RENAISSANCE OF ART.—This period was not simply an era of grand exploration and discovery, and of the new birth of letters: it was the brilliant dawn of a new era in art. Sculpture and painting broke loose from their subordination to Church architecture. Painting, especially, attained to a far richer development.
ARCHITECTURE AND SCULPTURE.—In architecture and sculpture, the influence of the antique styles was potent. Under the auspices of Brunelleschi (1377-1446), the Pitti Palace and other edifices of a like kind had been erected at Florence. At Rome, Bramante (who died in 1515), and, in particular, Michael Angelo (1475-1564), who was a master in the three arts of painting, sculpture, and architecture, and a poet as well, were most influential. The great Florentine artist Ghiberti (1378-1455), in the bronze gates of the Baptistery, exhibited the perfection of bas-relief. The highest power of Michael Angelo, as a sculptor, is seen in his statue of Moses at Rome, and in the sepulchers of Julian and Lorenzo de Medici at Florence. A student of his works, Cellini (1500-1571) is one of the men of genius of that day, who, like his master, was eminently successful in different branches of art. In the same period, there were sculptors of high talent in Germany, especially at Nuremberg, where Adam Kraft (1429-1507), and Peter Vischer (1435-1529), whose skill is seen in the bronze tomb of Sebaldus, in the church of that saint, are the most eminent. After the death of Michael Angelo, in Italy there was a decline in the style of sculpture, which became less noble and more affected.
PAINTING IN ITALY.—The ancients had less influence on the schools of painting than on sculpture. In painting, as we have seen, Giotto (1266-1337), a contemporary of the poet Dante, and Cimabue (who died about 1302), had led the way. The art of perspective was mastered; and real life, more or less idealized, was the subject of delineation. In Italy, there arose various distinct styles or schools. The Florentine school reached its height of attainment in the majestic works of Michael Angelo, the frescos of the Sistine Chapel at Rome. The Roman school is best seen in the stanzas of the Vatican, by Raphael (1483-1520), and in the ideal harmony and beauty of his Madonnas. Prior to Michael Angelo and Raphael, there was the symbolic religious art of the Umbrian painters. Of these, the chief was Fra Angelico (1387-1455), the devout monk who transferred to the canvas the tenderness and fervor of his own gentle spirit. The Venetian school, with its richness of color, has left splendid examples of its power in the portraits of Titian (1477-1576), the works of Paul Veronese (who died in 1588), and the more passionate products of the pencil of Tintoretto (who died in 1594). The Lombard school has for its representatives the older contemporary of Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), who combines perfection of outward form with deep spirituality, and by whom The Last Supper was painted on the wall of the cloister at Milan; and Correggio (1494-1534), whose play of tender sensibility, and skill in the contrasts of light and shade in color, are exhibited in The Night, or Worship of the Magi (at Dresden), and in his frescos at Parma. The school of Bologna, founded by the three Caracci, numbers in its ranks Guido Rent (1575-1642), gifted with imagination and sensibility, and Salvator Rosa (1615-1673), who depicted the more wild and somber aspects of nature and of life.
MICHAEL ANGELO AND RAPHAEL.—The two foremost names in the history of Italian art are Michael Angelo and Raphael. "If there is one man who is a more striking representative of the Renaissance than any of his contemporaries, it is Michael Angelo. In him character is on a par with genius. His life of almost a century, and marvelously active, is spotless. As an artist, we can not believe that he can be surpassed. He unites in his wondrous individuality the two master faculties, which are, so to speak, the poles of human nature, whose combination in the same individual creates the sovereign greatness of the Tuscan school,—invention and judgment,—a vast and fiery imagination, directed by a method precise, firm, and safe." Raphael lacks the grandeur and the many-sided capacity of the great master by whom he was much influenced. Raphael "had a nature which converted every thing to beauty." He produced in a short life an astonishing number of works of unequal merit; but to all of them he imparted a peculiar charm, derived from "an instinct for beauty, which was his true genius."
PAINTING IN THE NETHERLANDS.—In the Netherlands, a school of painting arose under the brothers Van Eyck (1366-1426, 1386-1440). One of them, John, was the first artist to paint in oil. At a later day, a class of painters, of whom Rubens (1577-1640) is the most distinguished, followed more the track of the ancients and of the Italian school. These belonged to Flanders and Brabant; while in Holland a school sprang up of a more original and independent cast, in which genius of the highest order was manifested in the person of Rembrandt (1607-1669), its most eminent master.
PAINTING IN GERMANY AND FRANCE.—In Germany, a school marked by peculiarities of its own was represented by Hans Holbein (who died in 1543), and by Albert Duerer the Nuremberg artist (1471-1528). In Spain, Murillo (1617-1682) combined inspiration with technical skill, and stands on a level with the renowned Italians. Velasquez (1599-1660), an artist of extraordinary power, is most distinguished for his portraits. The French artists mostly followed the Italian styles. Claude Lorraine (1600-1682) was the painter of landscapes that are luminous in sunlight and atmosphere. In England, the humorous Hogarth (1697-1764) was much later.
MUSIC.—Music shared in the prosperity of the sister arts. The interest awakened in its improvement paved the way in Italy for Palestrina (1514-1594), whose genius and labors constitute an epoch. In Germany, Luther became one of the most efficient promoters of musical culture in connection with public worship. The great German composers, Bach (1685-1750) and Haendel (1685-1759), belong to a subsequent period: they are, however, in some degree the fruit of seed sown earlier.
LITERATURE.—For works on general history, see p. 16. For general histories of particular countries, see p. 359.
On Modern Times. Dyer's History of Modern Europe; Duruy's History of Modern Times [1453-1789]; Lavisse et Rambaud, Histoire Generale, Vol. IV.; The Cambridge Modern History, Vol. I.: The Renaissance; Heeren, Political System of Europe; Historical Treatises (1 vol.); Heeren u. Ukert, Geschichte der europaeisch. Staaten (76 vols. 1829 75); T. ARNOLD'S Lectures on Modern History; Michelet's Modern History (1 vol.), Yonge's Three Centuries of Modern History.
On the Age of the Renaissance. Symonds's Renaissance in Italy (5 vols.); BURCKHARDT'S The Civilization of the Period of the Renaissance in Italy (2 vols.); REUMONT'S Lorenzo de' Medici (2 vols); Roscoe's Life of Lorenzo de' Medici; VILLARI'S Machiavelli and his Times; Machiavelli, History of Florence; Oliphant, Makers of Florence: Dante', Giotto, Savonarola, and their city (1 vol.); Voigt, Die Wiederbelebung des classischen alterthums (1859); Lanzi, History of Painting (3 vols.); Vasari, Lives of Painters, Sculptors, and Architects; Crowe and Cavalcasselle, History of Painting in North Italy [1300-1500] (2 vols., 1871); Crowe, Handbook of Painting: the German, Flemish and Dutch Schools (2 parts, 1874); Eastlake, Handbook of Painting, the Italian Schools (based on Kugler, 2 parts, 1874); Crowe and Cavalcasselle, Life of Titian (2 vols.); Illustrated Biographies of the Great Artists (14 vols.); Mrs. Jameson, Lives of Italian Painters; Grimm, Life of Michael Angelo (2 vols.); Crowe and Cavalcasselle, Life and Works of Raphael; Fergusson, History of Modern Styles of Architecture; RUGE'S Geschichte d. Zeitalters d. Entdeckungen (1 vol. in Oncken's Series); GEIGER'S Renaissance und Humanismus in Italien und Deutschland (1 vol. in Oncken's Series); Lives of Erasmus, by Le Clerc, Jortin, Knight, Burigny (2 vols.), Froude, Emerton, Drummond (2 vols.); Lives of Columbus, by Irving, Major (1847), Harrisse (1884), Markham (1892), Winsor; PRESCOTT'S History of Ferdinand and Isabella, History of the Conquest of Mexico, and History of the Conquest of Peru; Robertson, History of America; Beazly, Dawn of Modern Geography (2 vols.); Fiske, Discovery of America (2 vols.); Payne, America (2 vols.); Scebohm's Oxford Reformers; Robinson and Rolfe, Petrarch; Creighton, History of the Papacy during the Reformation (Vols. I.-IV.); Pastor, History of the Popes from the Close of the Middle Ages (3 vols.); Janssen, History of the German People at the Close of the Middle Ages (8 vols.); Whitcomb, Source Books of the Italian and German Renaissance; Grant, The French Monarchy (2 vols.); Johnson, European History in the Sixteenth Century.
