He had made various voyages 
in the Atlantic ; he had been to Iceland and perhaps heard of 
Vinland, which must haye greatly encouraged these ideas of 
his, and this project of sailing into the sunset became the 
ruling purpose of his life. He was a penniless man, some 
accounts say he was a bankrupt, and his only way of securing 
a ship was to get someone to entrust him with a command. 
He went first to King John II of Portugal, who listened 
to him, made difficulties, and then arranged for an expedi- 
tion to start without his knowledge, a purely Portuguese ex- 
pedition. This highly diplomatic attempt to steal a march 
on an original man failed, as it deserved to fail; the crew 
became mutinous, the captain lost heart and returned (1483). 
Columbus then went to the Cpurt of Spain. 

At first he could get no ship and no powers. Spain was 
assaUing Qranada, the last foothold of the Moslems in 
western Europe. Most of Spain had been recovered by the 
Christians between the eleventh and the thirteenth century ; 
then had come a pause ; and now all Christian Spain, united 

1 In these maritime adventures in the eastern Atlantic and the west 
African coast the Portuguese were preceded in the thirteenth, four- 
teenthy and early fifteenth centuries by Normans, Catalonians, and 
Genoese.— H. H. J. 

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by the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Cas- 
tUe, was setting itself to the completion of the Christian 
conquest. Despairing of Spanish help, Columbus sent his 
brotiier Bartholomew to Henry VII of England, but the ad- 
venture did not attract that canny monarch. Finally in 
1492 Granada fell, some slight compensation for the 
Christian loss of Constantinople, fifty years before, and then, 
helped by some merchants of the town of Palos, Columbus 
got his ships, three ships, of which only one, the Santa Maria, 
of 100 tons burthen, was decked* The two others were open 
boats of half that tonnage. 

The little expedition, — it numbered altogether eighty-eight 
men ! — ^went south to the Canaries, and then stood out across 
the unknown seas, in beautiful weather and with a helpful 

The story of that momentous voyage of two months and 
nine days must be read in detail to be appreciated. The 
crew was full of doubts and fears ; they might, they feared, 
sail on for ever. They were comforted by seeing some birds, 
and later on by finding a pole worked with tools, and a branch 
with strange berries. At ten o'clock, on the night of 
October 11th, 1492, Columbus saw a light ahead; the next 
morning land was sighted, and, while the day was still young, 
Columbus landed on the shores of the new world, richly 
apparelled and bearing the royal banner of Spain. . . . 

Early in 1493 Columbus returned to Europe. He brought 
gold, cotton, strange beasts and birds, and two wild-eyed 
painted Indians to be baptized. He had not found Japan, 
it was thought, but India. The islands he had found were 
called therefore the West Indies. The same year he sailed 
again with a great expedition t)f seventeen ships and fif- 
teen thousand men, with the express permission of the Pope 
to take possession of these new lands for the Spanish 
crown. . • • 

We cannot tell of his experiences as Governor of this 
Spanish colony, nor how he was superseded and put in chains. 
In a little while a swarm of Spanish adventurers were ex- 
ploring the new lands. But it is interesting to note that 

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From the painting by Sebastiano del Piombo (1485-1547) at the 
Metropolitan Museum of Art 

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Wrtto •— Vol 111 

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Columbus died ignorant of the fact that he had discovered 
a new continent. He believed to the day of his death that 
he had sailed round the world to Asia, 

The news of his discoveries caused a great excitement 
throughout western Europe. It spurred the Portuguese to 
fresh attempts to reach India by the South African route. 
In 1497, Vasco da Gama sailed from Lisbon to Zanzibar, 
and thence, with an Arab pilot, he struck across the Indian 
Ooean to Calicut in India. In 1515 there were Portuguese 
ships in Java and the Moluccas. In 1519 a Portuguese 
sailor, Magellan, in the employment of the Spanish King, 
coasted to the south of South America, passed through the 
dark and forbidding "Strait of Magellan,^' and so came 
into the Pacific Ocean, which had already been sighted by 
Spanish explorers who had crossed the Isthmus of Panama. 

Magellan's expedition continued across the Pacific Ocean 
westward. This was a far more heroic voyage than that of 
Columbus; for eight and ninety days Magellan sailed un- 
flinchingly over that vast, empty ocean, sighting nothing but 
two little desert islands. The crews were rotten with scurvy ; 
there was little water and that bad, ^nd putrid biscuit to 
eat. Rats were hunted eagerly; cowhide was gnawed and 
sawdust devoured to stay the pangs of hunger. In this state 
the expedition reached the Ladrones. They discovered the 
Philippines, and here Magellan was killed in a fight with 
the natives. Several other captains were murdered. Five 
ships had started with Magellan in August 1519 and two 
hundred and eighty men ; in July 1522 the Vittoiia, with a 
renmant of one and thirty men aboard, returned up the At* 
lantic to her anchorage near the Mole of Seville, in the river 
Guadalquivir — ^the first ship that ever circumnavigated this 

The English and French and Dutch and the sailors of the 
Hansa towns came rather later into this new adventure of 
exploration. They had not the same keen interest in the 
eastern trade. And when they did come in, their first efforts 
were directed to sailing round the north of America as 
Magellan had sailed round the south^ and to sailing round 

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the north of Asia as Yasco da Qama had sailed round the 
south of Africa. Both these enterprises were doomed to 
failure by the nature of things. Both in America and the 
East, Spain and Portugal had half a century's start of 
England and France and Holland, And Germany never 
started. The King of Spain was Emperor of Germany in 
those crucial years, and the Pope had given the monopoly 
of America to Spain, and not simply to Spain, but to the 
kingdom of Castile. This must have restrained both Ger- 
many and Holland at first from American adventures. The 
Hansa towns were quasi-independent ; they had no monarch 
behind them to support them, and no unity among themselves 
for so big an enterprise as oceanic exploration. It was the 
misfortune of Germany, and perhaps of the world, that, as 
we will presently tell, a storm of warfare exhausted her 
when all the Western powers were going to this newly opened 
school of trade and administration upon the high seas. 

Slowly throughout the sixteenth century the immense good 
fortune of Castile unfolded itself before the dazzled eyes of 
Europe* She had found a new world, abounding in gold and 
silver and wonderful possibilities of settlement. It was all 
hers, because the Pope had said so. The Court of Home, 
in an access of magnificence, had divided this new world of 
strange lands which was now opening out to the European im- 
agination, between the Spanish, who were to have everyr 
thing west of a line 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde 
islands, and the Portuguese, to whom everything east of this 
line was given. 

At first the only people encountered by the Spaniards in 
America were savages of a Mongoloid type. Many of these 
savages were cannibals. It is a misfortune for science that 
the first Europeans to reach America were these rather in- 
curious Spaniards, without any scientific passion, thirsty 
for gold, and full of the blind bigotry of a recent religious 
war. They made few intelligent observations of the native 
methods and ideas of these primordial people. They 
slaughtered them, they robbed them, they enslaved them, 
ttid baptized them ; but they made small note of the customs 

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and motives that changed and vanished under their assault 
They were as destructive and reckless as the early British 
settler in Tasmania^ who shot the Falseolithic men who still 
lingered there at sight and put out poisoned meat for them 
to find. 

Great areas of the American interior were prairie land, 
whose nomadic tribes subsisted upon vast herds of the now 
practically extinct bison. In their manner of life, in their 
painted garments and their free use of paint, in their gen- 
eral physical characters, these prairie Indians showed re- 
markable resemblance to the Later Paleolithic men of the 
Solutrian age in Europe. But they had no horses. They 
seem to have made no very great advance from that primor- 
dial state, which was probably the state in which their 
ancestors had reached America. They had, however, a 
knowledge of metals, and most notably a free use of native 
copper, but no knowledge of iron. As the Spaniards i)ene- 
trated into the continent, they found and they attacked^ 
plundered, and destroyed two separate civilized systems 
that had developed in America, perhaps quite independently 
of the civilized systems of the old world. One of them was 
the Aztec civilizations of Mexico; the otter, that of Peru. 
They had probably arisen out of the heliolithic sub-civiliza- 
tion that had drifted across the Pacific, island by island, 
fitep by step, age after age, from its region of origin round 
and about the Mediterranean. We have already noted one 
or two points of interest in these unique developments. Along 
their own lines these civilized peoples of America had 
reached to a state of affairs roughly parallel with the culture 
of predynastic Egypt or the early Sumerian cities. Before 
the Aztecs and the Peruvians there had been still earlier 
civilized beginnings which had either been destroyed by 
their successors, or which had failed and relapsed of their 
own accord. 

The Aztecs seem to have been a conquering, less civilized 
people, dominating a more civilized community, as the Aryans 
dominated Greece and North India. Their religion was 
a primitive, complex, and cruel system, in which human sacr 

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rifioes and ceremonial cannibalism played a large part. 
Their minds were haunted by the idea of sin and the need 
for bloody propitiations. 

The Aztec civilization was destroyed by an expedition 
under Cortez. He had eleven ships, four hundred Euro- 
peans, two hundred Indians, sixteen horses, and fourteen 
guns. But in Yucatan he picked up a stray Spaniard who 
had been a captive with the Indians for some years, and 
who had more or less learnt various Indian languages, and 
knew that the Aztec rule was deeply resented by many of its 
subjects. It was in alliance with these that Cortez advanced 
over the mountains into the valley of Mexico (1519)* 
How he entered Mexico, how its war-chief, Montezuma, 
was killed by his own people for favouring the Spaniards, 
how Cortez was besieged in Mexico, and escaped with 
the loss of his guns and horses, and how after a terrible 
retreat to the coast he was able to return and sub- 
jugate the whole land, is a romantic and picturesque story 
which we cannot even attempt to tell here. The population 
of Mexico to this day is largely of native blood, but Spanish 
has replaced the native languages, and such culture as exists 
is Catholic and Spanish. 

The still more curious Peruvian state fell a victim to an- 
other adventurer, Pizarro. He sailed from the Isthmus of 
Panama in 1530, with an expedition of a hundred and sixty- 
eight Spaniards. Like Cortez in Mexico, he availed him- 
self of the native dissensions to secure possession of the 
doomed state. Like Cortez, too, who had made a captive 
and tool of Montezuma, he seized the Inca of Peru by treach- 
ery, and attempted to rule in his name. Here again we can- 
not do justice to the tangle of subsequent events, the ill- 
planned insurrections of tibe natives, the arrival of Spanish 
reinforcements from Mexico, and the reduction of the state 
to a Spanish province. Nor can we tell much more of the 
swift spread of Spanish adventurers over the rest of America, 
outside the Portuguese reservation of Brazil. To begin 
with each story is nearly always a story of adventurers and 
of cruelty and loot The Spaniards iU-treated the natives, 

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they quarrelled among themselves, the law and order of 
Spain were months and years away from them ; it was only 
very slowly that the phase of violence and conquest passed 
into a phase of government and settlement. But long before 
there was much order in America, a steady stream of gold 


Abora 3000 Ae£r 
N 6000 «• 

and silver began to flow across the Atlantic to the Spanish 
government and people. 

After the first violent treasure hunt came plantation and 
the working of mines. With that arose the earliest labour 
difficulty in the new world. At first the Indians were en* 

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slaved with much brutality and injustice ; but to the honour 
of the Spaniards this did not go uncriticized. The natives 
found champions, and very valiant champions, in the Do- 
minican Order and in a secular priest Las Casas, who was 
for a time a planter and slave-owner in Cuba until his 
conscience smote him. An importation of negro slaves from 
West Africa also began quite early in the sixteenth century. 
After some retrogression, Mexico, Brazil, and Spanish South 
America began to develop into great slave-holding wealth- 
producing lands. . . . 

We cannot tell here, as we would like to do, of the fine 
civilizing work done in South America, and more especially 
among the natives, by the Franciscans, and presently by the 
Jesuits, who came into America in the latter half of the 
sixteenth century (after 1549). . . • 

So it was that Spain rose to a temporary power and prom** 
inenoe in the world's affairs. It was a very sudden and very 
memorable rise. From the eleventh century this infertile 
and corrugated peninsula had been divided against itself, its 
Christian population had sustained a perpetual conflict with 
the Moors ; then by what seems like an accident it achieved 
unity just in time to reap the first harvest of benefit from 
the discovery of America. Before that time Spain had 
always been a poor country; it is a poor country to-day, 
almost its only wealth lies in its mines. For a century, how- 
ever, through its monopoly of the gold and silver of America, 
it dominated the world. The east and centre of Europe 
were still overshadowed by the Turk and Mongol; the dis- 
covery of America was itself a consequence of the Turkish 
conquests; very largely through the Mongolian inventions 
of compass and paper, and imder the stimulus of travel in 
Asia and of the growing knowledge of eastern Asiatic wealth 
and civilization, came this astonishing blazing up of thei 
mental, physical, and social energies of tixe ^^Atlantic fringe.'' 
For close in the wake of Portugal and Spain came Franctf! 
and England, and presently Holland, each in its turn taking; 
np the role of expansion and empire overseas. The centre. 
of interest for European history which once lay la jiie Le- 

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vant shifts now from the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea 
to the Atlantic. For some centuries the Turkish Empire, 
Russia, and Central Asia and China are relatively n^lected 
by the limelight of the European historian. Neverdieless, 
these central r^ons of the world remain central, and their 
welfare and participation is necessary to the permanent 
peace of mankind. 


'And now let us consider the political consequences of this 
vast release and expansion of European ideas in the four- 
teenth and fifteenth centuries with the new development of 
science, the exploration of the world, the great dissemina- 
tion of knowledge through paper and printing, and the spread 
of a new craving for freedom and equality. How was it 
affecting the mentality of the courts and kings that directed 
the formal affairs of mankind? We have already shown 
how the hold of the Catholic church upon the consciences of 
men was weakening at this time. Only the Spaniards, fresh 
from a long and finally successful religious war against Islam^ 
had any great enthusiasm left for the church. The Turkish 
conquests and the expansion of the known world robbed the 
Roman Empire of its former prestige of universality. The 
old mental and moral framework of Europe was breaking up. 
What was happening to the dukes, princes, and kings of the 
old dispensation during this age of change ? 

In England, as we shall tell later, very subtle and interest- 
' ing tendencies were leading towards a new method in govern- 
ment, the method of parliament, that was to spread later on 
over nearly all the world. But of these tendencies the world 
at large was as yet practically unconscious in the sixteenth 

Few monarchs have left us intimate diaries ; to be a mon- 
arch and to be frank are incompatible feats; monarchy is 
itself necessarily a pose. The historian is obliged to specu- 
late about the contents of the head that wears a crown as 
best he can. No doubt regal psychology has varied with 

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the ages. We have, however, the writings of a very able 
man of this period who set himself to study and expound 
the arts of king-craft as they were understood in the later 
fifteenth century. This was the celebrated Florentine, 
Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527). He was of good birth 
and reasonable fortune, and he had entered the public em- 
ployment of the republic by the time he was twenty-five. 
For eighteen years he was in the Florentine diplomatic ser- 
vice ; he was engaged upon a number of embassies, and in 
1500 he was sent to France to deal with the French king. 
From 1502 to 1512 he was the right-hand man of the gon- 
falonier (the life president) of Florence, SoderinL Machi- 
avelli reorganized the Florentine army, wrote speeches for 
the gonfalonier, was indeed the ruling intelligence in Floren- 
tine affairs. When Soderini, who had leant upon the French, 
was overthrown by the Medici family whom the Spanish 
supported, Machiavelli, though he tried to transfer his 
services to the victors, was tortured on the rack and ex- 
pelled. He took up his quarters in a villa near San Casciano, 
twelve miles or so from Florence, and there entertained him- 
self partially by collecting and writing salacious stories to 
a friend in Rome, and partly by writing books about Italian 
politics in which he could no longer play a part. Just as we 
owe Marco Polo's book of travels to his imprisonment, so 
we owe Machiavelli's Princej his Florentine History, and 
The Art of War to his downfall and the boredom of San 

The enduring value of these books lies in the clear idea 
they give us of the quality and limitations of the ruling 
minds of this age. Their atmosphere was his atmosphere. 
If he brought an exceptionally keen intelligence to their 
business, that merely throws it into a brighter light. 

His susceptible mind had been greatly impressed by the 
cunning, cruelty, audacity, and ambition of Csesar Borgia, 
the Duke of Valentino, in whose camp he had spent some 
months as an envoy. In his Prince he idealized this dazzling 
person. Caesar Borgia (1476-1507), the reader must under- 
stand, was the son of Pope Alexander yi, Bodrigo Borgia 

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(1492--1503). The reader will perhaps be startled at the 
idea of a Pope having a son, but this^ we must remember^ 
was a pre'reformation Pope. The Fapaoy at this time was 
in a mood of moral relaxation, and though Alexander was, 
as a priest, pledged to live umnarried, this did not hinder 
him from living openly with a sort of unmarried wife, and 
devoting the resources of Christendom to the advancement 
of his family. Caesar was a youth of spirit even for the 
times in which he lived; he had early caused his elder 
brother to be murdered, and also the husband of his sister, 
Luorezia. He had indeed betrayed and murdered a number 
of people. With his father's assistance he had become duke 
of a wide area of Central Italy when Hachiavelli visited 
him. He had shown little or no military ability, but con- 
siderable dexterity and administrative power. His mag- 
nificence was of the most temporary sort. When presently 
his father died, it collapsed like a pricked bladder. Its un- 
soundness was not evident to Machiavelli. Our chief in- 
terest in Caesar Borgia is that he realized Machiavelli's 
highest ideals of a superb and successful prince. 

Much has been written to show that Machiavelli had wide 
and noble intentions behind his political writings, but all 
such attempts to ennoble him will leave the sceptical reader, 
who insists on reading the lines instead of reading imaginary 
things between the lines of Machiavelli's work, cold towards 
him. This man manifestly had no belief in any righteous- 
ness at all, no belief in a God ruling over the world or in a 
God in men's hearts, no understanding of the power of con- 
science in men. Not for him were Utopian visions of world- 
wide human order, or attempts to realize the City of Qod. 
Such things he did not want. It seemed to him that to get 
power, to gratify one's desires and sensibilities and hates, to 
swagger triumphantly in the world, must be the csrown of 
human desire. Only a prince could fully realize such a life. 
Some streak of timidity or his sense of the poorness of his 
personal claims had evidently made him abandon such 
dreams for himself; but at least he might hope to serve a 
prince, to live close to the glory, to share the plunder and the 

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Inst and the gratified malice. He might even make himself 
indispensable ! He set himself therefore, to become an "ex- 
pert" in prince-craft. He assisted Soderini to fail. ^When 
he was racked and rejected by the Medicis, and had no 
further hopes of being even a successful court parasite, he 
wrote these handbooks of cunning to show what a clever 
servant some prince had lost. His ruling thought, his great 

SWltZERUmD.^mmxu z jnnnei p^ Tkssc^^ndJSouics- 

6000 ieet 

contribution to political literature, was that moral obliga- 
tions upon ordinary men cannot bind princes. 

There is a disposition to ascribe the virtue of patriotism 
to Machiavelli because he suggested that Italy, which was 
weak and divided — she had been invaded by the Turks and 
saved from conquest only by the death of the Sultan Muham- 
mad, and she was being fought over by the French and 
Spanish as though she was something inanimate — ^might be 
united and strong ; but he saw in that possibility only a great 
opportunity for a prince. And he advocated a national armx 

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only because he saw the Italian method of carrying on war 
by hiring bands of foreign mercenaries was a hopeless one. 
At any time such troops might go over to a better paymaster 
or decide to plunder the state they protected. He had been 
deeply impressed by the victories of the Swiss over the 
Milanese, but he never fathomed the secret of the free spirit 
that made those victories possible. The Florentine militia 
he created was a complete failure. He was a man bom 
blind to the qualities that make peoples free and nations 

Yet this morally blind man was living in a little world 
of morally blind men. It is clear that his style of thought 
was the style of thought of the great court of his time. Be- 
hind the princes of the new states that had grown up out of 
the wreckage of the empire and the failure of the Church, 
there were everywhere chancellors and secretaries and trusted 
ministers of the Machiavellian type. Cromwell, for instance, 
the minister of Henry VIII of England after his breach 
with Rome, regarded Machiavelli's Prince as the quintessence 
of political wisdom. When the princes were themselves 
sufficiently clever they too were Machiavellian. They were 
scheming to outdo one another, to rob weaker contemporaries, 
to destroy rivals, so that they might for a brief interval 
swagger. They had little or no vision of any scheme of 
human destinies greater than this game they played against 
one another. 

§ 10 

It is interesting to note that this Swiss infantry which 
had so impressed Machiavelli was no part of the princely 
system of Europe. At the very centre of the European 
system there had arisen a little confederation of free states, 
the Swiss Confederation, which after some centuries of nom- 
inal adhesion to the Holy Roman Empire, became frankly 
republican in 1499. As early as the thirteenth century, 
the peasant farmers of three valleys round about the Lake 
of Lucerne took it into their heads that they would dispense 

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with an overlord and manage their own affairs in their own 
fashion. Their chief trouble came from the claims of a 
noble family of the Aar valley, the Habsbnrg family. In 
1245 the men of Schwyz burnt the castle of New Habsburg 
which had been set up near Lucerne to overawe them; its 
ruins are still to be seen there. 

This Habsburg family was a growing and acquisitive 
one; it had lands and possessions throughout Germany; and 
in 1273, after the extinction of the Hohenstaufen house, 
Budolf of Habsburg was elected Emperor of Germany, a dis- 
tinction that became at last practically hereditary in his 
family. None the less, the men of Uri, Schwyz, and Unter- 
walden did not mean to be ruled by any Habsburg; they 
formed an Everlasting League in 1291, and they held their 
own among the mountains from that time onward to this 
day, first as free members of the empire and then as an 
absolutely independent confederation. Of the heroic legend 
of William Tell we have no space to tell here, nor have we 
room in which to trace the gradual extension of the confed- 
eration to its present boundaries. Komansh, Italian, and 
jPrench-speaking valleys were presently added to this valiant 
little republican group. The red cross flag of Geneva has 
become the symbol of international humanity in the midst of 
warfare. Tlie bright and thriving cities of Switzerland 
have been a refuge for free men from a score of tyrannies^ 


Most of the figures that stand out in history, do so through 
some exceptionsJ personal quality, good or bad, that makes 
them more significant than their fellows. But there was 
bom at Ghent in Belgitmi in 1500 a man of commonplace 
abilities and melancholy temperament, the son of a mentally 
defective mother who had been married for reasons of state, 
who was, through no fault of his own, to become the focus 
of the accumulating stresses of Europe. The historian must 
give him a quite unmerited and accidental prominence side 
by side with such marked individualities as Alexander and 

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Charlemagne and Frederick II. This was the Emperor 
Charles Y. For a time he had an air of being the greatest 
monarch in Europe since Charlemagne. Both he and his 
illusory greatness were the results of the matrimonial state- 
craft of his grandfather, the Emperor Maximilisin I (bom 
1459, died 1519). 

Some families have fought, others have intrigued their way 
to world power ; the Habsburgs married their way* Maxi- 
milian began his career with the inheritance of the Haba- 
burgs, Austria, Styria, part of Alsace and other districts; 
he married — ^the lady's name scarcely matters to usr— the 
Netherlands and Burgundy. Most of Buiqgundy slipped 
from him after his first wife's death, but the Netherlands he 
held. Then he tried unsuccessfully to marry Brittany. He 
became Emperor in succession to his father, Frederick III^ 
in 1498, and married the duchy of Milan. Finally he 
married his son to the weak-minded daughter of Ferdinand 
and Isabella, the Ferdinand and Isabella of Columbus, who 
not only reigned over a freshly united Spain, and over Sar- 
dinia and the kingdom of the two Sicilies, but by virtue of 
the papal gifts to Castile, over all America west of Brazil. 
So it was that Charles, his grandson, inherited most of the 
American continent and between a third and a half of what 
the Turks had left of Europe. The father of Charles died 
in 1506, and Maximilian did his best to secure his grand- 
son's election to the imperial throne. 

Charles succeeded to the Netherlands in 1506 ; he became 
practically king of the Spanish domains, his mother being 
imbecile, when his grandfather Ferdinand died in 1616; 
and his grandfather Maximilian dying in 1519, he was in 
1520 elected Emperor at the still comparatively tender age 
of twenty. 

His election as the Emperor was opposed by the young 
and brilliant French King, Francis I, who had succeeded to 
the French throne in 1515 at the age of twenty-one. The 
iBandidature of Francis was supported by Leo X (1513), 
who also requires from us the epithet brilliant. It was in- 
deed an age of brilliant monarchs. It was the age 

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of Babcr in India (1526-1530) and Suleiman in Turkey 
(1520). % Both Leo and Francis dreaded the concentration 
of so much power in the hands of one man as the 
election of Charles threatened. The only other monarch 
who seemed to matter in Europe was Henry VIII, who had 
become Xing of England in 1509 at the age of eighteen. 
He also offered himself as a candidate for t^e empire, and 
the imaginative English reader may amuse himself by work- 
ing put the possible consequences of such an election. There 
was much scope for diplomacy in this triangle of kings. 
Charles on his way from Spain to Germany visited England 
and secured the support of Henry against Francis by bribing 
his minister, Cardinal Wolsey. Henry also made a great 
parade of friendship with Francis, there was feasting, tourna- 
ments, and suchli]^ antiquated gallantries in France, in a 
courtly picnic known to historians as the Field of the Cloth 
of Gold (1520). Ejiighthood was becoming a picturesque 
affectation in the sixteenth century. The Emperor Maxi- 
milian I is still called *'the last of the knights" by (Jerman 

Th(e election of Charles was secured, it is to be noted, by 
a vast amount of bribery. He had as his chief supporters 
and creditors the great German business house of the Fuggers. 
That large treatment of money and credit which we call 
ifinanoe, which had gone out of European political life with 
the collapse of the Koman Empire^ was now coming back 
to power. This appearance of the Fu^ers, whose houses 
and palaces outshone those of the emperors, marks the up* 
ward moTiement of forces that had begun two or three cen- 
turies earlier in Cahors in France and in Florence and other 
Italian towns. Money, public debts, and social unrest and 
discontent, re-enter upon the miniature stage of this Outline. 
Charles V was not so much a Habsburg as a Fugger em- 

For a time this fair, not very intelligent-looking yoimg man 
with the thick upper lip and long, clumsy chin — ^features 
which still afflict his descendants — ^was largely a puppet in 
the hands of his ministers. Able servants after the order 

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of Machiavelli guided him at first in the arts of kingship. 
Then in a slow but effectual way he began to assert himsefi. 
He was confronted at the very outset of his reign in Ger- 
nuiny with the perplexing 
dissensions of Christen- 
dom. The revolt against 
the papal rule which had 
been going on since the 
days of Huss and Wycliffe 
had been recently exasper- 
ated by a new and unusu- 
ally cynical selling of in- 
dulgences to raise money 
for the completion of St. 
Peter's at Rome. A monk 
named Luther, who had 
been consecrated as a j ^i 

priest, who had taken to /-J^^^^^Ta^ 

reading the Bible, and Isiter GnxtMcn,} 

who, while visiting Rome on the business of his order, had 
been much shocked by the levity and worldly splendour of the 
Papacy, had come forward against these papal expedients at 
Wittenberg (1517), offering disputation and propounding 
certain theses. An important controversy ensued. At first 
Luther carried on this controversy in Latin, but presently 
took to German, and speedily had the people in a ferment. 
Charles foimd this dispute raging when he came from Spain 
to Germany. He summoned an assembly or "diet" of the 
empire at Worms on the Rhine. To this, Luther, who had 
been asked to recant his views by Pope Leo X, and who had 
refused to do so, was summoned. He came, and, entirely in 
the spirit of Huss, refused to recant unless he was convinced 
of his error by logical argument or the authority of Scrip- 
ture. But his protectors among the princes were too power- 
ful for him to suffer the fate of John Huss. 

Here was a perplexing situation for the young Emperor. 
There is reason to suppose that he was inclined at first to 
support Luther against the Pope. Leo X had opposed the 

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election of Charles, and was friendly with his rival, Fran* 
cis I. But Charies V was not a good Machiavellian, and he 
had acquired in Spain a considerable religious sincerity. 
He decided against Luther. Many of tlxe German princes^ 
and especially the Elector of Saxony, sided with the re- 
former. Luther went into hiding under the protection of 
the Saxon Elector, and Charles found himself in the pres- 
ence of the opening rift that was to split Christendom into 
two contending camps. 

Close upon these disturbances, and probably connected 
with th^n, came a widespread peasants^ revolt throughout 

Germany. (This outbreak 
frightened Luther very effect- 
ually. He was shodked by 
its excesses, and from that 
time forth the Reformation 
he advocated ceased to be a 
Reformation according to the 
people and became a Ref- 
ormation according to the 
princes. He lost his confi- 
dence in that free judgment 
for which he had stood up so 

Meanwhile Charles realized that his great empire was in 
very serious danger both from the west and from the east 
On the west of him was his spirited rival, Francis I ; to the 
east was the Turk in Hungary, in alliance with Francis and 
clamouring for certain arrears of tribute from the Austrian 
cominions. Charles had the money and army of Spain at 
his disposal, but it was extremely difficult to get any effective 
support in money from Germany. His grandfather had 
developed a Gterman infantry on the Swiss model, very much 
upon file lines expounded in Machiavelli's Art of War, but 
these troops had to be paid and his imperial subsidies had to 
be supplemented by unsecured borrowings, which were finally 
to bring his supporters, the Fuggers, to ruin. 

On th(e whole, Charles, in alliance with Henry VIII, waa 

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suoceflsfol against Francis I and the Turk. Their chief 
battlefield was north Italy; the generalship was dull on both 
sides; their advances and retreats depended chiefly on the 
arrival of reinforcements* The German army invaded 
France^ failed to take Marseilles^ fell back into Italy, lost 
Milan, and was besieged in Pavia. Francis I made a long 
and unsuccessful siege of Favia, was caught by fresh German 
forces, defeated, wounded, and taken prisoner^ He sent back 
a message to his queen that all was ^^lost but honour/' made 
a humiliating peace, and broke it as soon as he wad liberated^ 
80 that even the salvage of 
honour was but temporary. 
Henry VIII and the Pope, in 
obedience to the rules of Ma- 
chiavellian strategy, now went 
over to the side of France in 
order to prevent Charles be- 
coming too powerful. The 
German troops in Milan, un- 
der the Constable of Bourbon, 
being unpaid, forced rather 
than followed their command- 
er into a raid upon Home. 
They stormed the city and pillaged it (1537). The Pope 
took refuge in the Castle of St. Angelo while the looting 
and slaughter went on. He bought off the German troops 
at last by the payment of four hundred thousand ducats. 
Ten years of such stupid and confused fighting impoverished 
all Europe and left the Emperor in possession of Milan. 
In 1530 he was crowned by the Pope — ^he was the last Ger- 
man Emperor to be crowned by the Pope — at Bologna. 
One thinks of the rather dull-looking blonde face, with its 
long lip and chin, bearing the solemn expression of one who 
endures a doubtful though probably honourable ceremony. 

Meanwhile the Turks were making great headway in Hun- 
gary. They had defeated and killed the King of Hungary 
in 1526, they held Buda-Pesth, and in 1529, as we have 
already noted, Suleiman the Magnificent very nearly took 

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Yienna. The Emperor was greatly concerned by these ad- 
vanceSy and did his utmost to drive back the Turks, but he 
found the greatest difficulty in getting the German princes 
to unite even with this formidable enemy upon their very 
borders. Francis I remained implacable for a time, and 
there was a new French war; but in 1538 Charles won his 
rival over to a more friendly attitude by ravaging the south 
of France. Francis and Charles then formed an alliance 
against the Turk, but the Protestant princes, the German 
princes who were resolved to break away from Bome, had 
formed a league, the Schmalkaldic Leauge (named after the 
little town of Schmalkalden in Hesse, at which its constitu- 
tion was arranged), against the Emperor, and in the place of 
a great campaign to recover Hungary for Christendom 
Charles had to turn his mind to the gathering internal 
struggle in (Germany. Of that struggle he saw only the 
opening war. It was a struggle, a sanguinary irrational 
bickering of princes for ascendancy, now flaming into war 
and destruction, now sinking back to intrigues and diplo- 
macies ; it was a snake's sack of Machiavellian policies, that 
was to go on writhing incurably right into the nineteenth 
century, and to waste and desolate Central Europe again and 

The Emperor never seems to have grasped the true forces 
at work in these gathering troubles. He was for his time 
and station an exceptionally worthy man, and he seems to 
have taken the religious dissensions that were tearing Europe 
into warring fragments as genuine theological differences* 
He gathered diets and councils in futile attempts at rec- 
onciliation. Formulas and confessions were tried over. 
The student of German history must struggle with the de- 
tails of the Eeligious Peace of Nuremberg, the settlement at 
the diet of Eatisbon, the Interim of Augsburg, and the like. 
Here we do but mention them as details in the worried life 
of this culminating emperor. As a matter of fact, hardly 
one of the multifarious princes and rulers in Europe seems 
to have been acting in good faith. The widespread religious 
Itrouble of the world, the desire of the common people for 

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truth and social righteousness, the spreading knowledge of 
the time, all those things were merely counters in the imagi- 
nations of princely diplomacy. 
Henry VIII of England, who 
had begun his career with a 
book written against heresy, 
and who had been rewarded 
by the Pope with the title of 
"Defender of the Faith,'* 
being anxious to divorce his 
first wife in favour of an an- 
imated young lady named 
Anne Boleyn,^ and wishing 
also to turn against the Em- 
peror in favour of Francis I 
and to loot the vast wealth of 

the church in England, joined the company of Protestant 
princes in 1530. Sweden, Denmark, and Norway had al- 
ready gone over to the Protestant side. 

The Germans religious war began in 1546, a few months 
after the death of Martin Luther. We n,eed not trouble 
about the incidents of the campaign. The Protestant Saxon 
army was badly beaten at Lochau. By something very like 
a breach of faith Philip of Hesse, the Emperor's chief re- 
maining antagonist, was caught and imprisoned, and the 
Turks were bought off by the payment of an annual tribute. 
In 1547, to the great relief of the Emperor, Francis I died. 
So by 1547 Charles got to a kind of settlement, and made his 
last efforts to effect peace where there was no peace. In 1552 
all Germany was at war again, only a precipitate flight from 
Innsbruck saved Charles from capture, and in 1552, with 
the treaty of Passau, came another unstable equilibrium, 
Charles was now utterly weary of the cares and splendours 
of empire; he had never had a very sound constitution, he 
was naturally indolent, and he was suffering greatly from 

1 But he had a better reason for doing this in the fact that there was 
no heir to the throne. The Wars of the Roses, a bitter dynastic war, 
were still very vivid in the minds of English people. — ^F. H. H. 

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gout. He abdicated. He made over all his sovereign rights 
in Germany to his brother Ferdinand, and Spain and the 
Netherlands he resigned to his son Philip. He then re- 
tired to a monastery at Yuste, among the oak and chestnut 
forests in the hills to the north of the Tagus valley, and 
there he died in 1558. 

Much has been written in a sentimental vein of his re- 
tirement, this renunciation of the world by this tired majestic 
Titan, world-weary, seeking in an austere solitude his peace 
with God. But his retreat was neither solitary nor austere ; 
he had with him nearly a hundred and fifty attendants ; his 
establishment had all the indulgences without the fatigues of 
a court, and Philip II was a dutiful son to whom his father's 
advice was a command. As for his austerities, let Prescott 
witness: "In the almost daily correspondence between 
Quixada, or Gaztelu, and the Secretary of State at Valla- 
dolid, there is scarcely a letter that does not turn more or less 
on the Emperor's eating or his illness. The one seems 
naturally to follow, like a running commentary, on the other. 
It is rare that such topics have formed the burden of com- 
munications with the department of state. It must have 
been no easy matter for the secretary to preserve his gravity 
in the perusal of despatches in which politics and gastronomy 
were so strangely mixed together. The courier from Valla- 
dolid to Lisbon was ordered to make a detour, so as to take 
Jarandilla in his route, and bring supplies for the royal 
table. On Thursdays he was to bring fish to serve for the 
jour maigre that was to follow. The trout in the neighbour- 
hood Charles thought too small ; so others, of a larger size, 
were to be sent from Valladolid. Fish of every kind was to 
his taste, as, indeed, was anything that in its nature or 
habits at all approached to fish. Eels, frogs, oysters, oc- 
cupied an important place in the royal bill of fare. Potted 
fish, especially anchovies, found gr^at favour with him; and 
he regretted that he had not brought a better supply of these 
from the Low Countries. On an eel-pasty he particularly 
doted." . . .* 

1 Prescott's Appendix to Robertson's History of Charles F. 

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In 1554 Oharles had obtained a bull from Pope Julius III 
granting him a dispensation from fasting, and allowing him 
to break his fast early in the morning even when he was to 
take the sacrament 

^^That Charles was not altogether unmindful of his wear- 
ing apparel in Yuste, may be inferred from the fact that his 
wardrobe contained no less than sixteen robes of silk and 
velvet, lined with ermine, or eider down, or the soft hair of 
the Barbary goat. As to the furniture and upholstery of 
his apartments, how little reliance is to be placed on the re*- 
ports so carelessly circulated about these may be gathered 
from a single glance at the inventory of his effects, pre^ 
pared by Quixada and Oaztelu soon after their master's 
death. Among the items we find carpets from Turkey and 
Alcarez, canopies of velvet and other stuffs, hangings of fine 
black cloth, which since his mother's death he had always 
chosen for his own bedroom; while the remaining apart- 
ments wjere provided with no less than twenty-five suits of 
tapestry, from the looms of Flanders, richly embroidered 
with figures of animals and with landscapes." . • . ^' Among 
the different pieces of plate we find some of pure gold, and 
others especially noted for their curious workmanship ; and 
as this was an age in which the art of working the precious 
metals wa(j carried to the highest perfection, we cannot doubt 
that some of the finest specimens had come into the 
Emperor's possession. The whole amount of plate was esti*- 
mated at between twelve and thirteen thousand ounces in 
weight." . . .* 

Charles had never acquired the habit of reading, but he 
would be read aloud to at meals after the fashion of Charle- 
magne, and would make what one narrator describes as a 
^gwcet and heavenly commentary." He also amused him- 
aelf with technical toys, by listening to music or sermons, and 
by attending to the imperial business that still came drifting 
in to him. The death of the Empress, to whom he was 
greatly attached, had turned his mind towards religion, which 
fai his case took a punctilious and ceremonial form; every 


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Friday in Lent he scourged himself with the rest of the 
monks with such good will as to draw blood. These exercises 
and the gout released a bigotry in Charles that had been 
hitherto restrained by considerations of policy. The ap- 
pearance of Protestant teaching close at hand in Yalladolid 
roused him to fury. "Tell the grand inquisitor and his 
council from me to be at their posts, and to lay the axe at the 
root of the evil before it spreads further." .... He ex- 
pressed a doubt whether it would not be well, in so black an 
affair, to dispense with the ordinary course of justice, and to 
show no mercy ; "lest the criminal, if pardoned, shoijdd have 
the opportunity of repeating his crime." H,e recommended^ 
as an example, his own mode of proceeding in the Nether- 
lands, "where all who remaiujed obstinate in their errors were 
burned alive, and those who were admitted to penitence were 

Among the chief pleasures of the Catholic monarch be- 
tween meals during this time of retirement were funeral 
services. He not only attended every actual funeral that 
was celebrated at Yuste, but he had services conducted for the 
absent dead, he held a funeral service in memory of his 
wife on the anniversary of her death, and finally he cele- 
brated his own obsequies. "The chapel was hung with black, 
and the blaze of hundreds of wax-lights was scarcely sufficient 
to dispel the darkness. The brethren in their conventual 
dress, and all the Emperor's household clad in deep mourn- 
ing, gathered round a huge catafalque, shrouded also in black, 
which had been raised in the centre of the chapel. The 
service for the burial of the dead was then performed ; and, 
amidst th/e dismal wail of the monks, the prayers ascended 
for the departed spirit, that it might be received into the 
mansions of the blessed. The sorrowful attendants were 
melted to tears, as the image of their master's death was pre- 
sented to their minds — or they were touched, it may be, with 
compassion by this pitiable display of weakness. Charles, 
muffled in a dark mantle, and bearing a lighted candle in his 
hand, mingled with his household, Ae spectator of his own 
obsequies; and the doleful ceremony was concluded by his 

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placing the taper in the hands of the priests, in sign* of his 
surrendering up his soul to the Almighty." 

Other accounts make Charles wear a shroud and lie in the 
coffin, remaining there alone until the last mourner had left 
the chapel. 

Within two months of this masquerade he was dead. And 
the greatness of the Holy Homan Empire died with him. 
The Holy Boman Empire struggled on indeed to the days of 
Napoleon, but as an invalid and dying thing. 

§ llB 

Ferdinand, the brother of Charles V, took over his aban- 
doned work and met the German princes at the diet of Augs- 
burg in 1555. Again there was an attempt to establish a 
religious peace. Nothing could better show the quality of 
that attempted settlement and the blindness of the princes 
and statesmen concerned in it, to the deeper and broader pro- 
cesses of the time, than the form that settlement took. The 
recognition of religious freedom was to apply to the states 
and not to the individual citizens; cujns regio ejus religio, 
*Hhe confession of the subject was to be dependent on that of 
ihe territorial lord/* 

% llo 

We have given as much attention as we have done to the 
writings of Machiavelli and to the personality of Charles V 
because they throw a flood of light upon the antagonisms of 
the next period in our history. This present chapter has 
told the story of a vast expansion of human horizons and of 
a great increase and distribution of knowledge, we have seen 
the conscience of common men awakening and intimations 
of a new and profounder social justice spreading through- 
out the general body of the Western civilization. But this 
process of light and thought was leaving courts and the 
political life of the world untouched. There is little in 
Machiavelli that might not have been written by some clever 

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aecretftry in the court of Chosroes I or Shi-Hwang-ti — or 
even of Sargon I or Pepi. While the world in everything 
else was moving f orward, in political ideas^ in ideas about the 
relationship of state to state and of sovereign to citizjen, it 
was standing still. Nay, it was falling back. For the great 
idea of the Catholic Church as the world city of Qod had 
been destroyed in men's minds by the church itself, and the 
dream of a world imperialism had, in the person of Charles 
V, been carried in effigy through Europe to limbo. 
Politically the world seemed falling back towards personal 
monarchy of the Assyrian or Macedonian pattern. 

