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

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This book represents an attempt on the part of the author to satisfy a
very real need of a textbook which will reach far enough back to afford
secure foundations for a college course in modern European history.

The book is a long one, and purposely so. Not only does it undertake to
deal with a period at once the most complicated and the most inherently
interesting of any in the whole recorded history of mankind, but it
aims to impart sufficiently detailed information about the various
topics discussed to make the college student feel that he is advanced a
grade beyond the student in secondary school. There is too often a
tendency to underestimate the intellectual capabilities of the
collegian and to feed him so simple and scanty a mental pabulum that he
becomes as a child and thinks as a child. Of course the author
appreciates the fact that most college instructors of history piece out
the elementary textbooks by means of assignments of collateral reading
in large standard treatises. All too frequently, however, such
assignments, excellent in themselves, leave woeful gaps which a slender
elementary manual is inadequate to fill. And the student becomes too
painfully aware, for his own educational good, of a chasmal separation
between his textbook and his collateral reading. The present manual is
designed to supply a narrative of such proportions that the need of
additional reading will be somewhat lessened, and at the same time it
is provided with critical bibliographies and so arranged as to enable
the judicious instructor more easily to make substitutions here and
there from other works or to pass over this or that section entirely.
Perhaps these considerations will commend to others the judgment of the
author in writing a long book.

Nowadays prefaces to textbooks of modern history almost invariably
proclaim their writers' intention to stress recent happenings or at
least those events of the past which have had a direct bearing upon the
present. An examination of the following pages will show that in the
case of this book there is no discrepancy between such an intention on
the part of the present writer and its achievement. Beginning with the
sixteenth century, the story of the civilization of modern Europe is
carried down the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries with
constant _crescendo_. Of the total space devoted to the four
hundred years under review, the last century fills half. And the
greatest care has been taken to bring the story down to date and to
indicate as clearly and calmly as possible the underlying causes of the
vast contemporaneous European war, which has already put a new
complexion on our old historical knowledge and made everything that
went before seem part and parcel of an old régime.

As to why the author has preferred to begin the story of modern Europe
with the sixteenth century, rather than with the thirteenth or with the
French Revolution, the reader is specially referred to the
_Introduction_. It has seemed to the author that particularly from
the Commercial Revolution of the sixteenth century dates the remarkable
and steady evolution of that powerful middle class--the bourgeoisie--
which has done more than all other classes put together to condition
the progress of the several countries of modern Europe and to create
the life and thought of the present generation throughout the world.
The rise of the bourgeoisie is the great central theme of modern
history; it is the great central theme of this book.

Not so very long ago distinguished historians were insisting that the
state, as the highest expression of man's social instincts and as the
immediate concern of all human beings, is the only fit subject of
historical study, and that history, therefore, must be simply "past
politics"; under their influence most textbooks became compendiums of
data about kings and constitutions, about rebellions and battles. More
recently historians of repute, as well as eminent economists, have
given their attention and patronage to painstaking investigations of
how, apart from state action, man in the past has toiled or traveled or
done the other ordinary things of everyday life; and the influence of
such scholars has served to provide us with a considerable number of
convenient manuals on special phases of social history. Yet more
recently several writers of textbooks have endeavored to combine the
two tendencies and to present in a single volume both political and
social facts, but it must be confessed that sometimes these writers
have been content to tell the old political tale in orthodox manner and
then to append a chapter or two of social miscellany, whose connection
with the body of their book is seldom apparent to the student.

The present volume represents an effort really to combine political and
social history in one synthesis: the author, quite convinced of the
importance of the view that political activities constitute the most
perfect expression of man's social instincts and touch mankind most
universally, has not neglected to treat of monarchs and parliaments, of
democracy and nationalism; at the same time he has cordially accepted
the opinion that political activities are determined largely by
economic and social needs and ambitions; and accordingly he has
undertaken not only to incorporate at fairly regular intervals such
chapters as those on the Commercial Revolution, Society in the
Eighteenth Century, the Industrial Revolution, and Social Factors,
1870-1914, but also to show in every part of the narrative the economic
aspects of the chief political facts.

Despite the length of this book, critics will undoubtedly note
omissions. Confronting the writer of every textbook of history is the
eternal problem of selection--the choice of what is most pointedly
significant from the sum total of man's thoughts, words, and deeds. It
is a matter of personal judgment, and personal judgments are
notoriously variant. Certainly there will be critics who will complain
of the present author's failure to follow up his suggestions concerning
sixteenth-century art and culture with a fuller account of the
development of philosophy and literature from the seventeenth to the
twentieth century; and the only rejoinders that the harassed author can
make are the rather lame ones that a book, to be a book, must conform
to the mechanical laws of space and dimension, and that a serious
attempt on the part of the present writer to make a synthesis of social
and political facts precludes no effort on the part of other and abler
writers to synthesize all these facts with the phenomena which are
conventionally assigned to the realm of "cultural" or "intellectual"
history. In this, and in all other respects, the author trusts that his
particular solution of the vexatious problem of selection will prove as
generally acceptable as any.

In the all-important matter of accuracy, the author cannot hope to have
escaped all the pitfalls that in a peculiarly broad and crowded field
everywhere trip the feet of even the most wary and persistent searchers
after truth. He has naturally been forced to rely for the truth of his
statements chiefly upon numerous secondary works, of which some
acknowledgment is made in the following _Note_, and upon the
kindly criticisms of a number of his colleagues; in some instances,
notably in parts of the chapters on the Protestant Revolt, the French
Revolution, and developments since 1848 in Great Britain, France, and
Germany, he has been able to draw on his own special studies of primary
source material, and in certain of these instances he has ventured to
dissent from opinions that have been copied unquestioningly from one
work to another.

No period of history can be more interesting or illuminating than the
period with which this book is concerned, especially now, when a war of
tremendous magnitude and meaning is attracting the attention of the
whole civilized world and arousing a desire in the minds of all
intelligent persons to know something of the past that has produced it.
The great basic causes of the present war the author has sought, not in
the ambitions of a single power nor in an isolated outrage, but in the
history of four hundred years. He has tried to write a book that would
be suggestive and informing, not only to the ordinary college student,
but to the more mature and thoughtful student of public affairs in the
university of the world.



The author begs to acknowledge his general indebtedness to a veritable
host of historical writers, of whose original researches or secondary
compilations he has constantly and almost unblushingly made use in the
preparation of this book. At the close of the _Introduction_ will
be found a list of the major works dealing with the whole period under
review, or with the greater part of it, which have been drawn upon most
heavily. And there is hardly a book cited in any of the special
bibliographies following the several chapters that has not supplied
some single fact or suggestion to the accompanying narrative.

For many of the general ideas set forth in this work as well as for
painstaking assistance in reading manuscript and correcting errors of
detail, the author confesses his debt to various colleagues in Columbia
University and elsewhere. In particular, Professor R. L. Schuyler has
helpfully read the chapters on English history; Professor James T.
Shotwell, the chapter on the Commercial Revolution; Professor D. S.
Muzzey, the chapters on the French Revolution, Napoleon, and
Metternich; Professor William R. Shepherd, the chapters on "National
Imperialism"; and Professor Edward B. Krehbiel of Leland Stanford
Junior University, the chapter on recent international relations.
Professor E. F. Humphrey of Trinity College (Connecticut) has given
profitable criticism on the greater part of the text; and Professor
Charles A. Beard of Columbia University, Professor Sidney B. Fay of
Smith College, and Mr. Edward L. Durfee of Yale University, have read
the whole work and suggested several valuable emendations. Three
instructors in history at Columbia have been of marked service--Dr.
Austin P. Evans, Mr. D. R. Fox, and Mr. Parker T. Moon. The last named
devoted the chief part of two summers to the task of preparing notes
for several chapters of the book and he has attended the author on the
long dreary road of proof reading.





The New National Monarchies
The Old Holy Roman Empire
The City-States
Northern and Eastern Europe in the year 1500

Agriculture in the Sixteenth Century
Towns on the Eve of the Commercial Revolution
Trade Prior to the Commercial Revolution
The Age of Exploration
Establishment of Colonial Empires
Effects of the Commercial Revolution

The Emperor Charles V
Philip II and the Predominance of Spain

The Catholic Church at the Opening of the Sixteenth Century
The Protestant Revolt
The Catholic Reformation
Summary of the Religious Revolution in the Sixteenth Century

The Invention of Printing
Art in the Sixteenth Century
National Literatures in the Sixteenth Century
Beginnings of Modern Natural Science



Growth of Absolutism in France: Henry IV, Richelieu, and Mazarin
Struggle between Bourbons and Habsburgs: The Thirty Years' War

The Age of Louis XIV
Extension of French Frontiers
The War of the Spanish Succession

Conflicting Political Tendencies in England: Absolutism _versus_
The Puritan Revolution
The Restoration: the Reign of Charles II
The "Glorious Revolution" and the Final Establishment of
Parliamentary Government in Great Britain

French and English Colonies in the Seventeenth Century
Preliminary Encounters, 1689-1748
The Triumph of Great Britain: The Seven Years' War, 1756-1763

The British Colonial System in the Eighteenth Century
The War of American Independence, 1775-1783
The Reformation of the British Empire

The Holy Roman Empire in Decline
The Habsburg Dominions
The Rise of Prussia. The Hohenzollerns
The Minor German States
The Struggle between Hohenzollerns and Habsburgs

Russia in the Seventeenth Century
Peter the Great
Sweden and the Career of Charles XII
Catherine the Great: the Defeat of Turkey and the Dismemberment of



Agriculture in the Eighteenth Century
Commerce and Industry in the Eighteenth Century
The Privileged Classes
Religious and Ecclesiastical Conditions in the Eighteenth Century
Scientific and Intellectual Developments in the Eighteenth Century

The British Monarchy
The Enlightened Despots
The French Monarchy

The End of Absolutism in France, 1789
The End of the Old Regime: the National Constituent Assembly,
The Limited Monarchy in Operation: the Legislative Assembly
(1791-1792) and the Outbreak of Foreign War
Establishment of the First French Republic: the National
Convention, 1792-1795
The Directory (1795-1799) and the Transformation of the Republic into
a Military Dictatorship
Significance of the French Revolution

The French Republic under the Consulate, 1799-1804
The French Empire and its Territorial Expansion
Destruction of the French Empire
Significance of the Era of Napoleon


The story of modern times is but a small fraction of the long epic of
human history. If, as seems highly probable, the conservative estimates
of recent scientists that mankind has inhabited the earth more than
fifty thousand years [Footnote: Professor James Geikie, of the
University of Edinburgh, suggests, in his _Antiquity of Man in
Europe_ (1914), the possible existence of human beings on the earth
more than 500,000 years ago!], are accurate, then the bare five hundred
years which these volumes pass in review constitute, in time, less than
a hundredth part of man's past. Certainly, thousands of years before
our day there were empires and kingdoms and city-states, showing
considerable advancement in those intellectual pursuits which we call
civilization or culture,--that is, in religion, learning, literature,
political organization, and business; and such basic institutions as
the family, the state, and society go back even further, past our
earliest records, until their origins are shrouded in deepest mystery.
Despite its brevity, modern history is of supreme importance. Within
its comparatively brief limits are set greater changes in human life
and action than are to be found in the records of any earlier
millennium. While the present is conditioned in part by the deeds and
thoughts of our distant forbears who lived thousands of years ago, it
has been influenced in a very special way by historical events of the
last five hundred years. Let us see how this is true.

