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A Political and Social History of Modern Europe V.1. by Carlton J. H. Hayes

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communication. The great canal of Languedoc, joining the Mediterranean
with the Garonne River and thence with the Atlantic, was planned and
constructed under his patronage. As far as possible, the duties on the
passage of agricultural produce from province to province were

[Sidenote: Colbert and French Merchantilism]

In forwarding what he believed to be his own class interests, Colbert
was especially zealous. Manufactures and commerce were fostered in
every way he could devise. New industries were established, inventors
protected, workmen invited from foreign countries, native workmen
prohibited to leave France. A heavy tariff was placed upon foreign
imports in order to protect "infant industries" and increase the gain
of French manufacturers and traders. Liberal bounties were allowed to
French ships engaged in commerce, and foreign ships were compelled to
pay heavy tonnage duties for using French ports. And along with the
protective tariff and subsidizing of the merchant marine, went other
pet policies of mercantilism, [Footnote: See above, pp. 63 f.] such as
measures to prevent the exportation of precious metals from France, to
encourage corporations and monopolies, and to extend minute
governmental supervision over the manufacture, quality, quantity, and
sale of all commodities. What advantages accrued from Colbert's efforts
in this direction were more than offset by the unfortunate fact that
the mercantile class was unduly enriched at the expense of other and
numerically larger classes in the community, and that the centralized
monarchy, in which the people had no part, proved itself unfit, in the
long run, to oversee the details of business with wisdom or honesty.

[Sidenote: Colbert's "World Policy"]

Stimulation of industry and commerce has usually necessitated the
creation of a protecting navy. Colbert appreciated the requirement and
hastened to fulfill it. He reconstructed the docks and arsenal of
Toulon and established great ship-yards at Rochefort, Calais, Brest,
and Havre. He fitted out a large royal navy that could compare
favorably with that of England or Spain or Holland. To supply it with
recruits he drafted seamen from the maritime provinces and resorted to
the use of criminals, who were often chained to the galleys like so
many slaves of the new industry.

Likewise, the adoption of the mercantile policy seemed to demand the
acquisition of a colonial empire, in which the mother-country should
enjoy a trade monopoly. So Colbert became a vigorous colonial minister.
He purchased Martinique and Guadeloupe in the West Indies, encouraged
settlements in San Domingo, in Canada, and in Louisiana, and set up
important posts in India, in Senegal, and in Madagascar. France, under
Colbert, became a serious colonial competitor with her older European

Colbert was essentially a financier and economist. But to the arts of
peace, which adorned the reign of Louis XIV, he was a potent
contributor. He strengthened the French Academy, which had been founded
by Richelieu, and himself established the Academy of Sciences, now
called the Institute of France, and the great astronomical observatory
at Paris. He pensioned many writers, and attracted foreign artists and
scientists to France. Many buildings and triumphal arches were erected
under his patronage.

[Sidenote: Louvois and French Militarism under Louis XIV]

In the arts of war, Louis XIV possessed an equally able and hard-
working assistant. Louvois (1641-1691) was one of the greatest war
ministers that the world has ever seen. He recruited and supported the
largest and finest standing army of his day. He introduced severe
regulations and discipline. He prescribed, for the first time in
history, a distinctive military uniform and introduced the custom of
marching in step. Under his supervision, camp life was placed upon a
sanitary basis. And under his influence, promotion in the service no
longer depended primarily on social position but upon merit as well. In
Vauban (1633-1707), Louvois had the greatest military engineer in
history--for it was Vauban who built those rows of superb
fortifications on the northern and eastern frontiers of France. In
Condé and Turenne, moreover, Louvois had first-class generals who could
give immediate effect to his reforms and policies.

[Sidenote: Deceptive Character of the Glamour of the Age of Louis XIV]

Thus was the Grand Monarch well and faithfully served. Yet the outward
show and glamour of his reign were very deceptive of the true internal
conditions. Colbert tried to do too many things, with the result that
his plans repeatedly miscarried. The nobles became more indolent,
wasteful, and pleasure-loving, and the middle class more selfish and
more devoted to their own class interests, while the lot of the
peasantry,--the bulk of the nation,--despite the spasmodic efforts of
the paternal government, steadily grew worse under the unrelieved
burden of taxation. Then, too, the king was extravagant in maintaining
his mistresses, his court, and his favorites. His excessive vanity had
to be appeased by expensive entertainment and show. He preferred the
spectacular but woeful feats of arms to the less pretentious but more
solid triumphs of peace. Indeed, in course of time, Colbert found his
influence with the king waning before that of Louvois, and when he died
it was with the bitter thought that his financial retrenchment had been
in vain, that his husbanded resources were being rapidly dissipated in
foreign war. It was Louis's wars that deprived his reign of true
grandeur and paved the way for future disaster.

[Sidenote: Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, 1685]

Before turning our attention to the foreign wars of Louis XIV, mention
must be made of another blot on his reign. It was Louis XIV who renewed
the persecution of the Protestants. He was moved alike by the
absolutist's desire to secure complete uniformity throughout France and
by the penitent's religious fervor to make amends for earlier scandals
of his private life. For a time he contented himself with so-called
dragonnades--quartering licentious soldiers upon the Huguenots--but at
length in 1685 he formally revoked the Edict of Nantes. France, which
for almost a century had led Europe in the principle and practice of
religious toleration, was henceforth reactionary. Huguenots were still
granted liberty of conscience, but were denied freedom of worship and
deprived of all civil rights in the kingdom. The immediate effect of
this arbitrary and mistaken action was the emigration of large numbers
of industrious and valuable citizens, who added materially to the
political and economic life of England, Holland, and Prussia, the chief
Protestant foes of France.


Louis XIV was not a soldier himself. He never appeared in military
uniform or rode at the head of his troops. What he lacked, however, in
personal genius as a great military commander, he compensated for in a
genuine fondness for war and in remarkable personal gifts of diplomacy.
He was one of the greatest diplomats of his age, and, as we have seen,
he possessed large loyal armies and able generals that he could employ
in prosecuting the traditional foreign policy of France.

[Sidenote: Traditional Foreign Policy of France]

This foreign policy, which had been pursued by Francis I, Henry II,
Henry IV, Richelieu, and Mazarin, had for its goal the humiliation of
the powerful Habsburgs, whether of Austria or of Spain. Although France
had gained materially at their expense in the treaties of Westphalia
and of the Pyrenees, much remained to be done by Louis XIV. When the
Grand Monarch assumed direct control of affairs in 1661, the Spanish
Habsburgs still ruled not only the peninsular kingdom south of France,
but the Belgian Netherlands to the north, Franche Comte to the east,
and Milan in northern Italy, while their kinsmen of Austria maintained
shadowy imperial government over the rich Rhenish provinces on the
northeastern boundary of France. France was still almost completely
encircled by Habsburg holdings.

[Sidebar: Doctrine of "Natural Boundaries"]

To justify his subsequent aggressions, Louis XIV propounded the
doctrine of "natural boundaries." Every country, he maintained, should
secure such frontiers as nature had obviously provided--mountains,
lakes, or rivers; and France was naturally provided with the frontiers
of ancient Gaul--the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Rhine River, and the
Ocean. Any foreign monarch or state that claimed power within such
frontiers was an interloper and should be expelled.

[Sidenote: The Wars of Louis XIV]

For many years, and in three great wars, Louis XIV endeavored, with
some success, to reach the Rhine. These three wars--the War of
Devolution, the Dutch War, and the War of the League of Augsburg--we
shall now discuss. A fourth great war, directed toward the acquisition
of the Spanish throne by the Bourbon family, will be treated separately
on account of the wide and varied interests involved.

[Sidenote: The "War of Devolution"]

The War of Devolution was an attempt of Louis to gain the Spanish or
Belgian Netherlands. It will be remembered that in accordance with the
peace of the Pyrenees, Louis had married Maria Theresa, the eldest
daughter of Philip IV of Spain. Now by a subsequent marriage Philip IV
had had a son, a weak-bodied, half-witted prince, who came to the
throne in 1665 as Charles II. Louis XIV at once took advantage of this
turn of affairs to assert in behalf of his wife a claim to a portion of
the Spanish inheritance. The claim was based on a curious custom which
had prevailed in the inheritance of private property in the
Netherlands, to the effect that children of a first marriage should
inherit to the exclusion of those of a subsequent marriage. Louis
insisted that this custom, called "devolution," should be applied not
only to private property but also to sovereignty and that his wife
should be recognized, therefore, as sovereign of the Belgian
Netherlands. In reality the claim was a pure invention, but the French
king thought it would be a sufficient apology for the robbery of a weak

Before opening hostilities, Louis XIV made use of his diplomatic wiles
in order to guard himself against assistance which other states might
render to Spain. In the first place, he obtained promises of friendly
neutrality from Holland, Sweden, and the Protestant states of Germany
which had been allied with France during the Thirty Years' War. In the
second place, he threatened to stir up another civil war in the Holy
Roman Empire if the Austrian Habsburgs should help their Spanish
kinsman. Finally, he had no fear of England because that country was in
the midst of a peculiarly bitter trade war with the Dutch. [Footnote:
It was on the eve of this second trade war between England and Holland
(1665-1667) that the English took New Amsterdam from the Dutch (1664)
and rechristened it New York, and during this struggle that the
remarkable Dutch admiral, De Ruyter, burned the English fleet and
shipping on the Thames (June, 1667).]

[Sidenote: The "Balance of Power"]

The War of Devolution lasted from 1667 to 1668. The well-disciplined
and splendidly generaled armies of Louis XIV had no difficulty in
occupying the border fortresses in the Spanish Netherlands. The whole
territory would undoubtedly have fallen to France, had not a change
unexpectedly occurred in international affairs. The trade war between
England and Holland came to a speedy end, and the two former rivals now
joined with Sweden in forming the Triple Alliance to arrest the war and
to put a stop to the French advance. The "balance of power" demanded,
said the allies, that the other European states should combine in order
to prevent any one state from becoming too powerful. This plea for the
"balance of power" was the reply to the French king's plea for "natural

[Sidenote: Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, 1668]

The threats of the Triple Alliance caused Louis XIV to negotiate the
treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, by which Spain surrendered to France an
important section of territory in Flanders, including the fortified
cities of Charleroi, Tournai, and Lille, but still retained the greater
part of the Belgian Netherlands. The taste of the Grand Monarch was
thereby whetted, but his appetite hardly appeased.

[Sidenote: Franco-Dutch Rivalry]

Louis blamed the Dutch for his rebuff. He was thoroughly alive to the
fact that Holland would never take kindly to having powerful France as
a near neighbor, and that French acquisition of the Belgian
Netherlands, therefore, would always be opposed by the Dutch. Nor were
wounded vanity and political considerations the only motives for the
Grand Monarch's second war, that against the Dutch. France, as well as
England, was now becoming a commercial and colonial rival of Holland,
and it seemed both to Louis XIV and to Colbert that the French middle
class would be greatly benefited by breaking the trade monopolies of
the Dutch. Louis's second war was quite as much a trade war as a
political conflict.

[Sidenote: Civil Strife in Holland]

First, Louis bent his energies to breaking up the Triple Alliance and
isolating Holland. He took advantage of the political situation in
England to arrange (1670) the secret treaty of Dover with Charles II,
the king of that country: in return for a large pension, which should
free him from reliance upon Parliament, the English king undertook to
declare himself a Roman Catholic and to withdraw from the Triple
Alliance. Liberal pensions likewise bought off the Swedish government.
It seemed now as if Holland, alone and friendless, would have to endure
a war with her powerful enemy. Nor was Holland in shape for a
successful resistance. Ever since she had gained formal recognition of
her independence (1648), she had been torn by civil strife. On one
side, the head of the Orange family, who bore the title of stadholder,
supported by the country districts, the nobles, the Calvinistic clergy,
and the peasantry, hoped to consolidate the state and to establish an
hereditary monarchy. On the other side, the aristocratic burghers and
religious liberals, the townsfolk generally, found an able leader in
the celebrated Grand Pensionary, John DeWitt (1625-1672), who sought to
preserve the republic and the rights of the several provinces. For over
twenty years, the latter party was in power, but as the young prince of
Orange, William III, grew to maturity, signs were not lacking of a
reaction in favor of his party.

