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European Background Of American History - (Vol. I of The American Nation: A History)
by Edward Potts Cheyney
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Toleration is to the modern student the chief interest and glory of the foundation of the United Netherlands; but it was not toleration but Protestantism which then gave the young republic its peculiar strength, vigor, and enterprise. Even in the Pacification of Ghent and the Union of Utrecht, Holland and Zealand were recognized as Protestant states. As the bitter struggle progressed, their Protestantism became more pronounced and more militant. Exiled Calvinists from the south flocked to Amsterdam, Middleburg, Rotterdam, and other northern cities in great numbers, intensifying the Protestant character of these communities and enriching them with capital, business ability, and an astonishingly large proportion of gifted men. [Footnote: Jameson, Usselinx, 27.] The formal abjuration of Philip by the United Provinces in 1581, on grounds so largely religious, could not but bring into still greater prominence the Protestantism of the country which now claimed its independence. The long-continued warfare that followed the assassination of the beloved prince of Orange, the sieges, mutinies, and battles by land and sea, steadily deepened the religious and political hatred between the Netherlands and Spain.

By the year 1596 internal theological struggles between Remonstrants and Contra-Remonstrants approached the proportions of a civil war; and the victory gained by the latter party through the intervention of the stadtholder Maurice connected religion and politics, church and state, even more clearly, and made still more intense the fiery Protestantism of the Dutch government. [Footnote: Blok, Hist of the People of the Netherlands (English trans.), III., 398-447.] Strengthened by her efforts, hardened by her struggles, awakened to vigorous life by the exhilaration of the long and arduous conflict, the little Protestant state approached the end of the sixteenth century, enterprising in internal plans and eager for new fields of foreign commerce. The probability that commercial expansion would bring her into conflict with Spain added zest to the prospect and gave promise that in extending trade, conquering distant possessions, and establishing colonies, she would at the same time be weakening her bitterest enemy.

Hence the early Dutch expeditions to the Indies, the formation of the East and West India Companies, the establishment of the colonies in Brazil, Guiana, and North America, and of commercial factories in the East Indies, were all of them in a certain sense part of the religious and political struggle between the Netherlands and Spain. When the twelve years' truce was signed, in 1609, those provinces which had returned to the Spanish obedience were uniformly Catholic, but their prosperity and international significance had disappeared. The independent provinces, on the other hand, were, for all their toleration, almost uniformly Protestant, and they were already one of the great maritime and commercial powers of Europe. [Footnote: Blok, Hist of the People of the Netherlands (English trans), III., 326-334.]

The United Netherlands speedily colonized New Amsterdam, Guiana, Cape Colony, Java, and other places, with a population persistent in Protestantism and in many race characteristics. Unfortunately for Holland the number of her emigrants was never great enough to enable her permanently to play a great part in the history of colonization. The Dutch are not an emigrating people. Yet those who did emigrate carried with them such an assertive character and so highly developed a group of institutions that they exercised a deep and permanent influence over communities like New York, in which they soon ceased to be the dominant element; while their institutions in Holland made such a strong impression upon English sojourners in their midst that some of their characteristics reappeared long afterwards in American colonies in which no Dutchman had ever settled. [Footnote: Douglas Campbell, Puritan in Holland.]

The Reformation, with the wars to which it gave rise, made Germany for a time the most conspicuous state in Europe, but its ultimate effect was to reduce that state to a degree of material poverty, political insignificance, and intellectual torpidity unknown before in her experience. Civil war was long delayed; the political necessities and the astute policy of Charles V., the conservative instincts and patriotic scruples of Luther, and the doubtful position of many of the German provinces and cities, long prevented any attempt by the emperor to enforce the orthodoxy required by the Diet of Worms, and induced the Lutherans to go more than halfway in accepting the policy of postponement. [Footnote: Armstrong, The Emperor Charles V., I., 201- 203, 240-256,] Yet even this early period was troubled by successive minor outbreaks of violence. The "Knights' War" of 1523, the Peasants' Revolt of 1524 and 1525, the Zwinglian wars in Switzerland in 1531, and the Anabaptist outbreak at Munster in 1534 were all connected with the religious ferment of the times.

From 1530, when the League of Schmalkald was formed to unite the Protestant princes and cities, Germany really belonged to two camps, and civil war was only a question of time. The time came in 1546, the year of Luther's death, when Charles was at last free from foreign complications and could make the attempt to reintroduce conformity into Germany. The Schmalkaldic War, although marked by a series of imperial successes and temporarily closed by a triumphant truce in 1548, was soon renewed, and the Peace of Passau of 1552 was a general compromise, representing rather the weariness of war and the jealousies of the various powers of Germany than any permanent political of religious equilibrium. An attempt was made to establish a more lasting settlement in the conference of Augsburg in 1555. Here the terms of the recent treaty were put in more formal shape: Lutheranism was given legal recognition; all religious disputes should be settled by peaceful means; in legal causes between a Protestant and a Catholic the Imperial Hight Court of Justice should be composed of an equal number of Catholics and Protestants.

On the other hand, certain compromises were then introduced which were destined to be fatal to the permanency of the religious and political settlement.

1. Instead of individual toleration, as was originally proposed, the principle was adopted which has become known as cujus regio ejus religio—that is to say, each prince or imperial city should choose between Catholicism and Lutheranism; and thereafter all inhabitants must conform, or, if unwilling to do so, must expatriate themselves. The unstable equilibrium of the empire was thus transferred to the individual states, and each was threatened with internal revolution whenever there was a change in the prevailing religious views of the inhabitants or the personal beliefs of the prince.

2. A second compromise was reached by providing that all ecclesiastical property seized by temporal governments down to the close of the late war should be guaranteed to its new possessors; but that for the future the process of secularization should cease. Thus an artificial obstacle was placed in the way of the avarice or the desire for reform of the Protestant princes, at the very time they were given increased control in their own states.

3. The "ecclesiastical reservation" made an exception to the right of territorial independence in religion in the case of the ecclesiastical states, which were so numerous in Germany. If any archbishop, bishop, or abbot, who was also a secular prince, should become a Lutheran, he must resign his office and divest himself of his power and jurisdiction, which would pass to his Catholic successor. This provision deprived Protestant subjects of ecclesiastical princes of all prospect of religious freedom, and doomed them to compulsory reconciliation with the Catholic Church or to exile, except for certain rights guaranteed to them by the treaty.

4. The compromises of Augsburg were compromises between Catholics and Lutherans only, and neither Calvinists nor Zwinglians were given recognition in its terms, although Calvinism was destined to be the great aggressive force of the Reformation, making an appeal to the masses of the people and taking a fundamental hold upon its adherents beyond anything which Lutheranism, or indeed any other form of the Reformation, ever obtained.

The agreement reached in 1555, incomplete and unstable as it seemed, remained the foundation of an outward if somewhat troubled religious peace for more than sixty years. Yet a renewal of the conflict was threatened from time to time, and in 1618 the terrible Thirty Years' War broke out. The earlier contests had been civil wars only, the renewed war was no longer merely a German struggle. In 1625 Christian IV., king of Denmark, entered the war as leader on the Protestant side, only to yield to the perseverance of Tilly, the general of the Catholic armies, and to the genius of Wallenstein, the representative of Emperor Ferdinand; and to retire in 1629, leaving north Germany more completely than before at the mercy of the emperor and of the Catholic party. Scarcely a year later Gustavus Adolphus, full of enthusiasm for the Protestant cause and provided with funds from France, brought his veteran regiments and his military ability from Sweden into Germany, and fought in consecutive years his three wonderful campaigns. After the death of the "Lion of the North," in 1632, the "Swedish period" endured still two years; and when, in 1634, Catholic and Protestant princes entered upon a truce they made terms upon an equality, though there was even yet but little promise of a permanent settlement.

Just before the fatal battle of Lutzen, in the midst of military preparations, a decisive step was taken by Gustavus which ultimately led to the creation of one more American colony. Ever since the introduction of new issues. One after another, foreign states were drawn into the struggle until a mere German civil war had developed into a general European conflict, in which foreigners were struggling for German territory. Catholics made alliances with Lutherans and with Calvinists, until what had begun as a religious struggle became a purely political contest among unpatriotic German princes and ambitious neighbors of Germany contending for power and prestige.

When, at the peace of 1648, political questions had been settled, territorial changes agreed upon, the Netherlands and Switzerland definitely separated from the empire, Alsace surrendered to France, and much of Pomerania to Sweden, the religious conflict was brought to an end as far as possible by returning to the old plan of the treaty of Augsburg, except that such toleration as was then granted to Catholics and Lutherans was now extended to Calvinists also. To these provisions some further extensions of religious liberty were added by securing guarantees of protection to subjects differing in their religion from their princes and by including in the highest imperial tribunal a certain number of Protestants. [Footnote: Lamprecht, Deutsche Geschichte, V., sect ii., 764.] The material sufferings and losses of Germany during the war were almost beyond description. [Footnote: Erdmannsdorffer, Deutsche Geschichte, 1648-1740, I., 100-115] The armies, made tip largely of soldiers of different nationalities, without attachment to the countries through which they marched, without interest in the questions at issue, without a regular commissariat, often without pay, brutalized by long campaigning and repeated sacks of cities, followed by an immense rabble of non-combatant men, women, and children, were a barbarian horde, and ravaged the lands in which they were established like a fire or a pestilence. The tortures they inflicted upon the peasantry and the citizens, the robbery, the outrages, the wanton destruction, pressed close to the limits of human endurance, and seemed almost to threaten the extermination of the population. The prosperity of the cities was crushed by war contributions, even when they escaped being plundered like Magdeburg; and the debasement of the coinage practised by the emperor and the princes bore hardly upon all who bought or sold. [Footnote: Gindeley, History of the Thirty Years' War (English trans.), II., 390-395] During the later campaigns of the war military operations in many regions became almost impracticable from the very impoverishment of the country; no sustenance existed for friend or for enemy; population in some parts was almost destroyed, and it was everywhere extensively displaced. [Footnote: Ibid., 398.] The conservatism, the settled rooting of the people in the soil, acquired and inherited property, moral and material fixity, were all alike disturbed.

