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  • Foundation Of Venice
    by Hadrian Such were the two men who stood face to face in the summer of 452 upon the plains of Lombardy The barbarian King had all the material power in his hand and he was working but for a twelvemonth The pontiff had no power but in the world of intellect and his fabric was to last fourteen centuries They met as has been said by the banks of the Mincio Jordanes tells us that it was where the river is crossed by many wayfarers coming and going Some writers think that these words point to the ground now occupied by the celebrated fortress of Peschiera close to the point where the Mincio issues from the Lake of Garda Others place the interview at Governolo a little village hard by the junction of the Mincio and the Po If the latter theory be true and it seems to fit well with the route which would probably be taken by Attila the meeting took place in Vergil s country and almost in sight of the very farm where Tityrus and Meliboeus chatted at evening under the beech tree Leo s success as an ambassador was complete Attila laid aside all the fierceness of his anger and promised to return across the Danube and to live thenceforward at peace with the Romans But in his usual style in the midst of reconciliation he left a loophole for a future wrath for he insisted still on this point above all that Honoria the sister of the Emperor and the daughter of the Augusta Placidia should be sent to him with the portion of the royal wealth which was her due and he threatened that unless this was done he would lay upon Italy a far heavier punishment than any which it had yet borne But for the present at any rate the tide of devastation was turned and few events more powerfully impressed the imagination of that new and blended world which was now standing at the threshold of the dying empire than this retreat of Attila the dreaded king of kings before the unarmed successor of St Peter Attila was already predisposed to moderation by the counsels of his ministers The awe of Rome was upon him and upon them and he was forced incessantly to ponder the question What if I conquer like Alaric to die like him Upon these doubts and ponderings of his supervened the stately presence of Leo a man of holy life firm will dauntless courage that be sure Attila perceived in the first moments of their interview and besides this holding an office honored and venerated through all the civilized world The barbarian yielded to his spell as he had yielded to that of Lupus of Troyes and according to a tradition which it must be admitted is not very well authenticated he jocularly excused his unaccustomed gentleness by saying that he knew how to conquer men but the lion and the wolf Leo and Lupus had learned how to conquer him The tradition which asserts that the republic of Venice and its neighbor cities in the lagoons were peopled by fugitives from the Hunnish invasion of 452 is so constant and in itself so probable that we seem bound to accept it as substantially true though contemporary or nearly contemporary evidence to the fact is utterly wanting The thought of the glorious city in the sea so dazzles our imaginations when we turn our thoughts toward Venice that we must take a little pains to free ourselves from the spell and reproduce the aspect of the desolate islands and far stretching wastes of sand and sea to which the fear of Attila drove the delicately nurtured Roman provincials for a habitation If we examine on the map the well known and deep recess of the Adriatic Sea we shall at once be struck by one marked difference between its eastern and its northern shores For three hundred miles down the Dalmatian coast not one large river scarcely a considerable stream descends from the too closely towering Dinaric mountains to the sea If we turn now to the northwestern angle which formed the shore of the Roman province of Venetia we find the coast line broken by at least seven streams two of which are great rivers These seven streams whose mouths are crowded into less than eighty miles of coast drain an area which reckoning from Monte Viso to the Terglon Alps the source of the Ysonzo must be four hundred and fifty miles in length and may average two hundred miles in breadth and this area is bordered on one side by the highest mountains in Europe snow covered glacier strewn wrinkled and twisted into a thousand valleys and narrow defiles each of which sends down its river of its rivulet to swell the great outpour For our present purpose and as a worker out of Venetian history Po notwithstanding the far greater volume of his waters is of less importance than the six other small streams which bear him company He carrying down the fine alluvial soil of Lombardy goes on lazily adding foot by foot to the depth of his delta and mile by mile to its extent They swiftly hurrying over their shorter course from mountain to sea scatter indeed many fragments detached from their native rocks over the first meadows which they meet with in the plain but carry some also far out to sea and then behind the bulwark which they thus have made deposit the finer alluvial particles with which they too are laden Thus we get the two characteristic features of the ever changing coast line the Lido and the Laguna The Lido founded upon the masses of rock is a long thin slip of the terra firma which form a sort of advance guard of the land The Laguna occupying the interval between the Lido and the true shore is a wide expanse of waters

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  • VIKINGS
    adventure tales that later were known as sagas from the Icelandic word for story Poets also were singing the praises of Norse heroes and gods and describing the Norse way of life In this way the Norsemen preserved major parts of the early history of the Scandinavian countries and of Russia Germany Britain and Ireland Why the Vikings Were Powerful The Vikings probably were descended from blue eyed and blond invaders from the south of Scandinavia There they found and conquered a short dark haired race Long limbed and muscular with flaxen or red hair hanging below their shoulders Norsemen were trained from childhood to be strong and self reliant Running jumping and wrestling took the place of reading writing and arithmetic Their other subjects were skating skiing snowshoeing swimming rowing and riding horseback As soon as a youngster could carry a weapon he was taught to thrust a sword to swing a battle ax and to throw a spear A part of their success was due to their religion for the Norsemen s gods were warriors too Thor the Thunderer made constant war against the ice and snow giants of the North The chief god Odin presided over Valhalla the warrior s heaven Death in battle was considered the most honorable death Only by that death could a Norseman enter Valhalla So the Norsemen battled unafraid and joyful calling upon their gods to help them The Norsemen were the most skilled and daring seamen of their day Because the compass was still unknown they navigated by sun and star When fog hid the stars their ships drifted until the weather cleared Not fearing death they took great chances Their experiences and discoveries were therefore many The Norsemen dared not risk open fires aboard their wooden ships and in those days there were no stoves So unless they were on a long sea voyage they would anchor in a quiet bay each evening Then they pitched tents on the shore kindled fires and cooked their food Porridge with dried meat or fish was the usual diet Sometimes they had bread butter and cheese If they spent the night aboard ship they unrolled their skin sleeping gear and stretched out on the rowers benches A successful Viking expedition might bring fortune fame and perhaps noble rank to those who took part So by the time they were 15 or 16 Norse boys were eager to try their luck in battle Trade Is Developed The early Viking voyages were mostly raids in which Christian churches and monasteries were robbed and burned and peaceful villages were plundered But in later times piracy was often combined with trading A pirate expedition might stop off to do a little quiet trading and a trading expedition might turn to a little pirating As time went on trade among the Scandinavian countries and with the rest of Europe grew Norway sent herring and salt to Sweden Denmark received sheep from the Faeroe Islands Greenland imported timber from Labrador and grain and iron from Europe It paid for these in walrus and narwhal ivory furs live falcons and even live polar bears Norwegian Viking expeditions started in the spring after the seed was sown or in the