European Background Of American History - (Vol. I of The American Nation: A History)
by Edward Potts Cheyney
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The best general account of Italy during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries is in Lavisse et Rambaud, Histoire Generale, III., chaps, ix. and x., and IV., chap. i. For the intellectual and artistic history of Italy as a whole, J. Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860, English translation, 2 vols.), is the most satisfactory work. J. A. Symonds, Renaissance in Italy (7 vols., 1875-1886), takes up many sides of the period. A good general history of Venice in small compass is H. P. Brown, Venice: a Historical Sketch of the Republic (1893).

M. G. Canale, Storia del Commercio dei Viaggi, ... degl' Italiani (1866), and Storia della Republica di Genoa (1858-1864), contain much information about Mediterranean trade and voyages, especially of the Genoese.

The commerce of Venice is described in H. F. Brown, Calendar of State Papers, Venetian, Introduction, I. (1864).

Of the fondaco and the German merchants in Venice a description is given in H. Simonsfeld, Der Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venedig (2 vols., 1887). Many additional sources are in G. Thomas, Capitolare dei Visdomini del Fontego dei Todechi (1874). A valuable article on the same subject is W. Heyd, "Das Haus der deutschen Kaufleute in Venedig," in Historische Zeitschrift, XXXII., 193-220.

The standard history of the rise of the Ottoman Empire is J. W. Zinkeisen, Geschichte des Osmanischen Reichs in Europa (6 vols., 1840). More modern works are A. La Jonquiere, Histoire de L'Empire Ottoman (1881); and G. F. Herzberg, Geschichte des Bysantischen und des Osmanischen Reiches (1883).

An excellent work on the fifteenth century is Edwin Pears, The Destruction of the Greek Empire and the Story of the Capture of Constantinople by the Turks (2 vols., 1903). For later history, see L. von Ranke, Die Osmanen in XVI. und XVII. Jahrhundert (1827). A short and good popular account is A. Lane-Poole, Turkey (1886). Good sections are devoted to the Ottoman Turks in the Cambridge Modern History (I., chap, iii., by J. B. Bury); and in Lavisse et Rambaud, Histoire Generale (III., chap, xvi., and IV., chap, xix.), by A. Rambaud.


A short but excellent history of Portugal is H. M. Stephens, The Story of Portugal (1891, Stories of the Nations Series).

The interesting character and significant work of Prince Henry the Navigator have made him the subject of many biographies. One of the earliest of these was G. de Veer, Prinz Heinrich und seine Zeit (1864). More detailed is R. H. Major, Life of Prince Henry the Navigator (1868, abbreviated edition, 1874). A number of other biographies were called forth by the interest in the five hundredth anniversary of Henry's birth, which was coincident with the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America. A partial list of these is as follows: C. R. Beazley, Prince Henry the Navigator (1890); G. Wauverman, Henri le Navigateur et L'Academie Portugaise de Sagres (1890); J. P. O. Martins, Os Filhos de Dom Joao I. (1891); M. Barradas, O Infante Dom Henrique (1894); A. Alves, Dom Henrique o Infante (1894); J. E. Wappaus, Untersuchungen uber... Heinrich (1842). Two valuable essays, Prince Henry the Navigator and The Demarcation Line of Pope Alexander III., by E. G. Bourne, are republished in his Essays in Historical Criticism (1901).

The most important original source for the early exorations of the Portuguese is Gomes Eannes de Azurara, Chronicle of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea (2 vols., Hakluyt Society, 1896 and 1899). The voyages of Cadamosto are published by the Hakluyt Society. Long extracts from the accounts of the voyages of Diego Gomez are given in C. R. Beazley, Prince Henry, 289-298, and in R. H. Major, Prince Henry, 288-298. A number of original documents illustrative of this period are contained in Alguns Documentos do Archivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo Acerca das Navagacoes e Conquistas Portuguezas (1892). An account of the latest stages of the Portuguese advance to India is given in F. C. Danvers, The Portuguese in India (1894). An almost contemporary account of the explorations is J. Barros, Decadas da Asia (first published 1552, etc.); the first five books have been translated into German by E. Feust (1844).


