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But, and this is one of the most interesting of its peculiarities, the central government included not merely institutions charged. with developing and applying the authority of the prince. The creation of the States General by Philip the Good in 1463 gave the representatives of the country a part in it. This great assembly, made up of delegates from all the provincial Estates, not only gave the prince an opportunity to deliberate with his subjects as a whole; but it also provided the most potent of the means of unification. which had brought together the seventeen Burgundian provinces. Finally, just as the monarchical institutions did not suppress the territorial institutions which were anterior to them, so the States General did not absorb the individual Estates. On the contrary, it was with the latter that the final decision rested. Without their assent, the deputies of the States General could conclude nothing. Thus particularism remained as powerful beside the central organ of national representation as beside the institutions of monarchical power, and from whatever side it is examined, the Burgundian state always presented the same spectacle of modern unification above and medieval diversity below.
But while diversity did not increase, unification realized constant progress in the course of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The creation of the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1430 attached to the person of the prince all the great nobility of the Netherlands, and thus put at his disposition, in the different territories, the enormous ascendancy which it enjoyed. On the other hand, the formation of a standing army (bandes d'ordonnance) under Charles the Bold enabled the dukes to take into their pay almost all of the lesser nobility, who, in fighting under their standard, were soon imbued with a lively sentiment of Burgundian loyalty. In conclusion, political measures, such as the Convention of Augsburg (1548) and the Pragmatic Sanction (1549), the former by placing all the provinces in the same position with regard to the Empire, the latter by unifying the right of succession in such a manner as to secure in each province the perpetual maintenance of the dynasty, constituted new reasons for cohesion among all parts of the Netherlands.
But while the state was thus strengthening itself within, its position with regard to the dynasty suddenly changed. Philip the Fair, who, after the troubled regency of Maximilian of Austria, had been hailed with enthusiasm as the successor of the earlier dukes and the restorer of the house of Burgundy, became in 1504, at the death of his mother-in-law Isabella of Spain, the heir of the kingdom of
Castile. It became straightway evident that in the near future the sovereign of the Netherlands was to have other interests than theirs. to guard, and that it was to be expected that he would subordinate the peace and possibly the prosperity of the Belgian provinces to the world-politics into which he would be drawn. The premature death of Philip (1506) postponed the realization of these fears. But the young Charles V. succeeded to his father's rights, and therefore, to prepare as far as possible for what the future held in store, the endeavor was made, in spite of his grandfather Maximilian and his aunt Margaret of Austria, so to direct his education as to make of him a purely Burgundian prince. But the inevitable had to come. to pass. Of how little weight were the Netherlands in the political combinations of a prince who reigned at the same time in the Empire and in Spain, and whose ambition had all Europe for its field! Although he accomplished, as we have seen, the territorial unification and the system of government of the seventeen provinces, in return he laid upon them expenses and wars entirely foreign to their interests. At the end of his reign Artois, Hainaut, Namur, Luxemburg, had been laid waste by French armies, and the unimpeachable credit of the Antwerp market, weakened by loans, was tottering. Nevertheless, the services rendered the country by Charles, the renown which dazzled the nobility fighting for him, the sympathy, at least apparent, that he showed his Burgundian subjects, together with the prudent conduct of the two regents, his aunt Margaret and later his sister Mary, to whom he had entrusted the government, neutralized until the end of his reign the sentiments. of opposition which were gathering in the public mind. These sentiments broke out suddenly at the accession of Philip II., as soon as it was recognized that this prince was a thorough foreigner, antipathetic to the character of the country and hostile to its liberties, and that he clearly aimed at making the provinces Spanish. Ten years had not elapsed after the final departure of the king (1559) before the Netherlands were in open revolt. And this result, far from recalling the particularist uprising of 1477, proves the strength that the cohesion of the provinces had gained since that time. Directed by the principal lords of the council of state, unanimously sustained by the lesser nobility belonging to the bands of ordonnance and by the popular masses of each territory, it appears as a collective effort viribus unitis; as an insurrection of the Burgundian state, desiring to maintain its independence against the Spanish state. Indeed, it is more than this. During its progress, the Burgundian
state became the nation, and it was in this period of heroic struggles that its people for the first time gave it the name "communis patria".