autumn when crops were harvested At home the Norsemen were mainly farmers and stockmen They also hunted and fished After a successful voyage or two many retired from the sea and were often succeeded by their sons During wars and raids villagers who were not killed by the Vikings were often taken as slaves These slaves called thralls were usually Irish Finns Germans or Slavs A free Norseman might be enslaved for a debt or crime but this was rare Many slaves were voluntarily freed by their masters especially after the introduction of Christianity and there was much intermarriage The Norsemen at Home The houses of the Norsemen differed according to the resources of each country In Norway houses were built of rough pine logs The roofs were usually covered with turf or straw In Iceland which had few trees houses were built of turf rocks and driftwood Both in Iceland and Greenland heavy timbers needed for the frames of buildings were brought from Norway and later from North America A house had only one room and was built with a pitched roof A poor man might have two or three huts The estate of a rich man had so many buildings that it looked like a village In later centuries several of these buildings were often connected by passageways The houses were plain on the outside All the decoration was indoors where most of the woodwork was carved painted and touched with gilt On festive occasions brightly embroidered tapestries would be hung on the walls and long tables were set up for feasting The Norsemen had a great variety of foods and beverages Mutton and beef were plentiful Until its use was forbidden the favorite meat was horsemeat The Norsemen also used fish and cereals eggs from wild and domestic fowl and milk products They had few vegetables Honey was the only sweet and bees were kept to supplement the wild honey Meat and fish were often dried smoked or pickled Many foods were preserved in brine or in sour whey a preservative still in use among Scandinavians Butter was never salted It was eaten fresh or was fermented for use like cheese Norsemen liked both fresh and sour milk and buttermilk too The favorite drink was whey They had a food named skyr that was much like cottage cheese Apples and berries were their only fruits Porridge was cooked in enormous kettles over an open fire Although boiling was favored for most foods meat was sometimes baked in hot ashes Bread was baked in ashes or in clay ovens At feasts the Norse drank quantities of ale From honey they made a fermented drink called mead and wealthy Norsemen imported wine from France There were long and sometimes rowdy drinking festivals at which sagas were told and poems were recited All wealthy Norsemen dressed lavishly for events like weddings and funerals and for things as the assemblies were called Skins and furs of tame and wild animals were used but the most common material was a woven woolen cloth called vadmal Dyes were expensive so poorer people wore the cloth in its natural color The rich wore it in bright colors often striped and patterned Silk and linen which were imported and costly were used mostly for underwear Since the Vikings traded with so many countries they often brought home new ideas for dress and adornment The native dress of both sexes in early times was similar The main garment was a long buttonless tunic which might be narrow or wide If wide it was gathered around the waist with a belt It had an opening that was slipped over the head and tightened with a brooch The custom was to wear a gown of one color and a cloak of another A man s tunic was usually sleeveless perhaps to show off his muscles and gold arm rings Young women wore their hair long and caught around the forehead with a band sometimes made of pure gold Noble and wealthy men also wore their hair long with a band to keep it in place The young Norsemen loved games especially those that helped to develop their bodies They played ball games on the ground and on ice Wrestling and fencing were popular sports Young Norsemen used skates made of the bones of animals According to a Norwegian historian an unusual sport involved walking on oar blades while a boat was being rowed In another game two or three small swords were thrown in the air and then caught to play with three swords at once without injuring oneself required great skill Norsemen loved music and dancing They had a fidla or fiddle a horn made from a buck s horn and also a kind of harp The high point at a feast was the performance of a skald or professional poet Education There were no public schools All education was given at home with a parent nurse or visitor acting as teacher Children were often sent to the home of a rich man sometimes a relative to be educated Both girls and boys learned to sing to recite and compose poetry and to tell sagas Girls were also given lessons in how to spin weave and dye wool to sew knit and embroider to wash and to cook and to make butter and cheese Some girls and most boys learned to read and cut runes which were the letters of the ancient alphabet used by the Norsemen Just as the English alphabet is often called the ABCs that of the Norsemen was called futhork after the first letters The early Norse alphabet had 24 letters The later Norse alphabet had 16 At first runes were used for scratching names on personal belongings or for simple memorials Later these memorials grew more elaborate Thousands of these memorial stones have been found on the Scandinavian peninsula and in Denmark North of Upernivik in Greenland the discovery of a little rune stone was considered proof that Vikings had traveled more than 400 miles north of the Arctic Circle Others carved runes on the statue of a lion in Athens Greece Government In the early history of the Norsemen there were no nations in the modern sense People lived in what might be called tribal communities These communities were independent of one another and banded together only for some common purpose When the title konungr king was given to the chief of a community it did not carry the meaning that it has now There were many kings Often one would rule over a small section of land no larger than a county and some of the kings were war chiefs who had no land Each community had a thing assembly which acted as a court and legislative body Only those who owned land could be members A king could hold his position only as long as the people wanted him Before a new king could take office he had to have the consent of the members of the assembly Next in rank were the jarls nobles who often had about as much power and land as the kings Both kings and jarls had to rule according to law No laws were written down until around 1100 Before then the laws were really traditions and opinions of the majority of the people The people elected lawmen who had to know these unwritten laws and explain them to the rulers Later in Sweden and in Denmark people began to unite under one king In 872 Norway had a single king known as Harald Fairhair But Harald undid much of Norway s unity by giving each of his numerous sons the title of king Norway therefore remained divided for some time When Harald became king some dissidents went to Iceland and founded a colony there While the people of Iceland did not unite under one king at that time Iceland was the only country to form a national assembly during the Viking Age Called the Althing it first met in 930 and is the oldest national assembly in the world Religion A young Viking King Olaf Tryggvason of Norway became a convert to the Christian religion some time before AD 1000 His passion for the new religion was backed by a military force that threatened all who refused baptism Some Norsemen had already become Christians mainly through Irish influence though on the whole the Vikings were content with their own gods Gradually Norway was Christianized then the Faeroe Islands and Iceland and finally Greenland The first Christian missionaries in Greenland were brought there from Norway by Leif Ericson A Viking chieftain was buried with everything he might need to get to Valhalla One third of his property might be used in this way Another third went to his widow and the remainder to his children The goods buried included money tools changes of clothing weapons horses chariots boats and even ships Women s graves contained many of the things they might need in afterlife such as needles and thread looms kitchen utensils and cooking vessels Sometimes a dead warrior would be placed aboard his ship which was set afire and allowed to drift out to sea Sometimes people were buried in boat shaped coffins which were covered with earth mounds Fortunately ships were not always