Suppose we ask ourselves in what important respects the year 1900
differed from the year 1400. In other words, what are the great
distinguishing achievements of modern times? At least six may be noted:

(1) _Exploration and knowledge of the whole globe_. To our
ancestors from time out of mind the civilized world was but the lands
adjacent to the Mediterranean and, at most, vague stretches of Persia,
India, and China. Not much over four hundred years ago was America
discovered and the globe circumnavigated for the first time, and very
recently has the use of steamship, telegraph, and railway served to
bind together the uttermost parts of the world, thereby making it
relatively smaller, less mysterious, and in culture more unified.

(2) _Higher standards of individual efficiency and comfort_. The
physical welfare of the individual has been promoted to a greater
degree, or at all events preached more eloquently, within the last few
generations than ever before. This has doubtless been due to changes in
the commonplace everyday life of all the people. It must be remembered
that in the fifteenth century man did the ordinary things of life in
much the same manner as did early Romans or Greeks or Egyptians, and
that our present remarkable ways of living, of working, and of
traveling are the direct outcome of the Commercial Revolution of the
sixteenth century and of the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth.

(3) _Intensification of political organization, with attendant public
guarantees of personal liberties_. The ideas of nationalism and of
democracy are essentially modern in their expression. The notion that
people who speak the same language and have a common culture should be
organized as an independent state with uniform laws and customs was
hardly held prior to the fifteenth century. The national states of
England, France, and Spain did not appear unmistakably with their
national boundaries, national consciousness, national literature, until
the opening of the sixteenth century; and it was long afterwards that
in Italy and Germany the national idea supplanted the older notions of
world empire or of city-state or of feudalism. The national state has
proved everywhere a far more powerful political organization than any
other: its functions have steadily increased, now at the expense of
feudalism, now at the expense of the church; and such increase has been
as constant under industrial democracy of the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries as under the benevolent despotism of the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries. But in measure as government has enlarged its
scope, the governed have worked out and applied protective principles
of personal liberties. The Puritan Revolution, the French Revolution,
the American Revolution, the uprisings of oppressed populations
throughout the nineteenth century, would be quite inexplicable in other
than modern times. In fact the whole political history of the last four
centuries is in essence a series of compromises between the conflicting
results of the modern exaltation of the state and the modern exaltation
of the individual.

(4) _Replacement of the idea of the necessity of uniformity in a
definite faith and religion by toleration of many faiths or even of no
faith_. A great state religion, professed publicly, and financially
supported by all the citizens, has been a distinguishing mark of every
earlier age. Whatever else may be thought of the Protestant movement of
the sixteenth century, of the rise of deism and skepticism in the
seventeenth and eighteenth, and of the existence of scientific
rationalism in the nineteenth and twentieth, there can be little doubt
that each of them has contributed its share to the prevalence of the
idea that religion is essentially a private, not a public, affair and
that friendly rivalry in good works is preferable to uniformity in

(5) _Diffusion of learning_. The invention of printing towards the
close of the fifteenth century gradually revolutionized the pursuit of
knowledge and created a real democracy of letters. What learning might
have lost in depth through its marvelous broadening has perhaps been
compensated for by the application of the keenest minds in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to experimental science and in our
own day to applied science.

(6) _Spirit of progress and decline of conservatism_. For better
or for worse the modern man is intellectually more self-reliant than
his ancestors, more prone to try new inventions and to profit by new
discoveries, more conscious and therefore more critical of conditions
about him, more convinced that he lives in a better world than did his
fathers, and that his children who come after him should have a better
chance than he has had. This is the modern spirit. It is the product of
all the other elements of the history of five hundred years--the larger
geographical horizon, the greater physical comfort, the revolutionized
political institutions, the broader sympathies, the newer ideals of
education. Springing thus from events of the past few centuries, the
modern spirit nevertheless looks ever forward, not backward. A debtor
to the past, it will be doubly creditor to the future. It will
determine the type of individual and social betterment through coming
centuries. Such an idea is implied in the phrase, "the continuity of
history"--the ever-flowing stream of happenings that brings down to us
the heritage of past ages and that carries on our richer legacies to
generations yet unborn.

From such a conception of the continuity of history, the real
significance of our study can be derived. It becomes perfectly clear
that if we understand the present we shall be better prepared to face
the problems and difficulties of the future. But to understand the
present thoroughly, it becomes necessary not only to learn what are its
great features and tendencies, but likewise how they have been evolved.
Now, as we have already remarked, six most important characteristics of
the present day have been developed within the last four or five
centuries. To follow the history of this period, therefore, will tend
to familiarize us both with present-day conditions and with future
needs. This is the genuine justification for the study of the history
of modern times.

Modern history may conveniently be defined as that part of history
which deals with the origin and evolution of the great distinguishing
characteristics of the present. No precise dates can be assigned to
modern history as contrasted with what has commonly been called ancient
or medieval. In a sense, any division of the historical stream into
parts or periods is fundamentally fallacious: for example, inasmuch as
the present generation owes to the Greeks of the fourth century before
Christ many of its artistic models and philosophical ideas and very few
of its political theories, the former might plausibly be embraced in
the field of modern history, the latter excluded therefrom. But the
problem before us is not so difficult as may seem on first thought. To
all intents and purposes the development of the six characteristics
that have been noted has taken place within five hundred years. The
sixteenth century witnessed the true beginnings of the change in the
extensive world discoveries, in the establishment of a recognized
European state system, in the rise of Protestantism, and in the
quickening of intellectual activity. It is the foundation of modern

The sixteenth century will therefore be the general subject of Part I
of this volume. After reviewing the geography of Europe about the year
1500, we shall take up in turn the _four_ factors of the century
which have had a lasting influence upon us: (1) socially and
economically--The Commercial Revolution; (2) politically--European
Politics in the Sixteenth Century; (3) religiously and
ecclesiastically--The Protestant Revolt; (4) intellectually--The
Culture of the Sixteenth Century.


THE STUDY OF HISTORY. On historical method: C. V. Langlois and Charles
Seignobos, _Introduction to the Study of History_, trans. by G. G.
Berry (1912); J. M. Vincent, _Historical Research: an Outline of Theory
and Practice_ (1911); H. B. George, _Historical Evidence_ (1909); F. M.
Fling, _Outline of Historical Method_ (1899). Different views of
history: J. H. Robinson, _The New History_ (1912), a collection of
stimulating essays; J. T. Shotwell, suggestive article _History_ in
11th edition of _Encyclopædia Britannica_; T. B. Macaulay, essay on
_History_; Thomas Carlyle, _Heroes and Hero Worship_; Karl Lamprecht,
_What is History_? trans. by E. A. Andrews (1905). Also see Henry
Johnson, _The Teaching of History_ (1915); Eduard Fueter, _Geschichte
der neueren Historiographie_ (1911); Ernst Bernheim, _Lehrbuch der
historischen Methode und der Geschichtsphilosophie_, 5th ed. (1914); G.
P. Gooch, _History and Historians in the Nineteenth Century_ (1913).

Beard, _The Development of Modern Europe_, 2 vols. (1907), a political
and social narrative from the time of Louis XIV, and by the same
authors, _Readings in Modern European History_, 2 vols. (1908-1909), an
indispensable sourcebook, with critical bibliographies; Ferdinand
Schevill, _A Political History of Modern Europe from the Reformation to
the Present Day_ (1907); T. H. Dyer, _A History of Modern Europe from
the Fall of Constantinople_, 3d ed. revised and continued to the end of
the nineteenth century by Arthur Hassall, 6 vols. (1901), somewhat
antiquated but still valuable for its vast store of political facts;
Victor Duruy, _History of Modern Times from the Fall of Constantinople
to the French Revolution_, trans. by E. A. Grosvenor (1894), verbose
and somewhat uncritical, but usable for French history. More up-to-date
series of historical manuals are now appearing or are projected by
Henry Holt and Company under the editorship of Professor C. H. Haskins,
by The Century Company under Professor G. L. Burr, by Ginn and Company
under Professor J. H. Robinson, and by Houghton Mifflin Company under
Professor J. T. Shotwell: such of these volumes as have appeared are
noted in the appropriate chapter bibliographies following. The
Macmillan Company has published _Periods of European History,_ 8 vols.
(1893-1901), under the editorship of Arthur Hassall, of which the last
five volumes treat of political Europe from 1494 to 1899; and a more
elementary political series, _Six Ages of European History_, 6 vols.
(1910), under the editorship of A. H. Johnson, of which the last three
volumes cover the years from 1453 to 1878. Much additional information
is obtainable from such popular series as _Story of the Nations_ (1886
_sqq._), _Heroes of the Nations_ (1890 _sqq._), and _Home University
Library,_ though the volumes in such series are of very unequal merit.
Convenient chronological summaries are: G. P. and G. H. Putnam,
_Tabular Views of Universal History_ (1914); Carl Ploetz, _Manual of
Universal History_, trans. and enlarged by W. H. Tillinghast, new
edition (1915); _Haydn's Dictionary of Dates_, 25th ed. (1911); C. E.
Little, _Cyclopædia of Classified Dates_ (1900); _Cambridge Modern
History_, Vol. XIII (1911). The best atlas--a vitally necessary adjunct
of historical study--is either that of W. R. Shepherd, _Historical
Atlas_ (1911), or that of Ramsay Muir, _Hammond's New Historical Atlas
for Students_, 2d ed. (1915); a smaller historical atlas is that of E.
W. Dow (1907), and longer ones are _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. XIV
(1912) and, in German, Putzger, _Historischer Schulatlas_. Elaborate
treatises on historical geography: Elisée Reclus, _The Universal
Geography_, trans. and ed. by E. G. Ravenstein, 19 vols.; _Nouveau
Dictionnaire de Géographie Universelle_, by Vivien de Saint-Martin and
Louis Rousselet, 10 vols. See also H. B. George, _The Relations of
Geography and History_ (1910) and Ellen C. Semple, _The Influence of
Geographic Environment_ (1911).

Modern History_, 12 vols. and 2 supplementary vols. (1902-1912),
planned by Lord Acton, edited by A. W. Ward, G. W. Prothero, and
Stanley Leathes, written by English scholars, covering the period from
1450 to 1910, generally sound but rather narrowly political. Better
balanced is the monumental work of a group of French scholars,
_Histoire générale du IVe siècle à nos jours_, edited by Ernest Lavisse
and Alfred Rambaud, 12 vols. (1894-1901), of which the last nine treat
of the years from 1492 to 1900. For social history a series, _Histoire
universelle du travail_, 12 vols., is projected under the editorship of
Georges Renard. _The Encyclopædia Britannica_, 11th ed. (1910-1911), is
the work mainly of distinguished scholars and a storehouse of
historical information, political, social, and intellectual. Also
available in English is _History of All Nations_, 24 vols. (1902), the
first nineteen based on translation of Theodor Flathe, _Allgemeine
Weltgeschichte_,--Vols. X-XXIV dealing with modern history,--Vol. XX,
on Europe, Asia, and Africa since 1871, by C. M. Andrews, and Vols.
XXI-XXIII, on American history, by John Fiske; likewise H. F. Helmolt
(editor), _Weltgeschichte_, trans. into English, 8 vols. (1902-1907).
Sets and series in German: Wilhelm Oncken (editor), _Allgemeine
Geschichte in Einzeldarstellungen_, 50 vols. (1879-1893); _Geschichte
der europäischen Staaten_, an enormous collection, appearing more or
less constantly from 1829 to the present and edited successively by
such famous scholars as A. H. L. Heeren, F. A. Ukert, Wilhelm von
Giesebrecht, and Karl Lamprecht; G. von Below and F. Meinecke
(editors), _Handbuch der mittel-alterlichen und neueren Geschichte_, a
series begun in 1903 and planned, when completed, to comprise 40 vols.;
Paul Hinneberg (editor), _Die Kultur der Gegenwart, ihre Entwicklung
und ihre Ziele_, a remarkable series begun in 1906 and intended to
explain in many volumes the civilization of the twentieth century in
all its aspects; Erich Brandenburg (editor), _Bibliothek der
Geschichtswissenschaft_, a series recently projected, the first volume
appearing in 1912; J. von Pflugk-Harttung, _Weltgeschichte: die
Entwicklung der Menschheit in Staat und Gesellschaft, in Kultur und
Geistesleben_, 6 vols. illust. (1908-1911); Theodor Lindner,
_Weltgeschichte seit der Völkerwanderung_, 8 vols. (1908-1914).
Valuable contributions to general modern history occur in such
monumental national histories as Karl Lamprecht, _Deutsche Geschichte_,
12 vols. in 16 (1891-1909), and, more particularly, Ernest Lavisse
(editor), _Histoire de France depuis les origines jusqu'à la
Révolution_, 9 double vols. (1900-1911).

BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARIES. General: _Encyclopedia Britannica_, 11th
ed., 29 vols. (1910-1911); _New International Encyclopedia_, 2d ed., 24
vols. (1914-1916); _Catholic Encyclopedia_, 15 vols. (1907-1912). Great
Britain: Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee (editors), _Dictionary of
National Biography_, 72 vols. (1885-1913). France: Hoefer (editor),
_Nouvelle biographie générale_, 46 vols. (1855-1866); _Dictionnaire de
biographie française_, projected (1913) under editorship of Louis
Didier, Albert Isnard, and Gabriel Ledos. Germany: Liliencron and
Wegele (editors), _Allgemeine deutsche Biographie_, 54 vols. (1875
_sqq_.). Austria-Hungary: Wurzbach (editor), _Biographisches Lexikon
des Kaiserthums Oesterreich_, 60 vols. (1856-1891). There is also a
well-known French work--L. G. Michaud, _Biographie universelle ancienne
et moderne_, 45 vols. (1880).

BIBLIOGRAPHY. Many of the works cited above and most of the works
mentioned in the following chapter bibliographies contain convenient
bibliographies on special topics. The best general guide to collections
of source material and to the organization of historical study and
research, though already somewhat out-of-date, is C. V. Langlois,
_Manuel de bibliographie historique_, 2 vols. (1901-1904). See also C.
M. Andrews, J. M. Gambrill, and Lida Tall, _A Bibliography of History
for Schools and Libraries_ (1910); and C. K. Adams, _A Manual of
Historical Literature_, 3d ed. (1889). Specifically, for Great Britain:
W. P. Courtney, _A Register of National Bibliography_, 3 vols. (1905-
1912); S. R. Gardiner and J. B. Mullinger, _Introduction to the Study
of English History_, 4th ed. (1903); H. L. Cannon, _Reading References
for English History_ (1910); _Bibliography of Modern English History_,
now (1916) in preparation under the auspices of English scholars and of
the American Historical Association. For German bibliography: Dahlmann-
Waitz, _Quellenkunde der deutschen Geschichte_, 8th ed. (1912);
_Jahresberichte der Geschichtswissenschaft_, a valuable annual
publication issued under the auspices of the Historical Association of
Berlin. For French bibliography: Gabriel Monod, _Bibliographie de
l'histoire de France_ (1888), new ed. projected (1910) in 4 vols.;
_Manuels de bibliographie historique_ (1907-1916): Part II, 1494-1610,
by Henri Hauser, _Part III, 1610-1715_, by Émile Bourgeois and Louis
André; _Répertoire méthodique de l'histoire moderne et contemporaine de
la France_, an annual publication edited by Brière and Caron. For
American bibliography: Edward Channing, A. B. Hart, and F. J. Turner,
_Guide to the Study of American History_ (1912). Among important
historical periodicals, containing bibliographical notes and book
reviews, are, _History Teacher's Magazine, The American Historical
Review, The English Historical Review, Die historische Zeitschrift,
Revue d'histoire moderne et contemporaine, La revue historique_, and
_La revue des questions historiques_. For periodical literature see
_Poole's Index_ (1802-1906) and _Readers' Guide_ (1900 _sqq._). The
most famous lists of published books are: _The American Catalogue_
(1876 _sqq._); the _English Catalogue_ (1835 _sqq._); C. G. Kayser,
_Bücher-Lexikon_ (1750 _sqq._); Wilhelm Heinsius, _Bücher-Lexikon_
(1700-1892); Otto Lorenz, _Catalogue général de la librarie française
(1840 _sqq_.); and, for general comment, American Library Association,
_Index to General Literature_ (1893 _sqq._).






[Sidenote: "National Monarchies" in 1500]

Before we can safely proceed with the story of European development
during the past four hundred years, it is necessary to know what were
the chief countries that existed at the beginning of our period and
what were the distinctive political institutions of each.

A glance at the map of Europe in 1500 will show numerous unfamiliar
divisions and names, especially in the central and eastern portions.
Only in the extreme west, along the Atlantic seaboard, will the eye
detect geographical boundaries which resemble those of the present day.
There, England, France, Spain, and Portugal have already taken form. In
each one of these countries is a real nation, with a single monarch,
and with a distinctive literary language. These four states are the
_national_ states of the sixteenth century. They attract our
immediate attention.


[Sidenote: The English Monarchy]

In the year 1500 the English monarchy embraced little more than what on
the map is now called "England." It is true that to the west the
principality of Wales had been incorporated two hundred years earlier,
but the clannish mountaineers and hardy lowlanders of the northern part
of the island of Great Britain still preserved the independence of the
kingdom of Scotland, while Irish princes and chieftains rendered
English occupation of their island extremely precarious beyond the so-
called Pale of Dublin which an English king had conquered in the
twelfth century. Across the English Channel, on the Continent, the
English monarchy retained after 1453, the date of the conclusion of the
Hundred Years' War, only the town of Calais out of the many rich French
provinces which ever since the time of William the Conqueror (1066-
1087) had been a bone of contention between French and English rulers.

While the English monarchy was assuming its geographical form, peculiar
national institutions were taking root in the country, and the English
language, as a combination of earlier Anglo-Saxon and Norman-French,
was being evolved. The Hundred Years' War with France, or rather its
outcome, served to exalt the sense of English nationality and English
patriotism, and to enable the king to devote his whole attention to the
consolidation of his power in the British islands. For several years
after the conclusion of peace on the Continent, England was harassed by
bloody and confused struggles, known as the Wars of the Roses, between
rival claimants to the throne, but at length, in 1485, Henry VII, the
first of the Tudor dynasty, secured the crown and ushered in a new era
of English history.

[Sidenote: Increase of Royal Power in England under Henry VII]

Henry VII (1485-1509) sought to create what has been termed a "strong
monarchy." Traditionally the power of the king had been restricted by a
Parliament, composed of a House of Lords and a House of Commons, and as
the former was then far more influential than the latter, supreme
political control had rested practically with the king and the members
of the upper house--great land-holding nobles and the princes of the
church. The Wars of the Roses had two effects which redounded to the
advantage of the king: (1) the struggle, being really a contest of two
factions of nobles, destroyed many noble families and enabled the crown
to seize their estates, thereby lessening the influence of an ancient
class; (2) the struggle, being long and disorderly, created in the
middle class or "common people" a longing for peace and the conviction
that order and security could be maintained only by repression of the
nobility and the strengthening of monarchy. Henry took advantage of
these circumstances to fix upon his country an absolutism, or one-man
power in government, which was to endure throughout the sixteenth
century, during the reigns of the four other members of the Tudor
family, and, in fact, until a popular revolution in the seventeenth

Henry VII repressed disorder with a heavy hand and secured the
establishment of an extraordinary court, afterwards called the "Court
of Star Chamber," to hear cases, especially those affecting the nobles,
which the ordinary courts had not been able to settle. Then, too, he
was very economical: the public revenue was increased by means of more
careful attention to the cultivation of the crown lands and the
collection of feudal dues, fines, benevolences [Footnote:
"Benevolences" were sums of money extorted from the people in the guise
of gifts. A celebrated minister of Henry VII collected a very large
number of "benevolences" for his master. If a man lived economically,
it was reasoned he was saving money and could afford a "present" for
the king. If, on the contrary, he lived sumptuously, he was evidently
wealthy and could likewise afford a "gift."], import and export duties,
and past parliamentary grants, while, by means of frugality and a
foreign policy of peace, the expenditure was appreciably decreased.
Henry VII was thereby freed in large measure from dependence on
Parliament for grants of money, and the power of Parliament naturally
declined. In fact, Parliament met only five times during his whole
reign and only once during the last twelve years, and in all its
actions was quite subservient to the royal desires.

[Sidenote: Foreign relations of England under Henry VII]

Henry VII refrained in general from foreign war, but sought by other
means to promote the international welfare of his country. He
negotiated several treaties by which English traders might buy and sell
goods in other countries. One of the most famous of these commercial
treaties was the _Intercursus Magnus_ concluded in 1496 with the
duke of Burgundy, admitting English goods into the Netherlands. He
likewise encouraged English companies of merchants to engage in foreign
trade and commissioned the explorations of John Cabot in the New World.
Henry increased the prestige of his house by politic marital alliances.
He arranged a marriage between the heir to his throne, Arthur, and
Catherine, eldest daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Spanish
sovereigns. Arthur died a few months after his wedding, but it was
arranged that Catherine should remain in England as the bride of the
king's second son, who subsequently became Henry VIII. The king's
daughter Margaret was married to King James IV of Scotland, thereby
paving the way much later for the union of the crowns of England and

England in the year 1500 was a real national monarchy, and the power of
the king appeared to be distinctly in the ascendant. Parliament was
fast becoming a purely formal and perfunctory body.


[Sidenote: The French Monarchy]

By the year 1500 the French monarchy was largely consolidated
territorially and politically. It had been a slow and painful process,
for long ago in 987, when Hugh Capet came to the throne, the France of
his day was hardly more than the neighborhood of Paris, and it had
taken five full centuries to unite the petty feudal divisions of the
country into the great centralized state which we call France. The
Hundred Years' War had finally freed the western duchies and counties
from English control. Just before the opening of the sixteenth century
the wily and tactful Louis XI (1461-1483) had rounded out French
territories: on the east he had occupied the powerful duchy of
Burgundy; on the west and on the southeast he had possessed himself of
most of the great inheritance of the Angevin branch of his own family,
including Anjou, and Provence east of the Rhone; and on the south the
French frontier had been carried to the Pyrenees. Finally, Louis's son,
Charles VIII (1483-1498), by marrying the heiress of Brittany, had
absorbed that western duchy into France.

[Sidenote: Steady Growth of Royal Power in France]

Meanwhile, centralized political institutions had been taking slow but
tenacious root in the country. Of course, many local institutions and
customs survived in the various states which had been gradually added
to France, but the king was now recognized from Flanders to Spain and
from the Rhone to the Ocean as the source of law, justice, and order.
There was a uniform royal coinage and a standing army under the king's
command. The monarchs had struggled valiantly against the disruptive
tendencies of feudalism; they had been aided by the commoners or middle
class; and the proof of their success was their comparative freedom
from political checks. The Estates-General, to which French commoners
had been admitted in 1302, resembled in certain externals the English
Parliament,--for example, in comprising representatives of the clergy,
nobles, and commons,--but it had never had final say in levying taxes
or in authorizing expenditures or in trying royal officers. And unlike
England, there was in France no live tradition of popular participation
in government and no written guarantee of personal liberty.