It is not that the newly awakened intellectual energies of 
western European men were too absorbed in theological re- 
statement, in scientific investigations, in exploration and 
mercantile development, to give a thought to tike claims and 
responsibilities of rulers. Not only were common men draw- 
ing ideas of a theocratic or republican or communistic char- 
acter from the now accessible Bible, but the renewed study of 
the Greek classics was bringing the creative and fertilizing 
spirit of Plato to bear upon the Western mind. In Eng- 
land Sir Thomas More produced a quaint imitation of 
Plato's Republic in his Utopiaj setting out a sort of autocratic 
communism. In Naples, a century later, a certain friar 
Campanella was equally bold in his Oity of the Sun. But 
such discussions were having no immediate eflFect upon 
political arrangements. Compared with the massiveness of 
the task, these books do indeed seem poetical and scholarly 
and flimsy. (Yet later on the Utopia was to bear fruit in 
the English Poor Laws.) The intellectual and moral 
development of the Western mind and this drift toward 
Machiavellian monarchy in Europe were for a time going on 
concurrently in the same world, but they were going ou 
almost independently. The statesmen still schemed and 
manoeuvred as if nothing grew but the power of wary and 
fortunate kings. It was only in the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries that these two streams of tendency, the 
stream of general ideas and the drift of traditional and ego* 
istio monarcMoal diplomacy, interfered and came into oonflieti 

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§ 1. Princes and Foreign Policy. § 2. The Dutch 
Republic § 3. The English Bepublic § 4. The 
Break-up and Disorder of Germany. § 5. The Splen- 
dours of Grand Monarchy in Europe. § 6. The Growth 
of the idea of Great Powers. § 7. The Crowned Be- 
public of Poland and its Fate. § 8. The First Scramble 
for Empire Overseas. § 9. Britain Dominates India. 
§ 10. Bussia's Bide to the Pacific. § 11. What 
Gibbon Thought of the World in 1780. § 12. The Social 
Truce Draws to an End. 


IN the preceding chapter we have traced the beginnings of 
a new civilization, the civilization of the "modem" type 
which becomes at the present time world-wide. It is 
still a vast unformed thing, still only in the opening phases 
of growth and development to-day. We have seen the 
medisBval ideas of the Holy Roman Empire and of the 
Roman Church, as forms of universal law and order, fade in 
its dawn. They fade out, as if it were necessary in order 
that these ideas of one law and one order for all men should 
be redrawn on world-wide lines. And while in nearly every 
other field of hiunan interest there was advance, the efface- 
ment of these general political ideas of the Church and 
Empire led back for a time in things political towards merely 
personal monarchy and monarchist nationalism of the Mace- 
donian type. There came an interregnum, as it were, in the 
consolidation of human affairs, a phase of the type the 
Chinese annalists would call an "Age of Confusion." This 
interregnum has lasted as long as that between the fall of 

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the Western Empire and the crowning of Charlemagne in 
Eome. We are living in it to-day. It may be drawing to 
its close; we cannot tell yet The old leading ideas had 
broken down, a medley of new and untried projects and sug- 
gestions perplexed men's minds and actions, and meanwhile 
the world at large had to fall back for leadership upon the 
ancient tradition of an individual prince. There was no 
new way clearly apparent for men to follow, and the prince 
was there. 

All over the world the close of the sixteenth century saw 
monarchy prevailing and tending towards absolutism. Ger- 
many and Italy were patchworks of autocratic princely do- 
minions, Spain was practically autocratic, the throne had 
never been so powerful in England, and as the seventeenth 
century drew on, the French monarchy gradually became the 
greatest and most consolidated power in Europe. The 
leases and fluctuations of its ascent we cannot record here* 

At every court there were groups of ministers and secre- 
taries who played a Machiavellian game against their foreign 
rivals. Foreign policy is the natural employment of courts 
and monarchies. Foreign offices are, so to speak, the lead- 
ing characters in all the histories of the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries. They kept Europe in a fever of wars. 
And wars were becoming expensive. Armies were no longer 
imtrained levies, no longer assemblies of feudal knights who 
brought their own horses and weapons and retainers with 
them ; they needed more and more artillery ; they consisted 
of paid troops who insisted on their pay; they were 
professional and slow and elaborate, conducting long 
sieges, necessitating elaborate fortifications. War ex- 
penditure increased everywhere and called for more and 
more taxation. And here it was that these monarchies 
of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries came into conflict 
with new and shapeless forces of freedom in the community. 
In practice the princes found they were not masters of their 
subjects' lives or property. They found an inconvenient re- 
sistance to the taxation that was necessary if their diplo- 
matic aggressions and alliances were to continue. Finance 

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became an tinpleasant spectre in every council chamber. In 
theory the monarch owned his country. James I of Eng- 
land (1603) declared that "As it is a&eism and blasphemy 
to dispute what God can do ; so it is a presumption and high 
contempt in a subject to dispute what a king can do, or say 
that a king cannot do this or that." In practice, however, 
he found, and his son Charles I (1625) was to find still 
more effectually, that there were in his dominions a great 
number of landlords and merchants, substantial and intel- 
ligent persons, who set a very definite limit to the calls and 
occasions of the monarch and his ministers. They were 
prepared to tolerate his rule if they themselves might also 
be monarchs of their lands and businesses and trades and 
what not. But not otherwise. 

Everywhere in Europe there was a parallel development. 
Beneath the kings and princes there were these lesser mon- 
archs, the private owners, noblemen, wealthy citizens and the 
like, who were now offering the sovereign prince much the 
same resistance that the kings and princes of Germany had 
offered the Emperor. They wanted to limit taxation so 
far as it pressed upon themselves, and to be free in their own 
houses and estates. And the spread of books and reading 
and intercommunication was enabling these smaller mon- 
archs, these monarchs of ownership, to develop such a com- 
munity of ideas and such a solidarity of resistance as had 
been possible at no previous stage in the world^s history. 
Everywhere they were disposed to resist the prince, but it 
was not everywhere that they found the same faculties for 
an organized resistance. The economic circumstances and 
the political traditions of the Netherlands and England made 
those countries the first to bring this antagonism of mon- 
archy and private ownership to an issue. 

At first this seventeenth-century "public,'' this public of 
property owners, cared very little for foreign policy. They 
did not perceive at first how it affected them. They did not 
want to be bothered with it ; it was, they conceded, the affairs 
of kings and princes. They made no attempt therefore to 
control foreign entanglements. But it was with the direct 

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oonsequenoes of these entanglements that they quarrelled; 
they objected to heavy taxation, to interference with trade, 
to arbitrary imprisonment, and to the control of consciences 
by the monarch. It was upon these questions that they 
joined issue with the Crown. 

§ 2 

The breaking away of the Netherlands from absolutist 
monarchy was the beginning of a series of such conflicts 
throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They 
varied very greatly in detail according to local and racial 
peculiarities but essentially they were all rebellious against 
the idea of a predominating personal "prince" and his reli- 
gious and political direction. 

In the twelfth century all the lower Rhine country was 
divided up among a number of small rulers, and the popula- 
tion was a Low German one on a Celtic basis, mixed with sub- 
sequent Danish ingredients very similar to the English 
admixture. The south-eastern fringe of it spoke French 
dialects; the bulk, Frisian, Dutch, and other Low Ger- 
man languages. The Netherlands figured largely in the cru- 
sades. Godfrey of Bouillon, who took Jerusalem (First 
Crusade), was a Belgian; and the founder of the so- 
called Latin Dynasty of emperors in Constantinople 
(Fourth Crusade) was Baldwin of Flanders. (They were 
called Latin emperors because they were on the side of the 
Latin church.) In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries 
considerable towns grew up in the Netherlands: Ghent, 
Bruges, Ypres, Utrecht, Leyden, Haarlem, and so forth; and 
these towns developed quasi-independent municipal govemr 
ments and a class of educated townsmen. We will not 
trouble the reader with the dynastic accidents that linked 
the affairs of the Netherlands with Burgundy (Eastern 
France), and which finally made their overlordship the in- 
heritance of the Emperor Charles V. 

It was under Charles that the Protestant doctrines that 
fiqs. prevail in Germany spread in to the Netherlands. 

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Cliarles persecuted with some vigour, but in 1556, as we 
have told, he handed over the task to his son Philip 
(Philip II). Philip's spirited foreign policy — ^he was 
carrying on a war with France — ^presently became a second 
source of trouble between himself and the Netherlandish 
noblemen and townsmen, because he had to come to them for 
supplies. The great nobles, led by William the Silent, 
Prince of Orange, and the Counts of Egmont and Horn, 
made themselves the heads of a popular resistance, in which 
it is now impossible to disentangle the objection to taxation 
from the objection to religious persecution. The great 
nobles were not at first Protestants. They became Prot- 
estants as the struggle grew in bitterness. The people were 
often bitterly Protestant. 

Philip was resolved to rule both the property and con- 
sciences of his Netherlanders. He sent picked Spanish 
troops into the country, and he made governor-general a 
nobleman named Alva, one of those ruthless "strong^' men 
who wreck governments and monarchies. For a time he ruled 
the land with a hand of iron, but the hand of iron begets a 
soul of iron in the body it grips, and in 1567 the Netherlands 
were in open revolt. Alva murdered, sacked, and massacred 
— in vain. Counts Egmont and Horn were executed. 
William the Silent became the great leader of the Dutch, 
a king de facto. For a long time, and with many complica- 
tions, the struggle for liberty continued, and through it all it 
is noteworthy that the rebels continued to cling to the plea 
that Philip II was their king — ^if only he would be a 
reasonable and limited king. But the idea of limited mon- 
archy was distasteful to the crowned heads of Europe at that 
time, and at last Philip drove the United Provinces, for which 
we now use the name of Holland, to the republican form of 
government. Holland, be it noted — ^not all the Netherlands ; 
the southern Netherlands, Belgium as we now call that 
country, remained at the end of the struggle a Spanish pos- 
session and Catholic. 

The siege of Alkmaar (1573), as Motley ^ describes i1^ may 

^Skp of, the Dutch BepubUc 

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be taken as a sample of that long and hideous conflict be- 
tween the little Datch people and the still vast resources of 
Catholic Imperialism. 

" *If I take Alkmaar/ Alva wrote to Philip, ^ am re- 
solved not to leave a single creature alive; the ^ife ^all be 
put to every throat^ ... 

^^And now, with the dismantled and desolate Haarlem be- 
fore their eyes, a prophetic phantom, perhaps, of their own 
imminent fate, did the handful of people shut up with Al- 
kmaar prepare for the worst. Their main hope lay in the 
friendly sea. The vast sluices called the Zyp, through which 
the inimdation of the whole northern province could be very 
soon effected, were but a few miles distant. By opening 
these gates, and by piercing a few dykes, the ocean might be 
made to fight for them. To obtain this result, however, the 
consent of the inhabitants was requisite, as the destruction 
of all standing crops would be inevitable. The city was so 
closely invested, that it was a matter of life and death to 
venture forth, and it was difficult, therefore, to find an envoy 
for this hazardous mission. At last, a carpenter in the city, 
P.eter Van der Mey by name, undertook the adventure. • • . 

"Affairs soon approached a crisis within the beleaguered 
city. Daily skirmishes, without decisive results, had taken 
place outside the walls. At last, on the 18th of September, 
after a steady cannonade of nearly twelve hours, Don 
Frederick, at three in the afternoon, ordered an assault. Not- 
withstanding his seven months' experience at Haarlem, be 
still believed it certain that he should carry Alkmaar by 
storm. The attack took place at once upon the Frisian gate 
and upon the red tower on the opposite side. Two choice 
regiments, recently arrived from Lombardy, led the onset, 
rending the air with their shouts and confident of an easy 
victory. They were sustained by what seemed an over- 
whehning force of disciplined troops. Yet never, even in 
the recent history of Haarlem, had an attack been received 
by more dauntless breasts. Every living man was on the 
walls. The storming parties were assailed with cannon, 
with musketry, with pistols. Boiling water, pitch and oil. 

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On February 1, 1587, after the discovery of the Babington Plot and with the 
Spanish Armada threatening, Queen Elizabeth signed the warrant for the exe- 
cution of her dangerous rival, the Queen of Scots. (Painting by Schrader) 

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molten lead, and unslaked lime were poured upon them 
every moment. Hundreds of tarred and burning hoops were 
skilfully quoited roimd the necks of the soldiers, who 
struggled in vain to extricate themselves from these fiery 
ruffs, while as fast as any of the invaders planted foot upon 
the breach, they were confronted face to face with sword and 
dagger by the burghers, who hurled them headlong into the 
moat below. 

"Thrice was the attack renewed with ever-increasing rage 
— ^thrice repulsed with linflinching fortitude. The storm 
continued four hours long. During all that period not one 
of the defenders left his post, till he dropped from it dead 
or wounded. . . . The trumpet of recall was sounded, and 
the Spaiiiards, utterly discomfited, retired from the walls, 
leaving at least one thousand dead in the trenches, while 
only thirteen burghers and twenty-four of the garrison lost 
their lives. ... Ensign Solis, who had mounted the breach 
for an instant, and miraculously escaped with life, after 
having been hurled from the battlements, reported tfiat he 
had seen ^neither helmet nor harness' as he looked down into 
the city: only some plain-looking people, generally dressed 
like fii^ermen. Yet these plain-looking fishermen had de- 
feated the veterans of Alva. ... 

"Meantime, as Governor Sonoy had opened many of the 
dykes, the land in the neighbourhood of the camp was be- 
coming plashy, although as yet the threatened inundation 
had not taken place. The soldiers were already very un- 
comfortable and very refractory. The carpenter-envoy had 
not Been idle. . . .*' 

He returned with despatches for the city. By accident or 
contrivance he lost these despatches as he made his way into 
the town, so that they fell into Alva's hands. They con- 
tained a definite promise from the Duke of Orange to flood 
the country so as to drown the whole Spanish army. In- 
cidentally this would also have drowned most of the Dutch 
harvest and cattle. But Alva, when he had read these 
documents, did not wait for the opening of any more 
sluices. Presently the stout men of Alkmaar, dieering 

WeUiT— VoLin ^ J 

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and jeering, watched the Spaniards breal^ng camp. • . • 
The form assumed by the government of iiberated Holland 
was a patrician republic under the headship of the house of 
Orange. The States-General was far less representative of 
the whole body of citizens than was the English Parliament 
whose struggle with the Crown we shall next relate. 

Though the worst of the struggle was over after Alkmaar, 
Holland was not effectively independent until 1609, and its 
independence was only fully and completely recognized by 
the treaty of iWestphaJia in 1648. 


The open struggle of the private property owner against 
the aggressions of the "Prince" begins in England far back 
in the twelfth century. The phase in this struggle that we 
have to study now is the phase that open,ed witii the attempts 
of Henry VII and VIII and their successors, Edward VI, 
Mary and Elizabeth, to make the government of England a 
"personal monarchy" of the continental type. It became 
mor,e accute when, by dynastic accidents, James, King of 
Scotland, became James I, King of both Scotland and 
England (1603), and began to talk in the manner we have 
already quoted of his "divine right" to do as he pleased. 
But never had the path of English monarchy been a smooth 
one. In all the monarchies of the Northmen and Germanic 
invaders of the lempire there had been a tradition of a 
popular assembly of influential and representative men to 
preserve their general liberties, and in none was it more 
living than in England. France had her tradition of the as- 
sembly of the Three Estates, Spain her Cortes, but the 
English assembly was peculiar in two respects; that it had 
behind it a documentary declaration of certain elementary 
and universal rights, and that it contained elected 'TCnights 
of the Shire,'^ as well as elected burghers from the towns. 
The French and Spanish assemblies had the latter, but not 
the former element. 

These two features gave the English Parliament a peculiar 

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strength in its struggle with the Throne. The document in 
question was Magna Carta, the Great Charter, a declaration 
which was forced from King John (1199-1216), the brother 
and successor of Richard Coeur de Lion (1189-99), after a 
revolt of the Barons in 1215, It rehearsed a number of 
fundamental rights that made England a legal and not a 
regal state. It rejected the power of the king to contr6l 
the personal property and liberty of every sort of citizen — 
save with the consent of that man's equals. 

The presence of the elected shire representatives in the 
English Parliament, the second peculiarity of the British 
situation, came about from very simple and apparently in^ 
nocuous beginnings. From the shires, or county divisions, 
knights seem to have been summoned to the national council 
to testify to the taxable capacity of their districts. They 
were sent up by the minor gentry, freeholders and village 
elders of their districts as early as 1254, two knights from 
each shire. This idea inspired Simon de Montfort,^ who 
was in rebellion against Henry III, the successor of John, to 
summon to the national council two knights from each shire 
and two citizens from each city or borough. Edward I, the 
successor to Henry III, continued this practice because it 
seemed a convenient way of getting into financial touch 
with the growing towns. At first there was considerable 
reluctance on the parts of the knights and townsmen to at- 
tend Parliament, but gradually the power they possessed of 
linking the redress of grievances with the granting of sub- 
sidies was realized. Quite early, if not from the first, these 
representatives of the general property owners in town and 
country, the Commons, sat and debated apart from the great 
Lords and Bishops. So there grew up in England a repre- 
sentative assembly, the Commons, beside an episcopal and 
patrician one, the Lords. There was no profound and fun- 
damental difference between the personnel of the two as* 
semblies; many of the knights of the shire were substantial 
men who might be as wealthy and influential as peers and 

iThis is not the fiame Simon de Montfort as the leader of the ctu« 
sades against the Albigenses, but his son. 

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also the sons and brothers of peers^ but on the whole the 
Commons was the more plebeian assembly* From the first 
these two assemblies, and especially the Commons, displayed 
a disposition to claim the entire power of taxation in the 
land. Gradually they extended their purview of grievances 
to a criticism of all the affairs of the reahn. We will not 
follow the fluctuations of the power and prestige of the 
English Parliament through the time of the Tudor monarchs 
(i. e., Heniy VII and VIII, Edward VI, Mary and Eliza- 
beth), but it will be manifest from what has been said that 
when at last James Stuart made his open claim to autocracy, 
the English merchants, peers, and private gentlemen found 
themselves with a tried and honoured traditional m,eans of 
resisting him such as no other people in Europe possessed. 

Another peculiarity of the English political conflict was 
its comparative detachment from the great struggle between 
Catholic and Protestant that was now being waged all over 
Europe. There were, it is true, very distinct religious is- 
sues mixed up in the English struggl^e, but upon its main 
lines it was a political struggle of King against the Parlia- 
ment embodying the class of private-property-owning citi- 
zens. Both Crown and people were formally reformed and 
Protestant, It is true that many people on the latter side 
were Protestants of a Bible-respecting, non-sacerdotal type, 
representing that reformation according to the peoples, and 
that the king was the nominal head of a special sacerdotal 
and sacramental church, the established Church of England, 
representing the reformation according to the princes, but 
this antagonism never completely obscured the essentials of 
the conflict. 

The struggle of King and Parliament had already reached 
an acute phase before die death of James I (1625), but only 
in the reign of his son Charles I did it culminate in civU 
war. Charles did exactly what one might have expected a 
king to do in such a position, in view of the lack of Parlia- 
mentary control over foreign policy; he embroiled the coun- 
try in a conflict with both Spain and France, and thai 
came to the country for supplies in the hope that patriotic 

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feeling would override the normal dislike to giving him 
money. When Parliament refused supplies, he demanded 
loans from various subjects, and attempted similar illegal 
exactions. This produced from Parliament in 1628 a very 
memorable document, the Petition of Right, citing the Great 
Charter and rehearsing the legal limitations upon the power 
of the English king, denying his right to levy charges upon, 
or to imprison, or punish anyone, or to quarter soldiers on 
the people, without due process of law. The Petition of 
Right stated the case of the English Parliament. The dis-^ 
position to ^^state a case" has always been a very marked 
English characteristic. When President Wilson, during 
the Great War of 1914-18, prefaced each step in his policy 
by a *^ote," he was walking in the most respectable tradi- 
tions of the English. Charles dealt with this Parliament 
with a high hand, he dismissed it in 1629, and for eleven 
years he summoned no Parliament. He levied money il- 
legally, but not enough for his purpose ; and realizing that 
the church could be used as an instrument of obedience, he 
made Laud, an aggressive high churchman, very much of a 
priest and a very strong believer in "divine right,*' Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, and so head of the Church of Eng- 

In 1638 Charles tried to extend the half-Protestant, half- 
Catholic characteristics of the Church of England to his other 
kingdom of Scotland, where the secession from Catholicism 
had been more complete, and where a non-sacerdotal, non- 
sacramental form of Christianity, Presbyterianism, had been 
established as the national church. The Scotch revolted, and 
the English levies Charles raised to £ght them mutinied. 
Insolvency, at all times the natural result of a "spirited'^ 
foreign policy, was dose at hand. Charles, without money 
or trustworthy troops, had to summon a Parliament at last 
in 1640. This Parliament, the Short Parliament, he dis- 
missed in the same year; he tried a Council of Peers at York 
(1640), and then, in the November of that year, summoned 
his last Parliament. 

This body, the Long Parliament, assembled in the mood 

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for conflict It seized Laud, the Archbishop of Canterbury, 
and charged him with treason. It published a ^^Grand Be- 
monstrance/' which was a long and full statement of its case 
against Charles. It provided by a bill for a meeting of 
Parliament at least once in three years, whether the King 
summoned it or no. It prosecuted tiie King's chief ministers 
who had helped him to reign for so long without Parliament, 
and in particular the Earl of Strafford. To save Strafford 
the King plotted for a sudden seizure of London by the army. 
This was discovered, and the Bill for Strafford's oondenma- 
tion was hurried on in the midst of a vast popular excitement. 
Charles I, who was probably one of the meanest and most 
treacherous occupants the English throne has ever knowUi 
was frightened by the London crowds. Before Strafford 
could die by due legal process, it was necessary for the King 
to give his assent Charles gave it — and Strafford was be- 
headed. Meanwhile the King was plotting and looking for 
help in strange quarters — ^from the Catholic Irish, from 
treasonable Scotclmi,en. Finally he resorted to a forcible- 
feeble display of violence. He went down to the Houses of 
Parliament to arrest five of his most active opponents. He 
entered the House of Commons and took the Speaker's chair. 
He was prepared with some bold speech about treason, but 
when he saw the places of his five antagonists vacant, he was 
baffled, confused, and spoke in broken sentences. He learnt 
that they had departed from his royal city of Westnunster 
and taken refuge in the city of London (see Chap, xxv, § 7). 
London defied him. A week later the Five Members were 
escorted back in triumph to the Parliament House in Weatr 
minster by the Trained Bands of London, and the King, to 
avoid the noise and hostility of the occasion, left Whitehall 
for Windsor. 

Both parties then prepared openly for war. 

The King was the traditional head of the army, and the 
. habit of obedience in soldiers is to the King. The Parlia- 
ment had the greater resources. The King set up his 
standard at Nottingham on the eve of a dark and stormy 
August day in 1642. There followed a long and obstinate 

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civil war, the King holding Oxford, the Parliament, London. 
Success swayed from side to side, but the King could never 
close on London nor Parliament take Oxford. Each antag* 
onist was weakened by moderate adherents who "did not 
want to go too far," There emerged among the Parlia- 
mentary commanders a certain Oliver Cromwell, who had 
raised a small troop of horse and who rose to the position of 
general. Lord Warwick, his contemporary, describes him 
as a plain man, in a cloth suit "made by an ill country tailor/* 
He was no mere fighting soldier, but a military organizer; 
he realized the inferior quality of many of the Parliamentary 
forces and set himself to remedy it. The Cavaliers of the 
King had the picturesque tradition of chivalry and loyalty 
on their side ; Parliament was something new and difficult — 
without any comparable traditions. "Your troops are most 
of them old decayed serving men and tapsters," said Crom- 
welL "Do you think that the spirits of such base and mean 
fellows will evjer be able to encounter gentlemen that have 
honour and courage and resolution in them?" But there 
is something better and stronger than picturesque chivalry 
in the world, religious enthusiasm. He set himself to get 
together a "godly" regiment. They were to be earnest, 
aober-living men. Above all, they were to be men of strong 
convictions. He disregarded all social traditions, and drew 
his officers from every class. "I had rather have a plain, 
russet-coated captain that knows what he fights for and loves 
what he knows, than what you call a gentleman and is noth- 
ing else." England discovered a new force, the Ironsides, 
in its midst, in which footmen, draymen, and ships' captains 
held high command, side by side with men of family. They 
became the type on which the Parliament sought to recon- 
struct its entire army. The Ironsides were the backbone of 
this "New Model." From Marston Moor to Naseby these 
men swept the Cavaliers before them. The King was at 
last a captive in the hands of Parliament. 

There were still attempts at settlement that would have left 
the King a sort of king, but Charles was a man doomed to 
trggie issues, incessantly scheming, "so false a man that he 

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is not to be trusted," The English were drifting towards a 
situation new in the world's history, in which a monarch 
should be formally tried for treason to his people and con- 

Most revolutions are precipitated, as this English one was, 
by the excesses of the ruler, and by attempts at strength and 
firmness beyond the compass of the law ; and most revolutions 
swing by a kind of necessity towards an extremer conclu- 
sion than is warranted by the original quarrel. The English 
revolution was no exception. The English are by nature a 
compromising and even a vacillating people, and probably the 
great majority of them still wanted the King to be King and 
the people to be free, and all the lions and lambs to lie down 
together in peace and liberty. But the army of the New 
Model could not go back. There would have been scant 
mercy for these draymen and footmen who had ridden down 
the King's gentlemen if the King came back. When Parlia- 
ment began to treat again with this regal trickster, the New 
Model intervened ; Colonel Pride turned out eighty members 
from the House of Commons who favoured the King, and the 
illegal residue, th,e Bump Parliament, then put the King on 

But indeed the King was already doomed. The House of 
Lords rejected the ordinance for the trial, and the Bump 
then proclaimed "that the People are, under (Jod, the original 
of all just power," and that "the Commons of England . . . 
have the supreme power in this nation," and — assuming that 
it was itself the Commons — ^proceeded with the trial. The 
King was condemned as a "tyrant, traitor, murderer, and 
enemy of his country." He was taken one January morn- 
ing in 1649 to a scaffold erected outside the windows of his 
own banqueting-room at Whitehall. There he was beheaded. 
He died with piety and a certain noble self-pity— eight 
years after the execution of Strafford, and after six and a half 
years of a destructive civil war which had been caused almost 
entirely by his own lawlessness. 

This was indeed a great and terrifying thing that Parlia- 
ment had done. Th,e like of it had never been heard of in 

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the world before. Kings had killed each other times enough ; 
parricide, fratricide, assassination, those are the privileged 
expedients of princes ; but that a section of the people should 
rise up, try its king solemnly and deliberately for disloyalty, 
mischief, and treachery, and condemn and kill him, sent 
horror through every court in Europe. The Bump Parlia- 
ment had gone beyond the ideas and conscience of its time. 
It was as if a committee of jungle deer had taken and killed 
a tiger — a crime against nature. The Tsar of Russia chased 
the English envoy from his court. France and Holland com- 
mitted acts of open hostility. England, confused and con- 
science-stricken at her own sacrilege, stood isolated before the 

But for a time the personal quality of Oliver Cromwell 
and the discipline and strength of the army he had created 
maintained England in the republican course she had taken. 
The Irish Catholics had made a massacre of the Protestant 
English in Ireland, and now Cromwell suppressed the Irish 
insurrection with great vigor. Except for certain friars at 
the storm of Drogheda, none but men with arms in their hands 
were killed by his troops ; but the atrocities of the massacre 
w;ere fresh in his mind, no quarter was given in battle, and 
so his memory still rankles in the minds of the Irish, who 
have a long memory for their own wrongs. After Ireland 
came Scotland, where Cromwell shattered a Eoyalist army 
at the Battle of Dunbar (1650). Then he turned his at- 
tention to Holland, which country had rashly seized upon the 
divisions among the English as an excuse for the injury of 
a trade rival. The Dutch were then the rulers of the sea, 
and the English fleet fought against odds ; but after a series 
of obstinate sea fights the Dutch were driven from the British 
seas and the English took their place as the ascendant naval 
power. Dutch and French ships must dip their flags to 
them. An English fleet went into the Mediterranean — ^the 
first English naval force to enter those waters ; it put right 
various grievances of the English shippers with Tuscany and 
Malta, and bombarded the pirate nest of Algiers and der 
atroyed the pirate fleet— which in the lax days of Charles had 

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been wont to come right up to the coasts of Cornwall and 
Devon to intercept ships and carry off slaves to Africa. The 
strong arm of England also intervened to protect the Prot- 
estants in the south of France, who were being hunted to 
death by the Duke of Savoy. France, Sweden, Denmark, 
all found it wiser to overcome their first distaste for r^cide 
and allied themselves with England. Came a war with 
Spain, and the great English Admiral Blake destroyed the 
Spanish Plate Fleet at Teneriffe in an action of almost in- 
credible daring. He engaged land batteries. He was the 
first man ^^that brought ships to contemn castles on the shore." 
(He died in 1657, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, 
but after the restoration of the monarchy his bones were dug 
out by the order of Charles II, and removed to St. Margaret's, 
Westminster.) Such was the figure that England cut in the 
eyes of the world during her brief republican days. 

On September 3rd, 1658, Cromwell died in the midst of 
a great storm that did not fail to impress the superstitious. 
Once his strong hand lay still, England fell away from this 
premature attempt to realize a righteous commonweal of 
free men. In 1660 Charles II, the son of Charles the 
'^Martyr," was welcomed back to England with all those 
manifestations of personal loyalty dear to the English heart, 
and the country relaxed from its military and naval efficiency 
as a sleeper might wake and stretch and yawn after too in- 
tense a dream. The Puritans were done with. "Merrie 
England" was herself again, and in 1667 the Dutch, once 
more masters of the sea, sailed up the Thames to Gravesend 
and burnt an English Fleet in the Medway. "On the night 
when our ships were burnt by the Dutch,'' says Pepys, in 
his diary, "the King did sup with my Lady Oastelmaine, and 
there they were all mad, hunting a poor moth." Charles, 
from the date of his return, 1860, took control of the foreign 
affairs of the state, and in 1670 concluded a secret treaty 
with Louis XIV of France by which he undertook to 
subordinate entirely English foreign policy to that of 
France for an annual pension of £100,000. Dunkirk, 
which Cromwell had taken, had already been sold back tfi 

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France. The King was a great sportsman ; he had the true 
English love for watching horse races, and the racing centre 
at Newmarket is perhaps his most characteristic monument. 

"While Charles lived, his easy humour enabled him to re- 
tain the British crown, but he did so by wariness and com- 
promise, and when in 1685 he was succeeded by his brother 
James II, who was a devout Catholic, and too dull to recog- 
nize the hidden limitation of the monarchy in Britain, the 
old issue between Parliament and Crown became acute. 
James set himself to force his country into a religious re- 
union with Home. In 1688 he was in^flight to France. But 
this time the great lords and merchants and gentlemen were 
too circumspect to let this revolt against the King fling them 
into the hands of a second Pride or a second Cromwell. 
They had already called in another king, William, Prince of 
Orange, to replace James. The change was made rapidly. 
There was no civil war — except in Ireland — ^and no release 
of the deeper revolutionary forces of the country. 

Of William's claim to the throne, or rather of his wife 
Mary's claim, we cannot tell here, its interest is purely tech- 
nical, nor how William III and Mary ruled, nor how, after 
the widower William had reigned alone for a time, the 
throne passed on to Mary's sister Anne (1702-14). Anne 
seems to have thought favourably of a restoration of the 
Stuart line, but the Lords and the Commons, who now dom- 
inated English affairs, prefei^ed a less competent king. 
Some sort of claim could be made out for the Elector of Han- 
over, who became King of England as George I (1714-27). 
He was entirely German, he could speak no English, and he 
brought a swarm of German women and German attendants 
to the English Court; a dullness, a tarnish, came over the 
intellectual life of the land with his coming, but this isola- 
tion of the court from English life was his conclusive recom- 
mendation to the great landowners and the commercial inter- 
ests who chiefly brought him over. England entered upon a 
phase which Lord Beaconsfield has called the "Venetian 
oligarchy" stage ; the supreme power resided in Parliament, 
dominated now by the Lords, for the art of bribery and a 

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study of the methods of working elections carried to a high 
pitch by Sir Eobert Walpole had robbed the House of Com- 
mons of its original freedom and vigour. By ingenious 
devices the parliamentary vote was restricted to a ahriTiTriTig 
number of electors, old towns with little or no population 
would return one or two members (old Sarum had one non- 
resident voter, no population, and two members), while newer 
populous centres had no representation at all. And by in- 
sisting upon a high property qualification for members, the 
chance of the Commons spewing in common accents of 
vulgar needs was still more restricted. George I was 
followed by the very similar George II (1727-60), and it was 
only at his death that England had again a king who had been 
bom in England, and one who could speak English fairly 
well, his grandson George III. On this monarch's attempt 
to recover some of the larger powers of monarchy we shall 
have something to say in a later section. 

Such briefly is the story of the struggle in England during 
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries between the three 
main factors in the problem of the "modem state'* ; betwcCTi 
the crown, the private property owners, and that vague power, 
still blind and ignorant, the power of the quite common 
people. This latter factor appears as yet only at moments 
when the country is most deeply stirred ; then it sinks back 
into the depths. But the end of the story, thus far, is a 
very complete triumph of the British private property owner 
over the dreams and schemes of Machiavellian absolutism. 
With the Hanoverian Dynasty, England became — as the 
Times recently styled her — a "crowned republic." She had 
worked out a new method of government. Parliamentary 
government, recalling in many ways the Senate and Popular 
Assembly of Home, but more steadfast and efficient because 
of its use, however restricted, of the representative method. 
Her assembly at Westminster was to become the "Mother of 
Parliaments'' throughout the world. Towards the crown the 
English Parliament has held and still holds much the rela- 
tion of the mayor of the palace to the Merovingian kings* 
The king is conceived of as ceremonial and irresponsible, a 

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living symbol of the royal and imperial system. But much 
power remains latent in the tradition and prestige of the 
crown, and the succession of the four Hanoverian Georges, 
WiUiam IV (1830), Victoria (1837), Edward VII (1901), 
and the present king, George V (1910), is of a quite dif- 
ferent strain from the feeble and short-lived Merovingian 
monarchs. In the affairs of the church, the military and 
naval organizations, and the foreign oflSce, these sovereigns 
have all in various degrees exercised an influence which is 
none the less important because it is indefinable. 


Upon no part of Europe did the collapse of the idea of 
a unified Christendom bring more disastrous consequences 
than to Germany. Naturally one would have supposed that 
the Emperor, being by origin a German, both in lie case of 
the earlier lines and in the case of the Habsburgs, would have 
developed into the national monarch of a united Ger- 
man-speaking state. It was the accidental misfortune of 
Germany that her Emperors never remained German. 
Frederick II, the last Hohenstaufen, was, as we have seen, 
a half -Orientalized Sicilian ; the Habsburgs, by marriage and 
inclination, became in the person of Charles V, first Bur- 
gundian and then Spanish in spirit. After the death of 
Charles V, his brother Ferdinand took Austria and the 
empire, and his son Philip II took Spain, the Netherlands, 
and South Italy ; but the Austrian line, obstinately Catholic, 
holding its patrimony mostly on the eastern frontiers, deeply 
entangled therefore with Hungarian affairs and paying trib- 
ute, as Ferdinand and his two successors did, to the Turk, 
retained no grip upon the north Germans with their disposi- 
tion towards Protestantism, their Baltic and westward 
affinities, and their ignorance of or indifference to the Turkish 

The sovereign princes, dukes, electors, prince bishops and 
the like, whose domains cut up the map of the Germany of 
the Middle Ages into a crazy patchwork, were really now the 

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equivalents of the kings of England and France. They were 
rather on the level of the great land-owning dukes and peers 
of France and England. Until 1701 none of them had the 
title of ^^Sing." Many of their dominions were less both 
in size and value than the larger estates of the British 
nobility. The German Diet was like the States-General or 
like a parliament without the presence of elected repres^ita* 
tives. So that the great civil war in Germany that presently 
broke out, the Thirty Years' War (1618^8) was in its 
essential nature much more closely akin to the civil war in 
England (1643-49) and to the war of the Fronde (1648- 
53), the league of feudal nobles against the Crown in France, 
than appears upon the surface. In all these cases the Crown 
was either Catholic or disposed to become Catholic, and the 
recalcitrant nobles found their individualistic disposition 
tending to a Protestant formula. But while in England and 
Holland the Protestant nobles and rich merchants ultimately 
triumphed and in France the success of the Crown was even 
more complete, in Germany neither was the Emperor strong 
enough, nor had the Protestant princes a sufficient unity and 
organization among themselves to secure a conclusive 
triumph. It ended there in a tom-up Germany. More- 
over, the German issue was complicated by the fact that 
various non-German peoples, the Bohemians and the Swedes 
(who had a new Protestant monarchy which had arisen 
under Gustava Vasa as a direct result of the Eeformation), 
were entangled in the struggle. Finally, the French mour 
archy, triumphant now over its own nobles, although it was 
Catholic, came in on the Protestant side with the evident in- 
tention of taking the place of the Eabsburgs as the imperial 

The prolongation of the war, and the fact that it was not 
fought along a determinate frontier, but all over an 
empire of patches, Protestant here. Catholic there, made it 
one of the most cruel and destructive that Europe had known 
since the days of the barbarian raids. Its peculiar mischief 
lay not in the fighting, but in the concomitants of the fighting. 
It cam,e at a time when military tactics had developed to n 

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point that rendered ordinary levies useless against trained 
professional infantry. VoUey firing with muskets at a 
range of a few score yards had abolished the individualistic 
knight in armour, but the charge of disciplined masses of 
cavalry could still disperse any infantry that had not been 

drilled into a mechanical rigidity. The infantry with their 
muzzle-loading muskets could not keep up a steady enough 
fire to wither determined cavalry before it charged home. 
They had, therefore, to meet the shock standing or kneeling 
behind a bristling wall of pikes or bayonets. For this they 
needed great discipline and experience. Iron cannon were 
fltill of small size and not very abundant, and they did not 

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play a decisive part as yet in warfare. They could "plough 
lanes" in infantry, but they could not easily smash and scatter 
it if it was sturdy and well drilled. War under these con- 
ditions was entirely in the hands of seasoned professional 
soldiers, and the question of their pay was as important a 
one to the generals of that time as the questicm of food or 
munitions. As the long struggle dragged on from phase to 
phase, and the financial distress of the land increased, the 
commanders of both sides were forced to fall back upon the 
looting of towns and villages, both for supply and to make 
up the arrears of their soldiers' pay. The soldiers became^ 
therefore, more and more mere brigands, living on the coun- 
try, and the Thirty Years' War set up a tradition of looting 
as a legitimate operation in warfare and of outrage as a sol- 
dier's privilege that has tainted the good name of Germany 
right down to the Great War of 1914. The earlier chapters of 
Defoe's Memoirs of a Cavalier j with its vivid description of 
the massacre and burning of Magdeburg, will give the reader 
a far better idea of the warfare of this time than any formal 
history. So harried was the land that the farmers ceased 
from cultivation, what snatch crops could be harvested were 
hidden away, and great crowds of starving women and chil- 
dren became camp followers of the armies, and supplied a 
thievish tail to the rougher plundering. At the close of the 
stru^le all Germany was ruined and desolate. Central 
Europe did not fully recover from these robberies and dev- 
astations for a century. 

Here we can but name Tilly and Wallenstein, the great 
plunder captains on the Habsburg side, and Gustavus Adol- 
phus, the King of Sweden, the Lion of the North, the cham- 
pion of the Protestants, whose dream was to make the Baltic 
Sea a "Swedish Lake." Gustavus Adolphus was killed in 
his decisive victory over Wallenstein at Liitzen (1632), and 
Wallenstein was murdered in 1634. In 1648 the princes 
and diplomatists gathered amidst the havoc they had made 
to patch up the affairs of Central Europe at the Peace of 
Westphalia. By that peace the power of the Emperor was re- 
duced to a shadow, and the ^.cquisition of Alsace brought 

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IFrance up to the Rhine. And one German prince, the 
Hohenzollem Elector of Brandenburg, acquired so much 
territory as to become the greatest German power next to the 
Emperor, a power that presently (1701) became the king- 
dom of Prussia. The Treaty tJso recognized two long ac- 
complished facts, the separation from the empire and 
the complete independence of both Holland and Switaer- 


We have opened 
this chapter with the 
stories of two coun- 
tries, the Netherlands 
and Britain, in which 
the resistance of the 
private citizen to this 
new type of mon- 
archy, the Machiavel- 
lian monarchy, that 
was arising out of 
the moral collapse of 
Christendom, succeed- 
ed. But in France, 
Russia, in many parts 
of Germany and of It- 
aly — Saxony and Tus- 
cany e. g. — ^personal 
monarchy was not so 
restrained and over- 
thrown; it established 
itself indeed as the 
ruling European sys- 
tem during tiie seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries. And even in Holland and 
Britain the monarchy was recovering power during the 
eighteenth century. 

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(In Poland conditions were peculiar, and they will be dealt 
with in a later section.) 