burned and a few have been preserved Next to the sagas graves have been the best source of information about the Norsemen In Scandinavian museums there are examples of almost every art known to the Viking Age Among these are jewelry weapons furniture and bronze and silver utensils Most have survived because they were made of such durable materials as stone metal and hardwood But woolen clothes in good condition have been found in parts of Greenland where they had lain in the frozen soil for centuries History from the Sagas The Norsemen like the Greeks of Homer s time were storytellers and poets At all assemblies weddings and funerals those skilled at storytelling and reciting verses would perform When Christianity came to the mainland of Scandinavia folk poems and stories were frowned upon by the clergy But Iceland was protected by distance from the influence of Europe So long after Christianity became the official religion the Icelandic people struggled to preserve their historical and literary heritage Their religious leaders enjoyed the storytelling and found no offense in it During the 12th and 13th centuries the clergy and scholars of Iceland wrote many manuscripts All were written as the saga tellers related them Some were true and some were pure fiction Among the serious historical records are sagas that tell of the kings and of Viking conquests They tell of their discovery and colonization of Iceland and Greenland and their discovery of the American mainland Two significant manuscripts dealing with the religion and philosophy of the Norsemen were written in Iceland the Elder Edda in poetry and the Younger Edda in prose Much of what is known of early Norse mythology came from the Eddas In Iceland much of the old Norse language has been retained In Norway Sweden and Denmark the languages are as different from the old Norse as modern English is from early Anglo Saxon INFLUENCE There is no consensus on the extent of Viking migration and their contribution to the population in the lands where they settled Estimates differ on whether hundreds or thousands settled abroad There is also disagreement as to whether the settlers were primarily men who intermarried abroad or whether whole families came In Iceland of course all life and social organization sprang directly from the Viking settlers but the impact of the Viking settlers in the British Isles and in France is much harder to determine accurately It is also not possible to gauge how disruptive and hostile the Vikings were Archaeological evidence reveals a culture that was the most advanced in Europe in the manufacture of arms and jewelry as well as shipbuilding Many styles of Viking ships were adopted by other European powers most notably Alfred the Great of Wessex The Vikings also displayed an ability to mobilize economic resources and to dominate a hostile landscape These abilities can be seen in their great fortified camps like that at Visby in Sweden where hundreds of soldiers and traders lived Additionally the Vikings fostered commerce founding many prominent trading centers in England and France In addition the Vikings created a rich body of vernacular literature in which they celebrated their heroic past The Icelandic sagas represent a vast collection of both stories and histories Some concern the great leaders of heroic days and the kings of the 11th and 12th centuries many others deal with the families feuds and changing fortunes of the petty chieftains of Icelandic farmsteads and valleys in the 13th and 14th centuries The more historical sagas describe what is known about the colonization of Iceland the voyages to North America and the rise of the powerful kings who led the efforts toward conversion and political consolidation The Poetic Edda of Snorri Sturluson who wrote in the early 1200s portrays pre Christian Viking history and mythology Signs of the Viking influence are found in the languages vocabulary and place names of the areas in which they settled These offer clues regarding the density of migration the ease of assimilation and the preservation of distinct northern institutions and usages An early form of popular or open government can be seen in the open air Althing of Iceland where the free farmers came to voice complaints resolve feuds and enunciate and interpret the law for free men and their families and dependents Icelanders view this as the earliest form of parliamentary government in Europe The jury of English common law was a direct outgrowth of Viking ideas about community obligations and sworn investigations both vital steps in building a civil society The Vikings were one of several waves of attackers to fall on Europe in the centuries after the short lived eminence of the Carolingian Empire Others included the Magyars from Asia who appeared on the eastern frontiers and the Muslims who worked outward from Spain and the Mediterranean At first the Vikings impact was primarily disruptive and destructive Gradually the Vikings became part of the larger European community as they were attracted by a more settled life and as Christian Europe s ability to resist their attacks grew The Vikings were great sailors and ferocious enemies but also storytellers and workers of the highest level Norse Gods and Mythology Scandinavian Mythology pre Christian religious beliefs of the Scandinavian people The Scandinavian legends and myths about ancient heroes gods and the creation and destruction of the universe developed out

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  • Peace Of Westphalia: Last Stage In The Decline Of The Empire
    1863 were for Holstein the acquisitions of France were delivered over to her in full sovereignty and for ever as it seemed severed from the Germanic body And as it was by their aid that the liberties of the Protestants had been won these two states obtained at the same time what was more valuable than territorial accessions the right of interfering at imperial elections and generally whenever the provisions of the treaties of Osnabruck and Munster which they had guaranteed might be supposed to be endangered The bounds of the Empire were further narrowed by the final separation of two countries once integral parts of Germany and up to this time legally members of her body Holland and Switzerland were in A D 1648 declared independent The Peace of Westphalia is an era in imperial history not less clearly marked than the coronation of Otto the Great or the death of Frederick the Second As from the days of Maximilian it had borne a mixed or transitional character well expressed by the name Romano Germanic so henceforth it is in everything but title purely and solely a German Empire Properly indeed it was no longer an Empire at all but a Confederation and that of the loosest sort For it had no common treasury no efficient common tribunals 1 no means of coercing a refractory member 2 its states were of different religions were governed according to different forms were administered judicially and financially without any regard to each other The traveller in Central Germany used up till 1866 to be amused to find every hour or two by the change in the soldiers uniforms and in the colour of the stripes on the railway fences that he had passed out of one and into another of its miniature kingdoms Much more surprised and embarrassed would he have been a century ago when instead of the present twenty nine there were three hundred petty principalities between the Alps and the Baltic each with its own laws its own court in which the ceremonious pomp of Versailles was faintly reproduced its little army its separate coinage its tolls and custom houses on the frontier its crowd of meddlesome and pedantic officials presided over by a prime minister who was generally the unworthy favourite of his prince and the pensioner of some foreign court This vicious system which paralyzed the trade the literature and the political thought of Germany had been forming itself for some time but did not become fully established until the Peace of Westphalia by emancipating the princes from imperial control had made them despots in their own territories The impoverishment of the inferior nobility and the decline of the commercial cities caused by a war that had lasted a whole generation removed every counterpoise to the power of the electors and princes and made absolutism supreme just where absolutism wants all its justification its states too small to have any public opinion states in which everything depends on the monarch and the monarch depends on his favourites After A D 1648 the provincial estates or parliaments became obsolete in most of these principalities and