Imatges de pÓgina
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of the Protestant sects with the splendid and ancient Church of Rome. To quote once more from the great historian of the eighteenth century, writing of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland : “ Those who take any wide or philosophical view of religious phenomena will find it peculiarly difficult to sympathize with men who, assuming the genuineness, authority and absolute infallibility of the whole body of the Canonical writings without question and without discrimination, excluded on principle all the lights which history, tradition, patristic writings, or Oriental research, could throw upon their meaning ; banished rigidly from their worship every artistic element that could appeal to the imagination and soften the character ; condemned in one sweeping censure almost all churches, ages, and religious literature except their own, as hopelessly benighted and superstitious, and at the same time pronounced with the most unfaltering assurance upon the most obscure mysteries of God and of religion, and cursed with a strange exuberance of anathema all who diverged from the smallest article of their creed.” We may add that the last executions for heresy and for witchcraft in the islands took place in the eighteenth century at the instance of the Presbyterian clergy of Scotland.

Up to this time France had posed as the supporter of the Protestant Powers of the North against the power of Austria, having as her allies a small body of Protestant states. But now all Western Europe united against her. In July, 1686, the League of Augsburg was formed with the professed object of forcing Louis to obey the treaties of Westphalia and Nimeguen and the truce of Ratisbon. The parties to the League were the Emperor, the King of Spain, the King of Sweden, the Dutch Republic, the Electors of the Palatinate and of Saxony, and later the Pope Innocent XI., and the Dukes of Bavaria and Savoy. Louis replied by proposing that the Truce of Ratisbon should be turned into a peace. In this he was supported by James II. of England.

In 1685, the year of the Revocation, James the Catholic pervert and ally of Louis, had succeeded to the throne of Britain. No time could have been more inauspicious to the Stuart, whose attempts to obtain tolerance for his new faith were hardly likely to be supported or even believed in the face of such a belated revival of religious persecution by the king

to whom he was allied. Louis claimed that dissenters from the Roman Church should not be tolerated in France. Was it surprising that the English should also call for unqualified unity under the English Church, and refuse toleration for the Roman ? James, judging from his character, from his acts, and from the spirit of the times, would not appear to have intended either arbitrary government or the establishment of the Roman religion in England, the aims with which he is generally credited. But when his edict of toleration for the hated Roman, even when coupled with relief for Protestant Dissenters, was published in direct defiance of the English doctrine that the king cannot dispense with but must obey the law, the superb intolerance of theology flamed out from the leaders of the uninstructed populace.

The doctrine of rule by Divine Right was slowly dying. The spirit of the age was a revolt against dogmatic authority, a reversion to individual judgment and belief in natural causes, and therewith a growth of the doctrine that the king was chosen by the people rather than divinely appointed by God. That this change matured so much earlier in England than on the continent was due, no doubt, to the absence, save as an exception, of the Roman law with its origin of absolute authority, and to the refusal to acknowledge the authority of the Roman Church on which the doctrine rested. Probably the theories seriously weighed with the knot of speculative thinkers who were moving ideas, by confirming their belief that James, if he remained on the throne, would make Roman Catholicism the only permissible creed of his people. He and his descendants were heavily handicapped in the struggle with the Dutchman and the Hanoverians by the identification of the Roman Church with the doctrine of Divine Right.

James was in a difficult position. Apart from the religious question France had been up to this time our natural ally, as against Holland, our enemy and successful rival in trade. The behaviour of the Dutch at Bantam had recently been such, their menace to our trade in the East so serious, that relations were greatly strained between James and William James recalled the British regiments which had been in Holland since 1678. Yet an alliance with the persecutor of Protestants was bound to be extremely unpopular in England.

of war.

v. The Devastation of the Palatinate. The English Revolution.-Louis forced war by occupying Cologne and putting his own archbishop candidate for the electorate in possession. Then he claimed the Palatinate for Madame, the second wife of his brother, the Duke of Orleans ; she was the great granddaughter of James I. of England, and was entitled as daughter of the Elector Palatine, the male line of the Electors being extinct. Louis invaded the Palatinate without any declaration

He proposed to James that the French and English fleets should join in the Channel to prevent the threatened invasion of England from Holland. But James and his ministers, irritated at the arrogant pretensions of Louis refused the offer, thinking that the effect in England would be ill. James declared for a policy of neutrality, which was undoubtedly the most correct and honourable course, and offered the Dutch a treaty to uphold the Treaty of Nimeguen and the Truce of Ratisbon. Then, while Louis' troops were engaged in the Palatinate, William sailed to invade England.

