Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V09, Page 935 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
KINGDOM. 'Iogpl' .,. n Ga ''---•- Tole ~~ '~ .~+,q1 Y Cordo s 4 II Seville ~, 9 ti tit • d Boundary of the Roman Empire at the death of Theodoric b?B .: : ~..r~ Boundary of the Roman Empire at the death of Justinian 565 :.... Prankish Kingdom circa 500 .. . : Frankish Kingdom after 548 f Conquered from the West Goths 507-511 West Gothic Kingdom after 550 : IIIIIIIIIIII East Gothic Kingdom at the death of Theodoric ~IIIlillllll Roar Kingdom after SBB ~ Lombard Kingdom after 5B8._.. ••--•-- -- o too • Scale, t:38,000,00e . Soo Miles - nmrtylf/ between emperors of the East and West. It was the beginning not only of the break-up of the empire, but of that increasing divergence between the eastern and western types of European religion and culture which has continued to this day. The pressure of the Teutonic invasions became increasingly strong during the reigns of the emperor Valens and his successors. These invasions were of two types, (I) migrations of whole peoples with their old German patriarchal organization complete, (2) bands, larger or smaller, of emigrants in search of land to settle on, without tribal cohesion, but organized under the leadership of military chiefs. The earlier invaders, Goths and Vandals, and later the Burgundians and Lombards were of the first type; to the second belonged the Franks, " free " men from the Saxon plain, and the Saxon invaders of Britain. The distinction was a vital one; for the Goths, Vandals, Burgundians and Lombards never took root in the soil, and succumbed in turn, while the Frankish and Saxon immigrants, each man lord in his own estate, not only maintained themselves, but set up at the cost of the Roman organization and of the power of their own kings a wholly new polity, based on the independence of the territorial unit, which later on was to develop into feudalism. It was owing to the pressure of Turanian invaders from the East that the Teutonic peoples were first forced to take refuge within the empire. In 378 the Goths defeated and slew the emperor Valens in a battle near Adrianople; in 410 Alaric, king of the West Goths, sacked Rome; and shortly after his death the Goths passed into Gaul and Spain. In 429 Gaiseric, king of the Vandals, at the invitation, it is said, of the governor Bonifacius, passed over from Spain to Roman Africa, which became the centre of another Teutonic kingdom, soon established as a great naval power which for a while commanded the Mediterranean and devastated the coasts of Italy and Sicily with its piracies. Meanwhile the Franks and Burgundians were pressing into Germany and Gaul, while from 449 onwards the Saxons, the Angles and the Jutes invaded and occupied Britain. For a moment it was doubtful if the Aryan or Turanian-races would be supreme, but in 451 Attila, king of the Huns, was decisively beaten in the battle .of Chalons by a combination of Franks, Goths and Romans, under the Roman general Aetius and Theodosius, king of the Goths. This battle decided that Europewas to be Christian and independent of Asia and Africa. In 476 the succession of Western emperors came to an end with Odoacer's occupation of Rome, and with the decision of the Roman senate that one emperor was enough, and that the Eastern emperor, Zeno, should rule the whole empire. For a time Theodoric, king of the East Goths, ruled Italy, Gaul and Spain; but after his death in 526 the empire of the East Goths was shattered, and changes took place which led to the rise of independent Teutonic kingdoms in Gaul and Spain. In Gaul Clovis (d. 511), the king of the Franks, had already established his power, and in Spain, the West Gothic kingdom, with its capital at Toledo, now asserted its Teutonic independence. Under the emperor Justinian (527-565), indeed, the Roman empire seemed in a fair way to recover its supremacy; the Vandal kingdom in Africa was destroyed; in 555 the Byzantine general Narses finally shattered the power of the East Goths in Italy, and the exarchatg of Ravenna was established in dependence on the Eastern emperor; the West Goths were forced to give up the south of Spain; and the Persians were checked. But with the death of Justinian troubles began. In 568 the Lombards, under Alboin, appeared in Italy, which they overran as far south as the Tiber, establishing their kingdom on the ruins of the exarchate. Though in Asia the emperor Heraclius, in a series of victorious campaigns, broke the Persian power and succeeded even in extending the Roman dominion, Italy, save for a while Ravenna itself and a few scattered sea-coast towns, was thence-forth lost to the empire of which in theory it still formed a part, This catastrophe produced one result the importance of which it is impossible to exaggerate; the development of the political power of the papacy. At the beginning of the 6th century Rome, under Theodoric the Goth, was still the city of the Caesars, the tradition of its ancient life was yet unbroken; at the end of the century Rome, under Pope Gregory the Great (590-604), had become the city of the popes. And with the city the popes entered into some of the inheritance of the Caesars; in the world-wide activity of Gregory we already have a foreshadowing of universal claims, often effectively asserted, which made the great medieval popes, in a truer sense than the medieval emperors, the representatives of the idea of Roman imperial unity (see Rona, sec. ii. Middle Ages; PAPACY). The Teutonic invasions. The next event that profoundly affected the history_of Europe was the rise of Mahommedanism. .%A.d biz t;'s s'tktki>t Yeart{ r- -7 The He after Gregory's dead s oeeurred the # ht` %;r'of glra, A. a Mahomet from A1ecca to Medusa, which fixed the W. Rise memorable era of 'the ` Hegira. The.full floret of the °fmaoi n- militant-religion founded-by the Arab prophet was not felt till after his death 03+4. The emperor Heraclius, the vigour of his manhood passed,ivas"unable to meet this new peril; the Arabs, strong in their h dy simplicity and new-born { religious fanaticism, and aided bythe-.treason and cowardice of the decadent Roman governing classes, overran Asia Minor, eon4tfered Egypt and the Ss Tole of northern Africa, overwhaii d the Gothis,.kingdgm'in Spain, and even penetrated beyond the Pyre>}iees to the conquest of the province of Narboskise. Oe of the Chief effects of these Arab conquests was that ~hr~atiar i:ivilfzation "became gradually con ded to Europe,, the twas that, they trade routes 4o the East, were cled tat t,We 'West nations, The conquest of Narbonne marked the ff tf" o€.;the advance of Islam in western to p'lile, fei 1 73 the rahre'Were Overthrown by Charles Martel :'in the battle of Tours, and a few years later were driven ou"tslof Gaul. In Spain. however, they succeeded in maintains themselves throughout the n fiddle ages, developing -° li'"g' type of civilization which had ] g considerable influence on the intellectual life of medieval 1utope and it was not till 1494 that Granada, their last possessionjiii the peninsula, was conquered bythe Cltziatian mcinares, Ferdinand and Isabella. The. battle of Tours emphasized and increased• the power and reputation of Charles Martel; As a mayor of the palce to the rli® Caen-_decadent Merovingian successors &faClaxis, he was Iingians. virtually ruler of the Franks, and, after his death, the last of the rois faineants of the house of Merovech was deposed, and Pippin, Charles's son, was elected king of the Franks. The prestige of the Carolingian house,(to give it the name it was later known by). was increased when, at the urgent entreaty of Pope Stephen 'III., Pippin marched into Italy and saved Rome from the Lombards, who were endeavouring to extend their power southwards. Pippin's son Charles (Charlemagne) finally conquered the Lombards in 774 and thus added part of northern Italy to his dominions. In 707 an even of the highest importance to the European world took place. The emperor Constantine VI. was deposed The coro6- by his mother Irene, who seized the throne. Thereupon anon of Pope Leo and the Roman people definitely threw Charles the off the authority of the emperors of Constantinople, Great as on the ground that a woman could not hold the position emperor, son.' of Caesar. In 8mo Leo' crowned Charlemagne emperor at Rome, and henceforth 6111 453, when Constantinople was conquered by the Turks, there was an Eastern and a Western Charlemagne's Empire at its greatest extent. empire.. r Till his death in 814 Charlemagne was king of the ritnks+as a5 erttperor. His kingdom embraced not only all Germany •and nadern France, but -included -a large part of Italy and Spain. as f•ar-as;the• Ebro. Under his rule western, Europe was united in a powerful empire, in the organization of which the principles of Roman and Teutonic administration were blended`; and after his death, he left.. to his successors,, the Frankish and German kings, the tradition of a centralized government which survived the chaos of the period that followed,` and the prescriptive right to the title and prestige of Roman emperors—a.;tradition and a :claim that were to exercise a ndt*ble effect.., on the development of European history for centuries try come. (See FRANCE: .H2rtory and CHARLEMAGNE)? The period from the death of Charlemagne (814) to the 12thCentury is cha acterized in western Europe by the general we.kenitrgiof tiles idea of central government and by eprope the ri~~se~sOf feudalism:. During the `same period the after the't Kor r r Byzantine empire escaped disruption death of atd, presdlC ins the traditions of Roman civil `and Charlemagne. militB,''r administration, formed an effective barrier fef Europe and Christendom against the advancing tide of Islam.r At the saint time, however, the growing divergence between ute; a'fern atid Western Churches, which had been accentuated`' ;l$y ,the iconoclastic controversy (see ICONOCLASTS), and was! destined in 1053 to culminate in a definite schism, was gradually, wideging the breach between the two .types .of European civilization, which came into violent conflict at the beginning of. the' 1',3 th:century, when crusaders from western Europe captured Constantinople and set up a Latin empire in the East (see ROMAN ... EMPIRE,.-:LATER, Cnuacn HISTORY;. CRUSADES). In western Europe, meanwhile, the unity of the empire did not long survive Charlemagne. Its definite break-up dates from the treaty of Verdun (843), by which Charles the Bald received Neustria, Aquitaine and western Burgundy, Louis the German Bavaria, Swabia, Saxony and Thuringia, and the emperor Lothair' the middle kingdom known by his name, the regnum Lolharii or Lotharingia (see LORRAINl). By the partition of Mersen (87o) Lotharingia itself was divided between the West and East Frankish realms—France:and Germany, terms which from this time begin to represent true national divisions. With the treaties of Verdun and Mersen the history of the European state system may, be said to begin. At first, indeed, it seemed as though the nascent states were about to be dissolved by disruption from within and attacks from without. All alike were subject to the attacks of the Norse sea-rovers, hardy pirates who not only Rudai sm. scourged all the coasts of Europe but penetrated, burning and :harrying, far inland up the great waterways. Meanwhile, the weakening of central government due to dynastic The Western Empire after the Partition ot'lifersen8zo ivision of the Empire by the Treaty of Verdun, as Charles the Saitt.,sa. Lothair .,.,. Louis the German...:. :EUROPE struggles had led to the growth of independent or semi»indepiend ent powers within the states themselves. The Frank landownefs had successfully asserted their independence of the jurisdiction of the king (or emperor) and his officials; the imperial official's themselves, dukes or counts, had received grants of lands with similar immunities (beneficia), and these had become hereditary. Thus sprang up a class of great territorial nobles to whom, amid the growing anarchy, men looked for protection rather than ,to the weak and remote central power; and so, out of the chaos that followed the break-up of the empire of Charlemagne, teas born the feudal system of the middle ages (see FEUDALISM). This organization was admirable for defence; and with its aid, before the close of the first decade of the loth century% the frontiers of France and Germany had been made safe against the northern barbarians, who had either been driven off and barriers erected against their teturn—e.g. the marks established by Henry the Fowler along the middle Elbe—or, as in the case of the Normans; absorbed into. a system