PERIOD II. THE ERA OF THE REFORMATION. (1517-1648)
The general stir in men's minds, as indicated in the revival of learning and in remarkable inventions and discoveries, was equally manifest in great debates and changes in religion. One important element and fruit of the Renaissance is here seen. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, the nations of Western Europe were all united in one Church, of which the Pope was the acknowledged head. There were differences as to the extent of his proper authority; sects had sprung up at different times; and there had arisen leaders, like Wickliffe and Huss, at war with the prevailing system. Ecclesiastical sedition, however, had been mostly quelled. Yet there existed a great amount of outspoken and latent discontent. First, complaints were loud against maladministration in Church affairs. There were extortions and other abuses that excited disaffection. Secondly, the authority exercised by the Pope was charged with being inconsistent with the rights of civil rulers and of national churches. Thirdly, disputes sprang up, both in regard to various practices deemed objectionable, like prayers for the dead, and the invocation of saints, and also concerning important doctrines, like the doctrine of the mass or the Lord's Supper, and the part that belongs to faith in the Christian method of salvation. Out of this ferment arose what is called the Protestant Reformation. The Teutonic nations generally broke off from the Church of Rome, and renounced their allegiance to the Pope. The Latin or Romanic nations, for the most part, still adhered to him. As the common idea was that there should be uniformity of belief and worship in a state, civil wars arose on the question which form of belief should dominate. Germany was desolated for thirty years by a terrible struggle. Yet, in all the conflicts between kingdoms and states in this period, it was plain that political motives, or the desire of national aggrandizement, were commonly strong enough to override religious differences.
When there was some great interest of a political or dynastic sort at stake, those that differed in religion most widely would frequently assist one another. It is in this period that we see Spain, under Charles V. and Philip II., reach the acme of its power, and then sink into comparative weakness.
CHAPTER I. THE REFORMATION IN GERMANY, TO THE TREATY OF NUREMBERG (1517-1532).
BEGINNING OF THE REFORMATION.—The Reformation began in Germany, where there was a great deal of discontent with the way in which the Church was governed and managed, and on account of the large amounts of money carried out of the country on various grounds for ecclesiastical uses at Rome. The leader of the movement, Martin Luther, was the son of a poor miner, and was born at Eisleben in 1483. He was an Augustinian monk, and had been made professor of theology, and preacher at Wittenberg, by the Elector of Saxony, Frederick the Wise (1508). Luther was a man of extraordinary intellectual powers, and a hard student, of a genial and joyous nature, yet not without a deep vein of reflection, tending even to melancholy. He had a strong will, and was vigorous and vehement in controversy. He had been afflicted with profound religious anxieties; but in the study of St. Paul and St. Augustine, and after much inward wrestling, he emerged from them into a state of mental peace. The immediate occasion of disturbance, the spark that kindled the flame, was the sale of indulgences in Saxony by a Dominican monk named Tetzel. Indulgences were the remission, total or partial, of penances, and, in theory, always presupposed repentance; but, as the business was managed in Germany at that time, it amounted in the popular apprehension to a sale of absolution from guilt, or to the ransom of deceased friends from purgatory for money. These gross abuses were painful to sincere friends of religion. In 1517 Luther posted on the door of the church at Wittenberg his celebrated ninety-five theses. It was customary in those days for public debates to take place in universities, where, as in jousts and tournaments among knights, scholars offered to defend propositions in theology and philosophy against all comers. Such were the "theses" of Luther on indulgences. The public mind was in such a state that a great commotion was kindled by them. Conflict spread; and the name of Luther became famous as a stanch antagonist of ecclesiastical abuses, and a fearless champion of reform. The Elector, a religious man, calm and cautious in his temper, was friendly to Luther, often sought to curb him, but stretched over him the shield of his protection.
LUTHER AND LEO X.—Pope Leo X; was of the house of Medici, the son of Lorenzo the Magnificent. He had been made nominally a cardinal at the age of thirteen, and had advanced to the highest station in the Church. He was much absorbed in matters pertaining to learning and art, and in political affairs, and at first looked upon this Saxon disturbance as a mere squabble of monks. He attempted ineffectually to bring Luther to submission and quietness, first through his legate Cajetan, a scholarly Italian, who met him at Augsburg (1518), and then by a second messenger, Miltitz (1519), a Saxon by birth. A turning-point in Luther's course was a public disputation at Leipsic, before Duke George; for ducal Saxony was hostile to him. With Luther, on that occasion, was Philip Melanchthon, the young professor of Greek at Wittenberg, who was a great scholar, and a man of mild and amiable spirit. He became a very effective and noted auxiliary of the reformer, and acquired the honorary title of "preceptor of Germany." In the Leipsic debate, when Luther was opposed by the Catholic champion Eck, and by others, his own views in opposition to the papacy became more distinct and decided. He soon disputed the right of the Pope to make laws, to canonize, etc., denied the doctrine of purgatory, and avowed his sympathy with Huss. He issued a stirring Address to the Christian Nobles of the German Nation. In 1520 he was excommunicated by the Pope, but the elector paid no regard to the papal bull. Luther himself went so far as publicly to burn it at the gates of the town, in the presence of an assembly of students and others gathered to witness the scene. Both parties had now taken the extreme step: there was now open war between them. Jurists, who were aggrieved by the interference of ecclesiastical with civil courts, supported Luther. So the Humanists who had defended Reuch-lin, among whom were the youthful literary class of which Ulrich von Hutten was one, became his allies. Many among the inferior clergy and the monastic orders sympathized with him.
CONDITION OF GERMANY.—It was now for the Empire to decide between Luther and the Pope. The efforts to create a better political system under Maximilian had proved in the main abortive. There was strife between the princes and the knights, as well as between princes and bishops. The cities complained bitterly of oppressive taxation and of lawless depredations. There was widespread disaffection, threatening open revolt, among the peasants. Maximilian had been thwarted politically by the popes. At first he was glad to hear of Luther's rebellion. He said to Frederick the Wise, "Let the Wittenberg monk be taken good care of: we may some day want him." In the latter part of his reign his interests drew him nearer to Rome.
ELECTION OF CHARLES V.—On the death of Maximilian (1519), as the Elector Frederick would not take the imperial crown, there were two rival candidates,—Francis I., the king of France, and Charles I., of Spain, the grandson of Maximilian. Francis was a gallant and showy personage, but it was feared that he would be despotic; and the electors made choice of Charles. The extent of Charles's hereditary dominions in Germany, and the greatness of his power, would make him, it was thought, the best defender of the empire against the Turks. The electors, at his choice, bound him in a "capitulation" to respect the authority of the Diet, and not to bring foreign troops into the country. Charles was the inheritor of Austria and the Low Countries, the crowns of Castile and Aragon, of Navarre, of Naples and Sicily, together with the territories of Spain in the New World; and now he was at the head of the Holy Roman Empire. The concentration of so much power in a single hand could not but provoke alarm in all other potentates. The great rival of Charles was Francis I., and the main prize in the contest was dominion in Italy. Charles was a sagacious prince; from his Spanish education, strongly attached to the Roman-Catholic system, and, in virtue of the imperial office, the protector of the Church. Yet with him political considerations, during most of his life, were uppermost. He made the mistake of not appreciating the strength that lay in the convictions at the root of the Protestant movement. He over-estimated the power of political combinations.
DIET OF WORMS.—Charles V. first came into Germany in 1521, and met the Diet of the empire at Worms. There Luther appeared under the protection of a safe-conduct. He manifested his wonted courage; and in the presence of the emperor, and of the august assembly, he refused to retract his opinions, planting himself on the authority of the Scriptures, and declining to submit to the verdicts of Pope or council. After he had left Worms, a sentence of outlawry was passed against him. Charles at that moment was bent on the re-conquest of Milan, which the French had taken; and the Pope was friendly to his undertaking, although Leo X. had been opposed to Charles's election.
FRANCIS I.—Francis I. (1515-1547) aimed to complete the work begun by his predecessors, and to make the French monarchy absolute. By a concordat with the Pope (1516), the choice of bishops and abbots was given into the king's hand, while the Pope was to receive the annates, or the first year's revenue of all such benefices. Francis continued the practice of selling judicial places begun under Louis XII.. He was bent on maintaining the unity of France, and, as a condition, the Catholic system. But he was always ready to help the Protestants in Germany when he could thereby weaken Charles. For the same end, he was even ready to join hands with the Turk.
RIVALRY OF CHARLES AND FRANCIS.—Charles claimed the old imperial territories of Milan and Genoa. He claimed, also, a portion of Southern France,—the duchy of Burgundy, which he did not allow that Louis XI. had the right to confiscate. Francis claimed Naples in virtue of the rights of the house of Anjou; also Spanish Navarre, which Ferdinand of Aragon had seized, and the suzerainty of Flanders and Artois. He had gained a brilliant victory over the Swiss at the battle of Marignano, in 1515, and reconquered Milan. He concluded a treaty of peace with the Swiss,—the treaty of Freiburg (1516), which gave to the king, in return for a yearly pension, the liberty to levy troops in Switzerland. This treaty continued until the French Revolution.
