01:506:101 Lecture 4: Ch4

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Chapter IV.
The Establishment of West-European Leadership
(160-197) (pic: 198-209)
The Peace of Westphalia marked the fading of the Italian Renaissance, the subsiding of religious wars, the ruin of the
Holy Roman Empire, and the decay of Spain. The way was paved for the rise of the Dutch, English, and French for the next 200
years. Draw circle 500 miles in radius out from Paris and you will create the zone which was to dominate Europe and much of
the world. And France was first to rise.
17. The Grand Monique and the Balance of Power
(pp. 161-163)
l. Louis XIV Bourbon (1638-1715): Louis became king in 1643 but fully ruled after 1661. Under the “Sun King,”
French language, thought, literature, architecture, clothing, food, and etiquette set the standards for Europe.
2. Spain was ruled by an imbecile king, Charles II, whose succession was on all minds. Louis, married to Charles’ sister,
aimed to secure the inheritance: the Spanish Netherlands [Belgium], Franche-Comté and Spain’s possessions in
America. Louis intrigued by secret alliances with republicans in Holland and royalists in England to achieve his goal:
the union of France and Spain into the “Grand Monarchy.”
3. Balance of Power: Nations seek equilibrium by coalitions against great powers; statesmen seek to preserve
independence of action and enhance their importance; they operate on a purely pragmatic basis. Small states, like
Holland or Sweden, are able to wield disproportionate power in helping create balances of power.
18. The Dutch Republic
(pp. 163-169)
l. The Dutch created a bourgeois society that was wealthy, flourishing, civilized--and astonishingly creative: Hugo
Grotius, one of the creators of international law; Baruch de Spinoza, first modern philosopher; Leeuwenhoek
(microscope), Huygens (physics and math), giants of science; Vermeer, Rembrandt in the fine arts.
2. Why greatness? The Dutch were characterized by a spirit of toleration that welcomed the dispossessed of that era --
Jews and unpopular Protestants. Perhaps more important was the great Dutch fleet of 1600, sailing to the Spice Islands
and Japan under the Dutch East India Company; establishing colonies such as Manhattan and the Cape of Good Hope;
and forming the Dutch West Indies Company which set up posts in Brazil, Curaçao, Guinea. Third, the Bank of
Amsterdam, backed by the Dutch government, made Holland the financial center of world: allowing deposit of “mixed
money” and issuing notes for florins--soon the main international currency, and innovative use of checks and guaranteed
3. Dutch Government: Each province had a stadtholder, but most provinces usually elected the Prince of Orange in
emergencies. Normally the burghers ran the government, keeping Holland decentralized. William III of Orange (1650-
1702) was a grave, reserved, Dutch Calvinist who lived plainly, hated flattery; he married Mary, Protestant daughter of
James II Stuart.
4. Foreign Affairs: The Dutch fought three indecisive wars with England during the reign of Cromwell; their only
importance was to bring New York to England. Wars with France were much more serious, and the Dutch
successfully used balance of power politics to stop Louis XIV’s aggression in 1667, 1672, and 1689.
19. Britain: The Puritan Revolution
England after 1588 withdrew from continental matters and was the one great European power absent from the Treaty of
Westphalia. Why? England was involved in a religious/civil war, fought between the Puritans and the Anglicans, between the
forces of Parliament and those of the king. Wars in England were relatively mild, but at the same time fierce and savage
conflicts were occurring in Ireland.
l. England in the 17th Century had about 4-5 million English-speaking peoples. In addition, groups had emigrated to
the West Indies, North Ireland and the 13 American colonies. (Total American pop in 1700: 500,000). English culture
included Shakespeare, Milton and Francis Bacon. The English economy was enterprising and affluent, inferior to Holland
in shipping, but with a larger, more productive homeland. The British East India Company was formed (1600) to compete
with the Dutch.
2. Parliament and the Stuart Kings
a. James I Stuart: had a major conflict with Parliament, because of: his belief in royal absolutism; his support of
the Anglican hierarchy under Archbishop Laud who sought religious conformity at a time when Parliament was
heavily Puritan; his Scotch origins; his pedantic ways (“wisest fool in Christendom”); and his constant need for
money, due to his wars with Spain, his spending habits, and the general problems of living on a fixed income in an
inflationary time.