powerless in the rest Germany was forced to drink to its very dregs the cup of feudalism feudalism from which all the feelings that once ennobled it had departed Footnote 1 The Imperial Chamber Kammergericht continued with frequent and long interruptions to sit while the Empire lasted But its slowness and formality passed that of any other legal body the world has yet seen and it had no power to enforce its sentences Till 1689 it sat at Speyer whence the saying Spirae lites spirant et non exspirant in that year the French laid Speyer in ashes and the Chamber was in 1693 established at Wetzlar The Aulic council was little more efficient and was generally disliked as the tool of imperial intrigue Footnote 2 The matricula specifying the quota of each state to the imperial army could not be any longer employed It is instructive to compare the results of the system of feudality in the three chief countries of modern Europe In France the feudal head absorbed all the powers of the state and left to the aristocracy only a few privileges odious indeed but politically worthless In England the mediaeval system expanded into a constitutional monarchy where the oligarchy was still strong but the commons had won the full recognition of equal civil rights In Germany everything was taken from the sovereign and nothing given to the people the representatives of those who had been fief holders of the first and second rank before the Great Interregnum were now independent potentates and what had been once a monarchy was now an aristocratic federation The Diet originally an assembly of magnates meeting from time to time like our early English Parliaments became in A D 1654 a permanent body at which the electors princes and cities were represented by their envoys In other words it was now not a national council but an international congress of diplomatists Where the sacrifice of imperial or rather federal rights to state rights was so complete we may wonder that the farce of an Empire should have been retained at all A mere German Empire would probably have perished but the Teutonic people could not bring itself to abandon the venerable heritage of Rome Moreover the Germans were of all European peoples the most slow moving and long suffering and as if the Empire had fallen something must have been erected in its place they preferred to work on with the clumsy machine so long as it would work at all Properly speaking it has no history after this and the history of the particular states of Germany which takes its place is one of the dreariest chapters in the annals of mankind It would be hard to find from the Peace of Westphalia to the French Revolution a single grand character or a single noble enterprise a single sacrifice made to great public interests a single instance in which the welfare of nations was preferred to the selfish passions of their princes 1 The military history of those times will always be read with interest but free and progressive countries have a history of peace not less rich and varied than that of war and when we ask for an account of the political life of Germany in the eighteenth century we hear nothing but the scandals of buzzing courts and the wrangling of diplomatists at never ending congresses Footnote 1 There was indeed one ruler of consummate powers but his policy was self regarding throughout and though he did much for his state and people he did nothing by them and gave no opportunity for the development of political life among them Useless and helpless as the Empire had become it was not without its importance to the neighbouring countries with whose fortunes it had been linked by the Peace of Westphalia It was the pivot on which the political system of Europe was to revolve the scales so to speak which marked the equipoise of power that had become the grand object of the policy of all states This modern caricature of the plan by which the theorists of the fourteenth century had proposed to keep the world at peace used means less noble and attained its end no better than theirs had done No one will deny that it was and is desirable to prevent a universal monarchy in Europe But it may be asked whether a system can be considered successful which allowed Frederick of Prussia to seize Silesia which did not check the aggressions of Russia and France upon their neighbours which was for ever bartering and exchanging lands in every part of Europe without thought of the inhabitants which permitted and has never been able to redress that greatest of public misfortunes the partitionment of Poland And if it be said that bad as things have been under this system they would have been worse without it it is hard to refrain from asking whether any evils could have been greater than those which the people of Europe have suffered through constant wars with each other and through the withdrawal even in time of peace of so large a part of their population from useful labour to be wasted in maintaining a standing army The result of the extended relations in which Germany now found herself to Europe with two foreign kings never wanting an occasion one of them never the wish to interfere was that a spark from her set the Continent ablaze while flames kindled elsewhere were sure to spread hither Matters grew worse as her princes inherited or created so many thrones abroad The Duke of Holstein acquired Denmark the Count Palatine Sweden the Elector of Saxony Poland the Elector of Hanover England the Archduke of Austria Hungary and Bohemia while the Elector originally Margrave of Brandenburg assumed on the strength of non imperial territories to the northeastward which had come into his hands the style and title of King of Prussia Thus the Empire seemed again about to embrace Europe but in a sense far different from that which those words would have expressed under Charles and Otto Its history for a century and a half is a dismal list of losses and disgraces The chief external danger was from French influence for a time supreme always menacing For though Lewis the Fourteenth on whom in A D 1658 half the electoral college wished to confer the imperial crown was before the end of his life an object of intense hatred officially entitled Hereditary enemy of the Holy Empire 1 France had nevertheless a strong party among the princes always at her beck The Rhenish and Bavarian electors were her favourite tools The reunions begun in A D 1680 a pleasant euphemism for robbery in time of peace added Strasburg and other places in Alsace Lorraine and Franche Comte to the monarchy of Lewis and brought him nearer the heart of the Empire his ambition and cruelty were witnessed to by repeated wars and by the devastation of the Rhine countries the ultimate though short lived triumph of his policy was attained when Marshal Belleisle dictated the election of Charles VII in A D 1742 In the Turkish wars when the princes left Vienna to be saved by the Polish Sobieski the Empire s weakness appeared in a still more pitiable light There was indeed a complete loss of hope and interest in the old system The princes had been so long accustomed to consider themselves the natural foes of a central government that a request made by it was sure to be disregarded they aped in their petty courts the pomp and etiquette of Vienna or Paris grumbling that they should be required to garrison the great frontier fortresses which alone protected them from an encroaching neighbour The Free Cities had never recovered the famines and sieges of the Thirty Years War Hanseatic greatness had waned and the southern towns had sunk into languid oligarchies All the vigour of the people in a somewhat stagnant age either found its sphere in rising states like the Prussia of Frederick the Great or turned away from politics altogether into other channels The Diet had become contemptible from the slowness with which it moved and its tedious squabbles on matters the most frivolous Many sittings were consumed in the discussion of a question regarding the time of keeping Easter more ridiculous than that which had distracted the Western churches in the seventh century the Protestants refusing to reckon by the reformed calendar because it was the work of a Pope Collective action through the old organs was confessed impossible when the common object of defence against France was sought by forming a league under the Emperor s presidency and when at European congresses the Empire was not represented at all 2 No change could come from the Emperor whom the capitulation of A D 1658 deposed ipso facto if he violated its provisions As Dohm 3 said to keep him from doing harm he was kept from doing anything Footnote 1 Erbfeind des