The great collection of sources for the history of Spain is the Coleccion de Documentos Ineditos para la Historia de Espana (112 vols., 1842-1895). Matters more particularly relating to the subjects of this book appear in vols. I., III., VI., XIII., XIX., XXIV., XXVIII., XXXIX., and LI. The proceedings of the cortes are published by the Academia de la Historia, Cortes de los Antiguos Reinos de Leon y de Castilla (4 vols., 1861-1884). The records of those called by Ferdinand and Isabella are in vol. IV. (1882). A careful analysis and introduction to these records is by M. Colmeiro (2 vols., 1883-1884).

The three most important chronicles of Spain contemporary with Ferdinand and Isabella are Hernando del Pulgar, Cronica de los Reyes Catolicos (1780); and Andre Bernaldez, Historia de los Reyes (1878).

The institutions of Spain are described in detail in two admirable works: J. M. Antequera, Historia de la Legislacion Espanola (1874); and F. M. Marina, Ensayo Historico-critico sobre la Antigua Legislacion ... de Leon y Castilla (1834). There is a short but systematic and valuable account of Spanish institutions in The Cambridge Modern History (I., chap, xi., by H. B. Clarke). The most satisfactory general description of the changes in Spanish institutions during the reign of the Catholic sovereigns is J. H. Mariejol, L'Espagne sous Ferdinand et Isabelle: le Gouvernement, les Institutions, et les Moeurs (1892). William H. Prescott, The Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic (various editions), is less uncritical in character, and consequently more trustworthy, than the other works of this author. An important study of the personal character of Isabella is Clemencin, Elogio de la Reina Catolica, in Real Academia de la Historia, Memorias, IV. An important and suggestive study of this period is W. Maurenbrecher, Spanien unter den Katholischen Konigen: Studien und Skizzen zur Geschichte der Reformationszeit (1857). Of somewhat similar character is W. Havemann, Darstellungen aus der inneren Geschichte Spaniens wahrend des XV., XVI. und XVII. Jahrhunderts (1850). The more purely political history is best given in M. Danvilla y Collado, El Poder Civil en Espana (6 vols., 1885-1887). The expulsion of the Jews is described in the third volume of J. Amador de los Rios, Los Judios de Espana y Portugal (3 vols., 1875-1876); that of the Moriscos in H. C. Lea, The Moriscos of Spain, their Conversion and Expulsion (1901). Much valuable description of this period is also given in H. C. Lea, Chapters from the Religious History of Spain (1890). Mr. Lea has also an important article, "The Policy of Spain towards the Indies" (Yale Review, August, 1899). The military history of Ferdinand's reign is given in P. Boissonade, Reunion de la Navarre a la Castille (1893), and in the large general histories of Spain, such as A. Canovas del Castillo, Historia General de Espana (1894), and Vicente de la Fuente, Historia General de Espana (30 vols., 1850-1867).

The organization of the Casa da Contractacion is fully described in Primeras Ordenanzas ... de la Contractacion de las Indias, by J. de Veitia Linage (1672, "made English" by Captain John Stevens, under the title The Spanish Rule of Trade to the West Indies, 1702). It is also described in Richard Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, IV. Economic conditions are further described in two books by K. Habler, Geschichte der Fugger'schen Handlung in Spanien (1897); Die Wirtschaftliche Blute Spaniens im XVI. Jahrhundert und ihr Verfall (1888).


The great mass of contemporary writings for this period is published partly in the great Collection de Documents Inedits (about 280 vols., 1835-), partly in other collections, such as that of Michaud et Poujoulat, Correspondance D'Orient, 1830-1831 (7 vols., 1835), and partly as individual publications. The royal enactments down to 1514 are best edited in Ordonnances des Roys de France (21 vols., 1723- 1849). The Recueil General des Anciennes Lois Francaises, edited by Isambert and Taillandier (29 vols., 1822-1833), extends later in time but is inferior in fulness and accuracy.