FIRST WAR OF CHARLES AND FRANCIS (1521-1526).—Hostilities between Francis and Charles commenced in Italy in 1521. The French were driven from Milan in 1522, which was again placed in the hands of Francesco Sforza; and the emperor was soon master of all Northern Italy. England and the Pope sided with Charles; and on the death of Leo X., a former tutor of the emperor was made his successor, under the name Adrian VI. (1522). The most eminent and the richest man in France, next to the king, Charles of Bourbon, constable of the kingdom, joined the enemies of Francis. He complained of grievances consequent on the enmity of Louisa of Savoy, the mother of the king, and attempted, with the aid of the emperor and Henry VIII., to create a kingdom for himself in South-eastern France. But the national spirit in France was too strong for such a scheme of dismemberment and foreign conquest to succeed, and all that Charles gained in the end was one brave general. In the winter of 1524-25 Francis crossed the Alps at the head of a brilliant army, and recaptured Milan; but he was defeated and taken prisoner at Pavia, and the French army was almost destroyed. Charles was able to dictate terms to his captive. It was stipulated in the Peace of Madrid (1526), that Francis should renounce all claim to Milan, Genoa, and Naples, and to the suzerainty of Flanders and Artois, cede the duchy of Burgundy, and deliver his sons as hostages, terms which could not be fulfilled.
LUTHER AT THE WARTBURG.—We have now to glance at the events in Germany during the absence of Charles V. Luther, although under the ban of the empire, was in no immediate peril while he staid in Saxony. The elector, however, thought it prudent to place him in the castle of the Wartburg, where he could have a safe and quiet asylum. There he began his translation of the Bible, which, apart from its religious influence, from the vigor and racy quality of its style made an epoch in the literary history of the German people. It was a work of great labor. "The language used by Luther in both the Old and New Testaments did not exist before in so pure, powerful, and genuine a form." While Luther was engaged in this work, a radical movement broke out at Wittenberg, of which Carlstadt, one of his supporters, was the principal leader. He was for carrying changes in worship to such an extreme, and for introducing them so abruptly, that the greatest disorder was threatened. Against the wish of the elector, Luther left his retreat, and by his discourses and personal presence quieted the disturbance.
PROGRESS AND REACTION.—No attempt was made to carry out the Worms decree. The reason was that the influential classes were so much in sympathy with Luther's cause. The Imperial Chamber, which ruled in the emperor's absence, would do nothing against him. Its committee refused to carry out the decree; and a list of "one hundred grievances" was sent to Pope Adrian VI., of which the German nation had reason to complain (1523). Events, however, soon occurred that were unfavorable in their effect on the Lutheran movement. The knights banded together in large numbers, under Franz van Sickingen, and tried by force of arms to reduce the power of the princes. Luther showed no favor to their plans and doings; but, as their leaders had applauded him, a reaction against innovations, including changes in doctrine, was the natural consequence. Pope Adrian VI. was earnestly desirous of practical reforms; but his successor, Clement VII. (1523-1534), was of the house of Medici, and a man of the world, like Leo X. An alliance was made by the Catholic princes and bishops of South Germany at Ratisbon in 1524, to do away with certain abuses, but to prevent the spread of the new doctrine.
THE PEASANTS' WAR.—In 1524 a great revolt of the peasants broke out, and the next year it became general. They were groaning under intolerable burdens of taxation, and other forms of oppression. They demanded liberty in church affairs, and for the preaching of the new doctrine, and release from feudal tyranny. Luther felt and said that they were wronged grievously; but when they took up arms, he, and with him the great middle class which he led, took sides strongly against them. The revolt was put down, and its authors inhumanly punished. For a time the peasants had wonderful success. Napoleon wondered that Charles V. did not seize the occasion to make Germany a united empire. Then seemed to be a time when the princes could have been stripped of their power. One of the foremost leaders of the rebellion was Thomas Muenzer. On the defeat of the peasants, he was captured and beheaded.
SECOND WAR BETWEEN CHARLES AND FRANCIS (1527-1529).—In the Peace of Madrid, Charles and Francis had agreed to proceed against the Turks and against the heretics. But, after the release of Francis, he repudiated the concessions before mentioned (p. 400), which were made, he alleged, under coercion; and with Clement VII. he formed a conspiracy against the emperor. The Diet of Spires, in 1526, decided to leave each of the component parts of the empire, until the meeting of a general council, to decide for itself as to the course to be taken in the matter of religion and in respect to the edict of Worms. In 1527 a German army, largely composed of Lutherans, led by Constable Bourbon and George Frundsberg, stormed and captured Rome. The Pope made an alliance with Henry VIII. A French army under Lautrec appeared at Naples, but it was so weakened by a fearful pestilence that it was easily destroyed. The Pope concluded peace with Charles in 1529. The emperor promised to exterminate heresy. In the Peace of Cambray, Francis renounced his claims on Italy, Flanders, and Artois: Charles engaged for the present not to press his claims upon Burgundy, and set free the French princes.
TO THE PEACE OF NUREMBERG (1532).—The Diet of Spires in 1529 reversed the policy of tacit toleration. It passed an edict forbidding the progress of the Reformation in the states which had not accepted it, and allowing in the reformed states full liberty of worship to the adherents of the old confession. The protest by the Lutheran princes and cities, against the decree of the Diet, gave the name of Protestants to their party. The successful defense of Vienna against an immense army of the Turks under Soliman delivered Charles for the moment from anxiety in that quarter. A theological controversy between the Lutheran and the Swiss reformers, on the Lord's Supper, made a division of feeling between them. A conference of the two parties at Marburg, in which Luther and Melanchthon met Zwingli and his associates, brought no agreement. Every thing was propitious for an effort at coercion; and this was resolved upon at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, where the emperor was present in person, and where Melanchthon presented the celebrated Protestant Confession of Faith. The threats against the Protestant princes induced them to form the League of Smalcald for mutual defense. But it was found impracticable to carry out the measures of repression against the Lutherans. Bavaria was jealous of the house of Hapsburg, and opposed to the plan of the emperor to make his brother, Ferdinand of Austria, his successor. The Turks under Soliman were threatening. France and Denmark were ready to help the Protestants. Accordingly the Peace of Nuremberg was concluded in 1532, in which religious affairs were to be left as they were, and both parties were to combine against the common enemy of Christendom.
CHAPTER II. THE REFORMATION IN TEUTONIC COUNTRIES: SWITZERLAND, DENMARK, SWEDEN, ENGLAND.
THE SWISS REFORMATION: ZWINGLI.—The founder of Protestantism in Switzerland was Ulrich Zwingli. He was born in 1484. His father was the leading man in a mountain village. The son, at Vienna and at Basel, became a proficient in the humanist studies. He read the Greek authors and the Bible in the original. A curate first at Glarus, and then at Einsiedeln, he became pastor at Zurich. As early as 1518 he preached against the sale of indulgences. He was a scholarly man, bluff and kindly in his ways, and an impressive orator. The Swiss were corrupted by their employment as mercenary soldiers, hired by France, by the Pope, or by the emperor. Of the demoralizing influence of this practice, Zwingli became deeply convinced; and his exertions as a Church reformer were mingled with a patriotic zeal for the moral and political regeneration of Switzerland. Mainly by his influence, Zurich separated from the jurisdiction of the bishop of Constance, and became Protestant in 1524. The example of Zurich was followed by Berne (1528) and by Basel (1529). Zwingli agreed with Luther on the two main points of the sole authority of the Scriptures, and the doctrine of salvation by faith alone; but on the sacrament of the Lord's Supper he went farther in his dissent from the Church of Rome. This made Luther and his followers stand aloof when cordial fellowship was proposed between the two parties.
CIVIL STRIFE: DEATH OF ZWINGLI.—The aim of Zwingli was to establish a republican constitution in the several cantons, and also in the confederation as a body, where the five Forest Cantons had an undue share of power. These adhered to the old Church. In Berne the oligarchic party was supplanted by the republican, reforming party,—an event of decisive importance. As the irritation increased between the Forest Cantons and the cities, the former entered into a league with Ferdinand of Austria, and the cities leaned for support on the German states in sympathy with their opinions. A treaty was made (1529), but each side accused the other of breaking it. At length war began: Berne failed to come to the help of Zurich. Each city wished to be the metropolis of the reformed confederation. The forces of Zurich were vanquished at Cappel, where Zwingli himself, who was on the field in the capacity of a chaplain, was slain (1531). By the peace of Cappel in 1531, Protestantism was not coerced, but a check was put upon its progress. Neither party was strong enough to subdue the other.
PROTESTANTISM IN SCANDINAVIA.—In the Scandinavian countries, monarchical power was built up by means of the Reformation. The union of Calmar (1397) under Queen Margaret, between Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, had been a dynastic union. The several peoples were not united in feeling. The sovereign, moreover, had his power limited by a strong feudal nobility, and by a rich Church impatient of control. First the Church was overcome by means of Protestantism, and then the nobles.