heiligen Reichs Footnote 2 Only the envoys of the several states were present at Utrecht in 1713 Footnote 3 Quoted by Ludwig Hausser Deutsche Geschichte Yet little was lost by his inactivity for what could have been hoped from his action From the election of Albert the Second A D 1437 to the death of Charles the Sixth A D 1740 the sceptre had remained in the hands of one family So far from being fit subjects for undistinguishing invective the Hapsburg Emperors may be contrasted favourably with the contemporary dynasties of France Spain or England Their policy viewed as a whole from the days of Rudolf downwards had been neither conspicuously tyrannical nor faltering nor dishonest But it had been always selfish Entrusted with an office which might if there be any power in those memories of the past to which the champions of hereditary monarchy so constantly appeal have stirred their sluggish souls with some enthusiasm for the heroes on whose throne they sat some wish to advance the glory and the happiness of Germany they had cared for nothing sought nothing used the Empire as an instrument for nothing but the attainment of their own personal or dynastic ends Placed on the eastern verge of Germany the Hapsburgs had added to their ancient lands in Austria proper Styria and Tyrol non German territories far more extensive and had thus become the chiefs of a separate and independent state They endeavoured to reconcile its interests with the interests of the Empire so long as it seemed possible to recover part of the old imperial prerogative But when such hopes were dashed by the defeats of the Thirty Years War they hesitated no longer between an elective crown and the rule of their hereditary states and comported themselves thenceforth in European politics not as the representatives of Germany but as heads of the great Austrian monarchy There would have been nothing culpable in this had they not at the same time continued to entangle Germany in wars with which she had no concern to waste her strength in tedious combats with the Turks or plunge her into a new struggle with France not to defend her frontiers or recover the lands she had lost but that some scion of the house of Hapsburg might reign in Spain or Italy Watching the whole course of their foreign policy marking how in A D 1736 they had bartered away Lorraine for Tuscany a German for a non German territory and seeing how at home they opposed every scheme of reform which could in the least degree trench upon their own prerogative how they strove to obstruct the imperial chamber lest it should interfere with their own Aulic council men were driven to separate the body of the Empire from the imperial office and its possessors 1 and when plans for reinvigorating the one failed to leave the others to their fate Still the old line clung to the crown with that Hapsburg gripe which has almost passed into a proverb Odious as Austria was no one could despise her or fancy it easy to shake her commanding position in Europe Her alliances were fortunate her designs were steadily pursued her dismembered territories always returned to her Though the throne continued strictly elective it was impossible not to be influenced by long prescription Projects were repeatedly formed to set the Hapsburgs aside by electing a prince of some other line 2 or by passing a law that there should never be more than two or four successive Emperors of the same house France 3 ever and anon renewed her warnings to the electors that their freedom was passing from them and the sceptre becoming hereditary in one haughty family But it was felt that a change would be difficult and disagreeable and that the heavy expense and scanty revenues of the Empire required to be supported by larger patrimonial domains than most German princes possessed The heads of states like Prussia and Hanover states whose size and wealth would have made them suitable candidates were Protestants and so excluded both by the connexion of the imperial office with the Church and by the majority of Roman Catholics in the electoral college 4 who however jealous they might be of Austria were led both by habit and sympathy to rally round her in moments of peril The one occasion on which these considerations were disregarded shewed their force On the extinction of the male line of Hapsburg in the person of Charles the Sixth the intrigues of the French envoy Marshal Belleisle procured the election of Charles Albert of Bavaria who stood first among the Catholic princes His reign was a succession of misfortunes and ignominies Driven from Munich by the Austrians the head of the Holy Empire lived in Frankfort on the bounty of France cursed by the country on which his ambition had brought the miseries of a protracted war 5 The choice in 1745 of Duke Francis of Lorraine husband of the archduchess of Austria and queen of Hungary Maria Theresa was meant to restore the crown to the only power capable of wearing it with dignity in Joseph the Second her son it again rested on the brow of a Hapsburg 6 In the war of the Austrian succession which followed on the death of Charles the Sixth the Empire as a body took no part in the Seven Years War its whole might broke in vain against one resolute member Under Frederick the Great Prussia approved herself at least a match for France and Austria leagued against her and the semblance of unity which the predominance of a single power had

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  • Peace Of Westphalia, War Of The Fronde
    he thought that he had only to combat the intrigues of some of the nobles In the later phases of the struggle he often erred through his belief in diplomacy and his tendency to follow moderate counsels But he never faltered in his determination to preserve the rights of the French monarchy he easily outmatched his opponents in intrigue and eventually supported by the bourgeoisie and the mass of the nation he triumphed over both the Parliament and the nobles Throughout the early months of 1648 the opposition of the Parliament was intensified by the folly and unpopularity of Emery the superintendent of the finances and by the failure of Mazarin to master the details of the French administrative system Moreover he had given some justification for the attacks made upon him by the favors which he showered upon his own relations and by the means employed in order to secure for his brother the title of cardinal The truth is Mazarin cared little for home affairs and gave no thought to matters connected with the commerce and agriculture of France Unlike Henry IV and Richelieu he made no attempt to open up new sources of prosperity for France for founding colonies encouraging trade introducing manufactures or protecting agriculture His neglect of the internal administration was largely answerable for the financial embarrassments of France for the misery of the people and to a large extent for the outbreak of the First Fronde At the same time it must be remembered that his predecessor was in some measure responsible for the troubles which ensued after his death Richelieu had made no efforts to reform the financial administration of France and both the direct and indirect taxes were levied unfairly and oppressively The financiers who framed the indirect taxes made enormous fortunes out of the taxpayers fraud and peculation were common the provinces were in a state of wretchedness The sale of offices the system of farming the taxes and the gabelle or tax on salt were left untouched the enormous and harmful concessions given to the nobles during the minority of Louis XIII had not been revoked or diminished On his accession to office Mazarin found that the revenues of the next three years had been spent Moreover on Richelieu s death few men of marked capacity were to be found in France Like Frederick the Great in the next century Richelieu was jealous of any initiative on the part of his colleagues He gradually concentrated in his own hands all the threads of the administration and controlled the generals in the field His system produced useful agents but neither statesmen nor able commanders The concentration of all authority in his own hands checked reforms in the government departments and one writer has stated that the Fronde would never have taken place if Richelieu had thought more of securing efficiency in those departments to which he could not give sufficient personal attention and less on concentrating all authority in his own hands After Richelieu s death a policy of firmness if not severity was required The easy rule of Anne of Austria with its pardons and concessions resulted in an increase of independence on the