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^reseitteh to 
of the 

^ntligrstty of ^oruttta 


from the books of 
the late IIONEL DAVIS, K.C. 


PERIOD v., 1598-1715 



General Editor, ARTHUR HASSALL, M.A., 
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I have not attempted in the following pages to write 
the history of Europe in the seventeenth century in 
detail. The chronicle of events can be found without 
difficulty in many other works. I have therefore 
endeavoured as far as possible to fix attention upon 
those events only which had permanent results, and 
upon those persons only whose life and character pro- 
foundly influenced those results. Other events and 
other persons I have merely referred to in passing, or 
left out of account altogether, such as for instance the 
history of Portugal and the Papacy, the internal affairs 
of Spain, Italy, and Russia. Following out this line of 
thought I have naturally found in the development of 
France the central fact of the period which gives unity 
to the whole. Round that development, and in relation 
to it, most of the other nations of Europe fall into their 
appropriate positions, and play their parts in the drama 
of the world's progress. Such a method of reading the 
history of a complicated period may, of course, be open 
to objection from the point of view of absolute histori- 
cal truth. The effort to give unity to a period of 
history may easily fall into the inaccuracy of exagger- 
ation. The picture may become a caricature, or so 
strong a light may be shed on one part as to throw the 
rest into disproportionate gloom. It would be pre- 
sumptuous in me to claim that I have avoided such 


vi Preface 

dangers. All that I can say is, that they have been 
present to my mind continually as I was writing, and 
that I have been emboldened to face them both by the 
fact that the history of the seventeenth century lends 
itself in a very marked way to such a treatment, and by 
the conviction that it is far more important to the 
training of the human mind, and the true interests of 
historical truth that a beginner should learn the place 
which a period occupies in the story of the world than 
have an accurate knowledge of the smaller details of its 
history. To know the meaning and results of the 
Counter-Reformation is some education, to know the 
official and personal names of the Popes none at all. 

With regard to the spelling of names I have 
endeavoured to follow what I humbly conceive to be 
the only reasonable and consistent rule, that of custom. 
It seems to me to be as pedantic to write Henri, Karl, 
or Friedrich, as it is admitted to be to write Wien or 
Napoli, and inconsistent on any theory except that of 
the law of custom to write anything else. But with 
regard to some names, custom permits more than one 
form of spelling. It is as customary to write Trier as 
Treves, or Mainz as Mayence. These cases mainly 
arise with reference to names of places which are 
situated on border lands, and are spelt sometimes 
according to one language, and sometimes according to 
another. In these cases I have followed the language 
of the nation which was dominant in the period of 
which I treat, and accordingly write Alsace, Lorraine, 
Basel, Koln, Saluzzo, etc. The use of an historical 
atlas is presumed throughout. 

H. O. W 

All Souls College, Oxford. 



Bibliographical Note, . . . . ix 


I. Europe at the beginning of the Seventeenth 
Century, ....... i 

V ^. France under Henry iv., . . . . .14 

III. The Counter-Reformation and religious troubles 

IN Germany, . . . . . .39 

IV. The beginning of the Thirty Years' War, . . 53 
V. The Thirty Years' War from the peace of Lubeck 

TO THE peace OF PRAGUE, . , . .78 

,VI. The AGGRANDISEMENT OF France, .... io6 
yil, France under Richelieu and Mazarin, . . . 133 

VIII. Northern Europe to the treaty of Oliva, . . 166 

Louis xiv. and Colbert, .... 

Louis xiv. and the United Provinces, . 
/XL Louis xiv. and William hi., 
XII. South-eastern Europe, ..... "266 

XIII. The Northern Nations from the treaty of Oliva 

to the peace OF Utrecht, .... 290 

XIV. The Partition Treaties and the Grand Alliance, . 312 
XV. The War of the Spanish Succession and the death of 

Louis xiv., ....... 342 k 






1. Acquisitions of territory by France during the period, . To face page it, 

2. Germany according to the peace of Westphalia, showing the 

march of Gustavus Adolphus, 1630-1632, . . To face page 124 

3. The coimtries of the Upper Rhine and Danube, showing the pack 

march of Turenne, 1675, and of Marlborough, 1704, . . 241 

4. Northern Italy, illustrating the campaigns of Prince Eugene 

1701-1706, 343 

5. The Netherlands, illustrating the campaigns of Cond^, Turenne 

and Marlborough, ...... 348 


\. The Sovereigns of Europe during the century, 

2. The House of Bourbon, . . , 

3. The Cleves-Jiilich succession, , . , 

4. The Spanish Succession, . . , 







[Under this heading will be found the Chief Secondary Authorities 
bearing on the Period.] 

France — 

Martin, Histoire de France. 

Fagniez, Le Pere Joseph et KichtUeu. 

Hanotaux, Histoire du Cardinal de Richelieu. 

Zeller, La Minority de Louis XIII. 

Perkins, France under Richelieu and Mazarin 

Lodge, Richelieu. 

Ch^ruel, Histoire de la France pendant la Minority de Louis XI F., 

and Histoire de la France sous le Ministire de Mazarin. 
Cosnac, Mazarin et Colbert. 
d'Aumale, Histoire des Princes de CondL 
Clement, Histoire de Colbert et de son administration. 
Lair, Nicolas Fouqtut. 
Hassall, Louis XIV. 
Rousset, Histoire de Louvois. 

Mignet, Negociations relatives h. la succession dEspagne. 
Philippson, Das Zeitalter Ludwigs des Vierzehnten. 
Voltaire, Le sihle de Louis XIV. 
Legrelle, Louis XI V. et Strasbourg. 
Geffroy, Madame de Maintenon. 
Reynald, Louis XIV. et Guillaume III. 
Baudrillart, Philippe V. dEspagne et la Cour de France. 
Courcy, La Coalition de 1701 centre la France. 

von Noorden, Europdische Geschichte im Achtzehnten Jahrhtinderte. 
Cheruel, Histoire de t Administration monarchique de France. 
Dareste, Histoire de V Administration et des progres du pouvoir royal 

en France, 
Gasquet, Pricis des institutions Politiques et Sociales de VAncicnne 

Parkman, Pioneers of France in the New World. 

X European History^ 1598- 17 15 


Gardiner, History of England (1603- 1660). 

Ranke, History of England, principally in the Seventeenth Century. 
Wyon, The History of Great Britain during the reign of Queen A nru. 
Hassall, A Class- Book of English History, 449-1909. 


Giadeley, History of the Thirty Years' War. 

Fletcher, Gustavus Adolfhus. 

Gardiner, The Thirty Years' War. 

Barthold, Geschichte des Grossen Deutschen Kriegts vom Todt Gustcn 

Adolf s ah, mil besonderer RiUksicht auf Frankreich. 
Leger, Autriche-Hongrie (Trans.). 
Carlyle, History of Frederick the Great, Vol. I. 
Tuttle, History of Prussia, Vol. I. 
Putter, Historical Development of the Constitution of the Germanic 

Empire (translated by Dornford). 
Biedermann, Deutschland im Achtzehnten Jahrhunderte. 
Ameth, Prim Eugen von Savoyen. 
Kocher, Geschichte von Hannover und Braunschweig. 
Schreiber, Geschichte Bayerns. 
Haiisser, Geschichte der rheinischen Pfah. 
Coxe, History of the House of Austria. 

The Netherlands — 

Motley, History of the United Netherlands, and Life and Death 9 

John of Barneveldt. 
Lefevre-Pontalis,y(;aw de Witt (Trans.). 
Blok, History of the people of the Netherlands. 
Juste, Histoire de Belgique. 

Italy — 

Brown, Venice. 

Botta, Storia d" Italia. 

Ranke, History of the Popes. 

Giannone, Istoria civile del Regno di Napoli. 

Reinach, La Frame et Vltalie devant I' histoire. 

Spain and Portugal — 

Martin Hume, Spain, 1469- 1 789. 

Mignet, Nigociations relatives h la succession dEspagne sous Louit 

Philippson, Heinrich IV. und Philipp III. 

Bibliographical Notes xi 

Weiss, VEspapte depuis le rigne de Philippe II.,jusqu'i Pav^nement 

des Bourbons. 
Morse Stephens, Story of Portugal. 

Russia and Poland — 

Rambaud, Histoire de Russie. 

Morfill, Story of Russia and Story of Polaftd. 

Waliszewski, Peter the Great. 

Sweden and Denmark — 

Geffroy, Les &tats Scandinaves. 
Bain, Christina, Queen of Sweden. 
Carlson, Gtschichte Schwedens. 
Nisbet-Bain, Charles XII. 
Allen, Histoire de Danevtark. 


Creasy, Ottoman Turks. 
Lane Poole, The Story of Turkey. 
von Hammer, Histoire de V Empire Ottoman. 

Maiden, History and Consequences of the defeat of the Turks before 
Vienna, 1683. 

Chronologies and Genealogies — 

Hassall, Handbook of European History, chronologically arranged^ 

George, Genealogical Tables illustrative of Modern History. 



Importance of the century — France at the beginning of the century — The 
States-General, the Parlement de Paris, Religious Toleration — Germany 
— The Emperor, the Imperial Courts, the Diet — Disunion of Germany — 
England — Spain — Italy. 

The seventeenth century is the period when Europe, shattered 
in its political and religious ideas by the Reformation, recon- 
structed its political system upon the principle of importance of 
territorialism under the rule of absolute monarchs. ^enth^Cen. 
It opens with Henry iv., it closes with Peter the tury. 
Great It reaches its climax in Louis xiv. and the Great 
Elector. It is therefore the century in which the principal 
European States took the form, and acquired the position in 
Europe, which they have held more or less up to the present 
time.^TA century, in which France takes the lead in European 
affairs, and enters on a course of embittered rivalry with 
Germany, in which England assumes a position of first 
importance in the affairs of Europe, in which the Emperor, 
ousted from all effective control over German politics, finds 
the true centre of his power on the Danube, in which Prussia 
becomes the dominant state in north Germany, in which 
Russia begins to drive in the Turkish outposts on the Pruth 
and the Euxine — a centur>', in short, which saw the birth of 
the Franco-German Question and of the Eastern Question — 
cannot be said to be deficient in modem interest. The map 
of Europe at the close of the seventeenth shows the same 

2 European History, 1 598-171 5 

great divisions as it does at the close of the nineteenth 
century, with the notable exception of Italy. Prussia and 
Russia have grown bigger, France and Turkey have grown 
smaller, the Empire has become definitely Austrian, but in all 
its main divisions the political map of Europe is practically 
unchanged. The states which were formed in the general 
reconstruction of Europe after the religious wars of the 
sixteenth century are the states of which modem Europe is 
now composed. Great nations are apt to change their forms 
of internal government much more often than they do their 
political boundaries and influence ; but it is a remarkable 
thing that, with the great exception of France, the principal 
European states possess at the present time not only a similar 
political position, but a similar form of government to that 
which they possessed at the close of the seventeenth century. 
In spite of the wave of revolutionary principles, which flowed 
out from France over Europe at the end of the eighteenth 
century, the principal states of Europe at the present time are 
in all essentials absolute monarchies, and these monarchies 
are as absolute now as they were then, with the two exceptions 
of Italy, which did not then exist, and France, which is now a 
Republic, but has been everything in turn and nothing long. 
The formation of the modern European states system is there- 
fore the main element of continuous interest and importance 
in the history of the seventeenth century, that is to say, the 
acquisition by the chief European states of the boundaries, 
which they have since substantially retained, the adoption by 
them of the form of government to which they have since 
adhered, and the assumption by them, relatively to the other 
states, of a position and influence in the affairs of Europe 
which they have since enjoyed, /jl'he sixteenth century saw 
the final dismemberment of medieval Europe, the seven- 
teenth saw i_ts reconstruction in the modern form in which we 
know it now. / 

l_Oi the European nations which were profoundly affected by 
the Reformation, France was the first to emerge from the 

Europe at the beginning of the Seventeenth Century 3 

conflict. French Calvinism differed from the south Ger- 
man type by being more distinctly political in its ^^^ condition 
objects, and the leaders of the French Catholics, of France, 
especially the ambitious chiefs of the house of *^^ 
Guise, had quite as keen a desire for their own aggrandise- 
ment as they had for the supremacy of their religion. The 
religious wars in France soon became mainly faction fights 
among the nobles for political objects in which personal 
rivalry was embittered by religious division, and all honest 
and law-abiding citizens — that sturdy middle-class element 
which has always formed the backbone of the French nation 
— soon longed for the strong hand which should at any 
rate keep faction quiet. The authority of the Crown had ever 
been in France the sole guarantee of order and of progress. 
Under the weak princes of the House of Valois that guarantee 
ceased to exist. Shifty, irresolute, inconstant, they preferred 
the arts of the intriguer to the policy of the statesman, the 
poniard of the assassin to the sword of the soldier, and when 
Henry iii., the murderer of the Duke of Guise, in his turn fell 
murdered by the dagger of the monk Clement, France drew 
a long sigh of relief. Like England after Bosworth Field, 
rFrance after Ivry was ready to throw herself at the feet of a 
conqueror who was strong enough to ensure peace and 
suppress faction. The House of Bourbon ascended the 
French throne upon the same unwritten conditions as the 
House of Tudor ascended the English throne. / Jt was to rule 
because it knew how to rule, and the conditions of its rule 
were to be internal peace, and national consolidation. 
/But the task before the first Bourbon was far more diffi- 
cult, than that which absorbed all the energies of the first 
Tudor. ' He had no machinery to his hand The sutes- 
which he could use to veil the arbitrariness of General, 
his action, or to guide public opinion. _ Parliament in England 
had often been the terror of a weak king. The Tudors soon 
made it the tool of a strong king. In France Henry had to 
rely openly upon the powers of the Crown and upon military 

4 European History, 1 598-171 5 

force. It is true that the States-General still existed, though 
they were seldom summoned, but their constitution and 
traditions rendered them unfit to play the part of an EngUsh 
Parliament. /TThey met in three houses representing the 
Clergy, the Nobility, and the Commonalty, the latter house, 
the Tiers-Etat as it was called, being usually about as large as 
the other two put together;!' but instead of there being a 
political division running tErough the three estates of those 
for the policy of the Crown and those against it, as was 
usually the case in England,; the tendency in France always 
was for the two privileged houses to coalesce against the Tiers- 
Etat. The Crown had therefore only to balance one against 
the other, and leave them to entangle themselves in mutual 
rivalries in order to gain the victory^^f In the long history of 
the English Parliament it is very rare to find serious questions 
raised between the two houses. Nobles and Commons have 
as a rule acted together for weal or for woe in attacking or 
supporting the policy of the Crown. The unity of Parliament 
has been its most significant feature. In France it has been 
quite otherwise. Mutual jealousy and social rivalry played 
their part with such eflfect that they destroyed the political 
usefulness of the States-General. Unable to act together 
they could not extort from the Crown either the power over 
the purse, or the right of legislation^ which were the two 
effective checks upon the king's prerogative exercised by the 
English Parliament. ' All that they could do was to present a 
list of grievances and ask for a remedy. They had no power 
whatever of compelling a favourable answer, much less of 
giving effect to it. The procedure was for each Estate 
to draw up its own list {cahier) of those matters which 
it wished to press upon the attention of the Crown. When 
the Usts were completed they were formally presented to the 
king and a formal answer of acceptance or rejection was 
expected from him, but as the Estates separated directly the 
answer was given, the Crown was apt not to be over prompt 
in fulfilling its promises. 

Europe at the beginning of the Seventeenth Century 5 

J[As a constitutional check upon misgovernment the States- 
General in France were therefore of little use. The Parie- 

jThat function, as far as it was discharged at all, mentde Paris. 

/Iiad -by-aceident devolved upon the Parlement de Paris. 
'"The Parlement was in its origin nothing more than a court of 
law which sat at Paris to administer justice between the king 
and his subjects, and between subject and subject. In course of 
time it grew into a corporation of lawyers and judges,' not alto- 
gether unlike our Inns of Court in England amalgamated into 
one^aving just that kind of political influence which a close and 
learned corporation^ whose business it was to make by judicial 
decision a great deal of the law of the country /^could not fail 
to have. In one point indeed the Parlement had almost 
established a definite right. _ As the highest court of the 
realm its duty was to register the edicts of the kingja duty 
which was easily turned into a right to refuse to register them 
if it so willed, j Thus the Parlement claimed an indirect veto 
upon the royal legislationJ It is true X\\2i\. the king could 
always override the refusal of the ParlemenT to register an 
edict by coming in person to its session and holding what was 
called a /// de justice, but this^/was a proceeding which 
involved a good deal of inconvenience, and was not unlikely 
to excite tumults j'Tt would not therefore be resorted to except 
on critical occasions. So completely had the Position of 
constitution of France become in its structure theCrown. 
despotic, that there was absolutely no constitutional means 
of exercising control over the king's will than this very 
doubtful right of the Parlement de Paris to refuse to register 
the king's edict. And if there was no constitutional check 
upon the king's will, there was also no machinery which the 
king could utilise in order to associate himself with his 
people in the tr,sk of government. He stood on a pedestal 
by himself in terrible isolation surrounded by his courtiers, 
faced by the nobility, backed by his army, unable to know 
his people's wants, and unable to help them to know their 

6 European History, 1 598-171 5 

But this was not all. Henry iv. had to encounter open 
enmity abroad, and give an earnest of religious peace at home, 
Religious as Well as to crush civil dissensions. It was not 
toleration. till his conversion to CathoHcism drew the teeth 
of Spain, and proved to the majority of his subjects that he 
desired above all things to be a national and not a party king, 
that he can be said really to have reigned. The peace of 
Vervins, concluded in 1598, marked the issue of France from 
the throes of her Reformation wars. Her religious struggle was 
over. Calvinism had made its great effort to win religious 
and political ascendency in France, and had failed. France 
was to remain a Catholic country, and the bull of absolution 
granted to Henry iv. by Pope Clement viii. in 1595 duly 
emphasised the return of the Most Christian King into the 
pale of Catholic obedience. But if Calvinism had failed, 
neither had Papalism wholly won the day. Catholic, France 
had determined to be, but she was far from assuming as 
yet the mantle of the champion of rigid orthodoxy just laid 
down by Philip 11. The same year which saw the death of 
Philip II. and the real beginning of the reign of Henry iv. 
saw also the promulgation of the Edict of Nantes with its 
The Edict announcement of the new policy of liberty of 
of Nantes. conscicnce. By this famous edict religious tolera- 
tion and political recognition was accorded to the French 
Calvinists. fl' They were to be allowed to worship as they 
pleased, provided they paid tithes to the Church, and observed 
religious festivals like other Frenchmenj.^ They were to re- 
ceive a grant from the State in return, ^^ They were^o be 
equally ehgible with Catholics for all pubhc offices.'^ They 
were to be represented in the Parlements, and/ were to 
have exclusive political control for eight years over certain 
towns in the south and west of France, of which the most 
important were Nismes, Montauban, and La Rochelle, Thus 
they obtained not merely toleration as a religious body, and 
part endowment by the State, but also recognition in certain 
places as a political organisation. The poUtical settlement 

Europe at the beginning of the Seventeenth Century j 

was evidently but a palliative, the religious settlement was a 
cure. No country as patriotic as France, no government as 
strong as an absolute monarchy could tolerate longer than 
was necessary an imperium in imperio under the control of a 
religious sect. But the toleration of Calvinism in a country 
professedly Catholic was a solution of the religious question 
thoroughly acceptable to the genius of the French nation. It 
enabled France at once to fix her whole attention upon the 
absorbing business of political aggrandisement. It excused 
her somewhat for not thinking it obligatory to play a purely 
Catholic role in the pursuit of that aggrandisement. The 
first of those nations of Europe, which had been seriously 
afifected by the Reformation, to arrive at a satisfactory solu- 
tion of the problem of religious division, she was able to set 
an example to Europe of a policy entirely outside religious 
considerations. Under a king who had conformed, but had 
rfot been converted, France, pacified, but not yet united, 
was ready to mix herself up in the web of political intrigue and 
religious rivalry in which Germany was helplessly struggling, 
with the simple if selfish object of using the misfortunes of 

h_-r neighbours for her own advantage..—- . -. 

The state of Germany was indeed pitiable. The Empire 
had become but the shadow of a great name. The successor 
of Augustus had nothing in common with his Germany: 
prototype but his title. Roman Emperor he "^^^ Emperor, 
might be in the language of ceremony, punctiliously might the 
imperial hierarchy of dignity be ordered according to the 
solemnities of the Golden Bull, but all the world knew that in 
spite of this wealth of tradition and of prescription, the 
Emperor could wield little more power in German politics than 
that which he derived from his hereditary dominions. The 
archduke of Austria must indeed be a figure in Germany 
under any circumstances, still more so if he happened to be 
also king of Hungary and king of Bohemia ; but if the electors 
set the Imperial Crown at his feet and hailed him as Caesar, 
though much was thereby added to his dignity and something 
to his legal rights, not one whit accrued to him of effective 

8 European History, 1 598-171 5 

Ibrce. It is true that his legal position as head and judge 
over the princes accrued to him, not so much because he was 
emperor and the representative of Augustus and Charles the 
Great, as because he was German king and the successor of 
Henry the Fowler and Otto the Great. Nevertheless, the 
fact, from whatever quarter derived, that the German consti- 
tution gave to the Emperor the lordship over the other princes 
and the right of deciding disputes which arose between them, 
made him the only possible centre of German unity. 

That right was exercised through a court (the Reichskam- 
mergericht) the members of which were mainly nominated by 
The Imperial the princes themselves. For the purpose of en- 
Courts. suring the enforcement of its decrees, Germany 

was divided into circles, in which the princes and the repre- 
sentatives of the cities who were members of the diet met, 
and if necessary, raised troops to give effect to the sentences 
pronounced. Since the beginning of the Reformation, how- 
ever, there had been a difficulty in getting this machinery to 
work owing to the religions dissensions, and the Emperor had 
begun the practice of referring imperial questions which had 
arisen to the Imperial or Aulic Council {Reichshofrath), which 
was entirely nominated by him and under his influence. 

In all important matters of administrative policy the Em- 
perors, since the middle of the fifteenth century, had been 
obliged to consult the Diet, but the Diet was in 
no sense a representative assembly of the classes 
of which the nation was composed, as were the Parliament of 
England and the States-General of France, but was merely a 
feudal assembly of the chief feudal vassals of the Empire. It 
was, in fact, a congress of petty sovereigns gathered under 
their suzerain. It was divided into three houses. The first 
consisted of six of the seven electors, three ecclesiastical, i.e. 
the archbishops of Koln, Mainz, and Trier, and three lay, the 
electors of Saxony and Brandenburg and the elector-palatine, 
for the fourth lay elector the king of Bohemia only appeared 
for an imperial election. The second was the House of 
Princes, the third that of the free Imperial Cities, but it was 

Europe at the beginning of the Seventeenth Century g 

considered so inferior to the other houses that it was only per- 
mitted to discuss matters which had already received their 
assent. It is obvious that in an assembly so constituted the 
only interest powerfully represented was that of the princes, 
and the only influence likely to be exercised by it was in 
favour of that desire for complete independence, which was 
natural to a body of rulers who already enjoyed most of the 
prerogatives of sovereignty. For there had ever German 
been two divergent streams of tendency in Ger- desire for 
man politics. Deep in the German heart lay a "'^"y- 
vague s ense of natio nality a nd jatrio tis.m, a dim desire that 
Germany should be one. This sentiment naturally centred 
round the Emperor as the visible head of German unity. If 
Gennan§_ever_wei£_J;a_be_politically-J3^ be 

underjthe^Emperor. There was no other possible head among 
the seething mass of jarring interests known geographically as 
Germany. The other tendency had sprung from the strong 
love of local independence characteristic of the Desire for 
Teutonic race. Naturally each petty duke or amongthe^ 
prince tried to become as independent of outside Princes, 
authority as he could, and in the pursuit of this policy he 
found himself greatly aided by that spirit of local seclusion, 
which ever seeks to find its centre of patriotism in the side 
eddies of provincial life, rather than in the broad stream of the 
national existence. The Emperors of the House of Habsburg 
had fully recognised these facts, and, since the days of Maxi- 
mihan i., had set themselves resolutely to the task of rebuilding 
the imperial authority, and making the imperial institutions the 
true and only centre of German unity. They might have suc- 
ceeded, had it not been for two events, the concurrent effect 
of which was completely to shatter the half begun Effect of the 
work. The first was the Reformation, the second Reformation, 
was the long rivalry with France. The Reformation cut 
Germany rudely at first into two afterwards into three pieces. 
Lutheranism, which absorbed nearly all northern Germany 
between the Main and the Baltic, drew its strength especially 
from the support of the north German princes. Luther him- 

10 European History, 1 598-171 5 

self effected a closer alliance with the princes and the nobles 
than he did with the people. It was to them he appealed for 
protection in the days of his earlier struggles, on them that he 
trustfully leaned in the later days of his power. Naturally, 
therefore, Lutheranism gave a strong impulse and sanction to 
the desire, which the northern princes uniformly felt, to assert 
their independence of a Catholic emperor. Calvinism, 
spreading from republican Switzerland down the upper 
valley of the Rhine into the heart of Germany, had a no less 
fatal influence upon the centralising policy of the Emperors. 
Subversive in its tendencies and impatient of recognised 
authority, it intensified the spirit of dislike to autocratic insti- 
Eff f th tutions. Still, in spite of the terrible disruption 
rivalry with of Germany caused by the Reformation, a sove- 
France. reign SO powcrful and so cautious as Charles v. 

might have been able to weather the storm, without suffering 
any loss of prerogative or influence, had it not been for the con- 
stant and paramount necessity laid upon him of counteracting 
the machinations of an enemy ever wakeful and absolutely un- 
scrupulous. As long as Francis i. lived Charles v. was never 
able seriously to apply himself to German affairs. When he 
was dead it was too late. The religious divisions of Germany 
had taken definite political shape, and were inspired with 
definite political ambitions. The Emperor had ceased to be 
the acknowledged political head of Germany. He had sunk 
into the inferior position of becoming merely the chief of one 
political and religious party. 

In this way the desire for pohtical independence from the 
authority of the Emperor went hand in hand with the achieve- 
ment of religious independence from the author- 
Consequent ° '^ 

disunion of ity of the Church. The Emperors who followed 
Germany. Charles V. in the latter years of the sixteenth 
century, Ferdinand i., Maximilian 11., and Rudolf 11., so far 
from being able in the least to extend their prerogative in 
Germany, were barely able to retain what shreds of it yet re 
mained. But towards the close of the century the onward 
and destructive march of Lutheranism and of Calvinism 

Europe at the beginning of the Seventeenth Century 1 1 

stopped. The Reformation spent itself as a living force. It 
had reached its utmost Umits and slowly the tide began to 
turn. The Counter-Reformation, with the spiritual exercises 
of S. Ignatius in one hand and the sword in the other, went 
forth to win back half Germany to the faith. When the peace 
of Vervins set France free, Germany was at her weakest. 
Jarring interests, political dissensions, religious hatreds were 
rife through the length and breadth of that unhappy land. \ The 
Lutheran princes of the north had succeeded in throwing of 
the leadership of the Emperor without themselves producing 
either a leader or a policy. The Calvinist princes of the 
Rhine-land, exasperated by the advance of the Counter-Refor- 
mation, were ready to throw all Germany into the crucible 
and rashly strike for a supremacy which they had not strength 
to win. In Bohemia men remembered with fierce glee the 
stubborn waggon fortresses of the unconquerable Ziska, and 
the concessions wrung from reluctant Pope and Emperor by 
the success of a rebellion. Meanwhile in Bavaria and the 
hereditary dominions of the House of Austria, by steady 
governmental pressure backed by the devotion and talent of the 
Society of Jesus, Protestantism was being gradually rooted 
out and swept away by the advancing tide of the Counter- 
Reformation. Yet the Emperor himself was incapable of 
directing the policy of his own party. A melancholy recluse 
given to astrology and fond of morbid religious exercises, 
Rudolf II. was the last man fitted to lead a crusade. He could 
not even inspire respect, much less command allegiance. 
Never certainly was country in a more pitiable plight. Torn 
from end to end by religious dissension, pierced through and 
through by personal and provincial rivalries, without a single 
public man on either side sufficiently respected to command 
obedience, without unity of political or religious ideal even 
among the Protestants, without that last hope of expiring 
patriotism, the power of union in the face of the foreign 
aggressor, Germany at the close of the sixteenth century lay 
extended at the feet of her jealous rival, a helpless prey, when- 
ever it pleased him to spring and put an end to her miseries. 

12 European History, 1 598-171 5 

England, unlike France and Germany, had as yet escaped 
the necessity of making the sword the arbiter of religion, but 
she had not wholly settled her religious difficul- 
ties. Elizabeth, masterful in all things, had 
imposed upon the Church and the nation a solution of the re- 
ligious question which was still upon its trial. The experiment 
of a Church, historically organised and doctrinally Catholic, 
but in hostility to the Pope, was hitherto unknown in the 
West, though common enough in the East ; and it is not sur- 
prising that it soon found itself attacked from both sides by 
Roman Catholics and Protestants at once. During the reign 
of Ehzabeth the personality of the Queen and the success of 
her policy, especially as the champion and leader of the 
national opposition to Spain which culminated in the defeat 
of the Armada in 1588, kept the disturbing elements in 
check. On the accession in 1603 of a prince who with some 
insight into statesmanship was wholly deficient in the faculty 
of governing, those elements rapidly gathered strength. 
When serious constitutional questions between the king and 
the Parliament were added to the religious complications, 
England soon became too much absorbed in her own internal 
affairs to be able to speak with authority in European politics. 
For fifty years after the accession of the House of Stuart, 
England became merely a diplomatic voice in Europe to which 
nations courteously listened but paid no attention. 

While England was failing to secure her newly won hon- 
ours, Spain was trading upon a past reputation. Never was 
the retribution of an impossible policy so quick 
in coming. The transition from Philip 11. to 
Philip III. is the transition from a first-rate to a third-rate 
power, and that without the shock of a great defeat. Ener- 
vated by a proud laziness, drained by a world-wide ambition, 
ruined by a false economy, depleted by a fatal fanaticism, 
Spain was already falling fast into the slough from which she is 
only just beginning now to emerge. Yet she was still a great 
power, great in her traditions, great in her well-trained infantry, 

Europe at the beginning of the Seventeenth Century 1 3 

great through her monopoly of the American trade. Had she 
but produced men instead of puppets for kings, and statesmen 
instead of favourites for ministers, she would quickly have re- 
covered something of her ancient glory. Even under Philip 
III. she was always a power with which men had to reckon, 
and in strict family alliance with the House of Habsburg 
formed the kernel of the Catholic interest in Europe. By her 
possessions in the Netherlands, in Franche Comt^ and in 
the Pyrenees, she presented the most serious obstacle to the 
territorial aggrandisement of France. 

Patriotism was the very air the Spaniard breathed. In 
Italy it was a vice, for an Italian had no country for which to 
live or to die. Italy, since France and Spain had 
quarrelled over the division of its carcase, had 
ceased to be anything but a name. In the south, the Spanish 
House had made good its hold on Naples, in central Italy the 
States of the Church were thrust in like a great wedge to 
separate north and south. The north was still the battle-field 
between the rival powers. Venice lay entrenched along the 
eastern coast and commanded the mouth of the Brenner Pass, 
too formidable as yet to be attacked, too independent to be won, 
by either side. In the middle of the rich plain of Lombardy 
was the Milanese, which belonged to Spain, and was held by 
Austrian or Spanish troops, who kept up a precarious com- 
munication with Austria through the Valtelline and Tirol, or 
with Spain through the friendly republic of Genoa, To the 
west of the Milanese came Piedmont and Savoy, the duke of 
which from his geographical position was usually obliged to 
be on good terms with France, but respected the obligation no 
longer than necessary. Italy thus torn and divided was always 
ready to produce, whenever it was wanted, a crop of inter- 
national questions of the greatest nicety for her neighbours to 
quarrel over, and, as the century advanced, she seemed more 
and more to find her appropriate function to lie in providing 
the necessary pawns for the game of diplomatic chess charac- 
teristic of the new European states' system. 



Difficulties of Henry IV. — Henry iv. and Sully — Economical policy of Sully— 
His financial reforms — French taxation in the seventeenth century- 
Policy of Henry iv. towards the nobles — His foreign policy— Acquisition 
of Bresse and Bugey — The Cleves-Jiilich question — Death of Henry iv. — 
Regency of Marie de Medicis — Mismanagement of affairs — The States- 
General of 1614 — The Huguenot rising — Entry of Richelieu into the 

'Now I am king!' cried Henry iv. when he received the 
submission of the last of the Leaguers. He was right, for 
Difficulties of ^^ ^^^ ^^^V ^^^^ that he was able to turn his 
Henry IV. attention to the true business of a king, the 
'^^ good government of his people. The evils 

under which France groaned were mainly threefold : the 
selfishness and factiousness of the nobility, the religious 
dissensions, and the shameful financial mismanagement. As 
long as civil and foreign war was desolating the country, no 
steps could be taken to deal with these dangers, but directly 
the submission of the League and the absolution of Henry 
had produced internal quiet, and the treaty of Vervins 
restored external peace, Henry found his hands free to strike 
at the root of the evil. Twenty days before the treaty was 
signed the publication of the Edict of Nantes found the true 
solution of the religious difficulty. It secured to the 
Calvinists the freedom of conscience for which they had 
nominally fought, to the Catholics the religious ascendency 
which their numbers and traditions entitled them to demand. 

Nor could the most zealous of Leaguers refuse to recognise 

France under Henry IV. 1 5 

the justice of a compromise which the Pope himself had 
sanctioned. The dangers which threatened France from the 
factiousness of the nobility and the disorder of the finances 
did not admit of so simple a remedy. They required long 
years of patient, watchful and firm government, and Henry iv. 
was not able in the time allotted him to do more than make 
a beginning and set an example. For this purpose he called 
to his intimate counsels his old comrade in arms, the duke 
of Sully, whom he had known and valued since childhood. 
The whole internal administration of the country was con« 
fided to him under the king, and the title of Superintendant 
of the Finances, which was conferred on him in 1598, gave 
him special authority in that department. 

For the twelve remaining years of the reign of Henry these 
two men were continuously and inseparably engaged upon 
the great work of the rehabilitation of the affairs Henry iv. 
of France. The very contrast between them in ^nd Suiiy. 
temperament and talents served to bind them the closer 
together and fit them for their joint work. Henry himself 
was a true Gascon, frank, open-hearted, open-minded, genial, 
generous, and perhaps boastful. Sully was severe, harsh, cold 
and reserved. With Henry pleasure, even dissipation, had 
ever held a foremost place. Unhappy in his marriage he had 
solaced himself with many mistresses and a large family of 
bastards, and even after he became king the recklessness of 
his expenditure, and the extravagance of his orgies occasioned 
scandal even in pleasure-loving Paris. Sully, on the other 
hand, was morose in manner and thrifty even to meanness in 
private life. Avaricious, incorruptible, indefatigable, intensely 
jealous of his authority, and proud of his services, he foimd 
his pleasure in the rooting out of abuse and his triumph in 
the overthrow of the evil-doer. Henry inspired love and 
loyalty in his people, Sully won their respect and their hatred. 
Yet neither was complete without the other. To Henry, gay, 
chivalrous and manly, human nature was a book more easily 
read, a tool more deftly used. His mind was more inventive, 

l6 European History, 1 5 98- 1 7 1 5 

his heart more expansive, his conceptions far wider and 
deeper in their scope. In a word, he was a statesman, while 
Sully was an administrator, and France required the services 
of both. While Henry's clear genius cut the knot of the 
religious question, and seized unerringly the moment to throw 
France boldly on to the track of her political greatness, 
Sully's honest watchfulness was laying the foundations of 
economical resource, and purifying the streams of adminis- 
trative policy, which alone could enable France to make the 
sacrifices necessary for the attainment of her political future. 

The characteristic bent of Sully's mind is most evident in 
his economical measures. He looked upon France as an 
Encourage- essentially agricultural country, and he believed 
ment of further that an agricultural population was a far 

agncu re. jj^Qj-g trustworthy support to the Crown than one 
engaged in industrial pursuits. Consequently he devoted all 
his efforts to the development of agriculture. France was to 
be the great producer of food for Europe. By the draining 
of the marshes, and the careful management of the forest-land, 
large tracts hitherto unproductive were brought under cultiva- 
tion, and the country soon began to supply food products 
more than sufficient for her own wants. The removal of 
all export-duties on com enabled her to sell this surplus to 
less favoured nations at considerable profit, without render- 
ing herself dependent upon others for any prime necessity 
of national existence. In this Sully showed himself a true 
exponent of the economical ideas of the seventeenth century. 
At a period when Europe was torn with rehgious and political 
dissensions, when France especially was preparing to launch 
herself upon a career of aggrandisement, which was to 
evoke a hundred years of war, it seemed all important to 
politicians that a country should not be dependent upon any 
other for the chief necessities of life. It was not so much 
a principle of economical policy as a necessity of national 
safety which drove nations to make themselves as self- 
supporting as possible in days of almost universal war. They 

France under Henry IV. X'j 

encouraged only such manufactures as were required by their 
own people, they prohibited the importation of foreign food 
products by high import-duties, they kept gold and silver as 
much as possible in the country, chiefly in order that the govern- 
ment might have ready to hand the means of waging war. It 
has been too much the fashion to look at the protective system 
of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries from the econo- 
mical side alone. Its foundations are laid far more in the 
interests of prudent national policy than in those of a false 
economy, though it is true that hardly any statesman of the 
time fully realised how false the economy was. Sully certainly 
was no exception to the general rule. While encouraging 
agriculture as much as possible he deliberately depreciated 
manufactures, imposed duties on manufactured articles, pro- 
hibited the exportation of gold and silver, and did all in his 
power to hinder the establishment of new industries. Here 
the greater statesmanship of the king corrected the prejudices 
of the minister. Henry at once perceived the political as well 
as the economical value of an industrial popula- Partial en- 
tion and of national industries, encouraged the of ^anufec"* 
nascent silk manufactures of Lyons and Nismes, tures. 
and the glass and pottery works of Paris and Nevers, promoted 
the construction of roads, and of the first of the great canals 
of France, that between the Loire and the Seine. In the 
department of foreign affairs, where the influence of Sully was 
less powerful, his eff"orts were even more observable. He 
renewed the extremely important capitulations with Turkey, 
which were the solid fruit of the alliance of Francis i. with the 
Sultan, and thus retained for France a predominant voice at 
the court of Constantinople and the larger share of the trade 
with that port He made favourable treaties of commerce 
with England and Holland, which helped to encourage the 
exportation of French wines, and promoted the colonisation 
of Canada, where Charaplain founded Quebec in 1608. 

The greatest debt which France owed to Sully was the 
reform of the financial administration. It is a singular thing 


1 8 European History, 1 598-1715 

that a nation which has shown itself in other departments 
Financial of administration so persistent in its adherence 
reform. jq flxed principles, should have been content to 
manage the important department of finance at hap-hazard. 
From the time that France became a nation, to the time 
of the Revolution, she produced but four great finance minis- 
ters, Suger, Sully, Colbert, and Turgot, and of them the 
two most important, Sully and Colbert, were not so much 
great financiers as honest and sensible administrators. The 
business of Sully was to produce order out of chaos, to 
defeat corruption, to govern justly. He made no attempt to 
reorganise the finances of France, to introduce a new and 
better system of taxation, still less did he venture to interfere 
with privileges which rendered anything like a just incidence 
of taxation impossible. Nor indeed would he have wished to 
do so if he had dared. On the contrary he accepted the 
system as he found it, and contented himself with enforcing 
its proper observance. The only important novelty which he 
introduced was the tax known as the paulette, by which the 
judicial and financial officials were permitted to hand on 
their offices to their heirs on payment of the tax. This was 
in fact to create a caste of hereditary officials, and to add yet 
one more to the many privileged classes of France. 

The revenue of the country Was chiefly drawn from four 
sources known as the Taille, the Gabelle, the Aides, and the 
French Douams. Of these, the taille was the most 

Revenue, the lucrative, and was originally a direct tax upon 
property. But in course of time its mode of 
assessment became varied in different parts of France. In 
the pays d' election, or those provinces which originally apper- 
tained to the monarchy of France, such as Normandy, 
Touraine, the Isle de France, etc., the taille was still a 
property tax and was levied upon each man personally 
according to a computation of what he was worth ; but in 
i\iQ pays d'etat, or those provinces which had been annexed 
to the crown of France in more recent times, many of which 

France under Henry IV. 19 

had on annexation secured fiscal privileges which they had 
been accustomed to enjoy — such as Burgundy, Guienne, 
Provence, etc. — it was levied only upon land and was in fact a 
land tax and not a property tax. In the pays d'ekction the 
nobles, in the pays d'etat the terres nobles^ i.e. the lands 
which were or once had been in the possession of the nobility, 
were free from taille^ and so were the lands of the Church, 
which paid their tenths {dectmes) instead. In itself there was 
nothing unjust about the taille, excepting the fact that as, 
owing to the exemptions, it fell almost entirely on the classes 
which had no political power, the temptation to increase it 
abnormally was a very strong one to a needy finance minister 
who was anxious not to make powerful enemies. But the real 
evil of the tax lay in the method of its assessment and collec- 
tion in the pays delection. The gross sum to be raised from 
each province was fixed by the government, and a contract 
made with a capitalist on the best terms available for the 
letting to him of the sole right of raising that sum from that 
particular province. The Ifitendant, the financial agent for 
the province, then proceeded to assess the total sum to be 
raised upon the different parishes, and the farmer general in 
his turn farmed out the raising of these smaller sums to 
subordinate agents of his own. Finally the inhabitants of 
each parish elected a committee to levy the parochial quota 
upon individuals. Nothing could well exceed the wastefulness 
and injustice of such a system. Every parish which had 
made or could make interest with the Intendant, every 
inhabitant who had interest with the assessment committee 
got the quota reduced at the expense of less fortunate 
neighbours. Each farmer and sub-farmer wrung the most he 
could out of an unfortunate peasantry, and was protected by 
a government which had already received all that was due to 
it of the tax. The only nominal check upon the farmers was 
the supervision of their accounts by the chambre des comptes, 
but that was a mere farce, as no attempt was made to ensure 
the accuracy of the registers upon which they worked. A 

20 European History, 1 598-171 5 

system by which it mattered not a sou to the government to see 
that the tax was fairly levied, while it was to the direct interest 
of the officials to take care that it was unfairly levied, stands self- 
condemned, but it was a system which was universal through- 
out France. By farming out the different branches of the 
revenue to harpies who fattened on the misery of the people, 
the government shirked the difficulty of having to deal with 
venal servants of its own, and reaped the benefit of a sure 
though diminished income at the price of abdicating one of 
the chief functions of government, and subjecting the innocent 
tax-payers to the worst form of governmental tyranny, a 
taxation both capricious and corrupt When Sully turned 
his attention to the abuses of the system, it is said that the 
people were paying 200 millions of francs in taxes while the 
government received only 50 millions ! 

If the taille was the most lucrative tax, the Gabelle or salt 
tax was the most oppressive. Salt was a government monopoly 
farmed out to capitalists in the usual way, but 
the special grievance with regard to the tax did 
not lie in the fact that it was a monopoly, or that the quality 
of the government salt was bad, but in the assessment of the 
tax. The government laid down by decree the amount of salt 
which every Frenchman was supposed to require, or at any 
rate had to buy, and each household was assessed therefore at 
a sum representing the amount of salt legally consumable by the 
number of persons of whom it was composed. There is some- 
thing ludicrous in the idea of a paternal government dictating 
to its children the amount of salt which is good for them, but 
there was little of a joke in it to the over-burdened French 
peasant, who was compelled to pay an extortionate sum for a 
far larger amount of an inferior commodity than he could 
possibly use or dispose of. The door was thus thrown open 
wide to corruption and to smuggling — those two ogres which 
ever prey upon a faulty fiscal system — but the abuse not only 
lasted until the Revolution but grew in intensity with increas- 
ing civilisation. In 1781, eight years before the Revolution 

France under Henry IV. 21 

broke out, it was calculated that it cost i8 million livres a 
year to bring the treasury a revenue of 72 million livres from 
the gabelle ; in other words, that a fourth of the produce of 
the tax was spent in collecting it, while the yearly convictions 
for smuggling amounted to between three and four thousand. 
The Aides and the Douanes, which answered roughly to 
the modern excise and customs duties, were not open to such 
obvious objections, but they too played their part in helping to 
discourage trade and impoverish the people. Each The Aides 
province, almost each district of France, had ^^^ Douanes. 
its own internal customs, and levied a toll which was nearly pro- 
hibitive on the circulation of wealth. Each branch of indirect 
taxation was farmed out, and gave rise to a needy host of 
agents, inspectors, and tax-gatherers, who looked to make their 
fortune out of the necessities of the tax-payers. But this was 
not all. Besides the taxes authorised by government and 
paid directly or through farmers to the national exchequer, 
there were, when Sully took charge of the finances, many other 
payments of a most oppresive nature exacted from the people, 
which were in fact part of the terrible legacy of the long civil 
wars. Governors of provinces and commandants Military 
of garrisons levied what they considered neces- requisitions 

° "^ and charges 

sary for the mamtenance of the troops, without upon 
any authorisation from the treasury, and without "revenue, 
rendering any account of the sums so raised. Many of the 
nobles whose assistance or whose neutrality Henry had found 
it prudent to buy, received their gratifications in the form of 
charges upon the revenue arising from certain districts, and, as 
there was no check exercised by the government over the 
amounts raised, they frequently levied upon the wretched 
people three or four times the sum originally due. 

A system so badly conceived and so iniquitously adminis- 
tered as this was calculated both to impoverish the Administra- 
people and to dry up the sources of wealth. Sully tive measures 
did not attempt to deal with the larger pro- o^suiiy. 
Wem except by encouraging agriculture and permitting the free 

22 European History, 1 5 98- 1 7 1 5 

exportation of com, but he applied himself diligently to the 
humbler task of reforming the financial administration. In 
this he kept two principles steadily in view, to insist rigorously 
that the levy of all sums on the people should be definitely 
authorised by the government, and to enforce a proper system 
of audit of the national finances. Thus he obliged the mili- 
tary governors to apply to the treasury for the pay of their 
troops, he abolished a crowd of useless and expensive financial 
agents and forced them to refund their ill-gotten gains, he 
caused the assessment registers to be verified and corrected, 
and swept away at a blow a number of false claims for 
exemption which had been corruptly admitted. By such 
measures he soon succeeded in restoring order to the finances. 
In twelve years of rigorous and just administration he relieved 
the French people from paying unauthorised and illegal taxa- 
tion, and this saved them more than 120 millions of francs 
annually, he remitted to them more than 20 millions of 
arrears, paid off" or cancelled 330 millions of debt, provided 
the necessary resources for the maintenance of a large army, 
and an expensive court, and stored up in the cellars of the 
Bastille a treasure of 30 millions against unforeseen contin- 
gencies. Well may France look upon him and his master 
as the joint founders of her national greatness. 

The restoration of order after thirty years of civil war was a 
task far more difficult and no less necessary than the purifica- 
Reiations be- tiou of the financial system. In France the 
CrowVand Crown had ever been the champion of order and 
the Nobles. centralisation, the nobles the representatives of 
disorder and local independence. In England the nobles 
were a class singled out from their fellow-countrymen by greater 
responsibilities, in France they formed a caste distinguished 
from the inferior people by special privileges. Their tendency 
therefore naturally was to magnify those privileges, and to 
intensify the distinctions which separated them both from the 
king and the Commonalty, to assert rights of their own 
rather than assist in vindicating the rights of others. Nothing 

France under Henry IV. 23 

is more significant in the history of England than the fact 
that throughout the constitutional struggles of the medieval 
period the nobles as a whole were anxious to make common 
cause with the people and content to share their victory with 
them. Parliament, the representative of the nation in its 
three estates, thus became by their common action the deposi- 
tary and the safeguard of the national liberty. In France on 
the other hand the nobles are ever found fighting for their 
own class interests. Fenced round by their own privileges, 
regardless of the common weal, they aspired to an indepen- 
dence which could not but be destructive of national life. 
The people learned to look to the Crown as their protector 
from the licence of the nobles, to welcome its increasing 
power as representing greater security of life and property. 
A centralised and absolute Crown might possibly be a curse 
in the future, a decentralised and independent nobility was 
beyond question a curse evident and imminent in the present. 
And so the States-General, the representative of France in her 
three estates, was permitted to sink into oblivion by a Crown 
which would have no rival, and a nation which preferred the 
maintenance of its class jealousies to that union of classes 
which could alone secure liberty. 

The religious wars had afforded a great opportunity to the 
nobles of asserting their independence. Many of them had 
embraced Calvinism, and so gained for their dis- Policy of 
integrating aspirations a religious sanction and a t^^a^s the 
political ideal. It is said that by the Edict of nobles. 
Nantes Calvinistic worship was legalised in 3500 castles. 
Faction is ever strong when the Crown is weak, and Henry iv. 
had to buy the doubtful allegiance of many of the smaller 
nobles by sheer bribery, before he could estabhsh himself upon 
the throne. But no sooner had he made his position secure 
than the nobles found that they had a master. They might 
be courtiers but not politicians. Henry deliberately intrusted 
the affairs of government to men of business of inferior rank, 
dependent on himself, and jealous of the nobles. Rigid 

24 European History y I ^()d>-iyi^ 

inquiry was made into the privileges claimed by the nobles, 
and those which could not be substantiated were rescinded. 
The institution of \h&paulette was intended to create a noblesse 
of the robe as a counterpoise to the noblesse of the sword. 
Duelling, that much-loved privilege of a gentleman, was 
absolutely forbidden, and the issue of letters of pardon to 
those who killed their adversary in a duel stopped. The 
nobles, accustomed to the licence of civil war, soon grew 
restive under the strong hand of Henry. The mardchal de 
_. Biron, on the part of the Catholics, and the due de 

Tne con- ' ' 

spiracy of Bouillou, the leader of the Huguenots, permitted 
Biron, i6oa. thcmsclves to enter into relations with Savoy and 
Spain, and to talk somewhat vaguely of a partition of France, 
in a way which was incompatible with loyalty to the king. 
When Henry struck he struck hard. The thirty-two wounds 
which Biron had received in the service of France failed to 
obtain his pardon. In 1602 he was executed, and his death 
gave the signal for the beginning of that war of revenge on 
the part of the Crown against the nobles, which was carried 
on with such relentless severity by Richelieu, and did not cease 
until the triumph of the Crown was assured under Louis xiv. 
The due de Bouillon escaped to Germany, the comte 
d'Auvergne was imprisoned, the due d'Epernon, frightened 
into submission, was pardoned. Perhaps Henry himself 
hardly dared to touch the former companion of Henry iii., 
the governor of half France, and the proudest of all her proud 
nobility. Four years afterwards the vengeance of Henry was 
still awake though all the excitement and danger had long 
ago quieted down. In 1606 he travelled through the dis- 
affected districts of the south and south-west accompanied by 
an army, destroyed several castles belonging to the nobles, 
and put to death, after sentences by special tribunals, those 
who had taken a prominent part in the late troubles. 

But it was in the sphere of foreign affairs that the genius of 
Henry iv. fully displayed itself. For many years France had 
played a sorry part in European politics. If Francis I, 




To face page. 25 

Bartholomew, £iiui^ 

Period V 


To face page 25. 

B •rtKol«kurw. £ia' 

France under Henry IV, tS 

had done something to preserve Europe from falling under 
the yoke of Charles v., men also remembered that porejen 
he was the perjured of Madrid, the abettor and poUcy of 
the ally of the Turk. Since his death France had "^""^ ^^• 
fallen lower and lower in the scale of nations, until under the 
stress of the religious wars she seemed to bid fair to become 
another Italy, a plaything tossed to and fro among the nations 
of Europe. It was the stubbornness of the Dutch, and the 
craft of Elizabeth, not the patriotism of Frenchmen, which had 
saved France from the yoke of Philip ii. in that terrible time. 
After the peace of Vervins Henry had to restore the national 
prestige, and regain the national influence which had died 
almost to nothing. The great danger to France lay from the 
pressure exercised upon an indefensible frontier ^^^ jndefen- 
on all sides by the Austro-Spanish power, sibie frontier 
While Spain held Roussillon, Franche-Comte, and »' ^'■^°"- 
the Netherlands, and could reckon on the vassalage of Savoy, 
while the passes of the Vosges were in the hands of the 
Empire, the Austro-Spanish House held the gates of France. 
France could not breathe with the hand of her enemy on her 
throat. But the strength of a chain is that of its weakest link, 
and Henry's eagle eye soon detected the weak place in the 
circle of iron which bound him. It lay in north Italy, the old 
battle-field of France and Spain. The Milanese was a rich 
open country, depending for its protection from attack upon 
its fortresses and its rivers. It was a fief of the Empire 
in the possession of Spain, and its communications with 
Spain by sea through the friendly port of Genoa were more 
easy than with Germany, through the tedious and often 
difficult mountain paths which connected the Valtelline with 
the Brenner pass and the valley of the Inn. It lay therefore 
invitingly open to attack from the mountains of Savoy on 
the west, and those of the Grisons on the north, and if once 
it fell into the hands of France, not only would the chain 
which bound her be broken, but a terrible counterblow would 
be dealt to the influence of the Austro-Spanish House in 

26 European History, 1598- 171 5 

Europe, for through Milan ran the road by which Spain could 
best open communications in safety with south Germany and 
Franche-Comte. If that way was blocked, the only route 
possible for the troops and treasure of Spain was the long sea 
voyage by the Bay of Biscay and the English Channel to 
Antwerp and the Spanish Netherlands, a route fraught with 
peril from the storms which rage round Cape Finisterre, and 
from the English and French privateers which swarmed in the 
narrow seas. 

In Italy, therefore, lay the opportunity of France, and 
Savoy held the key of the position. The duchy of Savoy, 
Importance which Still extended as far as the Rhone, and 
of Savoy. disputed with the king of France for the rule 

over Provence and Dauphine, had been gradually pushed by 
its more powerful neighbour more and more towards Italy. 
Its duke had quite lately established himself in his capital of 
Turin at the foot of the mountain, and his ambition was to 
become an Italian prince. But though Piedmont and not Savoy 
had become the centre of his power, the border land of Savoy and 
not the Italian land of Piedmont became necessarily the centre 
of his policy. Situated on the mountains between France 
and the Milanese, Savoy held the gates both of France and of 
Imperial Italy. Through her mountain passes could pour, 
when she gave the word, the troops of France into the fertile 
plains of Lombardy, or those of the Habsburgs into the 
valley of the Rhone. A position so decisive and so dangerous 
rendered a consistent policy impossible. Courted by both 
parties, her opportunity lay in playing ofif one against the 
other as long as possible, but her safety necessitated the 
choice of the stronger for her ally in the end. A misreading 
of the political barometer at a critical moment would mean 
nothing less than national extinction. From the time that 
the rivalry between France and the Austro-Spanish power 
began to develop itself in Italy, the dukes of Savoy had been 
compelled to follow this tortuous policy. During the Italian 

France tinder Henry IV. 27 

expeditions of Charles viii. and Louis xii. they were on the 
side of victorious France, but in the war between Francis i. 
and Charles v. Savoy veered to the side of the Emperor. 
Punished for this by the occupation of his country by French 
troops for twenty-five years, the duke was reinstated in his 
dominions at the peace of Cateau-Cambresis (1559), subject 
to the continued occupation by France of six fortresses, in- 
cluding Susa and Pinerolo, which commanded the gates of 
important passes through the Alps. In the troubles which 
afflicted France under the later Valois kings, Charles Em- 
manuel of Savoy succeeded in obtaining possession of 
Saluzzo; and although it was provided in the treaty of 
Vervins that he should restore it, the provision remained a 
dead letter. This gave Henry iv. the opportunity he desired 
of recalling Savoy to the French alliance. In 1600, after the 
death of Gabrielle d'Estrees, he had procured a divorce from 
his first wife Marguerite de Valois, and had strengthened his 
influence in Italy by his marriage with Marie de Medicis, the 
daughter of the grand-duke of Tuscany. In the Cession of 
same year he marched upon Savoy and quickly Bu^^e^^uT 
overran it, but in January 1601 agreed to a treaty France, 
with the young duke Charles Emmanuel, who had succeeded 
Emmanuel Philibert in 1580, by which Saluzzo was left in the 
hands of Savoy, but France obtained instead the two small 
duchies of Bresse and Bugey. By this treaty Savoy was brought 
back into alliance with France at the price of the surrender of 
a distant possession, which, in the hands of France, could not 
but be considered a standing menace and a cause of hostility 
by the court of Turin. 

Thus Henry iv. laid the foundations of the policy after- 
wards so successfully pursued in Italy by RicheUeu. In fact, 
to both of these great statesmen the end to be attained was 
the same. The abasement of the Austro-Spanish House 
in the interests of France was the beginning and end of 
their foreign poUcy. But Henry had not the same opportunities 


28 European History, 1 598- 1 7 1 5 

of putting his designs into execution which were enjoyed by 
Attack upon his successor. It is difficult to say how far the 
slTani^h '^°" Great Design attributed to Henry in the Memoirs 
House. of Sully was ever more than a dream. States- 

men have often sought relief from the ennui engendered by 
the pettiness of diplomatic routine in the delightful task of 
The Great building political castles in the air, and it is likely 
Design. enough that Henry, in his more imaginative 
moments, conceived of a Europe in which religious jars 
should cease and national dissensions rest, at the bidding of 
an arbitration court which represented a confederacy of free 
states, and was the mouthpiece of a law of religious toleration. 
It is not less likely that his shrewd genius also foresaw that 
in a Europe whose unity depended on political confederacy, 
whose peace was secured by religious toleration, there would 
be no room for the Holy Roman Empire or for the monarchy 
of Spain. The destruction of the Austro-Spanish House was 
a condition precedent to the success of the Great Design. If 
Henry ever intended seriously to try to combine those who 
represented the political forces of Protestantism in a con- 
federacy against Spain and the Empire, based on a recognition 
of the three religions, he must have abandoned the attempt 
as hopeless on the death of Elizabeth in 1603. 

A few years later, however, an opportunity presented 
itself of dealing a blow at the Austro-Spanish House in a less 
original but equally effective way. In 1609 John William,^ 
01 ves duke of Cleves, Jiilich, and Berg died without 
juiich ques. children, and the right of succession was claimed 
tion. |jy ^^Q princes. John Sigismond, the elector of 

Brandenburg, whose wife was the child of the eldest daughter 
of William the Rich, brother and predecessor of the last duke, 
rested his wife's claim partly on his descent from the elder 
branch, and partly on a will made by William the Rich in 
which he gave the descendants of the elder daughter prefer- 
* See Appendix iii. 

France under Henry IV. 29 

ence over those of the younger. The count palatine of Neu- 
burg had married a younger daughter of William the Rich, 
who claimed the inheritance as being the nearest of kin. The 
eldest sister of John William being dead, she made over her 
claim to her son Wolfgang William. The question was there- 
fore mainly the old one of the eldest by descent against the 
nearest ot kin, and was eminently one for the imperial courts 
to decide. But the matter was complicated by religious con- 
siderations. The three duchies lay along the course of the 
lower Rhine from the frontiers of the United Provinces nearly 
to Andernach, enclosing within their embraces a considerable 
part of the archbishopric of Koln. The population was 
Catholic but both the claimants were Lutherans, and on the 
principle of cujus regio ejus religto, laid down by the religious 
peace of Augsburg, if the duchies passed into Lutheran hands, 
there was a strong probability that they would before long not 
only become Lutheran themselves, but drag the vacillating 
archbishopric of Koln with them. The Emperor, Rudolf, in 
order to guard against this danger, at once claimed the right 
of administering the duchies until the question of the succes- 
sion was settled, and sent an army to occupy Jiilich. But if 
the Catholics could not permit the duchies to fall into Lutheran 
hands, still less could Protestant or French interests see un- 
moved the imperial armies encamped on the borders of the 
United Provinces, in close proximity to the frontiers of France 
and the Spanish Netherlands. An imperial army on the lower 
Rhine was a menace alike to north German Protestantism, 
to the hardly won Dutch independence, and to Enghsh and 
French jealousy. 

Henry iv. seized the opportunity. He at once declared 
himself the protector of the rights of the elector League under 
of Brandenburg and the count of Neuburg, and ^^^"^ ^Y- 

° . °' against the 

put himself at the head of an alliance of the Emperor, 

enemies of the Austro-Spanish House. England, '^"'• 

the United Provinces, the German Protestant Union, Venice 

3© European History, 1598- 1715 

and Savoy responded to his call. Three French armies were 
set on foot, one was directed to the Pyrenees, the second 
under Lesdiguibres was to co-operate with Savoy and Venice 
in the conquest of the Milanese, while the third, under the 
command of the king himself, attacked Jiilich and occupied 
the duchies in conjunction with the Dutch and English 
contingents and the German Protestants. It seemed as if 
the death-knell of the Austro-Spanish power had sounded. 
Rudolf II., ignorant of politics and half-crazed in intellect, was 
implicated in serious quarrels with his unwilling subjects of 
Bohemia and Hungary. In Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola, 
Ferdinand, the nephew of the Emperor, was, with the help- of 
the Jesuits, waging an ardent and determined war against the 
Calvinism which threatened to take a strong root even in the 
hereditary dominions of the Habsburgs. Wanting in money, 
wanting in leadership, wanting in unity, the power of Austria 
had no troops on which it could depend, no subjects 
which it could trust. Nor was Spain in much better plight. 
Exhausted by the ambition of Philip 11., misgoverned by 
a weak king and an incapable minister, she had chosen 
this very time gratuitously to deal a serious blow to her 
own prosperity by expelling from her borders the Moriscoes, 
the most laborious and intelligent of her working popula- 
tion. It was clear that she could do little more to help the 
cause than to defend her own frontiers, and hold the Milanese 
against the attacks of the allies. The forces of the Catholic 
League, the resources of Maximilian of Bavaria, and the 
genius of his general Tilly, were in fact all that Catholicism 
and the Austro-Spanish power had to rely upon in the 
death duel in which she had almost by inadvertence engaged 
herself. Help came from a quarter the least expected. 
A terrible crime struck France with tragic suddenness to her 
Assassination knees and saved the House of Austria. As 
of Henry IV. Henry IV. passed through the streets of Paris to 
visit his minister Sully, but two days before the date fixed for 
his departure for the campaign, a fanatic named Ravaillac 

France under Henry IV. 3* 

plunged a dagger into his heart. With Henry iv. died the 
combination of which he was the head and soul, and the 
capture of Jiilich from the imperialists by Maurice of Nassau, 
aided by a small English contingent, was the only step taken 
in the direction of realising the Great Design of the first of 
the Bourbons. 

The dagger of Ravaillac not only saved the Austro-Spanish 
House but plunged France into fifteen years of misery and 
dishonour. The young king Louis xiii. was but Mane de 
nine years old and a regency was inevitable. The declared 
due d'Epernon was the only man who showed Regent 
the necessary energy and presence of mind to deal with the crisis 
which had so suddenly arisen. Surrounding the palace and 
the Hotel de Ville with his own troops and those of the other 
nobles on whom he could rely, he entered the chamber where 
the Parlement was assembled, and demanded that they should 
at once recognise the queen-mother as regent. Pointing 
significantly to his sword he said : * This sword is as yet in 
its scabbard, but if the queen is not declared regent before 
this assembly separates, I foresee that it will have to be drawn. 
That which can be done to-day without danger cannot be 
done to-morrow without difficulty and bloodshed.' There 
were many in the Parlement who were not sorry to see that 
body thus suddenly raised into the unaccustomed position of 
the arbiter of the government of France. There were many 
more who found the arguments of Epernon too powerful to be 
resisted, and Marie was without further question recognised 
by a decree of the Parlement as regent of the kingdom during 
the minority of the king, and invested with the full powers of 
the crown. A Council of Regency was at once formed from 
among the leaders of the nobility, and thus fell in a moment 
the whole structure of government which Henry iv. and Sully 
had laboured so hard to erect. The nobles resumed their 
place at the head of affairs. Sully, who alone might have had 
influence enough to stop this disastrous counter-revolution, lost 
his courage, thought only of securing his own safety, and after 

32 European History, 1598-17 15 

a few ineflFectual protests retired into private life. The treasure 
which he had so painfully amassed was squandered among 
the nobles to buy their adherence to the new government. 
Reversal of "'"^^ regent, devoted in her inmost heart to Spain, 
the policy of and dreading the risk of foreign war, hastened to 

enry • disband the larger part of the troops which 
Henry iv. had collected, and to set on foot secret negotiations 
with the court of Spain. After the capture of Jiilich, on 
September ist, 1610, by which all danger of Imperial aggression 
in the lower Rhineland was taken away, she openly announced 
her intention to withdraw altogether from the war, and to ally 
herself with Spain through the double marriage of her daughter 
Elizabeth to the heir to the Spanish crown, and of Anne of 
Austria, the eldest daughter of Philip 111., to the young king 
of France. Six months after the murder of Henry iv. his whole 
policy at home and abroad had been reversed. The great 
combination against the House of Austria fell to pieces when 
France retired. The German Protestants and the Dutch 
made their peace with the Emperor by the truce of Willstedt, 
signed in October 16 10. The duke of Savoy, betrayed by 
France, had to make his peace as best he could with Spain, 
and the key of Italy was once more thrown away. At home, 
disorder corruption and anarchy raised their heads again, and 
the selfish and factious nobility tore France in pieces in a 
struggle in which their desire for places and money was hardly 
disguised by a thin veneer of political ambition. 

For seven years Marie held the reins of government She 
was a vain, irritable, and intriguing woman with little of the 
talent for rule hereditary in her family, and much of the 
dependence upon stronger natures characteristic of her sex. 
^j- They were years of discord and disgrace. The 
the mar^chai real rulcrs of France were the ItaHan adventurers 
d'Ancre. Leonora Galigai and her husband, whom the 

weakness of Marie actually raised to the dignity of a marshal 

of France, although he had never seen a shot fired in earnest. 

The nobles were justly enraged at the prostitution of an 

France under Henry IV. 33 

office, which they considered one of the chief prizes of their 
order, and bitterly jealous of the influence of a parvenu like 
the marechal d'Ancre. Twice they rose in rebellion under 
the leadership of the worthless prince de Conde,^ but d'Ancre 
and Marie knew well the sop to throw to that Cerberus. A 
quarter of a million of livres purchased the treaty of Ste. 
Menehould on May 15th, 16 14, and six million that of Loudun 
in May 1616, and the Regent and her minister quietly pursued 
their policy unmoved by demands for reform which died in 
the presence of gold. The feeble ray of dying constitutional- 
ism alone sheds a pale gleam of interest over the dreary years. 
Partly in the hopes of strengthening her own position, partly 
to take a cry, always dangerous, out of the mouth of Conde, 
Marie de Medicis consented to summon once more the States- 
General of France and ask their advice upon the grievances 
of the kingdom. 

The melancholy interest which surrounds a deathbed 
attaches to this the last meeting of the States-General of 
monarchical France. The Estates assembled at ,, . 

Meeting of 

Paris on the 14th of October 16 14, according to the states- 
their three orders. There appeared 140 repre- G«°erai, 1614. 
sentatives of the clergy, 132 of the noblesse, 192 of the 
Tiers Etat, but these last were not in any real sense repre- 
sentatives of the commonalty of France. The name of 
a merchant or a farmer or a small landowner does not appear 
among them. They were for the most part of the official and 
professional classes, officers of the petty districts into which 
France was divided, financial and municipal officers, with a 
sprinkling of lawyers and citizens, and they at once assumed 
the role which their composition marked out for them, and 
organised themselves as the official order in opposition to the 
other orders of the clergy and the noblesse. From Quarrels 
the beginning the jealousy of the three orders between the 
among themselves, and the fatal determination 
of the Tiers Etat to defend the privileges of their own official 
^ See Appendix ii. 

34 European History, 1598- 171 5 

class against the nobles, instead of urging the grievances of 
the country upon the Crown, rendered the possibility of 
obtaining any real check upon the Crown absolutely hopeless. 
The nobles not unnaturally looked with jealous eyes on the 
gradual formation of an hereditary privileged class of officials, 
by means of the purchase of offices and the right of trans- 
mission secured by the pauletie, which could not fail to grow 
in a little time into a second noblesse, and they directed their 
efforts mainly to procuring the abolition of purchase in the 
civil services. The Tiers Etat on their side, numbering as 
they did but comparatively few of the privileged ' exempt ' 
among their ranks, fixed their eyes on the inordinate pensions 
enjoyed by the great nobles, and demanded the abolition of 
the pension list and the reduction of the tatlle. This was to 
hit the nobles in their weakest place, and the contention 
between the two orders became so keen that the court had to 
interfere and bring about a reconciliation. Hardly however 
had the Tiers Etat finished their controversy with the nobles, 
than they became involved in a quarrel with the clergy. The 
magistracy, especially the lawyers, were strongly Galilean in 
their views of ecclesiastical government, that is, they main- 
tained the right of the national authorities to govern the 
Church in France in all matters which were not directly 
spiritual in their nature, and repudiated interference from the 
Pope. Especially they disliked the Jesuits, and wished to 
avoid the recognition of the decrees of the Council of Trent, 
which had not as yet been formally accepted by France. The 
Tiers Etat accordingly drew up an article in their cakier, 
or list of grievances, which, under the form of asserting the 
right divine of the French kings, and denouncing the crime 
of regicide, impliedly denied the right of the popes to depose 
kings and absolve subjects from their allegiance. At once 
the whole question between the Gallicans and the Ultramon- 
tanes was raised, and for more than a month no other matter 
was discussed among the Estates. The nobles sided with the 
clergy, and agreed with them on twenty-four articles represent- 

France under Henry IV. 35 

ing their common views, among which the recognition of the 
decrees of Trent and the maintenance of the authority of the 
Holy See assumed an equal place of importance with the 
union of Navarre and Beam to France, and the abolition of 
the pauktte and the purchase system. The Parlement 
supported the Tiers Etat, and by its interference introduced 
one more cause of dissension. Finally, the court had again 
to interfere and order the Tiers Etat to omit the objectionable 
article from their cahier. Yet in spite of these suicidal 
quarrels, which proved the unfitness of the States- Reforms 
General to undertake constitutional responsibili- by°t}fe states* 
ties, their meeting was not wholly useless. General. 
Differing on almost all other questions, the three orders 
were agreed upon an attack upon the financial adminis- 
tration. Jeannin, the finance minister, was, in spite of the 
efforts of the court, forced to produce accounts, which, when 
produced, showed clearly enough that none had been kept 
which were fit for production. The consent of the Crown 
was obtained to a considerable reduction of the pension list, 
the suppression of tht paulette, and the erection of a special 
court to control the finances. Endowed with no legislative 
power, all that the Estates could do in the way of ameliorating 
the government was to make representations and extort 
promises, and this they did as effectively as circumstances 
permitted in the most important department of administration. 
If it must be allowed that they did much to destroy their 
own influence and render themselves ridiculous by their 
jealousy and quarrelsomeness, it must also be remembered 
that no king ever dared to summon them again until monarchy 
was tottering to its fall. 

Louis was declared of age just before the meeting of the 
States-General in 1614, when he had reached Fail of the 
his fourteenth year. In 1616 the hated double marechai 

'. j-»r-i d'Ancre. 

m.amage with Spam was celebrated, and Manes Ministry of 
triumph was complete. It was short-lived — Louis Luynes, 1617. 
himself shared the universal hatred felt for the marechal 

36 European History^ 1 598-1 71 5 

d'Ancre. Urged on by his friend and fellow-sportsman the 
count de Luynes, he determined to take the government into 
his own hands. A third rising of the nobles at the beginning 
of 16 1 7 professed as its object the saving of the king from 
the hands of a foreigner. Only the queen-mother supported 
her favourite, but she was powerless against her son. As 
the marechal entered the Louvre on the 2 5th "of April 161 7, 
he was ordered in the king's name to surrender his sword. 
On his refusal the guard fired and he fell dead. His wife was 
not long in following him. Condemned on an absurd charge 
of sorcery, she was executed shortly after. The queen- 
mother was obliged to retire to Blois, and Louis, seeing his 
oppressors so successfully disposed of, felt that at last he was 
king. He was mistaken. He had only exchanged one 
master for another. Luynes, who succeeded to the power 
formerly exercised by the marechal d'Ancre, soon proved 
neither more capable or honest in administration, nor more 
agreeable to the nobles. The queen-mother never ceased 
her intrigues to regain her power, intrigues which became 
daily more dangerous as they were directed by the unseen 
hand of Richelieu. In 1619 the old duke of Epernon, in 
1620 the dukes of Mayenne and Vendome, in alliance with 
the Huguenots under Rohan and La Tremouille, rose in her 
favour, and Louis and his favourite found themselves obliged 
to come to an arrangement with her. 

But no sooner had the treaty of Angouleme, made in 
February 16 19, and confirmed in 1620, restored harmony 
between Louis and his mother and the nobles, than the 
Rising of the Huguenots, who wished to take advantage of the 
Huguenots, troubles of the court in order to increase their 
^^^' political independence, threw all the south of 

France into a blaze. Frightened by the forced restoration of 
Catholicism in Beam in 1620, they struck boldly for indepen- 
dence, dreamed of a Huguenot republic in the south of 
France, and were content to see the dismemberment of the 
nation, if by it they could satisfy their personal ambition. 

France under Henry IV. 37 

Wherever the eye turned among the various interests of 
which France was composed, whether upon Luynes and the 
courtiers, upon the queen-mother and her rival court, upon 
Conde and the nobles, upon Rohan and the Huguenots, the 
same picture of self-seeking ambition and personal aims was 
everywhere presented. Each one for himself and no one for 
the country was the motto of all among the leaders of France 
with two exceptions. The king himself and Richelieu the 
young bishop of Lugon, at that time in disgrace with his 
patroness Marie de Medicis, were the only ones in whose 
breasts the love of France burned with a pure and unsullied 
flame, and the hour had not yet struck which was to bind 
them together in a common work for the common weal. 
Meanwhile the crisis was a serious one, and Louis set himself 
manfully to meet it. The clash of arms, and the threat of 
danger, always brought out the stronger parts of his nature. 
He confirmed the Edict of Nantes, then at the head of a large 
army, after quieting the north, he marched towards the great 
Huguenot stronghold of La Rochelle and captured S. Jean 
d'Angely in spite of the efforts of Soubise. Leaving the 
due d'Epernon to form the siege of La Rochelle, he directed 
all his energies to the capture of Montauban, the great 
Huguenot stronghold of the south, while Montmorency sub- 
dued the Cevennes. For three months the stout city resisted 
all the ill-directed efforts of the royal army, and in November 
162 1 the king sullenly withdrew the remnants of his perishing 
troops. The death of Luynes from a fever caught in camp 
did much to make peace possible, and the victory of Louis 
and Cond^ over Soubise in the marches of Rie in April 1622 
brought it near. The Huguenots had come to see that with- 
out foreign assistance their cause was hopeless. The due de 
Bouillon remained immovable in the north. Lesdiguibres, 
the old Huguenot leader, became a Catholic and received the 
baton of Constable. La Force, the heroic defender of Mont- 
auban, accepted the rank of marshal of France and a gift of 
200,000 crowns. Rohan alone remained steadfast, but he too 

38 European History, 1 598- 1 7 1 5 

i?as forced to accept the inevitable, when it became clear that 
The peace of Montpellier, the last Huguenot fortress of the 
Montpeiiier, south, must surrender. The peace of Montpellier, 

1622. Entry of . , , i ^ i , , , 

Richelieu into Signed on the 19th October 1622, marks the 
the Ministry, first great Step taken by the Crown towards the 
destruction of the Huguenots as a political organisation. By 
it religious toleration was secured to them, but they were for- 
bidden to hold political assemblies of any kind whatever. All 
fortifications recently raised by them were to be demolished, 
and La Rochelle and Montauban were to be for the future 
the only guaranteed towns. The victory of France over the 
Huguenots had results far more extended than appeared upon 
the surface. The restoration of civil order in the country 
naturally led to an attempt to restore personal harmony at 
court, and under the auspices of La Vieuville, who now 
exercised the chief influence in the ministry, a settlement of 
the questions still at issue between the king and his mother 
was effected. One of the conditions of this settlement was 
the entry of Richelieu into the royal council. From that day 
a new era dawned for France. 



Causes of the Counter-Reformation — The weakness of Protestantism — The 
revival in the Church — The influence of the Jesuits — Beginning of the 
Counter- Reformation in Poland, in Germany, in the Austrian dominions — 
Questions stiU unsettled in Germany, the position of the Calvinists, the 
secularised lands, the ecclesiastical reservation — Dangerous position of 
the Calvinists of the Rhineland — The troubles of Donauworth — Forma- 
tion of the Calvinist Union and the Catholic League — Constitutional 
difGculties between the Emperor and the Bohemians — Revolt of the 
Bohemian Protestants — The throwing from the windows. 

The reaction against Protestantism in Europe began to make 
itself felt in the concluding years of the sixteenth century. 
Like all great movements in the religious, as in causes of the 
the political, sphere, it owed its existence to many Counter- 
complex causes. To some extent racial distinc- ^ °""^ '°°' 
tions asserted themselves. The Romance-speaking nations 
and the Sclavonic peoples, roughly speaking, after a moment 
of hesitation declared plainly against Protestantism, To a 
larger extent political reasons dictated the attitude of govern- 
ments, and governments were able to do much towards 
defining the religion of their subjects. The determined stand 
made by Spain in defence of Catholicism was greatly affected 
by the ambition of Philip ii. to make himself master of 
Europe. The effective opposition to the domination of Spain 
offered by Elizabeth was far more due to zeal for the 
independence and commercial prosperity of England than to 
differences of faith. The final resolve of France to remain 
distinctly Cathohc was, as we have seen, due to the fact that 


40 European History, 1 598- 1 7 1 5 

she prized her unity before everything, and the Huguenots 
were the party of disruption. 

But after making all allowance for the influence of other 
Inherent Considerations, the reasons which determined the 

weakness of r . • j i i • • -r» 

Protestant- course of events remamed always religious. Pro- 
ism, testantism was at the first the expression of a 
great moral revolution. The religious and moral nature of 
man rose in rebellion against a distorted faith, and an 
immoral system which seemed incapable of reform. Based 
mainly on a negative theology, it was at its strongest as long 
as its work was almost wholly destructive. The overthrow of 
moral abuse, the attack on wrongly defined faith was easy to 
men inspired with the zeal of a crusade on behalf of truth. 
But when it, in its turn, was called upon by the necessities of 
controversy to attempt to construct a system of its own, to lay 
down principles, to explain truth, its weakness became 
evident. Quickly divided into the two great schools named 
after Luther and Calvin, in hopeless and virulent antagonism, 
it was soon seen that in each division the tendency was still 
further to define and still further to divide. Confession 
followed confession in the hopeless attempt to arrive at unity 
through the expression of self-evident, perfect, truth in human 
language. The only result was greater division. Luther- 
anism, to avoid the danger of disruption, took refuge under 
the wing of the State, and as it became more and more 
merely the moral department of governments, it lost more and 
,more its powers over mankind. From the middle of the six- 
teenth century its progress began to cease, and when progress 
stops in a religious movement, reaction begins. Calvinism 
showed more vitality. It was more aggressive and lent itself 
as readily to the aid of those opposed to governmental 
centralisation, as Lutheranism did to the assistance of the 
governments themselves. Its stern creed, with its strong 
tendency to fanaticism and bigotry, produced a type of 
character always concentrated and effective, and often lofty 
and severe. It was seen at its best when combined with the 

Religious Troubles in Germany 41 

spirit of patriotism and Kberty in the Dutch and the Swiss, 
at its worst when degraded into a pretext for selfishness and 
faction in France and in Germany. At one time it looked as 
if it was going to carry everything before it. Firmly rooted 
in Scotland, Switzerland, the upper Rhine-land, and among 
the Dutch, it was rapidly winning over to its flag England, 
France, and Hungary, was making rapid strides in the 
hereditary dominions of the House of Austria, and had even 
made good its footing in north Italy and Spain. But like 
Lutheranism it was more fitted to attack than to defend, to 
win than to consolidate, and gradually the tide began to ebb. 
The long and bitter struggle in the Netherlands ended in a 
division of territory. The seven northern provinces became 
independent and remained Calvinist, in spite of the utmost 
efforts of Philip 11., but south and west of the Scheldt the 
country adhered to Spain and Catholicism. England in her 
national expression of religion, under the guidance of Eliza- 
beth, definitely refused to become Calvinistic, though many 
Englishmen became Calvinists. France, as we have seen, 
having to choose between Calvinism and unity, not only 
chose to remain Catholic and united, but set herself deliber- 
ately to root out the political influence of the Huguenot 

But after all, it was not the inherent weakness of Protest- 
antism, either in its philosophical, religious, or poUtical 
aspects, which finally put an end to its progress, Religious 
and turned back the tide. It was the greatly revival in the 
increased strength of Catholicism. The power of 
Protestantism lay, at the beginning of the sbcteenth century, in 
its protest against wicked lives and a degraded system. By 
the end of the century that protest was no longer needed, 
and no longer effective. The Church, which had refused to 
reform itself after the horrors of the great schism under the 
pressure of the councils of Constance and Basel, and had 
answered the trumpet call of Savonarola with an excom- 
munication at the hands of Alexander vi., had at length been 

42 European History, 1508-171$ 

forced into reform by the success of Protestantism. The 
Council of Trent left its mark upon the Roman Church in two 
special ways. By the establishment of the seminaries, and 
the enforcement of residence, it reformed the clergy and 
taught them to be the teachers of the people. By the 
acknowledgment of Papal supremacy it centralised the 
organisation of the Roman Church, as an army is centralised 
under the absolute command of its leader, to whom un- 
questioning obedience is due. From that time the Pope has 
exercised influence over a smaller area of Europe than before 
the Reformation, but with far greater power of compelling 
obedience among his own adherents. The institution of new 
religious orders, and the remarkable revival of the religious 
life in the Roman Church in the century following the 
Reformation, is perhaps the proof rather than the cause of 
the renewal of personal piety and the spirit of self-sacrifice, 
but the foundation of the Society of Jesus marks a turning- 
influence of point in the religious history of the world. Igna- 
the Jesuits. tfus Loyola was a soldier before he was a priest, 
and his Society was a military organisation for religious 
purposes. The conquest of heresy and infidelity was its 
object, obedience and renunciation of personality were to it 
the first of virtues. A Jesuit, who was thorougly imbued with 
the principles of his order, lost his individuality and became 
but a part of a great machine. He lived, moved, felt, thought, 
but in his Society and for it alone. Trained on one system, 
directed by the will of one man, bound by its constitution to 
implicit obedience to the Pope, the Society of Jesus, as it 
spread over the whole world in the ardour and pure 
enthusiasm of its earlier years, formed a power in th« hands 
of the Papacy, which, from the intense concentration of its 
government, and the immense diffusion of its activity, has 
never been equalled in the world's history. In Europe, 
where Protestantism was the great enemy to be overthrown, 
it seized with characteristic dexterity upon education as its 
chief work. 

Religious Troubles in Germany 43 

Protestantism, though born of the Renaissance, had done 
little to satisfy the demands for increased knowledge which 
the growing spirit of free inquiry was making so Their educa- 
loudly. It had trained some scholars, it had tionaiwork. 
done little for general education. The Jesuits seized the 
opportunity. They oflfered to the world the best education 
attainable free of cost, and before long they had far distanced 
all competitors. The value of this to the Church in countries 
where Protestantism was powerful but not dominant can 
hardly be exaggerated. It was a guarantee that the rising 
intelligence of the country should be trained in the most 
uncompromising school of churchmanship. No Catholic 
power found itself able to dispense with their support. Even 
in France where Calvinism was strong, under a king whose 
religion was always tempered by policy, the Jesuits managed 
to make good their footing in spite of the most virulent and 
active opposition of the Sorbonne. To the rulers of Bavaria 
and Austria, who were sincerely anxious for the rooting out of 
Protestantism, they were simply invaluable. Thus by the end 
of the century the tables had become completely turned. 
Zeal, devotion, learning, self-sacrifice, religious enthusiasm, 
were now on the side of the Church. Superior in organisation, 
superior in religious effort, superior in concentration, the 
Church presented a united and effective front to her enemies, 
and was prepared, when the opportunity should come, to 
initiate a crusade by the help of the Jesuits against Protestan- 
tism in Europe, while a new world was being won for her 
across the ocean by their missionary efforts. 

The opportunity was not long in coming. In the conclud- 
ing years of the sixteenth century men attained to power in 
central Europe, whose youth had been trained under the 
influences of the Catholic revival. Already by the efforts of 
Philip II. and S. Carlo Borromeo, with the assistance of the 
Inquisition, the movement in favour of Protestantism in 
Spain and Italy had been crushed, and heresy driven back 
behind the Alps and the Pyrenees. In 1587 Sigismund, 

44 European History^ 1 598-1 71 5 

the son of John of Sweden and Catherine Jagellon, was 
The Counter- ^^^cted to the throne of Poland Sigismund was 
Reformation a staunch CathoHc, and owed his election to the 
in Poland. gfTorts of the Catholics. He at once set him- 
self to restore Poland to Catholicism. He used the royal 
patronage, which was extremely extensive in Poland, in favour 
of Catholics only. He called the Jesuits to his assistance, 
supported them with money, and encouraged the sons of the 
nobility to attend their schools. In disputed questions as to 
the right to the ecclesiastical buildings he used the influence 
of the crown in favour of the Catholics, and was so success- 
ful in this, that it is said that Dantzig was the only town of 
importance in Poland where the Protestants retained the use 
of the parish church. Thus in a few years the whole of the 
official classes became Catholic ; while large country districts, 
especially in Livonia and Lithuania, were won back to the old 
faith by the efforts of the Jesuit missionaries. In 
ermany. Qg^^^any recourse was had to still stronger 
measures, for in virtue of the principle of the religious peace of 
Augsburg of 1555 it was held that every ruler had the right of 
dictating the religion of his subjects. Accordingly at Christ- 
mas 1595, the bishop of Bamberg issued an edict banishing 
from the diocese all who refused to receive the Eucharist 
according to the Catholic rite. Emboldened by his success, 
the bishop of Paderborn followed his example a few years 
afterwards, and established and endowed a Jesuit college in 
his cathedral city. In the first years of the new centur}' the 
electors von Bicken and Schweikard of Mainz, Ernest and 
Ferdinand of Koln and Lothaire of Trier, partly by govern- 
mental pressure, partly by personal influence, restored Catho- 
licism permanently in the three archbishoprics of the Rhine. 
But it was in south Germany that the greatest 
results were obtained. In 1596 Ferdinand, the 
cousin of the emperor Rudolf 11., came of age, and succeeded 
to the duchies of Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola, formerly 
held by his father the archduke Charles. Ferdinand was a 

Religious Troubles in Germany 45 

man of resolute will and deep religious convictions, which had 
been developed by his Jesuit teachers into something little 
short of fanaticism. He looked upon the restoration of 
Catholicism as the special work of his life, and kneeling before 
the shrine of Loretto the year after his accession, he solemnly 
swore to eradicate Protestantism from his hereditary domin- 
ions. He did not sleep upon his promise. In 1598 edicts 
were issued ordering all Protestant ministers to leave the 
country within fourteen days. In the following year commis- 
sions were sent through the countr}' to enforce the edicts. The 
Protestant churches were thrown down, the pastors ejected, 
and the inhabitants compelled to conform to in Austria 
Catholicism. The Emperor, seeing his cousin s »°<^ Moravia. 
success, followed in his footsteps, and from 1599 to 1603 similai 
commissions were issued for Upper and Lower Austria, and 
the Protestant ministers were driven out. Not content with 
this, Rudolf proceeded to follow a similar policy in his other 
dominions. In 1602 he suppressed the meetings of the 
Moravian brethren in Bohemia and Moravia, and gave armed 
assistance to the efforts of the Hungarian bishops to convert 
their Protestant flocks. Meanwhile by the exer- 
tions of William, duke of Bavaria, and his son 
Maximilian, who came to the throne on the abdication of his 
father in 1696, powerfully assisted by the great Jesuit college 
at Ingolstadt, Catholicism had completely won the upper hand 
in Bavaria. 