well' adapted for such a process. By the treaty of St Claire-sur-Epte (911) between Charles the Simple and Rollo; chief of the Norsemen, the Normans were established in the country since known as Normandy (q.v;); as feudatories of the French crown. In England, by the'treaty of Wedmore (878) between Alfred-and the Danish king Guthman, the Danes had already been established in a large part of England: Feudalism, by the time the Northmen had been subdued by its aid; was quite firmly established in the western part of Europe: During the 11th century it was carried by the Normans Ro,ratty into England, into Sicily and southern Italy, and by the and tehaalism. nobles of the first crusade into the newly established kingdom of Jerusalem (1099). By the kings of France, England and Germany, however, who saw themselves in danger of being stripped of all but the semblance of power by its delega tion to their more or less nominal vassals, the feudal otganization was early recognized as impossible as a form of state government, if the state was to be preserved; and the history of the three great European powers during the succeeding centuries is mainly that of the struggle of the sovereigns against the disruptive'ambitions of the great feudal nobles. In England the problem was, from the outset, simplified; for though William the Conqueror introduced the system of feudal land tenure into England in 'io66 he refused to set it up as his system of government; retaining alongside of it the old English national policy. In Prance, on the other hand, feudalism as a system of government had become firmly established; and it was not' till the days of Philip Augustus (1180-1223) and Louis IX. (1226-1270) that the monarchy began to get the upper hand. From this time until the r7th century the power of the French monarchy,inSpite ofocca'sional lapses, grew steadily stronger. The reverse was the case with the German kingship. Its association with the undefined claims involved in the title of Roman emperor; traditionally attached to it, and notably those to authority in Italy, necessitated con-cession after concession to the feudal nobles, in order to purchase their support for their assertion. The kingship, moreover, became elective; the imperial title was obtainable only at Rome at the hands of the pope; and the Gelman kings thus became entangled in contests, not only with their own vassals, but with the tremendous spiritual force of the medieval papacy by which, for its own ends, the spirit of feudal insubordination Was from time to time fomented. Thus in Germany the feudal nobles gradually acquired a sovereign status which; in some cases, has survived the territorial rearrangements of the r9th cerftury and left its mark on the federal 'constitution of modern Germany; while the kingship and the imperial title grew more arid more shadowy till in 1806 it vanished altogether. (See ENGLISH HISTORY; FRANCE: History; GERMANY: History.) In France the process by which a strong hereditary monarchy was established was a slow one. During the' greater 'part of the loth century the Carolingians, stripped' of the vast These of domains which had been the basis of the power of the house et caper. Pippin, owed their continued existence to the for- bearance of Hugh the Great, cbunt of Paris. In 987, however, the last Carolingian king died, and thighCapet, son of Hugh the Great,1'he most ,powerful of the territorial magnates, was choseniki'ng ;af, France„', With his election sages, thq, eaa beginning of the, French monarchy, and under him and his successors Paris became,;the-capital of >France. Ifugh's ,ele'c'tic~n, however, was the ' work,of the great feudatories, and ii ce remained divided among a number of great fiefs, of which the chief were Brittany, Anjou, Flanders, Vermandois, Champagne, Burgundy, Aquitaine, ,Poitous Gascony, Toulouse and Normany. While the central power in France advanced slowly but steadily', the development of the royal authority in. Germany was in:. the loth, and : 1 rth centuries more rapid. In or' 'the . German magnates had elected Conrad the, The royal Franconian to reign over them, and in 910 Henry Cfermsay. permany t` the Fowler" of Saxony, '' whose reign forms one of the great turning-points in' the history of the German nation." He defeated the' Hungarians, the Slays and the Danes, and by encouraging the growth and development of towns he, contributed greatly to the formation of the German kingdom. His immediate successors; -Otto the `'Great and Otto II., continued his work; which was only. interrupted for, a short time during the reign of the idealist 'Otto III., ' whose " cosmopolitan imperialism " brought: him into' collision with the German Church and to, some extent with the German nobles. Henry II. (1002-1025) asserted with' success his authority over Germany, and his successor Conrad IL, who belonged to theSalian or Franconian, line,, did ' mush to secure unity arid prosperity to the Empire. His son. and successot Henry (1039-1056) governed Germany wisely; and hisreign'witnessed the culminating point of the Holy Roman Empire. At the time of his death it seemed probable that Germany, like England and France, would gradually escape from the thraldom of the'great feudatories. The future of the German monarchy-depended upon the ability of future kings to' suppress the fences of feudal disintegration in Germany, and to wit)itta,gd the temptation of struggling to establish their influence over Italy: Unfortunately for German kingship Henry IV.' (tol6e rto6) was only six years old on his accession, and when he became a man he found that the papacy' under Hildebrand's influence wat practically independent of the emperor. Had Henry confined his efforts to coercing the German barons he might, like the Normans and Angevins in England, and like the Capetians-in France, have proved successful. Unfortunately for !Germany Henry entered upon the 'famous contest with the papacy under Gregory VII. (to73 - Io8o), which ended in the 13th century in the defeat of the Empire in the person of Frederick II. The struggle began in '1073 over' the question of investiture (q.v:), and widened into 'a duel between the spiritual and temporal powers. During the early years of the contest the influence of the papacy reached a high pitch and made itself felt in the crusading movement, which received its first impetus from Pope Urban II:, who appealed to Europe at the council of Clermont 111 ro9$ to recover the Holy Places from the Turks. During'the x1th'century the Eastern Empire was attacked by the Russians,"the' Normans and the Seljuks. The emperor Alexius Coninenus found himself on his accession in : The 1081 threatened by the Seljuks (the victors in the de- eastern ' cisivebattle of Manzikertin 1071) and by the Sicilian Empire Normans who in io8i besieged Durazzo. In 1083 he crasades. defeated the Normans in the battle of Durazzo, and with the' death of Robert Guiscard in Io85 all danger from a fresh Norman invasion passed away. But the first ,crusade broutlit new an'fieties to Alexius, for he feared that the crusaders might attack Constantinople. That fear removed, he took'advaritage of the increased connexion between eastern and western Europe by bestowing commercial privileges upon the Italian trading republics; who "thus gained access to the ports of the Empire on easy terms. With the era of the Crusaded, which Iasted till the middle of the 13th 'century, Europe entered upon a period of change; the importance' of which is realised by contrasting the condition of western Christendom' in the r nth with its `condition in the f3th century. Betweentbe opening and close of the crusading movement Europe underwent a complete revolution. Wb^le the Crusades tended to enhance the prestige and authority of the papacy and the power of European monarchs, they also led to ' increased knowledge of the East, to the rapid de-The veldppment of commerce, to the introduction of new sades and the Hilde- industries, to the rapid decline of the influence of the brand,ne feudal nobility, and to the rapid development of town retorma- life (see COMMUNE). At the same time the Hilde- t,on. brandine reformation was having an immense influence upon the intellectual condition of Europe. The 12th century saw the establishment of many new monastic orders (see MoNASTICIsM), and at the same time a remarkable speculative and literary revival (see SCHOLASTICISM). This movement owed not a little of its success to the influence of the Crusades, which stirred up intellectual as well as commercial activity. This intellectual activity, as well as the fruits of commercial expansion, were—since learning was still a monopoly of the clerical order—weapons in the hands of the papacy, which in the 12th century attained the height of its power, if not of its pretensions. It is, indeed, impossible to exaggerate the influence of the Roman Church upon the development of Europe at this period. The popes, in fact, represented Europe in a sense that could not be predicated of the emperors; the terror of their spiritual power, their vast wealth derived from the tribute of all the West, their unique experience of international affairs, and—in 'the case of the great popes of this epoch—the superiority of their minds and characters, made them not only the spiritual rulers of Europe, but the effective centres of whatever political unity it possessed. As a Byzantine observer was to observe of Innocent III., they had become the successors of the Caesars rather than of Peter (see PAPACY). Nowhere were the beneficial effects of the Crusades seen more clearly than in France. The smaller fiefs were steadily absorbed Growth of by the greater lordships, which in their turn fell the royal victims to the royal power. It might almost be said power in that " modern France is a creation of the Crusades." France. The effects of the crusading movement were felt in France as early as the reign of Louis VI. (1108–1137). Aided by his able minister Suger, Louis managed before his death to add to the possessions of his house the Ile de France and a prospective claim to Poitou and Aquitaine. Under his successor Louis VII. (1137–118o) the consolidation movement was checked owing to the marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine (after her divorce from Louis VII.) to Henry II. of England. By the addition of his wife's lands (Gascony and Guienne) to those which he had already inherited from his father and mother (Normandy, Anjou, Touraine and Maine) Henry was enabled to form the powerful though short-lived Angevin empire. But the lost ground was rapidly recovered by Philip Augustus (1180-1223), who took advantage of the weakness and folly of John of England, and before 1215 had united firmly to France Normandy, Maine, Anjou and Touraine. Louis VIII. and Louis IX. adhered firmly to the policy of Philip IV., and in 1258, by the treaty of Paris, Henry III. of England recognized the loss of Poitou. There thus remained to England out of the vast continental domains of Henry II. only Gascony and Guienne. The rest of Europe was also in various degrees affected by the Crusades. -While Spain was occupied in a crusade of her own General against the Moors and gradually driving them into results Granada, Germany, Italy, and to some extent England, of the were interested in, and influenced by, the Crusades Crusades. against the Turks. During the absence of many of the nobles in the East the growth of towns and the development of the mercantile class proceeded without interruption. The trading classes demanded strong governments and equal justice, and vigorously supported the monarchs in' their suppression of feudalism. During the 12th and 13th centuries the Crusades thus proved a large factor in the commercial prosperity of the Italian maritime states, an " open door " between East and West was secured, and reinforcements from Europe, were poured into Syria as long as the peoples of the West regarded the stability of the Latin kingdom of Syria as a matter of prime importance. During the crusading period a check was placed to the tide of Mahommedan conquest, while to the caliphate the Crusades proved a perpetual drain upon its material resources. To the Mahommedans the possession of the Holy Places by the Christians was as great a humiliation as their desecration by the Mahommedans was to the crusaders. Unfortunately the Crusades led to a disastrous schism between the Byzantine empire and western Christendom, which had calamitous results. The decay of the crusading spirit was a necessary result of the growth of the consolidation of the European nations, but the price paid was the fall of Constantinople and the establishment of the Turks in eastern Europe. The Crusades