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b. Parliament was nationally unified, with no provincial units as on the continent. The House of Lords was
dominated by great noble landowners; the House of Commons had the gentry plus reps of merchants and towns. But
Parliament was generally unified in social interest and wealth.
c. Crisis: Charles I Stuart decided to rule without Parliament in 1629 and might have succeeded without major
errors: his reforms in Ireland antagonized English landlords; his support of High Anglicans antagonized Puritans; and
his idea of “ship money” (a new tax for the navy to be paid by all Englishmen) angered virtually all. Parliament was
unwilling to pay for the navy unless it had a say in the manner in which the navy was used--foreign policy.
d. The crisis reached a head in 1637 when the Scots rebelled against the establishment of the Anglican Church in
Scotland. To fight the Scots, Charles needed an army and recalled Parliament. Parliament proved hostile and was
dissolved, but a second Parliament was equally rebellious and began a revolution against the king under John
Hampden, John Pym, Oliver Cromwell--land-owning gentry and Puritans who were supported by merchant class.
They formed the Long Parliament, led by “root and branch” men--the first radicals --who sought to impeach and
execute royal advisers, abolish bishops and end the Anglican hierarchy, and ultimately declared Presbyterianism the
legal religion. The result was open war between the Royalists “Cavaliers,” with followers from north and west and
“Roundheads,” of Parliament mostly from the south and east.
3. Cromwell
a. Cromwell created “the Ironsides,” based on extreme Calvinism for morale, discipline, will to fight. Supported
by the masses, the army became more radically democratic than Parliament. Cromwell defeated the king, then
executed him to prevent counter-revolution--over opposition in the remnants of Parliament. Colonel Pride drove
out members opposed to execution--first such move called a purge.
b. Cromwell now declared England a Commonwealth (Republic). He crushed the Scots, who had rebelled in
reaction to Charles’ execution, and took revenge on the Irish, settling English landlords with Catholic peasants as
tenants: “the native religion and clergy were driven underground, a foreign and detested church was established, and
a new and foreign landed aristocracy, originally recruited in large measure from military adventurers, was settled
upon the country....” Cromwell also challenged the Dutch naval supremacy and in a brief war with Spain was able to
seize Jamaica.
c. Cromwell could never win over the conservatives, and his own supporters soon divided over radical issues, with the
Levelers, who appealed for universal manhood suffrage, equality of representation in Parliament, and a written constitution;
Quakers, who opposed violence and upset social conventions; Diggers, who repudiated the idea of private property; and Fifth
Monarchy Men, Millenia lists who believed in the nearness of the “second coming.”
d. Cromwell finally abolished Parliament (1653) and ruled as Lord Protector, placing England under Puritan military rule
characterized by “blue laws” of puritanical ideas. He died in 1658 and was briefly succeeded by his son.
e. Royalty was restored with Charles II in 1660; England was left with the memory of nightmare of standing armies and rule
by religious fanatics. Democratic ideas were rejected as “levelling” (except in America where some Puritan leaders took
refuge) and political consciousness of the lower classes basically ceased for the next two centuries.
20. Britain: The Triumph of Parliament
(pp. 176-181)
l. The Restoration of the Stuarts (1660-1688): Charles II and James II
a. Charles was careful not to provoke Parliament and Parliament took a number of far-reaching steps: creation of
modern land tenure, abolish hang certain feudal payments to king--in exchange for which they agreed to support
the state (king) by taxing themselves --and share in the governing of England. Local landowners also ran local
affairs as “justices of the peace”: squirearchy. Dissenters, i.e. Puritans, were severely restricted--disenfranchised.
b. In general, the tendency in Europe was for Protestants to return to Catholicism; however, the English people and Parliament
were anti-Catholic. Charles II, however, admired Louis XIV and made a secret treaty involving English help against the Dutch in
exchange for cash. Angered, Parliament passed Test Act: all office-holders had to take communion in the Church of England,
Catholics could not serve in army or navy. Parliament also sought to prevent James Stuart from becoming King since he was a
strong Catholic. This struggle led to the terms “Whigs” and Tories:” Tories were lesser aristocracy, gentry loyal to Church and
King and suspicious of the “moneyed interest” of London. Whigs were upper aristocracy, strong rivals of the king, backed by the
middle class and merchants of London.
2. The Glorious Revolution of 1688:
a. James II became king in 1685 and antagonized all by ignoring the Test Act and appointing Catholics to lucrative positions--a
threat to monopoly of power by Anglicans; he also believed in his power to make/unmake laws. The crisis reached a head when
his new wife produced a son, James, who was baptized a Catholic. Parliament offered the throne to Mary, Protestant daughter of
James and wife of William of Orange--who was thoroughly Protestant and opposed to Louis XIV. Offered the crown, William
“invaded” England; James fled, to be defeated in 1690 at the Battle
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