In France there had been no Magna Carta, and there was 
not quite so definite and eflfective a tradition of parliamentary 
rule. There was the same opposition of interests between the 
crown on the one hand and the landlords and merchants on 
tlife* other, but the latter had no recognized gathering-place, 
and no dignified method of unity. They formed oppositions 
to the crown, they made leagues of resistance — ^sudi was the 
"Fronde," which was struggling against the young King 
Louis XIV and his great minister Mazarin, while Charles I 
was fighting for his life in England — ^but ultimiately (1652), 
after a civil war, they were conclusively defeated; and while 
in England after the establishments of the Hanoverians the 
House of Lords and their subservient Commons ruled the 
country, in France on the contrary after 1652, the court 
entirely dominated the aristocracy. Cardinal Mazarin was 
himself building upon a foundation that Cardinal Richelieu, 
the contemporary of King James I of England, had prepared 
for him. After the time of Mazarin we hear of no great 
French nobles unless they are at court as court servants and 
officials. They have been tamed — ^but at a price, the price 
of throwing the burtiien of taxation upon the voiceless mass 
of the common people. From many taxes both the clergy and 
nobility — everyone indeed who bore a title — ^were exempt. 
In the end this injustice became intolerable, but for a while 
the French monarchy flourished like the Psalmist's green 
bay tree. By the opening of the eighteenth century English 
writers are already calling attention to the misery of the 
French lower classes and the comparative prosperity, at that 
time, of the English poon 

On such terms of unrighteousnes what we may call '^Grand 
Monarchy" established itself in France. Louis XIV, styled 
the Grand Monarque, reigned for the unparalleled length of 
seventy-two years (1643-1715), and set a pattern for all the 
kings of Europe. At first he was guided by his Machiavel- 
lian minister, Cardinal Mazarin; after the death of the 
Cardinal he himself in his own proper person became the 

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ideal ^Trince." He was, within his limitations, fm excep- 
tionally capable king; his ambition was stronger than hia 
baser passions, and he gaided his country towards bankraptcy 
through the complication of a spirited foreign policy, with an 
elaborate dignity that still extorts our admiration. His im* 
mediate desire was to consolidate and extend France to the 
Shine and Pyrenees, and to absorb the Spanish Netherlaudg j 
his remoter view saw the French kings as the possible sno^ 
cessors of Charlemagne in a recast Holy Boman Empire, 
He made bribery a state method almost more important than 
warfare. Charles II of England was in his pay, and so were 
most of the Polish nobility, presently to be described. His 
money, or rather the money of the tax-paying classes in 
France, went everywhere. But his prevailing occupation 
was splendour. His great palace at Versailles, with its 
salons, its corridors, its mirrors, its terraces and foimtains 
and parks and prospects, was the envy and admiration of 
the world. He provoked a universal imitation. Every king 
and princelet in Europe was building his own Versailles as 
much beyond his means as his subjects and credits would 
permit. Everywhere the nobility rebuilt or extended their 
chateaux to the new pattern. A great industry of beautiful 
and elaborate fabrics and furnishings developed. The lux- 
urious arts flourished everywhere; sculpture in alabaster, 
faience, gilt woodwork, metal work, stamped leather, much 
music, magnificent painting, beautiful printing and bindings, 
fine cookery, fine vintages. Amidst the mirrors and fine 
furniture went a strange race of '^gentlemen" in vast pow- 
dered wigs, silks and laces, poised upon high red heels, sup^ 
ported by amazing canes ; and still more wonderful ^ladies,'' 
under towers of powdered hair and wearing vast expansions 
of silk and satin sustained on wire. Through it all postured 
the great Louis, the sun of his world, unaware of the meagre 
and sulky and bitter faces that watched him from those 
lower darknesses to which his sunshine did not penetrate. 

We cannot give here at any length the story of the wars 
and doings of the monarch. In many ways Voltaire's Sie^ 
ele de Louis XIV: is still the best and most wholesome ao- 

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count. He created a French navy fit to face the English 
and Dutch ; a very considerable achievement. But because 
his intelligence did not rise above the lure of that Fata Mor- 
gana, that crack in the political wits of Europe, the dream 
of a world-wide Holy Roman Empire, he drifted in his later 
years to the propitiation of the Papacy, which had hitherto 
been hostile to him. He set himself against those spirits 
of independence and disunion, the Protestant princes, and 
he made war against Protestantism in France. Great num- 
bers of his most sober and valuable subjects were driven 
abroad by his religious persecutions, taking arts and indus- 
tries with them. The English silk manufacture, for in- 
stance, was founded by French Protestants. Under his rule 
were carried out the "dragonnades," a peculiarly malignant 
and effectual form of persecution. Rough soldiers were 
quartered in the houses of the Protestants, and were free to 
disorder the life of their hosts and insult their womankind as 
they thought fit. Men yielded to that sort of pressure who 
would not have yielded to rack and fire. The education of 
the next generation of Protestants was broken up, and the 
parents had to give Catholic instruction or none. They 
gave it, no do\ibt, with a sneer and an intonation that de- 
stroyed all faith in it. While more tolerant countries bep 
came mainly sincerely Catholic or sincerely Protestant, the 
persecuting countries, like France and Spain and Italy, so 
destroyed honest Protestant teaching that these peoples be- 
came mainly Catholic believers or Catholic atheists, ready 
to break out into blank atheism whenever the opportunity 
offered. The next reign, that of Louis XV, was the age of 
that supreme mocker, Voltaire (1694-1778), an age in 
which everybody in French society conformed to the Koman 
church and hardly anyone believed in it. 

It was part — and an excellent part — of the pose of Grand 
Monarchy to patronise literature and the sciences. Louis 
XIV set up an academy of sciences in rivalry with the Eng- 
lish Royal Society of Charles II and the similar association 
at Florence. He decorated his court vnth poets, play- 
wrights, philosophers, and scientific men. If the scientific 

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process got little inspiration from this patronage, it did at 
any rate acquire resources for experiment and publication, 
and a certain prestige in the eyes of the vulgar. 
Louis XV was the great-grandson of Louis XIV, and an 

incompetent imitator of his predecessor's magnificence. He 
posed as a king, but his ruling passion was that common ob- 
sesssion of our kind, the pursuit of women, tempered by a 
superstitious fear of hell. How such women as the Duchess 
of Oh&teauroux, Madame de Pompadour, and Madame du 

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Barry dominated the pleasures of the king, and how wars 
and alliances were made, provinces devastated, thonsanda of 
people killed, because of the vanities and spites of these crea- 
tures, and how all the public life of France and Europe was 
tainted with intrigue and prostitution and imposture because 
of them, the reader must learn from the memoirs of the 
time. The spirited foreign policy went on steadily under 
Louis XV towards its final smash. 

In 1774 this Louis, Louis the Well-Beloved, as his flat- 
terers called him, died of smallpox, and was succeeded by 
his grandson, Louis XVI (1774-93), a dull, well-meaning 
man, an excellent shot, and an amateur locksmith of some 
ingenuity. Of how he came to follow Charles I to the scaf- 
fold we shall tell in a later section. Our present concern is 
with Grand Monarchy in the days of its glory. 

Among the chief practitioners of Grand Monarchy out- 
side France we may note first the Prussian kings, Frederick 
William I (1713-40), and his son and successor, Frederick 
II, Frederick the Great (1740-86). The story of the slow 
rise of the HohenzoUem family, which ruled the kingdom 
of Prussia, from inconspicuous beginnings is too tedious 
and unimportant for us to follow here. It is a story of 
luck and violence, of bold claims and sudden betrayals. It 
is told with grefit appreciation in Carlyle's Frederick the 
Oreat By the eighteenth century the Prussian kingdom 
was important enough to threaten the empire; it had a 
strong, well-drilled army, and its king was an attentive and 
worthy student of Machiavelli. Frederick the Great per- 
fected his Versailles at Potsdam. There the park of Sans 
Souci, with its fountains, avenues, statuary, aped its model ; 
there also was the New Palace, a vast brick building erected 
at enormous expense, the Orangery in the Italian style, with 
iP^Sbllection of pictures, a Marble Palace, and so on. Fred- 
erick carried culture to the pitch of authorship, and corre- 
sponded with and entertained Voltaire, to their mutual exas- 

The Austrian dominions were kept too busy between the 
hammer of the French and the anvil of the Turks to develop 

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the real Grand Monarch style until the reign of Mariar 
iTheresa (who, being a woman, did not bear the title of 
Empress) (1740-80). Joseph II, who was Emperor from 
1765-92, succeeded to her palaces in 1780. 

With Peter the Great (1682-1726) the empire of Mus- 
covy broke away from her Tartar traditions and entered the 
sphere of French attraction. Peter shaved the Oriental 
beards of his nobles and introduced Western costume. 
These were but the outward and visible symbols of his westr 
ering tendencies. To release himself from the Asiatic 
feeling and traditions of Moscow, which, like Pekin, has a 
sacred inner city, the Kremlin, he built himself a new capi- 
tal, Petrograd, upon the swamp of the Neva. And of course 
he built his Versailles, the Peterhof, about eighteen miles 
from this new Paris, employing a French architect and hav- 
ing a terrace, fountains, cascades, picture gallery, park, and 
all the recognized features. His more distinguished suc- 
cessors were Elizabeth (1741-62) and Catherine the Great, 
a German princess, who, after obtaining the crown in sound 
Oriental fashion through the murder of her husband, the 
legitintiate Tsar, reverted to advanced Western ideals and 
ruled vrith great vigour from 1762 to 1796. She set up an 
academy, and corresponded with Voltaire. And she lived 
to witness the end of the system of Grand Monarchy in Eu* 
rope and the execution of Louis XVI. 

We cannot even catalogue here the minor Grand Mon* 
archs of the time in Florence (Tuscany) and Savoy and 
Saxony and Denmark and Sweden. Versailles, under a 
score of names, is starred in every volume of Baedeker, and 
the tourist gapes in their palaces. Nor can we deal with 
the war of the Spanish Succession. Spain, overstrained 
by the imperial enterprises of Charles V and Philip II, and 
enfeebled by a bigoted persecution of Protestants, Mosl^Si 
and Jews, was throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries sinking down from her temporary importance ill 
European affairs to the level of a secondary power again. 

These European monarchs ruled their kingdoms as their 
noblemen ruled $heir estates: they plotted against^ cm t^ 

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other, they were politic and far-seeing in an unreal fashion, 
they made wars, they spent the substance of Europe upon 
absurd "policies" of aggression and resistance. At last 
there burst upon them a great storm out of the depths. 
That storm, the First French Revolution, the indignation of 
the common man in Europe, took their system unawares. 
It was but the opening outbreak of a great cycle of politi- 
cal and social storms that still continue, that will perhaps 
continue until every vestige of nationalist monarchy has 
been swept out of the world and the skies clear again for 
the great peace of the federation of mankind. 


We have seen how the idea of a world-rule and a com- 
munity of mankind first came into human affairs, and we 
have traced how the failure of the Christian churches to 
sustain and establish those conceptions of its founder, led 
to a moral collapse in political affairs and a reversion to 
egotism and want of faith. We have seen how Machiavel- 
lian monarchy set itself up against the spirit of brotherhood 
in Christendom, and how Machiavellian monarchy devel- 
oped throughout a large part of Europe in the Grand 
Monarchies and Parliamentary Monarchies of the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries. But the mind and imag- 
ination of man is incessantly active, and beneath the sway 
of the grand monarchs, a complex of notions and tradi- 
tions was being woven as a net is woven, to catch and en- 
tangle men's minds, the conception of international poli- 
tics not as a matter of dealings between princes, but as a 
matter of dealings between a kind of immortal Beings, the 
Powers. The Princes came and went ; a Louis XIV would 
be followed by a petticoat-hunting Louis XV, and he again 
by that dull-witted amateur locksmith, Louis XVL Peter 
the Great gave place to a succession of empresses ; the chief 
continuity of the Habsburgs after Charles V, either in Aus- 
tria or Spain, was a continuity of thick lips, clumsy chins, 
and superstition; the amiable scoundrelism of a Charles II 

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would make a mock of his own pretensions. But what re- 
mained much more steadfast were the secretariats of the 
foreign ministries and their ideas of people who wrote of 
state concerns. The ministers maintained a continuity of 
policy during the "off days" of their monarchs, and between 
one monarch and another. 

So we find that the prince gradually became less impor- 
tant in men's minds than the "Power'' of which he was the 
head. We begin to read less and less of the schemes and 
ambitions of King This or That, and more of the "Designs of 
France" or the "Ambitions of Prussia." In an age when 
religious faith was declining, we find men displaying a new 
and vivid belief in the reality of these personifications. 
These vast vague phantoms, the "Powers," crept insensibly 
into European political thought, until in the later eighteenth 
and in the nineteenth centuries they dominated it entirely. 
To this day they dominate it. European life remained 
nominally Christian, but to worship one God in spirit and in 
truth is to belong to one community with all one's fellow 
worshippers. In practical reality Europe does not do Ala, 
she has given herself up altogether to the worship of this 
strange state mythology. To these sovereign deities, to the 
unity of "Italy," to the hegemony of "Prussia," to the glory 
of "France," and the destinies of "Russia," she has sacri- 
ficed many generations of possible unity, peace, and pros- 
perity and Ae lives of millions of men. 

To regard a tribe or a state as a sort of personality is a 
very old disposition of the human mind. The Bible 
abounds in such personifications. Judah, Edom, Moab, As- 
syria, figure in the Hebrew Scriptures as if they were indi- 
viduals ; it is sometimes impossible to say whether the He- 
brew writer is dealing with a person or with a nation. It 
is manifestly a primitive and natural tendency. But in the 
case of modem Europe it is a retrocession. Europe, under 
the idea of Christendom, had gone far towards unification. 
And while such tribal persons as "Israel" or "Tyre" did 
represent a certain community of blood, a certain uniform- 
ity of type, and a homogeneity of interest, the European 

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powers which arose in the seventeenth and eighteenth een*- 
tories were entirely fictitious unities. Russia was in truth 
an assembly of the most incongruous elements, Cossacks, 
PTartars, Ulcrainians, Muscovites, and, after the time of 
Peter, Esthonians and Lithuanians; the France of Louis 
XV comprehended German Alsace and freshly assimilated 
regions of Burgundy; it was a prison of suppressed Hugue- 
nots and a sweating-house for peasants. In "Britain,^* Eng- 
land carried on her back the Hanoverian dominions in Ger- 
many, Scotland, the profoundly alien Welsh and the hostile 
and Catholic Irish. Such powers as Sweden, Prussia, and 
still more so Poland and Austria, if we watch them in a 
aeries of historical maps, contract, expand, thrust out exten- 
sions, and wander over the map of Europe as amoebea do 
under the microscope. • • • 

If we consider the psychology of international relation- 
ship as we see it manifested in the world about us, and as it 
18 shown by the development of the "Power'' idea in modem 
Itarope, we shall realize certain historically very important 
firsts about the nature of man. Aristotle said that man is 
a political animal, but in our modem sense of the word 
politics, which now covers world-politics, he is nothing of the 
sort. He has still the instincts of the family tribe, and 
beyond that he has a disposition to attach himself and his 
family to something larger, to a tribe, a city, a nation, or a 
state. But that disposition, left to itself, is a vague and very 
uncritical disposition. If anything, he is inclined to fear 
and dislike criticism of this something larger that encloses 
bis life and to which he has given himself, and to avoid such 
criticism. Perhaps he has a subconscious fear of the isola- 
tion that may ensue if the system is broken or discredited. 
He takes the milieu in which he finds himself for granted ; 
he accepts his city or his government, just as he accepts the 
nose or the digestion whidt fortune has bestowed upon him. 
But men's loyalties, the sides they take in political things, 
are not innate, they are educational results. For most men 
their education in these matters is the silent, continuous 
educatiozL of things about them. Men find themselves a 

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part of Merry England or Holy Eiissia ; they grow up into 
these devotions ; they accept them as a part of l^eir nature. 

It is only slowly that the world is beginning to realize 
how profoundly the tacit education of circumstances can be 
supplemented, modified, or corrected by positive teaching, 
by literature, discussion, and properly criticized experience. 
The real life of the ordinary man is his everyday life, his 
little circle of affections, fears, hungers, lusts, and imagina- 
tive impulses. It is only when his attention is directed to 
political affairs as something vitally affecting this personal 
circle, that he brings his reluctant mind to bear upon them. 
It is scarcely too much to say that the ordinary man thinks 
as little about political matters as he can, and stops thinking 
about them as soon as possible. It is still only very curious 
and exceptional minds, or minds that have by example or 
good education acquired the scientific habit of wanting to 
know why, or minds shocked and distressed by some public 
catastrophe and roused to wide apprehensions of danger, 
that wiU not accept governments and institutions, howev^. 
preposterous, that do not directly annoy them, as satis6«^ 
tory. The ordinary human being, until he is so aroused, 
will acquiesce in any collective activities that are going on 
in this world in which he finds himself, and any phrasing 
or symbolization that meets his vague need for something 
greater to which his personal affairs, his individual circle, 
can be anchored. 

If we keep these manifest limitations of our nature in 
mind, it no longer becomes a mystery how, as the idea of 
Christianity as a world brotherhood of men sank into dis^ 
credit because of its fatal entanglement with priestcraft and 
the Papacy on the one hand and with the authority of 
princes on the other, and the age of faith passed into our 
present age of doubt and disbelief, men shifted the reference 
of their lives from the kingdom of God and the brotherhood 
of mankind to these apparently more living realities, France 
and England, Holy Russia, Spain, Prussia, which were at 
least embodied in active courts, which maintained laws, ex- 
erted power through armies and navies, waved flags with a 

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compelling solemnity, and were self-assertive and insatiably 
greedy in an entirely human and understandable fashion. 
Certainly such men as Cardinal Richelieu and Cardinal 
Mazarin thought of themselves as serving greater ends than 
their own or their monarch's; they served the quasi-divine 
France of their imaginations. And as certainly tiliese habits 
of mind percolated down from them to their subordinates 
and to the general body of the population. In the thirteenth 
and fourteenth centuries the general population of Europe 
was religious and only vaguely patriotic ; by the nineteenth 
it had become wholly patriotic. In a crowded English op 
French or German railway carriage of the later nineteenth 
century it would have aroused far less hostility to have 
jeered at God than to have jeered at one of those strange 
beings, England or France or Gtermany. To these things 
men's minds clung, and they clung to them because in all 
the world there appeared nothing else so satisfying to cling 
to. They were the real and living gods of Europe., 

This idealization of governments and foreign offices, this 
Ifiythology of "Powers" and their loves and hates and con- 
flicts, has so obsessed the imaginations of Europe and Western 
Asia as to provide it with its "forms of thought." Nearly 
all the histories, nearly all the political literature of the last 
two centuries in Europe, have been written in its phraseology. 
Yet a time is coming when a dearer-sighted generation will 
read with perplexity how in the community of western 
Europe, consisting everywhere of very slight variations of 
a common racial mixture of Nordic and Iberian peoples and 
immigrant Semitic and Mongolian elements, speaking nearly 
everywhere modifications of the same Aryan speech, having 
a common past in the Roman Empire, common religious 
forms, common social usages, and a common art and science, 
and intermarrying so freely that no one could tell with 
certainty the "nationality" of any of his great-grandchildren, 
men could be moved to the wildest excitement upon the ques- 
tion of the ascendancy of 'Trance," the rise and unification 
of "Germany," the rival claims of "Russia" and "Greece" 
to possess Constantinople. These conflicts will seem then as 

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reasonless and insane as those dead; now incomprehensible 
feuds of the "greens'^ and ^T3lues" that once filled the streets 
of Byzantium with shouting and bloodshed. 

Tremendously as these phantoms, the Powers, rule our 
minds and lives to-day, they are, as this history shows clearly, 
things only of the last few centuries, a mere hour, an inci- 
dental phase, in the vast deliberate history of our kind. 
They mark a phase of relapse, a backwater, as the rise of 
Madiiavellian monarchy marks a backwater; they are part of 
the same eddy of faltering faith, in a process altogether 
greater and altogether diflFerent in its general tendency, the 
process of the moral and intellectual reunion of mankind. 
Tor a time men have relapsed upon these national or im- 
perial gods of theirs ; it is but for a time. The idea of the 
world state, the universal kingdom of righteousness of which 
every living soul shall be a citizen, was already in the world 
two thousand years ago never more to leave it. Men know 
that it is present even when they refuse to recognize it. In 
the writings and talk of men about international affairs to- 
day, in the current discussions of historians and political 
journalists, there is an effect of drunken men growing sober, 
and terribly afraid of growing sober. They still talk 
loudly of tibeir ^%ve" for France, of their "hatred" of 
Ctermany, of the "traditional ascendancy of Britain at 
sea," and so on and so on, like those who sing of their 
cups in spite of the steadfast onset of sobriety and a 
headache. These are dead gods they serve. By sea or land 
men want no Powers ascendant, but only law and service. 
That silent unavoidable challenge is in all our minds like 
dawn breaking slowly, shining between the shutters of a dis- 
ordered room. 


The seventeenth century in Europe was the century of 
Louis XIV; he and French ascendancy and Versailles are the 
central motif of the story. The eighteenth century was 
equally the century of the "rise of Prussia as a great power," 

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and the chief figure in the story is Frederick II, Frederick 
the Great. Interwoven with his history is the story of 

The condition of affairs in Poland was peculiar. Unlike 
its three neighbours, Prussia, Russia, and the Austro-Hun- 
garian monarchy of the Habsburgs, Poland had not developed 
a Grand Monarchy. Its system of government may be best 
described as republican with a king, an elected life-president. 
Each king was separately elected. It was in fact rather more 
republican than Britain, but its republicanism was more 
aristocratic in form. Poland had little trade and few manu*> 
factures; she was agricultural and still with great areas of 
grazing, forest and waste ; she was a poor country, and her 
landowners were poor aristocrats. The mass of her popula- 
tion was a downtrodden and savagely ignorant peasantry, and 
she also harboured great masses of very poor Jews. She had 
remained Catholic. She was, so to speak, a poor Catholio 
inland Britain, entirely surrounded by enemies instead of 
by the sea. She had no definite boundaries at all, neither 
sea nor mountain. And it added to her misfortunes that 
some of her elected kings had been brilliant and aggressive 
rulers. Eastward her power extended weakly into regions in- 
habited almost entirely by Russians ; westward she overlapped 
a German subject population. 

Because she had no great trade, she had no great towns to 
compare with those of western Europe, and no vigorous uni- 
versities to hold her mind together. Her noble class lived on 
their estates, without much intellectual intercourse. They 
were patriotic, they had an aristocratic sense of freedom — 
which was entirely compatible with the systematic impover- 
ishment of their serfs — ^but their patriotism and freedom 
were incapable of effective co-operation. While warfare 
was a matter of levies of men and horses, Poland was a com- 
paratively strong power; but it was quite unable to keep 
pace with the development of military art that was making 
standing forces of professional soldiers the necessary weapon 
in warfare. Yet divided and disabled as she was, she coidd 
yet count some notable victories to her credit The last 

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Turkish attack upon Vienna (1683) was defeated by the 
Polish cavalry under King John Sobiesky, King John III. 
(This same Sobiesky, before he was elected king, had been in 
ihe pay of Louis XIV, and had also fought for the Swedes 
against his native country.) Needless to say, this weak 
aristocratic republic, with its recurrent royal elections, in- 
cited aggression from all three of its neighbours. "Foreign 
money," and every sort of exterior interference, came into 
the country at each election. And like the Greeks of old, 
every disgruntled Polish patriot flew oflF to some foreign 
0nemy to wreak his indignation upon his ungrateful 

Even when the King of Poland was elected, he had very 
little power because of the mutual jealousy of the nobles. 
Like the English peers, they preferred a foreigner, and for 
much the same reason, because he had no roots of power in 
the land ; but, unlike the British, their own government had 
not the solidarity which the periodic assembling of Parlia- 
ment in London, the "coming up to town," gave the British 
peers. In London there was "Society," a continuous inter- 
mingling of influential persons and ideas. Poland had no 
London and no "Society." So practically Poland had no 
central government at aJl. The King of Poland could not 
make war nor peace, levy a tax nor alter the law, without the 
consent of the Diet, and any single member of the Diet had 
the power of putting a veto upon any proposal before it. He 
had merely to rise and say, "I disapprove," and the matter 
dropped. He could even carry his free veto, his liberum 
veto, further. He could object to the assembly of the Diet, 
and the Diet was thereby dissolved. Poland was not simply 
a crowned aristocratic republic like the British, it was a 
paralysed crowned aristocratic republic 

To Frederick the Great the existence of Poland was par- 
ticularly provocative because of the way in which an arm of 
Poland reached out to the Baltic at Dantzig and separated 
his ancestral dominions in East Prussia from his territories 
within the empire. It was he who incited Catherine the 
Seoond of Bussia and Maria Theresa of Austria^ whose re- 

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spect he had earned by depriving her of Silesia, to a joint 
attack upon Poland. 



Let four maps of Poland tell the tale. 

After this first outrage of 1772 Poland underwent a great 
change of heart. Poland was indeed bom as a nation on the 
eve of her dissolution. There was a hasty but very con- 
siderable development of education, literature, and art ; his- 
torians and poets sprang up, and the impossible constitution 
that had made Poland impotent was swept aside. The free 

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E3 g 



50 S 

s s a 

1 o c: 






5. » 

5 sr 

OB "q 

» 2 
2. 2- 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Showing one of the elaborate coiffures of the period 

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veto was abolished, the crown was made hereditary to save 
Poland from the foreign intrigues that attended every elec- 
tion, and a Parliament in imitation of the British was set 
up. There were, however, lovers of the old order in Poland 
who resented these necessary changes, and these obstruc- 
tives were naturally supported by Prussia and Eussia, who 
wanted no Polish revival. Came the second partition, and, 
after a fierce patriotic struggle that began in the region an- 
nexed by Prussia and foimd a leader and national hero in 
p^osciusko, the final obliteration of Poland from the map. 
So for a time ended this Parliamentary threat to Grand 
Monarchy in Eastern Europe. But the patriotism of the 
Poles grew stronger and clearer with suppression. For a 
hundred and twenty years Poland struggled like a submerged 
creature beneath the political and military net that held her 
down. She rose again in 1918, at the end of the Qxeat War. 


We havfe given some account of the ascendancy of France 
in Europe, the swift decay of the sappy growth of Spanish 
power and its separation from Austria, and the rise of 
Prussia. So far as Portugal, Spain, France, Britain, and 
Holland were concerned, their competition for ascendency 
in Europe was extended and complicated by a struggle for 
dominion overseas. 

The discovery of the huge continent of America, thinly 
inhabited, undeveloped, and admirably adapted for Euror 
pean settlement and exploitation, the simultaneous discovery 
of great areas of imworked country south of the torrid 
equatorial regions of Africa that had hitherto limited Euro- 
pean knowledge, and the gradual realization of vast island 
regions in the Eastern seas, as yet untouched by Western 
civilization, was a presentation of opportunity to mankind 
imprecedented in all history. It was as if ike peoples of 
Europe had come into some splendid legacy. Their world 
had suddenly quadrupled. There was more than enough for 
aH ; they had only to take these lands and continue to do well 

Wells 8— Vol III 

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by them^ and their crowded poverty would yanish like a 
dream. And they received this glorious legacy like ill-bred 
heirs; it meant no more to them than a fresh occasion for 
atrocious disputes. But what community of human beings 
has ever yet preferred creation to conspiracy ? What nation 
in all our story has ever worked with another when, at any 
cost to itself, it could contrive to do that other injury t The 
Powers of Europe began by a frantic "claiming^' of the new 
realms. They went on to exhausting conflicts. Spain, who 
claimed first and most and who was for a time 'distress" of 
two*thirds of America, made no better use of her possession 
than to bleed herself nearly to death therein. 

We have told how the Papacy in its last assertion of world 
dominion, instead of maintaining the common duty of all 
Christendom to make a great common civilization in the new 
lands, divided the American continent between Spain and 
Portugal. This naturally roused the hostility of the ex- 
cluded nations. The seamen of England showed no respect 
for either claim, and set themselves particularly against the 
Spanish; the Swedes turned their Protestantism to a similar 
account. The Hollanders, so soon as they had shaken off 
their Spanish masters, also set their sails westward to flout 
the Pope and share in the good things of the new world. 
His Most Catholic Majesty of France hesitated as little as 
any Protestant. All these powers were soon busy staking 
out claims in North America and the West Indies. 

Neither the Danish kingdom (which at that time included 
Norway and Iceland) nor the Swedes secured very much in 
the scramble. The Danes annexed some of the West Indian 
islands. Sweden got nothing. Eoth Denmark and Sweden 
at this time were deep in the affairs of Germany. We have 
already named Gustavus Adolphus, the Protestant ^^lion of 
the North," and mentioned his campaigns in Germany, Po- 
land, and Bussia. These Eastern European regions are great 
absorbents of energy, and the strength that might have given 
Sweden a large share in the new world reaped a barren har- 
▼est of glory in Europe. Such small settlements as the 
Swedes made in America presently fell to the Dutch. 

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3t4fcattix.Tv^iy (g* SpamJ B !Aitiertca,1^0. 

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The Hollanders too, with the French monarchy under 
Cardinal Eichelieu and under Louis XIV eating its way 
across the Spanish Netherlands towards their frontier, had 
not the undistracted resources that Britain, behind her 
"silver streak'^ of sea, could put into overseas adventures. 

Moreover, the absolutist efforts of James I and Charles I^ 
|uid the restoration of Charles II, had the effect of driving 
out from England a great number of sturdy-minded, repub- 
lican-spirited Protestants, men of substance and character, 
who set up in America, and particularly in New England^ 
out of reach, as they supposed, of the king and his taxes^ 
The Mayflower was only one of the pioneer vessels of a 
stream of emigrants. It was the luck of Britain that they 
remained, though dissentient in spirit, under the British flag. 
The Dutch never sent out settlers of the same quantity and 
quality, first because their Spanish rulers would not let 
them, and then because they had got possession of their own 
country. And though there was a great emigration of Prot- 
estant Huguenots from the dragonnades and persecution of 
Louis XIV, they had Holland and England dose at hand as 
refuges, and their industry, skill, and sobriety went mainly 
to strengthen those countries, and particularly England. A 
few of them founded settlements in Carolina, but these did 
not remain French; they fell first to the Spanish and finally 
to the English. 

The Dutch settlements, with the Swedish, also succumbed 
to Britain ; Nieuw Amsterdam became British in 1674, and 
its name was changed to New York, as the reader may learn 
very cheerfully in Washington Irving^s Knickerbocker's His- 
tory of New York. The state of affairs in North America in 
1750 is indicated very clearly by a map we have adapted 
from one in Eobinson^s Medieval and Modem Times. The 
British power was established along the east coast from 
Savannah to the St. Lawrence Eiver, and Newfoundland and 
considerable northern areas, the Hudson Bay Company ter- 
ritories, had been acquired by treaty from the French. The 
British occupied Barbados (almost our oldest possession) in 
1605, and acquired Jamaica, the Bahamas, and British Hon- 

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duras from the Spaniards. But France was pursuing a very 
dangerous and alarming game, a game even more dangerous 
and alarming on the map than in reality. She had made real 
settlements in Quebec and Montreal to the north and at New 
Orleans in the south, and her explorers and agents had pushed 
south and north, making treaties with the American Indians 
of the great plains and setting up claims — ^without setting up 
towns — bright across the continent behind the British. But the 
realities of the case are not adequately represented in this way. 
The British colonies were being very solidly settled by a good 
class of people; they already numbered a population of over 
a million ; the French at that time hardly counted a tenth of 
that. They had a number of brilliant travellers and mission- 
aries at work, but no substance of population behind them. 
Many old maps of America in this period are still to be 
found, piaps designed to scare and "rouse'' the British to a 
sense of the *^designs of France" in America. War broke 
out in 1754, and in 1759 the British and Colonial forces 
under General Wolfe took Quebec and completed the con- 
quest of Canada in the next year. In 1763 Canada was 
finally ceded to Britain. (But the western part of the rather 
indefinite . region of Louisiana in the south, named after 
Louis XIV, remained outside the British sphere. It was 
taken over by Spain ; and in 1800 it was recovered by France. 
Finally, in 1803, it was bought from France by the United 
States government.) In this Canadian war the American 
colonists gained a considerable experience of the military art, 
and a knowledge of British military organization that waff to 
be of great use to them a little later. 


It was not only in America that the French and British 
powers clashed. The condition of India at this time was 
one very interesting and attractive to European adventurers. 
The great Mongol Empire of Baber, Akbar, and Aurangzeb 
was now far gone in decay. What had happened to India 
was very pardlel to what had happened to Germany. The 

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Great Mogul at Delhi in India, like the Holy Boman Emperor 
in Germany, was still legally overlord, but after the death of 
Aurangzeb he exerted only a nominal authority except in the 
immediate neighbourhood of his capitaL There luid been 

• JhrtLugam 

a great revival of Hinduism and of the native spirit. In 
the southwest a Hindu people, the Mahrattas, had risen 
against Islam, restored Brahminism as the ruling religion, 
and for a time extended their power over the whole southern 
triangle of India. In Bajputana also the rule of Islam was 
replaced by Brahminism, and at Bhurtpur and Jaipur there 
ruled powerful Rajput princes. In Oudh there was a Shiite 
kingdom, with its capital at Lucknow, and Bengal was also a 

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ieparate (Moalem) kingdom. Away in the Punjab to the 
north had risen a very interesting religious body, the Sikhs^ 
prodaiming the universal rule of one God and assailing both 
the Hindu Vedas and the Moslem Koran. Originally a 
pacifio sect, the Sikhs presently followed the example of 
Islam, and aought— -at first very disastrously to themselves — 
to establish the kingdom of God by the sword. And into 
this confused and disordered but very vital, renascent, 
Indian India there presently (1738) came an invader from 
the north, Nadir Shah (1736-47), the Turcoman ruler of 
Persia, who swept down through the Kyber pass, broke every 
army that stood in his way, and captured and sacked Delhi, 
carrying off an enormous booty. He left the north of India 
so utterly broken, that in the next twenty years there were no 
less than aix other successful plundering raids into North 
India from Afghanistan, which had become an independent 
state at the death of Nadir Shah. Por a time Mahrattas 
fought vnth Afghans for the rule of North India; then the 
Mahratta power broke up into a series of principalities, 
Indore, Gwalior, Baroda, and others. . . . India in the 
seventeenth century was very like the Europe of the seventh 
and eighth centuries, a land of slow revival, distressed by 
foreign raiders. 

This was the India into which the French and English 
were thrusting during the eighteenth century. 

A succession of other European powers had been struggling 
for a conEmxeicial and political footing in India and the east 
ever since Vasco da Qama had made his memorable voyage 
round the Oape to Calicut. The sea trade of India had pre- 
viously been in the hands of the Red Sea Arabs, and the 
Portuguese won it from them in a series of sea fights. The 
Portuguese ships were the bigger, and carried a heavier 
armament. Por a time the Portuguese held the Indian trade 
as their own, and Lisbon outshone Venice as a mart for 
Oriental spices; the seventeenth century, however, saw the 
Butch grasping at this monopoly. At the crest of their 
power the Dutdi had settlements at the Oape of Good Hope, 
they held Mauritius, they had two establishments in Persia, 

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twelve in India, six in Ceylon, and all over the East Indies 
they had dotted their fortified stations. But their selfish 
resolution to exclude traders of any other European nation- 
ality forced the Swedes, Danes, French, and English into 
hostile competition. The first effectual blows at their over- 
seas monopoly were struck in European waters by the victories 
of Blake, the English republican admiral ; and by the open- 
ing of the eighteenth centuiy both the English and French 
were in vigorous competition with the Dutch for trade and 
privileges throughout India. At Madras, Bombay, and Cal- 
cutta the English established their headquarters ; Pondicherry 
and Chandemagore were the chief French settlements. 

At first all these European powers came merely as traders, 
and the only establishments they attempted were warehouses ; 
but the unsettled state of the country, and the unscrupulous 
methods of their rivals, made it natural for them to fortify 
and arm their settlements, and this armament made them at- 
tractive allies of the various warring princes who now di- 
vided India. And it was entirely in the spirit of the new 
European nationalist politics that when the French took one 
Bide the British should take another. The great leader upon 
the English side was Bobert Clive, who was bom in 1725,. 
and went to India in 1743. His chief antagonist was Du- 
pleix. The story of this struggle throughout the first half 
of the eighteenth century is too long and intricate to be told 
hera By 1761 the British found themselves completely 
dominant in the Indian peninsula. At Plassey (1757) and 
at Buxar (1764) their armies gained striking and conclu- 
sive victories over the army of Bengal and the army of 
Oudh. The Great Mogul, nominally their overlord, became 
in effect their puppet. They levied taxes over great areas; 
they exacted indemnities for real or fancied opposition. 

These successes were not gained directly by the forces of 
the King of England; they were gained by the East India 
Trading Company, which had been originally at the time of 
its incorporation under Queen Elizabeth no more than a com- 
pany of sea adventurers. Step by step they had been forced 
to raise troops and arm their ships. And now this trading 

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oompany, with its tradition of gain, found itself dealing not 
merely in spices and dyes and tea and jewels, but in the reve- 
nues and territories of princes and the destinies of Jndia. It 
had come to buy and sell, and it found itself achieving a tre- 
mendous piracy. There was no one to challenge its proceed- 
ings. Is it any wonder that its captains and commanders 
and officials, nay, even its clerks and common soldiers, came 
back to England loaded with spoils ? Men under such cir- 
cumstances, with a great and wealthy land at their mercy, 
could not determine what they might or might not do. It 
was a strange land to them, with a strange sunlight ; its brown 
people were a different race, outside their range of sympathy; 
its temples and buildings seemed to sustain fantastic stand- 
ards of behaviour. Englishmen at home were perplexed 
when presently these generals and officials came back to make 
dark accusations against each other of extortions and cruelties. 
Upon Clive Parliament passed a vote of censure. He com- 
mitted suicide in 1774. In 1788 Warren Hastings, a second 
great Indian administrator, was impeached and acquitted 
(1792). It was a strange and unprecedented situation in the 
•world's history. The English Parliament found itself ruling 
over a London trading company, which in its turn was dom- 
inating an empire far greater and more populous than all the 
domains of the British crown. To the bulk of the English 
people India was a remote, fantastic, almost inaccessible land, 
to which adventurous poor yotmg men went out, to return 
after many years very rich and very choleric old gentlemen. 
It was difficult for the English to conceive what the life of 
these countless brown millions in the eastern sunshine could 
be. Their imaginations declined the task. India remained 
romantically unreal. It was impossible for the English, 
therefore, to exert any effective supervision and control over 
the company's proceedings. 

§ 10 

And while the great peninsula of the south of Asia was 
thus falling under the dominion of the English sea traders^ 

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an equally remarkable reaction of Europe upon Asia was 
going on in the north. We have told how the OhristiHn states 
of EuBsia recovered their independence from thd Oolden 
Horde^ and how the Tsar of Moscow became master of the 
republic of Novgorod ; and in § 5 of this chapter we have told 
of Peter the Great joining the circle of Grand Monarchs 
and^ as it were^ dragging Eussia into Europe. The rise of 
this great central power of the old world, which is neithet 
altogether of the East nor altogether of the West) is (me of 
the utmost importance to our human destiny^ We have 
also told in the same chapter of the appearance of a Christian 
steppe people, the Cossacks, who formed a barrier between 
the feudal agriculture of Poland and Hungary to tiie west 
and the Tartar to the east. The Cossacks were the Wild 
east of Europe, and in maJiy ways not unlike the wild west 
of the United States in the middle nineteenth century* All 
who had made Busi^ia too hot to hold them, criminally as well 
as the persecuted innocent, rebellious serfs, religious seOtaries, 
thieves, vagabonds, murderers, sought asyluih in the southern 
steppes, and there made a fresh start and fought for life 
and freedom against Pole, Bussian, lind Tartar alike. 
Doubtless fugitives ftom the Tartars to the e^st also con- 
tributed to the Cossack mixture. Chief among these new 
nomad tribed were the Ukraine Cossacks oH the Dnieper and 
the Don Cossacks on the Don* Slowly these border folk 
were incorporated in the Bussian imperial service, inuch as 
the Highland clans of Scotland were converted into r^- 
toents by the British govemmeufc New lands Weils offered 
them in Asia. They bdcame a weapon against the dwiii* 
dling power of the Mongolian nomads, first in Tutkestaii 
and then across Siberia as far as Amur. 

