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A Political and Social History of Modern Europe By Carlton J. H. Hayes Characters: 85336

Updated: 2017-11-29 00:03


As we look back upon the confused sixteenth century, we are struck at once by two commanding figures,-the Emperor Charles V [Footnote: Charles I of Spain.] and his son Philip II,-about whom we may group most of the political events of the period. The father occupies the center of the stage during the first half of the century; the son, during the second half.

[Sidenote: Extensive Dominions of Charles]

At Ghent in the Netherlands, Charles was born in 1500 of illustrious parentage. His father was Philip of Habsburg, son of the Emperor Maximilian and Mary, duchess of Burgundy. His mother was the Infanta Joanna, daughter and heiress of Ferdinand of Aragon and Naples and Isabella of Castile and the Indies. The death of his father and the incapacity of his mother-she had become insane-left Charles at the tender age of six years an orphan under the guardianship of his grandfathers Maximilian and Ferdinand. The death of the latter in 1516 transferred the whole Spanish inheritance to Charles, and three years later, by the death of the former, he came into possession of the hereditary dominions of the Habsburgs. Thus under a youth of nineteen years were grouped wider lands and greater populations than any Christian sovereign had ever ruled. Vienna, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels, Milan, Naples, Madrid, Cadiz,-even the City of Mexico,-owed him allegiance. His titles alone would fill several pages.

Maximilian had intended not only that all these lands should pass into the hands of the Habsburg family, but also that his grandson should succeed him as head of the Holy Roman Empire. This ambition, however, was hard of fulfillment, because the French king, Francis I (1515- 1547), feared the encircling of his own country by a united German- Spanish-Italian state, and set himself to preserve what he called the "Balance of Power"-preventing the undue growth of one political power at the expense of others. It was only by means of appeal to national and family sentiment and the most wholesale bribery that Charles managed to secure a majority of the electors' votes against his French rival [Footnote: Henry VIII of England was also a candidate.] and thereby to acquire the coveted imperial title. He was crowned at Aix- la-Chapelle in his twenty-first year.

[Sidenote: Character of Charles]

Never have greater difficulties confronted a sovereign than those which Charles V was obliged to face throughout his reign; never did monarch lead a more strenuous life. He was the central figure in a very critical period of history: his own character as well as the painstaking education he had received in the Netherlands conferred upon him a lively appreciation of his position and a dogged pertinacity in discharging its obligations. Both in administering his extensive dominions and in dealing with foreign foes, Charles was a zealous, hard-working, and calculating prince, and the lack of success which attended many of his projects was due not to want of ability in the ruler but to the multiplicity of interests among the ruled. The emperor must do too many things to allow of his doing any one thing well.

[Sidenote: Difficulties Confronting Charles]

Suppose we turn over in our minds some of the chief problems of Charles V, for they will serve to explain much of the political history of the sixteenth century. In the first place, the emperor was confronted with extraordinary difficulties in governing his territories. Each one of the seventeen provinces of the Netherlands-the country which he always considered peculiarly his own-was a distinct political unit, for there existed only the rudiments of a central administration and a common representative system, while the county of Burgundy had a separate political organization. The crown of Castile brought with it the recently conquered kingdom of Granada, together with the new colonies in America and scattered posts in northern Africa. The crown of Aragon comprised the four distinct states of Aragon, Valencia, Catalonia, and Navarre, [Footnote: The part south of the Pyrenees. See above, p. 8.] and, in addition, the kingdoms of Naples, Sicily, and Sardinia, each with its own customs and government. At least eight independent cortes or parliaments existed in this Spanish-Italian group, adding greatly to the intricacy of administration. Much the same was true of that other Habsburg group of states,-Austria, Styria, Carniola, Carinthia, the Tyrol, etc., but Charles soon freed himself from immediate responsibility for their government by intrusting them (1521) to his younger brother, Ferdinand, who by his own marriage and elections added the kingdoms of Bohemia [Footnote: Including the Bohemian crown lands of Moravia and Silesia.] and Hungary (1526) to the Habsburg dominions. The Empire afforded additional problems: it made serious demands upon the time, money, and energies of its ruler; in return, it gave little but glamour. In all these regions Charles had to do with financial, judicial, and ecclesiastical matters. He had to reconcile conflicting interests and appeal for popularity to many varied races. More than once during his reign he even had to repress rebellion. In Germany, from his very first Diet in 1521, he was face to face with rising Protestantism which seemed to him to blaspheme his altar and to assail his throne.

The emperor's overwhelming administrative difficulties were complicated at every turn by the intricacies of foreign politics. In the first place, Charles was obliged to wage war with France throughout the greater part of his reign; he had inherited a longstanding quarrel with the French kings, to which the rivalry of Francis I for the empire gave a personal aspect. In the second place, and almost as formidable, was the advance of the Turks up the Danube and the increase of Mohammedan naval power in the Mediterranean. Against Protestant Germany a Catholic monarch might hope to rely on papal assistance, and English support might conceivably be enlisted against France. But the popes, who usually disliked the emperor's Italian policy, were not of great aid to him elsewhere; and the English sovereigns had domestic reasons for developing hostility to Charles. A brief sketch of the foreign affairs of Charles may make the situation clear.

[Sidenote: Francis I of France and the Reasons for his Wars with the

Emperor Charles V]

Six years older than Charles, Francis I had succeeded to the French throne in 1515, irresponsible, frivolous, and vain of military reputation. The general political situation of the time,-the gradual inclosure of the French monarchy by a string of Habsburg territories,- to say nothing of the remarkable contrast between the character of Francis and that of the persevering Charles, made a great conflict inevitable, and definite pretexts were not lacking for an early outbreak of hostilities. (1) Francis revived the claims of the French crown to Naples, although Louis XII had renounced them in 1504. (2) Francis, bent on regaining Milan, which his predecessor had lost in 1512, invaded the duchy and, after winning the brilliant victory of Marignano in the first year of his reign, occupied the city of Milan. Charles subsequently insisted, however, that the duchy was a fief of the Holy Roman Empire and that he was sworn by oath to recover it. (3) Francis asserted the claims of a kinsman to the little kingdom of Navarre, the greater part of which, it will be remembered, had recently [Footnote: In 1512. See above.] been forcibly annexed to Spain. (4) Francis desired to extend his sway over the rich French-speaking provinces of the Netherlands, while Charles was determined not only to prevent further aggressions but to recover the duchy of Burgundy of which his grandmother had been deprived by Louis XI. (5) The outcome of the contest for the imperial crown in 1519 virtually completed the breach between the two rivals. War broke out in 1521, and with few interruptions it was destined to outlast the lives of both Francis and Charles.

[Sidenote: The Italian Wars of Charles V and Francis I]

Italy was the main theater of the combat. In the first stage, the imperial forces, with the aid of a papal army, speedily drove the French garrison out of Milan. The Sforza family was duly invested with the duchy as a fief of the Empire, and the pope was compensated by the addition of Parma and Piacenza to the Patrimony of Saint Peter. The victorious Imperialists then pressed across the Alps and besieged Marseilles. Francis, who had been detained by domestic troubles in France, [Footnote: These troubles related to the disposition of the important landed estates of the Bourbon family. The duke of Bourbon, who was constable of France, felt himself injured by the king and accordingly deserted to the emperor.] now succeeded in raising the siege and pursued the retreating enemy to Milan. Instead of following up his advantage by promptly attacking the main army of the Imperialists, the French king dispatched a part of his force to Naples, and with the other turned aside to blockade the city of Pavia. This blunder enabled the Imperialists to reform their ranks and to march towards Pavia in order to join the besieged. Here on 24 February, 1525,-the emperor's twenty-fifth birthday,-the army of Charles won an overwhelming victory. Eight thousand French soldiers fell on the field that day, and Francis, who had been in the thick of the fight, was compelled to surrender. "No thing in the world is left me save my honor and my life," wrote the king to his mother. Everything seemed auspicious for the cause of Charles. Francis, after a brief captivity in Spain, was released on condition that he would surrender all claims to Burgundy, the Netherlands, and Italy, and would marry the emperor's sister.