THE REFORMATION IN DENMARK—On the accession of Christian I. of Oldenburg (1448-1481), the duchies of Holstein and Schleswig became connected with Denmark in a personal union. His grandson, Christian II. (1513-1523), did not rule the duchies, which were governed by Frederic I., who afterwards succeeded Christian II. as king of Denmark. Christian II. was bent on putting down the aristocracy, lay and clerical, but lacked the moral qualities necessary to success in so difficult a task. He at first favored Protestantism from political motives. He hoped to bring the Swedes into subjection by the aid of the Danes, and then to subdue the Danish nobility. In Sweden the nobles practically ruled; and the regency was in the hands of the Stures, who befriended the common people, and were opposed by the other nobles and the clergy. Christian made use of these divisions, and of the help of German and French troops, to get possession of Stockholm (1520). He took the Catholic side. But his perfidy, and the massacre of eminent Swedes,—known as the Massacre of Stockholm,—excited an inextinguishable hatred against Denmark. The Danish nobles feared the same sort of treatment. The king's attempts at reform offended them without pleasing the peasants, and a revolution took place which dethroned him. Duke Frederic of Schleswig was made king (1523): the duchies and Denmark were again together. Frederic swore not to introduce the Reformation, nor to attack Catholicism. But he was an ardent Lutheran. The new doctrine had come into the land, and was spreading. The nobles, who coveted the possessions of the Church, espoused it. At the Diet of Odensee, in 1527, toleration was granted to Lutheranism. On Frederic's death, in 1533, an effort of the bishops to restore the exclusive domination of the old system of religion was defeated. Christian III. was made king; and at a Diet at Copenhagen in 1536, the Reformation was legalized, and the Lutheran system, with bishops or superintendents, was established.
THE REFORMATION IN SWEDEN.—After the massacre of Stockholm, Denmark was detested by the Swedes. A great political revolution occurred, which involved also a religious revolution. The author of the change, and the real founder of the Swedish monarchy, was Gustavus Vasa, a young Swede of noble family, who had been held as a captive in Copenhagen, but had escaped and returned to his country. He was of imposing presence, prudent yet daring, and with a natural gift of eloquence. Amid great dangers and sufferings, such as tradition ascribed to King Alfred of England, he succeeded, at the head of a force gathered to him in the province of Dalecarlia, in gaining the most important places in the country, and was proclaimed king in 1523. He was not deeply interested in the religious controversy, although he favored Lutheranism; but he made it his steady aim to break down the clerical aristocracy, to weaken the nobles, and to organize a strong and prosperous monarchy. He proceeded carefully: but the peasants, who had been his warmest supporters, were strongly attached to the old Church; and the opposition to his measures from all quarters was such that at the Diet of Westeraes, in 1527, he took the bold step of offering to lay down the crown. At this Diet he had assembled representatives of the citizens and peasants, as well as the clergy and nobles. He proposed to pay an enormous debt which was due to Luebeck, by using the colossal wealth of the Church for this purpose, and to shake off the monopoly of trade which the Hanse towns enjoyed. Finding himself withstood, he renounced the throne. The distraction and tumults which followed his act of relinquishing the crown were such that a great party of the nobles joined him. Three days after his abdication, he was recalled to the throne: the clergy submitted abjectly, and the Church was no longer a power in the state, or possessed of wealth. Trade was released from its bondage to Luebeck and the other towns; commerce was opened with foreign countries; and a market was provided for iron, the main product of the country. The nobles were held in subjection. The Lutheran doctrine made very rapid progress, and became dominant.
ENGLAND: HENRY VIII. AND LUTHER.—In England, as in France, there were earnest desires for church reform, partly aroused by such serious-minded humanists as Colet, More, and Erasmus. Even Cardinal Wolsey sympathized with this movement, and intended to endow colleges and bishoprics out of the confiscated wealth of the more useless monasteries. What might have been a slow development of religious thought was transformed by the requirements of the king's own policy. Of all the Tudor princes none had a more obstinate and tyrannical will than Henry VIII. The advantages derived from the effect of the civil wars, which had reduced the strength and numbers of the nobility, and the natural English jealousy, always shown, of foreign and papal supremacy, enabled Henry to break off the connection of England with Rome; while, at the same time, he resisted Protestantism and persecuted its adherents. Proud of his theological acquirements, he appeared, in 1522, as an author against Luther, in a book in defense of the Seven Sacraments, for which he received from the Pope the title of Defender of the Faith. The vituperative character of Luther's answer confirmed him in his hatred of the new doctrine. "When God," said the blunt Saxon reformer, "wants a fool, he turns a king into a theological writer."
THE DIVORCE QUESTION.—What made the breach between Henry VIII. and the papacy was the question of the king's divorce. He had been married in his twelfth year to Catherine of Aragon, the aunt of Charles V. and the widow of Henry's deceased brother Arthur (who had been married to her in 1501, when he was fifteen years old, and had died the next year). A dispensation permitting the marriage of Henry had been granted by Pope Julius II. How far Henry's passion for Anne Boleyn, whom he desired to wed, was at the root of his scruples respecting the validity of his marriage, it may not be easy to decide. His application to Clement VII. for a separation reached the Pope after the Peace of Madrid, when there was a desire to lessen the power of the emperor. Cardinal Wolsey, the favorite counselor of Henry, who himself aspired to the papal office, was obliged to help on the cause of his imperious master. But whatever disposition there was at Rome to gratify Henry, there was no inclination to hurry the proceedings. There were long delays in England, whither a papal legate, Campeggio, had been sent to investigate and determine the cause. In 1529 the legates decided that the case must be determined at Rome. This the queen had before demanded in vain. Aside from other objections to the divorce, Clement VII. was now at peace with Charles V., whom it was undesirable to offend. The incensed king took the matter into his own hands. Wolsey, having been one of the legates, was deprived of all his dignities: he was charged with treason, his strength melted away on his fall from the heights of power, and he died a broken-spirited man.
SEPARATION OF ENGLAND FROM ROME.—Henry now gave free rein to the spirit of opposition in Parliament to Rome. He took for his principal minister, who became vicegerent in ecclesiastical affairs, Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell, unlike Wolsey, was hostile to the temporal power of Rome. He made Thomas Cranmer Archbishop of Canterbury, who was inclined toward Protestant views, but, though sincere in his beliefs, was a man of pliant temper, indisposed to resist the king's will, preferring to bow to a storm, and to wait for it to pass by. By Cranmer the divorce was decreed, but this was after the marriage with Anne Boleyn had taken place. Henry was excommunicated by the Pope. Acts of Parliament abolished the Pope's, and established the king's, supremacy in the Church of England. In 1536 the cloisters were abolished. Their property was confiscated, and fell to a large extent into the hands of the nobles and the gentry. This measure bound them to the policy of the sovereign. The mitered abbots were expelled from the House of Lords, which left the preponderance of power with the lay nobles. The hierarchy bowed to the will of the king.
THE TWO PARTIES.—There were two parties in England among the upholders of the king's supremacy. There were the Protestants by conviction, who were for spreading the new doctrine. This had already taken root and spread in the universities, and in some other places in the country. The new literary culture had paved the way for it. In the North, there were still left many Lollards, disciples of Wickliffe. Cromwell, Cranmer, and one of the bishops, Latimer, were prominent leaders of this party. Against them were the adherents of the Catholic theology, such as Gardiner, Tunstal of Durham, and other bishops. At first the king inclined towards the first of these two parties. One of his most important acts was the ordering of a translation of the Bible into English, a copy of which was to be placed in every church. But a popular rebellion in 1536 was followed by a change of ecclesiastical policy. The Six Articles were passed, asserting the Roman Catholic doctrines, and punishing those who denied transubstantiation with death. The queen, Anne Boleyn, who was an adherent of the Protestant side, was executed on the charge of infidelity to her marriage vows (1536). A few years later Cromwell was sent to the scaffold because the king no longer approved of his policy and, seeing how unpopular he had become, used him as a scapegoat (1540). Lutheran bishops were thrown into the Tower: Cranmer alone was shielded by the king's personal favor, and by his own prudence. This system of a national church, of which the king, and not the Pope, was the head, where the doctrine was Roman Catholic, and the great ecclesiastical officers were appointed, like civil officers, by the monarch, was the creation of Henry VIII. His strong will was able to keep down the conflicting parties. Despite his sensuality and cruelty, he was a popular sovereign. One of his principal crimes was the execution of Sir Thomas More for refusing to take the oath of supremacy because this contained an affirmation of the invalidity of the king's marriage with Catherine. More was one of the noblest men in England, a man who combined vigor with gentleness. He was willing to swear that the children of Anne were lawful heirs to the throne, because Parliament, he believed, could regulate the succession; but this did not satisfy the tyrannical monarch. In the latter portion of his reign he grew more suspicious, willful, and cruel.
CHAPTER III. THE REFORMATION IN GERMANY, FROM THE PEACE OF NUREMBERG TO THE PEACE OF AUGSBURG (1532-1555).