thus not only postponed the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks for some two hundred years, but led, as had already been said, to a vast expansion of commerce, as seen in the rapid growth and development of the Italian cities, and to a striking development of town life. The Crusades had enormously strengthened the power and prestige of the papacy, and indirectly contributed to its victory over the Empire in the person of Frederick II. From the reign of the emperor Henry IV. to the death of t„gg.1e Frederick II. in 1250 the struggle between the Empire between and the papacy continued, and is coincident in point the empire of time with the Crusades. The reign of Frederick andthe Barbarossa (1152–1190) saw that struggle at its height, papacy and during that reign it became apparent that the emperor's efforts to unite Italy and Germany under one crown were doomed to failure. The rise and success of the alliance of Italian republics known as the Lombard League no doubt contributed to the success of the papacy, but in their contest with the popes the emperors never had any chance of gaining a permanent victory. Frederick II. continued with great energy to attempt the hope-less task of dominating the papacy, but his possession of Sicily only made the popes more determined than ever to establish their predominance in Italy. Frederick's death in 1250 marked not only the triumph of the papacy in Italy, but also that of feudalism in Germany. He has been called the " most dazzling of the long line of imperial failures," and with him ends the Empire as it was originally conceived. Henceforward the Holy Roman Empire, which implied the unity of Italy and Germany, and the close alliance of pope and emperor, no longer exists save in name, and its place is taken by a glorified German kingship presiding over a confederation of turbulent German nobles. Thus with the later years of the 13th century Europe had arrived at the definite close of one epoch and the beginning of another. The period of the Crusades was over, the Europe,. theory of the Holy Roman Empire had broken down. the 14th The period from the beginning of the 14th to the close and 15th of the 15th century might well be styled the latter centuries. days of medieval Europe. During the 14th and 15th centuries the idea of regarding Europe as one state in which emperor and pope presided over a number of subordinate kings gave way before the spirit of nationalism and particularism. England, France and Spain were rapidly becoming strong centralized monarchies which stood in striking contrast to the weakened Empire. Partly no doubt owing to the failure of the Empire and papacy to work together, a great impetus had been given to the formation of national monarchies. While Frederick II. had failed, Louis IX. and Philip IV. of France, Ferdinand III. of Castile (1217–1252), James the Conqueror, king of Aragon (1213–1276) and Edward I. of England (1239–1307) succeeded in laying the foundations of strong monarchies which after two centuries of struggles with the dying efforts of feudalism were established on a firm basis. In spite of' the intellectual activity and political developments which characterized the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries it remains true that the dater middle ages were marked by the decay of those remarkable social and political forces which had been such striking characteristics of the earlier period (see MIDDLE AGES). Thus the 14th and r5th centuries have characteristics which differentiate them from all preceding and succeeding centuries, The triumph of the papacy over the Empire had been short-lived. Owing to the disturbed state of Italy; Clement V. Was in 13o5 compelled to take refuge at Avignon, and till 1377—a summary period known as the Babylonish captivity—the popes c the character_ remained in France. While the Empire and papacy Istics of steadily decline, while the Byzantine empire falls the 14th before the Turks, strong monarchies are gradually and 15th formed in England, France, Spain, and Portugal, and centuries. in Italy the Renaissance movement covers the later years of the 15th century with glory (see RENAISSANCE). During these centuries there is common to Europe no one principle which is to be found in all kingdoms. But while the old system, founded on belief in the unity of Europe under the Empire and papacy, declines amid chaos and turbulence, there is much intellectual and political activity which portends the appearance of an entirely new state of things. The 14th and 15th centuries may truly be styled a period of transition. From the death of Conrad IV., the son of Frederick II., in 1254 to 1273, when Rudolph of Habsburg became king, chaos The decline reigned in Germany, and the period is known as the of the Great Interregnum. The forces of decentralization Empire, strengthened themselves, and the emperors found that 1254" the formation of a strong and united German kingdom 1519' was an impossibility. Rudolph of Habsburg (1273-1291), realizing what were the limits of his power in Germany and the futility of attempting to establish his hold upon Italy, began that policy of family aggrandizement which was continued so notably by successive members of his house. His reign witnessed the firm establishment of the house of Anjou in Naples, and, after the Sicilian Vespers in 1282, the supremacy of the house of Aragon in Sicily. Refusing to follow the example of Frederick II. and to take part in distant expeditions, Rudolph conquered Austria, Styria, Carinthia and Carniola, Vienna became the capital of the Habsburg dominions in Germany, and his son Albert of Austria, who was king from 1298 to 1308, was careful to continue the policy of his father. Though no Habsburg was again elected to the imperial throne till 1438, when the long succession of emperors began which continued unbroken till 1742, the establishment of the Habsburgs in Austria by Rudolph proved an event of European importance. From that time the, leading members of the Habsburg family never lost an opportunity of aggrandizement. In 1335 they received Carinthia, in 1363 the Tirol. While, however, the Habsburgs, the Wittelsbachs and later the house of Brandenburg were strengthening themselves, the Empire was steadily declining in power and influence. The 14th century saw Switzerland shake itself free from the Austrian house and establish its independence, which was, however, not formally acknowledged till the treaty of Westphalia in 1648. During the 14th century the weakness of the Empire became more and more accentuated under the weak rule of Louis IV. On his death in 1346 his successor Charles of Luxemburg, known as the emperor Charles IV., made a celebrated attempt to form a strong centralized German monarchy. With that object he issued in 1356 the Golden Bull, by which it was hoped that all matters connected with the imperial election would be settled. The number of imperial electors was settled, and henceforth they were to consist of the archbishops of Cologne, Mainz and Trier, and of the king of Bohemia, the duke of Saxony, the margrave of Brandenburg and the count palatine of the Rhine. Charles hoped to concentrate gradually in his house all the chief German provinces, and having by the Golden Bull endeavoured to check the growth of the towns, he expected to establish firmly the imperial influence in Germany. But the towns were too strong to be coerced, and during his reign the Swabian cities formed a union; and though the marriage of his son Sigismund to the heiress of the king of Hungary and Poland, and the possession of Brandenburg, which fell to him in 1373, seemed steps towards the realization of his hopes, his death in 1378 left his work unfinished. Moreover, his son and successor Wenceslaus (1378-1400) proved, like Richard II. of England and Charles VI. of France, unequal to the task of checking the growingindependence of the nobles and the cities. The Hanseatic League (q.v.) was at the height of its power, and in 1381 the Rhenish towns formed a confederation. Wenceslaus, like Richard II., had fallen upon evil times. The advance westwards by the Turks occupied the attention of his brother Sigismund, now king of Hungary; he was himself unpopular in Bohemia, and at the same time was exposed to the intrigues of his cousin Jobst of Moravia, who had secured Brandenburg. In 1400 Wenceslaus was formally deposed by the electors, and spent the rest of his life in Bohemia, where he died in 1419. His successor Rupert of the palatinate reigned from 1400 to 1410, and during his reign the council of Pisa endeavoured to bring to an end the great schism which had followed upon the return of Pope Urban VI. from Avignon to Rome in 1377. Two popes had been elected, one living at Rome, the other at Avignon, and Christian Europe was scandalized at the sight of two rival pontiffs. On Rupert's death the electors chose Sigismund the brother of Wenceslaus, and he ruled as emperor from 1411 to 1437. Thus at the beginning of the 15th century the papacy was seen to have fallen from the high position which it occupied at the time of the death of Frederick II. The Avignon captivity followed by the great schism weakened its Decline temporal as well as its spiritual power and prestige, :fetch" papacy. while national developments and dynastic ambitions, such as led to the Hundred Years' War, diverted men's minds from religious to purely temporal concerns. The work of Wycliffe and Hus illustrated not only the decline of papal prestige but also the general opinion that reform in the papacy was necessary. Sigismund's reign as emperor was rendered 51915 noteworthy by the part which he took in the council of n,una Constance (q.v.), and by his successful efforts to sup- emperor, press the Hussite movement in Bohemia (see HussITEs). 1411" That country on the death of Wenceslaus in 1419 143 fell to Sigismund, but it was not till 1431, after a long and sanguinary war, that the opposition to the union of Bohemia with the Empire was suppressed. Led by YLiika and other able chiefs, the Bohemians who were Slays utilized the Hussite movement in a vigorous attempt to secure their independence. In 1436 Sigismund was formally acknowledged king of Bohemia. In 1431, the year of the final overthrow of the Bohemians and the Hussites, he opened the council of Basel (q.v.), being resolved to establish a religious peace in Europe and to prevent the Hussite doctrines from spreading into Germany. In 1438 Sigismund died, leaving Germany involved in a quarrel with the papacy, but having successfully withstood the efforts of the Bohemians to acquire independence. Sigismund's death marks an epoch in the history of the Empire, for his successor Albert of Austria proved to be the first of a long line of Habsburg emperors. Albert himself reigned only from 1438 to 1440, but on his death the imperial dignity was conferred upon another member of the Habsburg house, Frederick, duke of Styria and Carinthia, known as the emperor Frederick III. With his accession the imperial throne became practically hereditary in the Habsburg family. Frederick's long reign, which lasted from 1440 to 1493, was of little benefit to Germany; for he showed no administrative skill and proved a weak and incapable ruler. Undoubtedly his lot fell upon evil days, for not only were the Turks at the height of their power, but both Bohemia and Hungary gave him much anxiety. The imminent fall The taking of Constantinople, the last barrier of Christendom aeon- against Islam in the East, was a threat not only to stanunthe Empire, but to all Christian Europe. But western ofhpeieTurk 4y s. Europe was too much occupied with internecinefeuds to unite effectively against the common enemy. In vain the emperor John VI. had gone in person to solicit aid at the various courts of the West; in vain he had humbled himself to pay the price asked, by subscribing to the abnegation of the distinctive tenets of the Orthodox Church, which secured the ephemeral reunion of Christendom at the council of Florence (1438). The crusading spirit was dead; the European powers stirred no finger to save the imperial city; and in 1453 Sultan Mahommed II. rode through the breach over the body of the last of the Eastern Caesars, and planted the crescent on the dome of the metropolitan ;lurch. of Eastern Christendom (see . TuRiEY; and ROMAN EMPIRE, LATER). The fall of Constantinople marked the definite establishment on European soil of a power alien and hostile to all that was characteristic of European civilization. It was a power, more-over, which could live only by expanding; and for over two hundred years to come the dread of Ottoman aggression was a dominant factor in the politics of eastern