[Sidenote: Foreign Relations of the French Kings about 1500]

Consolidated at home in territory and in government, Frenchmen began
about the year 1500 to be attracted to questions of external policy. By
attempting to enforce an inherited claim to the crown of Naples,
Charles VIII in 1494 started that career of foreign war and
aggrandizement which was to mark the history of France throughout
following centuries. His efforts in Italy were far from successful, but
his heir, Louis XII (1498-1515), continued to lay claim to Naples and
to the duchy of Milan as well. In 1504 Louis was obliged to resign
Naples to King Ferdinand of Aragon, in whose family it remained for two
centuries, but about Milan continued a conflict, with varying fortunes,
ultimately merging into the general struggle between Francis I (1515-
1547) and the Emperor Charles V.

France in the year 1500 was a real national monarchy, with the
beginnings of a national literature and with a national patriotism
centering in the king. It was becoming self-conscious. Like England,
France was on the road to one-man power, but unlike England, the way
had been marked by no liberal or constitutional mile-posts.


[Sidenote: Development of the Spanish and Portuguese Monarchies]

South of the Pyrenees were the Spanish and Portuguese monarchies,
which, in a long process of unification, not only had to contend
against the same disuniting tendencies as appeared in France and
England, but also had to solve the problem of the existence side by
side of two great rival religions--Christianity and Mohammedanism.
Mohammedan invaders from Africa had secured political control of nearly
the whole peninsula as early as the eighth century, but in course of
time there appeared in the northern and western mountains several
diminutive Christian states, of which the following may be mentioned:
Barcelona, in the northeast, along the Mediterranean; Aragon, occupying
the south-central portion of the Pyrenees and extending southward
toward the Ebro River; Navarre, at the west of the Pyrenees, reaching
northward into what is now France and southward into what is now Spain;
Castile, west of Navarre, circling about the town of Burgos; Leon, in
the northwestern corner of the peninsula; and Portugal, south of Leon,
lying along the Atlantic coast. Little by little these Christian states
extended their southern frontiers at the expense of the Mohammedan
power and showed some disposition to combine. In the twelfth century
Barcelona was united with the kingdom of Aragon, and a hundred years
later Castile and Leon were finally joined. Thus, by the close of the
thirteenth century, there were three important states in the peninsula
--Aragon on the east, Castile in the center, and Portugal on the west--
and two less important states--Christian Navarre in the extreme north,
and Mohammedan Granada in the extreme south.

While Portugal acquired its full territorial extension in the peninsula
by the year 1263, the unity of modern Spain was delayed until after the
marriage of Ferdinand (1479-1516) and Isabella (1474-1504), sovereigns
respectively of Aragon and Castile. Granada, the last foothold of the
Mohammedans, fell in 1492, and in 1512 Ferdinand acquired that part of
the ancient kingdom of Navarre which lay upon the southern slope of the
Pyrenees. The peninsula was henceforth divided between the two modern
states of Spain and Portugal.

[Sidenote: Portugal a Real National Monarchy in 1500]

Portugal, the older and smaller of the two states, had become a
conspicuous member of the family of nations by the year 1500, thanks to
a line of able kings and to the remarkable series of foreign
discoveries that cluster about the name of Prince Henry the Navigator.
Portugal possessed a distinctive language of Latin origin and already
cherished a literature of no mean proportions. In harmony with the
spirit of the age the monarchy was tending toward absolutism, and the
parliament, called the Cortes, which had played an important part in
earlier times, ceased to meet regularly after 1521. The Portuguese
royal family were closely related to the Castilian line, and there were
people in both kingdoms who hoped that one day the whole peninsula
would be united under one sovereign.

[Sidenote: The Spanish Kingdom in 1500]

From several standpoints the Spanish monarchy was less unified in 1500
than England, France, or Portugal. The union of Castile and Aragon was,
for over two centuries, hardly more than personal. Each retained its
own customs, parliaments (Cortes), and separate administration. Each
possessed a distinctive language, although Castilian gradually became
the literary "Spanish," while Catalan, the speech of Aragon, was
reduced to the position of an inferior. Despite the continuance of
excessive pride in local traditions and institutions, the cause of
Spanish nationality received great impetus during the reign of
Ferdinand and Isabella. It was under them that territorial unity had
been obtained. It was they who turned the attention of Spaniards to
foreign and colonial enterprises. The year that marked the fall of
Granada and the final extinction of Mohammedan power in Spain was
likewise signalized by the first voyage of Christopher Columbus, which
prefigured the establishment of a greater Spain beyond the seas. On the
continent of Europe, Spain speedily acquired a commanding position in
international affairs, as the result largely of Ferdinand's ability.
The royal house of Aragon had long held claims to the Neapolitan and
Sicilian kingdoms and for two hundred years had freely mixed in the
politics of Italy. Now, in 1504, Ferdinand definitely secured
recognition from France of his rights in Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia.
Spain was becoming the rival of Venice for the leadership of the

[Sidenote: Increase of Royal Power in Spain under Ferdinand and

While interfering very little with the forms of representative
government in their respective kingdoms, Ferdinand and Isabella worked
ever, in fact, toward uniformity and absolutism. They sought to
ingratiate themselves with the middle class, to strip the nobility of
its political influence, and to enlist the church in their service. The
Cortes were more or less regularly convened, but their functions were
almost imperceptibly transferred to royal commissions and officers of
state. Privileges granted to towns in earlier times were now gradually
revoked. The king, by becoming the head of the ancient military orders
which had borne prominent part in the struggle against the Mohammedans,
easily gained control of considerable treasure and of an effective
fighting force. The sovereigns prevailed upon the pope to transfer
control of the Inquisition, the medieval ecclesiastical tribunal for
the trial of heretics, to the crown, so that the harsh penalties which
were to be inflicted for many years upon dissenters from orthodox
Christianity were due not only to religious bigotry but likewise to the
desire for political uniformity.

In population and in domestic resources Spain was not so important as
France, but the exploits of Ferdinand and Isabella, the great wealth
which temporarily flowed to her from the colonies, the prestige which
long attended her diplomacy and her armies, were to exalt the Spanish
monarchy throughout the sixteenth century to a position quite out of
keeping with her true importance.


[Sidenote: The Idea of an "Empire" Different in 1500 from that of a
"National Monarchy"]

The national monarchies of western Europe--England, France, Spain, and
Portugal--were political novelties in the year 1500: the idea of
uniting the people of similar language and customs under a strongly
centralized state had been slowly developing but had not reached
fruition much before that date. On the other hand, in central Europe
survived in weakness an entirely different kind of state, called an
empire. The theory of an empire was a very ancient one--it meant a
state which should embrace all peoples of whatsoever race or language,
bound together in obedience to a common prince. Such, for example, had
been the ideal of the old Roman Empire, under whose Caesars practically
the whole civilized world had once been joined, so that the inhabitant
of Egypt or Armenia united with the citizen of Britain or Spain in
allegiance to the emperor. That empire retained its hold on portions of
eastern Europe until its final conquest by the Ottoman Turks in 1453,
but a thousand years earlier it had lost control of the West because of
external violence and internal weakness. So great, however, was the
strength of the idea of an "empire," even in the West, that Charlemagne
about the year 800 temporarily united what are now France, Germany,
Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium into what he persisted in styling
the "Roman Empire." Nearly two centuries later, Otto the Great, a
famous prince in Germany, gave other form to the idea, in the "Holy
Roman Empire" of which he became emperor. This form endured from 962 to

[Sidenote: The Holy Roman Empire; Its Mighty Claims in Theory and its
Slight Power in Practice]

In theory, the Holy Roman Empire claimed supremacy over all Christian
rulers and peoples of central and western Europe, and after the
extinction of the eastern empire in 1453 it could insist that it was
the sole secular heir to the ancient Roman tradition. But the greatness
of the theoretical claim of the Holy Roman Empire was matched only by
the insignificance of its practical acceptance. The feudal nobles of
western Europe had never recognized it, and the national monarchs,
though they might occasionally sport with its honors and titles, never
admitted any real dependence upon it of England, France, Portugal, or
Spain. In central Europe, it had to struggle against the anarchical
tendencies of feudalism, against the rise of powerful and jealous city-
states, and against a rival organization, the Catholic Church, which in
its temporal affairs was at least as clearly an heir to the Roman
tradition as was the Holy Roman Empire. From the eleventh to the
thirteenth century the conflict raged, with results important for all
concerned,--results which were thoroughly obvious in the year 1500.

[Sidenote: The Holy Roman Empire practically Restricted by 1500 to the

In the first place, the Holy Roman Empire was practically restricted to
German-speaking peoples. The papacy and the Italian cities had been
freed from imperial control, and both the Netherlands--that is, Holland
and Belgium--and the Swiss cantons were only nominally connected. Over
the Slavic people to the east--Russians, Poles, etc.--or the
Scandinavians to the north, the empire had secured comparatively small
influence. By the year 1500 the words Empire and Germany had become
virtually interchangeable terms.

Secondly, there was throughout central Europe no conspicuous desire for
strong centralized national states, such as prevailed in western

[Sidenote: Internal Weakness of the Holy Roman Empire]

Separatism was the rule. In Italy and in the Netherlands the city-
states were the political units. Within the Holy Roman Empire was a
vast hodge-podge of city-states, and feudal survivals--arch-duchies,
such as Austria; margravates, such as Brandenburg; duchies, like
Saxony, Bavaria, and Württemberg; counties like the Palatinate, and a
host of free cities, baronies, and domains, some of them smaller than
an American township. In all there were over three hundred states which
collectively were called "the Germanies" and which were united only by
the slender imperial thread. The idea of empire had not only been
narrowed to one nation; it also, in its failure to overcome feudalism,
had prevented the growth of a real national monarchy.

[Sidenote: Government of the Holy Roman Empire]

What was the nature of this slight tie that nominally held the
Germanies together? There was the form of a central government with an
emperor to execute laws and a Diet to make them. The emperor was not
necessarily hereditary but was chosen by seven "electors," who were the
chief princes of the realm. These seven were the archbishops of Mainz
(Mayence), of Cologne, and of Trier (Trèves), the king of Bohemia, the
duke of Saxony, the margrave of Brandenburg, and the count palatine of
the Rhine. Not infrequently the electors used their position to extort
concessions from the emperor elect which helped to destroy German unity
and to promote the selfish interests of the princes. The imperial Diet
was composed of the seven electors, the lesser princes (including the
higher ecclesiastical dignitaries, such as bishops and abbots), and
representatives of the free cities, grouped in three separate houses.
The emperor was not supposed to perform any imperial act without the
authorization of the Diet, and petty jealousies between its members or
houses often prevented action in the Diet. The individual states,
moreover, reserved to themselves the management of most affairs which
in western Europe had been surrendered to the central national
government. The Diet, and therefore the emperor, was without a treasury
or an army, unless the individual states saw fit to act favorably upon
its advice and furnish the requested quotas. The Diet resembled far
more a congress of diplomats than a legislative body.

[Sidenote: The Habsburgs: Weak as Emperors but Strong as Rulers of
Particular States within the Holy Roman Empire]

It will be readily perceived that under these circumstances the emperor
as such could have little influence. Yet the fear of impending Slavic
or Turkish attacks upon the eastern frontier, or other fears,
frequently operated to secure the election of some prince who had
sufficiently strong power of his own to stay the attack or remove the
fear. In this way, Rudolph, count of Habsburg, had been chosen emperor
in 1273, and in his family, with few interruptions, continued the
imperial title, not only to 1500 but to the final extinction of the
empire in 1806. Several of these Habsburg emperors were influential,
but it must always be remembered that they owed their power not to the
empire but to their own hereditary states.