[Sidenote: The Sack of Rome, 1527]

Francis swore upon the Gospels and upon his knightly word that he would fulfill these conditions, but in his own and contemporary opinion the compulsion exercised upon him absolved him from his oath. No sooner was he back in France than he declared the treaty null and void and proceeded to form alliances with all the Italian powers that had become alarmed by the sudden strengthening of the emperor's position in the peninsula,-the pope, Venice, Florence, and even the Sforza who owed everything to Charles. Upon the resumption of hostilities the league displayed the same want of agreement and energy which characterized every coalition of Italian city-states; and soon the Imperialists were able to possess themselves of much of the country. In 1527 occurred a famous episode-the sack of Rome. It was not displeasing to the emperor that the pope should be punished for giving aid to France, although Charles cannot be held altogether responsible for what befell. His army in Italy, composed largely of Spaniards and Germans, being short of food and money, and without orders, mutinied and marched upon the Eternal City, which was soon at their mercy. About four thousand people perished in the capture. The pillage lasted nine months, and the brigands were halted only by a frightful pestilence which decimated their numbers. Convents were forced, altars stripped, tombs profaned, the library of the Vatican sacked, and works of art torn down as monuments of idolatry. Pope Clement VII (1523-1534), a nephew of the other Medici pope, Leo X, had taken refuge in the impregnable castle of St. Angelo and was now obliged to make peace with the emperor.

[Sidenote: Peace of Cambrai, 1529]

The sack of Rome aroused bitter feelings throughout Catholic Europe, and Henry VIII of England, at that time still loyal to the pope, ostentatiously sent aid to Francis. But although the emperor made little headway against Francis, the French king, on account of strategic blunders and the disunion of the league, was unable to maintain a sure foothold in Italy. The peace of Cambrai (1529) provided that Francis should abandon Naples, Milan, and the Netherlands, but the cession of Burgundy was no longer insisted upon. Francis proceeded to celebrate his marriage with the emperor's sister.

[Sidenote: Habsburg Predominance in Italy]

Eight years of warfare had left Charles V and the Habsburg family unquestionable masters of Italy. Naples was under Charles's direct government. For Milan he received the homage of Sforza. The Medici pope, whose family he had restored in Florence, was now his ally. Charles visited Italy for the first time in 1529 to view his territories, and at Bologna (1530) received from the pope's hands the ancient iron crown of Lombard Italy and the imperial crown of Rome. It was the last papal coronation of a ruler of the Holy Roman Empire.

The peace of Cambrai proved but a truce, and war between Charles and Francis repeatedly blazed forth. Francis made strange alliances in order to create all possible trouble for the emperor,-Scotland, Sweden, Denmark, the Ottoman Turks, even the rebellious Protestant princes within the empire. There were spasmodic campaigns between 1536 and 1538 and between 1542 and 1544, and after the death of Francis and the abdication of Charles, the former's son, Henry II (1547-1559), continued the conflict, newly begun in 1552, until the conclusion of the treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559, by which the Habsburgs retained their hold upon Italy, while France, by the occupation of the important bishoprics of Metz, Toul, and Verdun, extended her northeastern frontier, at the expense of the empire, toward the Rhine River. [Footnote: It was during this war that in 1558 the French captured Calais from the English, and thus put an end to English territorial holdings on the Continent. The English Queen Mary was the wife of Philip II of Spain.]

[Sidenote: Results of the Wars between Charles V and Francis I]

Indirectly, the long wars occasioned by the personal rivalry of Charles and Francis had other results than Habsburg predominance in Italy and French expansion towards the Rhine. They preserved a "balance of power" and prevented the incorporation of the French monarchy into an obsolescent empire. They rendered easier the rise of the Ottoman power in eastern Europe; and French alliance with the Turks gave French trade and enterprise a decided lead in the Levant. They also permitted the comparatively free growth of Protestantism in Germany.

[Sidenote: The Turkish Peril]

More sinister to Charles V than his wars with the French was the advance of the Ottoman Turks. Under their greatest sultan, Suleiman II, the Magnificent (1520-1566), a contemporary of Charles, the Turks were rapidly extending their sway. The Black Sea was practically a Turkish lake; and the whole Euphrates valley, with Bagdad, had fallen into the sultan's power, now established on the Persian Gulf and in control of all of the ancient trade-routes to the East. The northern coasts of Africa from Egypt to Algeria acknowledged the supremacy of Suleiman, whose sea power in the Mediterranean had become a factor to be reckoned with in European politics, threatening not only the islands but the great Christian countries of Italy and Spain. The Venetians were driven from the Morea and from the ?gean Islands; only Cyprus, Crete, and Malta survived in the Mediterranean as outposts of Christendom.

[Sidenote: Suleiman the Magnificent]

Suleiman devoted many years to the extension of his power in Europe, sometimes in alliance with the French king, sometimes upon his own initiative,-and with almost unbroken success. In 1521 he declared war against the king of Hungary on the pretext that he had received no Hungarian congratulations on his accession to the throne. He besieged and captured Belgrade, and in 1526 on the field of Mohács his forces met and overwhelmed the Hungarians, whose king was killed with the flower of the Hungarian chivalry. The battle of Mohács marked the extinction of an independent and united Hungarian state; Ferdinand of Habsburg, brother of Charles V, claimed the kingdom; Suleiman was in actual possession of fully a third of it. The sultan's army carried the war into Austria and in 1529 bombarded and invested Vienna, but so valiant was the resistance offered that after three weeks the siege was abandoned. Twelve years later the greater part of Hungary, including the city of Budapest, became a Turkish province, and in many places churches were turned into mosques. In 1547 Charles V and Ferdinand were compelled to recognize the Turkish conquests in Hungary, and the latter agreed to pay the sultan an annual tribute of 30,000 ducats. Suleiman not only thwarted every attempt of his rivals to recover their territories, but remained throughout his life a constant menace to the security of the hereditary dominions of the Habsburgs.

[Sidenote: Charles V and the Holy Roman Empire.]

[Sidenote: Possibility of transforming the Empire into a National

German Monarchy]

At the very time when Charles V was encountering these grave troubles in administering his scattered hereditary possessions and in waging war now with the French and now with the Mohammedans, he likewise was saddled with problems peculiar to the government of his empire. Had he been able to devote all his talent and energy to the domestic affairs of the Holy Roman Empire, he might have contributed potently to the establishment of a compact German state. It should be borne in mind that when Charles V was elected emperor in 1519 the Holy Roman Empire was virtually restricted to German-speaking peoples, and that the national unifications of England, France, and Spain, already far advanced, pointed the path to a similar political evolution for Germany. Why should not a modern German national state have been created coextensive with the medieval empire, a state which would have included not only the twentieth-century German Empire but Austria, Holland, and Belgium, and which, stretching from the Baltic to the Adriatic and from the English Channel to the Vistula, would have dominated the continent of Europe throughout the whole modern era? There were certainly grave difficulties in the way, but grave difficulties had also been encountered in consolidating France or Spain, and the difference was rather of degree than of kind. In every other case a strong monarch had overcome feudal princes and ambitious nobles, had deprived cities of many of their liberties, had trampled upon, or tampered with, the privileges of representative assemblies, and had enforced internal order and security. In every such case the monarch had commanded the support of important popular elements and had directed his major efforts to the realization of national aims.

National patriotism was not altogether lacking among Germans of the sixteenth century. They were conscious of a common language which was already becoming a vehicle of literary expression. They were conscious of a common tradition and of a common nationality. They recognized, in many cases, the absurdly antiquated character of their political institutions and ardently longed for reforms. In fact, the trouble with the Germans was not so much the lack of thought about political reform as the actual conflicts between various groups concerning the method and goal of reform. Germans despised the Holy Roman Empire, much as Frenchmen abhorred the memory of feudal society; but Germans were not as unanimous as Frenchmen in advocating the establishment of a strong national monarchy. In Germany were princes, free cities, and knights,- all nationalistic after a fashion, but all quarreling with each other and with their nominal sovereign.

[Sidenote: Charles V bent on Strengthening Monarchical Power though not on a National Basis]

The emperors themselves were the only sincere and consistent champions of centralized monarchical power, but the emperors were probably less patriotic than any one else in the Holy Roman Empire. Charles V would never abandon his pretensions to world power in order to become a strong monarch over a single nation. Early in his reign he declared that "no monarchy was comparable though not to the Roman Empire. This the whole world had once obeyed, and Christ Himself had paid it honor and obedience. Unfortunately it was now only a shadow of what it had been, but he hoped, with the help of those powerful countries and alliances which God had granted him, to raise it to its ancient glory." Charles V labored for an increase of personal power not only in Germany but also in the Netherlands, in Spain, and in Italy; and with the vast imperial ambition of Charles the ideal of creating a national monarchy on a strictly German basis was in sharp conflict. Charles V could not, certainly would not, pose simply as a German king-a national leader.

[Sidenote: Nationalism among the German Princes]

Under these circumstances the powerful German princes, in defying the emperor's authority and in promoting disruptive tendencies in the Holy Roman Empire, were enabled to lay the blame at the feet of their unpatriotic sovereign and thereby arouse in their behalf a good deal of German national sentiment. In choosing Charles V to be their emperor, the princely electors in 1519 had demanded that German or Latin should be the official language of the Holy Roman Empire, that imperial offices should be open only to Germans, that the various princes should not be subject to any foreign political jurisdiction, that no foreign troops should serve in imperial wars without the approval of the Diet, and that Charles should confirm the sovereign rights of all the princes and appoint from their number a Council of Regency (Reichsregiment) to share in his government.