Unfortunately the unanimity of the resistance was not to last. With the complication of the political by the religious question, the national party divided itself into Protestants and Catholics. William of Orange did not succeed in preventing a scission that had become more and more inevitable. It finally came about during the last years of the sixteenth century. Of the two fragments of the Burgundian state, one, the republic of the United Provinces, was in the following century to attain to that unheard-of degree of prosperity which remains in the history of Europe an unparalleled phenomenon; the other, the Catholic Netherlands, drawn into the decadence of Spain, was to vegetate in obscurity under its foreign governments and serve as a battle-ground for the armies of Europe. Its sovereigns left it its old Burgundian institutions and respected its internal autonomy. But, deprived thenceforth of the direction of its destinies, tossed about at the mercy of all the political fluctuations in the midst of which Spain went under, it lost its own self-consciousness, and long lay benumbed in provincialism and routine, after having, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, given forth one final gleam.
ENGLISH CONSPIRACY AND DISSENT, 1660-1674, I.
THE death of Oliver Cromwell on September 3, 1658, assured the ultimate downfall of the so-called Puritan cause, but the catastrophe was not as sudden as many men had hoped and prophesied. It was not until seventeen months of rivalry between Rump Parliament politicians and Cromwellian army generals had brought administration to the verge of dissolution that order began to emerge from chaos with the accession of General Monck to a seat in the Council of State, and a determining voice in affairs. It was his first care on entering the Council to drive from it, from the army and from the Commons the leaders of the extreme party, and the disintegration of that party, long since begun in personal and political rivalries, was now rapidly completed. As soon as matters so shaped themselves as to render proscription moderately safe, such of its leaders as could be secured were arrested. The return of the King completed the destruction of the extremists. The army and navy, where they were strong, were reduced. The old officers and officials were rapidly replaced by royalists. Of the remaining revolutionary leaders, excluded from indemnity, some fled into exile, some were arrested to die on the scaffold or in prison, the rest were put under bond and surveillance. By the middle of 1661, of that long list of men who had lent strength to the Cromwellian rule few or none remained alive in England who had not given security to the King or entered his service. No single event of the Restoration. was of more importance than this. It was not merely revenge for the past, it was a guarantee for the future. The brain of the extreme party was thus destroyed, the centres of national disaffection removed, and the opposition to the new régime was deprived of those men who alone were able to make it dangerous.
But what of the other thousands, the disbanded soldiers and sailors, the sectaries who saw their dearest liberties threatened by Anglican and Royalist reaction, the lesser officers and officials, the purchasers of lands now reclaimed by church and state? The answer has many times been given. It is essentially that of Pepys's Puritan friend, Blackburne, that wherever was to be found a carter more steady, a blacksmith more industrious, a workman more sober, he was a soldier of the old army. The mind pictures a citizen
soldiery, like that which fought the American Civil War, returning again to peaceful pursuits, seeking no further triumphs in war or politics. This view of the defeated party has done much to strengthen the conception of the Restoration as an interlude rather than a connecting link between revolutions, an interlude in which the court played the main part and the Puritans remained to furnish. material for loyal satire. But it requires no very profound study of the history of the Restoration to see that this fails to explain many of its phenomena. It is the purpose of this paper to consider another element of this fallen party-those who did not quietly submit to their fate-during the period of their greatest and most influential activity, the first dozen years of the reign of Charles II.
They had not been wholly idle during the later months of 1660 when the troops were being re-officered, disarmed and disbanded under the stern personal supervision of the Lord General, and that process had not taken place without scattered and ineffective attempts at resistance. When the Convention Parliament which had recalled the King was dissolved in January, 1661, without securing legal guarantees for toleration, its dispersion was signalized by the outbreak of a handful of old Fifth Monarchy soldiers under a London cooper, Venner, which terrorized the metropolis for three days. Slight as the danger was, it produced important results. It enabled the Anglicans as a party of law and order, to secure a larger majority in the Commons during the ensuing elections, than they might otherwise have had. It enabled the crown to fortify itself by the retention of a larger force of troops, by the refurbishing of the old legal weapons against sectaries and disturbance, and by creating a secret service which played no small part in the ensuing events. Above all it roused in the dominant Anglican party a passion of hate and fear, dangerous in itself, doubly dangerous when played on by designing men for their own ends. This spirit was clearly visible in the newly elected House of Commons which met in May, 1661, and in the Savoy conference of Anglican and dissenting clergy called about the same time to discuss the religious situation. By the middle of July each had adjourned, and the cause of reaction was seen to be supreme, in the conference where comprehension of the Presbyterians was rejected by the Anglican ecclesiastical authorities no less than toleration of the sects, and in Parliament where the dominant party committed itself strongly to church and crown.1 Meanwhile the government spies had been active. Meetings 'Parl. Hist., IV. 182-222.