The decay of Mongol energy in the seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries is very difficult to expUtin. Within 
two or three centuries from the days of Jengis and Timur- 
lane, central Asia had relapsed from a period of world as- 
cendancy to extreme political impotence. Changes of cli- 
mate, unrecorded pestilences, infections of a malarial type, 
piay have played lieir part in this recession — ^which may be 

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only a temporary recession measured by the scale of uniter- 
sal history — of the Central Asian peoples. Some authori- 
ties think that the spread of Buddhist teaching from Ohina 
also had a pacifying influence upon them. At any rate, by 

KabuLo ^/l ^ 

MrArottEi IHMite 


the sixteenth century the Mongol Tartar and Turkish peoples 
were no longer pressing outward, but were being invaded^ 
subjugated, and pushed back both by Christian Bussia in 
the west and by China in the east. 
All through the seventeenth century the Cossacks were 

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Bpreading eastward from European Russia^ and settling 
wherever they found agricultural conditions. Cordons of 
forts and stations formed a moving frontier to these settle- 
ments to the south, where the Turkomans were atill strong 
and active ; to the north-east, however, Russia had no frontier 
until she reached right to the Pacific • • • 

At the same time China was in a phase of expansion* 
The Manchu conquerors had brought a new energy into 
Chinese affairs, and their northern interests led to a con* 
siderable northward expansion of the Chinese civilization 
and influence into Manchuria and Mongolia* So it was 
that by the middle of the eighteenth century the Russians 
and Chinese were in contact in Mongolia. At this period 
China ruled eastern Turkestan, Tibet, Kepal, Burmah, and 
Annam. • • • 

We have mentioned a Japanese invasion of China (or 
rather of Korea). Except for this aggression upon China, 
Japan plays no part in our history before the nineteenth 
century. Like China under the Mings, Japan had set her 
face resolutely against the interference of foreigners in her 
affairs. She was a country leading her own civilized life, 
magically sealed against intruders. We have told little of 
her hitherto because there was little to telL Her pictur- 
esque and romantic history stands apart from the general 
drama of human affairs. Her population was chiefly a Mon- 
golian population, with some very interesting white people 
of a Nordic type, the Hairy Ainu, in the northern islands. 
Her civilization seems to have been derived almost entirely 
from Korea and China; her art is a special development 
of Chinese art, her writing an adaption of the Chinese 


In these preceding ten sections we have been dealing with 
an age of division, of separated nationalities. We have 
already described this period of the seventeenth and 
ei^teenth centuries as an interregnum in the progress of 

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mankind towards a world-wide unity. Throughout this 
period there was no ruling unifying idea in men's minds. 
The impulse of the empire had failed until the Emperor 
was no more than one of a number of competing princes^ 
and the dream of Christendom also was a fading dream. 
The developing ^^powers" jostled one another tlm)Ughout 
the world; but for a time it .seemed that they might jostle 
one another indefinitely without any great catastrophe to 
mankind. The great geographical discoveries of the six- 
teenth century had so enlarged human resources that, for 
all their divisions, for all the waste of their wars and poli- 
cies, the people of Europe enjoyed a considerable and in- 
creasing prosperity. Central Europe recovered steadily 
from the devastation of the Thirty Years' War. 

Looking back upon this period, which came to its climax 
in the eighteenth century, looking back, as we can begin to 
do nowadays, and seeing its events in relation to the centuries 
that came before it and to the great movements of the present 
time, we are able to realize how transitory and provisional 
were its political forms and how unstable its securities. 
Provisional it was as no other age has been provisional, 
an age of assimilation and recuperation, a political pause, a 
gathering up of the ideas of men and the resources of science 
for a wider human effort. But the contemporary mind did 
not see it in that light. The failure of the great creative 
ideas as they had been formulated in the Middle Ages, had 
left human thought for a time destitute of the guidance of 
creative ideas; even educated and imaginative men saw 
the world undramatically; no longer as an interplay of effort 
and destiny, but as the scene in which a trite happiness was 
sought and the milder virtues were rewarded. It was not 
simply the contented and conservative-minded who, in a 
world of rapid changes, were under the sway of this assur- 
ance of an achieved fixity of human conditions. Even highly 
critical and insurgent intelligences, in default of any sus- 
taining movements in the soul of the community, betrayed the 
same disposition. Political life, they felt, had ceased to be 
the urgent and tragic thing it had once been ; it had become 

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a polite comedy. The eighteenth was a century of comedy 
— which at the end grew grim. It is inconceivable that that 
World of the middle eighteenth century could have produced 
a Jesus of Nazareth^ a Gautama^ a Francis of Assisi, an 
Ignatius of Loyola. If one may imagine an eighteenth- 
century John Huss, it is impossible to imagine anyone with 
suflScient passion to bum him. Until the stirrings of con- 
science in Britain that developed into the Methodist revival 
began, we can detect scarcely a suspicion that there still re- 
mained great tasks in hand for our race to do, that enormous 
disturbances were close at hand, or that the path of man. 
through space and time was dark with countless dangers, and 
must to the end remain a high and terrible enterprise. 

We have quoted again and again in this history from 
Gibbon^s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Now we 
shall quote from it for the last time and bid it farewell, for 
we have come to the age in which it was written. Gibbon 
was bom in 1787, and the last volume of his history was 
published in 1787, but the passage we shall quote was prob'* 
ably written in the year 1780. Gibbon was a young man of 
delicate health and fairly good fortune; he had a partial and 
interrupted education at Oxford, and then he completed his 
studies in Geneva ; on the whole his outlook was French and 
cosmopolitan rather than British, and he was much under the 
intellectual influence of that great Frenchman who is best 
known under the name of Voltaire (Frangois Marie Arouet 
de Voltaire, 1694-1778), Voltaire was an author of enor- 
mous indufftry; seventy volumes of him adorn the present 
writer^s shelves, and another edition of Voltaire's works 
runs to ninety-four ; he dealt largely with history and public 
affairs, and he corresponded with Catherine the Great of 
Russia, Frederick the Great of Prussia, Louis XV, and 
most of the prominent people of the time. Both Voltaire 
and Gibbon had the sense of history strong in them; both 
have set out very plainly and fully their visions of human 
life ; and it is clear that to both of them the system in which 
they lived, the system of monarchy, of leisurely and priv- 
ileged gentlefolks, of rather despised industrial and trading 

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people and of down-trodden and negligible labourers and 
poor and common people, seemed the most stably established 
way of living that the world has ever seen. They postured 
a little as republicans, and sneered at the divine pretensions 
of monarchy; but the republicanism that appealed to Vol- 
taire was the crowned republicanism of the Britain of those 
days, in idiich the king was simply the official head, the 
first and greatest of the gentlemen. 

The ideal they sustained was the ideal of a polite and 
polished world in which men — ^meu of quality that is, for 
no otiiers counted*— would be ashamed to be cruel or gross or 
enthusiastic, in which the appointments of life would be 
spacious and elegant, and the fear of ridicule the potent 
auxiliary of the law in maintaining the decorumyand har- 
monies of life. Voltaire had in him the possibility of a 
passionate hatred of injustice, and his interventions on behalf 
of persecuted or ill-used men are the high lights of his long 
and complicated lif e^Btory. And this being the mental dis- 
position of Gibbon and Voltaire, and of the age in which they 
lived, it is natural that they should find the existence of re- 
ligion in the world, and in particular the existence of Chris- 
tianity, a perplexing and rather unaccountable phenomenon. 
The whole of that side of life seemed to them a kind of 
craziness in the human make-up. Gibbon's great history 
is essentially an attack upon Christianity as the operating 
cause of the decline and fall. He idealized the crude and 
gross plutocracy of Rome into a world of fine gentlemen upon 
the eighteenth-century model, and told how it fell before 
the Barbarian from without because of the decay through 
Christianity within. In our history here we have tried to 
set that story in a better light. To Voltaire official Christian- 
ity was ^^Vinfome*' ; something that limited people's lives, 
interf^^ with their thou^ts, persecuted harmless dissen- 
tients. And indeed in that period of the interregnum there 
was very little life or light in either the orthodox Christianity 
of Rome or in the orthodox tame churches of Russia and of 
the Protestant princes. In an interregnum incommoded 
ivith an abundance of sleek parsons and sly priests it was 

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hard to realize what fires had once blazed in the heart of 
Christianity, and what fires of politieal and religious passion 
might still blaze in the hearts of men. 

At the end of his third volume Gibbon completed his ac- 
count of the breaking up of the Western Empire. He then 
raised the question whether civilization might ever undergo 
again a similar collapse. This led him to review the exist- 
ing state of affairs (1780) and to compare it with the state 
of affairs during the decline of imperial Bome. It will be 
very convenient to our general design to quote some passages 
from that ccHuparison here, for nothing could better illustrate 
the state of mind of the liberal thinkers of Europe at the 
crest of the political interregnum of the age of flie Great 
Powers, before the first intimations of those profound politi- 
eal and social forces of disintegration that have produced 
at length the dramatic interrogations of our own times. 

"This awful revolution,'^ wrote Gibbon of the Western 
collapse, "may be usefully applied to the useful instruc- 
tion of the present age. It is the duty of a patriot to prefer 
and promote the exclusive interest and glory of his native 
country; but a philosopher may be permitted to enlarge hia 
views, and to consider Europe as one great republic, whose 
various inhabitants have attained almost the same level of 
politeness and cultivation. The balance of power wiQ con- 
tinue to fluctuate, and the prosperity of our own or the neigh- 
bouring kingdoms may be alternately exalted or depressed; 
but these partial events cannot essentially injure our general 
state of happiness, the system of arts, and laws, and manners, 
which so advantageously distinguish, above the rest of man- 
kind, the Europeans and their colonies. The savage nations 
of the globe are the common enemies of civilized society; 
and we may enquire with anxious curiosity whether Europe 
is still threatened with a repetition of those calamities which 
formerly oppressed the arms and institutions of Bome. Per- 
haps the same reflections will illustrate the fall of that 
mighty empire and explain the probable causes of our actual 

"The Bomans were ignorant of the extent of their danger, 

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and the nximber of their enemies. Beyond the Bhine and 
Danube, the northern countries of Euroi)e and Asia were 
filled with innumerable tribes of hunters and shepherds, 
poor, voracious, and turbulent ; bold in arms, and impatient 
to ravish the fruits of industry. The Barbarian world was 
agitated by the rapid impulse of war; and the peace of Gaul 
or Italy was shaken by the distant revolutions of China. 
The Huns, who fled before a victorious enemy, directed 
their march towards the west ; and the torrent was swelled by 
the gradual accession of captives and allies. The flying 
tribes who yielded to the Huns assumed in their turn the 
spirit of conquest ; the endless column of barbarians pressed 
on the Roman Empire with accumulated weight and, if the 
foremost were destroyed, the vacant space was instantly re- 
plenished by new assailants. Such formidable CToigrations 
can no longer issue from the North; and the long repose, 
which has been imputed to the decrease of population, is 
the happy consequence of the progress of arts and agriculture. 
Instead of some rude villages, thinly scattered among its 
woods and morasses, Germany now produces a list of two 
thousand three hundred walled towns; the Christian king- 
doms of Denmark, Sweden, and Poland have been succes- 
sively established ; and the Hanse merchants, with the Teu- 
tonic knights, have extended their colonies along the coast 
of the Baltic, as far as the Gulf of Finland. From the 
GuM of Finland to the Eastern Ocean, Russia now assumes 
the form of a powerful and civilized empire. The plough, 
the loom, and the forge are introduced on the banks of the 
Volga, the Oby, and the Lena ; and the fiercest of the Tartar 
hordes have been taught to tremble and obey. . . . 

"The Empire of Rome was firmly established by the sin- 
gular and perfect coalition of its members. • • . But this 
union was purchased by the loss of national freedom and 
military spirit; and the servile provinces, destitute of life 
and motion, expected their safety from the mercenary troops 
and governors, who were directed by the orders of a distant 
court. The happiness of a hundred millions depended on 
the personal merit of one or two meui perhaps children, 

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whose minds were corrupted by education, luxury, and des^ 
potic power. Europe is now divided into twelve powerful, 
though unequal kingdoms, three respectable commonwealths, 
and a variety of smaller, though independent, states; the 
chances of royal and ministerial talents are multipU^ at 
least with the number of its rulers; and a Julian ^ or Semi- 
ramis ^ may reign in the north, while Arcadius and Hono- 
rius ^ again slumber on my thrones of the House of Bourbon. 
The abuses of tyranny are restrained by the mutual influence 
of fear and shame; republics have acquired order and stabil- 
ity; monarchies have imbibed the principles of freedom, or, 
at least, of moderation ; and some sense of honour and justice 
is introduced into the most defective constitutions by the 
general manners of the times. In peace, the progress of 
knowledge and industry is accelerated by the emulation of 
so many active rivals: in war, the European forces are ex- 
ercised by temperate and undecisive contests. If a savage 
conqueror should issue from the deserts of Tartary, he must 
repeatedly vanquish the robust peasants of Eussia, the numer- 
ous armies of Germany, the gallant nobles of France, and 
the intrepid freemen of Britain ; who, perhaps, might conr 
federate for their common defence. Should the victorious 
Barbarians carry slavery and desolation as far as the Atlan- 
tic Ocean, ten thousand vessels would transport beyond their 
pursuit the remains of civilized society; and Europe would 
revive and flourish in the American world which is already 
filled with her colonies and institutions. 

"Cold, poverty, and a life of danger and fatigue fortify 
the streii^h and courage of Barbarians. In every age they 
have oppressed the polite and peaceful nations of China, 
India, and Persia, who neglected, and still neglect, to counter- 
balance these natural powers by the resources of military 
art. The warlike states of antiquity, Greece, Macedonia, 
and Rome, educated a race of soldiers; exercised their bodies, 
disciplined their courage, multiplied their forces by regular 

1 Frederick the Great of Pnissia. 

2 Catherine the Great of Russia. 

3 Louis XVI of France and Charles III of Spain. 

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iBVolntions, and converted the iron which they possessed into 
strong and serviceable weapons. But this superiority in- 
aensibly declined with their laws and manners; and the 
feeble policy of Constantine and his successors armed and 
instructed, for the ruin of the empire, the rude valour of the 
Barbarian mercenaries. The military art has been changed 
by the invention of gunpowder ; whidi enables man to com- 
mand the two most powerful agents of nature, air and fire. 
Mathematics, chemistry, mechanics, ai*chitecture, have been 
applied to the service of war; and the adverse parties oppose 
to each other the most elaborate modes of attack and of de- 
fease. Historians may indignantly observe that the prepara- 
tions of a siege would foimd and maintain a flourishing 
colony; yet we cannot be displeased that the subversion ctf 
a city should be a work of cost and difficulty, or that an 
industrious people should be protected by those arts, which 
survive and supply the decay of military virtue. Cannon 
and fortifications now form an impregnable barrier against 
the Tartar horse ^ ; and Europe is secure from any future 
irruption of Barbarians; since, before they can conquer, 
ihey must cease to be barbarous. . . . 

"Should these speculations be found doubtful or fallacious, 
there still remains a more humble source of comfort and 
hope. The discoveries of ancient and modem navigators, 
and the domestic history, or tradition, of the most enlightened 
nations, represent the human savage, naked both in mind 
and body, and destitute of laws, of arts, of ideas, and almost 
of language. From this abject condition, perhaps the prim- 
itive and universal state of man, he has gradually arisen to 
command the animals, to fertilize the earth, to traverse the 
ocean, and to measure the heavens. His progress in the im- 
provement and exercise of his mental and corporeal faculties 
has been irregular and various, infinitely slow in the begin- 
ning, and increasing by degrees with redoubled velocity; 
ages of laborious ascent have been followed by a moment of 
rapid downfall ; and the several climates of the globe have 

1 Gibbon forgets here that cannon and the fundamentals of modem 
miUtars: method came to Eurofie ^th the Mongols. 

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felt the vicissitudes of light and darkness. Yet the expe- 
rience of four thousand years should enlarge our hopes, and 
diminish our apprehensions; we cannot determine to what 
height the human species may aspire in their advances 
towards perfection ; but it may safely be presumed that no 
people, unless the face of nature is changed, will relapse 
into their original barbarism. 

"Since the first discovery of the arts, war, commerce, and 
religious zeal have diffused, among the savages of the Old 
and New World, those inestimable gifts, they have been 
successively propagated; they can never be lost. We may 
therefore acquiesce in the pleasing conclusion that every age 
of the world has increased, and still increases, the real 
wealth, the happiness, the knowledge, and perhaps the virtue, 
of the human race.'^ 

§ 12 

One of the most interesting aspects of this story of 
Europe in the seventeenth and earlier eighteenth century 
during the phase of the Grand and Parliamentary Mon- 
archies, is the comparative quiescence of the peasants and 
workers. The insurrectionary fires of the fourteenth and 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries seem to have died down. 
The acute economic clashes of the earlier period had been 
mitigated by rough 'adjustments. The discovery of America 
had revolutionized and changed the scale of business and in- 
dustry, had brought a vast volume of precious metal for 
money into Europe, had increased and varied employment. 
For a time life and work ceased to be intolerable to the 
masses of the poor. This did not, of course, prevent much 
individual misery and discontent ; the poor we have always 
had with us, but this misery and discontent was divided and 
scattered. It became inaudible. 

In the earlier period the common people had had an 
idea to crystallize upon, the idea of Christian communism. 
They had found an educated leadership in the dissentient 
priests and doctors of the Wycliffe type. As the movement 

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for a revival in Christianity spent its force, as Lutheraniam 
fell back for leadership from Jesus upon the Protestant 
Princes, this contact and reaction of the fresher minds of 
the educated class upon the illiterate mass was interrupted. 
However numerous a down-trodden class may be, and how- 
ever extreme its miseries, it will never be able to make an 
efiFective protest until it achieves solidarity by the develop- 
ment of some common general idea. Educated men and 
men of ideas are more necessary to a popular political move- 
ment than to any other political process. A monarchy learns 
by ruling, and an oligarchy of any type has the education of 
affairs ; but the common man, the peasant or toiler, has no ex- 
perience in large matters, and can exist politically only 
through the services, devotion, and guidance of educated 
men. The Reformation, the Reformation that succeeded, 
the Reformation that is of the Princes, by breaking up edu- 
cational facilities, largely destroyed the poor scholar and 
priest class whose persuasion of the crowd had rendered the 
Reformation possible. 

The Princes of the Protestant countries when they seized 
upon the national churches early apprehended the necessity 
of gripping the universities also. Their idea of education 
was the idea of capturing young clever people for the service 
of their betters. Beyond that they were disposed to regard 
education as a mischievous thing. The only way to an edu- 
cation, therefore, for a poor man was through patronage. 
Of course there was a parade of encouragement towards 
learning in all the Grand Monarchies, a setting up of Acade- 
mies and Royal Societies, but these benefited only a small 
class of subservient scholars. The church also had learnt 
to distrust the educated poor man. In the great aristocratic 
'^crowned republic" of Britain there was the same shrinkage 
of educational opportunity. 'TBoth the ancient universities," 
says Hammond, in his account of the eighteenth centiury, 
"were the universities of the rich. There is a passage in 
Macaulay, describing the state and pomp of Oxford at the 
end of the seventeenth century, Vhen her Chancellor, the 
[Venerable Duke of Ormonde, sat in his embroidered mantle 

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on his throne under the painted ceiling of the Sheldoniaii 
theatre, surrounded hy hundreds of graduates robed accord- 
ing to their rank, while the noblest youths of England were 
solemnly presented to him as candidates for academical 
honours/ The university was a jpower, not in the sense in 
which that could be said of a university like the old univer- 
sity of Paris, whose learning could make Popes tremble, but 
in the sense that the university was part of the recognized 
machinery of aristocracy. What was true of the universi- 
ties was true of the public schools. Education in England 
was the nursery not of a society, but of an order; not of a 
state, but of a race of owner-rulers.'' The missionary spirit 
had departed from education throughout Europe. To that 
quite as much as to the amelioration of things by a diffused 
prosperity, this phase of quiescence among the lower classes 
is to be ascribed. They had lost brains and speech, and they 
were fed. The community was like a pithed animal in the 
hands of the governing class.* 

Moreover, there had been considerable changes in the pro- 
portions of class to class. One of the most difficult things 
for the historian to trace is the relative amount of the total 
property of the community held at any time by any particu- 
lar class in that community. These things fluctuate very 
rapidly. The peasant wars of Europe indicate a phase of 
comparatively concentrated property when large masses of 
people could feel themselves expropriated and at a common 
disadvantage, and so take mass action. This was the time 
of the rise and prosperity of the Fuggers and their like, 
a time of international finance. Then with the vast im- 
portation of silver and gold and commodities into Europe 
from America, there seems to have been a restoration of a 
more diffused state of wealth. The poor were just as 

i"Our present public school system is candidly based on training 
4 dominant master class. But the uprising of the workers and 
modern conditions are rapidly making tne domifumt method unwork- 
able. . . . The change in the aim of schools will transform all thm 
organizations and methods of schools, and my belief is that this changa 
will make the new era." — F. W. Sanderson, Head Master of Oun^, 
itt iia address at Leeds, February 16th, 1920. 

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xniserabld m ever, but there were perhaps not so many 
poor relatively, And they were broken up into a varl* 
ety of types without toy idead in common. In Great 
Britain me agricultural life which had been dislocated by 
the oonfiscatioUB of the Reformation had settled down agciin 
Into a systmn of tenant farming under great landownere* 
Side by side vath the large estates there ^iis still, however, 
mudh common land for pasturing the beasts of the poorei^ 
villagers, and much land cultivnted in strips upon communed 
lines^ The middling sort of man^ and even the poorer sort 
Df m^n upon the land^ were leading an endurable eiristence 
in 1700. The standard of life, the idea> that is, of what 
is on endurable existence, was^ however, rising during the 
opening phase of Grand Monarchy 5 after k time the process 
Of the upward concentration of wealth seems to hdvt) been 
resumed, the larger landowners began to acquire and crowd 
out the poorer free cultivators, and the proportion of poor 
people and of people who felt they were leading impoverished 
lives increased again. The bigger men were unchallenged 
ruliri of Great Britain, and they set themselves to enact 
laws, the Enclosure Acts, that practically confiscated the 
TOenclosed and common lands, mainly for the benefit of the 
larger landowners. The smaller men sank to the level of 
wage workers Upon the land over which they had once pOS* 
MSsed rights of cultivation and pasture. 

The peasant in France and upon the Continent generally 
WAS not so expropriated; his enemy was not the Undlord, 
but the tttXgatherer ; he was squeezed on his land instead of 
being squeeifeed off it. 

As the eighteenth century progressed, it is apparent in the 
literature of the time that vmat to do with "the poor'' was 
again cKereising men's thoughts. We find Such active-minded 
English writers as Defoe (1659-1731) and Fielding (1707- 
64) deeply exercised by this problem. But as yet there ifi 
no Such revival of the communistic and eqUalitArian ideaS 
of primitive Christianity as distinguished the time of 
Wydtffe and John Huss. Protestantism in breaking Up the 
universal church had for a time broken up the idea of ii 

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tmiversal human solidarity. Even if the universal church 
of the Middle Ages had failed altogether to realize that idea^ 
it had at any rate been the symbol of that idea. 

Defoe and Fielding were men of a livelier practical imag- 
ination than Gibbon, and they realized something of the 
economic processes that were afoot in their time. So did 
Oliver Goldsmith (1728-74) ; his Deserted Village (1770) 
is a pamphlet on enclosures disguised as a poem. But Gib- 
bon's circumstances had never brought economic facts very 
vividly before his eyes ; he saw the world as a struggle be- 
tween barbarism and civilization, but he perceived nothing 
of that other struggle over which he floated, the mute, un- 
conscious fltru^le of the commonalty against able, powerful, 
rich, and selfish men. He did not perceive the accumula- 
tion of stresses that were presently to strain and break up 
all of the balance of his "twelve powerful, though unequal, 
kmgdoms," his three "respectable commonwealths,'' and 
their rag, tag, and bobtail of independent minor princes, 
reigning dukes, and so forth. Even the civil war that had 
begun in the British colonies in America did not rouse him 
to the nearness of what we now call "Democracy." 

From what we have been saying hitherto, the reader may 
suppose that the squeezing of the small farmer and the peas- 
ant off the land by the great landowners, the mere grab- 
bing of commons and the concentration of property in the 
hands of a powerful privileged and greedy class, was all 
that was happening to the English land in the eighteenth 
century. So we do but state the worse side of the change. 
Concurrently with this change of ownership there was going 
on a great improvement in agriculture. There can be little 
doubt that the methods of cultivation pursued by the peas- 
ants, squatters, and small farmers were antiquated, waste- 
ful, and comparatively unproductive, and that the larger 
private holdings and estates created by the Enclosure Acts 
were much more productive (one authority says twenty 
times more productive) than the old ways. The change 
was perhaps a necessary one and the evil of it was not that 
it was brought about, but that it was brought about so as tQ 

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inorease both wealth and the nuinbers of the poor. Its bene- 
fits were intercepted by the bigger private owners. The 
community was injured to the great profit of this class. 

And here we come upon one of the chief problems of our 
lives at the present time, the problem of the defiection of the 
profits of progress. For two hundred years there has been, , 
mainly under the infiuence of the spirit of science and en- 
qxiiry, a steady improvement in the methods of production 
of almost everything that humanity requires. If our sense 
jof community and our social science were equal to the tasks 
required of lliem, there can be little question that this great 
increment in production would have benefited the whole 
community, would have given everyone an amount of educa- 
tion, leisure, and freedom such as mankind had never 
dreamt of before. But though the common standard of liv- 
ing has risen, the rise has been on a scale disproportionately 
small. The rich have developed a freedom and luxury un- 
known in the world hitherto, and there has been an increase 
in the proportion of rich people and stagnantly prosperous 
and unproductive people in the community; but that also 
fails to account for the full benefit. There has been much 
sheer waste. Vast accumulations of material and energy 
have gone into warlike preparations and warfare. Much 
has been devoted to the futile efforts of unsuccessful busi- 
ness competition. Huge possibilities have remained unde- 
veloped because of the opposition of owners, fore-stallers, 
land speculators to their economical exploitation. The gooa 
things that science and organization have been bringing 
:within the reach of mankind have not been taken methodi- 
(cally and used to their utmost, but they have been scrambled 
for, snatched at, seized upon by gambling adventurers and 
employed upon selfish and vain ends. The eighteenth cen- 
tury in Europe, and more particularly in Great Britain and 
Poland, was the age of private ownership. "Private enter- 
prise,'* which meant in practice that everyone was entitled 
to get everything he could out of the business of the com- 
munity, reigned supreme. No sense of obligation to the 
state in business matters is to be found in the ordinary 

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novels, plays, and aucb like representative literature of tbe 
time. Everyone is out ^^to make his fortune/' there is no 
recognition that it is wrong to be an unproductive parasite 
on ^e Qonununity, and still less that a financier or mer<^ant 
or manufacturer oan ever be overpaid for his services to 
mankind* This was the moral atmosphere of the time, and 
those lords and gentlemen who grabbed the people's oom- 
mons, assumed possession of the mines under their lands, 
and orushed down the yeoman farmers and peasants to the 
status of pauper labourers, had no idea that they were liv- 
ing anything but highly meritorious lives. 

Concurrently with this change in Great Britain from tra- 
ditional patch agriculture and common pasture to large and 
mor0 scientific agriculture, very great changes were going on 
in the manufacture of commodities. In these changes 
Oreat Britain was, in the eighteenth century, leading Qie 
world. Hitherto, throughout the whole course of history 
from the beginnings of civilization, manufactures, building, 
and industries generally had been in the hands of craftsmen 
and small masters who worked in their own houses. They 
had been organized in guilds, and were mostly their own em- 
ployers. They formed an essential and permanent middle 
dass. There were capitalists among them, who let out looms 
and the like, supplied material, and took the finished prod- 
uct, but they were not big capitalists. There had be^ no 
rich manufacturers. The rich men of the world before this 
time had been great landowners or money-lenders and moruey 
manipulators or merchants. But in the eighteenth century, 
workers in certain industries began to be collected together 
into factories in order to produce things in larger quantities 
through a systematic division of labour, and the employer, 
as distinguished from the master worker, began to be a per- 
son of importance. Moreover, mechanical invention was 
producing machines that simplified the manual work of pro* 
duction, and were capable of being driven by water power 
and presently by steam. In 1765 Watt's steam engine was 
constmcted, a very important date in the history of Indus- 

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The cotton industry wag one of the first to pass into fac- 
tory production (originally with water-driven machinery). 
The woollen industry foUowed. At the same time iron 
smelting, which had been restrained hitherto to small 
methods by the use of charcoal, resorted to coke made from 
coal, and the coal and iron industries also began to expand. 
iThe iron industry shifted from the wooded country of Sus- 
sex and Surrey to the coal districts. By 1800 this change- 
over of industry from a small scale business with small em- 
ployers to a large scale production under big employers was 
well in progress. Everywhere there sprang up factories 
using first water, then steam power. It was a change of 
funoamental importance in human economy. From the 
dawn of history the manufacturer and craftsman had been, 
as we have said, a sort of middle-class townsman. The 
machine and the employer now superseded his skill, and he 
either became an employer of his fellows, and grew towards 
wealth and equality with the other rich classes, or he re- 
mained a worker and sank very rapidly to the level of a mere 
labourer. This great change in human affairs is known as 
the Industrial Revolution. Beginning in Great Britain, it 
spread during the nineteenth century throughout the 

As the Industrial Eevolution went on, a great gulf opened 
between employer and employed. In the past every manu- 
facturing worker had the hope of becoming an independent 
master. Even the slave craftsmen of Babylon and Bome 
were protected by laws that enabled them to save and buy 
their freedom and to set up for themselves. But now a 
factory and its engines and machines became a vast and 
costly thing measured by the scale of the worker's pocket. 
Wealthy men had to come together to create an enterprise ; 
credit and plant, that is to say, "Capital," were required. 
"Setting up for oneself' ceased to be a normal hope for an 
artisan. The worker was henceforth a worker from the 
cradle to the grave. Besides the landlords and merchants 
and the money-dealers who financed trading companies and 
lent their money to the merchants and the state, there arose 

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now thifl new wealth of industrial capital — ^a new sort of 
power in the state. 

Of the working out of these beginnings we shall tell later. 
The immediate effect of the industrial revolution upon the 
countries to which it came, was to cause a vast, distressful 
shifting and stirring of the mute, uneducated, leaderless, 
and now more and more propertyless common population. 
The small cultivators and peasants, ruined and dislodged by 
the Enclosure Acts, drifted towards the new manufacturing 
regions, and there they joined the families of the impover- 
ished and degraded craftsmen in the factories. Great towns 
of squalid houses came into existence, ilfobody seems to 
have noted clearly what was going on at the time. It is 
the keynote of "private enterprise'* to mind one's own busi- 
ness, secure the utmost profit, and disregard any other con- 
sequences. Ugly great factories grew up, built as cheaply 
as possible, to hold as many machines and workers as possi- 
ble. Around them gathered the streets of workers' homes, 
built at the cheapest rate, without space, without privacy, 
barely decent, and let at the utmost rent that could be ex- 
acted. These new industrial centres were at first without 
schools, without churches. . . . The English gentleman of 
the closing decades of the eighteenth century read Gibbon's 
third volume and congratulated himself that there was hence- 
forth no serious fear of the Barbarians, with this new bar 
barism growing up, with this metamorphosis of his country- 
men into something dark and desperate, in full progress, 
within an easy walk perhaps of his door. 

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§ 1. Inconveniences of the Great Power System. § 2. The 
Thirteen Colonies Before Their Revolt % 3. Civil War 
is Forced Upon the Colonies. § 4. The War of Indepen- 
dence. § 5, The Constitution of the United States. 
§ 6. Primitive Features of the United States Constitvr 
tion. § 7. Revolutionary Ideas in France. § 8. The 
Revolution of the Year 1789. § 9. The French 
''Crowned Republic" of '89-91. § 10. The Revolution 
of the Jacobins. % 11. The Jacobin Republic, 1192— ^ 
9Jf. § 12. The Directory. § 13. The Pause in Recon^ 
struction and the Dawn of Modem Socialism. 


WHEN Gibbon, nearly a century and a half ago, was 
congratulating the world of refined and educated 
people that the age of great political and social 
catastrophes was past, he was neglecting many signs which 
we — in the wisdom of accomplished facts — could have 
told him portended far heavier jolts and dislocations than 
any he foresaw. We have told how the Struggle of the 
sixteenth and seventeenth-century princes for ascendancies 
and advantages developed into a more cunning and 
complicated struggle of foreign offices, masquerading as 
idealized "Great Powers,'' as the eighteenth century wore 
on. The intricate and pretentious art of diplomacy devel- 
oped. The "Prince" ceased to be a single and secretive Ma- 
chiavellian schemer, and became merely the crowned symbol 
of a Machiavellian scheme, Prussia, Russia, and Austria 


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fell upon and divided Poland. France was baffled in pro- 
found schemes against Spain. Britain circumvented the 
"designs of France" in America and acquired Canada, and 
got the better of France in India. And then a remarkable 
thing occurred, a thing very shocking to European diplo- 
macy. The British colonies in America flatly refused to 
have further part or lot in this game of "Great Powers.'' 
They objected that they had no voice and no great interest 
in these European schemes and conflicts, and they refused 
to bear any portion of the burthen of taxation these foreign 
policies entailed. "Taxation without representation is tyr- 
anny,*' this was their dominant idea. 

Of course this decision to separate did not flash out com- 
plete and finished from the American mind at the beginning 
of these troubles. In America in the eighteenth century, 
just as in England in the seventeenth, there was an entire 
willingness, indeed a desire on the part of ordinary men, to 
leave foreign affairs in the hands of the king and his minis- 
ters. But there was an equally strong desire on the part 
of ordinary men to be neither taxed nor interfered with in! 
their ordinary pursuits. These are incompatible wishes. 
Oonmion men cannot shirk world politics and at the same 
time enjoy private freedom ; but it has taken them countless 
generations to learn this. The first impulse in the Ameri- 
can revolt against the government in Great Britain was 
therefore simply a resentment against the taxation and in- 
terference that followed necessarily from "foreign policy" 
without any clear recognition of what was involved in that 
objection. It was only when the revolt was consummated 
that the people of the American colonies recognized at all 
clearly that they had repudiated the Great Power view of 
life. The sentence in which that repudiation was expressed 
was Washington's injunction to "avoid entangling alliances." 
For a full century the united colonies of Great Britain in 
'SoTth America, liberated and independent as the United 
States of America, stood apart altogether from the blood- 
stained intrigues and conflicts of the European foreign of* 
flees. Soon after (1810 to 1823) they were able to extend 

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their principle of detachment to the rest of the continent, 
and to make all the New World ^^out of bounds'^ for the 
scheming expansionists of the old. When at length, in 1917, 
they were obliged to re-enter the arena of world politics, it 
was to bring the new spirit and new aims their aloofness had 
enabled them to develop into the tangle of international re- 
lationships. They were not, however, the first to stand 
aloof. Since the treaty of Westphalia (1648), the confed- 
erated states of Switzerland, in their mountain fastnesses, 
had sustained their right to exclusion from the schemes of 
kings and empires. 

But since the North American peoples are now to play 
an increasingly important part in our history, it will be well 
to devote a little more attention than we have hitherto given 
to their development. We have already glanced at this 
story in § 8 of the preceding chapter. We will now tell a 
little more fully — ^though still in the barest outline — what 
these colonies were, whose recalcitrance was so disconcerting 
to the king and ministers of Great Britain in their diplo- 
matic game against the rest of mankind. 


The extent of the British colonies in America in the early 
half of the eighteenth century is shown in the accompanying 
map. The darker shading represents the districts settled 
in 1700, the lighter the growth of the settlements up to 1760. 
It will be seen that the colonies were a mere fringe of popu- 
lation along the coast, spreading gradually inland and find- 
ing in the Alleghany and Blue Mountains a very serious 
barrier. Among the oldest of these settlem^its was the 
colony of Virginia, the name of which commemorates Queen 
Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen of England. The first expedi- 
tion to found a colony in Virginia was made by Sir Walter 
Raleigh in 1584, but there was no permanent settlement at 
that time; and the real b^innings of Virginia date from 
the foundation of the Virginia Company in 1606 in the 
reign of James I (1603-25). The story of John Smith and 

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the early founders of Virginia and of how the Indian '^prin- 
ces3'' Pocahontas married one of his gentlemen^ is an Eng- 
lish classic.^ In growing tobacco the Virginians found the 

beginning of prosperity. At the same time that the Vir- 
ginian Company was founded, the Plymouth Company ob- 
tained a charter for the settlement of the coimtry to the 

iJohn Smith's Troivela. 

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north of Long Island Sound, to which the English laid claim« 
But it was only in 1620 that the northern region began to be 
settled, and that under fresh charters. The settlers of the 
northern region (New England), which became Connecticut, 
New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, were 
men of a different stamp to the Virginia people. They 
were Protestants discontented with the Anglican Church 
compromise, and the republican-spirited men hopeless of re- 
sistance to the Grand Monarchy of James I and Charles I. 
Their pioneer ship was the Mayflower, which founded New 
Plymouth in 1620. The dominant northern colony was 
Massachusetts. Differences in religious method and in ideas 
of toleration led to the separation of the three other Puritan 
colonies from Massachusetts. It illustrates the scale upon 
which things were done in those days that the whole state 
of New Hampshire was claimed as belonging to a certain 
Captain John Mason, and that he offered to sell it to the 
king (King Charles II in 1671) in exchange for the right 
to import 300 tons of French wine free of dutyi — an offer 
which was refused. The present state of Maine was bought 
by Massachusetts from its alleged owner for twelve hundred 
and fifty pounds. 

In the Civil War that ended with the decapitation of 
Charles I the sympathies of New England were for the 
Parliament, and Virginia was Cavalier; but two hundred 
and fifty miles separated these settlements, and there were 
no serious hostilities. With the return of the monarchy in 
1660, there was a vigorous development of British coloniza- 
tion in America. Charles II and his associates were greedy 
for gain, and the British crown had no wish to make any 
further experiments in illegal taxation at home. But the 
undefined relations of the colonies to the crown and the 
British government seemed to afford promise of. financial 
adventure across the Atlantic. There was a rapid develop- 
ment of plantations and proprietary colonies. Lord Balti- 
more had already in 1632 set up a colony that was to be a 
home of religious freedom for Catholics under the attractive 
name of Maryland, to the north and east of Virginia; and 

Wells 9— Vol. Ill 

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now the Quaker Perm (whose father had rendered valuable 
services to Charles II) established himself to the north at 
Philadelphia and founded the colony of Pennsylvania. Its 
main boundary with Maryland and Virginia was delimited 
by two men, Mason and Dixon, whose ^^Mason and Dixon's 
Line" was destined to become a very important line indeed 
in the later affairs of the United States. Carolina, which 
was originally an unsuccessful French Protestant establish- 
ment, and which owed its name not to Charles (Carolus) II 
of England, but to Charles IX of France, had fallen into 
English hands and was settled at several points. Between 
Maryland and New England stretched a number of small 
Dutch and Swedish settlements, of which the chief town 
was New AmsterdanL These settlements were captured 
from the Dutch by the British in 1664, lost again in 1673, 
and restored by treaty when Holland and England made 
peace in 1674. Thereby the whole coast from Maine to 
Carolina became in some form or other a British possession. 
To the south the Spanish were established; their head- 
quarters were at Fort St Augustine in Florida, and in 1732 
the town of Savannah was settled by a philanthropist Ogle- 
thorpe from England, who had taken pity on the miserable 
people imprisoned for debt in England, and rescued a num- 
ber of them from prison to become the founders of a new 
colony, Georgia, which was to be a bulwark against tho 
Spanish. So by the middle of the eighteenth century we 
have these settlements along the American coastline: the 
New England group of Puritans and free Protestants, Maine 
(belonging to Massachusetts), New Hampshire, Connecti- 
cut, Ehode Island, and Massachusetts; the captured Dutch 
group, which was now divided up into New York (New 
Amsterdam rechristened). New Jersey, and Delaware 
(Swedish before it was Dutch, and in its earliest British 
phase attached to Pennsylvania) ; then came catholic Mary- 
land; Cavalier Virginia; Carolina (which was presently 
divided into North and South) and Oglethorpe's Georgia. 
Later on a number of Tyrolese Protestants took refuge 
in Georgia, and there was a considerable immigration of 

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a good class of German cultivators into Pennsylvania* 
Such were the miscellaneous origins of the citizens of the 
Thirteen Colonies. The possibility of their ever beoom^ 
ing closely united would have struck an impartial observer 
in 1760 as being very slight Superadded to the initial 
differences of origin, fresh differences were created by oli- 
mate« North of the Mason and Dixon line fanning was 
practised mainly upon British or Central European lines 
by free white cultivators* The settled country of New Eng- 
land took on a likeness to the English countiyside; oonsider- 
able a^eas of Pennsylvania developed fields and farmhouses 
like those of South Germany. The distinctive conditions in 
the north had^ socially^ important effects. Masters and men 
had to labour together as backwoodsmen^ and were equalised 
in the process. They did not start equally ; many '^servants" 
are mentioned in the roster of the Mayflower. But they 
rftpidly became equal under colonial conditions ; there was^ 
for instance, a vast tract of land to be had fof the taking, 
and the '^servant'^ went off and took land like his master. 
The English dass ^rstem disappeared. Under colonial con- 
ditions there arose equality "in the faculties both of body 
and mind/' and an individual independence of judgment 
impatient of interference from England. But south of the 
Mason and Dixon line tobacco growing began, and the 
warmer climate encouraged the establishment of plantations 
with gang labour. Red Indian captives were tried but 
found to be too homicidal ; Cromwell sent Irish prisoners of 
War to Virginia, which did much to reconcile the Royalist 
planters to republicanism ; convicts were sent out, and there 
was a considerable trade in kidnapped children, who wete 
"spirited away*' to America to become apprentices or bond 
slaves^ But the most convenient form of gang labour proved 
to be that of negro slaves. The first negro slaves were 
brought to Jamestown in Virginia by a Dutch ship as early 
as 1620. By 1700 negro slaves were scattered all over the 
states, but Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas were their 
chief regions of employment, and while the communities to 
the nordi were communities of not very rich and not vezgr 

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poor fanning men, the south developed a type of large pro- 
prietor and a white community of overseers and professional 
men subsisting on slave labour. Slave labour was a neces- 
sity to the social and economic system that had grown up in 
the south ; in the north the presence of slaves was unnecesr 
sary and in some respects inconvenient. Conscientious 
scruples about slavery were more free, therefore, to develop 
and flourish in the northern atmosphere. To this question 
of the revival of slavery in the world we must return when 
we come to consider the perplexities of American Democracy. 
Here we note it simply as an added factor in the hetero- 
geneous mixture of the British Colonies. 

But if the inhabitants of the Thirteen Colonies were mis- 
cellaneous in their origins and various in their habits and 
sympathies, they had three very strong antagonisms in com- 
mon. They had a common interest against the Red In- 
dians. For a time they shared a common dread of French 
conquest and dominion. And thirdly, they were all in con- 
flict with the claims of the British crown and the conamer- 
cial selfishness of the narrow oligarchy who dominated the 
British Parliament and British affairs. 