[Sidenote: The Council of Regency, 1521-1531]

[Sidenote: Its Failure to Unify Germany]

In accordance with an agreement reached by a Diet held at Worms in 1521, the Council of Regency was created. Most of its twenty-three members were named by, and represented the interests of, the German princes. Here might be the starting-point toward a closer political union of the German-speaking people, if only a certain amount of financial independence could be secured to the Council. The proposal on this score was a most promising one; it was to support the new imperial administration, not, as formerly, by levying more or less voluntary contributions on the various states, but by establishing a kind of customs-union (Zollverein) and imposing on foreign importations a tariff for revenue. This time, however, the German burghers raised angry protests; the merchants and traders of the Hanseatic towns insisted that the proposed financial burden would fall on them and destroy their business; and their protests were potent enough to bring to nought the princes' plan. Thus the government was forced again to resort to the levy of special financial contributions,-an expedient which usually put the emperor and the Council of Regency at the mercy of the most selfish and least patriotic of the German princes.

[Sidenote: Nationalism among the German Knights]

More truly patriotic as a class than German princes or German burghers were the German knights-those gentlemen of the hill-top and of the road, who, usually poor in pocket though stout of heart, looked down from their high-perched castles with badly disguised contempt upon the vulgar tradesmen of the town or beheld with anger and jealousy the encroachments of neighboring princes, lay and ecclesiastical, more wealthy and powerful than themselves. Especially against the princes the knights contended, sometimes under the forms of law, more often by force and violence and all the barbarous accompaniments of private warfare and personal feud. Some of the knights were well educated and some had literary and scholarly abilities; hardly any one of them was a friend of public order. Yet practically all the knights were intensely proud of their German nationality. It was the knights, who, under the leadership of such fiery patriots as Ulrich von Hutten and Franz von Sickingen, had forcefully contributed in 1519 to the imperial election of Charles V, a German Habsburg, in preference to non-German candidates such as Francis I of France or Henry VIII of England. For a brief period Charles V leaned heavily upon the German knights for support in his struggle with princes and burghers; and at one time it looked as if the knights in union with the emperor would succeed in curbing the power of the princes and in laying the foundations of a strongly centralized national German monarchy.

[Sidenote: Rise of Lutheranism Favored by the Knights and Opposed by

Charles V]

But at the critical moment Protestantism arose in Germany, marking a cleavage between the knightly leaders and the emperor. To knights like Ulrich von Hutten and Franz von Sickingen the final break in 1520 between Martin Luther and the pope seemed to assure a separation of Germany from Italy and the erection of a peculiar form of German Christianity about which a truly national state could be builded. As a class the knights applauded Luther and rejoiced at the rapid spread of his teachings throughout Germany. On the other hand, Charles V remained a Roman Catholic. Not only was he loyally attached to the religion of his fathers through personal training and belief, but he felt that the maintenance of what political authority he possessed was dependent largely on the maintenance of the universal authority of the ancient Church, and practically he needed papal assistance for his many foreign projects. The same reasons that led many German princes to accept the Lutheran doctrines as a means of lessening imperial control caused Charles V to reject them. At the same Diet at Worms (1521), at which the Council of Regency had been created, Charles V prevailed upon the Germans present to condemn and outlaw Luther; and this action alienated the knights from the emperor.

[Sidenote: The Knights' War, 1522-1523]

Franz von Sickingen, a Rhenish knight and the ablest of his class, speedily took advantage of the emperor's absence from Germany in 1522 to precipitate a Knights' War. In supreme command of a motley army of fellow-knights, Franz made an energetic attack upon the rich landed estates of the Catholic prince-bishop of Trier. At this point, the German princes, lay as well as ecclesiastical, forgetting their religious predilections and mindful only of their common hatred of the knights, rushed to the defense of the bishop of Trier and drove off Sickingen, who, in April, 1523, died fighting before his own castle of Ebernburg. Ulrich von Hutten fled to Switzerland and perished miserably shortly afterwards. The knights' cause collapsed, and princes and burghers remained triumphant. [Footnote: The Knights' War was soon followed by the Peasants' Revolt, a social rather than a political movement. For an account of the Peasants' Revolt see pp. 133 ff.] It was the end of serious efforts in the sixteenth century to create a national German state.

[Sidenote: Failure of German Nationalism in the Sixteenth Century]

The Council of Regency lasted until 1531, though its inability to preserve domestic peace discredited it, and in its later years it enjoyed little authority. Left to themselves, many of the princes espoused Protestantism. In vain Charles V combated the new religious movement. In vain he proscribed it in several Diets after that of Worms. In vain he assailed its upholders in several military campaigns, such as those against the Schmalkaldic League, which will be treated more fully in another connection. But the long absences of Charles V from Germany and his absorption in a multitude of cares and worries, to say nothing of the spasmodic aid which Francis, the Catholic king of France, gave to the Protestants in Germany, contributed indirectly to the spread of Lutheranism. In the last year of Charles's rule (1555) the profession of the Lutheran faith on the part of German princes was placed by the peace of Augsburg [Footnote: See below, p. 136.] on an equal footing with that of the Catholic religion. Protestantism among the German princes proved a disintegrating, rather than a unifying, factor of national life. The rise of Protestantism was the last straw which broke German nationalism.

[Sidenote: Charles V and England]

With England the relations of Charles V were interesting but not so important as those already noted with the Germans, the Turks, and the French. At first in practical alliance with the impetuous self-willed Henry VIII (1509-1547), whose wife-Catherine of Aragon-was the emperor's aunt, Charles subsequently broke off friendly relations when the English sovereign asked the pope to declare his marriage null and void. Charles prevailed upon the pope to deny Henry's request, and the schism which Henry then created between the Catholic Church in England and the Roman See increased the emperor's bitterness. Towards the close of Henry's reign relations improved again, but it was not until the accession of Charles's cousin, Mary (1553-1558), to the English throne that really cordial friendship was restored. To this Queen Mary, Charles V married his son and successor Philip.

[Sidenote: Abdication of Charles V]

At length exhausted by his manifold labors, Charles V resolved to divide his dominions between his brother Ferdinand and his son Philip and to retire from government. In the hall of the Golden Fleece at Brussels on 25 October, 1555, he formally abdicated the sovereignty of his beloved Netherlands. Turning to the representatives, he said: "Gentlemen, you must not be astonished if, old and feeble as I am in all my members, and also from the love I bear you, I shed some tears." At least in the Netherlands the love was reciprocal. In 1556 he resigned the Spanish and Italian crowns, [Footnote: He made over to his brother all his imperial authority, though he nominally retained the crown of the Holy Roman Empire until 1558] and spent his last years in preparation for a future world. He died in 1558. Personally, Charles V had a prominent lower jaw and a thin, pale face, relieved by a wide forehead and bright, flashing eyes. He was well formed and dignified in appearance. In character he was slow and at times both irresolute and obstinate, but he had a high sense of duty, honest intentions, good soldierly qualities, and a large amount of cold common sense. Though not highly educated, he was well read and genuinely appreciative of music and painting.


For a century and a half after the retirement of Charles V in 1556, we hear of two branches of the Habsburg family-the Spanish Habsburgs and the Austrian Habsburgs, descended respectively from Philip II and Ferdinand. By the terms of the division, Ferdinand, the brother of Charles, received the compact family possessions in the East-Austria and its dependencies, Bohemia, that portion of Hungary not occupied by the Turks, and the title of Holy Roman Emperor,-while the remainder went to Charles's son, Philip II,-Spain, the Netherlands, Franche Comté (the eastern part of Burgundy), the Two Sicilies, Milan, and the American colonies.

Over the history of Ferdinand and his immediate successors, we need not tarry, because, aside from efforts to preserve religious peace and the family's political predominance within the empire and to recover Hungary from the Turks, it is hardly essential. But in western Europe Philip II for a variety of reasons became a figure of world-wide importance: we must examine his career.