The half-century that followed 1648 did but little to restore prosperity or repose to Germany. The western provinces especially were the scene of frequently renewed warfare. The territorial ambitions of Louis XIV. were directed to the German lands which lay on the eastern border of France, and there was no strength in the empire to resist his aggressions or to make him fear either defeat or reprisals. Even the European coalitions which forced upon him successive treaties did not prevent renewed attacks or heal the scars of the repeated devastations of the lower and the upper Rhine country. The culmination of this period of suffering was the terrible ravaging of the Palatinate, in 1688, when the fertile region about Heidelberg, Mannheim, Speyer, and Worms was harried and burned and pillaged by the soldiers of Louis, with the same brutality and more destructiveness than the wild Swedish and mercenary armies of the Thirty Years' War had used.

A people with an experience such as that of the Germans in the seventeenth century was thenceforth easily drawn away from home. One generation of continuous warfare throughout all Germany, followed by another generation of intermittent invasion from France, and closed by a crisis of rapine and devastation, made hundreds of thousands of the German people homeless, despairing, and eager for escape. It was this situation of the people, combined with the religious condition before described, that made Germany the best recruiting-ground for American colonists to be found in Europe. Before the close of the seventeenth century a stream of emigration set from Germany towards America which furnished to Pennsylvania one-third of her pre-Revolutionary inhabitants, and made a considerable part of the population of several of the other colonies.

A second effect of the Thirty Years' War was the practical dissolution of the empire and the loss by the emperor of all centralized control over its policy. This was a cumulative result of the war rather than a definite provision of the peace. The princes, nobles, and cities had so frequently allied themselves with foreign states against the emperor and against one another, their policy had been so constantly regulated by their own interests alone, in entire disregard of those of the nation at large, and the religious divisions had been settled on such a sectional basis, that there was now no thought of derogating from their independence for the sake of the central power of Germany. By Article VIII. of the treaty of peace all German states were definitely permitted to form independent alliances among themselves and with foreign states, so long as these were not directed against either the emperor or the empire. [Footnote: Lamprecht, Deutsche Geschtchte, V., Section 2, pp 765, 766.] As a matter of fact, the bond of union among the states of Germany had become so weak as to be almost non-existent. The emperor was the actual ruler of the Hapsburg dominions and the nominal head of the empire; but Germany was a geographical rather than a national expression, and its head could play no part as a national ruler outside of his immediate hereditary dominions. Germany had many interests in America. Martin Behaim, Regiomontanus, and other German scientists contributed largely to the development of the science of navigation during the period of discovery; Waldseemuller suggested the name that has been universally accepted for the New World; the numerous printing-presses of Germany did much to make known to Europe the history of the exploration and early conquests and the wonders of the Indies; under Charles V. the empire was brought closely into connection with Spain, the greatest colonizing power of the seventeenth century; her Fuggers, Welsers, and other capitalists provided much of the means for the early Spanish voyages, and for a time held extensive grants in Venezuela under the Spanish crown; and her teeming emigrants furnished a large part of the colonial population. Yet Germany as a nation has, of all the nations of Europe, exercised the least influence on the fortunes of America. Neither the emperor nor any German prince has ever exercised any direct or indirect power over any American territory. Many causes may have contributed to this failure, but the most effective was doubtless the Thirty Years' War. The religious disunion, the material impoverishment, and the political insignificance which this war caused, during the most important colonizing century, excluded Germany as a nation from a role among the European powers which have held control over parts of the New World.



CHAPTER XI

THE ENGLISH CHURCH AND THE CATHOLICS

(1534-1660)

England passed through the crisis of the Reformation without a civil war, yet no country of Europe found greater difficulty in coming to a religious equilibrium after that change. Though actual rebellion was nipped in the bud wherever it appeared, as in the Pilgrimage of Grace of 1536 and in the Rising of the North of 1569, yet between those years, and long after the second rising, religious passions were embittered to the very verge of outbreak. In the early period of the Reformation changes were rapid and violent, and during more than a century and a half after Protestantism was established hostile legislation imposed heavy burdens upon all those who differed from the dominant party in religious faith.

When England became a colonizing country at the opening of the seventeenth century, the effect of the religious changes up to that time had been to produce four well-marked religious parties among her people—Churchmen, Catholics, Puritans, and Independents. First in order came the adherents of the established church, a church which was in a very real sense the creation of Queen Elizabeth and of her times— for all that had gone before was unstable and tentative, and might readily have been altered by a ruler of different character or policy. When Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1558 the great body of the people of England, from a religious point of view, was still a fluid mass, a sea accustomed to be drawn, like the tide, by the planet that ruled the sky, whether an Erastian Henry VIII., a Catholic Mary, or a Protestant Protector Somerset.

Elizabeth declared at her accession that she would not allow her people to swerve to the right hand or the left from the religion established by law; and in the main she succeeded in carrying out this policy. The prayer-book, the articles of religion, the supremacy of the queen, the uniformity of service, the practices and doctrines of the official English church during the long reign of Elizabeth, meant something very definite and made the established church an objective reality. Of course she learned, as other sovereigns have learned, that even the will of a king may break against the rock of religious conviction, and large numbers of the people of England during her reign remained, or became, dissatisfied with the established church.

Nevertheless, when Elizabeth died Anglicanism was the national church in a sense in which it had not been before, and in exactly the same sense as that in which the Roman Catholic church was the church of Spain. A generation had grown up which had seen no other religious system in authority, whose beliefs and duties were taught them by its clergy, and whose sentiments and devotion naturally gathered around it as their object. This religious system, therefore, was strongly intrenched: it had all the authoritativeness of law, all the sanction of patriotic feeling in a period of intense patriotism, and the support of much sound learning; besides, the church was fast becoming hallowed by tradition and beautified to the imagination by sentiment. Yet for various reasons the Anglican church failed to obtain the allegiance of the whole English nation.

The second of the four great religious classes, the Catholics, held allegiance to a still older and more imposing organization. However clear the argument of English churchmen that the Anglican body was the church founded by the apostles and enduring continuously in England through all the intervening centuries, the "old church" was still to many the church of which the pope was the earthly head. From the time that Henry VIII. attacked the supremacy of the pope and many of the characteristic doctrines and practices of the mediaeval church, a party separate from the national church came into being, which clung faithfully to that system.

The existence of the English Roman Catholics as a separate body from the established English church may be considered to date from the resignation of Sir Thomas More from the chancellorship in 1532. During the remainder of Henry's reign their position was equivocal and dangerous, a number of conspicuous Catholics accepting martyrdom under the laws against treason, when brought to the test of the acceptance or rejection of the king's claim to the headship of the English church. Under the enlightened rule of Somerset they were not persecuted, but under his successor, and under the personal rule of Edward VI., they fared much worse. [Footnote: Pollard, England Under Protector Somerset, 110-120, 258-264, 322] The time of consolation came under Queen Mary, when for a space of five years (1553-1558) the English church and English Catholicism again became identical.

Elizabeth on her accession had no antagonism to the Roman Catholics as such. Neither in doctrine nor in ceremonial was there any essential breach between Elizabeth and the Catholic church; and for a moment the world watched to see what her decision would be. [Footnote: Maitland, "Defender of the Faith" (Eng Hist Review, XV.,120).] Yet the nature of her position dictated to her a return to the ecclesiastical position of her father, and an acquiescence in the main results of the Protestant development under Edward VI. She accepted the requirements of the policy readily enough, and by the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity of 1559 [Footnote: I Eliz., chaps, i., ii. ] the English Catholics again became a proscribed body, living in disobedience to the law, subject to severe pains and penalties for any speech or action against the established church, and even for the negative offence of absence from its religious services.

The disabilities of the Catholics according to the laws passed at the opening of the reign of Elizabeth were as follows: 1. No Catholic could hold any office or employment under the crown, or any ecclesiastical office in England, or receive any university degree: for all such persons were required to take an oath renouncing the authority of the pope, and acknowledging the headship of the queen in ecclesiastical matters. [Footnote: Ibid., chap, ii., sub-section 19-25.] 2. No Catholic could attend mass: the service of the prayer-book being required at all meetings for worship in England. [Footnote: Ibid., chap, ii., sub-section 3-8.] 3. No Catholic could remain away from the regular services of the established church: as the law required that "all and every person and persons inhabiting within the realm or any other the queen's majesty's dominions shall diligently and faithfully, having no lawful or reasonable excuse to be absent, endeavor themselves to resort to their parish church or chapel accustomed ... upon every Sunday and other days ordained and used to be kept as holy days, and then and there to abide orderly and soberly during the time of the common prayer, preachings, or other service of God there to be used and ministered." [Footnote: I Eliz., chap, ii., Section 14.] 4. No Catholic could speak, write, or circulate any arguments or appeals in favor of the ecclesiastical claims of the Catholic church or in derogation of the royal supremacy or of the prayer-book.