A short general history of France during this period is A. J. Grant, The French Monarchy, 1483-1789 (2 vols., 1900). Of the excellent work, Lavisse, Histoire de France, the latest section to appear is V., pt. i., by H. Lemonnier, which covers the period 1492-1547.

For the commercial history of France valuable works are H. Pigeonneau, Histoire du Commerce de la France (2 vols., 1887-1889); Pierre Clement, Histoire de la Vie et de L'Administration de Colbert (2 vols., 1846); G. Fagniez, "Le Commerce de la France sous Henri IV.," in Revue Historique, May-June, 1881; and F. Bourquelot, Etude sur les Foires de Champagne (Academie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres de L'Institut de France, series II., vol. V., 1865). For the commercial companies in Canada, see H. P. Biggar, Early Trading Companies of New France (1901).


The best history of the Netherlands is P. J. Blok, History of the People of the Netherlands (1892, in part translated by Ruth Putnam, 3 vols., 1898-1900); J. L. Motley, Rise of the Dutch Republic (many editions), still has value and much interest, but the work is uncritical and based on inadequate study of the sources. C. M. Davies, History of Holland and the Dutch Nation (3 vols., 1851), is of special value for its attention to the internal organization of the Dutch nation. Robert Fruin, Geschiedniss der Staatsinstellingen in Nederland (edited by H. T. Colenbrander, 1901), is a much more detailed and modern work, the first two books of which refer to the period of this volume. In it are to be found abundant references to the sources of Dutch institutions. Douglas Campbell, The Puritan in Holland, England, and America (2 vols., 1892), is a vivacious work including much description of conditions in Holland and England during this period. It is, however, written in a spirit of controversial exaggeration which reduces its historical value to small proportions. The long and valuable paper "William Usselinx," by J. P. Jameson (American Historical Society, Papers, II., 1888), contains much information concerning political and commercial conditions in the Netherlands. There is a short description of the municipal organization of Holland in an article by J. F. Jameson in the Magazine of American History, VIII., 315-330. The charter of the Dutch West India Company is in E. B. O'Callaghan, History of New Netherland, I., App. A (1855); and in Samuel Hazard, State Papers, I.

The general history of Germany for this period can be Studied from the following volumes of the series entitled Allgemeine Geschichte in Einzeldarstellungen—viz., F. von Bezold, Geschichte der deutschen Reformation (1890); G. Droysen, Geschichte der Gegenreformation (1893); G. Winter, Der dreissigjahrigen Krieges (1893); B. Erdmannsdorfer, Deutsche Geschichte von westfalischen Frieden bis Friedrichs der Grossen (2 vols., 1892). The last work contains in its first book a valuable resume of the results of the Thirty Years' War and the condition of Germany at the time. E. Armstrong, The Emperor Charles V. (2 vols., 1902), is an excellent account of Germany during the middle years of the sixteenth century. Anton Gindely, The Thirty Years' War (English translation, 2 vols., 1884), is a standard work on the Thirty Years' War.

The religious changes of the time are described in a scholarly but extremely dry fashion in W. Moeller, History of the Christian Church, III. (English translation, 1900). L. von Ranke, Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Reformation, translated into English (3 vols., 1845- 1847), is a well-known work. More detailed accounts of the Anabaptists are given in H. W. Erbkam, Geschichte der Protestantischen Sekten in Zeitalter der Reformation (1848); L. Keller, Geschichte der Wiedertaufer (1880); and Max Goebel, Geschichte des Christlichen Leben in der rheinschwestphdlischen evangelischen Kirche (3 vols., 1849- 1860).


BIBLIOGRAPHY.—The standard bibliographical guide in early English history is Charles Gross, Sources and Literature of English History from the Earliest Times to about 1485 (1900).