[Sidenote: Character and policies of Philip II]

Few characters in history have elicited more widely contradictory estimates than Philip II. Represented by many Protestant writers as a villain, despot, and bigot, he has been extolled by patriotic Spaniards as Philip the Great, champion of religion and right. These conflicting opinions are derived from different views which may be taken of the value and inherent worth of Philip's policies and methods, but what those policies and methods were there can be no doubt. In the first place, Philip II prized Spain as his native country and his main possession-in marked contrast to his father, for he himself had been born in Spain and had resided there during almost all of his life-and he was determined to make Spain the greatest country in the world. In the second place, Philip II was sincerely and piously attached to Catholicism; he abhorred Protestantism as a blasphemous rending of the seamless garment of the Church; and he set his heart upon the universal triumph of his faith. If, by any chance, a question should arise between the advantage of Spain and the best interests of the Church, the former must be sacrificed relentlessly to the latter. Such was the sovereign's stern ideal. No seeming failure of his policies could shake his belief in their fundamental excellence. That whatever he did was done for the greater glory of God, that success or failure depended upon the inscrutable will of the Almighty and not upon himself, were his guiding convictions, which he transmitted to his Spanish successors. Not only was Philip a man of principles and ideals, but he was possessed of a boundless capacity for work and an indomitable will. He preferred tact and diplomacy to war and prowess of arms, though he was quite willing to order his troops to battle if the object, in his opinion, was right. He was personally less accustomed to the sword than to the pen, and no clerk ever toiled more industriously at his papers than did this king. From early morning until far into the night he bent over minutes and reports and other business of kingcraft. Naturally cautious and reserved, he was dignified and princely in public. In his private life, he was orderly and extremely affectionate to his family and servants. Loyalty was Philip's best attribute.

There was a less happy side to the character of Philip II. His free use of the Inquisition in order to extirpate heresy throughout his dominions has rendered him in modern eyes an embodiment of bigotry and intolerance, but it must be remembered that he lived in an essentially intolerant age, when religious persecution was stock in trade of Protestants no less than of Catholics. It is likewise true that he constantly employed craft and deceit and was ready to make use of assassination for political purposes, but this too was in accordance with the temper of the times: lawyers then taught, following the precepts of the famous historian and political philosopher, Machiavelli, that Christian morality is a guide for private conduct rather than for public business, and that "the Prince" may act above the laws in order to promote the public good, and even such famous Protestant leaders as Coligny and William the Silent entered into murder plots. But when all due allowances have been made, the student cannot help feeling that the purpose of Philip II would have been served better by the employment of means other than persecution and murder.

The reign of Philip II covered approximately the second half of the sixteenth century (1556-1598). In his efforts to make Spain the greatest power in the world and to restore the unity problems of Christendom, he was doomed to failure. The chief Confronting reason for the failure is simple-the number and [side note Problems Confronting Philip II] variety of the problems and projects with which Philip II was concerned. It was a case of the king putting a finger in too many pies-he was cruelly burned. Could Philip II have devoted all his energies to one thing at a time, he might conceivably have had greater success, but as it was, he must divide his attention between supervising the complex administration of his already wide dominions and annexing in addition the monarchy and empire of Portugal, between promoting a vigorous commercial and colonial policy and suppressing a stubborn revolt in the Netherlands, between championing Catholicism in both England and France and protecting Christendom against the victorious Mohammedans. It was this multiplicity of interests that paralyzed the might of the Spanish monarch, yet each one of his foreign activities was epochal in the history of the country affected. We shall therefore briefly review Philip's activities in order.

[Sidenote: Spain under Philip II: Political]

As we have seen, Philip II inherited a number of states which had separate political institutions and customs. He believed in national unification, at least of Spain. National unification implied uniformity, and uniformity implied greater power of the crown. So Philip sought to further the work of his great-grandparents, Ferdinand and Isabella,-absolutism and uniformity became his watchwords in internal administration. Politically Philip made no pretense of consulting the Cortes on legislation, and, although he convoked them to vote new taxes, he established the rule that the old taxes were to be considered as granted in perpetuity and as constituting the ordinary revenue of the crown. He treated the nobles as ornamental rather than useful, retiring them from royal offices in favor of lawyers and other subservient members of the middle class. All business was conducted by correspondence and with a final reference to the king, and the natural result was endless delay.

[Sidenote: Spain under Philip II: Economic]

Financially and economically the period was unfortunate for Spain. The burden of the host of foreign enterprises fell with crushing weight upon the Spanish kingdom and particularly upon Castile. Aragon, which was poor and jealous of its own rights, would give little. The income from the Netherlands, at first large, was stopped by the revolt. The Italian states barely paid expenses. The revenue from the American mines, which has been greatly exaggerated, enriched the pockets of individuals rather than the treasury of the state. In Spain itself, the greater part of the land was owned by the ecclesiastical corporations and the nobles, who were exempt from taxation but were intermittently fleeced. Moreover, the 10 per cent tax on all sales-the alcabala [Footnote: See above, p. 57.]-gradually paralyzed all native industrial enterprise. And the persecution of wealthy and industrious Jews and Moors diminished the resources of the kingdom. Spain, at the close of the century, was on the verge of bankruptcy.

[Sidenote: Spain under Philip II: Religious]

In religious matters Philip II aimed at uniform adherence to the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church. He felt, like so many of his contemporaries, that disparity of belief among subjects would imperil a state. Both from political motives and from religious zeal Philip was a Catholic. He therefore advised the pope, watched with interest the proceedings of the great Council of Trent which was engaged with the reformation of the Church, [Footnote: See below, pp. 158 ff.] and labored for the triumph of his religion not only in his own dominions and in France, but also in Poland, in England, and even in Scandinavia. In Spain he strengthened the Inquisition and used it as a tool of royal despotism.

[Sidenote: Temporary Union of Spain and Portugal]

Territorially Philip II desired to complete political unity in the peninsula by combining the crown of Portugal with those of Castile and Aragon. He himself was closely related to the Portuguese royal family, and in 1580 he laid formal claim to that kingdom. The duke of Braganza, whose claim was better than Philip's, was bought off by immense grants and the country was overrun by Spanish troops. Philip endeavored to placate the Portuguese by full recognition of their constitutional rights and in particular by favoring the lesser nobility or country gentry. Although the monarchies and vast colonial possessions of Spain and Portugal were thus joined for sixty years under a common king, the arrangement never commanded any affection in Portugal, with the result that at the first opportunity, in 1640, Portuguese independence was restored under the leadership of the Braganza family.

[Sidenote: Rebellions Against Philip II in Spain]

The most serious domestic difficulty which Philip had to face was the revolt of the rich and populous Netherlands, which we shall discuss presently. But with other revolts the king had to contend. In his efforts to stamp out heresy and peculiar customs among the descendants of the Moors who still lived in the southern part of Spain, Philip aroused armed opposition. The Moriscos, as they were called, struggled desperately from 1568 to 1570 to re?stablish the independence of Granada. This rebellion was suppressed with great cruelty, and the surviving Moriscos were forced to find new homes in less favored parts of Spain until their final expulsion from the country in 1609. A revolt of Aragon in 1591 was put down by a Castilian army; the constitutional rights of Aragon were diminished and the kingdom was reduced to a greater measure of submission.

[Sidenote: Revolt of the Netherlands: The Causes]

The causes that led to the revolt of the Netherlands may be stated as fourfold. (1) Financial. The burdensome taxes which Charles V had laid upon the country were increased by Philip II and often applied to defray the expenses of other parts of the Spanish possessions. Furthermore, the restrictions which Philip imposed upon Dutch commerce in the interest of that of Spain threatened to interfere seriously with the wonted economic prosperity of the Netherlands. (2) Political. Philip II sought to centralize authority in the Netherlands and despotically deprived the cities and nobles of many of their traditional privileges. Philip never visited the country in person after 1559, and he intrusted his arbitrary government to regents and to Spaniards rather than to native leaders. The scions of the old and proud noble families of the Netherlands naturally resented being supplanted in lucrative and honorable public offices by persons whom they could regard only as upstarts. (3) Religious. Despite the rapid and universal spread of Calvinistic Protestantism throughout the northern provinces, Philip was resolved to force Catholicism upon all of his subjects. He increased the number of bishoprics, decreed acts of uniformity, and in a vigorous way utilized the Inquisition to carry his policy into effect. (4) Personal. The Dutch and Flemish loved Charles V because he had been born and reared among them and always considered their country as his native land. Philip II was born and brought up in Spain.

He spoke a language foreign to the Netherlands, and by their inhabitants he was thought of as an alien.

[Sidenote: Margaret of Parma and the "Beggars"]

At first the opposition in the Netherlands was directed chiefly against the Inquisition and the presence of Spanish garrisons in the towns. The regent, Margaret of Parma, Philip's half-sister, endeavored to banish public discontent by a few concessions. The Spanish troops were withdrawn and certain unpopular officials were dismissed. But influential noblemen and burghers banded themselves together early in 1566 and presented to the regent Margaret a petition, in which, while protesting their loyalty, they expressed fear of a general revolt and begged that a special embassy be sent to Philip to urge upon him the necessity of abolishing the Inquisition and of redressing their other grievances. The regent, at first disquieted by the petitioners, was reassured by one of her advisers, who exclaimed, "What, Madam, is your Highness afraid of these beggars (ces gueux)?" Henceforth the chief opponents of Philip's policies in the Netherlands humorously labeled themselves "Beggars" and assumed the emblems of common begging, the wallet and the bowl. The fashion spread quickly, and the "Beggars'" insignia were everywhere to be seen, worn as trinkets, especially in the large towns. In accordance with the "Beggars'" petition, an embassy was dispatched to Spain to lay the grievances before Philip II.