The penalties for violation of these laws varied from a fine of one shilling for absence from church on a Sunday or holy day to the terrible customary punishment for treason in the case of repeated conviction for supporting the claims of the pope. These fundamental disabilities remained in existence during the whole of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They were added to from time to time as the religious conflict in England, and in Europe at large, became more embittered; although, on the other hand, there were occasional periods when the exigencies of policy or the sympathies of the sovereign temporarily suspended their enforcement. They remained the fundamental law long after the Act of Toleration of 1689 made easy the burdens of other Nonconformists, and until the gradual progress of enlightenment in the eighteenth century led to a willing neglect to enforce them; and they disappeared only in 1829.

The tendency during the reign of Elizabeth was constantly towards an increase in the severity of the laws against "popish recusants," as those who refused to conform to the established church were called, and to greater rigor in their application. At four successive periods during that reign additions were made to the disabilities and sufferings imposed by law upon Roman Catholics.

1. An act of 1563 extended the lines of restriction so that the oath of supremacy must be taken by a much greater number of officials—by all school-masters, lawyers, and petty officers of court, and by all members of the House of Commons; and so that the first refusal of any person to take it, as well as the first occasion on which any one should in writing or speech support the claims of the pope, should be punished by confiscation and outlawry, the second offence by the penalties of treason. [Footnote: Eliz., chap. i.] 2. The difficulties of the Catholics were increased by the coming, in 1568, of Mary Queen of Scots to England, where she became a permanent centre of Catholic disaffection and hopes; by the Rebellion of the North in 1569; and by the papal bull of deposition of the queen in 1570. The laws at once reflected the anger and alarm of Parliament and ministers, and their care "for the surety and preservation of the queen's most royal person, in whom consisteth all the happiness and comfort of the whole state and subjects of the realm." [Footnote: 13 Eliz., chap, i., Section I.] From 1571 to 1575 four new treason laws, [Footnote: Ibid., chaps, i, ii.; 14 Eliz., chaps, i., ii.] directed against sympathizers with Mary and bringers of bulls from Rome, recall the savage legislation of Henry VIII. under somewhat similar circumstances.

3. A third series of additions to the anti-Catholic code was called out by the efforts of the Jesuits, from 1579 onward, to reconquer the heretical nations and especially England, for the church. Hence, in 1581, the mere attempt to convert any subject of the queen to Roman Catholicism, as well as the acceptance of such reconciliation with the church, was made treason; the saying or hearing of the mass was forbidden under penalty of heavy fine and long imprisonment; recusants who were absent from church a month at a time were fined 20 pounds a month for the length of time for which they stayed away; [Footnote: 23 Eliz., chap. i.] and by a later law the crown was allowed, in case of recusancy, instead of the fine, to seize two-thirds of the property of the offender. [Footnote: Ibid., chap. ii.]

Certain offences which Catholics might be especially expected to commit, such as "by setting or erecting any figure or by casting of nativities or by calculations or by any prophesying, witchcraft, conjuration, or other like unlawful means whatsoever, seek to know, and shall set forth by express words, deeds, or writings how long her majesty shall live, or who shall reign king or queen of this realm of England after her highness's decease," were made punishable by death and confiscation of goods. In 1585 all Jesuits and Catholic priests trained abroad were banished on pain of death, and all English subjects studying abroad in one of those Jesuit schools, which had already become famous as the best schools in Christendom, were required to return to England immediately and take the oath of supremacy or suffer the penalties of treason.

4. Within the next few years came the execution of Mary, the war with Spain, the defeat of the Armada, and the definite passing of the crisis of Elizabeth's reign. Nevertheless, the year 1593 was marked by an "act against popish recusants," which required all English Catholics to remain within five miles of their homes, and provided for a still closer search for Jesuits and priests. [Footnote: 35 Eliz., chap. ii.]

Thus an augmenting body of oppressive law, in addition to their fundamental disabilities, burdened the English Catholics at the accession of James I. in 1603. That event they may well have looked forward to and welcomed with joy. James was the son of Mary of Scotland, for whom many of them had made such deep personal sacrifices and on whose account all had been made to suffer. He was known to be a man of moderate spirit, easy good-nature, and philosophic breadth of mind. Circumstances, by relieving England from the fear of invasion from Spain, and by establishing the Protestant succession, might be considered to have left the way open for the admission of a more generous and tolerant treatment of the Catholic minority. The king controlled the enforcement or the non-enforcement of the law; his word could put the machinery of the courts, high and low, into motion for purposes of persecution; or, on the other hand, could open the prison doors to those already incarcerated, and restrain the indictment of those amenable to the law. James might fairly be expected to have the will, as he undoubtedly had the power, to treat the Catholics with greater leniency.

On the other hand, parliamentary and popular antagonism to the Roman Catholics had to be contended with. Notwithstanding the legal supremacy and complete predominance of the Anglican church, there was still a wide-spread fear of the "usurped power and jurisdiction of the bishop of Rome"; and much patriotic hatred of the Catholic enemies of England and of their sympathizers within the realm. This national sentiment was strongly reinforced by the fanatical Puritan fervor of opposition to "the devilish positions and doctrines whereon popery is built and taught." The Gunpowder Plot of 1605, in which Catesby, Guy Fawkes, and other Catholic conspirators showed themselves ready to sacrifice the king, his family, his ministers, and members of Parliament, filled James for a while with fears for his own safety. If James, therefore, should favor the Catholics he must do so in opposition to the overwhelming public opinion of the people of England and to his own timidity. What would be his policy? Would the persecuted minority be taken under the protection of the crown? Or would their position remain as it had been for half a century, or even be made worse?

Upon the answer to this question depended the happiness or unhappiness of the Catholics in England and the likelihood or unlikelihood that many of them would emigrate. Should their position become intolerable, those who could would either take refuge in one of the Catholic states of the continent or find an asylum in those boundless lands claimed by England across the sea. The minds of men through all Europe were turning towards America, not only as a sphere for trade and a base for the fighting out of Old-World quarrels, [Footnote: Zuniga to the king of Spain, December 24, 1606, and September 22,1607, in Brown, Genesis of the United States, I., 88-90, 116-118.] but as a place of settlement for men who could not conform to their Old-World religious surroundings.

Before the reign of James was over Sir George Calvert obtained a charter for Avalon, in Newfoundland, the ambiguity of whose terms made it possible to take Catholic priests and settlers there; and in 1632 he received in exchange for this a charter for Maryland, under which Catholics held all official positions and Jesuit missionaries carried on their work. The British island of Montserrat, in the West Indies, appears to have been settled in 1634 by Catholic refugees from Virginia; [Footnote: Eggleston, Beginners of a Nation, 261, n. 9.] and there were other floating proposals to colonize English and Irish Catholics in America. [Footnote: Cal. of State Pap., 1628, p. 95.] It was evidently quite within the bounds of possibility that Catholic colonies should be established in those "other your highness's dominions," from which the House of Commons in 1623 especially petitioned that Romanists should be excluded. [Footnote: Rushworth, Historical Collections, I., 141.]

As a matter of fact, the policy of James and of his son and successor Charles towards the Catholics had little consistency, and shows an alternation of leniency and increased severity, reflecting the varying inclinations of the king and the changing exigencies of external and internal politics. During the first two years of his reign James lightened their burdens, in accordance with the promises of his first speech in Parliament, "so much as time, occasion, or law should permit." [Footnote: Prothero, Statutes and Constitutional Documents, 284.] The Gunpowder Plot then thoroughly frightened and angered the king and justified the House of Commons in its protests against leniency to the Catholics. In 1606 two long detailed statutes [Footnote: 3 and 4 James I., chaps. iv., v.] were enacted, carrying much further in principle the persecuting provisions of the law under Elizabeth, increasing the burdens upon the conscience, the purse, and the liberty of Catholics, and specifying the most minute arrangements for the enforcement of the law and the discovery of those who were secretly Romanists.

Before many years a change came, due principally to the interest of James in the scheme of obtaining a Spanish bride for his son, and to his increasing subserviency to Gondomar, the shrewd Spanish minister. The king of Spain would not listen to any negotiations for the hand of his sister, unless the persecution of his co-religionists in England was stopped; and James, in order to carry out his foreign policy, blinded by his admiration for the Spaniard, and always prone to follow the line of least resistance, promised what he certainly could not perform, the parliamentary repeal of the anti-Catholic laws.

Nevertheless, he performed what he could, and ordered the suspension of their enforcement. In 1622 the lord keeper of the privy seal wrote to the judges that "it is his majesty's pleasure that they make no niceness or difficulty to extend the princely favor to all such as they shall find prisoners in the jails of their circuits for any church recusancy or refusing the oath of supremacy or dispensing of popish books, or any other point of recusancy that shall concern religion only and not matters of state." [Footnote: Rushworth, Historical Collections, I., 63.] A vast number of Catholics were, in this year, released on bail or freed completely from prosecution. When the Spanish marriage negotiations failed, just before the close of the reign of James, Parliament again petitioned the king to enforce the old penal laws, at last with success; and a momentary wave of severity towards the Catholics spread over England.

Spain was not the only Catholic country with which England was in negotiation. The marriage of Charles with Henrietta Maria of France followed close upon his accession to the throne. The conditions of the marriage treaty called for greater leniency to the Catholics, and the influence of the queen secured it, though not in the degree promised. Yet on the whole the attitude of the crown and of the judges during the period from 1625 to 1640 was favorable to the Catholics; and although Laud was not plotting to hand over the English church to Rome, as was the popular belief, he was too sympathetic with the spirit of Roman Catholicism to put into force the savage laws against it which were upon the statute-book.

In 1640 Laud fell, the hand of the king was removed from the helm, and the domination of the Long Parliament and the protectorate for the next twenty years meant the bitter persecution of the Catholics; while the Restoration, in 1660, saw a partial toleration of them, preparatory to the Declaration of Indulgence and the active efforts of James II. in their favor twenty-five years later.