Originally lords of a small district in Switzerland, the Habsburgs had
gradually increased their holdings until at length in 1273 Rudolph, the
maker of his family's real fortunes, had been chosen Holy Roman
Emperor, and three years later had conquered the valuable archduchy of
Austria with its capital of Vienna. The family subsequently became
related by marriage to reigning families in Hungary and in Italy as
well as in Bohemia and other states of the empire. In 1477 the Emperor
Maximilian I (1493-1519) married Mary of Burgundy, daughter of Charles
the Bold and heiress of the wealthy provinces of the Netherlands; and
in 1496 his son Philip was united to Joanna, the daughter of Ferdinand
and Isabella and heiress of the crowns of Castile and Aragon. The
fortunes of the Habsburgs were decidedly auspicious.

[Sidenote: Vain Attempts to "Reform" the Holy Roman Empire]

Of course, signs were not wanting of some national life in the
Germanies. Most of the people spoke a common language; a form of
national unity existed in the Diet; and many patriots raised their
voice in behalf of a stronger and more centralized government. In 1495
a Diet met at the city of Worms to discuss with Emperor Maximilian
projects of reform. After protracted debates, it was agreed that
private warfare, a survival of feudal days, should be abolished; a
perpetual peace should be declared; and an imperial court should be
established to settle all disputes between states within the empire.
These efforts at reform, like many before and after, were largely
unfruitful, and, despite occasional protests, practical disunion
prevailed in the Germanies of the sixteenth century, albeit under the
high-sounding title of "Holy Roman Empire."


[Sidenote: "City-States" in 1500]

Before the dawn of the Christian era the Greeks and Romans had
entertained a general idea of political organization which would seem
strange to most of us at the present time. They believed that every
city with its outlying country should constitute an independent state,
with its own particular law-making and governing bodies, army, coinage,
and foreign relations. To them, the idea of an empire was intolerable
and the concept of a national state, such as we commonly have to-day,

Now it so happened, as we shall see in the following chapter, that the
commerce of the middle ages stimulated the growth of important trading
towns in Italy, in Germany, and in the Netherlands. These towns, in one
way or another, managed to secure a large measure of self-government,
so that by the year 1500 they had become somewhat similar to the city-
states of antiquity. In Germany, though they still maintained their
local self-government, they were loosely attached to the Holy Roman
Empire and were overshadowed in political influence by other states. In
the case of Italy and of the Netherlands, however, it is impossible to
understand the politics of those countries in the sixteenth century
without paying some attention to city-states, which played leading
rôles in both.

[Sidenote: Italy in 1500 neither a National Monarchy not Attached to
the Holy Roman Empire]

In the Italy of the year 1500 there was not even the semblance of
national political unity. Despite the ardent longings of many Italian
patriots [Footnote: Of such patriots was Machiavelli (see below, p.
194). Machiavelli wrote in _The Prince:_ "Our country, left almost
without life, still waits to know who it is that is to heal her
bruises, to put an end to the devastation and plunder of Lombardy and
to the exactions and imposts of Naples and Tuscany, and to stanch those
wounds of hers which long neglect has changed into running sores. We
see how she prays God to send some one to rescue her from these
barbarous cruelties and oppressions. We see too how ready and eager she
is to follow any standard, were there only some one to raise it."], and
the rise of a common language, which, under such masters as Dante and
Petrarch, had become a great medium for literary expression, the people
of the peninsula had not built up a national monarchy like those of
western Europe nor had they even preserved the form of allegiance to
the Holy Roman Empire. This was due to several significant events of
earlier times. In the first place, the attempt of the medieval German
emperors to gain control of Italy not only had signally failed but had
left behind two contending factions throughout the whole country,--one,
the Ghibellines, supporting the doctrine of maintaining the traditional
connection with the Germanies; the other, the Guelphs, rejecting that
doctrine. In the second place, the pope, who exercised extensive
political as well as religious power, felt that his ecclesiastical
influence would be seriously impaired by the creation of political
unity in the country; a strong lay monarch with a solid Italy behind
him would in time reduce the sovereign pontiff to a subservient
position and diminish the prestige which the head of the church enjoyed
in foreign lands; therefore the popes participated actively in the game
of Italian politics, always endeavoring to prevent any one state from
becoming too powerful. Thirdly, the comparatively early commercial
prominence of the Italian towns had stimulated trade rivalries which
tended to make each proud of its independence and wealth; and as the
cities grew and prospered to an unwonted degree, it became increasingly
difficult to join them together. Finally, the riches of the Italians,
and the local jealousies and strife, to say nothing of the papal
policy, marked the country as natural prey for foreign interference and
conquest; and in this way the peninsula became a battleground for
Spaniards, Frenchmen, and Germans.

Before reviewing the chief city-states of northern Italy, it will be
well to say a word about two other political divisions of the country.
The southern third of the peninsula comprised the ancient kingdom of
Naples, which had grown up about the city of that name, and which
together with the large island of Sicily, was called the kingdom of the
Two Sicilies.

[Sidenote: Southern Italy in 1500: the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies]

This state, having been first formed by Scandinavian adventurers in the
eleventh century, had successively passed under papal suzerainty, under
the domination of the German emperors, and at length in 1266 under
French control. A revolt in Sicily in the year 1282, commonly called
the Sicilian Vespers, had severed the relation between the island and
the mainland, the former passing to the royal family of Aragon, and the
latter troublously remaining in French hands until 1442. The reunion of
the Two Sicilies at that date under the crown of Aragon served to keep
alive the quarrel between the French and the Spanish; and it was not
until 1504 that the king of France definitely renounced his Neapolitan
claims in favor of Ferdinand of Aragon. Socially and politically Naples
was the most backward state in Italy.

[Sidenote: Italy in 1500: the Papal States]

About the city of Rome had grown up in the course of centuries the
Papal States, or as they were officially styled, the Patrimony of St.
Peter. It had early fallen to the lot of the bishop, as the most
important person in the city, to exercise political power over Rome,
when barbarian invasions no longer permitted the exercise of authority
by Roman emperors; and control over neighboring districts, as well as
over the city, had been expressly recognized and conferred upon the
bishop by Charlemagne in the eighth century. This bishop of Rome was,
of course, the pope; and the pope slowly extended his territories
through central Italy from the Tiber to the Adriatic, long using them
merely as a bulwark to his religious and ecclesiastical prerogatives.
By the year 1500, however, the popes were becoming prone to regard
themselves as Italian princes who might normally employ their states as
so many pawns in the game of peninsular politics. The policy of the
notorious Alexander VI (1492-1503) centered in his desire to establish
his son, Cesare Borgia, as an Italian ruler; and Julius II (1503-1513)
was famed more for statecraft and military prowess than for religious

[Sidenote: The City-States of Northern Italy in 1500]

North and west of the Papal States were the various city-states which
were so thoroughly distinctive of Italian politics at the opening of
the sixteenth century. Although these towns had probably reached a
higher plane both of material prosperity and of intellectual culture
than was to be found at that time in any other part of Europe,
nevertheless they were deeply jealous of each other and carried on an
interminable series of petty wars, the brunt of which was borne by
professional hired soldiers and freebooters styled _condottieri_.
Among the Italian city-states, the most famous in the year 1500 were
Milan, Venice, Genoa, and Florence.

[Sidenote: Italian City-States: Milan Governed by Despots]

Of these cities, Milan was still in theory a ducal fief of the Holy
Roman Empire, but had long been in fact the prize of despotic rulers
who were descended from two famous families--the Visconti and the
Sforza--and who combined the patronage of art with the fine political
subtleties of Italian tyrants. The Visconti ruled Milan from the
thirteenth century to the middle of the fifteenth, when a Sforza, a
leader of _condottieri_ established the supremacy of his own
family. In 1499, however, King Louis XII of France, claiming the duchy
as heir to the Visconti, seized Milan and held it until he was expelled
in 1512 by the Holy League, composed of the pope, Venice, Spain, and
England, and a Sforza was temporarily reinstated.

[Sidenote: Venice, a Type of the Commercial and Aristocratic Italian

As Milan was the type of Italian city ruled by a despot or tyrant, so
Venice was a type of the commercial, oligarchical city-states. Venice
was by far the most powerful state in the peninsula. Located on the
islands and lagoons at the head of the Adriatic, she had profited
greatly by the crusades to build up a maritime empire and an enviable
trade on the eastern Mediterranean and had extended her sway over rich
lands in the northeastern part of Italy. In the year 1500, Venice
boasted 3000 ships, 300,000 sailors, a numerous and veteran army,
famous factories of plate glass, silk stuffs, and gold and silver
objects, and a singularly strong government. Nominally Venice was a
republic, but actually an oligarchy. Political power was intrusted
jointly to several agencies: (1) a grand council controlled by the
commercial magnates; (2) a centralized committee of ten; (3) an elected
doge, or duke; and (4), after 1454, three state inquisitors, henceforth
the city's real masters. The inquisitors could pronounce sentence of
death, dispose of the public funds, and enact statutes; they maintained
a regular spy system; and trial, judgment, and execution were secret.
The mouth of the lion of St. Mark received anonymous denunciations, and
the waves which passed under the Bridge of Sighs carried away the
corpses. To this regime Venice owed an internal peace which contrasted
with the endless civil wars of the other Italian cities. Till the final
destruction of the state in 1798 Venice knew no political revolution.
In foreign affairs, also, Venice possessed considerable influence; she
was the first European state to send regular envoys, or ambassadors, to
other courts. It seemed in 1500 as if she were particularly wealthy and
great, but already had been sowed the seed of her subsequent decline
and humiliation. The advance of the Ottoman Turks threatened her
position in eastern Europe, although she still held the Morea in
Greece, Crete, Cyprus, and many Ionian and Ægean islands. The discovery
of America and of a new route to India was destined to shake the very
basis of her commercial supremacy. And her unscrupulous policy toward
her Italian rivals lost her friends to the west. So great was the
enmity against Venice that the formidable League of Cambrai, entered
into by the emperor, the pope, France, and Spain in 1508, wrung many
concessions from her.

[Sidenote: Genoa]

Second only to Venice in commercial importance, Genoa, in marked
contrast with her rival, passed through all manner of political
vicissitudes until in 1499 she fell prey to the invasion of King Louis
XII of France. Thereafter Genoa remained some years subject to the
French, but in 1528 the resolution of an able citizen, Andrea Doria,
freed the state from foreign invaders and restored to Genoa her
republican institutions.

The famed city-state of Florence may be taken as the best type of the
democratic community, controlled by a political leader. The city, as
famous for its free institutions as for its art, in the first half of
the fifteenth century had come under the tutelage of a family of
traders and bankers, the wealthy Medici, who preserved the republican
forms, and for a while, under Lorenzo de' Medici (1449-1492), surnamed
the Magnificent, made Florence the center of Italian culture and

[Sidenote: Florence, a Type of the Cultured and Democratic Italian

Soon after the death of Lorenzo, a democratic reaction took place under
an enthusiastic and puritanical monk, Savonarola, who welcomed the
advent of the French king, Charles VIII, in 1494, and aided materially
in the expulsion of the Medici. Savonarola soon fell a victim to the
plots of his Florentine enemies and to the vengeance of the pope, whom
Charles VIII had offended, and was put to death in 1498, The democracy
managed to survive until 1512 when the Medici returned. The city-state
of Florence subsequently became the grand-duchy of Tuscany.