[Sidenote: Duke of Alva in the Netherlands, 1567-1573]

Philip II at first promised to abolish the Inquisition in the Netherlands, but soon repented of his promise. For meanwhile mobs of fanatical Protestants, far more radical than the respectable "Beggars," were rushing to arms, breaking into Catholic churches, wrecking the altars, smashing the images to pieces, profaning monasteries, and showing in their retaliation as much violence-as their enemies had shown cruelty in persecution. In August, 1566, this sacrilegious iconoclasm reached its climax in the irreparable ruin of the magnificent cathedral at Antwerp. Philip replied to these acts, which he interpreted as disloyalty, by sending (1567) his most famous general, the duke of Alva, into the Netherlands with a large army and with instructions to cow the people into submission. Alva proved himself quite capable of understanding and executing his master's wishes: one of his first acts was the creation of a "Council of Troubles," an arbitrary tribunal which tried cases of treason and which operated so notoriously as to merit its popular appellation of the "Council of Blood." During the duke's stay of six years, it has been estimated that eight thousand persons were executed, including the counts of Egmont and Horn, thirty thousand were despoiled of their property, and one hundred thousand quitted the country. Alva, moreover, levied an enormous tax of one-tenth upon the price of merchandise sold. As the tax was collected on several distinct processes, it absorbed at least seven-tenths of the value of certain goods-of cloth, for instance. The tax, together with the lawless confusion throughout the country, meant the destruction of Flemish manufactures and trade. It was, therefore, quite natural that the burgesses of the southern Netherlands, Catholic though most of them were, should unite with the nobles and with the Protestants of the North in opposing Spanish tyranny. The whole country was now called to arms.

[Sidenote: William the Silent, Prince of Orange]

One of the principal noblemen of the Netherlands was a German, William of Nassau, prince of Orange.[Footnote: William (1533-1584), now commonly called "the Silent." There appears to be no contemporaneous justification of the adjective as applied to him, but the misnomer, once adopted by later writers, has insistently clung to him.] He had been governing the provinces of Holland and Zeeland when Alva arrived, but as he was already at the point of accepting Protestantism he had prudently retired into Germany, leaving his estates to be confiscated by the Spanish governor. Certain trifling successes of the insurgents now called William back to head the popular movement. For many years he bore the brunt of the war and proved himself not only a resourceful general, but an able diplomat and a whole-souled patriot. He eventually gained the admiration and love of the whole Dutch people.

[Sidenote: The "Sea Beggars"]

The first armed forces of William of Orange were easily routed by Alva, but in 1569 a far more menacing situation was presented. In that year William began to charter corsairs and privateers to prey upon Spanish shipping. These "Sea Beggars," as they were called, were mostly wild and lawless desperadoes who stopped at nothing in their hatred of Catholics and Spaniards: they early laid the foundations of Dutch maritime power and at the same time proved a constant torment to Alva. They made frequent incursions into the numerous waterways of the Netherlands and perpetually fanned the embers of revolt on land. Gradually William collected new armies, which more and more successfully defied Alva.

[Sidenote: The "Spanish Fury" and the Pacification of Ghent, 1576]

The harsh tactics of Alva had failed to restore the Netherlands to Philip's control, and in 1573 Alva was replaced in the regency by the more politic Requesens, who continued the struggle as best he could but with even less success than Alva. Soon after Requesens's death in 1576, the Spanish army in the Netherlands, left without pay or food, mutinied and inflicted such horrible indignities upon several cities, notably Antwerp, that the savage attack is called the "Spanish Fury." Deputies of all the seventeen provinces at once concluded an agreement, termed the Pacification of Ghent (1576), by which they mutually guaranteed resistance to the Spanish until the king should abolish the Inquisition and restore their old-time liberties.

Then Philip II tried a policy of concession, but the new governor, the

dashing Don John of Austria, fresh from a great naval victory over the

Turks, soon discovered that it was too late to reconcile the

Protestants. William the Silent was wary of the Spanish offers, and Don

John died in 1578 without having achieved very much.

[Sidenote: Farnese, Duke of Parma]

[Sidenote: The Treaty of Array and the Union of Utrecht (1579): the

Permanent Division of the Netherlands]

But Philip II was not without some success in the Netherlands. He was fortunate in having a particularly determined and tactful governor in the country from 1578 to 1592 in the person of Alexander Farnese, duke of Parma. Skillfully mingling war and diplomacy, Farnese succeeded in sowing discord between the northern and southern provinces: the former were Dutch, Calvinist, and commercial; the latter were Flemish and Walloon, Catholic, and industrial. The ten southern provinces might eventually have more to fear from the North than from continued union with Spain; their representatives, therefore, signed a defensive league at Arras in 1579 for the protection of the Catholic religion and with the avowed purpose of effecting a reconciliation with Philip II. In the same year the northern provinces agreed to the Union of Utrecht, binding themselves together "as if they were one province" to maintain their rights and liberties "with life-blood and goods" against Spanish tyranny and to grant complete freedom of worship and of religious opinion throughout the confederation. In this way the Pacification of Ghent was nullified and the Netherlands were split into two parts, each going its own way, each developing its own history. The southern portion was to remain in Habsburg hands for over two centuries, being successively termed "Spanish Netherlands" and "Austrian Netherlands"- roughly speaking, it is what to-day we call Belgium. The northern portion was to become free and independent, and, as the "United Provinces" or simply "Holland," to take its place among the nations of the world. For a considerable period of time Holland was destined to be more prosperous than Belgium. The latter suffered more grievously than the former from the actual hostilities; and the Dutch, by closing the River Scheldt and dominating the adjacent seas, dealt a mortal blow at the industrial and commercial supremacy of Antwerp and transferred the chief trade and business of all the Netherlands to their own city of Amsterdam.

[Sidenote: Reasons for the Success of the Dutch]

For many years the struggle dragged on. At times it seemed probable that Farnese and the Spaniards would overcome the North by force as they had obtained the South by diplomacy. But a variety of reasons explain the ultimate success of the Dutch. The nature of the country rendered ordinary campaigning very difficult-the network of canals constituted natural lines of defense and the cutting of the dikes might easily imperil an invading army. Again, the seafaring propensities of the Dutch stimulated them to fit out an increasing number of privateers which constantly preyed upon Spanish commerce: it was not long before this traffic grew important and legitimate, so that in the following century Amsterdam became one of the greatest cities of the world, and Holland assumed a prominent place among commercial and colonial nations. Thirdly, the employment of foreign mercenaries in the army of defense enabled the native population to devote the more time to peaceful pursuits, and, despite the persistence of war, the Dutch provinces increased steadily in wealth and prosperity. Fourthly, the cautious Fabian policy of William the Silent prevented the Dutch from staking heavily upon battles in the open field. Fifthly, the Dutch received a good deal of assistance from Protestants of Germany, England, and France. Finally, Philip II pursued too many great projects at once to be able to bring a single one to a satisfactory conclusion: his war with Queen Elizabeth of England and his interference in the affairs of France inextricably complicated his plans in the Netherlands.

[Sidenote: Formal Declaration of Dutch Independence, 1581]

In 1581 Philip II published a ban against William of Orange, proclaiming him a traitor and an outlaw and offering a reward to any one who would take him dead or alive. William replied by his famous "Apology" to the charges against him; but his practical answer to the king was the Act of Abjuration, by which at his persuasion the representatives of the northern provinces, assembled at The Hague, solemnly proclaimed their separation from the crown of Spain, broke the royal seal of Philip II, and declared the king deprived of all authority over them. We should call this Act of 1581 the Dutch declaration of independence. It was an augury of the definitive result of the war.

[Sidenote: Recognition of Dutch Independence]

Although William the Silent was assassinated by an agent of Spain (1584), and Antwerp was captured from the Protestants in 1585, the ability and genius of Farnese did not avail to make further headway against the United Provinces; but Philip II, stubborn to the end, positively refused to recognize Dutch independence. In 1609 Philip III of Spain consented to a twelve years' truce with the States-General of The Hague. In the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) the Dutch and Spaniards again became embroiled, and the freedom of the republic was not recognized officially by Spain till the general peace of Westphalia in 1648. [Footnote: See below, p. 229.]