Through all this succession of alternately rigorous and lenient applications of the harsh laws of the statute-book, as a matter of fact few Catholics left England, and no American colony remained for any considerable length of time a Catholic community. The reasons for this result are not hard to find. In the first place, it may well be questioned whether the position of the Catholics in England was ever so bad as one would expect to find it from reading the laws and parliamentary proceedings. In all Tudor and Stuart legislation there was a wide chasm between the passage of the law and its enforcement; the statute-book is loaded with laws that were never carried out, or were put into force only to the most limited extent. The laws against the Catholics certainly remained largely unenforced.

Secondly, the English Catholics were never without hope of an amelioration of their state at home. The most natural time for a great Catholic exodus was in the later years of the reign of James I. and the early years of Charles I., when the foundations alike of Virginia and New England were being laid, and when Maryland was offering a basis on which either a Catholic or a Protestant community might presumably have been built up; but this was just the period when the influence of the crown was most consistently used in favor of the Catholics at home. They might fairly hope that a better day was dawning for them, when the powerful interposition of Spain and France was willingly accepted by James and Charles in their favor. The special time when emigration seemed most practicable was also the time when the occasion for it was least.

Again, it is to be noted that no American colony ever reached the position in which it could provide a positively secure refuge to Catholics. Maryland wavered from toleration to Catholicism, then to Anglicanism and to Puritanism, and then back to toleration; but never at any time was it a Catholic settlement in the sense in which Massachusetts belonged to the Puritans or Pennsylvania was the special home of the Quakers. English Catholics, hesitating between emigration and the further endurance of their ills at home, would feel no irresistible attraction in the dubious toleration of any of the colonies. [Footnote: Tyler, England in America, chaps, vii., viii.]

Lastly, it is to be noticed that the great proportion of the English Catholics were not of the emigrating classes. Many of them were of the nobility and gentry, and therefore not of the ordinary stuff of which colonists were made. It is quite possible that the same conservative tendencies which held them to the old church held them to their old homes. If they had been as easily detached from their native soil as the Puritans and Quakers, one cannot doubt that some great migration comparable to that of those two bodies would have taken place.



CHAPTER XII

THE ENGLISH PURITANS AND THE SECTS (1550-1689)

The multitude of Englishmen other than Catholics, who, at the opening of the seventeenth century, were dissatisfied with the church of England as by law established, may be grouped under the general name of Puritans; although as time passed on various newly organized religious bodies formed themselves from among them, so that two more religious classes, at least, have to be differentiated. The roots of Puritanism are to be found in the characteristics of human temperament. Conservatives and radicals will always exist; the Puritans were those who carried or tried to carry the principles and ideas of the Reformation to their logical and rigorous conclusion. Such men as Latimer, Cranmer, and many of the theologians of the reign of Edward VI., were already steadily approaching the fundamental position of the Puritans, as their thought developed, long before the foreign influence of the reign of Queen Mary became effective and the modified Protestantism of Elizabeth was introduced.

If the government had kept its hands off, England would have divided into two camps, that of the Catholics and that of a Puritanically reformed church. The Anglican system was an artificial one, a compromise established under the influence of the crown and kept in power by royal determination till it eventually won the devotion, the loyalty, or at least the deliberate acceptance of the great body of moderate and conservative Englishmen. Catholics and Puritans were the logical opposites, and not Catholics and Anglicans, nor yet Anglicans and Puritans.

Yet in a more immediate sense Mary gave occasion to the rise of Puritanism by driving into banishment many of the more devout Protestants of her day. At Frankfort, Strasburg, Basel, Zurich, and Geneva groups of these English exiles gathered, formed congregations worshipping together; developed, apart from the restrictions of government, the logical tendencies of their religious ideas; and in many cases came under the powerful influence of continental reformers. Especially at Frankfort [Footnote: Hinds, The England of Elizabeth, 12- 67.] and at Geneva was the religious life of these Protestant communities at white heat; and controversies were then begun and principles adopted which dominated all the later life of these Englishmen, and were handed down to their successors in England and America as party cries through more than a century. When the ordeal of Mary's reign was over, the exiled for conscience' sake returned to England, but they formed already a body divergent from the church as it was then established.

During Elizabeth's reign three stages of the development of Puritanism gave occasion for corresponding conflicts with the crown and for making more clear the differences between Anglican and Puritan. During the first decade of the reign, Puritanism meant a protest against certain of the ceremonies and formulas and vestments required of clergymen by the law. The sign of the cross on the child's forehead in baptism, the celebration of saints' days, insistence on kneeling to receive the communion, the use of church organs, the changing of robes during the service, and even the wearing of a surplice or a square cap, were to many earnest souls survivals of "popery" and temptations to superstition. The clergy who held such beliefs tried by resolutions in convocation to change the practices of the church: but notwithstanding the large votes in their favor they were still in the minority and were defeated. [Footnote: Strype, Annals, I., 500-505.]

Then individual ministers began to disregard the law, and either to neglect the use of certain requirements of the prayer-book altogether or to change the forms there laid down. The archbishop and the Court of High Commission issued detailed instructions insisting on observance of the authorized form of worship; [Footnote: Prothero, Statutes and Constitutional Documents, 191-194.] but the ministers declared that they owed obedience to God rather than to man, and either resigned their pastorates or, encouraged by their congregations, continued to disobey the law and the archiepiscopal injunctions. It was at this time and in this connection that the word "Puritan" came into use, as a term of reproach for those who insisted on an ultra-pure ritual, purged from all traces of the old religion. "Puritan" was used as "Pharisee" might have been. [Footnote: Camden, Annals, year 1568.]

From 1570 onward Puritanism entered upon a second stage, in the form of a contest for changes in the organization of the established church. In the main the same men who were dissatisfied with the liturgy of the church began to oppose the system of its government by bishops and archbishops. [Footnote: Letter from Sampson, formerly dean of Christ Church, to Lord Burleigh, March 8, 1574, in Strype, Annals, III., 373.] The "Admonition to Parliament" of 1572 declares that "as the names of archbishops, archdeacons, lord bishops, chancellors, etc., are drawn out of the pope's shop, together with their offices, so the government which they use ... is anti-Christian and devilish and contrary to the Scriptures. And as safely may we, by the warrant of God's words, subscribe to allow the dominion of the pope universally to rule over the word of God as an archbishop over a whole province or a lord bishop over a diocese which containeth many shires and parishes. For the dominion that they exercise ... is unlawful and expressly forbidden by the word of God." [Footnote: Prothero, Statutes and Constitutional Documents, 199.]

The greater number of those who attacked the episcopal organization of the church advocated the system of Presbyterianism which had been extensively adopted on the Continent and recently introduced into Scotland by the Book of Discipline. November 20, 1572, was erected at Wandsworth, in Surrey, the first presbytery in England; [Footnote: Bancroft, Dangerous Positions, chap, i., quoted in Prothero, Statutes and Constitutional Documents, 247.] from this time forward presbyteries were established here and there by groups of neighboring parishes. Some ten or fifteen years later the larger group, known as the "classis," was introduced; provincial and national "synods" were contemplated by many of the Puritan clergy; and the English church bade fair to be reorganized on Presbyterian lines, without the authority of the law.

This action met the stern opposition of the queen and the Court of High Commission. In 1583 Elizabeth appointed Whitgift archbishop of Canterbury, and under him the law was enforced with rigor. Individual clergymen were deposed or forced to conform; the devotional practices called "exercises," on which Puritanism throve, were forbidden; and although the contest continued, the introduction of Presbyterianism was held in check.

The latter years of Elizabeth's reign saw Puritanism within the church taking on a new activity, by turning from questions of ceremony and church government to questions of morals. The Puritans always stood for greater earnestness and for the abolition of abuses in the church, but as time passed on they brought into greater prominence the ascetic ideal of life; the strict keeping of the Sabbath borrowed from the Jewish ritual became customary; [Footnote: Eggleston, Beginners of a Nation, 123-132.] prevailing immoralities and extravagances were more bitterly reprobated in books, sermons, and parliamentary statutes; and Puritanism took on that unlovely aspect of exaggerated austerity which characterized its most conspicuous manifestations in the seventeenth century.

The great body of men of Puritan tendencies, both clergymen and laymen, were deeply interested in reforming the church of England in liturgy, in organization, and in practices; but they had no wish or intention to break it up, to divide it into different bodies, or to withdraw individually from its membership. They were as completely dominated by the ideal of a single united national church, one in doctrine, organization, and form of worship, as was the queen herself. Nevertheless, a group of men arose among them, under the general name of Independents, to whom the very idea of a national church seemed idolatrous; who found in the Scriptures, or were driven by the logic of their position, to one plan of church government only—the absolute independence of each congregation of Christian believers. They looked back to the little groups of chosen believers in Syria and Asia Minor, the shadowy outlines of whose organization are found in the New Testament; their imagination gave definite shape and their reverence for the Scriptures gave divine authority to these as examples. According to the analogy of biblical times, they looked upon themselves as a remnant of saints, sacred and set apart from a wicked and persecuting world.