So far as the first danger went, the Indians were a con- 
stant evil, but never more than a threat of disaster. They 
remained divided against themselves. Yet they had shown 
possibilities of combination upon a larger scale. The Five 
Nations of the Iroquois (see map, p. 9&6) was a very im- 
portant league of tribes. But it never succeeded play- 
ing off the French against the English to secure itself, and 
no Red Indian Jengis Khan ever arose among these nomads 
of the new world. The French aggression was a more se- 
rious threat. The French never made settlements in America 
on a scale to compete with the English, but their govern- 
ment set about the encirclement of the colonies and their sub- 
jugation in a terrifyingly systematic manner. The English 
in America were colonists; the French were explorers, ad- 
venturers, agents, missionaries, merchants, and soldiers. 
.Only in Canada did they strike root. French statesmen sat 
over maps and dreamt dreams, and their dreams are to be 

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seen in our map in the chain of forts creeping southward 
from the Qreat Lakes and northward up the Mississippi and 
Ohio rivers. The struggle of France and Britain was a 
world-wide struggle. It was decided in India, in Germany, 
and on the high seas. In the Peace of Paris (1763) the 
French gave England Canada, and relinquished Louisiana to 
the inert hands of declining Spain. It was the complete 
abandonment of America by France. The lifting of the 
French danger left the colonists unencumbered to face their 
third common antagonist — the crown and government of 
their mother land. 


We have noted in the previous chapter how the governing 
class of Great Britain steadily acquired the land and de- 
stroyed the liberty of the common people throughout the 
eighteenth century, and how greedily and blindly the new in* 
dustrial revolution was brought about. We have noted also 
how the British Parliament, through the decay of the repre- 
sentative methods of the House of Commons, had become 
both in its upper and lower houses merely the instrument of 
government through the big landowners. Both these big 
property-holders and the crown were deeply interested in 
America; the former as private adventurers, the latter partly 
as representing the speculative exploitations of the Stuart 
kings, and partly as representing the state in search of funds 
for the expenses of foreign policy, and neither lords nor 
crown were disposed to regard the traders, planters, and 
common people of the colonies with any more consideration 
than they did the yeomen and small cultivators at home. At 
bottom the interests of the common man in Great Britain, 
Ireland, and America were the same. Each was being 
squeezed by the same system. But while in Britain op- 
pressor and oppressed were closely tangled up in one inti- 
mate social system, in America the crown and the exploiter 
were far away, and men could get together and develop a 
sense of community against their common enemy. 

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Moreover, the American colonist had the important ad- 
vantage of possessing a separate and legal organ of resis- 
tance to the British government in the assembly or legisla- 
ture of his colony that was necessary for the management of 
local affairs. The common man in Britain, cheated out of 
his proper representation in the Commons, had no organ, no 
centre of expression and action for his discontents. 

It will be evident to the reader, bearing in mind the va- 
riety of the colonies, that here was the possibility of an end- 
less series of disputes, aggressions, and counter-aj^essions. 
The story of the development of irritations between the col- 
onies and Britain is a story far too intricate, subtle, and 
lengthy for the scheme of this Outline. SuflSice it that the 
grievances fell under three main heads: attempts to secure 
for British adventurers or the British government the profits 
of the exploitation of new lands ; systematic restrictions upon 
trade designed to keep the foreign trade of the colonies en- 
tirely in British hands, so that the colonial exports all went 
through Britain and only British-made goods were used in 
America; and finally attempts at taxation through the 
British Parliament as the supreme taxing authority of the 
empire. Under the pressure of this triple system of annoy- 
ances, the American colonists were forced to do a very con- 
siderable amount of hard political thinking. Such men as 
Patrick Henry and James Otis b^an to discuss the funda- 
mental ideas of government and political association very 
much as they had been discussed in England in the great 
days of CromwelPs Commonweal. They began to deny both 
the divine origin of kingship and the supremacy of the 
British Parliament, and (James Otis, 1762) to say such 
things as: — » 

"God made all men naturally equal. 

"Ideas of earthly superiority are educational, not innate. 

"Kings were made for the good of the people, and not the 
people for them. 

"Ko government has a right to make slaves of its 6ub« 

"Though most governments are de facto arbitrary, and 

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oonsequently the curse and scandal of human natore, yet 
none are de jure arbitrary." 

Some of which propositions reach far. 

This ferment in the political ideas of the Americans was 
started by English leaven. One very influential English 
writer was John Locke (1632-1704), whose Two Treatiees 
on CivU Government may be taken, as much as any one 
single book can be taken in such cases, as the point of depar- 
ture for modem democratic ideas. He was the son of a 
Cromwellian soldier, he was educated at Christ Church, 
Oxford, during the republican ascendancy, he spent some 
years in Holland in exile, and his writings form a bridge be- 
tween the bold political thinking of those earlier republican 
days and the revolutionary movement both in America and 

But men do not begin to act upon theories. It is always 
some real danger, some practical necessity, that produces 
action ; and it is only after action has destroyed old relation- 
ships and produced a new and perplexing state of affairs 
that theory comes to its own. Then it is ^at theory is put 
to the test The discord in interests and ideas between the 
colonists was brought to a fighting issue by the obstinate 
resolve of the British Parliament after the peace of 1763 
to impose taxation upon the American colonies. Britain 
was at peace and flushed with successes; it seemed an ad- 
mirable opportunity for settling accounts with these recalci- 
trant settlers. But the great British property-owners found 
a power beside their own, of much the same mind with them, 
but a little divergent in its ends — ^the reviving crown. King 
George III, who had begun his reign in 1760, was resolved 
to be much more of a king than his two German predecessors. 
He could speak English ; he claimed to ^%lory in the name of 
Briton" — ^and indeed it is not a bad name for a man with- 
out a peroeptible drop of English, Welsh, or Scotch blood 
in his veins. In the American colonies and the overseas 
posseesioni generally, with their indefinite charters or no 
charters at all, it seemed to him that the crown might 
claim authority and obtain resources and powers absolutely 

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denied to it by the strong and jealous aristocracy in Britain. 
This inclined many of the Whig noblemen to a sympathy 
with the colonists that they might not otherwise have shown. 
They had no objection to the ^exploitation of the colonies in 
the interests of British "private enterprise," but they had 
very strong objections to tiie strengthening of the crown by 
that exploitation so as to make it presently independent of 

The war that broke out was therefore in reality not a war 
between Britain and the colonists, it was a war between the 
British government and the colonists, with a body of Whig 
noblemen and a considerable amount of public feeling in Eng- 
land on the side of the latter. An early move after 1763 was 
an attempt to raise revenue for Britain in the colonies by re- 
quiring that newspapers and documents of various sorts 
should be stamped. This was stiffly resisted, the British 
crown was intimidated, and the Stamp Acts were repealed 
(1766). , Their repeal was greeted by riotous rejoicings in 
London, more hearty even than those in the colonies. 

But the Stamp Act affair was only one eddy in a turbulent 
stream flowing towards civil war. Upon a score of pretexts, 
and up and down the coast, the representatives of the British 
government were busy asserting their authority and making 
British government intolerable. The quartering of soldiers 
upon the colonists was a great nuisance. Ehode Island was 
particularly active in defying trade restrictions; the Bhode 
Islanders were "free traders,^' — ^that is to say, smugglers; 
£t government schooner, the Oaspee, ran aground off Provi- 
dence; she was surprised, boarded, and captured by armed 
men in boats, and burnt In 1773, with a total disregard of 
the existing colonial tea trade, special advantages for the im- 
portation of tea into America were given by the British 
Parliament to the East India Company. It was resolved by 
the colonists to refuse and boycott this tea. When the tea 
importers at Boston showed themselves resolute to land their 
cargos, a band of men disguised as Indians, in the presence 
of a great crowd of people, boarded the three tea ships and 
threw the tea overboard (December 16th, 1773). 

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All 1774 was occupied in the gathering up of resources 
on either side for the coming conflict. It was decided by 
the British Parliament in the spring of 1774 to punish Bos- 
ton by closing her port. Her trade was to be destroyed un- 
less die accepted that tea. It was a quite typical instance 
of that silly "firmness" which shatters empires. In order 
to enforce this measure, the British troops were concentrated 
at Boston under General Gage, The colonists took counter- 
measures. The first colonial congress met at Philadelphia 
in September, at which twelve colonies were represented: 
Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Ehode Island, 





? T ^.„ f f 

New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, 
Virginia, and North and South Carolina. Georgia was not 
present. True to the best English traditions, the Congress 
documented its attitude by a "Declaration of Eights." 
Practically this Congress was an insurrectionary govern- 
ment, but no blow was struck until the spring of 1775. 
Then came the first shedding of blood. 

Two of the American leaders, Hancock and Samuel Adams, 
had been marked down by the British government for arrest 
and trial for treason ; they were known to be at Lexington, 
about eleven miles from Boston; and in the night of April 
18th, 1775, Gage set his forces in motion for their arrest. 

That night was a momentous one in history. The move- 
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ment of Gage's troops had been observed, signal lanterns 
were shown from a diurch tower in Boston^ and two men, 
Dawes and Panl Severe, stole away in boats across the 
Back Bay to take horge and warn {be conntryn^ide. The 
British were also ferried over the water, and as they marched 
through the night towards Lexington, the firing of signal 
cannon and the ringing of church bells went b^ore them* 
As they entered Lexington at dawn, they saw a little eonir 
pany of men drawn up in military fashion. It seems that 
the British fired first There was a single shot and then a 
volley, and the little handful decamped, apparently without 
any answering shots, leaving eight dead and nine wounded 
upon the village green. 

The British then marched on to Concord, ten miles further, 
occupied the village, and stationed a party on the bridge 
at that place. The expedition had failed in its purpose of 
arresting Hancock and Adams, and the British commander 
seems to have been at a loss what to do next Meanwhile 
the colonial levies were coming up from all directions, and 
presently the picket upon the bridge found itself subjected 
to an increasing fire &om a gathering number of assailants 
firing from behind trees and fences. A retreat to Boston 
was decided upon. It was a disastrous retreat The country 
had risen behind the British; all the morning the colonials 
had been gathering. Both sides of the road were now 
swarming with sharpshooters firing from behind rock and 
fence and building; the soldiers were in conspicuous scarlet 
uniforms, with yellow facings and white gaiters and cravats ; 
this must have stood out very vividly against the cold sharp 
colours of the late New England spring; the day was bright, 
hot, and dusty, and they were already exhausted by a night 
m ar ch . Every few yards a man fell, wounded or killed. 
The rest tramped on, or halted to fire an ineffectual volley. 
No counter-attack veas possible. Their assailants lurked 
everywhere. At Lexington there were British reinforce- 
ments and two guns, and after a brief rest the retreat was re- 
sumed in better order. But the sharpshooting and pursuit 
Fas pressed to the rivor^ and after the Britisl^ had ci:os8ed 

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back into Boston, the colonial levies took up their quarters in 
Cambridge and prepared to blockade the city. 


So the war began. It was not a war that promised a 
conclusive end. The colonists had no one vulnerable cap- 
ital ; they were dispersed over a great country, with a limit- 
less wilderness behind it, and so they had great powers of re- 
sistance. They had learnt their tactics largely from the 
Indians; they could fight well in open order, and harry 
and destroy troops in movement. But they had no disci- 
plined army that could meet the British in a pitched battle, 
and little military equipment; and their levies grew impa- 
tient at a long campaign, and tended to go home to their 
farms. The British, on the other hand, had a well-drilled 
army, and their command of the sea gave them the power of 
shifting their attack up and down the long Atlantic sea- 
board. They were at peace with all the world. But the 
king was stupid and greedy to interfere in the conduct of 
affairs ; the generals he favoured were stupid "strong men'^ 
or flighty men of birth and fashion ; and the heart of England 
was not in the business. He trusted rather to being able 
to blockade, raid, and annoy the colonists into submission 
than to a conclusive conquest and occupation of the land. 
But the methods employed, particularly the use of hired 
German troops, who still retained the cruel traditions of 
the Thirty Years* War, and of Indian auxiliaries, who har- 
ried the outlying settlers, did not so much weary the Ameri- 
cans of the war as of the British. The Congress, meeting 
for the second time in 1775, endorsed the actions of the New 
England colonists, and appointed George Washington the 
American commander-in-chief. In 1777, General Burgoyne, 
in an attempt to get down to New York from Canada, was 
defeated at Freeman's Farm on the Upper Hudson, and 
surrounded and obliged to capitulate at Saratoga wilt his 
whole army. This disaster encouraged the French and Span- 
ish to come into the struggle on the side of the_polonists. 

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The French fleet did much to minimize the advantage of the 
British at sea. General Comwallis was caught in the York- 
town peninsula in Virginia in 1781, and capitulated with 
his army. The British Government, now heavily engaged 
with France and Spain in Europe, was at the end of its re- 

At the outset of the war the colonists in general seem to 
have been as little disposed to repudiate monarchy and 
claim complete independence as were the Hollanders in the 
opening phase of Philip II's persecutions and follies. The 
separatists were called radicals ; they were mostly extremely 
democratic, as we should say in England to-day, and their 
advanced views frightened many of the steadier and wealthier 
colonists, for whom class privileges and distinctions had con- 
siderable charm. But early in 1776 an able and persuasive 
Englishman, Thomas Paine, published a pamphlet at Phila- 
delphia with the title of Common Sense, which had an enor- 
mous effect on public opinion. Its style was rhetorical by 
modem standards. "The blood of the slain, the weeping 
voice of Nature cries, * 'Tis time to part.' '' and so forth. 
But its effects were very great. It converted thousands to 
the necessity of separation. The turn-over of opinion, once 
it had begun, was rapid. 

Only in the summer of 1776 did Congress take the irre- 
vocable step of declaring for separation. "The Declaration 
of Independence,'* another of those exemplary documents 
which it has been the peculiar service of the English to 
produce for mankind, was drawn up by Thomas Jefferson; 
and after various amendments and modifications it was made 
the fundamental document of the United States of America. 
There were two noteworthy amendments to Jefferson's draft 
He had denounced the slave trade fiercely, and blamed the 
home government for interfering with colonial attempts to 
end it. This was thrown out, and so too was a sentence 
about the British : "we must endeavour to forget our former 
love for them ... we might have been a free and a great 
people together." 

Towards the end of 1782, the preliminary articles of the 

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treaty in which Britain recognized the complete independ- 
ence of the United States were signed at Paris. The 
end of the war was proclaimed on April 19th, 1783, exactly 
eight years after Paul Revere's ride, and the retreat of 
Gage's men from Concord to Boston. The Treaty of Peace 
was finally signed at Paris in September. 


From the point of view of human history, the way in 
which the Thirteen States became independent is of far 
less importance than the fact that they did become independ- 
ent And with the establishment of their independence 
came a new sort of community into the world. It was like 
something coming out of an egg. It was a western European 
civilization that had broken free from the last traces of 
Empire and Christendom ; it had not a vestige of monarchy 
left and no state religion. It had no dukes, princes, counts, 
nor any sort of title-bearers claiming to ascendancy or re- 
spect as a right. Even its tmity was as yet a mere unity 
for defence and freedom. It was in these respects such a 
clean start in political organization as the world had not 
seen before. The absence of any binding religious tie is 
especially noteworthy. It had a number of forms of 
Christianity, its spirit was indubitably Christian; but as 
a state document of 1791 explicitly declared, "The govern- 
ment of the United States is not in any sense founded on 
the Christian religion.'^ ^ The new community had in fact 
gone right down to the bare and stripped fundamentals of 
human association, and it was building up a new sort of 
society and a new sort of state upon those foundations. 

Here were about four million people scattered over vast 
areas with very slow and difficult means of intercommunica- 
tion, poor as yet, but with the potentiality of limitless wealth, 
setting out to do in reality on a huge scale such a feat of con- 
struction as the Athenian philosophers twenty-two centuries 
before had done in imagination and theory. 

1 The Tripoli Treaty^ see Channing, vol. iil, chap. zviii« 

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Thii situation marks a definite stage in the release of man 
from precedent and usage, and a definite step forward to- 
wards the conscious and deliberate reconstruction of his 

circumstances to suit his needs and aims. It was a new 
method becoming practical in human affairs. The modem 
states of Europe have been evolved institution by institu- 

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tion slowly and planlessly out of preceding things. The 
United States were planned and made. 

In one respect, however, the creative freedom of the new 
nation was veiy seriously restricted. This new sort of com- 
munity and state was not built upon a cleared sita It was 
not even so frankly an artificiality as some of the later Ath^r 
nian colonies, which went out from the mother city to plan 
and build brand new city states with brand new constiutions. 
The thirteen colonies by the end of the war had all of them 
constitutions either like that of Connecticut and Rhode Island 
dating from their original charters (1662) or, as in the case 
of the rest of the states, where a British governor had pUyed 
a large part in the administration, re-made during the con- 
flict But we may well consider these reconstructions as 
contributory essays and experiments in the general construc- 
tive effort. 

Upon the effort certain ideas stood out very prominently. 
One is the idea of political and social equality. This idea, 
which we saw coming into the world as an extreme and 
almost incredible idea in the age between Buddha and Jesus 
of Nazareth, is now asserted in the later eighteenth cen- 
tury as a practical standard of human relationship. Says 
the fundamental statement of Virginia: "All men are by 
nature equally free and independent," and it proceeds to 
rehearse their "rights," and to assert that all magistrates 
and governors are but "trustees and servants" of the common- 
weal. All men are equally entitled to the free exercise of 
religion. The king by right, the aristocrat, the "natural 
slave," the god king, and the god have all vanished from this 
political scheme — so far as these declarations go. Most of 
the states produced similar preludes to government. The 
Declaration of Independence said that "all men are bom 
equal." It is everywhere asserted in eighteenth-century 
terms that the new community is to be — ^to use the phrase- 
ology we have introduced in an earlier chapter — ^a community 
of will and not a community of obedience. But the thinkers 
of that time had a rather clumsier way of putting the thing, 
they imagined a sort of individual choice of and assent to 

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citizenship that never in fact occurred — ^the so-called Social 
Contract. The Massachusetts preamble^ for instanoe, asserts 
that the state is a voluntary association, *1)y which the whole 
people covenants with each citizen and each citizen with the 
whole people that all shall be governed by certain laws for 
the common good." 

Now it will be evident that most of these fundamental 
statements are very questionable statements. Men are not 
bom equal, they are not bom free; they are bom a most 
yarious multitude enmeshed in an ancient and complex social 
net. Nor is any man invited to sign the social contract or, 
failing that, to depart into solitude. These statements, lit- 
erally interpreted, are so manifestly false that it is impos- 
sible to believe that the men who made them intended them 
to be literally interpreted. They made them in order to ex- 
press certain elusive but profoundly important ideas — ^ideas 
that after another century and a half of thinking the world 
is in a better position to express. Civilization, as this out- 
line has shown, arose as a community of obedience, and was 
essentially a community of obedience. But generation after 
generation the spirit was abused by priests and rulers. There 
was a continual influx of masterful will from the forests, 
parklands, and steppes. The human spirit had at last re- 
belled altogether against the blind obediences of the common 
life ; it was seeking — and at first it was seeking very clumsily 
— ^to achieve a new and better sort of civilization that should 
also be a community of will. To that end it was necessary 
that every man should be treated as the sovereign of himself; 
his standing was to be one of fellowship and not of ser- 
vility. His real use, his real importance depended upon his 
individual quality. 

The method by which these creators of political America 
sought to secure this community of will was an extremely 
simple and crude one. They gave what was for the time, 
and in view of American conditions, a very wide franchise. 
Conditions varied in the different states; the widest fran- 
chise was in Pennsylvania, where every adult male taxpayer 
voted^ but^ compared willi Britain^ all the United States 

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were well within sight of manhood suffrage by the end of 
the eighteenth century. These makers of America also made 
effoits, considerable for their times, but puny by more mod- 
em standards, to secure a widely diffused conmion educa- 
tion< The information of the citizens as to what was going 
on at home and abroad, they left, apparently without any 
qualms of misgiving, to public meetings and the privately 
owned printing press. 

The story of the various state constitutions, and of the 
constitution of the United States, as a whole, is a very in- 
tricate one, and we can on^ deal with it here in the broadest 
way. The most noteworthy point in a modem view is the 
disregard of women as citizens. The American community 
was a simple, largely agricultural community, and most 
women were married ; it seemed natural that they should be 
represented by their men folk. But New Jersey admitted a 
few women to vote on a property qualification. Another 
point of great interest is the almost universal decision to have 
two governing assemblies, confirming or checking each other, 
on the model of the Lords and Commons of Britain, Only 
Pennsylvania had a single representative chamber, and that 
was felt to be a very dangerous and ultra-democratic state of 
affairs. Apart from the argument that legislation should be 
slow as well as sure, it is difficult to establish any necessity 
for this *T)i-cameral" arrangement. It seems to have been 
a fashion with constitution planners in the eighteenth cen- 
tury rather than a reasonable imperative. The British di- 
vision was an old one; the Lords, the original parliament, 
was an assembly of "notables,*' the leading men of the king- 
dom ; the House of Commons came in as a new factor, as the 
elected spokesman of the burghers and the small landed men. 
It was a little too hastily assumed in the eighteenth cen- 
tury that the commonalty would be given to wild impulses 
and would need checking; opinion was for democracy, but 
for democracy with powerful brakes always on, whetfier it 
was going up hill or down. About all the upper houses there 
was therefore a flavour of selectness; they were elected on 
a moze Umited franchise. This idea of making an upper 

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chamber which shall be a stronghold for the substcgitial man 
does not appeal to modem thijokers so strongly as it did to 
the men of the eighteenth century, but the bi-cameral idea 
in another form still has its advocates. They suggest that a 
community may with advantage consider its affairs from two 
points of view-^through the eyes of a body elected to repre- 
sent trades, industries, professions, public services, and the 
like, a body representing function, and through the eyes of a 
second body elected by localities to represent comnmnities. 
For the members of the former a man would vote by his call- 
ing, for the latter by his district of residenca They point 
out that the British House of Lords is in effect a body repre- 
senting function, in which the land, the law, and the church 
are no doubt disproportionately represented, but in which 
industrialism, finance, the great public services, art, science, 
and medicine, also find places ; and that the British House of 
Commons is purely geographical in its reference. It has 
even been suggested in Britain that there should be 'labour 
peers/' selected from among the leaders of the great indus- 
trial trade unions. But these are speculations beyond our 
presexxt scope. 

The Central Government of the United States was at first 
a very feeble body, 9, Congress of representatives of the 
thirteen governments, held together by certain Articles of 
Confederation. This Congress was little more than a con- 
ference of sovereign representatives ; it had no control, for in- 
stance, over the foreign trade of each state, it could not coin 
money or levy taxes by its own authority. When John 
Adams, the first minister from the United States to England, 
went to discuss a commercial treaty with the British foreign 
secretary, he was met by a request for thirteen representa- 
tives, one from each of the states concerned. He had to con- 
fess his inadequacy to make binding arrangements. The 
British presently began dealinff with each state separately 
over the head of Congress, and they retained possession of 
a number of posts in tfie American territory about the great 
lakes because of the inability of Congress to hold these 
regions effectually. In another urgent matter Congress 

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proved equally feeble. To the west of the thirteen states 
stretched limitless lands into which settlers were now pushing 
in ever-increasing numbers. Each of the states had indefin- 
able claims to expansion westward. It was evident to every 
clear-sighted man that the jostling of these claims must lead 
in the long run to war, unless the Central Gbvemment could 
take on their apportionment The feebleness of the Central 
(Government, its lack of concentration, became so much of an 
inconvenience and so manifest a danger that there was some 
secret diacussion of a monarchy, and Nathaniel Qorham of 
Massachusetts, the president of Congress, caused Prince 
Henry of Prussia, the brother of Frederick the Great, to be 
approached on the subject. Finally a constitutional conven- 
tion was called in 1787 at Philadelphia, and there it was that 
the present constitution of the United States was in its broad 
lines hammered out. A great change of spirit had gone on 
during the intervening years, a widespread realization of 
the need of unity. 

When the Articles of Confederation were drawn up, men 
had thought of the people of Virginia, the people of Massa- 
chusetts, the people of Khode Island, and the like ; but now 
there appears a new conception, "the people of the United 
States.'^ The new government, with the executive Pres- 
ident, the senators, congressmen, and the Supreme Court, 
that was now created, was declared to be the government of 
**the people of the United States'' ; it was a synthesis and not 
a mere assembly. It said "we the people," and not 
"we the states,'^ as Lee of Virginia bitterly complained. 
It was to be a "federal" and not a confederate govern- 

State by state the new constitution was ratified, and in the 
spring of 1788 the first congress upon the new lines assembled 
at New York, under the presidency of George Washington, 
who had been the national commander-in-chief throughout 
the War of Independence. The constitution then underwent 
considerable revision, and Washington upon the Potomac was 
selected as the Federal capital. 

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§ 6 

la an earlier chapter we have described the Boman re- 
publiCy and its mixture of modem features with dark super- 
stition and primordial savagery, as the Neanderthal anticipa- 
tion of the modem democratic state, A time may come when 
people will regard the contrivances and machinery of the 
American Constitution as the political equivalents of the im- 
plements and contrivances of Neolithic man. They have 
served their purpose well, and under their protection the 
people of the States have grown into one of the greatest, 
most powerful, and most civilized conmiunities that the world 
has yet seen ; but there is no reason in that for regarding the 
American constitution as a thing more final and inalterable 
than the pattern of street railway that overshadows many 
New York thoroughfares, or the excellent and homely type of 
house architecture that still prevails in Philadelphia, These 
things also have served a purpose well, they have their faults, 
and they can be improved Our political contrivances; just 
as much as our domestic and mechanical contrivances, need 
to undergo constant revision as knowledge and understanding 

Since the American constitution was planned, our concep- 
tion of history and our knowledge of collective psychology 
have undergone very considerable development. We are ber 
ginning to see many things in the problem of government to 
which the men of the eighteenth century were blind; and, 
courageous as their constructive disposition was in relation 
to whatever political creation had gone before, it fell far 
short of the boldness which we in tiiese days realize to be 
needful if this great human problem of establishing a civi- 
lized community of will in the earth is to be solved. They 
took many things for granted that now we know need to be 
made the subject of the most exacting scientific study and the 
most careful adjustiiient They thought it was only neces- 
sary to set up schools and colleges, with a grant of land for 

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maintenance, and that they might then be left to themselves. 
But education is not a weed that will grow lustily in any soil, 
it is a necessary and delicate crop that may easily wilt and 
degenerate. We learn nowadays that the underdevelopment 
of universities and educational machinery is like some under* 
development of the brain and nerves, which hampers the 
whole growth of the social body. By European standards, 
by the standard of any state that has existed hitherto, the 
level of the common education of America is high; but by 
the standard of what it might be, America is an uneducated 
country. And those fathers of America thought also that 
they had but to leave the press free, and everyone would 
live in the light. They did not realize that a free press could 
develop a sort of constitutional venality due to its relations 
with advertisers, and that large newspaper proprietors could 
become buccaneers of opinion and insensate wreckers of 
good beginnings. And, finally, the makers of America had 
no knowledge of the complexities of vote manipulation* The 
whole science of elections was beyond their ken, they 
knew nothing of the need of the transferable vote to prevent 
the "working'' of elections by specialized organizations, and 
the crude and rigid methods they adopted left their political 
system the certain prey of the great party machines that 
have robbed American democracy of half its freedom and 
most of its political soul. Politics became a trade, and a 
very base trade; decent and able men, after the first great 
period, drifted out of politics and attended to 'T^usiness/' 
and what I have called elsewhere the "sense of the state'* ^ 
dejelined. Private enterprise ruled in many matters of 
common concern because political corruption made collective 
enterprise impossible. 

Yet the defects of the great political system created by the 
Americans of the revolutionary period did not appear at once. 
For several generations the history of the United States was 
one of rapid expansion and of an amount of freedom, homely 
happiness, and energetic work unparalleled in the world's 

1 Wells, The Future w* America. 

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history. And the record of America for the whole last 
century and a half, in spite of many reversions towards in- 
equality, in spite of much 
rawness and much blunder- 
ing, is nevertheless as 
bright and honourable a 
story as that of any other 
contemporary people. 
In this brief account of 

the creation of the United 

States of America we have 

been able to do little more 

than mention the names of 

some of the group of great 

men who made this new de- 
parture in human history. 

We have named casually 

'Bt^amtti TrmMixt/^ 

Or we have not even named such men as Tom Paine, Benja- 
min Franklin, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, the Adams 
cousins, Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and George 
Washington. It is hard to measure the men of one period of 
history with those in another. Some writers, even American 
writers, impressed by the artificial splendours of the Euro- 
pean courts and by the tawdry and destructive exploits of a 
Frederick the Great or a Great Catherine display a snobbish 
shame of something home-spun about these makers of 
America. They feel that Benjamin Franklin at the court 
of Louis XVI, with his long hair, his plain clothes, and his 
pawky manner, was sadly lacking in aristocratic distinction. 
But stripped to their personalities, Louis XVI was hardly 
gifted enough or noble-minded enough to be Franklin's 
valet. If human greatness is a matter of scale and glitter, 
then no doubt Alexander the Great is at the apex of human 
greatness. But ia greatness that ? Is not a great man rather 
one who, in a great position or amidst great opportunities 
— and great gifts are no more than great opportunities — 
serves God and his fellows with a humble heart? And 
quite a number of these Americans of the revolutionary 

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time do seem to have displayed much disinterestedness and 
devotion. They were limited men, fallible men ; but on the 
whole they seemed to have cared more for the commonweal 
they were creating than for any personal end or personal 

vanity. It is difficult not 
to concede them a distin- 
guished greatness of mind. 
True they were limited 
in knowledge and outlook; 
they were limited by the 
limitations of the time. 
They were, like all of us, 
men of mixed motives; 
good impulses arose in their 
minds, great ideas swept 
. through them, and also they 
could be jealous, lazy, ob- 
stinate, greedy, vicious. If 
one were to write a true, 
full, and particular history of the making of the United 
States, it would have to be written with charity and high 
spirits as a splendid comedy rising to the noblest ends. 
And in no other regard do we find the rich tortuous humanity 
of the American story so finely displayed as in regard to 
slavery. Slavery, having regard to the general question of 
labour, is the test of this new soul in the world's history, the 
American soul. 

Slavery began very early in the European history of 
America, and no European people who went to America can 
be held altogether innocent in the matter. At a time when 
the German is still the moral whipping-boy of Europe, it is 
well to note that the German record is in this respect the best 
of all. Almost the first outspoken utterances against negro 
slavery came from German settlers in Pennsylvania. But 
the German settler was working with free labour upon a 
temperate countryside, well north of the plantation zone; he 
was not under serious temptation in this matter. American 
slavery began with the enslavement of Indians for gang 

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work in mines and upon plantations, and it is curious to note 
that it was a very good and humane man indeed, Las Casas, 
who urged that negroes should be brought to America to re- 
lieve his tormented Indian proteges. The need for labour 
upon the plantations of the West Indies and the south was 
imperative. When the supply of Indian captives proved in- 
adequate, the planters turned not only to the negro, but to 
the jails and poorhouses of Europe for a supply of toilers. 
The reader of Defoe's Moll Flanders will learn how the busi- 
ness of Virginian white slavery looked to an intelligent 
Englishman in the early eighteenth century. But the negro 
came very early. The year (1620) that saw the Pilgrim 
Fathers landing at Plymouth in New England, saw a Dutch 
sloop disembarking the first cargo of negroes at Jamestown in 
Virginia. Negro slavery was as old as New England; it 
had been an American institution for over a century and a 
half before the War of Independence. It was to struggle 
on for the better part of a century more. 

But the conscience of thoughtful men in the colonies was 
never quite easy upon this score, and it was one of the ac- 
cusations of Thomas Jefferson against the crown and lords 
of Great Britain that every attempt to ameliorate or restrain 
the slave trade on the part of the colonists had been checked 
by the great proprietary interests in the mother country. ^ 
With the moral and intellectual ferment of the revolution, 
the question of negro slavery came right into the foreground 
of the public conscience. The contrast and the challenge 
glared upon the mind. "All men are by nature free and 
equal,'' said the Virginia Bill of Rights, and outside in the 
sunshine, tmder the whip of the overseer, toiled the negro 

It witnesses to the great change in human ideas since 
the Roman Imperial system dissolved under the barbarian 
inrush, that there could be this heart-searching. Conditions 
of industry, production, and land tenure had long prevented 
any recrudescence of gang slavery; but now the cycle had 

^In 1776 Lord Dartmouth wrote that the colonists could not be 
allowed "to check or discourage a traffic bo beneficent to the natUm.*^ 

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come round again^ and there were enormous immediate ad- 
vantages to be reaped by the owning and ruling classes iu 
the revival of that ancient institution in mines, upon plan- 
tations, and upon great public works. It was revived— but 
against great opposition. From the begiiming of the re- 
vival there were protests, and they grew. The revival was 
counter to the new conscience of mankind. In some re- 
spects the new gang slavery was worse than anything in the 
ancient world. Peculiarly horrible was the provocation by 
the trade of slave wars and man hunts in Western Africa, 
and the cruelties of the long transatlantic voyage. The poor 
creatures were packed on the ships often with insufficient 
provisions of food and water, without proper sanitation, 
without medicines. Many who could tolerate slavery upon 
the plantations found the slave trade too much for their 
moral digestions. Three European nations were chiefly 
concerned in this dark business, Britain, Spain and Portu- 
gal, because they were the chief owners of the new lands in 
America. The comparative innocence of the other Euro- 
pean powers is to be ascribed largely to their lesser tempta- 
tions. They were similar communities ; in parallel circum- 
stances they would have behaved similarly. 

Throughout the middle part of the eighteenth century 
there was an active agitation against negro slavery in Great 
Britain as well as in the States. It was estimated that in 
1770 there were fifteen thousand slaves in Britain, mostly 
brought over by their owners from the West Indies and 
Virginia. In 1771 the issue came to a conclusive test in 
Britain before Lord Mansfield. A negro named James 
Somersett had been brought to England from Virginia by 
his owner. He ran away, was captured, and violently taken 
on a ship to be returned to Virginia. From the ship he 
was extracted by a writ of habeas corpus. Lord Mansfield 
declared that slavery was a condition unknown to English 
law, an ^^odious'' condition, and Somersett walked out of the 
court a free man. 

The Massachusetts constitution of 1780 had declared that 

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"all men are bom free and equal/^ A certain negro, Quaco, 
put this to the test in 1783, and in that year the soil of 
Massachusetts became like the soil of Britain, intolerant of 
slavery ; to tread upon it was to become free. At that time 
no other state in the Union followed this example. At the 
census of 1790, Massachusetts, alone of all the states, re- 
turned "no slaves.*' 

The state of opinion in Virginia is remarkable, because 
it brings to light the peculiar difficulties of the southern 
states. The great Virginian statesmen, such as Washington 
and Jefferson, condemned the institution, yet because there 
was no other form of domestic service, Washington owned 
slaves. There was in Virginia a strong party in favour of 
emancipating slaves. But they demanded that the emanci- 
pated slaves should leave the state within a year or be out- 
lawed ! They were naturally alarmed at the possibility that 
a free barbaric black community, many of its members Afri- 
can-bom and reeking with traditions of cannibalism and se* 
cret and dreadful religious rites, should arise beside them 
upon Virginian soil. When we consider that point of view, 
we can understand why it was that a large number of Vir- 
ginians should be disposed to retain the mass of blacks in 
the country under control as slaves, while at the same time 
they were bitterly opposed to the slave trade and the im- 
portation of any fresh blood from Africa. The free blacks, 
one sees, might easily become a nuisance; indeed the free 
state of Massachusetts presently closed its borders to their 
entry. . • . The question of slavery, which in the ancient 
world was usually no more than a question of status between 
individuals racially akin, merged in America with the differ* 
ent and profounder question of relationship between two 
races at opposite extremes of the human species and of the 
most contrasted types of tradition and culture. If the black 
man had been white, there can be little doubt that negro 
slavery would have vanished from the United States within 
a generation of the Declaration of Independence as a natural 
consequence of the statements in that declaration. 

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We have told of the War of Independence in America as 
the first great break away from the system of European mon- 
archies and foreign offices, as the repudiation by a new com* 
munity of Machiavellian statescraft as the directive form 
of human affairs. Within a decade there came a second and 
much more portentous revolt against this strange game of 
Great Powers, this tangled interaction of courts and poli- 
cies which obsessed Europe. But this time it was no break- 
ing away at the outskirts. In France, the nest and home 
of Grand Monarchy, the heart and centre of Europe, came 
this second upheaval And, unlike the American colonists, 
who simply repudiated a king, the French, following in the 
footsteps of the English revolution, beheaded one. 

Like the British revolution and like the revolution in the 
United States, the French revolution can be traced back to 
the ambitious absurdities of monarchy. The schemes of 
aggrandisement, the aims and designs of the Grand Mon- 
arch, necessitated an expenditure upon war equipment 
throughout Europe out of all proportion to the taxable car 
pacity of the age. And even the splendours of monarchy 
were enormously costly, measured by the productivity of the 
time. In France, just as in Britain and in America, the 
first resistance was made not to the monarch as such and to 
his foreign policy as such, nor with any clear recognition of 
these things as the roots of the trouble, but merely to the in- 
conveniences and charges upon the individual life caused by 
them. The practical taxable capacity of France must have 
been relatively much less than that of England because of 
the various exemptions of the nobility and clergy. The 
burthen resting directly upon the common people was heav- 
ier. That made the upper classes the confederates of the 
court instead of the antagonists of the court as they were 
in England, and so prolonged the period of waste further; 
but when at last the bursting-point did come, the explosion 
was more violent and shattering. 

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During the years of the American War of Independence 
there were a few signs of any impending explosion in France. 
There was much misery among the lower classes, much criti- 
cism and satire, much outspoken liberal thinking, but there 
was little to indicate that the thing as a whole, with all its 
customs, usages, and familiar discords, might not go on for 
an indefinite time. It was consuming beyond its powers of 
production, but as yet only the inarticulate classes were feel- 
ing the pinch. Gibbon, the historian, knew France well; 
Paris was as familiar to him as London ; but there is no sus- 
picion to be detected in the passage we have quoted that days 
of political and social dissolution were at hand. No doubt 
the world abounded in absurdities and injustices, yet never- 
theless, from the point of view of a scholar and a gentleman, 
it was fairly comfortable, and it seemed fairly secure. 

There was much liberal thought, speech, and sentiment in 
France at this time. Parallel with and a little later than 
John Locke in England, Montesquieu (1689-1755) in 
France, in the earlier half of the eighteenth century, had 
subjected social, political, and religious institutions to the 
same searching and fundamental analysis, especially in his 
Esprit des Lois. He had stripped the magical prestige from 
the absolutist monarchy in France. He shares with Locke 
the credit for clearing away many of the false ideas that 
had hitherto prevented deliberate and conscious attempts to 
reconstruct human society. It was not his fault if at first 
some extremely unsound and impermanent shanties were run 
up on the vacant site. The generation that followed him 
in the middle and later decades of the eighteenth century 
was boldly speculative upon the moral and intellectual clear- 
ings he had made. A group of brilliant writers, the ^^n^ 
cyclopsedists,^^ mostly rebel spirits from the excellent schools 
of the Jesuits, set themselves under the leadership of Diderot 
to scheme out in a group of works, a new world (1766). 
The glory of the Encyclopsedists, says Mallet, lay "in their 
hatr^ of things unjust, in their denunciation of the trade 
in slaves, of the inequalities of taxation, of the corruption 
of justice, of the wastefulness of wars, in their dreams of 

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social progress, in their sympathy with the rising empire of 
industry which was beginning to transform the world/' 
Their chief error seems to have been an indiscriminate hos- 
tility to religion. They believed that man was naturally 
just and politically competent, whereas his impulse to 0ooial 
service and self-forgetfulness is usually developed only 
through an education essentially religious, and sustained 
only in an atmosphere of honest cooperation. Unco-ordi- 
.nated human initiatives lead to nothing but social chaos. 

Side by side with the Encyclopeodists were the Economists 
or Physiocrats^ who were making bold and crude inquiriee 
into the production and distribution of food and goods* 
Morally, the author of the Code de la Nature, denounced the 
institution of private property and proposed a communistic 
organization of society. He was the precursor of that large 
and various school of coUectivist thinkers in the nineteenth 
century who are lumped together as Socialists. 

Both the Encyclopsedists and the various Economists and 
Physiocrats demanded a considerable amount of hard think' 
ing in their disciples. An easier and more popular leader 
to follow was Eousseau (1712-78). He displayed a curl* 
ous mingling of logical rigidity and sentimental enthuAiaam. 
He pireached the alluring doctrine that the primitive state 
of man was one of virtue and happiness, from which he had 
declined through the rather inexplicable activities of priests, 
kings, lawyers, and the like. Eousseau's intellectual influ- 
ence was on the whole demoralizing. It struck not only at 
the existing social fabric, but at any social organization* 
iWhen he wrote of the Social Contract, he seemed rather to 
excuse breaches of the covenant than to emphasise its neces*- 
sity. Man is so far from perfect, that a writer who appar' 
ently sustained the thesis that the almost universal disposi'* 
tion, against which we all have to fortify ourselves, to repu* 
diate debts, misbehave sexually, and evade the toil and ex- 
penses of education for ourselves and others, is not after all a 
delinquency, but a fine display of Natural Virtue, was bound 
to have a large following in every class that could read him. 
Bousseau's tremendous vogue did much to popularize a senti- 

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mental, and declamatory method of dealing with social and 
political problems. 