The beginning of the seventeenth century therefore saw the 
reaction in favour of the Church in full flood tide of pro- 
sperity. At its head stood a pope, Paul v. (Borghese), who, if 
somewhat deficient in the grandeur of mind of Sixtus v., and 
the fervour of piety which distinguished Pius v., yielded to 
none of his predecessors, not even to Hildebrand himself, in the 
lofty conception he had formed of the nature and prerogatives 
of his office, and in the determination to make them respected. 
In Philip III. of Spain, Maximilian of Bavaria, Ferdinand 
of Styria, and Sigismund of Poland, he had lieutenants who 

46 European History, 1 5 98- 1 7 1 5 

had made the restoration and increase of Catholicism the 
first object of their policy. Already their efforts had been 
crowned with success in Poland and in south Germany, and 
the influence of the movement had made itself felt all over the 
debatable land subject to the Empire, which was not as yet 
definitely attached to one side or the other. . Even the 
imperial institutions themselves were affected by its progress, 
and men noticed that the decisions of the imperial courts of 
appeal were biassed by the religious opinions of the judges and 
of the Emperor. This was all the more important as it hap- 
pened that these particular courts were at that time being 
Questions called upon to decide a most interesting political 
peactfof^ ^"^^ question. The peace of Augsburg, concluded in 
Augsburg. 1 5 55 J which attempted to establish peace be- 
tween the Church and the Lutherans in Germany, had left 
three problems unsolved, which were certain sooner or later to 
be decided by the sword, if no peaceful compromise could be 
_, .,. , arrived at in the meantime. In the first place it 

I. Position of ^ 

the Calvin- Only applied to the Lutherans, for at the time of 
'^**- its conclusion the Protestant princes of the 

Empire were all Lutherans, and they merely thought of secur- 
ing their own interests. Calvinism therefore had no rights 
whatever in the Empire, and had still to win its recognition 
a. The secular- from the law. Secondly, it had been laid down 
ised lands. ^^y ^j^g peace that the Church should no longer 
have any rights over Church property lying within the terri- 
tories of Lutheran princes, which had been secularised by them 
or appHed by them to Lutheran purposes, before 1552; but 
differences had since arisen between the two parties as to the 
bearing of this provision upon lands secularised subsequently 
to 1552. It was argued by the Catholics, that the very fact 
that lands secularised before 1552 were expressly exempted 
from all the claims of the Church, clearly implied that lands 
secularised after 1552 were not subject to that exemption, and 
had therefore been taken from the Church illegally and ought 
to be at once restored. The Lutherans, on the other hand, 

Religious Troubles in Germany 47 

maintained that the treaty intended to lay down a general rule, 
which was to apply to all lands secularised under similar cir- 
cumstances, and the date only referred to the convention of 
Passau, which led to the religious peace, and was not meant 
to create two different classes of secularised lands. Following 
out this somewhat broad construction of the peace, large 
quantities of Church land had been secularised since 1552 by 
Lutheran and even by Calvinist princes, and used by them as 
a very convenient endowment for younger sons ^j^ Eccie- 
and other relations. A further difficulty arose siasticai Re- 
with regard to what was called the Ecclesiastical nervation. 
Reservation. It frequently happened, during the earlier years 
of the Reformation, that a bishop or abbot, who was a terri- 
torial prince in right of his bishopric or abbacy, — of which 
there were a great number in Germany — became a Lutheran. 
In order to preserve the rights of the Church in such a 
case, it was provided by the peace of Augsburg, that a bishop 
or abbot who became a Lutheran should at once vacate his 
dignity. But the Protestants maintained that this Ecclesiasti- 
cal Reservation, as it was called, was only intended to apply 
to cases where a bishop or abbot, who had been elected by a 
Catholic Chapter as a Catholic, became a Protestant, and did 
not affect those cases where a Chapter which had itself 
become Protestant elected a Protestant to be their bishop 
or abbot. In virtue of this contention, eight of the great 
bishoprics of north Germany and many abbacies throughout 
the country became practically secularised. The Protestant 
bishop or abbot made no pretence to ecclesiastical position 
or functions. He was merely a territorial prince who enjoyed 
the title of bishop, or sometimes administrator, instead of 
that of duke or landgrave, but his right to his title and his 
lands had never been admitted by the imperial courts or the 

As long as the tide was flowing in the direction of Protest- 
antism the Protestant view of these matters naturally 
prevailed, as being that of the stronger party, and the 

48 European History, 1 5 98- 1 7 1 5 

Catholics had to content themselves with protests. But 
Danger of the ^^^^ ^^ advent of the Counter-Reformation 
Rhineiand things became very different The division in 
a vims s. ^^ Protestant party was so envenomed, that no 
Lutheran would stir a finger to claim the privileges of the re- 
ligious peace for Calvinists. The Catholics had now powerful 
friends to back them in demanding back the secularised lands. 
It was almost certain if the question could be brought before 
the imperial courts that the decision would be in their favour. 
The Calvinists of the upper Rhineiand therefore found them- 
selves in a dangerous position. Situated between the Spanish 
power on the one side and Bavaria on the other, without a 
shadow of legal claim to the protection of the religious peace 
of Augsburg, without the chance of deriving any assistance 
from the Lutheran princes of the north, they were in danger 
of being the next victims of the Emperor and Maximilian, just 
The troubles Aushed with their triumph over heresy at home. 
ofDonau- A little incident showed how real the danger 
wo ,1 07. ^^g j^ 1607, at Donauworth, a free city on 
the Danube, in which the Protestants were in a large 
majority, a Catholic procession was insulted and a religious 
quarrel excited. The matter was at once brought to the 
notice of the Imperial (Aulic) Council, a body entirely com- 
posed of nominees of the Emperor. The ban of the Empire 
was pronounced against Donauworth, and Maximilian of 
Bavaria appointed to carry it out. He at once occupied the 
town with his troops, but not content with establishing order 
and taking security for the payment of his army, he proceeded 
to eject the Protestants from the churches and restore the 
Catholic worship, on the plea that the establishment of 
Protestantism there had been illegal, and was not protected 
by the peace of Augsburg. The imm^^diate result of this 
action on the part of Maximilian, which was looked upon by 
the Protestants as a distinct and indefensible act of aggres- 
sion, was to bring about the organisation of the two parties in 
two rival camps. Christian of Anhalt, one of those sanguine 

Religious Troubles in Germany 49 

and turbulent spirits, whose advent to the leadership of affairs 
is a sure presage of war and dissension, seized the opportunity 
to bind together the Protestant states of the Rhineland in 
1608 into a Union for self-defence, which, when po^niationof 
once formed, he hoped to be able to lead to the the caivinist 
attack against the House of Austria. In the Uni°n. ^6°8. 
next year the Union was joined by the important free cities of 
Strasburg, Nuremberg, and Ulm. The Elector Palatine was 
acknowledged as its head, and Christian of Anhalt and the 
Margrave of Baden-Durlach appointed its generals, and Ger- 
man Calvinism thus stood ready to defend its interests to the 
death against the encroachments of the Counter-Reforma- 
tion. Nor were the Catholics far behind in their preparations 
for war. In 1609 the Catholic League was Formation of 
formed among the Catholic bishops of south the Catholic 
Germany, under the leadership of Maximilian of ^^*^*' *^- 
Bavaria, to defend Catholic interests. The Pope gave it his 
approval and Spain promised assistance. With the long head 
of Maximilian to direct its policy, with his long purse to pro- 
vide the sinews of war, with his trained army under Tilly to 
fight its battles, and with Spain and the Pope to fall back 
upon, the Catholic League bid fair to distance its rival in the 
game for leadership in South Germany, which was being 

But just at this moment occurred two events which rapidly 
swung the balance to the opposite side. The disputed 
succession to Cleves and Jiilich — followed as it weakness of 
was by the intervention of the Emperor and the the Emperor, 
occupation of Jiilich on his behalf, while the elector of 
Brandenburg and the count palatine of Neuburg made them- 
selves joint masters of Cleves — brought about, as we have 
seen, a most formidable combination of Protestant powers 
under the leadership of France, to overthrow the House of 
Austria and put a stop to the progress of Catholicism in 
Germany. At the very moment when he was thus threatened 
by foreign attack, the unfortunate Rudolf found himself at the 



European History, 1598- 171 5 

mercy of his own revolted subjects. Already in 1606 his 
brother Matthias had taken advantage of the unpopularity 
caused by the forcible restoration of Catholicism in Austria 
and Hungary, especially among the nobility, to put himself at 
the head of a combination of the estates of those countries, 
in order to win for himself the sovereignty over them at 
the price of granting religious toleration. The revolt was 
completely successful. In 1608 Rudolf made over to his 
Religious brother the government of Austria and Hungary, 
toleration in ^nd Matthias, in his turn, appointed a Protestant 

Austria and , . ' jti 

Bohemia, 1608- to be palatine m Hungary, and guaranteed the 
^^^s- free exercise of their religion, public and 

private, to all his subjects. The Emperor was thus left with 
Bohemia and Moravia alone faithful to him, but the Bohe- 
mians were no less quick than the Austrians had been to see 
the profit that might be made out of the weakness of their 
king. In 1609 the Bohemian estates extorted from him the 
Royal Charter {Majestdtsbrief) as the price of their loyalty, by 
which freedom of conscience was secured to all who belonged 
to certain specified creeds, and freedom of worship granted 
on all Crown lands ; but on private estates, and in towns, the 
consent of the landowner and the town authorities was made 
necessary to the erection of any church or the establishment 
of any religious worship. An arrangement so one-sided as 
this, by which the king was obliged to grant freedom of wor- 
ship, while his subjects were not, was thoroughly unpracticaL 
Difficulties at once broke out about its interpretation, which 
ended in 161 1 in the deposition of Rudolf, and the recogni- 
Deathof tion of Matthias as king of Bohemia. In 16 12 

^ssi°on o^' Rudolf died and Matthias was elected emperor. 
Matthias, i6i2. The change was in favour of peace. The death 
of Henry iv. in 16 10, and the consequent withdrawal of 
France and England from the combination against the House 
of Austria, made the Union less ready to follow the fiery 
counsels of Christian of Anhalt. The Cleves-Jiilich question 
remained in abeyance after the imperial troops had been 

Religious Troubles in Germany §1 

expelled from Jiilich, but was somewhat further complicated by 
the conversion of the count palatine of Neuburg Settlement of 
to Catholicism, and of the elector of Branden- *'?.^^'*''"- 

' Julich ques- 

burg to Calvinism. Eventually by the treaty of tion, 1614. 
Xanten in 1614, subsequently modified in 1630, a division of 
the duchies between the two claimants was agreed upon, by 
which the elector of Brandenburg acquired Cleves, the Mark 
and Ravensberg, while Jiilich, Berg, and Ravenstein fell to 
the house of Neuburg. For eight years Germany, freed from 
the impending horror of a desolating war, enjoyed a truce; 
but still in Bohemia were to be heard murmurs that the Royal 
Charter was not observed by Matthias, still flowed steadily 
and surely the stream of the Counter-Reformation, and Maxi- 
milian of Bavaria reinforced his army and amassed treasure, 
awaiting the day when the sword, and the sword alone, should 
decide the religious question in Germany. 

The truce was broken by the Emperor himself, Matthias 
was an old man without children. His brothers, who were 
but little younger than himself, were like him ^j^^ succession 
childless, and all the hopes of the Austrian House of Ferdinand 
were centred upon Ferdinand of Styria as the Hi^gary^and 
only Habsburg who had an heir to succeed him. Bohemia 
It became therefore the cardinal point of the «<=°g°'sed. 
policy of the Emperor, during his later years, to secure the 
succession of Ferdinand to the various dominions of the 
Austrian House in Germany, and, if possible, his eventual 
election to the Empire. The succession to the hereditary 
dominions of the Habsburgs only required the consent of 
the senior members of the family and the approval of Spain, 
and presented but little difficulty ; but that to the crowns of 
Hungary and Bohemia was a different matter altogether, as 
the crown in both kingdoms was elective. By mingled 
address and assurance the policy of Matthias triumphed for 
the time. The estates of Hungary duly elected Ferdinand 
to be the successor of Matthias, and he was crowned at 
Pressburg without a murmur of opposition being heard. In 

52 European History, 1598-1715 

Bohemia courage won the day. The estates were suddenly 
called together in 161 7, and required to acknowledge 
Ferdinand as the lawful successor to Matthias by hereditary 
right, and evidence was brought to show that they had in 
former times acknowledged that the crown of Bohemia was 
rightfully hereditary. Taken by surprise and subjected to 
pressure from the court the estates acquiesced in this new 
assumption. No leader appeared to question or refute the 
imperial case. Ferdinand was recognised and crowned as 
hereditary king of Bohemia, and at his coronation swore to 
observe the Royal Charter. But no sooner was Ferdinand 
seated on the throne than the Bohemian Protestant nobility 
began to realise what had been done. They had not only 
assisted in placing the most determined enemy of their 
religion over them, but, by setting aside the elective character 
of their monarchy, they had dealt the greatest possible blow 
to their own importance. The discontent found an able 
leader in count Henry of Thurn, who, like another Christian 
of Anhalt, was not a man to let scniples stand in the way of 
his determination to effect the dethronement of Ferdinand, 
and the overthrow of the House of Austria. A meeting of 
Revolt of the ^^ Protestant members of the estates was sum- 
Protestants moucd, and a petition to the Emperor agreed 
The°throw- upon. On the reply proving unfavourable, Thurn, 
ing from the at the head of a body of nobles, forced his way 
window,' 1618. .j^^Q ^^^ p^j^^g ^j Prague on May 23d, 161 8, and 

seizing the two regents of the kingdom, Martinitz and Slavata, 
who were accused of being the real authors of the obnoxious 
reply, threw them with their secretary Fabricius out of the 
window in old Bohemian fashion. They fell sheer seventy 
feet into the ditch below, but strange to say not one of them 
lost his life. Thurn hoped by this deed of violence to render 
peace between Austria and Bohemia impossible. He little 
thought that he had given the signal for a war which was to 
desolate his country and all Germany for thirty years, and 
throw them back in the race of civilisation for a century. 



Character of the Bohemian Revolution — Help sent by Savoy and the Silesians 
— Accession of Ferdinand of Styria — Revolt in Austria — Ferdinand elected 
Eniperor, deposed as King of Bohemia — Acceptance by Frederick, 
Elector Palatine, of the Crown of Bohemia — Alienation of England and 
the Lutheran Princes from Frederick — Bavaria, Spain, and Saxony sup- 
port Ferdinand — Battle of the White Mountain — Settlement of Bohemia 
and Silesia — Conquest of the Palatinate — The Electorate transferred to 
Bavaria — The war spreads to the north — Interference of England and 
Denmark — Wallenstein raises an army for the Emperor — His character 
and views — Campaigns of 1626-1627 — Defeat of Denmark — Peace of 
Liibeck — Edict of Restitution — New questions raised by the success of 
Wallenstein and the issue of the Edict. 

It is probable that when count Thurn and his companions 
threw the regents out of the window at Prague, they only 
intended to snap the cord which bound Bohemia character of 
and the House of Austria together, and pictured the Bohemian 
to themselves as the result of their rash act an Rev°i"ti°n- 
independent Protestant Bohemia, ruled by themselves and 
their brother nobles under the nominal sovereignty of a puppet 
king of their own choosing. At first it seemed as if they 
were right. Germany was inclined to let king and rebellious 
subjects fight out the battle by themselves. John George of 
Saxony and Maximilian of Bavaria refused to interfere. Spain 
promised aid but did not send it. Matthias and Ferdinand 
had but fourteen thousand men under Bucquoi, a Spanish 
general who had served with distinction in the Netherlands, 
upon whom to rely. Behind that army lay an empty treasury 
and a discontented people. If the Bohemian revolution had 


54 European History, 1598-17 15 

had in it anything of the spirit of calm and disinterested patriot- 
ism, capable of making all sacrifices, and determined to face 
all consequences, which was characteristic of the Swiss and the 
Dutch revolutions, the knell of the House of Austria must 
have sounded. But it was not so. The unconquerable spirit 
was with Ferdinand. A mean desire to make other people 
bear the burdens, while they enjoyed the fruits, of successful 
rebellion marked the conduct of the Bohemian leaders. A 
body of directors, thirty in number, was formed under the 
guidance of Ruppa, the ablest and most honourable of the 
insurgents. A diet was held to carry on the affairs of the 
country while Thurn took command of the army. Orders 
were given to raise troops, but the question at once arose who 
was to pay for them ? The first suggestion was that the towns 
should have that honour, but the towns not unnaturally refused 
the heroic role of self-sacrifice so thoughtfully proposed to 
them by the nobles. Fresh taxes were then voted, but no one 
even attempted to raise them. On the news of the advance 
of Bucquoi towards Budweis, a Catholic town which still re- 
mained true to the Emperor, a panic seized the directors and 
the diet. A general levy of the male population was ordered, 
the raising of the taxes already voted was proposed, but rather 
than face so disagreeable a question the members of the diet 
slunk quietly home. It was like schoolboys playing at rebellion. 
Some of the levies made their appearance in the camp of 
Thurn, but there were no arms to put into their hands, no 
officers to train them, no money to pay them. It is not thus 
that successful revolutions are made. The Bohemian nobles 
were but a faction, fighting for licence and for power under the 
sacred names of liberty, of patriotism, and of religion. They 
must have met the fitting reward of their selfishness and their 
arrogance at the hands of Bucquoi and his fourteen thousand 
half-starved and badly paid troops, had it not been for the 
timely interference of other powers. 

Charles Emmanuel of Savoy had not abandoned his enmity 
to the Austro-Spanish House because he had been obliged 

The Beginning of the Thirty Years' War 5 5 

to make his peace with Spain after the death of Henry iv. 
Of a restless and ambitious nature, but by no interference 
means devoid of natural prudence, no sooner did Emmanuel 
he hear of the revolution in Bohemia than he ofsavoy. 
determined to do all in his power to assist it, provided he 
could do so secretly. With this object he opened negotia- 
tions with Frederick v., Elector Palatine. Frederick had suc- 
ceeded to the electorate on the death of his father in 16 10. 
Young, handsome, enthusiastic, he was readily attracted by 
the difficulties of an undertaking, without having sufficient 
mental power to surmount them. In politics he was a 
pupil of Christian of Anhalt, in religion a zealous Calvinist, 
and he looked upon himself, and was looked upon by others, 
as the natural leader of the German Calvinists, and the 
determined foe of the House of Austria and the Counter- 
Reformation. His political opinions had lately become of 
more importance to the world, through his marriage with the 
beautiful Elizabeth, the daughter of James 1. of England It 
was known that James was bent upon an alliance with Spain, 
and desired nothing less than to be mixed up in an European 
war. Still it was equally certain that he had by no means 
resigned the position of ally and defender of Protestantism, 
which he had inherited from his predecessor ; and that there 
was a large and influential party in England, who looked upon 
the marriage with the Elector as a guarantee of a more de- 
cided Protestant poUcy. 

Frederick had been the first German prince to congratulate 
the Bohemians on their rebellion, and offer them assistance. 
In July 1618 he sent a confidential agent to Prague to report 
upon the state of affairs, and to assure the directors of the sup- 
port of the Protestant Union, should Spain or Bavaria send 
help to the Emperor. It was at this juncture that Charles 
Emmanuel appeared upon the scene, and offered through the 
Elector Palatine to send Mansfeld with two thousand men at 
once to the assistance of the Bohemians, if it could be made 
to appear that the troops were sent by the Elector himself. 

$6 European History , 1598-1715 

Frederick at once agreed. The real truth was known only to 
the Elector Palatine, Christian of Anhalt, and the margrave of 
Mansfeid Anspach, and when Mansfeld arrived at the 
the Boh^e^^'^ scenc of war in September 16 18, and formed the 
mians. siegc of Pilscn, all the world believed that he 

was acting on behalf of Frederick, and many concluded that 
the Elector would not have dared to take so serious a step, 
unless he had reason to reckon on the support of England. 
The relief was well-timed, but the arrangement was not very 
creditable to any of the parties concerned, for Mansfeld, 
though an able soldier, was one of that class of military 
adventurers ever bred in times of war to be the bane and 
scourge of the helpless and inoffensive people. To put such 
a man in command, at the beginning of a national struggle, 
was to stamp it at once as a war of brutality and plunder. 
His arrival, however, at Pilsen changed the face of affairs. 
Further The Silesians hearing the action, as they thought, 

sen?from* ^^ ^^ Elector Palatine resolved to interfere, and 
Silesia. Sent three thousand men to the assistance of the 

Bohemians. Bucquoi in the face of these reinforcements, 
not only checked his advance on Prague, but was soon 
obliged to fall back to Budweis, where he was besieged by 
Thurn. On the 21st of November Pilsen surrendered to 
Mansfeld, and by the end of the year Budweis with its 
beleaguered garrison was all that was left to the Emperor of 
his Bohemian kingdom and army. 

The year 16 19 opened still more darkly for the House of 
Austria. The worn-out Emperor sank at last into his grave 
Death of on the 2oth of March, and men felt that with 

Matthias. ^j^g acccssion of Ferdinand the time for com- 

Accessionof . , , i t/- i i • i j 

Ferdinand, promise had passed. If they wanted to win the day^ 
'^^9- they must strike quickly before he could rally to 

his aid the unwieldy forces of the Empire and of Spain. Negotia- 
tions which had been begun at Eger were at once stopped. 
The diets of Silesia Moravia and Lusatia openly joined the 
Bohemian cause, and arranged with Bohemia the contingent 


The Beginning of the Thirty Year^ War 57 

which they should each provide for the common army, and the 
proportion of votes which they were to have in the election 
of a new Bohemian king. The estates of Upper and Lower 
Austria, who were mainly Protestant, adopted Revolt in 
the cause of the Bohemians as their own, voted Austria, 
men for the war, seized and administered the archducal 
estates, and summoned Thurn and the Bohemian army to their 
aid. Nothing loth Thurn, leaving Hohenlohe to watch Bucquoi, 
swooped down upon Vienna hoping to end the war and 
secure the success of the revolution by a brilliant coup de main. 
On June 2d, Ferdinand, defenceless, harassed, hopeless, had 
consented to give audience to a deputation of the estates, 
who were to urge upon him, as the only chance of deliverance, 
the recognition of the Bohemian revolution, and the establish- 
ment in Austria of a separately organised Protestant govern- 
ment. None knew better than Ferdinand himself that if he 
refused those terms the gates of Vienna would be opened to 
Thurn and his army. That very night might find him a 
prisoner in the hands of his greatest foe. Yet at this crisis of 
his life, and of the fate of Europe, he never faltered. * If it 
be God's will,' he said, *let me perish in the struggle.' He 
was ready to perish, not an inch would he yield. The 
deputation became excited. They pressed round him clamor- 
ously. Eagerly they urged, imperiously they demanded the 
acceptance of their terms. One deputy had actually, it is said, 
his hand upon the archduke's person, when suddenly there 
rang through the hall a trumpet blast, and the streets were 
alive with the confused noise which heralds the arrival 
of soldiers. It was a regiment of loyal cavalry, the van- 
guard of reinforcements ordered up from the country by 

The crisis was over. The deputation dispersed abashed 
and afraid for their own safety. The very next day Thurn 
arrived before the gates of the city, and found them shut, 
and the walls manned. He had not resources for a siege, 
and retired back again across the frontier as quick as be 

5 8 European History, 1 5 98- 1 7 1 5 

had come. He was only just in time, Bucquoi had at last 
received reinforcements from the Spanish Netherlands, and 
leaving part of his army to watch Hohenlohe at Budweis 
suddenly fell upon Mansfeld, who was marching to join 
Hohenlohe at Zablat, and completely destroyed his army. 
The siege of Budweis was at once raised, and Bucquoi 
advanced into south Bohemia driving Hohenlohe before him, 
until he was suddenly recalled to defend Pressburg and 
Vienna from the advance of Bethlen Gabor, Prince of 
Transylvania, who had just declared for the Bohemians. 
Among those who distinguished themselves at the battle of 
Zablat was a Bohemian noble, who commanded one of the 
Walloon regiments of cavalry, count Albert von Waldstein. 

Hardly had Ferdinand escaped from the attack of his 
enemies at Vienna, than he had to betake himself to Frank- 
F d'n nd ^"^^ ^^ support his interests at the approaching 
elected Em- imperial election. At first sight there seemed 
peror, 1619. \\\x\q, doubt of his succcss, as he was certain of the 
three ecclesiastical votes, which, with his own vote as king of 
Bohemia, would give him the majority. But the elector of 
Saxony took a formal objection to the exercise by Ferdinand 
of the Bohemian vote, until the settlement of the Bohemian 
question had made it clear that the Crown was rightfully his, 
and all felt that it would not be safe to proceed to an election 
until so formidable a legal point had been decided. The way 
therefore was still open to the Calvinist representatives, the 
Elector Palatine and the margrave of Brandenburg, by clever 
management to avoid the election of Ferdinand, if they could 
not actually secure that of their own nominee. If they had at 
once supported with their whole strength the policy of John 
George, they would have at least postponed the election of 
Ferdinand indefinitely, and united the Protestant interest. 
But the Elector Palatine, led by Christian of Anhalt, could 
not bring himself to play second fiddle to the elector of 
Saxony. They wished themselves to be emperor-makers. 
Christian of Anhalt had gone a weary journey to Turin to 

The Beginning of the Thirty Year^ War 59 

try and make terms with Charles Emmanuel of Savoy. 
Maximilian of Bavaria was sounded, but gave a definite 
refusal, and so it happened that when the electoral diet met 
on the 20th of July, the Calvinists were without a candidate 
and without a policy. John George, nettled at seeing his 
own policy contemptuously set aside and nothing put in its 
place, shrank from intrusting the institutions of the Empire 
to such rash and incapable hands. He instructed his repre- 
sentative to withdraw his objection to the vote of Ferdinand 
for Bohemia, and to record his own vote in his favour. 
Frederick and the elector of Brandenburg, seeing that a 
majority was now obtained irrespective of Ferdinand's own 
vote, made a virtue of necessity. On the 28th of August 
Ferdinand was unanimously elected, and all that Christian 
and Frederick had achieved by their notable pohcy was to 
attach John George firmly to the Emperor's side. 

The evil consequences of this suicidal step were quickly 
seen. Ten days before Ferdinand was elected at Frankfort 
he had been solemnly deposed at Prague. On 

r ^ 1 1^1 T-. 1 ■ Deposition of 

the 27th of August the Elector Palatme was Ferdinand 
elected king of Bohemia in his place, and was ^^ king of 

,, , 1 • 1 1 1 1 11 Bohemia by 

called upon to decide whether or not he would the revoiu- 
accept the Crown. The decision was a momen- tionary party. 

VT 1 1 J .1 .• L Election of 

tous one. No longer could the question be Frederick 
treated merely as one between the House of Elector 
Austria and one of its dependencies, if the 
struggle against Ferdinand was to be headed by the leader 
of the Calvinists and an elector of the Empire. German 
interests of the greatest magnitude were involved. In such a 
quarrel the welfare of Germany was no less at stake than that 
of Austria or of Bohemia. If Frederick and the Calvinists 
successfully established themselves in Bohemia, importance 
the balance of power at present existing among °^ ^^^ crisis, 
the princes of the Empire and the two divisions of the 
Protestant world would be rudely shaken, and the tradi- 
tional leadership of the German Protestants would pass 

6o European History y 1 598-1715 

from Dresden to Heidelberg. Men were not prepared to see 
Christian of Anhalt the dictator of Germany, or Geneva 
victorious over Rome and Wittenberg alike. On the other 
hand, was it Ukely that Maximilian of Bavaria and the eccle- 
siastical princes would stand tamely by while the champion of 
their religion was dispossessed of his territories and his power 
scattered to the winds? Nor did the danger end there. 
Spain had already sent money and troops to the aid of 
Ferdinand, — would she be deterred by the prospect of the 
English marriage alliance, so strenuously urged upon her by 
James i., from throwing her whole weight into the struggle, 
when it once became clear that the war was a war of religion 
as much as a war of politics ? Would the Pope hesitate to 
preach a crusade against the aggression of Frederick, and pre- 
pare a second St. Bartholomew for the Calvinists of Germany ? 
And if the Catholic powers banded themselves together 
against the Elector, and determined to risk all rather than 
sufifer the tide of the Counter-Reformation to be forced back, 
could James i. himself be so deaf to natural affection, so 
unmindful of the traditions of England, so careless of English 
opinion, as to refuse to draw the sword to save his son-in-law 
and Protestantism from ruin at the hands of Spain and the 
Pope ? Sober men asked themselves these questions. Before 
their frightened eyes rose the spectre of a religious war which 
should desolate not merely Germany but Europe. They 
applied themselves earnestly but unavailingly to make 
Frederick understand the gravity of the situation. His own 
mother and councillors, the ambassador of France, even the 
landgrave of Hesse-Cassel, urged him to decline the tempting 
offer. Only Christian of Anhalt and his followers shut their 
eyes to the inevitable and forced him on. Frederick himself 
wished to delay his answer until he could find out from 
Acceptance of England if his father-in-law would support him, 
H'\^''°'^u°^ but delay would not suit the Bohemians or 

Bohemia by ^ 

Frederick. Christian of Anhalt. Urged on by his own 
vanity and his leader's ambition, he plunged blindly into 

The Beginning of the Thirty Years' War 6i 

the abyss which opened out before him. On the 25th of 
September 1619, he formally notified his acceptance to the 
Bohemian diet, and on the 4th of November was crowned 
with great state in the cathedral of Prague. 

The evil consequences which had been threatened at once 
made their appearance. James i. had never approved of the 
Bohemian revolution, but he had endeavoured Alienation of 
to make use of it in order to mediate between the^iTutheran 
Cathohcs and Protestants in Germany and estab- Princes, 
lish peace. His son-in-law's rash act destroyed at once what 
little chance of success James might have had. But there 
was worse still behind. It was bad enough that Frederick 
should have dared to act on his own responsibility, before 
James had had sufficient time to decide from a study of the 
Bohemian constitution whether the Bohemian revolution was 
legally justifiable or not It was worse still that he should 
have taken a step which might alarm the susceptibilities of 
Spain, and endanger the success of the negotiations for a 
marriage between the prince of Wales and the infanta Maria 
of Spain, upon which James had set his whole heart. James 
at once repudiated all complicity with his son-in-law's conduct, 
and was fretfully indignant with him for having by it injured 
his own pet scheme for Europe. If all hope of assistance 
from England was gone, still less chance was there of aid 
from Savoy, or from the Lutheran princes of Germany. The 
Protestant Union only agreed to defend the Elector's heredi- 
tary dominions, in case they were attacked while he was 
occupied in Bohemia. Frederick had to face the coming 
struggle with his own resources. Even Bethlen Gabor, the 
drunken but able prince of Transylvania, who had taken 
advantage of Ferdinand's weakness to advance to the gates of 
Vienna, pillaging as he went, deserted the cause of the 
Bohemians when he found he could obtain no money from 
them. On the 17th of January 1620 he made a treaty with 
the Emperor, by which he was secured in the sovereignty 
over the larger part of Christian Hungary. Ferdinand on the 

62 European History, 1 598-171 5 

other hand had no difficulty in obtaining allies, when once it 
had been recognised how great a menace to German institu- 
tions was implied in the action of the Elector Palatine. Maxi- 
Aiiiance milian of Bavaria took the lead. Stipulating as 

between Far- his reward the electoral hat which was to be 
League'/ ^ ^^''^ i^^oxQ. the head of Frederick, and the right 
Spain and the of occupying Upper Austria as security for his 
°^^* expenses, he placed his army and the resources 

of the League at Ferdinand's disposal. In March 1620, under 
his auspices, a meeting of the League was arranged with the 
elector of Saxony at Miilhausen, and an agreement arrived at 
by which the League undertook not to attempt to recover the 
lands of the Protestant bishops and administrators in north 
Germany, as long as they continued loyal to the Emperor. 
This arrangement, though no solution of the question of the 
ecclesiastical lands, secured at any rate for the time the 
neutrality of Saxony and the Lutheran princes. The Pope 
sent money to swell the resources of the League, and Philip of 
Spain agreed to march troops from the Netherlands to attack 
the Palatinate. 

The campaign of 1620 opened, therefore, under very dif- 
ferent circumstances from those of 1619. The war had already 
The war become a German war. With the certainty of the 

national and intervention of Spain and the Pope, with the 
re igious. possibility of that of England, it threatened to 

assume an European character. With the League on the one 
side and the Union on the other, it was a war of creeds. 
From a military as well as a political point of view, the acces- 
sion of Maximilian of Bavaria to the cause of the Emperor 
Importance made all the difference. Weak in health, and 
PoHc^o"^ unpleasing in appearance, he concealed under 
Maximilian, an insignificant exterior an iron will and a 
faultless judgment. He alone among his contemporaries in 
Germany had the statesman's faculty of knowing exactly what 
was possible. He never struck except to succeed. He never 
ventured without being sure of his ground. Succeeding to an 

The Beginning of the Thirty Years' War 63 

impoverished exchequer, and a territory disjointed in extent 
and divided in religion, he had set before himself as the 
objects of his policy, the supremacy of Catholicism, the con- 
solidation of his dominions, and the acquisition of the 
electoral dignity. By thrift and good management he had 
amassed considerable treasure, and had carefully trained a 
powerful army, which he had intrusted to the command of the 
Walloon Tilly, who had the reputation of being the greatest 
general of the day. His opportunity was now come, and he 
threw himself zealously into the war of ambition and religion 
with the proud consciousness that he was the real leader of 
the Catholic cause and the saviour of the House of Austria. 
In June the toils began to close round the ill-fated Frede- 
rick. Philip III., convinced through Gondomar's diplomacy 
that James i. would not break his neutrality even though the 
Palatinate was invaded, sent the necessary orders to Spinola, 
and by August the Spanish army was at Mainz. At the end 
of June, Tilly crossed the frontier into Austria, effected a 
junction with Bucquoi, and advanced slowly into Bohemia, 
capturing the towns as he went, and driving the enemy back 
upon Prague. On November 8th, he came in sight of the 
city, and found Christian of Anhalt and the Battle of the 
Bohemian army drawn up on the White Moun- white Moun- 
tain just outside the walls. Regardless of ^"^' * 
Bucquoi's desire for delay, Tilly insisted on an immediate 
attack. Frederick was inside the city when the attack began. 
Hurrying out to put himself at the head of his troops, he 
found he was already too late. The army was flying in panic 
from the face of Tilly's veterans. Frederick himself was 
hurried away in the crowd. His own dominions were already 
in the possession of the Spaniards. An outcast and a fugitive, 
he fled for his life through Germany, and rested not till he 
found an asylum with Maurice of Nassau at the Hague. He 
will only be a winter-king, the Jesuits had sneeringly said, 
when the summer comes he will melt away. The prophecy 
was fulfilled almost to the letter, save that it was not the heat 

64 European History^ 1598-1715 

of summer but the floods of autumn which swept him to his 


The victory of the White Mountain marks the end of 
the attempt of Protestantism to establish its supremacy in 
Bohemia. Ferdinand at once sent for the Royal Charter and 
tore it up with his own hands. The leaders of the revolution 
Suppression were executed, and their lands confiscated. Frede- 
ism'in^^ ° " rick was placed under the ban of the Empire^ and 
Bohemia. his lands and titles declared to be forfeited. 
The Protestant clergy were for the most part banished, and 
a heavy war indemnity exacted from the rebels whose lives 
and possessions were spared. A new race of landowners, 
Catholic and German, became the possessors of the confis- 
cated lands, and by their means Catholic worship was 
gradually restored throughout the country districts. Jesuit 
colleges were planted in the chief towns to complete by 
persuasion what force had begun, and^ before another genera- 
tion had passed away Bohemia was definitely ranged among 
the Catholic countries of Europe. Only Silesia and Lusatia 
succeeded in retaining something of their old rights and much 
of their old religion. The war against these allies of Bohemia 
had fallen to the lot of John George of Saxony, and when the 
battle of the White Mountain had made it plain that they 
must treat for peace, they did not find the Lutheran leader a 
hard taskmaster. On his own responsibility, he concluded 
Toleration peacc with the Silesian estates by an instrument 
granted to known as the Accord on January 21st, 1621, by 
I esia, I I. y^rhich they recognised Ferdinand as their duly 
elected and crowned king and supreme duke, and agreed to 
pay a fine of 300,000 florins on condition that their political 
and religious liberties were respected. Ferdinand when he 
heard of this was naturally very angry at the mention of the 
words ' elected king,' but found it prudent to accept the treaty 
rather than affront the elector of Saxony. 

By the beginning of 1621, Ferdinand and Maximilian 
found their policy completely crowned with success. The 

The Beginning of the Thirty Years' War 65 

Bohemian revolution was crushed, the lower Palatinate was 
in the hands of the Spaniards, Frederick had been continued 
declared to have forfeited his electoral dignity, success of 
the Counter-Reformation was victorious in Austria, ^^^ Maximii- 
Moravia, and Bohemia. In April 1621 the ian, 1621-1622. 
Protestant Union itself was dissolved. Yet there were rocks 
ahead which would require very careful seamanship to avoid. 
The Spanish court was indignant at the idea of the trans- 
ference of the Palatine Electorate to Bavaria. James ot 
England was so moved by the seizure of his son-in-law's 
hereditary dominions, that he authorised the enlistment of 
Englishmen under Vere to defend the lower Palatinate against 
Spinola, and made its restoration to Frederick the central 
point of the long negotiations he was carrying on with Spain 
for a family alUance. The truce of Antwerp between the 
Spaniards and the Dutch had just come to an end by lapse 
of time, and Maurice of Nassau was minded to place his 
unrivalled military talents in the scale against the House of 
Austria. The German princes of the Rhineland were frightened 
at the success of the League, and were looking out for allies 
even beyond the limits of Germany. But at present no one 
stirred except the margrave of Baden-Durlach and Christian 
of Brunswick, both of whom held large estates which had been 
secularised since the peace of Augsburg, and were consequently 
in danger from the success of the Counter-Reformation. 
Christian, besides being Protestant bishop of Halberstadt, was 
a military adventurer of the knight-errant pattern. He liked 
fighting for its own sake and loved still better to surround it 
with a halo of romance. Fired by a glance from the beautiful 
eyes of the queen of Bohemia, and wearing her glove on his 
helmet, he posed before the world as the chivalrous pio- 
tector and avenger of beauty in misfortune. The new allies 
of Frederick did not avail him much. In October 1621, 
Mansfeld had to abandon the upper Palatinate and take 
refuge across the Rhine in Alsace. In the summer of 1622, 
in conjunction with the margrave of Baden and Christian of 


66 European History, 1 598-171 5 

Brunswick, he advanced to the recovery of the lower Palati- 
nate, but Tilly crushed the margrave at Wimpfen on the 
Neckar on May 6th, and Christian at Hocht on the Main 
on the 20th of June. Christian and Mansfeld with the 
remnants of their armies had to retire across the Rhine 
into Lorraine, where they lived at free quarters upon the 
wretched inhabitants. On September i6th Heidelbei^ 
surrendered to Tilly, and on November 8th Mannheim fol- 
lowed the example of the capital, and by the end of the year 
Frankenthal was the only city in his hereditary dominions 
which still belonged to the unfortunate Elector. Deprived of 
his land and his resources, he was now obhged to deprive him- 
self of his own remaining army, and formally dismissed from 
his service Christian of Brunswick and Mansfeld on finding 
himself without authority over them and yet looked upon by 
Europe as responsible for their crimes. Fortune had still one 
Transference n^ore blow in rescrvc. On February 13th, 1623, 
oftheEiecto- Ferdinand, having succeeded in pacifying the 
Fre^de'^rick to Opposition of the elector of Saxony and the 
Maximilian, Spaniards, solemnly transferred the electorate to 

^ Maximilian of Bavaria for his life at the meeting 

of the diet at Regensburg, and gave him the administration 
of the upper Palatinate as additional security for the expenses 
of the war. 

The transference of the electorate to Maximilian of Bavaria 
fitly marks the close of the first act of the great drama of 
Extension of the Thirty Years' War, namely, that signalised by 
the war to ^j^g Bohemian Revolution, for he was the per- 

Northern ' *^ 

Germany, son to whom the success achieved was due. 
'623-1624, jjjg army had won the victories, his head had 

directed the policy, his purse had paid the soldiers — could 
he only now have enforced a peace upon a reasonable 
basis, he would have stood forth before the world as the 
greatest statesman in Germany, and the saviour of the House 
of Austria. The difficulties in the way were serious. The 
Dutch, since the expiration of the truce of Antwerp, had 

The Beginning of the Thirty Year/ War 67 

been at open war with the Spaniards, and at the beginning of 
1623, being hard pressed by Spinola, summoned the brigand 
bands of Mansfeld and Christian of Brunswick to their aid. 
Insensibly the war was beginning to affect the north German 
princes. Many of them felt that if the Emperor succeeded in 
crushing the bishop of Halberstadt, other Protestant bishoprics 
might prove too tempting a prey to be resisted, and raUied to 
the standard of Christian. The lower Saxon circle, animated 
by similar fears, actually began to arm. With these dangers 
looming in the distance, it was impossible for the League to 
lay down its arms. Even the crushing defeat inflicted by 
Tilly upon Christian of Brunswick at Stadtlohn in the bishop- 
ric of Miinster in August 1623 was not a sufficient guarantee 
of peace, whilst Mansfeld was still at large ; and so the war 
simmered on through 1623 and 1624, and the opportunity for 
a satisfactory peace in which German interests alone should be 
consulted passed away never to return. 

Ere the first day of 1625 had dawned it was too late. Ger- 
many was already the prey of foreign intervention, but it was 
as yet the intervention of foreigners who had dis- , , 

. ^ . ° Interference 

tinct interests in Germany. James of England had of England, 
at last been forced to acknowledge the hopeless- ^^ 
ness of trying to settle the afifairs of Europe after his own 
wishes, by means of an alliance with Spain. The rash visit 
of prince Charles and Buckingham to Madrid in 1623 had at 
length opened their eyes to the fact, which all the rest of the 
world had understood long ago, that Spain only valued the 
negotiations for the proposed alliance as a means of prevent- 
ing James from drawing his sword in the German quarrel, and 
the alliance itself as a stepping-stone to the eventual recovery 
of England to the obedience of the Pope. Angry at the dis- 
covery, the prince and the favourite pushed the old and timid 
king unwillingly into war. In 1624 English envoys hurried 
between the courts of Sweden and Denmark and the princes 
of the lower Saxon circle, eager to negotiate a general alliance 
to win back the Palatinate. James himself received Mansfeld 

68 European History, 1598- 171 5 

graciously in London, permitted him to enlist 20,000 men for 
the war in the Palatinate, and obtained permission from 
Louis of France for the army to march through France to its 
destination. The English dockyards resounded with prepar- 
ations for a great maritime expedition against the ports of 
Spain and the treasure ships from the Indies. • In March 1625, 
James died, and Charles and Buckingham, no longer hampered 
by an old man's caution, threw themselves into the German 
war with a lightness of heart and want of foresight worthy 
of Frederick himself. Christian iv. of Denmark was the 
victim who fell into the trap which was so innocently but un- 
interference crrlngly laid. He, like other Lutheran princes, had 
of Denmark, watched with ncrvous anxiety the spread of the 
^^^" war into northern Germany, and had winced under 

the blow dealt to the Lutheran cause by the establishment of 
CathoUcism by Ferdinand and Maximilian in Bohemia and 
the upper Palatinate. He was nearly concerned too in the 
question of the ecclesiastical lands, for he had secured for one 
of his sons the Protestant bishopric of Verden and the suc- 
cession to that of Bremen. So when the offer came from 
England to pay him ;^3o,ooo a month, in addition to the 
, sending of the naval expedition against the 

Alliance of ° _ ... . . 

England, coasts of Spain, Christian felt that religion and 
Denmark, interest combiucd to urge him to action. In 

and part of ° 

north Ger- May 1 62 5, a treaty was made on those terms 
many against between Charles I. of England, Christian of Den- 

the Emperor ° ' 

and Spain, mark, and the lower Saxon circle, and the first 
^^5- instalment of the English subsidy was duly paid. 

Ill-success dogged their well-meant efforts from the first 
In the previous year, Louis had at the last moment found 
reasons to recall his verbal permission to Mansfeld to cross 
the soil of France, and the troops had been sent instead into 
the Low Countries, where, unpaid and unprovided with 
necessaries, they fell victims to disease. The naval expedition, 
which, under Wimbledon's leadership, arrived at Cadiz in the 
October of 1625, achieved nothing but disaster and contempt 

The Beginning of the Thirty Years' War 69 

In England quarrels broke out between Charles and his 
Parliaments, which effectually prevented the payment of the 
promised subsidies to Christian iv. Nevertheless the united 
forces of Mansfeld, Christian of Brunswick, and Christian of 
Denmark, ill provided as they were, far outnum- Difficulties of 
bared the army of Tilly and the League, and it Ferdinand. 
was clear to Ferdinand and Maximilian that with discontent 
seething in Silesia, Bohemia, and Austria, with Bethlen Gabor 
again threatening the frontiers of Hungary, and the Danish 
forces invading upper Germany, it was absolutely essential to 
place another army in the field. Yet where was it to come 
from ? The Emperor could not stoop to employ a brigand 
army paid by plunder like that of Mansfeld, but the resources 
of Maximilian and the League were strained to the utmost. 
Spain, threatened alike by England and France, could spare 
nothing, and Ferdinand's treasury was as usual empty. 

It was in this crisis that a man stepped forward to the help 
of Ferdinand, who is in some ways the most interesting figure 
of the Thirty Years' War. Albert von Waldstein, 

■' . Wallenstein. 

or Wallenstein, was the younger son of an illustri- 
ous Bohemian family of Sclavonic blood. Educated partly 
by the Moravian Brethren and partly by the Jesuits, he 
never surrendered himself dogmatically to either creed, but 
out of the mysticism of both constructed for himself a re- 
ligion, which, not unlike that of Napoleon afterwards, chiefly 
expressed itself in an unfailing belief in his own star. Thus 
removed somewhat apart from the controversies of the day, 
he was able to see more clearly through the mists which 
darkened the eyes of ordinary politicians. Statesmanship as 
well as interest and tradition led him to devote himself to the 
cause of the Emperor, as the one stable element in Germany 
among the disintegrating influences of rival religions and per- 
sonal jealousies. True patriotism made common cause with 
ambition to urge him to risk much to keep the foreigner out of 
Germany, Common sense allied with dogmatic indifference 
made him see more clearly than others, that in toleration 

70 European History, 1598- 1715 

for all creeds lay the only possibility of civil unity. But 
statesman and patriot though he was in his conception of the 
real needs of Germany and the necessity of resisting foreign 
interference, his statesmanship and his patriotism were never 
allowed to free themselves from the trammels of an over- 
mastering ambition. In the settlement of Germany, it was he 
who was to dictate the terms. In the ousting of the foreigner 
and the crushing of the factions, it was he who was to receive 
the lion's share of the spoil. He was an imperialist, but only 
on condition of military independence. He was a patriot, but 
only on condition of being also a dictator. As long as the 
stream of his own policy and personal aggrandisement flowed 
in the same channel with that of the Emperor and his allies, 
all would be well. But should they diverge, Germany could 
no more contain a Ferdinand and a Wallenstein, than France 
could afterwards contain a Directory and a Napoleon. 

Such difficulties were, however, in the womb of the future. 
For the present Ferdinand required a disciplined army and a 
capable general, and had not the means to provide himself 
Character of wlth either. Wallenstein offered to raise 20,000 
WaUenstein's men without putting any additional strain on the 
army. treasury of the Empire, provided he might be 

allowed to support them by requisitions on the country in 
which they were quartered. As with Napoleon, war was to 
support war, not by the unlicensed waste and brutal plunder 
of a Mansfeld, but by orderly and methodical requisitions 
couched in the form of law. The Emperor accepted the con- 
ditions, though he well knew that the constitution of the 
Empire gave him no authority to levy requisitions. Directly 
the standard of Wallenstein was raised men flocked to it from 
all sides. Soldiers of fortune, peasants ruined by the war, 
younger sons who had to make their own way in the world, 
adventurers of all religions, and all nationalities, hastened to 
serve under a leader who had already carved for himself by 
his sword and his wits a colossal fortune out of the spoils of 
the Bohemian revolution. In the autumn of 1625, he found 

The Beginning of the Thirty Years' War 71 

himself at the head of an army of 50,000 men, whose only 
bond of union was their allegiance to himself, and he advanced 
into the dioceses of Magdeburg and Halberstadt and spent 
the winter there in training his forces for the coming struggle. 

The plan of campaign arranged by the king of Denmark 
and his allies was a simple one. Christian himself, with his 
own troops and those paid by the English sub- xhe campaign 
sidies, was to advance up the Weser against ofieae. 
Tilly and the army of the League, thus securing the bishoprics 
of Bremen and Verden, and driving the enemy, as it was 
hoped, out of Halberstadt back to the line of the Main. 
Meanwhile Mansfeld was to operate against Wallenstein on 
the Elbe, push him back into Bohemia, and force him either 
to let go his hold upon the upper Palatinate, or lay Vienna 
open to a combined attack from the army of Mansfeld and 
that of Bethlen Gabor, who was again stirring on t!ie side of 
Hungary. The plan, however, was better conceived than 
executed. No subsidies arrived from England, and Mansfeld 
had to begin his attack without the co-operation of Christian. 
Wallenstein awaited him withdrawn behind the line of the 
Elbe, having carefully fortified the bridge of Dessau, which 
was the key of his position. On April 25th, Mansfeld dashed 
himself in vain against the fortifications of the bridge, and 
Wallenstein, seizing the moment when the enemy, thrown into 
confusion by the repulse, was retiring in some disorder, took 
the offensive, and by a brilliant counter-attack turned the re- 
pulse into a complete rouL 

Foiled in his attempt to force Wallenstein's position on the 
Elbe by a front attack, Mansfeld now determined to turn it, 
and by making a long flank march through discontented 
Silesia, to effect a junction with Bethlen Gabor in Hungary, 
and advance upon Vienna from the east. The plan was not 
creditable to Mansfeld's military genius. A long flank march, 
in the presence of a victorious force acting on interior lines, 
is one of the most hazardous operations in war ; and with an 
army of soldiers of fortune dependent on plunder for theii 

J2 European History, 1598- 17 15 

support, and ignorant of discipline, was doomed to certain 
failure. Wallenstein, leaving 8000 men to co-operate with 
Tilly against Christian, contented himself with moving slowly 
after Mansfeld on an interior circle covering Vienna, and finally 
entrenched himself at Gran on the Danube, about half-way 
between Pesth and Pressburg, where he awaited the com- 
bined attack, Mansfeld did not dare to risk another bridge 
of Dessau with his attenuated and dispirited force, recruited 
though it was by the half barbarous levies of the Transyl- 
vanian prince, while Bethlen himself saw that he could gain 
more by negotiation than by war. A truce was quickly made 
by which Mansfeld was obliged to leave Hungary. Ill in 
mind and body, the indefatigable adventurer attempted to 
make his way across the mountains to Italy in the depth of 
winter, in the hope of stirring up the Republic of Venice to 
Death of greater exertions, but as he struggled on through 

Mansfeld, i6a6. Bosnia, death overtook him on the 30th of 
November. Thus suddenly disappeared from the scene one 
who by his military talents had been the chief obstacle to the 
success of the imperialists, and by his total want of morality 
and patriotism had been the greatest foe to the peace of 
Germany. His removal unfortunately came too late. The 
dragon's teeth which he had sown produced a crop of military 
adventurers all over the soil of Germany as reckless and as 
able as himself, and already round the carcase of prostrate 
Germany were gathering the foreign powers, who did not 
scruple to use such auxiliaries for their own selfish purposes. 
For the moment the death of Mansfeld made the restoration 
of peace between the Emperor and Bethlen Gabor more easy, 
and on the 28th of December the treaty of Pressburg was 
signed by which Bethlen was to retain the sovereignty over 
the thirteen counties of Hungary, and the army of Mansfeld 
was disbanded. 

Meanwhile the forces of the League had achieved a still 
greater success on the Weser. Christian iv. could not com- 
plete his armament without the English subsidies, but no money 

The Beginning of the Thirty Years' War 73 

came, or could come, from England, where Charles i. was 
quarrelling with one Parliament after another. Battle of 
Tilly accordingly advanced slowly down the Weser Lutter. 
and captured Minden and Gottingen. After the defeat of 
Mansfeld at Dessau, he was further reinforced by 8000 men 
from Wallenstein's army, and Christian felt that if he was to 
assume the offensive at all, there was no time to be lost. 
Accordingly in August he hastily advanced into Thuringia, 
hoping to throw himself upon Tilly and crush him before the 
imperiaUst forces arrived, but he was too late. The junction 
was effected on the 22d of August, and Christian finding himself 
in the presence of superior numbers retreated. Tilly at once 
followed, overtook the Danish army on the 26th of August at 
Lutter, just as it was about to plunge into a narrow defile, and 
inflicted upon them a severe defeat. Christian, leaving 8000 
men and all his artillery on the field of battle, and 2000 
prisoners in the enemies' hands, retired into Holstein and 
Mecklenberg, while Tilly overran the duchy of Brunswick and 
quartered his men for the winter along the lower Elbe, and an 
imperialist detachment occupied the mark of Brandenburg. 

In the next year the tide of victory rolled on. Wallenstein, 
now made duke of Friedland, marched into Silesia with 
irresistible forces, and sent fifty standards to Further sue 
Vienna as evidence of his conquest. Then, join- "nw and 
ing hands with Tilly on the lower Elbe, the Waiienstein. 
united armies poured into Holstein, and overran Denmark 
until stopped by the sea, and forced the unfortunate Christian 
to take refuge in the islands. In February 1628, Ferdinand, 
following the precedent of the Elector Palatine, put the dukes 
of Mecklenberg to the ban for the assistance they had given 
to Christian, declared their lands forfeited, and authorised 
Wallenstein to occupy and administer them in pledge for the 
expenses incurred. Sweeping over the country the imperial 
general seized upon the ports of Wismar and Rostock, obliged 
the duke of Pomerania to put the long coast line of his duchy 
under the care of the imperial troops, and was only checked 

74 European History, 1598-17 15 

in his career of conquest in March 1628 by the marshes and the 
g. , fortifications of Stralsund. For five long months 
Straisund, the imperialist army lay before the city, attempt- 
^^^' ing the almost impossible feat of the capture 

of a defended city open to the sea by an attack from the land 
side only, for none knew better than Wallenstein himself the 
importance of the issue. All the southern coast of the Baltic 
from Dantzig to Liibeck, except Stralsund, owned his authority. 
Across the water lay the only foe he had now to fear. Sover- 
eignty over the Baltic as well as over the Baltic provinces 
was necessary to him if he was to be safe from the attacks of 
Sweden. To further this policy, he had already obtained 
from the Emperor the title of admiral of the Baltic, and he 
was negotiating with the Hanse towns to provide him with a 
fleet, which should make the title something of a reality. As 
long as Stralsund afforded to the enemy an open door into 
the heart of Germany, the first steps necessary to gain that 
sovereignty were not complete. Nor was that all. Hitherto 
the opposition to the Emperor in Germany had been led by 
furious partisans like Christian of Anhalt, military adventurers 
like Mansfeld and Christian of Brunswick, or self-seeking 
politicians like Christian of Denmark and the other holders of 
the ecclesiastical lands. The German people and the cities 
of Germany had, as a rule, kept themselves aloof from the 
struggle, or extended their sympathies to the Emperor as the 
representative of order. But the siege of Stralsund showed 
that new forces were coming into play. It was the citizens, 
not their leaders, who insisted on fighting to the last gasp. 
The independent spirit of civic liberty was determined not to 
submit to a military dictatorship. The religious spirit of staunch 
Protestantism was determined not to make terms with the vic- 
torious Counter-Reformation. When Wallenstein, foiled and 
exasperated, drew oflf his army on August 3d from before the 
walls of Stralsund, he at least understood that among the 
cities of Germany there were those who would throw them- 
selves into the arms of the foreigner, and risk all they had, 

The Beginning of the Thirty Years* War 75 

rather than submit to military government and religious perse- 
cution. Nor was Stralsund alone in its victory. Gliickstadt 
proved to Tilly as difficult a morsel to digest as Stralsund 
had been to Wallenstein, and in January 1629 he was forced 
to raise the siege. Matters had now reached a deadlock. 
Christian could not venture on the mainland and his enemies 
could not reach him at sea. Wallenstein saw ^. ,„. 

The peace 

the importance of bringing the Danish war to an of LUbeck, 
end before Sweden appeared on the scene, and ^^' 
opened negotiations for peace. In May the treaty of Liibeck 
was signed. Christian surrendered all his claims upon the 
ecclesiastical lands in Germany and received back his heredi- 
tary dominions. 

Ten years had elapsed since the fatal day when the re- 
volted Bohemian diet elected Frederick, Elector Palatine, to the 
throne of Bohemia, and the margrave of Anspach 
had exultingly cried, ' Now we have the means imperialist 
of upsetting the world.' In those ten years the success. 
German world had indeed been upset but not in the sense of 
the margrave's prophecy. It was the very fact that in their 
attack upon the House of Austria the Calvinists were attempt- 
ing to upset the world of Germany, were attempting to revolu- 
tionise German institutions, and were not in any way repre- 
senting the rights of Protestantism, or the independence of 
the German princes, that deprived them of support in Ger- 
many outside their own body. Cautious and shrewd rulers 
like John George of Saxony looked upon them as the party of 
anarchy, and upon the Emperor as the representative of order. 
The recklessness with which Frederick and his advisers let 
Mansfeld and Christian of Brunswick loose upon the un- 
offending people, and outraged the sacred name of religion 
with burning homesteads and tortured peasants, lost them the 
respect of every right-thinking man. Men felt that to revolu- 
tionise Germany and to plunder Germans was not the way to 
defend the cause of Protestantism, and welcomed the suc- 
cesses of Maximilian and the League in Bohemia, and even in 

^6 European History^ 1 598-171 5 

the Palatinate, as securities for the restoration of order upon 
the traditional lines. 

But since then a great change had taken place. The advent 
of Wallenstein upon the scene, with his personal army and 
Change transcendent military talents, brought new forces 

brought about jj^jq xAdiy. Germany found itself threatened by 

byWallen- , ,., \ ^ .. , . . ,/ 

stein and his the rule of the sword, P erdmand found at his 
army. back a power capable of enforcing his will upon 

Germany, and, if need be, of superintending the reconciliation 
of German Protestantism to the Church. After the peace of 
Liibeck, who was to say him nay if he boldly entered upon 
a poHcy of Catholic aggression ? The Protestant sympathies 
of his Austrian subjects had been drowned in blood. In 
Bohemia and Moravia, under their new Catholic landowners, 
Protestantism was suppressed, and all Protestants had been 
banished by the Reforming Commissions issued under the 
new constitution in 1627. Silesia had lately felt the heavy 
hand of Wallenstein and was in no condition to rebel. The 
upper Palatinate and part of the lower, lately made over to 
Maximilian, were already being rapidly converted to Catholic- 
ism. Secure then in his own dominions and sure of Maxi- 
milian's support, what opposition was he likely to receive in 
Germany ? The smaller princes of north Germany had been 
for the most part implicated in the Danish war, and their lands 
were in the occupation of the armies of the Emperor and of 
the League. John George of Saxony, the elector of Branden- 
burg, and the duke of Pomerania, were not likely at such a 
time to forfeit the protection of the agreement of Miilhausen, 
which had been faithfully observed on both sides hitherto. 
Possibly a few free cities, such as Magdeburg and Hamburg, 
might object, and the king of Sweden across the water might 
interfere, but no great end was ever achieved without running 
some risk. In 1627 the Catholic electors and the duke of 
Bavaria had urged upon Ferdinand that the time was now 
come to assert the rights of the Church under the peace of 
Augsbiwrg, and Ferdinand was too strongly himself in favour 

The Beginning of the Thirty Years' War jy 

of the policy to say that they were wrong. On March 29th, 
1629, he issued the Edict of Restitution, restoring ^he Edict of 
to the Church all the land secularised since the Restitution, 
peace of Augsburg was signed. At one stroke the 
archbishoprics of Magdeburg and Bremen, the bishoprics of 
Minden, Verden, Halberstadt, Liibeck, Ratzeburg, Misnia, 
Merseburg, Naumburg, Brandenburg, Havelberg, Lebus and 
Camin, and about one hundred and twenty smaller founda- 
tions were taken away from their Protestant bishops and 
administrators, and restored to the Church. Never was greater 
mistake mada To resume lands in the name of the law, 
which had been from fifty to eighty years in the undisputed 
possession of Protestant holders, was in itself a straining of 
the letter of the law in violation of its spirit, which only 
intensified the sense of wrong brought about by the confisca- 
tion. In itself it armed the public opinion of all Germany 
against the Emperor. It roused the ardent Protestants to 
frenzy. But to do it in dependence on mere brute force was 
political suicide. Without the armies of Tilly and Wallenstein 
the Edict of Restiturion was a dead letter, with them it was a 
miUtary revolution. By it the Emperor stood out to the world 
as the author of a religious and political revolution, the suc- 
cess of which depended entirely upon military despotism, and 
was without any moral basis whatever. Germany would not be 
revolutionised by such measures as these. 



Difference between Wallenstein and the Emperor — Opposition of the League 
to Wallenstein — Dismissal of Wallenstein — Critical state of Protestantism 
in Germany — Condition of Sweden — Policy of Gustavus Adolphus — His 
wars with Denmark, Russia, and Poland — His interference in Germany 
and Alliance with France — The Campaign of 1631 and sack of Magde- 
burg — Alliance between Saxony and Sweden — Battle of Breitenfeld — 
Military successes and political difficulties of Gustavus — Wallenstein 
appointed dictator — Gustavus baffied by Wallenstein at Nuremburg — 
Battle of Liitzen — The League of Heilbronn — The murder of Wallen- 
stein — The battle of Nbrdlingen — The Peace of Prague — Policy of John 
George of Saxony. 

The recklessness with which Ferdinand had undertaken to 
revolutionise Germany soon made itself apparent. To crush 
Difference of the political Opposition of Denmark and the 
policy be- lower Saxon circle, he had had to call to his aid 
enstein and Wallenstein and his personal army. To carry out 
Ferdinand. the far more difficult task of transferring from 
Protestants to Catholics large districts of north Germany, 
which had been for eighty or ninety years in the hands of 
Protestants, and of forcibly converting to his own religion 
thousands of Protestant Germans, he had but the same force 
upon which to rely. It was idle to think that the Edict of 
Restitution could be carried out without the help of soldiers. 
It was certain that Tilly and the troops of the League would not 
suffice to enforce the Edict and resist the threatened advance 
of Sweden. To whom could the Emperor turn except to 
Wallenstein and his 60,000 men ? Yet it was just here that he 


The Thirty Vear^ War 79 

was least sure of his ground. Wallenstein himself strongly 
disapproved of the policy of the Edict. It ran counter to the 
principle of religious equality upon which he had organised 
his own power. His army was the only place in Europe 
where Catholics, Lutherans, and Calvinists met on equal 
terms and served loyally one with another as comrades. To 
put an army organised on such a basis to the work of oust- 
ing Protestant clergy and superintending conversions would 
split it to its very foundations. More than that. It was no 
mere caprice which had led Wallenstein to make religious 
equality the basis of the organisation of his army. He believed 
strongly that it was the only possible basis for the reorgani- 
sation of Germany, and he looked forward to the time when, 
as dictator of Germany, he might at the head of an irresistible 
force impose upon the fanatics of both sides the boons of peace 
and religious toleration. For the first time in his career his 
own convictions and his own ambition led away from the 
policy and interests of his suzerain. 

Just at this time the leaders of the League were becoming 
on their side very much dissatisfied with Wallenstein. They 
disliked his opinions. They feared his ambition. ^ osjtion of 
They distrusted his loyalty. His system of sup- the League to 
porting his army by requisitions, though venial waiienstem. 
enough when exercised at the expense of the Protestant 
enemy, became sheer plunder when Catholics were the victims. 
During the winters 1626-27 and 1628-29, his drums had been 
beating continuously in all the chief towns of Germany, and 
not unnaturally it appeared intolerable that the Emperor's own 
general should be even more oppressive to his friends than to 
his enemies. 

The opposition came to a head at the diet held at Regens- 
burg in July 1630. The lead was taken by Maximilian of 
Bavaria. Father Joseph, Richelieu's accomplished ^^^ ^.^^^ ^^ 
diplomatist, laboured indefatigably and success- Regensburg, 
fully in fomenting the discontent, and Ferdinand *^^°' 
soon found that he had to choose between Wallenstein and 

8o European History, 1598- 17 15 

the League. There was no middle course possible. He 
must part with one or the other. To a man of lofty soul, 
high ambition, and bold courage, there was much to attract 
in the prospect held out by vVallenstein. If Ferdinand could 
only make up his mind to risk all in order to gain all, throw 
himself without reserve into Wallenstein's arms, and at the 
head of 100,000 men impose upon Germany a new constitu- 
tion, in which the imperial power should be established upon 
the ruin of that of the princes, a new era would dawn for the 
Emperor, the supremacy of the House of Austria in Europe 
would be assured. But a policy such as this was too revolu- 
tionary and too venturesome for a conscientious and common- 
place nature like that of Ferdinand. It certainly involved 
the overthrow of the traditional relations between the Emperor 
and the princes. It certainly necessitated the withdrawal of 
the Edict of Restitution. It might not improbably make the 
Emperor the slave of his too successful general instead of the 
lord of the world. It was not given to Ferdinand to drive the 
horses of the Sun. For him there was no alternative. He 
was nothing if not traditionally legal. Wallenstein was the 
issai of disturber of precedent and law, and Wallenstein 
Wallenstein, must be Sacrificed. A few weeks after Gustavus 
^^3°- Adolphus had landed on the coast of Pomerania, 

Ferdinand, at the bidding of the Catholic powers of Germany, 
dismissed the only general capable of withstanding the 
Protestant champion. 

With the coming of Gustavus Adolphus the war was 
lifted for a while into a higher region of politics. It became 
Critical state ennobled by higher motives and a greater policy, 
tantismln Hitherto what nobility of motive had been dis- 
Germany. covcrablc was all on the Catholic side. The 
maintenance of the authority of the Emperor and the institu- 
tions of the Empire, the establishment of the authority of the 
Church, in the teeth of a factious and reckless nobihty, were at 
least nobler objects to fight for than the winning of a crown, or 
the command of an army, or the right to provide for younger 

The Thirty Years' War 8l 

sons out of secularised church lands. But the victories of 
Tilly and Wallenstein and the issue of the Edict of Restitution 
had brought a great change. With Christian of Denmark 
beaten to his knees, with the troops of the League and the 
Emperor in occupation of north Germany, with Wallenstein, 
admiral of the Baltic and duke of Mecklenberg, in possession 
of the Baltic coast and harbours, the questions at stake were 
no longer the maintenance of the authority of the Emperor, 
but the independence of the north German princes, and the 
sovereignty of the Baltic. By the publication of the Edict of 
Restitution, not merely were the secularised lands endangered, 
but Protestantism itself in north Germany was threatened. 

The Thirty Years' War is the last of the great wars of religion, 
and the first of the great wars of politics. In objects of 
Gustavus Adolphus, the hero of the war, both Gustavus 
aspects are united. When he landed in Pomer- Adolphus. 
ania in July 1630, he came distinctly as the champion of 
Protestantism, to save German Protestantism from being over- 
whelmed by brute force ; but he came no less distinctly as the 
national king of Sweden, to defend and establish that supre- 
macy over the Baltic sea and the Baltic coast, which was 
essential to the prosperity and existence of his country. 
It was a defensive war that he came to wage, a war in 
defence of his religion and in defence of his kingdom, though 
it necessarily took from the circumstances of the case an 
aggressive form. Between the policy of Gustavus in 1630 and 
that of Richeheu in 1635 there is the whole difference between 
patriotism and aggrandisement. 

No one who looked attentively at Sweden at the beginning 
of the seventeenth century would for a moment have antici- 
pated the fortune which in fact was about to condition of 
attend her. Poor in material resources, sadly Sweden, 
deficient in roads and means of communication, sparsely 
populated, frost-bound for half the year, cut off almost wholly 
by her old conqueror Denmark from the ocean, she seemed 
to be doomed to be pressed out of existence by her more 


82 European History, 1598- 17 15 

fortunately placed neighbours. From this fate she was saved 
by one of the most remarkable races of kings of whom history 
makes mention. From Gustavus Vasa, the emancipator of 
Sweden from the tyranny of the Danes, who 
y. g^g^gj^^gjj jj^g throne in 1523, to Charles xii., the 
terror and pride of Europe, who lost his life in 17 18, there 
was not one sovereign of the House of Vasa who did not in 
some ways show the marks of fine and original genius. Well 
may the historian of Sweden exclaim, ' The history of Sweden 
is the history of her kings,' for in few countries have national 
characteristics and national development been so intimately 
The Lutheran bound up with the monarchy. Gustavus Vasa 
Church. achieved the independence of Sweden, and estab- 

lished his new monarchy on the ruins of the Church. Seizing 
with the eye of a statesman the close affinity between Luther- 
anism and state power, he introduced the Reformation into 
Sweden as a political measure, enriching the Crown and pur- 
chasing the support of the nobles by the confiscation of the 
Church lands. From that time Sweden had two enemies to 
contend against, the hostility of Denmark, and the power of 
the nobility; to which, under John in., the husband of 
Catherine Jagellon, the heiress of the Jagellon kings of 
Poland, a third was added, namely the Counter-Reformation. 
At the beginning of the seventeenth century this last was the 
most pressing danger, for Sigismund, the son of John in. and 
Catherine Jagellon, was an ardent Catholic. He had be- 
Attemptof come king of Poland by election in 1587, and 
Sigismund i^^(j ^jQjjg much to re-cstablish Cathohcism in 

to restore 

Catholicism, that country before he succeeded by inheritance 
1592-1604. jQ ^j^g crown of Sweden in 1592. On his attempt- 

ing a similar policy in Sweden he found himself at once 
opposed by the self-interest of the nobility, who held so large 
a share of the Church lands, and by a spirit of nationality 
among the people, who resented the interference of Poles and 
Italians with a sturdy independence, which reminds us of the 
hatred of the medieval English for all ' outlandish ' people. 

The Thirty Years' War 83 

These feelings found a representative in Charles, the youngest 
son of Gustavus Vasa, and uncle of Sigismund, who after a 
brief contest expelled his nephew from Sweden and seated 
himself on the throne in his stead in 1604. 

This dynastic revolution strengthened Sweden by making 
her religion the symbol and the test of her liberty, ueign of 
Lutheranism became the political as well as the chariesix., 
religious faith of the country. It weakened her ' ^"* ^^* 
by adding another to the number of her hereditary foes. If 
Denmark could not forget that she had once been the ruler 
of Sweden, neither could Poland forget, at any rate during the 
life of Sigismund, that her king had by law no less right to 
rule at Stockholm than at Warsaw. If, however, Charles ix. 
increased the external he diminished the internal difficulties 
of his country. Nobles and king had united together against 
foreign influence, and when raised to the throne, Charles 
succeeded by his wise administration in making the bond still 
closer and was able to hand on to his son, the young Gustavus 
Adolphus, the government of a united and prosperous nation. 
Nevertheless, patriotic and religious as Sweden was on the 
accession of Gustavus Adolphus in 161 1, she had not yet 
passed through that crisis common to the infancy of nations, 
when extension of territory and influence becomes essential to 
the preservation of national life. Since she had become an 
independent nation her mineral wealth had been much de- 
veloped by her kings. Education and civilisation had made 
great strides. Since she had become Protestant, she had 
naturally been drawn into political and commercial relations 
with the English and the Dutch, who were rapidly establishing 
their commercial supremacy in the northern seas, and especi- 
ally in the Baltic, on the ruins of the Hansa. But weakness 
as yet Denmark held the southern provinces of of Sweden, 
the Swedish peninsula. Only in one place, at the mouth of 
the river Gota, where the fortress of Elfsborg stood and the 
houses and wharves of Gottenburg were beginning to rise, 
did Sweden touch the outer sea. For all practical purposes 

84 European History, 1 598-1715 

her trade was a purely Baltic trade, and could only reach the 
outside world by the permission, and subject to the regulations, 
of Denmark, who held the Sound and imposed tolls on all 
ships which passed through. 

Within the confines of the Baltic itself the position of Sweden 
was by no means assured. The coast line which she held 
was large, but only because it included the inhospitable and 
semi-barbarous Finland. She had not a city, not even Stock- 
holm, which could vie in riches or in trade with Liibeck or 
with Dantzig. Since the days of Ivan the Terrible, Russia 
had made her appearance in the north as a power which must 
be reckoned with, and threatened to claim her share of the 
Baltic. In the ' troublous times ' which preceded the rise of 
the Romanoff dynasty Sweden saw her opportunity, and under 
Eric and Charles ix. had stretched across the sea, and made 
good her hold over the first of her Baltic provinces in Esthonia 
and Livonia; but situated as they were between hostile 
Poland and semi-hostile Russia, they could not be looked upon 
in any other light than that of an outpost to be withdrawn 
or reinforced as occasion might serve. Exceedingly precarious 
therefore was the position of the young monarchy. A com- 
bined attack by its three enemies must at any moment destroy 
it. Steady hostile pressure under the forms of peace might 
Policy of gradually stifle it. Sweden could not be safe 
Gustavus until she had obtained supremacy in the Baltic, 
Adoiphus. gj^g could not be prosperous until she had gained 
free access to the ocean, she could not be dominant in the 
north until she had secured her supremacy over the Baltic by 
the acquisition of a substantial foothold on its eastern coast. 
These were the three main objects of Swedish national policy 
steadily pursued by Gustavus Adoiphus, and after his death 
by his friend and chancellor Oxenstjerna. They necessitated 
an aggressive policy. To sit still was to die. The martial 
mstincts and the youth of the king combined with motives 
of policy to urge him to a bold course, and the nation well 
understanding the nature of the crisis seconded him nobly. 

The Thirty Years' War 85 

Denmark was the foe upon whom Gustavus was called to 
whet his virgin steel. Taking advantage of the ^^^ with 
confusion caused by the minority of the new Denmark, 
king, Christian iv. had seized upon Elfsborg and * "^ ^* 
Calmar early in 161 1. Directly Gustavus had been pronounced 
of age he marched to recover the fortresses, and learned his 
first lesson in the art of war in a year of frontier hostilities, 
which were ended through the mediation of James i. by the 
peace of Knarod in January 161 3. By this treaty Calmar was 
at once restored to the Swedes, and Elfsborg covenanted to 
be restored on the payment of a million dollars, which were 
duly raised and paid in two years. Relieved from all present 
anxiety from the side of Denmark, Gustavus at once turned 
his attention to the growing power of Russia, now gathering 
itself together under Michael Romanoff. In 1614 war with 
he invaded Ingria, and spent three years in de- Russia, 1614. 
sultory fighting, in which he was uniformly '^ ''' 
victorious in battle, and slowly occupied the country. Again 
England, who had trade relations with Russia, offered her 
mediation, and by the treaty of Stolbova, signed in February 
161 7, Sweden obtained from Russia the cession of Ingria and 
Carelia, thus gaining a continuous coast line on the Baltic from 
Colmar to Riga, and shutting Russia from the sea altogether. 
'The enemy,' said Gustavus triumphantly, 'cannot launch a 
boat upon the Baltic without our permission.' 

Hardly was the peace of Stolbova signed, than an invasion 
of Swedish Livonia by Sigismund of Poland forced Gustavus 
to enter upon his third war. Poland was a much ^ar with 
more difficult nut to crack than Russia had been, Poland, 1617. 
for behind Sigismund lay the forces of the Coun- * ^^ 
ter-Reformation, but from various circumstances neither side 
could press the war with vigour. Two armistices (from 16 18- 
1621 and from 1622-1625) interupted its lethargic course, and 
enabled Sweden to recruit her failing energies, and her king 
to perfect the improvements in military tactics for which he 
is famous. In 1625 he resumed the war in earnest, and 

86 European History, 1598-1715 

crossing the Dwina overran and occupied Courland, pushing 
the Polish generals back into Lithuania. But neither Riga nor 
any of the Courland towns gave him what he most wanted, a 
place of first-rate importance, which he might make the centre 
of his operations ; so in the next year he directed his attack 
on Dantzig, although it involved the violation of the neutrality 
of his brother-in-law, George William of Brandenburg. Dant- 
zig was a town strongly fortified on the land side. The Swed 
ish fleet was too weak to enforce the attempted blockade by 
sea. Hence, like Stralsund and La Rochelle, until cut off from 
the sea it was impregnable. For four weary years Gustavus 
attempted unsuccessfully to reduce it. Eventually in 1629, 
when the affairs in Germany rendered it essential for him to 
have his hands free, he consented to make peace without 
gaining the desired end. Yet the Polish war was not thrown 
away. By the treaty of Stuhmsdorf, Sweden gained the whole 
of Livonia, and some places in Prussia, and by the training 
both of himself and of his army in the four Polish campaigns, 
he had unconsciously made Sweden one of the most formid- 
able military powers of the day. 

While the Thirty Years' War was in progress, the eyes both 
of Catholics and Protestants in Germany had often been 
Negotiations tumcd towards Gustavus in fear and in hope. He 
between himself lookcd forward with eagerness to the day 

England and , , . . • , i_ e J 

Gustavus in whcn his assistance might be necessary, for he 
^^- longed to cross swords with Tilly and the 

imperial generals, but it was eagerness tempered with 
prudence. He would enter into the war at his own time, 
and on his own terms, or not at all. In 1624 he was asked 
by England to formulate those terms, and he laid down three 
conditions as indispensable, that he should have the sole 
military management of the war, that England should provide 
the money for 17,000 men, and pay the subsidies for five 
months in advance, that he should be protected from attack 
from Denmark, while at war in Germany, and have two ports 
made over to him to secure his communications. Unlike 

The Thirty Years' War 87 

Christian ot Denmark, he would not be content with fair 
promises, but insisted on performance before he would move. 
The terms were too onerous for acceptance at that time, but 
the fate of Christian proved their wisdom and necessity. The 
defeat of the Danes, and the establishment of Wallenstein 
on the Baltic coast, brought the danger nearer home. What 
chance was there for Sweden to obtain supremacy over the 
Baltic with Mecklenberg and Pomerania in the hands of 
the imperial admiral? Clearly she would have to fight for 
her independence, let alone her religion, if Wallenstein was 
suffered to make himself duke of Mecklenberg. Gustavus re- 
cognised the necessity at once In April 1628 he Alliance 
made an alliance with his old enemy Christian iv. between 
of Denmark, by which all foreign ships, except Denmark, 
those of the Dutch were excluded from the ^^^• 
Baltic. In the summer of the same year, he sent 2000 
men under Alexander Leslie to defend Stralsund against 
Wallenstein. In September 1629 he put an end to the 
Polish war by the treaty of Stuhmsdorf, and Landing of 
on the 24th of June 1630 he landed on the oe^Yny/" 
island of Usedom, at the head of an army of 1630. 
13,000 men, which was raised to 40,000 before the end of the 

Gustavus timed his invasion with great judgment. The diet 
of Regensburg was still sitting, and the army of Wallenstein 
was demoralised by the approaching sacrifice of Measures « 
its chief. Hardly a month after the landing Gustavus. 
of the Swedish king that sacrifice was consummated, a large 
part of Wallenstein's army was disbanded, and the rest put 
under the command of Tilly, who was becoming in his old 
age extremely dilatory in his movements. Gustavus accord- 
ingly found himself for six months practically unopposed, and 
he at once employed the time in establishing for himself a strong 
basis of operations on the Baltic and in the enlistment of fresh 
troops. In January of the next year came a most welcome 
assistance. RicheUeu had long fixed his eyes upon Gustavus. 

88 European History, 1598- 17 15 

as one of the most formidable weapons capable of being used 
against the House of Austria, and he desired to put it into 
the armoury of France. Negotiations had been opened with 
this object in the spring of the year but had failed. He had 
Alliance found Gustavus more stubborn than he had ex- 

between pectcd, and quickly realised that if he wanted the 

Richelieu, king of Sweden's help he could have it only on the 
^^'- king of Sweden's terms. Gracefully submitting 

to the inevitable, on January 23rd 1631 he concluded with 
Gustavus the treaty of Barwalde, by which he undertook 
to supply the king with 200,000 dollars for six years, on 
condition that Gustavus maintained an army of 36,000 men, 
promised to respect the imperial constitution, observed 
neutrality towards Bavaria and the League as far as they 
observed it towards him, and left the Catholic religion 
untouched in those districts where he found it established. 
The alliance of the foreigner was the only voluntary aid 
which the liberator of Germany could obtain. The old 
Jealousy of dukc Boguslav of Pomcrania was as submissive 
Gustavus in in the hands of Gustavus as he had been in the 
Germany. hands of Wallcnstein, but it was helplessness not 
friendship which put his resources at the disposal of the 
invader. John George of Saxony and George William of 
Brandenburg steadily refused to break their neutrality, or 
take one step in the direction of the dismemberment of the 
Empire. In March a great gathering of Protestants was held 
at Leipzig to consider the situation. They agreed to raise 
troops for their own defence in case they were attacked. 
They assured the Emperor of their continued loyalty, if only 
he would withdraw the Edict of Restitution. They said not 
one word about assistance to the foreigner, 

German patriotic feeling was against Gustavus. It was 
clear that he would have to make his way by the sword, and 
Thecampaign the sword alone. At the end of March the 
ofi63i. campaign began. Tilly suddenly dashed at 

Neu Brandenburg, captured it on March 29th, and destroyed 

The Thirty Years' War 89 

its garrison of 2000 Swedes, thus thrusting himself in be- 
tween Gustavus in Pomerania and Horn in Mecklenburg. Gus- 
tavus saw the danger. By forced marches he succeeded in 
circumventing Tilly and effecting his junction with Horn, 
and the old marshal sullenly retreated to the Elbe, where 
he formed the siege of Magdeburg, which had of its own 
accord declared against the Emperor, and asked for a Swedish 
garrison. Meanwhile Gustavus had marched to the Oder, 
and captured the important fortress of Frankfort, which was 
garrisoned by the imperialists. From there he designed to 
move to the relief of Magdeburg, now hard pressed by Tilly 
and Pappenheim. Every motive of honour and policy 
impelled him to ensure its safety. But unforeseen obstacles 
presented themselves. In order to march to Magdeburg, it was 
necessary to cross the territories of Brandenburg and Saxony, 
and neither of the electors would for a moment think of 
permitting an act which might seem to the Emperor a 
violation of their neutrality. While Magdeburg was in its death 
throes fruitless negotiations continued. Both the electors 
remained stubbornly immovable. At last in desperation 
Gustavus appeared at Berlin with a more potent argument at 
his back in the shape of an army, and forced the unwilling 
George William to throw open to him the fortress of Spandau. 
But it was too late. Saxony had still to be dealt with, and 
while Saxony was deliberating Magdeburg fell. Fan of 
On May 20th, Pappenheim stormed the town. Magdeburg. 
Amid the confusion of the assault the houses caught fire. 
The imperialist soldiers, maddened by victory and plunder, 
lost all self-control, and amid the roar of the flames and the 
crash of falling houses ensued a scene of carnage, of outrage, 
and of horror, at which Europe stood aghast. By the next 
morning the cathedral alone showed gaunt against the sky, 
amid a mass of blackened ruins, to say where Magdeburg 
once had been. 

The sack of Magdeburg is one of the darkest spots on the 
page of history. For many years it has been allowed to stain 

go European History^ 1 598-1715 

the reputation of the veteran Tilly, unjustly, for he was far 
away at the time, but upon Gustavus must rightly rest some 
. part of the fearful responsibility. Magdeburg had 

biiity of risen against the Emperor trusting in him. He had 

Gustavus. ggj^^. Qjjg Qf jjjg Q^Q officers to lead the defence. 
He knew to what desperate straits the town was reduced, and 
though he could not have anticipated the actual horrors of the 
sack, he knew well enough what the storming of a town by 
soldiers of fortune meant in those brutal days. Yet for two 
critical months he allowed his march to be checked, and his 
honour compromised, by the mulish stubbornness of the two 
electors, who had no force at their command sufficient to resist 
his advance, had he nobly acted upon the necessity which 
knows no law. It is just possible that by such an action 
he might have driven the electors to throw themselves into 
the arms of the Emperor, but it is not likely. Gustavus had 
not hesitated in 1626 to seize Pillau by force from the elector 
of Brandenburg, when he wanted a basis of operations against 
Dantzig. In this very campaign, when too late, he had to 
use force to gain possession of Spandau, yet the elector was 
not moved from his neutrality by either of these high-handed 
acts. Surely the least which Magdeburg might fairly ask of 
him in her distress was not to be more scrupulous about 
violating neutrality for her safety than he had been for his 
own advantage. 

From a military point of view the loss of Magdeburg was 
a crushing blow. The incipient movements in favour of 
Gustavus, which had begun to show themselves among the 
Protestant towns, at once ceased. No German princes except 
William of Hesse-Cassel and Bernhard of Saxe- Weimar joined 
Retreat of bim. As Gustavus slowly fell back down the Elbe, 
GustavuB. and entrenched himself at Werben, he must have 
felt that all the imperialist leaders had to do was to leave him 
alone, and his power would melt away of itself. But to leave 
things alone was just what Ferdinand and Maximilian in the 
flush of their anticipated victory could not do. In April peace 

The Thirty Years' War 91 

had been signed at Cherasco between Ferdinand and France, 
and the Italian army of the Emperor had now crossed the 
Alps and reinforced Tilly. Forty thousand men followed his 
standard, and in the hope of quelling all opposition and end- 
ing the war at a blow, orders were sent to the marshal to 
procure the dismissal of the the Saxon troops, , . , 

^ ^ ' Invasion of 

and then to march against the Swedes. But Saxonyby 
John George unexpectedly resented this interfer- "^'"y* 
ence with his independence. He refused to dismiss his troops. 
Tilly immediately occupied Merseburg and Leipzig and began 
harrying the country. The sight of his burning villages, and 
the invasion of his cherished independence, roused the sluggish 
elector at last. He sent messengers post haste to Gustavus 
offering his alliance and demanding his help. By one fatal 
blunder Ferdinand had done more to destroy his own cause, 
than all his foes together had hitherto succeeded in doing. 
He had driven Saxony over to the enemy. It Alliance 
was not so much the material resources which the ^^*^^^" 

Saxony and 

elector possessed, which made his friendship so Sweden, 
important to Gustavus, as the position which he held in 
Germany. Drunken, sluggish, obstinate, irresolute as he was, 
men recognised in him a strenuous loyalty to the constitution 
of the Empire as it then existed, a hearty dread of revolution- 
ary proposals, and a certain political shrewdness. It was these 
qualities, quite as much as his hereditary position as the leader 
of the Lutheran party, which had hitherto determined the 
attitude of the north German princes both towards Frederick 
and Christian of Denmark. That he should now join his 
forces to the Swedes meant that to him the foreigner and the 
invader appeared less of a revolutionary than the legal head 
of the Empire himself. 

Gustavus did not let the grass grow under his feet. He 
set out at once for Saxony with the elector of Brandenburg, 
effected a junction with the Saxon army, and -phe battle of 
marching towards Leipsig met the army of Tilly Breitenfeid. 
drawn up in battle array on the field of Breitenfeid on 

92 European History, 1598- 17 15 

September 17 th, 1631. Tilly marshalled his men to the num- 
ber of 32,000 in one long line of battle along rising ground 
overlooking the little stream of the Loderbach. In the centre 
were posted as usual the solid squares of pikemen flanked by 
musketeers, which formed the main battle according to the 
tactics of the Spanish school. On the right wing was Fursten- 
berg with the horse of the Italian army, while the left was 
guarded by the fiery Pappenheim and his famous cavalry. 
Between the wings and the centre were placed the heavy 
guns, probably between thirty and forty in number. 
Tilly himself on his well-known white horse put himself 
among his Walloon fellow-countrymen in the centre. The 
arrangement adopted by Gustavus was somewhat different. 
The army was drawn up in two lines, with a reserve of cavalry 
behind each line, and a final reserve also of cavalry behind 
the centre of the whole army. The extreme left opposed to 
Furstenberg was occupied by the Saxon troops under the elec- 
tor in person. On the right of the Saxons, and in touch with the 
Swedish centre, was Horn with the Swedish cavalry. Gustavus 
himself took command of the right wing, opposed to Pappen- 
heim, with the rest of the cavalry ; but between each division 
of cavalry on both wings in the first line was a detachment of 
two hundred musketeers. The infantry occupied the centre, 
marshalled in very much smaller squares than those of Tilly, and 
having a much greater proportion of musketeers to pikemen, 
while in front of each regiment was the light or field artillery. 
The heavier guns, in all about one hundred, under the com- 
mand of Torstenson, were placed in the left centre. In numbers 
Gustavus was decidedly superior. His own army amounted 
to some 26,000 men while the Saxons could not be less than 
15,000. His guns, too, though not so heavy as those of Tilly, 
were far more numerous, and could fire three shots to one of 
the imperialists. The wind and the ground favoured Tilly. 
The battle began with an artillery duel in which the quick- 
firing Swedish pieces wrought fearful havoc among the dense 
masses of the imperialist army. Yet the stubborn old marshal 

The Thirty Years' War 93 

remained immovable amid the hail of the balls. Pappenheim, 
younger and less disciplined, lost patience. Without orders 
he suddenly launched his cavalry on the Swedish right, but 
Gustavus was ready for him. The musketeers received him 
with a volley which made him reel, and Baner at the head of 
the reserve cavalry, and Gustavus himself with the right wing, 
dashed upon him at the moment and drove him fairly off the 
field. Meanwhile on the extreme imperialist right Furstenberg 
in his turn threw himself upon the Saxons, drove back their 
cavalry first on to their guns and then on to their infantry, 
until the whole mass in wild confusion broke and ran, carrying 
the elector with them to Duben, and even to Eilenburg, pursued 
by the victorious imperialists. Tilly saw his opportunity, and 
ordered his centre to advance to take Horn in the flank left 
exposed by the flying Saxons, but the well-disciplined and 
mobile Swedes falling back a little formed a new front on 
their old flank and defended themselves vigorously. In 
making this flank movement Tilly had necessarily left his 
artillery undefended, and Gustavus, checking his pursuit of 
Pappenheim, wheeled back his cavalry, and sweeping the posi- 
tion originally occupied by Tilly from left to right, captured 
the guns and turned them against their own masters, while he 
himself with his horsemen swooped down upon Tilly's rear. 
Caught between Horn's foot in front and Gustavus's cavalry in 
the rear, with their own guns directing a plunging fire into 
their flanks, the imperialist infantry proved themselves worthy 
of their reputation. They fought like heroes, but the longer 
they fought the more hopeless became the struggle, the more 
decisive the defeat. When the autumn sun went down on 
the field of blood, but six hundred men remained in discipHned 
array to make a ring round their veteran leader and carry him 
in safety from the field. The imperialist army was entirely 
destroyed as a fighting force. About 10,000 men were left on 
the field of battle, as many more were taken prisoners, and ac- 
cording to the custom of the time took service with the victors. 
One hundred and six standards and all the guns remained to 

94 European History^ \^Q)%-\'j\'^ 

grace the conqueror's triumph. Tilly retreated on the Weser, 
gathering up the fragments of his defeated army as he went, 
but he found no rest there. Pressed back by the advance of 
the victorious Swedes to the Danube and even across the 
Danube, he did not dare to make head against Gustavus 
again until the following spring. 

The victory of Breitenfeld placed all north Germany at the 

feet of the Swedish king. Perceiving at a glance that even a 

successful attack upon Vienna would not end the war, and 

recognising that his first duty was to the troubled Protestants 

of the centre and of the south, Gustavus marched 

March of ' 

Gustavus to straight into the heart of Germany on the Main 
the Main. ^^^ ^^ Rhine, disregarding the characteristic 
suggestions of Wallenstein that they should divide Germany 
between them at the expense of the Emperor and the CathoUc 
party. On October loth he occupied Wiirtzburg. The i8th 
of November saw him at Frankfort on the Main, the old 
capital of Germany. He spent Christmas Day at Mainz, and 
there in the fair and rich Rhineland he rested his tired troops, 
while in the north Tott was completing the reduction of the 
Mecklenberg coast line, and the Protestant administrators 
who had been ousted under the Edict of Restitution were being 
replaced. No one, however, knew better than Gustavus on 
what slender foundations his power rested. Richelieu was 
already beginning to think that his ally was becoming too 
powerful. Louis xiii., it was said, had been heard to mutter 
* It is time to put a limit to the progress of this Goth.' Force, 
far more than inclination or policy, had brought him the 
Saxon alliance, and force might easily break the bond which 
it had forged. Tilly was mustering new forces beyond the 
Danube, and at any moment a general of reputation might 
stamp his feet and produce an army of soldiers of fortune on 
his flank or in his rear. Even the Protestants could not be 
trusted should misfortune come. Except at Nuremberg 
and a few other places, which had felt the hand of the 
oppressor, there was no enthusiasm in Germany for the 

The Thirty Years' War 95 

Protestant Liberator. Two things were necessary to secure 
the fruits of the victory which he had won. He His schemes 
must crush the enemy before he had time to *««■ a general 

'' Protestant 

recover from the blow of Breitenfeld, and he must alliance under 
gain a basis of mihtary operations and poHti- Sweden. 
cal influence by uniting the Protestant states in a firm 
league under his leadership. With Tilly destroyed, and the 
Corpus Evangelicorum formed, and trusty Swedish captains 
placed in occupation of the ecclesiastical lands of central 
Germany, then and not till then might Gustavus consider 
his work secure. 

The first thing was to crush military opposition. At the 
end of March the Swedes were again in the field. On the 
31st Gustavus entered Nuremberg in triumph and . ,„ „ „ 

•J B r Advance upon 

received an enthusiastic welcome. On April 5th the Danube to 
he captured Donauworth, on the 14th he found Munich, 163a. 
Tilly entrenched behind the Lech, forced the passage of the 
river, stormed the enemies' position, and drove back the old 
marshal to Ingolstadt wounded to death. Bavaria was at his 
feet. Side by side with the Elector Palatine he rode into 
Munich on the 7th of May. There was now no enemy left to 
be dealt with except the Emperor, and the dominions of the 
Habsburgs were still in far too disorganised a state to be able 
to offer much opposition. Even the Saxons had marched un- 
opposed into Bohemia, and when Gustavus was celebrating 
his triumph with the winter-king at Munich, John George, 
who had done more than any one else to oust Frederick from 
Bohemia, was keeping high festival himself at Prague. 