Some of these extreme Puritans were under the influence of Robert Browne, a zealous advocate, whose activity lay principally between 1581 and 1586. Others came under the somewhat more systematic teachings of Barrow and Greenwood. Thus it became a fundamental principle of several thousand persons, between 1580 and 1600, to separate themselves from the established church. They are, therefore, known as "Separatists," though they were more commonly called at that time, as a term of reproach, by the names of their leaders, "Brownists" or "Barrowists." They met in "conventicles," and even strove to form more permanent congregations by gathering in secret places, or sometimes openly, in defiance of the authorities. A churchman of the time says that they teach "that the worship of the English church is flat idolatry; that we admit into our church persons unsanctified; that our preachers have no lawful calling; that our government is ungodly; that no bishop or preacher preacheth Christ sincerely and truly; that the people of every parish ought to choose their bishop, and that every elder, though he be no doctor nor pastor, is a bishop." [Footnote: Paule, Life of Whitgift (1612), 43, quoted in Prothero, Statutes and Constitutional Documents, 223.]

In times when church and state were one, such teaching could not be endured. If the Puritans were scourged with whips the Separatists were lashed with scorpions. Their teachers were silenced and imprisoned, and Barrow and Greenwood were, in 1587, hanged at Tyburn. Their congregations were broken up and attendants at their conventicles were fined, deprived of their property, and thrown into prison, where they died by the score. Before Elizabeth's reign was over, the Separatists had gone into exile or become but a persecuted remnant, so far, at least, as outward manifestation extended; though one can scarcely doubt that among Puritans generally, and even, perhaps, among those who still adhered to the established church, were many who shared their convictions. It is to be remembered that the Independents and all the new sects which were formed in England later in the seventeenth century, as well as the Puritans of New England, organized themselves on the basis of independent congregations of Christian believers.

The close of the sixteenth century saw the contrast between the Anglican churchman on the one hand and the Puritan and Separatist on the other becoming more harsh, their incompatibility more evident. Fifty years earlier episcopacy and ceremonialism seemed to most Anglicans comparatively unimportant in themselves. They rather blamed the Puritans for making a difficulty about matters indifferent, and for opposing the civil authority in things pertaining to conscience; but did not quarrel with them on religious questions. But a generation of disputes, the development of fundamental principles, the need for justification of a position already taken, drove both parties into a more dogmatic attitude. The high-church party in the established church now began to assert the divine appointment of the episcopal office, to lay stress on the doctrine of the apostolic succession, and gradually to reintroduce much symbolic ceremonial.

The Puritans, on the other hand, were more than ever convinced that the system they advanced was based upon divine authority; and that the church as it stood was founded upon human regulation only and must be forced, if it could not be persuaded, to change its system. Still greater clearness was given to this division of parties by the theological contest that came into existence between 1600 and 1620. The Puritans were almost completely Calvinist, and they claimed that the established church itself had always been so. On the other hand, the Anglican leaders of the early seventeenth century were Arminian, and this form of theological doctrine was asserted by all those who defended the existing organization and ceremonial practices of the church. [Footnote: Makower, Constitutional History of the Church of England, 75.] Thus the breach between the Puritan and the churchman was now so wide that James I., indolent and arrogant for all his toleration and learning, did nothing—perhaps could do nothing—towards its closing. He said of the Puritans, at the Conference at Hampton Court in 1604: "I shall make them conform themselves or I will harry them out of this land, or else do worse." [Footnote: Gardiner, Hist, of England, I., 157.] He disappointed and angered them, drove them into opposition to his civil rule as well as to his church policy, and strengthened their number and their position by his treatment of Parliament, whose interests and theirs had come to be inseparable.

All the "antagonisms, religious and political," of the reign of James were intensified in that of Charles I. The new king was more autocratic and more unsympathetic with his subjects; Parliament was more self- assertive and more determined to impose its wishes upon king and ministers; the authorities of the established church were more intolerant towards the Puritans and milder towards the Catholics. The Puritans, on the other hand, were more convinced that the Anglican church was retrograding towards Catholicism, and more determined to destroy episcopacy if they should ever be able to do so.

The freest opportunity of the established church to destroy Puritanism came during the period of the personal government of Charles, from 1629 to 1640, when Parliament had no meetings, and when the Court of Star Chamber, the High Commission, and the Privy Council were the all- powerful instruments of an administration sympathetic with the high- church party. The oppressions of the Puritans were now at their height, and the prospect of ever obtaining freedom to worship as they chose seemed the darkest. With the most prominent liberal and Puritan leaders imprisoned for their political opinions, like Sir John Eliot, or lying in prison, crushed under enormous fines, like Prynne; with the courts subservient to the royal will; with court preachers declaring the duty of passive obedience to the government; with Laud guiding the policy of the king in all ecclesiastical matters,—the state of the Puritans might well seem hopeless, and they might well look towards some distant land as a place for the establishment of a purified national church.

Archbishop Laud typified and embodied the spirit of the dominant church, and in addition he had unwearied energy, industry, and determination. Sincere, practical, and brave, but narrow-minded and unsympathetic, he set about the work of reducing the church of England to absolute uniformity in accordance with the law as he interpreted it. The Nonconformists had no rest; Puritan clergymen must conform; Puritan laymen must suffer under the power of the church, which, dominated by its bishops and wedded to its idols, was becoming steadily more powerful and all-inclusive. The reign of Charles was not marked by the passage of harsher laws against the Puritans, but it was distinguished from all periods that preceded or followed it by the continuous, steady, and thorough-going application of those already in existence.

It was under this regime that the great Puritan migration to America took place. The Puritans represented a class of society which was much more ready to emigrate than the Catholics. As early as 1597 some imprisoned Brownists sent a petition to the Privy Council asking that they might be allowed to settle in America; and four men of the same persuasion even went on a voyage to examine the land. [Footnote: Eggleston, Beginners of a Nation, 167.] In 1608 many Puritans seem to have prepared to emigrate to Virginia, when by Archbishop Bancroft's influence they were forbidden by the king to go, except with his express permission in each individual case. [Footnote: Stith, Hist, of Virginia, book II., year 1608.]

The Separatists early became wanderers on the face of the earth, a now famous group of them leaving their English homes for Amsterdam, migrating thence to Leyden, and then, after hesitating between a Dutch and an English colony and between North and South America, a portion settling themselves on Plymouth Harbor. [Footnote: Griffis, Pilgrims in Their Three Homes.] In all the history of early colonization there have been few such occasions as that of the year 1638, when fourteen ships bound for New England lay in the Thames at one time, and when three thousand settlers reached Boston within the same year. [Footnote: Authorities quoted in Eggleston, The Beginners of a Nation, 344] Almost all the Englishmen who were ever to emigrate to New England left their homes during the twelve years between 1628 and 1640. Unfavorable economic conditions at home and the prospect of greater prosperity in the colony doubtless had their influence; but of the more than twenty thousand who passed from the old England to New England during that time, it is fair to presume that by far the greater number were more or less influenced by their Puritan opinions.

The most decisive proof of this motive for emigration is the slacking of the tide of Puritan expatriation after 1640. When Parliament, after eleven years of intermission, met in that year at Westminster in the full appreciation of its power, one of its first actions was to order the impeachment and arrest of Archbishop Laud. At last the Puritans had their turn, and the assembling of Parliament found them no longer a scattered, disorganized, diversified element in the English church and nation; but, thanks to long persecution, a compact body, austere in morals, dogmatic in religious belief, ready to make use of political means for religious ends, and determined to impose their asceticism and their orthodoxy on the English people so far as they might be able. [Footnote: Eggleston, Beginners of a Nation, 133.]

A majority of Parliament, small but sufficient, were Puritans, as had probably been true of every Parliament for many years, had they been free to act. Their intentions showed themselves in a prompt inception of reforms in the church, and the burdens of official ecclesiastical oppression were rapidly transferred to the shoulders of those who had previously bound the loads upon Puritan backs. In 1641 orders were issued by the House of Commons for the demolition of all images, altars, and crucifixes. [Footnote: Commons Journals, II., 279.] A commission known as the "Committee of Scandalous Ministers" was appointed, and proceeded to discipline the clergy and to harass the universities. Demands for the harsher treatment of priests and Jesuits were soon followed by plans for the diminution of the power of archbishops and bishops of the established church. The Court of High Commission was abolished July 5, 1641. [Footnote: 16 Chas. I., chap. ii.] The archbishops and bishops were removed from the House of Lords and the Privy Council by the act of February 13, 1642. [Footnote: Ibid., chap, xxvii.]

The Solemn League and Covenant of September 25, 1643, pledged Parliament and the leaders of the now dominant party to extirpate "church government by archbishops, bishops, their chancellors and commissaries, deans, deans and chapters, archdeacons, and all other ecclesiastical officers depending on that hierarchy"; and to reform religion in England "in doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, according to the word of God and the example of the best reformed churches." [Footnote: League and Covenant, Sub Section 1, 2.]

By this time the quarrel between Charles and Parliament had been put to the arbitrament of the sword, and the distinction of Cavalier and Roundhead to a certain extent superseded that between Anglican and Puritan. In 1645 came the catastrophe of Naseby, then the long series of futile negotiations ending in the execution of the king at Whitehall in 1649. From the general confusion emerged the commonwealth, "without any king or House of Lords," the church organized on Presbyterian lines, the spirit of Puritanism dominating, although there was toleration for every form of Christian belief, "provided this liberty be not extended to popery or prelacy." [Footnote: Instrument of Government, Section 37.] For full twenty years the Anglican church was under a cloud, first Presbyterianism and then Independency being the official form of the church of England. The ill-fortunes of the royalist party in the civil war and under the commonwealth, and the religious oppression imposed by the Puritans upon churchmen, now combined to send to the colonies the very classes which had so recently been the persecutors. From 1640 to 1660 Virginia, Maryland, and the Carolinas received an influx of English churchmen escaping from conditions at home as intolerable to them as, those which drove the Pilgrims and Puritans to New England during the previous decades.