We have already remarked that hitherto no human com- 
munity has begun to act upon theory. There must first be 
come break-down and necessity for direction that lets theory 
into her own. Up to 1788 the republican and anarchist talk 
and writing of French thinkers must have seemed as inef- 
fective and politically unimportant as the cesthetic socialism 
of William Morris at the end of the nineteenth century. 
There was the social and political system going on with an 
effect of invincible persistence, the king hunting and mend- 
ing his clocks, the court and the world of fashion pursuing 
their pleasures, the financiers conceiving continually more 
enterprising extensions of credit, business blundering clum- 
sily along its ancient routes, much incommoded by taxes and 
imposts, the peasants worrying, toiling, and suffering, full 
of a hopeless hatred of the nobleman's chateau. Men talked 
t — and felt they were merely talking. Anything might be 
said because nothing would ever happen. 


The first jar to this sense of the secure continuity of life 
in France came in 1787. Louis XVI (1774-92) was a 
dull, ill-educated monarch, and he had the misfortune to be 
married to a silly and extravagant woman, Marie Antoinette, 
the sister of the Austrian emperor. The question of her 
virtue is one of profound interest to a certain type of his- 
torical writer, but we need not discuss it here. She lived, 
as Paul Wiriath ^ puts it, "side by side, but not at the side'' 
of her husband. She was rather heavy-featured, but not so 
plain as to prevent her posing as a beautiful, romantic, and 
haughty queen. When the exchequer was exhausted by the 
war in America (an enterprise to weaken England of the 
highest Machiavellian quality), when the whole country 
was uneasy with discontents, she set her influence to thwart 

1 Article "France/' Encyclopaedia Britannioa. 

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the attempts at economy of the king's ministers, to encourage 
every sort of aristocratic extravagance, and to restore the 
church and the nobility to the position they had held in the 
great days of Louis XIV, Non-aristocratic oflBicers were to 
be weeded from the army; the power of the church over 
private life was to be extended. She found in an upper- 
class official, Calonne, her ideal minister of financa From 
1783-87 this wonderful man produced money as if by 
magic — and as if by magic it disappeared again. Then in 
1787 he collapsed. He had piled loan on loan, and now he 
declared that the monarchy, the Grand Monarchy that had 
ruled France since the days of Louis XIV, was bankrupt. 
No more money could be raised. There must be a gather- 
ing of the notables of the kingdom to consider the situation. 

To the gathering of notables, a summoned assembly of 
leading men, Calonne propounded a scheme for a subsidy to 
be levied upon all landed property. This roused the aristo- 
crats to a pitch of great indignation. They demanded the 
smnmoning of a body roughly equivalent to the British par- 
liament, the States General, which had not met since 1610. 
Regardless of the organ of opinion they were creating for 
the discontents below them, excited only by the proposal 
that they should bear part of the weight of the financial 
burthens of the country, the French notables insisted. And 
in May, 1789, the States General met. 

It was an assembly of the representatives of three orders, 
the nobles, the clergy, and the Third Estate, the commons. 
For the Third Estate the franchise was very wide, nearly 
every tax-payer of twenty-five having a vote. (The parish 
priests voted as clergy, the small noblesse as nobles.) The 
States (General was a body without any tradition of proced- 
ure. Enquiriee were sent to the antiquarians of the Acad- 
emy of Inscriptions in that matter. Its opening delibera- 
tions turned on the question whether it was to meet as one 
body or as three, each estate having an equal vote. Since 
the Clergy numbered 308, the Nobles 285 and the Deputies 
621, the former arrangement would put the Commons in an 
absolute majority, the latter gave them one vote in three. 

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Nor had the States General any meeting-place. Should it 
meet in Paris or in some provincial city? Versailles was 
chosen, ^Tbecause of the hunting." 

It is clear that the king and queen meant to treat this 
fuss about the national finance as a terrible bore, and to 
allow it to interfere with their social routine as little as pos- 
sible. We find the meetings going on in salons that were 
not wanted, in orangeries and tennis-courts, and so forth. 

The question whether the voting was to be by the estates 
or by head was clearly a vital one. It was wrangled over 
for six weeks. The Third Estate, taking a leaf from the 
book of the English House of Commons, then declared that 
it alone represented the nation, and that no taxation must be 
levied henceforth without its consent. Whereupon the king 
closed the hall in which it was sitting, and intimated that the 
deputies had better go home. Instead, the deputies met in 
a convenient tennis-court, and there took oath, the Oath of 
the Tennis Court, not to separate until they had established 
a constitution in France. 

The king took a high line, and attempted to disperse the 
Third Estate by force. The soldiers refused to act. On 
that the king gave in with a dangerous suddenness, and ac- 
cepted the principle that the Three Estates should all delib- 
erate and vote together as one National Assembly. Mean- 
while, apparently at the queen^s instigation, foreign regi- 
ments in the French service, who could be trusted to act 
against the people, were brought up from the provinces un- 
der the Marshal de Broglie, and the king prepared to go 
back upon his concessions. Whereupon Paris and France 
revolted. Broglie hesitated to fire on the crowds. A pro- 
visional city government was set up in Paris and in most 
of the other large cities, and a new armed force, the Na- 
tional Guard, a force designated primarily and plainly to 
resist the forces of the crown, was brought into existence by 
these municipal bodies. 

The revolt of July 1789 was really the effective French 
revolution. The grim-looking prison of the Bastile, very 
feebly defended, was stormed by the people of Paris, and the 

WellB 10— Vol. Ill 

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insurrection spread rapidly throughout France. In the 
East and Northwest provinces many chateaux belonging to 
the nobility were burnt by the peasants, their title-deeds 
carefully destroyed, and the owners murdered or driven 
away. The insurrection spread throughout France. In a 
month the ancient and decayed system of the aristocratic 
order had collapsed. Many of the leading princes and cour- 
tiers of the queen's party fled abroad. The National As- 
sembly found itself called upon to create a new political and 
social system for a new age. 


The French National Assembly was far less fortunate in 
the circumstances of its task than the American Congress, 
The latter had half a continent to itself, with no possible 
antagonist but the British Government. Its religious and 
educational organizations were various, collectively not very 
powerful, and on the whole friendly. King George was 
far away in England, and sinking slowly towards an imbe- 
cile condition. Nevertheless, it took the United States sev- 
eral years to hammer out a working constitution. The 
French, on the other hand, were surrounded by aggressive 
neighbours with Machiavellian ideas, they were encumbered 
by a king and court resolved to make mischief, and the 
church was one single great organization inextricably bound 
up with the ancient order. The queen was in close corre- 
spondence with the Count of Artois, the Duke of Bourbon, 
and the other exiled princes who were trying to induce Aus- 
tria and Prussia to attack the new French nation. Morej- 
over, France was already a bankrupt country, while the 
United States had limitless undeveloped resources; and the 
revolution, by altering the conditions of land tenure and 
marketing, had produced an economic disorganization that 
has no parallel in the case of America. 

These were the unavoidable difficulties of the situation. 
But in addition the Assembly made difficulties for itself. 
There was no orderly procedure. The English House of 

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Conunons had had more than five centuries of experience in 
its work, and Mirabeau, one of the great leaders of the early 
Revolntion, tried in vain to have the English rules adopted. 
But the feeling of the times was all in favour of outcries, 
dramatic interruptions, and such-like manifestations of Nat- 
ural Virtue. And the disorder did not come merely from 
the assembly. There was a great gallery, much too great a 
gallery for strangers; but who would restrain the free citi- 
zens from having a voice in the national control ? This gal- 
lery swarmed with people eager for a "scene," ready to ap- 
plaud or shout down the speakers below. The abler speakers 
were obliged to play to the gallery, and take a sentimental 
and sensational line. It was easy at a crisis to bring in a 
mob to kill debate. 

So encumbered, the Assembly set about its constructive 
task. On the Fourth of August it achieved a great dramatic 
success. Led by several of the liberal nobles, it made a 
series of resolutions abolishing serfdom, privileges, tax ex- 
emptions, tithes, and feudal courts. (In many parts of the 
country however these resolutions were not carried into effect 
imtil three or four years later.) Titles went with other re- 
nunciations. Long before France was a republic it was an 
offense for a nobleman to sign his name with his title. For 
six weeks the Assembly devoted itself, with endless oppor- 
tunities for rhetoric, to the formulation of a Declaration of 
the Rights of Man — on the lines of the Bills of Rights that 
were the English preliminaries to organized change. Mean- 
while the court plotted for reaction, and the people felt that 
the court was plotting. The story is complicated here by 
the scoundrelly schemes of the king's cousin, Philip of Or- 
leans, who hoped to use the discords of the time to replace 
Louis on the French throne. His gardens at the Palais 
Royal were thrown open to the public, and became a great 
centre of advanced discussion. His agents did much to in- 
tensify the popular suspicion of the king. And things were 
exacerbated by a shortage of provisions — ^for which the 
king's government was held guilty. 

Presently the loyal Flanders regiment appeared at Yexr 

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sailles. The royal family was scheming to get farther away 
from Paris — in order to undo all that had been done, to 
restore tyranny and extravagance. Such constitutional 
monarchists as General Lafayette were seriously alarmed. 
And just at this time occurred an outbreak of popular indig- 
nation at the scarcity of food, that passed by an easy transi,- 
tion into indignation against the threat of royalist reaction. 
It was believed that there was an abundance of provisions at 
Versailles; that food was being kept there away from the 
people. The public mind had been much disturbed by re- 
ports, possibly by exaggerated reports, of a recent banquet 
at Versailles, hostile to the nation. Here are some extracts 
from Carlyle descriptive of that unfortunate feast. 

"The Hall of the Opera is granted; the Salon d^Hercule 
shall be drawing-room. Not only the OflScers of Flandre^ 
but of the Swiss, of the Hundred Swiss; nay of the Ver- 
sailles National Guard, such of them as have any loyalty, 
shall feast ; it will be a Repast like few. 

"And now suppose this Eepast, the solid part of it, trans- 
acted; and the first bottle over. Suppose the customary 
loyal toasts drunk ; the King^s health, the Queen's with deaf- 
ening vivats; that of the nation ^omitted,' or even 'rejected/ 
Suppose champagne flowing; with pot-valorous speech, with 
instrumental music; empty featherheads growing ever the 
noisier, in their own emptiness, in each other's noise. Her 
Majesty, who looks unusually sad tonight (His Majesty sit- 
ting dulled with the day's hunting), is told that the sight of 
it would cheer her. Behold! She enters there, issuing 
from her State-rooms, like the Moon from clouds, this fair- 
est unhappy Queen of Hearts ; royal Husband by her side, 
young Dauphin in her arms ! She descends from the Boxes, 
amid splendour and acclaim; walks queen-like round the 
Tables ; gracefully nodding ; her looks full of sorrow, yet of 
gratitude and daring, with the hope of France on her 
mother-bosom ! And now, the band striking up, Richard, 
man Roi, Vunivers t'abandonne (Oh Richard, O my king, 
the world is all forsaking thee), could man do other than rise 
to height of pity, of loyal valour? Could feather-headedi 

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young ensigns do other than, by white Bourbon Cockades, 
handed them from fair fingers ; by waving swords, drawn to 
pledge the Queen's health ; by trampling of National Cock- 
ades ; by scaling the Boxes, whence intrusive murmurs may 
come; by vociferation, sound, fury and distraction, within 
doors and without — ^testify what tempest-tost state of vacuity 
they are in ? • • . 

"A natural Eepast; in ordinary times, a harmless one: 
now fat^l* • • • Poor ill-advised Marie Antoinette; with a 
woman's vehemence, not with a sovereign's foresight! It 
was so natural, yet so unwise. Next day, in public speech 
of ceremony, her Majesty declares herself 'delighted with 

And here to set against this is Carlyle's picture of the 
mood of the people. 

^Tji squalid garret, on Monday morning Maternity 
awakes, to hear children weeping for bread. Maternity 
must forth to the streets, to Ae herb-makers and bakers' 
queues; meets t|iere with hunger-stricken Maternity, sympa- 
thetic, exasperative. O we unhappy women! But, in- 
stead of bakers'-queues, why not to Aristocrats' palaces, the 
root of the matter? Allons/ Let us assemble. To the 
Hotel-de-Ville ; to Versailles. . . ." 

There was much shouting and coming and going in Paris 
before this latter idea realized itself. One Maillard ap- 
peared with organizing power, and assumed a certain leader- 
ship. There can be little doubt that the revolutionary 
leaders, and particularly General Lafayette, used and organ- 
ized this outbreak to secure the king, before he could slip 
away — as Charles I did to Oxford — ^to begin a civil war. 
As the afternoon wore on, the procession started on its 
eleven mile tramp. • • . 

Again we quote Carlyle : 

"Maillard has halted his draggled Menads on the las^ 
hill-top ; and now Versailles, and the Chateau of Versailles, 
and far and wide the inheritance of Eoyalty opens to the 
wondering eye. From far on the right, over Marly and 
Saint-Germain-en-Laye ; round towards EambouiUet, on the 

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lefty beautiful all ; softly embosomed ; as if in sadness, in th0 
dim moist weather 1 And near before ns is Versailles, 
New and Old ; with that broad f rondent Avenue de Versailles 
between — stately f rondent, broad, three hundred feet as men 
reckon, with its four rows of elms ; and then the Chateau de 
Versailles, ending in royal parks and pleasances, gleaming 
lakelets, arbours, labyrinths, the Menagerie^ and Great and 
Little Trianon. High-towered dwellings, leafy pleasant 
places; where the gods of this lower world abide: wh^xce, 
nevertheless, black care cannot be excluded ; whither Mena- 
dic hunger is even now advancing, armed with pike-thyrsi 1'' 

Bain fell as the evening closed. 

*^ehold the Esplanade, over all its spacious expanse, is 
covered with groups of squalid dripping women; of lank- 
haired male rascality, armed with axes, rusty pikes, old mus- 
kets, iron-shod dubs (baion^ferres, which end in knives or 
swordblades, a kind of extempore billhook) ; looking noth- 
ing but hungry revolt. The rain pours; Gardes-du-Corps 
go caracoling through the groups ^amid hisses'; irritat- 
ing and agitating what is but dispersed here to reunite 
theye. . . . 

"Innumerable squalid women beleaguer the President 
and Deputation; insist on going with him: has not his Ma- 
jesty himself, looking from the window, sent out to ask, 
What we wanted i ^Bread, and speech with the King,' that 
was the answer. Twelve women are clamourously added to 
the deputation; and march with it, across the Esplanade; 
through dissipated groups, caracoling bodyguards and the 
pouring rain." 

'^read and not too much talking!" Natural demands. 

"One learns also that the royal Carriages are getting 
yoked, as if for Metz. Carriages, royal or not, have verily 
showed themselves at the back gates. They even produced, 
or quoted, a written order from our Versailles Municipality 
— ^which is a monarchic not a democratic one. However, 
Versailles patrols drove them in again ; as the vigilant Le- 
cointre had strictly charged them to do. • • • 

"So sink the shadows of night, blustering, rainy; and all 

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paths grow dark. Strangest night ever seen in these le* 
gions; perhaps since the Bartholomew Night, when Ver- 
sailles^ as Bassompierre writes it, was a chetif chateau. 

"O for the lyre of some Orpheus, to constrain, with touch 
of melodious strings, these mad masses into Order 1 For 
here all seems fallen asupder, in wide-yawning dislocation. 
The highest, as in down-rushing of a world, is come in con- 
tact with the lowest: the rascality of France beleaguering 
the royalty of France; ^iron-shod batons' lifted round the 
diadem^ not to guard it I With denunciations of blood- 
thirsty anti-national body guards, are heard dark growlings 
against a queenly name. 

^The Court sits tremulous, powerless: varies with the 
varying temper of the Esplanade, with the varying colour 
of the rumours from Paris. Thick-coming rumours; now 
of peace, now of war. Necker and all the Ministers con- 
sult; witib a blank issue. The (Eil-de-Bceuf is one tempest 
of whispers: We will fly to Metz; we will not fly. The 
royal carriages again attempt egress — ^though for trial 
merely; they are again driven in by Lecointre^s patrols." 

But we must send the reader to Carlyle to learn of the 
coming of the National Guard in the night under General 
Lafayette himself, the bargaining between the Assembly and 
the Sing, the outbreak of fighting in the morning between 
the bodyguard and the hungry besiegers, and how the latter 
stormed into the palace and came near to a massacre of the 
royal family. Lafayette and his troops turned out in time 
to prevent tibat, ai;id timely cartloads of loaves arrived from 
Paris for the crowd. 

At last it was decided that the king should come to Paris. 

'Trocessional marches not a few our world has seen ; Ro- 
man triumphs and ovations, Cabiric cymbal-beatings, Boyal 
progresses^ Irish funerals ; but this of the French Monarchy 
marching to its bed remained to be seen. Miles long, and 
of breadth losing itself in vagueness, for all the neighbour- 
ing coimtry crowds to see. Slow: stagnating along, like 
shoreless Lake, yet with a noise like Niagara, like Babel and 
Bedlam*. A splashing and a tramping; a hurrahing, up- 

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roaring, musket-volleying; the truest segment of Chaos seen 
in these latter Ages I Till slowly it disembogue itself, in 
the thickening dusk, into expectant Paris, through a double 
row of faces all the way from Passy to the H6tel-de-Ville. 

"Consider this: Vanguard of National troops; with 
trains of artillery; of pikemen and pikewomen, mounted on 
cannons, on carts, hackney-coaches, or on foot. . . • Loaves 
stuck on the points of bayonets, green boughs stuck in gun- 
barrels. Next, as main-march, *fifty cart-loads of com/ 
which have been lent, for peace, from the stores of Versailles. 
Behind which follow stragglers of the Garde-du-Corps; all 
humiliated, in Grenadier bonnets. Close on these comes 
the royal carriage; come royal carriages; for there are a 
hundred national deputies too, among whom sits Mirabeau — 
his remarks not given. Then finally, pell-mell, as rear- 
guard, Plandre, Swiss, Hundred Swiss, other bodyguards, 
brigands, whosoever cannot get before. Between and 
among all which masses flows without limit Saint-Antoine 
and the Menadic cohort. Menadic especially about the royal 
carriage. . . . Covered with tricolor; singing ^allusive 
songs' ; pointing with one hand to the royal carriage, which 
the allusions hit, and pointing to the provision-wagons with 
the other hand and these words: ^Courage, Friends! We 
shall not want bread now; we are bringing you the Baker, 
Bakeress and the Baker's boy.' • . . 

*^The wet day draggles the tricolor, but the joy is unex- 
tinguishable. Is not all well now ? *Ah Madame, notre 
bonne Reine/ said some of these Strong-women some days 
hence, ^Ah, Madame, our good Queen, don't be a traitor any 
more and we will all love you!' . . ." 

This was October the sixth, 1789. Por nearly two years 
the royal family dwelt unmolested in the Tuileries. Had 
the eourt kept common faith with the people, the king might 
have died there, a king. 

Prom 1789 to 1791 the early Revolution held its own; 
France was a limited monarchy, the king kept a diminished 
state in the Tuileries, and the National Assembly ruled a 
country at peace. The reader who will glance back to the 

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maps of Poland we have given in the previous chapter will 
realize what occupied Eussia, Prussia, and Austria at this 
time. While France experimented with a crowned republic 
in the west, the last division of the crowned republic of the 
feast was in progress. France could wait. 

When we consider its inexperience, the conditions under 
which it worked, and the complexities of its problems, one 
must concede that the Assembly did a very remarkable 
amount of constructive work. Much of that work was sound 
and still endures, much was experimental and has been un- 
done. Some was disastrous. There was a clearing up of 
the penal code; torture, arbitrary imprisonment, and perse- 
cutions for heresy were abolished. The ancient provinces 
of France, Normandy, Burgundy, and the like gave place to 
eighty departments. Promotion to the highest ranks in the 
army was laid open to men of every class. An excellent and 
simple system of law courts was set up, but its value was 
much vitiated by having the judges appointed by popular 
election for short periods of time. This made the crowd 
a sort of final court of appeal, and the judges, like the mem- 
bers of the Assembly, were forced to play to the gallery. 
And the whole vast property of the church was seized and ad- 
ministered by the state; religious establishments not en- 
gaged in education or works of charity were broken up, and 
the salaries of the clergy made a charge upon the nation. 
This in itself was not a bad thing for the lower clergy in 
France, who were often scandalously underpaid in compar- 
ison with the richer dignitaries. But in addition the choice 
of priests and bishops was made elective, which struck at 
the very root idea of the Roman church, which centred every- 
thing upon the Pope, and in which all authority is from 
above downward. Practically the National Assembly wanted 
at one blow to make the church in France Protestant, in 
organization if not in doctrine. Everywhere there were dis- 
putes and conflicts between the state priests created by the 
National Assembly and the recalcitrant (non-juring) priests 
who were loyal to Eome. . . . 

One curious thing the National Assembly did which 

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greatly weakened its grip on affairs. It decreed that no 
member of the Assembly should be an executive minister. 
This was in imitation of the American constitution, where 
also ministers are separated from the legislature. The 
British method has been to have all ministers in the legisla- 
tive body, ready to answer questions and account for their 
interpretation of the laws and their conduct of the nation's 
business. If the legislature represents the sovereign people^ 
then it is surely necessary for the ministers to be in the 
closest touch with their sovereign. This severance of the 
legislature and executive in France caused misunderstand- 
ings and mistrust ; the legislature lacked control and the ex- 
ecutive lacked moral force. This led to such an ineffective- 
ness in the central government that in many districts at this 
time, communities and towns were to be foimd that were 
practically self-governing communities; they accepted or 
rejected the commands of Paris as they thought fit, declined 
the payment of taxes, and divided up the church lands ac- 
cording to their local appetites. 


It is quite possible that with the loyal support of the 
crown and a reasonable patriotism on the part of flie nobility, 
the National Assembly, in spite of its noisy galleries, its 
Bousscauism, and its inexperience, might have blundered 
through to a stable form of parliamentary government for 
France. In Mirabeau it had a statesman with clear ideas of 
the needs of the time; he knew the strength and the defects 
of the British system, and apparently he had set himself 
to establish in France a parallel political organization upon 
a wid^^, more honest franchise. He had, it is true, indulged 
in a sort of Euritanian flirtation with the queen, seen her 
secretly, pronounced her very solemnly the "only man'^ about 
the king, and made rather a fool of himself in that matter, 
but his schemes were drawn upon a much larger scale than 
the scale of the back stairs of the Tuileries. By his death 
in 1791 France certainly lost one of her most constructive 

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statesmen, and the National Assembly its last chance of any 
co-operation with the king. 
When there is a court there 
is usually a conspiracy, and 
royalist schemes and royal- 
ist mischief-making were 
the last straw in the bal- 
ance against the National 
Assembly. The royalists 
did not care for Mirabeau, 
they did not care for 
France; they wanted to be 
back in their lost paradise 
of privilege, haughtiness, 
and limitless expenditure, 
and it seemed to them that 
if only they could make the 
government of the National 
Assembly impossible, then 
by a sort of miracle the dry 
bones of the ancient regime 
would live again. They 
had no sense of the other 
possibility, the gulf of the 
republican extremists, that 
yawned at their feet. 

One June night in 1791, 
between eleven o'clock and 
midnight, the king and 
queen and their two chil- 
dren slipped out of the Tui- 
leries disguised, threaded 
their palpitating way 
through Paris, circled 
round from the north of 
the city to the east, and got 
at last into a travelling^sar- 
riage that was waiting upon the road to Chalons. They were 

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flying to the anny of the east. The army of the east was 
"loyal," that is to say, its general and officers at least were 
prepared to hetray France to the king and court. Here was 
adventure at last after the queen^s heart, and one can under- 
stand the pleasurable excitement of the little party as the 
miles lengthened between themselves and Paris. Away over 
the hills were reverence, deep bows, and the kissing of hands. 
Then back to Versailles. A little shooting of the mob in 
Paris — artillery, if need be. A few executions — ^but not of 
the sort of people who matter. A White Terror for a few 
months. Then all would be well again. Perhaps Calonne 
might return too, with fresh financial expedients. He was 
busy just then gathering support among the German princes. 
There were a lot of Chateaux to rebuild, but the people who 
burnt them down could hardly complain if the task of re- 
building them pressed rather heavily upon their grimy 
necks. • • • 

All such bright anticipations were cruelly dashed that 
night at Varennes. The king had been recognized at Sainte 
Menehould by the landlord of the post house, and as the 
night fell, the eastward roads clattered with galloping mes- 
sengers rousing the country, and trying to intercept the 
fugitives. There were fresh horses waiting in the upper 
village of Varennes — the young officer in charge had given 
the king up foivthe night and gone to bed — while for half an 
hour in the lower village the poor king, disguised as a valet, 
disputed with his postilions, who had expected reliefs in 
the lower village and refused to go further. Finally they 
consented to go on. They consented too late. The little 
party found the postmaster from Sainte Menehould, who 
had ridden past while the postilions wrangled, and a number 
of worthy republicans of Varennes whom he had gathered to- 
gether, awaiting them at the bridge between the two parts 
of the town. The bridge was bwricaded. Muskets were 
thrust into the carriage: "Your passports?" 

The king surrendered without a struggle. The little 
party was taken into the house of some village functionary. 
^Well,'' said the king, *liere you have me!" Also he re- 

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marked that he was hungry. At dinner he commended the 
wine, *^quite excellent wine." What the queen said is not 
recorded. There were loyalist troops at hand, but they at- 
tempted no rescue. The tocsin began to ring, and the village 
"illuminated itself/^ to guard against surprise. . . • 

A very crestfallen coachload of royalty returned to Paris, 
and was received by vast crowds — in silence. The word 
had gone forth that whoever insulted the king should be 
thrashed, and whoever applauded him should be killed. . . . 
It was only after this foolish exploit that the idea of a re- 
public took hold of the French mind. Before this flight to 
Varennes there was no doubt much abstract republican sen- 
timent, but there was scarcely any expressed disposition 
to abolish monarchy in France. Even in July, a month 
after the flight, a great meeting in the Champ de Mars, 
supporting a petition for the dethronement of the king, was 
dispersed by the authorities, and many people were killed. 
But such displays of firmness could not prevent the lesson 

of that fight soaking 

into men^s minds. Just 
as in England in the 
days of Charles I, so 
now in France men re- 
alized that the king 
could not be trusted — 
he was dangerous. The 
Jacobins grew rapidly 
in strength. Their 
leaders, Robespierre, 
Dan ton, Marat, who 
had hitherto figured as 
impossible extremists, 
began to dominate 
French affairs. 
These Jacobins were the equivalents of the American 
radicals, men with untrammelled advanced ideas. Their 
strength lay in the fact that they were unencumbered and 
downright. They were poor men with nothing to lose. The 


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party of moderation, of compromise with the relics of the 
old order, was led by such men of established position as 
General Lafayette, the general who had distinguished him- 
self as a young man by fighting for the American colonists 
as a volunteer, and Mirabeau, an aristocrat who was ready 
to model himself on the rich and influential aristocrats of 
England. But Eobespierre was a needy but clever young 
lawyer from Arras, whose most precious possession was his 
faith in Rousseau ; Danton was a scarcely more wealthy bar- 
rister in Paris, a big, gesticulating, rhetorical figure ; Marat 
was an older man, a Swiss of very great scientific distinction, 
but equally unembarrassed by possessions. On Marat's 
scientific standing it is necessary to lay stress because there 
is a sort of fashion among English writers to misrepresent 
the leaders of great revolutionary movements as ignorant 
men. This gives a false view of the mental process of rev- 
olution; and it is the task of the historian to correct it. 
Marat, we find, was conversant with English, Spanish, Ger- 
man, and Italian; he had spent several years in England, 
he was made an honorary M. D. of St. Andrew's, and had 
published some valuable contributions to medical science 
in English. Both Benjamin Franklin and Goethe were 
greatly interested in his work in physics. This is the man 
who is called by Carlyle "rabid dog," "atrocious,'' "squalid," 
and "Dog-leech" — ^this last by way of tribute to his science. 
The revolution called Marat to politics, and his earliest 
contributions to the great discussion were fine and sane. 
There was a prevalent delusion in France that England was 
a land of liberty. His Tableau des vices de la constitution 
d'Angleterre showed the realities of the English position. 
His last years were maddened by an almost intolerable skin 
disease which he caught while hiding in the sewers of Paris 
to escape the consequences of his denunciation of the king as 
a traitor after the flight to Varennes. Only by sitting in a 
hot bath could he collect his mind to write. He had been 
treated hardly and suffered, and he became hard ; neverthe- 
less he stands out in history as a man of rare, unblemished 

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honesty. His poverty seems particularly to have provoked 
the scorn of Carlyle. 

"What a road he has travelled ; and sits now, about half- 
past seven of the clock, stewing in slipper-bath ; sore afflicted ; 
ill of Revolution Fever. . . . Excessively sick and worn, 
poor man: with precisely elevenpence halfpenny of ready- 
money, in paper; with slipper-bath; strong three-footed stool 
for writing on, the while: and a squalid Washerwoman for 
his sole household . . . that is his civic establishment in 
Medical-School Street, thither and not elsewhere has this 
road led him. • . . Hark, a rap again ! A musical woman's 
voice, refusing to be rejected: it is the Citoyenne who would 
do France a service. Marat, recognizing from within, cries. 
Admit her. Charlotte Corday is admitted." 

The young heroine — for republican leaders are fair game, 
and their assassins are necessarily heroines and their voices 
"musical" — offered to give him some necessary information 
about the counter-revolution at Caen, and as he was occupied 
in making a note of her facts, she stabbed him with a large 
sheath knife (1792). ... 

Such was the quality of most of the leaders of the Jacobin 
party. They were men of no property — ^untethered men. 
They were more dissociated and more elemental, therefore, 
than any other party ; and they were ready to push the ideas 
of freedom and equality to a logical extremity. Their 
standards of patriotic virtue were high and harsh. There 
was something inhuman even in their humanitarian zeal. 
They saw without humour the disposition of the moderates 
to ease things down, to keep the common folk just a little 
needy and respectful, and royalty (and men of substance) 
just a little respected. They were blinded by the formulse 
of Rousseauism to the historical truth that man is by nature 
oppressor and oppressed, and that it is only slowly by law, 
education, and the spirit of love in the world that men can 
be made happy and free. 

And while in America the formulae of eighteenth-century 
democracy were on the whole stimulating and helpful be- 

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cause it was already a land of open-air practical equality 
80 far as white men were concerned, in France these formulse 
made a very heady and dangerous mixture for the town pop- 
ulations, because considerable parts of the towns of France 
were slums full of dispossessed, demoralized, degraded, and 
bitter-spirited people. The Parisian crowd was in a par- 
ticularly desperate and dangerous state, because the indus- 
tries of Paris had been largely luxury industries, and much 
of her employment parasitic on the weaknesses and vices of 
fashionable life. Now the fashionable world had gone over 
the frontier, travellers were restricted, business disordered, 
and the city full of unemployed and angry people. 

But the royalists, instead of realizing the significance of 
these Jacobins witii their dangerous integrity and their 
dangerous grip upon the imagination of the mob, had the 
conceit to think they could make tools of them. The time 
for the replacement of the National Assembly under the 
new-made constitution by the "Legislative Assembly'^ was 
drawing near ; and when the Jacobins, with the idea of break- 
ing up the moderates, proposed to make the members of the 
National Assembly ineligible for the Legislative Assembly, 
the royalists supported them with great glee, and carried the 
proposal. They perceived that the Legislative Assembly, so 
clipped of all experience, must certainly be a politically in- 
competent body. They would "extract good from the excess 
of evil," and presently France would fall back helpless into 
the hands of her legitimate masters. So they thought 
And the royalists did more than this. They backed the 
election of a Jacobin as Mayor of Paris. It was about as 
clever as if a man brought home a hungry tiger to convince 
his wife of her need of him. There stood another body ready 
at hand with which these royalists did not reckon, far better 
equipped than the court to step in and take the place of an 
ineffective Legislative Assembly, and that was the strongly 
Jacobin Commune of Paris installed at the Hotel de Ville. 

So far France had been at peace. None of her neigh- 
bours had attacked her, because she appeared to be weaken- 
ing herself by her internal dissensions. It was Poland that 

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suffered by the distraction of France. But there seemed no 
reason why they should not insult and threaten her, and 
prepare the way for a later partition at their convenience. At 
Pillnitz, in 1791, the King of Prussia and the Emperor of 
Austria met, and issued a declaration that the restoration 
of order and monarchy in France was a matter of interest to 
all sovereigns. And an army of emigres, French nobles 
and gentlemen, an army largely of officers, was allowed to 
accumulate close to the frontier. 

It was France that declared war against Austria. The 
motives of those who supported this step were conflicting. 
Many republicans wanted it because they wished to see the 
kindred people of Belgium liberated from the Austrian yoke. 
Many royalties wanted it because they saw in war a possibil- 
ity of restoring the prestige of the crown. Marat opposed 
it bitterly in his paper UAmi du Peuple, because he did not 
want to see republican enthusiasm turned into war fever. 
His instinct warned him of Napoleon. On April 20th, 
1792, the king came down to the Assembly and proposed war 
amidst great applause. 

The war began disastrously. Three French armies en- 
tered Belgium, two were badly beaten, and the third, under 
Lafayette, retreated. Then Prussia declared war in support 
of Austria, and the allied forces, under the Duke of Bruns- 
wick, prepared to invade France. The duke issued one of 
the most foolish proclamations in history; he was, he said, 
invading France to restore the royal authority. Any further 
indignity shown the king he threatened to visit upon the 
Assembly and Paris with "military execution." This was 
surely enough to make the most royalist Frenchman a re- 
publican — at least for the duration of the war. 

The new phase of revolution, the Jacobin revolution, was 
the direct outcome of this proclamation. It made the Legis- 
lative Assembly, in which orderly republicans (Girondins) 
and royalists prevailed, it made the government which had 
put down that republican meeting in the Champ de Mars and 
hunted Marat into the sewers, impossible. The insurgents 
gathered at the Hotel de Ville, and on tibe tenth of August 

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the Oommune launched an attack on the palace of the Tuiler- 

The king behaved with a clumsy stupidity, and with that 
disregard for others which is the prerogative of kings. Ho 
had with him a Swiss guard of nearly a thousand men as 
well as National Guards of uncertain loyalty. He held out 
vaguely until firing began, and then he went off to the ad- 
jacent Assembly to place himself and his family under its 
protection, leaving his Swiss fighting. No doubt he hoped 
to antagonize Assembly and Commune, but the Assembly had 
none of the fighting spirit of the Hotel de Ville. The royal 
refugees were placed in a box reserved for journalists (out 
of which a small room opened), and there they remained for 
sixteen hours while the Assembly debated their fate. Outside 
there were the sounds of a considerable battle; every now 
and then a window would break. The unfortunate Swiss 
were fighting with their backs to the wall because there was 
now nothing else for them to do. • . • 

The Assembly had no stomach to back the government's 
action of July in the Champ de Mars. The fierce vigour of 
the Commune dominated it. The king found no comfort 
whatever in the Assembly. It scolded him and discussed 
his "suspension." The Swiss fought until they received a 
message from the king to desist, and then — ^the crowd being 
savagely angry at the needless Ijloodshed and out of control 
— ^they were for the most part massacred. 

The long and tedious attempts to "Merovingianize" Louis, 
to make an honest crowned republican out of a dull and in- 
adaptable absolute monarch, was now drawing to its tragic 
close. The Commune of Paris was practically in control of 
Franca The Legislative Assembly — ^which had apparently 
undergone a change of heart — decreed that the king was sus- 
pended from his office, confined him in the Temple, replaced 
him by an executive commission, and summoned a National 
Convention to frame a new constitution. 

The tension of patriotic and republican France was now 
becoming intolerable. Such armies as she had were rolling 
back helplessly towards Paris. Longwy had fallen, the great 

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fortress of Verdun followed, and nothing seemed likely to 
stop the march of the allies upon the capital. The sense of 
royalist treachery rose to panic cruelty. At any rate the 
royalists had to be silenced and stilled and scared out of 
sight. The Commune set itself to hunt out every royalist 
that could be founds until the prisons of Paris were full. 



Marat saw the danger of a massacre. Before it was too late 
he tried to secure the establishment of emergency tribimals 
to filter the innocent from the guilty in this miscellaneous 
collection of schemers, suspects, and harmless gentlefolk. 
He was disregarded, and early in September the inevitable 
massacre occurred. 

Suddenly, first at one prison and then at others, bands of 

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insurgents took possession. A sort of rough court was con- 
stituted, and outside gathered a wild mob armed with sabres^ 
pikes, and axes. One by one the prisoners, men and women 
alike, were led out from their cells, questioned briefly, par- 
doned with the cry of "Vive la Nation," or thrust out to the 
mob at the gates. There the crowd jostled and fought to get 
a slash or thrust at a victim. The condemned were stabbed, 
hacked, and beaten to death, their heads hewn off, stuck on 
pikes, and carried about the town, their torn bodies thrust 
aside. Among others, the Princesse de Lamballe. whom the 
king and queen had left behind in the Tuileries, perished. 
Her head was carried on a pike to the Temple for the queen 
to see. 

In the queen's cell were two National Guards. One would 
have had her look out and see this grisly sight. The other, 
in pity, would not let her do so. 

Even as this red tragedy was going on in Paris, the French 
general Dumouriez, who had rushed an army from Flanders 
into the forests of the Argonne, was holding up the advance 
of the allies beyond Verdun. On September 20th occurred a 
battle, mainly an artillery encounter, at Valmy. A not very 
resolute Prussian advance was checked,^ the French infantry 
stood firm, their artillery was better than the allied artillery. 
For ten days after this repulse the Duke of Brunswick hesi- 
tated, and then he began to fall back towards the Rhine. 
This battle at Valmy — it was little more than a cannonade — 
was one of the decisive battles in the world's history. The 
Revolution was saved. 

The National Convention met on September 21st, 1792, 
and immediately proclaimed a republic. The trial and ex- 
ecution of the king followed with a sort of logical necessity 
upon these things. He died rather as a symbol than as a 
man. There was nothing else to be done with him; poor 
man, he cumbered the earth. France could not let him go 
to hearten the emigrants, could not keep him harmless at 
home; his existence threatened her. Marat had urged this 

t The sour grapes of C9iampa|me had sDrebd dysentery in the Pms- 
eiaa army.— P. G. 

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trial relentlessly, yet with that acid clearness of his he would 
not have the king charged with any offence committed be- 
fore he signed the constitution, because before then he was a 
real monarch, super-legal, and so incapable of being illegal. 
Nor would Marat permit attacks upon the kin^s coun- 
sel. . . . Throughout Marat played a bitter and yet often a 
just part ; he was a great man, a fine intelligence, in a skin 
of fire; wrung with that organic hate in the blood that 
is not a product of the mind but of the body. 

Louis was beheaded in January, 1793. He was guillo- 
tined — ^for since the previous August the guillotinje had 
been in use as the official instrument in French executions. 

Danton, in his leonine role, was very fine upon this oc- 
casion. "The kings of Europe would challenge us," he 
roared. 'We throw them the head of a king!" 


And now followed a strange phase in the history of the 
French people. There arose a great flame of enthusiasm 
for France and the Republic. There was to be an end to 
compromise at home and abroad ; at home royalists and every 
form of disloyalty were to be stamped out; abroad France 
was to be the protector and helper of all revolutionaries. 
All Europe, all the world, was to become republican. The 
youth of France poured into the Republican armies; a new 
and wonderful song spread through the land, a song that 
still warms the blood like wine, the Marseillaise. Before 
that chant and the leaping columns of French bayonets and 
their enthusiastically served guns th6 foreign armies rolled 
back; before the end of 1792 the French armies had gone 
far beyond the utmost achievements of Louis XIV; every- 
where they stood on foreign soil. They were in Brussels, 
they had overrun Savoy, they had raided to Mayence ; they 
had seized the Scheldt from Holland. Then the French 
Government did an unwise thing. It had been exasperated 
by the expulsion of its representative from England upon 
the execution of Louis^ and it declared war against England. 

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It was an unwise thing to do, because the revolution which 
had given France a new enthusiastic infantry, and a brilliant 
artillery, released from its aristocratic officers and many 
cramping traditions, had destroyed the discipline of its 
navy, and the English were supreme upon the sea. And 
this provocation united all England against France, whereas 
there had been at first a very considerable liberal movement 
in Great Britain in sympathy with the revolution. 

Of the fight that France made in the next few years 
against a European coalition we cannot tell in any detail. 
She drove the Austrians for ever out of Belgium, and made 
Holland a republic. The Dutch fleet, frozen in the Texel, 
surrendered to a handful of cavalry without firing its guns. 
For some time the French thrust towards Italy was hung 
up, and it was only in 1796 that a new general, Napoleon 
Bonaparte, led the ragged and hungry republican armies in 
triumph across Piedmont to Mantua and Verona. An Out- 
line of History cannot map out campaigns ; but of the new 
quality that had come into war, it is bound to take note. 
The old professional armies had fought for the fighting, as 
slack workers paid by the hour ; these wonderful new armies 
fought hungry and thirsty, for victory. Their enemies 
called them lie "New French." Says 0. F. Atkinson/ 
"What astonished the Allies most of all was the number 
and the velocity of the Republicans. These improvised 
armies had in fact nothing to delay them. Tents were un- 
procurable for want of money, untransportable for want of 
the enormous number of wagons that would have been re- 
quired, and also unnecessary, for the discomfort that would 
have caused wholesale desertion in professional armies was 
cheerfully borne by the men of 1793-94. Supplies for 
armies of the then unheard-of size could not be carried in 
convoys, and the French soon became familiar with ^living 
on the cotmtry/ Thus 1793 saw the birth of the modem 
system of wai: — rapidity of movement, full development of 

iln his article ''French Bevolutionary Wiars/' in the Encyclopcedia 

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national strength, bivouacs, requisitions and force as against 
cautious manoeuvring, small professional armies, tents and 
full rations, and chicane. The first represented the decision- 
compelling spirit^ the second the spirit of risking little to 
gain a little. . . .'' 

