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The Thirty Years' War
The great struggle known as the 'Thirty Years' War,' which desolated Germany, and finally settled the limits of Protestantism and Catholicism on the continent of Europe, began about 1618 and ended with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648.
Age Of Louis XIV
After the death of Henry IV, of France, in 1610 by the hand and dagger of Ravaillac, his son succeeded as Louis XIII, at the age of nine, the regent being the Queen-mother, Maria de' Medici. A miserable time of court intrigues, factions, and internal disorders ensued until 1624, when the King gave himself up to the guidance of the great statesman who was for twenty years to be the leading...
Constitutional Struggle In England
England played but a small part in the affairs of the world during the Seventeenth Century. Under Charles II the King was dominated by Louis XIV, who, through his gold and the mistresses with whom he sup-plied the degenerate King, kept England in subjection.
Suppression Of The Ottoman Power
During much of the Seventeenth Century the Ottoman power was at war with Venice, which at this time, though the Republic was in her decline, was the chief champion of Christendom against the Moslem. After a war of twenty-four years (1645-1669) the Turks succeeded in making themselves masters of the island of Candia or Crete, which they have kept ever since.
Mental Activity And Progress
Violence of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries led, among Protestants as well as among Catholics, to a reaction, which tended to the greater influence of Christianity. The Protestants, divided as they were, at least agreed upon the necessity for personal devotion, for living faith, for obedience to the maxims of the Bible and the Gospel.
The Rise Of Russia
The Russians, like the people of Bohemia, Croatia, Servia, Dalmatia, and Poland, are of the Slavonic race, numbering in all about one-third part of the whole population of Europe. Up to the beginning of the Eighteenth Century, The Muscovites, or Russians, had made no figure in European history commensurate with their numbers and territory, and with the capacity for greatness which they share with...
Prussia And Frederick The Great
The Prussian monarchy, the youngest, and one of the greatest, of the chief European states, sprang from a humble origin. Her rise to first-rate importance in the European system, and her contest with Austria for a position of equality in Central Europe, are connected with some of the chief events of the Eighteenth Century.
Parliament In Power In England
The accession of the House of Hanover to the British throne marks the end of the theory of the divine right of Kings so far as England is concerned. Anne had ruled by a better title than that of George I, and the Elector of Hanover was not the heir to the throne by the law of primogeniture. His title rested merely upon the will of Parliament.
Decadence Of Southern Europe
The fall of the Ottoman power in Europe began with the Treaty of Carlowitz in 1699, and during the Eighteenth Century Turkey continued to decline. A gleam of success came in 1715, when the Turkish arms recovered the Marea from Venice, but Austria assisted the republic, and Prince Eugene's victories at Peterwardein and Belgrade in 1717 obliged the Sultan to give up Belgrade...
The Age Of Reason
Art, so brilliant in the Seventeenth Century, under-went an eclipse in the Eighteenth. Painting, sculpture, and architecture were in a state of decay. Art seemed as though exhausted, and became second-rate, while society, which had acquired wealth, sought for and encouraged it more than ever. It failed through imitation, and was less earnest because society itself had become more frivolous...
The French Revolution
The French Revolution of 1789 is by far the most important event of modern history. It was a great political earthquake which overthrew in France the whole fabric of public and social order, shook and trans-formed most of Europe, caused the greatest war, or series of wars, that mankind has ever waged, and produced effects that the world has not yet ceased to feel.
The Napoleonic Wars
One man filled the eyes of all Europe during the closing days of the Eighteenth and the beginning of the Nineteenth Centuries. Napoleon's star began to rise, shone brilliantly and faded. During his struggle the occasion furnished opportunity to two other great men, Wellington and Nelson, to distinguish themselves.
Reorganization Of Europe
The conquests of Napoleon had marvelously disordered the territorial arrangements of Europe. When the Revolution began there were between three and four hundred sovereign powers on the Continent. There were a few great and powerful States, and a multitude of very small ones each with its miniature court, and its petty army, and its despotic code of laws emanating from the will of the Prince...
The Holy Alliance
The stipulations of the Congress of Vienna ( June 9, 1815) were the most important diplomatic act in Europe since the Peace of Westphalia, which concluded the Thirty Years' War. Three rulers, those of Austria, Russia and Prussia, attempted to, give to it a religious consecration.