The seven provinces, which had waged such long war with Spain, constituted, by mutual agreement, a confederacy, each preserving a distinct local government and administration, but all subject to a general parliament-the States-General-and to a stadtholder, or governor-general, an office which subsequently became hereditary in the Orange family. Between the States-General and the stadtholder, a constitutional conflict was carried on throughout the greater part of the seventeenth century-the former, supported by well-to-do burghers, favoring a greater measure of political democracy, the latter, upheld by aristocratically minded nobles, laboring for the development of monarchical institutions under the Orange family.

[Sidenote: Natural Opposition of England and France to the Policies of

Philip II]

Not only his efforts in the Netherlands but many other projects of Philip II were frustrated by remarkable parallel developments in the two national monarchies of England and France. Both these countries were naturally jealous opposition and fearful of an undue expansion of Spain, which might upset the balance of power. Both states, from their geographical locations, would normally be inimical to Philip II: England would desire, from her island position, to destroy the monopoly which Spain claimed of the carrying trade of the seas; France, still encircled by Habsburg possessions in Spain, Italy, and the Netherlands, would adhere to her traditional policy of allying herself with every foe of the Spanish king. Then, too, the papal authority had been rejected in England and seriously questioned in France: Philip's crusading zeal made him the champion of the Church in those countries. For ecclesiastical as well as for economic and political purposes it seemed necessary to the Spanish king that he should bring France and England under his direct influence. On their side, patriotic French and English resented such foreign interest in their domestic affairs, and the eventual failure of Philip registered a wonderful growth of national feeling among the peoples who victoriously contended against him. The beginnings of the real modern greatness of France and England date from their struggle with Philip II.

[Sidenote: Philip II and Mary Tudor]

At the outset of his reign, Philip seemed quite successful in his foreign relations. As we have seen, he was in alliance with England through his marriage with Queen Mary Tudor (1553-1558): she had temporarily restored the English Church to communion with the Holy See, and was conducting her foreign policy in harmony with Philip's-because of her husband she lost to the French the town of Calais, the last English possession on the Continent (1558). Likewise, as has been said, Philip II concluded with France in 1559 the advantageous treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis. But during the ensuing thirty years the tables were completely turned. Both England and France ended by securing respite from Spanish interference.

[Sidenote: Philip II and Elizabeth]

Mary Tudor died unhappy and childless in 1558, and the succession of her sister Queen Elizabeth, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, altered the relations between the English and Spanish courts. Elizabeth (1558-1603) was possessed of an imperious, haughty, energetic character; she had remarkable intelligence and an absorbing patriotism. She inspired confidence in her advisers and respect among her people, so that she was commonly called "Good Queen Bess" despite the fact that her habits of deceit and double-dealing gave color to the French king's remark that she was the greatest liar in Christendom. This was the woman with whom Philip II had to deal; he tried many tactics in order to gain his ends,-all of them hopelessly unsuccessful.

Philip first proposed matrimony, but Elizabeth was very careful not to give herself, or England, such a master. Then when the queen declared herself a Protestant and showed no inclination to assist Philip in any of his enterprises, the Spanish king proceeded to plot against her throne. He subsidized Roman Catholic priests, especially Jesuits, who violated the laws of the land. He stirred up sedition and even went so far as to plan Elizabeth's assassination. Many conspiracies against the English queen centered in the person of the ill-starred Mary Stuart, [Footnote: Mary Stuart (1542-1587).] queen of Scotland, who was next in line of succession to the English throne and withal a Catholic.

[Sidenote: Mary Stuart]

Descended from the Stuart kings of Scotland and from Henry VII of England, related to the powerful family of Guise in France, Mary had been brought up at the French court and married to the short-lived French king, Francis II. Upon the death of the latter she returned in 1561 to Scotland, a young woman of but eighteen years, only to find that the government had fallen victim to the prevalent factional fights among the Scotch nobles and that in the preceding year the parliament had solemnly adopted a Calvinistic form of Protestantism. By means of tact and mildness, however, Mary won the respect of the nobles and the admiration of the people, until a series of marital troubles and blunders-her marriage with a worthless cousin, Henry Darnley, and then her scandalous marriage with Darnley's profligate murderer, the earl of Bothwell-alienated her people from her and drove her into exile. She abdicated the throne of Scotland in favor of her infant son, James VI, who was reared a Protestant and subsequently became King James I of England, and she then (1568) threw herself upon the mercy of Elizabeth. She thought she would find in England a haven of refuge; instead she found there a prison.

For the score of years during which she remained Elizabeth's prisoner, Mary Stuart was the object of many plots and conspiracies against the existing governments of both Scotland and England. In every such scheme were to be found the machinations and money of the Spanish king. In fact, as time went on, it seemed to a growing section of the English people as though the cause of Elizabeth was bound up with Protestantism and with national independence and prosperity just as certainly as the success of Mary would lead to the triumph of Catholicism, the political supremacy of Spain, and the commercial ruin of England. It was under these circumstances that Mary's fate was sealed. Because of a political situation over which she had slight control, the ex-queen of Scotland was beheaded by Elizabeth's orders in 1587.

[Sidenote: The Armada]

Philip II had now tried and failed in every expedient but one,-the employment of sheer force. Even this he attempted in order to avenge the death of Mary Stuart and to bring England, politically, religiously, and commercially, into harmony with his Spanish policies. The story of the preparation and the fate of the Invincible Armada is almost too well known to require repetition. It was in 1588 that there issued from the mouth of the Tagus River the most formidable fleet which up to that time Christendom had ever beheld-130 ships, 8000 seamen, 19,000 soldiers, the flower of the Spanish chivalry. In the Netherlands it was to be joined by Alexander Farnese with 33,000 veteran troops. But in one important respect Philip had underestimated his enemy: he had counted upon a divided country. Now the attack upon England was primarily national, rather than religious, and Catholics vied with Protestants in offering aid to the queen: it was a united rather than a divided nation which Philip faced. The English fleet, composed of comparatively small and easily maneuvered vessels, worked great havoc upon the ponderous and slow-moving Spanish galleons, and the wreck of the Armada was completed by a furious gale which tossed ship after ship upon the rocks of northern Scotland. Less than a third of the original expedition ever returned to Spain.

Philip II had thus failed in his herculean effort against England. He continued in small ways to annoy and to irritate Elizabeth. He tried- without result-to incite the Catholics of Ireland against the queen. He exhausted his arsenals and his treasures in despairing attempts to equip a second and even a third Armada. But he was doomed to bitterest disappointment, for two years before his death an English fleet sacked his own great port of Cadiz. The war with England ruined the navy and the commerce of Spain. The defeat of the Armada was England's first title to commercial supremacy.

[Sidenote: Economic Benefits of the Period for England]

It was long maintained that the underlying causes of the conflict between England and Spain in the second half of the sixteenth century and its chief interest was religious-that it was part of an epic struggle between Protestantism and Catholicism. There may be a measure of truth in such an idea, but most recent writers believe that the chief motives for the conflict, as well as its important results, were essentially economic. From the beginning of Elizabeth's reign, English sailors and freebooters, such as Hawkins and Drake, took the offensive against Spanish trade and commerce; and many ships, laden with silver and goods from the New World and bound for Cadiz, were seized and towed into English harbors. The queen herself frequently received a share of the booty and therefore tended to encourage the practice. For nearly thirty years Philip put up with the capture of his treasure ships, the raiding of his colonies, and the open assistance rendered to his rebellious subjects. Only when he reached the conclusion that his power would never be secure in the Netherlands or in America did he dispatch the Armada. Its failure finally freed Holland and marked the collapse of the Spanish monopoly upon the high seas and in the New World.

[Sidenote: Affairs in France]

Before we can appreciate the motives and results of the interference of Philip II in French affairs, a few words must be said about what had happened in France since Francis I (1515-1547) and his son, Henry II (1547-1559), exalted the royal power in their country and not only preserved French independence of the surrounding empire of Charles V but also increased French prestige by means of a strong policy in Italy and by the extension of frontiers toward the Rhine. Henry II had married a member of the famous Florentine family of the Medici- Catherine de' Medici-a large and ugly woman, but ambitious, resourceful, and capable, who, by means of trickery and deceit, took an active part in French politics from the death of her husband, throughout the reigns of her feeble sons, Francis II (1559-1560), Charles IX (1560-1574), and Henry III (1574-1589). Catherine found her position and that of her royal children continually threatened by (1) the Protestants (Huguenots), (2) the great nobles, and (3) Philip II of Spain.