part of the nobles and led ultimately to the Fronde The policy of leniency brought numerous difficulties and dangers which Mazarin in the end succeeded in overcoming That he was able to do so was probably due partly to his own perseverance partly to the policy of Richelieu who had weakened the nobles and the Parliament and deprived them of all substantial power Had Richelieu lived the Fronde could never have occurred that it did occur was due to Mazarin s inability to rule with the same iron hand as his more illustrious predecessor Rarely had a minister occupied in carrying on a prolonged war been so involved in internal difficulties as was Mazarin He had to superintend the movements of French generals in Flanders Germany Italy and Spain and at the same time to keep in constant communication with his agents at Munster who carried on complicated peace negotiations under his instructions During the earlier part of his ministry successes abroad strengthened the government at home and enabled it to take up a firm attitude toward its opponents In 1643 the victory of Rocroi had aided in the establishment of Anne of Austria s regency in 1645 the triumph at Nordlingen had enabled Mazarin to suppress the rising opposition of the Parliament of Paris and in 1646 the capture of Mardyke Duenkirk Piombino and Porto Longone had effaced the recollection of the failure at Orbitello But in 1648 the situation at home was more critical and political passions ran high Mazarin s neglect of the internal administration had led to the revival of the cabals suppressed in 1643 while the Parliament of Paris found in the general misery and misgovernment of the country some justification for its opposition to the court and the minister Turenne s victory of Zusmarshausen in May 1648 passed almost unnoticed in Paris which was then seething with discontent Mazarin however hoped that a victory won by the popular Conde in Flanders would at any rate arrest attention strike the imagination of the Parisians and enable the Court to deal a telling blow at its opponents That the opposition had any real ground of complaint Mazarin never seems to have acknowledged and he certainly at this time failed to grasp the gravity of the situation The leaders of the Parliamentary Fronde were to a great extent men who represented the highest type of citizen life and who had the welfare of France at heart In attacking a wasteful administration and a ruinous system of taxation the Fronde movement is deserving of respect There was much to urge against the frauds of contractors unjust imprisonments and the creation of new offices and many of the suggested reforms of the chamber of St Louis were excellent On May 15 1648 delegates from the four sovereign courts the parliament the grand conseil the chambre des comptes the cour des aides had met in the chamber of St Louis to reform the abuses which had crept into the state The thirty two delegates who sat in that chamber formulated their demands and practically claimed a share in the legislative authority Their principal demands were 1 That no tax should be levied unless previously voted by the Parliament of Paris 2 that no one should be kept in prison for more than twenty four hours without being tried 3 that an investigation into the extortions of the farmers of the taxes should be made 4 that a quarter of the taille should be remitted and that money gained from that source should be strictly appropriated to the wars 5 that the intendants should be abolished 6 that no new office should be created without the agreement of the Parliament of Paris The Parliament of Paris thus proposed to take up a position similar to that occupied by the English Parliament But the Parliament of Paris was unfitted to be a legislative body It was merely a close corporation of hereditary lawyers whose claim to political functions had been summarily dismissed by Richelieu The demand for the abolition of the intendants at once testifies to its want of statesmanship Among Richelieu s beneficial measures none was more valuable than the appointment of the intendants By abolishing them the Parliament of Paris was threatening the unity of the whole internal administration Without the intendants the provinces would once again fall into the incapable hands of the nobles feudalism would again be rampant and general confusion and anarchy would ensue The Parliament no doubt attacked the intendants in the hope of succeeding to their functions and thus securing a considerable voice in the administration of the provinces The intendants too whose full title was intendants of justice police and finance had often infringed upon the jurisdiction of the Parliament which was always jealous of any invasion of its judicial powers The proposals of the chamber of St Louis constituted a distinct attack on the royal power they also implied on the part of the sovereign courts an invasion of the rights of the nation The King alone had legislative power and the States General alone had the right to present to him their grievances At this crisis it is evident that the Parliament wished to supersede the States General and to take their place Such a usurpation on the part of a body of lawyers could not be tolerated either by the government or by the nation and the resistance of the former eventually received the full support of the French people Anne of Austria in her determination to preserve for her son all the royal prerogatives intact was furious at the demands of the sovereign courts and was prepared to enter upon a contest with them without delay Mazarin however persuaded her to temporize Orleans on July 7th presided over a conference in his palace and certain concessions were made by Mazarin to the opposition The superintendent Emery was dismissed and the incapable Marshal de la Meilleraye substituted A chamber of justice was set up to deal with all abuses connected with the financial administration Over the abolition of the intendants there was much angry discussion Eventually Anne gave a reluctant consent to the suppression of all except those in Languedoc Provence the Lyonnais Picardy and Champagne During these conferences Orleans showed a sympathy with the Frondeurs and it was evident that he would not uphold the royal cause Being determined at the first opportunity to resist the pretensions of the Parliament and being desirous to sound the loyalty of Conde Anne and Mazarin summoned the Prince to Paris It was probably arranged at some interviews which took place on July 19th and the following day that the Prince should first crush the Archduke Leopold and then return to aid the government in overcoming the resistance of the Parliament Till Conde had won a decisive victory the government thought it well to continue to temporize and Anne of Austria simulated a desire to satisfy all the demands of the Frondeurs On July 31st a royal declaration agreed to the majority of the claims made by the sovereign courts in the chamber of St ouis No satisfactory guarantee was however given with regard to the personal liberty of the subject the Broussel and other extremists continued to agitate The situation which in many respects resembled that of 1792 remained critical the Frondeurs desiring further radical changes while the court anxiously awaited developments on the frontier At last on August 22 1648 arrived the news of Conde s victory at Lens Heaven has at last declared in our favor wrote Mazarin in the Low Countries no less than in other places The victories of Zusmarshausen Tortosa and Prague had now been crowned by the victory of Lens The superiority of the French arms was proved and the courts prepared to crush the opposition of the Parliament The success at Lens would in Mazarin s opinion enable him to force Spain to make peace and to triumph over the Parliament By the advice of the Count of Chavigny the King s council which included besides the Queen Regent and Mazarin the Dukes of Orleans and Longueville the chancellor Seguier and Meilleraye the superintendent of the finances decided like the court of Louis XVI in July 1789 to carry out a coup d etat and to arrest three members of the Parliament Broussel Blancmesnil and Charton The arrests were to take effect in August On August 26th the day on which a Te Deum was being sung in Norte Dame in honor of the victory at Lens the attempt to carry out the coup d etat was made Unlike Charles I in his attempt to arrest the five members the action of the French government was partially successful Charton indeed escaped but Broussel and Blancmesnil were seized The populace of Paris at once rose and erected barricades The whole city was in an uproar The news that