THE PARTIES IN GERMANY, 1532-1542.—For ten years after the Peace of Nuremberg, the Protestants in Germany were left unmolested. The menacing attitude of the Turks, and the occupations of the emperor in Italy and in other lands, rendered it impossible to interfere with them. Philip, the Landgrave of Hesse, a chivalrous Protestant prince, led the way in the armed restoration of Duke Ulrich of Wuertemberg, who had been driven out of his dominion. Thus a Protestant prince was established in the heart of Southern Germany (1534). In Westphalia, a fanatical branch of the Anabaptist sect at Muenster, with whom the Lutherans did not sympathize, was broken up by the neighboring Catholic princes. The overthrow of the power of Luebeck and of the Hanseatic League did not check the advance of Lutheranism. It continued to make great progress in different directions. The Smalcald League was extended. A league of the Catholic states was formed at Nuremberg in 1538. During three years (1538-1541) efforts were made by the emperor to secure peace and union. Of these the Conference and Diet of Ratisbon in 1541 is the most remarkable. The Protestants and Catholics could not agree upon statements of doctrine; but the necessity of getting Protestant help against the Turks compelled Charles to sanction the Peace of Nuremberg, and to make to the Lutherans other important concessions. This arrangement the emperor regarded as only a temporary truce. Among the conquests of Protestantism after the Peace of Nuremberg, and prior to 1544, were Brandenburg and Ducal Saxony, whose rulers adopted the new doctrine. It was spreading in Austria, in Bavaria, and in other states. Duke Henry of Brunswick fell into conflict with the Smalcaldic League, and was conquered, so that his principality became Protestant. Even the ecclesiastical elector of Cologne was taking steps towards joining the Protestant side. This would have given to the Lutherans a majority in the electoral college. The bishoprics with temporal power were numerous in Germany. If they were secularized, the old religious system would be deprived of a principal support.
THE SMALCALDIC WAR.—Charles V. was now secretly resolved to coerce the Protestants in Germany, and silently made his preparations for war. Before hostilities commenced, Luther died (1546). The emperor concluded the Peace of Crespy, after a fourth war with Francis I. It was a part of the agreement, that they should act jointly against the heretics. But as Francis in the last two wars against the emperor (1536-1538, 1542-1544) had taken for allies the Turks under Soliman, it could not be predicted how long he would abide by his engagements. For the present, Charles was safe in this quarter. He now took pains to shut the eyes of the Protestant princes to their danger. The Smalcaldic League was over-confident of its strength. Its members were discordant among themselves. Of the two chief leaders, the elector of Saxony, John Frederic, was a slow and unskillful general; and Philip, the Landgrave of Hesse, a brave and capable soldier, could not take command over an elector. Above all, Maurice, the Duke of Saxony, was in the midst of a quarrel with his relative, the elector, and coveted a part of his territories. Maurice was an able and adroit man, a Protestant, but without the earnest religious convictions that belonged to the electors and to that generation of princes which was passing away. Maurice was won by the emperor, through promises of enrichment and favor, and pledges not to interfere with religion in his principality. Charles might have been prevented from bringing in foreign troops from the Netherlands and from Italy, but the military conduct of the elector was feeble and indecisive. He was defeated and captured in 1547 at Muehlberg, and the surrender of the Landgrave Philip soon followed. The Protestant cause was prostrate. The clever Maurice had his reward: the electoral office was transferred to him; he obtained a goodly portion of the elector's territory.
THE RESULT: THE INTERIM.—Charles was victorious, and apparently master of Germany. The country was occupied by his forces as far north as the Elbe. He was engaged in the work of pacification and of confirming his authority. In 1548 he issued the Interim of Augsburg, in which concessions were made to both parties, which proved satisfactory to neither. Skillful as the emperor was in diplomacy, he always showed weakness in dealing with the religious question. He proceeded to force the new measure on the refractory cities in the South. In the North it had little effect. Maurice modified it in his own dominion. When Charles seemed to himself to be on the eve of a complete triumph, he was deserted by the allies on whom he counted,—Rome, France, and the princes, especially Maurice.
BREACH OF CHARLES WITH ROME.—The emperor's assuming to regulate the affairs of religion was regarded with disfavor at Rome. There had been a constant call for a general council to adjust the religious controversies. Rome, from fear of imperial influence, and for other reasons, had opposed the measure. At length, in 1545, the famous Council of Trent assembled. The emperor wanted that body to begin with measures for the reformation of abuses. He looked for co-operation in his scheme for uniting the parties in Germany. But the council took another path: it began with anathemas against the heretical doctrines. Charles found himself at variance with the policy of Rome, at the moment when he was trying to bring Germany to submission.
DISAFFECTION OF MAURICE.—The emperor's course in Germany produced general alarm. He separated the Netherlands from the jurisdiction of the empire, but settled the succession in the government in the house of Hapsburg. He drove the Diet into other measures which looked towards the acquiring of military supremacy for himself in Germany. He violated his pledges respecting the two captive princes. Philip of Hesse, the father-in-law of Maurice, he treated with great severity and indignity. Threats were thrown out by the counselors of Charles against the other princes, and even against Maurice, who complained of the treatment of Philip, and was sore under the load of unpopularity that rested on him on account of his warfare against his co-religionists, by whom he was considered another Judas.
THE PEACE OF AUGSBURG.—Maurice laid his plans with secrecy and with masterly skill. He secured the cooeperation of other German princes. He concluded an alliance with Henry II. of France. He arranged with Magdeburg, which he had been besieging, to make it a place of refuge if there should be need of an asylum. When all was ready, without having excited any suspicion on the part of Charles, he suddenly took the field, marched southward with an army that increased as he advanced, crossed the Alps, and forced the emperor, tormented with the gout, to fly hastily from Innsbruck (1552). The captive princes were released. It was decided that Germany was not to be ruled by Spanish soldiery. The dream of imperial domination vanished. The Protestants were promised by Ferdinand of Austria, in the name of his brother, toleration, and equality of rights. At the Diet of Augsburg in 1555, the Religious Peace was concluded. Every prince was to be allowed to choose between the Catholic religion and the Augsburg Confession, and the religion of the prince was to be that of the land over which he reigned: that is, each government was to choose the creed for its subjects. Ferdinand put in the "ecclesiastical reservation," which provided that if the head of an ecclesiastical state should become a Lutheran, he should resign his benefice. He also declared that the Lutheran subjects of ecclesiastical princes were not to be disturbed. The "reservation" was to please the Catholics: the additional provision was to meet the wishes of the Protestants. Neither stood on the same basis as the other part of the treaty.
From Maurice the electoral dignity descended in the Albertine line of Saxon princes. The Ernestine line retained Weimar, Gotha, etc.
CHAPTER IV. CALVINISM IN GENEVA: BEGINNING OF THE CATHOLIC COUNTER-REFORMATION.
CALVIN.—Second in reputation to Luther only, among the founders of Protestantism, is John Calvin. He was a Frenchman, born in 1509, and was consequently a child when the Saxon Reformation began. He was keen and logical in his mental habit, with a great organizing capacity, naturally of a retiring temper, yet fearless, and endued with extraordinary intensity and firmness of will. A more finished scholar than Luther, he lacked his geniality and tenderness, and his imaginative power. Calvin first studied for the priesthood at Paris; but when his father determined to make him a jurist, he studied law at Orleans and Bourges. Espousing the Protestant doctrines, he was obliged to fly from Paris, and, when still young, published his Institutes of the Christian Religion, in which he expounded the Protestant creed in a systematic although fervid way. In his type of theology, he laid much stress on the sovereignty of God, and predestination; and taught a view of the Lord's Supper not so far from that of the old Church as the doctrine of Zwingli, but farther removed from it than was the doctrine of Luther.
THE GENEVAN GOVERNMENT.—In 1536, reluctantly yielding to the exhortations of Farel, a French preacher of the Protestant doctrine at Geneva, Calvin established himself in that city. Geneva was a fragment of the old kingdom of Burgundy. The dukes of Savoy claimed a temporal authority in the city, which was subject to its bishop. The authority of the dukes was overthrown by a revolution, and power passed from the bishop into the hands of the people (1533). The change was effected with the aid of Berne and Freiburg. There had been two parties in Geneva,—the party of the "Confederates," who were for striking hands with the Swiss, and the party of the "Mamelukes," adherents of the dukes. The civil was followed by an ecclesiastical revolution. Protestantism, with the aid of Berne, was legally established (1535). Geneva was a prosperous, gay, and dissolute city. Farel, a popular orator of striking power, unsparing in denunciation, found the people impatient of the restraints that the new religious system which they had adopted laid upon them. The regulations as to doctrine, worship, and discipline, which Calvin and his associates proceeded to introduce, were so distasteful, that the preachers were expelled by the Council and by the Assembly of Citizens from the place. After he had been absent three years, Calvin, in consequence of the increase of disorder and vice, and the distraction occasioned by contending factions, was recalled, and remained in Geneva until his death. He became the virtual lawgiver of the city. He framed a system of ecclesiastical and civil government. It was an ecclesiastical state, in which orthodoxy of belief, and purity of conduct, were not only inculcated by systematic teaching, but enforced by stringent enactments. Offenses comparatively trivial were punished by strict and severe penalties. To the system of church discipline, stretching over the life of every individual, and carried out by the civil magistrates in alliance with the pastors, there was much opposition, which led to outbreakings of violent resistance. But the supporters of Calvin were reinforced by numerous Protestant refugees from France. The improvement of the city in morals and in public order was signal. In the end, Calvin, who was as firm as a rock, triumphed over all opposition. Geneva became a place of resort for exiles and students from various countries. By his writings and correspondence, Calvin's influence spread far and wide. In the affairs of the French Protestants, in particular, his influence was predominant.