[Sidenote: The Dutch War]

Under these circumstances, Louis XIV declared war against Holland in
1672. French troops at once occupied Lorraine on the pretext that its
duke was plotting with the Dutch, and thence, proceeding down the
Rhine, past Cologne, invaded Holland and threatened the prosperous city
of Amsterdam. The Dutch people, in a frenzy of despair, murdered John
DeWitt, whom they unjustly blamed for their reverses; and, at the order
of the young William III, who now assumed supreme command, they cut the
dykes and flooded a large part of northern Holland. The same expedient
which had enabled them to expel the Spaniards in the War of
Independence now stayed the victorious advance of the French.

The refusal of Louis XIV to accept the advantageous terms of peace
offered by the Dutch aroused general apprehension throughout Europe.
The Emperor Leopold and the Great Elector of Brandenburg made an
offensive alliance with Holland, which subsequently was joined by Spain
and several German states. The general struggle, thus precipitated,
continued indeed with success for France. Turenne, by a brilliant
victory, compelled the Great Elector to make peace. The emperor was
defeated. The war was carried into the Spanish Netherlands and Franche

[Sidenote: Treaty of Nijmwegen, 1678]

But when at length the English Parliament compelled Charles II to
adhere to the general anti-French alliance, Louis XIV thought it was
time to make peace. As events proved, it was not Holland but Spain that
had to pay the penalties of Louis's second war. By the treaty of
Nijmwegen, the former lost nothing, while the latter ceded to France
the long-coveted province of Franche Comté and several strong
fortresses in the Belgian Netherlands. France, moreover, continued to
occupy the duchy of Lorraine.

[Sidenote: Effects of the Dutch War on France]

Thus, if Louis XIV had failed to punish the insolence of the Dutch, he
had at least succeeded in extending the French frontiers one stage
nearer the Rhine. He had become the greatest and most-feared monarch in
Europe. Yet for these gains France paid heavily. The border provinces
had been wasted by war. The treasury was empty, and the necessity of
negotiating loans and increasing taxes put Colbert in despair. Turenne,
the best general, had been killed late in the contest, and Condé, on
account of ill health, was obliged to withdraw from active service.

Yet at the darker side of the picture, the Grand Monarch refused to
look. He was puffed up with pride by his successes in war and
diplomacy. Like many another vain, ambitious ruler, he felt that what
economic grievances or social discontent might exist within his country
could readily be forgotten or obscured in a blaze of foreign glory--in
the splendor of ambassadors, the glint and din of arms, the grim
shedding of human blood. Having picked the sanguinary path, and at
first found pleasure therein, the Grand Monarch pursued it to an end
bitter for his family and tragic for his people.

[Sidenote: The "Chambers of Reunion" and Further French Annexations]

No sooner was the Dutch War concluded than Louis XIV set out by a
policy of trickery and diplomacy further to augment the French
territories. The cessions, which the treaties of Westphalia and
Nijmwegen guaranteed to France, had been made "with their
dependencies." It now occurred to Louis that doubtless in the old
feudal days of the middle ages or early modern times some, if not all,
of his new acquisitions had possessed feudal suzerainty over other
towns or territories not yet incorporated into France. Although in most
cases such ancient feudal ties had practically lapsed by the close of
the seventeenth century, nevertheless the French king decided to
reinvoke them in order, if possible, to add to his holdings. He
accordingly constituted special courts, called "Chambers of Reunion,"
composed of his own obedient judges, who were to decide what districts
by right of ancient feudal usage should be annexed. So painstaking and
minute were the investigations of these Chambers of Reunion that they
adjudged to their own country, France, no less than twenty important
towns of the Holy Roman Empire, including Luxemburg and Strassburg.
Nothing seemed to prevent the prompt execution of these judgments by
the French king. He had kept his army on a war footing. The king of
England was again in his pay and his alliance. The emperor was hard
pressed by an invasion of the Ottoman Turks. Armed imperial resistance
at Strassburg was quickly overcome (1681), and Vauban, the great
engineer, proceeded to make that city the chief French fortress upon
the Rhine. A weak effort of the Spanish monarch to protect Luxemburg
from French aggression was doomed to dismal failure (1684).

[Sidenote: War of the League of Augsburg or of the Palatinate]

Alarmed by the steady advance of French power, the Emperor Leopold in
1686 succeeded in forming the League of Augsburg with Spain, Sweden,
and several German princes, in order to preserve the territorial
integrity of the Holy Roman Empire. Nor was it long before the League
of Augsburg was called upon to resist further encroachments of the
French king. In 1688 Louis dispatched a large army into the Rhenish
Palatinate to enforce a preposterous claim which he had advanced to
that valuable district. The war which resulted was Louis's third
struggle, and has been variously styled the War of the League of
Augsburg or the War of the Palatinate. In America, where it was to be
paralleled by an opening conflict between French and English colonists,
it has been known as King William's War.

[Sidenote: William III, Stadholder of Holland and King of England]

In his first two wars, Louis XIV could count upon the neutrality, if
not the friendly aid, of the English. Their king was dependent upon him
for financial support in maintaining an absolutist government. Their
influential commercial and trading classes, who still suffered more
from Dutch than from French rivalry, displayed no anxiety to mix unduly
in the dynastic conflicts on the Continent. Louis had an idea that he
could count upon the continuation of the same English policy; he was
certainly on good terms with the English king, James II (1685-1688).
But the deciding factor in England and in the war was destined to be
not the subservient James II but the implacable William III. This
William III, [Footnote: William III (1650-1702), Dutch stadholder in
1672 and British king in 1689.] as stadholder of Holland, had long been
a stubborn opponent of Louis XIV on the Continent; he had repeatedly
displayed his ability as a warrior and as a cool, crafty schemer.
Through his marriage with the princess Mary, elder daughter of James
II, he now managed adroitly to ingratiate himself with the Protestant,
parliamentary, and commercial parties in England that were opposing the
Catholic, absolutist, and tyrannical policies of James.

We shall presently see that the English Revolution of 1688, which drove
James II into exile, was a decisive step in the establishment of
constitutional government in England. It was likewise of supreme
importance in its effects upon the foreign policy of Louis XIV, for it
called to the English throne the son-in-law of James, William III, the
stadholder of Holland and arch enemy of the French king.

[Sidenote: Beginning of a new Hundred Years' War between France and

England, under the guidance of her new sovereign, promptly joined the
League of Augsburg, and declared war against France. Trade rivalries
between Holland and England were in large part composed, and the
colonial empires of the two states, now united under a joint ruler,
naturally came into conflict with the colonial empire of France. Thus,
in addition to the difficulties which the Bourbons encountered in
promoting their dynastic interests on the continent of Europe, they
were henceforth confronted by a vast colonial and commercial struggle
with England. It was the beginning of a Hundred Years' War that was to
be fought for the mastery of India and America.

Louis XIV never seemed to appreciate the importance of the colonial
side of the contest. He was too much engrossed in his ambition of
stretching French boundaries to the Rhine. So in discussing the War of
the League of Augsburg as well as the subsequent War of the Spanish
Succession, we shall devote our attention in this chapter primarily to
the European and dynastic elements, reserving the account of the
parallel colonial struggle to a later chapter on the "World Conflict of
France and Great Britain."

The War of the League of Augsburg, Louis' third war, lasted from 1689
to 1697. Notwithstanding the loss of Turenne and Condé, the splendidly
organized French armies were able to hold the allies at bay and to save
their country from invasion. They even won several victories on the
frontier. But on the sea, the struggle was less successful for Louis,
and a French expedition to Ireland in favor of James II proved
disastrous. After many years of strife, ruinous to all the combatants,
the Grand Monarch sued for peace.

[Sidenote: The Treaty of Ryswick, 1697]

By the treaty of Ryswick, which concluded the War of the League of
Augsburg, Louis XIV (1) surrendered nearly all the places adjudged to
him by the Chambers of Reunion, except Strassburg; (2) allowed the
Dutch to garrison the chief fortresses in the Spanish Netherlands as a
"barrier" against French aggression; (3) granted the Dutch a favorable
commercial treaty; (4) restored Lorraine to its duke; (5) abandoned his
claim to the Palatinate; (6) acknowledged William III as king of
England and promised to support no attempt against his throne. Thus,
the French king lost no territory,--in fact, he obtained full
recognition of his ownership of the whole province of Alsace,--but his
reputation and vanity had been uncomfortably wounded.


One of the main reasons that prompted Louis XIV to sue for peace and to
abandon his claims on Lorraine and the Palatinate was the rapid
physical decline of the inglorious Spanish monarch, Charles II, of
whose enormous possessions the French king hoped by diplomacy and
intrigue to secure valuable portions.

[Sidenote: The Spanish Inheritance]

Spain was still a great power. Under its crown were gathered not only
the ancient kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, and Navarre in the Spanish
peninsula, but the greater part of the Belgian Netherlands, and in
Italy the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, the duchy of Milan, and the
control of Tuscany, as well as the huge colonial empire in America and
the Philippines. At the time when kings were absolute rulers and
reckoned their territories as personal possessions, much depended upon
the royal succession.

[Sidenote: The Spanish Succession]

Now it happened that the Spanish Habsburgs were dying out in the male
line. Charles II was himself without children or brothers. Of his
sisters, the elder was the wife of Louis XIV and the younger was
married to the Emperor Leopold, the heir of the Austrian Habsburgs.
Louis XIV had renounced by the peace of the Pyrenees (1659) all claims
to the Spanish throne on condition that a large dowry be paid him, but
the impoverished state of the Spanish exchequer had prevented the
payment of the dowry. Louis, therefore, might lay claim to the whole
inheritance of Charles II and entertain the hope of seeing the Bourbons
supplant the Habsburgs in some of the fairest lands of Christendom. In
opposition to the French contention, the emperor was properly moved by
family pride to put forth the claim of his wife and that of himself as
the nearest male relative of the Spanish king. If the contention of
Leopold were sustained, a single Habsburg ruler might once more unite
an empire as vast as that which the Emperor Charles V had once ruled.
On the other side, if the ambition of Louis XIV were realized, a new
and formidable Bourbon empire would be erected. In either case the
European "balance of power" would be destroyed.

[Sidenote: Commercial and Colonial Complications]

Bound up with the political problem in Europe were grave commercial and
colonial questions. According to the mercantilist theories that
flourished throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, every
country which possessed colonies should reserve trade privileges with
them exclusively to its own citizens. So long as France and Spain were
separate and each was only moderately powerful, their commercial
rivals, notably England and Holland, might hope to gain special trade-
concessions from time to time in French or Spanish colonies. But once
the colonial empires of France and Spain were united under a joint
ruler, such a vast monopoly would be created as would effectually
prevent the expansion of English or Dutch commerce while it heightened
the economic prosperity of the Bourbon subjects.

[Sidenote: Attempts to Partition the Spanish Inheritance]

It was natural, therefore, that William III, as stadholder of Holland
and king of England, should hold the balance of power between the
Austrian Habsburgs and the French Bourbons. Both the claimants
appreciated this fact and understood that neither would be allowed
peacefully to appropriate the entire Spanish inheritance. In fact,
several "partition treaties" were patched up between Louis and William
III, with a view to maintaining the balance of power and preventing
either France or Austria from unduly increasing its power. But flaws
were repeatedly found in the treaties, and, as time went on, the
problem grew more vexatious. After the conclusion of the peace of
Ryswick, Louis XIV was absorbed in the game of dividing the property of
the dying Spanish king. One of the very greatest triumphs of Louis'
diplomatic art was the way in which he ingratiated himself in Spanish
favor. It must be remembered that it was Spain which the Grand Monarch
had attacked and despoiled in his earlier wars of aggrandizement, and
neither the Spanish court nor the Spanish people could have many
patriotic motives for loving him. Yet such was his tact and his finesse
that within three years after the treaty of Ryswick he had secured the
respect of the feeble Charles II and the gratitude of the Spanish

[Sidenote: Will of Charles II of Spain in Favor of the French Bourbons]

A month before his pitiful death (1700), Charles II, the last of the
Spanish Habsburgs, summoned all his strength and dictated a will that
awarded his whole inheritance to Philip of Anjou, the grandson of Louis
XIV, with the resolute proviso that under no circumstances should the
Spanish possessions be dismembered. When the news reached Versailles,
the Grand Monarch hesitated. He knew that acceptance meant war at least
with Austria, probably with England. Perhaps he thought of the wretched
condition into which his other wars had plunged his people.