Europe. The tide of Turkish advance could have been arrested by union of Europe; but the appeals of Pope Nicholas V. fell unheeded upon a sceptical age, intent only on its dynastic and particularist ambitions, To the emperor the ousting of the' Ottomans from the Balkan peninsula seemed of less importance than the consolidation of the Habsburg power in Germany, and its extension over the neighbouring kingdoms of Hungary and Bohemia. France was exhausted by the long agony of the Hundred Years' War, which came to an end the very year of the fall of Constantinople, and the French kings—especially Louis XI. (2461-1483)—were busy for the rest of the century crushing out the remnants of feudalism and consolidating the power of the, monarchy. As for Italy, with its petty tyrants and' its condottieri, there was no hope of uniting it for any purpose whatever, least of all a religious purpose, and Spain was busy with her own crusades against, the Moors. The exploits of John Hunyadi, king of Hungary, against the, Turks, therefore, remained isolated and unsupported. In 1456 he checked their advance northwards by a brilliant victory which led to the relief of Belgrade; but he died the same year, and his death was followed by a struggle for the succession between Hungarians and Bohemians. The racial and religious quarrels of the Balkan peoples had made it possible for the Turks to obtain a foothold in Europe; the jealousies and internecine struggles of the Christian states made possible the vast expansion of the Ottoman power, which in the 17th century was to advance the frontiers of Islam to those of Germany and to reduce the emperors, in their relations with the Porte, to. the status of tributary princes. The victory of Ladislaus, son of Casimir, king of Poland, who succeeded in uniting in his own person the crowns of Bohemia, Hungary and . Poland, threatened to result in the permanent independence of those countries of the house of Habsburg, But in 1490 Ladislaus was compelled by Maximilian, son of Frederick III., to sign the treaty of Pressburg, providing for the eventual succession of the Habsburgs to Hungary and Bohemia. In other ways the reign of Frederick III. laid the foundations of the greatness of his family. In 1477 Maximilian married Mary, Ceesellda• duchess of Burgundy and heiress of Charles the Bold, tion of the' and through her the Habsburgs obtained Franche Habsburg' Comte and the Netherlands. The line, Bella gerant power. alii, tofelix Austria nube, well described--,themethod by which the hpuse of Habsburg increased its possessions and established its fortunes. A.E.I.O.U. (Austrian est imperare orbi universe) was the device invented for his house at that time by Frederick III. and it proved no idle boast. Maximilian I., the son of Frederick III., reigned from 1493 to 1519, and during his reign Europe passed from medieval to modern times. Some reforms in the Empire were carried out, but the events of his reign made it apparent that it was impossible to set up a central-. ized monarchy in Germany (see MAXIMILIAN I.; GERMANY and AuspuA,: History). Far different developments were taking place during the 14th and 15th centuries in France, Spain, the Scandinavian France in north and in England. During the greater part of the the,rath 14th century France was engaged in foreign wars and and loth in internal complications, and it seemed doubtful if a centnNes, strong centralized monarchy would be firmly established. The failure of Philip VI. (1328-1350) and John (1350—1364) in their contest with England weakened the central power in France, and, though Charles V. (1364—1389), owing to his own sagacity. end the weakness of the English government, managed to regain for France many of her lost provinces, the French power both at home and abroad again declined under the'rule ofthe. ineapable,Charles VII. (1380-1422). In fact the year 1422 may be said to mark the lowest stage in the history of the French monarchy, From. that year an improvement gradually set in. A national sentiment, as exemplified in the career of Joan of Arc (q.v.), was developed; an alliance, essential for the successful expulsion of the English from France, was made in 1435 between the king of France and the duke of Burgundy; and in 1439 the famous: ordinance empowering the king to maintain a standing army and to raise money for its maintenance was passed ai Orleans by the states-general. These measures proved successful; in 1453 the Hundred Years' War came to an end, and Louis XI. managed between 1461 and 1483 to establish an absolutism in France on sure foundations. Under his successor Charles VIII. (1483-1498), Brittany was annexed, and France, secure fromall danger of a feudal reaction, entered with the invasion of Italy in 1494 by Charles VIII. upon modern times. A similar process is observable in England and Spain, In England the Wars of the Roses were followed by the establishment of a strong monarchy under Henry, VII., while in Spain Ferdinand and Isabella established in place of anarchy the royal authority, and during their reign suppressed all attempts at provincial independence. In 1491 the consolidation' of Spain was completed by the conquest of Granada. In 13977 by the union of Calmar, the three kingdoms of Norway, Sweden and Denmark were united under Eric XIII. This union was, however, short-lived, and in the early years of the 16th century came definitely to an end (see NORWAY; SWEDEN; DENMARK). The dose of the middle ages and the beginning of modern times was marked by several noteworthy events. The invention of• printing, the discovery of America and the invasion The dose of Italy by Charles VIII. all occurred before the end of the of the 18th century, while in the early years of the 16th middle century the ideal, of civil and ecclesiastical unity was ages' finally shattered by the Reformation and by the development of the modern states system, accompanied by the prominence henceforward attached to the question of the balance of power: During the whole of'the 15th century Europe had been affected by what is known as the Renaissance movement, which marked the transition from the medieval to the modern order. The This movement, caused by the growth of learning, naissance. had its first home in Italy, which had witnessed a marvellous revival of interest in classical antiquity, in painting and in sculpture, accompanied by a keen intellectual activity in religious and political, no less than in literary matters. Criticism of existing beliefs was developed, knowledge became widely diffused, and, while the way was prepared for the substitution of individualism for the old ecclesiastical system, the development of commerce coincident with the discovery of America and the establishment of monarchical systems destroyed feudalism (see RENAISSANCE). The later years of the 15th, and the early years of the 16th, centuries may be described as the transition from medievalism to modern times, from feudalism to individualism, from the idea of a world church and a world empire to one in which national consolidation was the chief feature and monarchical government a necessity. From the. beginning of the 16th century Europe entered upon modern times. Many events marked the close of the middle ages. The discovery of America, the decay of Venice, swmmal'y the, development of the European states system, the rise ofBuro- of diplomacy as a permanent international system (see peen DIPLOMACY), the wars of religion—all these are the history general characteristics of the new period upon which from tsao. Europe now enters., With the growth of monarchies arises the belief in the divine right of kings, the development of territorial sovereignty, and wars of ambition like those waged by Louis XIV. With the 18th century democratic ideas first begin to appear side by side with the rule of the enlightened despots such as Frederick the Great, Catherine II. and Joseph II. The outbreak of the French Revolution brings to an end the old European system, upsets the ideas on which it was founded, and leads to important territorial changes. HISTORY( The advent of the Reformation, as has already been pointed out, finally shattered that ideal of civil and religious unity which had been the main characteristic of the middle The ages. Thus from the beginning of the 16th century balance of power and Europe sees the development of the modern states the begla- system and becomes the scene of national wars in agog of which the idea of the balance of power was the leading modern times. principle (see BALANCE OF POWER). That principle did not allow of the recognition of the rights of nationalities, and till the wars of the French Revolution the interests of the various European states were usually subordinated to the dynastic aims of their rulers. During the ensuing centuries the balance of power in Europe was seriously threatened; during the first half of the 16th century by Charles V., during the latter half of the same century by Philip II., in the first half of the 17th century by the house of Habsburg, and in the latter half by Louis XIV. The close of the Seven Years' War seemed to prelude a period of British ascendancy on the continent, but that danger passed away with the outbreak of the war between Great Britain and her American colonies. For a time the balance of power in Europe was completely shattered by Napoleon's brilliant conquests, but his fall, while to a great extent restoring the political equilibrium, gave an opportunity to Alexander of Russia to dominate Europe. Thus the 16th century definitely marked the beginning of modern times both from apolitical as well as from a religious point of view. With the accession of Francis I. to the French and Charles V. to the imperial throne began the long rivalry between France The Refer- and the house of Habsburg, which continued with few mation and Interruptions till 1756. In the struggle between the rivalry Charles V. and Francis I., which began in 1521, the of Charles former had the advantage, and the battle of Pavia v. an (1525) seemed likely to lead to the permanent pre- Francis I. eminence of the imperial cause. But unexpected allies were found by Francis in the German reformers and in the Turks. The nailing by Luther of his ninety-five theses to the door of the Wittenberg church, followed by the decisions of the diet of Worms in 1521, led to a rapid development of Lutheran opinions among the princes of the north of Germany. Charles V.'s victory over France in 1525 and his reconciliation with the papacy in 1529 seemed, however, to prelude the suppression of the Protestant opinions. But Francis I. again took up arms, while the invasions of Suleiman the Magnificent, diiring whose reign the Turkish influence was not only felt in Hungary and Germany but extended to the west basin of the Mediterranean, forced Charles to temporize. When in 1544 the conclusion of the peace of Crepy with Francis I. enabled Charles to turn his attention to the rapid growth of Protestantism, it was too late to adopt with any chance of success a policy of suppression. In 1552 he found himself compelled to agree to the treaty of Passau which implied the adoption of a policy of compromise, and which in 1555 was followed by a definite arrangement at Augsburg, which admitted the principle of cujus regio, ejus religio. Till the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War in 1618, the settlement of Augsburg tended to keep peace between the Catholics and the Protestants. Equally unsuccessful were Charles's later efforts against France; in 1553 he lost Metz, Toul and Verdun, and in 1556 he retired to Spain, leaving the Empire to his brother Ferdinand, and Spain, the Netherlands and his Italian possessions to his son Philip. The latter, after winning the battle of St Quentin in 1557, made peace with Herry II. of France by the treaty of Cateau-Cambresis in 1559. By this peace a term was put to the struggle between France on the one hand and the Empire and Spain on the other, and the The kings of France and Spain were enabled to turn their Counter- attention to the issues raised by the immense growth Reeorm"- of Protestantism since 1521. While Charles V. had e-oo. been engaged in his struggles with the Turks and the French, Protestantism had rapidly developed. In Sweden, in Denmark, in England, in various parts of Germany, and in 929 France Protestant principles had, been largely adopted (see REFORMATION). Though the forces of Roman Catholicism had for a time been vanquished they had still to be counted with. From the middle of the 16th century the growth of Protestantism began to be checked, and a period of reaction against the Reformation set iinr For a time it seemed that the efforts of Roman