The commonwealth was not merely a triumph of Puritanism, it was a birth-time of new religious sects. The excitement of a period of civil war, the breaking down of old standards, the disappearance of old authority, the opportunities offered by the quasi-democracy of the commonwealth, the preoccupation of the seventeenth-century mind with questions of religion, all combined to cause almost a complete disintegration of religious organization. Here and there a man began to preach religious truth and duty as they looked to him; he obtained adherents, a congregation was organized, the tenets of this body spread, and branches were formed; till shortly a new religious society had come into existence, with its creed, organization, missionary spirit, and more or less vigorous hope of converting all men and absorbing all other religious organizations. An almost indefinite number of such religious bodies arose during the middle years of the seventeenth century—Millenarians or Fifth Monarchy Men, Baptists or Anabaptists, Quakers, Ranters, Notionists, Familists, Perfectists, and others. Most of them died out within the brief period which gave them birth, but some survived to become great religious denominations, extending into America as well as throughout England. [Footnote: Gooch, English Democratic Ideas in the Seventeenth Century, chap. viii.]

Of these the Quakers are the most interesting in their relations to the New World. The spirit from which they arose was closely similar to that which gave birth to the Baptists of England, the Anabaptists, Mennonites, Pietists, and Quietists of the Continent. Their movement was an extreme revolt against the formalism, corporate character, and externality of established religion. It contained a deep element of mysticism. The Quakers declared all believers, irrespective of learning, sex, or official appointment, to be priests. [Footnote: Fox, Letters, No. 249.] They asserted the adequacy of the "inner light" to guide every man in his faith and in his actions. They opposed all forms and ceremonies, even many of those of ordinary courtesy and fashion, such as removing the hat or conforming the garb to changing custom.

George Fox, the representative of these ideas, began his public preaching in 1648, and his doctrines at once found wide acceptance. In 1652 there were said to be twenty-five Quaker preachers passing through the country; by 1654 there were sixty, some of whom were women, who, by the principles of their teachings, should preach as freely as men. Their missionary journeys led them to Scotland and Ireland, and later even to Holland and Germany and the far east of Europe. Organization among the Quakers proceeded somewhat slowly. This was due partly to the individualist character of their beliefs, partly to the lack of constructive interest on the part of Fox and the other leaders during the early period of their missionary work. Nevertheless, "meetings" were gradually organized, took definite shape, and kept up regular communication with one another, so that there came to be a net-work of such bodies over the whole country. In 1659 it is estimated that there were thirty thousand Quakers in England.

Notwithstanding the religious liberty guaranteed by the Instrument of Government of 1653, the teachings and practices of the Quaker preachers brought them into much turmoil. Their vituperation of the clergy, their intrusion into church services and ceremonies, already reduced only too frequently to confusion by the rapid changes of the time, their objection to the payment of tithes, their refusal to take an oath, their outspoken denunciation of all whose actions they disapproved, the prominence of women in their propaganda, and, in early times, suspicions that they were connected with political plots, could not but subject them to ridicule, abuse, and actual persecution. They habitually violated numerous laws on the statute-book, ranging from those requiring good order to those forbidding what was construed as blasphemy. They were, therefore, beaten and stoned by the mob; abused, fined, and imprisoned by the magistrates; ridiculed and prosecuted by the clergy; subjected to starvation, exposure, and other hardships by sheriffs and jailers. [Footnote: Besse, Sufferings of the Quakers, I., chaps, iii., iv, xi., xviii., II, chap. i., etc.]

In 1660 Charles II. was recalled to the throne. This event was a restoration of the church even more than a restoration of the monarchy. The royal power could never again be what it had been before the civil war, the execution of a king, and the establishment of a republic. But the church, with the longevity and recuperative power of all religious organizations, arose again to a life apparently as vigorous and despotic as in the times of Laud. The year 1662 found four thousand two hundred Quakers in the jails of England; [Footnote: Sewel, Hist. of the Quakers, 346.] and the popular reaction against the austerity of the Puritan regime subjected Quakers to much ill-treatment by the rabble.

Yet just at this juncture the dignity of the body was strengthened and its power of self-assertion increased by the adherence to it of men of higher education and social position. The Quakers of the commonwealth period were almost all of the middle and lower-middle or trading classes. Soon after the Restoration a number of men of good family and some means threw in their fortunes with the persecuted sect. One of them, Robert Barclay, reduced to order and system the scattered and incoherent statements of its theology. In his Apology, published in 1675, he set forth a logical and consistent statement of beliefs, couched in clear and graceful language and supported by calm reasoning and example. [Footnote: Thomas, Hist. of the Society of Friends in America, chap ii., 200, 201.] Of the same class was William Penn, an educated, wealthy, polished, and genial English gentleman. Yet he was also a serious-minded and devout Quaker preacher, missionary, and writer, and as he saw and shared in the sufferings of the faithful he might well despair of better conditions in England and think of a "Holy Experiment" in America, where Quakers from 1675 onward were settling in West New Jersey. [Footnote: Fiske, The Dutch and Quaker Colonies, II., 99, 167; Andrews, Colonial Self-Government, chap. vii.]

Under Charles II. the attitude of the king was favorable to the Quakers, while in the short reign of James II. they had the great advantage of the personal friendship of the king for Penn. Yet no matter what should be the favor of the king, or even their more moderate treatment by the authorities of the established church, Quakers could not hope for material comfort or ease of mind in surroundings so alien to their ideals as England was in the last decades of the seventeenth century. They, still more than the Puritans in the time of Laud or the churchmen in the time of Cromwell, suffered because of the incongruity of the ordinary law and custom with their ideals. It was the realization of this incompatibility, along with the attraction of a community under Quaker government, cheap and abundant land, a promise of a growing population and lucrative business opportunities that set flowing to Pennsylvania the tide of Quaker emigration and created in a few years a great Quaker commonwealth in America.

Besides Puritans, Anglicans, and Quakers, another great stream of emigration poured into the central colonies of America—the Presbyterian Scotch-Irish. To understand their coming, it is necessary to return to the early years of the seventeenth century and to consider the policy of James I. towards rebellious Ireland. At the opening of, his reign James found in Ireland an opportunity to plant a colony near home. [Footnote: Walpole, Kingdom of Ireland, 130-135.] When Englishmen and Scotchmen had been established in Ireland, the Irish sore would be healed, and that restless Catholic community be transformed into an outlying district of England. The "Plantation of Ulster" began in 1611. The titles of the natives were ruthlessly forfeited, the six counties of the province of Ulster were re-divided, and the land was re-granted to proprietors who engaged to settle colonists from England and Scotland upon it according to a fixed system.

This system was skilfully devised and rigidly carried out. It required the new land-owners to establish freeholders, small tenants, laborers, and artisans upon the soil in proportion to the amount of land they received, allowing only a certain minimum number of the Irish natives to be retained as laborers. The proprietors were largely merchants of London and merchandising noblemen of the court; the tenants they introduced were mostly from the towns and country districts of the north of England and the lowlands of Scotland. Men of Puritan tendencies showed the same readiness to emigrate to Ireland that they showed soon afterwards as to New England, and as a result the settlers of Ulster, during the first two decades of the seventeenth century, were almost universally Presbyterians.

Under these new and somewhat anomalous conditions a population grew up in the north of Ireland which was almost as distinct in race and religious organization from the people of England and Scotland as it was from the Catholic and Celtic population which it had displaced. Its religion, without being proscribed, was not acknowledged, for Anglicanism was the established church of Ireland, though it numbered but few adherents. Ulster's industrial interests were, from the beginning, subordinated to those of England, as completely as were those of the natives. [Footnote: Cunningham, Growth of English Industry and Commerce, II., 136.] As the century progressed the economic evils under which the Scotch-Irish suffered became more pronounced. The navigation acts were so interpreted as to exclude Ireland from all their advantages and to cut her off from any direct trade with the colonies. Tobacco-growing was forbidden, and the exportation of cattle to England placed under prohibitory duties. The wool manufacture was crushed by heavy export taxes, and the linen manufacture neglected or discouraged. In 1642 and again in 1689 came war and new conquests of the country, to add to its disorganization and chronic sufferings. Kidnapping, enforced service in the colonies, and traffic in political prisoners were indulged in by the government. Ireland, as a dwelling- place for Catholics or Protestants, for Celts or Saxons, for natives or English and Scotch settlers, was a country of ever-renewed distress.

To economic disabilities is to be added religious persecution of a mild type, especially after 1689. All the laws that interfered with the religious equality of the Presbyterians in England were extended to Ireland; and they seemed more vexatious there because in Ulster the Presbyterians were in the vast majority and the established church almost unrepresented, except by tithe collectors and absentee landlords. At the close of the seventeenth century there were more than a million Ulster Presbyterians. But soon, as a result of this combined economic and religious oppression, they began to migrate in a narrow stream which by 1720 became a wide river. They formed the largest body of emigrants that left Europe for the American colonies. Before the eighteenth century was over the Presbyterian population of Ireland was reduced by at least a half; [Footnote: Fiske, The Dutch and Quaker Colonies in America, II., 354.] and the missing moiety was to be found scattered along the whole line of the Appalachian mountain-chain, at the backbone of the English colonies, extending eastward and westward and forming a prolific and influential element of the American people.



CHAPTER XIII

THE POLITICAL SYSTEM OF ENGLAND (1500-1689)

An earlier chapter of this work has been devoted to the political institutions of Spain, France, and the Netherlands, and each had its share of influence on American history; but it is England from which the American nation really sprang, of which it was for more than a century and a half a dependency, and to whose traditions, institutions, and government we must look back for the origins of our own. The oldest political institution in England is the monarchy. Older than Parliament, older than the law-courts, older than the division of the country into shires, the monarchy dates back to the consolidation of the petty Anglo-Saxon states in the ninth century—and these were themselves kingdoms.