[Sidenote: Acceptance of the Will by Louis XIV]

Hesitation was but an interlude. Ambition triumphed over fear, and the
glory of the royal family over the welfare of France. In the great hall
of mirrors at Versailles, the Grand Monarch heralded his grandson as
Philip V, the first Bourbon king of Spain. And when Philip, left for
Madrid, his now aged grandfather kissed him, and the Spanish ambassador
exultantly declared that "the Pyrenees no longer exist."

Anticipating the inevitable outbreak of hostilities, Louis proceeded to
violate the treaty of Ryswick by seizing the "barrier" fortresses from
the Dutch and by recognizing the son of James II as king of England. He
then made hasty alliances with Bavaria and Savoy, and called out the
combined armies of France and Spain.

[Sidenote: The Grand Alliance against the Bourbons]

Meanwhile, William III and the Emperor Leopold formed the Grand
Alliance, to which at first England, Holland, Austria, and the German
electors of Brandenburg-Prussia, Hanover, and the Palatinate adhered.
Subsequently, Portugal, by means of a favorable commercial treaty with
England,[Footnote: The "Methuen Treaty" (1703).] was induced to join
the alliance, and the duke of Savoy abandoned France in favor of
Austria with the understanding that his country should be recognized as
a kingdom. The allies demanded that the Spanish crown should pass to
the Archduke Charles, the grandson of the emperor, that Spanish trade
monopolies should be broken, and that the power of the French king
should be curtailed.

[Sidenote: The War of the Spanish Succession]

The War of the Spanish Succession--the fourth and final war of Louis
XIV--lasted from 1702 to 1713. Although William III died at its very
commencement, he was certain that it would be vigorously pushed by the
English government of his sister-in-law, Queen Anne (1702-1714). The
bitter struggle on the high seas and in the colonies, where it was
known as Queen Anne's War, will be treated in another place. [Footnote:
See below, p. 308.] The military campaigns in Europe were on a larger
scale than had hitherto been known. Fighting was carried on in the
Netherlands, in the southern Germanies, in Italy, and in Spain.

The tide of war turned steadily for several years against the Bourbons.
The allies possessed the ablest generals of the time in the duke of
Marlborough (1650-1722), the conscientious self-possessed English
commander, and in the skillful and daring Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-
1736). The great battle of Blenheim (1704) drove the French from the
Holy Roman Empire, and the capture of Gibraltar (1704) gave England a
foothold in Spain and a naval base for the Mediterranean. Prince Eugene
crowded the French out of Italy (1706); and by the victories of
Ramillies (1706), Oudenarde (1708), and Malplaquet (1709), Marlborough
cleared the Netherlands. On land and sea one reverse followed another.
The allies at length were advancing on French soil. It appeared
inevitable that they would settle peace at Paris on their own terms.

Then it was that Louis XIV displayed an energy and devotion worthy of a
better cause. He appealed straight to the patriotism of his people. He
set an example of untiring application to toil. Nor was he disappointed
in his expectations. New recruits hurried to the front; rich and poor
poured in their contributions; a supreme effort was made to stay the
advancing enemy.

The fact that Louis XIV was not worse punished was due to this
remarkable uprising of the French and Spanish nations and likewise to
dissensions among the allies. A change of ministry in England led to
the disgrace and retirement of the duke of Marlborough and made that
country lukewarm in prosecuting the war. Then, too, the unexpected
accession of the Archduke Charles to the imperial and Austrian thrones
(1711) now rendered the claims of the allies' candidate for the Spanish
throne as menacing to the European balance of power as would be the
recognition of the French claimant, Philip of Bourbon.

These circumstances made possible the conclusion of the peace of
Utrecht, with the following major provisions:

[Sidenote: The Peace of Utrecht 1713-1714]

(1) Philip V, grandson of Louis XIV, was acknowledged king of Spain and
the Indies, on condition that the crowns of France and Spain should
never be united. (2) The Austrian Habsburgs were indemnified by
securing Naples, Sardinia, [Footnote: By the treaty of London (1720),
Austria exchanged Sardinia for Sicily.] Milan, and the Belgian
Netherlands. The last-named, which had been called the Spanish
Netherlands since the days of Philip II, were henceforth for a century
styled the Austrian Netherlands.

(3) England received the lion's share of the spoils. She obtained
Newfoundland, Acadia (Nova Scotia), and Hudson Bay from France, and
Gibraltar and Minorca from Spain. She also secured a preferential
tariff for her imports into the great port of Cadiz, the monopoly of
the slave trade, and the right of sending one ship of merchandise a
year to the Spanish colonies. France promised not to assist the Stuarts
in their attempts to regain the English throne.

(4) The Dutch recovered the "barrier" fortresses and for garrisoning
them were promised financial aid by Austria. The Dutch were also
allowed to establish a trade monopoly on the River Scheldt.

(5) The elector of Brandenburg was acknowledged king of Prussia, an
important step In the fortunes of the Hohenzollern family which at the
present time reigns in Germany.

(6) The duchy of Savoy was recognized similarly as a kingdom and was
given the island of Sicily. [Footnote: The title of king was recognized
by the emperor only in 1720, when Savoy exchanged Sicily for Sardinia.
Henceforth the kingdom of Savoy was usually referred to as the kingdom
of Sardinia.] From the house of Savoy has descended the reigning
sovereign of present-day Italy.

[Sidenote: Significance of the Settlement of Utrecht]

The peace of Utrecht marked the cessation of a long conflict between
Spanish Habsburgs and French Bourbons. For nearly a century thereafter
both France and Spain pursued similar foreign policies for the common
interests of the Bourbon family. Bourbon sovereigns have continued,
with few interruptions, to reign in Spain to the present moment.

The Habsburg influence, however, remained paramount in Austria, in the
Holy Roman Empire, in Italy, and in the Belgian Netherlands. It was
against this predominance that the Bourbons were to direct their
dynastic policies throughout the greater part of the eighteenth

The peace of Utrecht likewise marked the rise of English power upon the
seas and the gradual elimination of France as a successful competitor
in the race for colonial mastery. Two states also came into prominence
upon the continent of Europe--Prussia and Savoy--about which the new
German Empire and the unified Italian Kingdom were respectively to be

[Sidenote: Last Years of the Grand Monarch]

While France was shorn of none of her European conquests, nevertheless
the War of the Spanish Succession was exceedingly disastrous for that
country. In its wake came famine and pestilence, excessive imposts and
taxes, official debasement of the currency, and bankruptcy--a long line
of social and economic disorders. Louis XIV survived the treaty of
Utrecht but two years, and to such depths had his prestige and glory
fallen among his own people, that his corpse, as it passed along the
royal road to the stately tombs of the French kings at St. Denis, "was
saluted by the curses of a noisy crowd sitting in the wine-rooms,
celebrating his death by drinking more than their fill as a
compensation for having suffered too much from hunger during his
lifetime. Such was the coarse but true epitaph which popular opinion
accorded to the Grand Monarch."

[Sidenote: Misgovernment of France during Minority of Louis XV]

Nor had the immediate future much better things in store for exhausted
France. The successor upon the absolutist throne was Louis XV, great-
grandson of Louis XIV and a boy of five years of age, who did not
undertake to exercise personal power until near the middle of the
eighteenth century. In the meantime the country was governed for about
eight years by the king's uncle, the duke of Orleans, and then for
twenty years by Cardinal Fleury.

[Sidenote: John Law]

Orleans loved pleasure and gave himself to a life of debauchery; he
cared little for the boy-king, whose education and training he
grievously neglected. His foreign policy was weak and vacillating, and
his several efforts to reform abuses in the political and economic
institutions of Louis XIV invariably ended in failure. It was while
experimenting with the disorganized finances that he was duped by a
Scotch adventurer and promoter, a certain John Law (1671-1729). Law had
an idea that a gigantic corporation might be formed for French colonial
trade, [Footnote: Law's corporation was actually important in the
development of Louisiana.] shares might be widely sold throughout the
country, and the proceeds therefrom utilized to wipe out the public
debt. Orleans accepted the scheme and for a while the country went mad
with the fever of speculation. In due time, however, the stock was
discovered to be worthless, the bubble burst, and a terrible panic
ensued. The net result was increased misery for the nation.

[Sidenote: Fleury and the War of the Polish Election]

The little sense which Orleans possessed was sufficient to keep him out
of foreign war [Footnote: France was at peace throughout his regency,
except for a brief time (1719-1720) when Orleans joined the British
government in preventing his Spanish cousin, Philip V, from upsetting
the treaty of Utrecht.] but even that was lacking to his successor,
Cardinal Fleury. Fleury was dragged into a war (1733-1738) with Austria
and Russia over the election of a Polish king. The allies supported the
elector of Saxony; France supported a Pole, the father-in-law of Louis
XV, Stanislaus Leszczinski. France was defeated and Louis XV had to
content himself with securing the duchy of Lorraine for his father-in-
law. Thus, family ambition merely added to the economic distress of the
French people.

It was during the War of the Polish Election, however, that the Bourbon
king of Spain, perceiving his rivals engaged elsewhere, seized the
kingdom of the Two Sicilies from Austria and put a member of his own
family on its throne. Thus, in the eighteenth century, the Bourbons
dominated France, Spain, and southern Italy.




GENERAL. Brief accounts: J. H. Robinson and C. A. Beard, _The
Development of Modern Europe_, Vol. I (1907), ch. i-iii; H. O. Wakeman,
_The Ascendancy of France, 1598-1715_ (1894), ch. ix-xi, xiv, xv; A. H.
Johnson, _The Age of the Enlightened Despot, 1660-1789_ (1910), ch i-
iii, vi; J. H. Sacret, _Bourbon and Vasa, 1610-1715_ (1914), ch. viii-
xii; Arthur Hassall, _Louis XIV and the Zenith of the French Monarchy_
(1897) in the "Heroes of the Nations" Series; H. T. Dyer, _A History of
Modern Europe from the Fall of Constantinople_, 3d ed. rev. by Arthur
Hassall (1901), ch. xxxvii, xxxix-xl, xlii-xliv; A. J. Grant, _The
French Monarchy, 1483-1789_, Vol. II (1900), ch. x-xvi; G. W. Kitchin,
_A History of France_, Vol. III (1899), Books V and VI, ch. i, ii;
Victor Duruy, _History of Modern Times_, trans. and rev. by E. A.
Grosvenor (1894), ch. xxi-xxiii. More detailed treatments: _Cambridge
Modern History_, Vol. V (1908), ch. i-iii, vii-ix, xiii, xiv, Vol. VI
(1909), ch. iv-vi; _Histoire générale_, Vol. VI, ch. iii-v, vii-ix,
xii-xvi, xx, Vol. VII, ch. i-iii; _Histoire de France_, ed. by Ernest
Lavisse, Vols. VII and VIII (1906-1909); _History of All Nations_, Vol.
XIII, _The Age of Louis XIV_, by Martin Philippson.