Catholicism would be successful and that the cause of Protestantism would be permanently weakened. The papacy since the beginning of the 16th century had reformed itself, the council of Trent (q.v:), which closed its sittings in 1564, had given Roman Catholicism a " clearly and sharply defined body of doctrine," and the Catholic Church had become " more united, less wordly; and more dependent on herself." In this work of reorganizatidh the Jesuits had played a great part, and the success of the Counter-Reformation was largely °due to their efforts (see JESUITS). Paul III., Pius IV. and V., Gregory XIII. and Sixtus V. are all good examples of the reforming popes of the 16th century. Under them the Jesuits worked; they restored Catholicism in Poland, Bohemia and south Germany; and supported by them the Inquisition crushed Protestantism ou of Spain and Italy. The interest of the Counter-Reformation movement from 1559 to 1618 centres round Philip II. of Spain. While Pitts V. (1566–1572) is the best example of the Counter- The ai Reformation popes, Philip II. took the lead among g ofPhilip'1l. European Catholic monarchs in working for the ex- tinction of Protestantism. His recovery of the southern Nether-lands for the Catholic cause, his attempt to conquer England, his intention of subjugating France, were all parts of a scheme to advance simultaneously his own power and that of the Counter-Reformation. Circumstances combined to aid Philip, and while he was endeavouring to carry out his political aims, the Jesuits were busily occupied in winning back large portions of Europe to allegiance to the papacy. But failure attended most of Philip's projects. Though he succeeded in recovering the southern or Walloon provinces of the Netherlands, he was unable to conquer the northern provinces, which under William of Orange formed themselves into the Dutch republic (see HOLLAND: History): His scheme for the conquest of England failed, and the Spanish Armada was totally defeated in 1588. Nor was his plan for the subjection of France more successful. After a tedious civil war between the Catholics and Huguenots, Henry of Navarre appeared as a national leader, who, having overcome the armies of the League with which Philip was allied, concluded the peace of Vervins in 1598. In consenting to this treaty Philip acknowledged that his schemes for the establishment of his influence over France had failed. Thus, when the 16th century closed, England's independence was assured, the Dutch republic was established, the French monarchy was rapidly recovering from the effects of the religious wars and the decadence of the Spanish monarchy had set in. But the religious question was still unsettled, religious passions ran high, and no satisfactory agreement between Catholicism and Protestantism had been, or seemed likely to be arrived at. The successes of the Counter-Reformation under the Jesuits and such men as Ferdinand of Styria (afterwards the emperor Ferdinand II.) and Maximilian of Bavaria only roused strenuous opposition on the part of Calvinist princes such as Frederick IV., the elector palatine. Various events had indicated the approach of a final struggle between Protestantism and Catholicism during the early years of the 17th century. The seizure of Donauworth, a The aptown with Protestant sympathies, by Maximilian of preach of Bavaria in 1607, the formation of the Protestant Union . the Thirty in r6o8 and of the Catholic League in 1609, the ques Years' War tions raised in 'hoe by the Cleves-J.iilich affair, the preparations of Henry IV. of France for an anti-Habsburg campaign —all these showed that the political atmosphere was charged with electricity. Till 1618, however, an open conflict between Protestantism and Catholicism in Germany was averted; in that year the acceptance, by the Calvinist Frederick, the elector palatine, 930 of the crown of Bohemia, proved the starting-point of the Thirty Years' War. Till the death of Gustavus Adolphus in 1632 that war preserved a religious or semi-religious character. The emperor Ferdinand II., Philip III. of Spain and Maximilian of Bavaria The Thirty undoubtedly hoped to suppress Protestantism in Ger- Years' War. many, while Wallenstein, the great imperial general, was prepared to conquer Denmark, Sweden and Norway, and to convert the Baltic into an Austrian lake. Though the resistance of Christian IV. of Denmark was vain, the jealousy felt by the Catholic princes of Wallenstein and the skill of Gustavus Adolphus caused the total failure of these ambitious schemes. All hope of seeing the imperial flag waving over the Baltic was dispelled by the victory of Breitenfeld, and that of Liitzen in 1632, and though Gustavus Adolphus fell in the last-named battle, he had saved north.Germany from falling into the hands of the Jesuits. With his death the Thirty Years' War became in the main a political struggle between France and the Habsburgs—a con- tinuation of the wars of Francis I. and Henry II. Entry of against Charles V., and of the war between Henry IV. France he ar, and Philip II. Ferdinand II. had attempted to carry back the religious history of the Empire more than seventy years, and had failed. He had endeavoured to make the Empire a reality and to revive and carry out the designs of Charles V. His failure was now complete. The edict of Restitution issued in 1629 remained a dead letter, and from 1632 to 1648 he and his successor Ferdinand III. had to employ all their energies in defending their possessions from the attacks of the French and Swedes. The death of Gustavus Adolphus followed in 1634 by the assassination of Wallenstein proved an admirable opportunity for the entry of France into the Thirty Years' War. And till 1648, in spite of occasional reverses, the French and their allies gradually wore down their adversaries. After the death of Henry IV. in 1610 France had temporarily retired from a foremost place in the politics of Europe, and for some thirty years her ministers were busy in coercing the Huguenots and establishing the supremacy of the crown which was threatened by the nobles. Once united at home France was ready and eager to seize the opportunity for inflicting a severe blow upon the Habsburgs in Spain and Austria. The time for such action was well chosen. Austria was weakened by the war which had been waged since 1618, while Spain, exhausted by her efforts in the preceding century, had entered upon a long period of decay, and was about to see Portugal regain its independence. The Protestant princes in the north of Germany were ready to ally with France and Sweden against the emperor, even the Catholic Bavarian duke was to prove a doubtful ally of the Habsburg house. In 1642 Richelieu and in 1643 Louis XIII. died, but though Louis XIV. was an infant, and the French nobles by their cabals hindered the work of the regency, Mazarin successfully carried out the anti-Habsburg policy of his predecessors and brought the war against Austria to a successful conclusion. (See further THIRTY YEARS' WAR.) The peace of Westphalia in 1648 marked the virtual close of religious conflicts in Europe. It also marked the end of the The peace attempts of the Habsburgs to establish a monarchical of west- system throughout all Germany. By that peace the phalia, practical independence of the German princes was 1648. assured. Henceforward each prince could decide what form of religion was to be observed in his dominions. Thus Lutheranism, Calvinism and Catholicism were alike tolerated, and this recognition of the principle of compromise prepared the way for a wider toleration. Moreover, the petty principalities of the Empire, which numbered over 300, were allowed the right of concluding alliances with any foreign power, of making their own laws, and of carrying on war. Thus, in consequence of this most important concession of the emperor, the Empire lost all cohesion and became little more than a confederation. The states had firmly established their " liberties," the princes were now emancipated from imperial control, and it was evident that, [HISTORY unless by some means the house of Austria could re-establish its ascendancy, the eventual dissolution of the Empire must sooner or later follow. The peace of Westphalia thus marks for Europe, and in a special sense for Germany, the end of an important epoch. For Germany the changes introduced into its political life amounted to nothing less than a revolution, for there the mainspring of the national life was broken." For Europe the Thirty Years' War brought to a close " the mighty impulses which the great movements of the Renaissance and Reformation had imparted to the aspirations " of men in all parts of the western world. It was not, however, till the treaties of the Pyrenees (1659) and Oliva (1660) were signed that the echoes of the Thirty Years'. War died away, and Europeentered upon a period in The treaties which the political ambitions of Louis XIV. threatened oathe Pyre-the interests of Europe and absorbed the attention of pees and all European statesmen. During the intervening Oliva. years from 1648 to 1659 Spain and France continued the struggle, while Charles X. of Sweden in 1654 entered upon a career of aggression and conquest in the north of Europe, which was only ended with his death on the 23rd of February 1660. Upon the balance of power in the north of Europe the wars of Charles X. had little permanent effect, and the peace of Oliva to a great extent merely marked the restoration of the status quo. But the peace of the Pyrenees was far more important. During its struggle with France, Spain found itself also involved in hostilities with England, and the real rottenness of the Spanish monarchy became rapidly apparent. Any assistance which might have been hoped for from the emperor was prevented by the formation of leagues of German princes—lay and ecclesiastical—in 165.7 and 1658, which had the full support of France. The effect of the formation of the second league was at once apparent: all hope of assistance to Spain from the emperor was seen to have disappeared, and tho conclusion of a pacific settlement between France and Spain was at once arrived at. The peace of the Pyrenees was a. triumph for the Rheinbund, no less than for France. With the beginning of the personal rule of Louis XIV. in 1661, and the return of Charles II. to England in 1660, a new period in the history of personal monarchy in Europe began. The age of At the time of the peace of Westphalia the monarchy Loaisx. . in Europe was under a cloud. In England the cause of Charles I. was lost In France the Fronde was holding its own against Mazarin; in Germany the princes had triumphed over the emperor; even in Russia the nobles were aiming at the curtailment of the power of the crown. But from 166o it became evident that these attempts to secure the curtailment of the monarchical power were, with few exceptions, not destined to be successful. Though all chance of the establishment of a strong central authority in Germany had disappeared, the various states composing the Empire now entered upon a new period in their history and speedily formed miniature despotisms. Of these Brandenburg, Saxony and Bavaria were the most important. In Denmark Frederick III. made his crown hereditary, and his establishment of an absolutism was imitated by Charles XI. of Sweden a few years later. Thus when Louis XIV. took into his own hands the government of France, the absolutist principle was triumphant all over Europe. The period of his personal rule lasted from 1661 to his death 1715, and is known as " the age of Louis XIV." During that period France was the leading monarchy in Europe, and the most conspicuous not only in arms but also in all the arts of civilization. While Turenne, Luxemburg, Villars and many others exemplified, till the rise of Marlborough, the pre-eminence of French generals, Pascal, Racine, Corneille, Moliere and Fenelon testified to the commanding position taken by France in the world of literature. The building of Versailles and the establishment of the French court there was an event of importance not only in the history of France, but also in the history of Europe. The history of Europe may without exaggeration be said during the reign of Louis XIV. to centre round Versailles. During his reign France took the lead in European politics, and established her supremacy all the more easily, owing partly The politi- to the weakness of most of the European countries, cal condl- partly to the aggressions of the Turks, whose invasions Lion of of eastern Europe occupied from 1683 to 1699 the B'Pe' attention of the Poles and of the Austrians. The 1661-16e8. weakness or neutrality of the various European states