It was not for long. There was but one man in all wide 
Europe who could save Ferdinand from the storm just break- 
ing upon his head, for there was but one capable vvanenstein 
of drawing to himself and binding together into appealed to by 
an organised array the soldiers of fortune who ^^ Emperor, 
were scattered all over the civilised world. In December, 
Eggenberg, Ferdinand's most trusted counsellor, had been 
sent to Wallenstein to ask him to forgive the past and strike 

g6 European History^ 1598-1715 

one more blow for the defence of the House of Austria, 
Wallenstein eagerly seized the opportunity, for circumstances 
had played singularly into his hand. The victories of Gus- 
tavus had drawn the teeth of Maximilian and the League. 
The necessities of the Emperor must force him to agree to 
whatever terms were demanded. The long wished for moment 
had arrived when he at the head of an army, wholly his own, 
owing no allegiance to the Emperor, might become the dictator 
of Germany, and, ousting from her soil all foreigners except 
himself, might impose peace upon Germany on the basis of 
religious toleration. The terms which he exacted 
from the Emperor forbid any doubt as to his 
intentions. No army was to be allowed in the Empire except 
under his command, he alone was to have the right of pardon- 
ing offenders and confiscating lands. The Edict of Restitution 
Appointed was to be withdrawn. In other words, he was to 
dictator. j^g jj^g military and political dictator of Germany. 
The terms were accepted, his standard raised. From Italy, 
Scotland, Ireland, as well as from every part of Germany, 
flocked to him men eager for distinction and more eager for 
plunder, without distinction of nationality and without distinc- 
tion of religion. In May 1632, his organisation was com- 
pleted. Falling suddenly upon the Saxons at Prague he drove 
them headlong out of Bohemia, then turning swiftly to the 
His plan of left directed his main army upon the rich and 
campaign. Protestant Nuremberg, while Pappenheim scoured 
the Rhine country at the head of his horse. Gustavus saw 
the crisis, threw himself into Nuremberg and fortified it, then, 
summoning to his assistance his outlying detachments, offered 
Wallenstein battle in the hope of crushing this new enemy by 
another Breitenfeld. But Wallenstein had made up his mind 
to show Gustavus quite another sort of warfare. He knew the 
great difficulties which the Swedes experienced in conducting 
their operations in a country, largely hostile, at such a dis- 
tance from their base. He knew also the value of his own 
superiority in light cavalry in provisioning his own army, and 

The Thirty Years' War 97 

In hampering the commissariat of the Swedes. He did not 
trust the discipline of his own recent levies on the battlefield, 
and so, forming a huge entrenched camp on an eminence 
overlooking the plain on which Nuremberg stands, he pre- 
pared to force Gustavus away by sheer starvation. 

At the end of June the camp was finished, and the duel 
between the two greatest soldiers of the day began. The camp at 
But it was not only a duel between soldiers, it Nuremberg, 
was also a duel between rival policies. The crisis of the 
fate of the Empire was being then decided. On the one side 
was military dictatorship and religious toleration in connec- 
tion with the traditional institutions of the Empire, on the 
other Protestant supremacy and political federation under the 
leadership of the foreigner. Stubbornly the question was 
fought out, not by arms but by endurance, but day by day it 
became clearer that Wallenstein had calculated rightly, and 
that Gustavus must starve the first By the beginning of 
September the strain was growing intolerable, discipline was 
becoming relaxed, and the king felt that he must stake all on 
one last attack. On September 3d he led his army against 
Wallenstein's entrenchments, but in vain. After heroic efforts 
he had to retire baffled. A few days afterwards Retreat of 
he marched out of Nuremberg, leaving the best Gustavus. 
part of his army dead before the ramparts of the Alte Veste, 
or dying in the hospitals of the town. Wallenstein, following 
out determinedly the plan he had laid down for himself, never 
attempted to pursue, but turning north into Saxony prepared 
somewhat leisurely to choose a position between invasion ^f 
the Elbe and the Saale, where he might entrench Saxony by 
himself for the winter, and apply the gentle ^ enstem. 
pressure of his marauding and requisitioning bands to the 
ever-vacillating will of John George, and detach him from 
the Swedish alliance. Gustavus had in the previous year lost 
M \gdeburg by a want of decision. He was not going to lose 
Saxony in the same way. Summoning Oxenstjerna and 
Bemhard of Saxe-Weimar to his aid, he flew through Thuringia 


gS European History^ 1 598- 1 7 1 5 

as quick as he could go, and seized Erfurt and Naumberg 
before Wallenstein quite realised what had happened. It was 
now the beginning of November, the weather had suddenly 
turned piercingly cold, and Wallenstein, making up his mind 
that Gustavus would not pursue his operations further that 
winter, prepared to entrench himself between . Merseburg and 
Torgau, and gave permission to Pappenheim to return to 
the Rhineland capturing Halle as he went. It was a great 
blunder. Gustavus dashed forwards on Wallenstein's main 
army to crush it before the mistake could be repaired. 
Wallenstein finding a battle inevitable sent messenger after 
messenger to bring Pappenheim back, and hastily throwing up 
some field entrenchments and deepening the ditches which 
intersected the plain, awaited the onslaught of the Swedish 
king at Liitzen on the i6th of November. 

As at Breitenfeld the Swedes were drawn up in two lines, 
and the imperialists only in one, but Wallenstein, unlike 
Battle of Tilly, seems to have interspersed bodies of 

Lutzen, 1633. musketcers among the troops of the cavalry, and 
posted a strong reserve behind his centre. The battle began 
as usual with the artillery in the early morning, then, as the 
autumn mist cleared away, the Swedes advanced to the attack 
about ten o'clock. There was no room for generalship. It 
was hard hand-to-hand fighting. For two hours the battle 
swayed backwards and forwards, the hardest of the fighting 
being on the Swedish right, where the king himseit was 
engaged with Piccolomini's black cuirassiers. Bit by bit the 
Swedes were gaining ground, when Wallenstein bringing up 
his reserves directed a terrible charge upon the Swedish 
centre, and forced it back with fearful loss, especially among 
the officers. Gustavus, at the head of such horsemen as he 
could muster, flew to the rescue, and as he made his way 
through the mist which had gathered again for a few moments 
Death of in the hollow, found himself unexpectedly in the 

Gustavus. middle of a troop of the enemy's cavalry. A 
shot broke his left arm, another pierced his back, and he fell 

Tlu Thirty Veari War 99 

heavily to the ground, where he was soon despatched by a 
bullet through the head. His white horse, riderless and blood- 
stained, tore on through the enemy into the Swedish ranks 
and announced the loss of their leader. Bernhard of Saxe- 
Weimar took the command, and rallying the army with the 
cry of vengeance, renewed the charge with an enthusiasm 
which carried all before it. Just then Pappenheim and his 
cavalry appeared on the right flank of the Swedes, and the battle 
again settled down to hard hand-to-hand fighting for three hours 
more. Pappenheim himself fell dead in the first charge, but 
his men, like their enemies, fought on the more fiercely to 
avenge the fall of their captain. At last .as the darkness fell 
the Swedes nerved themselves for a supreme effort, and drove 
the imperiaUsts from their entrenchments just as the leading 
columns of Pappenheim's infantry appeared upon the field. 

The honours of the battle were with the Swedes, its fruits 
were with Wallenstein. As regards mere numbers the 
Swedish loss was probably heavier than that of Results of 
the imperialists, and their army more weakened ^'^ death. 
as a fighting force. But if Gustavus had been the only man 
killed on that side, his death would have more than counter- 
balanced the whole of the imperialist losses, for not only was 
he the general and the king, not only was the one man 
capable of uniting the forces of Protestantism, the one who 
could successfully cope both with the ambition of Richelieu 
and the fanaticism of Ferdinand, but he was also the only 
man still in power in Germany who ennobled the struggle 
with a distinct moral ideal. Whether Protestants in Germany 
had sufficient powers of cohesion and strength of conviction 
to follow a common policy, whether Sweden, even under 
Gustavus, could have become sufficiently German in interests 
and sympathies to command the allegiance of Germans, may 
be doubtful ; but at any rate it was a policy worth trying, it 
was a policy based on the moral and political needs of the 
people, and not upon the personal ambition of the successful 
general. If it failed it would fail only because Protestantism 

100 European Histofy, I ^g'Z-iJi^ 

in Germany had not the qualities necessary to make it 
succeed. But when Gustavus Adolphus died on the field of 
Liitzen all moral and religious ideal died too out of the Thirty 
Years' War. On the one side was the personal ambition of 
a military dictator, on the other the national ambition of a 
foreign aggressor, and the very followers and companions of 
the noble Gustavus himself soon sank to be little more than 
' condottiere ' bent only upon gorging themselves and their 
country out of the spoils of helpless Germany. 

On the death of Gustavus the supreme direction of Swedish 
affairs passed into the hands of Oxenstjerna, whose one 
The lead objcct WES to Carry out the policy of his dead 

taken by friend and king ; but Oxenstjerna was no general, 

Oxenstjerna. ^^^ being without the supreme authority which 
Gustavus wielded, had often to persuade where he would 
have commanded. His first step showed the change which 
had taken place. Bernhard of Saxe- Weimar, like other military 
adventurers, required his reward before he would venture his 
life further in the cause, and a duchy had to be carved for 
him out of the bishoprics of Bamberg and Wiirtzburg. It 
was the first confiscation of Catholic lands by the Protestant 
forces, the first forcible subjection of a Catholic population to 
a Protestant ruler. However justifiable it might be as an act 
of retaliation for the Edict of Restitution, it was but too 
evident a proof of the increasing tendency to consider the 
interests of the German people as of no value in comparison 
with the political and military necessities ot their so-called 
saviours. Sure of the assistance of Bernhard of Saxe- Weimar, 
The Leafrue Oxenstjcrna was enabled to unite the circles of 
ofHeiibronn, Swabia Franconia and the upper and lower 
^^^ Rhine to Sweden by an offensive and defensive 

league, which was signed at Heilbronn in April 1633. Bern- 
hard took command of the forces raised by the circles, and 
prepared in conjunction with the Swedish army to resume the 
attack on Vienna. 

The supreme word on military affairs for the moment lay 


The Thirty Year^ War lOI 

not with Bernhard or with Oxenstjerna but with Wallenstein. 
The death of Gustavus left him, as he well knew, schemes of 
without a rival in Germany, and retiring slowly Waiienstein. 
from Liitzen behind the mountains of Bohemia, he surren- 
dered himself to the illusion that he could now dictate peace 
to Germany on his own terms. Secure, as he thought, of the 
support of his army, contemptuous of the politics both of 
Ferdinand and of Oxenstjerna, he prepared to enforce his 
own conditions of peace upon the Emperor and upon the 
Swedes alike. The Edict of Restitution was to be withdrawn, 
the Swedes to be compensated by some places on the Baltic 
coast, while he himself, the peacemaker, would exchange the 
duchy of Mecklenberg for the Rhenish Palatinate, or possibly 
the crown of Bohemia. During the summer of 1633 he was 
pressing these terms upon Oxenstjerna and upon John George. 
In June he had almost obtained the consent of the latter, 
but Oxenstjerna, cautious and hostile, would not trust him. 
Couriers went quick and often between the two, and rumours 
of treachery were beginning to be heard behind Wallenstein's 
back, not merely at Vienna, but, a far more serious thing, in 
the camp. The more they were canvassed the more did 
Wallenstein's proposals seem hateful to important interests in 
Europe. The Jesuits and the Catholics were not opposition of 
willing to give up so soon the policy of the the Jesuits, 
Edict of Restitution. The Spaniards and the iards and the 
French would risk anything rather than see army. 
Wallenstein lord of the Palatinate. Conservative statesmen 
and the loyal soldiers resented the attempt to impose terms 
on the unwilling Emperor by the brute force of an army 
nominally his own. The soldiers of fortune, especially the 
officers, did not want an end put to a war which had been so 
lucrative and promised to be more lucrative still. In January 
1634, the Spaniards were plying the Emperor with accusations, 
and demanding the dismissal of Wallenstein, just as Maxi- 
milian and the League had done four years ago. Wallenstein 
contented himself with binding his officers closer to him by an 

1 02 European History^ 1598-1715 

oath. Sure of their support he could face the world. But in 
the beginning of February his support began to give way under- 
neath him. Piccolomini Gallas and Aldringer deserted him, and 
Ferdinand boldly threw himself into the arms of the Spaniards. 
Dismissal He dismissed Wallenstein from his command, 
of waiient' branded him as a traitor, released his army from 
stein, 1634. its obcdience to him, and put a price upon his 
head. The breach was complete but still Wallenstein did not 
quail. Summoning the colonels to meet him at Pilsen he 
obtained from them on February 20th an undertaking to 
stand by him against his enemies, and moved to Eger to meet 
Bernhard of Saxe- Weimar, in the hope of inducing the Swedes 
to make common cause with him, and oblige the Emperor to 
accept the peace. There also came four soldiers of fortune, 
two Irishmen and two Scots, who, finding in the declaration 
issued by the Emperor a warrant for their own dark plots, like 
Fitzurse and his companions five centuries before, determined 
to take upon themselves the responsibility of ridding their 
master of too powerful a servant. At nightfall on the 25th 
of February, Wallenstein's chief supporters were invited to a 
banquet and there murdered. Devereux, an Irish captain, 
reeking from the butchery, made his way to the general's 
quarters, and struck him down to the ground as he arose 
from his bed alarmed at the noise. So perished Wallen- 
stein in the height of his fame and power, and with him 
perished the last chance of keeping the foreigner out of 

At first the star of Ferdinand seemed to shine the brighter 
in spite of the dark shade cast by the murder of Wallenstein. 
Battle of "^^^ army placed under the orders of the young 

Nordiingen, Ferdinand, king of Hungary, captured Regens- 
^^^' burg in July, stormed Donauworth, and laid siege 

to Nordiingen. There the king was joined by the cardinal- 
infant, Ferdinand of Spain, who was on his way to assume the 
government of the Netherlands, at the head of 15,000 men. 
In spite of inferior numbers Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar, ever 

The Thirty Year^ War 103 

sanguine and ever impetuous, prevailed on the wary Horn, 
who commanded the Swedes, to risk a battle ; but the evening 
of the 6th of September 1634 saw him a fugitive, and Horn 
a prisoner with 16,000 men hors de combat. The battle of 
Nordlingen was one of the decisive battles of the war. Just 
as Breitenfeld had made the conquest of north Germany 
by the Emperor and the success of the Edict of Restitu- 
tion impossible, so did Nordlingen render the conquest of 
south Germany by Protestantism impossible. The Catholic 
bishoprics were recovered, Bernhard's duchy of Franconia 
vanished, and the line of the Main became once more the 
boundary between the religions. 

In May 1635, the negotiations for peace which had been 
going on so long with Saxony were brought to a happy con- 
clusion, and a treaty embodying the terms agreed upon was 
duly signed at Prague between John George and Peace of 
the Emperor. The question of the ecclesiastical Prague, 1635. 
lands was settled by taking the year 1627 as the test year. 
Whatever belonged to Protestants at that time was to remain 
Protestant, whatever was then Catholic was to be Catholic 
still. This arrangement secured nearly all the northern 
bishoprics to Protestantism. Lusatia was to be made over 
to Saxony, and Lutheranism in Silesia guaranteed by the 
Emperor. Lutheranism was still to remain the only privi- 
leged form of Protestantism. These conditions were intended 
to form a basis for a general peace. It was hoped that other 
states would accept them, and so gradually put an end to the 
war. To some extent the anticipation was realised. A con- 
siderable number of the cities and smaller states of north 
Germany accepted the treaty of Prague, but that it would 
ever form a satisfactory basis for a general peace was 
impossible, as long as it provided no security whatever for 
the Calvinists, and did not attempt to deal with the dangers 
of foreign intervention. 

By the treaty of Prague Saxony ranged itself once more 
upon the side of the Emperor. It is easy to sneer at the want 

I04 European History, i^g^-iyii) 

of public spirit and the narrowness of aim which marked the 
Policy of poHcy of John George throughout this difficult 

John George time. Yet it will be found by an attentive ob- 
axony. server that from first to last there was a singular 
consistency in his action, which sprang not from weakness of 
will or sluggishness of temperament, but from settled princi- 
ples of policy from which he never budged. In imperial 
politics John George was a conservative, in ecclesiastical 
matters a Lutheran, and he remained steadily, even stubbornly, 
consistent to those two conceptions. As a conservative and 
a Lutheran he hated the destructive policy of Christian of 
Anhalt and Frederick Elector Palatine, and consequently 
secured to Ferdinand his election to the Empire, and actually 
supported him in arms against his revolted subjects. When 
Frederick threw himself into the arms of Mansfeld, when his 
co-religionists in the north began to feel alarmed, when 
Christian of Denmark determined to fight for his religion and 
his son's bishoprics, John George remained sturdily, obstin- 
ately, neutral ; for he believed that it was better to run some 
risk of aggression on the part of the Emperor than to throw 
all the institutions of the Empire into the crucible. The 
Edict of Restitution was the first thing that shook him, but 
even that would not have weighed against the danger of allow- 
ing the foreigner a footing in Germany, had not the Emperor 
actually had recourse to violence. If John George had to 
break his neutrality, if he was obliged to have a hand in the 
work of destruction of Germany, if conservatism was no 
longer possible, then he would rather join a Gustavus than a 
Wallenstein or a Tilly. But he never felt happy in that 
alliance. His sense of the desolation of the country, of the 
destruction of war, was too great for him ever willingly to re- 
main long under arms. When the Emperor had been beaten 
back, when the Edict of Restitution had become an impossi- 
bility, when Wallenstein was dead, and France beginning to 
interfere actively in the affairs of Germany, it was time for 
John George once more to range himself side by side with the 

The Thirty Years' War I05 

Emperor, for once more the Emperor had become the cham- 
pion of German institutions against revolution. The treaty of 
Prague represents no high ideals of policy. It shows that the 
great religious ideals with which the war began are over. No 
longer do men believe that they are fighting for the Church 
or for Protestantism, for the highest interests of nations and 
of souls. Seventeen years of war have disabused them of 
that illusion. But next to religion among the ennobling in- 
fluences of life comes that of patriotism, and John George 
retiring from alliance with the foreigner, as the Swede and the 
Frenchman prepare to put Germany on the rack for thirteen 
more weary years for their own aggrandisement, is a figure 
which shows at any rate something of patriotism and of policy, 
among the heartless dissensions of ambitious brigand chiefs. 



Foreign policy of Richelieu — ^Territorial aggfrandisement — Questions of the 
Valtelline and the Mantuan Succession— Intrigues of Richelieu in Ger- 
many — Interference of France in the Thirty Years' War — Alteration of 
the character of the war — Unsuccessful operations of France — Conquest of 
Alsace — Revolt of Portugal and Catalonia — Position of France at the 
death of Richelieu — Policy of Mazarin — Battle of Rocroy — Conquest of 
the Upper Rhineland — Campaign of Turenne — Negotiations for peace — 
The peace of Westphalia — The solution of the religious difficulty — The 
beginning of modern Europe — Permanent advance of France — Desperate 
condition of Spain — Outbreak of the Fronde — Alliance of Mazarin and 
Cromwell — The peace of the Pyrenees. 

When Richelieu in 1624 took the reins of government into 
his hands in France, the Thirty Years' War was just about to 
Foreign cnvelopc the whole of Germany in its fell em- 

poiicy of braces. The princes of the lower Saxon circle 

^ '^"' had begun to arm, the king of Denmark was 
about to take the lead of the Protestant forces, England had 
already taken active steps for the recovery of the Palatinate, 
and the reduction of the power of Spain. There was every 
probability that the whole energies of the Austro-Spanish 
House would be absorbed in the affairs of Germany for many 
years. The necessity of Spain and the Empire was ever in 
the seventeenth century the opportunity of France, and Riche- 
lieu realised by a flash of genius that the hour had arrived, 
which was to make or mar the influence of France in the 
world. Three things were necessary to the establishment of 
French supremacy in Europe, national unity, monarchical 
centralisation, and the extension and security of the frontiers. 


The Aggrandisement of France 107 

To attain these three objects, Richelieu devoted his life, and 
he was sensible enough to see that complete success in for- 
eign affairs must do much to render success in the other two 
inevitable. If the crown of France by military and diplo- 
matic conquest could push back the French frontier towards 
the Rhine, the Scheldt, and the Pyrenees, it need have little to 
fear from its internal foes. So Richelieu took up again the 
threads of policy, which had dropped from the lifeless hands 
of Henry iv., and directed all his energies to the resumption 
of the attack upon the Empire and upon Spain. But there 
was this difference between the two men. Henry iv. had 
dreamed of establishing the peace and good order of the 
world upon the ruin of the Habsburgs. Richelieu cherished 
no such illusions. Nakedly and avowedly he sought but the 
supremacy of France. 

Richelieu stands out upon the canvas of history as the 
first of that long line of statesmen who were actuated by purely 
selfish national interests. Unaffected by moral , 

' Its character. 

ideals, such as did so much to disguise the per- 
sonal ambitions of the wars of the Middle Ages, uninfluenced 
by the religious motives, which often ennobled, even though 
they intensified, the ruthlessness of the wars of the sixteenth 
century, the rulers of the eighteenth and the latter half of the 
seventeenth centuries made war upon each other purely in the 
interests of their crowns and of themselves. Personal glory, 
territorial aggrandisement, commercial advantage were the 
motives which led to the great wars of Europe from the peace 
of Westphalia to the Congress of Vienna. Before the fierce- 
ness of those a[)petites the rights of nations, of races, even of 
humanity itself weighed not a feather in the balance. Ger- 
mans must lose their speech and their fatherland, that France 
may push her boundaries to the Rhine. Poland must be 
wiped out of the map of Europe, that Prussia and Russia may 
be bigger and greater. Even African negroes must be torn 
from their homes, and sold as chattels in the market-places of 
the West, that the pockets of Englishmen and of English 

loS European History, 1 598-1715 

colonists might swell with gold. And if amid the dark scene 
of selfishness and rapacity there shines at times the nobler 
light which hallows the wars of liberty against the oppression 
of Louis XIV. and Napoleon, yet the shadows deepen as 
they gather round the career of Frederick the Great, and the 
closing acts of the Napoleonic drama at Vienna, and the his- 
torian has sadly to acknowledge that in them are to be found 
the characteristic scenes of eighteenth century diplomacy and 
war. It is the triumph of Macchiavellianism on the large 
scale in international politics. It is the adaptation to the affairs 
of nations of Hobbes's description of the natural man. Homo 
homini lupus. Everything is permissible to a sovereign which 
lends to the security and greatness of his power, and nations 
are to one another as wild beasts. Man in his personal rela- 
tions is civilised Christian and refined. Nations in their 
ordinary intercourse with one another are punctilious, courtly 
and even deferential, but when once selfish aggrandisement is 
possible, it becomes allowable. The thin veneer of civilisa- 
tion and of consideration is rudely broken through, and 
nation stands out against nation in open and barbarous hos- 
tiHty on the principle of the old moss-trooper's rule, that they 
shall win who have the power and they shall keep who can. 

From the point of view of the needs of the French monar- 
chy, there was no doubt that Richelieu was right in urging 
France to a policy of territorial aggrandisement She was 
Territorial better able to pursue it than were her neighbours, 
aggrandise- fgr she was Sufficiently free from religious diflS- 
saryto'^'* culties to bc able to throw her sword into the 
France. Protcstant or the Catholic scale as her interests 

might suggest. She had more to gain from such a policy 
than any other nation in Europe, for almost on all sides her 
land frontiers were a source of weakness. In the south the 
Spanish provinces of Cerdagne and Roussillon lay on the 
French side of the central ridge of the Pyrenees, and gave 
easy access to the Spanish armies into rich and disaff"ected 
Languedoc. The Italian frontier was in the keeping of the 

The Aggrandisetnent of France 109 

duke of Savoy, who, as long as he preserved his independence, 
was as likely to admit Spanish and imperialist troops into the 
valley of the Rhone, as French troops into the plain of Lom- 
bardy. To the east and to the north-east the frontier was 
still more insecure. Following roughly the streams of the 
Saone the Meuse and the Somme, it brought the Empire and 
Spain dangerously near to Paris, especially as the intervening 
country was not easily defensible. It is true that on the 
eastern side a considerable access of strength had been gained 
by the occupation of the three bishoprics of Metz Toul and 
Verdun in 1552, which secured to France the important fort- 
ress of Metz, but they were not yet formally annexed to the 
crown of France, but only administered by French ofificials. 
A glance at the map will theretore show that the danger from 
Spain was considerable, and that, until she had succeeded in 
breaking the chain which bound her almost from the Pyrenees 
to the Straits of Dover, France could not make full use of her 
unrivalled geographical position. 

Such were the influences which impelled Richelieu to make 
the rectification of the frontier of France on the side of the 
Netherlands, the Rhine, and the Pyrenees, the first object of 
his foreign policy; and to launch France on that career of 
conquest and aggrandisement at the expense of the House of 
Habsburg, which has been from his time almost to the present 
day the central feature of European politics. From the battle 
of Nordlingen to the battle of Solferino, there has hardly been 
a great war in Europe in which the armies of France and of 
the House of Austria have not been arrayed against each 
other as enemies. Spain was the first foe to Question of 
be dealt with, for Spain was the most danger- the VaiteiHne, 
ous to neglect, and the easiest to attack. The 
Spaniards who garrisoned the Milanese had, in 1622, seized 
upon the valley of the Valtelline, and occupied it by force, 
in order to secure their communications with the Empire ; 
and had even obliged Chur, the chief town of the League 
of the Grisons, to receive an imperial garrison. This was 

no European History, 1598-17 15 

undoubtedly an act of aggression on their part, and gave 
Richelieu the opportunity of striking a deadly blow at his 
enemy. The Valtelline is a broad and rich valley which 
runs in a north-easterly direction into the heart of the 
Rhaetian Alps from the top of the Lake of Como. About 
half-way up the valley a mountain pass, practicable for the 
passage of troops, leads to the east into the valley of the 
Adige a little north of Trent, from which by the well- 
frequented Brenner Pass communication with Innsbriick and 
south Germany was easy and safe. This was the only route 
which was certain to be available for the passage of troops and 
stores from the Empire to Milan, as the other mountain passes, 
which led direct from Tirol and Carinthia into Italy, opened 
into the territory of the republic of Venice, and Venice was 
usually not inclined to welcome the arrival of imperial troops. 
Provided, however, that the passage of the Valtelline was 
secured, the rest of the way was safe, as it lay through 
imperial territory. Hence the command of the Valtelline was 
absolutely essential to the maintenance of the power of the 
Habsburgs in Italy, but the valley itself was poHtically subject 
to the League of the Grisons, which as long ago as 1509 
had come under the protection of France. So then, when 
Spain moved troops into the Valtelline, built a fortress in the 
valley, and obliged the Grisons to admit an imperial garrison 
at Chur, Louis xiii. as the protector of the Grisons had the 
right to interfere. 

Richelieu took his measures promptly. In 1624 he 
helped to bring about a marriage alHance between Charles 
Its recovery princc of Walcs and Henrietta Maria, the sister 
for the of Louis XIII., by which he hoped to gain the 

Gnsons, i . ^gsjstancc of England against Spain on the sea 
and in the Netherlands, while he struck at the Valtelline. 
An army of the mountaineers of the Grisons under French 
leadership drove the imperial troops from Chur, and the 
papal troops from the Valtelline, where they had replaced the 
Spaniards. Lesdigui^res, at the head of a French force, 

The Aggrandisement of France III 

marched to the assistance of Savoy against Genoa. But just 
at that time the Huguenots of La Rochelle flew to arms, and 
RicheUeu, afraid of finding himself involved at once in war at 
home and abroad, came to terms with Spain at the treaty of 
Monzon, concluded in March 1626, by which the Valtelline 
was to remain under the control of the Grisons. 

For the next three years the whole energies of Richelieu 
and of France were engaged in the reduction of La Rochelle, 
and in the war with England, which followed hard upon, and 
indeed sprung out of, the marriage treaty of 1624. In 1629 
he was once more at liberty to turn his attention xhe Mantuan 
to Italian affairs. In 1627 the duke of Mantua succession, 
and Montferrat had died. His nearest heir was 
a Frenchman, the duke of Nevers. But the Emperor, at the 
instigation of Spain, not wishing to have a French prince so 
near the Milanese, determined to sequester the territory on 
the pretext of a disputed succession. Spanish troops at once 
overran both Mantua and Montferrat, and driving the duke 
of Nevers into Casale besieged him there. The Italian princes, 
however, were not inclined to submit without protest to this 
exercise by the Emperor of obsolete and doubtful rights. The 
Pope (Urban viii.), who was strongly French in sympathy, 
combined with Venice to ask the assistance of France, and in 
January 1629 Louis and Richelieu crossed the Mont Genfevre 
at the head of a large army, captured Susa, relieved Casale, 
and forced the duke of Savoy to make peace. Again, however, 
a rebellion of the Huguenots obliged Louis to draw back in the 
hour of victory (March 1629), and in the summer of that year 
fresh troops, set free by the imperialist successes in Ger- 
many, invaded Italy under Spinola and formed the sieges of 
Mantua and Casale. In spite of the most strenuous efforts of 
Louis himself, who crossed the Alps at the head of the French 
armies in the winter of 1629-30, the combined forces of Spain 
and the Empire were too strong to be dislodged from Mantua 
or Montferrat. But the invasion of Germany by Gustavus 
Adolphus, promoted by France and even by the Pope, made 

I r 2 European History, 15 98-1715 

the Emperor anxious for peace, and through the diplomatic 
skill of the papal agent, Giulio Mazzarini — afterwards to become 
so celebrated in French history — a truce was arranged, which 
Peace of afterwards ripened into the definitive peace of 

Cherasco, i«3i. Cherasco (April 26th, 1631). By this treaty the 
duke of Nevers was invested with the duchy, and the fortresses 
were restored on both sides, except Pinerolo, which was still 
held by the French. 

So ended the first great effort made by Richelieu against 
the House of Habsburg. Like most of his plans it was better 
conceived than executed, but it must be remembered that in 
carrying it out, he was sorely hampered by opposition to his 
authority at home both from the Huguenots and from the 
nobles. His Italian policy must not be considered by itself. 
It is part of a great whole. While he was openly attacking4:he 
imperial forces in Italy, his diplomacy was undermining the 
imperialist power in Germany, and if in 1631 he thought it 
best to rest content with the reduction of Savoy, and the ac- 
quisition of a passage through the Alps, it was because at that 
particular moment he could best effect his purpose by shifting 
his method from direct to indirect hostility, and the scene from 
Italy to Germany. 

Already he had endeavoured to keep the flame of opposition 
to Spain alive by granting subsidies to the Dutch, and direct- 
intriguesof ing Mausfcld's army in 1624 to the Netherlands. 
Glraln'''" In July 1630, he sent his most trusted agent the 
1630. famous Capuchin, Father Joseph, to the meeting 

of the diet of Regensburg, where he laboured with notable 
skill and success to bring about the dismissal of Wallenstein, 
and to pave the way for detaching Ma ximilian of Bavaria and 
the League from their close alliance with the Emperor and 
Spain. In the autumn of the year before, another well-trained 
diplomatist, Charnace, had travelled as far as Dantzig to offer the 
mediation of France in the quarrel between Sweden and Poland, 
and so removed one of the obstacles which made Gustavus 
Adolphus hesitate to take part in the German War. At that 


The Aggrandisement of France 113 

time Richelieu seems to have thought that he could use 
Gustavus merely as a fighting tool, and by offering him French 
money and a French alliance co'ild make him fight the battles 
of France against the Emperor. But he was quickly unde- 
ceived. Gustavus definitely refused to allow his political or 
military independence to be impaired. He was quite willing 
that France should interfere openly in the war, if she chose to 
do so, provided she would limit her operations to the left bank 
of the Rhine ; but he would not tolerate for a moment any 
interference with his own command. The utmost that Richelieu 
could obtain from him by the treaty of Barwalde in 1631, in 
return for French gold, was the promise to observe friendship 
or neutrality towards Bavaria and the League, so far as they 
would observe them towards him. Nor was this promise of 
much avail, for when, after the battle of Breitenfeld, Gustavus 
determined to march upon central and southern Germany 
instead of on Vienna, all hope of detaching Bavaria from the 
Emperor had to be laid aside. 

As long as Gustavus Adolphus lived there was but little 
room for Richelieu in German politics. Had he survived a 
few years longer, it is not improbable tha* the Open inter- 
world would have seen an alliance ot the GermaV° 
Moderates in Germany, under the leadership of 1632-1634. 
Richelieu, supported possibly by both Maximilian and 
Wallenstein, against the Emperor and the king of Sweden. 
But the death of Gustavus quickly put the decisive voice in 
German affairs into the possession of France. Already in 
1632 French troops had appeared upon the Rhine, and 
garrisoned the new fortress of Ehrenbreitstein at the invitation 
of the elector of Trier. In the same year Richeheu became 
a party to the League of Heilbronn, and so secured the right 
to interfere in German affairs. In 1633 a French army entered 
the old German territory of Lorraine and captured its capital 
Nancy, owing to the incessant intrigues against the all-powerful 
cardinal of which the duke had been guilty. The battle of 
Nordlingen in 1634 put Protestant Germany at the feet oi 


114 European History, 1598- 171 5 

Richelieu. The soil of Germany, harried and plundered, could 
with difficulty sustain the armies which devastated it. Sweden, 
poor and exhausted, could make no sacrifices. England was 
too much occupied with pecuniary difficulties at home to be 
able to send assistance to Germany. France was the only 
^ , power both able and willing to provide the 

Declaration *^ o. i- 

of war against sincws of war. She became the protector and 
Spain, 1635. director of the League of Heilbronn, took Bern- 
hard of Saxe-Weimar and his army into her pay, claimed 
from the Swedes the custody of the fortresses held by them 
in Alsace, and on 19th May 1635 formally declared war 
against Spain. 

From that moment the character of the Thirty Years' War 
profoundly alters. It is no longer a war of religion, to set 
The character Hmits to the progTCSs of the Counter-Rcformation 
of the war qj. ^q g^yg CathoHcism or Protestantism from ex- 

altered by . . ^ . , .... 

French tmction. It IS no longer a war of mstitutions, to 

interference, maintain the authority of the Emperor or to pre- 
serve the sovereign rights of the princes. It is no longer a war of 
property, to resist the undoing of the territorial settlement of 
1555. It is no longer a war for the re-settlement of Germany 
upon a new basis by military force. German interests no 
longer have a place in this terrible war waged for the destruc- 
tion of Germany on German soil. Primarily, it is a war 
between jhe^ House of .Eourboa and the House, of HabsJaurg, 
\.o break the power of Spain and ine rGace tha t-oL^Vance, 
through the acquisition by the latter of Alsace and Lorraine. 
Secondarily, it is a war between the Swedes and the Empire, 
to gain for the former out of German soil an adequate compen- 
sation for the money which they had spent and the blood 
which they had shed. Two points of interest alone remain in 
tracing the melancholy story of the weary years, the gradual 
development of the power of France, and the brilliant achieve- 
ments of skilful generalship. 

The entrance of France into the war did not at first check 
the tide of imperialist success. Richelieu overestimated the 

The Aggrandisement of Franu I15 

resources and the military strength of France. He put into 
the field no less than four armies, amounting in the aggre- 
gate to 120,000 men; but unaccustomed to war, unsuccessful 
ill disciplined, ill fed, ill paid, and badly com- campaigns 
manded, they were no match for the veterans of frontiers of 
Spain and the Emperor. It was the first time that France, 1635. 
the new monarchy in France had made war upon * ^^' 
a grand scale, and it had to buy its experience. The 
campaigns of the years 1635, 1636, and 1637 told a story of 
almost unrelieved failure. In Italy the French armies just 
managed to hold their own. In Alsace and the Netherlands 
they were everywhere outgeneralled and beaten back. In 
1636, a Spanish army actually invaded France and threatened 
Paris. Had it not been for the skilful generalship of Bernhard 
of Saxe-Weimar in the Rhineland, and the signal success which 
attended the efforts of the Swedish army, it is not at all 
improbable that the Emperor would have been able to impose 
upon all Germany the conditions of the peace of Prague, and 
by procuring the retirement of the Swedes have narrowed the 
issues involved to the simple one of a national war between 
France and Austro-Spain. Already Bavaria and Catholic 
Germany, as well as Saxony, Brandenburg and nearly all the 
Lutheran powers, had accepted the treaty. Oxenstjerna and 
the Swedes had refused after protracted negotiations, only 
because the Emperor and John George would not hear of 
making over to them an inch of German soil. On their side 
they would not be content merely with a money indemnity. 
Saxony and Brandenburg accordingly joined their forces to 
those of the Emperor and determined to drive the Swedes 
back across the sea to their own country. It was gy^cess of 
a critical moment. Had the Saxons pressed on Baner in 
vigorously after the final rupture of the negotia- ^^^^Ji' 
tions in the autumn of 1635, they could hardly wittstock, 
have failed to have crushed Baner the Swedish ' ^ * 
general at Magdeburg with their superior forces, but the 
opportunity was allowed to slip. Baner withdrew in safety to 

Il6 European History, 1 598-171 5 

the north, and was there strongly reinforced. He now had 
under his orders an army sufficient to cope with his enemies, 
and after some marching and countermarching succeeded in 
throwing himself upon the Saxons and imperialists at Wittstock 
on the Mecklenberg frontier of Brandenburg on October 4th 
1636, before the Brandenburgers could come to their assist- 
ance. The victory was one of the most complete won by the 
Swedes during the whole war. The elector's army was almost 
annihilated, and Baner became as paramount in northern 
Germany as the imperialists were upon the Rhine until the 
following autumn when he was again driven back into 

It is noticeable that both in diplomacy and war Richelieu 
improved his position year by year. Gradually he learned 
how to win campaigns, as he had learned gradually how to 
rule France. In the last four years of his life, he gathered the 
fruits for which he had so patiently laboured in the previous 
Capture of years. In 1638 Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar suc- 
Breisach by ccedcd in making himself master of the upper 
Saxe-Weimar, Rhineland, and having defeated the imperialists 
^638. at Rheinfelden occupied Freiburg in Breisgau, 

and on December 19th captured the important fortress of 
Breisach. Richelieu when he heard the news hurried to the 
bedside of his dying friend the Capuchin Joseph, ' Courage, 
plre Joseph^ he cried, '^ Breisach est a nous,' and with this 
characteristic viaticum to console and strengthen him in his 
last agony, the wily diplomatist passed from this world of 
intrigue, of which for the last ten years his subtle brain had 
been the master and the mainspring. In July of the next year 
Death of Bernhard himself died, and his army, together with 

Bernhard. ^^g conqucsts which it had made, passed directly 
under French Under the Command of the French. French 
command. govcrnors ruled in the Alsatian towns, and from 
that time the annexation of Alsace to the French monarchy 
became one of the recognised objects of the policy of the 
Bourbons. The success of Richelieu did not stop with the 

The Aggrandisement of France 1 17 

land. Ever since the fatal day, when the capture of a few 
French ships by the Huguenot Soubise in the port of Blavet 
had sent the proud cardinal on his knees to England and the 
Dutch to borrow ships to use against the revolted Rochellois, 
Richelieu had devoted special care to the formation of a navy. 
In 1639 for the first time a French fleet appeared in the 
Channel, ready to cope with the huge galleons of Spain, and 
to cut the bond which united her to the Netherlands. France 
was now to play the same game at the expense of Spain which 
had been played by Elizabeth of England in the century 
before. But the time had not yet come when France was to 
wrest from Spain the command of the sea. The Defeat of the 
Spaniards succeeded in escaping the French fleet, in the Downs, 
but only to fall into the hands of their allies the '639- 
Dutch. Sorely bestead by their quick-sailing antagonists, they 
took refuge in the Downs under the neutral flag of England, 
but even there the Dutch admiral pursued them, burned some 
of their ships, captured others, and forced the remnant to seek 
the friendly shelter of Dunkirk. From that time the passage 
of the Channel was closed to a Spanish fleet as long as Spain 
was at war with the Dutch or the French. In the next year 
still more serious misfortunes awaited the crown of Spain. 
Portugal assisted by French subsidies successfully reasserted 
its independence, and re-established its monarchy Revolt of 
under the House of Braganza in December 1 640, cataionia*°*^ 
while earlier in the year the revolt of the high 1640. 
spirited Catalans effectually saved France from all danger of 
invasion from the south and opened her path to Roussillon, 
while in Italy the French flag was successfully planted on the 
walls of Turin. The two following years served to make good 
the ground thus won, and when Richelieu died in December 
1642, he had the satisfaction of feeling that he had got his 
hand upon the throat of his huge antagonist and was choking 
her. With French armies strongly encamped on the Rhine 
and the plain of Piedmont, with French governors established 
in Alsace and Lorraine, with Roussillon and Cerdagne and 

1 1 8 European History, 1 5 98- 1 7 1 5 

the passes of Savoy in the possession of France, she had 
indeed acquired a frontier which not only preserved her from 
im roved ^ danger of sudden invasion, but enabled her 
position of to Strike a swift and deadly blow at her enemies, 
death^of^* ^' before they could have time to concentrate their 
Richelieu, forccs against her. Richelieu in his eighteen years 
^^^' of power had given France concentration, unity, 

and a scientific frontier. Seated between the two seas, bounded 
by the Pyrenees the Alps and the Vosges, with her hand upon 
the Rhine and the Scheldt, France was prepared to strike for 

{he supremacy of Europe. 

The direction of the policy of France passed on the death 
of the stern and uncompromising Richelieu into the hands of 
Richelieu's the supple and intriguing Mazarin, but the 
^nuedby"' change made no difference to the conduct of 
Mazarin. foreign affairs. Louis xiii. followed his great 

minister quickly to the grave, and during the minority of his 
young son, Louis xiv., Anne of Austria, the queen-mother, 
who was entirely devoted to Mazarin, became regent, and the 
policy of aggrandisement at the expense of the Austro-Spanish 
House was vigorously carried on. Within a few months 
of the accession of the young king, his reign was graced by 
the most splendid success which had attended the arms of 
France since the capture of Calais by the duke of Guise. 
Don Francisco Mello, who had succeeded the cardinal- 
infant in the government of the Netherlands in December 
1 64 1, thought to take advantage of the weakness caused by 
the change of rulers in France ; and sent the count of Fuentes 
at the head of all the available troops which he could 
muster, across the frontier. Mazarin, following his habitual 
policy of trying to attract the princes of the blood to 
his side, intrusted the command of the French army to the 
young due d'Enghien, the eldest son of the prince of Condd, 
who found the Spaniards on the 19th of May 1643 strongly 
posted among the marshes which surround the little fortress 
of Rocroy. CoDd6, to give him the name by which he is 

The Aggrandisement of France 1 19 

best known, though he never in the course of a long training 
in war developed any of the higher qualities of a general, had 
that magnetic personal power over his men which Destruction 
is all-important on the battle-field. They would p^^^er"^" '^^"^ 
follow him anywhere. The /«r?a/ra;z«j(f, which Spain at 
had been often remarked upon in the Italian ^°"°y' ^^3- 
wars of the sixteenth century, had been but the mad 
rush of an undisciplined mob, hke the rush of African 
dervishes. Conde was the first great leader to utilise this 
power among disciplined troops, and to make the peculiar 
ilan of the French charge into one of the most decisive 
tactics of the battle-field. Ever since the days of the great 
captain, Gonsalvo da Cordova, the Spanish infantry had been 
the finest in the world. The solid mass of pikemen, wedged 
close together in a fortress-like formation, by their stubborn 
endurance could resist all cavalry attack, and by sheer weight 
bear down all opposition. But if once the mass became dis- 
organised, it could never re-form. Once break the 'hedgehog* 
of pikes, and the day was won. Gustavus Adolphus had shown 
at Breitenfeld how the superiority of artillery and musketry fire 
might open lanes in these mighty masses, into which the 
heavy cavalry might throw themselves, and overcome weight 
by weight in the shock of hand-to-hand conflict. Conde at 
Rocroy illustrated a similar principle by his mobile and 
disciplined infantry. Plunging a deadly fire into the dense 
immovable masses of the Spaniards, he waited for the 
moment when the falling men began to create confusion in the 
ranks, then against their front, and into their flanks he poured 
the lithe and well-trained infantry with irresistible effect. It 
was the story of the Armada and the English ships retold on 
land. The huge masses could do nothing against their 
swarming antagonists. Taken flank, front, and rear, they 
could not alter their formation, they could not adapt them- 
selves to this new kind of warfare, they would not break and 
run, there was nothing left but to die. There is something 
inexpressibly pathetic in the figure of the old coimt of 

120 European History^ 1598-1715 

Fuentes, seated on his chair in the middle of the fast 
diminishing square of his choicest troops, for the gout would 
not permit him even to stand, calmly and patiently awaiting 
inevitable death, as the defending ranks became thinner and 
thinner, without the thought of surrender, without the power 
even of striking a blow in self-defence, the type of his country, 
and his country's greatness, which was passing away with the 
_shouts of victory which hailed the young conqueror of Rocroy. 
The victory of Rocroy made France the first military power 
of Europe, but it was on the Rhine and not in the Nether- 
conquest of lands that she put forth all her energies. During 
Rh-^^^^rt h ^^ remaining years of the war, the chief struggle 
the French, was for the possession of the upper Rhineland 
1644-1645. France wished to secure her hold over Alsace by 

occupying both banks of the great river, and making herself 
permanently mistress of the fortresses of Breisach and Philips- 
burg. The Emperor and Maximilian fought stubbornly, the 
one to save the Breisgau, one of the oldest possessions of the 
House of Habsburg, from falling into the hand of the enemy, 
the other to defend the frontiers of Bavaria from insult and 
plunder. In the cautious Mercy, and the dashing Werth, 
they obtained the services of generals not unfit to be matched 
with Conde and Turenne. At Freiburg in Breisgau for three 
days the impetuous Cond^ dashed himself in vain against the 
intrenchments of Mercy in August 1644, neglecting the 
wiser counsel of Turenne, who showed how easily a flank 
march through the mountains in the rear must compel the 
Bavarian general to retire. Just a year afterwards, on August 
3d, 1645, Conde won a Pyrrhic victory at Nordlingen by his 
reckless and irresistible attack, but at too great an expendi- 
ture of life to permit him to make use of it, although the 
Imperialists were sore beset at the time, and Vienna itself 
threatened by the Swedes under Torstenson. 

The honour of giving the final determination to the war 
belongs to Turenne. In 1646 he found himself for the first 
time at the head of an adequate force, and his own master, and 

The Aggrandisement of France 121 

he at once determined to put a stop to the ruinous system of 
frittering away advantages by acting on two different centres. 
By combining his army with that of the Swedes, Campaign of 
he saw that he could oppose an overwhelm- ^rangei, 
ing force to the enemy, and end the war at a 1646-1647. 
blow. Having procured the assent of Wrangel to his 
plan, who had replaced Torstenson in command of the 
Swedes, Turenne crossed the Rhine at Wesel, below Koln, 
and effected his junction with Wrangel on the Main. Slipping 
cleverly between the archduke Leopold William and the 
Bavarians, who sought to bar their passage, the united armies 
marched straight upon the Danube, seized Donauworth, and 
spread themselves over the rich plain of Bavaria, plundering 
and burning up to the gates of Munich, and even penetrating 
as far as Bregenz in the Vorarlberg. Maximilian in despair 
deserted the Emperor, and signed a separate truce with the 
allies in May 1647. He did not keep it long. Stung in 
conscience, and afraid of after all losing the electoral hat, 
which he had risked so much to win, he again joined the 
Emperor in September of the same year. Terrible was the 
retribution which awaited him. Turenne and Wrangel 
returned into Bavaria with an army swollen with camp- 
followers to the number of 127,000. Beating the elector's 
troops at Zusmarshausen on May 17th, 1648, they fastened 
like locusts on the land, and soon reduced it to the state of 
desolation in which the rest of Germany lay. Maximilian 
summoned Wallenstein's old general Piccolomini to his aid, 
and prepared to strike one more blow for house and home, 
but before the armies met, the welcome news came that peace 
had been signed on the 24th of October at Miinster, and the 
Thirty Years' War was at an end. 

For some years the desire for peace had been getting 
stronger and stronger. In Germany it was felt that the main 
obstacles to peace had passed away with the Negotiations 
chief actors in the struggle. Ferdinand 11. had fo>"peace,i64a. 
died in the year 1637, and his son Ferdinand iii. was not 

122 European History^ 1 598-171 5 

bound in conscience or in policy to the Edict of Restitution. 
The Elector Palatine, Frederick v., had preceded him in 1632. 
Christian of Anhalt, Christian of Brunswick, Wallenstein, 
Gustavus Adolphus, and Bethlen Gabor had long passed 
away, and the policies which they had represented had taken 
other forms. There was no German question left seriously 
difficult of solution. The real obstacles of peace were the 
ambition of France, and the determination of Oxenstjerna to 
carve a territory for the Swedes out of the Baltic provinces of 
Germany. But they could not prevent the beginning of 
negotiations, though they could do much to hinder their 
progress, and in 1642 it was agreed that representatives 
should meet in Westphalia, at the towns of Miinster and 
Osnabriick, to discuss the preliminaries of a treaty. So many 
Congress of ^^^^ ^^ obstructions thrown in the way that it 
Munsterand was uot till 1644 that the congrcss actually mcL 
Osnabruck. ^^ Miinstcr, which was the meeting-place of the 
Catholic powers, there appeared under the presidency of the 
papal nuncio (Chigi) and the ambassador of Venice — the 
two mediating powers — the representatives of the Empire, of 
France, of Spain, of the Catholic electors, and the Catholic 
princes of the Empire. At Osnabriick were gathered the 
representatives of Sweden, of the Protestant electors, and the 
Protestant princes and cities of the Empire, together with 
envoys of France, which was thus represented at both places. 
It was one thing to get the representatives to meet, it was 
quite another to get them to set to work. The proposal of 
an armistice during the negotiations had been definitely 
refused, and consequently it became to the interest of each 
of the chief combatants in turn to delay or promote the 
conclusion of peace as the fortune of war shifted from one 
side to the other. Questions of precedence and etiquette, 
always dear to the diplomatic mind, raised themselves in 
plenty from the side of France or Spain or Sweden, whenever 
things seemed to be going too quick. Months accordingly 
passed away and no progress was made. 

The Aggrandisement of France 123 

The German princes, who saw their lands devastated, their 
villages burned, their towns depopulated, their subjects 
obliged to turn soldiers or brigands, or, where separate 
that was impossible, driven to stave ofif the pangs !|^^ g'^^ made 
of hunger by eating grass and roots, and even burg, saxony, 
human flesh, in order that France might annex ^"^ Havana. 
Alsace, or Sweden seize Pomerania, soon lost all faith in the 
tortuous dealings of the diplomatists in Westphalia, and began 
to shift for themselves. On the 24th of July 1642, the young 
elector of Brandenburg, Frederick William, made a separate 
treaty of neutrality with the Swedes, which practically with- 
drew Brandenburg from the area of the war. On the 31st of 
August 1645, John George of Saxony followed the example 
of Brandenburg but on far worse terms. In 1647, ^s we have 
seen, even Maximilian of Bavaria was induced under stress of 
the invasion of Turenne to conclude for a short time a 
separate truce. These acts showed how passionately Germany 
longed for peace, but its actual conclusion was due to the 
pressure exercised upon the Emperor and Maximilian by the 
successes of Turenne, and upon Oxenstjerna and the Swedes 
by their young queen. Christina, the daughter of interference 
Gustavus Adolphus, had come of age in the year °^ chnstma 

, , , 'of Sweden in 

1644, and had at once begun to show that master- favour of 
ful spirit and commanding ability which were to peace, 
make her one of the most interesting characters of the 
century. Partly from a real desire to end the barbarities of 
the war, partly from the necessities of her crown, she at once 
applied herself to bring the Westphalian negotiations to a suc- 
cessful issue, sent a special embassy to the court of Paris, and 
insisted, sorely against the old chancellor's will, upon accepting 
in behalf of Sweden far less than had hitherto been demanded. 
By the peace of Westphalia, signed at last on the 24th 
of October 1648, exactly thirty years and five xhe peace of 
months since the regents were thrown out of the Westphalia, 
window at Prague, the religious difficulty in---^^-' 
Germany was met by the extension to the Calvinists of all the 

124 European History^ 1 598- 17 15 

rights enjoyed by the Lutherans under the religious peace. 
The first day of the year 1624 was taken as the test day by 

1 Solution of which the question of the ecclesiastical lands was 
the religious to be Settled. All that was in Catholic hands on 
questions. ^^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^ remain Catholic, all that was in 
Protestant hands was to remain Protestant. . Roughly speak- 
ing the line thus laid down was the line which answered to 
the facts. It preserved the bishoprics of the south, which 
were avowedly Catholic, to the Catholics ; and the secularised 
lands of the north, such as Bremen and Verden, Halberstadt 
and Magdeburg, where the Protestants were in a large 
majority, to Protestantism ; and it secured to Catholicism 
the victories of the Counter-Reformation in the hereditary 
dominions of Austria, in Bohemia, in Bavaria, and in the 
upper Palatinate. Finally, the treaty provided for the equal 
division of the two interests in the imperial court of justice. 
There was little difficulty in thus finding a satisfactory solution 
of the questions connected with religion, which had been at 
the beginning of the war so grave and alarming. Both sides 
had by the process of time become aware that they could not 

2 Territorial destroy the other, and had learned, if they did 
compensa- not admit, the necessity of toleration. The 
*'°°' serious problems for solution were those con- 
nected with compensation. Eventually, however, the follow- 
ing arrangements were agreed to. 

1. Maximilian of Bavaria retained the electorate, which 
was made hereditary in his family, and was permitted to add 
the upper Palatinate to his duchy of Bavaria. 

2. A new electorate was created for Charles Lewis, the 
eldest son of Frederick, Elector Palatine, and the lower 
Palatinate was restored to him. 

3. Sweden received western Pomerania, including the 
mouth of the Oder, and the bishoprics of Bremen and 
Verden, which gave her a commanding strategical and 
commercial position on the German rivers, and the right of 
being represented in the German Diet. 


March of Gustavus Adolphus 
France tinted I I 

Do. Gains in 1648 mmmmmm 

Brandenburg-Prussia Gains in 1624- 1648 . 

United Provinces tinted 

Switzerland tinted 

Brandenburg- Prussia tinted I I Swedish Gains in 1648 

Saxon Gains in 1648 P^^ 
Bavaria tinted I I 

Do. Gains in 1648 mmm^ 
Austrian Dominions tinted... 

Jo face -page 124- 

Period V 

The Aggrandisement of France 1 2 5 

4. Brandenburg was compensated for her loss of western 
Pomerania by the addition of the bishoprics of Halberstadt, 
Camin, Minden, and the greater part of Magdeburg, to her 
dominions; and by the confirmation of her inheritance in 
eastern Pomerania. In addition to this, she now obtained 
control over the duchies of Cleves Mark and Ravensberg, 
which had been apportioned to her by the treaty of Xanten 
in 161 4, but during the war had been occupied by the rival 
armies of the Spaniards and the Dutch. 

5. France obtained possession of Austrian Alsace, including 
Breisach, and the right to garrison Philipsburg ; but the free 
city of Strassburg was expressly reserved to the Empire. The 
three bishoprics of Metz Toul and Verdun were formally 
annexed to the crown of France, while in Italy she received 
the fortress of Pinerolo. 

6. Saxony retained Lusatia, and acquired part of the 
diocese of Magdeburg, and the independence of the Dutch 
and the Swiss was finally acknowledged. 

The peace of Westphalia, like the war to which it put an 
end, marks the close of one epoch and the beginning of 
another. It closes the long chapter of the The Peace, 
religious troubles in Germany, which grew out of » solution 
the Reformation of the sixteenth century, and it religious 
did so in the most satisfactory manner possible, <i»ffic"ity- 
not by laying down any great principle of religious toleration 
or religious domination, but simply by recognising accom- 
plished facts. Calvinism had worked its way to an equal 
position with Lutheranism among the religious forces of 
Germany, and that fact was accordingly recognised. The 
supremacy of each prince in his own dominions over the 
religious as well as the political conduct of his people had 
been recognised by the peace of Augsburg in 1555, and been 
uniformly acted upon by Catholic and Protestant alike ever 
since. It was now definitely, if tacitly admitted, and possible 
evils guarded against by drawing the territorial line between 
Catholicism and Protestantism as nearly as possible to 

126 European History, 1 598-171 5 

coincide with the actual difiference of belief. R was still 
possible for a Protestant prince in the north to oppress his 
Catholic subjects, it was still possible for a Catholic prince 
of the south to banish all Protestants from his dominions, but 
the question henceforth was but a local one, a matter solely 
between the prince and his subjects, which imposed upon 
Protestants and Catholics elsewhere in Germany no greater 
duty and gave them no more right to interfere, than did the 
revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis xiv. in France. 
Such a solution may not have been from the point of view of 
morals the best conceivable. It was under the circumstances 
of the time the best possible. To modem ideas it may seem 
that the negotiators of Westphalia lost a great opportunity of 
forcing into the unwilling hands of Germany the priceless 
boon of religious toleration. Had they attempted to do so, 
they would only have kept alive the spirit of religious 
animosity, and given to political ambition the right again to 
shelter itself under the claims of religion and renew the flame 
of war. By making the question wholly one between prince 
and people, they ensured that all the conservative forces of 
human nature, the forces that make against novelty, disturb- 
ance, and revolution, the forces which impel men and govern- 
ments so powerfully to take the line of the least resistance, 
should be enlisted on the side of religious peace. If the door 
was still left open to an archbishop of Salzburg to banish all 
Protestants from his dominions, the paucity of such instances 
of oppression after the peace of Westphalia, is alone sufficient 
proof of the truce in religious affairs which it practically 
brought about ; while the danger of a hundred such acts of 
tyranny cannot weigh as a feather in the balance against the 
unspeakable horror of a renewal of the war. 

The peace of Westphalia is also the beginning of a new era. 
The Peace the It marks the formation of the modem European 
beginning of g^^fgg system. In Germany itself the central fact 

modern •' _ -" _ 

Europe. registered by the peace is the final disintegration of 

the Empire. The machinery it is true was still left intact 

The Aggrandisement of France 1 27 

There was an Emperor and a diet, electors and an imperial 
court of justice, but all reality had passed away from them as 
a governing power in Germany. The German people were 
governed by the German princes, who had all the rights of 
sovereignty. They could coin money, make war, organise 
armies, and send representatives to other courts. The 
central authority was reduced to a minimum, and if the 
Emperor was still a power in Germany, it was not because he 
was Emperor, but because he was archduke of ,. The Empire 
Austria and many other German duchies, king of becomes 
Bohemia, and king of Hungary. The effect is at 
once visible in the policy of the House of Austria, The 
Emperor still maintained his interests in Germany and on the 
Rhine, still he stood forward as the champion of Germany to 
prevent France from dominating over Europe, still from time 
to time he waged war to check the growing power of Prussia, 
to develop schemes of commercial enterprise in the Nether- 
lands, but nevertheless, irresistibly, in spite of tradition, and 
of association, his real attention became fixed more and 
more irrevocably on the east and on the south. His policy in 
fact in its heart of hearts ceased to be imperial or even 
German and became purely Austrian. He sought compensa- 
tion on the Danube for his losses on the Rhine. He 
sacrificed much for a hold over Italy, which should give to 
his impoverished and land-locked country the riches of the 
plain of Lombardy and ports on the Adriatic. Insensibly and 
steadily he pushed his territorial frontier more and more to 
the east and south, while Brandenburg actuated by similar 
forces was pushing hers to the west and to the north. 

Set free from even the shadow of imperial centralisation, 
Germany was enabled to follow unimpeded her own laws of 
development. In central Germany the spirit of ^ sovereignty 
disintegration, and the fearful desolation caused of the German 
by the war conquered all desire for unity, p""'^^^- 
Almost to the present day it has remained a heap of undistin* 
guished and undistinguishable atoms. But in north Germany, 

128 European History, \^Q)%-iyi^ 

the natural tendency of small states to coalesce with larger 
states began to show itself, and Brandenburg at once started 

3. Growth of °" ^^'^ career of conquest and aggrandisement 
Brandenburg which has brought her in our own day to the 

headship of Europe, while Bavaria, in aUiance 
with France, bid with some success against the House of 
Austria for the leadership of south Germany, which since 
1866 she has practically attained. Thus, with regard to the 
internal politics of Germany, the peace of Westphalia set in 
motion the forces, which, by ousting the Emperor from pre- 
dominance in Germany, throwing the energies of the House of 
Austria towards Italy and the lower Danube, and enabling the 
House of Hohenzollern to strike for the leadership of north 
Germany and the command of the Rhine, have during the 
last t«fO hundred years permanently affected the balance of 
power in Europe and the condition of the German people. 

Outside the boundaries of Germany, the treaties of West- 
phalia mark no less a change in the relations of the great 

4. Diminished powcrs of Europe. It is the last time that the 
influence of Popc appears as the mediator of the peace of 

e apacy. nations. His refusal to sanction the treaties was 
simply set on one side by Catholic and Protestant powers 
alike, and from that time his influence in the international 
politics of Europe ceased. France and Sweden are the two 

5. Transitory nations who have most right to claim the peace 
Swedis"°^ of Westphalia as marking an epoch m their 
greatness. national history. With Sweden it is the high- 
water mark of her European influence. The treaties recog- 
nised her as one of the great powers of Europe, and secured 
to her the supremacy of the Baltic, and the right to claim the 
allegiance of north Germany, if she could win it. But the 
task proved beyond her capacity, and she slowly shrank before 
the advancing power of Brandenburg and of Russia, until before 
a hundred years had passed it had become abundantly clear that 
with regard to Sweden the peace did not mark the permanent 
mclusion of a new power among the great nations of Europe. 

The Aggrandisement of France 1 29 

With France the case was quite different. The peace is but 
one step on the long road of territorial aggrandisement on 
which she had definitely entered at the bidding g permanent 
of Richelieu and Mazarin. She became by the advance of 
war the first military power in Europe. By the 
peace she was planted securely upon the Rhine and acquired 
not merely a scientific frontier for offence and defence in the 
virgin fortress of Metz, the mountains of the Vosges, and the 
strongholds of Breisach and Philipsburg, but an incentive to 
future exertion, and a spur to criminal ambition, in the desire 
to make her hold upon the Rhine but the beginning of a 
vaster scheme of conquest. The damnosa hereditas of the 
Rhine frontier for France, sanctioned in part by the peace of 
Westphalia, has been the chief disturbing element in European 
politics for nearly two centuries and a half, and the malig- 
nancy of its poison shows even now no signs of abatement. 
The great questions, which have agitated Europe during the 
years which have elapsed since the Thirty Years' War, have 
mainly centred round the rivalry of Russia and of Austria for 
the command of the Danube and the inheritance of the Turk, 
and the rivalry of France and Germany for the possession of 
the Rhine. The great settlements of European affairs, which 
have taken place since that time at Utrecht, at Vienna, at 
Paris, and at Berlin, have been but the hatching of the fully 
developed chicks from the eggs laid in Westphalia in 1648. 

Spain was not included in the peace of Westphalia. The 
war between her and France still continued for twelve years 
more, though at the time the peace was signed at Desperate 
Miinster it seemed as if the unwieldy monarchy condition of 
was on the brink of dissolution. Portugal had ^p^*°' '^'*^- 
asserted its independence, Catalonia assisted by a French 
army was in full revolt. Roussillon and Cerdagne were 
in French hands. Flanders and the port of Dunkirk had 
fallen under the spell of the conqueror of Rocroy. In 1646 
a naval battle off the coast of Tuscany made the French for 
the first time masters of the Mediterranean. Finally in 1648 


1 30 European History, 1 598- 1 7 1 5 

Naples revolted at the bidding of a fisherman named 
Masaniello, and, had Mazarin shown a little more vigour and 
decision, might have been entirely lost to the Spanish 
monarchy. Freed from the necessity of exertion on the side 
of the Rhine, Mazarin had but to press his victories home in 
the Netherlands and Catalonia to force Spain to a dishonour- 
able peace. But suddenly all these advantages were lost, and 
Spain saved the tables Completely turned, by the grotesque 
break^of"he Outbreak of personal ambition, and constitutional 
Fronde, 1648. factiousncss, known as the Fronde. For six years 
the nobles and the citizens of Paris played at revolution, in 
order to wrest power out of the hands of Mazarin and transfer 
it to their own. Maddened by the spirit of faction, they did 
not hesitate to call in the enemy and join themselves to Spain, 
if thereby they could wreak their vengeance on the hated 
minister. Even Turenne and Cond6 were found at different 
times leading armies against France. But in the end the 
cleverness of the minister, the stubbornness of the queen- 
mother, and the influence of the royal authority prevailed ; and 
in 1653 Mazarin returned from his second exile to take up 
again the reins of government which he held until his death. 

How diff"erent were the circumstances under which he again 
resumed the war against Spain ! The resources of France had 
Weakness of been Squandered, the armies of France had be- 
ttiTrl-ond^" come demoralised, the authority of the govem- 
1653. ment weakened, while Spain had profited by the 

difficulties of her enemy to recover the Netherlands and 
Catalonia, and, through the treason of Condd, was enabled to 
place one of the best generals of the day at the head of her 
armies. In 1653 he invaded France and threatened Paris, 
but was foiled by the superior strategy of Turenne, and 
obliged to retreat. In the three following years France 
slowly won back the frontier towns of the Netherlands. It 
was clear that neither side was able to inflict upon the other 
such a defeat as would end the war. So in 1656 Mazarin, 
cardinal and absolutist though he was, sought for the alliance 


The Aggrandisement of France 131 

of Cromwell, the Protestant hero of the English revolution. 
Cromwell looked upon Spain with the eyes of Alliance 
Elizabeth, and saw in her but the chief supporter t>stween 
of Popery in Europe, and the chief obstacle to Cromweii, 
English trade. An agreement was soon arrived ^^57- 
at by which 6000 of Cromwell's soldiers, probably the best in 
Europe, were put at the disposal of Mazarin. In 1657 a 
change was quickly perceived in the war. Turenne, with the 
assistance of his new allies, defeated the Spaniards at the 
battle of the Dunes, captured Mardyke and Dunkirk, which 
j^as handed over to England, and overran the country almost 
up to Brussels in June 1658. This blow determined the 
Spanish government to treat for peace. Conferences were 
held between the ambassadors of the two countries on the 
Bidassoa during 1659, and on November 7th the peace of 
the Pyrenees was signed. By it France acquired 
Artois, Roussillon, and Cerdagne, and the towns the Pyrenees, 
of Thionville, Landregies, and Avesnes. She ^^** 
agreed to restore the duke of Lorraine to his duchy, on con- 
dition that the fortifications of Nancy were destroyed, and the 
armies of France allowed free passage through the country. 
Condd was pardoned and restored to his property and digni- 
ties. Finally the alliance was cemented by the marriage of 
Louis XIV. to Maria Theresa, the daughter of Philip iv., who 
on her marriage renounced on the part of herself and her 
children all claim to the throne of Spain, on receipt of a 
dowry of 500,000 crowns. This dowry was never paid, and 
in consequence it became a question whether the renunciation 
was of any effect at all. 

The peace of the Pyrenees is the complement of that of 
Westphalia. It marks the completion of the „ 

^ . -^ Commanding 

scientific frontier of France to the south. The position of 
primary work of Richelieu had b een accomplished. "^^^^^^ *6^- 
On the south, on the south-east, and on the east, France was 
now possessed of a frontier not merely defensible, but equally 
available for offence or defence. Through the passes of the 

132 European History^ 1 5 98- 1 7 1 5 

Pyrenees, the Alps, and the Vosges, her armies could pour at 
a moment's notice into the valleys of the Ebro, the Po, and 
the Rhine. Only to the north was the frontier still unmarked 
by natural boundaries. The annexation of Artois removed 
the danger some few miles farther away from Paris, but that 
was all. So grew up on the side of the Netherlands a desire 
for the Scheldt and the Demer as the natural boundaries of 
France to the north, analogous to the passion so fondly 
cherished by all French statesmen with regard to the Rhine to 
the east. The politics of the future were coloured and affected 
by the rivalry of the French and the Dutch on the Scheldt, as 
by the rivalry of the French and the Germans on the Rhine. 
Among the fondest dreams of French statesmen, second only 
to, the acquisition of the Rhine, has been the annexation of the 
Netherlands as a legitimate object of French ambition, and it 
may be questioned whether any policy has cost France more 
blood and treasure than that which has turned some of the 
fairest and richest districts of the world into the cockpit of 
Europe. To Spain the peace of the Pyrenees is a great 
epoch. The peace of Vervins marked her failure, the peace 
of the Pyrenees marked her fall. She had once bid for 
supremacy over Europe and had failed. She had then 
entered the lists as the equal and rival of France and had 
been beaten. France issued from the contest victorious both 
by land and sea, and could condescend to take her former 
rival into protection and partnership. After the peace of the 
Pyrenees, France and Spain from being deadly rivals tended 
to become more and more the closest of friends, until the 
time came when, owing to the provisions of the peace, France 
stretched out its hands to absorb its mighty neighbour, and 
the family compacts of the Bourbons dominated the politics 
of the world. 




Character of Richelieu — The principles of his government — Defects of his 
policy — Character of Louis xiii. — Position and organisation of the Hugue- 
nots — The rising of 1625— Edicts against the nobles — Conspiracy of 
Venddme — War with England — Siege of La Rochelle — Destruction of the 
political power of the Hugfuenots — Administrative reforms — The Day of 
Dupes — Rising of Montmorency — Conspiracy of Cinq Mars — Centra lising 
policy of Richelieu — The regency of 1643— Character of Mazarin— ^Out- 
break of the Fronde — Constitutional claims of the Parlement — Unpopu- 
larity of the prime ministership — Weakness of the Parlement — The lead 
taken by the nobles — Factiousness of the movement— Flight of Mazarin 
— The Fronde in the provinces — End of the Fronde — Last years of 

The well-known portrait of Richelieu in the gallery of the 
Louvre shows us the features of a man who under the outside 
of an aristocratic calm conceals a highly nervous character of 
and anxious temperament. There is not a trace R'cheiieu, 
of brutality, not a suggestion of coarseness, in the finely 
moulded features. At the first glance there seems almost a 
want of power in the delicate oval of the pale and attenuated 
face. Here is no Henry viii. to trample on the laws alike of 
God and man in order to satisfy the demands of an imperious 
will, and rivet the chains of slavery on a panic-stricken people. 
Here is no Cromwell to march ruthlessly to his goal, over 
the constitution of his country, through the blood of his king, 
in the fervid enthusiasm of a divine mission. Here surely is 
no Napoleon to treat in callous selfishness human life and 
national faith as nothing in comparison to military glory and 
personal ambition. Yet the charges against Richelieu writ 


134 European History, 1 598-1715 

large on the page of history are precisely those which his 
portrait repudiates. Indiscriminate severity, ruthless barbarity, 
inordinate ambition, personal tyranny, such are the accusa- 
tions levelled against him as a statesman and as a man. He 
is depicted as one who governed, and who preferred to 
govern, by terrorism and espionage, who struck down remorse- 
lessly and indiscriminately all who dared to oppose him, who 
established the ascendency of a gaoler over the weaker nature 
of the miserable king, who made France drink deep of the 
intoxicating potion of military glory in order that she might 
not feel the ever tightening chains of civil slavery. Even 
those who applaud his patriotism, and recognise him as the 
author of the greatness of France admit the charges of 
ruthlessness and barbarity made against his government by 
apologising for them. 

The home policy of Richelieu, less perhaps than that of any 
other statesman, admits of palliatives and excuses. It is 
. J J etched sharply on the plate of history in white 
his govern- and black. There are no neutral tints. He took 
™^°*' for his motto that of the Romans of old, Parcert 

subjedis et debellare superbos, and if ever such a principle is 
admissible in human affairs it was admissible in France in 
the days of Richelieu. But it is clear the principle must be 
pronounced justifiable, not merely excusable, before the muse 
of history can smooth over the harsh black lines of the 
portrait which she has been accustomed to draw. A states- 
man may in the course of difficult affairs be betrayed into the 
commission of a great crime, as was Theodoric in his par- 
ticipation in the murder of Odoacer, and his character may 
yet stand out from among men noble and true, though his 
name must go down to posterity linked with a thousand 
virtues and one crime. But the conduct of a ruler, who 
deliberately from first to last acts upon an immoral principle 
of government, and steadily carries it out through his whole 
career, admits of no palliation. He may blunder perhaps 
into a noble and patriotic action as did Napoleon in the 

France under Richelieu and Mazarin 135 

restoration of Christianity in France, but that cannot affect the 
general severity of the condemnation. So it is with Richelieu. 
We cannot pick and choose among his actions, admit that in 
one execution he was right, in another he was wrong. We 
cannot plead that a policy of terrorism is criminal, but in his 
particular case there was much to diminish the guilt. He 
will have none of such compromises and such excuses. 
Deliberately, unhesitatingly, in his lifetime he chose a policy 
stern, terrific, pitiless, and he carried it out relentlessly but not 
revengefully. Men accuse him of never sparing even the dupe 
and the fool, they do not accuse him of destroying the inno- 
cent. Not like Henry viii. did he ever put men to death 
because they might at some future time prove seditious. Not 
like Charles 11. did he permit innocent lives to be sworn away 
wholesale rather than face the danger of a popular tumult. _ 
No, all who suffered under him were legally guilty, but nearly (. 
all who were legally guilty suffered. It was a terrible policy T 
— the extermination of the evil-doer, the establishment of the ' 
structure of firm government in the blood of its enemies, — \ 
but it is the policy which Richelieu adopted and defended in \^ 
his lifetime, and for which for two centuries and a half he has ^ 

stood at the bar of public opinion, pleading, as every line in 
his portrait shows, not palliation, not excuse, but the calm 
conviction of a man who knows, that he is in the right. 

There are times in the history of nations as in the history of 
individual man, when the only possibility of safety and health 
lies in the rigorous application of the knife. Such Their justifi- 
a state of disease the body politic had reached in cation. 
France, as it seemed to Richelieu, in the seventeenth century. 
The poison of separation and anarchy had been imbedded too 
deep in the system by the civil wars of the last century, for the 
ordinary remedies of steady and firm government to have any 
effect. As long as the Huguenots were forming themselves 
into a political organisation in rivalry to the government of 
France, and as long as the nobles were bent upon making all 
government impossible in order that they might personally 

136 European History y I sg^-\y I e, 

profit from the evils of anarchy, there was a cancer eating into 
the heart of France which made national death inevitable. 
The only hope of saving life lay in the unsparing excision of 
the malignant tissue. If only one fibre was left it would soon 
become a fresh root of the fell disease. For it must be re- 
membered that Richelieu had to deal with a nation which had 
no power of defending itself against the evils which threatened 
to destroy it. There was too little cohesion among the vari- 
ous provinces seign cries and towns, of which France was made 
up, to admit of any united action. Excepting so far as the 
royal authority made itself felt, the administration of the 
country districts was still feudal, in the hands of the 
seigneurs and their officers, and that of the towns was aristo- 
cratic, in the hands of the richer citizens and their officers. 
The whole of the local administration was thus absorbed by 
the aristocracy and the official classes. Intensely jealous both 
of the king above them and of the people below them, they 
were still too divided in rank and too narrow in sympathies to 
take the direction of affairs into their own hands. When they 
met together as in the States-General of 16 14 they disclosed 
the most deep-seated rivalries. The days of the political 
triumphs of their natural leaders, the great nobles, had been 
the darkest and most miserable which France had ever experi- 
enced. Incapable of good they were potent only for evil. 
Their privileges, their authority, their prestige barred the way of 
the simplest administrative reforms. Equal administration of 
justice, equal taxation, free circulation of commodities within 
the country were impossible as long as the seigneurs held their 
special fiscal and judicial powers in their own districts. From 
classes whose one idea of government was the maintenance of 
personal and class privilege nothing could be hoped. They 
formed an impenetrable barrier of obscurantism in the way 
of good government. Interested in the maintenance, not in 
the suppression, of abuse, they kept the people down with 
one hand in misery and degradation, while with the other 
they sought to terrify the king into tutelage. Duller eyes than 

France under Richelieu and Mazarin 137 

those of Richelieu might easily have seen that with such an 
enemy there was no middle course possible. Feudalism as a 
political power must be stamped out or it would kill France. 

If Richelieu had lived three centuries earlier or a century 
later he might have endeavoured, as Edward i. or Burke would 
have endeavoured, to plant the roots of his new Limitations 
government deep in the affections of the people by °^^^^ policy, 
enshrining it in permanent institutions. A wise and thought 
ful statesmanship, which, in destroying the power of feudalism 
utterly, could have replaced it by an alliance of the powers of 
the Crown and of the people, would have been indeed an 
unique blessing not only for France but for Europe. Institu- 
tions which could have brought into mutual contact the 
interests of the peasant, the bourgeois, and the roturier, and 
could have combined them with the interests of the Crown, 
would soon have given a quick-witted people like the French 
what they most wanted — political education. An aristocracy 
as capable and as generous as the French noblesse would not 
long have sulked like Achilles in his tent, but would soon 
have been found in its proper place as the leader of the 
people, claiming the privilege of the post of danger by the 
right of truest worth. But a policy such as this was possible 
only for one who combined sympathy for the people with rare 
political foresight. Richelieu possessed neither, and was bom 
in an age unfavourable to both. A clear sharp eye to the 
present and immediate future, indomitable courage, quick 
decision, inflexible will, such were the gifts he brought to the 
service of France. For her service he used them without a 
thought for any one else. He gave her national unity. He 
secured for her religious peace. He centralised all the forces 
of the nation under the Crown. He made that Crown the 
chief among the powers of Europe. He planted the seeds of 
a colonial empire, and nourished the budding germs of artistic 
and literary excellence. But he effected no financial or judi- 
cial reform. He stirred not a finger to relieve the social 
burdens of the people. He even increased their misery and 

138 European History^ 1598-17 15 

would not listen to their complaints. Everything for the 
people and nothing by the people has been taken as the motto 
of beneficent despotism. Richelieu cannot lay claim even to 
that. For France collectively he had an intense and vivid 
love. For her greatness he willingly spent himself. For the 
French people considered as social units, as individuals, or as 
classes, he cared not an atom. He struck to the earth the 
political power of the nobles, because as long as it existed 
France could neither be great nor united. He never attempted 
to interfere with one of their social privileges, though it was 
by those that they made the lives of the bulk of the French 
peasants hideous and miserable. As a benefactor of the 
French people he is as infinitely below Sully and Colbert as 
he is above them in statesmanship. A wretched financier, an 
incapable administrator, prompt to demand the obedience 
of the people whom he governed, and careless of their 
happiness, without one spark of sympathy, without one 
touch of weakness, Richelieu stands before us as the embodi- 
ment of intellect and of will. His business was with la haute 
politique. That he understood. To that he devoted all his 
energies. In that he shone supreme. With unerring quick- 
ness of intellectual judgment he singled out at once the true 
obstacles to the greatness of France. He found them in the 
national disintegration brought about by the civil wars, and 
largely fostered by the Huguenots, and in the anarchical ten- 
dencies of the higher nobility. With true political insight he 
saw that with a professional army at his back and the senti- 
ments of loyalty and national unity to support him, there was 
nothing which could stop the ultimate victory of the Crown, 
save the weakness of the Crown itself. For some years the 
struggle was intense, but his indomitable will in the end gained 
the day. When he had once won the confidence of the cauti- 
ous and suspicious king the contest was practically over, and 
he was free to turn his attention almost wholly to foreign 
affairs. By a policy eminently skilful, if morally unjustifiable, 
he contrived to hide the scars of civil dissension by the lustre 

France under Richelieu and Mazarin 139 

of military glory, and to provide a more congenial and patrio- 
tic sphere for the energies of a nobility whom he had deprived 
of political influence, by summoning them to win for France 
the victories which were to make her king the leader of 

The greatness of the reign of Louis xiii. begins with the 
ministry of Richelieu, and the death of the king followed so 
close upon the death of the minister that the fame character of 
of the master has become wholly overshadowed ^°"»s xiii. 
by the greatness of the servant. When Richelieu was on the 
stage there was indeed but little room for any one else. Yet 
it does not appear on closer inspection, that Louis was either 
the personal or political nonentity which he has often been 
described. His character was indeed singularly unlike that of 
his father or his son, and in so many respects different from 
the ordinary French type, that perhaps French historians have 
done him but scant justice. His temperament was cold, heavy, 
and passionless, his mind slow and reserved, but tenacious, 
and at times obstinate. A man of few friends and no intimates, 
hardly if at all susceptible to the influence of women, without 
strong desires or ambitions, without many interests, yet one 
who kept a shrewd and watchful eye upon the world. Very 
cautious and patient in making up his mind, suspicious of all 
but a very few, when his decision was taken he acted firmly, 
boldly, straightforwardly, and never went back. Strangely 
enough his real interests were in the more strenuous affairs 
of out-door life. Like James i. he was passionately fond of 
hunting, unlike him he was almost more fond of war. No 
mean soldier himself, he was a very good judge of military 
capacity in others, and was never so well and never so happy 
as when on campaign. Many of the officers who did so much 
to establish the credit of the French armies at the beginning 
of the next reign, like Fabert, owed their promotion to the 
skilled eye and firm friendship of Louis xiii. His relations 
with his mother Marie de Medicis and his great minister show 
him to have been a man of more than ordinary tact. It was 

140 European History, 1 598- 1 7 1 J 

by no means easy to keep the peace between the two, when 
Marie believed herself to have been basely deserted, and 
Richelieu had not a friend at court save the king himself. 
It was still less easy to maintain the minister against the inces- 
sant and malevolent attacks of his enemies, and yet preserve 
the independence of action and reserve of judgment necessary 
to prevent the king from degenerating into the partisan. But 
in this he succeeded remarkably well. He trusted Richelieu far 
more sincerely than Richelieu trusted him, and it is interesting 
to notice in their correspondence at critical moments, that it is 
the king who becomes more calm, more collected, more digni- 
fied, as the intensity of the crisis increases, while Richelieu is 
torn by doubts and hesitations and seems overwhelmed by 
anxieties and fear. But in reality Richelieu never had any 
good reason to doubt the friendship or support of the king. 
Louis had the gift, rare in men in his position, of knowing 
when to act and when to remain quiet. He never suffered 
his minister to forget that he was a minister and not a king. 
Richelieu never assumed so large a part of the functions of 
.royalty as did Buckingham in England. He was a Wolsey, 
not a maire du paiais. But on the other hand Louis had the 
sense to see that if a king is fortunate enough to have a Riche- 
jlieu for his minister he must give him a free hand. He held 
"ihe scales of justice even between his minister and his court, 
he suffered no mean motives of jealousy to detract from the 
fulness of his confidence, and he was content to be classed by 
posterity among the makers of the French monarchy, because 
he had had the fortune to be the maker and master of the 
greatest of French ministers. 

The peace of Montpellier, concluded between Louis and the 
revolted Huguenots in October 1622, was one of those treaties 
Position of the which are not so much a conclusion of a struggle 
Huguenots, as a preliminary to its recommencement. It left 
^^^' the questions at issue not merely unsolved but 

intensified. Huguenotism, always quite as much a political 
as a religious movement, had derived its aspirations and 

France under Richelieu and Mazarin 141 

drawn much of its strength from the desire of independence 
arising from the jealousy of the king of Paris, which was 
characteristic of the south of France, and from the jealousy of 
the French crown, which was characteristic of the French 
nobility. It was among the towns of the south of France and 
among the smaller nobility — the country seigneurs — that it 
spread with the greatest rapidity. Its strongly self-centred 
and individualistic creed fell in naturally with their passionate 
love for their privileges and their intense dread of the central 
government. Ever since the Huguenots became a power 
in the land, the tendency of their policy had been towards 
independence, all the more significant because it came 
about without any defined cry for separation. Aided by the 
weakness of the crown Huguenot towns, such as La Rochelle 
Montauban and Nismes, during the civil troubles became self- 
governing communities independent of the French government, 
and had been practically recognised as such by various treaties 
during the wars, and by the Edict of Nantes. Huguenot 
organisations under the name of ' circles' parcelled Their organi- 
France out into districts under regular officers for sation. 
the purposes of defence and offence from end to end. In many 
parts of the country this organisation consisted merely upon 
paper, but in the north where the influence of the duke of 
Bouillon was great, and over large districts of the south it was 
a dangerous and menacing reality. In the strong words at- 
tributed to Richelieu, the Huguenots shared the government 
of France with the king. In the revolt of 1621, although the 
leaders probably never intended to do more than frighten the 
Crown and secure their own political position, many of the 
rank and file were openly fighting for independence. To the 
Crown therefore it had become essential to crush the power 
of the Huguenots if it wished to be supreme over France. To 
the Huguenots it was no less essential to conquer the Crown 
if they wished to secure their independence. 

In such a state of affairs the treaty of Montpellier was 
obviously but a breathing space in the combat Both sides 

1 42 European History, 1 5 98- 1 7 1 5 

saw that at that moment neither of them could win a decisive 
victory, and both were content to wait for a more favourable 
opportunity. That opportunity seemed to have come to the 
Rising of the hot-headcd Soubise, the brother of Rohan and the 
Huguenots, head of the circle of La Rochelle in 1625. The 
^' new minister was hardly yet settled in his saddle. 

It was no secret that he was surrounded by enemies of all 
kinds, from the king's brother Gaston of Orleans down to the 
pages of the royal household. He had just engaged the forces 
of France in the question of the Valtelline, and had incurred 
the enmity of the more strenuous of the Catholic party by 
making war upon the soldiers of the Pope. Surely a rising of 
the Huguenot organisations at such a moment could not fail 
to be successful at least in overturning the rash and unpopular 
minister. Since Richelieu had been in power he had been 
diligently forming a nucleus of a royal navy, and at the begin- 
ning of 1625 the six vessels of war, which were the outcome of 
his efforts, were gathered in the little port of Blavet in Brittany. 
Soubise by an act of happy daring seized the whole of them 
on the 17th of January 1625, and, establishing himself on the 
islands of Rhe and Ol^ron, prepared, now that he was undis- 
puted master of the sea, to defy any attack which the royal forces 
might direct against the walls of La Rochelle. But Riche 
lieu was not so easy out-generalled. He at once withdrew from 
the affairs of Italy, procured ships from Holland and England, 
after long and tortuous negotiations in which he completely out- 
witted Buckingham, and manning them with French sailors 
inflicted a crushing defeat upon Soubise in September 1626, 
and forced him to take refuge in England. The crisis had 
been, however, sufficiently acute to show Richeheu that it was 
not safe to undertake responsibilities abroad as long as his 
enemies at home were so watchful and unsubdued. He must 
establish his authority on a firm basis in France, before he 
could run the risk again of having to deal with foreign war and 
internal revolts together. On the 5th of February he put an end 
to the Huguenot rising by renewing the terms of the treaty 

France under Richelieu and Mazarin 143 

of Montpellier. In March the treaty of Monzon relieved him 
for the moment of all danger from the side of Spain, and he 
felt that the time had then arrived when he might safely 
proceed to strike the first blow at the power of the nobles. 

In the summer of 1626 two edicts were issued in pursuit of 
this policy. By the first all duelling was declared Edicts 
punishable by death. By the second the destruc- fgainst duei- 

. ling and 

tion of all fortified places not situated on the private 
frontier was ordered. These two laws struck at nasties, 1626. 
two of the most cherished privileges of the nobles and the 
greatest dangers of the state. The right of an independent 
tribunal of arms, by which all personal questions arising in 
their own order should be adjudicated, was one incompatible 
with civilised and authoritative government. The fortified 
town and the fortified castle formed the natural home of both 
sedition and oppression, and Richelieu, in determining to 
sweep them away in France, was merely taking a course which 
all restorers of order in all countries had felt themselves 
obliged to take. Like Henry 11. of England he found that 
fortresses in the hands of a territorial nobility were inconsis- 
tent with the power of the Crown. But the nobles were not 
going to submit to legislation of this sort without attempting a 
counter stroke. Gaston of Orleans, the king's brother, with 
the due de Vendome the son of Henry iv. and Gabrielle 
d'Estr^es, the comte de Soissons another prince suppression 
of the House of Bourbon, the duchesse de Chev- ofthecon- 

' , spiracy of 

reuse a friend of the queen and a born intrigante vendome and 
and tireless enemy of the cardinal, became the ^haiais, 1626. 
leaders of a plot to depose the king, to assassinate Richelieu, 
and put Gaston on the throne. It was soon discovered. 
Gaston to save his own life basely surrendered his friends and 
associates to the ruthless mercy of Richelieu. The comte de 
Chalais suffered for him on the scaffold, another of his associ- 
ates, Ornano, in prison. The due de Vendome, the due de la 
Valette son of the old due d'Epernon, Madame de Chevreuse, 
the comte de Soissons were all banished, and Richelieu rid 

144 European History, 1 5 98- 1 7 1 5 

himself at one blow of the most dangerous of his enemies. 
The nobles were astonished at his audacity. They could not 
believe that any one would dare so to treat the noblest of 
their order, but in the following year they received a lesson 
which startled them still more. The comte de Montmorency- 
Executionof Bouteville, onc of the famous family of Mont- 
ency-Boute- morency and a noted duellist, fought a duel in 
viiie, 1627. open day in the midst of Paris in disregard of the 
royal edict. Richelieu had him immediately arrested and 
put to fieath on the scaffold on the 21st of June 1627. The 
execution of one of the noblest of French subjects, for the 
exercise of one of the commonest and most cherished privi- 
leges of the French nobility, showed them more clearly than 
anything else had yet done, that the minister at the head of 
the government was determined to be their master. 

Hardly had Richeheu emerged in triumph from his first 
contest with the nobles, than he found himself involved in an 
War with Unnecessary war with England and the Hugue- 
Engiand,i627. j^Qjg 'pj^g treaty between France and England 
on the occasion of the marriage between Henrietta Maria and 
Charles i. contained provisions which were absolutely certain 
to lead to mutual recriminations sooner or later. Charles had 
promised publicly to permit his wife to keep her French 
household, and have complete control over the education of 
the children till they were thirteen years of age. Privately he 
had bound himself to tolerate Roman Catholicism in England. 
But he very soon found that, in the excited and unreasonable 
temper of the English people, it was impossible for him even 
to pardon Roman priests condemned under the penal laws. 
Neither in the interests of his domestic life could he permit a 
band of mischief-making women to alienate from him the 
affections of his child-wife. In both these matters he found 
himself compelled to break his word. Louis on his side set at 
naught his own verbal promise to permit Mansfeld and the Eng- 
Hsn contingent to march across France to attack the Palatin- 
ate, and so in the eyes of the English court became largely 

France undet Richelieu and Mazarin 145 

responsible for the terrible misfortunes of the year 1626 in Ger- 
many. When Richelieu in further pursuance of the treaty had 
demanded from Charles a loan of ships to use against Soubise 
and the revolted Huguenots, Buckingham had set his wits 
against those of Richelieu to avoid carrying out his obligation 
in fact, while he outwardly professed to be eager to do so, and 
even condescended to the trick of organising a sham mutiny 
on board the fleet. But in the end he was outwitted, and the 
spectacle of English ships in the French fleet, which defeated 
Soubise and the Huguenots, so exasperated the Protestant 
party in the English Parliament, that Buckingham from motives 
of self-defence as well as from those of wounded pride declared 
war against France in order to shift the odium from himself 
to Richelieu, and to pose before the world as the champion 
of the Protestant cause. In July 1627 Buckingham, at the 
head of a large but ill-appointed fleet, appeared siege of La 
before La Rochelle, and occupying the island of RocheUe.ieay. 
Rhd besieged the fort of S. Martin. The Rochellois much 
against their will felt compelled to make common cause with 
the English, and the Huguenots in the south of France seized 
the opportunity once more to rise into revolt under Rohan. 
Richelieu found himself again threatened by a formidable 
combination of foreign and domestic enemies, and determined 
this time to have recourse to no half measures. In Novem- 
ber Buckingham was obliged to withdraw from before the 
unconquered S. Martin and sail back to England for rein- 
forcements. Richelieu himself formed the siege of La Roch- 
elle. Recognising at once the impossibiUty of capturing a city 
open to the sea and surrounded by marshes by attack on the 
land side only, he began the gigantic work of building a mole 
right across the mouth of the harbour. Thus he hoped to cut 
off" the city wholly from the possibility of relief from the sea, 
while the rigid lines of circumvallation drawn round the town 
prevented any attempt at introducing provisions from the land 
side. For five months the weary work went on. It was a 
race against time. All depended on the question whether the 

146 European History ^ 1 598-171 5 

mole could be finished before the English fleet reappeared. 
Day and night in spite of many blunders and some misfortunes 
the huge mass slowly grew. The two wings approached 
nearer to each other, garnished with towers and palisades 
and batteries, until by the end of April 1628 the aperture be- 
tween the two was small enough to be closed by a bridge ot 
boats made into floating batteries, and fastened together by 
stout iron chains and defended by wooden stockades. It 
was hardly finished when the English fleet was sighted. For 
fifteen days the English hurled themselves with renewed and 
despairing vigour against the fortifications, but without suc- 
cess. On the 1 8th of May they sailed home and left La 
Rochelle to starve. Victory was now but a question of time. 
Capture of La Early in October the English fleet reappeared, but 
Rochelle, 1638. ^i^j j^qj gygjj ^^re to face the now impregnable 
defences of the besiegers. On the 28th the heroic Guiton 
worn out by famine accepted the inevitable. La Rochelle 
surrendered to the royal forces, its municipal privileges were 
abolished, its fortifications destroyed, its government placed in 
the hands of royal ofl&cials. Liberty of conscience was guar- 
anteed to the citizens, but all vestige of independent authority 
was absolutely taken away. 