[Sidenote: The Obscure Duchy of Savoy in 1500]

Before we take leave of the Italian states of the year 1500, mention
should be made of the insignificant duchy of Savoy, tucked away in the
fastnesses of the northwestern Alps, whose duke, after varying
fortunes, was to become, in the nineteenth century, king of a united

[Sidenote: The City-States in the Netherlands]

The city-state was the dominant form of political organization not only
in Italy but also in the Netherlands. The Netherlands, or the Low
Countries, were seventeen provinces occupying the flat lowlands along
the North Sea,--the Holland, Belgium, and northern France of our own
day. Most of the inhabitants, Flemings and Dutch, spoke a language akin
to German, but in the south the Walloons used a French dialect. At
first the provinces had been mere feudal states at the mercy of various
warring noblemen, but gradually in the course of the twelfth,
thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries, important towns had arisen so
wealthy and populous that they were able to wrest charters from the
lords. Thus arose a number of municipalities--practically self-
governing republics--semi-independent vassals of feudal nobles; and in
many cases the early oligarchic systems of municipal government
speedily gave way to more democratic institutions. Remarkable in
industry and prosperity were Ghent, Bruges, Antwerp, Brussels, Liege,
Utrecht, Delft, Rotterdam, and many another.

[Sidenote: Relation of the City-Stats of the Netherlands to the Dukes
of Burgundy]

Beginning in 1384 and continuing throughout the fifteenth century, the
dukes of Burgundy, who as vassals of the French king had long held the
duchy of that name in eastern France, succeeded by marriage, purchase,
treachery, or force in bringing one by one the seventeen provinces of
the Netherlands under their rule. This extension of dominion on the
part of the dukes of Burgundy implied the establishment of a strong
monarchical authority, which was supported by the nobility and clergy
and opposed by the cities. In 1465 a common parliament, called the
States General, was constituted at Brussels, containing deputies from
each of the seventeen provinces; and eight years later a grand council
was organized with supreme judicial and financial functions. Charles
the Bold, who died in 1477, was prevented from constructing a great
central kingdom between France and the Germanies only by the shrewdness
of his implacable foe, King Louis XI of France. As we have seen, in
another connection, Louis seized the duchy of Burgundy on the death of
Charles the Bold, thereby extending the eastern frontier of France, but
the duke's inheritance in the Netherlands passed to his daughter Mary.
In 1477 Mary's marriage with Maximilian of Austria began the long
domination of the Netherlands by the house of Habsburg.

Throughout these political changes, the towns of the Netherlands
maintained many of their former privileges, and their prosperity
steadily increased. The country became the richest in Europe, and the
splendor of the ducal court surpassed that of any contemporary
sovereign. A permanent memorial of it remains in the celebrated Order
of the Golden Fleece, which was instituted by the duke of Burgundy in
the fifteenth century and was so named from the English wool, the raw
material used in the Flemish looms and the very foundation of the
country's fortunes.


[Sidenote: Northern and Eastern Europe of Small Importance in the
Sixteenth Century, but of Great Importance Subsequently]

We have now reviewed the states that were to be the main factors in the
historical events of the sixteenth century--the national monarchies of
England, France, Portugal, and Spain; the Holy Roman Empire of the
Germanies; and the city-states of Italy and the Netherlands. It may be
well, however, to point out that in northern and eastern Europe other
states had already come into existence, which subsequently were to
affect in no small degree the history of modern times, such as the
Scandinavian kingdoms, the tsardom of Muscovy, the feudal kingdoms of
Poland and Hungary, and the empire of the Ottoman Turks.

[Sidenote: Northwestern Europe: the Scandinavian Countries]

In the early homes of those Northmen who had long before ravaged the
coasts of England and France and southern Italy and had colonized
Iceland and Greenland, were situated in 1500 three kingdoms, Denmark,
Norway, and Sweden, corresponding generally to the present-day states
of those names. The three countries had many racial and social
characteristics in common, and they had been politically joined under
the king of Denmark by the Union of Calmar in 1397. This union never
evoked any popularity among the Swedes, and after a series of revolts
and disorders extending over fifty years, Gustavus Vasa (1523-1560)
established the independence of Sweden. Norway remained under Danish
kings until 1814.

[Sidenote: The Slavs in Central and Eastern Europe]

East of the Scandinavian peninsula and of the German-speaking
population of central Europe, spread out like a great fan, are a
variety of peoples who possess many common characteristics, including a
group of closely related languages, which are called Slavic. These
Slavs in the year 1500 included (1) the Russians, (2) the Poles and
Lithuanians, (3) the Czechs, or natives of Bohemia, within the confines
of the Holy Roman Empire, and (4) various nations in southeastern
Europe, such as the Serbs and Bulgars.

[Sidenote: Russia in 1500]

The Russians in 1500 did not possess such a huge autocratic state as
they do to-day. They were distributed among several principalities, the
chief and center of which was the grand-duchy of Muscovy, with Moscow
as its capital. Muscovy's reigning family was of Scandinavian
extraction but what civilization and Christianity the principalities
possessed had been brought by Greek missionaries from Constantinople.
For two centuries, from the middle of the thirteenth to the middle of
the fifteenth, the Russians paid tribute to Mongol [Footnote: The
Mongols were a people of central Asia, whose famous leader, Jenghiz
Khan (1162-1227), established an empire which stretched from the China
Sea to the banks of the Dnieper. It was these Mongols who drove the
Ottoman Turks from their original Asiatic home and thus precipitated
the Turkish invasion of Europe. After the death of Jenghiz Khan the
Mongol Empire was broken into a variety of "khanates," all of which in
course of time dwindled away. In the sixteenth century the Mongols
north of the Black Sea succumbed to the Turks as well as to the
Russians.] khans who had set up an Asiatic despotism north of the Black
Sea. The beginnings of Russian greatness are traceable to Ivan III, the
Great (1462-1505), [Footnote: Ivan IV (1533-1584), called "The
Terrible," a successor of Ivan III, assumed the title of "Tsar" in
1547.] who freed his people from Mongol domination, united the numerous
principalities, conquered the important cities of Novgorod and Pskov,
and extended his sway as far as the Arctic Ocean and the Ural
Mountains. Russia, however, could hardly then be called a modern state,
for the political and social life still smacked of Asia rather than of
Europe, and the Russian Christianity, having been derived from
Constantinople, differed from the Christianity of western Europe.
Russia was not to appear as a conspicuous European state until the
eighteenth century.

[Sidenote: Poland in 1500]

Southwest of the tsardom of Muscovy and east of the Holy Roman Empire
was the kingdom of Poland, to which Lithuanians as well as Poles owed
allegiance. Despite wide territories and a succession of able rulers,
Poland was a weak monarchy. Lack of natural boundaries made national
defense difficult. Civil war between the two peoples who composed the
state and foreign war with the neighboring Germans worked havoc and
distress. An obstructive parliament of great lords rendered effective
administration impossible. The nobles possessed the property and
controlled politics; in their hands the king gradually became a puppet.
Poland seemed committed to feudal society and feudal government at the
very time when the countries of western Europe were ridding themselves
of such checks upon the free growth of centralized national states.

[Sidenote: Hungary in 1500]

Somewhat similar to Poland in its feudal propensities was the kingdom
of Hungary, which an invasion of Asiatic tribesmen [Footnote:
Hungarians, or Magyars--different names for the same people.] in the
tenth century had driven like a wedge between the Slavs of the Balkan
peninsula and those of the north Poles and Russians. At first, the
efforts of such kings as St. Stephen (997-1038) promised the
development of a great state, but the weakness of the sovereigns in the
thirteenth century, the infiltration of western feudalism, and the
endless civil discords brought to the front a powerful and predatory
class of barons who ultimately overshadowed the throne. The brilliant
reign of Matthias Hunyadi (1458-1490) was but an exception to the
general rule. Not only were the kings obliged to struggle against the
nobles for their very existence--the crown was elective in Hungary--but
no rulers had to contend with more or greater enemies on their
frontiers. To the north there was perpetual conflict with the Habsburgs
of German Austria and with the forces of the Holy Roman Empire; to the
east there were spasmodic quarrels with the Vlachs, the natives of
modern Rumania; to the south there was continual fighting, at first
with the Greeks and the Slavs--Serbs and Bulgars, and later, most
terrible of all, with the Ottoman Turks.

[Sidenote: The Ottoman Turks in 1500]

To the Eastern Roman Empire, with Constantinople as its capital, and
with the Greeks as its dominant population, and to the medieval
kingdoms of the Bulgars and Serbs, had succeeded by the year 1500 the
empire of the Ottoman Turks. The Ottoman Turks were a tribe of Asiatic
Mohammedans who took their name from a certain Othman (died 1326),
under whom they had established themselves in Asia Minor, across the
Bosphorus from Constantinople. Thence they rapidly extended their
dominion over Syria, and over Greece and the Balkan peninsula, except
the little mountain state of Montenegro, and in 1453 they captured
Constantinople. The lands conquered by the arms of the Turks were
divided into large estates for the military leaders, or else assigned
to the maintenance of mosques and schools, or converted into common and
pasturage lands; the conquered Christians were reduced to the payment
of tribute and a life of serfdom. For two centuries the Turks were to
remain a source of grave apprehension to Europe.


THE NATIONAL MONARCHIES ABOUT 1600. A. F. Pollard, _Factors in European
History_ (1907), ch. i on "Nationality" and ch. iii on "The New
Monarchy"; _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. I, ch. xiv, xii, xi;
_Histoire générale_, Vol. IV, ch. xiii, iv, v; _History of All
Nations_, Vol. X, ch. xii-xvi; A. H. Johnson, _Europe in the Sixteenth
Century_ (1897), ch. i, ii; Mary A. Hollings, _Renaissance and
Reformation_ (1910), ch. i-v. On England: A. L. Cross, _History of
England and Greater Britain_ (1914), ch. xviii; J. F. Bright, _History
of England_, Vol. II, a standard work; James Gairdner, _Henry VII_
(1889), a reliable short biography; Gladys Temperley, _Henry VII_
(1914), fairly reliable and quite readable; H. A. L. Fisher, _Political
History of England 1485-1547_ (1906), ch. i-iv, brilliant and
scholarly; A. D. Innes, _History of England and the British Empire_
(1914), Vol. II, ch. i, ii; William Cunningham, _The Growth of English
Industry and Commerce in Modern Times_, 5th ed., 3 vols. (1910-1912),
Vol. I, Book V valuable for social conditions under Henry VII; William
(Bishop) Stubbs, _Lectures on Mediæval and Modern History_, ch. xv,
xvi; F. W. Maitland, _The Constitutional History of England_ (1908),
Period II. On Scotland: P. H. Brown, _History of Scotland_, 3 vols.
(1899-1909), Vol. I from earliest times to the middle of the sixteenth
century; Andrew Lang, _A History of Scotland_, 2d ed., 4 vols. (1901-
1907), Vol. I. On France: A. J. Grant, _The French Monarchy, 1483-
1789_, 2 vols. (1900), Vol. I, ch. i, ii, brief and general; G. B.
Adams, _The Growth of the French Nation_ (1896), ch. viii-x, a
suggestive sketch; G. W. Kitchin, _A History of France_, 4th ed., 3
vols. (1894-1899), Vol. I and Vol. II (in part), dry and narrowly
political; Lavisse (editor), _Histoire de France_, Vol. V, Part I
(1903), an exhaustive and scholarly study. On Spain and Portugal: E. P.
Cheyney, _European Background of American History_ (1904), pp. 60-103;
U. R. Burke, _A History of Spain from the Earliest Times to the Death
of Ferdinand the Catholic_, 2d ed., 2 vols. (1900), edited by M. A. S.
Hume, Vol. II best account of the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella; W.
H. Prescott, _History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella_, 3 vols.
(1836), antiquated but extremely readable; Mrs. Julia Cartwright,
_Isabella the Catholic_ (1914), in "Heroes of the Nations" Series; H.
M. Stephens, _Portugal_ (1891) in "Story of the Nations" Series; F. W.
Schirrmacher, _Geschichte von Spanien_, 7 vols. (1902), an elaborate
German work, of which Vol. VII covers the years 1492-1516.

THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE. _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. I (1902), ch.
ix, a political sketch; James (Viscount) Bryce, _The Holy Roman
Empire_, new ed. revised (1911); William Coxe, _History of the House of
Austria_, Bohn edition, 4 vols. (1893-1894), a century-old work but
still useful for Habsburg history; Sidney Whitman, _Austria_ (1899),
and, by the same author, _The Realm of the Habsburgs_ (1893) 5 Kurt
Kaser, _Deutsche Geschichte zur Zeit Maximilians I, 1486-1519_ (1912),
an excellent study appearing in "Bibliothek deutscher Geschichte,"
edited by Von Zwiedineck-Südenhorst; Franz Krones, _Handbuch der
Geschichte Oesterreichs von der altesten Zeit_, 5 vols. (1876-1879), of
which Vol. II, Book XI treats of political events in Austria from 1493
to 1526 and Vol. III, Book XII of constitutional development 1100-1526;
Leopold von Ranke, _History of the Latin and Teutonic Nations_, 1494-
1514, a rev. trans. in the Bohn Library (1915) of the earliest
important work of this distinguished historian, published originally in

ITALY AND THE CITY STATES. _Cambridge Modern History_, Vol. I (1902),
ch. iv-viii; _Histoire générale, Vol. IV, ch. i, ii; Mrs. H. M. Vernon,
_Italy from 1494 to 1790_ (1909), a clear account in the "Cambridge
Historical Series"; J. A. Symonds, _Age of the Despots_ (1883),
pleasant but inclined to the picturesque; Pompeo Molmenti, _Venice, its
Individual Growth from the Earliest Beginnings to the Fall of the
Republic_, trans. by H. F. Brown, 6 vols. (1906-1908), an exhaustive
narrative of the details of Venetian history; Edward Armstrong,
_Lorenzo de' Medici_ (1897), in the "Heroes of the Nations" Series,
valuable for Florentine history about 1500; Col. G. F. Young, _The
Medici_, 2 vols. (1909), an extended history of this famous Florentine
family from 1400 to 1743; Ferdinand Gregorovius, _History of the City
of Rome in the Middle Ages_, trans. from 4th German ed. by Annie
Hamilton, 8 vols. in 13, a non-Catholic account of the papal monarchy
in Italy, of which Vol. VII, Part II and Vol. VIII, Part I treat of
Rome about 1500. For the city-states of the Netherlands see _Cambridge
Modern History_, Vol. I (1902), ch. xiii; the monumental _History of
the People of the Netherlands_, by the distinguished Dutch historian P.
J. Blok, trans. by O. A. Bierstadt, 5 vols. (1898-1912), especially
Vols. I and II; and _Belgian Democracy: its Early History_, trans. by
J. V. Saunders (1915) from the authoritative work of the famous Belgian
historian Henri Pirenne (1910). For the German city-states see
references under HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE above.

NORTHERN AND EASTERN EUROPE ABOUT 1500. General: _Cambridge Modern
History_, Vol. I (1902), ch. x, iii; _Histoire générale, Vol. IV, ch.
xviii-xxi; R. N. Bain, _Slavonic Europe: a Political History of Poland
and Russia from 1447 to 1796_ (1908), ch. i-iv; T. Schiemann,
_Russland, Polen, und Livland bis ins 17ten Jahrhundert_, 2 vols.
(1886-1887). Norway: H. H. Boyesen, _The History of Norway_ (1886), a
brief popular account in "Story of the Nations" Series. Muscovy: V. O.
Kliuchevsky, _A History of Russia_, trans. with some abridgments by C.
J. Hogarth, 3 vols. to close of seventeenth century (1911-1913), latest
and, despite faulty translation, most authoritative work on early
Russian history now available in English; Alfred Rambaud, _Histoire de
la Russie depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours_, 6th ed. completed to
1913 by Émile Haumant (1914), a brilliant work, of which the portion
down to 1877 has been trans. by Leonora B. Lang, 2 vols. (1879); W. R.
A. Morfill, _Russia_, in "Story of the Nations" Series, and _Poland_, a
companion volume in the same series. See also Jeremiah Curtin, _The
Mongols: a History_ (1908). For the Magyars: C. M. Knatchbull-Hugessen,
_The Political Evolution of the Hungarian Nation_, 2 vols. (1908),
especially Vol. I, ch. i-iii; A. Vámbéry, _The Story of Hungary_ (1886)
in "Story of the Nations" Series; Count Julius Andrássy, _The
Development of Hungarian Constitutional Liberty_, trans. by C. Arthur
and Ilona Ginever (1908), the views of a contemporary Magyar statesman
on the constitutional development of his country throughout the middle
ages and down to 1619, difficult to read. For the Ottoman Turks and the
Balkan peoples: Stanley Lane-Poole, _Turkey_ (1889), in "Story of the
Nations" Series, best brief introduction; A. H. Lybyer, _The Government
of the Ottoman Empire in the Time of Suleiman the Magnificent_ (1913);
Prince and Princess Lazarovich-Hrebelianovich, _The Servian People,
their Past Glory and their Destiny_, 2 vols. (1910), particularly Vol.
II, ch. xi, xii; far more pretentious works are, Joseph von Hammer,
_Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches_, 2d ed., 4 vols. (1834-1835), and
Nicolae Jorga, _Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches nach den Quellen
dargestellt_, 5 vols. (1908-1913), especially Vol. II, _1451-1538_,
and H. A. Gibbons, _The Foundation of the Ottoman Empire _(1916),
covering the earlier years, from 1300 to 1403.



[Sidenote: Introductory]

Five hundred years ago a European could search in vain the map of "the
world" for America, or Australia, or the Pacific Ocean. Experienced
mariners, and even learned geographers, were quite unaware that beyond
the Western Sea lay two great continents peopled by red men; of Africa
they knew only the northern coast; and in respect of Asia a thousand
absurd tales passed current. The unexplored waste of waters that
constituted the Atlantic Ocean was, to many ignorant Europeans of the
fifteenth century, a terrible region frequented by fierce and fantastic
monsters. To the average European the countries surveyed in the
preceding chapter, together with their Mohammedan neighbors across the
Mediterranean, still comprised the entire known world.

Shortly before the close of the fifteenth century, daring captains
began to direct long voyages on the high seas and to discover the
existence of new lands; and from that time to the present, Europeans
have been busily exploring and conquering--veritably "Europeanizing"--
the whole globe. Although religion as well as commerce played an
important role in promoting the process, the movement was attended from
the very outset by so startling a transformation in the routes,
methods, and commodities of trade that usually it has been styled the
Commercial Revolution. By the close of the sixteenth century it had
proceeded far enough to indicate that its results would rank among the
most fateful events of all history.

It was in the commonplace affairs of everyday life that the Commercial
Revolution was destined to produce its most far-reaching results. To
appreciate, therefore, its true nature and significance, we must first
turn aside to ascertain how our European ancestors actually lived about
the year 1500, and what work they did to earn their living. Then, after
recounting the story of foreign exploration and colonization, we shall
be in a position to reappraise the domestic situation in town and on
the farm.


[Sidenote: Differences between Sixteenth-century Farming and That of

Agriculture has always been the ultimate basis of society, but in the
sixteenth century it was of greater relative importance than it is now.
People then reckoned their wealth, not by the quantity of stocks and
bonds they held, but by the extent of land they owned. Farming was
still the occupation of the vast majority of the population of every
European state, for the towns were as yet small in size and few in
number. The "masses" lived in the country, not, as to-day, in the city.

A twentieth-century observer would be struck by other peculiarities of
sixteenth-century agriculture. He would find a curious organization of
rural society, strange theories of land-ownership, and most unfamiliar
methods of tillage. He would discover, moreover, that practically each
farm was self-sufficing, producing only what its own occupants could
consume, and that consequently there was comparatively little external
trade in farm produce. From these facts he would readily understand
that the rural communities in the year 1500, numerous yet isolated,
were invulnerable strongholds of conservatism and ignorance.

[Sidenote: Two Rural Classes: Nobility and Peasantry]

In certain respects a remarkable uniformity prevailed in rural
districts throughout all Europe. Whether one visited Germany, Hungary,
France, or England, one was sure to find the agricultural population
sharply divided into two social classes--nobility and peasantry. There
might be varying gradations of these classes in different regions, but
certain general distinctions everywhere prevailed.

[Sidenote: The Nobility]

The nobility [Footnote: As a part of the nobility must be included at
the opening of the sixteenth century many of the higher clergy of the
Catholic Church--archbishops, bishops, and abbots--who owned large
landed estates quite like their lay brethren.] comprised men who gained
a living from the soil without manual labor. They held the land on
feudal tenure, that is to say, they had a right to be supported by the
peasants living on their estates, and, in return, they owed to some
higher or wealthier nobleman or to the king certain duties, such as
fighting for him, [Footnote: This obligation rested only upon lay
noblemen, not upon ecclesiastics.] attending his court at specified
times, and paying him various irregular taxes (the feudal dues). The
estate of each nobleman might embrace a single farm, or "manor" as it
was called, inclosing a petty hamlet, or village; or it might include
dozens of such manors; or, if the landlord were a particularly mighty
magnate or powerful prelate, it might stretch over whole counties.

Each nobleman had his manor-house or, if he were rich enough, his
castle, lording it over the humble thatch-roofed cottages of the
villagers. In his stables were spirited horses and a carriage adorned
with his family crest; he had servants and lackeys, a footman to open
his carriage door, a game-warden to keep poachers from shooting his
deer, and men-at-arms to quell disturbances, to aid him against
quarrelsome neighbors, or to follow him to the wars. While he lived, he
might occupy the best pew in the village church; when he died, he would
be laid to rest within the church where only noblemen were buried.

[Sidenote: Reason for the Preëminence of the Nobility]

In earlier times, when feudal society was young, the nobility had
performed a very real service as the defenders of the peasants against
foreign enemies and likewise against marauders and bandits of whom the
land had been full. Then fighting had been the profession of the
nobility, And to enable them to possess the expensive accoutrements of
fighting--horses, armor, swords, and lances--the kings and the peasants
had assured them liberal incomes.

Now, however, at the opening of the sixteenth century, the palmy days
of feudalism were past and gone. Later generations of noblemen,
although they continued by right of inheritance to enjoy the financial
income and the social prestige which their forbears had earned, no
longer served king, country, or common people in the traditional
manner. At least in the national monarchies it was the king who now had
undertaken the defense of the land and the preservation of peace; and
the nobleman, deprived of his old occupation, had little else to do
than to hunt, or quarrel with other noblemen, or engage in political
intrigues. More and more the nobility, especially in France, were
attracted to a life of amusement and luxury in the royal court. The
nobility already had outlived its usefulness, yet it retained its old-
time privileges.

[Sidenote: The Peasantry]

In striking contrast to the nobility--the small minority of land-owning
aristocrats--were the peasantry--the mass of the people. They were the
human beings who had to toil for their bread in the sweat of their
brows and who were deemed of ignoble birth, as social inferiors, and as
stupid and rude. Actual farm work was "servile labor," and between the
man whose hands were stained by servile labor and the person of "gentle
birth" a wide gulf was fixed.