SERVETUS.—The Reformers were not, any more than their adversaries, advocates of liberty in religious beliefs and professions. A melancholy example of the prevailing idea, that it was the duty of the civil authority to inflict penalties upon heresy, is the case of Michael Servetus. A Spaniard by birth, with a remarkable aptitude for natural science and medicine, adventurous and fickle, he had published books in which doctrines received by both the great divisions of the Church, especially the doctrine of the Trinity, were assailed. He escaped out of the hands of the Catholics, and came to Geneva. There he was tried for heresy and blasphemy, and was burned at the stake (1553). This was at a time when Calvin was in the midst of his contest with the "Libertines," the party actuated by hostility to him. They appear to have stood behind Servetus in his defiant attitude towards the Genevan authorities.
INFLUENCE OF CALVINISM.—The personal influence of Calvin was directly exerted upon the more cultured and educated. His religious system has wielded a great power, not only on this class, but also over the common people in different countries. Calvinism was never awed by monarchical authority. Like the Church of Rome, it always refused to subordinate the Church and religion to the civil power. It numbered among its votaries many men of dauntless courage and of unbending fidelity to their principles.
THE CATHOLIC REACTION.—The first effectual resistance to the spread of Protestant opinions was made in Italy. In that country, there was opposition to the papacy from those who saw in it an instrument of political disunion, and also from some who were aggrieved by ecclesiastical abuses. The prevailing feeling, however, was that of pride in the papacy, which, in other countries, was attacked as an Italian institution. The humanist learning had done much to undermine belief in the old religious system. In the train of the new studies, came much indifference and infidelity. The books of the Protestant leaders, however, were widely circulated. There were not a few sincere converts to the new doctrine in the cities; but they were chiefly confined to the educated class, and to persons in high station. It took no root among the common people. After the time of the Medici popes, a new spirit of faith and devotion awoke in circles earnestly devoted to the papacy and to the Church. There was at Rome an "Oratory of Divine Love,"—a group of persons who met together for mutual edification. In this class were some, like Contarini, afterwards a cardinal, who were not wholly without sympathy with the Lutheran doctrine as to faith and justification; but out of the same class came others who led in the great Catholic Reaction, which, while it aimed at a rigid reform in morals, was inflexibly hostile to all innovations in doctrine, and was bent on regaining for the Church the ground that had been lost.
THE COUNCIL OF TRENT: CARAFFA.—The Council of Trent was governed in its conclusions by this Catholic reactionary and reforming party. It allowed no curtailing of the prerogatives of the Pope. On points of doctrine in dispute within the pale of the Church, it adopted formulas which the different schools might accept. Practical reforms, for example in respect to the education of the clergy, were adopted; but dogma and teaching were to remain unaltered. Cardinal Caraffa, the most energetic mover in the Catholic reform and restoration, became Pope, under the name of Paul IV. (1555-1559).
THE ORDER OF JESUS.—The Council of Trent, by providing a clear definition of doctrine, cemented unity, and was the first great bulwark raised against Protestantism. Another means of defense, and of attack as well, was provided in new orders, especially the order of Jesuits. This was founded by Ignatius Loyola, a Spanish soldier of noble birth, who mingled with the spirit of chivalry a strong devotional sentiment. It was the temper of mediaeval knighthood, which still lingered in Spain. Wounded at the siege of Pampeluna, and disabled from war, he had visions of a spiritual knighthood; out of which grew the Society of Jesus, which was sanctioned by Pope Paul III. in 1540. Its members took the monastic vows. They went through a rigorous spiritual drill. They were bound to unquestioning obedience to the Pope. The organization was strict, like that of an army; each province having a provincial at its head, with a general over all. To him all the members were absolutely subject. All other ties were renounced: to serve the Church and the order, was the one supreme obligation.
INFLUENCE OF THE JESUITS.—The influence of the Jesuit order was manifold. It was active in preaching, and in hearing confessions. It made the education of youth a great part of its business. Its members found their way into high stations in Church and State: they were in the cabinets of princes. From the beginning, they showed an ardent zeal in missionary labors among the heathen in distant lands, and for the reconquest of countries won by the Protestants.
THE INQUISITION.—Under the auspices of Cardinal Caraffa (Paul IV.), the Inquisition was introduced into Italy (1542), and exerted the utmost vigilance and severity in crushing out the new faith. One of its instruments was the censorship of the press. So thorough was this work, that of the little book on the Benefits of Christ's Death, which had an immense circulation, it has been possible in recent years to find but two or three copies. The "Index" of prohibited books was established. The result of these measures was, that Protestantism was suppressed in Italy, and the type of Catholicism that was partially sympathetic with certain doctrinal features of the Saxon Reform likewise vanished.
CHAPTER V. PHILIP II., AND THE BEVOLT OF THE NETHERLANDS.
CHARACTER OF PHILIP II.—In 1555 Charles V., enfeebled by his lifelong enemy, the gout, resigned his crowns, and devolved on his son, Philip II., the government of the Netherlands, together with the rest of his dominions in Spain, Italy, and America. The closing part of his life, the emperor passed in the secluded convent of Yuste, in Spain, where, notwithstanding the time spent by him in religious exercises, and in his favorite diversion of experimenting with clocks and watches, he remained an attentive observer of public affairs. Political and religious absolutism was the main article in Philip's creed. He was more thoroughly a Spaniard in his tone and temper than his father, who was born in the Netherlands, and always loved the people there, as he was loved by them. Philip was cold and forbidding in his manners. He was shy, as well as haughty, in his deportment to those who approached him. To re-establish everywhere the old religion by the unrelenting exercise of force, was his fixed purpose. Only one thing did he value more; and that was his own power, which he would not suffer Church or clergy to curb or invade. He had few ideas, but was an adept in concealment and treachery. A man of untiring industry, he was a plodder without insight. He lived to see the vast strength which fell to him as a legacy slip out of his hands, and to see Spain sink to a condition of comparative weakness. Charles V. had consolidated his dominion in that country by putting down democratic insurrections. This he had done by military force and the arm of the Inquisition. What Charles had left undone in this line, Philip completed. He quelled the resistance of the Aragonese, and reduced them to submission. Spain swarmed with civil and ecclesiastical officials. The new religious doctrine, which assumed the same type as in Italy, was stifled. The monarch displayed his zeal by personal attendance at the autos da fe, the great public ceremonials for the execution of heretics, where the victims of his intolerance perished. A system of brutal military administration was adopted in the colonies.
STATE OF THE LOW COUNTRIES.—Philip undertook to treat the Netherlands as a Spanish province, and to break down the spirit of local independence. The people of the Low Countries were industrious, intelligent, prosperous, spirited. Each of the seventeen provinces had its own constitution. In the North, it was more democratic; in Flanders and Brabant, there was a landed aristocracy. In all parts of the country, there were local privileges and cherished rights. The population numbered three millions. Antwerp, with its hundred thousand inhabitants, had more trade than any other European city. The Reformation, first in the Lutheran but later in the Calvinistic form, had numerous adherents in the Netherlands, whom severe edicts of Charles V., under which large numbers were put to death, did not extirpate.
TYRANNY OF PHILIP.—Philip did not select for his regent in the Netherlands one of the aristocracy of the country. Of this class was Count Egmont, a nobleman of brilliant courage and attractive manners. William, Prince of Orange, united with far more self-control the sagacity of a statesman. He was destined to be the formidable antagonist of Spanish tyranny, and the liberator of Holland. Philip passed by the nobles, whom he distrusted and disliked, and appointed as regent the illegitimate daughter of Charles V., Margaret of Parma (1559-1567); placing at her side, as her principal adviser, the astute Granvelle, the Bishop of Arras, one of his devoted servants, who was made cardinal in 1561. Three nobles, William of Orange, and the Counts Egmont and Horn, were in the council. The power was in Granvelle's hands. There was soon a breach between him and the nobles. Two measures of Philip created disaffection. He was slow in withdrawing the hated Spanish soldiers; he increased the number of bishops, a cherished scheme of Charles V. Moreover, he renewed and proceeded to enforce edicts, embracing minute provisions of a most rigorous character, against the property and lives of the Protestants, although the Inquisition had lost public favor. The terror and indignation of the people found expression through the nobles. They left the council. At length Granvelle had to be withdrawn from the country (1564). Egmont went to Spain to procure a mitigation of the king's policy, but found on his return that he had been duped by false promises. The young nobility formed an agreement called the Compromise, to withstand the king's system, at first by legal means (1566). They were contemptuously called "beggars" by the regent, and themselves adopted the name. The king professed a willingness to make some concessions: he was only gaining time for measures of a different sort. In the same year a storm of iconoclasm burst out: the Calvinists made reprisals for what they had suffered; they vented their zeal against what they called "idolatry," by sacking the churches, and by destroying paintings and images, and other symbols and implements of worship. Orange penetrated the designs of Philip, and retired to Nassau. Egmont, more credulous and confiding, remained.