Masaniello had headed a rising in Naples against the tax gatherers helped to excite the mob just as the victories of the English Parliament had encouraged the aspirations of the French Parliament At this point Paul de Gondi better known as the Cardinal de Retz the intriguing coadjutor of the Archbishop of Paris became prominent He appeared at the Palais Royal and advised the Queen Regent to yield to the popular wish and release Broussel and Blancmesnil Having failed in his object he set to work to inflame still more the passions of the multitude On August 27th the situation became yet more serious and the chancellor Seguier attacked by the mob nearly lost his life The Parliament endeavored at first without success to induce Anne to release the prisoners but at length yielding to the advice of Orleans and Mazarin she consented to a compromise The Parliament agreed not to interfere in political matters and Broussel and Blancmesnil were released The barricades disappeared and outwardly Paris was pacified But all danger was by no means over The Duke of Longueville had during the troubles held a very ambiguous attitude and it was evident that he and other nobles were not loyal to the court The troops had shown signs of mutiny the days of the League seemed likely to return On August 29th Mazarin made certain suggestions to the Regent which testified to his foresight and determination He was resolved to restore the royal authority and to subdue the Parliament He was determined to enforce the supremacy of the King in Paris and till that had been accomplished the reputation of France would suffer abroad trade would languish the conclusion of the war would be deferred Like Mirabeau Mazarin recognized the necessity of removing the King and court from the influence of the capital He therefore advised the departure of the court to Rueil Conflans or St Maur where the return of Conde could be awaited On that general s arrival Paris could if necessary be coerced by force of arms Meanwhile he urged the adoption of temporizing measures and of a policy of conciliation with the object of dividing the enemies of the royal authority Many of the bourgeoisie were opposed to the late seditious conduct of Paris and the older members of the Parliament were disposed to peace But a powerful party in the Parliament was determined to regain its political powers and on the instigation of De Retz held meetings in order to consult upon the necessary measures to be taken Moreover the Count of Chavigny had deserted the cause of the court and urged the Parliament to resist Mazarin to the uttermost It was obvious that a further collision between the royal authority and the Parliament was inevitable Mazarin s mind was made up On September 13th the court moved to Rueil where it was joined by Orleans Seguier Meilleraye and Conde Two of the Cardinal s opponents the Marquis of Chateauneuf and the Count of Chavigny at once felt the heavy hand of the minister The former was exiled the latter was placed under arrest The attempt of a deputation of the Parliament headed by its president Matthieu Mole to secure the release of Chavigny and to induce the Queen Regent to return to Paris failed and the King s council annulled the decree of the Parliament itself The Parliament prepared to take defensive measures but the outbreak of hostilities was averted by the temporary triumph of a pacific spirit in the court It is difficult to account for this sudden change it was probably due to the fact that Mazarin could not depend upon the whole hearted support of Conde in carrying out an energetic policy Conde indeed stood apart from De Retz and looked with contempt upon the long robed Parliament as much as he did upon the canaille Like Napoleon he scorned mob rule and disorder But for years he had been alienated from Mazarin and hated him as much as he despised the Frondeurs Yielding to the persuasions of De Retz Conde advocated the assembling of a conference hoping to bring about Mazarin s exclusion from its meetings The conference first met at St Germain on September 25th the royal authority being represented by Orleans Conde Conti and Longueville and it lasted ten days till October 4th After long discussions the members agreed to an ordinance which was published on October 22 1648 and known as the Declaration of St Germain Most of the demands of the chamber of St Louis were conceded The financial judicial and commercial administration of the kingdom was regulated and measures were taken to check arbitrary arrests and to reform the methods of taxation This ordinance was the most important act of the First or Parliamentary Fronde and represents the high water mark of constitutional advance made by the Parliament and its supporters It almost seemed that constitutional life was at last to begin in France But if examined closely the Declaration of October 22d bears full evidence as to the selfish and narrow aims of the Parliament and shows how every so called constitutional effort on its part was tainted by its determination to secure its own privileges In the declaration it is specially stated that the charges and privileges of the Parliament should be guaranteed Though the regular payment of the rentes of the Hotel de Ville a matter in which the bourgeoisie was interested was enforced and though there was a reference in general terms to the amelioration of the lot of the mass of the people the declaration was principally concerned with securing and confirming the privileges of the Parliament So far Mazarin and Anne had been forced to yield and the Parliament had apparently won the day But Mazarin had only simulated a yielding spirit

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  • Historical Documents and Stories, History World International
    the private be given leave She went on to say that every time he comes home he is far too excitable and drinks too much goes fighting and partying with his friends and generally disrupts family life She was much to ill to take care of a drunken man while she and the children were all so sickly She would prefer if he stayed at the camp until she wrote again The private said that it was apparent there were liars in the room and he the private was only one of them Ya see Capin I ain t nivr been married in me life World History Center Stories from History Agincourt and the Finger Baseball and the National Anthem Civil War Letter D Day Story July 4th World War One Christmas Lincoln s Dream Lincoln s Son Better Angels Southern Debate First Time Wilmer and the War Great Men April Fools Yankee Doodle The Beginning Presidents That Darn Flag Very Funny Stuff Wilfred Owen The Bomb Brass Monkey President Stories History Shorts 1 History Shorts 2 History Shorts 3 History Shorts 4 Back to Main menu A project by History World International World History Center Historical Documents in alphabetical

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  • History of Maps
    T Europe to its left Africa to its right East was at the top with Jerusalem and the Holy Land as seen from Europe the obvious center of interest The development of trade during the Renaissance was accompanied by the appearance of the practical sailing charts known as portolanos These were first used in southern Europe during the 13th century They showed coastlines fairly accurately and were covered with lines and compass roses giving the main directions Improvements in practical astronomy and the development of trigonometry brought better surveying methods and the mathematical tools for creating new map projections Printing and engraving which also originated during the Renaissance made maps cheaper and more abundant Although far superior to earlier maps the maps of the Renaissance left much to be desired Imaginary continents and islands were drawn to fill in extensive blank areas The unexplored interiors of known land areas were covered with fanciful detail Borders were decorated with pretentious artwork The latitudes of Renaissance maps were generally accurate but the distorted shapes of some coastlines show that longitudes were not In the late 17th century when newly developed astronomical techniques were used to ascertain longitude the relative locations of many places were accurately determined for the first time This combined with continued exploration of the seas made possible the more accurate coastlines of 18th century maps The unknown continental interiors were largely filled in as a result of 19th century land explorations Scientific atlases with thematic maps now appeared These were a great stimulus to the scholarly study of the Earth More recently the use of power driven presses lithography and photoengraving in the printing of maps has made them cheaper more colorful and more detailed than ever Many improvements in mapping coverage during the 20th century have been made