was due to various causes. England was prevented till 1689 from taking a part in opposing the ambitious schemes of Louis XIV. owing to the personal aims of Charles II. and James II. Philip IV. and Charles II. of Spain could do nothing to resist the growing ascendancy of France, owing to the increasing weakness and rapid decadence of Spain, whose disappearance from the rank of great powers was one of the most striking features in the history of Europe during the second half of the i7th century. The weakness of Germany from the peace of Westphalia to the end of the century, due partly to the establishment of the independence of the princes of the Empire, partly to the unrest in Hungary, partly to the aggressions of the Turks, was obviously an immense gain to Louis XIV. Realizing the strength of his own position and the weakness of that of most of the European states, he entered in 1667 into the Devolution war and secured several fortresses in Louts' ag- the Spanish Netherlands. From 1672 to 1678 he was gressloas. again at war with Holland, and from 1673 with the emperor, Spain and Brandenburg as well. At the same time the Turks invaded Poland, but were successfully resisted by John Sobieski. In 1676, however, they made the favourable treaty of Zurawna, securing Kamenets and portions of Podolia and the Ukraine. Thus, while the Turks were threatening the inde- pendence of eastern Europe, Louis XIV. was attacking the independence of western Europe. In 1678 he made the treaty of Nijmwegen, securing great advantages for France. Till the end of the century Europe was faced with two serious problems: Could she successfully cope with the Turks on her eastern frontier ? And could she resist the continued aggressions of France on her western frontier ? Consequently the years from 1678 to the end of the century were of vital importance to the European world. For during that period the French and Turks made unceasing efforts to extend their frontiers at the expense of Germany. Encouraged by the weakness of the chief European states, Louis set up the Chambers of Reunion, seized Strassburg in time of peace and attempted to annex Luxemburg. At the same time it seemed that an independent Gallican Church would be set up, and that Louis, like Henry VIII., would sever all connexion with Rome. The persecution of the Jansenists and the revocation of the edict of Nantes in 1685 established some- thing akin to religious uniformity in France. Buoyed up by his successes abroad and at home, and conscious that he had nothing to fear from England or from Spain, Louis prepared to carry out his schemes, with regard to the extension of his territory east- wards, at the expense of Germany. Simultaneously with Louis' aggressions in western Europe, the Turks had made an attempt to capture Vienna in 1683. Fortunately the efforts of the emperor Leopold, aided by John Sobieski, king of Poland, were successful, and the Turkish tide of conquest was gradually but successfully checked. It was not, however, till the accession of William III. to the English throne that the tide of French conquest in western Europe was in like manner successfully resisted, and it was not till the treaty of Ryswick in 1697 that Louis realized that Europe had set a limit to his conquests. That treaty inflicted a blow on the prestige of France, just as the treaty of Karlowitz, concluded in 1699, was an important step in the decline of the Ottoman power. By that treaty, which marks a definite beginning in the history of the Austro-Hun- garian monarchy, the hands of the emperor were freed, and he was able to devote his attention to the Spanish succession question, which already engrossed the attention of all Europe. The decadence of Spain had been obvious to all Europe since the middle of the century, and in anticipation of the death of the Spanish king Charles II., Louis XIV. and William III. had made a partition treaty in October 1698, which was superseded in March 1700 by a second partition treaty. However, on the death of King Charles on the 1st of November 1700 Louis repudiated the partition treaties and accepted the crown of Spain The Span-for his grandson Philip, who became Philip V. of ish sm. Spain. Not content with this success Louis committed cession a number of aggressive acts which led to the War war. of the Spanish Succession in 1702. That war continued till 1713, when the treaty of Utrecht, followed in 1714 by the treaties of Rastadt and Baden, ended a struggle which had many results of vital importance to Europe. Great Britain, strengthened by the possession of Gibraltar and Minorca, by her establishment in Canada, and by trading rights in South America, henceforward stood forth as a rising colonial power to whom the command of the sea was essential. Austria obtained not only Belgium, which she held till the French Revolution, but also a firm foothold in Italy, which she maintained till 1859. To Spain the war in-directly brought unexpected benefits. Freed from her expensive possessions in Belgium and Italy, and now ruled by a new dynasty, Spain, so far from meeting with the fate which later attended Poland, entered upon a new period in her career, and throughout the 18th century showed considerable power of resistance to the colonial policy of Great Britain. With all its defects the treaty of Utrecht proved in many ways an excellent settlement. Till 1940, although a few short wars took place, Europe as a whole enjoyed peace. The 18th But with the settlement of Utrecht Europe seemed century. to have lost all touch with the high ideals which occasionally, as in the career of Gustavus Adolphus, or in the English great rebellion, or in the defence of Vienna by John Sobieski, were met with. The 18th century was marked by the dominance of a perverted system of the balance of power, which regarded such acts as the Prussian seizure of Silesia and the partition of Poland as justifiable on the ground that might is right. Before many years had passed after the treaty of Utrecht it became evident that two new nations were forcing themselves into the front rank of European powers. These were European Russia and Prussia. The treaty of Nystad in 1721 politics—was to the north of Europe what the treaty of Utrecht 1715-was to the western and southern nations. It marked /740. the decline of Sweden and the rise of Russia, which henceforth played an important part in European politics. Nevertheless till 1740 with the exception of the short Polish Succession War 1733–35 and the equally short war of 1737–39, in which Russia and Austria fought against Turkey, no general European struggle took place. That this was so was due in great measure to the alliance of 1717 between Great Britain and France, to the subsequent peace policy upheld by Walpole, Fleury, Patin() and Horn (the English, French, Spanish and Swedish ministers), to the hostility between the courts of Vienna and Madrid—only momentarily healed by the treaty of Vienna in 1725—and to the uncertain character of Russian politics. During those years from 1713 to 1740 the great powers were slowly forming themselves into groups, bound together by motives of interest. Thus Spain and France after 1729 began to realize that both countries were interested in checking Great Britain's colonial developments, while Spain was also ready to seize every opportunity of increasing her possessions in Italy at the expense of Austria. With the year 1740 Europe entered upon a new epoch. The rivalry of Austria and Prussia for the leadership of Germany definitely began, and the struggle between Great Britain and France for supremacy in India, Canada 1po a. new epoch and the West Indies entered upon an acute phase. The War of the Austrian Succession (1740–48) holds therefore an important place in the history of Europe, and proved with the Seven Years' War, which was practically a continuation of it, of very real interest to Europe. In April 1748 Great Britain, France and Holland signed preliminaries of peace, which on the 18th of October became the definitive treaty of Aix-fa-Chapelle. The other powers concerned agreed to the treaty with reluctance, Spain on the 20th ' October, Austria on the 8th of November, and Sardinia on the loth of November. By the terms of the peace France and Great Britain restored the conquests in America, India and Europe The Treaty which each had made from the other. As regards the of Aix-la other powers, the peace left serious heart-burnings. Chapelle, Sardinia, though gaining territory in the Milanese, 1798. was compelled to relinquish her hold on Piacenza and its territory, and to restore Finale to Genoa; Austria had to yield Parma and Piacenza to Don Philip, and to recognize the loss of Silesia to Prussia; Spain was compelled to forgo all hope of regaining Gibraltar. The importance of the terms of this treaty lies in the fact that they indicate not only the lines followed by later European settlements, but also the tendency of later European developments. To Great Britain the treaty was only a pause in her expansion in Canada and in her advance to the establishment of her influence over all India. To France the treaty was equally a presage of future disasters in India and Canada. The retention of Silesiaby Prussia was a pronouncement to all Europe that a new power had arisen which was destined in 1866 to oust Austria from her dominant position in Germany. The gains won by Sardinia, too, indicated that the real danger to Austria's position in Italy would come from the house of Savoy. The Seven Years' War (1756—63) opened with a diplomatic revolution as important as that of 1717, when France and Great The Seven Britain made an alliance. In May 1756, as a reply nears, the treaty of Westminster the Second, made in January between Great Britain and Prussia, France. and Austria, united in the treaty of Versailles. This unexpected union, which lasted till the French Revolution, between two powers which had been hostile to each other from the beginning of the 16th century, amazed all Europe. However, it had not the results expected, for although Russia, which was allied with Austria, sent large armies headed by capable generals to the war, Frederick the Great remained unconquered. This result was partly due to the English alliance, partly to the incapable French generals, and partly to the state of internal politics in Russia. The treaties of Paris (February 1o, 1763) and Hubertsburg (February 5) marked an important stage in the history of Europe. By the first Great Britain emerged from the war an imperial power with possessions all over the world, by the second Prussia was recognized as the equal of Austria in Europe. The period from the close of the Seven: Years' War to the French Revolution saw all the special characteristics and tendencies of the 18th century in an accentuated form. Close of Benevolent despotism found representatives not only the Seven Years' War in Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa, but also in to the Joseph II., Catherine II., Charles III. of Spain, and French Re- Leopbld of Tuscany. Reforming ministers, too, volution. flourished in the persons of Tanucci, Turgot, Squillaci,. Florida Blanca, D'Aranda and many others. Instances, too, of the low state of political morality are to be found. The indefensible seizure of Silesia by Frederick the Great was followed in 1772 by the equally immoral partition of Poland, and it was clearly apparent that monarchs, though ostensibly actuated by a desire for the welfare of their subjects, were resolved that reforms should come from above and not from below. The. chief European events during these years were (1) the partition of Poland; (2) the war of the Bavarian Succession; (3) the alliance of Russia with Prussia in 1764 and with Austria in 1781; (4) the entry of France and Spain into war between Great Britain and her American colonies; (5) the combined attack of Russia and Austria against Turkey (1787—92); (6) the Triple Alliance of 1788. No sooner was the Seven Years' War ended than France and Spain, having made the third family compact in 1761 (the other two were signed in 1733 and 1743), prepared to take revenge upon Great Britain at the first favourable opportunity. The result of this determination, and of Great Britain's absorption in internal politics, was that Russia, Prussia and Austria were enabled to carry out the first partition of Poland in 1772. The entry of France into the American war of independence rendered it impossible for Joseph II., single-handed, to carry out his project of exchanging the Austrian Netherlands for Bavaria,and he was compelled, after a short war, to give up for the time his project and to agree to the treaty of Tesehen (1779). The continuance of the