[Sidenote: Dangers to Royal Power in France: Protestantism]

French Protestantism had grown steadily during the first half of the sixteenth century until it was estimated that from a twentieth to a thirtieth of the nation had fallen away from the Catholic Church. The influence of the advocates of the new faith was, however, much greater than their number, because the Huguenots, as they were called, were recruited mainly from the prosperous, intelligent middle class,-the bourgeoisie,-who had been intrusted by preceding French kings with many important offices. The Huguenots represented, therefore, a powerful social class and likewise one that was opposed to the undue increase of royal power. They demanded, not only religious toleration for themselves, but also regular meetings of the Estates-General and control of the nation's representatives over financial matters. The kings, on their part, felt that political solidarity and their own personal rule were dependent upon the maintenance of religious uniformity in the nation and the consequent defeat of the pretensions of the Huguenots. Francis I and Henry II had persecuted the Protestants with bitterness. From 1562 to 1593 a series of so-called religious wars embroiled the whole country.

[Sidenote: Dangers to Royal Power in France: the Nobles]

French politics were further complicated during the second half of the sixteenth century by the recrudescence of the power of the nobles. The so-called religious wars were quite as much political as religious- they resulted from efforts of this or that faction of noblemen to dictate to a weak king. Two noble families particularly vied with each other for power,-the Bourbons and the Guises,-and the unqualified triumph of either would be certain to bring calamity to the sons of Catherine de' Medici.

[Sidenote: The Bourbons]

The Bourbons bore the proud title of princes of the blood because they were direct descendants of a French king. Their descent, to be sure, was from Saint Louis, king in the thirteenth century, and they were now, therefore, only distant cousins of the reigning kings, but as the latter died off, one after another, leaving no direct successors, the Bourbons by the French law of strict male succession became heirs to the royal family. The head of the Bourbons, a certain Anthony, had married the queen of Navarre and had become thereby king of Navarre, although the greater part of that country-the region south of the Pyrenees-had been annexed to Spain in 1512. Anthony's brother Louis, prince of Condé, had a reputation for bravery, loyalty, and ability. Both Condé and the king of Navarre were Protestants.

[Sidenote: The Guise Family]

The Guise family was descended from a duke of Lorraine who had attached himself to the court of Francis I. It was really a foreign family, inasmuch as Lorraine was then a dependency of the Holy Roman Empire, but the patriotic exploits of the head of the family in defending Metz against the Emperor Charles V and in capturing Calais from the English endeared the Guises to a goodly part of the French nation. The duke of Guise remained a stanch Catholic, and his brother, called the Cardinal of Lorraine, was head of as many as twelve bishoprics, which gave him an enormous revenue and made him the most conspicuous churchman in France. During the reign of Henry II (1547-1559) the Guises were especially influential. They fought valiantly in foreign wars. They spurred on the king to a great persecution of the Huguenots. They increased their own landed estates. And they married one of their relatives-Mary, queen of Scots-to the heir to the throne. But after the brief reign of Mary's husband, Francis II (1559-1560), the Guise family encountered not only the active opposition of their chief noble rivals, the Bourbons, with their Huguenot allies, but likewise the jealousy and crafty intrigues of Catherine de' Medici.

[Sidenote: Religious Wars in France]

Catherine feared both the ambition of the powerful Guise family and the disruptive tendencies of Protestantism. The result was a long series of confused civil wars between the ardent followers, respectively Catholic and Protestant, of the Guise and Bourbon families, in which the queen-mother gave support first to one side and then to the other. There were no fewer than eight of these sanguinary conflicts, each one ending with the grant of slight concessions to the Huguenots and the maintenance of the weak kings upon the throne. The massacre of Saint Bartholomew's Day (1572) was a horrible incident of Catherine's policy of "trimming." Fearing the undue influence over the king of Admiral de Coligny, an upright and able Huguenot leader, the queen-mother, with the aid of the Guises, prevailed upon the weak-minded Charles IX to authorize the wholesale assassination of Protestants. The signal was given by the ringing of a Parisian church-bell at two o'clock in the morning of 24 August, 1572, and the slaughter went on throughout the day in the capital and for several weeks in the provinces. Coligny was murdered; even women and children were not spared. It is estimated that in all at least three thousand-perhaps ten thousand-lost their lives.

[Sidenote: The "Politiques"]

The massacre of Saint Bartholomew's Day did not destroy French Protestantism or render the Huguenot leaders more timid in asserting their claims. On the other hand, it brought into clear light a noteworthy division within the ranks of their Catholic opponents in France-on one side, the rigorous followers of the Guise family, who complained only that the massacre had not been sufficiently comprehensive, and, on the other side, a group of moderate Catholics, usually styled the "Politiques" who, while continuing to adhere to the Roman Church, and, when called upon, bearing arms on the side of the king, were strongly opposed to the employment of force or violence or persecution in matters of religion. The Politiques were particularly patriotic, and they blamed the religious wars and the intolerant policy of the Guises for the seeming weakness of the French monarchy. They thought the massacre of Saint Bartholomew's Day a blunder as well as a crime.

The emergence of the Politiques did not immediately make for peace; rather, it substituted a three-sided for a two-sided conflict.

[Sidenote: Philip II and the War of the Three Henries]

After many years, filled with disorder, it became apparent that the children of Catherine de' Medici would have no direct male heirs and that the crown would therefore legally devolve upon the son of Anthony of Bourbon-Henry of Bourbon, king of Navarre and a Protestant. Such an outcome was naturally distasteful to the Guises and abhorrent to Philip II of Spain. In 1585 a definite league was formed between Henry, duke of Guise, and the Spanish king, whereby the latter undertook by military force to aid the former's family in seizing the throne: French politics in that event would be controlled by Spain, and Philip would secure valuable assistance in crushing the Netherlands and conquering England.[Footnote: At that very time, Mary, Queen of Scots, cousin of Henry, duke of Guise, was held a prisoner in England by Queen Elizabeth. See above, p. 99.] The immediate outcome of the agreement was the war of the three Henries-Henry III, son of Catherine de' Medici and king of France; Henry of Bourbon, king of Navarre and heir to the French throne; and Henry, duke of Guise, with the foreign support of Philip II of Spain. Henry of Guise represented the extreme Catholic party; Henry of Navarre, the Protestant faction; and Henry of France, the Catholic moderates-the Politiques-who wanted peace and were willing to grant a measure of toleration. The last two were upholders of French independence against the encroachments of Spain.

The king was speedily gotten into the power of the Guises, but little headway was made by the extreme Catholics against Henry of Navarre, who now received domestic aid from the Politiques and foreign assistance from Queen Elizabeth of England and who benefited by the continued misfortunes of Philip II. At no time was the Spanish king able to devote his whole attention and energy to the French war. At length in 1588 Henry III caused Henry of Guise to be assassinated. The king never had a real chance to prove whether he could become a national leader in expelling the foreigners and putting an end to civil war, for he himself was assassinated in 1589. With his dying breath he designated the king of Navarre as his successor.

[Sidenote: Henry of Navarre]

Henry of Navarre, the first of the Bourbon family upon the throne of France, took the title of Henry IV (1589-1610). [Footnote: It is a curious fact that Henry of Navarre, like Henry of Guise and Henry of France, died by the hand of an assassin.] For four years after his accession, Henry IV was obliged to continue the civil war, but his abjuration of Protestantism and his acceptance of Catholicism in 1593 removed the chief source of opposition to him within France, and the rebellion speedily collapsed. With the Spanish king, however, the struggle dragged on until the treaty of Vervins, which in the last year of Philip's life practically confirmed the peace of Cateau-Cambrésis.

[Sidenote: Decline of Spain and Rise of France]

Thus Philip II had failed to conquer or to dismember France. He had been unable to harmonize French policies with those of his own in the Netherlands or in England. Despite his endeavors, the French crown was now on the head of one of his enemies, who, if something of a renegade Protestant himself, had nevertheless granted qualified toleration to heretics. Nor were these failures of Philip's political and religious policies mere negative results to France. The unsuccessful interference of the Spanish king contributed to the assurance of French independence, patriotism, and solidarity. France, not Spain, was to be the center of European politics during the succeeding century.

[Sidenote: Philip II and the Turks]

In concluding this chapter, a large section of which has been devoted to an account of the manifold failures of Philip II, a word should be added about one exploit that brought glory to the Spanish monarch. It was he who administered the first effective check to the advancing Ottoman Turks.

After the death of Suleiman the Magnificent (1566), the Turks continued to strengthen their hold upon Hungary and to fit out piratical expeditions in the Mediterranean. The latter repeatedly ravaged portions of Sicily, southern Italy, and even the Balearic Islands, and in 1570 an Ottoman fleet captured Cyprus from the Venetians. Malta and Crete remained as the only Christian outposts in the Mediterranean. In this extremity, a league was formed to save Italy. Its inspirer and preacher was Pope Pius V, but Genoa and Venice furnished the bulk of the fleet, while Philip II supplied the necessary additional ships and the commander-in-chief in the person of his half-brother, Don John of Austria. The expedition, which comprised 208 vessels, met the Ottoman fleet of 273 ships in the Gulf of Lepanto, off the coast of Greece, on 7 October, 1571, and inflicted upon it a crushing defeat. The Turkish warships were almost all sunk or driven ashore; it is estimated that 8000 Turks lost their lives. When news of the victory reached Rome, Pope Pius intoned the famous verse, "There was a man sent from God whose name was John."