After the capture of La Rochelle it was a comparatively easy 
matter to crush out the rebellion in the south. Early in 1629 
Pa ifi ation '^'^ ^^^§ P^* himself at the head of his army, 
of the south, marched into Languedoc and the district of the 
'^^' Cevennes, capturing the towns and destroying the 

castles. Rohan and the Huguenot leaders finding they could 
get no material assistance from Spain were obliged to submit. 
By the peace of Alais concluded in June 1629 the Huguenots 
ceased to retain any political power in France. Their guaran- 
teed towns were handed over to the royal government, their 
fortresses were razed, their organisation was destroyed, their 
right of meeting was taken away, but their liberty of worship 
remained unimpaired. 

The peace of Alais marks the end of the first act ot the 

France under Richelieu and Mazarin 147 

great drama which was being played by Richelieu in the 
nistory of France, the completion of the first, if Destruction 
not the most difficult, of the tasks to which he "^ ^'^^ p""*'; 

cal power of 

had devoted himself. By it the policy of the the Hugue- 
Edict of Nantes was carried to a legitimate con- °°*^ 
elusion. Religious peace was ensured by the recognition of 
religious division, while the danger that religious division 
should impair the national imity was effectually removed. It 
was a policy of national unity not of national uniformity. 
Richelieu did not care that all Frenchmen should be made 
outwardly to profess the same religious or political creed, 
should wear outwardly the same religious or political dress, as 
long as they were whole-hearted in the service of the Crown, 
as long as their liberty was not a weakness to the state. That 
it could not fail to be a source not merely of weakness, but 
of serious danger, to the state, as long as it was based upon 
political privilege and defended by political organisation, had 
already been abundantly proved in the course of the reign of 
Louis XIII. Every time that France had been threatened by 
the hostility of her neighbours, whether of Spain or England, 
a rising of the Huguenots had turned a serious foreign war 
into an acute national crisis. Every time that the Huguenots 
had risen in revolt they had allied themselves with the 
national enemies. Twice already had Richelieu's plans for 
the development of France been thwarted by the determin- 
ation of the Huguenots to prefer their independence to their 
patriotism, and to look upon the foreign entanglements of the 
government merely as their opportunity. When a powerful 
political organisation deliberately sets itself to profit by the 
dangers of the nation, and to pursue its own interests to the 
detriment of those of the nation, it must either crush the 
government or be crushed by it. Richelieu enlisted the 
whole forces of the state in the campaign against the Hugue- 
nots, because he saw clearly that as long as their religious 
privileges were based on the possession of political power, 
the political exigencies of their position, and the fancied 

148 European History^ 1598-171 5 

necessities as well as the inherent tendencies of their religion, 
must make them the enemies of France. The destruction of 
La Rochelle and the peace of Alais changed them at once 
from a formidable political party into a harmless religious sect. 
They ceased to be a danger to the state through their want 
of patriotism and desire for independence. They became a 
strength to France through their frugality, their manual skill, 
and their morality. Grateful for religious toleration and 
satisfied with it, in less than a generation they were found 
among the staunchest supporters of the monarchy, and 
effectually proved their gratitude by never stirring a finger to 
increase the embarrassments of the Crown in the perilous 
days of the Fronde. 

By the end of the year 1629 Richelieu might well look back 
with pride at the success which had attended his efforts to 
Administra- establish the Unity of the nation by consolidating 
tive reforms, jjg forces under the power of the Crown. He 
had crushed a plot of the most formidable of his enemies at 
court. He had established his ascendency over the mind 
if not over the affections of the king. He had purified the 
financial administration so that a larger proportion of the 
taxes found their way into the treasury. He had put down a 
dangerous right of private war on a small scale under the guise 
of duelling. He had destroyed the castles and fortresses over 
large districts of France, notably in Brittany and the southern 
provinces. He had laid the foundation of the French navy. 
He had destroyed the political power and organisation of the 
Huguenots. But there was still much to be done. As long 
as the administration of the country and the raising and con- 
trol of the army were in the hands or under the direction 
of the territorial nobility, all that he had hitherto accom- 
plished was dependent upon his own precarious life and 
the still more precarious favour of the king. A successful 
court intrigue might destroy the whole structure at a blow, 
and throw France back into the slough of anarchy and pecu- 
lation from which he had raised her. To obviate this danger 

France under Richelieu and Mazarin 149 

he applied himself during the rest of his life, as far as internal 
poHtics were concerned, to two special objects, the establish- 
ment of a bureaucracy — a civil service under the direct 
control of the Crown — and the organisation of the army upon 
a professional basis. In carrying out this latter object he had 
to proceed very carefully, partly owing to financial consider- 
ations, and partly to the necessity he felt for providing in the 
army a sphere of activity for the nobility, whose political and 
administrative power he was taking away ; and it was not till 
the time of Louvois that the French army became thoroughly 
professional. But the active and open warfare in which 
France became engaged after 1635, as well as the growing im- 
portance of the infantry, enabled him to do much in the way 
of raising and organising infantry regiments directly by the 
Crown, without the interposition of any noble as colonel, and 
of appointing and promoting officers such as Fabert and 
Catinat, who did not belong to the noble class. For many 
years the nobles considered it below their dignity to serve in 
infantry regiments, a fortunate prejudice which made it easier 
for the government to get direct control over that important 
department of the army. 

The year 1630 saw a vivid illustration of the danger to 
which the new system of government was exposed from the 
possible success of a court intrigue or the death mnggg ^f 
of the invalid king. On his way back from the Louis xiii., 
army in Italy to Paris, Louis was taken suddenly *^°' 
ill at Lyons with dysentery. For some days he hung between 
life and death. On the 22d of September all hope was given 
up. Gaston hurried to Paris to secure the government. The 
queen and the queen-mother made arrangements for the 
arrest of the cardinal, while Richelieu himself, seeing the 
labours of his life at an end, prepared to fly. But the king's 
constitution, much more vigorous than historians have sup- 
posed, triumphed not only over the disease but over the 
physicians. In spite of having been bled seven times in one 
week he still retained strength enough to rally, and Richelieu 

1 50 European History, 1 5 98- 1 7 1 5 

remained for the moment safe. His enemies had to alter 
their plans. Determined not to be baulked of their prey the 
The day of queen-mothcr and the queen organised a plot 
Dupes, 1630. against the minister, which was joined by the 
two Marillacs, Bassompierre, and Orleans. On the nth of 
November Marie in the presence of the king poured forth a 
torrent of furious invective against Madame de Combalet the 
niece of the cardinal. On Richelieu's entrance the storm was 
directed against him. Accusing him of treason and perfidy, 
she demanded from Louis his instant dismissal, and called 
upon the king to choose between his minister and her. For 
some hours Louis was in great doubt, and the fate of 
Richelieu hung in the balance. He even signed an order 
intrusting the command of the army to the marechal de 
Marillac. All the courtiers thought the reign of Richeheu was 
over. Worn out and sick at heart, the king, to free himself 
from fresh importunities, retired to his hunting-box at 
Versailles ; but once away from the pressure of the courtiers 
his good sense and patriotism re-asserted their power, and he 
determined to support his minister even against his wife and 
his mother. Sending for Richelieu privately to join him at 
Versailles, he put himself entirely into his hands, and the Day 
of Dupes was over. The vengeance of the outraged minister 
was terrific. Gaston of Orleans fled to Lorraine, Marie to the 
Spaniards at Brussels, the marechal de Marillac was executed, 
his brother the chancellor died soon afterwards in exile, 
Bassompierre was imprisoned, the duchesses of Elboeuf, and 
Ornano banished, and the household of the queen filled with 
the cardinal's nominees. 

But exile increased rather than appeased their hatred of 
their conqueror. Gaston of Orleans, who had married the 
Rising of sister of the duke of Lorraine strongly against the 
M^intmorency, wishes of Louis, who would not recognise the 
1632. marriage, organised a fresh plot against the 

cardinal in 1632. To bring about the ruin of his hated 
enemy, he did not scruple to ally himself with the enemies of 

France under Richelieu and Mazarln 151 

hi'; country. A combined force of Lorrainers and Spaniards 
was to invade France from the north-east, while the marechal 
de Montmorency, the governor of Languedoc, raised the 
south. But Richelieu's good fortune did not desert him. 
The Swedes defeated the Spanish force on the Rhine, before 
it had even reached the frontiers of France. Lorraine, 
instead of France, had to bear the brunt of invasion, and 
25,000 men under Louis himself quickly overran the country, 
and brought it permanently under French administration, 
although it was not formally united to the French monarchy 
till a century later. Meanwhile, Gaston of Orleans, at the 
head of a few thousand horsemen, had made his way to 
Montmorency in Languedoc, endeavouring to raise the 
country as he went against the iniquities of the minister. 
Not a man stirred. France had begun to realise that, harsh 
and oppressive as the government of Richelieu might be, it 
was far more just and far more tolerable than that of the nobles. 
In Languedoc Montmorency had succeeded in collecting a 
small army through his own personal popularity and the 
support of the estates, but the people refused to move, and he 
was powerless in the face of Schomberg and tlie royal troops. 
At Castlenaudary, on the ist of September 1632, he was 
defeated and captured. On the 30th of October the last 
representative of the most illustrious of the great territorial 
nobles of France bowed his head before absolute monarchy 
on the scaffold. 

A fresh proscription instigated by the implacable justice 
of the cardinal decimated Languedoc. The estates were 
dispersed, many of the nobility and gentry suppression 
executed or sent to the galleys, five bishops of the enemies 
deposed, the castles and fortifications of the °fR'«he"«"- 
towns destroyed. The hateful and miserable author of all 
this misery, Gaston himself, alone escaped. Protected by his 
birth and his readiness to betray his friends, he was permitted 
to take refuge in Brussels. There, in conjunction with the 
queen-mother and the Spaniards, he renewed his plots against 

152 European History, 1598- 171 5 

France and the cardinal. But Richelieu now felt himself so 
thoroughly the master both of the nobles and of the nation, 
that Gaston was more dangerous to him as an open enemy 
than he would be as the leader of the disaffected at home 
The promise of the king's favour, and renewed gifts to him- 
self and his friends, soon induced him to betray the queen- 
mother and his hosts. In October 1634 he left his wife and 
his mother, was formally reconciled to the king and the 
cardinal, and retired into private life at his castle of Blois. 
Marie took refuge with her daughter in London, and Riche- 
lieu, freed for the time from all anxiety as to revolts and 
court intrigues, was enabled to turn his whole attention to 
the aggrandisement of France. In the following year, 1635, 
he entered openly into the Thirty Years' War. 

Once more but a few months before his death had Richelieu 
to defend himself against a court intrigue, but it was one 
Conspiracy of which had its roots far more in personal ambition 
Cinq-Mars, than in serious political rivalry. Cinq-Mars, the 
*^* son of the marquis d'Effiat, the superintendent 

of finance, chafing under the stem and all-pervading master- 
fulness of the cardinal, abused his position of intimacy with 
the king, to try and poison his mind against his minister, who 
at that time was thought to be dying. Gaston, that veteran 
intriguer, and the due de Bouillon the lord of the feudal 
dependency of Sedan, gave some political importance to 
the intrigue by lending it their countenance. The system 
of espionage established by Richelieu was far too good to 
permit intrigues of that sort to pass unnoticed. Still neither 
Richelieu nor the king interfered until they received proof that 
Cinq-Mars was actually in communication with the national 
enemy, the Spaniards. Then they struck, and as usual struck 
hard. The due de Bouillon was compelled to surrender Sedan 
to France. Cinq-Mars and his friend de Thou perished on 
the scaffold, the last of a long hst of victims, including five 
dukes, four counts, and a marshal of France, who were sacri- 
ficed by the pitiless cardinal to the genius of his country. 

France under Richelieu and Mazarin 153 

It is easy to fix the eyes so intently upon the destructive 
side of Richeheu's war with the nobles as to forget that in his 
sight it was by far the least important part of his centralising 
work. The execution of traitors and peculators, policy of 
the banishment of conspirators and intrigantes^ 
were necessary steps towards the abolition of their political 
power, not the satisfaction of private vengeance. As with the 
Huguenots, so with the nobles, he did not wish to root them 
out, but to make them powerless for evil. As long as they 
enjoyed in right of their birth political power, based upon 
personal privilege and territorial possessions, so long would 
they refuse absolutely to render themselves amenable to the 
new institution of the prime-ministership, and would be 
always in danger of preferring the interests of their order to 
those of the state. When once they had been deprived of 
territorial power^ they would naturally become the foremost 
servants of that Crown of which they had before been the 
riyals. They would be eager to serve, where before they had 
been determined to rule. Throughout the government of 
Richelieu the work of centralisation goes steadily on. A 
powerful structure of royal government is gradually built up, 
and the abortive plots, and the subsequent executions, mark 
the chafings of those who felt that power was slipping steadily 
away from them, and by a sure instinct directed their efforts 
against the man who was identified with the system which 
they hated. The destruction of the feudal castles, the 
development of the professional army, the substitution of 
royal administrative officers for those of the territorial nobles 
in Brittany and Languedoc, after the rebellions of Vendome 
and Montmorency, the administration by the Crown directly 
through its own officials of the Huguenot towns, after the 
peace of Alais, and of Lorraine and Sedan after their conquest, 
the estabUshment of a royal post throughout Appointment 
the kingdom, were all steps in the direction of of intendants, 
undermining the political power of the nobles. ^^'' 
finally in 1637 came the greatest blow of all For raan^ 

r54 European History, 1598- 17 15 

years Richelieu had been in the habit of appointing royal com- 
missioners, under the name of Intendants, to take cognisance 
of certain matters of local administration, usually of a judicial 
nature. In 1637 by a royal edict, he appointed Intendants 
in each province, and placed in their hands the whole financial 
judicial and police administration. The effect of this was 
to concentrate powers, which had hitherto been enjoyed by 
the territorial nobility and the local administrative bodies, 
wholly in the hands of officials appointed by the minister and 
responsible to him alone. It created in fact a permanent 
civil service of professional men of the middle class, entirely 
dependent upon the royal favour, and thus did much to foster 
the growth of absolute power, and to give stability to the 
government, while checking the separatist tendencies of the 
local authorities. 

The value of the administrative system organised by 
Richelieu soon became evident, when in the year 1643 
France found herself once more threatened by the minority 
of the king and the weakness of a regency. The great cardinal 
maintained after his death the social and political order to the 
preservation of which he had devoted his life. The strength 
of the bureaucracy and the memory of the government of 
Richelieu alone preserved the authority of the monarchy amid 
the follies and the treasons of the Fronde. Richelieu himself 
The Regency died on the 4th of December 1642, and Louis 
of 1643. followed him to the grave on the 14th of May 

1643, leaving the crown to his infant son only four and a half 
years old. It was an anxious crisis for France. Louis xiii. 
in his distrust of his wife, Anne of Austria, whose influence 
had been from the time of her marriage uniformly exercised 
against the policy of the king and Richelieu, had endeavoured 
to control her exercise of political power after his death by 
nominating in his will a council of state, without whose advice 
she was powerless to act. But Anne, whose character de- 
veloped with her responsibilities, would have none of such re- 
strictions. Going to the Parlement de Paris she asked them 

France under Richelieu and Mazarin 155 

boldly to annul the will of her husband in the interests of 
herself and her son. The Parlement were by no means loth 
to add to their political privileges that of pronouncing a decisive 
word on the government of France. Without hesitation in 
their own interests they cancelled the will of the late king, 
suppressed the council of regency, and handed over the 
government of the country to Anne absolutely. It was an 
ominous thing that so soon after the death of Richelieu 
personal interests should again come to the front. But for- 
tunately for France among those personal interests one was 
quickly seen to predominate over all others, which ensured 
the continuation of the policy of the great cardinal. Ever 
since the death of the Pbre Joseph, Richelieu had Mazarin ap- 
intrusted the details of his foreign policy to the pointed chief 
managementof the astute Italian Giulio Mazzarini, 
who attracted his notice in the negotiations with the Pope in 
1628, entered the service of France at his request in 1639, 
was rewarded with a cardinal's hat in 1641, and was recom- 
mended to Louis by Richelieu as his successor in the prime 
ministership on his deathbed in 1642. By his cleverness, 
tact, and the gracefulness of his manners, Mazarin succeeded 
in making a deep impression upon the fastidious and loveless 
Anne of Austria. Surrounded by interested and selfish nobles, 
anxiously solicitous for the welfare of her son, she felt the 
necessity of a stronger arm on which to lean, and a sympa- 
thetic heart to which she might cling, and she chose Mazarin 
as the person whom she could intrust with the confidences of 
her womanly nature. Whether they were eventually secretly 
married or not is one of the unsolved problems of history, but 
that during the rest of their lives they were united by the 
strongest bonds of mutual affection and respect is beyond a 
doubt. To the astonishment of all who were not in the secret, 
Anne signalised her assumption of power by confirming Mazarin 
in the position of chief minister to which he had been desig- 
nated by Richelieu, by continuing the foreign and domestic 
policy of the great cardinal, and by exiling afresh the dukes of 

156 European History, 1598-17 15 

Vend6me Mercoeur and Guise and the duchess of Chevreuse 
who were already portioning out the vengeance they would 
take on the cardinalists. 

Cardinal Mazarin was a very different character from his great 
predecessor. He was altogether of meaner mould. Richelieu 
was a man of original genius, who had made for himself his 
own position in the world, and had been the architect of his 
Character ot own fame. Mazarin would never have emerged 
Mazarin. from the ruck of mankind had not Richelieu 

led the way and given him a task to perform. It was his 
business to maintain, carry on, develop, that of Richelieu to 
create and establish. Soft and conciliatory in manner, graceful 
in address, tactful and considerate in business, deferential 
without being obsequious in conversation, he disarmed his 
opponents instead of conquering them, he persuaded instead 
of frightening them. Management not action was his strong 
point, finesse and diplomacy not the scaffold and the sword 
his weapons. An absolute master of dissimulation, he crept 
catlike through life, the outward picture of trustful innocence, 
concealing a callous heart and poisoned claws. It was a 
character as hateful to the open-hearted Frenchman as to the 
honest Englishman, and even if it had not been disfigured by 
the grossest avarice, could never have made itself tolerable 
to either. Italian to the backbone in his suppleness of 
character, his love of finesse, his courtly manners, his advance- 
ment of his relations, his art collections of rare books and 
sculptures, in the meanness of his avarice and in the prodi- 
gality of his display, he was looked upon by the French nobles 
and the bulk of the French people as a foreigner, who, having 
by unworthy arts made himself the master of the affections of 
a silly woman, a foreigner like himself, had fastened like a 
leech upon France and was sucking its lifeblood with insatiable 
voracity. Nothing can exceed the virulence of the hatred 
with which Mazarin was regarded. Not even the triumphs of 
the Thirty Years' War and the peace of Westphalia, not even 
the battle of Rocroy and the intoxicating cup of glory which 

France under Richelieu and Mazarin 157 

he offered to France could save him from the indiscriminating 
and loathsome abuse showered on him by that strange 
outburst of patriotism and selfishness, liberty and frivolity, 
known as the Fronde, of which hatred to him was the chief 

Ever since the dissolution of the Estates General of 16 14, 
the Parlement de Paris had been growing in political im- 
portance. The hereditary nature of the offices outbreak of 
of its members, the increased consideration the Fronde, 
shown to the classes from which they sprang by Richelieu 
in his war against the nobility, the double appeal to them 
in 1610 and 1643 to settle the government of France had 
all done much to persuade them of their power. The 
success of the rebellions against the royal authority in Spain 
and in England no doubt stimulated their desire to strike 
a blow for themselves and for liberty. An ill-advised im- 
position of an octroi duty upon all commodities entering 
Paris, issued in January 1648, gave them the opportunity of 
playing the part of constitutional leaders. The Parlement 
refused to register the edict. The court on this brought the 
boy-king down to the Parlement, and in a /// de justice the 
registration was effected. But the absurdity of constitutional 
trying to settle a grave constitutional question pariement, 
by the intervention of a boy of nine years old was »S48. 
too patent even for lawyers to swallow, and on the i6th of 
January the Parlement solemnly pronounced the registration 
illegal and invalid. A compromise was arrived at with regard 
to the particular question at issue, but the Parlement, so far 
from surrendering its political claims, appointed a committee 
consisting of representatives of its three chambers to take 
the reform of the state into consideration. On the 29th of 
June this representative committee called the Chambre de 
S. Louis issued its programme. It demanded nspro- 
the suppression of the Intendants, the reduction gramme of 
of the taille by a quarter, that every one arrested " ''"°' 
by order of the government should be brought before a 

158 huropean History, 1598-1715 

magistrate within twenty-four hours of his arrest, and that the 
Parleraent should have control over taxation. Here were the 
germs of a constitutional reform, which, if it could have been 
carried out, might have saved France from the worst evils of 
despotism without seriously impairing the royal authority. 
The establishment of a check on the financial administration, 
and of the principle of Habeas Corpus, even though lodged in 
an unrepresentative body like the Parlement, would have at 
least saved France from the collapse of the next century, and 
might have been the beginning of true constitutional life. 
But it was not to be. Mazarin appeared to yield to the storm, 
issued some of the decrees asked for, and waited his oppor- 
tunity. The news of Condi's victory at Lens seemed to be 
the opportunity he desired. Under cover of a Te Deum sung 
in Notre Dame for the victory, Broussel the leader of the agita- 
Arrest and ^^^^ against the court was arrested and put into 
release of prison. When this became known all Paris was 
seized with uncontrollable excitement. The long 
suppressed hatred of Mazarin burst out in fury. Barricades 
were raised. The citizens were armed and the Parlement 
accompanied by a furious and enthusiastic crowd marched in 
a body to demand the release of Broussel. The court was 
again obliged to yield, and Broussel was set at liberty, but as 
before Mazarin only drew back in the hope of making his final 
spring more effective. The peace of Westphalia would shortly 
put a disciplined army at his disposal, and then the position 
of the government would be impregnable. Paris might rage 
as much as it liked, but the days had gone by when the caprice 
of Paris decided the fortunes of France. Never was politician 
more mistaken. On the 13th of September the court withdrew 
to Ruel to free itself from the constant danger of tumults. 
Paris was immediately in an uproar. Persuaded by the clever 
Acce tanceof ^^^ unscrupulous Gondi, bishop-coadjutor of 
thereformsby Paris, a man who had nothing ecclesiastical 
the court. 1648. a^Q^j j^-^ gj^^,gp^ jjjg ^jtjg^ Cond^. the military 

hero of the hour declared for the Parlement, and the court 

France under Richelieu and Mazarin 1 59 

once more following the favourite policy of Mazarin had 
to procrastinate. It returned to Paris, and on the 24th of 
October 1648 published an edict accepting and enforcing the 
whole of the demands of the Chambre de S. Louis. 

Thus far the struggle had been in its main aspects constitu- 
tional. The Parlement de Paris, aided by the populace of 
the city, and taking advantage of the unpopularity of Mazarin, 
was endeavouring to curb the caprice of an irresponsible prime 
minister by assuming to itself control over the ^ ^ ^j^^ 
finances, and obtaining for all Frenchmen security of the pnme- 
against arbitrary arrest. Men felt vaguely that ™in«tership. 
the constitution of France had altered in a way contrary to 
their interests of recent years. It was one thing to acknow- 
ledge the personal authority of the king as supreme, when it 
had to be exercised largely through local governors who were 
practically independent, and was from its very nature subject 
to the limitations which necessarily followed from the different 
characters of the supreme rulers. It was quite another thing 
to acknowledge that that personal supremacy could be dele- 
gated, and to be required to pay the same implicit obedience 
to a prime minister ruling through a bureaucracy of his own 
nominees when the king himself was a minor. The pressure 
of despotic rule had hitherto been little felt in France by the 
noble or the professional classes. They did not object to 
acknowledge and obey the will of a Henry iv., while a Henry 
III. hardly presumed to ask them to do so. It was quite a 
different thing when they were called upon to pay implicit 
reverence to a Mazarin following a Richelieu, when Louis xiii. 
seemed a faineant and Louis xiv. was a boy. And behind 
the actual revolt against the irresponsible will of the minister 
lay the old rivalry between local authority and centralised 
administration. All local authorities whether of the governors 
or of the estates or of the Parlements had suffered under the 
centralising hand of Richelieu. In many cases they had been 
rooted out. France was becoming a tabula rasa, on which the 
hand of the king, or, worse still, of the minister, was alone 

i6o European History, 1 598- 1 7 1 5 

visible. So the Parlement de Paris felt, when it embarked on 
the struggle with the Crown, that it had behind it not merely 
Importance of the turbulence of a great city, or the bastard 
the reform!. enthusiasm produced by professional agitators, 
but also a mass of thoughtful public opinion, traditions 
which lay deep in French history, and the political in- 
stincts of a growing nation. The example of England was 
sufficient to show that if it could, by whatever machinery, 
put an effectual check on the power of arbitrary taxation and 
the power of arbitrary imprisonment enjoyed by the govern- 
ment, it would have planted a seed from which the tree of 
liberty would assuredly spring. Of the four chief points of 
the charter of reform wrung from the Crown in October 1648, 
two, the reduction of the taille and the abolition of the Inten- 
dants, were merely passing remedies for special grievances of 
the time ; the other two, the control over taxation and the 
Habeas Corpus, enunciated principles of government for the 
future, which if they could have been enforced, would have 
infallibly altered the whole history of France. 

Unfortunately the Parlement itself was a body wholly unfit 
to lead a constitutional struggle. A close corporation of magis- 
Weaknessof Urates without representative character, without 
the Parle- legislative or political rights, without traditions 
"^"^^ to which to appeal, without force on which to 

rely, was ludicrously unfit to stand forth as the champion of 
national interests against a Crown, which at that very moment 
had assumed the headship of European politics. Its ally the 
city of Paris was more unfit still. The close-fisted bourgeoisie^ 
anxious for its privileges, and trembling for its money-bags, 
the turbulent populace of the streets intoxicated with its own 
importance, a small knot of interested agitators like Gondi, a 
larger body of selfish aristocrats and frivolous women, half 
fools, half knaves, like the duke of Beaufort and the duchesse 
de Longueville, were not the stuff of which successful consti- 
tutional revolutions are made. As a natural result the move- 
ment began at once to deteriorate. Hatred of Mazarin was a 

France under Richelieu and Mazarin i6l 

common factor between the constitutionalists of the Parlement, 
the populace of the streets, and princes of the blood-royal and 
the nobility. To gain the support necessary to meet the 
forces of the Crown, the Parlement had to rely The lead 
on the city and to appeal to the nobles. The noblnty^and 
latter eagerly joined the movement in (^rder to the populace. 
recover their old political influence and to oust the hated 
minister. They cared not a sou for the Parlement. In their 
heart of hearts they hated and they dreaded the noblesse de la 
robe and their constitutional ambitions. They wanted back 
the old days of private anarchy and public plunder. They 
loathed the very idea of constitutional reform and common 
right From the moment that the nobles took the direction of 
the movement it loses its constitutional character, it becomes 
only the last and the basest act in the long drama of the 
struggle between the nobles and the royal authority, it has for 
its direct and most unmistakable object, not the amelioration 
of a down-trodden people, but the overthrow of an unpopular 

From this point then the Fronde loses its chief interest and 
its story may be briefly told. Seeing the weakness of the 
court, the nobles flocked to take the leadership Factiousness 
of the movement out of the hands of the Parle- of the move, 
ment and Gondi. The prince de Conti, the due ™*°*' 
de Bouillon, the due de Beaufort the popular rot des halles, 
the due de Longueville and his intriguing fascinating wife, all 
rushed to Paris. Even Turenne, the patriot and the incor- 
ruptible, was for the moment seduced by the duchesse de 
Longueville to draw his sword against the court Mazarin 
however succeeded in detaching Cond^ from the side of the 
rebellion. On the 6th of January 1649 the court fled secretly 
to S. Germain, and nominating Conde to the command of its 
army prepared to bring Paris to its senses by open war. But 
for the time both sides shrunk from so terrible an alternative, 
and through the intervention of Mole, the president of one of 
the chambers of the Parlement and a man of unblemished 


1 62 European History, 1598- 17 15 

integrity, the peace of Ruel was arranged on the ist of April 
1649 on the basis of the status quo. For nearly a year quiet 
The Peace of was restored, but it was a peace only in name, the 
Ruel, 1649. intrigues, the libels, and the agitation continued 
as before. Conde in particular made himself odious to every 
one by the insolence of his pride and the theatrical ebulli- 
tions of his passionate nature. Even the patience of Mazarin 
became exhausted, and on the i8th of January 1650 he 
astonished France by suddenly committing Condd Conti 
and Longueville to prison. It was a gross blunder. The 
imprisonment of the princes gave his enemies 

Imprison- '^ r o 

mentofthe what they most wanted, a common rallying cry, 
pnnces, 1650. ^^iig ^^^g arbitrary character of the proceeding 
disgusted moderate men. The feeling became general that 
France would never gain peace as long as Mazarin remained 
at the head of affairs. The provinces of Normandy Guienne 
and Burgundy declared against the court, and the Fronde 
recommenced with a definite programme of the release of the 
princes and the banishment of Mazarin. Like so many other 
risings against royal authority, it took the outward form of a 
The risings in rising in the true interests of the Crown to rid it 
the provinces, of a bad and incapable minister. The revolts 
were put down in Normandy and Burgundy without difficulty, 
in Guienne by the capture of Bordeaux after a protracted 
siege by the queen-mother and the young king in person, but 
the flame continued to spread. Paris declared against the 
court. The due d'Orleans joined the movement. Turenne 
invaded France at the head of a Spanish army, but was 
defeated by Duplessis near Rethel on the 17th of December. 
Flight of Ma- Mazarin, ever timid, determined to yield. In 
zarin, 1651. January 1651 he left France secretly, having 
ordered the release of the princes, and betook himself to 
Briihl in the electorate of Koln from whence he still directed 
affairs by correspondence with the queen-mother and the 
ministers, Lionne Letellier and Servien. On the news of the 
retirement of Mazarin, the Fronde was beside itself with joy, 

France under Richelieu and Mazarin 163 

the Parlement passed a decree of banishment against him, and 
sold his library and works of art. Paris treated the court as 
its prisoners, and received the princes in triumph on their 
return from prison in February 1651. But Condd soon made 
himself more intolerable to the leaders of the Fronde by his 
rapacity and violence than he had been before to Mazarin ; 
and Anne by a clever move was able to detach the Frondeurs 
from him and drive him into open rebellion against the young 
king who had just been declared of age. 

The quarrel now openly appeared in its true light of a 
struggle between the nobles and the king. Conde, supported 
by Nemours, Le Rochefoucauld, La Tremouille The move- 
and others of the nobles, raised the south in re- ment a 
volt. Anne and the king on their side put three twefn ^e^' 
armies in the field. Turenne cameback to his allegi- nobles and 
ance, and Mazarin returned from his self-imposed * * «"own. 
exile and joined the court at Poitiers on the 28th of February 
1652. For eight months civil war raged and France lay at the 
mercy of rival armies, while the foreign enemy took advantage 
of her misery to advance his frontiers in the north-east. It 
looked as if the very policy which Richelieu and Mazarin had 
carried out so ruthlessly at the expense of Germany was about 
to recoil on the head of France. But no sooner were the two 
sides definitely arrayed against each other as the party of 
Conde and the nobility against the party of Mazarin and the 
royalists, than it was seen that though Paris would fight to the 
death against Mazarin, France would not fight against the 
king. Condd found no adequate support in the country. 
Foiled by the superior military genius of Turenne near Blenau 
in April, he was defeated at the Faubourg S. Antoine in 
July, and must have been utterly destroyed, had not the energy 
and enthusiasm of Mademoiselle, the daughter of Gaston 
of Orleans, persuaded the citizens of Paris to Quarrel be- 
admit him and his beaten army within the walls, tween Cond6 
But Paris had no love for Cond6. It simply ^"^ Paris, 
cherished an undying hatred for Mazarin, and a supreme 

164 European History, 1 598-171 5 

conviction of its own importance. It was the only force in 
France still opposed to the court, and Mazarin found himself 
in consequence the only obstacle to peace. By a voluntary 
retirement to Sedan in August 1652, he built a bridge by 
which the Parisians could return to their allegiance to the 
king without compromising their opposition to the minister. 
They eagerly availed themselves of it. Conde, finding him- 
self deserted on all sides, openly joined the enemies of France, 
and carried on for eight years more a foreign war against his 
Flight of country as the leader of the armies of Spain. On 

the"end^o"the ^^^ ^^^^ °^ October Louis entered Paris at the 
Fronde, 1652. head of his army and the Fronde was at an end. 
From that moment the royal authority shone out pre- 
eminent over all the forces of the country until the Revolu- 
tion. Constitutionalism as well as privilege, local feeling as 
well as legal right lay helpless before the all-mastering Crown 
The leaders of the Fronde were exiled, many of its supporters 
put to death on various pretexts, none of them admitted even 
to the shadow of political power. The Parlement were for- 
bidden to deal either directly or indirectly with the affairs of 
state. For a century it became but the registration office of 
the royal edicts and the channel of the royal justice, while the 
nobles, deprived of all political power and sadly weakened in 
local influence, accepted the service of a splendid court in 
willing exchange for the precarious dignity of half-independent 

When the triumph of the court was assured, Mazarin 
emerged from his retirement and again took up the reins of 
Return of government. For the nine years that were left 
Mazarin to to him of life and power, he strove to repair the 
power. havoc wrought by the Fronde in his private 

fortune and his public policy. His best efforts were directed 
to the maintenance of the war with Spain, which with the 
help of England was brought to such a successful issue by 
the peace of the Pyrenees in 1660. In domestic affairs he 
paid little attention to anything except the amassing of a 

France under Richelieu and Mazarin 165 

prodigious fortune in the management of which Colbert 
received his first lessons of finance. He had none of 
Richelieu's love for the greatness of France. He did nothing 
for her arts, her literature, or her sciences. He cared even 
less than Richelieu for the welfare and happiness of the 
people. His financial administration was corrupt to the core ; 
offices were sold, revenue anticipated, state property alienated 
for the personal advantage of the cardinal. Had it not been 
that he was soon succeeded by the best finance minister that 
France ever produced, the world would not so lightly have 
passed over the fact that Mazarin on his death in March 1661 
bequeathed to Louis xiv., not merely absolute power at home 
and the leadership of Europe abroad, but a home administra- 
tion at once so oppressive and so corrupt, that had it lasted 
but a few years longer, France could hardly have escaped 
hopeless bankruptcy and irretrievable ruin. 



Character and policy of Oxenstjerna — The Form of Government — War 
between Sweden and Denmark — Treaty of Bromsebro — Christina of 
Sweden — Her character and ability — Frederick William of Branden- 
burg — His character and political aims — The question of Pomerania — 
Condition of his dominions at his accession — His withdrawal from the 
Thirty Years' War — Acquisition of east Pomerania — Establishment of 
his personal authority — His intrigues against Charles x. of Sweden — 
Acknowledgment of Swedish suzerainty — He joins Charles X. against 
Poland — Obtains independence by the treaties of Labiau and Wehlau — 
Death of Charles X. — The pacification of the north. 

While the great powers of Europe were battling for the 
Rhine and the Pyrenees, the smaller nations of the north 
Position of were struggling for the command of the Baltic. 
Sweden, 163a. j^ ^^ g^ contest in which Denmark played the 
part of the Empire, the traditional but feeble possessor of 
rightful authority, while Sweden, like another France, strong 
in her new-found national unity, was impelled by her 
geographical position to claim a freedom which could not fail 
to end in leadership. When Gustavus Adolphus fell on the 
field of Lvitzen in 1632 he had succeeded in winning for his 
country supremacy on the Baltic and a foothold on German 
soil ; but his life had been too short, his career too meteor-like 
for him to have had time to consolidate by his statesmanship 
what he had won by his genius. That task was left to his 
Character and ^iend and Confidant, Axel Oxenstjerna, during 
policy of the minority of the young Christina who was 

xenstjern*. ^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^ ^^^^ years old when her father 

died. The man was well fitted to the task. Cautious, 


Northern Europe to the Treaty of Oliva 167 

deliberate, and cold-blooded, complete master of his emotions, 
he was a man of fixed ideas and tenacious policy. Nothing 
moved him, nothing changed him. Twice only in a long and 
anxious life did he know what it was to be sleepless, once 
after the battle of Liitzen, once after the battle of Nordlingen. 
Patriotism in him took bodily form in the House of Vasa and 
Gustavus Adolphus. During the life of the king his whole 
energies were devoted to carrying out his master's wishes, 
after his death to the completion of his master's policy. In 
the Thirty Years' War, as we have seen, he was the most 
strenuous and uncompromising enemy of peace. The 
miseries of Germany, the dangerous ambition of France, even 
the deterioration of his own country, were as nothing to him 
compared with the duty of obtaining for Sweden all that 
Gustavus might fairly have claimed. It required the personal 
intervention of the young queen herself to prevent her minister 
from ruining the country in order to preserve its dignity. At 
home his chief work was to place on a permanent basis the 
alliance of the crown with the ofiicial nobility, which it had 
been the special object of Gustavus Adolphus to create as a 
counterpoise to the influence of the hereditary nobility and 
the clergy. 

In the Form of Government adopted in 1634, Sweden 
received from Oxenstjema's hands the first of modern written 
constitutions. By it Lutheranism in the form of -fhs Form of 
the Confession of Augsburg was imposed upon Government, 
the sovereign and all his subjects. Government 
was vested in the king, advised by a senate of twenty members 
chosen by him from the nobility, to whom were added five ex 
officio members being the great officers of state, i.e. the steward, 
the marshal, the treasurer, the chancellor and the admiral. 
The whole direction of affairs during the illness or minority 
of the king was placed in their hands, subject only to the 
provision that all laws passed, privileges conferred, and aliena- 
tion of crown lands effected during the incapacity of the king 
must receive his subsequent ratification. Other provisions of 

1 68 European History, 1 598- 17 15 

a less important nature regulated the administration of justice, 
but in all of them the same care for securing the supremacy 
of the noble and official class is everywhere observable. In 
fact, the result of the Form of Government was to place the 
chief direction of affairs in Sweden for nearly fifty years in 
the hands of a narrow aristocratic clique of official families. 
During the minority of Christina, no less than three out of the 
five great officers of state were members of the Oxenstjerna 
family alone. The policy of the regency was conceived 
The govern- in the interests of the nobility. They profited 
MiTow ^y ^^ continuance of the war in Germany, for to 

oligarchy. them fell the high commands in the army, and 
the opportunities of amassing wealth by plunder and con- 
fiscation. They profited equally by the necessities of the 
Crown at home, for they became the possessors either by 
purchase or grant of large tracts of crown lands made over to 
them by the government, partly to secure their loyalty and 
partly to relieve its embarrassments. But what was meat to 
the nobles was poison to the peasantry. The people soon 
found that the court noble or the successful general was a far 
harder master to serve than ever the Crown had been. The 
long-continued war raised the taxes, checked the growth of 
manufactures, and drained the country of its best peasant 
blood, only to return to it a body of brigand soldiers ruined 
in morals and incapable of honest industry. Had it lasted 
but a few years longer, it is by no means improbable that 
Oxenstjerna would have found that he had purchased a 
foreign empire at the cost of a domestic revolution. The 
quick intelligence of Christina, brought up as she was in 
Sweden, while the Chancellor was forced to spend a large 
part of his time in Germany, appreciated the danger ; and 
this, quite as much as her natural humanity, prompted her 
to put an end to a war, which had ceased to have a serious 
political object, and was being waged in the interests of a 
class and in honour of a memory. 

In the war with Denmark which broke out in 1643 the 

Northern Europe to the Treaty of Oliva 169 

narrow but unflinching patriotism of Oxenstjeraa showed 
itself to better advantage. Free passage through war with 
the Sound and the Belts for Swedish ships was as Denmark, 1643. 
much a commercial necessity for the development of Swedish 
trade, as free passage through the passes of Savoy was a mili- 
tary necessity for the aggrandisement of France. But Denmark 
seated astride of the islands, with one foot on Halland and the 
other on Jutland, by merely raising the dues payable for the 
passage of ships, could crush the nascent trade at its birth. 
In doing so it had to reckon not merely with Sweden but with 
the more important maritime countries of Holland and England 
who carried on with Sweden, through the Sound, a prosperous 
and growing trade in skins, fur and copper, and were therefore 
keenly interested in the question of the Sound tolls. But in 
1639, seeing England involved in domestic trouble, and Hol- 
land fully occupied in the ceaseless struggle with Spain, 
Christian iv. thought the opportunity had come for vigorous 
action. He raised the tolls on the Sound, attempted to take 
the lead in German affairs by putting himself forward as medi- 
ator in the negotiations for peace, and in July 1640 directly 
insulted the government of Sweden by openly assisting the 
queen-mother, Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg to escape 
from the dignified seclusion in which she was kept. For the 
moment Oxenstjerna had to temporise, for the affairs ot 
Germany absorbed his whole energies, but two years later the 
opportunity came. Torstenson was suddenly directed upon 
Holstein without any declaration of war, and in conjunction 
with Horn quickly overran the whole of the mainland. 
Christian taken by surprise had to betake himself to his islands 
and his ships. There he fought like a hero, holding his own 
manfully for two summers against the combined efforts of 
Swedish fleets and Dutch sailors. But the odds ^^^ treaty of 
were too many for him, and after a severe defeat Bromsebro, 
in October 1644 he found himself obliged to sue '^^ 
for peace. The next year, in August 1645, the treaty of 
Bromsebro was negotiated through the mediation of France 


European History, 1 598-171 5 1 

between Christian and Oxenstjerna. By it Sweden was 
entirely relieved from the payments of tolls on the Sound and 
the Belts, and acquired the province of Halland on terms 
Acquisition of which practically involved its annexation. How- 
Haiiand and gygj. questionable on the score of public faith its 

freedom from ... . ili. 

the Sound beginnmg may have been, there is no doubt that 
dues. ^jjjg ^ag Qj^e Qf t}^g most important and useful 

wars waged by Sweden in the seventeenth century. At very 
little expense to herself, she completed the work of national 
consolidation by making Denmark retire across the natural 
frontier of the sea, and secured for the future the free and un- 
hampered development of her commerce. Both of them were 
acquisitions essential for her national well-being, and when 
once gained were gained for all time. The more showy 
rewards of the peace of Westphalia on the contrary, though 
they mark the zenith of the political glory of Oxenstjerna, were 
in no way the best gifts which Sweden received at his hands. 
They contained in themselves the fruit of future contests. 
Like the battles of Creci and Poitiers and the peace of 
Bretigni, the battles of Breitenfeld and Wittstock and the 
peace of Westphalia covered the conqueror with military glory 
at the cost of a hundred years of war. 

In this long drama of dull warfare, the reign of Christina is 
a short but picturesque interlude. Alone among Swedes and 
Christina of almost alonc among sovereigns, she loved to live 
Sweden. a life of culture among men of culture. She was 

not a student, but a master of classical literature, not the patron 
of men of letters, but herself a member of the sacred band. 
It is therefore easy to exaggerate the importance of her reign 
as an epoch in the civilisation of her country. The learning 
and the culture which gathered round Christina at Stockholm 
fixed no roots in the country, answered to no demand even in 
the university. It was a pure exotic, called into existence by 
the strange accident that Sweden had a cultured queen. It 
died on her abdication. It was personal and artificial not 
national and spontaneous, as unlike the great outburst of 

Northern Europe to the Treaty of Oliva \J\ 

English literature under Elizabeth with which it has sometimes 
been compared, as the bouquet of the theatre to the flowers of 
the Alps. The men of letters themselves formed, it is to be 
feared, an unwelcome and unpopular element in the half bar- 
baric court. To the rough nobles they were but a coterie of 
the queen's friends, a clique with whom she liked to live, a 
sort of superior race of pet animals which Sweden had to feed 
and maintain in order to please the queen. But the very fact 
that some of the most intellectual minds of the day were 
content to endure the cold and discomforts of Swedish sim- 
plicity, and the hardly concealed dislike of a barbarous and 
homely people, rather than lose the distinction of being 
numbered among the friends of Christina, is no mean tribute 
to her character and her mind. To be with her, to be received 
into her friendship, to listen to her conversation, to take part 
in her studies, this was the attraction which made Stockholm 
for the moment the Athens of the north. 

Christina is one of those few sovereigns who have made 
history by sheer force of personal character. In the whole 
range of the seventeenth century, there is no character of 
crowned head who can pretend to equality with Christina. 
her in the rare gifts of originality and distinction. A sworn 
foe to conventionality in all forms, with a mind uncompromis- 
ingly logical, she went straight to the root of a matter, to the 
horror of diplomatists and courtiers. The salient point of her 
character is her straightforwardness. There was nothing 
artificial about her and singularly little which was not original. 
She formed her own conceptions of policy, of religion, of culture, 
of manners. She adhered to them at all costs. She carried 
them out unhesitatingly. When one of them came into 
collision with another, instantly she surrendered the less to the 
greater. She abdicated the crown of Sweden because she was 
convinced that she ought to become a Roman Catholic. She 
procured the recogniiion of Charles Gustavus as her successor 
because she was determined not to marry. At the age of 
eighteen she forced the all-powerful Chancellor into making a 

1/2 European History, i$gZ-iyi^ 

peace which he loathed. Ten years later, after her abdica- 
tion, she murdered her steward Monaleschi through a wilfully 
mistaken view of her sovereign rights. Throughout her life 
she was the same, — clear-minded, self-willed, of keen decision 
and petulant temper, warmhearted and true to those she loved, 
malicious to those she disliked, a hater of humbug, a despiser 
of conventionality, cynical in speech, generous in action, 
prodigal with money, avaricious of fame, hating and hated by 
women, always attractive to men. In truth Christina was 
one of nature's mistakes. She was intended for a man. Mas- 
culine in intellect, masculine in will, masculine in bodily 
endurance, masculine in the roughness of her sensibilities, she 
showed her sex mainly in her dislike of women. She knew 
herself to be a man, and resented bitterly the freak of nature 
which had clothed her with a woman's form. She dressed 
like a man, rode like a man, at times swore like a man, and 
confessed that one of her greatest desires was to see a battle. 
No noble at the Swedish court could tire her when hunting, 
or could surpass her presence of mind in the hour of danger. 
She knew not what fear was, she was never seen in tears. Yet 
there was something feminine in her love of intrigue, her pas- 
sion for notoriety, her want of shame. At the French court 
she busied herself in making mischief between the young king 
and his mother by encouraging his infatuation for Marie 
Mancini. She delighted in shocking the etiquette of the 
royal circle by the freedom of her conversation and the uncon- 
ventionality of her attitudes, and she went out of her way to 
outrage all sense of propriety by choosing the famous courtesan 
Ninon de L'Enclos as the only Frenchwoman to whom she 
would be decently civil. When a queen demeans herself 
thus, she must expect to make enemies, and Christina had 
only herself to thank if she was aftenvards denied permission 
to visit the French court at Paris, and found among French 
women her most persistent detractors. 

Abdications among sovereigns are so rare that the attention 
of historians has been naturally attracted by the picturesqueness 

Northern Europe to the Treaty of Oliva 173 

of that of Christina to the detriment of her real title to fame. 
In the ten years of her rule over Sweden she conducted a 
great war to a glorious end, she established her Her political 
authority by sheer ascendency of character over ability. 
a narrow and jealous oligarchy, she settled a most diffi- 
cult constitutional question, that of the devolution of the 
Crown, in the best way for the nation, by her own firmness of 
will. She made herself beloved by her people, and easily 
suppressed the conspiracy of Messenius in spite of its wide rami- 
fications among the democracy. She made Stockholm for the 
time the most learned and cultured court of Europe. Above 
all when her own religious convictions forced her into anta- 
gonism with the constitution of her country, she never hesitated 
to prefer the interests of her country to her own dignity. She 
recognised from the first that in the seventeenth century it 
was impossible for Sweden to permit her sovereign to be of 
any religion except that of Luther, and when she had made 
up her mind to become a Roman Catholic she accepted the 
inevitable and abdicated her throne. There are few sovereigns 
who can claim to have done more for their country by activity 
or by renunciation than Christina. Her abdication was right 
and unavoidable. The mistake she made lay in not carrying 
it far enough. She ought to have retired into private life, but 
this was too great a self-denial for so active a mind and so 
vigorous a personality. She ceased to be queen of Sweden, 
but she determined still to be queen. She maintained royal 
state, she claimed royal rights, she plunged into intrigue, she 
interfered in politics, she tried to dominate over literature and 
taste. Deprived of all right to express, and shorn of all power 
to enforce, her wishes, she soon sank into becoming che 
common bore of Europe, and found herself politely relegated 
to her palace at Rome, where she became one of the sights of 
the city and the leader of a fashionable and artistic coterie. 

While Christina was witching the northern world by the 
vigour and charm of her personaHty, Brandenburg under the 
cautious and unscrupulous Frederick William was slowly 

174 European History, 1 598-171 5 

winning its way to predominance in north Germany. No two 
persons could well be more different than the queen and the 
Frederick elector, whom at one time a marriage project of 
William of Gustavus Adolphus had attempted to unite in a 
Brandenburg. ^^^^ unequal yoke. Christina, worldly though 
she might be in her love of mischief-making and petulance of 
disposition, was essentially a woman of noble character and 
lofty aspirations. She lived amongst great thoughts and 
high ideals. Frederick William grovelled upon the earth, and 
cherished its mire and its dirt if only he could possess himself 
of one acre the more of it. A true HohenzoUern in his 
absolute identification of his country with his own crown, 
he never rose above the pure selfishness of patriotism. Not 
one spark of generosity illuminated his policy, not one grain 
of idealism coloured his ambition, no sentiment of moral right 
ever interfered with his judgment, no fear of future retribution 
arrested his action. Mean-minded, false, and unscrupulous, he 
was the first sovereign to display the principles of seventeenth 
century Machiavellianism, stripped of their cloak of Italian 
refinement, in all the hideous brutality of German coarseness. 
Yet the political world was not the worse for the rule of the 
Great Elector. Putting all questions of right and wrong on 
one side, the success achieved by Frederick William was in 
the direction of progress. The Thirty Years' War left Ger- 
many shattered into fragments as if by the stroke of a giant's 
Ultimate aim hammer, at a time when all Europe was drawing 
of his policy, itself together and coalescing into powerful states. 
Had that disintegration continued, had no one come forward 
to establish a power in northern Europe, which might at any 
rate form a nucleus round which the floating atoms of northern 
Germany and northern Protestantism might gather, central 
Europe must have fallen a prey to French ambition or Russian 
barbarism. Events have shown clearly enough, that neither 
Sweden, nor England, nor the United Provinces, could have 
saved Europe from such a catastrophe, had there not been in 
northern Germany itself a power, centralised in government 

Northern Europe to the Treaty of Oliva 175 

and military in spirit, which could unfurl the flag of German 
nationality. To found such a power was the work of the 
Great Elector's life, and before his death the results had made 
themselves visible in European politics. He it is who is the 
real founder of the state of Prussia. Cradled in the horrors 
of the Thirty Years' War, nourished by the falseness and the 
tyranny of Frederick William, ushered into manhood by the 
cynical ambition of Frederick the Great, she has yet become in 
her steady protest against French domination one of the chief 
bulwarks of European order, in her assertion of German unity 
the centre of the noblest of German aspirations. 

When Frederick William succeeded his father in the elec- 
torate of Brandenburg in 1640 no one would have predicted 
that from that desolate discredited and divided Rivalry be- 
state was to arise the hope of Germany. The tween Brand- 
policy of neutrality in the earlier years of the sweden^kithe 
war, adopted not without a certain amount of Thirty Years' 
shrewdness by George William in conjunction 
with his friend John George of Saxony, had broken down 
under the menace of the guns of Gustavus Adolphus and the 
invasion of Tilly. But the league between the Swedes and 
the elector could never be anything more than hollow, unless 
the former were prepared to surrender the rights of a con- 
queror over Pomerania. George William was the acknow- 
ledged heir of the old duke Boguslav. Pomerania, with its 
extensive seaboard, was just what Brandenburg wanted for her 
national development, and the Elector had been accustomed 
to look upon it as his own. The landing of Gustavus Adol- 
phus changed the whole face of affairs in a moment. Pomer- 
ania became just as important to the Swedes as a basis of 
communication with Sweden and the Baltic, as it was to 
Brandenburg as a step in her aggrandisement. Why should 
the Swedes, who had saved the country from the hands of 
Wallenstein, surrender it tamely to George William who had 
not stirred one finger of his own free will on behalf of the Pro- 
testant cause? Naturally enough the Swedes stuck obstinately 

176 European History, 15 98-171 5 

to their rights of conquest. Never would Oxenstjema yield 
to the technical claims of Brandenburg, what Gustavus 
Adolphus had wrested from the enemy by force of arms. 
Never would Brandenburg abate her just and legal demands 
in the face of a selfish and brutal conqueror. So as time went 
on Sweden became far more the national enemy of Branden- 
burg than the Emperor had ever been. The unfortunate 
mark, lying as it did on the straight road between Bohemia 
and the Baltic, was harried alternately by the armies of both 
sides as the fortune of war ebbed and flowed. In 1635 
George William accepted the treaty of Prague, but that gave 
no respite to his unlucky domain. In 1638, unable to find 
sustenance in the impoverished mark, he removed his court 
to Konigsberg in east Prussia, where he died worn out with 
misery and failure in 1640, leaving his son Frederick William 
at the age of twenty the possessor of little land and many claims. 
The territories owned by Frederick William on his accession 
were divided into three quite separate districts.* The old 
Brandenburg possessions of the house of HohcnzoUern in north 
at the acces- Europc consistcd of the mark of Brandenburg, 

sion of ,,..,.- , . . 

Frederick subdivided for admmistrative purposes mto the 
William, 1640. old mark, the middle mark and the new mark, 
which they had ruled as margraves and as electors since the 
beginning of the fifteenth century. This country, purely 
The mark ot German, was like other German states part of the 
Brandenburg. Empire, subjcct to the legal authority of the 
Emperor and had its own diet with vague powers of counsel 
and control over the elector in local affairs. On the east of 
The duchy of the Vistula, altogether outside of the limits of the 
East Prussia. Empire, was the duchy of east Prussia, which had 
become the hereditary possession of the HohenzoUerns by one 
of the accidents of the Reformation. The country belonged 
to the Order of the Teutonic Knights, and was subject to 
the suzerainty of Poland, but in 1525 the Knights accepted 
the Lutheran Reformation, dissolved the Order, and formed 
their territory into a duchy hereditary in the house of the grand 
^ See map facing p. 124. 

Northern Europe to the Treaty of Oliva 1 77 

master of the time, count Albert of HohenzoUem. At the be- 
ginning of the seventeenth century his line became merged 
in that of the Brandenburg branch of the family, and the 
elector of Brandenburg became also duke of east Prussia. 
Here, as in the mark, the existence of a diet in which sat 
both nobles and burghers formed a constitutional check 
on the will of the ruler, a check all the more effective 
because of the reluctance with which the people of east 
Prussia and their feudal suzerain the king of Poland had ac- 
knowledged the rights of the Brandenburg branch to the duchy. 
But the territorial claims of the young elector did not stop 
with the German mark of Brandenburg, the Polish duchy of 
east Prussia, and the succession to the German duchy of Pom- 
erania. Within the limits of the Empire, stretching along both 
banks of the Rhine, in the neighbourhood of Koln, lay 
the duchies of Cleves, Jiilich, Berg, and Mark, Duchy of 
to which the elector of Brandenburg and the sieves, 
count of Neuburg had put in claims as w« have seen in 
1609 and thereby very nearly precipitated the great war. By 
the treaty of Xanten, concluded in 16 14 and practically re- 
newed in 1630, the disputed territory was divided between 
the claimants, and the duchies of Cleves, Mark, and Ravensberg 
fell to the share of Brandenburg. During the war, however, 
Brandenburg was unable to make its power recognised over its 
new domains. The country was for some time the battle- 
ground of the Spaniards and the Dutch. As the tide of war 
rolled away from the lower Rhine it was occupied and practi- 
cally administered by the Dutch, and when peace was restored 
Frederick William found himself obliged to assert what was to 
all intents and purposes a new sovereignty. 

Bearing in mind the scattered character of the Brandenburg 
possessions, a glance at the map is sufficient to show how 
geographical considerations dictated to the young ^j^^^ ^^ 
elector his policy, and inspired his territorial Frederick 
ambitions. If only he could make good his '*™* 
claims on Pomerania, or at least on the eastern part of it, 


178 European History, i^gZ-iyi^, 

there would be nothing but the strip of west Prussia along 
the banks of the Vistula to separate his German dominions 
from his duchy of east Prussia. A successful war, or a lucky 
diplomatic stroke, might raise him at once into the position of 
the greatest power in the north. Side by side with the terri- 
torial dream went as was natural in a prince of the seventeenth 
century a dynastic ambition. Already events had made his 
dependence upon the Emperor almost nominal, the same 
success which won him west Prussia and united his dominions 
would also free him from his feudal vassalage to Poland. 
Once thoroughly independent of foreign authority he could 
turn his attention to his own subjects, and on the ruins of the 
effete and discredited diets raise, like Richelieu in France, a 
highly centralised military sovereignty in which the crown 
should be all in all. Such was the policy laid down for him- 
self and his house by the Great Elector, and adhered to 
unflinchingly by his descendants ever since. Centralisation of 
the government, military rule, constant territorial aggrandise- 
ment have been the characteristics of the Prussian monarchy, 
and have ended in making out of the disjointed and turbulent 
dominions of Frederick William, a united and peaceful king- 
dom, which stretches from Russia to Belgium, and embraces 
in its ample folds the valleys of the Rhine, the Elbe, the Oder 
and the Vistula 

Directly in the way of the realisation of the least of these 
designs, as the Great Elector well knew, lay the hostile powers 
Unavoidable of Sweden and of Poland. He could not touch 
Swedrifand Pomcrauia without encountering the bitter jeal- 
Poiand. ousy of Swcdcn, he could not advance an inch 

towards the union of east Prussia and Brandenburg without 
first destroying the integrity of Poland. Over the prostrate 
bodies of these formidable neighbours lay the only road to his 
territorial ambition. It was a road beset with difficulties. 
What chance could the barren ravaged and disunited Bran- 
denburg have in an unequal contest with Sweden, at that time 
admittedly the first military power in northern Europe ? How 

Northern Europe to the Treaty of Oliva I79 

could the half-starved German peasant withstand the onslaught 
of the brave though undisciplined masses of Polish cavalry? 
Frederick William knew that he must wait for a favourable 
opportimity, and spent the time in anxious preparation. His 
first care was to transfer the conduct of afifairs in the mark 
from the hands of his father's minister, Schwartzenburg, who 
was devoted to the Emperor, to his own, and to reorganise 
the army under himself. In this he was aided by the death 
of Schwartzenburg in 1641, and the subsequent revolt of his 
son and the discontented officers. Having thus ^ ^,. ^ 

*= Estabhsh- 

got at his back a force upon which he could de- ment of his 
pend he openly broke with the Emperor, and with Personal 

,.-„,• /. , T 1 • authority in 

the full approbation of the diet entered into Brandenburg 
negotiations with the Swedes for a treaty of neu- ^""^ ^f ^* 
trality. Then turning his attention to the duchy of 
east Prussia, where the estates were trying to establish their 
superiority over him, with a diplomatic skill rarely found in a 
man of twenty, he succeeded in sowing dissensions between 
the nobles and the representatives of the towns, who took the 
lead in opposing his authority. By winning the former over 
to his side he was able to procure the recognition of his rule 
from John Casimir, king of Poland, in spite of the protest of 
the towns, and thus to enter legally upon his sovereignty. In 
1643 the treaty with Sweden was successfully His with- 
concluded, and for the rest of the war Branden- drawaifrom 
burg was practically free from the ravages of the Years- War, 
rival armies. The breathing space thus gained *^43- 
was devoted by Frederick William to the reorganisation of the 
finances and the training of the army, and Brandenburg was 
in consequence enabled to assert her claims to consideration 
in the negotiations at Miinster and Osnabriick with a force 
which would have appeared incredible in the Gains of 
days of George William. When the peace of Brandenburg 
Westphalia was finally settled it was found that of West' ^^ 
Brandenburg was given the right of annexing the phaiia, 1648. 
secularised bishoprics of Magdeburg, Halberstadt, Minden 

l8o European fftsfory, I ^gS-i7i$ 

and Camin, and the duchy of eastern Pomerania« But the 
larger part of the lands were at the time of the conclusion of 
peace in the military occupation of the Swedes, and they were 
not at all disposed to evacuate them, until they had been 
Occupation paid the indemnity for their expenses which had 
Pomerania. been securcd to them by the peace. Finally how- 
1653. ever, after much negotiation and many delays, 

the patience and skill of the Great Elector prevailed over all 
obstacles, and the year 1653 saw the back of the last Swedish 
soldier in retreat from eastern Pomerania. 

The year 1653 closes the first chapter of the story of the 
aggrandisement of Brandenburg. The territory of the elector 
Position of ^^'^ Stretched in a compact mass across north 
Brandenburg, Germany from Halberstadt to the Baltic. It 
^ ^^' comprised parts of the fertile valleys of the Elbe 

the Havel and the Oder with their industrious populations, as 
well as the important coast line of eastern Pomerania with its 
numerous harbours. Detached from the central mass lay the 
duchy of east Prussia beyond the Vistula and the scattered 
districts of Cleves and Mark upon the Rhine and of Ravens- 
berg and Minden upon the Weser. Inferior in prestige and 
military power to Sweden, inferior in extent to Poland, 
Brandenburg nevertheless emerged from the Thirty Years' 
War stronger, both actually and relatively, than she was when 
the struggle began. There was no German power in north 
Germany her equal in strength, and no power in north Europe 
her superior in government. Since he had come to the 
throne Frederick William had steadily followed the policy of 
centralising the administration under himself and crushing 
the independent rights of the diets. In Brandenburg itself, 
where the advantages of centralisation under so able and keen- 
sighted a ruler were quickly seen, the opposition was never 
formidable, and in 1653, the very year of the annexa- 
tion of eastern Pomerania, the ancient diet went quietly 
into perpetual sleep for want of being summoned. In east 
Prussia and in Cleves the work was far more difficult, and 

Northern Europe to the Treaty of Oliva l8i 

the Elector had to content himself for a time with crushing 
all serious opposition by the employment of Brandenburg 
soldiers to keep order, a proceeding which although illegal 
was extremely effective. 

In 1655 occurred an event which called forth all the Great 
Elector's powers of statesmanship. The old hostility between 
Poland and Sweden, the two most dangerous neighbours 
of Brandenburg, suddenly flamed out again. John Casimir, 
king of Poland, refused to acknowledge Charles Gustavus, 
who had succeeded to the Swedish throne on the ^^^ between 
abdication of Christina. Charles, who had been Sweden and 
brought up in the school of the Thirty Years' War ° ^" ' ^ ^" 
and was no mean soldier, determined to avenge the insult, 
and demanded from the Great Elector the right of passage 
through eastern Pomerania into Poland, in order to avoid the 
difficult task of the siege of the sea fortress of Dantzig, which 
had cost Gustavus Adolphus many weary hours some twenty- 
five years before. Frederick William was not in a position to 
resist, and after making a few demonstrations to cover appear- 
ances, gave the required permission. The Swedes, using 
Pomerania as their basis of operations, poured across Brand- 
enburg into Poland, defeated John Casimir, drove him back 
on Cracow and then returned leisurely into west Prussia to 
form the siege of Dantzig. The Great Elector now thought he 
saw his opportunity. The Poles were beaten not unsuccessful 
conquered. Denmark was ever ready to strike intri^e of 
a blow at her old enemy across the Baltic, wmfam 
Charles x. was fully occupied round Dantzig. against 
A well-planned alliance and a weD-timed stroke ^* *°* 
might bring Sweden to her knees and win his own independ- 
ence of Poland. But Charles was too quick for Acknowiedg- 
him. Hearing of the negotiations in the middle ment of 
of the winter of 1655-56 he at once broke up suzerainty 
his camp and marched into east Prussia on over East 
Konigsberg. Frederick William had to make ™^^'^' * so. 
his peace as best he could. By the treaty of Konigsberg, 

1 82 European History, 1598- 17 15 

developed by the treaty of Marienbad, concluded in June 
1656, Brandenburg was forced to acknowledge the suzerainty 
of Sweden over east Prussia, instead of that of Poland, to 
grant to the Swedes free passage through the country, and to 
provide a contingent to serve under Swedish orders in the 
Polish war. 

It was a bitter lesson to the Great Elector, but ever patient 
and ever trustful of his own diplomatic skill, he continued his 
policy and awaited a more favourable opportunity, but for 
War with the present he had to submit to the inevitable. 
Poland, 1656. -ptjg Brandenburg contingent marched with 
Charles x. and the Swedish army to Warsaw, and did their 
share in the winning of the great three days' battle in July 
1656, which placed Poland at the feet of the Swedes. But 
the victory of Charles x. was, as is so often the case, the 
beginning of his difficulties. It was always easy to defeat a 
Polish army, it was almost impossible to reduce the country 
to submission. The intrigues of the Great Elector began to 
bear fruit. While Charles was planning the pursuit of John 
Casimir into the recesses of the forests of Galicia, the king of 
Coalition Denmark was preparing to invade Sweden itself, 

against the Russians declared war, and a horde of 

we en. Tartars and Lithuanians poured into east Prussia, 

Charles x. found himself in the middle of a hostile country, 
with a doubtful ally, surrounded by a host of enemies. Fred- 
erick William insisted on an immediate return to defend east 
Prussia from the invaders. Charles could not resist so 
plausible a demand. With a heavy heart he retired from the 
scene of his victory into west Prussia, where he took ship for 
Treaty of Denmark, having first done what he could to 

Labiau. retain Frederick William in his enforced alliance 


mentofthe by recognising the independence of east Prussia 
independence jn the treaty of Labiau, signed in November 1656. 
Prussia by Directly his back was turned, the Great Elector 
Sweden, 1656. threw off the mask, and offered his friendship 
and assistance to John Casimir, if only he would follow the 

Northern Europe to the Treaty of Oliva 183 

example of Sweden, and release east Prussia from all claims 
of feudal vassalage. As long as he obtained his Treaty of 
independence, Frederick William did not trouble Wehiau. 
about the honesty of the transaction. John ment °7the^' 
Casimir accepted the terms. By the treaty independence 
of Wehlau, concluded in September 1657, the Prussia by 
Great Elector cynically reversed the treaty of Poland, 1657. 
Labiau, made only ten months before, became the ally of 
Poland and the enemy of Sweden, and received as the reward 
of his dissimulation, the recognition of the independence of 
east Prussia by his legitimate suzerain. 

The anger of Charles x. when he heard of it knew no 
bounds. Thirsting for revenge he nerved himself to attempt 
the feats of a hero. In the depth of the winter Attack upon 
of 1657-58, he suddenly marched his army of Denmark by 
20,000 men across the ice of the Belts upon ^^ ^°' ^^^^" 
Denmark, and captured the islands of Fiinen and Zealand on 
his way without ships, crossing it is said some runlets of open 
water by bridges. Denmark, paralysed with astonishment 
hastened to make peace, and Charles directed his army upon 
east Prussia. But fortunately for the Great Elector, Europe had 
become tired of incessant war ; and the great states, especially 
the maritime powers of England and Holland, had no wish to 
see their trade interfered with by the conquests of a new 
Alexander of the north. They interfered to impose negotia- 
tions for peace upon the combatants. The Treaties of 
death of Charles x. in February 1660 made their °''^^' Copen- 

11 • J ■» T t yy -1 hagen, and 

task the easier, and on May 3rd, looo, was signed Kardis, 1660- 
the treaty of Oliva, between Sweden Poland and ^^*- 
Brandenburg. In the following month the treaty of Copen- 
hagen restored peace to Sweden and Denmark, and in 1661 
the north was finally pacified by the conclusion of the treaty 
of Kardis between Sweden and Russia. 

By these treaties John Casimir of Poland renounced all 
claims upon the throne of Sweden, and acknowledged the 
independent sovereignty of Frederick William in east Prussia. 

1 84 European History, 1598-17 15 

Frederic iii, of Denmark surrendered almost all the remain- 
ing possessions of Denmark on the Scandinavian peninsula to 
Terms of the Sweden, and all other conquests made were re- 
pacification of stored. Sweden thus attained the geographical 
unity which she had long desired, and the Great 
Elector had guaranteed to him by European treaty the inde- 
pendent sovereignty over the duchy of east Prussia which 
he had risked so much to gain. If the peace of Westphalia 
marks the first great step in the territorial aggrandisement of 
Brandenburg, the peace of Oliva marks the first great step 
towards the dynastic aggrandisement of the elector. Already 
absolute and sovereign in Brandenburg, he now became sove- 
reign in east Prussia, and only one step remained to be taken, 
to make the united state of Brandenburg-Prussia the most 
formidable, because the most centralised power of the 



Alteration of political ideals in the middle of the century — Seventeenth-cen- 
tury kingship — Character of Louis xiv. — His government — The organisa- 
tion of France under him— The training of Colbert— Nicholas Fouquet — 
Colbert becomes minister of finance — His financial reforms — The prin- 
ciples of bis financial policy — Advantages and dangers of his system — 
Character of Colbert — The choice before Louis in 1671 between com- 
mercial and military supremacy — Preference of military supremacy. 

The eighteen months which followed the peace of the 
Pyrenees form the turning-point of the seventeenth century. 
Up to that time the ideas and the policy which ^nered 
sprang from the controversies of the sixteenth political 
century had made themselves felt, albeit but * ^^^'^ 
dimly. As long as the battle between the Church and 
Puritanism was being waged in England, as long as Spain 
with her uncompromising Catholicism was still in the front 
rank of European states, as long as Sweden, strong in the 
traditions of Gustavus Adolphus, was still the first power in 
the north, it was impossible to say that the interest of religious 
questions had quite ceased to be the dominant interest in 
European politics. But the years 1660 and 1661 saw a great 
change, not so much in the motives and ambitions which 
really actuated nations, as in the men who were called upon 
to express them in politics. From the peace of the Pyrenees, 
Spain retired from the arena of politics into a sleep of decay 
and decline, and ceased to be of importance in the affairs of 
Europe, until the ill-omened day when were seen gathering 
round her carcase the eagles of the world prepared for deadly 
strife. From the Restoration in May 1660, England wholly 


1 86 European History^ 1598-1715 

surrendered any claim to be thought to be guided by moral 
ideals in her policy at home or abroad, and ofifered herself to 
the highest bidder, under the guidance of a king whose sole 
thought was for his own personal comfort. The peace of 
Oliva, and the death of Charles x. left Frederick William of 
Brandenburg the foremost figure in northern Europe, and 
consecrated by the rewards of success the policy of pure 
selfishness in its most shameless form. History often has to 
note how among the contests inspired by religion, liberty and 
patriotism, there is much of selfish intrigue and personal 
ambition ; how in the most sacred causes the dictates of 
humanity and of justice are not unfrequently forgotten ; and it 
may well be said, that the spectacle of a Charles 11. bartering 
away his country's honour to gain for himself immunity from 
trouble, or of a Frederick William cynically breaking faith 
with the ally of yesterday because he could obtain more from 
the ally of to-day, is only more repulsive, because less hypo- 
critical, than the ambition of an Elizabeth or a Philip 11., 
which attempted to conceal itself under nobler ideals. But 
after all, taking men at their worst, which is always the most 
untrue of estimates, it is something in international politics, 
where self-interest must necessarily play so large a part, that 
its working should be concealed as much as possible, even 
from those who are actuated by it. Moral conventions are 
necessary where an agreed standard of moral principle is 
impossible, and bad faith is as reprehensible in diplomacy as 
the employment of savages is in war. Those who use them 
may gain the battle, but at the cost of civilisation. 

The monarchs and statesmen who were succeeding to the 
responsibilities of government in the middle of the seven- 
Personai tcenth ccntury found themselves in a very dif- 

power and ferent position from that which their fathers had 
aggrandise- inherited. No longer were there great ideals 
ment,the around them to take captive their imaginations 

motives of , , , , . • x, i i 

policy. and absorb their energies. No longer were there 

obvious difficulties of home government to conquer or avoid* 

Louis XIV. and Colbert 1 87 

There were no struggling nationalities like that of 
Holland to protect, no overgrown dominating tyranny like 
that of Spain to oppose, no turbulent territorial baronage to 
crush, or be crushed by, the Crown. These questions had 
worked themselves out in the earlier part of the century and 
had left a blank behind them. A young king, who took up 
the reins of government after the middle of the century, 
found an open map before him. His country unique 
was much exhausted by war, longing above position of 
everything for rest, ready to make any sacrifices ""own. 

for order. The-aobleSj jhjnned and im poverished by war, 
were not in a position to dispute his authority. The arhiy," 
well organised and obedient^^ gave him a power over the lives 
and property of his subjects, wholly unknown to former 
generations. A highly developed system of diplomacy 
enabled him to concluci negotiations secretly with all the 
important~'st^5S;;;;5f_E^02e,__5£hile. as yet the comity oi 
nations had established no general moral standard to which 
diplomatists were expected to conform. Under these circum- 
stances it was only natural that the ambition of sovereigns 
should impel them to try and make their own power supreme 
at home, and to enlarge the boundaries of their territories 
abroad. Absolute power and territorial aggrandisement be- 
come the main objects of European kings. The nation is 
identified with the king; the larger and the richer the territory 
he rules, the greater his glory and circumstance. Before that 
all things give way. Differences of speech, differences of 
race, differences of religion, differences of government, count 
for nothing, and whole peoples are tossed about from one 
ruler to another like counters at the table of the diplomatists, 
not in cynicism but in sheer unconcern. Wrapped up in the 
supreme importance of gaining for their respective masters one 
district or one town the more, politicians have become wholly 
oblivious of everything else; until from the sheer necessity 
of having some principle to which to appeal, they eventually 
evolved the doctrine of the balance of power, which, when 

1 88 European History, 1 598- 1 7 1 5 

pushed to its logical development in the succeeding century, 
meant little else than that, if one European state managed to 
steal something, all the other states had the right of stealing 
something too. In the nineteenth century, the cause of 
oppressed nationahties has most powerfully influenced the 
map of Europe. It is the glory and the boast of the greater 
powers to have assisted in the unification 01 Italy, or the 
liberation of the Christian states of the Balkan Peninsula. 
At the end of the seventeenth century it was quite otherwise. 
To establish beyond all question the authority of the crown, 
to maintain a powerful and perfectly equipped army, to 
astonish the world by the splendour of the court, to push 
ever further and further away the frontiers of the nation, to 
extend a lordly protection, little short of vassalage, to weaker 
countries, — such were the objects of a patriot king, such the 
rewards of successful statesmanship. The nation was 
focussed and crystallised into the person of the king. It 
worked, fought, lived, conquered for him alone. In his glory 
it saw its own reflected, it recognised him as its representative 
and its champion, it surrendered its independence to him un- 
grudgingly, and in his success it reaped its reward. The rights 
of peoples were not so much set aside, as not even thought of, 
for everything was absorbed in the personality of the king. 

Of this type of kingship Louis xiv. is always looked upon 
as the representative if not the founder. Its founder he 
Louis XIV. certainly was not, for his was not the mind to 
the type of found anything. There is nothing original, no 

seventeenth ..•',°_. __° ° , 

century king- mitiative, about Louis XIV. He can use, he 
^^'P- cannot produce. The productive power seems 

wholly wanting in him. He is essentially a barren man, 
singularly skilful in making use of the material with which 
he is provided, but unable to add to it. It has often been 
pointed out how he inherited everything which has made 
him great, and left nothing great behind him. Conde and 
Turenne, Lionne and Servien, Colbert, Corneille, and Racine 
were the products of the age of RicheUeu and Mazarin, and 

Louis XIV. and Colbert 1 89 

Only utilised by Louis, while Villeroy and Tallard and Boileau 
were the work of his own hands. The statement requires 
some modification, but the principle which under- Lo^is ^ man 
lies it is true. Nearly everything which was great of second-rate 
in France at the time of his accession to power ^ ' ' 
Louis had the ability to use. For the most part what 
became great in France during his reign was not trained 
by him, and indeed in the case of Port Royal attained its 
greatness in spite of him, and what was directly trained by 
him was not great. The reason is not far to seek. It is the 
vice of an absolutely centralised monarchy, where the king is 
all in all, that it cannot in the nature of things tolerate any 
one greater than the king. The ministers are servants, and 
no servant can be greater than his master. Even in the 
Prussian monarchy of to-day there is no room for His deter- 
a Bismarck, still less could one have been per- ^mtro°no 
mitted to exist at the court of Louis xiv. An nvai. 
absolute monarch sets the standard of his ministers, if he 
absorbs the whole state into himself as did Louis, and does 
not merely let things govern themselves as is the fashion 
among Oriental despots. From the time of the death of 
Mazarin, Louis determined he would never have another 
prime minister. He himself, like Napoleon after him, would 
be the head and motive power of the whole of the govern- 
mental and social machinery. He kept his word with singular 
patience and pertinacity, and working harder probably than 
any sovereign had worked, since the days of Philip 11., 
never permitted a minister, not even Louvois, to rise above 
the merest departmental independence. The result was 
inevitable. A commonplace man himself, without insight, 
without originaUty, without independence of mind, he could 
not inspire genius, and could not tolerate it if he found it. 
He wanted dihgence and accuracy, not genius and statesman- 
ship, clerks not ministers of state, and he got what he wanted. 
It is significant that in all departments of administration 
except one, when he had used up the men whom Richelieu 

190 European History, I <)C)Z-I7l$ 

and Mazarin had left to him, he found no others to take their 
places. In diplomacy alone France remained unrivalled to 
the end of the century, the one department of which Louis 
himself was complete master, and in the conduct of which he 
was thoroughly competent to take the lead. 

But in spite of his deficiencies in the higher qualities of 
statesmanship, not Aristides better deserved his title of the 
His great J^^*^' ^^^^ ^^^ Louis XIV. that of U Grand 
kingly Monarque. It was essentially as a king that 

qua ities. Louis was great. No sovereign of modem days 

has had the kingly gifts in such rich profusion. '^ Dignity 
without awkwardness, courtesy without familiarity, gallantry 
without coarseness, a winning manner, ready tact, chivalrous 
bearing, refined mind, and modest demeanour, made the 
young king at once the pride of the French court and the 
boast of the French nation. '' But something more than this 
was required to make him the pattern and type of European 
kingship. It was not merely that his social insight brought 
instinctively to his lips the word which, within the bounds of 
good breeding, would prove most pleasing or most effective 
to those whom he wished to impress, or that his knowledge 
of character taught him almost intuitively the best mode of 
approaching those whom he wished to win. It was not only 
that his elaborate and punctual care for the etiquette and 
ceremonial of the court could not fail to affect the mind with 
a sense of the perfection of regal state, and attract it by a 
polished order of courtly magnificence. Versailles was not 
the first court in Europe to be distinguished by the splendour 
of its ceremonial, and the refinement of its manners, but 
Louis XIV. was the first great sovereign in Europe who made 
His theory the perfection of his court an essential part of his 
of kingship, system of policy. When the Popes had ceased 
to be the common fathers of Western Christendom, they 
applied themselves to make the seat of their power the centre 
of the wider realm of art. Rome deposed from the throne of 
universal faith was to be recompensed by the sceptre of 

Louis XI V. and Colbert 191 

aniversal culture. So when France was assuming the head- 
ship of Europe, and was preparing to strike for the dominion 
of the civilised world, her court was to be the epitome, the 
representation of the world's greatness. Mirrored there in a 
tiny but radiant sphere was to be found all which makes 
humanity noble and life beautiful. Intellect and birth, 
genius and beauty, culture and statesmanship, art and 
devotion, all were to be there marshalled in an admirable 
perfection of order, but shining one and all with a reflected 
light, illuminated by the rays of the king, their sun. Not 
unthinkingly did Louis adopt the sun as his type. According 
to his theory of government he was the centre, the life-giving" 
principle of the system in which he ruled. All that was 
young and beautiful in France sprang into life at his bidding, 
and withered into decay when he averted his face, all that 
was powerful drew its vigour from his favour, while from less 
privileged lands the kings of the earth, Uke the Magi of old, 
drawn by the light of his compelling rays, were to come from 
the ends of the world to find under his protecting care the 
pattern of life and the home of faith. 

Sarcasm comes easy to the lips when dealing with a theory 
such as this. Men cannot stop the course of the winds of 
heaven by building houses of cards, and no arti- xmth of 
ficial arrangements of a court can conceal national Thackeray's 
weakness or physical decay. The sturdy English 
pencil of Thackeray has drawn out the hollowness of this 
theory of seventeenth century kingship in the bitter sarcasm 
of the well-known sketches of Louis h Roi in his later years. 
In the first appears the real Louis, insignificant, decrepit, 
bald, and old, shaking and feeble with age, a living corpse 
rather than a man. Opposite to him stands le Roi — the 
flowing peruke curled and oiled, the royal robes bedecked 
with ribbons, flashing with jewels, the tailor-made divinity that 
doth hedge a king, standing ready for the monarch's use on 
its skeleton frame. Lastly we see the human atom and its 
gorgeous artificial covering united in Louis le Roi, and are 

192 European History, 1598- 171 5 

bidden to reflect how much of the Grand Monarque is the 
work of the tailor and the wigmaker, and how little of God. 
The argument is true, the sarcasm is just Where the 
splendour of a court is part of the system of government, 
represents and enforces the national dignity, sets the fashion 
to foreign ambition, is the living embodiment of the power 
and genius of the state, king and courtiers must not grow old. 
Queen Elizabeth, encouraging protestations of love at the 
age of seventy, and Louis xiv. attempting artificially to con- 
ceal the advance of years, are spectacles offensive because 
unnaturally theatrical. But their loathsomeness never struck 
contemporaries as it does us. Louis xiv. never lost the 
The French Tcspcct of Europc Or the love of his subjects. 
^°^^ V *^* His kingliness was a fact which had so impressed 
civilisation. itsclf upon Europe, as both the cause and effect 
of the greatness of France and the success of his policy, that 
men became insensible to the physical incongruity. And 
they were right. From the court of Louis flowed out 
influences far more potent than those which followed the feet 
of his soldiers or the coaches of his diplomatists. Versailles 
set the fashion to the civilised world. French manners, 
French dress, French speech, French art. French literature, 
French preaching, French science became the property and 
the models of civilised Europe. For a hundred years in every 
department of life, from the turning of a couplet to the drilling 
of recruits, from the composition of a panegyric to the design 
of a card-table, everything is ruled by the French instinct of 
order, cramped by the French love of artificial completeness, 
refined by the French genius for finish, illuminated by the 
justness of French taste. There are few kings to whom it has 
been given to dictate to civilisation for a century the principles 
by which she is to live. 

The secret of the wonderful success of Louis xiv. in all 
those departments of life and of government which he under- 
stood lay in the close personal attention which he gave to the 
matter in hand. His genius certainly lay in his infinite 

Louis XIV. and Colbert 193 

capacity for taking trouble. Even in his earlier years, when 
his court was the gayest in Europe, not only would he listen 
to all the despatches of his ambassadors and Louis's auen- 
personally dictate the answers, but he actually tion to 

, -I'll business. 

kept up a private correspondence with the more 
favoured of the envoys on matters of which he did not wish 
the foreign office to have cognisance. Of important negotia- 
tions, especially those in connection with the great treaties of 
his reign, he took entire management himself, and frequently 
wrote his directions to his representatives with his own hand. 
He was equally punctilious about the smaller questions of 
etiquette which occupied so much of the time and thought of 
ambassadors in the seventeenth century. The order of an 
ambassador's entry, the rules by which he is to be guided in 
the decisive matters of covering and uncovering, giving or 
denying the ^pas^ the supreme necessity of trying to get in 
front of the Spanish ambassador, if it could possibly be 
managed, are all laid down and commented upon by Louis 
with the utmost sense of their importance. Nothing was too 
great, nothing too small, for his personal care. The negotia- 
tions for a partition treaty, the arrangements for a fete at 
Marli, the design for the fortifications of Lille, the rebuke to 
be administered to a malapert courtier or a forgetful servant 
were alike the subject of careful consideration. ' I have 
almost been obliged to wait ' is a phrase which has become 

This minute attention to detail on the part of the Crown in 
a nation gifted like the French with a genius for completeness 
produced a corresponding thoroughness of treat- Organisation 
ment in every branch of the administration, t^^ ^^h^acter- 

■' istic of his 

Organisation was the order of the day. During the government, 
years of Louis's greatness, before the constant strain of the over- 
ambitious wars had broken everything down, organisation is 
the note of his government. The great ministers are organisers 
not statesmen. They are at the very antipodes of genius 
to Richelieu. And they are organisers, not in the sense in 
PERion V. N 

194 European History, 1 598-171 5 

which Sully was an organiser, merely the rooter-out of patent 
abuses, but in the far higher sense in which Charles Montague 
was an organiser, one who laid down true principles of admin- 
istration and constructed the machinery necessary for carry- 
ing them out. Lionne organised the French foreign oflfice 
and diplomatic service, Colbert the internal administration of 
France, Louvois the war office, on principles which became 
the acknowledged principles of foreign, home, and military 
administration among all countries for more than a century, 
some of which will remain acknowledged principles for all 
time. It was this which enabled France to take full advantage 
of her centralisation, which enabled her to bear the extraordin- 
ary strain of unsuccessful war in the way she did, which gave 
her such advantages in dealing with a huge unorganised mass 
like the Empire, which left her even after all her losses at the 
end of the reign of Louis xiv. stronger than she had been at 
the beginning. To the ministers who planned and carried it 
out belong justly the honours of the achievement, but it would 
never have been carried out at all had it not been for the 
master who inspired them. 

Colbert had served his apprenticeship in the household of 
Mazarin. Early in life the cardinal had noticed his singular 
Training of Capacity for business, and had taken him into his 
hoiSoid?/ service from that of Le Tellier, and intrusted him 
Mazarin. with the care of his household. The suggestions 

which Colbert made from time to time to his master about the 
conduct of his business soon showed Mazarin that he had in 
his new servant not merely an accurate clerk, but a financial 
organiser, and gradually he placed in his hands the whole 
management of his private affairs. The cardinal was at once 
frugal and extravagant, avaricious and luxurious, and it was 
the duty of Colbert to buy the best of everything in the 
cheapest market, and to surround his master with comforts, 
while he doubled and trebled his fortune. It was no easy 
task, for the cardinal was very particular. Shirts for Mazarin 's 
own use, the trousseaux of his nieces, carpets for his palace, 

Louis XI V. and Colbert 195 

his wedding gift to the young queen, all had to receive Colbert's 
personal attention ; while he was more particularly responsible 
for the investments and commercial undertakings by means of 
which the cardinal amassed his huge fortune. Colbert was 
thoroughly fitted for the work he had to do. Gifted with a 
keen eye for business, great shrewdness in his estimate of 
men, and unlimited patience in his attention to details, 
unhampered by scruples, stimulated but not led away by 
ambition, he unhesitatingly set himself to satisfy his master's 
avarice. He used the powers of the state to give the cardinal's 
merchandise priority in the markets, and to relieve it from the 
overwhelming burden of the dues which pressed so hardly 
upon all other merchants. Under his guidance the state 
itself as it were went into business for the benefit of the prime 
minister, with the result that only seven years after the end of 
the Fronde the cardinal died worth ;^2, 000,000 of money, and 
bequeathed on his deathbed the architect of his fortune to 
the young king and to France as his most precious possession. 
When Mazarin died the finances of the country were under 
the control of Nicholas Fouquet, the brother of the Abbe 
Fouquet, who had for some years been the head Nicholas 
of Mazarin's secret police. Nicholas Fouquet Fouqaet. 
was a man of great ability and vaulting ambition. Seeing 
corruption all around him he quickly yielded to the prevailing 
vice, and used his double position of Superintendant of the 
Finances and Procureur-General to collect a large fortune. 
But unlike Mazarin there was no stain of avarice about 
Fouquet. He was the prey of large schemes of ambition, the 
dispenser of a magnificence more than royal. By a lavish use 
of his ill-gotten wealth he became the owner of colonial settle- 
ments, the patron of art and literature, the builder of the 
most magnificent palace in France, the centre and head of a 
social coterie which might at any moment become a political 
danger. But if Fouquet had many friends at court he had 
many enemies in the country. His splendour and success 
made men jealous of him, his reckless mismanagement made 

196 European History, 1598-1715 

the business class distrust him, the increase of the debt made 
all the bourgeois hate him, his unblushing corruption gave his 
enemies the whip-hand over him, and when it was known that 
the king would not support him a cabal was formed with 
Colbert at its head to ruin him. There was no difficulty in 
proving charges of peculation and mismanagement, the ques- 
tion was entirely whether his faction at court was strong enough 
to save him. The ladies were on his side, but the king, either 
because he was jealous of his political power and thought him 
dangerous to the Crown, or because he was jealous of his 
personal influence with Mdlle. de la Vallibre, who at that 
moment exercised unlimited sway over Louis's susceptible 
heart, determined on his destruction. He was induced to sell 
his office of Procureur-General, which carried with it the 
privilege of being tried only by the Parlement, and then was 
condemna- Suddenly arrested only a few days after he had 
tion of entertained Louis and his court with regal magnifi- 

Fouquet, 1661. ^ence at his sumptuous palace of Vaux. A special 
commission was formed in order to try him. For three years 
the tedious trial spun out its weary length. At last he was 
found guilty of crime against the state and banished, Louis's 
jealousy and Colbert's hate were not to be appeased so easily. 
By a stretch of royal power almost unprecedented Louis sub- 
stituted a sentence of perpetual imprisonment for that of 
banishment, and men have darkly whispered since, that even 
that severe punishment did not exhaust the royal vengeance, 
and that the Iron Mask so well known to French romance con- 
cealed the features of the brilliant Superintendant of Finance 
who had dared to raise his eyes to the mistress of the king ! 

The disgrace of Nicholas Fouquet placed the whole internal 
administration of France in the hands of Colbert, and he 
Colbert ap- enteicd at once with zeal on the business of its 
pointed to reorganisation. The finances demanded his first 
im, attention. Under the mismanagement of Richelieu 
Mazarin and Fouquet all the evilswhichSuliynad suppressed had 
again reappeared. The tax-gatherers and the financiers made 

Louts XIV. and Colbert 197 

large fortunes, while the treasury received but a small percent- 
age of the vast sums wrung from the people. The expenses 
of the state were defrayed from day to day by the sale of offices, 
by the creation of offices for the purpose of sale, and by loans 
raised at ruinous interest. There was no check upon pecu- 
lation, no system of accounts, no thought of Financial 

economy. France, like a happy-go-lucky spend- mismanage- 
thrift in the hands of the Jews, was drifting aim- ""^^ ' 
lessly into bankruptcy without even having money at command. 
Colbert determined on severe measures. His experience in 
Mazarin's household had taught him how fortunes are made, 
and what sort of consideration was due to those who became 
rich by lending money to the state. At one stroke he repu- 
diated the worst of the loans raised by Fouquet, 
and diminished the interest payable on those measures 
which he acknowledged. Having thus reduced °^ Coibert. 
the burden of the debt to reasonable proportions he proceeded 
to deal with the collection of the taxes. He remitted the long- 
standing arrears of taille, forced the tax-gatherers to render 
accounts, took proceedings against the worst of the peculators, 
and made them disgorge their stolen gains. Order was restored 
in the administration as if by magic. Every penny of expense 
was carefully considered, duly authorised, and properly 
accounted for. Intendants were again appointed to super- 
intend the farmers of revenue, the taille was reassessed, the 
claims for exemption inquired into, the receipt-books duly 
audited and checked. By these means he procured sufficient 
money to pay the interest on the debt, and the expenses of 
the government without increasing the taxes. In 1662, only a 
year after he became Controller General, he was able to show 
a surplus of 45,000,000 of francs without having increased 
the financial burdens on a single honest man. 