American War proved of great value to Russia and enhanced her position in Europe. Not only bad she, together with France, brought about the treaty of Teschen, but in 178o she headed the league of armed neutrality, and between 178o and 1784 annexed the Crimea. The conclusion of the war of American Independence enabled Great Britain to regain her influence in Europe, and when Russia and Austria combined to attack Turkey, and when France threatened to re-establish her influence in Holland, Pitt formed with the Prussian king and the stadtholder the famous Triple Alliance of 1788. During the ensuing four years the influence of that alliance made itself felt in an unmistakable way. All hope of the establishment of French influence in Holland was destroyed; Denmark was forced to relinquish an attack on Sweden, then at war with Russia; and after Leopold of Tuscany had succeeded Joseph II. as emperor in 1700, the revolution in the Netherlands was brought to an end. Moreover, through the influence of Leopold the hostility of Prussia to Austria was removed, and the two powers in July 1790 made the treaty of Reichenbach. Great Britain, the chief member of the Triple Alliance, had supported the pacific solution of all these questions so menacing to European peace, and Pitt was aided in his policy by the emperor Leopold, who in 1791 made the treaty of Sistova with the Turks. Danger to the peace of Europe was, however, caused by the attempt of the Spaniards to annex Nootka Sound, and by the continuance of the war between Russia and Turkey. The former difficulty was, however, removed in November 1790 by an agreement between Great Britain and Spain, and in January 1792 Russia made the treaty of Jassy with Turkey. Instead of Europe remaining at peace the year 1792 saw the beginning of a series of wars which did not come to a final conclusion till the battle of Waterloo. While the east French of Europe was. engaged in war, and while the Triple Revo1,-Alliance was busy attempting to restore peace toEurope, tion, the French Revolution had broken out in 1789. The 1789' assistance given by France to the American colonists had brought the country to bankruptcy, and no course was left to Louis XVI. except to summon the states-general in May 1789. In that year a revolution' against the reforms of Joseph II. had taken place in the Netherlands, and a revolution was being prepared in Poland for the overthrow of the aristocratic constitution and for the establishment of an hereditary monarchy. At first the revolution in France was entirely occupied with internal reforms, but after the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly in September 1791 the Girondists, whose influence became paramount, deter-mined by the advice of Brissot to insist upon a policy of menace towards the Empire which would inevitably lead to war. War would, they hoped, result in the downfall of monarchy in France. On the other hand, Lafayette and his party advocated war on the ground that it would strengthen the cause of monarchy. In April 1792 war was accordingly declared upon Austria, then in' alliance with Prussia. After a short period of failure the French in September won the battle of Valmy, and in November the battle of, Jemappes. French armies advanced to the Rhine, Belgium was occupied, the Scheldt was declared open, and Holland was threatened. In consequence of the danger to Holland, Pitt adopted a warlike tone, and in February 1793 France declared war upon Great Britain. In the Openwinarg of that war Spain, Sardinia and Tuscany joined, so that between France was practically fighting all Europe. Neverthe- France less, owing to the want of union among the allies, to and Qreaf Brltaia the Polish questions which distracted Prussia and 1793. Austria, and to the determination and patriotism of all classes in France, the allies were discomfited and the league of powers broken up in 1795, when the treaties of Basel were made. Only Great Britain, Austria and Sardinia remained in arms against France, which was till 1799 ruled by the Directory. The next few years witnessed a series of most startling events. The successes of Napoleon Bonaparte in the Italian campaigns of 1797 and 1798 led to the peace of Cherasco with Sardinia, and the peace of CL.npo Formio with Austria. Only Great Britain remained at war with France. In 1799, taking advantage The of the absence of Napoleon in Egypt, , the Second &rides of Coalition was formed by Russia,. Great Britain and Lunevi ie Austria. Though the French were driven from Italy, a dens. Massena defeated the Russians in Switzerland, and the English were forced to retire from Holland. The return of Napoleon from Egypt was followed by the establishment of the Consulate in November 1799, by the overthrow of the Austrians at Marengo and Hohenlinden, by the treaty of Luneville with the emperor, and by the treaty of Amiens in 1802 with the English government. (See FRENCH REVOLUTIONARY WARS.) Up to this point the Revolution may be said to have benefited Europe and to have shaken to its base the 18th-century ideas of The government. During the years succeeding the peace German of Campo Formio a revolution was effected in Germany. Revolu- The Holy Roman Empire had become an anachronism,. tion. and as soon as France became possessed of the left bank of the Rhine it was obvious that the imperial constitution required revision. The jealousies existing among the German princes and the overthrow of Austria at Austerlitz enabled Napoleon to carry out a revolution in Germany according to his own ideas. At, first, in 1804, new arrangements were made with regard to the character and formation of the diet. The constitution of that assembly was so altered that a Protestant majority free from Austrian influence was now assured. The middle states, such as Prussia, Baden, Bavaria, Wurttemberg and Hanover, received additions of territory, taken either from the ecclesiastical states or from the lands belonging to the imperial knights. After Austerlitz Napoleon in 1806 established the Confederation,of the Rhine, and the Holy Roman Empire came finally to an end. A great European revolution had now been effected, but much remained to be done before; a feeling of nationality could be aroused among the people of central Europe. Already before the peace of Amiens Pitt had tried to stir up national feeling in Austria and Prussia, the means • which he The suggested for opposing Napoleon being in great causes of measure those which were adopted in 1813 and 1814. Napoleon's But during Pitt's lifetime central Europe.; was not success. moved by any feeling of nationality or of patriotism. During the war of the Second Coalition in 1799 Austria had acted without any regard for her allies, while Prussia, from motives of jealousy of and from want of confidence in Austria, had refused to move. It was not till the small states which hitherto had formed independent units had been destroyed and Austria and Prussia trampled under foot by Napoleon that a strong national spirit in Germany. was evoked. Until the treaty of Tilsit had been signed in 1807 these was no visible growth of a national uprising in any part of Europe. During the intervening years Prussia had been crushed at Jena and her kingdom cut short (i8o6), while Alexander I. of Russia, after a fierce campaign against Napoleon, had agreed in 1807 to the treaty of "Tilsit, which apparently placed Europe at the feet of France and Russia. Napoleon was, as he thought, no.w. in a position to Napoleon bring about the humiliation of Great Britain. Already aims at the in November 18o6, realizing that he could not ruin destruction England by direct invasion, he had issued the first of Great Berlin Decree, which ordered the exclusion of British Britain. goods .from the continent. The Continental System necessitated by the victory of Trafalgar was thus definitely set up. After Tilsit he proposed to become supreme in the Baltic, and, by securing the dependence of Spain and Portugal, to dominate the Mediterranean, and to resume his plans for con-quests in the East, and for the destruction of the British power in India. Thus the effects of the British naval victories of the Nile and Trafalgar would be completely nullified, the Mediterranean would be closed to British ships, Great Britain's Indian possessions would be lost, and Great Britain herself would be forced by starvation into surrender. Fortunately for Europe various circumstances hindered the realization of these ambitious schemes. Alexander, who feared that the French emperor desired Constantinople, never proved a very helpful ally, the measures. taken by Great Britain seriously interfered with Napoleon's. schemes, and, before he had subjugated Spain, first Austria in r8o9 and then Russia in 1812 offered an active resistance to' his projects. The first note of opposition to Napoleon's plans was struck by Canning, when in 18ory he carried off the Danish fleet to. England. Then the British fleet conveyed to Brazil in safety the Portuguese royal family when Portugal was invaded by Junot, while the surrender of 30,000 French troops at Baylen in July 1808, which was followed in August by the convention of Cintra, indicated that Spanish patriotism was, when roused, as effective as in the days of the Spanish Succession War. Austria was the first country to follow the example of Spain, and though she was defeated at Wagram and forced to accept Napoleon's hard terms, the national feeling aroused in. Germany in 1809 rapidly developed. But Napoleon was apparently unconscious of the growth and importance of a national sentiment in any of the subject countries. In 1810 he had married Marie Louise of Austria, on the 20th of March 1811 a son was born to him, and he now seems to have resolved upon the establishment of a strictly hereditary empire with Paris its capital and' Rome its second city. In extent, his empire would be vaster than that of Charlemagne, and the pope was to be completely subordinate to the emperor. This conception of the establishment of a reformed Holy Roman Empire with its centre at.Paris did not appear unrealizable in 1811 when every-thing seemed to favour the new Charlemagne. Napoleon's power was apparently securely established, and during the years i8ro and i8'i he was again returning to his vast oriental designs A sudden ,check, however, was about to be placed upon his ambitious schemes. The establishment of French influence in Italy and Germany had stirred up inboth countries a national feeling, the growth of which was encouraged by the example of Spain. No The greater; mistake was ever made by Napoleon than triumph of when, ignoring the strength of the Spanish resistance, "nation-and the development of a national movement in Germany, he resolved to enter upon the Russian campaign and to march to Moscow. Unconsciously Napoleon " had called into vigorous life the forces of Democracy and Nationality in Germany and Italy." The failure of the Moscow campaign led at once to a national rising in Prussia, and as soon as Austria had,united her forces with those of Prussia and Russia, the over-throw of Napoleon at Leipzig in October 1813 was the result, and "he• imperial yoke was shaken from the neck of the German people." Napoleon's wars had roused feelings of patriotism in Italy, Germany, Russia and Spain. It was at least realized by the nations of continental Europe, what had long been apparent to Englishmen, that a nation to be strong must be united. To " the subversive cosmopolitanism " of the French Revolution was now opposed the modern idea of nationality, against which the Napoleonic legions hurled themselves in vain. (See NAPOLEON I.; NAPOLEONIC CAMPAIGNS;; FRENCH REVOLUTION; ALEXANDER I., emperor of Russia; METTERNICH.) (A. H1..) The downfall of Napoleon involved that of the political system of Europe which he had constructed. The changes wrought by the revolutionary period in the old stales system were, however, too profound to admit of any attempt at a Reconcomplete restoration, even had the interests of the of allied , powers been consistent with such a course. The object of the four great powers in whose hands the settlement of Europe now lay, was rather, after taking precautions to confine France within her " legitimate boundaries," to arrange such a " just equilibrium " in Europe that no individual state should for the future be in a position to overset the balance of power. The first object was to be attained by the re-establish, ment of the ancient dynasty in France, as a guarantee to Europe against a renewal of the revolutionary propaganda; the congress second was the work of the congress of Vienna, by ofVienna, which, between September 1814 and June 1815, the 1814-reconstruction of