DOMESTIC AFFAIRS OF FRANCE. Cécile Hugon, _Social France in the
Seventeenth Century_ (1911), popular, suggestive, and well-
illustrated. On Colbert: A. J. Sargent, _Economic Policy of Colbert_
(1899); S. L. Mims, _Colbert's West India Policy_ (1912); Émile
Levasseur, _Histoire des classes ouvrières et de l'industrie en France
avant 1789_, Vol. II (1901), Book VI; Pierre Clément (editor),
_Lettres, Instructions et Mémoires de Colbert_, 7 vols. in 9 (1861-
1873). H. M. Baird, _The Huguenots and the Revocation of the Edict of
Nantes_, 2 vols. (1895), a detailed study by a warm partisan of the
French Protestants. Among the numerous important sources for the reign
of Louis XIV should be mentioned especially F. A. Isambert (editor),
_Recueil général des anciennes lois_, Vols. XVIII-XX, containing
significant statutes of the reign; G. B. Depping (editor),
_Correspondance administrative sous le règne de Louis XIV_, 4 vols.
(1850-1855), for the system of government; Arthur de Boislisle
(editor), _Correspondance des contrôleurs généraux_, 2 vols., for the
fiscal system. Voltaire's brilliant _Age of Louis the Fourteenth_ has
been translated into English; an authoritative history of French
literature in the Age of Louis XIV is Louis Petit de Julleville
(editor), _Histoire de la langue et de la littérature française_, Vol.
V (1898). The best account of the minority of Louis XV is that of J. B.
Perkins, _France under the Regency_ (1892); a brief summary is Arthur
Hassall, _The Balance of Power, 1715-1789_ (1896), ch. i-iv.

FOREIGN WARS OF LOUIS XIV. On Louis XIV's relations with the Dutch: P.
J. Blok, _History of the People of the Netherlands_, Part IV,
_Frederick Henry, John DeWitt, William III_, abridged Eng. trans.
by O. A. Bierstadt (1907). On his relations with the empire: Ruth
Putnam, _Alsace and Lorraine from Cæsar to Kaiser, 58 B.C.-1871
A.D._ (1914), a popular narrative; Franz Krones, _Handbuch der
Geschichte Oesterreichs_, Vol. III, Book XVI, Vol. IV, Book XVII
(1878), a standard German work. On his relations with Spain: M. A. S.
Hume, _Spain, its Greatness and Decay, 1479-1788_ (1898), ch. ix-
xiii. On Louis XIV's relations with England: Osmund Airy, _The
English Restoration and Louis XIV_ (1895), in the "Epochs of Modern
History" Series; Sir J. R. Seeley, _The Growth of British Policy_,
2 vols. (1895), especially Vol. II, Parts IV and V; Earl Stanhope,
_History of England, Comprising the Reign of Queen Anne until the
Peace of Utrecht_ (1870), a rather dry account of the War of the
Spanish Succession; G. J. (Viscount) Wolseley, _Life of John
Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, to the Accession of Queen Anne_, 4th
ed., 2 vols. (1894), an apology for Marlborough; J. S. Corbett,
_England in the Mediterranean, 1603-1713_, Vol. II (1904), for
English naval operations; J. W. Gerard, _The Peace of Utrecht_
(1885). On the diplomacy of the whole period: D. T. Hill, _History of
Diplomacy in the International Development of Europe,_ Vol. III
(1914), ch. i-iv, a clear outline; Emile Bourgeois, _Manuel
historique de politique étrangère_, 4th ed., Vol. I (1906), ch. iii,
iv, vii, ix, xiv; Arsène Legrelle, _La diplomatie française et la
succession d'Espagne, 1659-1725_, 4 vols. (1888-1892), a minute
study of an important phase of Louis XIV's diplomacy; the text of the
principal diplomatic documents is in course of publication at Paris (20
vols., 1884-1913) as the _Recueil des instructions données aux
ambassadeurs et ministres de France depuis les traités de Westphalie
jusqu'à la révolution française_.

MEMOIRS OF THE AGE OF LOUIS XIV. Among the multitudinous memoirs of the
period, the most significant, from the standpoint of the general
historian, are: Marquise de Sévigné, _Lettres_, delightful
epistles relating mainly to the years 1670-1696, edited in fullest form
for "Les grands écrivains de la France" by Monmerqué, 14 vols. (1862-
1868), selections of which have been translated into English by C. Syms
(1898); Duc de Saint-Simon, _Mémoires_, the most celebrated of
memoirs, dealing with many events of the years 1692-1723, gossipy and
racily written but occasionally inaccurate and frequently partisan,
edited many times--most recently and best for "Les grands écrivains de
la France" by Arthur de Boislisle, 30 vols. (1879-1916), of which a
much-abridged translation has been published in English, 4 vols.;
Marquis de Dangeau, _Journal_, 19 vols. (1854-1882), written day
by day, throughout the years 1684-1720, by a conscientious and well-
informed member of the royal entourage; _Life and Letters of
Charlotte Elizabeth_ (1889), select letters, trans. into English, of
a German princess who married Louis XIV's brother, of which the most
complete French edition is that of Jaeglé, 3 vols. (1890). See also
Comtesse de Puliga, _Madame de Sévigné, her Correspondents and
Contemporaries_, 2 vols. (1873), and, for important collections of
miscellaneous memoirs of the period, J. F. Michaud and J. J. F.
Poujoulat, _Nouvelle collection des mémoires relatifs à l'histoire de
France depuis le 13e siècle jusqu'à la fin du 18e siècle_, 34 vols.
(1854), and Louis Lafaist and L. F. Danjou, _Archives curieuses de
l'histoire de France_, 27 vols. (1834-1840).




Through all the wars of dynastic rivalry which have been traced in the
two preceding chapters, we have noticed the increasing prestige of the
powerful French monarchy, culminating in the reign of Louis XIV. We now
turn to a nation which played but a minor rôle in the international
rivalries of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Later, from 1689
to 1763, England was to engage in a tremendous colonial struggle with
France. But from 1560 to 1689 England for the most part held herself
aloof from the continental rivalries of Bourbons and Habsburgs, and
never fought in earnest except against Philip II of Spain, who
threatened England's economic and political independence, and against
the Dutch, who were England's commercial rivals. While the continental
states were engaged in dynastic quarrels, England was absorbed in a
conflict between rival principles of domestic government--between
constitutional parliamentary government and unlimited royal power. To
the triumph of the parliamentary principle in England we owe many of
our modern ideas and practices of constitutional government.

[Sidenote: Absolutism of the Tudors, 1485-1603]

Absolutism had reached its high-water mark in England long before the
power and prestige of the French monarchy had culminated in the person
of Louis XIV. In the sixteenth century--the very century in which the
French sovereigns faced constant foreign war and chronic civil
commotion--the Tudor rulers of England were gradually freeing
themselves from reliance upon Parliament and were commanding the united
support of the English nation. From the accession of Henry VII in 1485
to the death of his grand-daughter Elizabeth in 1603, the practice of
absolutism, though not the theory of divine-right monarchy, seemed ever
to be gaining ground.

How Tudor despotism was established and maintained is explained in part
by reference to the personality of Henry VII and to the circumstances
that brought him to the throne. [Footnote: For the character and main
achievements of Henry VII (1485-1500), see above, pp. 4 ff.] It is also
explicable by reference to historical developments in England
throughout the sixteenth century. [Footnote: For the reigns of Henry
VIII, Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth, see above, pp. 86, 97 ff., 150
ff.] As Henry VII humbled the nobility, so Henry VIII and Elizabeth
subordinated the Church to the crown. And all the Tudors asserted their
supremacy in the sphere of industry and commerce. By a law of 1503, the
craft gilds had been obliged to obtain the approval of royal officers
for whatever new ordinances the gilds might wish to make. In the first
year of the reign of Edward VI the gilds were crippled by the loss of
part of their property, which was confiscated under the pretext of
religious reform. Elizabeth's reign was notable for laws regulating
apprenticeship, prescribing the terms of employment of laborers,
providing that wages should be fixed by justices of the peace, and
ordering vagabonds to be set to work. In the case of commerce, the
royal power was exerted encouragingly, as when Henry VII negotiated the
_Intercursus Magnus_ with the duke of Burgundy to gain admittance
for English goods into the Netherlands, or chartered the "Merchant
Adventurers" to carry on trade in English woolen cloth, or sent John
Cabot to seek an Atlantic route to Asia; or as when Elizabeth
countenanced and abetted explorers and privateers and smugglers and
slave-traders in extending her country's maritime power at the expense
of Spain. All this meant that the strong hand of the English monarch
had been laid upon commerce and industry as well as upon justice,
finance, and religion.

The power of the Tudors had rested largely upon their popularity with
the growing influential middle class. They had subdued sedition, had
repelled the Armada, had fostered prosperity, and had been willing at
times to cater to the whims of their subjects. They had faithfully
personified national patriotism; and the English nation, in turn, had
extolled them.

Yet despite this absolutist tradition of more than a century's
duration, England was destined in the seventeenth century to witness a
long bitter struggle between royal and parliamentary factions, the
beheading of one king and the exiling of another, and in the end the
irrevocable rejection of the theory and practice of absolutist divine-
right monarchy, and this at the very time when Louis XIV was holding
majestic court at Versailles and all the lesser princes on the
Continent were zealously patterning their proud words and boastful
deeds after the model of the Grand Monarch. In that day a mere
parliament was to become dominant in England.

[Sidenote: Accession of the Stuarts: James I, 1603-1625]

The death of Elizabeth, the last of the Tudors, and the accession
(1603) of her cousin James, the first of the Stuarts, marked the real
beginning of the struggle. When he was but a year old, this James had
acquired through the deposition of his unfortunate mother, Mary Stuart,
the crown of Scotland (1567), and had been proclaimed James VI in that
disorderly and distracted country. The boy who was whipped by his tutor
and kidnapped by his barons and browbeaten by Presbyterian divines
learned to rule Scotland with a rod of iron and incidentally acquired
such astonishing erudition, especially in theology, that the clever
King Henry IV of France called him "the wisest fool in Christendom." At
the age of thirty-seven, this Scotchman succeeded to the throne of
England as James I. "He was indeed," says Macaulay, "made up of two
men--a witty, well-read scholar who wrote, disputed, and harangued, and
a nervous, driveling idiot who acted."

[Sidenote: The Stuart Theory of Absolutist Divine-right Monarchy]

James was not content, like his Tudor predecessors, merely to be an
absolute ruler in practice; he insisted also upon the theory of divine-
right monarchy. Such a theory was carefully worked out by the pedantic
Stuart king eighty years before Bishop Bossuet wrote his classic
treatise on divine-right monarchy for the guidance of the young son of
Louis XIV. To James it seemed quite clear that God had divinely
ordained kings to rule, for had not Saul been anointed by Jehovah's
prophet, had not Peter and Paul urged Christians to obey their masters,
and had not Christ Himself said, "Render unto Cæsar that which is
Cæsar's"? As the father corrects his children, so should the king
correct his subjects. As the head directs the hands and feet, so must
the king control the members of the body politic. Royal power was thus
the most natural and the most effective instrument for suppressing
anarchy and rebellion. James I summarized his idea of government in the
famous Latin epigram, "_a deo rex, a rege lex_, "--"the king is
from God, and law from the king."

[Sidenote: Stuart Theory Opposed to Medieval English Tradition]

It has been remarked already [Footnote: See above, pp. 4-7] that in one
important respect the past governmental evolution of England differed
from that of France. While both countries in the sixteenth century
followed absolutist tendencies, in France the medieval tradition of
constitutional limitations upon the power of the king was far weaker
than in England, with the result that in the seventeenth century the
French accepted and consecrated absolutism while the English gave new
force and life to their medieval tradition and practice of
constitutional government.

[Sidenote: Restrictions on Royal Power in England: Magna Carta]

The tradition of English restrictions upon royal power centered in the
old document of _Magna Carta_ and in an ancient institution called
Parliament. _Magna Carta_ dated back, almost four centuries before
King James, to the year 1215 when King John had been compelled by his
rebellious barons to sign a long list of promises; that list was the
"long charter" or _Magna Carta_, [Footnote: _Magna Carta_ was
many times reissued after 1215.] and it was important in three
respects. (1) It served as a constant reminder that "the people" of
England had once risen in arms to defend their "rights" against a
despotic king, although as a matter of fact _Magna Carta_ was more
concerned with the rights of the feudal nobles (the barons) and of the
clergy than with the rights of the common people. (2) Its most
important provisions, by which the king could not levy extraordinary
taxes on the nobles without the consent of the Great Council, furnished
something of a basis for the idea of self-taxation. (3) Clauses such as
"To no man will we sell, or deny, or delay, right or justice," although
never effectively enforced, established the idea that justice should
not be sold, denied, or delayed.