At no time in this long course of English history were the claims of the monarchy more exorbitant than under James I. and Charles I., from 1603 to 1642, just when the tide of immigration began to flow towards America, and when the governments of the colonies were being established. "What God hath joined, then, let no man separate. I am the husband and all the whole isle is my lawful wife. I am the head and it is my body. I am the shepherd and it is my flock. . . ." [Footnote: Prothero, Select Statutes, 283.] So King James wove metaphors, when he addressed Parliament at its opening in 1604. When disputes had arisen in 1610 he declared: "The state of monarchy is the supremest thing upon earth, for kings are not only God's lieutenants upon earth and sit upon God's throne, but even by God himself they are called gods. ... As to dispute what God may do is blasphemy, ... so is it sedition in subjects to dispute what a king may do in the height of his power." "Encroach not upon the prerogative of the crown; if there falls out a question that concerns my prerogative or mystery of state, deal not with it till you consult with the king or his council, or both, for they are transcendent matters." [Footnote: Ibid., 293, 294.]

This absolute prerogative of the king was attributed to him by others, as well as claimed by himself. Dr. Cowell, professor of civil law at Cambridge, declared that the king "is above the law by his absolute power"; [Footnote: Cowell, Interpreter, under word "king."] and Sir Walter Raleigh wrote that attempts to bind the king by law justified his breach of it, "his charters and other instruments being no other than the surviving witnesses of unconstrained will." [Footnote: Raleigh, Prerogative of Parliament, Preface.] But this definition of the prerogative of the king was an exaggerated description of his real position in the English system of government, and was either academic or argumentative. As properly used, absolute monarchy merely meant an all-powerful not an autocratic government; government was supreme, but the king was not necessarily supreme in the government. As government had been developed in England, in the course of time it had grown up around the monarchy as its centre and found in it its embodiment.

In Anglo-Saxon England government was crude and embryonic, but even then the king held a general oversight over the exercise of its few functions. In the later Middle Ages, when government was somewhat more highly developed, its more numerous functions, in so far as they were not performed by feudal lords or church officials, were fulfilled by the king. It was by the monarchy that the law-courts were formed and commissioned, that Parliament was summoned and given the opportunity for self-development, that the system of taxation and of military life was organized. The great advance in the organization and effectiveness of government which marked the reigns of the Tudor rulers consisted in the elaboration and increased activity of the administrative or royal element in the government.

The royal prerogative might, therefore, be conceived of as the function of keeping the machine of government running. The king was the director and controller of an aggregate of governmental powers. All officials were commissioned in his name, and those of higher rank were actually selected and appointed by him. All foreign intercourse was carried on in his name, and in the main directed by him; Parliament was called, prorogued, and adjourned at his will, and he kept at least a negative control over its actions. All justice, was exercised in his name, and his interests and known wishes sometimes influenced decisions. All charters, whether to cities, to guilds, to possessors of mercantile monopolies, or to commercial and colonizing companies, were issued under his name and seal, and the powers granted in them could not be in opposition to his will. [Footnote: Smith, The Commonwealth of England, book I., chap, ix., book II., chap. iv.]

The powers of the king were, therefore, very real, even if the philosophic contentions of James and other theorists be disregarded; but they were powers restricted in every direction by actual conditions, and exercised through ministers whose familiarity with precedent, whose control over the details of administration, whose dignified offices, and whose personal weight of judgment and character made them, though nominally servants of the king, a real power in the government.

Much of the royal power was exercised through the three great law- courts, King's Bench, Exchequer, and Common Pleas; through the courts of equity, held by the chancellor, the master of the rolls, and the master of requests; through the half-administrative, half-judicial bodies, the council of the north and the council of the marches of Wales, and through the circuit courts of assize. Much was exercised through higher and lower administrative officers, through the Exchequer, and through lower offices such as the wardrobe and the admiralty.

But the real centre of gravity of the executive powers of the government at this time is to be found in the Council or Privy Council, two terms which are used indiscriminately. [Footnote: Dicey, The Privy Council, 80] This body was made up of seventeen or eighteen members, including all the great ministers of state, the lord chancellor, or, as he was sometimes called, lord keeper of the great seal, the high treasurer, the two secretaries, the great master and the comptroller of the household, the chamberlain and the great admiral, besides a certain number chosen as members of the Privy Council without otherwise occupying office. [Footnote: Acts of the Privy Council, 1594-1597] There were usually from six to ten members of the council present, the membership of some of the ministers being somewhat perfunctory.

As a body, however, its services were as far from perfunctory as can well be conceived. Its sessions were held almost daily and its sphere of activity was apparently coextensive with the life of England and of all its dependencies. Scarcely an interest, public or private, escapes its attention, whether it is the organization of a campaign in France or the settlement of a family quarrel between father and son; [Footnote: Acts of the Privy Council, 1591-1592, pp 160, 193, 256-258, 292, 327, 414, 476, etc.] whether it is "Sir John Norreis, knight, and Thomas Diggs, esquire," or a Lord Morley, or the chief baron of the Court of Exchequer, Lord Manwood, or some merchants or poor artisans or an "Elice Gailer, of Berton, yeoman," that appear before the council at its summons; whether it is engaged in formulating rules for articles contraband of war, or trying to put an end to illicit coinage on the borders of Wales; whether engaged in one or other of a hundred different interests, the council is always active, intrusive, and high- handed. [Footnote: Ibid, 231, 305, 314, 378, 449, 572.] It regulated manufactures and trade, protected foreigners, disciplined recusants, kept the oversight of customs and other officials, settled disputes between colleges and their tenants, bishops, deans, and government officers, instructed sheriffs and justices of the peace as to their duty, made provision for the keeping up of military and naval forces, and performed other duties so numerous and varied as to defy enumeration or classification.

A special duty of the Privy Council was to keep up correspondence with the officials of outlying districts under the dominion of the crown and not within the systematic administration of sheriffs, assize courts, justices of the peace, or other regular governance. These regions included the marches of Wales and of Scotland, certain counties of England, Ireland, and the Channel Islands, the last two of these having been placed under the direct supervision of the Privy Council by statute. [Footnote: Poynings's Act (1495), Dicey, The Privy Council, 90.] As colonies grew up they fell, naturally, under the special care of the Privy Council. The duty of hearing appeals from colonial courts became and is still a duty of the council; to the Privy Council were referred colonial laws for approval or veto; and the successive bodies formed for the oversight of the colonies, culminating in the Board of Trade and Plantations of 1696, were either committees of the Privy Council or boards acting under its control and reporting to it.

Although most of this control over the colonies was still far in the future, the power exercised by the council over England's nearest dependency, Ireland, may fairly be taken as anticipatory of it. Irish matters during the later years of Queen Elizabeth and the early years of James I. demanded much attention and time from the Privy Council, notwithstanding the existence of an Irish Parliament, a lord deputy, various provincial officials, and the whole framework of a subordinate government in Ireland. All the variety of cases that came before the council from England were duplicated from Ireland. In fact, Ireland was treated much as if it were an English county, or better, perhaps, one of those regions of England, like the marches of Wales, which had a somewhat peculiar jurisdiction.

The most important form of oversight of Ireland exercised by the Privy Council was that based upon "Poynings's Act" of 1495. Sir Edward Poynings, a type of that class of vigorous officials of middle rank which were such useful instruments of the Tudor government, was sent, in 1494, to Ireland as lord deputy; the next year he called a parliament at Drogheda and obtained its assent to a number of statutes designed to introduce order into that disturbed country, and to make real the power of English government by diminishing that of the turbulent lords of the Pale. [Footnote: Morris, Hist. of Ireland, 1496- 1868, pp. 58-63.] As a means of reaching the latter object, the Irish Parliament, which had long been under their control and which had lately made some assertion of its right of independent action, [Footnote: Irish Statutes, 37 Henry VI.] was to be curbed, and that by its own ordinance.

It was therefore enacted that in the future no bill should be introduced into the Irish Parliament unless its heads had first been submitted to the English Privy Council and obtained the approval of that body and of the king. [Footnote: Irish Statutes, 10 Henry VII., chap. iv.] Moreover, this approval must be given before Parliament met. This reduced the Irish Parliament to a mere registering body for royal enactments. In 1556 an explanatory act was passed [Footnote: Irish Statutes, 3 and 4 Philip and Mary, chap. iv.] amending Poynings's Act so far as to make it allowable for the Irish Parliament to pass any bills which had received the approval of the crown and of the English Privy Council at any time during its session. The regular practice of Irish legislation under these acts was as follows: any member of either house of the Irish Parliament might bring in heads of a bill, which, if approved by both houses, were submitted to the viceroy, who referred them to the Irish Privy Council; that body sent them, altered or unaltered, to the king, who referred them to the English Privy Council; this body then approved, rejected, or modified them; and they were returned, through the viceroy, to the Irish Parliament in the form of a bill, to be accepted or rejected as a whole, but not to be further modified. [Footnote: Walpole, Kingdom of Ireland, 253, 254.]