GENERAL WORKS.—The best general history of the reign of Henry VII. is W. Busch, England under the Tudors (I., Henry VII., 1895); on the early part of the reign of Henry VIII., J. S. Brewer, The Reign of Henry VIII. (2 vols., 1884); J. A. Froude, History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Defeat of the Armada (12 vols., 1856-1870). Notwithstanding the criticism to which this work has been subjected it remains the most detailed, serious, and valuable history of England in the sixteenth century. A. F. Pollard, England under Protector Somerset (1900), is a valuable survey of the period 1547-1551. S. R. Gardiner, History of England from 1603 to 1642 (10 vols., 1883-1884), History of the Great Civil War, 1642-1649 (4 vols., 1886-1891), and History of the Commonwealth and Protectorate (3 vols., 1894-1903), form a series of great value, covering more than half of the seventeenth century. Henry Hallam, Constitutional History of England (3 vols., 1829), is serviceable. L. O. Pike, Constitutional History of the House of Lords (1894), and A. V. Dicey, The Privy Council (1895), are valuable monographs.

SOURCES.—The sources for English history during this period are to be found principally in the Acts of the Privy Council (in progress 1890-), Calendars of State Papers (about 300 vols.), Statutes of the Realm, 1235-1713 (11 vols.), Journals of the House of Lords (16 vols. to 1700), Journals of the House of Commons (13 vols. to 1700), Sir S. D'Ewes, Journals of the Period of Elizabeth (1682), J. Rushworth, Historical Collections (1703), Historical Manuscripts Commission, Reports (106 parts), Deputy Keeper of the Rolls, Public Records, Reports (64 vols.), and in a vast number of detached publications of contemporary journals, correspondence, etc.

Many of the most important statutes and other state papers are collected in G. W. Prothero, Select Statutes and other Constitutional Documents of the Reigns of Elizabeth and James I., 1559-1625 (1894), and S. R. Gardiner, Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution, 1628-1660 (1889). Each of these collections has an admirable introduction discussing the history and institutions of the period. Other collections illustrating the constitutional history of the time are George B. Adams and H. Morse Stephens, Select Documents of English Constitutional History (1901); and Mabel Hill, Liberty Documents (1901). The following collections of sources also illustrate social conditions: C. W. Colby, Selections from the Sources of English History (1899); Elizabeth K. Kendall, Source-Book of English History (1900); Ernest P. Henderson, Side-Lights on English History (1900).

COMMERCIAL HISTORY.—The Merchants Adventurers are discussed and illustrated in W. E. Lingelbach, Laws and Ordinances of the Merchant Adventurers (1902), and The Internal Organization of the Merchant Adventurers (1902); in G. Schanz, Englische Handelspolitik (2 vols., 1881); Richard Ehrenberg, England and Hamburg (1896); and Charles Gross, The Gild Merchant (2 vols., 1890). The commercial companies generally are described in Cawston and Keane, The Early English Chartered Companies (1896), a book of slight value and limited extent of information apart from the fact that it is practically the only work covering the field. David Macpherson, Annals of Commerce (4 vols., 1802), is a book of old-fashioned learning on the subject. For the East India Company there is a large literature. Some of the sources are The Charters of the East India Company (no date or place of publication); Birdwood and Foster, The First Letter Book of the East India Company, 1600-1619 (1893); Henry Stevens, Dawn of British Trade to the East Indies (1886). Of more general histories the most recent and one of the best is Beckles Wilson, Ledger and Sword (1903).

Events in England affecting the early history of Virginia are related and the original papers given in Alexander Brown, Genesis of the United States (2 vols., 1891). Valuable articles by H. L. Osgood bearing on this general subject are: "England and the Colonies" (Political Science Quarterly, II.); "Political Ideas of the Puritans" (ibid., VI., Nos. 1, 2); and "The Colonial Corporation" (ibid., XI., Nos. 2, 3). See also his American Colonies in the Seventeenth Century (2 vols., 1904). On general commercial conditions, William Cunningham, Growth of English Industry and Commerce (revised ed., 1904).

RELIGIOUS HISTORY.—W. E. Griffis, The Pilgrims in their Three Homes (1898); Daniel Neal, History of the Puritans (4 vols., 1732-1738); W. A. Shaw, The English Church During the Commonwealth (1900); E. Eggleston, Beginners of a Nation (1897), gives interesting and unfamiliar details of the religious sects in England. A. B. Hinds, The England of Elizabeth (1895), is a careful study of the origins of English Puritanism on the Continent. G. P. Gooch, English Democratic Ideas in the Seventeenth Century (1898), throws light on the various sects. William Sewel, History of the Quakers (1725), is a standard history on the origin of that body.