[Sidenote: Parliament]

Parliament was a more or less representative assembly of clergy,
nobility, and commoners, claiming to have powers of taxation and
legislation. The beginnings of Parliament are traced back centuries
before James I. There had been an advisory body of prelates and lords
even before the Norman conquest (1066). After the conquest a somewhat
similar assembly of the king's chief feudal vassals--lay and
ecclesiastical--had been called the Great Council, and its right to
resist unjust taxation had been recognized by _Magna Carta_.
Henceforth it had steadily acquired power. The "Provisions of Oxford"
(1258) had provided, in addition, for "twelve honest men" to represent
the "commonalty" and to "treat of the wants of the king; and the
commonalty shall hold as established that which these men shall do."

[Sidenote: House of Lords and House of Commons]

For the beginnings of the House of Commons we may go back to the
thirteenth century. In 1254 the king summoned to Parliament not only
the bishops, abbots, earls, and barons, but also two knights from every
shire. Then, in an irregular Parliament, convened in 1265 by Simon de
Montfort, a great baronial leader against the king, two burgesses from
each of twenty-one towns for the first time sat with the others and
helped to decide how their liberties were to be protected. These
knights and burgesses were the elements from which the House of Commons
was subsequently to be formed. Similar bodies met repeatedly in the
next thirty years, and in 1295 Edward I called a "model Parliament" of
archbishops, bishops, abbots, representative clergy, earls, and barons,
two knights from every shire, and two citizens from each privileged
city or borough,--more than four hundred in all. For some time after
1295 the clergy, nobility, and commoners [Footnote: _I.e._, the
knights of the shires and the burgesses from the towns.] may have
deliberated separately much as did the three "estates" in France. At
any rate, early in the fourteenth century the lesser clergy dropped
out, the greater prelates and nobles were fused into one body--the
House of "Lords spiritual and temporal,"--and the knights joined the
burgesses to form the House of Commons. Parliament was henceforth a
bicameral body, consisting of a House of Commons and a House of Lords.

[Sidenote: Powers of Parliament: Taxation]

The primary function of Parliament was to give information to the king
and to hear and grant his requests for new "subsidies" or direct taxes.
The right to refuse grants was gradually assumed and legally
recognized. As taxes on the middle class soon exceeded those on the
clergy and nobility, it became customary in the fifteenth century for
money bills to be introduced in the Commons, approved by the Lords, and
signed by the king.

[Sidenote: Legislation]

The right to make laws had always been a royal prerogative, in theory
at least. Parliament, however, soon utilized its financial control in
order to obtain initiative in legislation. A threat of withholding
subsidies had been an effective way of forcing Henry III to confirm
_Magna Carta_ in 1225; it proved no less effective in securing
royal enactment of later "petitions" for laws. In the fifteenth century
legislation by "petition" was supplanted by legislation by "bill," that
is, introducing in either House of Parliament measures which, in form
and language, were complete statutes and which became such by the
united assent of Commons, Lords, and king. To this day English laws
have continued to be made formally "by the King's most Excellent
Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and
Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the
authority of the same."

[Sidenote: Influence on Administration]

The right to demand an account of expenditures, to cause the removal of
royal officers, to request the king to abandon unpopular policies, or
otherwise to control administrative affairs, had occasionally been
asserted by Parliament, but not consistently maintained.

[Sidenote: Parliament under the Tudors]

From what has been said, it will now be clear that the fulcrum of
parliamentary power was control of finance. What had enabled the Tudors
to incline toward absolutism was the fact that for more than a hundred
years they had made themselves fairly independent of Parliament in
matters of finance; and this they had done by means of economy, by
careful collection of taxes, by irregular expedients, by confiscation
of religious property, and by tampering with the currency. Parliament
still met, however, but irregularly, and during Elizabeth's reign it
was in session on the average only three or four weeks of the year.
Parliament still transacted business, but rarely differed with the
monarch on matters of importance.

[Sidenote: James I and Parliament]

At the end of the Tudor period, then, we have an ancient tradition of
constitutional, parliamentary government on the one hand, and a strong,
practical, royal power on the other. The conflict between Parliament
and king, which had been avoided by the tactful Tudors, soon began in
earnest when James I ascended the throne in 1603, with his exaggerated
notion of his own authority. James I was an extravagant monarch, and
needed parliamentary subsidies, yet his own pedantic principles
prevented him from humoring Parliament in any dream of power. The
inevitable result was a conflict for political supremacy between
Parliament and king. When Parliament refused him money, James resorted
to the imposition of customs duties, grants of monopolies, sale of
peerages, and the solicitation of "benevolences" (forced loans).
Parliament promptly protested against such practices, as well as
against his foreign and religious policies and against his absolute
control of the appointment and operation of the judiciary. Parliament's
protests only increased the wrath of the king. The noisiest
parliamentarians were imprisoned or sent home with royal scoldings. In
1621 the Commoners entered in their journal a "Great Protestation"
against the king's interference with their free right to discuss the
affairs of the realm. This so angered the king that he tore the
Protestation out of the journal and presently dissolved the intractable
Parliament; but the quarrel continued, and James's last Parliament had
the audacity to impeach his lord treasurer.

[Sidenote: Political Dispute Complicated by Religious Difference]
[Sidenote: Calvinists in England]
[Sidenote: The "Puritans"]

The political dispute was made more bitter by the co-existence of a
religious conflict. James, educated as a devout Anglican, was naturally
inclined to continue to uphold the compromise by which the Tudors had
severed the English Church from the Roman Catholic hierarchy, yet had
retained many forms of the Catholic Church and the episcopal
organization by means of which the sovereign was able to control the
Church. During Elizabeth's reign, however, a large part of the middle
class--the townsmen especially--and many of the lower clergy had come
under the influence of Calvinistic teaching. [Footnote: On the
doctrines of Calvinism, see above, pp. 139 ff., 156, 164 ff.] The
movement was marked (1) by a virulent hatred for even the most trivial
forms reminiscent of "popery," as the Roman Catholic religion was
called; and (2) by a tendency to place emphasis upon the spirit of the
Old Testament as well as upon the precepts of the New. Along with
austerity of manner, speech, dress, and fast-day observance, they
revived much of the mercilessness with which the Israelites had
conquered Canaan. The same men who held it a deadly sin to dance round
a may-pole or to hang out holly on Christmas were later to experience a
fierce and exalted pleasure in conquering New England from the heathen
Indians. They knew neither self-indulgence nor compassion. Little
wonder that Elizabeth feared men of such mold and used the episcopal
administration of the Anglican Church to restrain them. Many of these
so-called Puritans remained members of the Anglican Church and sought
to reform it from within. But restraint only caused the more radical to
condemn altogether the fabric of bishops and archbishops, and to
advocate a presbyterian church. Others went still further and wished to
separate from the Established Anglican Church into independent
religious groups, and were therefore called Independents or

[Sidenote: Hostility of James I to the Puritans]

These religious radicals, often grouped together as "Puritans," were
continually working against Elizabeth's strict enforcement of Anglican
orthodoxy. The accession of James was seized by them as an occasion for
the presentation of a great petition for a modification of church
government and ritual. The petition bore no fruit, however, and in a
religious debate at Hampton Court in 1604 James made a brusque
declaration that bishops like kings were set over the multitude by the
hand of God, and, as for these Puritans who would do away with bishops,
he would make them conform or "harry them out of the land." From this
time forth he insisted on conformity, and deprived many clergymen of
their offices for refusing to subscribe to the regulations framed in

[Sidenote: Hatred of the Puritans for James I]

The hard rule of this monarch who claimed to govern by the will of God
was rendered even more abhorrent to the stern Puritan moralists by
reports of "drunken orgies" and horrible vices which made the royal
court appear to be a veritable den of Satan. But worst of all was his
suspected leaning towards "popery." The Puritans had a passionate
hatred for anything that even remotely suggested Roman
Catholicism. Consequently it was not with extreme pleasure that they
welcomed a king whose mother had been a Catholic, whose wife was
suspected of harboring a priest, a ruler who at times openly exerted
himself to obtain greater toleration for Roman Catholics and to
maintain the Anglican ritual against Puritan modification. With growing
alarm and resentment they learned that Catholic conspirators had
plotted to blow up the houses of Parliament, and that in his foreign
policy James was decidedly friendly to Catholic princes.

The cardinal points of James's foreign policy,--union with Scotland,
peace, and a Spanish alliance,--were all calculated to arouse
antagonism. The English, having for centuries nourished enmity for
their northern neighbors and perceiving no apparent advantage in close
union, defeated the project of amalgamating the two kingdoms of England
and Scotland. James's policy of non-intervention in the Thirty Years'
War evoked bitter criticism; he was accused of favoring the Catholics
and of deserting his son-in-law, the Protestant elector of the
Palatinate. The most hotly contested point was, however, the Spanish
policy. Time and time again, Parliament protested, but James pursued
his plans, making peace with Spain, and negotiating for a marriage
between his son Charles and the Infanta of Spain, and Prince Charles
actually went to Spain to court the daughter of Philip III.

[Sidenote: Interconnection of Puritanism, Commercialism, and

It was essentially the Puritan middle classes who were antagonized by
the king. The strength of the Puritans rested in the middle class of
merchants, seamen, and squires. It was this class which had profited by
the war with Spain in the days of "good Queen Bess" when many a Spanish
prize, laden with silver and dye woods, had been towed into Plymouth
harbor. Their dreams of erecting an English colonial and commercial
empire on the ruins of Spain's were rudely shattered by James. It was
to this Puritan middle class that papist and Spaniard were bywords for
assassin and enemy. By his Spanish policy, as well as by his irregular
methods of taxation, James had touched the Puritans in their
pocketbooks. The Puritans, too, were grieved to see so sinful a man sit
on the throne of England, and so wasteful a man squander their money.
They were even hindered in the exercise of their religious convictions.
Every fiber in them rebelled.

Puritans throughout the country looked to the large Puritan majority in
the House of Commons to redress their grievances. The parliamentary
struggle became then not only a defense of abstract ideals of democracy
but also a bitter battle in defense of class interests. Parliamentary
traditions were weapons against an oppressive monarch; religious
scruples gave divine sanction to an attack on royalist bishops;
consciousness of being God's elect gave confidence in assailing the
aristocracy of land and birth. For the present, the class interests of
the Puritans were to be defended best by the constitutional limitation
of royal power, and in their struggle with James's son and successor,
Charles I (1625-1649), they represent by chance the forces of

[Sidenote: Charles I, 1625-1649]
[Sidenote: A True Stuart in Devotion to Absolutism]

For a time it appeared as if the second Stuart king would be very
popular. Unlike his father, Charles seemed thoroughly English; and his
athletic frame, his dignified manners, and his purity of life
contrasted most favorably with James's deformities in character and
physique. Two years before his father's death Charles had been jilted
by his Spanish fiancée and had returned to England amid wild rejoicing
to aid Parliament in demanding war with Spain. He had again rejoiced
the bulk of the English nation by solemnly assuring Parliament on the
occasion of his marriage contract with Henrietta Maria, sister of Louis
XIII of France, that he would grant no concessions to Roman Catholics
in England. As a matter of fact, Charles simultaneously but secretly
assured the French government not only that he would allow the queen
the free exercise of her religion but that he would make general
concessions to Roman Catholics in England. This duplicity on the part
of the young king, which augured ill for the harmony of future
relations between himself and Parliament, throws a flood of light upon
his character and policies. Though Charles was sincerely religious and
well-intentioned, he was as devoted to the theory of divine-right
monarchy as his father had been; and as to the means which he might
employ in order to establish absolutism upon a firm foundation he
honestly believed himself responsible only to God and to his own
conscience, certainly not to Parliament. This fact, together with a
certain inherent aptitude for shirking the settlement of difficulties,
explains in large part the faults which historians have usually
ascribed to him--his meanness and ingratitude toward his most devoted
followers, his chronic obstinacy which only feigned compliance, and his
incurable untruthfulness.