And while these ragged liosts of enthusiasts were chanting 
the Marseillaise and fighting for la Fra/nce, manifestly never 
quite clear in their minds whether they were looting or liber- 
ating the countries into which they poured, the republican 
enthusiasm in Paris was spending itself in a far less glorious 
fashion. Marat, the one man of commanding intelligence 
among the Jacobins, was now frantic with an incurable dis- 
ease, and presently he was murdered ; Danton was a series 
of patriotic thunderstorms ; the steadfast fanaticism of Robes- 
pierre dominated the situation. This man is difficult to 
judge ; he was a man of poor physique, naturally timid, and 
a prig. But he had that most necessary gift for power, 
faith. He believed not in a god familiar to men, but in a 
certain Supreme Being, and that Rousseau was his prophet. 
He set himself to save the Republic as he conceived it, and 
he imagined it could be saved by no other man than he. So 
that to keep in power was to save the republic The living 
spirit of the republic, it seemed, had sprung from a slaughter 
of royalists and the execution of the king. There were in- 
surrections : one in the west, in the district of La Vendue, 
where the people rose against the conscription and against 
the dispossession of the orthodox clergy, and were led by 
noblemen and priests; one in the south, where Lyons and 
Marseilles had risen and the royalists of Toulon had admitted 
an English and Spanish garrison. To which there seemed 
no more effectual reply than to go on killing royalists. 

Nothing could have better pleased the fierce heart of the 
Paris slums. The Revolutionary Tribunal went to work, and 
a steady slaughtering began.^ The invention of the guillo- 
tine was opportune to this mood. The queen was guillotined, 

1 In the thirteen months before June, 1794, there were 1,220 execu- 
tions; in the following seven weeks there were 1,376. — ^P. G. 

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most of Eobespierre's antagonists were guillotined, atheists 
who argued that there was no Supreme Being were guillo- 
tined, Danton was guillotined because he thought there was 
too much guillotine; day by day, week by week, this infernal 
new machine chopped off heads and more heads and mora 
The reign of Eobespierre lived, it seemed, on blood, and 
needed more and more, as an opium-taker needs more and 
more opium. 

Danton was still Danton, leonine and exemplary upon the 
guillotine. "Danton," he said, "no weakness!" 

And the grotesque thing about the story is that Eobe- 
spierre was indubitably honest. He was far more honest 
than any of the group of men who succeeded him. He was 
inspired by a consuming passion for a new order of human 
life. So far as he could contrive it, the Committee of Pub- 
lic Safety, the emergency government of twelve which had 
now thrust aside the Convention, constructed. The scale on 
which it sought to construct was stupendous. All the in- 
tricate problems with which we still struggle to-day were 
met by swift and shallow solutions. Attempts were made 
to equalize property. "Opulence," said St. Just, "is in- 
famous.'' The property of the rich was taxed or confiscated 
in order that it should be divided among the poor. Every 
man was to have a secure house, a living, a wife and children. 
The labourer was worthy of his hire, but not entitled to an 
advantage. There was an attempt to abolish profit alto- 
gether, Sie rude incentive of most human commerce since the 
beginning of society. Profit is the economic riddle that still 
puzzles us to-day. There were harsh laws against "profi- 
teering" in Prance in 1793 — ^England in 1919 found it 
necessary to make quite similar laws. And the Jacobin 
government not only replanned — in eloquent outline — ^the 
economic, but also the social system. Divorce was made as 
easy as marriage; the distinction of legitimate and illegiti- 
mate children was abolished. ... A new calendar was de- 
vised, with new names for the months, a week of ten days, 
and the like — ^that has long since been swept away ; but also 
the clumsy coinage and the tangled weights and measures 

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of old France gave place to the simple and lucid decimal 
system that still endures. • . • There was a proposal from 
one extremist group to abolish God among other institutions 
altogether, and to substitute the worship of Reason. There 
was, indeed, a Feast of Reason in the cathedral of Notre- 
Dame, with a pretty actress as the goddess of Reason. But 
against this Robespierre set his face; he was no atheist. 
"Atheism," he said, "is aristocratic. The idea of a Supreme 
Being who watches over oppressed innocence and punishes 
triumphant crime is essentially the idea of the people." 

So he guillotined Hebert, who had celebrated the Feast 
of Reason, and all his party. 

A certain mental disorder became perceptible in Robe- 
spierre as the summer of 1794 drew on. He was deeply con- 
cerned with his religion. (The arrests and executions of 
suspects were going on now as briskly as ever. Through 
the streets of Paris every day rumbled the Terror with its 
carts full of condemned people.) He induced the Conven- 
tion to decree that France believed in a Supreme Being, 
and in that comforting doctrine, the immortality of the soul. 
In June he celebrated a great festival, the festival of his 
Supreme Being, There was a procession to the Champ de 
Mars, which he headed, brilliantly arrayed, bearing a great 
bunch of flowers and wheat ears. Figures of inflammatory 
material, representing Atheism and Vice, were solemnly 
burnt; then, by an ingenious mechanism, and with some 
slight creakings, an incombustible statue of Wisdom rose in 
their place. There were discourses — ^Robespierre delivered 
the chief one — ^but apparently no worship. . . . 

Thereafter Robespierre displayed a disposition to brood 
aloof from affairs. For a month he kept away from the 

One day in July he reappeared and delivered a strange 
speech that clearly foreshadowed fresh prosecutions. "Gazing 
on the multitude of vices which the torrent of Revolution 
has rolled down," he cried, in his last great speech in the Con- 
vention, "I have sometimes trembled lest I should be soiled 
by the impure neighbourhood of wicked men. ... I know 

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that it is easy for the leagued tyrants of the world to over- 
whelm a single individual ; but I know also what is the duty 
of a man who can die in the defence of humanity." . . . 

And so on to vague utterances that seemed to threaten 

The Convention heard this speech in silence; then when 
a proposal was made to print and circulate it, broke into a 
resentful uproar and refused permission. Robespierre went 
off in bitter resentment to the club of his supporters, and 
re-read his speech to them! 

That night was full of talk and meetings and preparations 
for the morrow, and the next morning the Convention turned 
upon Robespierre. One Tallien threatened him with a 
da^er. When he tried to speak, he was shouted down, and 
the President jingled the bell at him. "President of As- 
sassins," cried Robespierre, "I demand speech!" It was 
refused him. His voice deserted him; he coughed and 
spluttered. "The blood of Danton chokes him," cried some- 

He was accused and arrested there and then with his chief 

Whereupon the Hotel de Ville, still stoutly Jacobin, rose 
against the Convention, and Robespierre and his compan- 
ions were snatched out of the hands of their captors. There 
was a night of gathering, marching, counter-marching ; and 
at last, about three in the morning, the forces of the Con- 
vention faced the forces of the Commune outside the Hotel 
de Ville. Henriot, the Jacobin commander, after a busy 
day was drunk upstairs; a parley ensued, and then, after 
some indecision, tiio soldiers of the Commune went over to 
the Government. There was a shouting of patriotic senti- 
ments, and someone looked out from the Hotel de Ville* 
Robespierre and his last companions found themselves be- 
trayed and trapped. ' 

Two or three of these men threw themselves out of a win- 
dow, and injured themselves frightfully on the railings be- 
low without killing themselves. Others attempted suicida 
Robespierre, it seems, was shot in the lower jaw by a gen- 

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darme. He was found, his eyes staring from a pale face 
whose lower part was blood. 

Followed seventeen hours of agony before his end. He 
spoke never a word during that time; his jaw being bound 
up roughly in dirty linen. He and his companions, and the 
broken, dying bodies of those who had jumped from the 
windows, twenty-two men altogether, were taken to the 
guillotine instead of the condemned appointed for that day. 
Mostly his eyes were closed, but, says Carlyle, he opened 
them to see the great knife rising above him, and stru^led. 
Also it would seem he screamed when the executioner re- 
moved his bandages. Then the knife came down, swift and 

The Terror was at an end. From first to last there had 
been condemned and executed about ioux thousand people. 


It witnesses to the immense vitality and the profound 
Tightness of the flood of new ideals and intentions that the 
French Eevolution had released into the world of practical 
endeavour^ that it could still flow in a creative torrent after 
it had been caricatured and mocked in the grotesque person- 
ality and career of Robespierre. He had shown its deepest 
thoughts, he had displayed anticipations of its methods and 
conclusions through the green and distorting lenses of his 
preposterous vanity and egotism, he had smeared and 
blackened all its hope and promise with blood and horror, 
and the power of these ideas was not destroyed. They stood 
the extreme tests of ridiculous and horrible presentation. 
After his downfall, the Republic still ruled unassailable. 
Leaderless, for his successors were a group of crafty or 
commonplace men, the European republic struggled on, and 
presently fell and rose again, and fell and rose and still 
struggles, entangled but invincible. 

And it is well to remind the reader here of the real dimen- 
sions of this phase of the Terror, which strikes so vividly 
upon the imagination and which has therefore been enor- 

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mously exaggerated relatively to the rest of the revolutioiu 
From 1789 to late in 1791 the French Kevolution was an 
orderly process, and from the summer of 1794 the Bepublic 
was an orderly and victorious state. The Terror was not 
the work of the whole country, but of the town mob which 
owed its existence and its savagery to the misrule and social 
injustice of the ancient regime; and the explosion of the 
Terror could have happened only through the persistent 
treacherous disloyalty of the royalists which, while it raised 
the extremists to frenzy, disinclined the mass of moderate 
republicans from any intervention. The best men were busy 
fighting the Austrians and royalists on the frontier. Alto- 
gether, we must remember, the total of the killed in the 
Terror amounted to a few thousands, and among those thou* 
sands there were certainly a great number of active an- 
tagonists whom the Bepublic, by all the standards of that 
time, was entitled to kill. It included such traitors and 
mischief-makers as Philip, Duke of Orleans of the Palais 
Royal, who had voted for the death of Louis XVI. More 
lives were wasted by the British generals alone on the open- 
ing day of what is known as the Somme offensive of July, 
1916, than in the whole French Eevolution from start to 
finish. We hear so much about the martyrs of the French 
Terror because they were notable, well-eonnected people, and 
because there has been a sort of propaganda of their suffer- 
ings. But let us balance against them in our minds what 
was going on in the prisons of the world generally at that 
time. In Britain and America, while the Terror ruled in 
France, far more people were slaughtered for offences — 
very often quite trivial offences — against property than were 
condemned by the Bevolutionary Tribunal for treason against 
the State. Or course, they were very common people in- 
deed, but in their rough way they suffered. A girl was 
hanged in Massachusetts in 1789 for forcibly taking the 
hat, shoes, and buckles of another girl she had met in the 
street^ Again, Howard the philanthropist (about 1778) 

iChanning, vol. iU. cliap. xviii. 

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found a number of perfectly innocent people detained in the 
English prisons who had been tried and acquitted, but were 
unable to pay the gaoler's fees. And these prisons were filthy 
places under no effective control. Torture was still in use 
in the Hanoverian dominions of his Britannic majesty King 
Greorge III. It had been in use in France up to ihe time of 
the National Assembly. These things mark the level of the 
age. It is not on record that anyone was deliberately tor- 
tured by the French revolutionaries during the Terror. 
Those few hundreds of French gentlefolk fell into a pit that 
most of them had been well content should exist for others. 
It was tragic, but not, by the scale of universal history, a 
great tragedy. The common man in France was more free, 
better off, and happier during the "Terror^' than he had 
been in 1787. 

The story of the Republic after the summer of 1794 be- 
comes a tangled story of political groups aiming at every- 
thing from a radical republic to a royalist reaction, but per- 
vaded by a general desire for some definite working arrange- 
ment even at the price of considerable concessions. There 
was a series of insurrections of the Jacobins and of the royal- 
ists, there seems to have been what we should call nowadays 
a hooligan class in Paris which was quite ready to turn out 
to fight and loot on either side ; nevertheless the Convention 
produced a government, the Directory of five members, which 
held France together for five years. The last, most 
threatening revolt of all, in October, 1795, was suppressed 
with great skill and decision by a rising young general, 
Napoleon Bonaparte. 

The Directory was victorious abroad, but uncreative at 
home; its members were far too anxious to stick to the sweets 
and glories of office to prepare a constitution that would 
supersede them, and far too dishonest to handle the task of 
financial and economic reconstruction demanded by the con- 
dition of France. We need only note two of their names, 
Carnot, who was an honest republican, and Barras, who was 
conspicuously a rogue. Their reign of five years formed a 
curious interlude in this history of great changes. They 

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took things as they found thenu The propagandist zeal of 
the revolution carried the French armies into Holland, 
Belgium, Switzerland, south Germany, and north Italy. 
Everywhere kings were expelled and republics set up. But 
such propagandist zeal as animated the Directorate did not 
prevent the looting of the treasures of the liberated peoples to 
relieve the financial embarrassment of the French Govern- 
ment. Their wars became less and less the holy war of free- 
dom, and more and more like the aggressive wars of the 
ancient regime. The last feature of Grand Monarchy that 
France was disposed to discard was her tradition of foreign 
policy, grasping, aggressive, restless, French-centred. One 
discovers it still as vigorous under the Directorate as if there 
had been no revolution. 

§ 18 

The ebb of this tide of Revolution in the world, this tide 
which had created the great Republic of America and 
threatened to submerge all European monarchies, was now at 
hand. It is as if something bad thrust up from beneath 
the surface of human affairs, made a gigantic effort, and for 
a time spent itself. It swept many obsolescent and evil 
things away, but many evil and unjust things remained. It 
solved many problems, and it left the desire for fellowship 
and order face to face with much vaster problems that it 
seemed only to have revealed. Privilege of certain types had 
gone, many tyrannies, much religious persecution. When 
these things of the ancient regime had vanished, it seemed 
as if they had never mattered. What did matter was that for 
all their votes and enfranchisement, and in spite of all their 
passion and effort, common men were still not free and not 
enjoying an equal happiness ; that the immense promise and 
air of a new world with which the Revolution had come, re- 
mained unfulfilled. 

Yet, after all, this wave of revolution had realized nearly 
everything that had been clearly thought out before it came. 
It was not failing now for want of impetus, but for want of 

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finished ideas. Many things that had oppressed mankind 
were swept away for ever. Now that they were swept away 
it became apparent how unprepared men were for the crea- 
tive opportunities this clearance gave them. And periods 
of revolution are periods of action; in them men reap the 
harvests of ideas that have grown during phases of interlude, 
and they leave the fields cleared for a new season of growth, 
but they cannot suddenly produce ripened new ideas to meet 
an unanticipated riddle. 

The sweeping away of king and lord, of priest and in- 
quisitor, of landlord and taxgatherer and task-master, left the 
mass of men face to face for the first time with certain very 
fundamental aspects of the social structure, relationships they 
had taken for granted, and had never realized the need of 
thinking hard and continuously about before. Institutions 
that had seemed to be in the nature of things, and matters 
that had seemed to happen by the same sort of necessity that 
brought round the dawn and springtime, were discovered to 
be artificial, controllable, were they not so perplexingly intri- 
cate, and — ^now that the old routines were abolished and done 
away with — in urgent need of control. The New Order 
found itself confronted with three riddles which it was quite 
unprepared to solve : Property, Currency, and International 

Let us take these three problems in order, and ask what 
they are and how they arose in human affairs. Every human 
life is deeply entangled in them, and concerned in their solu- 
tion. The rest of this history becomes more and more clearly 
the development of the effort to solve these problems; that is 
to say, so to interpret property, so to establish currency, and 
so to control international reactions as to render possible a 
world-wide, progressive and happy community of will. They, 
are the three riddles of the sphinx of fate, to which the 
human commonweal must find an answer or perish. 

The idea of property arises out of the combative instincts 
of the species. Long before men were men, the ancestral 
ape was a proprietor. Primitive property is what a beast 
mil fight for. The dog; and his bone, the tigress and her 

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lair, the roaring stag and his herd, these are proprietorship 
blazing. No more nonsensical expression is conceivable in 
sociology than the term "primitive communism." The Old 
Man of the family tribe of early palfieolithic times insisted 
upon his proprietorship in his wives and daughters, in his 
tools, in his visible universe. If any other man wandered 
into his visible universe he fought him, and if he could he 
slew him. The tribe grew in the course of ages, as Atkinson 
showed convincingly in his Primal Law, by the gradual 
toleration by the Old Man of the existence of the younger 
men, and of their proprietorship in the wives they captured 
from outside the tribe, and in the tools and ornaments they 
made and the game they slew. Human society grew by a 
compromise between this one^s property and that. It was 
largely a compromise and an alliance forced upon men by 
the necessity of driving some other tribe out of its visible 
universe. If the hills and forests and streams were not yovr 
land or mi/ land, it was because they had to be our land. 
Each of us would have preferred to have it my land, but that 
would not work. In that case the other fellows would have 
destroyed us. Society, therefore, is from its begiimings 
the mitigation of ownership. Ownership in the beast and in 
the primitive savage was far more intense a thing than it is 
in the civilized world to^ay. It is rooted more strongly in 
our instincts than in our reason. 

In the natural savage and in the untutored man to-day — 
for it is well to keep in mind that no man to-day is more than 
four hundred generations from the primordial savage — ^there 
is no limitation to the sphere of ownership. Whatever you 
can fight for, you can own ; women-folk, spared captive, cap- 
tured beast, forest glade, stone pit or what not. As the com- 
mimity grew and a sort of law came to restrain internecine 
fighting, men developed rough and ready methods of settling 
proprietorship. Men could own what they were the first to 
make or capture or claim. It seemed natural that a debtor 
who could not pay up should become the property of his cred- 
itor. Equally natural was it that, after claiming a patch of 
land ("Bags I," as the schoolboy says), a man diould exact 

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payment and tribute from anyone else who wanted to use it. 
It was only slowly, as the possibilities of organized life 
dawned on men, that this unlimited property in anything 
whatever began to be recognized as a nuisance. Men found 
themselves bom into a universe all owned and claimed, nay f 
they found themselves born owned and claimed. The social 
struggles of the earlier civilization are diflBcult to trace now, 
but the history we have told of the Roman republic shows a 
conmiunity waking up to the id^Q that debt may become a 
public inconvenience and should then be repudiated, and that 
the imlimited ownership of land is also an inconvenience. 
We find that later Babylonia severely limited the rights of 
property in slaves. Finally, we find in the teaching of that 
great revolutionist, Jesus of Nazareth, such an attack upon 
property as had never been before. Easier it was, he said, 
for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the 
ovnier of great possessions to enter the kingdom of heaven. 
A steady, continuous criticism of the permissible scope of 
property seems to have been going on in the world for the 
last twenty-five or thirty centuries. Nineteen hundred years 
after Jesus of Nazareth we find all the world that has come 
under the Christian teaching persuaded that there could be 
no property in persons. There has been a turn over in the 
common conscience in that matter. And also the idea that 
"a man may do what he likes with his ovni" was clearly very 
much shaken in relation to other sorts of property. But 
this world of the closing eighteenth century was still only in 
the interrogative stage in tliis matter. It had got nothing 
clear enough, much less settled enough, to act upon. One 
of its primary impulses was to protect property against the 
greed and waste of kings and the exploitation of noble adven- 
turers. It was to protect private property that the Revolu- 
tion began. But its equalitarian formulae carried it into a 
criticism of the very property it had risen to protect. How 
can men be free and equal when numbers of them have no 
ground to stand upon and nothing to eat, and the owners 
will neither feed nor lodge them unless they toil ? Exces- 
sively — ^the poor complained. 

WeUs 11— Vol. in r^ ^^^T^ 

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To which riddle the Jacobin reply was to set about "divid- 
ing up." They wanted to intensify and universalize prop- 
erty. Aiming at the same end by another route, there were 
already in the eighteenth century certain primitive socialists 
— or, to be more exact, communists — ^who wanted to 
"abolish" private property altogether. The state (a dem- 
ocratic state was of course imderstood) was to own all prop- 
erty. It was only as the nineteenth century developed that 
men began to realize that property was not one simple thing, 
but a great complex of ownerships of different values and 
consequences, that many things (such as human beings, the 
implements of an artist, clothing, toothbrushes) are very 
profoundly and incurably personal property, and that there 
is a very great range of things, railways, machinery of vari- 
ous sorts, homes, cultivated gardens, pleasure-boats, for ex- 
ample, which need each considered very particularly to 
determine how far and under what limitations it may come 
under private ownership, and how far it falls into the public 
domain and may be administered and let out by the state in 
the collective interest. On the practical side these questions 
pass into politics, and the problem of making and sustain- 
ing efficient state administration. They open up issues in 
social psychology, and interact with the enquiries of edu- 
cational science. We have to-day the advantage of a hundred 
and thirty years of discussion over the first revolutionary 
generation, but even now this criticism of property is still a 
vast and passionate ferment rather than a science. Under 
the circumstances it was impossible that eighteenth-century 
France should present any other spectacle than that of vague 
and confused popular movements seeking to dispossess owners, 
and classes of small and large owners holding on grimly, de- 
manding, before everything else, law, order, and security, 
and seeking to increase their individual share of anything 
whatever that could be legally possessed. 

Closely connected with the vagueness of men's ideas about 
property was the vagueness of their ideas about cur- 
rency. Both the American and the French republics 
fell into serious trouble upon this score. Here, again, we 

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deal with Bomethiug that is not simple, a tangle of usages, 
conventions, laws, and prevalent mental habits, out of which 
arise problems which admit of no solution in simple terms, 
and which yet are of vital importance to the everyday life of 
the community. The validity of the acknowledgment a 
man is given for a day's work is manifestly of quite primary 
importance to the working of the social machine. The 
growth of confidence in the precious metals and of coins, until 
the assurance became practically universal that good money 
could be trusted to have its purchasing power anywhere, must 
have been a gradual one in human history. And being fairly 
established, this assurance was subjected to very consider- 
able strains and perplexities by the action of governments 
in debasing currency and in substituting paper promises to 
pay for the actual metallic coins. Every age produced a 
number of clever people intelligent enough to realize the op- 
portunities for smart operations afforded by the complex of 
faiths and fictions upon which the money system rested, and 
sufficiently tmsound morally to give their best energies to 
growing rich and so getting people to work for them, through 
tricks and tampering with gold coinage, and credit. So soon 
as serious political and social dislocation occurred the money 
mechanism began to work stiffly and inaccurately. The 
United States and the French Republic both started their 
careers in a phase of financial difficulty. Everywhere 
governments had been borrowing and issuing paper promises 
to pay interest, more interest tiiian they could conveniently 
raise. Both revolutions led to much desperate public spend- 
ing and borrowing, and at the same time to an interruption 
of cultivation and production that further diminished real 
taxable wealth. Both governments, being unable to pay 
their way in gold, resorted to the issue of paper money, prom- 
ising to pay upon the security of undeveloped land (in 
America) or recently confiscated church lands (France). 
In both cases the amount of issue went far beyond the con- 
fidence of men in the new security. Gold was called in, 
hidden by the cunning ones, or went abroad to pay for im- 
ports; and people found themselves with various sorts of bills 

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and notes in the place of coins, all of uncertain and diminish- 
ing value. 

However complicated the origins of currency, its practical 
effect and the end it has to serve in the community may be 
stated roughly in simple terms. The money a man receives 
for his work (mental or bodily) or for relinquishing his prop- 
erty in some consumable good, must ultimately be able to 
purchase for him for his use a fairly equivalent amount of 
consumable goods. ("Consumable goods" is a phrase we 
would have understood in the widest sense to represent even 
such things as a journey, a lecture or theatrical entertain- 
ment, housing, medical advice, and so forth.) When every- 
one in a community is assured of this, and assured that the 
money will not deteriorate in purchasing power, then cur- 
rency — and the distribution of goods by trade — ^is in a 
healthy and satisfactory state. Then men will work cheer- 
fully, and only then. The imperative need for that stead- 
fastness and security of currency is the fixed datum from 
which the scientific study and control of currency must begin. 
But under the most stable conditions there will always be 
fluctuations in currency value. The sum total of salable con- 
sumable goods in the world and in various countries varies 
from year to year and from season to season; autumn is 
probably a time of plenty in comparison with spring; with an 
increase in the available goods in the world the purchasing 
power of currency will increase, unless there is also an in- 
crease in the amount of currency. On the other hand, if 
there is a diminution in the production of consumable goods 
or a great and unprofitable destruction of consumable goods, 
such as occurs in a war, the share of the total of consumable 
goods represented by a sum of money will diminish and prices 
and wages will rise. In modem war the ejcplosion of a single 
big shell, even if it hits nothing, destroys labour and material 
roughly equivalent to a comfortable cottage or a year's holi- 
day for a man. If the shell hits anything, then that further 
destruction has to be added to the diminution of consumable 
goods. Every shell that burst in the recent war diminished 
by a Utile fraction the purchasing value of every coin in the 

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whole world. If there is also an increase of ourrency dur- 
ing a period when consumable goods are being used up and 
not fully replaced — ^and the necessities of revolutionary and 
war-making governments almost always require this — ^then 
the enhancement of prices and the fall in the value of the 
currency paid in wages is still greater. Usually also 
governments under these stresses borrow money, that 
is to say, they issue interest-bearing paper, secured on 
the willingness and ability of the general community to en- 
dure taxation. Such operations would be difficult enough 
if they were carried out frankly by perfectly honest men, 
in the full light of publicity and scientific knowledge. But 
hitherto this has never been the case; at every point the 
clever egotist, the bad sort of rich man, is trying to deflect 
things a little to his own advantage. Everywhere too one 
finds the stupid egotist ready to take fright and break into 
panic. Consequently we presently discover the state en- 
cumbered by an excess of currency, which is in effect a non- 
interest-paying debt, and also with a great burthen of interest 
upon loans. Both credit and currency begin to fluctuate 
wildly with the evaporation of public confidence. They are, 
we say, demoralized. 

The ultimate consequence of an entirely demoralized cur- 
rency would be to end all work and all trade that could not 
be carried on by payment in kind and barter. Men would 
refuse to work except for food, clothing, housing, and pay- 
ment in kind. The inunediate consequence of a partially de- 
moralized currency is to drive up prices and make trading 
feverishly adventurous and workers suspicious and irritable. 
A sharp man wants under such conditions to hold money for 
as brief a period as possible ; he demands the utmost for his 
reality, and buys a reality again as soon as possible in order 
to get this perishable stuff, the currency paper, off his hands,. 
All who have fixed incomes and saved accumulations suffer 
by the rise in prices, and the wage-earners find, with a 
gathering fury, that the real value of their wages is con- 
tinually less. Here is a state of affairs where the duty of 
every clever person is evidently to help adjust and reassure. 

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But all the traditions of private enterprise^ all the ideas of 
the later eighteenth century, went to justify the action of 
acute-minded and dexterous people who set themselves to 
accumulate claims, titles, and tangible property in the storms 
and dislocations of this currency breakdown. The number 
of understanding people in the world who were setting them- 
selves sincerely and simply to restore honest and workable 
currency and credit conditions were few and ineffectual. 
Most of the financial and speculative people of the time were 
playing the part of Cornish wreckers — ^not apparently with 
any conscious dishonesty, but with the oompletest self-ap- 
proval and the applause of their fellow men. The aim of 
every clever person was to accumulate as much as he could 
of really negotiable wealth, and then, and only then, to bring 
about some sort of stabilizing political process that would 
leave him in advantageous possession of his accumulation. 
Here were the factors of a bad economic atmosphere, sus- 
picious, feverish, greedy, and speculative. . . . 

In the third direction in which the Revolution had been 
unprepared with dear ideas, the problem of international 
relationships, developments were to occur that interacted 
disastrously with this state of financial and economic adven- 
ture, this scramble and confusion, this preoccupation of men's 
minds with the perplexing slipperiness of their private prop- 
erty and their monetary position at home. The Republic at 
its birth found itself at war. For a time that war was waged 
by the new levies with a patriotism and a zeal unparalled in 
the world's history. But that could not go on. The 
Directory found itself at the head of a conquering country, 
intolerably needy and embarrassed at home, and in occupa- 
tion of rich foreign lands, full of seizable wealth and 
material and financial opportunity. We have all double 
natures, and the French in particular seem to be developed 
logically and symmetrically on both sides. Into these con- 
quered regions France came as a liberator, the teacher of 
Republicanism to mankind. Holland and Belgium became 
the Batavian Republic, Genoa and its Riviera the Ligurian 
Republic, north Italy the Cisalpine Republic, Switzerland 

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was rechristened the Helvetian Republic, Miilhausen, Rome, 
and Naples were designated republics. Grouped about 
France, these republics were to be a constellation of freedom 
leading the world. That was the ideal side. At the same 
time the French government, and French private individuals 
in concert with the government, proceeded to a complete and 
exhaustive exploitation of the resources of these liberated 

So within ten years of the meeting of the States General, 
New France begins to take on a singular likeness to the old. 
It is more flushed, more vigorous ; it wears a cap of liberty 
instead of a crown ; it has a new army — ^but a damaged fleet ; 
it has new rich people instead of the old rich people, a new 
peasantry working even harder than the old and yielding 
more taxes, a new foreign policy curiously like the old for- 
eign policy disrobed, and — ^there is no Millennium. 

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§ 1. The Bonaparte Family in Corsica. § 2. Bonaparte 
as a Republican General. § 3. Napoleon First Consul, 
1799-1804. § 4. Napoleon I, Emperor, 180i-U. § 5. 
The Himdred Days. § 6. The Map of Europe in 1815. 


AND now we come to one of the most illuminating 
figures in moderii history, the figure of an adventurer 
and a wrecker, whose story seems to display with an 
extraordinary vividness the universal subtle conflict of ego- 
tism, vanity, and personality with the weaker, wider claims 
of the common good. Against this backgroimd of confusion 
and stress and hope, this strained and heaving France and 
Europe, this stormy and tremendous dawn, appears this dark 
little archaic personage, hard, compact, capable, unscrupu- 
lous, imitative, and neatly vulgar. He was bom (1769) in 
the still half-barbaric island of Corsica, the son of a rather 
prosaic father, a lawyer who had been first a patriotic Corsi- 
can against the French monarchy which was trying to sub- 
jugate Corsica, and who had then gone over to the side of the 
invader. His mother was of sturdier stuff, passionately 
patriotic and a strong and managing woman. (She birched 
her sons; on one occasion she birched Napoleon when he was 
sixteen.) There were numerous brothers and sisters, and 
the family pursued the French authorities with importuni- 
ties for rewards and jobs. Except for Napoleon it seems 
to have been a thoroughly commonplace, "hungry" family. 
He was clever, bad-tempered, and overbearing. From his 


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mother he had acquired a romantic Corsican patriotism. 
Through the patronage of the French governor of Corsica 
he got an education first at the military school of Brienne 
and then at the military school of Paris, from which he 
passed into the artillery in 1785. He was an industrious 
student both of mathematics and history, his memory was 
prodigiously good, and he made copious note-books which 
still exist. These note-books show no very exceptional intel- 
ligence, and they contain short pieces of original composition 
— upon suicide and similar adolescent topics. He fell early 
under the spell of Kousseau ; he developed sensibility and a 
scorn for the corruptions of civilization. In 1786 he wrote 
a pamphlet against a Swiss pastor who had attacked Rous- 
seau. It was a very ordinary adolescent production, rhe- 
torical and imitative. He dreamt of an independent Corsica, 
freed from the French. With the revolution, he became an 
ardent republican and a supporter of the new French regime 
in Corsica. For some years, until the fall of Robespierre, 
he remained a Jacobin. 


He soon gained the reputation of a useful and capable 
officer, and it was through Robespierre^s younger brother 
that he got his first chance of distinction at Toulon. Toulon 
had been handed over to the British and Spanish by the 
Royalists, and an allied fleet occupied its harbour. Bona- 
parte was given the command of the artillery, and under his 
direction the French forced the allies to abandon the port and 

He was next appointed commander of the artillery in Italy, 
but he had not taken up his duties when the death of Robes- 
pierre seemed likely to involve his own; he was put under 
arrest as a Jacobin, and for a time he was in danger of the 
guillotine. That danger passed. He was employed as 
artillery commander in an abortive raid upon Corsica, and 
then went to Paris (1795) rather down at heel. Madame 

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Junot in her Memoirs describes his lean face and slovenly 
appearance at this time, ^liis ill-combed, ill-powdered hair 
hanging down over his grey overcoat,'' his gloveless hands 
and badly blacked boots. It was a time of exhaustion and 
reaction after the severities of the Jacobite republic, "In 
Paris,'' says Holland Rose, "the star of Liberty was paling 
before Mercury, Mars, and Venus" — finance, uniforms, and 
social charm. The best of the common men were in the 
armies, away beyond the frontiers. We have already noted 
the last rising of the royalists in this year (1795). 
Napoleon had the luck to be in Paris, and found his second 
opportunity in this affair. He saved the Republic — of the 

His abilities greatly impressed Camot, the most upright 
of the Directors. Moreover, he married a charming young 
widow, Madame Josephine de Beauhamais, who had great 
influence with Barras. Both these things probably helped 
him to secure the command in Italy. 

We have no space here for the story of his brilliant cam- 
paigns in Italy (1796-97), but of the spirit in which that 
invasion of Italy was conducted we must say a word or two, 
because it illustrates so vividly the double soul of France and 
of Napoleon, and how revolutionary idealism was paling be- 
fore practical urgencies. He proclaimed to the Italians that 
the French were coming to break their chains — and they 
were! He wrote to the Directory: "We will levy 
20,000,000 francs in exactions in this country; it is one of 
the richest in the world." To his soldiers he said, ^Tou 
are famished and nearly naked. ... I lead you into the 
most fertile plain in the world. There you will find great 
towns, rich provinces, honour, glory, riches. . . ." 

We are all such mixed stuff as this ; in all of us the intima- 
tions of a new world and a finer duty struggle to veil and con- 
trol the ancient greeds and lusts of our inherited. past; but 
these passages, written by a young man of twenty-seven, 
seem to show the gilt of honourable idealism rubbed off at an 
unusually early age. These are the bribes of an adventurer 

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who has brought whatever impulse of devotion to a great 
cause once stirred within him, well under the control of his 
self love. 

His successes in Italy were brilliant and complete; they 
enormously stimulated his self-confidence and his contempt 
for the energy and ability of his fellow creatures. He had 
wanted to go into Italy because there lay the most attractive 
task — ^he had risked his position in the army by refusing to 
take up the irksome duties of a command against the rebels 
in La Vendee — and there are clear signs of a vast expansion 
of his vanity with his victories. He had been a great reader 
of Plutarch's Lives and of Koman history, and his extremely 
active but totally uncreative imagination was now busy with 
dreams of a revival of the eastern conquests of the Roman 
Empire. He got the republic of Venice out of his way by 
cutting it up between the French and Austria, securing the 
Ionian islands and the Venetian fleet for France. This 
peace, the peace of Campo Formio, was for both sides a 
thoroughly scoundrelly and ultimately a disastrous bargain. 
The new republic of France assisted in the murder of an 
ancient republic — ^Napoleon carried his point against a con- 
siderable outcry in France — and Austria got Venetia, in 
which land in 1918 she was destined to bleed to death. 
There were also secret clauses by which both France and 
Austria were later to acquire south German territory. And 
it was not only the Roman push eastward that was now ex- 
citing Napoleon's brain. This was the land of CsBsar: — and 
CsBsar was a bad example for the successful general of a not 
very stable republic. 

OflBsar had come back to Rome from Gaul a hero and con- 
queror. His new imitator would come back from Egypt 
and India — ^Egypt and India were to be his Gaul. There 
was really none of the genius about which historians write 
80 glibly in this decision. It was a tawdry and ill-conceived 
imitation. The elements of failure stared him in the face. 
The way to Egypt and India was by sea, and the British, in 
spite of two recent naval mutinies, whose importance 
Napoleon exaggerated, were stronger than the French at sea. 

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Moreover, Egypt was a^part of the Turkish empire, by no 
means a contemptible power in those days. Nevertheless he 
persuaded the Directory, which was dazzled by his Italian 
exploits, to let him go. An Armada started from Toulon 
in May, 1798, captured Malta, and had the good luck to 
evade the British fleet and arrive at Alexandria. He landed 
his troops hurriedly, and the battle of the Pyramids made 
him master of Egypt. 

The main British fleet at that time was in the Atlantic 
outside Cadiz, but the admiral had detached a force of his 
best ships, under Vice-Admiral Nelson — as great a genius in 
naval affairs as was Napoleon in things military — to chase 
and engage the French flotilla. For a time Nelson sought 
the French fleet in vain ; finally, on the evening of the first 
of August, he found it at anchor in Aboukir bay. He had 
caught it unawares; many of the men were ashore and a 
council was being held in the flagship. He had no charts, 
and it was a hazardous thing to sail into the shallow water in 
a bad light. The French admiral concluded, therefore, that 
his adversary would not attack before morning, and so made 
no haste in recalling his men aboard until it was too late to 
do so. Nelson however, struck at once — against the advice 
of some of his captains. One ship only went aground. She 
marked the shoal for the rest of the fleet. He sailed to the 
attack in a double line about sundown, putting the French 
between two fires. Night fell as the battle was joined ; the 
fight thundered and clashed in the darkness, until it was lit 
presently by the flames of burning French ships, and then by 
the flare of the French flag^ship, the Orient, blowing up. . • . 
Before midnight the battle of the Nile was over, and Napo- 
leon^s fleet was destroyed. Napoleon was cut off from 

Says Holland Rose, quoting Thiers, this Egyptian expedi- 
tion was "the rashest attempt history records.'' Napoleon 
was left in Egypt with the Turks gathering against him and 
his army infected with the plague. Nevertheless, with a 
stupid sort of persistence, he went on for a time with this 
Eastern scheme. He gained a victory at Jaffa, and, being 

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short of provisions, massacred all his prisoners. Then he 
tried to take Acre, where his own siege artillery, just cap- 
tured at sea hy the English, was used against hinu Return'- 
ing baffled to Egypt, he gained a brilliant victory over a 
.Turkish force at Aboukir, and then, deserting the army of 
Egypt — it held on until 1801, when it capitulated to a 
British force — ^made his escape back to France (1799)^ 
narrowly missing capture by a British cruiser off Sicily, 

Here was muddle and failure enough to discredit any 
general — ^had it been known. But the very British cruisers 
which came so near to catching him, helped him by prevent- 

ing any real understanding of the Egyptian situation from 
reaching the French people. He could make a great flourish 
over the battle of Aboukir and conceal the shame and loss 
of Acre. Things were not going well with France just then. 
There had been military failures at several points ; much of 
Italy had been lost, Bonaparte's Italy, and this turned men's 
minds to him as the natural saviour of that situation ; more- 
over, there had been much speculation, and some of it was 
coming to light ; France was in one of her phases of financial 
scandal, and Napoleon had not filched ; the public was in 
that state of moral fatigue when a strong and honest man is 

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called for, a wonderful, impossible healing man who will do 
everything for everybody. People, poor lazy eonls, pei> 
duaded themaelves that this specious young man with the 
hard face, so providentially badk from Egypt, was the strong 
and honest man required — another Washington. 

With Julius Caesar rather than Washington at the back of 
his mind. Napoleon responded to the demand of his time* 
A conspiracy was carefully engineered to replace the 
Directory by three "Consuls" — everybody seems to have been 
reading far too much Roman history just then — of whom 
Napoleon was to be the chief. The working of that con- 
spiracy is too intricate a story for our space ; it involved a 
Cromwell-like dispersal of the Lower House (the Council of 
Five Himdred), and in this affair Napoleon lost his nerve. 
The deputies shouted at him and hustled him, and he seems 
to have been very much frightened. He nearly fainted, 
stuttered, and could say nothing, but the situation was saved 
by his brother Lucien, who brought in the soldiers and dis- 
persed the council. This little hitch did not affect the final 
success of the scheme. The three Consuls were installed at 
the Luxembourg palace, with two commissioners, to recon- 
struct the constitution. 

With all his confidence restored and sure of the support of 
the people, who supposed him to be honest, patriotic, re- 
publican, and able to bring about a good peace. Napoleon 
took a high band with his colleagues and the commissioners. 
A constitution was produced in which the chief executive 
officer was to be called the First Consul, with enormous 
powers. He was to be Napoleon ; this was part of the con- 
stitution. He was to be re-elected or replaced at the end of 
ten years. He was to be assisted by a Council of State, ap- 
pointed by himself, which was to initiate legislation and send 
its proposals to two bodies, the Legislative Body (which could 
vote, but not discuss) and the Tribunate (which could dis- 
cuss, but not vote), which were selected by an appointed 
Senate from a special class, the "notabilities of France," who 
were elected by the "notabilities of the departments," who 
jWere elected by the "notabilities of the commune," who were 

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elected by the common voters. The suffrage for the electioa 
of the notabilities of the commune was universal. This wis 
the sole vestige of democracy in the astounding pyramid. 
This constitution was chiefly the joint production of a wortly 
philosopher Sieyes, who was one of the three consuls, and 
•Bonaparte* But so weary was France with her troubles and 
efforts, and so confident were men in the virtue and ability 
of this adventurer from Corsica, that when, at the birth of the 
nineteenth century, this constitution was submitted to the 
country, it was carried by 3,011,007 votes to 1,562. France 
put herself absolutely in Bonaparte's hands, and prepared to 
be peaceful, happy, and glorious. 