The invasion of the Palatinate decided many German princes to join the allies. Forced in 1689 to withdraw from it, the French determined on making it a desert to prevent the advance of the Germans on France. They set to work to destroy cities, fields, all traces of human life. The memory of this awful French crime has never died, nor have the French ever allowed the hatred it aroused even to sleep.1

In February, 1689, the Diet at Ratisbon declared war. William's invasion need not, it would seem, have been successful but for two things : first the shameful desertion of James by his children and by the military leaders such as Churchill, on whom he had most lavished honour and wealth ; and secondly by his own desertion of the throne and flight from England to the king of France. You cannot expect a commercial people to fight for a king who runs away. The revolution was effected

· The instructions from Belleisle to Contades, taken amongst the latter's papers after the battle of Mindenare, “ After observing the formalities due to the magistrates of Cologne, you must seize on their great artillery by force, telling them that you do so for their own defence. You must destroy everything that you cannot consume, so as to make a downright desert of Westphalia. Though the prince of Waldeck is outwardly neutral, he is very ill disposed, and deserves very little favour. You ought, therefore, to make no scruple about taking all you find in that territory ; but that must be done in an orderly manner, giving receipts, etc."

by a foreign prince profoundly unpopular and by a foreign army of our naval and commercial rivals. For the rest Lecky's summary of the revolution must suffice : “It was rendered possible or at least bloodless by an amount of aggravated treachery, duplicity and ingratitude seldom surpassed in history.” “A great and by no means successful war was entailed upon the nation, and thousands of Englishmen had been mown down by the sword or by disease in Flanders and in Ireland. The lavish sums bestowed on Dutch favourites, the immense subsidies voted to the confederates in the war, the rapid increase of taxation, the creation of a national debt, and of great standing armies, the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act, the defeat of Steinkirk when five regiments of Englishmen were cut to pieces by a superior force, while whole battalions of allied forces remained passive spectators of the scene, the desolation of Ireland, the massacre of Glencoe, the abandonment of the Darien colonists, the 'rabbling' of about three hundred episcopalian clergymen in Scotland, the Partition Treaty signed by William without consultation with any English minister except Somers, general unemployment, poverty and suffering, alarming bread riots,” are some of the benefits enumerated by Lecky which were conferred on England by this Dutch invasion and the glorious revolution of 1688. He points out that it was effected, as are most revolutions, by a few men who knew their own minds, far in advance of the general sentiments of the nation, who were utterly indifferent. The same indifference of the mass applied to the invasions of 1715 and 1745, and that is all that it is worth while to say about them. *

The war on land was dull and unproductive. William, a thoroughly bad general, was frequently defeated, but under the war tactics of that time the victories were not followed up. The French took strong fortresses in Flanders and defeated the allies in Italy. In July, 1689, was fought the battle of the Boyne; in March, 1690, 1,300 French under Count Lauzun were sent to Ireland, and in 1691 the capitulation of Limerick, under which the Irish were guaranteed their religious and

* A variety of opinions both good and evil, signed and anonymous, of the Revolution of 1688-9 will be found in Vols. 9, 10 and 11 of the Somers Tracts, edited by Sir Walter Scott, 1809-15.

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political liberties, was made and afterwards shamefully broken by William

The war by sea was decisive. The British victory over the French at La Hogue in May, 1692, destroyed all hope of any successful invasion by James, but after this victory enormous damage was done to the British merchant service by French privateers.

Then, all being tired, in September, 1697, the Peace of Ryswick was signed. Louis recognized William, British sea-power being the dominant force, and ceded his conquests since 1678. The Dutch obtained favourable terms for commerce, and were allowed to occupy certain barrier towns such as Ypres in the Spanish Netherlands. Louis gave up the right bank of the Rhine, but kept Strassburg and took money in exchange for his claims on the devastated Palatinate.

CHAPTER II

DYNASTIC WAR

i. The Spanish Succession. France and Germany.-From 1689 to 1713, almost without a check, the Western Powers were at war.

The final cause, the game played by France and Germany for the possession of Spain, dated back far into the seventeenth century. As far back as 1668 Louis XIV. and Leopold of Austria had by a secret treaty of Partition divided the skin of the bear. In 1689, at the outset of his war with France, William III. had guaranteed to the Emperor Leopold the entire Spanish succession. During the lifetime of Charles II. of Spain the people of the country, who desired to prevent the partition of the Spanish Dominions, were subject to the revolutionary movements caused by the plans of the French, Austrians and Bavarians for its partition. Neither the disputes over the succession nor the battles fought in its wars are of interest now for themselves, but no other incident in the whole century illustrates more forcibly the impotence of the people for deciding to which of several alien candidates they should

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