Just before Charles came to the throne, Parliament granted subsidies in
expectation of a war against Spain, but, when he had used up the war-
money without showing any serious inclination to open hostilities with
Spain, and had then demanded additional grants, Parliament gave
evidence of its growing distrust by limiting a levy of customs duties
to one year, instead of granting them as usual for the whole reign. In
view of the increasingly obstinate temper manifested by the House of
Commons in withholding subsidies and in assailing his worthless
favorite, the Duke of Buckingham, Charles angrily dissolved his first

[Sidenote: Continued Conflict between King and Parliament]
[Sidenote: The Petition of Right, 1628]

The difficulties of the administration were augmented not only by this
arbitrary treatment of Parliament but also by the miserable failure of
an English fleet sent against Cadiz, and by the humiliating result of
an attempt to relieve the French Huguenots. Meanwhile, a second
Parliament, more intractable even than its predecessor, had been
dissolved for its insistence on the impeachment of Buckingham. Attempts
to raise money by forced loans in place of taxes failed to remove the
financial distress into which Charles had fallen, and consequently, in
1628, he consented to summon a third Parliament. In return for grants
of subsidies, he signed the _Petition of Right_ (1628), prepared
by the two houses. By it he promised not to levy taxes without consent
of Parliament, not to quarter soldiers in private houses, not to
establish martial law in time of peace, not to order arbitrary

Even these concessions were not enough. Parliament again demanded the
removal of Buckingham, and only the assassination of the unpopular
minister obviated prolonged dispute on that matter. The Commoners next
attempted to check the unauthorized collection of customs duties, which
produced as much as one-fourth of the total royal revenue, and to
prevent the introduction of "popish" innovations in religion, but for
this trouble they were sent home.

[Sidenote: "Personal" Rule of Charles I, 1629-1640]

Charles was now so thoroughly disgusted with the members of Parliament
that he determined to rule without them, and for eleven years (1629-
1640) he successfully carried on a "personal" as distinct from a
parliamentary government, in spite of financial and religious

Without the consent of Parliament, Charles was bound not to levy direct
taxes. During the period of his personal rule, therefore, he was
compelled to adopt all sorts of expedients to replenish his treasury.
He revived old feudal laws and collected fines for their infraction. A
sum of one hundred thousand pounds was gained by fines on suburban
householders who had disobeyed a proclamation of James I forbidding the
extension of London. The courts levied enormous fines merely for the
sake of revenue. Monopolies of wine, salt, soap, and other articles
were sold to companies for large sums of money; but the high prices
charged by the companies caused much popular discontent.

[Sidenote: "Personal" Rule of Charles I, 1629-1640]
[Sidenote: "Ship money"]

The most obnoxious of all devices for raising money were the levies of
"ship-money." Claiming that it had always been the duty of seaboard
towns to equip ships for the defense of the country, Charles demanded
that since they no longer built ships, the towns should contribute
money for the maintenance of the navy. In 1634, therefore, each town
was ordered to pay a specified amount of "ship-money" into the royal
treasury, and the next year the tax was extended to inland towns and
counties. [Footnote: The first writ of ship-money yielded £100,000
(Cunningham).] To test the legality of this exaction, a certain John
Hampden refused to pay his twenty shillings ship-money, and took the
matter to court, claiming that ship-money was illegal taxation. The
majority of the judges, who held office during the king's pleasure and
were therefore strictly under royal influence, upheld the legality of
ship-money and even went so far as to assert that in times of emergency
the king's prerogative was unlimited, but the country rang with
protests and Hampden was hailed as a hero.

[Sidenote: Devotion of Charles I to the Anglican Church: Archbishop
[Sidenote: Puritan Opposition]

Opposition to financial exactions went hand in hand with bitter
religious disputes. Charles had intrusted the control of religious
affairs to William Laud, whom he named archbishop of Canterbury, and
showed favor to other clergymen of marked Catholic leanings. The laws
against Roman Catholics were relaxed, and the restrictions on Puritans
increased. It seemed as if Charles and his bishops were bent upon
goading the Puritans to fury, at the very time when one by one the
practices, the vestments, and even the dogmas of the Catholic Church
were being reintroduced into the Anglican Church, when the tyrannical
King James was declared to have been divinely inspired, and when
Puritan divines were forced to read from their pulpits a royal
declaration permitting the "sinful" practices of dancing on the green
or shooting at the butts (targets) on the Sabbath. [Footnote: It is an
interesting if not a significant fact that the Puritans with their
austere views about observance of the Sabbath not only decreased the
number of holidays for workingmen, but interfered with innocent
recreation on the remaining day of rest. One aspect of the resulting
monotonous life of the laborer was, according to Cunningham, the
remarkable increase of drunkenness at this period.] So hard was the lot
of the extreme Protestants in England that thousands fled the country
and established themselves in America. [Footnote: In the decade 1630-
1640 some 20,000 Englishmen sailed for the colonies. Many of these,
however, emigrated by reason of strictly economic distress.]

[Sidenote: The Scotch Covenant, and Beginnings of Armed Opposition to
the King]
[Sidenote: Convocation of the Long Parliament, 1640]

In his Scotch policy Charles overreached himself. With the zealous
coöperation of Archbishop Laud, imprudently attempted to strengthen the
episcopacy (system of bishops) in the northern kingdom, and likewise to
introduce an un-Calvinistic order of public worship. Thereupon the
angry Scotch Presbyterians signed a great Covenant, swearing to defend
their religion (1638); they deposed the bishops set over them by the
king and rose in revolt. Failing in a first effort to crush the Scotch
rebellion, the king summoned a Parliament in order to secure financial
support for an adequate royal army. This Parliament--the so-called
Short Parliament--was dissolved, however, after some three weeks of
bootless wrangling. Now unable to check the advance of the rebellious
Scotch forces into northern England, Charles in desperation convoked
(1640) a new Parliament, which, by reason of its extended duration
(1640-1660), has been commonly called the Long Parliament. In England
and Scotland divine-right monarchy had failed.


[Sidenote: Reforms of the Long Parliament]

Confident that Charles could neither fight nor buy off the Scotch
without parliamentary subsidies, the Long Parliament showed a decidedly
stubborn spirit. Its leader, John Pym, a country gentleman already
famous for speeches against despotism, openly maintained that in the
House of Commons resided supreme authority to disregard ill-advised
acts of the Upper House or of the king. Hardly less radical were the
views of John Hampden and of Oliver Cromwell, the future dictator of

The right of the Commons to impeach ministers of state, asserted under
James I, was now used to send to the Tower both Archbishop Laud and
Thomas Wentworth, earl of Strafford, who, since 1629, had been the
king's most valued and enthusiastically loyal minister. [Footnote:
Strafford was accused of treason, but was executed in 1641 in
accordance with a special "bill of attainder" enacted by Parliament.
Laud was put to death in 1645.] The special tribunals--the Court of
High Commission, the Court of Star Chamber, and others--which had
served to convict important ecclesiastical and political offenders were
abolished. No more irregular financial expedients, such as the
imposition of ship-money, were to be adopted, except by the consent of
Parliament. As if this were not enough to put the king under the thumb
of his Parliament, the royal prerogative of dissolving that body was
abrogated, and meetings at least every three years were provided for by
a "Triennial Act."

[Sidenote: Violation of Parliamentary Privileges: Attempted Seizure by
Charles of the Five Members]
[Sidenote: The Great Rebellion, 1642-1646]

All the contested points of government had been decided adversely to
the king. But his position was now somewhat stronger. He had been able
to raise money, the Scotch invaders had turned back, and the House of
Commons had shown itself to be badly divided on the question of church
reform and in its debates on the publication of a "Grand Remonstrance"
--a document exposing the grievances of the nation and apologizing for
the acts of Parliament. Moreover, a rebellion had broken out in Ireland
and Charles expected to be put at the head of an army for its
suppression. With this much in his favor, the king in person entered
the House of Commons and attempted to arrest five of its leaders, but
his dismal failure only further antagonized the Commons, who now
proceeded to pass ordinances without the royal seal, and to issue a
call to arms. The levy of troops contrary to the king's will was an act
of rebellion; Charles, therefore, raised the royal standard at
Nottingham and called his loyal subjects to suppress the Great
Rebellion (1642-1646).

[Sidenote: The Parties to the Civil War: "Cavaliers" and "Roundheads"]

To the king's standard rallied the bulk of the nobles, high churchmen,
and Roman Catholics, the country "squires," and all those who disliked
the austere moral code of the Puritans. In opposition to him a few
great earls led the middle classes--small land-holders, merchants,
manufacturers, shop-keepers, especially in London and other busy towns
throughout the south and east of England. The close-cropped heads of
these "God-fearing" tradesmen won them the nickname "Roundheads," while
the royalist upper classes, not thinking it a sinful vanity to wear
their hair in long curls, were called "Cavaliers."

[Sidenote: Parliament and the Presbyterians]

In the Long Parliament there was a predominance of the Presbyterians--
that class of Puritans midway between the reforming Episcopalians and
the radical Independents. Accordingly a "solemn league and covenant"
was formed (1643) with the Scotch Presbyterians for the establishment
of religious uniformity on a Presbyterian basis in England and Ireland
as well as in Scotland. After the defeat of Charles at Marston Moor
(1644) the Presbyterians abolished the office of bishop, removed altars
and communion rails from the churches, and smashed crucifixes, images,
and stained-glass windows. Presbyterianism became a more intolerant
state religion than Anglicanism had been. Satisfied with their work,
the Presbyterian majority in Parliament were now willing to restore the
king, provided he would give permanence to their religious settlement.

[Sidenote: The Army and the Independents: Oliver Cromwell]

The Independent army, however, was growing restive. Oliver Cromwell, an
Independent, had organized a cavalry regiment of "honest sober
Christians" who were fined 12 pence if they swore, who charged in
battle while "singing psalms," and who went about the business of
killing their enemies in a pious and prayerful, but withal a highly
effective, manner. Indeed, so successful were Cromwell's "Ironsides"
that a considerable part of the Parliamentary army was reorganized on
his plan. The "New Model" army, as it was termed, was Independent in
sympathy, that is to say, it wished to carry on the war, and to
overthrow the tyranny of the Presbyterians as well as that of the

[Sidenote: Cromwell's Army Defeats the King and Dominates Parliament]
[Sidenote: The "Rump Parliament"]

The "New Model" army, under the command of Fairfax and Cromwell,
defeated Charles and forced him to surrender in 1646. For almost two
years the Presbyterian Parliament negotiated for the restoration of the
king and at last would have made peace with the royalists, had not the
army, which still remembered Charles's schemes to bring Irish and
foreign "papists" to fight Englishmen, now taken a hand in affairs.
Colonel Pride, stationed with his soldiers at the door of the House of
Commons, arrested the 143 Presbyterian Commoners, and left the
Independents--some sixty strong--to deliberate alone upon the nation's
weal (1648). This "Rump" or sitting part of Parliament, acting on its
own authority, appointed a "High Court of justice" by whose sentence
Charles I was beheaded, 30 January, 1649. It then decreed England to be
a Commonwealth with neither king nor House of Lords.

[Sidenote: The Commonwealth, 1649-1660]

The executive functions, hitherto exercised by the king, were intrusted
to a Council of State, of whose forty-one members thirty were members
of the House. The Rump Parliament, instead of calling for new
elections, as had been expected, continued to sit as the
"representatives of the people," although they represented the
sentiments of only a small fraction of the people. England was in the
hands of an oligarchy whose sole support was the vigorous army of

Menacing conditions confronted the newly born Commonwealth. War with
Scotland and with Holland was imminent; mutiny and unrest showed that
the execution of Charles had infused new life into the royalists;
Catholic-royalist rebels mastered all of Ireland except Dublin. Under
these circumstances, the Commonwealth would have perished but for three
sources of strength: (1) Its financial resources proved adequate:
customs duties were collected, excise taxes on drinks and food were
levied, and confiscated royalist estates were sold; (2) its enemies had
no well-drilled armies; and (3) its own army was remarkably powerful.