But Colbert was not content with merely restoring order in 
the financial administration. It was not sufficient in his eyes 
merely to take care that the receipts should exceed the expendi- 
ture, and that opportunities for peculation should be reduced to 

1 98 European History, 1 598- 1 7 1 5 

a minimum. He was one of the first of ministers to realise 
Principles of ^^^ intimately the greatness and prosperity 
his financial of a nation are bound up with a good financial 


system, to trace the wonderful eft'ect m developing 
the national wealth and promoting the national happiness, 
produced by a system of taxation which c^efully adjusts the 
financial burden to the shoulders of those bestrable to bear it. 
Ministers of finance before Colbert's time had looked upon 
taxation solely from the point of view of the government, had 
taxed those things upon which it was most easy to levy taxes, 
and had levied the taxes in the way which ensured to the 
government a certain income with very little trouble, qtiite 
regardless of the effect of the system upon the tax-payer. 
Colbert on the contrary saw that the secret of a good revenue 
lay not in the ease with which the tax was collected, but in the 
ease with which it was paid. The interest of the government 
and of the tax-payer were identical not antagonistic, and the 
more the government could consult the convenience of the tax- 
payer, the more the tax-payer would be able to afford for the 
convenience of government. A good finance minister therefore 
would not content himself with restoring order in the collec- 
tion of taxes, and economy in the disbursements of the trea- 
sury, but must apply himself to far greater and more difficult 
problems, must study how to increase the resources of the 
country to their utmost capacity, and how to adjust the neces- 
sary taxation so as to interfere as little as possible with their 

In the answer to these two questions lies the whole secret 
of scientific finance. Colbert was the first finance minister to 
Character of attempt to give a scientific answer to them, that 
his protective js, an auswer based upon reasoned principle. The 
reasoned principles adopted by Colbert have been 
in the main the principles acted upon by most civilised coun- 
tries from this day to our own. They are principles which 
underlie the economical system known as Protection, and 
are the application of the theory of national sovereignty to 

Louis XIV. and Colbert 1 99 

economical subjects. The seventeenth century, as we have 
seen, was essentially governed in all political thought by the 
theory of the solidarity of nations under their kings. All 
Europe was coalescing into territorial entities under their 
respective sovereigns. Every such territorial entity guarded 
itself oflF from its neighbours by the acquisition of natural 
frontiers, and by the equipment of a professional army, and 
emphasised its individuality by its concentration under its 
king and by the representation of its king and his interests 
diplomatically at other courts. The idea of a Europe united 
through the Christian brotherhood of man had passed away. 
The idea of a Europe united through the cosmopolitan 
brotherhood of man had not yet come. Between those two 
theories of brotherhood, men were content to relapse practically 
into a condition of enmity, and were engaged in building 
barriers against their neighbours, in developing their own 
strength as much as possible, and in preventing their neighbours 
from developing theirs. The same principles governed men's 
conduct in economics as in poHtics. Economic independence 
was considered just as important for a nation as political inde- 
pendence. To be as strong and resourceful as possible within 
the territorial limits of the kingdom, to be as independent as 
possible outside those limits were the recognised objects ot 
every statesman. In the eyes of Colbert it was just as neces- 
sary for France that she should not depend upon the foreigner 
for her bread, as that she should not owe him allegiance for 
her land. He would have thought it as reckless a piece of 
criminal folly to derive the food-supply of the nation from 
certain rivals and possible enemies, as to intrust to them the 
defence of the frontier. 

Following out these principles Colbert set before himself 
two great objects, to promote within the Hmits of France itself 
the production of wealth by all the means in the Encourage- 
power of the government, and to prevent the '"entofhome 
foreigner by the imposition of hostile tariffs from manufacturet 
underselling the home producer in any of the commodities 

200 European History, 1 598- 1 7 1 5 

necessary to the national well-being. He endeavoured to 
abolish the provincial customs and local dues which impeded 
the free circulation of trade from French province to province, 
and actually succeeded in abolishing them over three-fourths 
of the country, in spite of the most strenuous local opposition. 
He improved roads and developed the canals which had been 
begun by Sully into a great system of water communication. 
Of this system the celebrated canal of Languedoc, between the 
Mediterranean and the Atlantic, which has done so much to 
promote the prosperity of France, was the most striking example. 
For more than a century it remained without a rival. When 
at last other nations began to realise the importance of quick 
and easy communication, French roads and canals became the 
models upon which they worked, French engineering talent the 
authority to which they appealed, and the Suez Canal in the 
present day derives its ancestry from the canal of Languedoc 
and the genius of Colbert. He encouraged manufactures of 
all sorts. Under his care French lace, glass, tapestries, silks, 
and brocades, became the most celebrated in the world. He 
introduced a more scientific system of dealing with the state 
forests, promoted large breeding establishments for horses, 
encouraged the formation of industrial and commercial com- 
panies, assisted the founding of colonies, and protected the 
infant colonial trade by the formation of an efficient navy. At 
the same time he relieved the peasantry from the heaviest of 
the fiscal burdens which oppressed them by reducing the taille 
nearly a half, and recouping the treasury by imposing indirect 
taxes, principally upon articles of luxury which were paid by 
the consumer. He helped the manufacturer by removing the 
export duties on articles manufactured at home, while he im- 
posed heavy import duties on similar articles imported from 
Prohibition of abroad. There was, however, one serious exception 
cornexporta- to this policy. So fearful was he Icst France should 
**°°* ever become dependent on other nations for her 

bread, that he absolutely refused to allow corn to be exported 
under anycircumstances. The surplus corn produced by the rich 

Louis XIV. and Colbert 20I 

com fields of France over and above the wants of the nation 
would if freely exported have formed one of the most lucrative 
sources of the national wealth, for France in the seventeenth 
century was the corn-growing country of Europe, but Colbert 
deliberately deprived himself of this source of revenue, and 
kept the French agriculturist poor, in order to make food cheap 
and ensure a large surplus of corn in the country. 

The result of this policy, taken as a whole, was undoubtedly 
most beneficial to France, in spite of the exaggeration of 
Colbert's protective measures. In the ten years, condition of 
from 1661-71, during which time Colbert had a France after 
real control over the national finances, with the coibe'rt's 
exception of the court expenses, not only was the government, 
debt largely reduced, peculation checked, and 
the taxation greatly lightened and better distributed, but new 
and fertilising streams of prosperity were tapped in the estab- 
lishment of manufactures and the opening of means of com- 
munication which no misgovernment could again wholly close. 
By the year 1671, France had gained for herself under Louis 
XIV., through the abilities of Colbert, a position to which 
history does not afford any exact parallel. United and con- 
centrated far more thoroughly than any other country, with 
the whole forces of the nation absolutely at the control of the 
king, defended on all sides except one by a clearly defined 
and well-fortified frontier, rich by the fertility of her soil and the 
industry and frugality of her people, she was now adding riches 
to riches by the establishment of manufactures and the promo- 
tion of commercial enterprise. Her colonies were springing 
up in every part of the globe, her navy was formidable enough 
to defend them from attack, her army second to none in 
discipline and reputation. Her people were prosperous, 
contented and obedient ; her administrators just, careful and 
honest ; her system of administration pure, and based upon 
principles which made the security and independence of the 
country the first consideration. 

On the other hand it did not require much foresight to sec 

202 European History, 1 598-171 5 

that a system of scientific finance which was based purely 
Dangers of upoH selfish principles could not fail to lead to 
the protective international complications. If every nation of 
^^ ™' Europe were to construct for its own advantage a 

hostile system of tariffs against other nations, excuses for war 
would be endlessly multiplied. However self-sufficient a 
country may be there must be many articles of convenience, 
if not of necessity, for which it depends upon its neighbours. 
Let a nation increase its colonial empire as much as possible, 
and keep its trade wholly to itself by an elaborate code of 
navigation laws, even then international trade will not die nor 
foreign smuggling be stopped. Protective duties and prohibi- 
tive legislation have never yet succeeded in destroying the 
commercial dependence of one civilised nation upon another. 
Nations which wish to protect their own trade by tariflfs can 
only do so by constructing a system which shall be injurious 
to that of their neighbours, and is sure to lead to smuggling 
and reprisals. In the sixteenth centur)' trade adventurers 
looked after themselves, and it was rare for the home govern- 
ment to consider itself compromised by high-handed acts of 
piracy committed by its subjects on the other side of the world. 
But when it was the action of governments themselves which 
led to collisions between their subjects, they were bound in 
honour to defend their own system. Tariff reprisals were in- 
stituted, and claims made of a right to punish foreign 
smugglers, and search foreign ships for smuggled goods, which 
were certain before long to lead to war in downright earnest. 
It has often been said that the wars of the sixteenth century 
were wars of religion, but those of the eighteenth century wars 
of tarifTs. The Dutch war of 1672 is adduced as the first great 
war of the latter class, which was the first great war waged in 
Europe since the adoption of a scientific system of protective 
duties by a first-class power. There is some exaggeration in 
this statement, but it is undoubtedly true that, from the date 
of the adoption of a protective system by France under the 
guidance of Colbert, there is not an important war waged in 

Louis XI V. and Colbert 203 

Enrope for a century and a half in which considerations of 
tariffs and commerce do not play a large part; and it may 
well be doubted whether the national organisation of finance 
any more than the national organisation of defence, though 
steps along the path of civilisation, have proved movements 
towards the attainment of peace. 

By the time he had completed his first decade of personal 
rule the administrative talents of his ministers and his own 
gift for governing had indeed raised Louis to a pinnacle of 
glory and of rei)Utation far exceeding all other Contrast 
sovereigns of his time. His court was the most lquIs and 
splendid and the most polished in Europe. Colbert. 
Round it were gathered the genius of Turenne, the brilliance 
of Conde, the dignity of Corneille, the wit of Moli^re, the 
finish of Boileau, the art of Racine. From Italy Bernini 
brought his solid if too dramatic talent for the embellishment 
of Paris, while the sweetness of Claude and the breadth of Le 
Brun were called upon to minister to the greatness of the 
greatest of European sovereigns. In sharp contrast to all this 
magnificence and grace stood the minister without whom it 
could not have existed. Dour, grim, and harsh, Colbert moved 
through the world without a friend, a man to whom ambition 
was life, and business pleasure. Scrupulously honest, severely 
conscientious, strictly just, painfully accurate, sincerely re- 
ligious, he was wanting in humanity. He was absolutely 
without heart and without sympathy. A man of religion, he 
angered the clergy by trying to reduce the number of 
' religious ' because they did not make wealth ; a man of the 
people, he offended the populace by reducing the number of 
holidays ; a zealous Catholic, he displeased the orthodox by 
the favour he extended to the Huguenot craftsmen, while he 
made himself unpopular with the Huguenots because he 
deserted them in the hour of their need, when the king turned 
against them. A man of conscientious probity, he had no 
scruples in directing the judges to convict strong and powerful 
prisoners who were accused of crime, in order that the king's 

204 European History, 1598- 171 5 

galleys might be well manned, and even prevented galley 
slaves who had served their time from being set free if they 
were still useful for the king's service. Less and more than 
human no wonder that men felt instinctively that he was their 
enemy, however great the blessings of good government which 
he had conferred upon them, and followed his coffin to the 
grave with execrations in 1683. 

In that, however, they were grossly unjust. They were 
visiting upon him their dislike of the increased war taxation 
of which he was the mouthpiece not the author. In the year 
167 1 France stood at the parting of the ways, 
policy before On each sidc Stretched far into the future a long 
Louis, 1671. s'v-Xz. of glory and prosperity, but she had to 
choose between them. Through the victories of Richelieu 
and of Mazarin, through the administration of Colbert, 
through the government of Louis, France stood at the head of 
the countries of Europe in absolute security, without a rival 
who wished to attack her, without an enemy whose attack she 
might justly fear. Entrenched within the borders of a frontier 
easily defensible by the genius of a Vauban, she might sit free 
Commercial from all possible danger until the floodgates of 
open^to^*^^ European warfare should reopen. Planting her 
France. colouics in America, in Africa, in Madagascar, 

and among the islands of the West, pushing out the operations 
of her trading companies to India and the Spice Islands of the 
East, enjoying a pre-eminence through treaty over all other 
European powers at the court of the Sultan and in the trade 
of the Levant, on the point of gaining an influence, hitherto 
unparallelled and undreamed of, over the vast expanse of the 
empire of China through her Jesuit missionaries, she had but 
to stretch forth her hand to seize the crown of colonial empire 
and of commercial supremacy, which was already threatening 
to fall from the head of the Dutch. In the middle of the 
seventeenth century she had no rivals to fear. The day of 
Spain and Portugal was over. HoUagd, though vigorous, 
capable and persevering, could not stand out for long against 

Louis XIV. and Colbert 205 

the pressure of her greater neighbours. She had gained her 
unique and glorious position through their weakness, she 
could not maintain herself against them in their strength. 
Already she was stricken to the knees by the English 
Navigation Act and the war of 165 1, and had had to recog- 
nise in England an equal in naval power and a rival in com- 
merce. But the day of England had not yet come. In the 
lucid intervals of a mad and despicable poUcy, Charles 11. did 
something to encourage the American plantations, and to 
promote the operations of the East India Company, but it was 
quite certain that the power of the state would never be 
thrown into commercial or colonial competition with France, 
as long as Louis retained in his own hands the means of 
rendering the king independent of parliamentary control. _It 
is moreover a significant fact that the most important and 
permanent pafT^f the English colonial empire, which was 
built up in the eighteenth century, was not the result of 
colonial enterprise but of jwar, Canada, the West Indies, the 
Cape'of Good Hope, India itself were the direct fruits of the 
long wars with France, which in their origin and essence 
sprang from the military and political ambition of Louis xiv. 
The rivalry with France, which beginning in 1690 did not end 
till 1815, which produced during that century and a quarter 
no less than seven distinct and prolonged contests between the 
two nations, which gained for England mainly at the expense 
of France a vast colonial empire, which lost for her her only 
considerable plantations, was primarily and in its essence 
a military and European rivalry. The wars were primarily 
and essentially wars to check the military and political 
ascendency of France over Europe, and to preserve the 
balance of power in Europe. They sprang from the policy 
adopted by Louis xiv. in 1672, when, no longer satis.'. ed with 
pre-eminence in Europe, he deliberately struck for supremacy 
over Europe. They followed from the determination of 
William iii. and the Whig party in England to prevent such a 
consummation at all costs. Had Louis turned his ambition 

206 European History, 1598-17 1 5 

into other directions, followed where the policy of Colbert 
pointed the way, thrown the energies of his government and 
the genius of his people into the path of colonial development 
and commercial supremacy, pushed his fleets and his armies 
along the savage tracks where the cupidity of his traders and 
the self-sacrifice of his missionaries had first marked the road, 
he would have had nothing to fear from the impotent stubborn- 
ness of the Dutch, or the venal indolence of England. And 
if a century or half a century later England had awoke from 
her trance and put forth her claims to dominion, a very differ- 
ent task would have awaited her. She would have found an 
established organised power to conquer, not a rival to outdo. 

But it was not to be. The traditions of France lay in the 
direction of military conquest not of commercial supremacy. 
Preference of With an army carefully trained and organised by 
military Louvois, with gcncrals at his command like 

supremacy by ' ^ 

Louis. ^Turenne, Cond^ and Vauban, with all the tradi- 

tions of th£, French monarchy behind him, with all the long- 
ing for glory within him, which was the very atmosphere he 
breathed, with his intitaate knowledge of European courts to 
assist him, what wonder is it that Louis determined on the 
course which seemed to combine the certainty of success with 
the maximum of glory ? There was no nation in Europe that 
could resist him. A combination of nations was alone to be 
feared, and what combination could long resist the disintegra- 
ting effects of his diplomacy and their own selfishness ? What 
league had ever been a military success ? The resources of 
France seemed inexhaustible, her armies invincible, her genius 
irresistible. In the distance but not so very far removed from 
practical politics must come some day the great question of 
the succession to the crown of Spain. When that question 
was ripe for solution France must be in a position to solve it. 
Impelled alike by the foresight of a statesman, the ambition 
of a king, and the flattery of a court, Louis took the fatal step 
and plunged his country into a century and a half of incessant 
war. With singular ease he had made himself master of 
France, he now determined to be master of Europe too. 



Humiliation of Spain and the Pope — Purchase of Dunkirk — The war of 
devolution — Alarm of Europe — Opposition of the Dutch — The Triple 
Alliance — The treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle — Overthrow of the Triple Alli- 
ance — Origin of the United Provinces — Their constitution — Supremacy of 
the burghers — Unique position of Holland — The House of Orange — 
Prosperity of the Dutch — Rivalry between the republicans and the House 
of Orange — ^John Olden Bameveldt — Attempted revolution of William ii. 
— Supremacy of the republican party — Character and pxilicy of John de 
Witt — War with England — The Act of Navigation — The Act of Exclusion 
— Second war with England — The treaty of Breda — Danger from France 
— The perpetual edict — Popular movement in favour of William iii. — 
Murder of de Witt 

No sooner had Louis xiv. taken the management of affairs 
into his own hands, than he"began to let foreign countries 
understand that France was now ruled by a Humiliation 
sovereign who intended his will to be law',' and of Spain by 
was not likely to abate one jot of the dignity °"'^' ^ 
which he thought due to his crown. In the autumn of 1661, 
on the occasion of the solemn entry of a Swedish envoy into 
London, the ambassadors of France and Spain in their 
eagerness to gain precedence of each other came to blows in 
the narrow streets. The carriage of d'Estrades, the French 
ambassador, was overturned, his horse killed, and his suite 
forced to take refuge in the adjacent houses wounded and 
beaten ; while the victorious Spaniard proudly took his place 
in the procession clothed with all the insolent dignity of 
success. Louis took the matter up fiercely, dismissed 
d'Estrades for having been beaten, recalled his own ambas- 
sador from Madrid, and demanded and actually obtained 

2o8 European History^ 1 598- 1 7 1 5 

from Philip iv., under threat of war, the acknowledgment of 
the right of the crown of France to precede that of Spain. 

A few months later a tumult of a less honourable character 
brought Louis into sharp antagonism to the Pope. The 
Humiliation French ambassador at Rome, the due de Cr6qui, 
of the Pope by had made himself very unpopular by his intoler- 
able pride, and some of the Corsican guards of 
the Vatican, urged on it is said by the brother of the Pope, 
and smarting under the wrong of a personal insult rendered 
to their body by some of the French suite, made themselves 
the organs of the general hatred and of private revenge, by a 
gross attack upon the ambassador's wife as she was returning 
to her palace. A page was killed, many of the servants 
wounded, and the due de Crequi, leaving Rome in real or 
assumed fear for his own life, demanded from Alexander vii. 
a reparation which the Pope seemed very unwilling to give. 
Louis immediately seized Avignon, assembled an army, 
appointed the mar^chal du Plessis-Praslin to the command, 
and ordered him to form the siege of Rome and force the 
Pope to do justice to the outraged majesty of France. 
Alexander was astonished at this unexpected display of 
energy, and sent his nephew the cardinal Chigi in all haste 
to Paris to offer an humble apology and obtain the best terms 
he could. He was the first legate say the French historians 
ever sent by a Pope to ask for pardon. If so, the success of 
the experiment hardly warranted its repetition. Louis re- 
mained for some time obstinately irate, and was only pacified 
by imposing upon the Pope the public humiliation of banish- 
ing his brother, disbanding his Corsican guard, and erecting 
a pyramid in Rome as a perpetual memorial of his disgrace. 

More substantial additions to the power of Louis than the 
precedence of an ambassador or the disgrace of a Pope soon 
Purchase of foUowed. In 1662 he purchased the port of 
Dunkirk, Dunkirk from England, and made it a harbour 

for warships. In 1663 he sent the count of 
Schomberg, supported by French officers and French money, 

Louis XIV. and the United Provinces 209 

secretly to the assistance of Portugal in her war against Spain, 
and contributed materially to the gaining of the victory of 
Villa Viciosa in 1665, which established the independence of 
the country. At the same time he proceeded to Assistance 
read the Grand Vizier a lesson by breaking the given by 
ancient league of friendship between France and Portugal, and 
the Sultan, in consequence of an insult offered to against the 
the French ambassador in 1661, sent French ' "*' 

troops to assist in the defence of Candia, which was then 
being besieged by the Turks, and supplied the Emperor with a 
large sum of money and a contingent of 6000 Frenchmen under 
La Feuillade and Coligny to resist the incursion of the Ottoman 
armies into Hungary and Croatia in 1664. Chiefly owing to 
the irresistible valour of the French troops, the imperial general, 
MontecucuUi, was enabled to inflict a crushing defeat upon 
the grand vizier himself at the battle of S. Gothard on the 
Raab, and hurl the invaders back behind their own frontiers. 
In 1667 broke out the first of the great wars of Louis xiv., 
the war of devolution. In September 1665 Philip iv. of 
Spain died, leaving two daughters by his first The War of 
marriage, of whom the queen of France was the Devolution, 
elder, and one son by his second marriage, who 
succeeded to the crown of Spain under the name of Charles 11. 
Louis immediately laid claim to the Spanish Netherlands in 
virtue of what was known as the law of devolution. This law 
was in fact a local custom of the province of Brabant, by 
which private property in land passed to the female children 
of the first marriage in preference to the male children of the 
second marriage. If, therefore, Philip iv. had in his private 
capacity bought a farm in Brabant, Louis would by the law of 
devolution have become entitled to it in right of his wife ; but 
to assert that the sovereignty of the Low Countries followed 
the rule of land tenure in Brabant was one of the most 
monstrous claims ever put forward by hypocritical ambition. 
Nevertheless Louis played his part well. The rights of his 
queen were dwelt upon with much argumentative force by 


2IO European History^ 1598- 171 5 

writers and diplomatists, while Turenne at the head of 35,000 
men produced more convincing arguments. By August 1667 
Charleroi Tournay and Lille were in his hands, and the whole 
of the Spanish Netherlands lay open before him. Astonished 
Europe awoke to see the once formidable power of Spain 
falling to pieces before its eyes, to find itself threatened by the 
overweening ambition of a prince, whose will was law from 
the Rhine to the ocean, and from the Scheldt to the Pyrenees. 

It was the first time that European statesmen realised the 
true nature of the danger from France, the first time they 
Alarm of Understood the real bent of French policy. 

Europe. Hitherto the shade of Philip 11. had pressed 

upon Europe like a nightmare. Hardly ten years had elapsed 
since Cromwell had declared war against Spain in the spirit 
of Sir Walter Raleigh, had actually allied himself with France, 
had called in the aid of the lion to make sure work of the 
dying elephant. But five years ago Clarendon had made 
over Dunkirk to Louis, never dreaming that France, and 
not Spain, was to be the commercial and naval rival of 
England in the years which were close at hand. The war of 
devolution shattered these illusions somewhat rudely. It was 
a war of pure ambition, of undisguised rapacity. It disclosed 
Louis to the world as absolutely unscrupulous and alarmingly 
strong. If Spain thus crumbled to dust at his feet, what 
power in Europe could dare to withstand him ? Suddenly, 
from out the calm which had pervaded all Europe since the 
treaties of 1660, there loomed in terrific proportions the black 
shadow of the old world-wide tyranny, which, so far from 
having been crushed to death in the wars of religion, had 
merely shifted the centre of its power from Madrid to Paris. \ 

The burden of organising the opposition to France fell 
naturally upon the Dutch. If the French once became 
Opposition of masters of Antwerp and the Scheldt, the pre- 
Louis^s**^** *" eminence of Amsterdam, and the prosperity, W 
schemes. not the independence, of the United Provinces 

was gone. The Spanish Netherlands formed a barrier to the 

Louis XIV. and the United Provinces 211 

advances of France which was absolutely necessary to the 
existence of the Dutch as a nation. It had always been an 
important part of their settled policy ever since they had 
gained their independence to keep the French frontier away 
from the Scheldt. De Witt, the grand pensionary of Holland, 
who was at that time the political chief of the repubUc, was 
fully alive to the danger. Before Louis had crossed the 
frontier he was deep in negotiations with the Emperor and the 
princes of Germany, as well as with Sweden and England, to 
put limits to the aggression of the French. But Louis's 
diplomacy had been too much for him. By the bribe of a 
partition treaty for dividing the Spanish dominions between 
France and the Empire on the death of the weakly king of 
Spain, Leopold was persuaded to remain neutral while Louis 
was eating up his leaf of the artichoke. The German princes 
were secured at heavy cost in October 1667 and Sweden was 
terrified into inaction by threats. England alone Negotiations 
remained dangerous. The fall of Clarendon in with 
November 1667 had put the chief direction of °s an 
foreign affairs into the hands of Arlington who was in favour 
of a Dutch alliance. Sir William Temple, the ablest of 
English diplomatists and a sturdy friend to the Dutch, was 
sent as English envoy to the Hague. Charles himself, though 
he never intended to break with Louis and lose the French 
subsidies, was not averse to an occasional display of indepen- 
dence. With an impartiality more creditable to his cleverness 
than his honesty, he kept on foot negotiations for an alliance 
with Spain France and the Dutch at the same time, waiting 
to see which side would offer him most. By December 1667, 
however, it became abundantly clear that the English people 
would not tolerate an alliance with France, or permit Louis 
to make himself master of the Low Countries. Charles 
accordingly took the line of the least resistance, authorised 
Temple to conclude a treaty with the Dutch, and wrote to 
Louis to explain that he had been obliged to act against his 
own wishes. 

212 European History, 1598- 171 5 

The treaty was signed at the Hague on the 13th of January 
1668, and on May 15th Sweden, angered by the threats of 
Formation f Louis, joined the alliance in order to secure the 
the Triple payment of some old-standing claims upon Spain 
Alliance, 1668. ^j^j^h were guaranteed by the English and Dutch 
governments. The Triple Alliance, as the treaty was then 
called, bound the allies to help each other if attacked, and to 
endeavour to restore peace between France and Spain, on the 
terms of the surrender to Louis, either of the districts in the 
Low Countries which he had conquered, or of Franche-Comtd 
and a few specified frontier towns in the Netherlands. By a 
secret clause they further bound themselves to compel peace 
on these terms, and, if France refused, they agreed to make 
war upon her until she was reduced to the boundaries fixed by 
the treaty of the Pyrenees. 

This was the first serious rebuff which the diplomacy of 
Louis had sustained. His minister at the Hague, d'Estrades, 
Louis out- had assured him again and again that he need 
witted. not be under any apprehensions of the formation 

of a confederation contrary to his interests under the leader- 
ship of the Dutch, because by the constitution of the United 
Provinces every treaty required the sanction of the estates of 
the different provinces, and it would be quite easy to ensure 
its publication, and bring about its defeat, when it was pro- 
posed for their acceptance. He overlooked the fact that 
during the war with England the provincial estates, in order 
to prevent unnecessary delays, had delegated their powers to 
a small commission of eight members, and had never resumed 
them. So while d'Estrades was awaiting in confidence the 
publication of the full text of the proposed treaty before the 
provincial estates, de Witt quietly procured the consent of 
the commission of delegates, and the treaty was signed 
and ratified before the French knew that it had been even 
discussed Louis only heard of the secret article from 
Charles 11. himself He at once saw the gravity of the crisis, 
and determined to put himself in the best possible position 

Louis XIV. and the United Provinces 213 

for subsequent action. Though it was the middle of winter 
Condd received orders to advance into Franche-Comtd at the 
head of 15,000 men. On the ist of February his soldiers 
crossed the frontier. In a fortnight the whole country was at 
his feet, and Louis went in person to Besan^on to receive its 
submission. Beati possidentes is a diplomatic truth which was 
just as thoroughly understood by Louis xiv, as by Napoleon. 

But unlike Napoleon, Louis knew when he had gone far 
enough. He was not going to stake everything on the chance 
of success in a war against a combination of ^heTr tv 
European powers, which was certain to grow ofAix-ia- 
larger as time went on. He had already a chapeiie.iees. 
securer foundation on which ultimately to raise the edifice of 
French domination over the Spanish Netherlands in his secret 
partition treaty with the Emperor. The terms of the Triple 
Alliance guaranteed to him the possession of Lille, Tournai, 
and Charleroi, the three fortresses which would make France 
impregnable on her north-eastern frontier and open to her 
the gate of the Netherlands. The show of moderation at this 
juncture would do much to disarm the suspicion of Europe, 
would give him time to mature his plans for the future, and 
enable him to make very substantial additions to his power in 
the present. So Louis declared himself willing to negotiate 
for peace, and on May 29th, 1668, the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle 
was signed between France and Spain. By it France gave 
back Franche Comte, having dismantled the fortresses, and 
received Charleroi, Binch, Ath, Douai, Tournai, Oudenarde, 
Lille, Armentidres, Courtrai, Bergues and Fumes, with their 
districts. Some of these towns, such as Courtrai, Oudenarde 
and Ath lay within the Netherlands, but in the line of fortresses 
which stretched, roughly speaking, along the frontier from 
Dunkirk to Charleroi, and included Lille, France had now 
an adequate defence for her capital. Paris was safe and the 
invasions of the years of the Fronde could never again recur. 

The war of devolution added to the ambition of Louis xiv. 
the passion of revenge. It ministered to his pride by showing 

1 r 4 European History, 1 5 98- 1 7 1 5 

him the immense superiority of his armies, and the predomin- 
ance almost unchallenged of his diplomacy. No soldier had 
^ been found to face his troops in the field, no 

Louis for the fortress had dared to resist his attack, the suc- 
Dutch. j^ggg q£ j^g diplomacy had even broken the tradi- 

tional alliance between the Emperor and Spain. Germany 
had remained unconcerned while Spain was being devoured. 
There was but one blot on this fair picture. One power had 
dared to enter the lists with the all-powerful Louis and had 
given him a fall. The Dutch had been the heart and soul of 
the Triple Alliance. Without them it would never have been 
called into existence. The assistance of England and Sweden 
was merely fortuitous. It was the Dutch who were organising 
a policy and laying down principles of action. It was galling 
enough to think that they had ventured to break away from 
their condition of humble tutelage. To the Huguenots of 
France and to Henry iv. the Dutch owed their very existence, 
so every Frenchman believed. That they should be per- 
mitted to thwart the cherished schemes of the king of France 
unpunished, to show to Europe the way by which it could 
successfully resist French ambition, and yet go scot-free, was 
impossible. From the day of the signing of the treaty of 
Aix-la-Chapelle, Louis set himself to prepare a deadly punish- 
ment for the insolent republicans who had dared to thwart 
his will. Europe should learn by a terrible object-lesson that 
the vengeance of the king of France was as swift as his spirit 
was magnanimous. 

This determination to punish the Dutch meant for France 
and for Louis the deliberate adoption of a policy which had 
An additional for its object supremacy over Europe. After the 
incentive to success of the Triple Alliance Louis could not 
European conceal from himself the probability that an 
supremacy. attack upon the Protestant maritime and re- 
publican power of the United Provinces would almost certainly 
lead to a coalition of European powers against him. Ger- 
many would never stand aside to permit the destruction of the 

Louis XI V. and the United Provinces 215 

Dutch. It was more than doubtful if the careless Charles 
would have the inclination or the firmness to keep England 
neutral. Every hour that Charles of Spain lived diminished 
the value of the partition treaty as a bribe to the Emperor. 
Louis could only wi.'e the United Pro\nnces from out the map 
of Europe by himself the master of Europe. For 
four years he hesitated before striking the final blow. But 
everything led h.m in that direction. In his own court, 
besides the fulsor^e atmosphere of adulation in which he lived, 
which must have weakened his judgment, many influences 
were urging him orL Lionne, the cautious and trusted minister 
of foreign affairs, was dead. Louvois, the indefatigable 
minister of war, had raised the army to a pitch of perfection 
hitherto unknown, and was anxious to prove its powers. The 
very success of Colbert's finance made Louis too easily forget 
the real limits of the resources upon which he was drawing so 
lavishly. The nobles, ousted by design from politics, now 
found their only sphere of activity in the army, and were eager 
for war and for glory. Abroad diplomatic success contributed 
its spur to his ambition. The Triple Alliance TheTnpie 
was ah-eady a thing of the past. In May 1670 ^^^Z^^l' 
the secret treaty of Dover bound Charles 11. hand 1672. 
and foot to France. In November 167 1 the Emperor agreed 
not to assist the enemies of France. In April 1672 Sweden 
returned to her old alliance, and undertook to attack the 
Empire if the Emperor helped the Dutch. Finally the bishop 
of Miinster and most of the smaller princes of Germany pro- 
mised either assistance or neutrality. The Great Elector alone 
remained stubbornly aloof These astonishing results of his 
diplomacy, added to the ceaseless importunities of his court, 
fired Louis's ambition and overcame his prudence. Forgetting 
that promises so easily made can be still more easily revoked, 
he gave the signal for a war of aggression pure and simple, 
which brought its appropriate and ultimate reward in the 
wreck of his ambition and the exhaustion of France. 

Europe must have been craven-hearted indeed if it had 

2 1 6 European History, 1 5 98- 1 7 1 5 

stood tamely by, wrapped in the cloak of its own selfishness, 
The United to watch the dcath-throes of the United Provinces. 
Provinces. The history of their war of independence was 
sufficient to stir the emotions of every generous soul, the use 
which they had made of the liberty which they had won such 
as to guarantee its continuance in the mind of every prudent 
statesman. Trained to a rough and hard life by a constant 
struggle with nature, consecrated to a sturdy individualism of 
character by the religion of Calvin in its most uncompromising 
and fatalistic form, the peasants from the marshes of Holland 
and the fishermen from the sand-banks of Zealand had found 
in the breath of liberty the elixir of a national life. Under 
the leadership of the burghers of Amsterdam and Dordrecht, 
at the initiative of the nobility of Zealand and Guelderland, 
with the support of the scholars of Leyden, the union of 
Utrecht, formed in 1579, gave to Europe a new nationality, and 
planted in the very midst of the great monarchies a confedera- 
tion of tiny republics. Nothing could have preserved their 
Reasons for independence at first except a strange combina- 
the war ©r ° '^^'^ ^^ national virtues, natural advantages, and 
independence, political fortune. Persecution had fanned the 
flame of patriotism till it burned at a white heat. Under the 
pressure of a long struggle with a superior power even vices 
turned into virtues. Slowness and obstinacy became refined 
into patience and endurance, dulness into obedience, sloth 
into fidelity. Never did men fight with greater heroism, with 
more complete self-forgetfulness, than these rude sailors and 
fishermen who wrested their liberty and their religion at the 
edge of the sword from the pride of Spain. The physical 
characteristics of the country aided them. Campaigns were 
difficult in a land which at any moment might be restored to 
the sea by the cutting of a dyke. Sieges of towns open to the 
sea by a power which had no navy were fore-doomed to 
failure. Political complications aided them also. The op- 
position of France and the jealousy of England made the task 
of Spain far more difficult. But neither the sympathy of the 

Louis XIV. and the United Provinces 217 

Huguenots, nor the gold of Elizabeth, nor the marshes of 
Holland, nor the defeat of the Armada, would have availed 
one jot to save the confederation from ultimate ruin had it not 
been for the tenacity, the patriotism, and the self-sacrifice of 
the nation itself. Never since the days of Miltiades and 
Themistocles did a people better deserve their freedom than 
did the patient Dutch under their silent prince when the 
dagger of the assassin laid him low in 1584. They had not 
long to wait, for although the formal independence of the United 
Provinces was not acknowledged by Spain until the peace 
of Westphalia in 1648, they had ceased to be under any fear 
of subjugation since the death of Philip 11. in 1598, and had 
been able since the beginning of the century to transfer their 
attention from the preservation of their liberty to the develop- 
ment of their power. 

The confederation formed by the Union of Utrecht in 1579 
was an example of a kind of government seldom found in. 
history to be permanent, namely a loose con- constitution 
federation of sovereign states. The confederated of the united 
states were seven in number, Holland, Friesland, P''°^'°*="' 
Zealand, Utrecht, Guelderland, Overyssel, and Groningen, 
and a Federal Constitution was gradually developed. Each 
of these independent provinces had its own government vested 
in its provincial estates and its stadtholder ; but the common 
affairs of the whole confederation were transacted in the 
estates general, which was a representative body consisting of 
delegates from the provincial estates. To them appertained 
the right of appointing the captain general and the admiral 
general, who were the heads of the mihtary and naval forces of 
the confederation. With them was associated a council of state 
in whom the executive was vested. The stadtholder, for the 
chief provinces usually elected the same stadtholder, in virtue of 
his office, was a member of the council of state and of the pro- 
vincial estates as well as of the estates general. He appointed 
the burgomasters of the towns, and the principal magistrates, and 
had the right of acting as arbiter in any matters of diiference 

2 1 8 European History, 1 5 98 - 1 7 1 5 

which arose between the provinces. In theory therefore the 
constitution of the provinces was that of a confederation 
of sovereign states, which had intrusted certain functions of 
government, such as the organisation of defence, to a repre- 
sentative body of delegates and an elective chief magistrate ; 
but had retained to themselves certain others, such as finance 
and foreign affairs. But in practice the influences which made 
for unity were very much stronger than the disintegrating 
forces. The independence of the separate provinces was 
much more apparent than real, and served rather to increase 
delay and multiply difficulties than to preserve any real inde- 
pendence of action. This came about from various causes. 
Owing to the spirit of republicanism engendered by the war 
, of independence, and the secularisation of Church 

Supremacy of '^ r i /-ii i 

the burgher property and the overthrow of the Church system 
aristocracy. brought about by the Reformation, the two orders 
of the nobles and of the clergy lost all share in the govern- 
ment. Political power fell completely into the hands of 
the citizens of the towns, and was exercised through the 
municipal councils, which were in fact in each town the 
nominees of a small burgher aristocracy. Each province 
therefore was in reality, as far as politics were concerned, 
nothing more than a federation of towns, and the provincial 
estates but the delegates of the municipal councils. This 
limitation of all political power to one class, that of the burgher 
aristocracy, did much to secure a unity of interest among the 
different provinces. This was still further developed by the 
Unique Unique position of the province of Holland in the 

position of confederation. It was so far superior to the 
HoUand. other provinces in wealth, in population and in 

dignity, that in common talk it has given its name to the 
whole republic. It contained within its borders the great 
trading towns of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Delft and Dordrecht, 
Leyden the seat of the university, and the Hague the centre 
of the government. It alone had the right of being repre- 
sented at the courts of Paris and Vienna. It paid in taxe;; 

Louis XIV. and the United Provinces 219 

almost as much as all the other provinces put together. From 
its ports issued year by year the merchant ships which had 
acquired for the United Provinces the carrying trade of the 
world, the navy which at the beginning of the century was 
the undisputed mistress of the ocean, and the bands of hardy 
colonists who had planted the Dutch flag in every quarter of 
the globe. The great city of Amsterdam itself, with its banks, 
its docks, and its thousands of fishermen and artisans, founded, 
as it was said, on the carcases of herrings, was the centre of 
the commerce and the opulence of northern Europe. The 
Venice of the North, alike in her commercial prosperity and 
her close oligarchical government, she so far dominated over 
all her colleagues that in the days of her greatness the United 
Provinces were little less than Amsterdam writ large. Shorn 
of the province of Holland, the country certainly could not 
have maintained its independence for a moment. 

To the unity of interest thus secured by the ascendency of 
the burgher aristocracy, and the unquestioned leadership of 
Holland in all national concerns, the House of . , . . , 

' Leadership of 

Orange added a continuity of government. If the of the House 
United Provinces owed their prosperity to Hoi- ofo^'^^g"- 
land, they owed their very existence to the House of Orange. 
Had it not been for the statesmanship of William the Silent 
they would never have won their independence, had it not 
been for the generalship of Maurice they would never have 
maintained it Had it not been for the patriotism and moder- 
ation of both they would have lost their republicanism as 
soon as they had gained it. But fortunately for the Dutch 
republic the princes of the House of Orange preferred to 
exercise most of the powers of limited kingship under the 
guise of an elective magistracy. The head of the House of 
Orange combined in his person by elections, which were 
never questioned for seventy years, the offices of stadtholder 
of five provinces, of captain general and of admiral general 
of the republic. For the first and most critical half century 
in the history of the nation the supreme management of the 

220 European History, 1598- 17 15 

civil, military and naval affairs of the country were in the 
hands of one family, not indeed by hereditary right, but by an 
elective custom which had grown at least strong enough to be 
described as an hereditary right to election. Under their wise 
government the prosperity of the United Provinces had grown 
by leaps and bounds. The destruction of the Armada in 
1588 removed from the northern seas all enemies to Dutch 
trade. France, torn by civil and foreign war, could not man a 
warship or despatch a merchant fleet. England was a more 
serious rival, but political friendship kept for a time com- 
mercial enmities in check. The world was found large enough 
for both countries, and while English enterprise tended to 
flow in the direction of America and the West, the Dutch 
pursued their conquests in Africa and the East. In the East 
Indies alone, the famous Spice Islands of romance, the two 
nations found themselves in acute and deadly rivalry, and for 
some years a war raged on the other side of the globe between 
the servants of the two East India companies, which was only 
taken notice of by the home governments when some serious 
breach of international rights, such as the massacre of Am- 
boyna, forced them to open their eyes and lazily demand 

With the dawn of the seventeenth century everything 

seemed to be conspiring to promote the prosperity of the 

- country. England became more and more en- 

Prosperity of ■' _ ■- 

the Dutch, tangled in complications at home, and under a 
1600- 1650. weak and vain king gave less and less assistance 

to her traders. In the north, Sweden and Denmark, engaged 
first in war among themselves and then in the Thirty Years' 
War, easily let the Baltic trade impreceptibly glide into the 
hands of the Dutch. Neither Germany nor France were in a 
position to enter the lists with the republic, and the decaying 
power of the Hansa fell completely before the blast of the 
great war. The United Provinces, it is true, were forced to 
take their part in the struggle, but under the cautious and 
talented Frederick Henry, the younger son of William the 

Louis XIV. and the United Provinces 221 

Silent, who had succeeded his brother Maurice in 1625, the 
Dutch contingent did little more than garrison the duchy of 
Cleves, and keep the Low Countries quiet. Meanwhile the 
whole world was open to their enterprise. There was literally 
not a country to compete with them, even feebly, as the 
troubles in England thickened. They took part of Brazil 
from Spain, and founded on the coast of North America the 
colonies of New Holland and New Jersey, settled in Africa, in 
Ceylon, and on the mainland of India, planted themselves on 
the rich island of Java, and finally in 1630 made themselves 
masters of the Cape of Good Hope. In the first half of the 
seventeenth century they enjoyed a colonial empire larger 
than that of Venice in its palmy days. They were undisputed 
masters of the seas, they had almost the monopoly of the 
carrying trade of the world. 

But in this very prosperity lay the germs of future trouble 
both abroad and at home. The frog might swell itself even 
to bursting point but it could not rival the dimen- Rivalry 
sions of the ox. The wonderful maritime sue- between the 
cess of the Dutch was due largely to the fact pa^yanTthe 
that its two great neighbours of England and House of 
France, who were better situated geographically "'^'^se- 
for the development of trade, were in the throes of foreign and 
domestic war. When peace was restored, and men had leisure 
once more to attend to the affairs of commerce, it was not likely 
that the hardy sailors of Brittany and Devonshire would long 
lag behind the fishermen of Zealand or the traders of Amster- 
dam in the race for wealth. It was not possible that the Dutch 
however high their courage, however great their skill, however 
tough their pride, could long compete on equal terms with 
either monarchy. They could not pretend to do so even if 
they were united among themselves, but that was not the case. 
The great increase of wealth and prosperity intensified instead 
of diminishing their internal jealousies. Ever since the Union 
of Utrecht there had been two distinct parties in the state, 
the partisans of the House of Orange and the republicans 

222 European History, 1 598-1715 

pure and simple, the former representing the political prin- 
ciples of a limited monarchy, the latter those of a burgher 
oligarchy. In the civil and military authority enjoyed by the 
princes of the House of Orange, through their quasi-hereditary 
tenure of the stadtholderate and of the supreme military and 
naval command, their adherents saw the only guarantee which 
their country possessed against the dangers of internal discord. 
They looked upon this concentration of authority in the hands 
of one family as essential to the solidarity of the state, and 
valued it all the more because they believed it to be the only 
effective counterpoise to the overweening pride and political 
domination of Amsterdam. Their weakness lay in the fact that 
their adherents were mainly drawn from the classes of the nobles, 
the clergy and the peasantry, who had very little political 
power. Only in the province of Zealand, where the House of 
Orange had large possessions, were the majority of the town 
councils in their favour. But the very fact of their political 
weakness as compared with their numerical strength inspired 
them with a jealousy all the more intense of their more fortu- 
nate republican neighbours of the towns. These latter were 
imbued with the narrowest spirit of burgher exclusiveness. 
They feared alike the democratic tendencies of the populace 
and the monarchical instincts of the House of Orange. 
Within a small circle of capitalist families the functions of 
government were divided pretty equally. Any member of 
these privileged families, if his capacities were equal to the 
charge, had the opportunity of being trained in the public 
service from his earliest years. He succeeded as naturally to 
the diplomatic or administrative business of his father or his 
uncle in the political family party, as he did to the manage- 
ment of the family business or the ownership of the family 

During the first few years of the history of the republic, 
while the issue of the war with Spain was still doubtful, the 
military necessities of the country forced the House of Orange 
into prominence, and kept the republican spirit in check. 

Louis XIV. and the United Provinces 223 

But as political dangers from outside grew less serious, and 
the wealth and importance of the citizen traders became by 
far the most important factors of the national life, Growth of the 
the political preponderance of the republican Republican 
party, who drew their strength from the merchant ^ 
class, soon threatened to be decisive. The province of 
Holland, which was republican to a man, assumed an un- 
questioned lead in the national councils. It alone had the 
right of appointing a representative at the courts of Paris and 
Vienna. It alone paid more than half the national taxes. It 
alone provided nearly the whole of the national fleet. Partly 
owing to these circumstances, partly to his own abilities, as 
early as the beginning of the century the Advocate oiden Barne- 
of the province of Holland, John Olden Barne- ^^''^*- 
veldt, had insensibly become the foremost statesman of the 
republic. In theory he was only the spokesman or first 
minister of the provincial estates of Holland, in fact he was 
the leader of the republican party and for a few years virtual 
ruler of the republic. He it was who negotiated with foreign 
states and determined the national policy. Already then it 
seemed as if the supreme power in the republic had shifted from 
the stadtholder and the House of Orange to the representative 
of the republican merchants of Amsterdam. But Maurice, 
prince of Orange, the second son of William the Silent, was not 
going to let power slip out of his hands so easily. Taking 
advantage of a quarrel between Barneveldt and his staunch 
ally and protector Henry iv., he very skilfully Execution of 
managed to direct upon him, left thus defenceless, Bameveidt 
the whole weight of the cruelty and fanaticism of by Maurice of 
the Calvinistic clergy. By a crime, more atrocious Nassau, 1610. 
than that of the assassination of his own father, because of the 
hypocrisy which accompanied it, he brought Barneveldt to the 
scaffold in 1610 by a sentence of judicial murder. 

The villainy was eminently successful. For forty years the 
republican party suppressed itself, and the government of the 
republic remained without question in the hands of the 

224 European History, 1 598-171 5 

stadtholders of the House of Orange : Maurice, Frederick 
Henry, and William ii. Indeed, when this halcyon period 
Government Came to an end, it was the ambition of the stadt- 
of Maurice, holder, not the pride of the republicans, which 
Henry, and was at fault. William II. had married a daughter 
William II., of Charles i. of England, and undeterred by 
X lo-i 50. ^^ ^^^^ ^^ j^.^ father-in-law and the outbreak of 

the Fronde he determined to effect a coup d'etat and turn 
the stadtholderate into a monarchy. Just before his death 
Frederick Henry had negotiated with Spain a treaty at Miinster, 
finally ratified in January 1648, by which Spain and the United 
Provinces agreed to unite together in defence of the Spanish 
Netherlands against French aggression, on condition that 
Spain closed the Scheldt to trading vessels and acknowledged 
the independence of the republic. A more favourable treaty 
to the United Provinces cannot be imagined, for by it they 
obtained a barrier between their own territories and those of 
France, and secured the trade monopoly of Amsterdam. Yet 
William 11. in his insensate ambition actually agreed to throw 
all these advantages away, and allow France to seize the 
Spanish Netherlands, in return for the consent of Mazarin to 
his projected revolution. Having thus secured the neutrality 
Attempted of France he proceeded to put his scheme into 
*^?'?f,.f,^***,T execution. He was sure of the support of the 

of William II., -^"^ 

1650. army and of Zealand, and need not fear the 

opposition of any of the other provinces except Holland. 
His first business accordingly was to get up a quarrel between 
the states-general and the provincial estates of Holland about 
the disbandment of some troops, then, posing as the champion 
of the states-general, obtained from them authority to take 
measures for the preservation of the union, and to put pressure 
upon the estates of Holland. This was sufficient for him. 
After some negotiation, on the 30th of July 1650 he suddenly 
arrested six of the leading deputies of Holland, and directed his 
troops to march during the night upon Amsterdam. The city 
was saved by the merest accident. The night was dark and 

Louis XIV. and the United Provinces 225 

rainy, the troops lost their way. When day broke they were still 
outside the town. The alarm was given. Only one magistrate 
Cornelius Bicker von Swieten happened to be in the city, but 
it was enough. The gates were closed, the draw- Death of 
bridges raised, the militia called out, and Amster- wiiiiam 11., 
dam was safe, and with Amsterdam the republic. ' ^' 
A coup d'etat was now impossible. William saw he could 
only succeed by civil war and he did not dare to give 
the signal for that. For five months both sides eyed each 
other suspiciously, but neither dared to move. Suddenly, in 
November 1650, William was seized with a violent fever, and 
died in a few days. 

The tragic death of William 11. decided the crisis in favour 
of the republican party. Some weeks after the death of the 
stadtholder his wife gave birth to a son, the future supremacy of 
William 111. of England. It was obviously impos- t^e republican 
sible to appoint an infant in his cradle to the ^^ 
supreme command of the civil and military affairs of the 
country. It was undesirable to ignore the seriousness of the 
danger from which the republic had accidentally been saved. 
The republican party at once seized the opportunity and 
asserted their superiority. A grand assembly was held at the 
Hague in January 165 1 to decide the constitutional points which 
had arisen, and it was agreed that the stadtholderate should 
remain vacant, and the functions of the ofifice devolve upon 
the provincial estates ; while the supreme military and naval 
command was divided between the estates general and the 
provincial estates. The real gainers by this arrangement were 
the provincial estates of Holland. Freed from the rights of 
the stadtholder political power naturally gravitated to the 
centre of the wealth and intelligence of the nation. In 
the provincial estates of Holland it found a body of men 
thoroughly capable of using it, and a chief admirably adapted 
to the task of working its delicate machinery. In John de 
Witt, grand pensionary of Dordrecht, elected grand pension- 
ary of Holland in 1653, the republican party found a champion, 

PERIOD v, p 

226 European History^ 1 598-171 5 

and the United Provinces a minister, second to none in Europe 
for skill honesty and acumen. 

Called at the age of twenty-eight to the post of first minister 
of Holland, John de Witt brought to his task qualities of mind 
w .. J T.,-^ and character singularly fitted to the part he had 

John de Witt. o y r 

to play. In him the virtues of Dutch republicanism 
shone pre-eminent. Homely and frugal in life, straightforward 
in policy, patient in temper, dignified in manner, persevering 
in action, no reverse could daunt his spirit, no success destroy 
his self-control. To the somewhat phlegmatic temper of the 
Dutch character de Witt added also the finer qualities of the 
Latin races. Shrewd foresight, quick inventiveness, ready 
adaptation of means to the end marked his management of 
foreign affairs. He was the only diplomatist of Europe whose 
fertility of resource completely outgeneralled Louis xiv., whose 
steadfastness of purpose completely baffled the shiftiness of 
Charles 11. Winning persuasiveness of speech adorned with 
rich eloquence of phrase gave him perfect mastery over the 
assemblies whom it was his business to lead. But the 
dominant note in his character and policy was his staunch 
almost fanatical belief in republican principles. Republican- 
ism to him was the whole of patriotism, and almost half of 
religion. His own father, Jacob de Witt, had been one of the 
deputies imprisoned by William 11. during his abortive attempt 
to make himself king. John de Witt never forgot the dull 
horror of those anxious days, when each hour as it sped 
seemed to be tolling the knell at once of his father's life and 
His opposi. of his country's liberty. From that moment the 
tion to the ambition of the House of Orange seemed to him 

House of ° 

Orange. to be as great a danger to his country as the 

aggressiveness of France or the rivalry of England. To keep 
down the national sentiment in favour of the young prince, to 
resist his hereditary claim to the stadtholderate and the 
command of the forces, to strengthen the hold of the estates 
of Holland over the government became the keynotes of his 
home policy, measures which he considered as essential to 

Louis XIV. and the United Provinces 227 

the well-being of his country as the maintenance of a barrier 
between France and the Scheldt 

The infancy of the young prince, and the consequent victory 
of repubhcan principles in the great assembly of 165 1, made the 
danger from the House of Orange for the time imperceptible. 
When John de Witt became Grand Pensionary of Holland 
in 1653, the safety of the repubhc was threatened not by civil 
dissension but by foreign conquest. With the restoration of 
order in England by the defeat of the kmg in the Quan-ei 
civil war had naturally come a considerable in- between the 
crease in commercial enterprise, and the Dutch vinces and 
traders became once more sensible of English England, 
rivalry and opposition in every part of the globe. To this 
natural rivalry gradually became added special causes of 
disagreement. During the interval between the defeat of the 
king and the reduction of the English possessions in the West 
Indies by the Parhament, the loyal colonists had preferred to 
trade with a foreign power whose chief was closely related to 
their king, rather than with the rebels of their own country 
who had imprisoned him. Consequently the Dutch had 
succeeded in withdrawing from English merchants the bulk ot 
their American trade. To settle this matter and some others 
the Parliament sent to the Hague in May 1649 an envoy, 
Dr. Dorislaus, who had been one of the late king's judges. 
WTiile he was at the Hague in the character of ambassador, 
he was murdered by some of Montrose's men by way of 
reprisal for the death of Charles i. In extreme anger at this 
insult St. John was sent in 165 1 to demand from the estates 
general the expulsion of prince Charles and his adherents, 
and their consent to the union of the two republics under a 
common government, which should have its seat in England. 
The estates general naturally refused to surrender ^^^ ^^.j ^f 
on demand the independence which they had Navigation, 
fought so hard to win, and in August 165 1 the ^ ^^' 
English Parliament passed the Act of Navigation which was in 
reality the signal for war. By this famous act the policy was 

228 European History, 1 5 98 - 1 7 1 5 

first enunciated which was to govern the relations of the great 
maritime powers to their colonies for a century and a half, the 
policy namely which regarded colonies as the mere feeders of 
the mother country. It enacted that foreign ships might only 
import into England the products of the countries to which 
they belonged. It was directed obviously against the Dutch, 
who were at that time the great carriers of the world, and was 
intended not only to destroy the trade of the Dutch with the 
English colonies, but also to enable the English ships to wrest 
War with ^^ \y\^ of the carrying trade from their hands. 
England, 1651- War at once broke out, in which the genius of 
^^^' Blake and the superior guns of the English fleets 

triumphed over the tenacity of Tromp and the valour of Opdam. 
The Dutch merchant shipping was shut up behind the Texel. 
The English remained masters of the sea. Even the Portuguese 
dared to seize Brazil, while at home the people, deprived 
of their trade, and unable to fish, were beginning to suffer 
severely. De Witt saw the necessity of making peace. 
Cromwell, who had now succeeded to the chief power in 
England, proved an easier taskmaster than the Parliament had 
been. He was willing to leave the United Provinces their 
independence, but he exacted their consent to the Act of 
Navigation, and their acknowledgment of the superiority of 
the English flag. Sharing with de Witt his dislike to the 
House of Orange, whom he looked upon as the chief supporters 
The Act of *^^ ^^ Stuart causc in Europe, he insisted on the 
Exclusion, perpetual exclusion of that house from the stadt- 
^^^' holderate by the estates of Holland, as a neces- 

sary preliminary to peace. After protracted negotiations a 
treaty was at last signed on this basis in 1654. 

John de Witt had thus succeeded in saving his country 
from destruction and in dealing his chief enemy a serious 
Continued blow at the Same time. To do away with the 
rivalry wiUi rivalry of the two nations, and to make the Dutch 

England, 1654- ^ ' 

1665. forget that a foreign power had compelled them 

to do injustice to a family which had served them with singular 

Louis XIV. and the United Provinces 229 

loyalty was beyond his power. The war ceased but the causes 
of the war remained. Each country was ready to continue 
the struggle when a fitting opportunity presented itself, but as 
long as the Commonwealth existed in England an identity of 
interest between the two governments served to keep things 
quiet. The English Restoration in May 1660 altered these 
relations^ and so far strengthened the partisans of the House 
of Orange as to enable them to demand and gain the revoca- 
tion of the Act of Exclusion by the estates of Holland in 
September 1660. The accession of Louis xiv. to power in 
1 66 1 further weakened the republican party by placing at the 
head of the councils of Europe one who regarded all republics 
with aversion, and looked upon ' messieurs les marchands ' his 
neighbours with a contempt which was bom of envy. Every 
month tidings came to the English government of some fresh 
defeat of the East India Company by its Dutch rival, of some 
new indignity inflicted on English sailors. Even the slave 
trade to Barbadoes had passed into Dutch hands. The time 
seemed to have arrived when it was necessary to make reprisals. 
In 1664 a piratical fleet was sent with the cognisance of the 
English government to the Guinea coast, which captured 
several Dutch ships and drove out the Dutch settlers from 
Goree and other places. In the same year a similar expedition 
to America seized New Amsterdam, which Charles unblushingly 
accepted and made over to his brother James, from whom it 
took its better known name of New York, After this war 
was inevitable, and in March 1665 it was formally second war 
declared. The Dutch had profited by the experi- with England, 
ence of the late struggle ; their ships were now ^ 5-1067. 
better manned and their guns of heavier calibre. Only in 
seamanship did the English have the superiority, but that 
sovereign quality could not fail to make itself felt. Gradually, 
after heroic struggles, the Dutch were beaten back. On June 3d, 
1665, Opdam was defeated and killed ofi" Lowestoft. A year 
later in the terrible four days' battle in the Downs Ruyter 
and Troinp were driven back to the Texel. In August Ruytei 

2 30 European History, 1 5 98- 1 7 1 5 

was forced by Monk to take refuge in the shallows of Zealand, 
and the Dutch merchant fleet was burned in the harbours of 
Flie. The misfortunes of the war renewed civil dissensions. 
Again was heard in louder accents the cry for the restoration 
of the House of Orange, and de Witt found himself obliged 
at least to accept the young prince as the child of the state 
and educate him in the affairs of government. 

Neither foreign war nor civil disturbance could damp the 
energy of de Witt. He ceaselessly endeavoured to repair by 
Energy of diplomacy what he had lost by arms, and he partly 
deWjtt. succeeded. Louis was bound by treaty to help 

the Dutch, and, although it was not possible to induce him to 
give active assistance of any value to a nation whom he hated 
and intended to ruin, de Witt did succeed for some time in 
preventing him from making common cause with the English. 
With other nations he was more fortunate. Denmark and 
the Great Elector openly allied themselves with the Dutch in 
1666, and compelled the warlike bishop of Miinster to make 
peace, who had invaded Overyssel in the interests of England 
the year before. The Quadruple Alliance signed later in the 
year 1666 between the United Provmces, Brandenburg, Den- 
mark and Brunswick-Liineburg, secured to de Witt help in 
the case of French aggression. But the most effective allies of 
the Dutch came from the enemies' camp. The recklessness 
of Charles's extravagance made it impossible properly to repair 
the necessary ravages of even victorious war. The great 
plague which devastated London and its neighbourhood in 
1665, and the great fire which destroyed half the city in 1666, 
made the raising of supplies more difficult still. At the 
beginning of 1667 England though victorious was exhausted 
and almost bankrupt. Charles in his isolation had recourse 
to Louis. By a secret engagement negotiated through the 
queen-mother, Henrietta Maria, Charles threw himself into 
the arms of Louis, and promised him a free hand in the Low 
Countries in return for Louis's support to his crown. At the 
instigation of France negotiations for peace were begun at 

Louis XIV. and the United Provinces 23 1 

Breda in May 1 66 7, but Charles, sure of Louis's secret help, 
was in no hurry to come to terms. De Witt determined to 
read him a lesson. Quietly on the 6th of June the Dutch 
fleet under Ruyter and Cornelius de Witt left the Texel. 
Next morning they were sailing up the Thames in triumphal 
procession. They seized Sheemess, sailed up the Medway to 
Rochester, captured the Royal Charles, burned three other 
ships of war, and were only checked on their route to London 
by the sinking of boats across the river above Chatham. 
This unpleasant reminder of his impotence Treaty of 
brought Charles quickly to terms. The Act of S""^*- ^^• 
Navigation was relaxed so as to permit the Dutch to carry to 
England German and Flemish goods. England retained New 
York and the Dutch the port of Puleroon in the East Indies. 
Other conquests were restored. 

Once more war had proved but a sorry engine for putting 
an end to national rivalry. The success of the Dutch in 1667 
no more gave to the United Provinces the monopoly of the 
trade of the world, than their defeat in 1654 had deprived 
them of their share in it. ' Must we then,' said the Dutch 
envoy to Monk before the beginning of the war, ' sacrifice oui 
commerce to yours?' 'Whatever happens,' bluntly replied 
the rough soldier, 'we must have our part.' And so it 
happened. The protracted and stubborn duel between the 
two greatest maritime powers of Europe only enforced the 
truth that the world was wide enough for both. Upon the 
two principal combatants it had more serious and wide-reach- 
ing results. It taught Charles 11. that he could not enjoy life 
and indulge his political ambition as he liked without the 
assistance of France. It taught John de Witt the import- 
ance of the friendship of England in face of the ambition of 
Louis XIV. It thus led directly to the Triple Alliance, and 
helped to blind de Witt's eyes to the fact, that that alliance 
had not cUpped Louis's wings, because for the time in 
deference to it he had consented to fold them. 

The whirligig of fortune had in fact made the worthless 

232 European History, 1 598-1 7 1 5 

Charles 11. of England the arbiter of Europe, while both 
Louis XIV. and John de Witt believed that the decisive voice 
was with them. Louis had determined on the ruin of the 
Dangers from Dutch, but he did Hot dare to face the united 
France. flgg^g of England and the United Provinces. 

John de Witt was under no illusions as to the dangers which 
were threatening him from France. He knew quite well that 
the old relations of friendship and dependence had passed 
away with the treaty of Miinster and the development of 
Dutch trade. Ever since the treaty of Miinster it had been 
the cardinal point in Dutch foreign policy to support the 
Spanish government in the Netherlands, in order to keep the 
French away from Antwerp and the Scheldt. Ever since the 
peace of the Pyrenees it had been the main object of French 
foreign policy to gain the fortresses of the Spanish Nether- 
lands as an adequate defence to Paris. Ever since the war of 
devolution it had been the undisguised ambition of Louis xiv. 
to seize the whole of the Spanish Netherlands as the first in- 
stalment of his inheritance in the Spanish empire. French 
and Dutch interests were sharply antagonistic on this essential 
point of policy. Commercial differences were no less press- > 
ing. Colbert had so arranged his protective system as to ■ 
injure Dutch trade as much as possible, and the Amsterdam 
traders were furious at this unneighbourly treatment. Louis 
himself never affected to conceal his personal dislike to the . ^ 
rich and Protestant republic, which dared to run athwart his 
designs. Yet in spite of all this, in spite of the continued war 
preparations of Louis, in spite of his ceaseless diplomatic 
activity, in spite of the withdrawal of Sweden from the Triple 
Alliance, in spite of the ominous sleepiness of Leopold, and 
nonchalance of Charles, de Witt could not bring himself to 
Blindness of believe that Louis would ever be able to turn his 
deWitt. threats into acrion. The success of the Triple 

Alliance had been so commanding, its effect so instantaneous. 
The temper of the English people had been so thoroughly 
roused against Louis. Europe had shown itself so sensitive 

Louis XIV. and the United Provinces 233 

of his aggressive policy. As long as the ascendency of the 
republican party in the United Provinces was secure, as long 
as no civil dissensions interfered to weaken their action, John 
de Witt believed himself safe and Europe at his command. 
He did not know that Charles had sealed his destruction in 
the secret treaty of Dover. He had no suspicions of the 
partition treaty between Louis and the Emperor. Deceived 
by the two powers he most trusted, secure in the results of 
his own diplomacy as he saw them, he did not even think 
it necessary to take ordinary precautions. By the Perpetual 
Edict, as modified by the Project of Harmony The Perpetual 
accepted by the republic in 1668, he flattered ^^''=*' ^^• 
himself he had secured internal peace without sacrificing the 
republican ascendency. By those acts it was declared that 
the same person could not be at once stadtholder and 
captain and admiral general, and it was provided that the 
young prince should be intrusted with the command of the 
army at the age of twenty-two. By this division of the civil 
and military powers de Witt thought he had secured the 
republic agamst a renewal of the coup d'etat^ and guaranteed 
the political ascendency of Holland. Yet, so jealous was he 
of the prince and his party, that even then he did not dare to 
strengthen the army. While Louis was forming vast maga- 
zines, and massing thousands of men on the frontier, the 
Dutch fortresses were being allowed to perish and the Dutch 
army was being deliberately starved in men and munitions 
lest the repubhcan supremacy should be endangered. The 
state was being sacrificed to the government. 

Retribution was not long in coming. Directly the thunder 
cloud burst, and the French armies were in full march on 
Amsterdam, the nation awoke to the fact that Popular 
it had been betrayed. William was at once fe^ou^of*'" 
declared captain general. A reaction set in, wiiuam iii. 
wild and unreasoning as such popular movements usually are. 
A scapegoat was required. The popular vengeance demanded 
a victim. The faithful and glorious service of twenty years 

234 European History^ 1598-171$ 

was forgotten, and a blunder magnified into treachery. For 
the moment the selfish burgher governors of Holland trem- 
bled under the terror of a popular outbreak. They were 
relieved to find the fury of the populace directed against de 
Witt alone. On June 21st 1673, John de Witt was attacked 
by ruffians in the streets of the Hague, who fled for refuge to 
William's camp leaving their victim half dead. In August 
his brother Cornelius was arrested and put to the torture. 
On the 20th John de Witt was induced to visit his brother in 
Murder of de the prison. They were caught like rats in a trap. 
Witt, 1673. ^ infuriated mob surrounded the prison, broke 
open the gates, dragged the victims forth, and beat their 
brains out, while the Calvinistic clergy hounded them on to 
their butcher's work. William himself, cruel, callous, and 
calculating in 1673, ^s he afterwards showed himself to be in 
1692, took care to know nothing and to do nothing which 
could stop the impending outrage. As in the massacre of 
Glencoe, he looked the other way at the time and tried to 
screen the perpetrators from justice afterwards. An accessory 
before the fact, and an accessory after the fact, all that his 
apologists can say for him is that his ambition necessitated 
the sacrifice of his humanity. 




The war between France and the Dutch — The campaign of 1672 — Refusal of 
reasonable terms— Coalition against France — The campaigns of 1674- 
1675— Exhaustion of France — The peace of Nimwegen — Virtual defeat 
of Louis's policy — The character and influence of William iii. — The /^ 

quarrel of Louis with the Papacy — The four resolutions of 1682 — Analogy 
to the English Reformation — Settlement of the dispute — Policy of religious 
uniformity — Influence of Madame de Maintenon — Persecution of the 
Huguenots — Revocation of the Edict of Nantes — Aggressions of Louis — 
Formation of the league of Augsburg — Quarrel between Louis and 
James 11. — The war of the league of Augsburg — Importance of the naval 
operations — Exhaustion of France — Peace of Ryswick. 

The year 1672 saw Louis xiv. at the height of his glory, 
and France at the summit of the prosperity to which she 
attained under his guidance. He was in the Grandeur of 
prime of Hfe, his court was the most magnificent Louis xiv., 
and distinguished in Europe, his palace the most 
splendid, his throne the most assured. As yet no breath of 
domestic or national misfortune had visited the complexion 
of his fortunes too roughly. Alone among the monarchs of 
Europe, thanks to the thrifty administration of Colbert, he 
enjoyed the supreme satisfaction of a well-filled treasury ; and 
if since the war of devolution occasional grumblings made 
themselves heard about the reimposition of taxes once 
remitted, yet few of the taxpayers would not be constrained 
on examination to admit that if the taxes had risen, their 



236 European History, 1598- 171 5 

power of paying them had doubled. Through the willing 
service of able negotiators his diplomacy was triumphant in 
all quarters of Europe. There was not a state which did 
not dread his displeasure, which was not prepared to sacrifice 
something for his friendship. The watchful diligence of 
Louvois had given to him as the champion of his honour, and 
the instrument of his ambition, a professional army, superior 
in discipline, in organisation, in leadership to all the other 
armies of Europe put together. His navy, already more 
powerful than that of Spain, threatened soon to rival the 
English and the Dutch on their own element. England was 
already his vassal, Sweden Poland and half the petty 
sovereigns of Germany his subsidised allies, Spain his defeated 
enemy. Only the upstart merchants of Amsterdam ventured 
to assert their independence of him and to dispute his 
authority. He had but to stretch forth his hand and seize 
the fruit of supremacy over Europe thus temptingly lying 
open to his grasp. He had but to 'travel' in the United 
Provinces to reduce them to due submission. 

Nevertheless he was wise enough to neglect no precaution 
to ensure the safety of his travelling tour. It was in no 
The Dutch empty, braggart spirit that he made war upon 
war, 1672. 5Q tough an enemy in so difficult a country. 

Charles 11., in pursuance of the treaty of Dover, declared war 
upon the Dutch in March, and Louis trusted to him with the 
assistance of one hundred and twenty French vessels to keep 
the formidable Ruyter quiet in port, while the great effort was 
being made by land. Charleroi was chosen as the basis of 
operations, and large stores of every warlike necessity were 
collected there by Louvois with the utmost diligence. Further 
magazines were established at the advanced post of Neuss 
near Dusseldorf in the electorate of Koln. No longer, as in 
the days of Wallenstein, was war to support war, but for the 
first time in modern warfare the army was to be regularly 
provisioned from its base by means of magazines established 
along the line of route. In the early spring 176,000 men 

Louis XIV and Wilham III. 237 

were massed at Charleroi under the orders of Conde and 
Turenne. On the 5th of May Louis joined the army and 
the storm burst upon the devoted Dutch. ^ March- campaign 
ing down the Meuse valley past Li^ge and of'^*- 
Maestricht, masking the latter fortress as he went, an operation 
hitherto unconceived of, he turned sharply to the right at 
Ruremonde and reached his magazines at Neuss on the 
Rhine safely on the 31st. Having thus gained the Rhine 
valley he pushed Conde over the river at Kaiserwerth to 
sweep the right bank and capture Wesel, while Turenne 
marched down the left bank and made himself master of the 
smaller fortresses of Orsoy, Rhynberg, and Biirick. On the 
6th of June Turenne rejoined Conde at Wesel, and the 
whole army poured down the right bank unchecked across 
the frontier of Guelderland, until it was brought to a stop on 
the nth by the little stream of the Yssel, behind which 
William was posted at the head of all the available Dutch 
troops. The hesitation was but momentary. Instead of 
forcing the line of the Yssel in the face of the enemy, always 
a most hazardous operation, Turenne determined to turn it. 
On his left flank as he faced William on the Yssel ran the 
broad but fordable stream of the old Rhine, which, leaving 
the main branch of the river, called the Waal, in a northerly 
direction, receives the water of the Yssel a few miles farther 
down at Arnheim, where, turning again to the west, it flows on 
to the sea. Half-way between Arnheim and the junction of 
the Waal and the Rhine is the ford of the Tolhuys. There, 
on the 12th of June, Cond^ crossed the old Rhine with his 
cavalry almost without opposition. On the next day a bridge 
was thrown across the stream, and the king and the whole 
army followed. After securing Nimwegen in his rear, Louis 
marched down the left bank of the old Rhine and crossed it 
again a little below Arnheim without difficulty. He had thus 
completely turned William's position on the Yssel and con- 
quered the far more formidable difficulties of the country. 
^ See map, p. 241. 

238 European History^ 1 598-1715 

When he left Charleroi, only six weeks before, he had, 
between hina and the heart of his enemies' country, the deep 
difficult and treacherous streams of the Meuse, the Waal, and 
the Rhine, defended at the most critical points of their course 
by the formidable fortresses of Maestricht, Wesel, Nirawegen 
and Amheim. Well might de Witt and the Dutch have 
calculated that, according to the usual movements of war in 
those days, there was material there for two campaigns at 
least. By the brilliant strategy of Turenne — for to him the 
plan was due — all these difficulties had been surmounted, and 
Louis was within striking distance of Amsterdam itself, with- 
out having fought a battle, almost without the loss of a man. 
The crossing of the Rhine at Tolhuys was indeed in itself a 
military operation of the fourth order, as Napoleon called it. 
So was the blockade of Ulm in 1805, but both marked the 
successful conclusion of an offensive campaign which evinced 
the highest qualities of strategical skill. 

Just in the very crisis of success Louis drew back. Cond^ 
urged him to make the most of his opportunity, push on to 
The cutting Amsterdam and end the war at a blow. There 
of the dykes, ^^s no One to rcsist him. He might have 
'travelled as safely' to Amsterdam as he had hitherto 
* travelled safely ' to Amheim. But with inconceivable folly 
he refused, sent Turenne towards Rotterdam, and sat down 
himself before the petty forts on the Yssel. Rochefort, acting 
on his own initiative, rushed forward with some cavalry to 
seize Muyden, and so prevent the cutting of the dykes outside 
Amsterdam, but he was too late. A Dutch garrison was thrown 
in just in time. De Witt had ordered all to be in readiness 
to let in the water directly the peasantry had moved from the 
doomed fields. For a few days the anxiety was intense lest 
the French should appear before all was prepared, but on 
the 1 8th the signal was given. The sea resumed her ancient 
mastery and Amsterdam was safe on her island throne. 

A breathing space was all that was required. If the 
Dutch could save their independence until the winter was 

Louis XIV. and William III. 239 

passed, it was pretty certain that a coalition against France 
20uld be formed. On the 7th of June the victory Refusal of 
of Ruyter over the combined fleets of France reasonable 

terms of 

and England removed all danger from the sea. peace by 
Holland was safe, and stood firm against all ^ouis. 
suggestion of submission, but the other provinces either in 
the hands of Louis or exposed to his irresistible power desired 
peace. For the time they prevailed, and an embassy reached 
Louis at the end of June offering him 6,000,000 of livres 
and the fortress and district of Maestricht. This would have 
made him absolute master of the Spanish Netherlands when- 
ever he chose to occupy them, yet at the advice of Louvois 
he deliberately threw away the solid results of his success 
merely to gratify his pride. He demanded that the Dutch 
should acknowledge their dependence on him, maintain 
Catholicism with public money, suppress all commercial 
edicts unfavourable to France, and pay 24,000,000 of 
livres. This was in fact to demand the surrender of their 
independence, and was only another way of saying that the 
war was to be a duel to death. They accepted the 
position, elected William in. stadtholder and captain and 
admiral general, and began to organise a coalition coalition 
against the tyrant of Europe. In October 1672 against 
the Emperor Leopold and the Great Elector ^'■*'"*- 
made common cause with the Dutch and the war became 

The difference was at once noticeable. Turenne was sent 
across the Rhine into Westphalia to prevent the imperial 
troops under Montecuculli and the Branden- campaign 
burgers from crossing to the assistance of William "f't^s- 
from Germany, while Cond6 was told off to guard Alsace from 
invasion. The French army thus divided into three parts 
lost its decisive superiority. Yet, thanks to its superior 
organisation and the genius of Turenne, it emerged victori- 
ously from the campaign of 1673. William was kept quiet 
by Luxembourg, while Turenne, by brilliant manoeuvring. 

240 European History, 1598-17 15 

checked MontecucuUi's advance on the Rhine, separated him 
from the Great Elector, and driving the latter back to Halber- 
stadt, forced him to make peace on June 6th. But at sea the 
Dutch maintained their superiority. On August 21st the 
intrepid Ruyter inflicted a final defeat upon Rupert and the 
English fleet off the coast of Zealand. He remained at 
the close of the day master of the channel, and as long as 
the water-way was open Holland was safe. 

In spite of Louis's success in the field, the coalition con- 
tinued to grow. In August 1673 it was joined by Spain and 
the duke of Lorraine, in January 1674 by Denmark, in 
March by the Elector Palatine, in May by the diet of the 
Empire, and in July the Great Elector ventured again to draw 
the sword. By the middle of the year 1674 nearly all Europe 
Defection of was engaged against France. Meanwhile her 
Louis's allies, q^^ allies wcre falling off. In the autumn of 

1673 MontecucuUi succeeded in outwitting Turenne. Slip- 
ping past him he joined William on the Rhine and captured 
Bonn on November 12th. Frightened by this success the 
electors of Trier and Koln and the bishop of Miinster hastened 
to make peace. But that was not the worst In February 

1674 news came to Versailles that England had separated her 
interests from those of France, and Louis found himself with 
Sweden as his only ally alone against the world. 

The history of the four rsmaining years of the war is the 
history of a noble struggle against impossible odds. However 
France and great the Superiority of French leadership and of 
agllns" ^'°°^ French organisation, it was out of the question 
Europe, 1674. that France could for long maintain so unequal a 
struggle. The allies simply had to tire her out In the end 
they must be victorious. Yet for some time victory was 
rendered doubtful by the skill and resource shown by the 
French commanders. They saw at once the necessity of 
acting on the defensive behind the protection of the fortresses 
of the Spanish Netherlands and the Rhine. In 1674 Conde 
retiring at once from the United Provinces, out-manoeuvred 

Louis XIV. and William III, 



242 European History^ 1598-1715 

William on the line of the Meuse and the Sambre, driving 
him back and capturing his baggage train at Seneflf on August 
I ith. Louis overran Franche Comte, while Turenne assumed 
the offensive on the Rhine to divert the attention of the 
imperialists. Crossing the river he advanced to Sinzheim 
and defeating the enemy there drove him behind the Neckar. 
The troops at his disposal were, however, not sufficient for him 
to maintain his ground and defend so large a tract of country 
as the upper Rhineland. In his difficulty he took a course 
justifiable only by extreme necessity. Devastating the pala- 
tinate with fire and sword he turned all the rich smiling 
country on both sides of the Rhine into a desert, so that 
the enemy could not maintain himself there. Having thus 
limited the area of the campaign he retired behind the Rhine, 
and prepared to keep his opponent at bay on the other side. 
For some months he was successful, but late in October the 
imperialist army, having effected a junction with the Branden- 
burgers, managed to elude his vigilance, crossed the river at 
Mainz, and marching up the left bank established themselves 
securely in lower Alsace. The Rhine barrier was lost. 
Unless Turenne could recover it before the campaigning 
season of 1675 began, the tide of war must roll back to the 
Vosges and the plain of Chalons. Turenne's spirit rose to 
Winter the crisis. Under his orders was an army of 

Turenne" ° Veterans capable of endurance and devoted to 
1674-75- himself. He determined on a masterly piece of 

strategy. The Vosges mountains run parallel to the Rhine, 
fringing the rich river valley at a distance of some twenty 
miles from the stream, and ever increasing in height and 
ruggedness as they trend southwards, until from the moun- 
tainous, and in winter snow-covered, group of the Belchen 
they suddenly sweep down to the plain at the famous Gap 
of Belfort, which divides them from the Jura. While the 
imperialists were slowly dispersing themselves among the 
comfortable towns in the river valley between Strassburg 
and Muhlhausen, Turenne at the end of November retired 

Louis XIV. and William III. 243 

behind the chain of the Vosges, as if to go into winter 
quarters in Lorraine. Having put the mountains as a screen 
between him and his enemy, he suddenly turned south from 
Lixheim, marched behind the Vosges until he reached the 
rugged group at the southern end where rise the head-waters 
of the Moselle, Then dividing his veterans into four divisions 
he sent them over the mountain passes through the snow in 
the dead of winter to their rendezvous at Belfort On the 
27th of December the operation was complete. Forty 
thousand of the best soldiers of Europe were gathered at the 
top of the rich Rhine valley of Alsace, where the enemy was 
quietly enjoying himself in unsuspecting security. On the 28th 
Turenne swept down upon them through the Gap of Belfort, 
occupied Miihlhausen, defeated the Great Elector at Colmar, 
and bundled the whole army neck and crop out of Alsace 
across the river at Strasburg. The Rhine frontier was 
regained at a blow. MontecucuUi was sent for in haste as 
the only general fit to cope with so terrible an antagonist, but 
fortune seemed to have deserted his standards. In the 
spring of 1675 Turenne crossed the Rhine below Strassburg. 
By a series of skilful manoeuvres he forced MontecucuUi from 
the Rhine to the Neckar, from the Neckar back Death of 
to the Black Forest. There at Sasbach he Turenne, 1675. 
obliged him to accept battle in a position in which success 
was impossible. 'I have him now,' said Turenne as he 
reconnoitred the enemy on July 26th. Almost as he spoke a 
chance shot struck him on the breast and killed him on the 

With Turenne fell the last hope of France in the field. 
MontecucuUi drove the dismayed French over the river into 
Alsace, and was only checked by the skUl of Exhaustion 
Conde, who arrived with reinforcements in time of France, 
to save Hagenau and Philipsburg. Crequi, who succeeded 
Conde on the Moselle, lost Trier in September. The Swedes, 
who had made a diversion in favour of France by attacking 
the Great Elector, were soundly beaten by him on land at 

244 European History, 1 598-1715 

Fehrbellin, and by the Danish and Dutch fleets at sea in 
the Baltic, At the end of the year Conde tired of warfare 
retired from the command. France was growing exhausted. 
Murmurs were heard on all sides. Already the reforms of 
Colbert were being undone, and corruption, the sure hand- 
maid of financial distress, was again raising her head. Still, 
however, the superiority of the French soldier showed itself 
in battle, and both the Dutch and the imperialists became as 
tired of fighting battles which they never won, as the French 
were of winning victories which they could not utilise. 
Negotiations were set on foot between the Dutch and Charles 
Negotiations and Louis which followed the usual tortuous 
for peace. course. William did his best to prevent a 
treaty, and even wantonly fought a pitched battle with 
Luxemburg on August 14th, 1678, near Mons, in which 
thousands of men were killed, in the last desperate hope of 
breaking off negotiations, although he knew that the peace 
was almost certainly signed, but it was happily too late. On 
August loth, 1678, a treaty was concluded between Louis and 
the Dutch, on September 17th Spain and France came to 
terms, and on February 2d, 1679, peace was made between 
France and the Emperor. Soon afterwards the minor com- 
batants followed suit. 

By these treaties, generally known as the peace of Nimwegen 
the United Provinces were not called upon to surrender one 
_ eaceof ^^'^^ °^ their territory, while they gained the 
Nimwegen, removal of the hostile restrictions on their trade 
*^^" with France. The barrier of the Spanish Nether- 

lands was not materially interfered with, and Spain even 
recovered Charleroi and some other towns which she had 
surrendered at Aix-la-Chapelle, and the frontier was fixed 
on a fairly straight line, from Dunkirk to the Sambre at 
Maubeuge. The Emperor recovered Philipsburg, but sur- 
rendered Freiburg with the passage of the river at Breisach. 
The only substantial gain to France was the actual annexa- 
tion of Franche Comte, and the virtual annexation of Lorraine. 

Louis XIV. and William III. 245 

True to his one faithful ally Louis insisted on the restoration 
to Sweden of the territories in Germany taken from her by 
the Great Elector. 

The treaty of Nimwegen is often looked upon as the 
summit of the success of Louis xiv., the pinnacle of his glory. 
It is rather the first step in his decline, for it marks the limits 
of his power. He had made deliberately a bid for supre- 
macy over Europe, and he had failed. He had virtual defeat 
determined on an act of signal vengeance upon of Louis's 
the petty nation which had dared to thwart ^° ^^^' 
his will, and he had been baffled. But this was not all. 
Not only was his failure one of fact, but it was one of policy. 
He had failed in a way which made it certain that he would 
fail again, if he made a similar attempt. However carefully 
laid his plans, however skilfully conceived his campaigns, 
however brilliantly led his armies, he could not fight single- 
handed against Europe ; and Europe was as certain to com- 
bine sooner or later against him, if he continued his policy of 
universal dominion, as the tides were certain to ebb and to 
flow. The selfishness of a Charles 11., the ambition of a bishop 
of Miinster, the greediness of a Swedish oligarchy, the poverty 
of a Polish nobility, the cunning inertness of a Leopold might 
enable him to purchase alliance and secure neutrality until 
the storm-cloud actually burst, until the danger of a French 
tyranny became instant and menacing. But in the end the 
web of diplomacy, however deftly woven, was certain to be 
torn into fragments before the rude shock of the spirit of 
nationality and the love of independence. De Witt with his 
policy of the Triple Alliance had shown Europe how the 
monster might be bridled, and Europe did not forget the 
lesson. Interests rival to those of France were too numerous, 
too varied, too deep-seated in national character, to be for 
long obscured by the arts of diplomacy, or quieted by the 
alliance of governments. The principle of the balance of 
power was certain to assert itself sooner or later, and as long 
as Louis persisted in an attempt to make himself dictator of 

246 European History ^ 1598-17 15 

Europe, whether by the conquest of the maritime powers, or 
by the annexation of the dominions of Spain, or by the dis- 
integration of Germany and Austria, so long would Europe 
combine against him and prevent that dictatorship from 
becoming an accomplished fact. Unfortunately, like Napoleon 
after him, Louis could not bring himself to acknowledge the 
permanent limits of his power. He could not understand 
that he had embarked on a policy impossible in the very 
nature of things. He looked upon Nimwegen as he had 
looked upon Aix-la-Chapelle, merely as a check in the game 
which he was playing. He knew he had made some mis- 
takes in his play. A fresh combination of pieces directed 
by a riper experience could not fail to succeed. So, like 
the gambler, who, convinced of the infallibility of his system, 
attributes his losses to mere errors of calculation which 
experience and care must detect, Louis, in no wise dis- 
concerted by the failure of Nimwegen, began with increased 
assiduity to weave his plots and repair his errors, so that he 
might again be ready to assert his claims, when the turn of 
the cards seemed once more favourable to his fortune. 

In reality while Louis was persuading himself that he was 
marching by steady and statesmanlike steps to a sure goal, 
Character of his chances of ultimate success were dwindling 
wuham III. (j^ily. The opposition to him in Europe had 
acquired both a policy and a leader. Never had a hero of 
a great cause less of the heroic about him than had William 
of Orange. Taught in the school of adversity, he had 
become a man before ever he knew what it was to be a boy. 
Implicated from his birth in a web of intrigue, nurtured in an 
atmosphere of suspicion, surrounded by foes of his race and 
cause, his earliest lessons were those of deceit and fraud. 
Generous instincts withered away in a heart in which affection 
had ever to give place to policy. At the age of twenty he 
was heartless as a Talleyrand, unscrupulous as a Walpole, 
cold, pitiless, and self-concentrated as Macchiavelli himself. 
Strange indeed was the contrast between this puny, dyspeptic, 

Louis XIV. and William III. 247 

selfish, taciturn stripling of twenty, untouched by sentiment, 
and inaccesssible to love, and the open-hearted, magnificent 
Louis in the prime of life and of glory, the prince of gallants 
and the pattern of chivalry. Yet deep down in the cold 
breast of William there burned a fire more enduring and 
more intense than any of the fitful flashes which illumined 
from time to time the soul of the splendid king. Love for 
his country, which, under the peculiar circum- Ennobling 
stances of the time, translated itself into an hisenmftyto 
undying and unconquerable hatred of the Louis, 
aggression and tyranny of France, slowly through long years 
of suffering and of patience, fused the selfish heartlessness of 
William into metal of heroic stamp. To him was not given 
the power of witching the world with noble deeds. He could 
not plan campaigns like Turenne, or win battles like Conde 
or Luxemburg. He could not enmesh two hemispheres in 
the bonds of his policy like Chatham, he could not dazzle 
Europe with the glow of his fame like Charles xii., or 
entrance it with the richness of personal gifts like Henry iv. 
He could not command admiration like Gustavus Adolphus, 
or extort obedience like Richelieu. The depths of mind and 
of character which move nations and sway the world had no 
place within the narrow limits of his mean and pedantic 
nature. But in their stead were developed to an almost 
abnormal extent the unyielding and tenacious qualities of his 
stubborn ancestry. Endurance, fortitude, perseverance, in- 
spiring and inspired by unconquerable hate and enlisted in 
the noble cause of patriotism and liberty, made him a hero in 
spite of himself. He would not recognise failure, he would 
not accept defeat. He knew not the meaning of despair. 
Never for an instant was he tempted to put personal ambition 
before public duty, for to him the public duty of resistance 
to France summed up his personal ambition. 

He valued the crown of England only because it enlisted 
the power of England on his side against the great enemy. 
He was prepared to abdicate the moment he found that 

248 European History, 1598-17 15 

England was but half-hearted and insular in her views 
about the war. To die in the last ditch was in his mouth 
no empty or braggart boast He would no more have 
dreamed of surrendering the religion and liberty of his 
country to Louis xiv. than would Leonidas of submitting to 
the Persians at Thermopylje. He waged the military and 
diplomatic struggle of thirty years in the spirit of that de- 
claration. He fought throughout not as a conqueror but as 
a defender, till he won for himself the position of the saviour 
of his country, and the champion of the liberty of Europe. 
Concentrating all his faculties on the personal duel in which 
he was engaged, he never fully realised the magnitude of the 
issues at stake, and the far-reaching effects of the policy which 
he had undertaken. To his successors fell Ihe task of reaping 
the harvest prepared by his patient and painful husbandry, to 
resettle the map of Europe after the overthrow of the tyrant, 
and to lay down at Utrecht a new balance of power. 
Naturally he could not know that Steinkirk was but the 
prelude to Blenheim, and that la Hogue alone made possible 
the glories alike of Plassey and Quebec ; yet if his spirit was 
permitted to follow the Maison du Roi in their flight from 
Ramillies, or a century later to brood over the shattered 
hulks amid the storms of Trafalgar, well might he proudly 
have claimed for himself his share in the wreaths of laurel 
which encircled the brows of Marlborough and of Nelson. 

For ten years Europe was at peace, but it was a peace 
which was in reality little more than a breathing space, 
devoted by both parties to preparations for the next round in 
the struggle. While William was plotting and scheming for 
his father-in-law's crown, Louis was strengthening his frontier 
by diplomacy as well as by arms. Both realised that the 
duel was still undecided, both hesitated to be the first to 
. J loose again the dogs of war. Meanwhile other 
Louis with difficulties of a serious nature came up for settle- 
the Papacy. ^^^^ j^ France herself. The Church of France 
had always maintained a much greater independence of the 

Louis XIV. and William III. 249 

authority of the Pope than had been the case in Spain or 
in Italy or in Germany since the Reformation. The long 
continued presence of Mohammedanism in Spain, and the 
pressure of heresy in Germany, had naturally tended to 
augment the personal authority of the Pope over those 
countries. In France the tendency had been the other way. 
National spirit and national pride called out by the liberation 
of the country from the English yoke, and employed in the 
task of conquest in Italy, emphasised national rights and 
distinctions. As in England the feeling of the people was 
strongly anti-papal, and it was the Crown not the Church 
which found it to its interest to make surrender to the claims 
of the Roman Curia, in order to gain a useful ally in its 
struggle with the nobles. As however the royal power in 
France gradually made itself supreme over all departments of 
the national life, the kings began in their turn to take up the 
cudgels against the Pope in a quarrel, which could The inde- 
not fail in the end to minister to their own great- ^hrolli^kan 
ness. Francis i. was within an ace of declaring church. 
France independent of the Holy See, the Valois kings refused 
for many years to take any part whatever in the council of 
Trent, and when the cardinal of Lorraine did appear with 
the French bishops, it was rather to present an ultimatum 
than to take part in a discussion. The doctrinal decisions of 
the council were never formally accepted by France at all. 
Heresy, in the form of Huguenotism, was suppressed in 
France much more by the Crown than by the efforts of 
the Pope, and the Jesuits were only admitted into France 
under strict limitations. Richelieu and Mazarin, though 
cardinals of the Roman Church, did not hesitate to pursue a 
policy in strong opposition to the wishes of the Pope, and 
Louis XIV. himself had not scrupled in the earlier years of his 
reign to put a public indignity upon the Pontiff. The very 
orthodoxy of the kings themselves and of their government 
made them the more jealous of all exercise of authority in their 
dominions by another sovereign, even though he was the Pope. 