§ 3 

Now surely here was opportunity such as never came to 
man before. Here was a position in which a man might 
well bow himself in fear of himself, and search his heart and 
serve God and man to the utmost. The old order of things 
was dead or dying; strange new forces drove through the 
world seeking form and direction ; the promise of a world 
republic and an enduring world peace whispered in a multi- 
tude of startled minds. Had this man any profundity of 
vision, any power of creative imagination, had he been ac- 
cessible to any disinterested ambition, he might have done 
work for mankind that would have made him the very sun 
of history. All Europe and America, stirred by the first 
promise of a new age, was waiting for him. Not Franco 
alone. France was in his hand, his instrument, to do with 
as he pleased, willing for peace, but tempered for war like 
an exquisite sword. There lacked nothing to this great 
occasion but a noble imagination. And failing that. Napo- 
leon could do no more than strut upon the crest of this great 
mountain of opportunity like a cockerel on a dunghill. The 
figure he makes in history is one of almost incredible self- 
conceit, of vanity, greed, and cunning, of callous contempt 
and disregard of all who trusted him, and of a grandiose 
aping of Ceesar, Alexander, and Charlemagne which would 

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be purely comic if it were not caked over with human blood. 
Until, as Victor Hugo said in his tremendous way, "God was 
bored by him," and he was kicked aside into a corner to end 
his days, explaining and explaining how very clever his 
worse blunders had been, prowling about his dismal hot is- 
land shooting birds and squabbling meanly with an under- 
bred gaoler who failed to show him proper "respect/' 

His career as First Consul was perhaps the least dishon- 
ourable phase in his career. He took the crumbling mili- 
tary affairs of the Directory in hand, and after a compli- 
cated campaign in North Italy brought matters to a head in 
the victory of Marengo, near Alessandria (1800). It was a 
victory that at some moments came very near disaster. In 
the December of the same year General Moreau, in the midst 
of snow, mud, and altogether abominable weather, inflicted 
an overwhelming defeat upon the Austrian army at. Hohen- 
linden. If Napoleon had gained this battle, it would have 
counted among his most characteristic and brilliant exploits. 

These things made the hoped-for peace possible. In 1801 
the preliminaries of peace with England and Austria were 
signed. Peace with England, the Treaty of Amiens, was 
concluded in 1802, and Napoleon was free to give himself to 
the creative statecraft of which France, and Europe through 
France, stood in need. The war had given the country ex- 
tended boundaries, the treaty with England restored the 
colonial empire of France and left her in a position of se- 
curity beyond the utmost dreams of Louis XIV. It was 
open to Napoleon to work out and consolidate the new order 
of things, to make a modern state that should become a bea- 
con and inspiration to Europe and all the world. 

He attempted nothing of the sort. He did not realize 
that there were such things as modem states in the scheme 
•f possibility. His little imitative imagination was full of 
a deep cunning dream of being Caesar over again — as if 
this universe would ever tolerate anything of that sort over 
again I He was scheming to make himself a real emperor, 
with a crown upon his head and all his rivals and school- 
fellows and friends at his feet. This could give him no 

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fresh power that he did not already exercise, but it would 
be more splendid*— it would astonish his mother. What re- 
sponse was there in a head of that sort for the splendid crea- 
tive challenge of the time ? But first France must be pros- 
perous. France hungry would certainly not endure an em- 
peror. H e set himself to carry out an old scheme of roads 
that Louis XV had approved ; he developed canals in imita- 
tion of the English canals; he reorganized the police and 
made the country safe ; and, preparing the scene for his per- 
sonal drama, he set himself to make Paris look like 
Borne, with classical arches, with classical columns. Ad^ 
mirable schemes for banking development were avail- 
able, and he made use of them. In all these things he. 
moved with the times, they would have happened — ^with 
less autocracy, with less centralization, if he had never 
been bom. And he set himself to weaken the republicans 
whose fundamental convictions he was planning to outrage. 
He recalled the Emigres, provided they gave satisfactory 
assurances to respect the new regime. Many were very 
willing to come back on such terms, and let Bourbons 
be bygones. And he worked out a great reconciliation, a 
Concordat, with Kome. Eome was to support him, and he 
was to restore the authority of Eome in the parishes. 
France would never be obedient and manageable, he thought ; 
she would never stand a new monarchy, without religion. 
"How can you have order in a state," he said, "without re- 
ligion ? Society cannot exist without inequality of fortunes, 
which cannot endure apart from religion. When one man 
is dying of hunger near another who is ill of surfeit, he can- 
not resign himself to this difference, unless there is an au- 
thority which declares — 'God wills it thus: there must be 
poor and rich in the world: but hereafter and during all 
eternity the division of things will take place differently.' '' 

Religion — especially of the later Roman brand — was, 
he thought, excellent stuff for keeping the common people 
quiet. In his early Jacobin days he had denounced it for 
tnat very reason. 

Another great achievement which marks his imaginative 

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scope and his estimate of human nature was the institution 
of the legion of Honour, a scheme for decorating French- 
men with bits of ribbon which was admirably calculated to 
divert ambitious men from subversive proceedings. 

And also Napoleon interested himself in Christian propa- 
ganda. Here is the Napoleonic view of the political uses of 
Christ, a view that has tainted all French missions from that 
time forth. "It is^my wish to re-establish the institution 
for foreign missions; for the religious missionaries may be 
useful to me in Asia, Africa, and America, as I shall make 
them reconnoitre all the lands they visit. The sanctity of 
their dress will not only protect them, but serve to conceal 
their political and commercial investigations. The head of 
the missionary establishment shall reside no longer at Rome, 
but in Paris/' 

These are the ideas of a roguish merchant rather than a 
statesman. His treatment of education shows the same naiv- 
row vision, the same blindness to the realities of the dawn 
about him. Elementary education he neglected almost com- 
pletely; he left it to the conscience of the local authorities, 
and he provided that the teachers should be paid out of the 
fees of the scholars ; it is clear he did not want the common 
people to be educated ; he had no glimmering of any under- 
standing why they should be; but he interested himself in 
the provision of technical and higher schools because his 
state needed the services of clever, self-seeking, well-in- 
formed men. This was an astounding retrogression from 
the great scheme, drafted by Oondorcet for the Republic in 
1792, for a complete system of free education for the entire 
nation. Slowly but steadfastly the project of Condorcet 
comes true; the great nations of the world are being com- 
pelled to bring it nearer and nearer to realization, and the 
cheap devices of Napoleon pass out of our interest. As for 
the education of the mothers and wives of our race, this was 
the quality of Napoleon's wisdom: "I do not think that 
we need trouble ourselves with any plan of instruction for 
young females, they cannot be better brought up than by 
their mothers. Public education is not suitable for them, 

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because they are never called upon to act in public. Man- 
ners are all in all to them, and marriage is all they look to." 

The First Consul was no kinder to women in the Code 
Napoleon. A wife, for example, had no control over her 
own property; she was in her husband's hands. This code 
was the work very largely of the Council of State. Napo- 
leon seems rather to have hindered than helped its delibera- 
tions. He would invade the session without notice, and 
favour its members with lengthy and egotistical monologues, 
frequently quite irrelevant to the matter in hand. The 
Council listened with profound respect; it was all the Coun- 
cil could do. He would keep his councillors up to unearthly 
hours, and betray a simple pride in his superior wakeful- 
ness. He recalled these discussions with peculiar satisfac- 
tion in his later years, and remarked on one occasion that 
his glory consisted not in having won forty battles, but in 
having created the Code Napoleon. ... So far as it sub- 
stituted plain statements for inaccessible legal mysteries his 
Code was a good thing; it gathered together, revised and 
made dear a vast disorderly accumulation of laws, old and 
new. Like all his constructive work, it made for immediate 
efficiency, it defined things and relations so that men could 
get to work upon them without further discussion. It was 
of less immediate practical importance that it frequently de- 
fined them wrongly. There was no intellectual power, as 
distinguished from intellectual energy, behind this codifica- 
tion. It took everything that existed for granted. ("Sa 
Majest6 ne croit que ce qui est.'' *) The fundamental ideas 
of the civilized community and of the terms of human co- 
operation were in process of reconstruction all about Na- 
poleon — and he never perceived it. He accepted a phase of 
change, and tried to fix it for ever. To this day France 
is cramped by this early nineteenth-century strait-waistcoat 
into which he clapped her. He fixed the status of women, 
the status of labourers, the status of the peasant; they all 
struggle to this day in the net of his hard definitions. 

So briskly and forcibly Napoleon set his mind, hard, clear 

iGourgaud quoted by Holland Rose. 

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and narrow, to brace up France. That bracing up was only 
a part of the large egotistical schemes that dominated him. 
His imagination was set upon a new Csesarism. In 1802 he 
got himself made First Consul for life with the power of 
appointing a successor, and his clear intention of annexing 
Holland and Italy, in spite of his treaty obligations to keep 
them separate, made the Peace of Amiens totter crazily from 
the very beginning. Since his schemes were bound to pro- 
voke a war with England, he should, at any cost, have kept 
quiet until he had brought his navy to a superiority over the 
British navy. He had the control of great resources for 
ship-building, the British government was a weak one, and 
three or four years would have sufficed to shift that balance. 
But in spite of his rough experiences in Egypt, he had never 
mastered the importance of sea power, and he had not the 
mental steadfastness for a waiting game and long prepara- 
tion. In 1803 his occupation of Switzerland precipitated 
a crisis, and war broke out again with England. The weak 
Addington in England gave place to the greater Pitt. The 
rest of Napoleon's story turns upon that war. 

During the period of the Consulate, the First Consul was 
very active in advancing the fortunes of his brothers and 
sisters. This was quite human, very clannish and Corsican, 
and it helps us to understand just how he valued his position 
and the opportunities before him. Few of us can live with- 
out an audience, and the first audience of our childhood is 
our family ; most of us to the end of our days are swayed by 
the desire to impress our parents and brothers and sisters. 
Few "letters home" of successful men or women display the 
graces of modesty and self-forgetfulness. A large factor in 
the making of Napoleon was the desire to amaze, astonish, 
and subdue the minds of the Bonaparte family, and their 
neighbours. He promoted his brothers ridiculously — ^for 
they were the most ordinary of men. The hungry Bona- 
partes were in luck. Surely all Corsica was open-mouthed ! 
But one person who knew him well was neither amazed nor 
subdued. This was his mother. He sent her money to 
spend and astonish the neighbours ; he exhorted her to make 

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a display, to live as became the mother of so marvellous, so 
world-shaking, a son. But the good lady, who had birched 
the Man of Destiny at the age of sixteen for grimacing at 
his grandmother, was neither dazzled nor deceived by him 
at the age of thirty-two. All France might worship him, 
but she had no illusions. She put by the money he sent 
her; she continued her customary economies. ^When it ia 
all over,*' she said, "you will be glad of my savings." 


We will not detail the steps by which Napoleon became 
Emperor. His coronation was the most extraordinary re- 
vival of stale history that it is possible to imagine. Csesar 
was no longer the model ; Napoleon was playing now at be* 

ing Charlemagne. He was 
crowned emperor, not in- 
deed at Rome, but in the 
cathedral of Notre-Dame in 
Paris; the Pope (Pius 
VII) had been brought 
from Rome to perform the 
ceremony; and at the cli- 
max Napoleon I seized the 
crown, waved the Pope 
aside, and crowned himself. 
The attentive reader of this 
Outline will know that a 

-xr 1 « thousand years before this 

Tstapolcmva^ttnpcror ^ would have had considerable 

significance; in 1804 it was just a ridiculous scene. In 1806 
Napoleon revived another venerable antiquity, and, following 
Btill the footsteps of Charlemagne, crowned himself with the 
iron crown of Lombardy in the cathedral of Milan. All this 
mummery was to have a wonderful effect upon the imagina- 
tion of western Germany, which was to remember that it 
too had been a part of the empire of Charlemagne. 

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The four daughter republics of France were now to be- 
come kingdoms; in 1806 he set up brother Louis in Holland 
and brother Joseph in Naples. But the story of the subor- 
dinate kingdoms he created in Europe, helpful though this 
free handling of frontiers was towards the subsequent uni- 
fication of Italy and Germany, is too oomplex and eTanescent 
for this Oviline. 

The pact between' the new Charlemagne and the new Leo 
did not hold good for very long. In 1807 he began to bully 
the Pope, and in 1811 he made him a dose prisoner at Fon- 
tainbleau. There does not seem to have been much reason 
in these proceedings. They estranged all Catholic opinion, 
as his coronation had estranged all liberal opinion. He 
ceased to stand either for the old or the new. The new he 
had betrayed; the old he had failed to win. He stood at 
last for nothing but himself. 

There seems to have been as little reason in the foreign 
policy that now plunged Europe into a fresh cycle of wars. 
Having quarrelled with Great Britain too soon, he (1804) 
assembled a vast army at Bolougne for the conquest of Eng^ 
land, regardless of the naval situation. He even struck a 
medal and erected a column at Boulogne to commemorate 
the triumph of this projected invasion. In some "Napo- 
leonic'^ fashion the British fleet was to be decoyed away, this 
army of Boulogne was to be smuggled across the Channel on 
a flotilla of rafts and boats, and London was to be captured 
before the fleet returned. At the same time his aggressions 
in south Germany forced Austria and Bussia steadily into 
a coalition with Britain against him. In 1805 two fatal 
blows were struck at any hope he may have entertained of 
ultimate victory, by the Britidi Admirals Calder and Nelson. 
In July the former inflicted a serious reverse upon the 
French fleet in the Bay of Biscay; in October the latter de- 
stroyed the joint fleets of France and Spain at the battle of 
Trafalgar. Nelson died splendidly upon the Victory, vic- 
torious. Thereafter Napoleon was left with Britain in piti- 
less opposition^ imattainable and unconquerable, able to 

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strike here or there against him along all the coasts of 

But for awhile the mortal wound of Trafalgar was hidden 
from the French mind altogether. They heard merely that 
"storms have caused us to lose some ships of the line after 
an imprudent fight.'* After Gaidar's victory he had 
snatched his army from Boulogne, rushed it across half Eu- 
rope, and defeated the Austrian and Eussian armies at TJlm 
and Austerlitz. Under these inauspicious circumstances 
Prussia came into the war against him, and was utterly de- 
feated and broken at the battle of Jena (1806). Although 
Austria and Prussia were broken, Russia was still a fighting 

power, and the next year 
was devoted to this unnec- 
essary antagonist of the 
French, against whom an 
abler and saner ruler 
would never have fought 
at all. We cannot trace 
in any detail the diBBlcul- 
ties of the Polish campaign 
against Russia; Napoleon 
was roughly handled at 
Pultusk — ^which he an- 
nounced in Paris as a bril- 

— -.- ^ - liant victory — and again 

isvAxacmdevL at Eylau. Then the Rus- 

sians were defeated at Friedland (1807). As yet he had 
never touched Russian soil, the Russians were still as un- 
beaten as the British ; but now came an extraordinary piece 
of good fortune for Napoleon. By a mixture of boastings 
subtlety, and flattery he won over the young and ambitious 
Tsar, Alexander I — ^he was just thirty years old — ^to an al- 
liance. The two emperors met on a raft in the middle of 
the Niemen at Tilsit, and there came to an understanding. 
This meeting was an occasion for sublime foolishness on 
the part of both the principal actors. Alexander had im- 
bibed much liberalism during his education at the court of 

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Catherine II, and was all for freedom, education, and the 
new order of the world — subject to his own pre-eminence. 
"He would gladly have everyone free," said one of his early 
associates, "provided that everyone was prepared to do freely 
exactly what he wished." And he declared that he would 
have abolished serfdom if it had cost him his head — if only 
civilization had been more advanced. He made war against 
France, he said, because Napoleon was a tyrant, to free the 
French people. After Friedland he saw Napoleon in a dif- 
ferent light. These two men met eleven days after that 
rout ; Alexander no doubt in the state of explanatory exalta- 
tion natural to his type during a mood of change. 

To Napoleon the meeting must have been extremely grati- 
fying. This was his first meeting with an emperor upon 
terms of equality. Like all men of limited vision, this man 
was a snob to the bone, his continual solicitude for his titles 
shows as much, and here was a real emperor, a bom emperor, 
taking his three-year-old dignities as equivalent to the au- 
thentic imperialism of Moscow. Two imaginations soared 
together upon the raft at Tilsit. "What is Europe?'* said 
Alexander. "We are Europe." They discussed the affairs 
of Prussia and Austria in that spirit, they divided Turkey 
in anticipation, they arranged for the conquest of India, and 
indeed of most of Asia, and that Russia should take Finland 
from the Swedes ; and they disregarded the disagreeable fact 
that the greater art of the world's surface is sea, and that on 
the seas the British fleets sailed now unchallenged. Close 
at hand was Poland, ready to rise up and become the pas- 
sionate ally of France had Napoleon but willed it so. But 
he was blind to Poland. It was a day of visions without 
vision. Napoleon even then, it seems, concealed the daring 
thought that he might one day marry a Russian princess, a 
real princess. But that, he was to learn in 1810, was going a 
little too far; 

After Tilsit there was a* perceptible deterioration in Na- 
poleon's quality; he became rasher, less patient of obstacles, 
more and more the fated master of the world, more and 
more intolerable to everyone he encountered. 

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In 1808 he oonunitted a very serious blunder. Spain was 
his abject ally, completely under his control, but he saw fit 
to depose its Bourbon king in order to promote his brother 
Joseph from the crown of the two Sicilies. Portugal he 
had already oonqueredi and the two kingdoms of Spain and 
Portugal were to be united. Thereupon the Spanish arose 
in a state of patriotic fury, surrounded a French army at 
Baylen^ and compelled it to surrender. It was an astonish* 
ing break in the French career of victory. 

The British were not slow to seize the foothold this in- 
surrection gave them, A British army under Sir Arthur 
Wellesley (afterwards the Duke of Wellington) landed in 
Portugal, defeated the French at Vimiero, and compelled 
them to retire into Spain, The news of these reverses 
caused a very great excitement in Qermany and Austria, and 
the Tzar assumed a more arrogant attitude towards his ally. 

There was another meeting of these two potentates at 
Erfurt, in which the Tsar was manifestly less amenable to 
the dazzling tactics of Kapoleon than he had been. FoV 
lowed four years of unstable "ascendancy'' for France, while 
the outlines on the map of Europe waved about like gar- 
ments on a clothesline on a windy day. Napoleon's per* 
sonal empire grew by frank anne^^ations to include Holland, 
much of western Germany, much of Italy, and much of the 
eastern Adriatic coast. But one by one the French colonies 
were falling to the British, and the British armies in the 
Spanish peninsula, with the Spanish auxiliaries, slowly 
pressed the French northward. All Europe was getting 
' very weary of Napoleon and very indignant with him; his 
antagonists now were no longer merely monarchs and minis^ 
ters, but whole peoples also. The Prussians, after the dis-* 
aster of Jena in 1807, had set to work to put their house in 
order. Under the leadership of Freiherr von Stein they 
had swept aside their feudalism, abolished privilege and 
serfdom, organized popular education and popular patriot- 
ism, aoomplished, in fact, without any internal struggle 
nearly everything that France had achieved in 1789. By 
1810 a new Prussia existed, the nucleus of a new Qermany. 

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And now Alexander, inspired it would seem by dreams of 
world ascendancy even crazier than his rivaFs was posing 
again as the friend of liberty. In 1810 fresh friction was 
created by Alexander's objection to Napoleon's matrimonial 
ambitions. For he was now divorcing his old helper Jo- 
sephine, because she was childless, in order to secure the 
'^continuity" of his "dynasty.'' Napoleon, thwarted of a 
Russian princess, snubbed indeed by Alexander, turned to 
Austria, and married the arch-duchess Marie Louise. The 
Austrian statesmen read him aright. They were very ready 
to throw him their princess. By that marriage Napoleon 
was captured for the dynastic system; he might have been 
the maker of a new world, he preferred to be the son-in-law 
of the old. 

In the next two years this adventurer's affairs crumbled 
apace. Nobody believed in his pretensions any more. He 
was no longer the leader and complement of the revolution ; 
no longer the embodied spirit of a world reborn; he was 
just a new and nastier sort of autocrat. He had estranged 
all free-spirited men, and he had antagonized the church- 
Kings and Jacobins were at one, when it came to the ques- 
tion of his overthrow. Only base and self-seeking people 
supported him, because he seemed to have the secret of suo- 
cess. Britain was now his inveterate enemy, Spain was 
blazing with a spirit that surely a Corsican should have un- 
derstood; it needed only a breach with Alexander I to set 
this empire of bluff and stage scenery swaying toward its 
downfall. The quarrel came. Alexander's feelings for Na- 
poleon had always been of a very mixed sort; he envied 
Napoleon as a rival, and despised him as an underbred up- 
start. Moreover, there was a kind of vague and sentimental 
greatness about Alexander; he was given to mystical relig- 
iosity, he had the conception of a mission for Russia and 
himself to bring peace to Europe and the world — ^by destroy- 
ing Napoleon. In that respect he had an imaginative great- 
ness Napoleon lacked. But bringing peace to Europe 
seemed to him quite compatible with the annexation of Fin- 
land, of most of Poland, and of great portions of the Turk- 
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ish empire. This man's mind moved in a luminous fog. 
And particularly he wanted to resume trading with Britain^ 
against which Napoleon had set his face. For all the trade 
of Germany had been dislocated and the mercantile classes 
embittered by the Napoleonic ^HJontinental System/' which 
was to ruin Britain by excluding British goods from every 

country in Europe. Russia had suffered more even than 

The breach came in 1811, when Alexander withdrew from 
the "Continental System." In 1812 a great mass of armies, 
amounting altogether to 600,000 men, began to move to- 
wards Russia under the supreme command of the new em- 
-peroT. About half of this force was French; the rest was 
drawn from the French allies and subject peoples. It was 

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a conglomerate army like the army of Darius or the army 
of Kavadh. The Spanish war was still going on ; Napoleon 
made no attempt to end it. Altogether, it drained away a 
quarter of a million men from France. He fought his way 
across Poland and Russia to Moscow before the winter — ^for 
the most part the Russian armies declined battle — and even 
before the winter closed in upon him his position became 
manifestly dangerous. He took Moscow, expecting that this 
would oblige Alexander to make peace, Alexander would 
not make peace, and Napoleon found himself in much the 
same position as Darius had been in 2,300 years before in 
South Russia. The Russians, still unconquered in a deci- 
sive battle, raided his communications, wasted his army — 
disease helped them ; even before Napoleon reached Moscow 
150,000 men had been lost. But he lacked the wisdom of 
Darius, and would not retreat. The winter remained mild 
for an unusually long time— he could have escaped ; but in- 
stead he remained in Moscow, making impossible plans, at 
a loss. He had been marvellously lucky in all his previous 
flounderings; he had escaped undeservedly from Egypt, he 
had been saved from destruction in Britain by the British 
naval victories ; but now he was in the net again, and this 
time he was not to escape. Perhaps he would have wintered 
in Moscow, but the Russians smoked him out; they set fire 
to and burnt most of the city. 

It was late October, too late altogether, before he decided 
to return. He made an ineffectual attempt to break through 
to a fresh line of retreat to the south-west, and then turned 
the faces of the survivors of his Grand Army towards the 
country they had devastated in their advance. Immense 
distances separated them from any friendly territory. The 
winter was in no hurry. For a week the Grand Army 
struggled through mud; then came sharp frosts, and then 
the first flakes of snow, and then snow and snow. . . . 

Slowly discipline dissolved. The hungry army spread 
itself out in search of supplies until it broke up into mere 
bands of marauders. The peasants, if only in self-defence, 

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rose against them^ waylaid them, and murdered them; a 
cloud of light cavalry — Scythians still — ^hunted them down. 
That retreat is one of the great tragedies of history. 

At last Napoleon and his staff and a handful of guards 
and attendants reappeared in Germany, bringing no army 
with him, followed only by straggling and demoralised bands. 
The Grand Army, retreating under Murat, reached Konigs^ 
berg in a disciplined state, but only about a thousand strong 
out of six hundred thousand. From Konigsberg Hurat fell 
back to Fosen. The Frussian contingent had surrendered 
to the Russians; the Austrians had gone homeward to the 
south. Everywhere scattered fugitives, ragged, lean, and 
frost-bitten, spread the news of the disaster. 

Napoleon's magic was nearly exhausted. He did not dare 
to stay with his troops in Germany; he fled posthaste to 
Faris, He began to order new levies and gather fresh 
armies amidst the wreckage of his world empire, Austria 
turned against him (1813) ; all Europe was eager to rise 
against ti^is defaulting trustee of freedom, this mere usur- 
per. He had betrayed the new order; the old order he had 
saved and revived now destroyed him. Frussia rose, and 
the German *War of Liberation" began, Sweden joined 
his enemies. Later Holland revolted, Murat had rallied 
about 14,000 Frenchmen roimd his disciplined nucleus in 
Fosen, and this force retreated through Germany, as a man 
might retreat who had ventured into a cageful of drugged 
lions and foimd that the effects of the drug were 
evaporating. Napoleon, with fresh forces, took up the 
chief command in the spring, won a great battle at Dresden, 
and then for a time he seems to have gone to pieces 
intellectually and morally. He became insanely irritable, 
with moods of inaction. He did little or nothing to 
follow up the battle of Dresden. In September the "Battle 
of the Nations'^ was fought round and about Leipzig, after 
which the Saxons, who had hitherto followed his star, went 
over to the allies. The end of the year saw the French beaten 
back into France. 

1814 was the closing campaign. France was invaded 

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from the east and the south; Swedes, Germans, Austrians, 
Russians, crossed the Rhine; British and Spanish came 
through the Pyrenees. Once more Napoleon fought 
brilliantly, but now he fought ineffectually. The eastemr 
armies did not so much defeat him as push past him,* and 
Paris capitulated in March. A little later at Fontainebleau 
the emperor abdicated. 

In Provence, on his way out of the country, his life was 
endangered by a royalist mob. 


This was the natural and proper end of Napoleon's career. 
So this raid of an intolerable egotist across the disordered 
beginnings of a new time should have closed. At last he 
was suppressed. And had there been any real wisdom in 
the conduct of human affairs, we should now have to tell of 
the concentration of human science and will upon the task 
his treachery and vanity had interrupted, the task of build- 
ing up a world system of justice and free effort in the place 
of the bankrupt ancient order. But we have to tell of 
nothing of the sort. Science and wisdom were conspicuously • 
absent from the great council of the Allies. Came the vague 
humanitarianism and dreamy vanity of the Tsar Alexander, 
came the shaken Habsburgs of Austria, the resentful Hohen- 
zollems of Prussia, the aristocratic traditions of Britain, 
still badly frightened by the revolution and its conscience all 
awry with stolen commons and sweated factory children. No 
peoples came to the Congress, but only monarchs and foreign 
ministers ; and though you bray a foreign office in the blood- 
iest of war mortars, yet will its diplomatic habits not de- 
part from it. The Congress had hardly assembled before 
the diplomatists set to work making secret bargains and 
treaties behind each other's backs. Nothing could exceed the 
pompous triviality of the Congress which gathered at Vienna 
after a magnificent ceremonial visit of the allied sovereigns 
to London. The social side of the congress was very strong, 
pretty ladies abounded, there was a galaxy of stars and uni- 

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On this little island, 1,200 miles off the African coast, the conqueror of 
Europe spent his last five and a half years. Some thousands of Boer 
prisoners were kept here, 1899-1902, and it was also the place of exile 
of several Zulu chiefs ^ i 

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On October 21, 1805, the British fleet was closing with the French for the 
battle which finally destroyed all chance of Napoleon's invasion of Eng- 
land, and in which the Admiral lost his life, after giving naval history 
one of its great phrases : "England expects every man to do his duty." 
The painting by Charles Lucy (at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) 
shows Nelson in his cabin on the Victory, all battle preparations made, 
having prayed, and written a codicil to his will 

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forms, endless dinners and balls, a mighty flow of bright 
anecdotes and sparkling wit. Whether the two million dead 
men upon the battle-fields laughed at the jokes, admired the 
assemblies, and marvelled at the diplomatists is beyond our 
knowledge. It is to be hoped their poor wraiths got some- 
thing out of the display. The brightest spirit of the gather- 
ing was a certain Talleyrand, one of Napoleon's princes, a 
very brilliant man indeed, who had been a pre-revolutionary 
cleric, who had proposed the revolutionary confiscation of the 
church estates, and who was now for bringing back the Bour- 

The Allies, after the fashion of Peace Congresses, frittered 
away precious time in more and more rapacious disputes; 
the Bourbons returned to France. Back came all the re- 
mainder of the emigres with them, eager for restitution and 
revenge. One great egotism had been swept aside—- only to 
reveal a crowd of meaner egotists. The new king was the 
brother of Louis XVI ; he had taken the title of Louis XVIII 
very eagerly so soon as he learnt that his little nephew (Louis 
XVII) was dead in the Temple. He was gouty and clumsy, 
not perhaps ill-disposed, but the symbol of the ancient sys- 
tem; all that was new in France felt the heavy threat of 
reaction that came with him. This was no liberation, only 
a new tyranny, a heavy and inglorious tyranny instead of an 
active and splendid one. Was there no hope for France but 
this? The Bourbons showed particular malice against the 
veterans of the Grand Army, and France was now full of 
returned prisoners of war, who found themselves under a 
cloud. Napoleon had been packed off to a little consola- 
tion empire of his own, upon the island of Elba. He was 
still to be called Emperor and keep a certain state. The 
chivalry or whim of Alexander had insisted upon this treat- 
ment of his fallen rival. The Habsburgs, who had toadied 
to his success, had taken away his Habsburgs empress — ^she 
went willingly enough — ^to Vienna, and he never saw het 
again. * 

After eleven months at Elba Napoleon judged that France 
had had enough of the Bourbons ; he contrived to evade the 

Welta 12— Vol. Ill 

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British ships that watched his island, and reappeared at 
Cannes in France for his last gamble against fate. His 
progress to Paris was a triumphal procession ; he walked on 
white Bourbon cockades. For a hundred days, "The Hun- 
dred Days/' he was master of France again. 

His return created a perplexing position for any honest 
Frenchman. On the one hand there was this adventurer 
who had betrayed the republic; on the other the dull weight 
of old kingship restored. The allies would not hear of any 
further experiments in republicanism; it was the Bourbons 
or Napoleon. Is it any wonder that on the whole France 
was with Kapoleon ? And he came back professing to be a 
changed man; there was to be no more despotism; he would 
respect the constitutional regime. • • . 

He gathered an army, he made some attempts at peace 
with the allies; when he found these efforts ineffectual, he 
struck swiftly at the British, Dutch, and Prussians in Bel- 
gium, hoping to defeat them before the Austrians and Rus- 
sians could come up. He did very nearly manage this. He 
beat the Prussians at Ligny, but not sufficiently; and then 
he was hopelessly defeated by the tenacity of the British 
under Wellington at Waterloo (1815), the Prussians, under 
Bliicher, coming in on his right flaiik as the day wore on. 
[Waterloo ended in a rout ; it left Napoleon without suj^rt 
and without hope. France fell away from him again. 
Everyone who had joined him was eager now to attack him, 
and so efface that error. A provisional government in Paris 
ordered him to leave the country; was for giving him twenty- 
four hours to do it in. 

He tried to get to America, but Rochefort, which he 
reached, was watched by British cruisers. France, now dis- 
illusioned and uncomfortably royalist again, was hot in pur- 
suit of him. He went aboard a British frigate, the 
Bellerophon, asking to be received as a refugee, but being 
treated as a prisoner. He was taken to Plymouth, and from 
Plymouth straight to the lonely tropical island of St. Helena. 

There he remained until his death from cancer in 1821, 
devoting himself chiefly to the preparation of his znemoin* 

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which were designed to exhibit the chief events of his life in 
a misleading and attractive light and to minimise his worst 
blunders. One or two of the men with him recorded his 
conversations and set down their impressions of him. 

These works had a great vogue in France and Europe, 
The Holy Alliance of the monarchs of Russia, Austria, and 
Prussia (to which other monarchs were invited to adhere) 
laboured under the delusion that in defeating Napoleon they 
had defeated the Revolution, turned back the clock of fate, 
and restored Grand Monarchy — on a sanctified basis for 
evermore. The cardinal document of the scheme of the Holy 
Alliance is said to have been drawn up under the inspiration 
of the Baroness von Kriidener, who seems to have been a 
sort of spiritual director to the Russian emperor. It opened, 
"In the name of the Most Holy and Indivisible Trinity," 
and it bound the participating monarchs "regarding them- 
selves towards their subjects and armies as fathers of fam- 
ilies,'' and "considering each other as fellow-countrymen,'' 
to sustain each other, protect true religion, and urge their 
subjects to strengthen and exercise themselves in Christian 
duties. Christ, it was declared, was the real king of all 
Christian peoples, a very Merovingian king, one may remark, 
with these reigning sovereigns as his mayors of the palace. 
The British king had no power to sign this document, the 
pope and the sultan were not asked; the rest of the Euro- 
pean monarchs, including the king of France, adhered. But 
the king of Poland did not sign because there was no king in 
Poland ; Alexander, in a mood of pious abstraction, was sit- 
ting on the greater part of Poland. The Holy Alliance never 
became an actual legal alliance of states; it gave place to a 
real league of nations, the Concert of Europe, which France 
joined in 1818, and from which Britain withdrew in 1822. 

There followed a period of peace and dull oppression in 
Europe over which Alexander brooded in attitudes of ortho- 
doxy, piety, and imquenchable self-satisfaction. Many 
people in those hopeless days were disposed to regard even 
Napoleon with charity, and to accept his claim that in 
some inexplicable way he had, in asserting himself, been as* 

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serting the revolution and France. A cult of his as of some- 
thing mystically heroic grew up after his death. 


For nearly forty years the idea of the Holy Alliance, the 
Concert of Europe which arose out of it, and the series of 
congresses and conferences that succeeded the concert, kept 
an insecure peace in war-exhausted Europe. Two main 
things prevented that period from being a complete social 
and international peace, and prepared the way for the cycle 
of wars between 1854 and 1871. The first of these was the 
tendency of the royal courts concerned, towards the restora- 
tion of unfair privilege and interference with freedom of 
thought and writing and teaching. The second was the im- 
possible system of boundaries drawn by the diplomatists of 

The obstinate disposition of monarchy to march back 
towards past conditions was first and most particularly mani- 
fest in Spain. Here even the Inquisition was restored. 
Across the Atlantic the Spanish colonies had followed the 
example of the United States and revolted against the Euro- 
pean Great Power system, when Napoleon set up his brother 
Joseph from the Spanish throne in 1810. The Washington 
of South America was General Bolivar. Spain was unable 
to suppress this revolt, it dragged on much as the United 
States War of Independence had dragged on, and at last 
the suggestion was made by Austria in accordance with the 
spirit of the Holy Alliance, that the European monarchs 
should assist Spain in this struggle. This was opposed by 
Britain in Europe, but it was the prompt action of President 
Monroe of the United States in 1823 which conclusively 
warned off this projected monarchist restoration. He an- 
nounced that the United States would regard any extension 
of the European system in the western Hemisphere as a 
hostile act. Thus arose the Monroe Doctrine, which has 
kept the Great Power system out of America for nearly a 
hundred years, and permitted the new states of Spanish 

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America to work out their destinies along their own lines. 
But if a Spanish monarchism lost its colonies, it could at 
least, under the protection of the Concert of Europe, do what 
it chose in Europe. A popular insurrection in Spain was 
crushed by a French army in 1823, with a mandate from a 
European congress, and simultaneously Austria suppressed 
a revolution in Naples. The moving spirit in this conspiracy 
of governments agai^st peoples was the Austrian statesman, 

In 1824 Louis XVIII died, and was succeeded by that 
Count d'Artois whom we have seen hovering as an emigre 
on the French frontiers in 1789 ; he took the title of Charles 
X. Charles set himself to destroy the liberty of the press 
and universities, and to restore absolute government; the 
sum of a billion francs was voted to compensate the nobles 
for the chateau burnings and sequestrations of 1789. In 
1830 Paris rose against this embodiment of the ancient re- 
gime, and replaced him by the son of that sinister Philip, 
Duke of Orleans, whose execution was one of the brightest 
achievements of the Terror. The other continental monar- 
chies, in face of the open approval of the revolution by Great 
Britain and a strong liberal ferment in Germany and Austria, 
did not interfere in this affair. After all, France was still 
a monarchy. This young man, Louis Philippe (1830-48), 
remained the constitutional king of France for eighteen years. 
He went down in 1848, a very eventful year for Europe, of 
which we shall tell in the next chapter. 

Such were the uneasy swayings of the peace of the Congress 
of Vienna, which were provoked by the reactionary proceed- 
ings to which, sooner or later, all monarchist courts seem by 
their very nature to gravitate. The stresses that arose from 
the unscientific map-making of the diplomatists gathered 
force more deliberately, but they were even more dangerous 
to the peace of mankind. It is extraordinarily inconvenient 
to administer together the affairs of peoples speaking different 
languages and so reading different literatures and having 
different general ideas, especially if those differences are 
exacerbated by religious disputes. Only some strong mutual 

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interest such as the oonunon defensive needs of the Swiss 
mountaineers, can justify a close linking of peoples of dis- 
similar languages and faiths ; and even in Switzerland there 
is the utmost local autonomy. Ultimately, when the Great 
Power tradition is certainly dead and buried, those Swiss 
populations may gravitate towards their natural affinities 
in Germany, France^ and Italy. When, as in Macedonia, 

Beunluy erf Hw Gen^uji 

populations are mixed in a patchwork of villages and dis- 
tricts, the cantonal system is imperatively needed. But if 
the reader will look at the map of Europe as the Congress of 
Vienna drew it, he will see that this gathering seems almost 
as if it had planned the maximum of local exasperation. It 
destroyed the Dutch Eepublic, quite needlessly, it lumped 
together the Protestant Dutch with the Erench-spealong 

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Catholics of the old Spanish (Austrian) Netherlands, and 
set up a kingdom of the Netherlands. It handed over not 
merely the old republic of Venice, but all of North Italy 
as far as Milan to the Germannspeaking Austrians. 
French-speaking Savoy it combined with pieces of Italy 
to restore the kingdom of Sardinia. Austria and Hungary, 
already a suflSciently explosive mixture of discordant nation- 
alities, Germans, Hungarians, Czecho-Slovaks, Jugo-Slavs, 
Roumanians, and now Italians, was made still more im- 
possible by confirming Austria's Polish acquisitions of 1772 
and 1795. The Polish people, being catholic and re- 
publican-spirited, were chiefly given over to the less civil- 
ized rule of the Greek-orthodox Tsar, but important dis- 
tricts went to Protestant Prussia. The Tsar was also 
confirmed in his acquisition of the entirely alien Finns. 
The very dissimilar Norwegian and Swedish peoples were 
bound together under one king. Germany, the reader will 
see, was left in a particularly dangerous state of muddle. 
Prussia and Austria were both partly in and partly out of 
a Gterman confederation, which included a multitude of 
minor states. The King of Denmark came into the German 
confederation by virtue of certain German-speaking posses- 
sions in Holstein. Luxembourg was included in the Ger- 
man Confederation, though its ruler was also king of the 
Netherlands, and though many of its peoples talked French. 
Here was a crazy tangle, an outrage on the common sense of 
mankind, a preposterous disregard of the fact that the people 
who talk German and base their ideas on German literature, 
the people who talk Italian and base their ideas on Italian 
literature, and the people who talk Polish and base their 
ideas on Polish literature, will all be far better oflF and most 
helpful and least obnoxious to the rest of mankind if they 
conduct their own affairs in their own idiom within the ring- 
fence of their own speech. Is it any wonder that one of 
the most popular songs in Germany during this period de- 
clared that wherever the German tongue was spoken, there 
was the German Fatherland? 
Even to-day men are still reluctant to recognize that areas 

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of goveminent are not matters for the bargaining and inter- 
play of tsars and kings and foreign offices. There is a 
natural and necessary political map of the world which 
transcends these things. There is a best way possible of 
dividing any part of the world into administrative areas, 
and a best possible kind of government for every area, having 
r^ard to the speech and race of its inhabitants, and it is 
the common concern of all men of intelligence to secure those 
divisions and establish those forms of government quite ir- 
respective of diplomacies and flags, ^^claims" and melodrama- 
tic "loyalties" and the existing political map of the world. 
The natural political map of the world insists upon itself. 
It heaves and frets beneath the artificial political map like 
some misfitted giant. In 1830 French-speaking Belgium, 
stirred up by the current revolution in France, revolted 
against its Dutch association in the kingdom of the Nether- 
lands. The Powers, terrified at the possibility of a republic 
and of annexation to France, hurried in to pacify this sit- 
uation, and gave the Belgians a monarch from that rich 
breeding-ground of monarchs, Germany, Leopold I of Saxe- 
Coburg Gotha. There were also ineffectual revolts in Italy 
and Germany in 1830, and a much more serious one in 
Russian Poland. A republican government held out in War- 
saw for a year against Nicholas I (who succeeded Alexander 
in 1825), and was then stamped out of existence with great 
violence and cruelty. The Polish language was banned, and 
the Greek Orthodox church was substituted for the Roman 
Catholic as the State religion. • . • 

An outbreak of the natural political map of the world, 
which occurred in 1821, ultimately secured the support of 
England, France, and Russia. This was the insurrection 
of the Greeks against the Turks. For six years they fought 
a desperate war, while the governments of Europe looked on. 
Liberal opinion protested against this inactivity; volunteers 
from every European country joined the insurgents, and at 
last Britain, France, and Russia took joint action. The 
Turkish fleet was destroyed by the French and the English at 
the Battle of Navarino (1827), and the Tsar invaded Turkey. 

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By the treaty of Adrianople (1829) Qreece was declared 
free, but she was not permitted to resume her ancient repub- 
lican traditions. There is a sort of historical indecency in a 
Greek monarchy. But a Greek republic would have been 
dangerous to all monarchy in a Europe that fretted under 
the ideas of the Holy Alliance. A German king was found 
for Greece, one Prince Otto of Bavaria, slightly demented, 
but quite royal — ^he gave way to delusions about his divine 
right, and was ejected in 1862 — and Christian governors 
were set up in ihe Danubian provinces (which are now 
Boumania) and Serbia (a part of tfce Jugo-Slav region). 
This was a partial concession to the natural political map, 
but much blood had still to run before the Turk was alto- 
gether expelled from these lands. 

A little later the natural political map was to assert itself 
in Italy and Germany. 

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