[Sidenote: Serfdom and the Manorial System]

During the early middle ages most of the peasants throughout Europe
were "serfs." For various reasons, which we shall explain presently,
serfdom had tended gradually to and the die out in western Europe, but
at the opening of the sixteenth century most of the agricultural
laborers in eastern and central Europe, and even a considerable number
in France, were still serfs, living and working on nobles' manors in
accordance with ancient customs which can be described collectively as
the "manorial system."

The serf occupied a position in rural society which it is difficult for
us to understand. He was not a slave, such as was usual in the Southern
States of the American Union before the Civil War; he was neither a
hired man nor a rent-paying tenant-farmer, such as is common enough in
all agricultural communities nowadays. The serf was not a slave,
because he was free to work for himself at least part of the time; he
could not be sold to another master; and he could not be deprived of
the right to cultivate land for his own benefit. He was not a hired
man, for he received no wages. And he was not a tenant-farmer, inasmuch
as he was "attached to the soil," that is, he was bound to stay and
work on his land, unless he succeeded in running away or in purchasing
complete freedom, in which case he would cease to be a serf and would
become a freeman.

[Sidenote: Obligations of the Serf to the Lord]

To the lord of the manor the serf was under many and varied
obligations, the most essential of which may be grouped conveniently as
follows: (1) The serf had to work without pay two or three days in each
week on the strips of land and the fields whose produce belonged
exclusively to the nobleman. In the harvest season extra days, known as
"boon-days," were stipulated on which the serf must leave his own work
in order to harvest for the lord. He also might be called upon in
emergencies to draw a cord of wood from the forest to the great manor-
house, or to work upon the highway (_corvée_). (2) The serf had to
pay occasional dues, customarily "in kind." Thus at certain feast-days
he was expected to bring a dozen fat fowls or a bushel of grain to the
pantry of the manor-house. (3) Ovens, wine-presses, gristmills, and
bridges were usually owned solely by the nobleman, and each time the
peasant used them he was obliged to give one of his loaves of bread, a
share of his wine, a bushel of his grain, or a toll-fee, as a kind of
rent, or "banality" as it was euphoniously styled. (4) If the serf died
without heirs, his holdings were transferred outright to the lord, and
if he left heirs, the nobleman had the rights of "heriot," that is, to
appropriate the best animal owned by the deceased peasant, and of
"relief," that is, to oblige the designated heir to make a definite
additional payment that was equivalent to a kind of inheritance tax.

[Sidenote: Free-Tenants]

As has been intimated, the manorial system was already on a steady
decline, especially in western Europe, at the opening of the sixteenth
century. A goodly number of peasants who had once been serfs were now
free-tenants, lessees, or hired laborers. Of course rent of farm-land
in our present sense--each owner of the land letting out his property
to a tenant and, in return, exacting as large a monetary payment as
possible--was then unknown. But there was a growing class of peasants
who were spoken of as free-tenants to distinguish them from serf-
tenants. These free-tenants, while paying regular dues, as did the
others, were not compelled to work two or three days every week in the
lord's fields, except occasionally in busy seasons such as harvest;
they were free to leave the estate and to marry off their daughters or
to sell their oxen without the consent of the lord; and they came to
regard their customary payments to the lord not so much as his due for
their protection as actual rent for their land.

[Sidenote: Hired Laborers]

While more prosperous peasants were becoming free-tenants, many of
their poorer neighbors found it so difficult to gain a living as serfs
that they were willing to surrender all claim to their own little
strips of land on the manor and to devote their whole time to working
for fixed wages on the fields which were cultivated for the nobleman
himself, the so-called lord's demesne. Thus a body of hired laborers
grew up claiming no land beyond that on which their miserable huts
stood and possibly their small garden-plots.

[Sidenote: Métayers]

Besides hired laborers and free-tenants, a third group of peasants
appeared in places where the noble proprietor did not care to
superintend the cultivation of his own land. In this case he parceled
it out among particular peasants, furnishing each with livestock and a
plow and expecting in return a fixed proportion of the crops, which in
France usually amounted to one-half. Peasants who made such a bargain
were called in France _métayers_, and in England "stock-and-land
lessees." The arrangement was not different essentially from the
familiar present-day practice of working a farm "on shares."

[Sidenote: Steady Decline of Serfdom]

In France and in England the serfs had mostly become hired laborers,
tenants, or _métayers_ by the sixteenth century. The obligations
of serfdom had proved too galling for the serf and too unprofitable for
the lord. It was much easier and cheaper for the latter to hire men to
work just when he needed them, than to bother with serfs, who could not
be discharged readily for slackness, and who naturally worked for
themselves far more zealously than for him. For this reason many
landlords were glad to allow their serfs to make payments in money or
in grain in lieu of the performance of customary labor. In England,
moreover, many lords, finding it profitable to inclose [Footnote: There
were no fences on the old manors. Inclosing a plot of ground meant
fencing or hedging it in.] their land in order to utilize it as
pasturage for sheep, voluntarily freed their serfs. The result was that
serfdom virtually had disappeared in England before the sixteenth
century. In France as early as the fourteenth century the bulk of the
serfs had purchased their liberty, although in a few districts serfdom
remained in its pristine vigor until the French Revolution.

In other countries agricultural conditions were more backward and
serfdom longer survived. Prussian and Austrian landowners retained
their serfs until the nineteenth century; the emancipation of Russian
serfs on a large scale was not inaugurated until 1861. There are still
survivals of serfdom in parts of eastern Europe.

[Sidenote: Survival of Servile Obligations after Decline of Serfdom]

Emancipation from serfdom by no means released the peasants from all
the disabilities under which they labored as serfs. True, the freeman
no longer had week-work to do, provided he could pay for his time, and
in theory at least he could marry as he chose and move freely from
place to place. But he might still be called upon for an occasional
day's labor, he still was expected to work on the roads, and he still
had to pay annoying fees for oven, mill, and wine-press. Then, too, his
own crops might be eaten with impunity by doves from the noble dovecote
or trampled underfoot by a merry hunting-party from the manor-house.
The peasant himself ventured not to hunt: he was precluded even from
shooting the deer that devoured his garden. Certain other customs
prevailed in various localities, conceived originally no doubt in a
spirit of good-natured familiarity between noble and peasants, but now
grown irritating if none the less humorous. It is said, for instance,
that in some places newly married couples were compelled to vault the
wall of the churchyard, and that on certain nights the peasants were
obliged to beat the castle ditch in order to rest the lord's family
from the dismal croaking of the frogs.

[Sidenote: Persistence of "Three-field System" of Agriculture]

In another important respect the manorial system survived long after
serfdom had begun to decline. This was the method of doing farm work. A
universal and insistent tradition had fixed agricultural method on the
medieval manor and tended to preserve it unaltered well into modern
times. The tradition was that of the "three-field system" of
agriculture. The land of the manor, which might vary in amount from a
few hundred to five thousand acres, was not divided up into farms of
irregular shape and size, as it would be now. The waste-land, which
could be used only for pasture, and the woodland on the outskirts of
the clearing, were treated as "commons," that is to say, each villager,
as well as the lord of the manor, might freely gather fire-wood, or he
might turn his swine loose to feed on the acorns in the forest and his
cattle to graze over the entire pasture. The cultivable or arable land
was divided into several--usually three--great grain fields. Ridges or
"balks" of unplowed turf divided each field into long parallel strips,
which were usually forty rods or a furlong (furrow-long) in length, and
from one to four rods wide. Each peasant had exclusive right to one or
more of these strips in each of the three great fields, making, say,
thirty acres in all; [Footnote: In some localities it was usual to
redistribute these strips every year. In that way the greater part of
the manor was theoretically "common" land, and no peasant had a right
of private ownership to any one strip.] the lord too had individual
right to a number of strips in the great fields.

[Sidenote: Disadvantages of Three-field System of Agriculture]

This so-called three-field system of agriculture was distinctly
disadvantageous in many ways. Much time was wasted in going back and
forth between the scattered plots of land. The individual peasant,
moreover, was bound by custom to cultivate his land precisely as his
ancestors had done, without attempting to introduce improvements. He
grew the same crops as his neighbors--usually wheat or rye in one
field; beans or barley in the second; and nothing in the third. Little
was known about preserving the fertility of the soil by artificial
manuring or by rotation of crops; and, although every year one-third of
the land was left "fallow" (uncultivated) in order to restore its
fertility, the yield per acre was hardly a fourth as large as now. Farm
implements were of the crudest kind; scythes and sickles did the work
of mowing machines; plows were made of wood, occasionally shod with
iron; and threshing was done with flails. After the grain had been
harvested, cattle were turned out indiscriminately on the stubble, on
the supposition that the fields were common property. It was useless to
attempt to breed fine cattle when all were herded together. The breed
deteriorated, and both cattle and sheep were undersized and poor. A
full-grown ox was hardly larger than a good-sized calf of the present
time. Moreover, there were no potatoes or turnips, and few farmers grew
clover or other grasses for winter fodder. It was impossible,
therefore, to keep many cattle through the winter; most of the animals
were killed off in the autumn and salted down for the long winter
months when it was impossible to secure fresh meat.

[Sidenote: Peasant Life on the Manor]

Crude farm-methods and the heavy dues exacted by the lord [Footnote: In
addition to the dues paid to the lay lord, the peasants were under
obligation to make a regular contribution to the church, which was
called the "tithe" and amounted to a share, less than a tenth, of the
annual crops.] of the manor must have left the poor man little for
himself. Compared with the comfort of the farmer today, the poverty of
sixteenth-century peasants must have been inexpressibly distressful.
How keenly the cold pierced the dark huts of the poorest, is hard for
us to imagine. The winter diet of salt meat, the lack of vegetables,
the chronic filth and squalor, and the sorry ignorance of all laws of
health opened the way to disease and contagion. And if the crops
failed, famine was added to plague.

On the other hand we must not forget that the tenement-houses of our
great cities have been crowded in the nineteenth century with people
more miserable than ever was serf of the middle ages. The serf, at any
rate, had the open air instead of a factory in which to work. When
times were good, he had grain and meat in plenty, and possibly wine or
cider, and he hardly envied the tapestried chambers, the bejeweled
clothes, and the spiced foods of the nobility, for he looked upon them
as belonging to a different world.

In one place nobleman and peasant met on a common footing--in the
village church. There, on Sundays and feast-days, they came together as
Christians to hear Mass; and afterwards, perhaps, holiday games and
dancing on the green, benignantly patronized by the lord's family,
helped the common folk to forget their labors. The village priest,
[Footnote: Usually very different from the higher clergy, who had large
landed estates of their own, the parish priests had but modest incomes
from the tithes of their parishioners and frequently eked out a living
by toiling on allotted patches of ground. The monks too were ordinarily
poor, although the monastery might be wealthy, and they likewise often
tilled the fields.] himself often of humble birth, though the most
learned man on the manor, was at once the friend and benefactor of the
poor and the spiritual director of the lord. Occasionally a visit of
the bishop to administer confirmation to the children, afforded an
opportunity for gayety and universal festivity.

[Sidenote: Rural Isolation and Conservatism]

At other times there was little to disturb the monotony of village life
and little to remind it of the outside world, except when a gossiping
peddler chanced along, or when the squire rode away to court or to war.
Intercourse with other villages was unnecessary, unless there were no
blacksmith or miller on the spot. The roads were poor and in wet
weather impassable. Travel was largely on horseback, and what few
commodities were carried from place to place were transported by pack-
horses. Only a few old soldiers, and possibly a priest, had traveled
very much; they were the only geographies and the only books of travel
which the village possessed, for few peasants could read or write.

Self-sufficient and secluded from the outer world, the rural village

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