250 European History, 1598- 17 15 

Among the acknowledged rights of the Crown of France was 
that of receiving the emoluments of all benefices during 
Claim of the vacancy, which was known as the regale, but it 
thf w\oIe of ^^^ ^ "S^* which depended solely upon custom, 
France. and obtained only in the ancient dominions of 

the Crown of France. In spite of this, in 1673, Louis xiv., 
pursuing his usual policy of royal aggrandisement, issued an 
edict asserting that according to law and to custom the regale 
applied to all the bishoprics of the kingdom. On this the 
bishops of Pamiers and Alais, who were theologically opposed 
to the Jesuit influence dominant in the court, protested and 
appealed to the Pope, Innocent xi. who at once gave his 
Denied by the decision in their favour. This action on the part 
Pope- of the bishops and the Pope raised the question 

out of the category of a money dispute between the Crown 
and some of the clergy, into that of a grave constitutional 
question between the Church of France and the Pope. Men 
asked themselves in France what right the Pope had to interfere 
with the emoluments of the Crown, just as in England one 
hundred and fifty years before they had asked themselves by 
what right the Pope claimed the first-fruits of English benefices. 
But Louis XIV. was fortunate enough to find ready to his hand 
a champion of his cause far more noble than a Cranmer or a 
Cromwell. To the orthodoxy of Sir Thomas More, Bossuet, 
bishop of Meaux, added the fervid eloquence of S. Bernard 
and the learning and taste of Erasmus. In him the flame of 
patriotism burned at fever heat. Deeply imbued with the 
principles of his age loyalty was to him the first of virtues, and 
the king dilated before his dazzled eyes, not as the grasping 
tyrant that he really was, but as the God-given champion of an 
oppressed Church. Bossuet felt that the mantle of Gerson 
and d'Ailly had descended upon him, and at the bidding of the 
The four ^^&) under his leadership, the French clergy set 

Resolutions, themsclvcs to follow up the work of the council of 
^ ■ Constance and put limits to the autocracy of the^ 

Roman Pontiff. Constitutionalism once more raised its head 

Louis XIV. and William III. 251 

for a brief period within the bounds of the Roman obedience. 
In 1682 the king summoned an assembly of clergy to meet 
at S. Germain and consider the difficulty. Bossuet at once 
took the lead, and at his instigation the assembly recognised 
the right of the king to the regale all over France, and passed 
four resolutions on the limits of the power of the Pope. 

(i) That sovereigns are not subject to the Pope in things 
temporal, neither can they be deposed by him nor their 
subjects freed from their oaths of allegiance by him. 

(2) That a general council is superior to the Pope. 

(3) That the power of the Pope is subject to the regulations 

and canons of councils, and he cannot decide anything 
contrary to the rules and constitutions of the Galilean 

(4) That the decisions of the Pope are not irreformable, except 

by the consent of the universal Church. 

These resolutions thus passed by the clergy were registered 
by the Parlements, and accepted by the Sorbonne, and became 
law of the land which all loyal subjects were bound to obey. 

Thus was raised once more the old constitutional question 
between the Church and the Pope. The decisions of the 
Assembly of S. Germain had behind them a constitu. 
weight of authority and practice, unquestioned in t>°nai ques- 

° . . . -^ ^ 1, • , tion between 

the primitive Church, repeatedly asserted in the the Crown and 
medieval Church, formulated at the council of ^^^ ^°p^ 
Constance, lately vindicated at serious risk by the English 
Church, but clean contrary to the pretensions of the Hilde- 
brandine Papacy and the decisions of the council of Trent. 
It was absurd to expect that a Pope however weak could at a 
moment's notice turn his back upon a theory on which the 
Papacy had continously acted for six hundred years. Innocent 
felt that he had no choice in the matter. He at once con- 
demned the decrees, and refused to issue the usual bulls 
sanctioning the consecration of priests who had accepted them 
to the episcopate. Before many years had passed there were 
no less than thirty sees in France without a bishop, and 
hundreds of cures without canonically instituted priests. The 

252 European History, 1598-1715 

condition of affairs was singularly like that in England when 
the statute in restraint of the payment of x\nnates was passed. 
Analogy to Each country had solemnly asserted a view of the 
the English constitutional rights of the Church within its 
Re ormation. ^Orders, which was diametrically opposed to that 
of the Papacy, and was denounced by the Curia as schismaticaL 
In support of the national theory the majority of the clergy in 
each country was prepared to enter at the bidding of the Crown 
into a contest with the Pope, which could but result in the 
increase of the royal authority over them. In the mouth of 
Louis XIV. as in that of Henry viii. the liberties of the national 
Church meant in reality the power of the national king. But 
unlike Henry viii. Louis xiv. was too wary to be pushed to 
extremes. He carefully avoided any overt act which could be 
construed into an undue assertion of independence. He 
contented himself with a purely negative position. Where 
bulls were refused the sees remained vacant, and the Crown 
enjoyed the profits of the vacancy. There was no divorce 
question to complicate matters. Henry viii. could not wait, 
Louis XIV. could. Consequently, in spite of much talk about 
a patriarchate of France, no definite steps had been taken 
to increase the difficulties of a settlement, when it became 
the obvious interest of both sides to restore peace. In 1693, 
Settlement of ^hcH Louls was iuvolvcd in the war of the League 
the quarrel, of Augsburg, and the influence of Madame de 
^^* Maintenon had become paramount at court, he 

found the continuance of his quarrel with the Pope both 
undignified and prejudicial. Innocent xii. the new Pope was 
willing to meet him half way. The articles of S. Germain 
were repudiated, the Pope recognised and sanctioned all the 
royal nominations, and ecclesiastical affairs resumed their 
wonted channel. Ten years of warfare had done nothing 
more for Louis than to enrich the literature of France by some 
valuable works on church-government, and to assist his rival 
William of Orange to the throne of England. 

Indirectly, however, there is little doubt that this memorable 

Louis XIV. and William III, 253 

quarrel with the Pope did much to urge Louis to the committal 
of the greatest blunder and crime of his reign — Policy of 
the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Since the ^°"'^ *°'^"'^ 

the Hugue- 

suppression of their political power by Richelieu nets, 
the Huguenots had given up all political ambition. Satisfied 
with the free exercise of their worship permitted by the edict, 
the Huguenots of the middle class had devoted themselves 
with great success to industrial employments of various kinds, 
while numbers of the nobles, who had only embraced Hugue- 
notism from political motives, came back to the Church now" 
that their interest and associations led them in that direction. 
Even in the troublous days of the Fronde the Huguenots 
remained strictly and significantly quiet, and when Colbert 
took up the reins of administration he found among them the 
most skilful the most industrious and the most loyal of French 
artisans. Unfortunately in the eyes of Louis xiv. and of 
Louvois their very loyalty and their wealth proved reasons for 
their persecution. The time had come, as it seemed to them, 
when the work of Richelieu might be safely pushed to com- 
pletion. All that he had been able to do was to draw the 
poison fangs of the serpent, the time had now come when the 
monster itself might be scotched and killed. The very exis- 
tence of a special law in favour of one class recognised an 
imperfection in the uniformity of the body politic. France 
would not be herself till she was one in religious as in political 

In the seventeenth century to a mind like that of Louis xiv., 
small in scope but concentrated in grip, there was much that 
W2S attractive in such an argument. Those were Desire for 
days when social distinctions, trade interests, local uniformity, 
independence were all being ruthlessly sacrificed to the solid- 
arity of the monarchy. Why should not religious distinctions 
be subject to the same law ? However contented and loyal 
the Huguenots might be, their very existence was an imper- 
fection in an absolute monarchy, which ought only to be toler- 
ated as long as the necessities of state required it But that 

254 European History^ 1598-17 15 

was not all. Louis himself was somewhat altering in character 
as he grew older. The cup of pleasure had begun to pall. 
The artificiality of court life was becoming a restraint to him. 
The atmosphere of gross adulation by which he was surrounded 
proved more distasteful every day. Religion, always a strong 
influence over him, reasserted her claims more imperiously as 
the pleasures and vanities of life were turning to ashes in his 
hands. Louis had always been decorously orthodox. He 
now became fervently devout. His court became more strict 
in life, more healthy in tone. Simplicity of manners, strong 
sense of duty, sobriety of conversation reigned in the place 
of luxury and frivolity. Courtiers complained that Versailles 
Influence of ^^^ ^° better than a monastery. The genius of 
Madame de the change was a woman. Louis as long ago as 
ain enon. jggg j^^^j chosen as the governess of his children 
by Madame de Montespan, the young widow of the deformed 
burlesque poet Scarron, known to history as Madame de Main- 
tenon. At first he was piqued by the primness and self-restraint 
of her demeanour, but gradually the beauty of her character, 
the wit and grace of her" conversation, the soundness of her 
judgment, the force and vigour of her nature, illuminated and 
sanctified by the purest flame of religious devotion, called out 
a response from his better qualities, and in the end established 
a complete mastery over him. In 1683, two years after the 
death of Maria Theresa, he married her secretly, and although 
at her own wish she never assumed the dignity of queen, her 
position was thoroughly well understood both in France and 
in the courts of Europe, and she received at all hands the 
respect due both to her rank and her virtues. Her political 
influence has been much exaggerated, for it was of a quality 
very difficult to appraise. She rarely if ever interfered directly 
except in those matters of personal patronage in which her 
sex is always so deeply interested, but her indirect influence 
was vfci-y strong, not only because Louis had a great opinion 
of her good sense and frequently consulted her, but more 
especially because of the power which she wielded invisibly 

Louis XIV. and William III. 255 

over the character and mind of the king himself. As under 
her influence he became more devout, he naturally allowed his 
increased affection for the interests of religion to mould his 
policy. As his conscience became more sensitive to the claims 
of the Church, he felt more than he had done before the 
scandal of his quarrel with the Holy See, he realised more 
than before the duties of his position as the first Catholic 
power of Europe. Probably had Madame de Maintenon lived 
out the rest of her Hfe in poverty as the widow of Scarron, 
Louis would still have revoked the Edict of Nantes, have made 
up his quarrel with the Pope, and have persecuted the com- 
munity of Port Royal. Still, it is none the less true that he 
was impelled to that policy by the knowledge that it was 
approved of by her mind, and strengthened in it by the sense 
of duty which he had imbibed from her society. 

Impelled then by his fondness for uniformity, anxious to 
prove his orthodoxy in spite of his difficulties with Rome, and 
believing that the Huguenots themselves were ripe 

, • T • 1- u • • 1 • Disabilities 

for conversion, Louis began his repressive policy placed upon 
in 1681 by excluding all Huguenots from public the Hugue- 
employment. They were to be marked by the courkgement 
law, as Roman Catholics were marked in England, of conver- 
as people who were unfitted by their religion to ^'°°^' ' ^' 
hold positions of trust. But repression was only one side of 
his policy. While those who obstinately adhered to their 
independence and their religion were stamped as persons un- 
worthy of trust, those who would listen to reason, and be 
obedient to the wishes of their lord and father, were covered 
with benefits and rewarded with pensions. In 1682 missions 
were held throughout France to convert the heretics. Bossuet 
devoted himself to the work with incredible zeal and success. 
An office was established in Paris under a convert named 
Pelisson to organise the work of conversion. Converts re- 
ceived their rewards in the best of government posts, aftd the 
receipt of government pensions. So numerous were they that 
Louis thought that he might safely proceed to the next step 

256 European History, 1598- 17 15 

and destroy heresy at its root. Edicts were issued closing the 
Huguenot churches and schools and making it a penal offence 
for a Huguenot pastor to preach. It soon appeared that he 
was wrong. Among the middle classes in the south and centre 
of France there were thousands to whom their religion was 
of far more moment to them than their property or even their 
lives. In 1682 numbers of the best and most industrious of the 
Emigration of artisan s of France began to leave their country 
the Huguenots rather than abandon their religion, Louis at once 

and popular 

risings, 1682- forbade emigration under pain of the galleys. 
*^3' There was but one resource left to the poor 

Huguenots, deprived of all honourable employment in their 
own country and prevented from seeking it in another. In 
desperation the mountaineers in the Cevennes rose in tumult 
rather than revolt in 1683. Stifled almost in its birth by the 
royal troops it was made the excuse of inhuman barbarities. 
The • Dragon. Dragoons wcrc quartered upon the miserable 
ades,'i684. inhabitants until they renounced their religion. 
Many a Huguenot who would willingly die for his religion 
could not bear to see his family and home at the mercy of a 
brutal soldiery. During the year 1684 this vile system was in 
force throughout the south of France. Conversions were 
announced by the thousand. In Languedoc it was said that 
as many as 60,000 took place in three days. At last in 
October 1685 the coping stone was put to this edifice of blood 
_ ,. , and crime. An edict was issued by which all the 

Revocation of •' 

the Edict of privileges accorded to the Huguenots by the 
Nastes, 1685. g^jct of Nantes were withdrawn, the reformed 
worship was suppressed, and the ministers expelled. Hugue- 
notism became from that moment in France, like Episcopacy 
a few years later in Scotland, an illegal religion outside the 
pale of the law and proscribed by it. 

The results of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes were 
Results of the Very different from what Louis and his ministers 
measure. expected. So far from crushing the Huguenots 

into submission it goaded them into madness. They realised 

Louis XIV. and William ITT. 257 

that now there was no chance of peace for them in their own 
country. One by one, family by family, they fled from their 
homes leaving behind them their property, taking their lives 
in their hands. Numbers were caught and sent to the galleys, 
numbers more escaped, and carried to the enemies of France 
in England and Brandenburg and Holland the thrift and the 
skill which under Colbert's enlightened patronage had done 
so much to make France the wealthiest of European states. 
Holland dates its industrial revival and Brandenburg its 
industrial life from the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. 
Huguenot soldiers, like Ruvigny and Schoraberg, brought the 
discipline and training of the French armies to bear fruit in 
the English and Dutch service. It is said that fifty thousand 
families escaped in this way to fertilise with their industry the 
soil of the enemies of France. Those who were left behind, 
who were too poor or too ignorant to escape, continued in the 
mountains of the Cevennes a desultory and fanatical struggle 
with their oppressor. In the days of Louis's greatest need, in 
the War of the Spanish Succession, they kept the ablest of 
French generals and an army of veterans from the theatre of 
war. Eventually in the next reign they obtained and have 
since enjoyed a grudging toleration. Even the uniformity of 
religion so dear to the heart of Louis was not attained. Large 
numbers of Protestants and of Protestant children, it is true, 
were added to the ranks of Catholicism, but Huguenotism 
Uved on in France, socially and politically insignificant, but 
still alive. France soon found that persecution had bereft 
her of her children and her wealth, without even giving her in 
return that complete national solidarity which formed the 
excuse for the crime. 

The interest of ecclesiastical questions, however intense, 
however absorbing, never diverted the jealous eye of Louis xiv. 
for one moment from his own aggrandise- Aggressive 
ment. He did not become the less ambitious Lou^sleTS- 
because he had grown devout, or the less far- 1688. 
reaching in his plans because they were now largely affected 


258 European History, 1 598- 17 1 5 

by his determination to play the part of champion of the 
Church. No sooner was the peace of Nimwegen signed than 
Louis began to cast about for pretexts for evading it. By the 
words of the treaty the towns ceded to France were expressed 
to be surrendered ' with their dependencies.' The ambiguity 
of this phrase, possibly intentional, gave a great opportunity 
to that kind of masterful diplomacy which Louis loved. In 
1679 he appointed tribunals, called Chambres 
des Reunions, dcs R^unions, Consisting of members of the 
^^^' parlements of Metz, Beisach, and Besangon to 

adjudge the territories in Alsace, Franche Comte, and the 
three bishoprics which were included in this phrase, and 
accordingly appertained to France. The Chambres well un- 
derstood their duty. Without hesitation they pronounced all 
Alsace, Zweibriicken, Saarbriick and other smaller districts to 
be included in the treaty. No sooner was the decision pro- 
nounced than French troops occupied the territories in 
question, and their annexation to France became an accom- 
plished fact. In vain the diet and the princes whose lands 
were thus unceremoniously seized protested. Force and pos- 
session were on the side of Louis and he knew it. While 
they were protesting he was cynically preparing for a stroke 
Occupation of ^^''^ audacious still. The great city of Strass- 
strassburg, burg was included in the decision which gave al 
*^^" Alsace to Louis, but Strassburg could not be 

occupied in a moment like Saarbriick or Montbdliard. French 
gold and diplomacy were set to work, the magistrates were 
bribed or intimidated, and at the end of September 1681 all 
Europe rang with the news that Louis xiv. was master of the 
key of the upper Rhine. The skill of Vauban was at once 
enlisted in its defence, and before the war broke out again 
Strassburg had been added to the impregnable circle of 
fortresses, which guarded France and threatened her enemies 
from Lille to Pignerol. Like his apt pupil Napoleon in after 
times Louis xiv. thoroughly understood the policy of employing 
brute force in the time of peace against unwilling enemies, in 

Louis XIV. and William III. 259 

order to obtain advantageous positions either in diplomacy or 
war as the basis of future effort. The Emperor threatened by 
the Turks was unable, Germany was unwilling, to renew the 
war for the sake of Strassburg, and Louis proceeded calmly 
and steadily on his way. By an arrangement with Charles of 
Mantua he occupied Casale in Piedmont the same day that 
Strasburg fell into his hands. By the truce of Regensburg 
concluded after a short war with Spain in 1684, and approved 
by the diet, he secured possession for twenty years of his ill- 
gotten gains. 

Meanwhile no pains were spared by the vigilant and careful 
mind of Louvois to bring the army to a pitch of perfection 
hitherto unknown. Camps of instruction were improvement 
formed, the precursors of the modem Chalons ^^^^ naJ^^ 
and Aldershot, where 150,000 men were kept 1678-1688. 
constantly at drill. Regiments, no longer farmed as it were 
by their colonel, were paid, clothed, armed, and victualled by 
the war office. Stores were collected along the frontier. All 
France resounded with the clash of arms and preparation for 
war. Through the zeal of Seignelay, the son of Colbert, similar 
energy was expended upon the navy. Arsenals were formed 
at Brest and Toulon. Ships of war were built to the 
number of one hundred and eighty and fitted with all the 
appliances of naval warfare as it was then understood. Since 
the decay of the navy of Spain the command of the Mediterra- 
nean had been shared between the Venetians, the Naval supre- 
Turks, and the Corsairs of Algiers. Now under ^edker- 
Duquesne and de Tourville France stretched forth ranean. 
her hand to win an easy supremacy over the Mediterranean, 
and to claim partnership with England in the rule of the 
ocean. In 1683 Duquesne destroyed the pirates of Algiers 
and Tripoli, and liberated their Christian slaves. In 1685 he 
forced the republic of Genoa to renounce its traditional 
alliance with Spain and to become the humble vassal of France. 

A poHcy of aggrandisement so open and so unmistakable 
could not fail to arouse at length the slumbering jealousy of 

26o European History, I e^gS-iy I $ 

Europe, but it was long before the enemies of France were 
in a position to take any active steps. From 1678 to 1685 the 
Blunders danger from the Turks was too pressing to permit 
of Louis. the Emperor to involve himself in responsi- 
bilities on the Rhine. In 1685 the accession of James 11. to 
the English throne opened out prospects of ambition to 
William of Orange, which made him unwilling to have his 
hands tied by the necessity of defending the Low Countries. 
But gradually as the months passed the blunders of Louis 
himself gave the opportunity to his enemies which they de- 
Aiienation sircd. His Continued quarrel with the Pope and 
of Europe, his alliance with the Turks alienated the more 
zealous Catholic opinion in Europe, and deprived him of the 
support of a sentiment, which at that very time he was most 
anxious to obtain. How could he claim the allegiance of 
zealous Catholics, when he was the enemy of the Pope and 
the friend of the Turk ? Yet with what face could he apply 
to the supporters of Protestantism or the friends of religious 
liberty, when he was stained with the cruelties of the ' dragon- 
ades,' and had just revoked the Edict of Nantes ? His intrigues 
with the Turks had lost him the assistance of John Sobieski 
and Poland. His seizure of the duchy of Zweibriicken had 
alienated his old ally of Sweden to whom it belonged. His 
attack upon Algiers and Tripoli had forfeited the friendship 
of the Turks. The system of tributary states beyond the 
frontiers of Germany had completely broken down. The result 
„^ , , of this was seen in the secret formation of the 

The league of 

Augsburg, League of Augsburg in 1686, between the Em- 
^^°- peror, Spain, Sweden, the princes of north 

Germany, and the United Provinces to oppose the domination 
of France threatened by the truce of Regensburg. In the 
next year it was joined by Bavaria and the princes of Italy, 
and the Pope, Innocent xi., even gave it his secret support. 

For the moment the accustomed political skill of Louis 
deserted him. Though he knew of the League he hesitated 
to strike the first blow while his enemies were unprepared- 

Louis XIV. and William III. 261 

He even allowed them to deprive him by a sudden stroke of 
his most important ally. James 11. of England was a very dif- 
ferent person from his brother Charles. Gifted with Quarrel 
much greater energy and independence of spirit, between 

Louis 3.nd 

he was wholly destitute of political tact and james 11., 
discrimination. Louis quickly found that he was ^^^• 
unable to bend him to his will, and make England humbly 
attend upon his chariot wheels as heretofore. All that 
Charles had cared about was a quiet life and plenty of money. 
James on the contrary had high political ambitions. He 
wished to make England Roman Catholic, and the English 
monarchy absolute, and in comparison with these objects he 
cared not a fig for the aggrandisement of France or the glory 
of Louis XIV. It was all-important to Louis that James 
should not embroil himself with his Parliament and people, 
when France wanted the assistance of the English fleet in the 
Channel and English soldiers on the Rhine. James on the 
contrary cared only for his own home policy, and in spite of 
the urgent remonstrances of Louis, and even of the Pope, was 
busied in schemes for weakening the English Church, re- 
moving the disabilities of Roman Catholics and altering the 
English constitution. Louis determined to read him a lesson. 
He remembered how years before he had had to teach 
Charles 11. that he must obey French orders if he wanted 
French gold. He thought that a somewhat sharper lesson 
was needed by James 11. now. He knew that the malcontent 
politicians in England were in close communication with 
William of Orange. He knew that William was fully prepared 
to attack his father-in-law's throne directly he was sure that 
his departure for England would not be the signal for French 
troops to overrun the Low Countries and march upon Amster- 
dam. He held the fate of James 11. at his disposal William 
could not move without his permission. At that very moment, 
in 1688, a disputed election to the archbishopric of Koln 
gave Louis the opportunity of declaring war upon the Rhine. 
Persuaded that the invasion of England by William of Orange 

262 European History, 1598- 17 15 

must bring about a struggle, which would force James to 
humble himself and beg for French assistance to crush the 
James driven rebellion, he deliberately allowed William to sail. 
outofEng- •Y\xQ French army was moved from the frontiers 

land by 

William HI., of the Low Countries to the Rhine, and occupied 
^^^- the Palatinate. In the midst of his triumph 

came the astounding news that James 11. was a fugitive at 
Versailles, and the strength of England was added to the 
formidable coalition which threatened France from all sides. 

The war of the League of Augsburg, which lasted from 
1688 to 1698, is one of the most exhausting and most uninterest- 
The war of ing wars of which history makes mention. Louis 
Aue^burg^ ° found himself alone against the world. Literally 
1688-1698. he had not a single ally. By the force of circum- 

stances the war on his side was largely defensive. Thanks to 
his prevision and Vauban's skill, his frontier was defended by 
a string of fortresses, which in those days of bad roads and 
worse artillery were only conquerable by the wearisome method 
of blockade, a method which often, owing to disease and ex- 
posure, was more fatal to the besiegers than the besieged. 
Using these fortresses as a base of operations his generals 
could advance to deal a blow at the enemy or retire behind 
them to recruit as occasion demanded. The allies, seeing the 
immense defensive strength which this gave to the French 
operations, in their turn fortified fortress against fortress, and 
Namur and Mons became under the hands of Coehorn the 
equals of Lille and Charleroi. The generals too on both 
sides were well fitted for playing the game of war on such con- 
ditions. No strategist worth the name appeared in Europe 
between the days of Turenne and Marlborough. Luxemburg 
was a brilliant tactician. On the field of battle he had not an 
equal. But no one knew less how to win a campaign or utilise 
a victory. William in. was an excellent war minister, inde- 
fatigable in preparation, indomitable under reverses, but his 
commonplace leadership was never relieved by one spark of 
genius or even brilliance. In the Low Countries the tide of 

Louis XIV. and William III. 263 

battle ebbed and flowed about the fortresses of Mons and 
Namur. The capture of them by the French in 1691 and 
1692 and the defeats inflicted by Luxemburg upon WilHam 
at Steinkirk and Neerwinden, after his efforts to save Namur in 
1692, mark the highest point of French miUtary success. The 
recapture of Namur by William in 1695 is his chief title to 
military renown, and the evidence of the increasing exhaustion 
of France. On the Rhine there was no great event which 
calls for notice, while in Italy the French, though much weak- 
ened by constant drafts for the Netherlands, managed to hold 
their own through the fine fighting qualities of Catinat, who 
completely defeated the duke Victor Amadeus at Staffarda in 
1689, ^iid drove prince Eugene out of Piedmont after the 
bayonet fight of Civita in 1693. 

The real interest of the war centres round the struggle at 
sea between the fleets of England and France. It was the 
first tilt in the dread tourney, which occupies the importance 
whole of the eighteenth century, which extends of the naval 
from Beachy Head to Trafalgar, and has given °p'''^^°°^- 
England her vast imperial position. The conquest of Eng- 
land and Scotland gave to William 111. the navy of England to 
use against Louis xiv. The continued loyalty of Ireland to 
James 11. made the command of the sea necessary to Louis, for 
without it he could not hope to maintain James in Ireland for 
a moment against the whole power of England. The issue of 
the struggle in Ireland depended therefore wholly upon the 
issue of the naval war. The great victory of Tourville over the 
English fleet off" Beachy Head in July 1690 made the French 
for nearly two years masters of the Channel, and more than 
counteracted the effect of the battle of the Boyne, by enabling 
Louis to pour French troops and stores into Ireland, and even 
threaten the invasion of England itself. The defeat of Tour- 
ville by Russell off La Hogue put a final end of this dream of 
French ambition. All thought of invasion had to be laid 
aside, and Ireland left to the tender mercies of the cruel con- 
queror. France had to acknowledge the superiority of the 

264 European History^ 1 598- 17 15 

English at sea, to acquiesce in the capture and annexation of 
its colonies in the East and West Indies, to submit to the 
absorption of its trade by its dominant rival, and to content 
itself with the impotent but lucrative revenge of the legalised 
piracy of privateering. 

After eight years of war all sides were anxious for peace. 
To France, exhausted by maintaining year after year four 
Exhaustion armies at least in the field, peace was a necessity, 
of France, Already the burden had become almost intoler- 
able. The coinage was debased, the taille had 
been doubled, offices were openly sold, and indeed created 
in order to be sold, one tenth of the population was without 
means of subsistence. The government too had fallen into very 
inferior hands. Colbert, Louvois, and Seignelay were all dead. 
Pontchartrain who took charge of the finances was incapable, 
Barbesieux, the son of Louvois, who succeeded to his father at 
the war office, was young and without expenence. When he 
pleaded his inexperience to Louis, the infatuated king replied, 
' Do not disturb yourself, I formed your father and will form 
you.' He seemed to think human nature was a blank sheet 
of paper on which he could write what he liked. England too 
was tired of a struggle which brought her neither glory nor 
profit. William himself, worn out by disease, hated by his 
subjects, thwarted by his Parliaments, plotted against by his 
courtiers, was willing if not anxious to sheathe the sword. In 
1696 Victor Amadeus of Savoy left the League and made a 
treaty with France, and negotiations for a general peace were 
set on foot, which eventually were brought to a successful issue 
at Ryswick in 1698 chiefly through the efforts of Boufflers and 

By the treaty of Ryswick France surrendered all the towns 
which she had captured since the treaty of Nimwegen except 
The treaty Strassburg, and agreed that the chief frontier for- 
of Ryswick, tresscs of the Netherlands should be garrisoned 
^^' by the Dutch in order to secure their ' barrier.' 

Clement of Bavaria was acknowledged as the lawful archbishop 

Louis XIV. and William III. 265 

of Koln, and the right of William in. to the throne of England, 
with the succession to his sister-in-law Anne, recognised. The 
peace of Ryswick was a serious blow, not merely to the pride 
of Louis XIV., but to his power. France never had time to 
recover from the strain of that terrible and heroic struggle 
before she was again involved in the war of the Spanish 
Succession. Her finances were ruined, her navy was crushed. 
And the heir to her greatness was her hated rival. William iii. . 
by ousting the Stuarts from the English throne, by forcing 
France to acknowledge his own right, had changed the per- 
sonal duel between himself and Louis into a national duel 
between England and France, a duel in which England had 
scored the first pass by wresting from France the command of 
the ocean, and compelling Louis to renounce his claim to be 
the dictator of Europe and the champion of the cause of 
Roman Catholicism in England. 



Indifference of Europe to the growth of the Turkish power — Resistance to it 
local — Inherent defects of the Turks — Causes of their early successes — 
Beginning of their decline — The struggle for the Danube valley — Their 
antagonism to the House of Austria — Turkish misgovemment at the 
beginning of the century — Mohammed Kiuprili, grand vizier — Revival oi 
Turkish power under the Kiuprili — Attack upon Hungary — Capture of 
Candia — Condition and institutions of Poland — Dechne of its power — 
War with the Cossacks — Election of Michael — War with the Turks — 
Victories of John Sobieski — Election of John Sobieski — Risings in Hun- 
gary against the Emperor — War between the Emperor and the Turks — 
Relief of Vienna by John Sobieski — The Holy League — Conquest of the 
Danube valley and the Morea — ^The peace of Carlovitz — Reconquest of 
the Morea — Peace of Passarovitz, 

Few facts about European history are so strange as the want 

of interest shown by the great powers in the empire of the 

Ottoman Turks until the present century. The 

Indifference . . ii r t- 

of Europe to Eastem Question as a serious problem of Euro- 
the establish pean DoUtics, affecting the peace and welfare of 

ment and , , , , • , 

growth of the world, has sprung into existence in conse- 
the Turkish quencc of the decay of the Ottoman empire, 
power. When the Ottoman Sultans were in the zenith of 

their power, when Turkish armies were marching up the 
Danube, when Turkish corsairs were plundering the coasts 
of Italy and Spain, when Christian communities were being 
enslaved, and compelled to pay to their conqueror a yearly 
tribute of children. Christian and civilised Europe took very 
little heed about the matter. Opposition to the advance of 
the infidel was mainly local. The Popes occasionally were 

South-Eastern Europe 267 

enabled to fit out some small expeditions. Charles v. 
endeavoured to root out a troublesome nest of corsairs at 
Algiers. From time to time small contingents of French or 
German or Burgundian soldiers were sent to the assistance of 
the Emperor or the king of Hungary. But such efforts were 
at the best but fitful and self-interested, and the real work of 
stemming the tide of the Turkish advance was left to the half 
civilised tribes, mainly of Sclavonic blood, scattered along the 
valley of the Danube and the hill country of Bosnia and 
Albania. The Wallach and the Serb, the Albanian and the 
Magyar were the people who jeoparded their lives and sacri- 
ficed their liberty for the salvation of Europe, while the 
Roman Emperor was waging a death duel with the most 
Christian king, and the Vicar of Christ was dallying with 
pagan philosophy. Statesmen and princes of the fifteenth 
and sixteenth centuries could not bring themselves to realise 
the danger of the crisis, could not understand that the East 
was about to avenge the days of the Crusades, and that the 
rude threat of Mohammed 11., that he would stable his horses 
in S. Peter's, might at any moment be translated into fact. 

Never was a struggle for life and death carried on in so 
haphazard a fashion. Resistance in the Mediterranean was 
purely local. The Knights-Hospitallers disputed Resistance to 
for years with the conqueror for the possession the Turks 
of their island fortress of Rhodes, and hurled him ™^'" ^ °*^^ * 
back eventually in confusion from the rocks of Malta. The 
Venetians kept the whole Turkish fleet at bay before Candia 
for twenty years at a most critical period of Ottoman rule. 
The Pope and the Venetians entered into piratical competi- 
tion with the corsairs of Greece and Africa, in which the 
desire to gain money was more conspicuous than the ambition 
to overcome the infidel. Even the great victory of Lepanto 
in 1571, at the news of which all Christendom rejoiced, was 
decisive, not so much because it marked the successful effort 
of allied Christian powers to resist a common danger, but be- 
cause it happened to take place at the beginning of a period 

268 European History, 1598- 171 5 

of intestine troubles within the bosom of the Ottoman empire 
itself. On land the story is a similar one. Piece by piece, 
leaf by leaf, the artichoke of the Balkan peninsula was eaten 
by the invader, but the process of digestion was a difficult 
one. The crescent was first seen in the plains of Hungary 
in the middle of the fifteenth century, yet at the time of 
their greatest power under Suleiman the Magnificent the 
Turks never acquired the whole country. Transylvania and 
Moldavia gave in their adherence to the Porte early in the 
sixteenth century, the Tartars of the Crimea acknowledged 
Mohammed 11. fifty years earlier, yet they never became any- 
thing more than vassal states. Even in Bosnia and Servia, 
though the Turkish rule was everywhere established, a great 
deal of local independence was left. Nothing stands out 
clearer in the history of the Ottoman Turks in Europe than 
the fact that the limits of their "onquests were fixed not by 
the prowess and skill of their adversaries but by their own in- 
herent defects. When Sigismond of Hungary and the flower 
of the Franco-Hungarian chivalry went down before Bajazet i. 
on the field of NicopoUs in 1396, when the flag of Moham- 
med II. floated proudly over the ramparts of Otranto in 1480, 
there seemed nothing to prevent the triumphant march of the 
infidel to the heart of European civiUsation, over the wasted 
lands of the king of Hungary and the ruins of the Christian 

But fortunately for Europe the Turk had two inherent 
defects, which effectually prevented him from establishing 
Inherent himself permanently among civilised nations, 

defects of He could uot assimilate, he could not govern, 
the ur s. Foresight, perseverance, organisation are denied 
to him, and they are among the primary and essential faculties 
of civilised government. The Turks swept down upon 
Europe as a mighty river flood pours itself out from its 
mountain gates into the plain below. With an impetuous, 
irresistible rush it spreads itself wide among the fields and 
the gardens, submerging one by one all the accustomed 

South-Eastern Europe 269 

landmarks of hedge and tree and hillock, till all the horizon is 
but a vast waste of hurrying water. But the further the flood 
finds its way from the bed of the stream the quieter is its 
course, the less the damage which it causes. Eddies and back 
currents check the whirling tide, and even turn its headlong 
course at the extreme limit of the flood into gentle, fertilising 
rills which irrigate the meadows in obedience to the will of 
man. For days or even weeks the flood may last and the 
swirl of waters boil along, but in the end it wears itself out, 
the fountains of the hills above dry up, the stream falls quickly 
back into its accustomed channel, and one by one again the 
old familiar scenes reappear. Trees and hedges, fields and 
buildings, greet the eye, but how different indeed from what 
they were. Tom, ragged, desolate, choked with sand and 
debris, preserving a faint life amid the desolation, all seems 
so unlike the once smiling valley. So unlike and yet the 
same, the same fields, the same trees, the same vigorous life, 
only for the moment obscured by the sudden catastrophe. 
In the light and warmth of God's sun, with a little aid from 
the forethought of man, the promise of rich harvest will soon 
be seen again. So it has been with the Turkish power in 
Europe. The Turks submerged the civilisation want of 
of south-eastern Europe, they did not uproot it assimilation. 
They injured it, they did not destroy it. They had nothing 
better to put in its place, and so it lived on, damaged and 
maimed, but alive. They imposed their own government over 
the conquered lands, but underneath, the old laws the old 
religion the old customs were still observed. In the extreme 
districts beyond the Danube they were content merely to exact 
tribute, and left their tributaries far more independence than 
the British government in India allows to the native states. 
To the larger part of the Turkish dominions in Europe conquest 
chiefly meant the imposition of a new governing class and of a 
new dominant religion, a governing class which was intermit- 
tently tyrannical, but a religion which was seldom persecuting. 
Consequently many Christians, who laboured under the taint 

270 European History, 1598- 17 15 

of heresy or schism, found themselves actually better oflf 
under Mussulman than under Christian rule, and it frequently 
happened in the wars between Venice and the Sultans that 
the orthodox Christians of Greece and the islands fought 
strenuously on behalf of their infidel conquerors, in order to 
avoid falling into the hands of their Latin persecutors. 

To this inability to assimilate the peoples which he con- 
quered, the Turk added an inability to govern them. He 
Want of could neither weld together the varied materials 

governance. Qf which his looscly jointcd empire was com- 
posed, nor govern the separate parts. It is singular how few 
administrators the Ottoman race has produced. It does not 
possess faculties for government, or for trade, or for art. No 
sooner had the Turks conquered south-eastern Europe than 
they found themselves obliged to intrust the administration 
of their provinces to the children of the people whom they had 
overcome. Turkish art was but a faint and spoiled copy of 
Christian and Arab models. Trade remained in the hands 
of Christian merchants, or fell into the clutches foreign of 
Christian powers. When the Turks ceased to conquer they 
ceased to prosper. They became idle, luxurious and inert, 
lying like an incubus upon the country, deadening and crush- 
ing its civilisation and its spirit, hindering all growth, stopping 
all progress, just as incapable of calling out the resources of a 
people as of rooting out their national life. 

So as the flood of conquest began to abate the submerged 
races began to reappear. Christendom had not to reconquer 
Reasons for Turkish provinces, as Germany has had to recon- 
their early quer French provinces, it merely had to remove 
success. ^^ foreign incubus which was lying upon them 

and crushing them, to oust the foreign garrison. Accordingly 
the tide of Turkish invasion had hardly ceased to flow in 
south-eastern Europe when it began to ebb. The Turks owed 
their wonderful success to three causes. The disunion of 
Christendom, the extraordinary vigour and ability of the 
earlier Ottoman Sultans, and the institution of the Janizaries 

South- Eastern Europe 27 1 

which gave them the best disciplined army in Europe. In the 
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries these all combined to 
advance their power. They came as an army, organised not 
as a nation but as a camp, led by men sc ond to none among 
the greatest sovereigns of Europe for military and personal 
gifts. The strength of their forces lay in the tribute of 
children exacted from the Christian races, who were brought 
up in the faith of Islam to be its special defenders and 
champions in the disciplined life of an army, half fanatical 
and half professional. They hurled themselves upon Europe 
at a time when the great powers were slowly and painfully 
organising themselves into personal monarchies out of the 
ruins of feudalism, when as yet professional armies were in 
their cradle. Under Orchan, the founder of the institution of 
the tribute children, they first crossed over into Europe in the 
middle of the fourteenth century. Under Murad i. they over- 
ran Roumelia and Bulgaria, under Bajazet i. they carried their 
victorious arms into Servia and across the Danube into 
Wallachia, and defeated Sigismond of Hungary at the great 
battle of Nicopolis in 1396. Under Murad 11. they spread 
into Macedonia and Hungary. To Mohammed 11. was 
reserved the crowning honour of the conquest of Constanti- 
nople, but he also extended his sovereignty over Trebizond, 
Greece and the islands of the ^Egean, Bosnia, Albania and 
even the Tartars of the Crimea. At the death of the great 
conqueror in 1481, the Turkish empire in Europe had reached 
the dimensions which it retained in the middle of the present 
century. But it still continued to grow. Under Suleiman 
the Magnificent, who reigned from 1520 to 1566, it attained its 
greatest power. He drove the Knights-Hospi- suieimanthe 
tallers out of Rhodes, crossed the Danube, Magnificent, 
captured Belgrade, and turned half Hungary into ^5^°"'5^- 
a Turkish province under a pasha at Buda, while he forced 
the princes of Transylvania and Moldavia to pay him tribute. 
So powerful had he become that the powers of Europe began 
to realise his importance, and Francis i. of France did not 

272 European History^ 1 598- 1 7 1 5 

disdain to purchase by his friendship the aid of the Sultan 
against his great enemy the Emperor, and to lay the founda- 
tions of French influence in the East by the privileges which 
he obtained for his countrymen at Constantinople. From that 
time to the present day French i)olicy has always had for one 
of its chief objects the maintenance of a group of alliances in 
northern and eastern Europe, which may serve to threaten 
Alliance with Germany with the danger of being caught be- 
France. tween two fires, should she find herself at war with 

France. For many years Sweden Poland and Turkey formed 
such a group, and the endeavour to keep them in firm friend- 
ship with France was always a leading feature of French 
diplomacy. In the seventeenth century, when the House of 
Austria was the chief opponent of France, the assistance of 
Poland and of the Sultan was naturally of great importance. 
In modern days, during the decay of the Ottoman empire and 
the growth of the rivalry with northern Germany, the Czar 
has taken the place of the Sultan as the necessary ally of 
France. Thus in the sixteenth century, mainly through the 
selfish policy of the French kings, the Ottoman Sultans found 
themselves admitted into friendship and alliance with Euro- 
pean sovereigns, just at the very time when they seemed to 
be threatening ruin and destruction to European civilisation. 

In reality, however, the flood had already reached high-water 
mark. The Sultans had begun to prefer a life of ease in the 
Beginning palacc of Stamboul to the active leadership of 
of Turkish the army, or the laborious administration of the 
ec ine, 15 . gjjjpij-e. Suleiman himself farmed out the taxes 
and left the management of the affairs of state mainly to his 
ministers. Under his feeble successors degeneration grew 
apace. The reins of power fell from the listless hands of 
the Sultans into those of incapable and despicable favourites. 
Palace intrigues decided important affairs of state, and ministers 
were made and unmade by the cabals of women and eunuchs. 
Corruption spread like a cancer over the whole administration. 
Discipline became deteriorated m the army, and the Janizaries, 

South-Eastern Europe 273 

like the Praetorian guard, ceased to be the champions of their 
country's ambition, and became but the heroes of domestic 
revolutions. In a loosely organised empire like that of the 
Turks, which stretched from Buda to Bagdad, from the Caspian 
to the Pillars of Hercules, there was no cohesive force except 
that of the central government, no centre of unity except that 
of the ruler of Stamboul in his double capacity of Sultan and 
Caliph. When the head became effete and incapable the life 
blood of the whole organism failed and decay began. Under 
Selim the Sot, the successor of Suleiman, Christendom won 
its great victory over the Turks at Lepanto in 15 71, a battle, 
which, though its loss was repaired with incredible energy and 
counterbalanced by the conquest of Cyprus, has nevertheless 
set for all time the limits of Turkish rule in the Mediterranean, 
just as the failure of Suleiman's attack upon Vienna in 1529, 
and the subsequent partition of Hungary, had fixed the extreme 
boundaries of Turkish power in the valley of the Danube. 

The close of the sixteenth century therefore fixed the limits 
of Turkish advance. The opening years of the seventeenth 
century marked the first beginnings of Turkish Loss of the 
retreat. By the treaty of Sitvatorok, concluded command of 
between the Emperor and the Sultan in 1606, the vaneyiiTthe 
annual tribute of 30,000 ducats agreed to be paid seventeenth 
by the Emperor for the portion of Hungary which *^*°*"^* 
he still retained under his own government was abolished. 
From that day to the present the history of the Ottoman 
Turks in Europe has been that of a gradual but steady decline 
in the strength of their authority over south-eastern Europe. 
In the seventeenth century the struggle was for the possession 
of the valley of the Danube. The contest was a severe one. 
The Turks fought more strenuously for the command of the 
Danube than they did for Greece or Bulgaria. Bit by bit with 
many changes of fortune they were slowly driven back, until 
soon after the end of the century not an acre of land on the 
northern bank of the river between the Theiss and the Pruth 
was still in their possession. Since then the work of liberation 


2/4 European History, 1598- 17 15 

has progressed steadily but slowly. One by one the Crimea, 
Wallachia, Moldavia, Bessarabia, Servia, Greece, Bosnia, and 
Bulgaria have been won back by Christendom from the rule 
of the Turk, either to complete independence or to subjec- 
tion to a neighbouring Christian power. But just as it was the 
mutual disunion of Christian powers which enabled the Turks 
to conquer south-eastern Europe so easily in the fifteenth 
and sixteenth centuries, so it has been the mutual jealousy of 
Christian powers which has made the task of emancipation 
so slow and so difficult in the nineteenth century. For many 
years the Ottoman Sultans have lived in Europe on sufferance, 
because it has seemed a lesser evil to the great powers of 
Europe to retain the Turk than to aggrandise the Czar. 

Before the ambition of Russia gave rise to the Eastern 
Question the House of Austria was the Christian power chiefly 
Antagonism interested in beating back the Turks. The 
to the House Emperors no doubt felt somewhat the obligation 
which lay upon them, as the traditional lords of 
Christendom, to take the lead in the work of emancipating 
Christian lands and imperial vassals from the yoke of the 
infidel. But much more did they feel the political necessity 
which forced them, as kings of Hungary and Croatia and 
overlords of Transylvania, to make themselves undisputed 
masters of the valleys of the Danube the Drave and the Save. 
With the Turks securely planted at Buda, and viithin striking 
distance of Agram, Vienna itself was unsafe, and the communi- 
cations between Austria and Italy liable at any moment to be 
cut. The more the Emperor was being deprived of leadership 
in Germany, the more he was being ousted from influence on 
the Rhine, the more essential it became to him to retain his 
hold upon the Danube. So during the whole of the seven- 
teenth century the history of south-eastern Europe is the 
history of a duel between the House of Austria and the Sultans 
for political and military supremacy on the Danube and the 
Save. Other combatants such as the French, the Venetians, 
the Poles and the Russians, appear from time to time and 

South- Eastern Europe 275 

take part in the struggle from motives of ambition or patriot- 
ism or interest and most powerfully affect its fortunes, but the 
essential character of the contest remains unchanged. Austria 
and the Turks fight for pre-eminence on the Danube, just as 
Germany and France fight for pre-eminence on the Rhine. 

Fortunately for the house of Habsburg the time of their 
greatest weakness was also a time of impotence and degeneracy 
among their foes. From the death of Moham- Misgovern- 
med III. in 1603 to the death of Murad iv. in ™antinopie°* 
164c the Ottoman empire was the prey of revolu- 1603-1656. 
tion anarchy and crime. The Sultans, effeminate puppets of 
a day, were in no position to take advantage of the oppor- 
tunities given to them by the Thirty Years' War. The satisfac- 
tion of their own pleasures and the preservation of their own 
lives were much more in their thoughts than the extension of 
their power. Murad iv. during the eight years of his personal 
rule (1632-1640) did much by a relentless severity to crush 
out the spirit of faction, and reduce the turbulent Janizaries 
to obedience, but on his death after a drinking bout in 1640, 
anarchy broke out again. Ibrahim i. his successor, having 
been with difficulty prevented from ordering a general massacre 
of the Christians all over the empire, contented himself by 
fitting out a fleet in 1645 which undertook the conquest of 
Candia ; but the disorganisation of the government was far too 
great to enable the attempt to be made with any chance of 
success. It only provoked reprisals on the part of the 
Venetians and the Knights-Hospitallers. The miserable Sultan 
himself was deposed and murdered in 1648, the Ottoman fleet 
was defeated in the .^gean in 1649, civil war raged in Asia 
Minor, while at Stamboul ministers rapidly succeeded one 
another in obedience to the caprices of the harem or the 
demand of the soldiery. In 1656 Mocenigo the Venetian 
admiral occupied the Dardanelles and threatened Constanti 
nople itself. It seemed as if the Ottoman empire was about to 
fall to pieces through sheer want of governance. 

From this fate it was preserved by the firmness of one man 

276 European History, I <,g^-l7l$ 

and the genius of a family. The Kiuprili were of Albanian 
blood, but had long been settled in Constantinople, where 
Mohammed the head of the family, Mohammed, now an old 
^oTrfted grand ^^^ °^ Seventy, was universally respected for 
vizier, 1656. the vigour of his mind and the strength of his 
character. The mother of the young Sultan, in whose hands 
the chief political power had fallen, turned to Mohammed 
Kiuprili in her despair, and begged him to accept the office 
of grand vizier in 1656. He consented on the condition that 
his authority should be uncontrolled. For twenty years he 
and his family were the real rulers of the empire, and to them 
is due the astonishing revival of the Ottoman power in the 
latter half of the seventeenth century. True to the genius of 
Oriental monarchies they sought for the sources of strength, 
not in adaptation to new demands, but in the resuscitation of 
the ancient spirit. They resolutely shut their eyes to the 
attractions of European civilisation. They refused as far as 
possible to have dealings with European powers. Treaties, 
concessions, arts were evidences of weakness, admissions of a 
brotherhood which could never exist between Christianity and 
Islam. The ideal of government ever present to their minds 
was that of Mohammed 11, and the earlier Sultans. The rela- 
tion of governors to governed was that of master and slave in 
a well-ordered household, where strict justice on the one hand 
expected and necessitated implicit obedience on the other. 
The mission of the Turks was to conquer opponents and to 
dictate terms to the vanquished. Wherever there yet remained 
an organised power. Christian in its principles and Western in 
its civilisation, there was the enemy. 

Success was instantaneous. The Turks at once felt that 
they had got a leader who understood them, who was actuated 
Restoration of by principles which were their own. Obediently 
Vit\inl^tf,il^' t^^y ^ell i^ to the bugle call. Anarchy disappeared. 
i66i. Discipline re-established itself. The Greek Patri- 

arch and 4000 Janizaries were the only victims required. In 
the very next year the Venetian fleet was forced to leave the 

South-Eastem Europe ZJf 

Dardanelles, Mocenigo was killed, and Leranos and Tenedos 
recovered. In 1659 the old alliance with France was broken 
by the imprisonment of the ambassador's son, and the refusal of 
all compensation. The siege of Candia was pushed on with 
redoubled zeal, and preparations were made for the renewal of 
the war of European conquest. When Mohammed Kiuprili 
died in i66i he had the satisfaction of seeing the Ottoman 
empire once more united from end to end of its vast extent, 
and its energies once more directed to a war of aggression 
against its hereditary enemy the Emperor. 

The mantle of Mohammed fell upon his son Achmet, who 
succeeded him in his office, inherited his ability, and pursued 
his policy. Placing himself at the head of 200,000 Attack upon 
men he burst into Austrian Hungary in 1663, ^H^^^..^^^^ 
crossed the Danube at Gran, captured the fortress Kiupriii, 1663. 
of Neuhausen, and ravaged Moravia up to the walls of Olmutz. 
But Louis XIV., irritated at the insult offered to his ambassador 
by Mohammed Kiuprili, came to the aid of the Emperor. With 
the assistance of 30,000 men in French pay MontecucuUi the 
imperialist general felt himself strong enough to threaten the 
Turkish flank by an advance from Vienna. Achmet at once 
retired south to cover Buda, and the two armies met at S. 
Gothard on the Raab, where Achmet and his army proved 
themselves no match for the talents of his opponent or the 
wild valour of the French cavalry. Leopold, however, saw only 
in this great victory the opportunity of making peace, and of 
ridding himself of any further obligations to France. Ten 
days after the battle of S. Gofhard he signed the Treaty of 
treaty ofVasvar (loth August 1664), by which Vasvar, 1664. 
he recognised the suzerainty of the Sultan over Transylvania, 
and permitted him to retain the important fortress of Neu- 
hausel in Hungary. Elated with this success Achmet turned 
his attention to the war with Venice. He took personal charge 
of the siege operations before Candia, and in spite of all that 
European engineering skill could do, it soon became obvious 
that the end could not long be delayed. Morosini the heroic 

278 European History, 15 98-171 5 

defender of the town made the capitulation the occasion of 
Capture of negotiating a general treaty. On the 17th Sep- 
Candia, 1669. tcmber 1669 Crete passed into the hands of the 
Ottomans, and peace was restored between Venice and the 
Porte. It was the last conquest Islam has made from 

No sooner was the war with Venice over than Achmet found 
himself involved with a very different Christian power in the 
Condition of extreme northern frontier of the empire. The 
Poland. kingdom of Poland, to which was joined the grand 

duchy of Lithuania, had discharged during the Middle Ages the 
office of the sentinel of Western civilisation on its northern 
frontier. But the civilisation to which it had itself attained 
was very inferior to that of its southern and western neighbours. 
Extending as it did, so late as the beginning of the seventeenth 
century, from Livonia and Courland on the Baltic to Podolia 
and the lower waters of the Dniester on the confines of the 
Black Sea, it could not fail to be subject to the dangers of 
disunion and disorganisation. Its interests were so varied, its 
territories so impassable and heterogeneous, its people so 
untameable and independent, that it was almost a hopeless 
task for even a great statesman to inspire the country with a 
sense of national unity, and to lead it along the path of 
national progress. Yet forces which under happier circum- 
stances might have led to contralisation were not wanting. 
Poland occupied geographically the centre of Europe. Until 
the rise of Russia on the north and Prussia to the west it was 
free from serious danger of conquest Its people were 
Sclavonic by race and Catholic by religion. With the excep- 
tion of a few years at the end of the sixteenth century it was 
untroubled by religious or racial discord. Brave and chivalrous 
by nature the Poles were distinguished for their personal loyalty 
Turbulence ^^d their affection for their country. But all these 
of the Poles, promising elements of union and strength weighed 
as nothing in the balance, when compared with the evils of their 
political and social institutions. The Poles were absolutely 

South-Eastern Europe 279 

deficient in the capacity for being governed. They never 
appreciated the advantages of the reign of law. They never 
understood that individuals must submit to some restrictions 
if the community is to prosper. Discipline was a virtue wholly 
unrecognised by them. This lawless and turbulent spirit was 
fostered instead of being checked by their social institutions. 
There were but two classes in Poland, the aristocracy in whose 
hands lay the whole of the wealth and the whole Their social 
of the political power, and the serfs who were little tionaUnstim^ 
better than slaves, and had no rights of life or tions. 
property against their masters. As in all countries where one 
class is dominant, justice and patriotism shrank and withered 
before the claims of privilege and selfishness. The determina- 
tion to use the power which it has got solely for its own 
purposes, is not the monopoly of one class more than another. 
It has been the characteristic of the petty democracy of 
Florence, as of the trading aristocracy of Amsterdam, or the 
militant democracy of modem France. The landlord aristo- 
cracy of Poland pushed it to excess. They mistook licence 
for liberty, and put personal power in the place of patriotism 
as unhesitatingly as a Robespierre or a Napoleon. Their great 
fear was to find that they had unwittingly given themselves a 
master, so they did all they could to divert the kingship of all 
real power, and wilfully deprived the country of the only 
posssible centre of unity. During the Middle Ages the kingship, 
though always nominally elective, was in fact hereditary, but 
on the death of Sigismond Augustus in 1572 it became wholly 
elective, and on his election the king was obliged to sign a 
compact by which he practically divested himself of all the 
usual functions of royalty except the appointment of the 
oflScials and the command of the army. The government of 
the country was really vested in the senate, in which the 
bishops and the higher magistrates as well as the twelve great 
executive officials sat, and in the diet. Originally the whole 
adult nobility had the right of attending the diet, but since 
1466 it had become merely a body of delegates, who received 

28o European History^ 1 598-171 5 

the mandate from the provincial assemblies of nobles, and 
were not permitted to vary it in the least. The diet sat for 
six weeks and all its decisions had to be unanimous, con- 
sequently it was in the power of every member of the diet to 
put a stop to all business whatever either by obstructing all 
progress for six weeks (drawing out the diet), or by voting 
against the proposal (the veto), or by simply withdrawing 
altogether, which of course rendered all decision impossible 
and so practically dissolved the assembly. 

A constitution such as this might have been thought to have 
been the work of some cynical philosopher anxious to exhibit 
Poland the ^"^ ^ large scale the inconceivable folly of human 
battle-ground nature. In reality it was dictated by the malignant 
anJAustrian Spirit of fear and selfishness. In the hands of a 
interests. quick-tempered and turbulent people it could not 

fail to lead to anarchy, and anarchy quickly proved itself the 
parent of corruption. France soon saw the advantages which 
the command of a great central warlike state like Poland would 
be to her in her duel with the house of Austria. The Emperor 
was alarmed by the prospect of seeing his hereditary dominions 
almost encircled by the vassal states of France, and strained 
every nerve to secure the election of a king opposed to French 
interests. But the purse of France was deeper, and the policy 
of France was more continuous than that of the embarrassed 
Emperor, and so it happened that except under the pressure 
of some special danger, the diplomacy and the gold of France 
could always maintain a close alliance between the two coun- 
tries, and prevent the election of a strongly imperialist candi- 
date. It thus became the interests of the greater powers of 
Europe to keep Poland in a state of anarchy, in order that they 
might the easier obtain a decisive voice in her destinies. Her 
neighbours were not slow to recognise the advantage thus 
offered to them. Poland was getting weaker and weaker 
through the increase of anarchy, as they were getting stronger 
and stronger through centralisation. The rise of Sweden to 
pre-eminence on the Baltic under Gustavus Adolphus, the 

South-Eastern Europe 281 

restoration of peace to Russia after the ' troublous times ' under 
the house of Romanoff, the successful war and cunning diplo- 
macy of the Great Elector all had among their other results the 
effect of weakening Poland. By the treaty of Wehlau, 1657, 
Poland lost her suzerainty over east Prussia. By the peace 
of Oliva in 1660 she had to surrender Livonia to Sweden. By 
the treaty of Andrusofif in 1667 she was obliged to give up to 
Russia almost all her possessions east of the Dnieper, including 
the important towns of Smolensk and Kief, which she had 
gained from her earlier in the century, and the suzerainty over 
half the tribes of the Cossacks of the Ukraine. 

It was through her relations with these wild horsemen of the 
borderland that Poland became eventually involved in a war 
with the Ottoman Turks. The yoke of Poland War with the 
had always sat heavily upon the Cossack tribes, the^ukraine 
Proud independent and high-spirited by nature, 1648-1667. 
they could not brook the insolence of the Polish nobles, or 
tamely submit to the rapacity and extortion of their Jewish 
stewards. In 1648 they boldly rose in rebellion and assisted by 
the Tartars offered their allegiance to Alexis of Russia. The 
rising was well-timed, for owing to the ambition of Charles x. 
of Sweden, John Casimir of Poland soon found his country 
attacked on all sides by Sweden Brandenburg and Russia, his 
capital in the hands of his foes, and himself a fugitive in 
Silesia. When, however, peace was restored on the Baltic by 
the treaties of Oliva, Copenhagen, and Kardis in 1660, Poland 
found herself able to cope with her revolted subjects and their 
protector. Through the consummate generalship and high 
personal qualities of John Sobieski, who was sprung from one 
of the oldest and staunchest of Polish noble families, Alexis 
and his allies were compelled to sue for peace, and accept the 
compromise concluded at AndrusofF in 1667, Two years 
later John Casimir abdicated the throne, and the usual intrigues 
began between the adherents of France and the Empire to 
secure a favourable election. But at the moment through the 
misfortunes of John Casimir, and the unpopularity of Louise 

282 European History, 1 598-171 5 

de Nevers, his French wife, the Poles would have no one of 
French blood or French connections, and even John Sobieski 
Election of ^^^ ^^<^ married a French woman, and belonged 
Michael as to the French interest, was passed over in favour 
ing, I . q{ 2, national representative, Michael Wiesno- 
wiescki, who had nothing but his good looks and his name 
to recommend him. The Cossacks regarded the election as an 
earnest of the recommencement of persecution, for the new 
king was the son of one of their greatest oppressors. In 1670 
they rushed to arms but were easily defeated by Sobieski. 
Request for Despairing of all hope of justice from the king 
protection by they tumed to the Turks, and offered to recognise 
to the Turks, the Suzerainty of the Sultan if he would protect 
1671. them from the tyrant of Poland, Achmet Kiuprili 

gladly seized the opportunity, and in 167 1 declared war against 
Poland as the champion of her oppressed subjects. 

In June 1672 the preparations were finished and the Sultan 
himself accompanied by the grand vizier appeared before the 
War between almost impregnable fortress of Kaminiec, the key 
Poland and Qf Podolia. In less than a month it fell, and the 
1676. ^^ ^' ^ craven-hearted king Michael, dismayed at the blow, 
negotiated a treaty at Buczacz by which he surrendered Podolia 
and the Ukraine and consented to pay tribute. Stung with in- 
dignation at such a disgrace the diet refused to ratify the treaty, 
and raiUed all the forces of the nation under John Sobieski 
to resist to the uttermost. For four years the heroic struggle 
continued. Without receiving any help from the great powers, 
now, through the ambition of Louis xiv., engaged in a deadly 
conflict on the Rhine and the Scheldt, threatened by intrigues 
behind his back at court, endangered by insubordination in 
his camp, John Sobieski, by sheer ascendency of personal 
character and commanding military talent, managed not only 
to stem the Turkish advance into PodoUa and Galicia, but to 
inflict on the best of the Turkish generals crushing defeats at 
Choczim (1673) and Lemberg (1675), ^"^ ^^ drive them back 
in confusion across the Danube. In 1674 in the very midst of 

South-Eastem Europe 283 

the struggle the incapable Michael died, and the Poles hailed 
with enthusiasm their hero as their king. Yet characteristi- 
cally enough they did not for that serve him one j(,j,n sobiesw 
whit the better. Two years later he found himself elected King, 
in the direst straits, with his small army hemmed *^^ 
in by the swarming enemy at Zurawno on the Dniester, unable 
to break out of the enclosing lines, without any hope of timely 
relief. But even at this crisis the magic of his name prevailed, 
and Ibrahim the Turkish general preferred to make peace 
rather than to run the risk of encounter with the lion in his 
den. The peace of Zurawno, concluded in October 1676, 
secured to the Sultan the possession of Kaminiec peace of 
and part of the Ukraine, but it marks by these very Zurawno, 1676. 
concessions the failure of Achmet Kiuprili's great design of 
binding upon the brows of his master the laurel wreath of 
Mohammed 11. 

Seven days after the peace of Zurawna Achmet Kiuprili 
died, but his policy did not die with him. His Kara Mus. 
successor and brother-in-law, Kara Mustafa, was tafamade 
fired with an equal ambition but was not possessed 1676. 
of equal talent. Haughty luxurious and boastful he soon 
began to destroy, while seeking to extend, the power which 
Mohammed and Achmet had so diligently built up. He 
determined to win his way to the heart of Christendom at a 
blow by the conquest of Vienna itself. Preparations for an 
invasion on a scale unexampled and irresistible were secretly 
set on foot. The old alliance with France was renewed by the 
grant of fresh trade and diplomatic privileges. Peace was 
made with Russia and ratified with Poland. By these 
measures the grand vizier hoped to procure the isolation of 
the Emperor, and he very nearly succeeded. For some years 
the Hungarians had been on bad terms with the Emperor. 
Leopold had pursued a policy both of religious and political 
repression. With the object of introducing more centralisation 
into the government, he abolished the office of palatine, and 
ruled Hungary through Viennese ofi&cials. With the object 

284 European History, 1598- 17 15 

of rooting out Protestantism he handed over the management 
Rising* of religious affairs to the Jesuits, and banished 

against the ^^d sent to the galleys Protestant ministers on the 
Hungary, 1674. pretext of seditious agitation. Measures so high- 
»68i. handed and unjust brought about the usual re- 

sult The Hungarians took advantage of the war with France 
on the Rhine, rose against their oppressor in 1674 under 
Tokoli, and were joined by Apafy, the prince of Transylvania. 
In 1 68 1 they found themselves strong enough to force the 
Emperor to revive the office of palatine and grant religious 
toleration. But Tokoli was not content with this. He desired 
to become ruler of Hungary himself, and willingly listened to 
the persuasions of Kara Mustafa to join the Turkish invasion, 
and accept the government of Hungary as the tributary of 
War between the Portc. All was now ready. Trusting to 
IndtiiTTurks ^ouis XIV. to keep Germany from assisting the 
i68a. Emperor, and to Tokoli to raise Hungary against 

him, Kara Mustafa threw off the mask in 1682, declared 
Hungary tributary to the Sultan, and crossed the Danube in 
the spring of 1683 at the head of 150,000 men. 

He had not reckoned on his allies in vain. 'Wherever the 
anxious Emperor turned for help in his extremity, he found 
Alliance himself thwarted by the diplomacy of France. In 

between Germany Louis was completely successful. The 

the Emperor, diet assembled at Ratisbon separated without 
1683. granting any aid to its chief In Poland the 

struggle was intense, but in the end the indomitable energy 
and quick tact of John Sobieski prevailed. All grumbling at 
the selfishness and cowardice of Austria in the days of 
Poland's need was chivalrously silenced in the presence of 
the common danger to Christianity and civilisation. On 
March 31st an alliance was concluded with the Emperor by 
which Poland bound herself to place 40,000 men in the field. 
Meanwhile the Turkish war rolled on. Leopold and the 
court removed for safety to Passau. The duke of Lorraine, 
the imperiaUst general, abandoning Hungary, intrusted the 

South-Eastern Europe 285 

defence of Vienna to count Stahremberg, and posted himself 
a little lower down the Danube to wait for the Polish rein- 
forcements. On July 9th the Turkish standards appeared 
before the walls, on the 14th the city was invested and 
trenches opened. 

The city was ill prepared for a siege. The garrison only 
numbered 14,000 men, the town was crowded with peasants 
from the country, the walls were old and t)ut of siege of 
repair, while the Turkish engineers and artillery Vienna, 1683. 
were among the best in Europe. But Mustafa was in no 
haste to seize the prize. On the 7th of August he drove the 
imperialists from their fortification on the counterscarp, and 
the city lay open to the attack from all sides. Yet he 
hesitated to give the word. He wanted the glory of a capi- 
tulation, and the booty of the town for himself. Meanwhile 
John Sobieski was collecting his forces with all haste at 
Cracow. Lorraine did not dare to move till he came. As 
usual money was short, delays were long. It was the 15th 
August before Sobieski could begin his march, and even then 
he had to leave the Lithuanians behind. On the 2d of 
September he was on the Danube at the head of his cavalry. 
On the 5th he took over the command of the united armies 
of the Empire and of Poland. On the 6th he crossed the 
Danube by the bridge at Tuln. On the nth he reached the 
height of the Kahlenberg and looked down on the vast camp 
of the Turks encumbering the plain which stretches between 
the heights and the spire of St. Stephen's. He had come not 
a moment too soon. The Turkish engineers had already 
undermined the walls, disease had broken out in the crowded 
city, but when they saw his signal-fires from the mountain the 
besieged felt that the end of their trials had come and victory 
was within their grasp. They were not dis- Defeat of the 
appointed. On the morning of the 12th, after j^^hn sobiesid, 
having received the Holy Communion at the 1683. 
chapel of the Leopoldsberg, John Sobieski ordered the 
attack. Quickly driving the Turkish advance guard from 

286 European History, 1598- 17 15 

the vineyards which clothe the sides of the Kahlenberg he 
found himself opposite the main Turkish battle in the plain 
about noon. As his Poles charged with the war shout 
* Sobieski for ever ' the Turks were seized with a panic at the 
sound of the dreaded name and fled on all sides. Sobieski 
seized the favourable moment with his usual tactical skill, and 
threw his whole army upon the retreating masses with a 
tremendous shock before they had time to recover themselves. 
The battle was won, Vienna was saved, and Christendom 
preserved. The whole camp of the invader with its streets of 
tents, its bazaars, its mosques, its luxury, all fell into the 
hands of the victor. Kara Mustafa himself hardly escaped 
with his life in the general confusion, and only rallied the 
remains of his beaten army at Belgrade. 

From the date of the failure of the great attempt upon 
Vienna in 1683 the fortunes of the Ottoman Turks in Europe 
quickly declined. Kara Mustafa paid the penalty of his 
defeat with his head, but Ibrahim who succeeded him fared 
no better in the war. Jolin Sobieski himself inflicted another 
defeat upon the Turks in the October of the same year at 
Parkan, and drove them out of Hungary. In the following 
year Venice joined in the pursuit of the beaten infidel, and the 
The Holy Holy League was formed between the Emperor 
League, 1684. Poland and Venice against the Sultan. Its 
effects were quickly seen. In spite of the retirement of John 
Sobieski in 1685, through ill health and increasing infirmity, 
the tide of conquest continued to flow steadily on the Danube 
and was augmented by new victories on the Mediterranean. 
In 1685 the duke of Lorraine won back the whole of Turkish 
Hungary except the fortress of Buda, while Morosini, the hero 
of Candia, at the head of the Venetian fleet, seized several 
places on the Albanian coast. The years 1686 and 1687 were 
still more unfortunate for the Sultan. On the Danube, Buda 
fell into the hands of Lorraine in September 1686. Pushing 
back TokoU and his rebel army before him into Transylvania, 
the imperialist general once more united all Hungary under 

South-Eastern Europe 287 

the Emperor, and left the Hungarian rebels to the tender 
mercies of Leopold and his Jesuit advisers. In conquest of 
1687 he inflicted a crushing defeat upon the grand Turkish Hun- 
vizier on the historical field of Mohacz and re- ^**^' 
covered possession of Croatia and Sclavonia. In 1688 he 
procured the submission of Transylvania and crossing the 
Danube captured Belgrade and even penetrated as far as 
Nisch. During the same time Morosini was no less active 
in the Mediterranean. In 1686 he made himself master of all 
the chief towns in the Morea. Corinth and conquest of 
Athens next acknowledged his sway, where the the Morea, 
Parthenon, which had hitherto survived so many 
sieges of Romans and barbarians almost unhurt, was hurled 
into ruins by the explosion of a Venetian bomb. To the 
spoils of Athens were soon added those of Negropont, 
Thebes, and Dalmatia, until by 1694 the Turks were stripped 
of all their posesssions in Greece and on the coast of the 

So continuous a series of misfortunes demanded a victim. 
In 1688 a palace revolution replaced Mohammed iv. by his 
brother Suleiman 11., and the new Sultan once Mustafa 
more intrusted the affairs of the empire to a k>"P"'*. . 

^ grand vizier, 

Kiuprili. Mustafa Kiuprili, the brother of Ach- 1688. 
met, showed the vigour of character for which his family were 
noted. By pursuing a policy of toleration for the Christians 
and restoring stern discipline to the army, he was soon 
enabled to bring victory back to the Turkish standards, 
although he was but two years in his ofifice. In 1690 he 
recovered Nisch and Belgrade and invaded Hungary, but he 
was met, defeated, and killed by the margrave of Baden at 
the battle of Szcelankemen in 1691. With him perished the 
last chances of the Turks. Although the war continued for 
eight years with varying success the imperialists and the 
Venetians never really lost their hold upon Hungary, Transyl- 
vania and the Morea. In 1697 prince Eugene won one of 
the greatest of his victories over Sultan Mustafa 11. in person, 

288 European History, 1598- 171 5 

at Zenta, and Peter the Great marked the first serious 
entrance of Russia into the politics of south-eastern Europe 
by the capture of Azof. The Sultan realised that with the 
Kiuprili the possibility of fresh conquests had passed away, 
and he must content himself with the boundary of the Danube. 
By the peace of Carlowitz, concluded in January 1699, the 
Emperor recovered the whole of Hungary, except the district 
The peace of ^^ Temesvar, the larger part of Croatia and Scla- 
Cariowitz, vonia, and the suzerainty over Transylvania. 
'^* Poland retained Podolia, including Kaminiec, 

and Russia Azof, while the Morea fell to Venice. Thus the 
Turkish frontier was practically reduced to the Danube, and 
the seeds of the Eastern Question were sown in the decay of 
the Ottoman empire and the advance of Russia, and a new 
epoch in the history of south-eastern Europe began. 

The conquests on the Danube were more permanent than 
those in the Mediterranean. Fifteen years later the grand 
Reconquest vizier. All Cumurgi, flushed with an unexpected 
of the Morea, triumph over the CzaCr Peter on the Pruth in 
^^^^" i7ii> and trusting in the exhaustion of the 

Empire after the war of the Spanish Succession, determined to 
make a great effort to wipe out the disgrace of Carlowitz, and 
recover Hungary and the Morea. The Venetians had no 
longer a hero like Morosini to lead them. The Greek 
population in spite of the benefits they had received from 
Venetian administration were too faithless and too dispirited 
to offer serious opposition. One campaign proved sufficient 
for the work. In June 17 15 Ali Cumurgi passed the isthmus 
of Corinth. In September he returned in triumph to Con- 
stantinople the conqueror of the Morea. But there his 
success stopped. On the Danube he met more than his 
match. In August 17 16 the Turks were completely defeated 
by prince Eugene at Peterwardein in Hungary and the grand 
vizier himself was killed. In 17 17 Belgrade again passed 
into the Emperor's hands, and the road into the heart of the 
Ottoman empire was open. The Porte saw the necessity of 

South-Eastern Europe 289 

peace. By the treaty of Passarovitz signed in 1 7 1 8 the Turks 
left Austria in possession of Temesvar and Bel- ^■^^ pg^^g ^f 
grade but retained the Morea. More than a Passarovitz 
century was to elapse, and the proud republic of ''* ' 
Venice pass herself into slavery, before Greece could win her 






The rivalry between Sweden and Brandenburg — Monarchical revolution in 
Denmark — Weakness of the aristocracy in Sweden — Frederick William 
makes himself absolute in Prussia, Brandenburg, and Cleves — His policy 
of centrahsation — War between Sweden and Brandenburg — Battle of 
Fehrbellin — Monarchical revolution in Sweden — The rise of Russia — The 
reign of Alexis — Regency of Sophia — War with the Turks — Peter the 
Great becomes absolute ruler — His character and policy — Coalition against 
Sweden — Career of Charles xii. —His invasion of Russia — Battle of Pul- 
tava — The campaign on the Pruth — Treaty of Nystadt — Supremacy of 
Russia — Reign of Frederick iii. of Brandenburg — Frederick recognised as 
king of Prussia — Condition of the north in 1720. 

The treaties of Oliva and Copenhagen were to the smaller 
nations grouped round the Baltic, what the peace of West- 
phalia and the treaties of the Pyrenees were to the great powers 
of Europe. They not only put an end to a long period of 
war and disturbance, but also decided the rela- 
between tions of the northern powers to each other for 

Sweden and morc than half a century. To use the language 

Brandenburg. , •-><-' 

of a later period they adjusted the balance of 
power in the north. They mark the end of Danish domina- 
tion over the Baltic, they mark the beginning of the supre- 
macy of Brandenburg in northern Europe, they mark the first 
great failure of Sweden to maintain the pride of place gained 
for her by Gustavus Adolphus. So far the alterations in the 
relations of the northern powers to each other are clearly 


The Northern Nations 291 

defined. So far no sense of impending danger from the half 
barbarous and distracted kingdom of Russia has made itself 
felt. Until that event happens there is a breathing space 
in the affairs of the Baltic states for fifty years, and during 
that time the main questions of interest in their external 
politics are whether Brandenburg will be able to maintain 
the supremacy which she has acquired, and whether Sweden 
will be able to recover the lead which she has lost. The 
rivalry between Sweden and Denmark is therefore no longer 
the leading feature of the politics of the Baltic states, the 
rivalry between Sweden and Russia is still in the womb of 
futurity, the rivalry between Sweden and Brandenburg remains 
for the time the only serious question unsettled. 

The respite thus gained from foreign war was occupied by 
all the powers concerned in altering their domestic institu- 
tions. The first to move was Denmark. In ,. . . , 


that country as in Poland the authority of the revolution in 
elected king was completely overshadowed by °^°'"^''^- 
that of the nobility. They were in possession of political 
power as well as of social privilege. They owned most 
of the wealth of the country, paid no taxes, and held all 
the chief posts in the kingdom. Consequently at each 
election of a king they were able not only to decide the 
election, but to make bargains with the elected candidate 
exceedingly profitable to themselves and burdensome to the 
rest of the people. There was no country in Europe where 
the nobles had made themselves so justly hated by all the 
other classes of the community. National misfortune led 
naturally to the desire for national revenge. Frederick in. 
put himself at the head of the movement, and at a meeting 
of the diet in 1661 successfully carried out a coup d'etat, with 
the applause of the clergy, the burghers, and the peasantry. 
The revolution was entirely in favour of the king. The Crown 
was made hereditary and transmissible to females as well as 
to males. The privileges of the nobles were abolished, the 
capitulation signed by the king on election annulled, and 

292 European History, 1 598-171 5 

the government vested in the Crown. At one blow and with- 
out bloodshed the monarchy in Denmark was remodelled on 
the pattern of that of France, and Frederick iii. became an 
absolute king with all the powers of government centralised 
in himself, and his throne secured by a professional army. 

In Sweden matters took a different turn. During the 
minority of Charles xi., as during the minority of Christina, 
the administration fell wholly into the hands of 
menf°oTthe ^^e great aristocratic families. Unfortunately 
nobles in there was no Oxenstjerna at their head. The 

council of regency, under the nominal leader- 
ship of the queen-mother, found it necessary to propitiate the 
nobles in everything. The suicidal policy of making grants of 
the crown lands to them was again weakly adopted, and the 
Crown was impoverished while its most dangerous rivals were 
enriched. The itching palms of the great nobles found in the 
gold of Louis XIV. the loadstone of their country's policy, and 
as long as the French supplies lasted Sweden remained true 
to the French alliance. Once only, like Charles 11., in the 
hope of greater spoils she showed a momentary independence, 
when she yielded to the persuasions of de Witt, and joined 
the Triple Alliance. In a few months she returned in peni- 
tence to her old allegiance, and when the young king took the 
reins of government into his own hands in 1672, he found 
that if eleven years of aristocratical rule had secured for him 
abroad the friendship and support of the greatest prince in 
Europe, it had made him the heir at home to an empty 
treasury and a discredited administration. 

While Sweden was falling into bankruptcy, and was being 
threatened with disruption, Frederick William of Branden- 
burg was diligently employing the time in making 
po"cy ofthe ^^^ authority over his various dominions absolute 
Great Elector and Unquestioned. He had already succeeded 
in reducing the diets of Brandenburg and Cleves 
to impotence, and organising an administration dependent on 
himself alone outside the scope of their interference. But in 

The Northern Nations 293 

Prussia the task was far more difficult, and directly the treaty 
of Oliva was signed he apphed himself seriously to the business. 
Under the suzerainty of Poland the nobles and burghers of 
Prussia had been accustomed to exercise a considerable 
amount of independence, but now that the Great Elector had 
been recognised as immediate sovereign over Prussia by the 
treaties of Wehlau and of Oliva, both sides understood that the 
old relations between the duke and his subjects would have 
to be modified. The Prussian diet determined to yield as little 
as possible. It refused to ratify the treaty, it drew up a con- 
stitution to secure its own authority. By the treaty Frederick 
William only succeeded to the same rights over Prussia which 
Poland had enjoyed, i.e. those of a feudal suzerain, but he was 
determined if possible to make himself absolute sovereign, 
and reduce the diet to insignificance. Most foolishly the diet 
played into his hands. The two parties of which it was com- 
posed, the landed gentry and the burghers, quarrelled over 
the nature of a tax which was to be imposed. Each side 
wanted the other to bear the burden, and Frederick William 
was enabled, under cover of settling the dispute, to march 
troops into Konigsberg, and arrest Rhode, the leader of the 
burgher party, in 1662. This display of determination awed 
the burghers into submission, but the nobles and the landed 
gentry still remained to be dealt with. Led by Kalkstein, 
and secretly favoured by Poland, they were too strong to be 

Frederick William had recourse to the arts of diplomacy 
and dissimulation of which he was so consummate a master. 
In 1663 the diet accepted at his hands a charter The charter 
which defined its rights. It was expressed in ample °^ '^• 
but vague phraseology. By it the Great Elector agreed that his 
own powers of government should be only those formerly en- 
joyed by himself and the king of Poland, that the diet should be 
summoned at least once in six years, and should be consulted 
in all important business, and that no new taxes should be 
imposed without its consent But by the very definition of 

294 European History, 1598- 171 5 

its powers the diet lost all which was not expressed, while the 
elector gained all that was not refused. The balance of 
authority in the state had clearly shifted from the diet to 
the elector. Frederick William had only to avoid for a few 
years giving the diet the opportunity of exercising the rights 
secured to it, while the authority of his own administrative 
officers was being established, and he need no longer fear the 
diet when it did meet, than the kings of France need fear the 
States-General. It might be troublesome but it could not be 
dangerous. So gradually by thrifty management and careful 
policy Frederick William succeeded in extending his personal 
authority more and more over the country, until in 1672 he 
felt himself strong enough to strike a final blow. Kalkstein, 
the head and front of the opposition to him, had been banished 
to his estates for treasonable correspondence with Poland in 
1669, but breaking his parole he escaped across the frontier to 
Warsaw. Frederick William demanded his surrender from the 
Execution of king of Poland, but it was refused. Taking the 
Kalkstein. j^^ jj^j-q j^jg q^^ hands, he had him arrested on 
Polish ground, brought to Memel, and there beheaded. A 
more flagrant breach of the rights of nations could not have 
been conceived, but the Great Elector well knew it could 
not fail to be successful, and with him success justified 
everything. Poland was in no condition to declare war, and 
the death of Kalkstein was the one thing wanted to make 
the submission of Prussia complete. 

By these measures Frederick William succeeded in crushing 
all open opposition to his will over the whole of his incon- 
gruous dominions. In Cleves and in Prussia, as in Pome- 
rania and Brandenburg, he was the centre and the main- 
spring of government. There was no local or 

Establishment . . , , . ... , , , ,, , • 

of personal Constitutional authority which could legally claim 
government superiority to him, or practically exercise equality 

by the Great . , , • t, , , , , 

Elector. With him. But though he was the supreme power 

in the state he had not yet gained absolute 

power over the state. There were still many local bodies of 

The Northern Nations 295 

advice and administration, with well-ascertained powers, whose 
assistance was necessary to him in carrying his will into eflfect, 
though they had no right to dictate to him the policy which 
he was to pursue. He had given to his state political unity, 
he had gained for himself and his successors political inde- 
pendence, he had won for himself and his family within his 
own dominions political leadership, but he had not as yet 
established administrative uniformity. That was necessarily 
a work of slow growth, of a century rather than a lifetime. It 
was not completed till the days of Frederick William i. and 
Frederick the Great, but it was begun by the Great Elector. 
The important department of patronage he at once took 
under his personal control, and appointed all the chief 
administrative officers in his various dominions. As head 
of the army, he separated the military from the civil 
revenues, and placed the former entirely under the manage- 
ment of the minister of war, who was of course his own 
nominee. War expenditure was thus wholly removed from 
the control of the civil authorities, and the army was organised 
on a professional basis. By a series of ordinances he estab- 
lished an elaborate system of social distinctions and privileges, 
which tended to centralise society under him, and attach the 
nobles to him by social distinction now that he had deprived 
them of political power. In these ways the government of 
Brandenburg-Prussia received from him that military and 
aristocratic character which its greater prosperity has only 

Frederick William was also by no means unniinciful of the 
general welfare of his people. The constant want of money 
under which he laboured, was in itself enough to draw his 
attention to the fact, that the real weakness of his 
power lay in the sterile and poverty-stricken ment^rtrade 
state of his country. To improve this, he set an and manu- 
excellent example of economy in the wise and 
careful management of his own domains, he promoted 
numerous schemes of industrial and commercial enterprise, 

296 European History, 1598- 17 15 

and he cordially welcomed the Huguenot exiles from France, 
after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, who brought into 
Brandenburg many of the finer manufactures, of which France 
had for some time had the monopoly. 

This policy of steady but quiet centralisation and industrial 
development was rudely interrupted by the war of aggression 
War with Undertaken by Louis xiv. against the Dutch, 
Sweden, 1674. Frederick William was closely connected with the 
Dutch by marriage and by trade interests, and was one of the 
first of European sovereigns to draw the sword in their favour 
in 1673. Beaten hopelessly in the field by Turenne, he was 
obliged to withdraw from the struggle six months after he 
had declared war ; but in the next year the increasing diflS- 
culties of Louis emboldened him again to enter the field. 
Louis, however, was prepared for this move, and the presence 
of 16,000 Brandenburgers on the Rhine was the signal of the 
advance of Charles xi. with a Swedish army on the road to 
Berlin. Frederick William at once hastened back to defend 
his capital, reached the Elbe in June 1675, and, dashing 
forward his cavalry between the two divisions of the Swedish 
army, seized Rathenow, and prevented their junction on the 
Havel. To do this he had been forced to leave the bulk of his 
J J. infantry behind. Nevertheless, with the brilli- 

Fehrbeiiin, ance of dccision which marks a great general, 
*^5- he determined to throw himself with the few 

troops which he had with him upon the Swedish column, 
which was retreating from Brandenburg, before they reached 
the pass of Fehrbellin. Pursuing them by forced marches, 
he came up with their rear-guard on the 17th of June, 
and on the i8th forced them to accept battle. The weight 
of numbers was sadly against him. He had but 6000 
men against double the number of his enemies, but the 
Swedes were dispirited, and the elector, in spite of the 
advice of his generals, insisted on the attack. The battle 
was hotly contested, but Frederick William had the better 
position and the more effective artillery, and by nightfall 

The Northern Nations l^J 

a counter-charge, promptly delivered, carried destruction into 
the ranks of the enemy. They broke and fled in complete 
rout through the pass. The day of Fehrbellin is the first 
great victory of the power of Brandenburg-Prussia, the first 
step in the ladder which has led to Sadowa and Sedan. It 
is also the death-day of the military prestige of the Swedes 
in Europe. From the battle of Liitzen to the battle of 
Fehrbellin, they had never been defeated except by superior 
numbers. They were now seen not to be able to hold their 
own with Brandenburg, for Fehrbellin was no isolated victory. 
The elector pushed on into Swedish Pomerania, victorious 
and almost unchallenged, — Wohlgart, Stettin, Stralsund and 
Greifswald fell successively into his hands. By October 1678 
Sweden held not a foot of territory in Pomerania. Had it 
not been for her potent ally at Paris, the work of Gustavus 
Adolphus and of Oxenstjerna would have been xreatyof 
completely undone long before the close of the s. Germain en 
century, and Frederick William would have been ^^^^' ^^'' 
admittedly the master of the north. But Louis xiv. insisted 
upon the full restoration to Sweden of all which she had lost 
as the price of peace, and the Great Elector had to sign the 
treaty of S. Germain en Laye in June 1679, by which 
France evacuated Cleves, which she had occupied and paid 
to Brandenburg the sum of 300,000 crowns, while Branden- 
burg restored to Sweden all her conquests in Pomerania, 
except a small strip of land on the Oder. 

Sweden thus emerged from an unsuccessful and mis- 
managed war, without payment of indemnity or substantial 
loss of territory. As things turned out she Monarchical 
proved to be the gainer rather than the loser revolution 
for her misfortunes, for they enabled her to rid '° Sweden, 
herself of her incapable aristocratical government. Charles xi. 
did for Sweden what Frederick iii. had done for Denmark. 
Taking advantage of the unpopularity of the government, 
he effected a revolution in favour of the Crown without 
difficulty. With the help of the clergy and the people 

298 European History, 1598- 171 § 

the royal power was made absolute, and the domain lands, 
which the nobles had divided among themselves, were 
ordered to be restored. This destroyed at a blow a large 
part of the wealth of the noble class, and reduced them to 
a position of dependence upon the Crown. Charles proved 
himself worthy of the responsibility which he had undertaken. 
Until his death in 1697 Sweden was at peace, commerce 
revived, the abuses of the administration were rooted out, 
and the government carried on without the assistance of 
French subsidies. For eighteen years tranquillity reigned on 
the shores of the Baltic. The Great Elector and his son 
Frederick in. were busy with schemes of internal reform and 
personal aggrandisement. Denmark under Christian v, was 
mainly occupied with the pleasures and extravagances of a 
courtly magnificence, while Sweden was recovering from the 
evils of administration, brought about by the corrupt rule of the 
nobles during the king's minority. The interest of the politics 
of the Baltic veers further north, where behind the swamps of 
the Neva and the Dniester the barbaric power of Russia was 
preparing to enter upon the stage of the civilised world. 

Russia is the last-born child of European civilisation. 
While the nations of the west were painfully hammering out 
Condition of their culture and their polity, under the leader- 
Russia, gj^jp Qf {]-,£ Church, in the school of feudalism, 
through the inspiration of Roman law, the thinly populated 
expanse of forest and morass, which stretches between the 
Baltic and the Ural mountains was subject to Tartar rule 
and made no claim to civilised life. Even Christianity, which 
might under happier circumstances have become a bond of 
union between the backward north and the cultured south, 
proved rather a hindrance than a help, on account of the 
enmity between the East and the West. As long as Constan- 
ivanthe tinoplc stood, Moscow was its disciple and its 
Terrible. ^Uy. y^rhen Constantinople fell, Moscow claimed 
to be its heir, and its avenger. It was not till the days of 
Ivan the Terrible in the sixteenth century that the domination 

The Northern Nations 299 

of the Tartar was overthrown, and Russia began to be a 
nation and to enter into relations with other nations. Its 
prosperity was short-lived. Hardly had the breath left the 
body of the savage autocrat in 1584, than a The troublous 
period of anarchy and misery began, which has times. 
left its mark upon the country in the legal establishment of 
serfdom, and was only ended by the accession of the 
Romanoff dynasty to the throne in 161 2. 

Michael, the first of that ill-fated house, could do little 
more than repress the elements of disorder, and Michael 
restore the authority of the Czar, but so well was Romanoff, 
this work done, that he was enabled to hand on to his son 
Alexis, on his death in 1645, ^ crown which was at once 
popular secure and despotic. Two dangers only threatened 
the infant state; one from the turbulent spirit of the local 
nobles, the boydrs, the other from the physical power wielded 
by the national guard, called the Streltsi, who played the part 
of the Praetorian guard, or the Janizaries, of the court of 
Moscow, and were always as ready to intimidate Reign of 
as to protect their sovereign. In the earlier ^lexis. 
years of the reign of Alexis, however, all went well. In 
1648 he began the march of Russia towards the south-east 
of Europe by assuming the protectorate of the Cossacks of 
the Ukraine, then in revolt against Poland, and succeeded in 
obtaining legal sanction for the absolute autocracy of the 
Czar, by the passing of a code, or constitution, which con- 
centrated all the powers of the state in his hands. By these 
two measures, which established the internal polity of Russia, 
and indicated the direction of her foreign policy, Alexis may 
with some justice claim to have been the real founder of the 
greatness of his country. Unfortunately a change soon took 
place. The weak and amiable Czar fell quickly into the 
hands of courtiers and favourites. Corruption and faction 
asserted themselves among the boyars. The government 
became disorganised. Sedition broke out in the chief towns, 
and more than once Alexis had to sacrifice his ministers to 

300 European History ^ 1 5 98- 1 7 1 5 

the fury of the populace, in order to save his own life. Even 
the Church was split into two by an ill-managed effort to 
revise the antiquated service-books, and the evils of ecclesi- 
astical schism and religious persecution were added to those 
of domestic strife. 