Progress Of Liberal Ideas
One people won freedom at about this time, when liberal ideas were being repressed by the powers of the Holy Alliance with the support of the old régime. The magic name of Greece aroused such sympathy among the peoples of the West that their governments were unable to resist it. Greece had been under the rule of Turkey from 1715, and the cruelty of the Sultan led to an insurrection in March, 1821...
Revolutions Of 1848
Early agitations followed the accession of Louis Philippe to the throne 0f France, but they were quickly suppressed, and prosperity followed during the eighteen years of his reign. It was, however, a prosperity of the middle classes the bourgeois, who ruled France instead of the nobles. The middle class was rapidly accumulating wealth, and was satisfied.
Rivalry Of Austria And Prussia
Humiliated and .worn by the many insurrections within the borders of her conglomerate Empire, Austria began to lose power and influence in Europe, and gradually fell from that high place which once she had held as the arbiter of Europe. The chance then came to Prussia to assert herself as the leader of the thirty-eight German States created by the Congress of Vienna.
Napoleon III And Italian Unity
Louis Napoleon ruled France as Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, for nearly eighteen years, from December, 1852, to September, 1870. It was a maxim of the Emperor that liberty never helped to make a durable political edifice; it could only crown a political edifice which time had consolidated. The Constitution which he bestowed upon submissive France was based upon this estimate of liberty.
Fall Of The Second Empire-Franco-German War
Meanwhile Napoleon III, in spite of his declaration that 'the Empire is peace,' continued to interfere in foreign affairs in a way that insured the downfall of the political edifice he had reared. A few months after he had deserted the Italians, disorders of an aggravated character broke out in Syria and hundreds of Christians were massacred and the French consulate destroyed.
The German Empire
France had made war in order to undo the work of partial union of Germany effected by Prussia in 1866. It achieved the opposite result, for King William returned from the war Emperor of a united and satisfied Germany. The German Empire had been formed, realizing Bismarck's long cherished dream.
The Third French Republic
The history of France has been stormy since the Germans captured Paris. Her misfortunes did not end with the fall of the capital, and the loss of her border provinces. It is part of the normal order of French history that when an established government is overthrown and another is set in its place, this second government is in its turn attacked by insurrection in Paris...
The Eastern Question
The present condition of Turkey within the last hundred years stripped of some of her fairest possessions, and the seat of her Empire in the possession of the great powers, and dependent upon the great powers for her very existence is a conspicuous example of the mutability of human affairs.
Decadence Of Spain
There is a pathetic side to the vanishing from the list of great powers of the Nation that at one time was the most powerful in the world. Time was when Spain's flag waved from every Continent, and Philip II was the most famous conqueror of his day. It was the Emperor Charles V who first made the proud boast that on his dominions the sun never set, nor was it an idle word...
Russia's Increase In Power And Influence
While the Nineteenth Century has seen the decadence of the Latin race as represented by France and Spain, it has seen the rise to power and influence of a new rival, the Slav, to dispute with the Anglo-Saxon for the supremacy of the world. In spite of reverses toward the middle of the century, there has been a startling increase of Russian power during the last 100 years.
Great Britain During Victoria's Reign
In many respects the reign of Queen Victoria has been the most remarkable in English history. In the mere matter of length it is unique, for she has overtaken and passed the record of her grandfather, and reigned over her people for the longest period ever known in English history, if not indeed in that of the world, for Louis XIV, the champion in this respect, was for years...
European Art In The Nineteenth Century
Science has changed the conditions of agriculture, industry, and trade during the Nineteenth Century, working wonderful reforms in the social condition of the people. The 'Achievements of the Nineteenth Century in Science and Industry' are told in another volume of this series, those in literature are set forth in still another, while the work of the philosophers whose thought has revolutionized...
Awakening Of Asia
The largest of the continents is Asia. Its area is greater than that of both North and South America combined. Its population exceeds that of all the rest of the globe. There civilization had its earliest development, so far as investigation has been able to ascertain.
Partition Of Africa
There is no more interesting page in the recent history of the world than that which tells of the marvelous development of Africa. Each successive map of the continent shows more of the country opened up and colonized by Europeans. How rapid this progress has been and how different is a map of Africa now from those which called forth those skeptical lines of Swift's...
Australia
The insular region, of continental size, once known as New Holland, probably was first discovered by a Portuguese navigator in 1601, though certain French maps of 1542 claim to contain the country under the name of Jave la Grande, the discovery at that date, if true, being still due to the Portuguese.
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