Europe was taken ' in hand. The ibis. opening of the congress, in which for the first time all Europe seemed; to be united for the friendly settlement of conunon interests, was hailed as the dawn of a new era. In a sense it was so; but hardly in the manner nor to the degree that some had hoped. In its councils the arts of the old diplomacy, still inspired by the traditional principles or lack of principles, were directed to the old ends; and the world, as though the popular upheaval of the Revolution had never been, was treated as real estate to be parcelled out by the executors of Napoleon's empire among sovereigns by divine right, regardless of the wishes of the populations, which figured in the protocols merely as numbers to be balanced and bartered one against the other. This process of " dividing the spoils," as Gentz called it, was naturally pregnant with possibilities of quarrels. Of these the most dangerous was that provoked by the resolution of the emperor Alexander I. at all costs to keep the former grand-duchy of Warsaw for himself, while compensating Prussia for the loss of some of her Polish territories by the annexation to her of all Saxony. The deadlock caused by the stubborn insistence on this plan, which the other great powers were equally determined to frustrate, all but led to war, and by a secret treaty signed on the 3rd of January 1815, Great Britain, France, and Austria agreed to make common cause in that event against Russia and Prussia. It needed Napoleon's return from Elba (March 1815) to remind the powers that their particular interests must still be subordinated to those of Europe. The common peril restored the broken harmony; and while the armies of the Alliance were closing in for the final struggle with the French emperor, the congress hurried on its deliberations, and on the 9th of June 1815, a few days before the battle of Waterloo, by which Napoleon's power was finally shattered, the Final Act, embodying the treaties of Vienna, was signed. The territorial arrangements thus effected were for half a century the basis of the states system of Europe, and the Territorial treaties in which they were defined the charter of adjust- international relations. It was in central Europe, ments of where Napoleon's policy had most profoundly affected the "eh" the pre-revolutionary system, that the greatest changes treaties. were made. No attempt, indeed, was made to restore the Holy Roman Empire, in spite of the protest of the pope against the failure to re-establish " the centre of political unity "; but the Confederation of the Rhine having come to an end, Germany was reconstituted as a confederation of sovereign states, in which all the former members of the Empire which had survived the revolutionary epoch found a place (see GERMANY). Austria, in virtue of the imperial tradition of the house of Habsburg, received the. presidency of the federal diet; but the bulk of her territories lay outside the frontiers of the Con-federation, and the non-German character of the Habsburg monarchy was accentuated by the other arrangements at the congress. In Italy Lombardo-Venetia was erected into a kingdom under the Austrian crown; while the dynastic settlements in the other Italian states tended to make Austrian influence supreme in the peninsula (see ITALY). In return for this, Austria surrendered her claim to her former possessions in the Low Countries, which were annexed to the crown of Holland, so as to form, under the title of the United Netherlands, an efficient barrier to French aggression northwards. The function of defender of Germany on the Rhine frontier which Austria thus abandoned was assigned to Prussia, an arrangement pregnant with momentous issues. In compensation for her disappointment in the matter of Saxony, half of which was ultimately restored to the dynasty of Wettin, she received a large accession of territory in the Rhine provinces, carved partly out of the suppressed kingdom of Westphalia, partly out of the former ecclesiastical states, and comprising the imperial city of Aix-la-Chapelle and the former electorate of Cologne. To Prussia also was conceded the right to garrison the federal fortress of Luxemburg. Of the other German states, Bavaria, which alone was sufficiently powerful to be of any great importance in the general affairs of Europe, reaped the reward of her timely defection from the cause of her protector Napoleon. She had, indeed, to restore to Austria the territories annexed to her at the expenseof the Habsburg monarchy by the French emperor: Tirol, the Quarters of the Inn and of the Hausruck, and part of Salzburg. But she received ample compensation elsewhere, notably the former Bavarian Palatinate with a strip of territory to connect it with Bavaria proper. The right to garrison the federal fortress of Mainz was also ultimately conceded to her. Bavaria was thus placed in a position to continue her traditional policy of aiming at the position of a European great power and holding the balance between Austria and Prussia (see BAVARIA: History). The two other German states whose elevation to kingdoms had symbolized a similar ambition, Saxony and Wurttemberg, were henceforth relegated to a position of third-rate importance; Saxony depended for her very existence on the rivalry of her more powerful neighbours: Wurttemberg protested in vain against the dictatorship of the great powers to which she was forced to submit. Finally, the electorate of Hanover, partly out of compliment to the king of Great Britain, partly because with the abolition of the Holy Empire the title elector had fallen obsolete, was elevated to a kingdom. The request of the elector of Hesse for a similar concession in his case was refused by the powers assembled at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1818. Of great importance were the changes effected in the north and east of Europe. The affairs of the Ottoman empire, which the treaty of Bucharest (1812) between Russia and Turkey had left in a very unsatisfactory condition, were not dealt with by the congress, in spite of the efforts of Great Britain to bring them into discussion. But the concessions made to the emperor Alexander elsewhere represented a notable advance in the European position of Russia. The possession of Finland, conquered from the Swedes in 18o8, was confirmed to her; and, above all, the erection of the former grand-duchy of Warsaw into a constitutional kingdom of Poland under the Russian crown not only thrust the Muscovite power like a wedge into the heart of Germany, but seemed to threaten the Polish possessions of Austria and Prussia by setting up a quasi-independent Poland as a centre of attraction to the scattered elements of the Polish nation; though in the sequel the establishment of the city of Cracow and its territory as an independent republic, to avoid the difficult question of its assignment elsewhere, proved a more fruitful source of nationalist unrest. In the north the settlement confirmed by the congress marked the definite withdrawal of the Scandinavian Powers from any active influence on the affairs of the continent. Alone of the parvenu monarchs of the Napoleonic age Bernadotte retained the crown of Sweden, to which, by the treaty of Kiel, that of Norway had been added. On the other hand, by the cession of Swedish Pomerania to Prussia, Sweden finally withdrew from the southern shores of the Baltic. The Scandinavian states ceased henceforth to play any determining part in European politics. In the south, on the other hand, the restoration of Savoy and Piedmont to Victor Emmanuel I., king of Sardinia, and the incorporation in his dominions of the territories of the former republic of Genoa, were factors pregnant with mighty issues. The object of this increase of the power of the house of Savoy was but to erect a barrier against any possible renewal of French aggression in Italy; in effect it established the nucleus of the power which was to struggle successfully with Austria for the hegemony of Italy. The gains of Great Britain in Europe were comparatively small, though by no means unimportant. By the retention of Malta she secured her power in the Mediterranean, and this was further increased by the treaty of Paris (November 5, 1815), by which the powers recognized her protectorate over the Ionian Islands. (See VIENNA, CONGRESS or.) But for the episode of the Hundred Days, France would have emerged from the congress with recovered prestige and mistress of at least some of the territorial gains of the revolution- The ary wars; though Napoleon had thrown away, during powers the negotiations at Chatillon, the chance of preserving Fare ee. for her her " natural frontiers " of the Rhine, the Alps and the Pyrenees. After Napoleon's second downfall she was in serious danger of dismemberment, for which the German powers clamoured as essential to their safety. That Louis XVIII. continued to rule over the territories " handed down to him by his ancestors " was due to the magnanimity, or policy, of the emperor Alexander I. (q.v.), and the commonsense of Castlereagh and Wellington, who saw well that the " just equilibrium," which it was their object to establish, could not be secured if France were unduly weakened, and that peace could never be preserved if the French people were left to smart under a sense of permanent injury. By the second peace of Paris, signed on the zoth of November 1815, France retained her traditional boundaries. The unsatisfied ambition to secure her " national frontiers " was to bear troublesome fruit later. That the treaties embodied in the Final Act of Vienna represented a settlement of all outstanding questions was believed by nobody. They had been negotiated for weary months in an atmosphere of diplomatic and feminine intrigue; they had been concluded in a hurry, under the influence of the panic caused by Napoleon's return from Elba. To Friedrich von Gentz they were at best but " partial arrangements," useful as forming an authoritative basis for the establishment of a more complete and satisfactory system. The history of the international politics of Europe for the years immediately succeeding the congress of Vienna is that of the attempt to establish such a system. After a quarter of a century of almost ceaseless wars, what Europe needed above all things was peace and time to recuperate. Treaty of This conviction was common to all the powers who had Nov. 20, inherited Napoleon's dictatorship in Europe; but on 1815, and the question of the method by which peace should be the Concert secured, and the principles which should guide their of Europe. action, a fateful divergence of view soon became apparent within their councils. All were agreed that France still represented the storm centre of Europe; and a second treaty, signed on the zoth of November 1815, renewed the provisions of the treaty of Chaumont, in view of any fresh outburst of the French revolutionary spirit. But the new treaty went further. By its 6th article it was declared that " in order to consolidate the intimate tie that unites the four sovereigns for the happiness of the world, the High Contracting Powers have agreed to renew at fixed intervals . . . meetings consecrated to great common objects and to the examination of such measures as at each of these epochs shall be judged most salutary for the peace and prosperity of the nations and for the maintenance of the peace of Europe." This was the formal charter of the concert of the great powers by which for the next seven years Europe was governed, a concert to which the name "Holy Alliance" has been commonly but erroneously applied. The Holy Alliance, drawn up The Holy by the emperor Alexander I,, and signed by him, the Alliance. emperor Francis, and King Frederick William III. of Prussia on the 26th of September 1815, represented a different and conflicting ideal. Actually it was not a treaty at all, but at best a declaration of principles to which any Christian could subscribe, at worst—to quote Castlereagh—" a piece of sublime mysticism and nonsense " from the political point of view (see HOLY ALLIANCE). It gained its sole political importance from the persistent efforts of the tsar and his ministers to replace the committee of the great powers, established by the treaty of the zoth of November, by a " Universal Union " of all the powers, great and small, who had signed the Holy Alliance, and thus to establish that " Confedera- tion of Europe " of which the autocratic idealist had borrowed the conception from the theorists of the 18th century (see
End of Article: KINGDOM
WILLIAM KING (1663–1712)
KINGFISHER (Ger.' Konigsfischer; Walloon Roi-peheux...

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.