[Sidenote: Cromwell and the Restoration of Order]

Cromwell, victor in a series of bloody engagements in Ireland, after
butchering thousands of the defeated royalists and shipping others as
slaves to Barbados, was able to return to London in 1650, declaring, "I
am persuaded that this is a righteous judgment of God upon these
barbarous wretches [the Irish] who have imbrued their hands in so much
innocent blood, and that it will tend to prevent the effusion of blood
for the future." The next movement of Cromwell, as Parliamentary
commander-in-chief, was against the Scotch, who had declared for
Charles II, the son of Charles I. The Scotch armies were annihilated,
and Prince Charles fled in disguise to France.

[Sidenote: Navigation Act, 1651]

Meanwhile the members of the Rump, still the nominal rulers of England,
finding opportunity for profit in the sale of royalist lands and in the
administration of finance, had exasperated Cromwell by their
maladministration and neglect of the public welfare. The life of the
Rump was temporarily prolonged, however, by the popularity of its
legislation against the Dutch, at this time the rivals of England on
the seas and in the colonies. In 1651 the Rump passed the first
Navigation Act, forbidding the importation of goods from Asia, Africa,
or America, except in English or colonial ships, and providing that
commodities of European production should be imported only in vessels
of England or of the producing country. The framers of the Navigation
Act intended thereby to exclude Dutch vessels from trading between
England and other lands. The next year a commercial and naval war
(1652-1654) broke out between England and Holland, leading to no
decisive result, but, on the whole, increasing the prestige of the
English navy. With renewed confidence the Rump contemplated
perpetuating its narrow oligarchy, but Cromwell's patience was
exhausted, and in 1653 he turned Parliament out of doors, declaring,
"Your hour is come, the Lord hath done with you!" Cromwell remained as
military and religious dictator.

[Sidenote: Oliver Cromwell]

Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) is the most interesting figure in
seventeenth-century England. Belonging by birth to the class of country
gentlemen, his first appearance in public life was in the Parliament of
1628 as a pleader for the liberty of Puritan preaching. When the Long
Parliament met in 1640, Cromwell, now forty-one years of age, assumed a
conspicuous place. His clothes were cheap and homely, "his countenance
swollen and reddish, his voice sharp and untuneable," nevertheless his
fervid eloquence and energy soon made him "very much hearkened unto."
From the Civil War, as we know, Cromwell emerged as an unequaled
military leader, the idol of his soldiers, fearing God but not man. His
frequent use of Biblical phrases in ordinary conversation and his
manifest confidence that he was performing God's work flowed from an
intense religious zeal. He belonged, properly speaking, to the
Independents, who believed that each local congregation of Christians
should be practically free, excepting that "prelacy" (_i.e._, the
episcopal form of church government) and "popery" (_i.e._, Roman
Catholic Christianity) were not to be tolerated. In private life
Cromwell was fond of "honest sport," of music and art. It is said that
his gayety when he had "drunken a cup of wine too much" and his taste
in statuary shocked his more austere fellow-Puritans. In public life he
was a man of great forcefulness, occasionally giving way to violent
temper; he was a statesman of signal ability, aiming to secure good
government and economic prosperity for England and religious freedom
for Protestant Dissenters.

[Sidenote: Radical Experiments under Cromwell]

After arbitrarily dissolving the Rump of the Long Parliament (1653),
Cromwell and his Council of State broke with tradition entirely by
selecting 140 men to constitute a legislative body or convention. This
body speedily received the popular appellation of "Barebone's
Parliament" after one of its members, a certain leather merchant, who
bore the descriptive Puritan name of Praisegod Barebone. The new
legislators were good Independents--"faithful, fearing God, and hating
covetousness." Recommended by Independent ministers, they felt that God
had called them to rule in righteousness. Their zeal for reform found
expression in the reduction of public expenditure, in the equalization
of taxes, and in the compilation of a single code of laws; but their
radical proposals for civil marriage and for the abolition of tithes
startled the clergy and elicited from the larger landowners the cry of
"confiscation!" Before much was accomplished, however, the more
conservative members of "Barebone's Parliament" voted to "deliver up
unto the Lord-General [Cromwell] the powers we received from him."

[Sidenote: The Protectorate, 1653-1659]

Upon the failure of this experiment, Cromwell's supporters in the army
prepared an "Instrument of Government," or constitution. By this
Instrument of Government--the first written constitution in modern
times--a "Protectorate" was established, which was a constitutional
monarchy in all but name. Oliver Cromwell, who became "Lord Protector"
for life, was to govern with the aid of a small Council of State.
Parliaments, meeting at least every three years, were to make laws and
levy taxes, the Protector possessing the right to delay, but not to
veto, legislation. Puritanism was made the state religion.

[Sidenote: Parliament under the Protectorate]

The first Parliament under the Protectorate was important for three
reasons. (1) It consisted of only one House; (2) it was the Parliament
of Great Britain and Ireland rather than of England alone; (3) its
members were elected on a reformed basis of representation,--that is,
the right of representation had been taken from many small places and
transferred to more important towns.

[Sidenote: Practical Dictatorship of Cromwell, 1655-1658]

Although royalists were excluded from the polls, the Independents were
unable to control a majority in the general election, for, it must be
remembered, they formed a very small, though a powerful, minority of
the population. The Presbyterians in the new Parliament, with
characteristic stubbornness, quarreled with Cromwell, until he abruptly
dismissed them (1655). Thenceforth Cromwell governed as a military
dictator, placing England under the rule of his generals, and
quarreling with his Parliaments. To raise money he obliged all those
who had borne arms for the king to pay him 10 per cent of their rental.
While permitting his office to be made hereditary, he refused to accept
the title of king, but no Stuart monarch had ruled with such absolute
power, nor was there much to choose between James's "_a deo rex, a
rege lex_" and Cromwell's, "If my calling be from God and my
testimony from the people, God and the people shall take it from me,
else I will not part from it."

The question is often raised, how Cromwell, representing the
numerically insignificant Independents, contrived to maintain himself
as absolute ruler of the British Isles. Three circumstances may have
contributed to his strength. (1) He was the beloved leader of an army
respected for its rigid discipline and feared for its grim
mercilessness. (2) Under his strict enforcement of law and order, trade
and industry brought domestic prosperity. (3) His conduct of foreign
affairs was both satisfactory to English patriotism and profitable to
English purses. Advantageous commercial treaties were made with the
Dutch and the French. Industrious Jews were allowed to enter England.
Barbary pirates were chastised. In a war against Spain, the army won
Dunkirk; and the navy, now becoming truly powerful, sank a Spanish
fleet, wrested Jamaica from Spain, and brought home ship-loads of
Spanish silver.

The weakness of Cromwell's position, however, was obvious. Cavaliers
were openly hostile to a régime of religious zealots; moderate
Anglicans would suffer the despotism of Cromwell only as long as it
promoted prosperity; Presbyterians were anxious to end the toleration
which was accorded to all Puritan sects; radicals and republicans were
eager to try new experiments.

[Sidenote: Disorganization following the Death of Oliver Cromwell]

The death of Cromwell (1658) left the army without a master and the
country without a government. True, Oliver's son, Richard Cromwell
(1626-1712), attempted for a time to fill his father's place, but soon
abdicated after having lost control of both army and Parliament. Army
officers restored the Rump of the Long Parliament, dissolved it, set it
up again, and forced it to recall the Presbyterian members who had been
expelled in 1648, and ended by obliging the reconstituted Long
Parliament to convoke a new and freely elected "Convention Parliament."
Meanwhile, General Monck opened negotiations for the return of Charles


[Sidenote: Popular Grievances against the Protectorate]

The widespread and exuberant enthusiasm which restored the Stuarts was
not entirely without causes, social and religious, as well as
political. The grievances and ideals which had inspired the Great
Rebellion were being forgotten, and a new generation was finding fault
with the Protectorate. The simple country folk longed for their may-
poles, their dances, and games on the green; only fear compelled them
to bear with the tyranny of the sanctimonious soldiers who broke the
windows in their churches. Especially hard was the lot of tenants and
laborers on the many estates purchased or seized by Puritans during the
Rebellion. Many townsmen, too, excluded from the ruling oligarchy,
found the Puritan government as oppressive and arbitrary as that of
Charles I.

[Sidenote: Opposition to Puritanism]

The religious situation was especially favorable for Charles II. The
outrages committed by Cromwell's soldiery had caused the Independents
to be looked upon as terrible fanatics, Even the Presbyterians were
willing to yield some points to the king, if only Independency could be
overthrown; and many who had been inclined to Puritanism were now
unwavering in loyalty to the Anglican Church. Orthodox Anglicanism,
from its origin, had been bound up with the monarchy, and it now
consistently expected a double triumph of the "divine-right" of kings
and of bishops. Most bitter of all against the Cromwellian régime were
the Roman Catholics in Ireland. Though Cromwell as Lord Protector had
favored toleration for Protestants, it would be long before Catholics
could forget the Irish priests whom Cromwell's soldiery had brutally
knocked on the head, or the thousands of Catholic girls and boys whom
Cromwell's agents had sold into horrible slavery in the West Indies.

[Sidenote: Royalist Reaction]

This strong royalist undercurrent, flowing from religious and social
conditions, makes more comprehensible the ease with which England
drifted back into the Stuart monarchy. The younger generation, with no
memory of Stuart despotism, and with a keen dislike for the confusion
in which no constitutional form was proof against military tyranny,
gave ready credence to Prince Charles's promises of constitutional
government. There seemed to be little probability that the young
monarch would attempt that arbitrary rule which had brought his
father's head to the block.

[Sidenote: Charles II, 1660-1685]

The experiment in Puritan republicanism had resulted only in convincing
the majority of the people that "the government is, and ought to be, by
King, Lords, and Commons." The people merely asked for some assurances
against despotism,--and when a throne was thus to be purchased with
promises, Charles II was a ready buyer. He swore to observe _Magna
Carta_ and the "Petition of Right," to respect Parliament, not to
interfere with its religious policy, nor to levy illegal taxes. Bound
by these promises, he was welcomed back to England in 1660 and crowned
the following year. The reinstatement of the king was accompanied by a
general resumption by bishops and royalist nobles of their offices and
lands: things seemed to slip back into the old grooves. Charles II
dated his reign not from his actual accession but from his father's
death, and his first Parliament declared invalid all those acts and
ordinances passed since 1642 which it did not specifically confirm.

The history of constitutional government under the restored Stuarts is
a history of renewed financial and religious disputes. Charles II and
his younger brother and heir, Prince James, duke of York, alike adhered
to the political faith of their Stuart father and grandfather. Cousins
on their mother's side of Louis XIV of France, in whose court they had
been reared, they were more used to the practices of French absolutism
than to the peculiar customs of parliamentary government in England.
Unlike their father, who had been most upright in private life and most
loyal to the Anglican Church, both Charles and James had acquired from
their foreign environment at once a taste for vicious living and a
strong attachment to the Roman Catholic Church. In these two Stuarts
Catholicism was combined with absolutism; and the Englishmen
represented in Parliament were therefore brought face to face not only
with a revival of the earlier Stuart theory of divine-right monarchy
but with a new and far more hateful possibility of the royal
establishment of Roman Catholicism in England. Charles II did not
publicly confess his conversion to Catholicism until his deathbed, but
James became a zealous convert in 1672.

That Charles II was able to round out a reign of twenty-five years and
die a natural death as king of England was due not so much to his
virtues as to his faults. He was so hypocritical that his real aims
were usually successfully concealed. He was so indolent that with some
show of right he could blame his ministers and advisers for his own
mistakes and misdeeds. He was so selfish that he would make concessions
here and there rather than "embark again upon his travels." In fact,
pure selfishness was the basis of his policy in domestic and foreign
affairs, but it was always a selfishness veiled in wit, good humor, and
captivating affability.