[Sidenote: Lepanto]

The battle of Lepanto was of great political importance. It gave the naval power of the Mohammedans a blow from which it never recovered and ended their aggressive warfare in the Mediterranean. It was, in reality, the last Crusade: Philip II was in his most becoming r?le as champion of church and pope; hardly a noble family in Spain or Italy was not represented in the battle; volunteers came from all parts of the world; the celebrated Spanish writer Cervantes lost an arm at Lepanto. Western Europe was henceforth to be comparatively free from the Ottoman peril.







GENERAL, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE HABSBURG TERRITORIES. A. H. Johnson, Europe in the Sixteenth Century, 1494-1598 (1897), ch. iii- ix, a political summary; Mary A. Hollings, Renaissance and Reformation, 1453-1660 (1910), ch. vi, ix, x, a brief outline; E. M. Hulme, Renaissance and Reformation, 2d ed. (1915), ch. x, xiv, xxiv- xxviii, a brief and fragmentary account; T. H. Dyer, A History of Modern Europe, 3d ed., rev. by Arthur Hassall (1901), ch. ix, xi- xxvii, old but containing a multitude of political facts; Cambridge Modern History, Vol. II (1904), ch. ii, iii, vii, viii, and Vol. III (1905), ch. xv, v; History of All Nations, Vol. XI and Vol. XII, ch. i-iii, by the German scholar on the period, Martin Philippson; Histoire générale, Vol. IV, ch. iii, ix, Vol. V, ch. ii-v, xv. Of the Emperor Charles V the old standard English biography by William Robertson, still readable, has now been largely superseded by that of Edward Armstrong, 2 vols. (1902); two important German works on Charles V are Baumgarten, Geschichte Karls V, 3 vols. (1885-1892), and Konrad H?bler, Geschichte Spaniens unter den Habsburgen, Vol. I (1907). Of Philip II the best brief biography in English is Martin Hume's (1902), which should be consulted, if possible, in connection with Charles Bratli, Philippe II, Roi d'Espagne: Etude sur sa vie et son caractère, new ed. (1912), an attempt to counteract traditional Protestant bias against the Spanish monarch. Also see M. A. S. Hume, Spain, its Greatness and Decay, 1479-1788 (1898), ch. i-vi, for a general account of the reigns of Philip II and Philip III; and Paul Herre, Papstium und Papstwahl im Zeitalter Philipps II (1907) for a sympathetic treatment of Philip's relations with the papacy. For a proper understanding of sixteenth-century politics the student should read that all-important book, Machiavelli's Prince, the most convenient English edition of which is in "Everyman's Library." For political events in the Germanies in the sixteenth century: E. F. Henderson, A Short History of Germany, 2 vols. in 1 (1902); Sidney Whitman, Austria (1899); Gustav Welf, Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Gegenreformation (1899), an elaborate study; Franz Krones, Handbuch der Geschichte Oesterreichs von der ?ltesten Zeit, Vol. III (1877), Book XIII.

FRANCE IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY. A. J. Grant, The French Monarchy, 1483-1789 (1900), Vol. I, ch. iii-v; G. W. Kitchin, A History of France, 4th ed. (1894-1899), Vol. II, Book II, ch. iv-v, and Book III; Cambridge Modern History, Vol. III (1905), ch. i; Ernest Lavisse (editor), Histoire de France, Vol. V (1903), Books III, IV, VII, VIII, and Vol. VI (1904), Books I-III, the most thorough and best treatment; Edward Armstrong, The French Wars of Religion (1892); J. W. Thompson, The Wars of Religion in France: the Huguenots, Catherine de Medici and Philip II of Spain, 1559-1576 (1909), containing several suggestions on the economic conditions of the time; A. W. Whitehead, Gaspard de Coligny, Admiral of France (1904); C. C. Jackson, The Last of the Valois, 2 vols. (1888), and, by the same author, The First of the Bourbons, 2 vols. (1890); Lucien Romier, Les origines politiques des Guerres de Religion, Vol. I, Henri II et l'Italie, 1547-1555 (1913), scholarly and authoritative, stressing economic rather than political aspects; Louis Batiffol, The Century of the Renaissance in France, Eng. trans. by Elsie F. Buckley (1916), covering the years 1483-1610, largely political.

ENGLAND IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY. Brief accounts: A. L. Cross, History of England and Greater Britain (1914), ch. xix-xxvi; E. P. Cheyney, A Short History of England (1904), ch. xii, xiii; Cambridge Modern History, Vol. III (1905), ch. viii-xi; J. F. Bright, History of England, 5 vols. (1884-1904), Vol. II, Personal Monarchy, 1485-1688 (in part); A. D. Innes, History of England and the British Empire, 4 vols, (1914), Vol. II, ch. iii-viii; J. R. Seeley, Growth of British Policy, 2 vols. (1895), a brilliant work, of which Vol. I, Part I, affords an able account of the policy of Elizabeth. More detailed studies: J. S. Brewer, The Reign of Henry VIII from his Accession to the Death of Wolsey, 2 vols. (1884); H. A. L. Fisher, Political History of England, 1485-1547 (1906), ch. vi-xviii; A. F. Pollard, History of England from the Accession of Edward VI to the Death of Elizabeth (1910); J. A. Froude, History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Defeat of the Spanish Armada, 12 vols. (1870-1872), a masterpiece of prose-style but strongly biased in favor of Henry VIII and against anything connected with the Roman Church; E. P. Cheyney, A History of England from the Defeat of the Armada to the Death of Elizabeth, Vol. I (1914), scholarly and well-written. Also see Andrew Lang, A History of Scotland, 2d ed. (1901-1907), Vols. I and II; and P. H. Brown, History of Scotland (1899-1900), Vols. I and II. Important biographies: A. F. Pollard, Henry VIII (1905), the result of much research and distinctly favorable to Henry; E. L. Taunton, Thomas Wolsey, Legate and Reformer (1902), the careful estimate of a Catholic scholar; Mandell Creighton, Cardinal Wolsey (1888), a good clear account, rather favorable to the cardinal; J. M. Stone, Mary the First, Queen of England (1901), a sympathetic biography of Mary Tudor; Mandell Creighton, Queen Elizabeth (1909), the best biography of the Virgin Queen; E. S. Beesly, Queen Elizabeth (1892), another good biography. For Mary, Queen of Scots, see the histories of Scotland mentioned above and also Andrew Lang, The Mystery of Mary Stuart (1901); P. H. Brown, Scotland in the Time of Queen Mary (1904); and R. S. Rait, Mary Queen of Scots, 2d ed. (1899), containing important source-material concerning Mary. Walter Walsh, The Jesuits in Great Britain (1903), emphasizes their political opposition to Elizabeth. Martin Hume, Two English Queens and Philip (1908), valuable for the English relations of Philip II. For English maritime development see David Hannay, A Short History of the English Navy (1898); J. S. Corbett, Drake and the Tudor Navy, 2 vols. (1898), and, by the same author, The Successors of Drake (1900); J. A. Froude, English Seamen in the Sixteenth Century (1895).

THE NETHERLANDS IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY. A good brief account is that of George Edmundson in the Cambridge Modern History, Vol. III (1905), ch. vi, vii, and Vol. II (1904), ch. xix. For the Dutch Netherlands the great standard work is now P. J. Blok, History of the People of the Netherlands, trans. in large part by O. A. Bierstadt, and for the Belgian Netherlands a corresponding function is performed in French by Henri Pirenne. J. L. Motley, Rise of the Dutch Republic, 3 vols. (many editions), is brilliantly written and still famous, but it is based on an inadequate study of the sources and is marred throughout by bitter prejudice against the Spaniards and in favor of the Protestant Dutch: it is now completely superseded by the works of Blok and Pirenne. Admirable accounts of William the Silent are the two-volume biography by Ruth Putnam and the volume by the same author in the "Heroes of the Nations" Series (1911); the most detailed study is the German work of Felix Rachfahl.


Vol. III (1905), ch. iv; A. H. Lybyer, The Government of the Ottoman

Empire in the Time of Suleiman the Magnificent (1913); Stanley

Lane-Poole, Turkey (1889) in the "Story of the Nations" Series;

Nicolae Jorga, Geschichte des osmanischen Reiches; Leopold von

Ranke, Die Osmanen und die spanische Monarchie im sechzehnten und

siebzehnten Jahrhundert; Joseph von Hammer, Geschichte des

osmanischen Reiches, 2d ed., 4 vols. (1834-1835), Vol. II, a famous

German work, which has been translated into French.

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