ALVA'S RULE.—Philip now sent into the Netherlands the Duke of Alva, an officer of considerable military capacity, cold, arrogant, and merciless in his temper. His force consisted of ten thousand men. A tribunal was erected by him, called the "Council of Blood." Egmont and Horn were executed at Brussels (1568). Great numbers of executions of men and women, of all ranks, who were accused of some sort of insubordination, or some manifestation of heresy, followed. William of Orange was active in devising means of deliverance. The first marked success was the capture of Briel by the "sea-beggars," inhabitants of the coasts of Holland and Zealand, under their admiral, William de la Mark. The barbarities and extortion of Alva by degrees aroused universal and intense hatred. Holland and Zealand threw off Alva's rule, and made William their stadtholder. The nominal connection with Spain was still kept up. The massacre of St. Bartholomew (1572) cut off William from the help which he expected from the French. It was felt, however, that Alva had failed in his attempt to subjugate the people, and he was withdrawn from the country by Philip (1573).
THE UTRECHT UNION.—From the capture of Briel may be dated the beginning of the long and arduous struggle which resulted in the building-up of the Dutch Republic of the United Provinces, and the ultimate prostration of the power of Spain. The hero of the struggle was William of Orange. The successor of Alva, Requesens, was really more dangerous than Alva, because he was more magnanimous, and therefore excited less antagonism. In 1574 occurred the memorable siege of Leyden by the Spanish forces. That city, when reduced to the last extremity, was saved by letting in the sea and by inundating the neighboring plains, which compelled the Spaniards to flee in dismay. As a memorial of the heroic defense of the place, the University of Leyden was founded. A new Protestant state was growing up in the North, under the guidance of William. In the South, where Catholicism prevailed, Requesens was more successful. But when he died, in 1576, a frightful revolt of his soldiers, who were loosed from restraint, in the cities, moved all Netherlands to unite, in the Pacification of Ghent, against the Spanish dominion. Don John of Austria, a brilliant and manly soldier, who had defeated the Turks at Lepanto, was the next regent (1576-1578). He made large concessions: these were welcome in the South, and weakened the Union. Alexander of Parma (1578, 1579), his successor, was the ablest general of the time. The Catholic South was at variance with the Protestant North. In 1579, there was formed between the seven provinces in the North the Utrecht Union, the germ of the Dutch Republic. Philip proclaimed William an outlaw, and set a price on his head. After six ineffectual attempts at assassination, this heroic leader, the idol of his countrymen, was fatally shot, in his own house (1584). His work as a deliverer of his people was mainly accomplished. When the Utrecht Union was formed, the greater part of the Catholic provinces in the South entered into an arrangement with Parma. Brabant and Flanders were recovered to Spain. The attention of Philip had to be mainly given to the affairs of France and England during the remainder of his life.
CHAPTER VI. THE CIVIL WARS IN FRANCE, TO THE DEATH OF HENRY IV. (1610).
FRANCIS I.: HENRY II.—In France, the old faith had strong support in the Sorbonne, the influential theological faculty of the University of Paris, and in the Parliament. The new culture, the influx of Italian scholars and Italian influences, produced a party averse to the former style of education, and, to some extent, unfriendly to the old opinions. The Lutheran doctrines were first introduced; but it was Calvinism which prevailed among the French converts to Protestantism, and acquired a strong hold in the middle and higher classes, although the preponderance of numbers in the country was always on the Catholic side. Francis I. was a friend of the new learning. His sister Margaret, Queen of Navarre, who was of a mystical turn, was favorably inclined to the new doctrines, and befriended preachers who were of the same spirit. The king did the same until after the battle of Pavia, when he helped on the persecution of them; for his conduct was governed by the interest of the hour, and by political motives. It was doubtful what course he would finally take amid the conflict of parties; but his motto was, "One king, one code, one creed." He would put down the new doctrine at home, and sustain it by force, if expedient, abroad. Henry II., who acceded to the throne in 1547, unlike his father had no personal sympathy with Protestantism. The Huguenots, as the Calvinists were called, were led to the stake, and their books burned. Yet in 1558 they had two thousand places of worship in France: they soon held a general synod at Paris, and organized themselves (1559). That same year, when, in the Peace of Cateau-Cambresis, Henry had given up all his conquests except the three bishoprics of Metz, Toul and Verdun, and Calais, he suddenly died from a wound in the eye, accidentally inflicted in a tilt.
CATHERINE DE MEDICI: THE TWO PARTIES.—The widow of Henry II. was Catherine de Medici, to whom he had been married from political considerations. She was a woman of talents, full of ambition which had hitherto found no field for its exercise, trained from infancy in an atmosphere of deceit, and void of moral principle. Her aim was to rule by keeping up an ascendency over her sons, and by holding in check whatever party threatened to be dominant. For this end she did not scruple to accustom her children to debauchery, and to resort to whatever other means, however false and however cruel, to effect her purposes. She proved to be the curse of the house of Valois, and the evil genius of France. Francis II. was a boy of sixteen, and legally of age; but his mother expected to manage the government. She was thwarted by the control over him exercised by the family of Guise, sons of Claude of Guise, a wealthy and prominent nobleman of Lorraine, who had distinguished himself at Marignano, and in later contests against Charles V. Francis, the Duke of Guise, had defended Metz, and had taken Calais. Charles, the Cardinal of Lorraine, was the king's confessor. Their sister had married James V. of Scotland. Her daughter, Mary Stuart, a charming young girl, was married to Francis II., who was infirm in mind and body, and easily managed by his wife and her uncles. The great nobles of France, especially the Bourbons, sprung in a collateral line from Louis IX., Montmorency, and his three nephews, among them a man of extraordinary ability and worth, the Admiral Coligny, looked on the Guises as upstarts. The Bourbons and the nobles allied to them were, some from sincere conviction and some from policy, adherents of Calvinism. Thus the Protestants in France became a political party, as well as a religious body, and a party with anti-monarchical tendencies. Anthony of Bourbon, a weak and vacillating person, had married Jeanne d'Albret, the heiress of Bearn and Navarre, a heroic woman and an earnest Protestant, the mother of Henry IV. His brother Louis, Prince of Conde, a brave, impetuous soldier, whose wife, the niece of the Grand Constable Montmorency, was a strict Protestant, joined that side.
CONSPIRACY OF AMBOISE.—La Renaudie, a Protestant nobleman who was determined to avenge the execution of a brother, contrived the Conspiracy of Amboise (1560) in order to dispossess the Guises of their power by force. The plan was discovered, and a savage revenge was taken upon the conspirators. A great number of innocent persons, who had no share in the plot, were put to death. The Estates were summoned to Orleans, and the occasion was to be seized for extirpating heresy throughout the kingdom. Conde was under arrest, and charged with high treason. Just then, on Dec. 5, 1560, the young king died.
CHARLES IX.: EDICT OF ST. GERMAIN.—The coveted opportunity of the queen-mother had come. Charles IX. (1560-1574) was only ten years old. She assumed the practical guardianship over him, and with it a virtual regency. The plan of the Guises had failed, and they had to give way. There were now two parties in the council. The States-general were called together in 1561, and a great religious colloquy was held before a brilliant concourse at Poissy, where Theodore Beza, an eloquent and polished scholar and a man of high birth, pleaded the cause of the Calvinists. In 1562 the Edict of January was issued, which gave up the policy that had been pursued for forty years, of extirpating religious dissent. A very restricted toleration was given to Protestants: they could hold their meetings outside of the walls of cities, unarmed, and in the daytime. Calvin and his followers expected the largest results from this measure of liberty. Catherine wished for peace, without a rupture with the Pope and Philip II.
CIVIL WAR.—It was impossible to prevent outbreakings of violence against the hated dissenters. The Guises and their associates were resolved not to allow toleration. The event that occasioned war was the massacre of Vassy. On the 1st of March, 1562, the soldiers of the Duke of Guise, who was passing through the town, attacked some Huguenots who were worshiping in a barn at the village of Vassy. A large number were slain, and some houses plundered, in spite of the Duke's efforts to check his troops. The civil wars, so begun, closed only with the accession of Henry IV. to the throne. France was a prey to religious and political fanaticism. Other nations mingled in the frightful contest, and the country was well-nigh robbed of its independence. At first, there was petty warfare at Paris, Sens, and other places. The Huguenots destroyed altars and censers, monuments of art and sepulchers, which, as they thought, ministered to idolatry. Rouen was captured by the Catholics and sacked. At Dreux (1562) the Protestants were defeated; but in 1563 Guise, the leader of their adversaries, was assassinated by a Huguenot nobleman. The charge that Coligny had a part in the deed was false; but he was considered responsible for it, and vengeance was kept in store by the family of the slain chief. The Edict of Amboise (1563) was favorable to the Protestant nobles, but less favorable to the smaller gentry and to the towns. Paris, from which Calvinist worship was excluded, became more and more a stronghold of the Catholic party. Another war ended in the Peace of Longjumeau (1568), which was essentially the same as the Edict of Amboise. Philip II. and the Duke of Alva spared no effort to induce France to set about the extermination of the heretics. In the third war, the Huguenots were beaten at Jarnac, where Conde fell, leaving his name to his son Henry, a youth of seventeen (1569). The same year they were defeated again at Moncontour. La Rochelle was a place of safety to the Protestants, who were strong in the wise leadership of Coligny. There the Queen of Navarre held her court. Thence the Huguenot cavalry with the young princes Conde, and Henry of Navarre, her son, sallied forth and traversed France.