C. G. Walpole, The Kingdom of Ireland (1882), describes the "Plantation of Ulster" and the conditions that led to the emigration of the Scotch- Irish. Of value also are W. E. H. Lecky, England in the Eighteenth Century (8 vols., 1878-1890); J. P. Prendergast, The Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland (1865); and H. Green, The Scotch-Irish in America (1895).

ENGLISH LOCAL GOVERNMENT.—For local government the admirable bibliography is Charles Gross, Bibliography of British Municipal History, Including Gilds and Parliamentary Representatives (Harvard Historical Studies, V., 1897). Contemporary legal treatises concerning county government are Michael Dalton, Officium Vicecomitum, or the Office and Authority of Sheriffs (1623), and The Country Justice (1681); William Greenwood, Authority, Jurisdiction, and Method of Keeping County Courts, Courts-Leet, and Courts-Baron, etc. (1659); William Lambarde, Eirenarcha, or the Office of the Justices of Peace (1588); A. Fitzherbert, L'Office et Authorities de Justices de Peace (1514), often quoted as "Crompton", an editor who enlarged the original work in 1583; John Wilkinson, Office and Authority of Coroners and Sheriffs (1628). All these appear in numerous editions, the above dates being, as far as ascertained, those of the earliest editions.

Few records of county government exist to any large extent, and very few have been printed. Among them are three bodies of quarter-sessions records. John Lister, West Riding Sessions Rolls, 1597-1602 (Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Association, Records Series, III., 1888); J. C. Jeaffreson, Middlesex County Records, 1549-1608 (Middlesex County Records Society, 1886-1892); Ernest Axon, in Record Society of Lancaster and Cheshire, Manchester Sessions, XLII. Some material for Wiltshire and Worcestershire is published in the Historical Manuscripts Commission, Reports, VI., VII.

A. H. A. Hamilton, Quarter-Sessions ... chiefly of Devon (1878), contains much on the subject. E. M. Leonard, The Early History of the English Poor Relief (1900), is a scholarly study involving much description of local administration and the central and local governments.

For the parish, Richard Burn, Ecclesiastical Law (2 vols., 1763); William Sheppard, Offices and Duties of Constables, Borsholders, Tythingmen, etc. (1641); William Lambarde, Duties of Church-wardens and Duties of Constables, affixed to his Eirenarcha (1581); George Meriton, Duties of Constables (1669). For the actual life of the parish, recourse must be had to the few bodies of such records that are printed separately or in local histories. Some of these are as follows: J. L. Glasscock, Records of St. Michael's Church (1882); Collyer and Turner, Ilkley, Ancient and Modern (1885); W. T. Woodbridge, Rushbrook Parish Registers (1903); W. O. Massingberd, History of Ormsby (1893); J. P. Earwaker, Constables' Accounts of Manchester (3 vols., 1891-1892); John Nichols, Illustration of the Manners, etc., of England from Accounts of Church-wardens (1797).

The book that has exerted the most influence on opinion on this subject is Toulmin Smith, The Parish (1854). It is, however, written in a spirit of controversy, many of its interpretations of the statutes are quite incorrect, and it must, therefore, be used with great caution. Its most valuable contents are its references to sources, and extracts from local records. Rudolf Gneist, Self-Government, Communalverfassung und Verwaltungsgeschichte in England (1871), is almost the sole work covering the whole subject, but it is quite unsatisfactory, being drawn from a comparatively small group of sources. George E. Howard, Local Constitutional History of the United States (Johns Hopkins University Studies, extra vol. IV., 1889), and The Development of the King's Peace (Nebraska University Studies, I., 1890); Edward Channing, Town and County Government in the English Colonies of North America (Johns Hopkins University Studies, II., No. 10), and some other articles by Herbert B. Adams and others in the same series, include considerable information on local conditions in England, though their primary reference is to America.

[Proofer's note: Index omitted.]


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