[Sidenote: Renewal of Financial Disputes between King and Parliament]

At the beginning of the reign of Charles II, the country gentlemen were
astute enough to secure the abolition of the surviving feudal rights by
which the king might demand certain specified services from them and
certain sums of money when an heiress married or a minor inherited an
estate. This action, seemingly insignificant, was in reality of the
greatest importance, for it indicated the abandonment in England of the
feudal theory that land is held by nobles in return for military
service, and at the same time it consecrated the newer principle that
the land should be owned freely and personally--a principle which has
since been fully recognized in the United States and other modern
countries as well as in England. The extinction of feudal prerogatives
in the early days of the Stuart Restoration benefited the landlords
primarily, but the annual lump sum of £100,000 which Charles II was
given in return, was voted by Parliament and was paid by all classes in
the form of excise taxes on alcoholic drinks. Customs duties of £4
10_s_. on every tun of wine and 5 per cent _ad valorem_ on
other imports, hearth-money (a tax on houses), and profits on the post
office contributed to make up the royal revenue of somewhat less than
£1,200,000. This was intended to defray the ordinary expenses of court
and government but seemed insufficient to Charles, who was not only
extravagantly luxurious, but desirous of increasing his power by
bribing members of Parliament and by maintaining a standing army. The
country squires who had sold their plate for the royalist cause back in
the 'forties and were now suffering from hard times, thought the court
was too extravagant; to this feeling was added fear that Charles might
hire foreign soldiers to oppress Englishmen. Consequently Parliament
grew more parsimonious, and in 1665-1667 claimed a new and important
privilege--that of devoting its grants to specific objects and
demanding an account of expenditures.

Charles, however, was determined to have money by fair means or foul. A
group of London goldsmiths had loaned more than a million and a quarter
pounds sterling to the government. In 1672 Charles announced that
instead of paying the money back, he would consider it a permanent
loan. Two years earlier he had signed the secret treaty of Dover (1670)
with Louis XIV, by which Louis promised him an annual subsidy of
£200,000 and troops in case of rebellion, while Charles was openly to
join the Roman Catholic Church and to aid Louis in his French wars
against Spain and Holland.

[Sidenote: Continued Religious Complications]
[Sidenote: Legislation against Protestant Dissenters]

In his ambition to reëstablish Catholicism in England, Charles
underestimated the intense hostility of the bulk of the English squires
to any religious innovation. During the first decade of the
Restoration, Puritanism had been most feared. Some two thousand
clergymen, mostly Presbyterian, had been deprived of their offices by
an Act of Uniformity (1662), requiring their assent to the Anglican
prayer-book; these dissenting clergymen might not return within five
miles of their old churches unless they renounced the "Solemn League
and Covenant" and swore loyalty to the king (Five-mile Act, 1665); for
repeated attendance at their meetings (conventicles) Dissenters might
be condemned to penal servitude in the West Indies against (Conventicle
Act, 1664); and the Corporation Act of 1661 excluded Dissenters from
town offices.

[Sidenote: Leanings of Charles II toward Roman Catholicism]

As the danger from Puritanism disappeared, the Catholic cloud darkened
the horizon. In 1672 Prince James, the heir to the throne, embraced
Catholicism; and in the same year Charles II issued a "Declaration of
Indulgence," suspending the laws which oppressed Roman Catholics and
incidentally the Dissenters likewise. The Declaration threw England
into paroxysms of fear; it was believed that the Catholic monarch of
France was about to aid in the subversion of the Anglican Church.

[Sidenote: Leanings of Charles II toward Roman Catholicism]
[Sidenote: The Exclusion Bill]

Parliament, already somewhat distrustful of Charles's foreign policy,
and fearful of his leanings toward Roman Catholicism, found in the
Declaration of Indulgence a serious infraction of parliamentary
authority. The royal right to "suspend" laws upon occasion had
undoubtedly been exercised before, but Parliament was now strong enough
to insist upon the binding force of its enactments and to oblige
Charles to withdraw his Indulgence. The fear of Catholicism ever
increased; gentlemen who at other times were quite rational gave
unhesitating credence to wild tales of a "Popish Plot" (1678). In 1679
an Exclusion Bill was brought forward which would debar Prince James
from the throne, because of his conversion to Roman Catholicism.

[Sidenote: The "Whigs"]

In the excitement over this latest assertion of parliamentary power,
[Footnote: In the course of the debate over Exclusion, the
parliamentary party won an important concession--the Habeas Corpus Act
of 1679, which was designed to prevent arbitrary imprisonment.] two
great factions were formed. The supporters of Exclusion were led by
certain great nobles who were jealous of the royal power, and were
recruited from merchants and shop-keepers who looked to Parliament to
protect their economic interests. Since many of the adherents of this
political group were Dissenters, whose dislike of Anglicanism was
exceeded only by their hatred of "popery," the whole party was called
by a nickname--"Whig"--which had formerly been applied to rebellious
Presbyterians in Scotland.

[Sidenote: The "Tories"]

Opposed to the Whigs were the "Tories" [Footnote: Tory, a name applied
to "popish" outlaws in Ireland.]--squires and country clergymen and all
others of an essentially conservative turn of mind. They were anxious
to preserve the Church and state alike from Puritans and from
"papists," but most of all to prevent a recurrence of civil war. In the
opinion of the Tories, the best and most effective safeguard against
quarreling earls and insolent tradesmen was the hereditary monarchy.
Better submit to a Roman Catholic sovereign, they said, than invite
civil war by disturbing the regular succession. In the contest over the
Exclusion Bill, the Tories finally carried the day, for, although the
bill was passed by the Commons (1680), it was rejected by the House of

[Sidenote: Temporary Success of the Tories]

In the last few years of Charles's reign the cause of the Whigs was
discredited. Rumors got abroad that they were plotting to assassinate
the king and it was said that the Whiggish nobles who brought armed
retainers to Parliament were planning to use force to establish
Charles's illegitimate son--the duke of Monmouth--on the throne. These
and similar accusations hurt the Whigs tremendously, and help explain
the violent Tory reaction which enabled Charles to rule without
Parliament from 1681 to his death in 1685. As had been feared, upon the
death of Charles II, the duke of Monmouth organized a revolt, but this,
together with a simultaneous insurrection in Scotland, was easily
crushed, and James II was securely seated on the throne.


[Sidenote: James II (1685-1688): His Futile Combination of Absolutism
and Roman Catholicism]

In his short reign of three years James II (1685-1688) succeeded in
stirring up opposition on all sides. The Tories, the party most
favorable to the royal prerogative, upon whom he might have relied,
were shocked by his attempts to create a standing army commanded by
Catholics, for such an army might prove as disastrous to their
liberties as Cromwell's "New Model"; and the Whigs, too, were driven
from sullenness to desperation by James's religious policy and despotic
government. James, like his brother, claiming the right to "suspend"
the laws and statutes which Parliament had enacted against Roman
Catholics and Dissenters, issued a Declaration of Indulgence in 1687,
which exempted Catholics and Dissenters from punishment for infractions
of these laws. Furthermore, he appointed Roman Catholics to office in
the army and in the civil government. In spite of protests, he issued a
second Declaration of Indulgence in 1688 and ordered it to be read in
all Anglican churches, and, when seven bishops remonstrated, he accused
them of seditious libel. No jury would convict the seven bishops,
however, for James had alienated every class, and they were acquitted.
The Tories were estranged by what seemed to be a deliberate attack on
the Anglican Church and by fear of a standing army. The arbitrary
disregard of parliamentary legislation, and the favor shown to Roman
Catholics, goaded the Whigs into fury.

[Sidenote: The "Glorious Revolution" (1688): Dethronement of James II]

So long as Whigs and Tories alike could expect the accession on the
death of James II of one of his Protestant daughters--Mary or Anne--
they continued to acquiesce in his arbitrary government. But the
outlook became gloomier when on 10 June, 1688, a son was born to James
II by his second wife, a Catholic. Most Protestants believed that the
prince was not really James's son; politicians prophesied that he would
be educated in his father's "popish" and absolutist doctrines, and that
thus England would continue to be ruled by papist despots. Even those
who professed to believe in the divine right of kings and had denied
the right of Parliament to alter the succession were dejected at this
prospect, and many of them were willing to join with the Whigs in
inviting a Protestant to take the throne. The next in line of
succession after the infant prince was Mary, the elder of James's two
daughters, wife of William of Orange, [Footnote: See above, pp. 245,
248] and an Anglican. Upon the invitation of Whig and Tory leaders,
William crossed over to England with an army and entered London without
opposition (1688). Deserted even by his army James fled to France.
[Footnote: Risings in favor of James were suppressed in Ireland and in
Scotland. In Ireland the famous battle of the Boyne (1 July, 1690) was

[Sidenote: Accession of William and Mary, 1689]
[Sidenote: Constitutional Settlement: the Bill of Rights (1689) and
Triumph of Parliament]
[Sidenote: The Mutiny Act]

A bloodless revolution was now accomplished and the crown was formally
presented to William and Mary by an irregular Parliament, which also
declared that James II, having endeavored to subvert the constitution
and having fled the kingdom, had vacated the throne. In offering the
crown to William and Mary, Parliament was very careful to safeguard its
own power and the Protestant religion by issuing a Declaration of
Rights (13 February, 1689), which was enacted as the Bill of Rights, 16
December, 1689. This act decreed that the sovereign must henceforth
belong to the Anglican Church, thereby debarring the Catholic son of
James II. The act also denied the power of a king to "suspend" laws or
to "dispense" subjects from obeying the laws, to levy money, or to
maintain an army without consent of Parliament; asserted that neither
the free election nor the free speech and proceedings of members of
Parliament should be interfered with; affirmed the right of subjects to
petition the sovereign; and demanded impartial juries and frequent
Parliaments. The Bill of Rights, far more important in English history
than the Petition of Right (1628), inasmuch as Parliament was now
powerful enough to maintain as well as to define its rights, was
supplemented by the practice, begun in the same year, 1689, of granting
taxes and making appropriations for the army for one year only. Unless
Parliament were called every year to pass a Mutiny Act (provision for
the army), the soldiers would receive no pay and in case of mutiny
would not be punishable by court martial.

[Sidenote: Measures Favorable to Landlords]
[Sidenote: Religious Toleration for Protestant Dissenters: Continued
Persecution of Roman Catholics]

Both Whigs and Tories had participated in the Revolution, and both
reaped rewards. The Tories were especially pleased with the army laws
and with an arrangement by which farmers were given a "bounty" or money
premium for every bushel of grain exported. [Footnote: That is, when
wheat was selling for less than 6s. a bushel.] The Whigs, having played
a more prominent part in the deposition of James II, were able to
secure the long-coveted political supremacy of Parliament, and
religious toleration of Dissenters. The Toleration Act of 1689 did not
go as far as the Dissenters might have desired, but it gave them the
legal right to worship in public, while their enemies, the Roman
Catholics, remained under the ban.

[Sidenote: Commercial Gains for England]
[Sidenote: Union of England and Scotland: the Kingdom of Great Britain,

In the foreign policy of the reigns of William (1689-1702) and Mary,
and of Anne (1702-1714), Whiggish policies generally predominated. The
merchants and shippers who formed an important wing of the Whig party
were highly gratified by the Wars of the League of Augsburg and the
Spanish Succession, [Footnote: See above, pp. 248 ff., and below, pp.
306 ff.] in which England fought at once against France, her commercial
and colonial rival, and against Louis XIV, the friend of the Catholic
Stuart pretenders to the English throne. [Footnote: Louis XIV openly
supported the pretensions of James (III), the "Old Pretender."] The
Methuen Treaty (1703) was also advantageous: it allowed English
merchants to sell their manufactures in Portugal without hindrance; in
return for this concession England lowered the duties on Portuguese
wines, and "Port" supplanted "Burgundy" on the tables of English
gentlemen. The Act of Union of 1707 was not unfavorable either, for it
established common trade regulations, customs, and excise in England
and in Scotland. To the merely personal union between the crowns of
England and Scotland which had been inaugurated (1603) by the first of
the Stuart monarchs of England now succeeded under the last of the
Stuart sovereigns a corporate union of the two monarchies under the
title of the Kingdom of Great Britain (1707).

[Sidenote: Accession of the Hanoverians (1714); Continued Decline of
Royal Power]

Upon the death of Anne (1714), the crown passed [Footnote: In
accordance with the Act of Settlement (1701).] to her cousin, the son
of Sophia of Hanover, George I (1714-1727). The new king, unable even
to speak the English language, much less to understand the complicated
traditions of parliamentary government, was neither able nor anxious to
rule, but was content merely to reign. The business of administration,
therefore, was handed over to a group of ministers who strove not only

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