By this cumbrous method only could the Irish Parliament legislate. It was, moreover, subject not only to the English Privy Council, but to the English Parliament. One of the clauses of Poynings's Act had provided that all statutes which up to that time had been passed by the English Parliament should bind Ireland also. [Footnote: Irish Statutes, 10 Henry VII., chap. xxii.] Many laws were subsequently passed by the English Parliament for Ireland, thus ignoring the Irish Parliament; but it was not till later than the period we are considering that a claim of the superiority of the English Parliament was definitely made. In the eighteenth century a member of the Irish Parliament published a book called The Case of Ireland Being Bound by Acts of Parliament in England Stated. This was formally condemned by the English Parliament and ordered to be burned by the common hangman. [Footnote: Walpole, Kingdom of Ireland, 252.] When still later the Irish House of Lords protested against the reversal of one of its judgments, on appeal, by the English House of Lords, the English Parliament, in 1720, passed an act depriving the Irish House of Lords of any appellate jurisdiction, and declaring that "the English Parliament had, hath, and of right ought to have full power and authority to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the people of Ireland" [Footnote: 6 George I., chap, v.]—a precedent of portentous applicability to the American colonies when a similar question came up in regard to them a half-century later. The power of Parliament over external dependencies was destined to come into greater prominence in the future. The question at issue at the beginning of the seventeenth century was the extent of its power over England itself. Was it, like the Privy Council, the law-courts, and other such bodies, merely a creation and dependency of the crown? Or was it, although in form an assembly of royal councillors, meeting only when the king summoned it and ceasing to exist when he ordered its dissolution, a branch of the government co-ordinate with or even in certain relations superior to him?

In the organization of Parliament there were several grave deficiencies, if it were to be considered an independent body. It was a composite assembly of two ill-related parts. The House of Lords, which consisted at this time of some fifty members, [Footnote: D'Ewes, Journals, 599] had an existence as a royal council quite apart from the House of Commons, and there were still many evidences that it was the original body and the House of Commons a later accretion. In 1601, when Elizabeth appeared in the House of Lords to open her last Parliament, the Commons, who were waiting in their own chamber, did not hear of her presence promptly, and when they hastened to the Lords' chamber the door was closed and they could not obtain admission, so they "returned back again into their own House much discontented." [Footnote: Ibid, 620.] The Lords had various privileges and constitutional rights of their own: as individuals, of trial by peers, of being represented by proxies, of entering individual protests, of audience with the sovereign, of certain advantages of procedure in the courts of common law; as a body, of trying impeachments brought by the House of Commons, and of acting as a final court of appeal for all lower courts whether of law or equity. [Footnote: Pike, Constitutional History of the House of Lords, chaps. ix., xi.-xiv.]

The House of Commons was composed of two knights or gentlemen elected for each shire; and one or two representatives for each of nearly three hundred cities and boroughs. The system of representation was crude and antiquated. The knights of the shire were elected by the "forty- shilling freeholders"—that is to say, by all who had a tenure approaching ownership in lands whose annual rental value reached that sum. This was an electorate that reached far down in the social scale, but it was limited by the tendency of English land to remain in the hands of large owners, and by the influence, legitimate and illegitimate, of the gentry, the great county noble families, and the crown. The knights of the shire, therefore, as a matter of fact, not only belonged to, but were elected by and reflected the interests and feelings of, the great body of rural gentry; while the yeomen exercised little influence in Parliament, as the laboring classes certainly exercised none at all.

There were vast differences in the system of election by the towns which were represented in Parliament, varying all the way from appointment by patrons, in some towns, down through divers grades of extension of the franchise to an almost universal suffrage in a few. Nevertheless, from the towns, as from the counties, it was representatives of the upper and middle classes that sat in the Commons. There was no approach to equality in the constituencies represented in the House of Commons; members were elected often by outside influence and always by a narrow constituency, and no control was possessed by the electors over their representatives.

Yet these defects were more apparent than real. The special powers of the House of Lords were becoming shadowy, and almost the only real significance of the peerage was when it was united with the House of Commons and made a part of the larger whole of Parliament. [Footnote: 36 and 37 Henry VIII., f. 60 (Dyer, Reports, pt. i, 327).]

In the House of Commons was the real source of power of Parliament. Whatever the imperfections in the method of election, whatever the irregularity of constituencies, whatever the crudity of the idea of representation, the five hundred or more knights, country gentlemen, lawyers, and merchants who made up the Commons at this time [Footnote: Names of Members Returned to Serve in Parliament, pt. i., 442-448.] were convinced that in some way they stood for the whole nation. When Parliament had been once summoned and organized, it became a body with three hundred years of precedent back of it; and in the days of the Stuarts it confronted the king with claims to a very different position and power from those he was inclined to concede to it. So far from assimilating their position to that of the law-courts, Privy Council, and other such bodies, at the very opening of the reign of James the Commons declared "there is not the highest standing court in this land that ought to enter into competency either for dignity or authority with this high court of Parliament which with your Majesty's royal assent gives laws to other courts, but from other courts receives neither laws nor orders." [Footnote: Apology of the Commons, 1604; Petyt, Jus Parliamentarium, 227-247.]

The course of time intensified this difference of opinion. "Set chairs for the ambassadors," James cried, mockingly, when the deputies from the House of Commons visited him with a petition during the dispute of 1621. To the king Parliament seemed to be making a claim to sovereignty against which the only proper argument was a jest. Shortly afterwards he wrote to the speaker of the House of Commons, "These are, therefore, to command you to make known in our name unto the House that none therein shall presume henceforth to meddle with anything concerning our government or deep matters of state." He insisted that "these are unfit things to be handled in Parliament except your king requires it of you. "As to the privileges of Parliament James wrote, "We cannot allow of the style calling it your ancient and undoubted right and inheritance, but could rather have wished that ye had said that your privileges were derived from the grace and permission of our ancestors and us." [Footnote: Letter of the king to the House of Commons, December 10,1621.]

The Commons, on the other hand, a week later, placed this protestation on their minutes: "That the liberties, privileges, and jurisdictions of Parliament are the ancient and undoubted birthright and inheritance of the subjects of England, and that the arduous and urgent affairs concerning the king, state, and defence of the realm, and of the church of England and the maintenance and making of laws, and redress of mischiefs and grievances which daily happen within this realm, are proper subjects and matters of counsel and debate in Parliament; and that in the handling and proceeding of those businesses every member of the House of Parliament hath and of right ought to have freedom of speech to propound, treat, reason, and bring to conclusion the same." [Footnote: Rushworth, Historical Collections, I., 53.] It is true that James sent for the Journal and tore this page from its records, but he could not tear the belief in its statements from the hearts of a great part of the people of England.

King and Parliament held diametrically opposite views of their relative powers, and both appealed to the past in justification of their opinions. But England's past was a long story, and its successive chapters read very variously. James appealed to the immediate past to justify his possession of the "inseparable rights and prerogatives annexed to our imperial crown, whereof, not only in the times of other our progenitors, but in the blessed reign of our late predecessor, that renowned queen Elizabeth, we found our crown actually possessed." [Footnote: King's proclamation on dissolving Parliament, January 6,1622.] The leaders of the House of Commons, on the other hand, were looking back to a more remote past, the birth-time and period of acknowledgment by the crown of the parliamentary privileges and English liberties which now seemed to them endangered.

As a matter of fact, Parliament, like all other political institutions in England, had grown up around the monarchy. Primarily, the Houses were a body of advisers of the king, summoned by him to give their counsel in matters in which he needed the advice of the various classes of his subjects; and to give their consent to taxation, which would require sacrifice on the part of the people. Once organized, however, Parliament gathered into itself all the shadowy survivals of self- government coming down from a still earlier period; it reflected the local independence of the towns and counties which sent members to the House of Commons, and the corporate rights of the church and individual privileges of the nobility, which constituted its upper house; it served as the instrument by which the nation at various times protected itself against bad government; it embodied the fifteenth-century ideal of a government conjointly by king and estates of the realm.

Moreover, Parliament gained by repeated use and acknowledgment an established procedure and powers, well-understood rights, and precedents frequently invoked. The four fundamental privileges of members of Parliament were: (1) freedom of elections: (2) freedom from arrest during the sessions; (3) freedom of speech in debate; (4) freedom of access to the sovereign for their speaker, if not for all individually. These were frequently acknowledged by the sovereign at the opening of Parliament and enrolled upon its records, and still more frequently asserted in the House. [Footnote: D'Ewes, Journals, 65, 66, 175, 236, 259, 411, 460, etc; Petyt, Jus Parliamentarium, 227-243, quoted in Prothero, Select Statutes, 289; Commons Journals, I., 431, etc.] The powers of Parliament were less clearly defined than its privileges; but its control over taxation and legislation, its right to impeach the king's ministers and to discuss all matters of interest to the nation, were frequently asserted, and usually conceded. [Footnote: Gneist, Hist. of the English Constitution, chaps. v., xxxii.] Thus Parliament was much more than a royal council; it was a body with claims to co-ordinate powers of government. How far, at any one time, these privileges and powers were conceded, how far they were denied or encroached upon by the crown, was largely dependent on circumstances. These circumstances during Tudor times had been such as to put the initiative and much of the actual power of government in the hands of the king, and parliamentary powers were largely in abeyance. Parliament during this time was a conservative body; the monarchy was the innovating element of the state.

Circumstances changed with the closing years of the sixteenth century and favored an increase of parliamentary participation in government. With all her prestige the old queen herself had to feel it. [Footnote: D'Ewes, Journals, 602.] With the accession of the half-foreign Stuarts, with the cessation of danger of invasion from abroad, with the increasing weight of exactions of an unwise and unpopular personal government, with the growing interest of the seventeenth century in matters of politics, and, above all, with the development of Puritanism, individualistic and self-assertive in its very essence, Parliament was sure to reassert all the powers which it had ever possessed, and likely to seek to extend them. The king was now the conservative element, while Parliament, if recent conditions be taken as the standard, was the innovating party.

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