Such was the condition of Russia when the Czar Alexis died 
Reign of Suddenly in 1676, leaving behind him by his first 

Theodore I. marriage two sons, Theodore and Ivan, both ex- 
tremely delicate in health ; and one sturdy little boy of four 
years of age, named Peter, by his second wife Natalia Naryshkin, 
whom he had married in 1669. The death of Alexis was the 
signal for the outbreak of a series of palace revolutions, which 
afflicted the unfortunate country for some years. The Nary- 
shkins, who had absorbed all places of profit and influence 
during the later years of Alexis, were banished at the 
accession of Theodore in 1676, but on the death of that 
prince without children in 1682 they came back to power, 
and with the assistance of the boyars were able 

Recognition _ _ -' 

of Peter as to procure the recognition of the young Peter 
Czar, 1682. ^g Czar, in exclusion of his elder brother Ivan, 
who was physically deformed and intellectually incapable. 
An act so high-handed naturally created many enemies. The 
opposition party among the nobles called in the aid of the 
Streltsi, espoused their grievances, fanned their discontent, 
Revolt of the and, persuading them that the life of Ivan was 
Streltsi. jj^ danger hurled them suddenly in riotous fury 

against the palace, in May 1682. The Naryshkins were mur- 
dered. Ivan was proclaimed Czar in company with his brother 
Peter, and the princess Sophia, the most capable of his sisters, 
was made regent during the infancy of the Czars. The 
regency lasted for seven years. During that time the real 
power was in the hands of prince Basil Golitsin, the head of one 
Regency of of the oldest of the noble families of Russia, and 
Sophia. the acknowledged lover of the princess Sophia. 

His talent however proved unequal to his opportunities. In 
1686 a definitive peace with Poland, called the treaty of Eternal 

The Northern Nations 301 

Peace, put a finishing touch to the truce brought about by 
the treaty of AndrusofiF in 1667, on terms which secured the 
important town of Kief to Russia, but obliged her to join the 
Emperor and the Poles in their efforts to beat back the 
Ottoman Turks. In consequence of this pledge, Golitsin 
waged two campaigns against the Tartars of the Crimea, who 
were subjects of the Porte, in 1687 and 1689, the unsuccess- 
ful issue of which filled up to overflowing the cup of hatred 
which was preparing for him. Peter allowed himself to be 
put at the head of the opposition. On September 17th, 1689, 
the regency came to an end. The princess Sophia was sent 
to a convent, prince Basil Golitsin banished to an obscure 
village in the inaccessible north, and the government fell into 
the hands of the rival aristocratic faction. 

At the age of seventeen, in the year when William iii. 
made himself master of Great Britain, and the war of the 
league of Augsburg really began, Peter the Great became 
nominally the head of the government of Russia. In reality 
he exercised but little influence upon the for- 

- , . , - TT Peter becomes 

tunes of his country for some years. He was ^he head of 
as yet but a boy, brimming over with health the govem- 
and spirits, exulting in the physical enjoy- ™^° ' * 
ment of life, supremely happy when he could get away 
from the wearisome routine of the palace to his forge and 
his carpenter's shop, or his ship-building yards at Pere- 
yaslavl and Archangel. The demon of ambition had not 
yet waked in his breast, and his ships and his military sham 
fights, like his displays of fireworks and his theatricals, were 
the amusements of a spoilt child's fancy, rather than the 
materials of a man's policy. The rude touch of actual war 
quickly brought about a change. In 1695 the government 
determined to revive the slumbering war with the Turks, 
and attack the port of Azof on the Black Sea. war with the 
Peter threw himself into the scheme with Turks 1695. 
characteristic impetuosity, worked as a bombardier in the 
army like a common soldier, and took his place as Czat 

302 European History, 1598- 171 5 

in the councils of the generals. But the result was un- 
fortunate. Partly through sheer bad management, partly 
through the inexperience and impulsiveness of the Czar, 
the attack on the fortress completely failed, and the Rus- 
sian army had to retreat as best it could across the frozen 
steppes amid great privations. But Peter was one of 
those who learn best by experience. The campaign taught 
him the necessity of forethought and preparation. Next year 
all was different. A flotilla of boats, constructed especially 
for the river service at Voronezh, occupied the mouths of the 
Don under Peter's own orders, and prevented the Turks from 
relieving Azof from the sea j while the engineering works on 
land were pushed on by General Gordon. On July 29th 
1696 a general assault was ordered, but the Turks seeing that 
the town was no longer tenable surrendered, and Peter found 
himself to his great joy the master of a port on the Black Sea. 
The capture of Azof is the turning-point in the life of Peter 
the Great. His imagination was fired by the opportunities 
opened out to his country by the possession of an outlet for 
her commerce and a harbour for her fleet in southern waters. 
The death of his brother Ivan without male heirs in Feb- 
ruary left him undisputed master of his vast dominions. 
From that moment he bent all the energies of his powerful 
intellect and iron will to the service of Russia. He took the 
reins of government into his own hands, and, without regard 
to precedent, to tradition, to public or private right, he drove 
the chariot of the state straight towards the goal of his own 
ambition, and his country's greatness. 

Peter himself was well fitted to become the hero of such a 
Character of Po^icy. His friendship with Gordon and Lefori 
Peter the and Others of the foreign residents at Moscow 

Great. j^^^ taught him how far Russia lagged behind 

all other European countries in the march of civilisation. 
His quick wit showed him that he must organise his 
country on the European model, and make it formidable 
by its army and navy to its enemies, and useful by its 

The Northern Nations 303 

resources to its friends, before it could be admitted into 
the brotherhood of European nations. To change the in- 
stitutions and overthrow the traditions of a country Hke 
Russia was a revolution, but Peter was not the man to shrink 
back appalled at the consequences, when he had once made 
up his mind to act. Sunny jovial and open-hearted under 
ordinary circumstances, in the presence of opposition, when 
his blood was up, he became a fiend incarnate. No savage 
could be more cruel, no tyrant more brutal, no criminal more 
lustful and drunken. He knew not what it was to accept a 
rebuff, or deny himself a desire. To incur his suspicion was 
torture, to thwart his will was death. After the revolt of the 
Streltsi in 1698 more than a thousand men were put to death 
and eighteen hundred tortured by the knout and roasted at 
the fire, many of them in the presence of the Czar himself 
He allowed his eldest son Alexis to be knouted to death in 
1 7 18, and personally superintended the torture of many of his 
alleged accomplices. His drunken orgies lasted for days, and 
were worthy only of Comus and his crew. Yet with all this 
hateful savagery there was much that was attractive about 
Peter. When free from his fits of depression, there was a 
buoyancy and vivacity of intellect, which, combined with 
singular simplicity of thought, made him a most delightful 
companion. No one could be a truer friend, if no one could 
be a more brutal enemy. He was perfectly natural. If there 
was much of the barbarian about him, there was nothing of 
the schemer. He was free from the civilised vices of deceit 
and double dealing. Rough, honest, and quick-tempered, he 
moved through society like a lion cub among pet dogs, 
dangerous but noble. 

His two years of foreign travel enabled him to see with his 
own eyes the advantages of European civilisation objects of 
and government, and to learn how to make his home 
with his own hands the ships which were to government, 
spread the greatness of the Russian name round the 
shores of the Black Sea. Neither lesson was thrown away. 

304 European History, 1 5 98- 1 7 1 5 

Directly he got back to Russia he began to foster every- 
thing western at the expense of everything national. He 
introduced western dress, western habits, western dancing, 
and even western shaving. He encouraged the settlement of 
foreigners, and spent a good deal of his time in the German 
suburb of Moscow with his foreign friends. Directly he 
obtained possession of the mouth of the Neva, he built his 
new capital S. Petersburg, to take the place of conservative 
and traditional Moscow, as the centre of his new polity. At 
the same time he took good care to make the foundations of his 
government secure. The revolt of the Streltsi in 1698 gave 
him the opportunity of abolishing a force, which was too 
much mixed up with the old aristocracy of Russia ever to 
be really loyal to the new regime, and to replace them by 
a professional army trained on the European model under 
foreign officers. He tried as much as possible to depress the 
power of the boyars, surrounding himself with friends and 
ministers like Menschikoff, who were drawn from a lower 
class of society. So successful was this policy that in 1711 
he felt himself able to bring the political power of the boyars 
to an end by forbidding their council to meet any longer. 
With a similar object he refused to nominate a successor 
to the patriarch Adrian on his death in 1700, but placed the 
powers of the patriarchate in the hands of a commission, 
afterwards called the Holy Governing Synod, which brought 
the affairs of the Church more definitely under his own 

While Peter was thus engaged in winding the chains of 
His foreign dcspotism more tightly round the necks of his sub- 
poUcy. jects at home, he was equally busy in trying to 

extend the frontiers of Russia to the sea, at the expense of his 
neighbours abroad. No one could doubt that the first essential 
of the due development of Russia was to obtain a footing upon 
the Baltic. The port of Archangel on the frozen White Sea, 
and the port of Azof on the Black Sea, closed as it was to the 
trade of the Mediterranean by the straits of the Bosphorus 

The Northern Nations 305 

and the Dardanelles in the hands of the Turks, were not 
sufficient to enable Russia to expand into a commercial nation. 
But since the treaties of Stolbovo and Kardis, renewed as late 
as 1684 by the princess Sophia, Russia had acquiesced in the 
annexation of the Baltic lands by Sweden, and it was certain 
that Sweden would not tamely surrender her treaty rights. 
But in the year 1697 an opportunity offered, which was 
too tempting for Peter's slender stock of virtue to resist. 
Charles xi. of Sweden died, leaving as his heir and successor 
his youthful son Charles xii., only fifteen years of age. 
Patkul, a nobleman of Livonia, who was eager to coalition 
restore the independence of his country, applied against 
to Denmark, Poland, and Russia, the hereditary Sweden, 1699. 
enemies of Sweden, for assistance. Each power, thinking only 
of its own aggrandisement, caught willingly at the chance of 
crushing Sweden when she was weak, and in 1699 this nefarious 
alliance was concluded, in which the independence of Livonia 
was used merely to cloak a policy of pure aggression. 

But the aUies soon found that they had reckoned without 
their host. Charles xii. of Sweden was one of those rare 
spirits who are born with a perfect genius for fighting. Without 
any gifts as a strategist, without any studied knowledge of 
the art of war, he was a born fighter. He loved £,gfgat fth 
fighting for fighting's sake. He was never aUiesby 
happier than when on campaign. He enjoyed ^^^'^^^^xii, 
the very hardships of war, and every soldier in his army 
knew that whatever might be his own privations, his king 
was sharing them all. With an unlimited belief in his 
own fortunes he succeeded in making every one else be- 
lieve in them too. The enthusiasm of his army was un- 
bounded. They willingly rendered to him an unquestioning 
obedience, and followed him gladly wherever he pointed the 
way. A man with such gifts was not going to wait until his 
unwieldy antagonists had united their forces. Early in May 
1700 he sailed straight to Copenhagen and ended the Danish 
war at a blow. Frederick iv. could not defend his capital, 

PERIOD v. u 

3o6 European History , \^(^%-\'] \^ 

and was obliged to accept the mediation of England and 
Holland, and to conclude the treaty of Travendal, by which 
he withdrew from the alliance with Poland and Russia. 
Leaving Denmark, Charles sailed to the Gulf of Finland 
where Peter was besieging the important fortress of Narva. 
Although he had only some 8000 men against Peter's 60,000 
Russians, he did not hesitate to order an attack. The huge 
undisciplined masses of Peter's army were quickly thrown 
into confusion, and fled panic-stricken to their own country, 
leaving Charles the undisputed master of the Baltic coast. 
Turning southwards the Swedish king marched through 
Livonia and Courland into Poland, occupied Warsaw in 1702, 
defeated the king, Augustus the Strong of Saxony, who had 
been elected to the Polish crown on the death of John 
Sobieski in 1697, at the battle of Clissow, and drove him into 
Saxony. In 1703 he captured Thorn and Dantzig, procured 
the deposition of Augustus in an assembly held at Warsaw in 
February 1704, and imposed Stanislas Leczinski upon the 
Poles as king in his stead. He then resumed his course of 
military triumph, overran Lithuania, driving out the Russians 
in 1705, defeated Schulenberg at Frauenstadt in 1706, and 
finally invaded Saxony in 1707, where he forced Augustus to 
conclude the peace of Altranstadt in the September of that J 
year, by which Stanislas Leczinski was recognised as king of I- 
Poland, and the unfortunate Patkul was surrendered as a ( 
victim to the cruelty of Charles, who, in defiance of every 
principle of humanity, had him broken on the wheel as a 

When Charles xii. rested at Altranstadt in the winter of 
Position of i7°7"^> ^^ the age of twenty-five, he felt himself 
Charles XII. with Tcasou to be the wonder of the world. He 
^^°^' was courted on all sides by the great powers, 

at that time distracted by the throes of the war of the 
Spanish Succession, and had he cared to play the role, might 
have posed as the arbiter of Europe. From Versailles 
came one of the most trusted diplomatists of Louis xiv., 

The Northern Nations 3^7 

to remind the young prince of the long friendship of 
Sweden and France, and to entreat him to acknowledge 
the benefits of S. Germain en Lave by drawing his sword 
manfully for Louis at the crisis of his fate. But on behalf of 
the allies there appeared at the court of Charles metal still 
more attractive. Marlborough, the greatest soldier of the 
age, came personally to Altranstadt to plead the cause of 
Europe before Charles, with the laurels of Blenheim and of 
Ramilhes still green upon his brow. His task was the easier 
one. He wanted not the assistance but the neutrality of 
Sweden. Charles was flattered by the attention paid to him, 
fascinated by the address of the hero diplomatist, and lent a 
willing ear to his suggestions. His Protestantism rejected the 
idea of an alliance with the author of the ' dragonades.' His 
desire for vengeance impelled him to come to close quarters 
with his enemy in the north. His soldierly pride shrank from 
committing himself to a war in which he would have to take 
a subordinate place. So in the spring of 1708 he turned his 
back deliberately on Germany and the Rhine, and marched to 
his ruin in the inhospitable north. 

While Charles had been engaged in the conquest of Poland 
and Saxony, Peter had well employed the breathing space 
allowed to him in the diligent training of his undisciplined 
armies, and the occupation of the Baltic sea-coast on either 
side of the Neva. He had already overrun Ingria and Carelia, 
and had begun the fortifications and houses of a His invasion 
town at the mouth of the Neva, which was one of Russia, 
day to be his capital city. Charles did not disturb himself 
over trifles of that sort. He struck, as was his wont, straight 
at the heart of his enemies' power, and having made an 
alliance with Mazeppa, a hetman of the Cossacks, who pro- 
mised to join him with a large force of those questionable 
allies, marched straight upon Moscow at the head of 30,000 
men. Misfortune dogged his steps from the first. The 
roads were incalculably bad, the weather unexpectedly severe, 
progress was hopelessly slow. When no news had been 

308 European History, 1 598-171 5 

heard of Mazeppa for some time, Charles, in order to try 
and open communications with him, left the main track, and 
plunged into the expanses of forest and morass which lie 
between Little Russia and the Ukraine. Winter surprised him 
on the march when he was still many hundreds of miles from 
Moscow. Food and supplies became very, difficult to pro- 
cure. Disease ravaged his army. Still with the courage of 
despair he pushed on. Spring found him exhausted but with 
his face still set towards Moscow. He was destined never to 
see it. Peter, at the head of immensely superior forces, fell 
upon Lev'enhaupt who was bringing a convoy to his aid and 
Battle of cut him to picccs. Eventually he came up with 

Puitava, 1709. the king himself at Pultava in the month of 
June 1709. The defeat of Narva was quickly avenged. 
Surrounded by the Russian forces, outnumbered two to one, 
the Swedes could only sell their lives dearly. Twenty thou- 
sand officers and men surrendered. Charles himself wounded 
in the foot made his way with a few companions across the 
frontier and took refuge with the Turks. The dream of his 
ambition was shattered at a blow, the work of Gustavus 
Adolphus was finally overthrown. Livonia and Esthonia with 
the important towns of Riga and Revel fell into the hands of 
the Czar. Russia made good her hold upon the Baltic, and 
took the place of Sweden as the leading power of the north. 

The battle of Pultava, if it destroyed the power of Sweden, 

did not put an end to the war. Charles xii., from his refuge 

at Bender on Turkish soil, tried to stir up his hosts to take 

his part and declare war against Russia. Peter 

War between . , , , 

Russia and himsclf, flushed With triumph and ever steady to 
the Turks, jj^g policy of enlarging the sea boundary of his 
country, was by no means averse to the idea 
of driving back the Turkish empire from the Dniester to 
the Danube. The intense religious spirit of the Russians, 
always a potent factor in the poHcy of Russia in the East, 
impelled the Czar to put himself forward as the liberator 
of the oppressed Christians of Moldavia and Wallachia. But 

The Northern Nations 309 

he was too wary to take the first step. After much hesitation 
the Sultan made up his mind. Urged on by his fear of seeing 
a Russian fleet in the Black Sea, he declared war against 
Peter in 1 7 1 o, and the next year saw the Czar at the head of 
a large army on the Pruth. Fortune however now declared 
against him. By sheer bad management Peter contrived to 
get his army completely hemmed in between the river, the 
marshes, and the Turkish army, and was completely at the 
mercy of his enemies. Luckily for him the grand vizier was 
willing to treat for peace, and Peter was enabled to save him- 
self and his army from an ignominious surrender, by giving 
back to the Turks the port of Azof, and destroying all Russian 
fortresses on Turkish territory. Charles xii. was sent back to 
his own dominions, which he found threatened from all sides 
by the Russians, the Danes and the Poles. For seven years he 
struggled in vain against superior forces abroad, and the dis- 
affection of the nobles at home. By 17 16 he had lost every 
acre of German soil. In 17 18 a bullet shot by pacification 
one of his own men terminated his career as he of the North, 
was besieging the fortress of Friedrickshall in *^*°' 
Norway. The death of Charles xii. put an end to many 
intrigues, and made the restoration of a general peace more 
easy. Sweden had learned the lesson which her king had 
refused to learn. By a succession of treaties, which cul- 
minated in the peace of Nystadt between Sweden and Russia 
in 1720, Hanover became the possessor of Bremen and 
Verden ; Augustus of Saxony was recognised as the rightful 
king of Poland, Prussia obtained part of Swedish Pomerania, 
with the islands of Usedom and Rugen, and the towns of 
Stettin and Dantzig ; Frederick of Denmark was permitted to 
annex the duchy of Schleswig, but had to restore the rest of 
his conquests and possessions to Sweden, while Russia, the 
largest gainer of all, obtained Ingria, Esthonia, Livonia, and 
part of Carelia, and promised to surrender Finland. 

While Russia was engaged in claiming the supremacy of 
the north at the hands of Sweden, Brandenburg-Prussia was 

310 European History^ 1 598-171 5 

pursuing a policy of steady and quiet growth under her undis- 
tinguished ruler. It was the business of Frederick iii. to 
Creation of the Consolidate what the Great Elector had won. 
kingdom of Under him national prosperity quickly increased 
Prussia, 1700. |j^ ^ \zx\^ which was no longer the theatre of 
war. The court became more splendid, roads and canals 
more numerous, manufactories more active, while the foun- 
dation of the university of Halle in 1694 marks a distinct 
advance in German culture. In foreign affairs he adhered 
steadily to the policy of his father, and sent his con- 
tingent of sturdy Brandenburgers to the assistance of the 
League of Augsburg with praiseworthy regularity. But the 
treaty of Ryswick contributed nothing either to his dignity or 
his possessions, and Frederick, profoundly dissatisfied, pro- 
claimed aloud that if the great powers wanted his aid again 
he should exact his reward beforehand. In two years' time 
the opportunity came, and Frederick, true to his word, insisted 
on the title of king, as the condition of supporting the Emperor 
in the matter of the partition treaties in 1700. It was some 
time before Leopold gave way. The thought of a kingdom in 
north Germany within the limits of the Empire itself was 
hateful to him, and opposed to the traditions of the Empire. 
He would have preferred to diminish, rather than to augment, 
the dignity and influence of the House of Hohenzollern. But 
necessity knows no law. Leopold wanted the aid of the 
Brandenburgers in the field, and could get them on no other 
terms. To save appearances it was arranged that Frederick 
should take his title from Prussia, which lay outside the 
German Empire, and accordingly in the year 1700 Frede- 
rick III, elector of Brandenburg, became Frederick i. king ot 
Prussia. In the following year the Grand Alliance was set on 
foot, and the allied powers all recognised the new king in 
order to gain his help. Frederick fulfilled his part of the 
bargain faithfully enough. As long as the war lasted the 
Prussians fought steadily and well on the side of the allies, and 
the peace of Utrecht set the stamp of an international treaty 

The Northern Nations 31 1 

to the newly made dignity, besides giving to Prussia the more 
substantial endowment of Spanish Guelderland. 

The treaties of Utrecht and Nystadt, like those of Carlovitz 
and Passarovitz, mark the end of one epoch and the beginning 
of another. The history of northern Europe in the seven- 
teenth century is the history of the effort of 
Sweden to obtain mastery over the Baltic and Europe at the 
a footing in Germany; of the successful asser- end of the 
tion by Brandenburg of leadership in north "° ^' 
Germany ; of the birth of Russia as a serious political power. 
Those questions, fought over so strenuously during the seven- 
teenth century, received their final answer in the great treaties 
which usher in the next epoch. Sweden, stricken from her 
place of vantage, deprived of nearly all her German posses- 
sions, relegated to her own side of the Baltic, is dismissed into 
the obscurity of a third-rate power, from which she had been 
originally raised only by the quarrels of her antagonists, and 
the unprecedented personal ability of her sovereigns. Prussia, 
acknowledged as an equal by the monarchies of Europe, 
stands forth without rival as the unquestioned leader of the 
northern Germany, and is biding her time until the hour shall 
strike, which will permit her to wrest from the House of Habs- 
burg the leadership of the German people, and inherit from it 
the duty of defending the German Fatherland. In the far north 
Russia, under its savage but capable ruler, has made her voice 
heard among the councils of Europe. Seated firmly on the 
eastern shores of the Baltic, she is bent on making herself into 
a commercial and maritime power, while in the far south-east 
corner of her empire, policy has already pointed the way along 
which her destiny must move. After the conquest of Azof in 
1696, after the campaign on the Pruth in 171 1, Turkey and 
Russia stand face to face in south-eastern Europe, and the 
Eastern Question has begun. 



The question of the Spanish succession — The claims of the candidates — Legal 
and political difficulties of the problem — Importance of the interests 
involved — The Partition Treaty of 1668 — Adoption by Louis of a policy 
of partition in 1698 — Suspicions of William and Heinsius — Objects of 
Louis, William, and Heinsius — The first Partition Treaty — Death of the 
Electoral Prince — The negotiations continued — The second Partition 
Treaty — Advantages of the treaty to France and the maritime powers — 
Acceptance of the treaty in Em-ope — Attitude of the Emperor and Savoy 
— The struggle round the death-bed of Charles 11. — The vnU. in favour of 
France — Acceptance of the will by Louis — Political reasons for his con- 
duct — His deliberate breach of faith — His policy purely opportunist — Its 
momentary success — Aggressive conduct of Louis — The formation of the 
Grand Alliance. 

Ever since the death of Philip iv. of Spain in 1666, Europe 

had lived under the shadow of an impending catastrophe. 

Charles 11. was the last male representative of the Habsburgs 

of Spain. Weak in body, and imbecile in mind, he could 

Question of /* neither bear the burden of a great empire himself 

the Spanish ^ nor hand it on to a child to bear it after him. 

Succession. Married first to Louise of Orleans, and on her 

death to a German princess, Marie of Neuburg, the blessing 

of an heir was denied to him ; and all Europe knew well 

that when he died the great powers would wrangle over his 

dominions like a pack of wolves round the carcase of an ox. 

The question of the succession to the crown of Spain was 

one which required the highest powers of statesmanship 

r- for its solution. It was complicated by the nicest points of 

European policy, of international law, and of public and private 

The Partition Treaties and the Grand Alliance 313 

honour. Practically there were three claimants whose rights 
were undeniably superior to those of any one else, the House •^ 
of Bourbon, the House of Habsburg, and the Bavarian house of '^ 
Wittelbach. In default of heirs to the reigning king, Charles 11., 
the inheritance, according to the usual rules of legitimate suc- 
cession, would go to his sisters, the only other children of 
Philip IV.* Of them, the elder, Maria Theresa, had married 
Louis XIV. of France, and their eldest son, the ciaimofthe 
Dauphin, was accordingly the rightful heir of the Dauphin. 
crown of Spain by descent. ' But by a special provision of the 
treaty of the Pyrenees Maria Theresa, in consideration of a 
dower of 500,000 crowns, covenanted to be paid her by her 
father Philip iv., had expressly renounced all claims for her- 
self or her descendants upon the throne of Spain. So, if this 
renunciation was valid, the Dauphin, though heir by descent, 
would be excluded from the inheritance by international law. 
But on behalf of the Dauphin it was argued with some force, 
that as the dower of 500,000 crowns had never been paid 
by Philip iv., the renunciation, which was expressed to have 
been made in consideration of it, fell to the ground and was 
of no effect. 

The younger daughter of Philip iv., Margaret Theresa, had 
married the Emperor Leopold i.; but the only issue of that 
marriage was a daughter, Maria Antonia, who „, . ,,. 

° D J —I Claim of the 

married Max Emanuel, the elector of Bavaria. Electoral 
They had a son, Joseph Ferdinand, generally ^"°'=^- 
known as the Electoral Prince, who became accordingly the 
representative of the rights of Margaret Theresa by descent. 
But in his way, as in that of the Dauphin, there was a difficulty 
of international law. Maria Antonia had on her marriage 
with the elector of Bavaria expressly renounced her claims 
on the Spanish inheritance, and thus shut out her son legally 
from the succession. 

If Charles 11. had no child, and his two sisters had renounced 
their claims, it was clear that there was no descendant of 
^ See Appendix iv. p. 381. 

314 Eiiropean History, 1598- 171 5 

Philip rv. who could make out a valid title by descent and law. 
Recourse must be had to the descendants of Philip iii. Here 
Claim of the again the question lay between two sisters, for 
Emperor. Philip IV. was the only son. The elder daughter 
of Philip III. was Anne of Austria, the wife of Louis xiii. and 
the mother of Louis xiv. of France, but she, like her niece 
Maria Theresa, had expressly renounced her claims to the 
crown of Spain upon her marriage. The younger daughter, 
Maria, had married the Emperor Ferdinand in., and was 
therefore the mother of the Emperor Leopold i., who was 
the living representative of her rights. She had made no 
renunciation whatever, and the Emperor Leopold accordingly 
maintained that by the combined effect of descent and law 
he and he alone was the rightful inheritor of the Spanish 
monarchy. But Leopold was much too sensible to dream for 
a moment that Europe would permit the resuscitation of the 
empire of Charles v., just as Louis xiv. was too sensible to 
dream of uniting the crowns of France and Spain upon the 
same head, and he passed on his rights to his second son 
the archduke Charles, just as Louis and the Dauphin passed 
on theirs to the second son of the Dauphin, Philip duke of 

A more difficult problem has rarely presented itself to 
statesmen. The simplest solution no doubt was to be found 
Leeai diffi- ^^ ^^^ purely legal view of the matter taken by 
cuhiesofthe the Emperor Leopold. The renunciations had 
question. been legally made, and they must be considered 

legally valid, otherwise there was no sure basis of procedure at 
alL But whatever force might be attributed to an argument 
of this sort with reference to the renunciations of Anne of 
Austria and Maria Theresa, it was very difficult to admit its 
validity in the case of Maria Antonia, and permit a father to 
profit by a renunciation, which he himself had imposed upon 
his own daughter in her extreme youth and in contemplation 
of marriage. Yet how could any one maintain the invalidity 
of the renunciation of Maria Antonia on account of parental 

The Partition Treaties and the Grand Alliance 315 

influence, and the validity of that of Maria Theresa, when it 
was an admitted fact that the consideration for the latter, i.e. 
the dowry, had never been paid ? But then, if the renuncia- 
tions were to be considered invalid, there was no question as 
to the right of the Dauphin to the whole succession, and 
Europe would find itself face to face with a danger far greater 
than the resuscitation of the empire of Charles v. 

Below the purely legal aspect of the matter there was felt 
to be a momentous European question. Spain had been 
permitted to retain her vast and splendid dominions, because 
she was daily becoming weaker and more effete. The long- 
drawn agony of the Spanish monarchy exactly suited the plans 
of European statesmen, as long as Europe was Political 
in a state of transition. When the chief powers difficulties. 
were fighting among themselves for the Low Countries and 
the Rhine, for the lower Danube and the Baltic, it was highly 
convenient that problems so grave should not be further com- 
plicated by questions of South American trade, and access to 
the Mediterranean. All Europe was content to leave the 
monopolies of Spain alone, because Spain was unable to utilise 
them. But towards the end of the century this feeling was 
passing away, and the prizes which Spain continued to hold 
but did not know how to use, were being eagerly and avarici- 
ously eyed from two quite different quarters. The ' maritime 
nations,' as they were called in the language of diplomacy, 
England and Holland, since the revolution of 1688, had suc- 
ceeded in establishing on the firm basis of a close mutual 
alliance the superiority of their commerce to that of France. 
Already they shared between them the trade of the Baltic, 
of North America, and of the East. But from two quarters 
of the world they were shut out. The policy of Spain excluded 
them from a share in the trade with the Spanish Indies, and 
especially from the lucrative commerce in negroes, which was 
becoming of greater importance every day in those islands 
and districts of central America where white labour was an 
impossibility. The want of a harbour and naval station in 

3 16 European History^ 1 598-1 7 1 5 

the Mediterranean placed their commerce with the Levant at 
the mercy of pirates, and dependent on the goodwill of the 
southern powers. At the same time the policy of the House 
of Habsburg, since the peace of Westphalia, had been tending 
more and more in the direction of trying to secure a hold 
upon north Italy. While national interest and the course 
of events had been pushing the Austrian power further and 
further down the Danube at the expense of the Turks, the 
dynastic and personal policy of the Emperors had been 
rather directed to the gain of compensation upon the Po 
for what they had lost upon the Rhine. 

It was clear then that the question of the succession to the 
crown of Spain could not be decided merely according to the 
legal claims of the various candidates. The 
the^European ^ast empire of Spain could not be disposed of 
interests merely on principles which decide the devolu- 

tion of a private inheritance. Behind all per- 
sonal claims, behind all legal rights, behind even all national 
policy, loomed the ' greater principles of the balance of power 
and the freedom of commerce. If the interests and the rights 
of France could not permit the union of the Spanish inheri- 
tance with the power of Austria, if the interests and the 
rights of the House of Habsburg could no less permit the 
annexation of the empire of Spain by the power of France, 
neither Germany nor England nor the United Provinces could 
in the interests of Europe permit either the one or the other. 
But if Europe was going to claim her right to be heard, if 
claims of descent and of legal rights were to be subordinated to 
the general good of the European family of civilised nations, 
the maritime nations would assuredly demand their share in 
the commerce of the Spanish Indies as the United Provinces 
would insist upon their barrier against the aggression of France, 
and Austria the security of its hold upon Italy. 

With his usual diplomatic foresight Louis xiv. had grasped 
the situation as long ago as the period of the war of Devolution. 
At that time Charles 11. was young and as yet unmarried. It 

The Partition Treaties and the G -and Alliance 317 

was quite possible that in spite of the weakness of his health 
he might have children born to him before he died. Never- 
theless his death might occur at any moment, The Partition 
and Louis with his keen eye to the future de- Treaty of 1668. 
termined to be ready for all emergencies. He at once 
recognised the improbability of being able to annex for him- 
self or his house the whole of the Spanish dominions, and 
accordingly decided to try and obtain by negotiation with the 
only other serious candidate then in the field — the Emperor 
Leopold — that part of the inheritance which was of most value 
to France. His policy was completely successful, and on the 
19th of January 1668 he concluded with the Emperor a secret 
treaty for the partition of the Spanish dominions, after the 
death of Charles 11. without heirs, by which the Emperor was 
to have Spain and the Indies and the Milanese, and France 
the Netherlands, Franche Comte, Navarre, Naples, Sicily and 
Catalonia. In the thirty years which elapsed between the 
partition treaty of 1668 and the peace of Ryswick much 
had happened. Louis had already annexed Franche Comtd, 
and become master of so much of the Spanish „. 

^ Changes in 

Netherlands as to give France a safe and defen- Europe since 
sible frontier. The Netherlands were no longer '^^' 
of the same value to France as they were in 1668, while 
their acquisition was much more difficult. Since 1668 the 
United Provinces, through their successful resistance to Louis 
in the Dutch war of 1672 and in the war of the League of 
Augsburg, and through their close alliance with England since 
1688, were far more formidable antagonists. Louis knew well 
that they would fight to the death rather than permit him to 
break down the barrier of the Spanish power in the Nether- 
lands, which alone kept the Scheldt closed and Amsterdam 
safe. At the same time the maritime powers, as we have 
seen, had ambitions of their own in the direction of the 
Spanish and Mediterranean trade, which would prevent them 
from acquiescing without a struggle in the rule of France at 
Naples, or her ascendency in Spanish waters. 

3i8 European History , 1598-17 15 

The problem therefore had increased in difficulty since 
1668. New interests had to be consulted if diplomacy was to 
try her hand at a settlement. A long and sanguinary war, 

which could not fail to embrace all Europe in its 
Loufs ofa ^ ierrible folds, was absolutely certain if things were 
policy of left to take their chance. Who could tell what 

the results of such a war might be? Both 
Louis and William had reached an age when statesmen do not 
willingly set fire to the house on the chance of carrying off 
some valuables in the confusion. It was madness to think that 
France could gain more even by a successful war than she had 
gained by diplomacy in the treaty of 1668. So when the treaty 
of Ryswick was signed and Europe was once more at peace, 
Louis sent his friend the Comte de Tallard to London, on a 
special mission, to submit to William iii. a project for the 
partition of the Spanish monarchy when the moribund king 
had breathed his last. 

Tallard found William iii. discouraging, and his friend and 
confidant the duke of Portland almost hostile. They were 
naturally suspicious of gifts which came from so pronounced 
Mistrust of ^'^ enemy as Louis xiv. They were astonished 
wiuiam III. at the boldncss, not to say the rashness, of the 
and Heinsius. pj-QpQsal to parcel out the dominions of Charles 11. 
in his lifetime. But the more William thought over the idea 
the more feasible it seemed. Heinsius, the grand pensionary 
of Holland, was by no means opposed to it on principle, 
though he doubted whether the interested parties could ever 
come to an agreement on the details. William found the 
people of England so distrustful of him, so suspicious of his 
designs, so hostile to his advisers, so determined to deprive 
him of his army, and fetter him by poverty, that he did not 
dare to reckon on their support should he call upon them 
again to follow him in a crusade against France. In March 
1698 he authorised Portland, who was at Versailles, to invite 
Louis to lay his proposals for a treaty before him. In so 
doing he not only expressed his willingness to enter into 

The Partition Treaties and the Grand Alliance 319 

negotiations with a view to the partition of the Spanish 
dominions, but also his determination not to consider himself 
bound any longer by the clause in the League of Augsburg • 
negotiated in 1688, by which he had pledged himself to 
recognise and enforce the claims of the Emperor upon the 
whole inheritance. 

In April 1698 the negotiations for a partition treaty 
between France, England and the United Provinces were 
fairly launched. When once begun they pro- prog^gss of 
ceeded briskly enough. Did they seem to be the negotia- 
flagging, the news of a relapse in the health of *""'^" 
Charles 11. would set them again feverishly at work. Yet the 
business owing to its delicate character and many ramifica- • 
tions took a long time to finish. It was not till the September 
of that year, after five months of incessant negotiations, that 
Louis could feel sure that his efforts would be crowned with 
success. During that time the despatches show Louis to 
have constantly been the active agent in the discussions. 
William and Heinsius pjayed mainly a passive part. It was 
theirs to criticise, to accept or to reject what Louis pro- 
posed. But as the negotiations continued it is pleasant to 
see how the desire for peace and agreement grew stronger 
and stronger, how confidence succeeded to suspicion, and 
frankness of mind to mistrust. Never did Louis show his 
great mastery over the foreign politics of Europe in clearer 
light than in these negotiations. Throughout, his is the master 
mind. Tallard but played the part of his eyes and ears and 
mouth in England. William, though quick and clever at see- 
ing the drift of a suggestion, fixed his eyes too closely upon 
the national interests of the maritime nations to take so broad 
a view of the whole as that which illuminated the mind of 

At first Louis overrated this tendency of William's 
diplomacy. He thought that if he was ready to give ample 
security for the safety of the United Provinces behind their 
barrier of the Netherlands, and for the security of English 

320 European History^ 1 598-1 71 5 

trade in the Mediterranean, he could procure Spain and the 
Indies for his grandson. But he quickly found out his mis- 
obiectsof *^^^' ^"^ ^^ ^^ h^iOk upon two principles of 
Louis's dipio- action which determined his policy in the whole 
™**^' question from first to last as long as the nego- 

tiations lasted. The first was to guard against the revival^f 
the power of the Austro-Spanish House through the succes- 
sion question. The second was to neutralise the increase 
of the influence of the Habsburgs, by making the frontiers 
of France strong, not merely for defence but for oflFence In 
pursuit of the first principle he opposed himself vigorously to 
the recognition of the archduke Charles as king of Spain, and 
when through the force of circumstances he was obliged to 
give way on that point, he did so only on condition that the 
connection between Spain and Austria through north Italy 
was cut by the granting of the Milanese to an independent 
prince, and rendered liable to annihilation by France through 
her acquisition of the Tuscan ports and Finale. Louis was not 
going to see the chain of the Austro-Spanish power, which it 
had cost Henry iv. and Richelieu so much to break, once more 
woven round her by the arts of diplomacy and the accidents 
of life. In pursuit of the second principle he took care, that 
if his grandson could not rule at Madrid, his own armies 
might have a way easily open to their advance thither by his 
acquisition of Guipuscoa; while he made his eastern frontier 
secure by the annexation of Lorraine, and strove hard to 
make it dangerous by his claim upon Luxemburg. 

These two principles regulated the diplomacy of France 
throughout the negotiations for both the partition treaties, 
obects of Neither of them were necessarily antagonistic to 
wiUiamand the chief interests of England and the United 
Heinsius. Provinces. To England the all-important matter 
was to detach Louis from the support of the House of Stuart, 
and so to secure the maintenance of the principles of the 
Revolution. To the United Provinces the possession of a 
secure barrier against French aggression and the opening of 

The Partition Treaties and the Grand Alliance 321 

the Scheldtjwas an essential condition of national existence. 
To both the maritime powers the duty of preventing France 
from obtaining the monopoly of trade in Spanish American 
waters seemed of paramount importance, while the oppor- 
tunity of obtaining a share in the trade for themselves was 
one which it was worth running some risk to secure. Both 
sides were therefore in their heart of hearts more anxious 
to guard against dangers than to obtain positive increase of 
power. They were more eager to prevent their enemies 
from gaining a preponderance than to secure preponderance 
for themselves. Here lay the secret both of the success 
and of the dilatoriness of the negotiations. William and 
Heinsius were easily convinced of the desirableness of a 
treaty for settling the succession of Spain before Charles 11. 
died. They were attracted by the evident good faith and 
conciliatory attitude of Louis. They soon found that they 
had no cause to fear for the security of the barrier of the 
United Provinces or of the succession in England. The real 
difficulty lay in providing for the Dauphin such an inheritance 
as would secure France against the revival of the power of the 
Austro-Spanish House, and yet would not threaten the trade 
interests of the maritime powers in the Mediterranean and the 
Spanish American waters. But that was after all a matter of 
detail which was certain to be settled, although it might take 
a long time to settle it. The great object of Louis was to 
prevent an Austrian succession. The great object of William 
and Heinsius was to prevent a French succession. Directly 
both sides were convinced of their mutual interest and each 
others' good faith the success of the treaty was assured. 

Fortunately in the Electoral Pnnce of Bavaria there was 
a candidate whose advancement to the throne of Spain would 
satisfy all the conditions required. Neither French nor 
Austrian by birth and only five years of age, he .^j^^ ^^^^ p^^_ 
could be dangerous to neither party either through tition Treaty, 
his territorial influence or personal abilities, while ^^' 
he was likely to be more popular than either of the other 


322 European History, 1 598-171 5 

candidates in Spain itself, because owing to his tender years 
he could be educated as a Spaniard. In July 1698 it was 
agreed that Spain, the Indies, and the Netherlands should go 
to the Electoral Prince. More than two months were spent 
in the discussion of the inheritance of the Dauphin, Eventu- 
ally, on the loth of October 1698, the first_partitionJreaty 
was signed. It provided that the Electoral Prince of Bavaria 
was to receive Spain, the Indies, and the Netherlands. The 
archduke Charles was to have the Milanese and Luxemburg, 
and the Dauphin Naples, Sicily,^ the Tuscan ports, Finale, 
Guipuscoa, S. Sebastian, and Fuentarabia. On the news of 
the treaty oozing out at Madrid, Charles 11., though very 
angry, determined to make the best of the position, executed 
a will in favour of the Electoral Prince, giving him the whole 
inheritance, and sent for him to Spain in order that he might 
be educated there in accordance with the traditions of the 
Spanish court. 

All seemed now settled. It was true that the Emperor was 
not likely tamely to acquiesce in the rebuff which had been 
dealt to his claims, and that the pride of the Spaniards would 
urge them to fight to the last rather than submit to the 
Likelihood of enforced partition of their splendid empire. It 
its success. ^g^g probable that the inhabitants of Naples and 
Sicily would not readily see their long connection with the 
crown of Spain rudely severed at the dictates of the northern 
powers. France would have to conquer her inheritance with 
the sword. But there was little reason to fear that Spain, 
under the government of a regency, with a foreign boy king 
at her head, in her exhausted and bankrupt condition, could 
seriously resist the armies of France and the navies of the 
maritime powers. And what substantial assistance could the 
Emperor render with the Bavarians opposed to him on the 
Danube and the French masters of the sea? Louis knew 
the sluggish, calculating mind of Leopold too well not to be 

1 The Tuscan Ports comprised Santo St^phano, Porto Ercole, Orbitello, 
Porto Longone, Talamone, and Piombino 

The Partition Treaties and the Grand Alliance 323 

persuaded that he would soon accept the inevitable, and set 
himself diligently to profit by the opportunities which the 
possession of the Milanese gave him in Italy. Venice lay 
open to him an easy prey. Ascendency in north Italy and 
the harbour of Venice was more practically useful to the 
land-locked and poverty-stricken House of Austria than a 
shadowy and precarious empire beyond the seas. The con- 
tracting powers might have to enforce the treaty by war, 
but the struggle would not be general and could not be 

Suddenly this fair prospect was marred by an unexpected 
and tragic blow. On the 6th of February 1699 the Electoral 
Prince died of smallpox, and the labours of five -^^^^^ oiWi^ 
weary months were dissipated like a bubble in Electoral 
the air. Without a moment's hesitation, without ^"°''^' '^• 
wasting a minute in unavailing regrets, the indefatigable 
Louis took up again the web of diplomacy which had for 
the moment dropped from his hands, and instructed Tallard 
to negotiate for a new treaty. The matter was much 
more complicated than heretofore, the details much more 
difficult to arrange. There was no third candidate now 
equally suitable to both parties. The duke of Savoy, who 
was suggested by Tallard, was as objectionable to William and 
Heinsius as the elector of Bavaria, who was suggested by 
William, was to Louis. It soon became clear that ^he negotia- 
the archduke Charles was the only candidate for tions renewed. 
the crown of Spain and the Indies whom England and the 
United Provinces would accept. They even refused to listen to 
the suggestion that the Dauphin ought to have part of the share 
of the deceased prince. Why should the Dauphin profit, said 
William, by the death of the Electoral Prince? Louis saw 
that he must yield if the treaty was to be made. He fell back 
upon the principles of national consolidation and frontier 
development, and bent all his energies to obtain for France 
such a position as would enable her to neutralise the increased 
power of the Austro-Spanish House. 

324 European History, 1598-1715 

He urged strongly that if the Netherlands must go to the 
archduke, France at least ought to receive compensation in 
Luxemburg, and that if the Austrian House was to be per- 
mitted to add Spain to its dominions he at least might recover 
the kingdom of Navarre. It was all to no purpose. William 
and Heinsius refused absolutely to allow Louis to turn the 
The second barrier of the Netherlands by the annexation of 
Partition Luxemburg, or to give his armies a shorter road 

reaty, 1699. ^^ Madrid than had been already opened to 
them by the first treaty. Again Louis saw that he must 
yield, and in May 1699 the second Partition Treaty was 
agreed to between Louis, William, and Heinsius. By this 
treaty Spain, the Indies, and the Netherlands fell to the 
archduke Charles, the Dauphin received the Milanese, in 
addition to the share allotted to him by the first treaty, but 
on condition that he should exchange it for Lorraine with the 
duke of that country, and annex Lorraine finally to the crown 
of France. It was further provided by secret articles that the 
archduke Charles should not be permitted to visit Spain until 
the Emperor had accepted the Partition Treaty, and that if the 
Emperor did not accept the treaty before a given date, and the 
king of Spain before his death, the archduke should forfeit his 
rights under the treaty, and his share should be given to such 
prince as the contracting parties might choose. 

This treaty was on the face of it more unfavourable to 
France than the preceding one, and it may well be a matter 
of surprise at first sight that Louis was prepared to make 
Value of the ^"^^ great sacrifices in order to obtain it. To 
treaty to seat the archduke Charles on the throne of 

Spain, while his brother Joseph ruled at Vienna, 
was a strange termination to the policy of one whose life 
had been spent in determined antagonism to the House 
of Habsburg. Yet on consideration it will be seen that 
the objections to the treaty from the French point of view 
were more apparent than real. Spain was in such a disorgan- 
ised condition that it was impossible for her to count among 

The Partition Treaties and the Grand Alliance 325 

the powers of the world. Her resources were great, but they 
neither were nor could be developed without capital. Of 
capital available for such a purpose neither Austria nor Spain 
had the worth of a dollar. The revenues barely paid for the 
expenses of the court in either country. Even ambassadors 
had not enough for the expenses of their household. Impor- 
tant as Spain would soon become if annexed to energetic and 
prosperous France, she could not but remain a nonentity 
when joined to sluggish and bankrupt Austria. But that was 
not all. France was relieved of all serious rivalry on the side 
of Spain for many years by the disorganisation of the Spanish 
and imperial finances. She was placed in a position of absolute 
superiority to Spain by her acquisitions in Italy. The posses- 
sion of Naples and Sicily made her mistress of the Mediterra- 
nean. No communications could pass, no troops could be 
sent from Austria to Spain, without running the blockade 
of the French fleet in the Gulf of Lyons. No army could 
ever reach a port of embarkation without the consent of the 
duke of Lorraine or the republic of Venice. The gift of the 
Milanese to the duke of Lorraine completed the policy of 
Richelieu in 1625. It closed the Valtelline to the armies of 
the Austro-Spanish power. Were the duke to forget his 
associations with France, or remember them only too well, 
and side with her enemy, French troops from the ports of 
Tuscany and Finale could reach Milan before a German lance 
flashed in the Valtelline, and French ships could blockade the 
harbours of Genoa and Savoy at the first note of danger. 
Even during the war of the Spanish Succession, when English 
ships rode triumphantly in the Gulf of Lyons, when the 
imperial armies held Milan, and Genoa was friendly, it was 
found by no means easy to victual or reinforce the archduke's 
troops from Germany. It would have been an absolute 
impossibility had France been undisputed mistress of the 

The enormous advantage gained by Louis xiv. by a simple 
alliance with the maritime powers, even if it only neutralised 

326 European History, 1598-17 1 5 

their opposition instead of securing their support, has hardly 
been sufficiently appreciated by historians. The 
of an alliance Austro-Spanish power was left by the Partition 
with the mari- Treaties huge in bulk but impotent through 
ime powers. (jjyjgJQ^^ jj- consisted of four great masses 
all dependent upon one another, but unable to communi- 
cate with each other, except with the permission of foreign 
powers. The gold of the Indies was necessary for the 
payment of the very officials of the Madrid court and govern- 
ment, yet how could Spain pretend to guard her treasure-ships 
from the united fleets of England and France? The Nether- 
lands depended for their governors and their armies upon Spaia 
What chance of escaping capture would a Spanish fleet of 
reinforcements have as it beat up the narrow channel in sight 
of the coasts of Kent and Picardy ? Austria and Spain could 
not assist one another without first obtaining the mastery in 
the Mediterranean, and the Netherlands could only communi- 
cate with Vienna by permission of the princes of Germany. 
Had the Partition Treaty been carried out France would have 
become at a stroke, without bloodshed, incontestably the 
dominant power in Europe, liable only to be deposed from 
her pride of place by the rupture of the alliance with the 
maritime powers, and for that very reason the maritime 
powers would have held the fate of the world in their hands. 

Louis XIV. thoroughly grasped the situation. He fully 
understood the immense importance of securing the friend- 
ship of the maritime powers, the absolute necessity of avoiding 
their hostility. It was for this reason that he laboured so 
long and patiently for the success of the policy of partition, 
that he repressed so strenuously the eager desire 
the treaty by of Harcourt, his ambassadoi at Madrid, to in- 
the contract- triguc for the whole inheritance, that he made 
ing power . concessiou after concession rather than break 
off the negotiations for a treaty. William and Heinsius were 
less far-sighted and more suspicious, yet they too were not 
unaware of the greatness of the position in Europe which an 

The Partition Treaties and the Grand Alliance 327 

alliance with France would give them. But the people of 
England and the republican party in the United Provinces 
were too narrow in mind and bigoted in spirit to recognise 
anything of the sort. Absurdly fearful for their trade interests, 
and venomously hostile to the person of William iii., they 
opposed the Partition Treaty blindly because he had made it, 
and because France had allied with him to make it. There 
was hardly a man in England outside the little foreign cabal 
of the court who was in favour of it. Even Somers, the 
staunchest of Whigs and a devoted adherent of William, 
when after much doubt he consented to permit it to be sealed 
with the great seal, only ventured to say that it would doubt- 
less become popular in England if it brought with it a large 
share of the Spanish-American trade. Fortunately for William 
England was powerless to stop it, for all foreign negotiations 
were then wholly under the control of the king, but the 
Amsterdam traders fought hard and long to prevent its accep- 
tance by the States-General. They insulted Louis by demand- 
ing that it should be registered by the Parlement de Paris, 
and he was actually forced to consent that it should be placed 
among the archives of that body. It was not till April 1700 
that the treaty was at last signed by the three contracting 
parties and the ratifications exchanged. 

The agreement of the maritime powers and France with 
reference to the disposition of the Spanish dominions after 
the death of Charles 11. was^a great step towards the mainten- 
ance of the peace of Europe, but it did not guarantee it. It 
~was necessary to procure the assent of the chief powers of 
Europe to the treaty before it was certain that it could be 
erifbrced without bloodshed. Here Louis and its reception 
William found much less opposition than they ^^ Europe. 
had any reason to expect. The duke of Lorraine raised no^ 
difficulties as to the exchange of his duchy for the Milanese, 
the Pope and the republic of Venice agreed to the treaty in 
June. Their adhesion was most important, for Venice held 
the gates of the passes through the Alps to Austria, and the 

328 European History, 1 598- 1 7 1 5 

Pope could block the way to the march of armies to and from 
Naples. Besides, the opinion of the head of the Catholic 
world might not unreasonably do much to induce the Spanish 
court to accept the treaty. Less difficulty still was experienced 
in Germany. Prussia, now just become a kingdom, signed 
the treaty in order to gain recognition of her new dignity, 
the rest of the German princes signed as a protest against 
the recent creation of the electorate of Hanover. 

By the autumn the adhesion of the king of Portugal left 
the king of Spain, the Emperor, and the duke of Savoy the 
Opposition only important powers of Europe which had not 
of Savoy. accepted the treaty. Victor Amadeus of Savoy 

was playing the part traditional in his house. He knew that 
among the projects present to the mind of Louis was that of 
exchanging the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily for Savoy and 
Piedmont Should war eventually break out between France 
and Austria his alliance would be of the utmost value to Louis, 
in enabling him to support the operations of his fleet by the 
occupation of Milan. Should the Emperor wish to convey 
his son secretly to Spain he would find the numerous ports of 
Savoy the most available for his purpose. Convinced of his 
importance he determined to bide his time and sell himself to 
the highest bidder. Before long he found that he had mis- 
calculated his chances and lost his market. The Emperor 
Opposition of could not bring himself to renounce one jot or 
the Emperor, \\xx\t, of the inheritance which he claimed as his 
due. Though he received under the treaty far more than he 
was likely to win by war, though the treaty might easily be 
described as a diplomatic victory over his rival France, 
though he had willingly concluded a partition treaty thirty- 
two years before, which was less favourable than the present, 
though he knew not where to turn for a florin or look for an 
ally, nevertheless with the patient stubbornness characteristic 
of his race, he set himself to obstruct the treaty by delay 
and defeat it by intrigue. Though he never gave a definite 
refusal he never really for one moment intended to give an 

The Partition Treaties and the Grand Alliance 329 

acceptance. His hopes were bent upon obtaining a will in 
favour of the archduke from Charles 11. by means of the 
uvffuence of the queen, Marie of Neuburg, the sister of the 

For the moment the interest of the struggle veered to the 
bedside of the dying king. As the autumn sped Events at 
on there could no longer be any doubt that the ^^^^^' 
end of that troubled life was at hand. All remedies had 
been tried but had proved unavailing. The angel of death 
would not surrender his victim to the revolting mixtures of 
quack doctors, or the superstitious delusions of monkish exor- 
cists. One duty remained to be performed by Charles ere he 
quitted the world in which he had lived so wearily. He had to 
choose, as far as the power of choice was left to him, the suc- 
cessor to his throne. If he chose wrongly he might plunge all 
Europe into a desolating war and bring his country to absolute 
ruin. The choice was by no means an easy one nor did his 
advisers make it easier for him. The Spanish people and 
Charles himself were united on the great principle of doing all 
that they could to maintain the integrity of the empire, but they 
differed as to the means to be adopted to achieve this end. 
Angry as Charles was at the news of the first Partition Treaty, he 
accepted it so far as to make a will in favour of the Electoral 
Prince, and he sent for the young prince in order to educate 
him in Spain as his heir. The act was popular, for both he 
and his people believed, no doubt rightly, that the Electoral 
Prince had a better chance than any other candidate of uniting 
the whole of the Spanish dominions under himself. But on the 
death of the prince it became very difficult to decide between 
the representatives of the Dauphin and of the Emperor. If the 
Emperor was the weaker, he was the nearer by the traditional 
ties of policy and of race. But was not France the only 
power in Europe strong enough to seize and keep the whole 
inheritance from the hand of the spoiler? It was a hard 
choice for a moribund king to have to make in his last days 
of extreme physical and mental weakness. 


330 European History, 1598-17 1 § 

Gradually it became clearer to those who watched by the 
bedside that personal influence could alone decide his wavering 
Palace ^^^^- Within the palace the queen was paramount, 

intrigues and and she, after some little vacillation, had decided 
to support the archduke strenuously. Outside 
the palace the feeling was all in favour of France. It grew 
in intensity as the conviction spread that the Emperor by him- 
self could never defeat a partition treaty. It was fanned by 
the news that the Pope had pronounced that a decision in 
favour of France would not be contrary to the interests of the 
Church. Even the report of the signature of the Partition 
Treaty did not stem the advancing tide, for with a willing 
self-deception the Spaniards ascribed it entirely to the hated 
Dutchman. The national party determined on a palace revolu- 
tion. The cardinal Porto Carrero, archbishop of Toledo, 
accompanied by a few religious established himself in the 
sick-room, and refused to allow the queen or any of the ad- 
herents of the archduke to enter. He represented to Charles 
that a will in favour of France was the only way 

Signature of a ..... . . . . , , 

win in favour to avoid civil War and a partition of the monarchy, 
of France, xhe king freed from the ascendency of his wife 
^^°°' gave a tardy assent. On the 7th of October 

1700 he signed the will. 'It is God alone,' he said as the 
pen dropped from his nerveless hands, 'who gives king- 
doms, for to Him alone they belong.' The next day a speedy 
messenger hurried from Bl^court, Harcourt's successor, to 
Paris to acquaint Louis with what had happened. Three weeks 
afterwards, on the ist of November, the poor king's troubles 
were over, and the last of the line of Arragon was gathered 
to his fathers. When the will was opened it was found that 
the whole inheritance of the crown of Spain was given to 
Philip duke of Anjou, the second son of the Dauphin, and in 
the event of his death to his younger brother the due de Berri. 
If Philip refused to accept the inheritance, the right to it was 
to pass wholly to the archduke Charles. 

For fifteen days all Europe hung breathless in suspense. 

The Partition Treaties and the Grand Alliance 331 

What would Louis do ? The unexpected, if not the unhoped- 
for, had happened. Harcourt, the able and showy The problem 
ambassador of France at Madrid, had always ^^^°^^ Louis, 
maintained that in the end a will in favour of France could 
certainly be obtained, and Louis, without ever forbidding 
them, had always quietly put his suggestions aside, and 
pushed on with all his skill the policy of a partition. And 
now Harcourt had proved to be right and Louis wrong. 
The whole of the prize was open to his grasp did he choose 
to stretch forth his hand and take it. Louis was sorely 
perplexed. For perhaps the first time in his life he did not 
see his way clear. His advisers were divided, some of 
them greatly in doubt. Tallard urged him strongly to 
keep faith with Europe and maintain the Partition Treaty. 
Torcy was of the same opinion at first. Beauvilliers was more 
emphatic even than Tallard. For the moment their advice 
prevailed, and it was decided to send an envoy to Heinsius 
to assure him of the good faith of France. But the message 
was never sent. The wishes of Madame de Maintenon, the 
earnest remonstrances of the Dauphin, who refused to see his 
son disinherited without a struggle, reasserted themselves. 
The feeling of the French court was strongly in favour of a 
bold policy. Torcy altered his mind as he reflected more 
carefully upon the state of Europe. The Dauphin insisted 
with renewed energy on the rights of his son. At last the 
decision could be put off" no longer. The Spanish ambassador 
reached Paris with the text of the will and required an 
answer. If it was unfavourable, he was to go straight to 
Vienna. On the i6th of November a council Acceptance 
was called at Versailles to pronounce a final of the win. 
decision. The courtiers assembled in the great gallery 
of the palace in unprecedented numbers, for even the 
most frivolous among them could not but feel the unique 
gravity of the crisis. The minutes and the hours sped on, 
the excitement grew more vivid, the strain more intense. At 
last the great folding doors were thrown open, and as every 

332 European History, 1598-1715 

one bowed low to the ground Louis was seen leaning affection- 
ately on the shoulder of his grandson. Advancing to the edge 
of the dais with that kingly dignity which was to him a second 
nature, he said in clear and deliberate accents, which pene- 

i/^^' trated to the furthest corners of the vast hall. Messieurs^ 

-7 void le roi d^ Espagne 1 

The die was cast What is to be said of the gamester who 
staked — and lost — his all on the throw? If moral considera- 
tions may for the moment be put on one side, honesty 
Political ^'^d good faith laid on the shelf, no one can 

reasons for its doubt that Louis was right. The interests of 
accep ance. j^.^ country and the interests of his family de- 
manded at that particular juncture of affairs the accept- 
ance of the will. The difficulties attending the enforcement 
of the Partition Treaty, in spite of the favour with which 
the powers of Europe had received it were enormous. To 
impose the archduke Charles upon Spain by French bayonets, 
while all Spain and half France was loudly demanding the 
duke of Anjou was an impossibility. To permit the archduke 
to establish himself in Spain by means of Austrian troops, 
before he and his father had accepted the treaty, was too 
dangerous to be thought of. To act upon the secret article, 
declare the rights of the archduke forfeited, and give Spain 
and the Indies to some third person, was to commit a greater 
outrage than ever upon the pride of Spain and the claims of 
the Emperor, and to ensure the outbreak of war. The deter- 
mination of the Emperor to resist a treaty which gave him the 
lion's share of the spoil made it impossible to enforce it in its 
entirety when Charles 11. was dead. The contracting powers 
might, it is true, have executed it as far as was possible. 
They might have effected the conquest of Naples and Sicily 
for the Dauphin, and handed over the Milanese to the duke of 
Lorraine. They might have administered Spain and the 
Netherlands until a decision was eventually arrived at. But 
to do these things they would have incurred as large an 
expenditure of both men and money as would have been 

The Partition Treaties and the Grand Alliance 333 

entailed by open war, and they would not have avoided open 
war with the Emperor. To execute the treaty in its entirety 
was impossible, to execute it partially was costly and dangerous. 
To accept the will, on the contrary, presented difficulties 
comparatively slight Such a course guaranteed the loyal 
support of Spain. It did not necessarily involve the active 
hostility of the Emperor. There was no reason to think that 
Prussia or the princes of Germany would attach Renioteness 
sufficient importance to the principle of the of the dangers 
balance of power in Europe, as to incur on its °^^^' 
behalf the risks and responsibilities of war. Danger only 
threatened from the maritime powers, but however deeply Wil- 
liam and Heinsius might feel, however bitterly they might 
resent, his conduct, Louis well knew that they were power- 
less to act. In both countries the Partition Treaty was more 
unpopular than the will in favour of France. The English 
people fully reaUsed that, as long as they kept out of con- 
tinental complications, their liberties were safe, their control 
over their king secure. If once they allowed him to involve 
their interests with those of the Dutch, they thereby put into 
his hands military and naval power which he could use to 
make himself independent of Parliament. All the Tories and 
many of the Whigs were resolute against allowing a standing 
army on principle, or conniving at it in fact. They cared far 
more about keeping their own king weak, than they did about 
preventing Louis from becoming strong. As William bitterly 
admitted in his letters to Heinsius : ' I am troubled to the 
very bottom of my soul to find now that the business has 
become public, that nearly everybody congratulates himself 
that France has preferred the will to the treaty, insisting that 
it is much better for England and for the whole of Europe. . . . 
People here are perfectly unconcerned, and turn their thoughts 
but little to the great change which is happening in the affairs 
of the world. It seems as if it was a punishment of heaven 
that this nation should be so little alive to that which 
passes outside of its own island, although it ought to have 


334 European History, 1 598- 1 7 1 5 

the same interests and the same anxieties as the continental 

William did not conceal from himself the fact that to induce 
Indifference England to declare war against Louis xiv., be- 
of England cause of his repudiation of the Partition Treaty 
and his acceptance of the will. of Charles 11., 
was wholly out of the question. He had to content him- 
self with urging the Emperor not to recognise the duke 
of Anjou, and with endeavouring to gain time. Heinsius 
was in a similar plight. The repubHcan party were overjoyed 
at the failure of the Partition Treaty. The citizens of Amster- 
dam, in their delight at the defeat of the House of Orange, 
would not hear of any possible dangers to their trade or their 
barrier. It was doubtful if the States-General could be induced 
to declare war in alliance with England, it was certain they 
would not do so by themselves. As far as purely political 
dangers were concerned Louis might accept the will in perfect 
security. Not a protest was made, not a murmur was openly 
heard. Louis thought he might go a step further. In Febru- 
ary 1 70 1 he occupied the frontier towns of the Netherlands, 
took captive the Dutch garrisons which they contained, and 
Their recog- restored the towns to the government of the 
nition of elcctor of Bavaria, Max Emanuel, who had been 

^^*''^ * appointed by the Spanish government to that 

charge. To regain their troops the Dutch recognised the 
duke of Anjou as king of Spain. William held out longer, 
but at last he was obliged to submit to the pressure of 
his ministers. In April 1701 England too recognised Philip v., 
and Louis had for the moment the satisfaction of seeing 
that he had calculated the chances rightly, and had placed his 
grandson on the throne of Spain without striking a blow, or 
involving France in war. Philip himself was received at 
Madrid with the liveliest expressions of joy and enthusiasm. 
The grandiloquent boast had come true, // n^y a plus de 
^ Pyrenees. 

But at what cost had this result been achieved ? Never 

The Partition Treaties and the Grand Alliance 335 

since Richelieu had first launched France on her career of 
territorial aggrandisement, never since sovereigns had consci- 
ously or unconsciously adopted the principles of MacchiavelH 
in their dealings with one another, had any act so deliberately 
dishonourable been done as the repudiation of the Partition 
Treaty by Louis xiv. Honesty, public faith, private honour, 
were words of no meaning in international rela- 
tions, if kings might make treaties one day ^ deliberate 
and br eak them the next, because it happened breach of 
to be to their advantage to do so. Push the 
principle but a little further, and European nations would be 
once more in a state of pure savagery, for civilisation and 
progress depend upon contract, and what contract is possible 
among nations when public faith is dead ? If might is right, 
treaties and bargains are not merely useless but hypocritical. 
If ever there was a case in which a sovereign ought to have 
stuck to the bargain which he had made, it was that of 
Louis XIV. in relation to the Partition Treaty. The treaty was 
essentially his own handiwork. It was he who had first 
suggested it. For two years he had urged it, worked for it, 
made sacrifices for it. At his instance it had been published to 
the world and accepted by Europe. He was identified with it 
farmore than were William and Heinsius. For him to repudiate 
his own offspring, because his calculations proved wrong, was 
to deal a blow at the public morality of Europe from which it 
took years to recover. His conduct was as plainly unjustifiable 
in morals as it was advantageous in politics. And no one 
knew this better than Louis himself. The arguments which 
he instructed Tallard to advance to William on his behalf, and 
all the arguments which his apologists have addressed to the 
world since in his justification, are arguments against the 
making of a partition treaty, not in favour of its repudiation. 
They may prove that Louis was foolish to make a treaty, they 
do not prove that he was right to tear it up directly it was 
made. They are arguments which Louis had himself dis- 
counted when he began the negotiations, and had himself 

336 European History, 1598- 171 5 

answered, as far as they admitted of an answer, in his earlier 
instructions to Tallard. It is true that he could not actually 
have been certain that the Emperor would refuse to accept the 
treaty, and undoubtedly the fact of his refusal very seriously 
diminished the chances of the ultimate success of the policy 
of partition, but it was a contingency highly to be expected, 
and had as a matter of fact been most carefully provided for 
in the treaty itself. 

But among English historians there has been a tendency to 
make Louis out more culpable than he really was. The whole 

negotiations for a Partition Treaty have been 
a deeply uiid dcpictcd as an elaborate deception intended to 
pianofdecep- hoodwink the eyes of the maritime powers until 

the intrigue in Spain should be successful and 
the will in favour of the duke of Anjou procured. Har- 
court at Madrid is described as carrying out the real policy 
of Louis, while Tallard at London is purposely his dupe, in 
order that he may with the greater honesty make William and 
Heinsius his dupes too. The drama is one in which unex- 
ampled villainy is everywhere triumphant, dull virtue oppressed 
and deceived, and retribution lamely limps along full thirteen 
years behind. Such a theory is opposed both to the facts of 
history and the limitations of human nature. To keep up a 
deception planned on such a gigantic scale for two years and 
a half, without accomplice, or confidant, in the face and to 
the disadvantage of the ablest intellects of Europe, most of 
whom were penetrated by suspicion and eager for revenge, is 
beyond the powers of human villainy and opposed to all that we 
know of Louis's character. Louis had often played the hypocrite 
and broken faith before, but he had done it pompously in the 
face of Europe with a show of bravado. He had claimed the 
Netherlands by the law of devolution, and parts of Alsace by 
virtue of the decisions of the Chambres des Reunions, by sheer 
audacity not by cunning. He had often been a bully, there 
is nothing in his long reign, except perhaps his conduct to 
Fouquet, which could justify the faintest suspicion that he was 

The Partition Treaties and the Grand Alliance 337 

an accomplished dissembler before whom even Louis xi. must 
bow the knee. For what does the theory involve ? It involves 
the belief that for two years and a half he was deceiving not 
merely William and Heinsius, the Emperor, and the king of 
Spain, but his own most trusted emissaries and friends. He 
was deceiving Torcy his foreign minister, Tallard his ambassa- 
dor in London, and Harcourt his ambassador at Madrid. He 
was to the last assuring the very man, through whose efforts 
alone he could obtain the whole succession, that he had 
determined on a different policy ; and he was doing this, not 
in public letters which might see the light, but in his own 
secret correspondence, which was often sent by special mes- 
senger and never went through the foreign ofiSce at all. 
Further he must have carried out this wholesale deception with 
an elaboration at which the mind sinks back appalled. He 
wrote hundreds of letters in great detail, held a large number 
of conferences with his council as a whole, and with indi- 
viduals by themselves, made numerous speeches to ambassadors, 
held many and long interviews with Lord Jersey and other 
envoys, and yet never once in the whole period said or did 
anything to suggest the slightest suspicion of his good faith ! 
And more than that. He overacted his part terribly. If his 
real object was to amuse the maritime powers, while his 
intrigue in Spain was maturing, his obvious course was so 
to manage the negotiations for the Partition Treaty, as to give 
as little trouble as possible to himself without exciting the 
suspicions of William. But on the contrary his private corre- 
spondence with Tallard shows that he continually gave himself 
infinite and unnecessary trouble. His mind was fixed upon the 
possibilities of the negotiations. He sets out his views at 
great length on every turn of the diplomatic game. It is he 
who is continually urging haste, especially when the news of 
the king of Spain's health gets more unsatisfactory, the very 
time when, if he was not in earnest, he might have rested 
upon his oars without danger. He continued the policy of 
partition, after he knew that in consequence of it Charles 11. 

33^ European History, 1598- 17 15 

had made a will in favour of the Electoral Prince, and that 
France had become very unpopular in Spain. He even 
permitted Harcourt to leave Madrid months before Porto 
Carrero effected his palace revolution, and when all probabili- 
ties pointed to a will in favour of the archduke made at the dic- 
tation of the queen. Such conduct would have been sheer 
folly had Louis not been actuated by honest motives. 

In the face of these facts can any one doubt that the nego- 
tiations for the Partition Treaties were conducted by Louis in 
Consistent good faith ? The principles on which he acted, 
policy of if not strictly honourable, were far less dis- 

honourable than it has been the fashion to 
assert. This policy stands out clear in his private letters 
to Harcourt and to Tallard. It is consistent throughout 
and intelligible. He never swerved from the opinion that 
Europe would not permit him to acquire the whole inheritance 
for his family. He never thought it probable that Charles 11. 
could be induced to make a will in favour of France. Under 
these circumstances, his obvious policy was to prevent Austria 
from gaining the whole inheritance, or so much of it as would 
threaten the ascendency of France in Europe. The best, it 
not the only way of securing this without involving Europe in 
war, was by means of the old device of a partition treaty. 
But it was always possible, if not probable, that the negotiations 
for a partition would fail, and Louis accordingly left Harcourt 
free to act as he thought best in his interests until the Parti- 
tion Treaty was an accomplished fact. Directly the treaty 
had been concluded, Harcourt was recalled, and placed at the 
head of the army on the frontier. He was no longer wanted 
to push the interests of France at the court of Charles il 
The time for diplomacy was over, that for action had come, 
and his services were required to prevent the archduke from 
coming into Spain in contravention of the treaty. But the 
unexpected happened. Louis found himself the possessor of 
the whole inheritance, at a moment when his knowledge of^ 
Europe told him that it was more than probable that he could 

The Partition Treaties and the Grand Alliance 339 

successfuiy seize the prize without bloodshed. The tempta- / 
tion was too great, and after a sincere hesitation of some weeks, S 
he turned his back on the policy of the last three years and C 
deliberately broke faith with his allies. ^ 

Whatever may have been the motives, the policy of ~"i 
Louis XIV. seemed crowned with success by the spring of A 
1 701. His grandson sat secure upon the throne of Spain, amid 
the enthusiasm of his people, without a single declared enemy, 
though it was known that the Emperor was arming. The 
expulsion of the Dutch from the frontier fortresses placed the 
Netherlands at the disposal of France. The recognition of 
Philip V. by the maritime powers seemed to guarantee the 
peace of Europe in spite of the preparations of Difficulties 
the Emperor. None knew better than Louis in the way ^ 
that the storm was not averted, because for 
the moment there reigned an ominous calm. It required 
the most careful and wary tread to avoid the pitfalls open 
on ^11 sides of him. With or without allies the Emperor 
would probably declare war. William and Heinsius were 
working hard to urge the English and the Dutch to action. 
' The only game to play with this nation,' wrote the king to 
his confidant, ' is to engage them in war without their knowing 
it.' The princes of Germany were certain to join an alliance 
against France, were it once set on foot, provided that they 
received plenty of money and incurred but little risk. Prussia 
was too nearly interested in the lower Rhineland to stand 
aloof. Never was it more necessary for Louis to display that 
spirit of conciliation of which he at times was apt to boast. 
Sn "his address, all his self-restraint was needed successfully to 
smooth difficulties, to allay suspicion, to calm prejudice. If 
one strong power besides the Emperor determined to draw the 
sword, the fiery cross would run riot over Europe in a 
moment. Already there had been indications that Tory 
England and republican Holland had fixed limits to their 
indifference. Instructions were given to William by the 
Parliament of 1701 to take such measures as might be needful 

340 European "History, 1 598-1 71 5 

for the protection of the Dutch. A point might be reached at 
which distrust of Louis xiv. would get the better of distrust of 
William iii. If the king of France wanted to keep the advan- 
tages which he had gained, without running the risks of war, 
it was essential that he should not excite the suspicions of 
the English and Dutch. 

With a strange infatuation Louis adopted exactly the op- 
posite policy. He formally declared that the rights of the 
duke of Anjou to the French crown were in no way impaired 
by the fact of his succession to the throne of Spain, and early 
in 1 701 he expelled the Dutch troops from the fortresses 
garrisoned by them in the Spanish Netherlands, and replaced 
His aggressive them by French soldiers. He refused to enter-- 
conduct. taij^ a^^y proposals whatever for granting compen- 

sation to the Emperor out of the dominions of Spain, or 
security to the Dutch by giving them a fortress barrier. He 
issued commercial decrees which pointed plainly to the exclu- 
sion of English and Dutch ships from the Spanish-American 
trade, and completed the tale of arrogance and blindness by 
a deliberate and unpardonable violation of the treaty of 
Ryswick. On the death of the exiled James 11. of England 
in September 1701, Louis recognised his son James, the 
Chevalier de St. George, as the rightful king of England. The 
blunder soon brought its own punishment. Louis had suc- 
ceeded in doing what William with all his craft could never 
have done. He had inspired all Englishmen, both Whigs and 
Tories, with an enthusiastic determination to fight. Flouted 
in her national pride, threatened in her commercial interests, 
directly attacked in her liberties and independence, England 
F ation of joi^^^d willingly with the Dutch and the Emperor 
the Grand to bring the haughty tyrant of Europe to his 
AUiance, 1701. ^^^^^ j^ jj^g ^jj^te^ of 1701-2 the Grand Alli- 
ance was concluded between England, the Emperor, the 
Dutch, the king of Prussia, and the grand duke of Hesse, 
with the object of destroying the tyranny of Louis xiv. 
and breaking up the Franco-Spanish monarchy by giving 

The Partition Treaties and the Grand Alliance 341 

Italy to the Emperor, and the Indies to the maritime 

The conclusion of the Grand Alliance was the last act per- 
mitted to William in the lifelong struggle which he had carried 
on with the French king. In March 1702 he Death of 
died, but his spirit still continued to animate the wiinam iii., 
nation. His successor Anne, Tory though she ^''^' 
was by conviction, threw herself heartily into his policy under 
the influence of her friend and favourite the duchess of Marl- 
borough. In May 1702 war was declared and Louis found 
himself once more face to face with indignant Europe. 



The campaign of Prince Eugene in Italy — Appointment of Marlborough to 
the command in the Netherlands — His character and abilities — He 
establishes himself upon the Rhine— Advance of the French upon Vienna 
— Savoy joins the Grand Alliance — Critical position of the Emperor — The 
campaign and battle of Blenheim — The English gain the command of the 
Mediterranean — Death of the Emperor Leopold — The campaign and 
battle of Ramillies— Expedition of the Archduke Charles to Spain — The 
battle of Almanza — The campaign and battle of Oudenarde — Siege and 
capture of Lille — Negotiations for peace — Appeal of Louis to his people 
— The campaign and battle of Malplaquet — Dismissal of Marlborough — 
Victories of the Spaniards over the Allies — The negotiations at Gertruy- 
denberg — 1 l)e peace of Utrecht — Its policy and justification — The end of 
the seventeen 'h century — The death of Louis xiv. 

The war broke out in Italy. By a treaty concluded with the 
duke of Savoy in the spring of 1701 the road to north Italy 
was opened to the soldiers of France, and Catinat at the head 
Campaign of ^^ 4o,ooo men occupied the Milanese. Pushing 
prince Eugene forward his advanced guard to the frontiers of the 
in Italy, 1701. territories of Venice at the Largo di Garda, he 
prepared to fall upon the Austrian army as it debouched into 
the plain from the passes of the mountains. To an invader who 
comes from Austria or the east, the plain of north Italy pre- 
sents serious military difficulties. His path to the south is 
blocked by the strong and deep stream of the Po, which, with 
its surrounding marshes, treacherous banks, and swift currents, 
forms an almost impassable obstacle in the face of an active 
enemy ; especially as the most important points of its course 


The War of the Spanish Succession 


are defended by the fortresses of Alessandria, Piacenza, and 
Mantua. From the Alps on the north descend into the Po a 
series of rivers, similar in character though less in volume, 
each of which forms, both from the nature of its stream, and 
the cities which command it, a strategical position very easy to 

defend and exceedingly difficult to attack directly. From the 
Lago Maggiore runs the stream of the Ticino joining the Po 
a little below Pavia. From the Valtelline through the Lago 
di Como the Adda pours its waters into the Po at Cremona, 
passing a little to the east of Milan. To the east of the Adda, 
from the mountains of Bergamo, flows the stream of the Oglio, 
receiving on its way to its home in the Po the waters of a 
tributary which protects the important city of Brescia. 
Further to the east, from the southern end of the Lago di 
Garda, close to the fortress of Peschiera, the Mincio makes its 
way directly into the Po below Mantua, A few miles further, 
from the wide valley leading to the Brenner pass, descends the 

344 European History, 1598-17 15 

great stream of the Adige, which, running through the do 
minions of Venice, passing the fortresses of Verona, Legnago 
and Carpi, makes its own way into the sea north of the Po 
amid impassable marshes. Invaders of the Milanese from 
Germany and Austria must therefore either force the positions 
of these rivers one by one in the face of the enemy, or turn 
them by thrusting their way through the mountains on the 
north, ^atinat had made up hi s^ mi nd t hat _the_Austrians 
i^ould attempt the latter feat, and was carefully watching the 
mountain valleys north of the Lago di Garda, when prince 
Eugene suddenly appeared behind him at Brescia. Quickly 
descending the valley of the Adige he had not scrupled to 
violate Venetian territory. Marching behind Verona he crossed 
the Adige at Carpi, then turning north-west crossed the Mincio 
above Mantua without opposition, and appeared between 
Peschiera and Brescia, in the rear of the French, before 
Catinat knew that he had left the obscurity of the mountains. 
The French had only just time to beat a hasty retreat to the 
Oglio and cover Milan. 

Louis was highly indignant at this ominous beginning to the 
war, and sent his friend and courtier Villeroy to supersede 
Catinat. The change was not to his advantage. Villeroy 
was a good dancer but an indifferent general. Having an 
army far outnumbering that of prince Eugene, he crossed the 
Oglio and attacked him on the ist of September 1701 at 
Chiari, but was repulsed. Acquiescing in his failure he took 
Defeat and ^P ^ position On the Oglio defending Milan, and 
capture of placed hls headquarters at Cremona for the 
i eroy, 170a. ^jj^^gj.^ where he amused himself in all security 
Prince Eugene saw his opportunity. From Mantua, which 
he was besieging, he advanced in February 1702, surprised 
Cremona under cover of night, captured the French general 
and his staff, and obliged his army to retire behind the Adda. 
The results of this bold stroke were quickly seen. The dukes 
of Modena and Guastalla joined the imperialists, the duke of 
Savoy began to trim, and to look out for an opportunity of 

The War of the Spanish Succession 345 

changing sides. But reinforcements soon came to the French. 
The duke of Vendome and Phihp v. left Naples and appeared 
on the flank of prince Eugene in Lombardy in August 1702. 
Greatly outnumbered, the Austrians had to fall back to a 
defensive position behind the Adige, where the French did 
not dare to attack them. 

Meanwhile the war had become general. In May 1702 
Marlborough, who had been appointed to the Marlborough 
chief command of the English forces by Anne, appointed to 
and had been elected captain general of the jn the Nether- 
Dutch forces by the states-general, took command lands. 
of the allied army in the Netherlands. He had under him 
about 10,000 Enghsh troops, about 20,000 Dutch troops, 
and about as many mercenaries, chiefly Germans, in the pay 
of England and the United Provinces. It is interesting to 
notice how small the body of purely British soldiers was who 
fought in the armies of Marlborough. They were never as 
numerous as the mercenaries, though they increased in numbers 
regularly as the war went on. At the commencement of hos- 
tilities, owing no doubt to the great jealousy of a standing 
army evinced by all Englishmen, and to the national distrust 
of William iii., there were very few English soldiers fit to take 
the field against the veterans of France. 

What England lost through want of training among her 
soldiers was more than made up to her by the eminent capacity 
of her general. Marlborough had learned his first lessons ot 
war in the school of Turenne, he had shown his talents for 
command in his successful management of an expedition to the 
south of Ireland in 1689, but no one could have anticipated 
from his past, when he was appointed to the supreme command 
in 1702, the singular combination of qualities His military 
which made him incomparably the first man in qualities. 
Europe. Full of resource, gifted with a notable mastery over 
men, and thoroughly trained in the science of war, he is one 
of the few generals who have had the power of conceiving and 
executing combined movements on a large scale. His provident 

346 European History, 1 5 98- 1 7 1 5 

eye could take in the whole of Europe as a theatre of opera- 
tions, and direct the movements of four or five armies to a 
common end. As a strategist, he was too seldom permitted 
freedom of action for his originality and resourcefulness fully 
to display themselves. In this he must be compared, not 
with Frederick the Great or Napoleon or Moltke, but with 
Wellington or Turenne, and he need not fear the result. 
Even when driven by the timidity and unreasonableness of 
the Dutch, or by political danger at home into the common- 
place, his campaigns show a grasp of the proportion of things, 
which is only found in the highest order of intellects. He 
fixes with lightning rapidity upon the important thing to be 
done, and sees at once how best to do it with the resources 
at his command. He never fritters away his strength, he 
never wastes life,* or runs risks unnecessarily, or for mere 
effect. He strikes directly at the key of the position, his 
combinations are all aimed at the central point of the enemies' 
power. In this capacity to appreciate exactly the ratio of his 
strength and resources to those of the enemy, he strongly 
resembles his great successor Wellington. Like him he 
never lost a battle, unlike him he never failed in a campaign. 
The same characteristics are observable in the battle-field. 
He had an extraordinarily quick eye for the weak point in an 
enemy's position, and saw at once how best to utilise the 
opportunities which the ground afforded for attaining his 
object. At Blenheim and at Ramillies, it was his skilful use 
of difficult ground that mainly contributed to the victory. 
And when his real attack was developed, he showed some- 
thing of Napoleon's power of combining the whole strength 

^ It is sometimes said that he fought Malplaquet, and wasted life 
unnecessarily there, in order to restore his waning popularity in England, 
but it must be remembered that in 1709, Mons was the last of the first- 
class fortresses belonging to the French, and the army of Villars and 
Boufflers the only real obstacle between Marlborough and Paris. Can 
any one doubt that had Marlborough been well supported in England, 
the allies would have been in Paris in 17 10? 

The War of the Spanish Succession ^^y 

of his army upon the end to be achieved. At Blenheim he 
forced his way through the centre of his adversaries' position, 
and reduced the enemy from a disciphned army into disorgan- 
ised masses at a stroke, much as Napoleon did afterwards 
by Soult's famous attack at Austerlitz. But apart from his 
military genius, he was no less conspicuous for his powers of 
diplomacy, and his singular management of men. Of unwearied 
patience, imperturbable temper, and immovable 
resolution he rarely failed to gain his end in the long 
run. The Grand Alliance of 1 701-2, and the negotiations with 
Charles xii. of Sweden at Altranstadt in 1708, are undeniable 
proofs of his diplomatic ability. His close friendship with prince 
Eugene and Godolphin, and his tender love for his imperious 
and fretful wife, attest the warmth of his affections, and the 
amiableness of his disposition. The wonderful self-command 
with which he saw his best plans ruined, his reputation 
endangered, his motives suspected, his very successes decried, 
by the stupidity of the half envious and half timid Dutch, 
and the malignancy of English party spirit, is no mean tribute 
to the steadfastness of his patriotism. If France had not the 
resources of the allies upon which to draw, neither had she 
their divisions and quarrels with which to contend. 

When Marlborough took command of the allied armies in 
the Netherlands in 1702, it was clear to him, that the 
danger to the cause of the allies generally Dangerous 
lay in the isolation of Austria. Cut off from isolation of 
the sea, she could not be directly assisted by "^^"^' ^702. 
the English and Dutch fleets. Accessible from Italy through 
the passes of Tirol, she might easily be taken in flank 
should she receive a repulse in that quarter. On the side 
of the Rhine the danger was not only threatening, but 
imminent. Bavaria was about to make common cause with 
Louis, and a united French and Bavarian force might be at 
the gates of Vienna long before tardy succours could force 
their way there from north Germany or the Netherlands. 
It was therefore all-important to Marlborough to gain 


European History, 1598- 17 1 5 

Typojilchitt^ Co.Sc. 

The War of the Spanish Succession 349 

command of the lower Rhine valley, so as to be able to open up 
communications with the imperial troops on the upper Rhine 
or upper Danube if necessary. But in the way of this policy 
there were considerable difficulties. The Netherlands formed 
one vast intrenched camp in the hands of the French. 
Behind the curtain of their fortresses they could make their 
preparations in secret for a sudden advance upon Amsterdam, 
or recruit their armies after a repulse. Boufflers at the head 
of the French forces occupied a line which stretched from 
Antwerp on the Scheldt, through Venlo on the Meuse, to 
Kaiserwerth on the Rhine, thus blocking the three river 
valleys. If driven from that by a front attack, he had but to 
retire on the line of the Demer, between Antwerp and 
Liege, or a Uttle further back to the line of the Mehaigne from 
Antwerp through Louvain and Tirlemont to Namur, or 
further back still to the line of the frontier, and take refuge 
under the great fortresses of Lille, Toumai, Mons, Charleroi 
and Namur. To force these positions one after another, and 
capture the fortresses which defended them, in the face of a 
watchful and valiant enemy, was a task of much difficulty, 
and must take many years. To try and turn the fortresses 
by advancing on France by the valleys of the ^ .. 
Rhine and the Moselle was sure to be bitterly gains a footing 
opposed by the Dutch, whose timidity already °'^ ^^ Rhine, 
pictured the French at the gates of Amster- ' 
dam. Marlborough had therefore to act very cautiously. 
He took advantage of Boufflers's too extended position, and 
directed an attack as if to turn his left in Brabant Boufflers 
fell into the trap, moved his troops in all haste to defend his 
left, and so gave his right flank over into the enemies' hands. 
Marlborough easily turned his right flank between the Meuse 
and the Rhine, drove him back on the line of the Mehaigne, 
and established himself strongly on the valleys of the Meuse 
and the Rhine, capturing Venlo, Ruremonde, and Liege. 

The next year he prepared to push his success further. 
Instructing the Dutch to advance on the right wing into 

350 European History, 1598- 171 5 

Flanders, capture Antwerp, and seize the line of the Scheldt, 
„..,.. he with the left wing pushed down the Rhine, 

His indecisive ° ^ ' 

campaign of Overran the electorate of Koln, and in May 
"^"^^ 1703 made himself master of Bonn. He was 

now secure of his communications with north Germany, and 
was preparing to organise a German army to operate upon 
the Moselle, and keep up communications between himself 
and the Emperor, when he was recalled to the Netherlands 
in hot haste to assist the Dutch. Tired of waiting for 
the siege train and transport necessary to form the siege 
of Antwerp, the Dutch had begun to send out detach- 
ments into Flanders for pure plundering purposes. One of 
these under Opdam was suddenly attacked by Boufflers, and 
completely destroyed in June 1703. Whereupon the Dutch, 
in the extremity of terror, absolutely refused to undertake the 
siege of Antwerp at all. On Marlborough's arrival Boufflers 
withdrew behind the lines of the Mehaigne, which he had 
carefully fortified by ramparts and towers. Marlborough, 
sure of his ability to force the lines, made preparations for the 
attack, but the Dutch declined to co-operate, and the English 
general, baffled and dispirited, was obliged to content himself 
with the capture of a few inferior fortresses. 

Meanwhile on the upper Rhine things were going badly 
, ^ for the allies. Louis had always intended to 

Advance of the . . . •' 

French upon make his mam attack m this quarter. His 
Vienna, 1703. p^^^ included z. Simultaneous advance upon 
Vienna by the Danube and by Italy, with the help of the 
duke of Savoy and the elector of Bavaria, while Boufflers 
in the Netherlands merely kept the English and the Dutch 
army occupied and entangled amid fortresses and fortifi- 
cations. The success of prince Eugene in Italy, and his 
own want of preparation delayed for some time the com- 
mencement of this movement, but by the beginning of the 
year 1703 all was ready. Vendome was facing prince Eugene 
upon the Adige ready to attack. The elector of Bavaria had 
definitely declared himself on the French side and captured 

The War of the Spanish Succession 3^1 

Ulm. Accordingly in February 1703 Villars crossed the 
Rhine at Strasburg, took Kehl by storm, forced the passes of 
the Black Forest, and joined the elector on the Danube ; while 
Tallard at the head of another army on the Rhine supported 
his movements, and protected his communications with 
France. Prince Louis of Baden, and count Stirum, who com- 
manded the allied forces, unable to make head against 
the enemy, withdrew into the lines of Stolhofen, a little below 
Kehl, which they had carefully fortified in order to form 
a base of operations for the imperial armies on the upper 
Rhine, and there kept Tallard at bay. The Emperor was in 
terrible straits. The Hungarians had risen under Ragotsky, 
and were preparing to attack Vienna from the east. Ven- 
dome was pushing prince Eugene slowly before him over the 
Brenner pass to Innsbruck. The only other Austrian force 
was cooped up behind Stolhofen. There was not a man 
between the elector and Vienna, and Villars strongly urged 
Max Emanuel to march at once with all his forces on Vienna, 
and end the war at a blow, while he posted himself on the 
Danube at Donauworth, and defended Bavaria from a flank 

Unfortunately for himself and his ally the elector had 
not the required energy. The opportunity passed never to 
return. Max Emanuel determined to crush prince Eugene 
first. In June he was at Kufstein on his way to Innsbruck, 
while Vendome had penetrated up the pass as savoy joins 
far as Trent. The army of Eugene was en- the Grand 
tangled in the mountains between them. He Alliance, 1703. 
owed his preservation to fortune, not to skill. Just at 
this moment Victor Amadeus of Savoy, after hesitating 
some months, made up his mind that the winning side 
would be that of the allies. He joined the Grand Alliance, 
and Vendome had to hasten back to Piedmont to preserve 
his communications. The elector hearing of the retreat 
of Vendome, dared not face Eugene by himself in such 
a country, and began to retire. The Tirolese at once rose on 

352 European History, 1 598- 1 7 1 5 

behalf of their much-loved master, and Max Emanuel had 
to fight his way back to Bavaria as best he could. He found 
Villars defending himself with difficulty against prince Louis 
of Baden and Stirum. On the arrival of the elector before 
Augsburg, prince Louis left Stirum and marched to Augs- 
burg, hoping to raise the siege, but Villars was too quick for 
him. Falling upon Stirum he defeated him completely at 
Hochstadt on the 20th of September, and drove him back 
on Nuremberg. Prince Louis had at once to retire to the 
lines of Stolhofen, and Augsburg fell into the hands of the 

For the moment the Emperor was safe. The year was too 

^ far advanced to permit of a combined move- 

Dangerous ^ 

position of the ment upon Vienna. But it was clear to all 
Emperor, 1704. parties that the attempt would be made in the 
next campaign. It seemed equally certain that if made 
it must succeed, unless Marlborough and the army of 
the Netherlands could come to the rescue. Louis made 
great preparations for the effort. Villars, whose arrogance 
was displeasing to the elector, was recalled and sent to 
the Cevennes, where the remnants of the Huguenots 
had risen under the name of the Camisards. His place was 
taken by Marsin, and his army strongly reinforced. The 
plan of campaign was simple. Marsin and the elector were 
to march straight upon Vienna down the Danube, while 
Ragotsky attacked the city from the side of Hungary. Tal- 
lard, at the head of 35,000 men, was posted in Alsace to 
support the movement, preserve the communications, and 
defend the army from any flank attack. Villeroy, with 30,000 
men, was sent to the Netherlands to keep Marlborough at 
bay and prevent him from coming to the rescue. Against 
this overwhelming force Austria could only oppose the 
armies of prince Louis of Baden, and prince Eugene. If 
the Emperor was to be saved, it must be by Marlborough, 
and how could Marlborough leave the Netherlands without 
throwing open the United Provinces to invasion? Was it 

The War of the Spanish Succession 353 

likely that the Dutch would endanger their own safety for the 
sake of the Emperor? Even if they did, was it possible to 
escape the combined attack of the armies of Tallard and 
Marsin and the elector when the Danube was reached ? 