ENGLAND OR SPAIN.—The ambition of Philip alarmed the French. His complex schemes, if carried out, would involve the reduction of their country under Spanish control. He wanted to liberate Mary, Queen of Scots, then a prisoner of Elizabeth, to marry her to his half-brother, Don John, and to marry his sister to Charles IX. The court, in 1570, agreed to the Peace of St. Germain, which, for the security of the Huguenots, placed four fortified towns in their possession. Thus France became a kingdom divided against itself. England, as well as France, looked with alarm upon the ambitious projects of Philip II., who was now in union with Venice and with the Pope, and had beaten the Turks at Lepanto. It was proposed to marry the brother of Charles IX., the Duke of Anjou, to Queen Elizabeth; and when this negotiation was broken off, it was proposed that the Duke of Alencon, a younger brother, should marry her. Catherine de Medici fell in with this anti-Spanish policy. It was agreed that her youngest daughter, Margaret of Valois, should become the wife of Henry of Navarre. The policy favored by the Huguenots was in the ascendant. Their leaders were invited to Paris to be present at the nuptials. Coligny came, with Henry of Navarre, Conde, and a large number of their adherents. There was no place where the animosity against them was so rancorous.
THE MASSACRE OF ST. BARTHOLOMEW.—The massacre of St. Bartholomew was devised by Catherine de Medici, who brought to her aid the Duchess of Nemours, widow of Francis of Guise and mother of Henry of Guise, Anjou (afterwards Henry III.), and Italian counselors who were no strangers to plots of assassination. The motive of the queen-mother was her dread of the ascendency which she saw that Coligny was gaining over the morbid mind of the king, in whom the Huguenot veteran had inspired esteem, and had stirred up a desire to enter into the proposed war against Philip II. in the Netherlands. On the 22d of August (1572), a shot was fired at Coligny, from a window of a house, by an adherent of the Guises. He was wounded, but not killed. Charles was incensed. At a visit made to the wounded chief, the king was warned by him, as Catherine quickly learned, against her pernicious influence in the government. Thereupon she arranged with her confederates for a general slaughter of the Huguenots, and almost coerced the half-frantic and irresolute king to acquiesce in the plan. Perhaps, in gathering them into the city, she had foreseen the possible expediency of a change of policy, and that such a crime as she now undertook to perpetrate might be found desirable. In the night of the 24th of August, at a concerted signal, the fanatical enemies of the Huguenots were let loose, and fell upon their victims. Several thousands, including Coligny, were murdered. Couriers were sent through the country, and like bloody scenes were enacted in many other cities and towns. Navarre and Conde, to save their lives, professed conformity to the Catholic Church. If these atrocious events excited joy in the mind of Philip II., and of the numerous intolerant party of which he was the head, they were regarded with horror and execration elsewhere, among the Catholic as well as the Protestant nations.
THE POLITIQUES: THE LEAGUE: HENRY III.—The queen-mother did not even now forsake her general policy. She stood aloof from the combinations of Philip. A new party, the Politiques, or liberal Catholics, in favor of toleration, arose. Henry III. (1574-1589) was incompetent to govern a country torn by factions, with an exhausted treasury, and a people groaning under the burdens of taxation. By his double dealing he lost the confidence of both the religious parties. In May, 1576, he agreed to allow the religious freedom which the Huguenots and Politiques demanded. But he had to reckon with the Catholic League which was organized under Henry of Guise. In 1584 Henry of Navarre was left the next heir to the throne. The League, with Spain and Rome, resolved that he should not reign. Together with Conde, he was excommunicated. In the war of he "three Henrys," he was supported by England, and by troops from Germany and Switzerland. Henry III., finding that Henry of Guise was virtual master, and that the States-general at Blois (1588) reduced the royal power to the lowest point, caused Guise and his brother, the Cardinal of Lorraine, to be assassinated. Excommunicated, and detested by the adherents of the League, the king took refuge in the camp of Henry of Navarre, where he was killed by a fanatical priest (1589).
ABJURATION AND ACCESSION OF HENRY IV.—The Duke of Mayenne, brother of the slain Guises, was at the head of the government provisionally established by the League. Philip II. was intriguing to bring the Catholic nations under his sway. There was discord in the League, from the jealousy of Philip on the part of Mayenne. Henry, a dashing soldier, gained a brilliant victory at Ivry in 1590. The grand obstacle in his way to the throne was his adhesion to Protestantism. A Calvinist by birth and education, but without profound religious convictions, a gallant and sagacious man, but loose in his morals, he yielded, for the sake of giving peace to France, to the persuasions addressed to him, and, from motives of expediency, conformed to the Catholic Church. The nation was now easily won to his cause.
REIGN OF HENRY IV.—When Henry IV. gained his throne, the country was in a most wretched condition. In the desolating wars, population had fallen off. Everywhere there were poverty and lawlessness. Yet war with Spain was inevitable. In this war, Henry was the victor; and the Peace of Vervins restored the Spanish conquests, and the conquests made by Savoy, to France (1598). The idea of Henry's foreign policy, which was that of weakening the power of Spain and of the house of Hapsburg, was afterwards taken up by a powerful statesman, Richelieu, and fully realized. In the Edict of Nantes (1598), the king secured to the Huguenots the measure of religious liberty for which they had contended. Fortified cities were still left in their hands. Security was obtained by the Calvinists, but they became a defensive party with no prospect of further progress. Order and prosperity were restored to the kingdom. In all his measures, the king was largely guided by a most competent minister, Sully. But the useful reign of Henry IV. was cut short by the dagger of an assassin, Ravaillac (1610). For fifteen years confusion prevailed in France, and a contest of factions, until Richelieu took up the threads of policy which had fallen from Henry's hand.
CHAPTER VII. THE THIRTY-YEARS' WAR, TO THE PEACE OP WESTPHALIA (1618-1648).
ORIGIN OF THE WAR.—In Germany, more than in any other country, the Reformation had sprung from the hearts of the people. Its progress would have been far greater had it not been retarded by political obstacles, and by divisions among Protestants themselves. Germany, to be sure, was not disunited by the Reformation: it was disunited before. But now strong states existed on its borders,—France, even Denmark and Sweden,—which might profit by its internal conflicts. The Peace of Augsburg, unsatisfactory as it was to both parties, availed to prevent open strife as long as Ferdinand I. (1556-1564) and Maximilian II. (1564-1576) held the imperial office. The latter, especially, favored toleration, and did not sympathize with the fanaticism of the Spanish branch of his family. He condemned the cruelties of Alva and the massacre of St. Bartholomew. With the accession of Rudolph II., a change took place. He had been brought up in Spain. The Catholic counter-reformation was now making its advance. The order of the Jesuits was putting forth great and successful exertions to win back lost ground. There were out-breakings of violence between the two religious parties. A Catholic procession was insulted in Donauwoerth, a free city of the empire. The city was put under the ban by the emperor; the Bavarian Duke marched against it, and incorporated it in his own territory (1607). On both sides, complaints were made of the infraction of the Peace of Augsburg. The Donauwoerth affair led to the formation of the Evangelical Union, a league into which, however, all the Protestant states did not enter. The Catholic League, under the Leadership of Maximilian of Bavaria, was firmly knit together and full of energy.
FIRST STAGE IN THE WAR (to 1629).
THE BOHEMIAN STRUGGLE.—The Bohemians revolted against Ferdinand II. in 1618, when their religious liberties were violated, and shortly after (1619) refused to acknowledge him as their king. He was a narrow and fanatical, though not by nature a cruel, ruler. He gave himself up to the control of the Catholic League. The two branches of the Hapsburg family—the Austrian and Spanish—were now in full accord with each other. The Bohemians gave their crown to Frederick V., the Elector Palatine, the son-in-law of James I. of England. Bohemia was invaded by Ferdinand, aided by the League, and abandoned to fire and sword. The terrible scenes of the Hussite struggle were re-enacted. In the protracted wars that ensued, it was estimated that the Bohemian population was reduced from about four millions to between seven and eight hundred thousand! The Palatinate was conquered and devastated. The electoral dignity was transferred to the Duke of Bavaria. At last, in 1625, England, Holland, and Denmark intervened in behalf of the fugitive Elector Palatine. Christian IV. of Denmark was defeated, and the intervention failed. The power gained by Maximilian, the Bavarian Duke, made his interests separate, in important particulars, from those of Ferdinand. Ferdinand was able to release himself from the virtual control of Maximilian and the League, through Wallenstein, a general of extraordinary ability. He was a Bohemian noble, proud, ambitious, and wealthy. He raised an army, and made it support itself by pillage. The unspeakable miseries of Germany, in this prolonged struggle, were due largely to the composition of the armies, which were made up of hirelings of different nations, whose trade was war, and who were let loose on an unprotected population. Captured cities were given up to the unbridled passions of a fierce and greedy soldiery. Germany, traversed for a whole generation by these organized bands of marauders, was in many places reduced almost to a desert.