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  • Laying Of The Atlantic Cable
    of the well known firm of Glass Elliot and Company with the Guttapercha Company making of the two one concern known at The Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company which included not only Mr Brassey and Mr Pender but other men of great wealth such as Mr George Elliot and Mr Barclay of London and Mr Henry Bewley of Dublin and which thus reenforced with immense capital took up the whole enterprise in its strong arms We needed I have said six hundred thousand pounds and with all our efforts in England and America we raised only two hundred eighty five thousand pounds This new company now came forward and offered to take the whole remaining three hundred fifteen thousand pounds besides one hundred thousand pounds of the bonds and to make its own profits contingent on success Mr Richard A Glass was made managing director and gave energy and vigor to all its departments being admirably seconded by the secretary Mr Shuter A few days after half a dozen gentlemen joined together and bought the Great Eastern to lay the cable and at the head of this company was placed Mr Daniel Gooch a member of Parliament and chairman of the great Western Railway who was with us in both the expeditions which followed His son Mr Charles Gooch a volunteer in the service worked faithfully on board the Great Eastern The good fortune which favored us in our ship favored us also in our commander Captain Anderson who was for years in the Cunard Line How well he did his part in two expeditions the result has proved and it was just that a mark of royal favor should fall on that manly head Thus organized the work of making a new Atlantic cable was begun The core was prepared with infinite care under the able superintendence of Mr Chatterton and Mr Willoughby Smith and the whole was completed in about eight months As fast as ready it was taken on board the Great Eastern and coiled in three enormous tanks and on July 15 1865 the ship sailed I will not stop to tell the story of that expedition For a week all went well we had paid out one thousand two hundred miles of cable and had only six hundred miles farther to go when hauling in the cable to remedy a fault it parted and went to the bottom That day I never can forget how men paced the deck in despair looking out on the broad sea that had swallowed up their hopes and then how the brave Canning for nine days and nights dragged the bottom of the ocean for our lost treasure and though he grappled it three times failed to bring it to the surface The story of that expedition as written by Doctor Russell who was on board the Great Eastern is one of the most marvellous chapters in the whole history of modern enterprise We returned to England defeated yet full of resolution to begin the battle anew Measures were at once taken to make a second cable and fit out a new expedition and with that assurance I came home to New York in the autumn In December I went back again when lo all our hopes had sunk to nothing The Attorney General of England had given his written opinion that we had no legal right without a special act of Parliament which could not be obtained under a year to issue the new 12 per cent shares on which we relied to raise our capital This was a terrible blow The works were at once stopped and the money which had been paid in returned to the subscribers Such was the state of things when I reached London on December 24 1865 and the next day was not a merry Christmas to me But it was an inexpressible comfort to have the counsel of such men as Sir Daniel Gooch and Sir Richard A Glass and to hear stout hearted Mr Brassey tell us to go ahead and if need were he would put down sixty thousand pounds more It was finally concluded that the best course was to organize a new company which should assume the work and so originated the Anglo American Telegraph Company It was formed by ten gentlemen who met around a table in London and put down ten thousand pounds apiece The great Telegraph Construction and maintenance Company undaunted by the failure of last year answered us with a subscription of one hundred thousand pounds Soon after the books were opened to the public through the eminent banking house of J S Morgan and Company and in fourteen days we had raised the six hundred thousand pounds Then the work began again and went on with speed Never was greater energy infused into any enterprise It was only the last day of March that the new company was formed and it was registered as a company the next day and yet such was the vigor and despatch that in five months from that day the cable had been manufactured shipped on the Great Eastern stretched across the Atlantic and was sending messages literally swift as lightning from continent to continent Yet this was not a lucky hit a fine run across the ocean in calm weather It was the worst weather I ever knew at that season of the year The despatch that appeared in the New York papers read The weather has been most pleasant I wrote it unpleasant We had fogs and storms almost the whole way Our success was the result of the highest science combined with practical experience Everything was perfectly organized to the minutes detail We had on board an admirable staff of officers such men as Halpin and Beckwith engineers long used to this business such as Canning and Clifford and Temple and electricians such as Professor Thomson of Glasgow and Willoughby Smith and Laws Mr

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  • Copernicus, Revolution Of Astronomy
    sides as Ptolemy had done and as the result of his deliberation Copernicus came to an opposite conclusion from Ptolemy To Copernicus it appeared that the difficulties attending the supposition that the celestial sphere revolved were vastly greater than those which appeared so weighty to Ptolemy as to force him to deny the earth s rotation Copernicus shows clearly how the observed phenomena could be accounted for just as completely by a rotation of the earth as by a rotation of the heavens He alludes to the fact that to those on board a vessel which is moving through smooth water the vessel itself appears to be at rest while the objects on shore appear to be moving past If therefore the earth were rotating uniformly we dwellers upon the earth oblivious of our own movement would wrongly attribute to the stars the displacement which was actually the consequence of our own motion Copernicus saw the futility of the arguments by which Ptolemy had endeavored to demonstrate that a revolution of the earth was impossible It was plain to him that there was nothing whatever to warrant refusal to believe in the rotation of the earth In his clear sightedness on this matter we have specially to admire the sagacity of Copernicus as a natural philosopher It had been urged that if the earth moved round its motion would not be imparted to the air and that therefore the earth would be uninhabitable by the terrific winds which would be the result of our being carried through the air Copernicus convinced himself that this deduction was preposterous He proved that the air must accompany the earth just as one s coat remains round him notwithstanding the fact that he is walking down the street In this way he was able to show that all a priori objections to the earth s movements were absurd and therefore he was able to compare together the plausibilities of the two rival schemes for explaining the diurnal movement Once the issue had been placed in this form the result could not be long in doubt Here is the question Which is it more likely that the earth like a grain of sand at the centre of a mighty globe should turn round once in twenty four hours or that the whole of that vast globe should complete a rotation in the opposite direction in the same time Obviously the former is far the more simple supposition But the case is really much stronger than this Ptolemy had supposed that all the stars were attached to the surface of a sphere He had no ground whatever for this supposition except that otherwise it would have been wellnigh impossible to devise a scheme by which the rotation of the heavens around a fixed earth could have been arranged Copernicus however with the just instinct of a philosopher considered that the celestial sphere however convenient from a geometrical point of view as a means of representing apparent

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