These were the questions to which Marlborough was 
preparing to give an answer in the summer of punof 
1704. He had conceived the brilliant plan of Marlborough, 
moving the whole of his army, except the Dutch, from 
the field of operations in the Netherlands to a totally 
new base upon the upper Danube, and of crushing Marsin 
and the elector before Tallard could come to their help 
from the Rhine, or Villeroy overtake him from the Meuse. 
It was a scheme which was certain to fail except in the 
hands of a consummate general, for it involved not merely 
a victory over equal and possibly superior forces, but a long 
and extremely hazardous flank march over difficult country, 
and a race against time. And that was not all, for before he 
could even undertake it, he had to deceive the Dutch and lull 
Villeroy into a false security. If the Dutch once suspected 
that he was going to move his army away from the protection 
of their frontier, they would impose an energetic and decided 
veto. If Villeroy once divined that Marlborough was engaged 
in making a long march up the Rhine, he could ruin the whole 
plan in a moment by a well-directed flank attack. To surmount 
these difficulties, Marlborough, keeping his real plan an absolute 
secret, let it be generally known that he intended to try and 
turn the lines and fortresses of the Netherlands, by advancing 
into France by way of the Moselle, and he publicly asked 
for, and obtained, the permission of the Dutch to that scheme. 
This enabled him to summon the Brandenburg contingent to 
the Rhine at Mainz, and to move his own headquarters to 
Coblentz without incurring suspicion, and to leave Overkirk 
with the Dutch army and the Dutch deputies at Maestricht on 
his extreme right, to guard the line of the Meuse should Ville- 
roy advance on Amsterdam during his absence. The plan 
succeeded admirably. Villeroy, completely deceived, took up a 


354 European History, 1 598-171 5 

strong position on the upper Moselle near Trier to resist the 
advance of the allies, and waited in vain for the first signs of 
His flank ^^ invading army. The Dutch left behind at 
march to the Macstricht could not interfere with Marlborough's 
Danube. plans. All was ready. ^ In June 1704 he threw 

off the mask, advanced up the Rhine by forced marches 
to Mainz, then, picking up the Brandenburg contingent 
as he went, he left the Rhine and directed his army straight 
upon the upper Danube at Donauworth. At Heilbronn 
he was joined by a German force, and near Ulm by prince 
Eugene and prince Louis of Baden. It was agreed that 
Eugene should return to Stolhofen to prevent Tallard, and 
possibly Villeroy if he appeared upon the scene, from coming 
to the assistance of the elector and Marsin before the allies 
could attack them. Marlborough himself and prince Louis of 
Baden marched straight against the elector, who had entrenched 
himself on the Schellenberg near Donauworth, carried the 
Hnes by assault on the 2d of July and drove the elector back 
on Augsburg, thus thrusting themselves in between the French 
and Vienna and completely protecting the latter city. 

So far the campaign had been brilliantly successful, but 
Difficulties of the most difficult part was yet to come. Ville- 
Mariborough. joy on discovering the trick played upon him 
by Marlborough marched across Alsace and joined Tallard 
before Stolhofen with 30,000 men. This enabled Tallard 
to leave prince Eugene to the care of Villeroy, and to 
march to the assistance of Marsin and the elector, whom 
he joined at Augsburg early in August. Counting the army 
of Villeroy, the French and Bavarians far outnumbered the 
allies. Marlborough himself was a long distance from his 
true base of operations. He had no fortress or entrenched 
camps where he could collect stores, establish his hospitals, or 
recruit his army. It was essential to his safety to be able to 
strike hard and quick. Fortunately for him the French played 
into his hands. Marsin and Tallard were anxious to have the 
^ See Map, p. 241. 

The War of the Spanish Succession 355 

sole credit of crushing this impudent Englishman. They 
would not wait for Villeroy. They would not hear of 
Fabian tactics. They determined to destroy him at a blow, 
and marched down the Danube to meet him. Prince Eugene, 
who had abandoned Stolhofen in pursuit of Tallard, effected 
his junction with Marlborough near Donauworth on the nth 
of August, and on the 13th the two armies found themselves 
facing each other on the field of Blenheim. 

The French generals had taken up a defensive position at 
right angles to the Danube, just behind the little stream 
of the Nebel. Tallard at the head of the right The battle of 
wing occupied in force the village of Blenheim, Blenheim, 
the left wing under Marsin and the elector the village of 
Lutzingen. The centre was considered sufficiently pro- 
tected from serious attack by the stream of the Nebel and 
its adjacent marshes, and was weakly held, chiefly by 
cavalry. The plan of battle which they had adopted, clearly 
was to permit the allies to dash themselves in vain against 
the strong positions of Blenheim and Lutzingen, and when they 
were exhausted finally to overwhelm them by an advance from 
the two wings. Marlborough on reconnoitring the ground saw 
at once that the weakness of their position lay in the centre, 
and that the marshes were not so impassable as they seemed. 
Accordingly he instructed prince Eugene to direct a strong 
attack upon Marsin and the elector at Lutzingen, and Cutts to 
do the same upon Tallard at Blenheim. Undercover of these 
assaults he made his real attack on the centre. With some 
difficulty he succeeded in crossing the marshes, then, thrusting 
himself in between the two wings of the enemy he completely 
drove the Maison du Roi off the ground and cut the French 
line in two. Then turning to the left he hemmed Tallard in 
at Blenheim between his army and the Danube, and forced 
him to surrender with all his infantry. Marsin and the elector 
finding their centre and right wing annihilated fled as best 
they could through the Black Forest to Villeroy on the Rhine 
pursued by the fiery Eugene. Never was defeat more complete 

356 European History^ 1 598-171 5 

As the sun set on the field of Blenheim the glory of Louis xiv. 

No one can wonder at the outburst of joy which thrilled 
through England and Europe at the news of the battle of Blen- 
heim. It was felt to be decisive of the main issues of the war. 
France had other armies in the field, and could raise 
new troops, but she could never replace the loss of 
her veterans. She could not again tyrannise over Europe. She 
might win victories, she might defend her frontiers, she might 
emerge honourably from the contest, but she could no more 
hope to dictate terms to Europe after Blenheim, than she could 
a century later after the retreat from Moscow. But Blenheim 
had not only put a bridle in the mouth of Louis xiv., it had 
not only destroyed his veteran army, it had not only saved 
the Emperor from absolute ruin, it had unexpectedly brought 
to light a new and most important factor among the decisive 
forces of Europe. The English sailor had been recognised as 
a formidable power since the days of the Armada, but the 
English soldier had not had an opportunity of proving his real 
worth since the fight of Agincourt. Blenheim was as impor- 
tant an event in the history of civilised warfare as Rocroy, not 
because it gave the death-blow to an antiquated system of 
tactics, but because it was the birthplace of a new military 
power of the first class. From Blenheim to Waterloo the 
English soldier stands out as the best fighting material in 
Europe, and England takes her place among the first military 
nations of the world, 

While France was losing her military prestige and superiority 

at Blenheim she received a humiliating reminder 

^*^n^e^^*^^ of her inferiority at sea. In 1702 a combined 

mastery in the fleet of English and Dutch ships was sent under 

Mediterra- ^j^^ command of Sir George Rooke to the 

nean, 1702-1704. o 

coast of Spain, which by a stroke of good luck 
fell in with the Spanish plate fleet and the French ships which 
were protecting it in the harbour of Vigo, and after a spirited 
action completely destroyed them both. Two years afterwards, 

The War of the Spanish Succession 357 

in the summer of 1704, Rooke captured the impregnable rock 
of Gibraltar, and defeated the French fleet which attempted 
its recovery. This gave England an important position in the 
Mediterranean, the value of which made itself gradually recog- 
nised as the century wore on, and established the superiority of 
the allies at sea, the effect of which soon resulted in the loss of 
Italy to the French power. Directly north Italy fell into the 
hands of the imperialists, as it did after the brilliant campaign 
of prince Eugene in Italy in 1706, there was no means of 
keeping up communications between Naples and France. 
Consequently after the victory of prince Eugene at Turin in 
1706 had finally driven the French back behind their own 
frontier, a revolution broke out at Naples which ended in the 
total loss of Italy to the French cause. 

After the battle of Blenheim the French armies were obliged 
to act upon the defensive, and the interest of the war turned 
once more to the Netherlands. In 1705 Marlborough took 
up in earnest the plan with which he had deceived Villeroy 
and the Dutch the year before. He arranged Death of the 
with Prince Louis of Baden (for Eugene had Emperor 
returned to his command in Italy), a combined °^° ' ^^^ 
attack upon France by the Moselle and the Saar, in 
order to turn the defensive fortresses of the Netherlands. 
But time slipped away, and the allies had not completed 
their preparations, when in May 1705 the Emperor Leopold 
died, and the imperial troops were summoned home. All 
hope of a combined movement had to be abandoned. At 
the same time Villeroy, who commanded upon the Meuse, 
moved forward and threatened Li^ge. Marlborough at once 
left the Moselle and marched to relieve Lidge, and Villeroy 
retired into the fortified lines of the Mehaigne 
between Antwerp and Namur, just as BoufRers forces the"^ 
had done in 1703. But by this time the Dutch lines of the 
had learned to have somewhat more confidence i-l.^^*' 
in Marlborough's skill, and he was permitted to 
attack. Making a feint at the two extremities of the 

358 European History, 1 598-171 5 

lines he easily forced them in the centre at Tirlemont, 
and drove Villeroy back on Louvain and Brussels, thus 
cutting him off from Namur and his direct communica- 
tions with France. The marshal took up a position be- 
hind the Dyle, which the Dutch thought too strong to be 
safely attacked in front, and Marlborough moved to the west 
to turn it and threaten Brussels. To save Brussels the French 
retired on the city, and stood at bay near the forest of Soignies, 
on ground which in a little more than a hundred years was to 
become celebrated for all time as the English position at 
Waterloo. Marlborough in pursuit took up the ground after- 
wards occupied by Napoleon and prepared to attack. But Dutch 
timidity stepped in to prevent this most interesting rehearsal 
of the last tragedy of the Napoleonic war with the parts 
reversed. Marlborough was forced to retire when the prey 
was in his grasp. Deeply chagrined he contemplated leaving 
the struggle in the Netherlands to the Dutch, and combining 
his forces with those of the gallant Eugene in Italy, but this 
was not permitted. He could not be spared as long as Villeroy 
was unhurt on the Dyle, and Villars held his own upon the 
Rhine. So in the spring of 1706 he again took command of 
Campaign the army of Flanders and prepared to bring Ville- 
of 1706. j-Qy ^Q book. That incapable and boastful general 

was equally anxious to cross swords with the hero of Blenheim. 
Refusing to wait for the arrival of a reinforcement of 15,000 
men under Marsin, who were on their way, he left the line of 
the Dyle in the spring, and marched towards Namur. On his 
way Marlborough met him at Ramiilies on 23d of May. 

Villeroy had chosen his ground with some skill. His right 
occupied the village of Tavi^res, which stood on a slight 
Battle of eminence above the Mehaigne, and was pro- 

Ramiiiies. tccted by that stream. His centre rested upon 
the village of Ramiilies, which, with the mound called the 
tumulus of Ottomond behind it, formed the key of the posi 
tion. His left was defended by the marshes in which the 
stream of the little Gheet rises. The bulk of his troops 

The War of the Spanish Succession 359 

were massed at Tavieres and Ramillies, and his left being 
so well defended by the nature of the ground was very weakly 
held. The quick eye of Marlborough soon detected this defect. 
He saw too that owing to the nature of the ground within his 
own position he could move troops from his own right to his 
centre without being observed by the enemy. On these two 
facts he based his plan of battle. Early in the morning of the 
23d of May he directed a strong and imposing attack against 
the French left. Villeroy thinking that he was going to force 
his way over the marshes of the little Gheet, as he had forced 
his way over the marshes of the Nebel, began to hurry up 
troops from his centre in hot haste to defend his threatened 
left. Directly Marlborough saw this movement, he marched the 
bulk of his troops from his right to his centre under cover of the 
ground, so that the operation could not be seen by the enemy, 
merely leaving enough men before the French left to keep 
Villeroy persuaded that the main attack was still being made 
in that quarter. When all was prepared he suddenly launched 
the bulk of his army upon the weakened French centre between 
Tavieres and Ramillies. Tavieres was carried by the impetu- 
ous rush but the battle was not yet won. The Maison du Roi, 
mindful of their old fame, and burning to avenge the disgrace 
of Blenheim, checked the advance of the allies upon Ramillies 
by repeated and heroic charges. The French infantry hurried 
back to their old posts from the left, and round the village 
of Ramillies the battle swayed backwards and forwards for 
some time. At last the French fell slowly back, the village 
was won, and the centre of the French position forced. Vil- 
leroy gave the signal for a retreat which quickly changed into 
a rout. His army was destroyed as a fighting force. In rapid 
succession the chief towns of the Netherlands opened their 
gates to the victorious allies, and the French were driven back 
to the line of the frontier fortresses. 

The battle of Turin and the battle of Ramillies had reduced 
France to the line of her frontiers, but in the next year a 
gleam of success visited the arms of her indefatigable master. 

360 European History^ 1598-1715 

Marlborough was too much occupied with the negotiations 
at Altranstadt and hampered by the badness 

Expedition of . , .... 

the Archduke o^ the wcathcr to attempt anythmg of importance, 
Charles to while on the Rhine Villars succeeded in cap- 
turing the lines of Stolhofen and preventing the 
imperialists from moving. But the best news came from Spain. 
In the year 1 703 through the exertions of Methuen, the English 
ambassador at Lisbon, a treaty had been negotiated between 
England and Portugal, which had the effect of making Portugal 
the devoted political adherent of England for more than a 
century, and of introducing English statesmen to the too 
seductive influences of port wine. By the accession of Portugal 
to the Grand Alliance an opening was made for the archduke 
Charles to make good his claims to his kingdom. In 1704 he 
landed at Lisbon with a force of 12,000 English and Dutch 
troops under Schomberg with the object of invading Spain. 
The expedition met with little success and Galway replaced 
Schomberg in 1705. In the same year the English ministry 
sent the earl of Peterborough at the head of 5000 men to the 
assistance of the duke of Savoy, but gave him permission to 
employ himself in Spain if he found an opportunity. Peter- 
borough, who was a man of brilliant imagination and boastful 
temperament, induced the archduke to trust himself to his 
guidance. Sailing round the coast of Spain he landed in Cata- 
lonia, captured Barcelona, chiefly through the efforts of prince 
George of Darmstadt in October 1 705, and quickly made him- 
self master of Arragon. 

In the following year Galway determined to support the 
success achieved in Arragon by marching upon Madrid from 
His power Portugal. The French armies were engaged 
limited to in a fruitlcss siege of Barcelona, and Galway 
occupied Madrid and proclaimed the archduke 
Charles as king almost without opposition. But now the 
political wisdom of the determination of Louis not to 
force a foreign king upon the Spaniards against their will 
showed itself. A national opposition to Charles quickly 

The War of the Spanish Succession 361 

grew up in 1706, just as it did a century later to Joseph 
Buonaparte. Wherever the English soldiers were quartered, 
all was submission. Directly their backs were turned all was 
opposition. To make things worse disease broke out among 
the troops, and Galway found it necessary to retire from Madrid 
and join Charles and Peterborough in Arragon. In the next 
year he determined to repeat the attempt, and leaving Charles 
at Barcelona sailed down to Valencia, and marched from there 
on Madrid. At Almanza he was met by Berwick, who had 
lately been strongly reinforced from the army of Italy, and was 
completely crushed. Valencia and Arragon were lost, and the 
power of Charles limited to the turbulent province of Catalonia. 
From that time the allies ceased for some years to make any 
serious efforts to oust PhiHp v. by force from the throne of 
Spain. Galway was recalled and Stanhope appointed in his 
place, but with the exception of the capture of Port Mahon in 
Minorca in 1708 he was unable to achieve anything of impor- 
tance. Having failed in open warfare the allies found diplo- 
macy a better weapon with which to effect the retirement of 
Philip V. 

The security of Spain and the defeat of the imperialists on 
the Rhine in 1707 nerved Louis to make a great Great efforts 
effort in 1708 to recover the ground which he had of Louis in 
lost. He fitted out a fleet to land the Chevalier ^^°^' 
in Scotland and take advantage of the hostility felt to the Act 
of Union with England, which had been lately passed. He 
placed one army under Berwick on the Moselle to watch 
Eugene and the imperialists, while the main force under 
Vendome advanced and occupied almost without opposition the 
great towns of Ghent and Bruges in Flanders, and established 
itself behind the Scheldt, prepared to move forward when Ber- 
wick was ready to co-operate. In July, finding Marlborough 
still inactive, Vendome advanced his right wing as far as 
Mons, and laid siege to Oudenarde in the centre, thus spread- 
ing himself out in an extended line over the whole country 
between Mons and Bruges. Marlborough saw his opportunity. 

362 European History^ 1598- 171 5 

Sending in haste to Eugene to join him with his cavalry he 
struck sharply at the centre of the French position. Vendome 
at once perceived his mistake and concentrated his army on 
Oudenarde by a hurried retreat. Marlborough and Eugene 
followed him with all speed, pushed his rear guard over the 
Scheldt, and finally forced it to turn and give battle a few 
miles from Oudenarde on the left bank of the river. The 
battle did not begin till three o'clock in the afternoon. It 
was a soldiers' fight. Each regiment as it came up took ground 
as it best could and engaged. But the allies had the advantage 
of a single command. The French generals Vendome and 
The battle of ^^^ duke of Burgundy in the excitement and 
Oudenarde, hurry of a disorganiscd melee gave contradic- 
'^ ■ tory orders, and made confusion worse con- 

founded. Eventually Marlborough succeeded in outnum- 
bering the French right, turning it and driving it oflF the field. 
That operation put an end to the battle. The French 
retired on Ghent. Marlborough had succeeded in interposing 
his army between the French and the frontier. Nothing 
stood between him and Paris except the great fortresses 
of the frontier, of which Lille was the greatest. It is said 
that he wished to neglect that fortress altogether and march 
straight upon Paris, but the scheme was too bold even for 
Eugene, considering that Boufflers held the place with 15,000 
men and Berwick was at Mons with 30,000. In August the siege 
was begun. Eugene took charge of the trenches, while Marl- 
borough, posted between the Lys and the Scheldt, protected 
the convoys coming from Ostend, and prevented Berwick or 
Vendome from marching to the assistance of the doomed city. 
Neither dared to attempt a rescue. They contented themselves 
Capture of with trying to cut off convoys. After an attempt 
''»i*^- of this sort had been entirely defeated at Wyn- 

endaal on September 27th, more by the valour of General 
Webb than by the skill of Marlborough, Lille could hold 
out no longer. On the 22nd of October the city surrendered. 
Vendome made his way safely to Mons, which with Namur 

The War of the Spanish Succession 363 

noi^ remained the only great fortress in the hands of France. 
Paris lay open to the advance of the allies. 

But just in proportion as the opportunities for a brilliant 
and decisive campaign were opening out to the allies their 
ability to take advantage of them was diminishing. unpopiUanty 
In England the strain of the long war was ofthewarin 
making itself felt in spite of the accessions to "^san 
her colonies and trade which her supremacy over the sea 
was daily making. Tory feeling reasserted itself directly 
the danger to European liberty and English commerce passed 
away after the battle of Blenheim. No one in England 
cared one straw whether Bourbon or Habsburg sat on the 
throne of Spain, as long as the free and peaceful development 
of Europe and England went quietly on. Within the precincts 
of the court itself a revolution was in progress, and every cour- 
tier knew that the ascendency of the duchess of Marlborough 
over the mind of Anne was a thing of the past. In this state 
of affairs Marlborough did not dare to run the risk of a doubt- 
ful campaign. In the field he restricted himself to the common- 
place. In the cabinet he professed himself willing to listen 
to suggestions of peace. Louis was overjoyed Exhaustion 
at the news. France was in a state of extreme of France, 
exhaustion. Her veteran armies were destroyed, her maga- 
zines empty, her generals discredited. The taxes had reached 
a point beyond which taxation could no further gc. Offices 
were created by the hundred to be sold for what they would 
fetch. Loans could be raised no longer. The capitation 
tax was made permanent, and even births marriages and 
deaths were obliged to contribute to the revenue. To make 
the misery still more intolerable the terribly severe winter of 
1708-9 destroyed the fruit-trees and the vines, and brought 
the horrors of famine into the fairest districts of France. 
Early in 1709 negotiations were begun at the Hague, but it 
soon appeared that the allies were determined not merely to 
humiliate Louis but to disgrace him. They demanded as a 
condition precedent to entering on negotiations for a final 

364 European History^ 1598-1715 

treaty of peace, that Louis was to surrender Mons and Namur, 
Appeal of evacuate Alsace including Strasburg, and force 
Louis to j^jg orandson Philip v. to retire from Spain. The 

France against . 

the demands obligation to make war upon his own grandson 
oftheaUies. jj^ ^^ interests of the enemy was more than 
Louis, dispirited as he was, could with honour accept. He 
determined to appeal to French patriotism against terms so 
cruelly unjust. France responded nobly to his call. Men 
volunteered everywhere to protect the sacred soil of France 
from the invader. Nobles sent their plate, ladies their jewels, 
and the peasants their hoarded sous to organise a national 
army. Never was Louis more truly king and leader of his 
people than when in the days of his humiliation he sent the 
last army of France to the front in 1709. 

Villars was selected as the general to be intrusted with the 
last hopes of France. He proved himself equal to the 
responsibiUty. Carefully entrenching himself in strong posi- 
„ . , tions, while he trained his recruits and collected 

Battle of ' 

Maipiaquet, Supplies, he trusted to the great ally Time whom 
^''^' he knew could not fail him. At last as the 

summer grew on Marlborough and Eugene, not daring to 
attack him in his camp near Lens, marched upon Mons, and 
Villars was forced to advance in order to relieve it He took 
up an almost impregnable position at Maipiaquet, resting his 
two flanks on wooded heights, and holding the gap in the 
middle, which he had strongly entrenched, with his main 
force. There he awaited the onslaught of the allies. There 
was nothing for it but a front attack. The position, if taken 
at all, must be taken by a direct assault. On the nth of 
September Marlborough and Eugene hurled their troops up 
the gap. It was not a battle, it was a carnage. Fighting 
desperately hand-to-hand, the victors of Blenheim and Ramillies 
at last forced the position. Villars himself was wounded, but 
Boufflers who succeeded to the command effected his retreat 
in good order. Mons remained the prize of the conquerors. 
The battle of Maipiaquet was more honourable to the 

The War of the Spanish Succession 365 

vanquished than to the victors. It did not even re-establish 
Marlborough's influence in England. In the year in which it 
was fought the duchess was dismissed from her court appoint 
ments. In the following year a definitely Tory uj^j^jsg^i ^f 
and peace ministry was formed under Harley. It Marlborough, 
was obvious that the dismissal of Marlborough ^^"" 
was only a question of time. Determined to run no risk, he 
contented himself with forcing Villars slowly back into France. 
At the beginning of 1 7 1 1 he learned that the ministry had 
secretly opened negotiations for peace, and he proceeded 
methodically to drive Villars back from one position to another 
while awaiting the final blow. Political necessities had en- 
tirely superseded military opportunities. At last the blow fell 
On December 31st, 1711, he was dismissed from a command 
which had long ceased to be a reality. 

Meanwhile in Spain the necessities of Louis actually 
strengthened the position of Philip v. In 1709 all the 
French troops were withdrawn to defend their own p^j^^^ oi^e. 
frontiers. Stanhope and Stahremberg, who com- aiues in 
manded the imperialists, accordingly advanced ^p**°> ^7"- 
against Philip in 1710, drove him first out of Arragon, then 
almost out of Castile to Valladolid, and occupied Madrid. 
The result was a national movement of the Spaniards in 
favour of their king. Louis allowed Vendome to take 
command of the Spanish army. The allies found it impos- 
sible to maintain themselves at Madrid, and retreated in two 
divisions upon Arragon. Vendome manoeuvring with great 
skill forced himself between them, surrounded Stanhope at 
Brihuega and obliged him to capitulate, then throwing himself 
on Stahremberg, routed him at Villa Viciosa, and drove him 
back to Barcelona. Again the Spaniards had emphatically 
pronounced their determination that Philip, and none but 
Philip, should reign over them. 

In spite of this the allies were still endeavouring to compel 
Louis to make war upon his grandson. In the winter of 
1709-10 negotiations were resumed at Gertruydenberg. Louis 

366 European History y 1598- 171 5 

consented to surrender Alsace, and offered not only to 
Negotiations recognise the archduke Charles as king, but to 
of Gertruy- forbid his subjccts to serve in Spain, and even to 
en erg. provide supplies for the allied armies in Spain. 

But the allies were determined to put Louis openly to shame 
before the face of Europe, and insisted that he should force 
his grandson to resign the crown. Again the negotiations 
fell through. They were not renewed. Directly a Tory 
ministry came into power they opened private communications 
with Louis without taking their allies into their confidence. 
The treaty ^^ September 1 71 1 an agreement was arrived at 
of Utrecht, between France and England alone, and pre- 
^7^3- liminaries of peace settled. These were then 

communicated to the Dutch and the other allies, and were 
accepted with some protests by all except the Emperor. In 
accordance with the preliminaries a congress was held at 
Utrecht in 1712, and the final peace drawn up there and 
signed in 17 13. 

The Emperor still stubbornly refused to yield. In 171 1, 
that terrible year of mortality among princely houses, Joseph i. 
-^ had died, and the archduke Charles was now 

The war con- ' 

tinuedbythe Emperor. His pride would not suffer him to 
Emperor. surrender the crown of Spain to his rival, and 
Eugene was instructed to push on military operations in spite 
of the defection of the English. Without the aid of Marl- 
borough even Eugene was p.^werless against the patriotism 
of France. Beaten at the brid^ ; of Denain by Villars in 1 7 1 2, 
he was driven back to the froiitier of the Netherlands, and 
had in consequence of the conclusion of the peace to transfer 
his army to the upper Rhine. But misfortune pursued him 
eatiesof there. In 17 13 Villars burst into Alsace, crossed 
Rastadtand the Rhine at Strassburg. forced Eugene from his 
^^^^^- entrenched camp at Freiburg, and obliged the 

Emperor at last to consent to make peace. The definitive 
treaties were eventually signed at Rastadt and Baden in 

The War of the Spanish Succession 367 

By the treaties of Utrecht, Rastadt, and Baden, generally 
grouped together under the name of the Peace xennsofthe 
of Utrecht, the following arrangements were Peace of 
effected. xixr^c^t. 

(i) Philip V. was recognised as King of S^ain and the Indies, on 
the condition that the crowns of France and Spain should 
never be united on the same head. 

(2) Naples, the Milanese, Sardinia, and the Netherlands were given 

to the Emperor, subject to the right of the Dutch to the military 
government of Furnes, Ypres, Menin, Ghent, Toumai, Mons, 
Charleroi and Namur as their barrier against France. 

(3) France was permitted to retain Alsace including Strassburg, as 

she had been by the peace of Ryswick, but she had to surren- 
der the fortresses of Kehl, Breisach, and Freiburg, which she 
had seized on the right bank of the Rhine. 

(4) The electors of Koln and Bavaria were restored, the succession 

of the House of Hanover in England acknowledged, and the 
Chevalier banished from France. 

(5) England received Gibraltar, Minorca, Newfoundland (subject 

to certain rights of fishing on the banks), Hudson's Bay, Acadia, 
and S. Kitts, and acquired by an assiento, or agreement, with 
Spain the right to trade under strict limitations with certain 
town in Spanish waters set apart for the purpose. 

(6) The kingdom of Prussia was recognised and received upper 


(7) Sicily and part of the Milanese were given to the duke of 

Savoy, and the fortifications of Dunkirk were agreed to 
be demolished. 

The peace of Utrecht has been denounced perhaps with 
greater fervour than any of the great settlements The peace 
of European affairs, except the treaty of Vienna justly liable 

r, T-i X • 1 1 • • .to censure, 

in 181 5. But m these denunciations attention 
has usually been directed more to the particular interests 
of nations and parties than to the general welfare of 
Europe. From this circumscribed point of view much 
may be said against the treaty itself, and still more against 
the means which were taken to bring it about. To in- 
stitute secret negotiations for a private peace, behind the 

^6$ European History, i^^Z-Yji^ 

; '.f ic of her owm allies, was a proceeding most unworthy of 
£. land. To leave the Catalans, and the Cevennois, entirely 

'• >ut protection, to the tender mercies of Philip and Louis, 
after they had been induced to rise against their rulers by the 
promises and assistance of the allies, was both a crime and a 
blunder. Who could trust to Enghsh faith again? To 
permit Philip to retain the crown of Spain, and France to 
keep Alsace, to the detriment of the House of Habsburg, was 
unfair to the one power which had consistently opposed the 
supremacy of France, and unfaithful to the pledges of the 
Grand Alliance. All this is to a certain extent true. After 
the concessions made by Louis at the Hague and Gertruyden- 
berg, there is no doubt that he would eventually have signed 
a treaty much more favourable to the Emperor and his 
Yet a recogni- supporters than the peace actually made, rather 
tion of exist- than run the risk of continuing the war. It 
ing ac . ^^^ j_^^ admitted that the Tory ministry made 

peace as quickly as they could, without much considera- 
tion for anybody except themselves, in order to be free 
from foreign complications when the crisis of the suc- 
cession should occur at home. Yet from the larger point 
of view of the welfare of Europe, the peace of Utrecht, like 
its predecessor the peace of Westphalia, mainly registered 
and sanctioned accomplished facts. Substantially it ordered 
Europe for the future on the basis of development at which 
it had then arrived. 

Since the last great settlement of the affairs of Europe three 
great changes had occurred in European politics. 

(i) Jrance had acquired beyond all questio n th e positio n 
of the leading n ation of Europe, and that, not 
nise/^e due nierely through the extension of her frontiers, the 
position of splendour of her court, or the ambition of 
France. j^^^ king J but through the energy and ability 

of her people, t^ richness of her soil, and the advantages of 
her geographical position. A settlement of Europe, which 
ignored this fact, could not stand for ten years, and the allies 

The War of the Spanish Sticcession 369 

showed their wisdom in permitting France to retain the 
position which she had legitimately won, and guarding against 
her abuse of it by forming states on her frontiers, powerful 
enough to keep her in check. Events proved that they were 
right. Austria and the Dutch in combination on the danger- 
ous northern frontier, Prussia and the Empire to the east, 
Savoy to the south-east, with^Austria in reserve in Italy, were 
as a matter of fact found strong enough to deal with France 
in the eighteenth century ; and it was not until the balance of 
power and the European states system were alike swept away 
by the militant democracy of the Revolution, that France 
became once more a menace to the liberties of Europe. 

(2) England had launched herself on that career of colonial 
and commercial ascendency which has made 3. The com- 
ber the most prosperous country in the world, merciai and 

. , • , . maritime 

She was learning to found her colonial empire supremacy 
more upon the conquests of colonies, which of England. 
France could not support, than upon the efforts of her 
own children. Her acknowledged superiority at sea, dating 
from the battle of La Hogue, emphasised by the battle of y 
Vigo, and the capture of Gibraltar and Minorca, might from 
time to time be questioned by France and Spain, it could 
never be overthrown, and it brought naturally with it the 
acquisition of French colonies and Spanish trade privileges. , 
The assiento was the thin end of the wedge by which England 
soon obtained the lion's share of the lucrative and nefarious 
slave-trade. The cessions in north America were the begin- 
ning of her hold over the vast stretches of land to the north 
of her plantations, which were to be reduced wholly under her 
rule during the eighteenth century, and are now known as the 
Dominion of Canada, and the colony of British Columbia. ' , 
In securing to England power and privileges, which she alone, i 
owing to her maritime supremacy could properly use, the m'j. ^«vni. 
peace not only helped her forward on her true line of national . 
development, but contributed in no slight degree to add to 
the resources and prosperity of the world at large. 

PEkIOD v. 2 A 

370 European History, 1 598- 1 7 1 5 

(3) The dismemberment of the Empire, which had been 
3. itestab- recognised and made permanent by the peace of 
"ean'l^r° Westghalia,„had finally removed the last vestiges 
guards against of national feeling^ndjoational policy in Ger- 
France. many. The smaller German states grouped 

themselves Tor purposes of offence or defence naturally 
around the larger powers of the north and south, — Prussia 
and Austria. The barrier to French aggression on the 
Rhine had therefore to be sought, not in bolstering up an 
effete institution like the Empire, out of which vitality had 
long ago departed, but in strengthening and utilising the 
national forces of the two leading powers. The peace of 
Utrecht adopted this policy as far as was at that time possible. 
It planted Pjji«gja as a sentinel over against France on the 
lower Rhine, knd added to her possessions in that quarter as 
weir as to her general dignity, in order to make her discharge 
her duties with the greater zeal. The subsequent history of 
Europe is one long commentary on the wisdom of this policy, 
— Austri a required no incentive to fulfil a similar task in the 
upper Rhine and in Italy ^ but she was sadly deficient in the 
necessary resources. In the last war the gold of England and 
the armies of England alone had saved her from irretrievable 
ruin. By giving over to her the richest part of Italy, and 
defending her from French attack by the buffer stat e of 
_^ Savoy, the peace did all that was poagilile Iq strengthen the 
defences of Europe against a re newal of French tyranny, 
wmle^m miste ring to^th e dynasti c ambition of the House of 

IfT^urope had no just reason to find fault with the peace of 
Advantages Utrccht from the point of view of her larger 
gained by interests, neither could the nations themselves 
e peace. complain that their individual aspirations had 
been unduly neglected. In the Austrian Netherlands, in 
spite of the grotesque device of the barrier fortresses, the 
Unite d Province s gained a prote ction aga inst the aggres- 
*^ sion of France and t he riv alry of A.ntwerp, not less efficient 

The War of the Spanish Succession 371 

than the Spanish Netherlands had proved to be. By the 
partial opening of the Spanish trade, and the establishment 
of a colonial empire by England, the maritime nations ob- y 
tained the extension of their commerce, which was one of the 
principal objects which they hoped to gain by taking up arms. 
Portugal retained its independence and opened up through 
the Methuen treaty an important and lucrative trade with 
England. Savoy retained its po.lJlicaL irnportance asa^ buffer 
sta te, and was encouraged to make itself more definitely an 
Italian power. Prussia was.xeceiY-ed-iato-the brotherhood of 
independent monarchies. Even .Spain, though she lost the 
integrity of her empire, was able to retain the king of her 
own choice. It is here that the provisions of the peace have 
been most violently assailed, but with little justice. TThe war 
of the Spanish Succession was fought, say the critics of the 
peace, to prevent the House of Bourbon from ascending the 
throne of Spain, and_aft er eleven years of terrible blo odshed | 
the peace of Utrecht sanctioned^the very connection between I 
"THeTwo crow ns ot -b ranee and Spain , which the Grand AlUance | 
wasfqrmed to render impossible._^ The family compacts of the 
eighteenth century are adduced to show the evil effects of 
such a policy. It may be frankly admitted that the relations 
between the houses of Habsburg and Bourbon were the least 
satisfactory parts of the settlements effected at Utrecht, and 
for the simple reason that they were the most difficult satis- 
factorily to settle. It might have been possible to impose 
the archduke Charles upon the Spanish people under the 
Partition Treaty or at the beginning of the war. It had 
become impossible in 17 12, when the Spaniards themselves 
had driven him out without French assistance. It was wholly 
out of the question when after the death of his brother Joseph 
he had become Emperor. Philip v. was left on the throne of 
Spain because there was no one else who could be put there 
Events soon proved that Austria could not even hold Naples 
and Sicily against Spain, much less could she conquer her. 
The weak point in the peace of Utrecht, the danger to Europe 

$72 European History, 1598-1715 

from the family compacts, much exaggerated as it has been, 
came from a cause over which the negotiations of the peace 
could have no control whatever — the inherent weakness of 
the House of Habsburg, The danger to Europe from the 
family compacts lay not in the fact that France and Spain 
were intrinsically so much more powerful than Austria, the 
Milanese and Naples, but in the far greater abiHty to use their 
opportunities which distinguished the House of Bourbon and 
their political advisers. 

The seventeenth century ends properly speaking with 
the peace of Utrecht. The earnestness and the ambitions to 

which it had given birth found in that peace either 
of the seven- their accomplishment or their burial-place. The 
teenth cen- attempt of France to estabhsh a dictatorship over 

Europe, which has formed the dramatic interest 
of the century, has failed. France remains but one, and not 
always the chief, of the nations of Europe. The determination 
of England on the contrary to attain the commercial leadership 
of the world, the effort made by Prussia to obtain leadership in 
Germany, of Austria to obtain command of the left bank of the 
Danube, and a footing in Italy, have been crowned with success. 
By the treaties of Passarovitch and Nystadt, which were to follow 
the peace of Utrecht, as the treaties of Oliva and the Pyrenees 
followed the peace of Westphalia, Sweden and Poland have to 
give way to Russia and Prussia in the north, while Turkey 
stands face to face with Russia on the Pruth and the Black 
Sea. In the peace of Westphalia the religious rivalries of the 
century found their appropriate solution. In the treaties of 
Utrecht and Nystadt the political questions of the century 
received their appropriate answer. The rivalry between the 
House of Bourbon and the Hou^e of Habsburg for tha^ Rhine 
was over. The aggrandisement of Prussia, the rise or Russia, 
the development of^England, the failure of Sweden, the 
decline of the Ottoman Turks, were accomplished facts, 
recognised and dealt with by the treaties. In the future the 
great political questions of Europe take a somewhat different 

The War of the Spanish Succession 373 

form. As th^ power of the Austro-Spani sh house is finally 
broken at Utrecht, the Franco-German question begins to take 
the place of the Fr anco-Imperial question. As Russia advances 
to the Pruth, and the "Turks retire behind the Danube the 
Eastern Question takes its rise. As English traders press into 
every part of the world the old rivalry between France and 
England breaks out again and again in another 'hundred years 
war.' But these are the problems of the years which are 
to come, and as they appear upon the scene the questions of 
the seventeenth century which have given birth to them pass 
into history. 

Two years were still to drag their weary length along before 
the greatest figure of the seventeenth century passed away 
from the struggles and the disappointments of xheiast 
life. They were years of domestic misfortune years of 
and public gloom. In the fatal year 171 1 the ^'"''■^^^« 
Dauphin and his eldest son, the duke of Burgundy, the 
much-loved pupil of F^n^lon, were carried ofif by the small- 
pox. The heir of France was the baby duke of Anjou, and 
the only legitimate member of the royal family capable of 
acting as regent was the libertine and atheist Philip of 
Orleans. As Louis xiv. looked into the future he could see 
nothing but what he most dreaded for France. As he turned 
his eyes to the present the picture was one of sombre 
misery unrelieved. In his despair of being able to make 
public affairs better, Louis turned in the closing years of his 
life with almost feverish excitement to the task of atoning for 
his sins. Urged on by Madame de Maintenon he determined to 
root out heresy from his dominions while still it was possible. 
He attacked the Jansenists, procured their condemnation by 
Pope Clement xi., and destroyed Port Royal, the home of 
the keenest intellects and perhaps the noblest His death, 
lives in France. In the middle of this strife *^5* 
of mistaken duty his own call came, and on the 15th of 
September 17 15 the great king breathed his last, leaving 
a weakly child of five the inheritor of his power. It was 

374 European History, i<^()%-iyi^ 

a sad and pathetic ending to a career often mistaken, but 
never ignoble. The sun set indeed amid dark and murky 
clouds. Yet on the page of history he shines out in 
clear predominance over all contemporary sovereigns, and 
of him it may be said, with more truth than of most kings or 
statesmen, that during a reign extending over more than half 
a century the motive and inspiration of his every thought and 
plan was the glory and welfare of his country. 







The Empire. 


The Paparjn | 















James L 

Henry IT. 
Lonis xin. 

Rudolf IL 


Philip III* 
Philip nr. 

Charles n. 

Qement TOI 1 



Gregory XV. 


Alexander vifc 

Clement nc. 
Qement X. 
Innocent zi. 

Alexander vm 
Innocent xiu 

Clement xu 

Ferdinand m. 

Charles 1. 

The Commonwealth. 

Louis XIV. 
d. 1715- 

Leopold I. 

Charles 11. 


James 11. 
William in. 





Joseph I. 
Charles Vb 
d. X74»' 

George I. 
d. 1727. 








Joachim Fredericlc 

John Sigismond. 


George William. 

Frederick William. 

Frederick UL 

Frederick Willian 
d. 1740. 


Sigismond of 

Charles ix. 

Boris Godonoff. 

Mohammed iii. 

Christian iv. 



161 1. 


161 7. 











The Tronhlons 

Gustavns Adol- 


Charles Zi. 

Michael Ro- 



Mustapha i. 
Osman u. 

Mostapha i. 
Morad tv. 



Mohammed rr. 

Frederick in. 

Peter and Ivan. 

Christian V. 

Soleiman n. 

Charles xn. 
d. 1730, 

Peter the Great, 
d. 1724. 

Achmet n. 
Mustapha IL 

Achmet in. 
deposed 1727. 

Frederick rv. 
d. I73CX 


European History ^ 1598-1715 

The House 

Charlbs op Bourbon = 

d. of VendOme, I 

1537- I 

Antoay, = Jeanne d' Albert, 
1562. I Q. of Navarre. 

Henry it. , = Marie de Medidi. 

Locis xiii., = Anne of 
1643. Austria. 

Elizabeth = Philip rv. 
of Spain. 

Louis xnr., = Maria Theresa, 
d. of Philip IV. 
of Spain. 

Louis the = Maria of 
Dauphin. Bavaria. 

Christina = Victor Amadeni 
of Savoy. 

Philip of = Henrietu, d. 
Orleans, of Charles l 

Loois, d. of = Marie of 



Louis zv. 

Pmup V. of SpatBL, 
d. of Adjoo. 

Appendix II. 



OF Bourbon. 

Fraacoiae of AleD(a& 

Margaret = Francois, d. of 
I Nevers, 1560. 

Henrietta = Loms Gon^aga 
of Mantua. 

Gaston d.of=Marle of 
Orleans, I Montpensier. 

Anne of MoDtpeiisier 

(La Grande Demoiselle), 





of Conde, 



Henry i. of 



Prince of 


Conti, oi. 

= Charles i. 


i.f. 1 614. 

at England 

Henry 11. 

of Cond6, 


Louis ii. 


Anne, d. of 

the Great, 

Prince of 








Louis m. 

Loois Armand, 

Francois Lonia, 




European History, 1598- 171 5 





t— 1 
















Appendix IV 

























« K 
•° Hi 





■ □ 




W (^ 




Accord, the, 64. 

Adrian, patriarch of Moscow, 304. 

Aides, the, in France, 21. 

Aix-Ia-Chapelle, treaty of, 213. 

Alais, peace of, 146. 

Aldringer, 102. 

Alexander vii. humiliated by Louis 

XIV., 208. 
Alexis, Czar of Russia, 281, 299. 

son of Peter the Great, 303. 

Ali Cumurgi, recaptures the Morea, 

Alliance, the Grand, 340. 
Almanza, battle of, 361. 
Alte Veste, attack on the, 97. 
Altranstadt, peace of, 306; negotia- 
tions at, 360. 
Amboyna, massacre of, 220. 
Amsterdam, importance of, 219 ; 

saved from William ii. , 224; saved 

from the French, 238. 
Ancre, marshal of, 33, 36. 
Andrusofif, treaty of, 281. 
Angouleme, treaty of. 36 
Anne of Austria, regent of France, 

118, 154 ; appoints Mazarin prime 

minister, 155 ; clever management 

of the Fronde by, 163 ; claim on 

the Spanish crown of, 314. 
Antwerp, truce of, 65. 
Apafy, prince of Transylvania, 284. 
Assiento, the, 367. 
Augsburg, the religious peace of, 

questions left unsettled by, 46 ; 

the league of, 260. 
Augustus the Strong, of Saxony and 

Poland, 306. 
Auiic Council, the, 8. 
Austria, the estates of, assist the 

Bohemians, 57. 
Austro-Spanish house, rivalry of with 

France, 10, 25, 26. 
Azof, capture of by Peter tlje Great, 

288, 302 ; given back to the Turks, 


Baden, treaty of, 367. 
Baden-Durlach, margrave ol, 49, 


Baner, 116. 

Barbesieux, 264. 

Barrier, the Dutch, question of, 210, 

Barwalde, treaty of, 88, 113. 

Bavaria, elector of. See Maximilian. 
Max Emanuel. 

electoral prince of. See Joseph 


Beachy Head, battle off, 263. 

Beaufort, duke of, i6i. 

Belgrade, capture of, 287. 

Berg, duchy of, 28, 177 ; ceded to 
the coimt of Neuberg, 51. 

Berwick, Marquis of, 361. 

Bernhard of Saxe- Weimar, takes the 
command at Liitzen, 99 ; demands 
a duchy, 100 ; appointed general 
of the league of Heilbronn, 100 ; 
defeated at Xordlingen, 103; takes 
service under France, 114; captures 
Breisach, 116; death of, 116. 

Bethlen Gabor assists the Bohemians, 
58 ; makes terms with Ferdinand 
II., 61 ; assists Christian iv. of 
Denmark, 71 ; makes the treaty of 
Pressburg, 72. 

Biron, marshal, 24. 

Blake, admiral, 228. 

Bl^coiut, 330. 

Blenau, battle of, 163. 

Blenheim, battle of, 355. 

Boguslav, duke of Pomerania , 88. 

Bohemia, Ferdinand recognised king 
of, 52 ; revolt of the Protestants of, 
52 ; supported by Savoy, 55 ; by 
the Silesians and estates of Austria, 
56, 57 ; Frederick v. elected king 
of, 59 ; the revolt of, crushed at 
the White Mountain, 63 ; Protes- 
tantism suppressed in, 64. 

Bohemian royal charter, the, 50. 


European History ^ 1598- 17 15 

Bordeaux, capture of, 162. 
Bossuet, bishop of Meaux, 250, 255. 
Bou'^ers, marshal, negotiates the 
treaty of Ryswick, 264 ; strong 
position of, in the Netherlands, 
349 ; outwitted by Marlborough, 
349 ; defeats the Dutch, 350 ; de- 
fends Lille, 362 ; retreats from 
Malplaquet, 364. 

Bouillon, duke of, 24, 37; plots of 
against Richelieu, 152, 161. 

Boyne, battle of the, 263. 

Brandenburg, John Sigismond, elector 
of, 28 ; acquires Cleves, Mark, and 
Ravensberg, 51. 

George William, elector of, re- 
fuses to join Gustavus Adolphus, 
88 ; joins Saxony and the Swedes, 
91 ; rivalry of, with Sweden, 175. 

Frederick William, the Great 

Elector, makes a treaty with the 
Swedes, 123 ; gains of at the peace 
of Westphalia, 125 ; character and 
policy of, 174; state of the do- 
minions of on his accession, 176 ; 
estabUshes his authority, 179 ; an- 
nexes east Pomerania, 180; gives 
Charles x. a passage through 
Pomerania, 181 ; intrigues against 
him, 181 ; forced to acknowledge 
Swedish suzerainty, 182; makes war 
with Sweden against Poland, 182 ; 
obtains independence from Sweden 
at Labiau, 182 ; makes war upon 
Sweden with Poland, 183 ; obtains 
independence from Poland at 
Wehlau, 183 ; joins the coalition 
against France, 239, 296 ; is recog- 
nised in east Prussia, 293 ; estab- 
lishes personal rule in Prussia, 
294 ; his policy of centralisation, 
29s ; wins the battle of Fehrbellin, 
296 ; accepts the treaty of S. Ger- 
main-en-Laye, 297. 

Frederick in., elector of, reign 

of, 310 ; recognised as king of 
Prussia, 310 ; accepts the partition 
treaty, 328 ; joins the Grand Al- 
liance, 340. 

Brandenburg, mark of, 176. 

Breda, treaty of, 231. 

Breisach, capture of, 116. 

Breitenfeld, battle of, 91. 

Bresse, duchy of, ceded to France, 

Brihuega, battle of, 365. 

Brbmsebro, treaty of, 169. 
Broussel, arrest of, 158. 
Buckingham, duke of, tries to relieve 

La Rochelle, 145. 
Bucquoi, S3, 56, 57. 
Buczacz, treaty of, 28X 
Budweis, siege of, 56. 
Bugey, duchy of, ceded to France, 

Burgundy, Louis, duke of, 362, 373. 

Calvinism, character of, in France, 
3, 6 ; political aspects of, in Ger- 
many, 10, 4a 

Calvinists, the difiSculties of, in Ger- 
many, 46, 47. 

Caraisards, rising of the, 352. 

Canada, colonisation of, 17. 

Candia, siege of, 209, 267, 275, 277. 

Cape of Good Hope, colonisation of, 


Carelia ceded to Sweden, 85. 

Carlowitz, peace of, 288. 

Catalonia, revolt of, 117. 

Catalans, desertion of the, in the 
peace of Utrecht, 368. 

Catinat, 149, 342. 

Cevennes, risings in the, 256. 

Chalais, conspiracy of, 143. 

Chambre des Comptes, the, 19. 

Chambre de S. Louis, 157. 

Charleroi, 213, 236. 

Charles I. of England interferes in 
the thirty years' war, 68 ; marriage 
of, no ; makes war with France, 

II, of England, enters into the 

triple alliance, 211 ; makes the 
treaty of Dover, 215 ; makes war 
upon the Dutch, 229 ; accepts the 
treaty of Breda, 231 ; declares war 
against the Dutch in 1672, 236; 
withdraws from it, 240. 

— — II. of Spain, 312 ; makes a will 
in favour of the electoral prince, 
322 ; intrigues round the deathbed 
of, 329 ; makes a will in favoiu of 
France, 330 ; death of, 330. 

— — IX. of Sweden, reign of, 83. 

-^— X. of Sweden, accession of, 171; 
defeats John Casimir of Poland, 
181 ; forces Brandenburg to ac- 
knowledge his suzerainty, 182 ; 
conquers Poland, 182 ; makes the 
treaty of Labiau, 182 ; conquers 
Denmark, 183 ; death of, 183. 



Charles Xi. of Sweden, regency dur- 
ing minority of, 292 ; defeated at 
Fehrbellin, 296 ; makes the treaty 
of S Germain-en-laye, 297 ; etfects 
a monarchical revolution, 297 ; 
death ot, 305. 

XII. of Sweden, coalition 

agamst, 305 ; defeats Denmark, 
305 ; wins the battle of Narva, 306 ; 
occupies Poland, 306 ; makes Stan- 
islas king of Poland, 306 ; over 
runs Saxony, 306; his position at 
Allransiadt, 306 ; invades Russia, 
307 ; is defeated at Puitava, 308 ; 
death of, 309. 

archduke of Austria, claims 

of to the throne of Spain, 314 ; 
share of under the first partition 
treaty, 322 ; share of under the 
second treaty, 324 ; lands in Portu- 
gal, 360 ; becomes master of Arra- 
gon, 360 ; proclaimed king at 
Madrid, 360 ; driven out of Spain, 
361 ; refuses the terms of Utrecht, 
366 ; makes the treaties of Rastadt 
and Baden, 367. 
Emanuel of Savoy. See Savoy. 

Lewis, Elector Palatine, 124. 

Chamac6, 112. 

Cherasco, peace of, 91, 112. 

Chevalier de S. George, the, recog- 
nised by Louis XI v., 340. 

Chevreuse, duchess of, 143. 

Chiari, battle of, 344. 

Choczim, battle of, 282. 

Christian of Anhalt, 48 ; advises 
Frederick to accept the crown of 
Bohemia, 6a 

• of Brunswick, 65 ; dis- 
missed by Frederick v. , 66 ; em- 
ployed by the Dutch, 67 ; defeated 
at Stadtlohn, 67. 

IV. of Denmark, interferes 

in the Thirty Years' War, 68 ; 
treaty of with England, 68 ; de- 
feated at Lutter, 73 ; makes the 
peace of Liibeck, 75 ; attacks 
Sweden, 85 ; makes a treaty with 
Gustavus Adolphus, 87 ; raises the 
dues of the Sound, 169 ; makes the 
treaty of Bromsebro, 169. 

Chiistina of Sweden, promotes the 
peace of Westphalia, 123 ; charac- 
ter of, 171 ; political ability of, 
173 ; abdication and subsequent 
life of, 173. 


Church, the, religious revival in, 41. 

Cinq-Mars, conspiracy of, 15a. 

Civita, battle of, 263. 

Clement viii., 6. ' 

XI.. 373. 

of Bavaria, archbishop of Koln 


Clement, Jacques, 3. 

Cleves-Jiilich, question of, 38 ; parti- 
tion of, 51. 

Cleves, duchy of, 177. 

Clissow, battle of, 306. 

Colbtrrt, trainmg of under Mazarin, 
194 ; appointed controller of fin- 
ance, 196 ; administrative reforms 
of, 197 ; principles of the policy of, 
198 ; objects of the protective 
system of, 198 ; advantages of it 
to France, 201 ; its defects, 202 ; 
character of, 203. 

Coligny, 209. 

Cond^, Henry 11., Prince of, 33, 

Louis II., Prince of, wins Roc- 

roy, 118 ; conquers the Rhineland, 
120 ; wins the battle of Lens, 158 ; 
joins the Fronde against Mazarin, 
158 ; comes over to the court, 161 ; 
arrested by Mazarin, 162; rebels 
against the king, 163 ; joins the 
Spaniards, 130, 164 ; overruns 
Franche Comt^, 213 ; invades the 
United Provinces, 237 ; defends 
Alsace, 239 ; wins the battle of 
SenefF, 242 ; checks Montecuculli 
in Alsace, 243 ; retirement of, 244. 

Conti. prince of, 161. 

Copenhagen, treaty of, 183, 

Corpus Evangelicorum , the, 95, 

Cossacks, the, of the Ukraine, 281. 

Counter- Reformation, progress of the, 

II, 43. 45- 
Cr6qui, duke of, 208. 
Cromwell, makes peace with the 

Dutch, 228. 

Dant/ig, 86. 

Denmark. See Christian iv. , Frede- 
rick III. , Frederick iv. 

Design, the Great, of Henry rv., 

Dessau, the bridge of, 71. 

Devereux, 102. 

Devolution, the law of, 209. 

Diet, the German, 8. 

Donauwdrtb, the troubles of, 48. 

2 B 


European History, 1598- 17 15 

Dorislaus, Dr., murder of, 227 

Douanes, the, in France, 21. 

Dover, treaty of, 215, 236. 

Downs, the, battle off, 117. 

Dragoaades, the, 256. 

Dunes, the, the battle of, 131. 

Dunkirk, purchase of by France, 

Dupes, the Day of, 150. 

Duplessis, marshal, 162. 

Duquesne, 259. 

Dutch, the, employ Mansfeld and 
Christian of Brunswick, 67 ; oppose 
Louis XIV. , 210 ; character of the 
war of independence of, 216 ; con- 
stitution of, 217 ; supremacy of the 
town councils among, 218 ; posi- 
tion of Holland among, 218 ; posi- 
tion of the House of Orange among, 
219 ; prosperity of, 220 ; internal 
dissensions of, 221 ; quarrel of, 
with the English Commonwealth, 
227 ; rivalry of with England, 228 ; 
war of with Charles 11., 229; 
attack of Louis xiv. upon, 236; 
defence of under William in., 
239 ; position of at the treaty of 
Nimwegen, 244 ; adhesion of to 
the League of Augsburg, 260 ; 
position of at the treaty of Rys- 
wick, 264 ; opposition of to the 
partition treaty, 327, 334 ; recog- 
nition of Philip V. by, 334; adhesion 
of to the Grand Alliance, 339, 340 ; 
election of Marlborough as captain 
general by, 345 ; defeat of by Bouf- 
flers, 350 ; resistance of to Marl- 
borough's plans, 350, 353, 358 ; posi- 
tion of at the treaty of Utrecht, 
367. 370- 

Ecclesiastical RESKRVATioN,the, 


Electorate of the Palatinate, transfer- 
ence of, 66, 

Elector Palatine. See Frederick V., 
Charles Lewis. 

Emanuel, duke of Savoy. See Savoy. 

Emperor, the, position of in 1598, 7 ; 
in 1715, 370. 

England, condition of in 1598, la; 
in 1715, 369. 

Epemon, duke of, 24, 31, 36. 

Esthonia, annexed by Sweden, 84. 

Estrades, count of, 207, 212. 

Eternal Peace, treaty of, 300. 

Eugene, prince, victory of at Zenta, 
287 ; victory of at Peterwardein, 
288 ; campaign of in Italy 1701, 
342 ; capture of Villeroy by, 344 ; 
retreat of behind the Adige, 345; 
critical position of at Innsbruck, 
351 ; junction of with Marl- 
borough, 354 ; victory of at Blen- 
heim, 355 ; conquest of north Italy 
by, 357; junction with Marlborough 
before Oudenarde, 362 ; capture of 
Lille by, 362 ; storm of Malplaquet 
by, 364 ; defeat of by Villars at 
Etenain and Freiburg, 366. 

Exclusion, act of, 228, 229. 

Fabert, 139, 149. 

Fabricius, 52. 

Faubourg S. Antoine, battle of, 163. 

Fehrbellin, battle of, 244, 296, 

Ferdinand i. emperor, 10. 

II., emperor, religious pjolicy 

of, 45 ; election of as king of 
Himgary, 51 ; recognised as king 
of Bohemia, 52 ; critical condition 
of at Vienna, 57; election of as 
Emperor, 59 ; deposition of by the 
Bohemian estates, 59 ; conquest of 
Bohemia by, 63 ; suppression of 
Protestantism in Bohemia by, 64 ; 
effect of military success upon, 76 ; 
issue of the Edict of Restitution by, 
TJ ; dismissal of Wallenstein by, 
80 ; Saxony driven to alliance with 
Sweden by, 91 ; appeal of to 
Wallenstein, 95 ; appointment of 
Wallenstein as dictator by, 96; 
Wallenstein declared traitor by, 
102 ; refusal of to give the Swedes 
German territory, 115 ; death of 


III. , emperor, 102, 121. 

the cardinal infant, 102. 

Form of Government, the, 167. 

Fouquet, Nicholas, 195. 

France, condition of in 1598, 2 ; the 
indefensible frontier of, 25, 108; 
the colonial empire of, 204 ; condi- 
tion of in 1715, 368. 

Franche Comt6, acquisition of, by 
France, 213, 244, 

Frauenstadt, battle of, 306. 

Frederick Henry of Nassau, aao, 



Frederick ili. of Denmark, war of 
with Sweden, 182 ; defeat of by 
Charles x. , 183 ; monarchical revo- 
lution effected by, 291. 

—— IV. of Denmark, war of with 
Sweden, 305 ; defeat of by Charles 
XII., 306. 

— — v.. Elector Palatine, head of 
the Protestant Union, 49 ; char- 
acter of, 55; support to the Bohe- 
mians sent by, 55 ; conduct of at the 
imperial election, 58 ; election of 
as king of Bohemia, 59 ; accept- 
ance of the crown of Bohemia by, 
61 ; alienation of England and the 
Lutherans by, 61 ; driven from 
Bohemia and the Palatinate, 63 ; 
death of 122. 

Frederick William of Brandenburg, 
See Brandenburg. 

Freiburg, battle of, 12a 

Fronde, the, weakness of France 
owing to, 130 ; outbreak of, 157 ; 
constitutional reforms of, 157, 158 ; 
opposition of to a prime minister, 
159 ; weakness of the constitutional 
element in, i6o ; lead of taken by 
the nobles, 160 ; risings of in the 
provinces, 162 ; factious character 
of, 163 ; end of, 164. 

Fuentes, coimt of, 12a 

Gabelle, the, 20. 

Gallas, 102. 

GaUican Church, liberties of the, 

Galway, expedition of to Portugal, 

360 ; occupation of Madrid by, 

360 ; defeat of at Almanza, 361 ; 

recall of, 361. 
Gaston, duke of Orleans, plots of 

against Richelieu, 143, 149, 150 ; 

reconciliation of vinth Richelieu, 

152 ; conduct of in the Fronde, 

George William of Brandenburg. See 

Germain-en-Laye, S. , treaty of, 297. 
Germany, condition of in 1598, 7-9 ; 

in 171S, 370. 
Gertruydenberg, negotiations at, 366. 
Gibraltar, capture of, 357. 
Golitsin, Prince Basil, 300. 
Gondi, archbishop of Paris, 158. 
Gordon, general, 302. 
Gothard, S. , battle of, 309, 277. 

Guiton, mayor of La Rochelle, 146, 
Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, inter- 
ference of in Germany, 80 ; objects 
of, 81; Swedish policy of, 84 ; wars 
of with Denmark, Russia, and 
Poland, 85 ; negotiations of with 
England, 86 ; landing of in Ger- 
many, 87 ; alliance of with France, 
88 ; reception of in Germany, 88 ; 
failure of to relieve Magdeburg, 90; 
retreat of to Werben, 90 ; alliance 
of with Saxony and Brandenburg, 
91 ; victory of at Breitenfeld, 91 ; 
conquest of central Germany by, 
94 ; proposal of for a Protestant 
alliance under Sweden, 95 ; victory 
of at the Lech, 95 ; failure of be- 
fore Nuremberg, 97 ; march of 
into Saxony, 97 ; victory and death 
of at Liitzen, 98 ; results of the 
death of, 99. 
Gustavus Vasa of Sweden, 82. 

Hague, the, negotiations at in 1708, 

Harcourt, count of, ambassador at 
Madrid, 326, 331, 336. 

Harley, Tory ministry of in 1710, 
365 ; private negotiations of with 
Louis XIV. , 366 ; the treaty of 
Utrecht made by, 366. 

Heilbronn, league of, 100, 113. 

Heinsius, grand pensionary of Hol- 
land, negotiations for a partition 
treaty by, 318, 320 ; the first par- 
tition treaty concluded by, 322 ; 
negotiations of for a second treaty, 
323 : the second partition treaty 
concluded by, 324 ; unpopularity 
of the policy of, 334 ; the Grand 
Alliance joined by, 340, 

Henrietta Maria, queen of England, 
marriage of, no; treaty between 
Louis XIV. and Charies 11. negoti- 
ated by, 230. 

Henry in. of France, 3. 

IV. of France, absolution of, 

6, 14 ; difficulties of, 14 ; character 
of, 15 ; economical policy of, 17 ; 
policy of towards the nobles, 23 ; 
foreign policy of, 24-30 ; death of 

Hochstadt, battle of, 352, 

Hochst, battle of, 66. 

Hogue, La, battle off, 26^ 


European History^ 1 598- 1 7 1 5 

Holland, the province of, importance 
of, 218, 223. 

Holy League, the, 286. 

Horn, general, 89, 103. 

Hospitallers, the Knights, 267, 275. 

Huguenots, the, rising of in 1620, 36 ; 
position of in 1622, 140 ; organisa- 
tion of, 141 ; risings of, 141, 141; ; 
suppression of as a political oreani- 
sation, 146 ; existence of contrary 
to Louis XIV. 's love of uniformity, 
253 ; persecution of, 255 ; emigra- 
tion of, 257. 

Ibrahim i., Ottoman Sultan, 275. 
Imperial courts, the, of Germany, 8. 
Ingria, ceded to Sweden, 85. 
Innocent XI., quarrel of with Louis 

XIV., 21,0. 
Innocent XI I., reconciliation of with 

Louis XIV., 252. 
Intendants, appointment of in France, 

19. 154- 
Italy, condition of in 1598, 13. 
Ivan the Terrible, Czar of Russia, 


II., Czar of Russia, 300, 302. 

Ivry, battle of, 3, 

JAGELLON, Catherine, 44, 82. 

James 1. of England, policy of to- 
wards Spain, 55 ; attitude of to- 
wards the Bohemian question, 60 ; 
disavowal of Frederick by, 61 ; en- 
listment of troops authorised by, 
68 ; war declared against Spain by, 

II. of England, quarrel of with 

Louis XIV. , 261 ; expulsion of from 
England, 262 ; death of, 340. 

Janizaries, the, 270. 

Jansenists, condemnation of the, 373. 

Jeannin, 35. 

Jesus, the Society of, 11, 42. 

John Casimir, of Poland, recognition 
of the Great Elector by, 179 ; war 
of with Sweden, 181 ; defeat of 
at Warsaw, 182 ; the treaty of 
Wehlau made by, 183 ; participa- 
tion of in the treaty of Oliva, 183 ; 
war of with Russia and the Cos- 
sacks, 281 ; abdication of, 281. 

John George, elector of Saxony, re- 
fusal of to help the Bohemians, 53 ; 
policy of with regard to the im- 
perial election, 58 ; invasion of 

Silesia by, 64; refusal of to join Gu8- 
tavus Adolphus, 88 ; refusal of to 
disband his troops, 91 ; alliance of 
with Gustavus Adolphus, 91 ; occu- 
pation of Bohemia by, 95 ; expul- 
sion of by Wallenstein, 96 ; the 
peace of Prague made by, 103 ; 
political views of, 104 ; defeat of at 
Wittstock, 116 ; treaty with the 
Swedes made by, 123, 

John Sigismond, elector of Branden- 
burg. See Brandenburg. 

Joseph, Father, 79, 112, ii5, 

I., emperor, 366. 

Ferdinand, electoral prince, 

claim of to tlie throne of Spain, 
313 ; share of in the partition 
treaty, 322 ; death of, 323. 

Jiilich, duchy of, question of the 
succession to, 28, 51, 

Kalkstein, count, 293, 294. 

Kara Mustafa, grand vizier, 283 ; 
war of against the empire, 284 ; 
defeat of before Vienna, 286 ; 
death of, 286. 

Kardis, treaty of, 183. 

Kingship, theory of in the seven- 
teenth century, 187, 188. 

Kiuprili, Mohammed, grand vizier, 
276 ; quarrel of with France, 277. 

Achmet, grand vizier, attack of 

upon the empire, 277 ; defeat of 
at S. Gothard, 277 ; capture of 
Candia by, 278 ; war of with 
Poland, 282 ; death of, 283. 

Mustafa, grand vizier, 287. 

Knarod, peace of, 85. 

Kbnigsberg, treaty of, 181. 

Labiau, treaty of, 182. 

La Feuillade, 209. 

La Force, 37. 

La Rochelle, 6, 38 ; siege of, 145. 

La Vieuville, 38. 

League, the Catholic, in Germany, 
49 ; Ferdinand assisted by in 
Bohemia, 62 ; the dismissal of 
Wallenstein procured by, 79. 

Lefort, 302. 

Leopol, battle of, 282. 

Leopold I., emperor, the partition 
treaty of 1667 made by, 211 ; 
coalition against Louis joined by, 
239 ; war of with the Turks, 277 ; 
the Hungarians persecuted by, 



283; the kingdom of Pnissia re- 
cognised by, 310 ; claim of to the 
throne of Spain, 314 ; designs of, 
upon Italy, 316 ; refusal of to 
accept the partition treaty, 328 ; 
the Grand Alliance joined by, 340 ; 
death of, 357. 

Lepanto, battle of, 267. 273. 

Lesdigui^res, 30, 37, iia 

Leslie, Alexander, 87. 

Le Tellier, 162. 

Levenhaupt, 308, 

LiUe, acquisition of by France, 213 ; 
capture of by prince Eugene, 362. 

Lionne, 162, 215. 

Lit de justice, a, 5. 

Livonia, acquired by Sweden, 84, 86. 

Longueville, duke of, 161, 162. 

Lorraine, duchy of, occupied by the 
French, 151. 

■ duke of. 284, 286, 327. 

Loudun, treaty of, 33. 

Louis of Baden, prince, 351, 354. 

XIII., of France, declared of 

^gc, 35 ; Luynes supported by, 
36 ; promise of to let Mansfeld 
cross France, 68 ; withdrawal of 
the promise, 68 ; invasion of Italy 
by, hi; character of, 139; sup- 
pression of the Huguenots by, 146 ; 
serious illness of, 149 ; support of 
Richelieu by in the Day of Dupes, 
150; death of, 118, 154. 

XTV. , of France, declared of 

age, 163 ; suppression of the 
Fronde by, 164; character and 
qualities of, 188 ; theory of king- 
ship of, 190 ; attention of to 
detail, 193 ; organisation of France 
under, 193 ; choice of policy be- 
fore in 1671 , 204 ; determination 
of to be dictator of Europe, 206 ; 
humiliation of Spain and the Pope 
by, 207, 208; assistance of the Por- 
tuguese and Venetians by, 209 ; 
claim of to the Netherlands by 
the law of devolution, 209 ; de- 
feated by the Triple Alliance, 212 ; 
greatness of the position of in 1672, 
235 ; attack of upon the Dutch, 
236 ; formation of a coalition 
against, 239 ; the treaty of Nim- 
wegen made by, 244 ; quarrel of 
with the Pope, 248 ; the four re- 
solutions promulgated by, 250, 251; 
reconciliation of with Innocent 

XII., 252 ; alteration in the charac- 
ter of, 254 ; attempt of to convert 
the Huguenots, 255 ; persecution 
of the Huguenots by, 256 ; revoca- 
tion of the edict of Nantes by, 256 ; 
aggressions of after Nimwegen, 
257 ; alienation of Europe by, 260 ; 
invasion of England i>ermitted by, 
261 ; war of against Europe, 262 ; 
treaty of Rysw^ck made by, 264 ; 
support of the Turks against the 
emperor by, 284 ; foresight of 
with regard to the Spanish Succes- 
sion question, 316 ; adoption of a 
policy of partition by, 317 ; objects 
of during the negotiations, 319 ; 
conclusion of the partition treaties 
by, 322, 324 ; policy of in con- 
cluding the treaties, 324 ; will of 
Charles 11. accepted by, 331 ; 
policy of in accepting it, 332 339 ; 
difficulties of, 339 ; aggressive 
policy of, 340 ; war of against 
Europe, 340 ; plan of for the con- 
duct of the war, 350, 352 ; results 
of the battle of Blenheim upon, 
357; lossof Italy by, 357 : negotia- 
tions of for peace, 363 ; appeal of 
to France, 364 ; renewal of negotia- 
tions, 365 ; conclusion of the peace 
of Utrecht by, 367 ; death of, 373 ; 

Louis, the Dauphin, claim of to the 
throne of Spain, 313 ; share of in 
the partition treaties, 322, 324 ; 
advocacy of his son's rights by, 
331 ; death of, 373. 

Louvois, minister of war, 215 ; 
ad\-ice of to refuse the Dutch 
terms, 1672, 239 ; organisation of 
the army by, 259 ; death of, 264. 

Loyola, Ignatius, 42. 

Liibeck, peace of, 75. 

Lutheranism, political aspects of in 
Germany, 10, 11, 40. 

Lutter, battle of, 73. 

Liitzen, battle of, 98. 

Luxemburg, duke of, 244, 

Luynes, count of, 36, 3 . 

Macchiavelli, influence of in 

politics, 108. 
Magdeburg, sack of, 89. 
Mahon, Port, capture of, 361. 
Maintenon, Madame de, 252, 254, 

331. 373- 
Malplaquet, battle of, 364. 


European History, 1598-1715 

Mancini, Marie, 173. 

Mansfeld, employment of in Bo- 
hemia, 55-57 ; abandonment of the 
upper Palatinate by, 65 ; dismissal 
of by Frederick V. , 66 ; employ- 
ment of by the Dutch and English, 
67 ; campaign of against Wallen- 
stein, 71 ; death of, 72. 

Mantua, question of the succession 

to, III. 

Margaret Theresa, claim of to the 
throne of Spain, 313. 

Maria, daughter of Philip III. , claim 
of to the throne of Spain, 314. 

Maria Antonia, claim of to the 
throne of Spain, 313. 

Maria Theresa, claim of to the throne 
of Spain, 313. 

Marie de Medicis, marriage of, 27 ; 
regency of, 31 ; disastrous govern- 
ment of, 32-36 ; attack of on 
Richelieu, 150. 

Marie of Neuburg, queen of Spain, 


Marienbad, treaty of, 182. 

Maritime nations, the policy of with 
regard to Spain, 315. 

Marlborough, duke of, visit of to 
Charles xii. , 307 ; appointment of, 
to the command in the Netherlands, 
345 ; the military qualities of, 345 ; 
personal character of, 347 ; occupa- 
tion of the lower Rhineland by 
349, 350 ; the Blenheim campaign 
of, 353-356 ; the Ramillies campaign 
of, 358 ; the Oudenarde campaign 
of, 361 ; critical political situation 
of, 363 ; victory of at Malplaquet, 
364 ; dismissal of, 365, 

Marsin, 352, 355. 

Martinitz, 52. 

Masaniello, 130. 

Matthias, emperor, rising of against 
Rudolf II. in Austria, 50 ; recogni- 
tion of as king of Bohemia, 50; 
election of as emperor, 50 ; death 
of, 36. 

Maunce of Nassau, 31, 65, 219, 221, 

Maximilian of Bavaria, 30 ; religious 
policy of, 45 ; suppression of Pro- 
testantism by at Donau worth, 48 ; 
appointed head of the Catholic 
league, 49 ; assistance of to Ferdi- 
nand, 62 ; character of, 62 ; 
recognition of as elector, 66; 

defeat of by Turenne, 121 ; gams 
of at the peace of Westphalia, 124. 

Max Emanuel, elector of Bavaria, 
3i3> 334; adhesion of to Louis 
XIV., 350; campaign of against 
Eugene, 351 ; defeat of by Marl- 
borough, 354, 355. 

Mazarin, cardinal, employment of 
in the peace of Cherasco, 112 ; 
Richelieu's foreign policy continued 
by, 118 ; success of at the peace 
of Westphalia, 129; aUiance of 
with Cromwell, 131 ; success of at 
the peace of the Pyrenees, 131 ; 
character of, 156; policy of to- 
wards the Parlement de Paris, 158 ; 
unpopularity of, 159 ; arrest of the 
princes by, 162 ; flight of, 162 ; 
return of to power, 164. 

Mazeppa, 307. 

Mehaigne, the lines of the, 35a 

Mello, 11& 

Menschikoff, 304. 

Messenius, 173. 

Methuen, 360. 

Michael, king of Poland, 282. 

Michael Romanoff, Czar of Russia, 

Milanese, the, 25. 

Mocenigo, 275, 277. 

Modena, duke of, 344. 

Mohacz, battle of, 287. 

Mohammed 11., 268, 271. 

III., 275. 

IV. , 287, 

Mold, 161. 

Monaleschi, murder of, 17a. 

Monk, general, 230, 231. 

Mons, 262, 364. 

Montauban, 6, 37. 

MontecuculU, victory of at S. 
Gothard, 209, 277 ; campaigns of 
on the Rhine, 240-243. 

Montmorency- Bouteville, execution 
of, 144. 

Montmorency, rising of, 151, 

Montpellier, treaty of, 38, 143. 

Montpensier, Anne of, Mademoiselle, 

Monzon, treaty of, iii, 143. 

Morea, the capture and recapture of, 
287, 288. 

Moriscoes, the expulsion of, 30. 

Morosini, 277, 286-288. 

Miilhausen, agreement of, 6a. 

Miinster, congress of, 122. 



Monster, treaty of, 234. 

bishop of, 315, 230, a4a 

Murad rv., 275. 
Mustafa 11., 287. 

Nantes, the edict of, 6, 14, 256, 
Namur, capture of, 263, 
Narva, battle of, 306. 
Naryshkins, the, 300. 
Navigation, act of, 227. 
Neerwinden, battle of, 263. 
Nevers, duke of, iii. 
Neuburg, count palatine of, 28. 
Nimwegen, peace of, 244. 
Ninon de I'Enclos, 172. 
Nordlingen, battle of, 102; second 

battle of, 120. 
Nystadt, peace of, 3091 

Oldkn-Baknevkldt, execution of, 

OUva, peace of, 183, 281, 290* 
Opdam, admiral, 228, 229. 

general, 350. 

Orange, House of, importance of the, 

219 ; rivalry of with the repubhcan 

party, 221. 
Ornano, 143. 

Osnabrtick, congress of, 122. 
Oudenarde, battle of, 362. 
Oxenstjema, leadership of after 

Liitzen, 100 ; conduct of in the 

Thirty Years' War, 100, loi, 115 ; 

character and policy of, 166; 

oUgarchy estabUshed in Sweden 

by, 168 ; war of with Denmark, 

169; acquisition of Halland by, 


Papacy, the, quarrel of with Louis 
XIV., 250. 

Pappenheim, general, 89, 92, 98, 99, 

Parkan, battle of, 286. 

Parlement de Paris, character and 
powers of, 4 ; recognition of Marie 
de Medicis as regent by, 31 ; the 
will of Louis XIII. set aside by, 
155 ; refusal of to register the 
octroi edict, 157 ; programme of 
reform of, 157, 158 ; surrender of 
to the nobles and populace, 160. 

Parthenon, the, destruction of, 287. 

Partition Treaties, the, of 1667, 211 ; 
negotiations for that of 1699, 317- 
331 ; conclusion of the first of, 
322 ; chances of the success of, 

32a; conclusion of the second of, 
324 ; unpopularity of among the 
English and Dutch, 327 ; general 
acceptance Of in Europe, 327 ; 
opposition to by the Emperor and 
Savoy, 328 ; difficulties in the 
carrying out of, 332. 

Passarovitz, treaty of, 289. 

Patkul, 305, 306. 

Paulette, the, 18, 24. 

Paul V. , 45. 

Pays d'election, and pays d'etat, 19, 

Pehsson, 255. 

Perpetual Edict, the, 233. 

Peter the Great, Czar of Russia, 
capture of Azof by, 288, 302; 
defeat of on the Pruth, 288, 309 ; 
education of, 301 ; character of, 
302 ; domestic policy of, 303 ; 
foreign policy of, 304 ; defeat of, 
at Narva, 306 ; victory of at Pul- 
tava, 308. 

Peterborough, earl of, 360. 

Petersburg, S. , foundation ofi 304, 


Peterwardein, battle of, 288. 

Philip III. of Spain, 63. 

IV. of Spain, 209. 

— V. of Spain, claim of, 313 ; 
acknowledged as king by the 
Spaniards, 334, 365 ; recognised 
by the treaty of Utrecht, 367. 

Piccolomini, general, 98, 102, 121. 

Pinerolo, 27. 

Poland, the Counter-Reformation in, 
44 ; condition and institutions of, 
278 ; weakness of, 280. Su Sigis- 
mond, John Casimir, John 
Sobieski, Augustus the Strong. 

Pomerania, question of the succession 
to, 175. 

east, acquired by Brandenbturg, 


Pontchartrain, 264. 

Portland, duke of, 264, 318. 

Porto-Carrero, cardinal, 33a 

Portugal, independence of, 117 

Prague, treaty of, 103. 

Pressburg, treaty of, 72. 

Project of Harmony, the, 233. 

Protective system, the, of the seven- 
teenth century reasons for, 16, 

Protestantism, inherent weakness of, 
40; critical state of in Germany 
in 1630, 76. 


European History, 1598-1715 

Prussia, East, duchy of, 176. 

West or Polish, 178. 

kingdom of, 310. 

Puleroon, 231. 
Pultava, battle of, 308. 
Pyrenees, the, peace of, 131. 

Quadruple Alliance, the, 230. 
Quebec, foundation of, 17. 

Ragotsky, 351. 

Ramillies, battle of, 358. 

Rastadt, treaty of, 366. 

Ravaillac, 30. 

Ravensberg, duchy of, 51, 177. 

Reformation, the, in Germany, 9. 

Regale, the, right of, 250. 

Regensburg, diets at, 66, 79 ; truce 
of, 259. 

Restitution, Edict of, "jj, 96. 

Rethel, battle of. 162. 

Reunions, Chambres des, 258. 

Rhode, 293. 

Richelieu, cardinal, adviser of Marie 
de Medicis, 36 ; entry of into the 
ministry, 38 ; alliance of with Gus- 
tavus Adolphus, 88, 113 ; foreign 
policy of, 106 ; the Valtelline re- 
covered by, no; interference of in 
the Mantuan question, in ; in- 
trigues of in Germany, 112 ; de- 
claration of war against Spain by, 
114 ; want of success of at first, 
115 ; ultimate success of 117 ; posi- 
tion of France at the death of, 117 ; 
character of, 133 ; principles of the 
government of, 134 ; want of sym- 
pathy of with the people, 137 ; 
suppression of the Huguenot ris- 
ing of 1625 by, 142 ; war of with 
England, 144; the political power 
of the Huguenots suppressed by, 
146 ; administrative changes of, 
148 ; success of in the Day of 
Dupes, 150 ; the power of the 
nobles crushed by, 151, 152 ; cen- 
tralising policy of, 153. 

Rie, battle of, 37. 

Rocroy, battle of, 119. 

Rohan, risings of, 36, 145. 

Romanoff dynasty, the, accession 
of, 299. 

Rooke, Sir George, 356. 

Royal, Port, 373. 

Rudolf II., emperor, 10, 11, 29, 45 

Ruel, peace of, 163. 

Ruppa, 54. 

Russia, early history of, 298 ; rivalry 

of with Sweden, 84 ; supremacy of 

after NystSdt, 309. 
— See Alexis, Sophia, Peter the 

Ruvigny, 257. 
Ruyter, 229, 239, 
Ryswick, peace of, 264. 

Saluzzo, 27. 

Savoy, importance of the duchy of, 

Emanuel, duke of, 27. 

Charles Emanuel, duke of, 

assistance given to the Bohemians 
by, 55. 

Victor Amadeus, duke of, de- 
feat of at Staffarda, 263 ; refusal of 
to accept the partition treaty, 328 ; 
alliance of with France, 342 ; the 
Grand Alliance joined by, 351. 

Schellenberg, the, storming of, 354. 

Schomberg, 208, 257. 

Schwartzenburg, 179. 

Secularised lands in Germany, ques- 
tion of, 46. 

Sedan, surrender of to France, 152. 

Seignelay, 259, 264. 

Selim the Sot, 273. 

Seneff, battle of, 242. 

Servien, 162. 

Seventeenth century, importance of, 
I ; alteration in the political ideas 
of, 185 ; end of the, 372. 

Sigismond Augustus, of Poland, 279. 

of Poland, religious policy of, 

44 ; expulsion of from Sweden, 83 ; 
war of with Gustavus Adolphus, 


Silesia, occupation of by Wallen- 
stein, 73. 

Silesians, assistance given by to the 
Bohemians, 56 ; reduction of by 
John George of Saxony, 64. 

Sinzheim, battle of, 242. 

Sitvatorok, treaty of, 273, 

Slavata, 52. 

Sobieski, John, of Poland, alienation 
of by Louis xiv. , 260 ; defeat of 
Russia and the Cossacks by, 281 ; 
defeat of the Cossacks and Turks 
by, 282 ; election of as king of 
Poland, 283 ; the peace of Zurawno 
made by 283 ; alliance of with the 



emperor, 284 ; relief of Vienna by, 
285 ; the Turks driven out of Hun- 
gary by, 286. 

Soissons, count of, 143. 

Somers, 327. 

Sophia, princess, regency of, 300. 

Soubise, risings of, 37, 142. 

Spain, state of, in 1598, 12 ; weakness 
of, 129, 322. 

Spanish Succession, the, question of, 

Spinola, 67, in. 

S. Germain, assembly of, 251. 

S. Germain-en-Laye, treaty of, 297, 

S. Gothard, battle of, 209. 

S. Menehould, treaty of, 33. 

St. John, 227. 

Stadtholderate, the Dutch, put into 
commission, 225. 

Stadtlohn, battle of, 67. 

Staffarda, battle of, 263. 

Stahremberg, defence of Vienna by, 

defeat of, at Villa Viciosa, 365. 

Stanhope, capture of Port Mahon by, 
361 : capitulation of, 365. 

Stanislas Leczinski made king of 
Poland, 306. 

States-General, the, of France, char- 
acter of, 3 ; meeting of in 1614, 33. 

Steinkirk, battle of, 263, 

Stolbova, peace of, 85. 

Stolhofen, lines of, 351, 

Stralsund, siege of, 74. 

Strassburg, seizure of by Louis Xiv. , 
125, 242, 243, 258, 259, 264, 366, 


Streltsi, the, 299 ; revolts of, 300 ; 
abolition of, 304. 

Stuhmsdorf, treaty of, 86, 87. 

Suleiman, the Magnificent, 268, 271. 

Sully, character of, 15 ; economical 
policy of, 16 ; financial reforms of, 
17, 21 ; retirement of 31. 

Sweden, condition of at the begin- 
ning of the century, 81, 84 ; acquisi- 
tion of Holland by, 170 ; adhesion 
of to the Triple Alliance, 212 ; 
aUiance of with France, 215 ; loss 
of supremacy in the north by, 309. 

— — See Gustavus Adolphus, OxMi- 
stjema, Charles X., Charles xi., 
Charles xii. 

Swieten, Cornelius Bicker von, 225, 

Szcelankemen, battle of, 387. 

Taille, the, in France, 18, 19. 

Tallard, count, the partition treaties 
negotiated by, 318, 323 ; advice to 
Louis XIV. to keep faith, 331 ; 
campaigns of on the Rhine, 351, 

354, 355- 

Taxation in France, 18-21. 

Temple, Sir William, 211. 

Theodore, Czar of Russia, 300. 

Throwing from the window, the, 52. 

Thum, count, 52, 57. 

Tilly, count, general of the League, 
30, 49 ; victory of at the White 
Mountain, 63 ; victories of at 
Hochst, Wimpfen and Lutter, 66, 
73 ; invasion of Saxony by, 91 ; 
defeat of at Breitenfeld, 92 ; defeat 
of at the Lech, and death of, 95. 

Tokoli, 284, 286. 

Tolhuys, the, crossing of the Rhine 
at, 238. 

Torcy, 331. 

Torstenson, general, 92, 120, 169. 

Tourville, de, admiral, 259, 263. 

Travendal, treaty of, 306. 

Triple Alliance, the, 212, 215. 

Tromp, admiral, 228, 229. 

Troublous Times, the, 299. 

Turenne, count of, advice of at Frei- 
burg, 120 ; determination of the 
Thirty Years' War by, 120 ; cam- 
paign of against Cond6 in Cham- 
pagne, 130; victory of at the Dunes, 
131 ; adhesion of to the Fronde, 
161 ; defeat of at Rethel, 162 ; 
return of to the king's side and 
defeat of Cond^ by, 163 ; campaign 
of in the Netherlands, 210; invasion 
of the United Provinces by, 237 ; 
campaigns of on the Rhine, 239, 
240, 242 ; winter campaign of, 242 ; 
death of, 243. 

Turin, battle of, 357, 359. 

Turks, the Ottoman, establishment 
of in Europe, 266 ; defects of the 
rule of, 268 ; causes of the success 
of, 270 ; summit of the power of, 
271 ; alliance of with France, 272 ; 
antagonism of to Austria, 274 ; re- 
vival of under the Kiuprili, 276; 
defeat of at Vienna, 285 ; loss of 
the Danube valley by, 288. 

Urban viii., hi. 

Union, the Protestant, in Germany, 


European History^ 1 598-171 5 

United Provinces, the. See The 

Utrecht, peace of, provisions of the, 

367 ; merits and demerits of the, 


Valtelline, the valley of the, 13, 

Vasvar, treaty of, 277. 

Vauban, 258, 262. 

Vend6me, duke of, 36, 143, 156. 

duke of, campaign of against 

Eugene in Italy, 345 ; advance 
of to Trent, 351 ; retreat of 
to Piedmont, 351 ; campaign of 
in the Netherlands, 361 ; campaign 
of in Spain, 365. 

Vere, 65. 

Vervins, peace of, 6, 11, 14, 27. 

Victor Amadeus. See Savoy. 

Vigo, battle at, 356. 

Villa Viciosa, victory of the Portu- 
guese at, 209 ; victory of the 
Spaniards at, 365. 

Villars, marshal, campaign of on the 
Danube 1703, 351 ; capture of 
Stolhofen by, 360; intrusted with 
the last army of France, 364 ; cam- 
paigns of on the frontiers, 364, 365 ; 
victories of on the Rhine, 366. 

Villeroy, marshal, campaign of in 
Italy, 344 ; campaigns of in the 
Netherlands, 355, 357. 358, 

Wallenstein, count, conduct of at 
Zablat, 58 ; character and views of, 
69 ; offer of to raise an army, 70 ; 
campaign against Mansfeld, 71, 72 ; 
occupation of Silesia and Pomer- 
ania by, 73 ; resistance of Stralsund 
to, 74 ; poUtical results of the suc- 
cess of, 75 ; difference of with Fer- 
dinand and the League, 78 ; dis- 
missal of by Ferdinand, 80 ; 
appealed to by Ferdinand, 95 ; 
appointed dictator, 96 ; campaigns 
of against Gustavus Adolphus, 97, 
98 ; ambitious schemes of, loi ; 
declared traitor and murdered, 

Warsaw, battle of, 18a. 

Webb, general, 36a. 

Wehlau, treaty of, 183, 281. 

Werth, John, 120. 

Westphaha, peace of, the provisions 

of the, 123, 124 ; importance of the, 

White Mountain, battle of, 63. 
William the Silent, of Orange, mj, 


II. of Orange, attempt of to 

become king, 224 ; death of, 225. 

III. of Orange, education of 

by the State, 230 ; elected captain 
general, 233 ; accessory to the 
murder of de Witt, 234 ; defence of 
Holland by in 1672, 237 ; elected 
stadtholder, 239 ; defeat of at 
Seneff, 242 ; attacks Luxemburg 
near Mens to prevent peace, 244 ; 
character of, 246 ; made king of 
England, 262 ; campaigns of in 
the Netherlands, 263 ; negotia- 
tions for a partition treaty, 318- 
324 ; policy of in the negotia- 
tions, 320 ; unpopularity of in Eng- 
land, 327 ; recognition of Philip 
^- byi 334 ; formation of the 
Grand Alliance by, 340 ; death of, 


Willstedt, truce of, 32. 

Wimpfen, battle of, 66. 

Wittstock, battle of, 116. 

Witt, John de, negotiation of the 
Triple Alliance by, 210-212 ; ap- 
pointment of as grand pensionary 
of Holland, 225 ; character and 
policy of, 226 ; policy of towards 
England, 228, 231 ; policy of to- 
wards France, 232 ; enmity of to 
the House of Orange, 226, 233 ; 
murder of, 234. 

Wrangel, 121. 

Wynendaal, battle of, 362. 

Xanten, treaty of, 51, 177. 

York, New, capture of by England, 
229, 231. 

Zablat, battle of, 58. 
Zenta, battle of, 288. 
Zurawna, p)eace of, 283. 
Zusmarsbausen, battle of, lai. 


An Introduction to the History of the Church 

of England from the Earliest Times 

to the Present Day 

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Honorary Canon of Worcester, and Rector of Bainton, near Driffield. 
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seventeen years ; at the same time the text has been revised. 

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easily and clearly that it will be read with interest by the large class of general readers 
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