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fifth edition

Philip J. Adler
East Carolina University

Randall L. Pouwels
University of Central Arkansas

Australia Canada Mexico Singapore Spain

United Kingdom United States
World Civilizations, Fifth Edition
Philip J. Adler
Randall L. Pouwels

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Brief Contents

Maps xii 29 The Scientic Revolution and Its

Enlightened Aftermath 389
Preface xiv
About the Authors xix 30 Liberalism and the Challenge to Absolute
Monarchy 403
Introduction to the Student xx
31 The French Revolution and the Empire of
Napoleon 411
Part FOUR: Disequilibrium: The
Western Encounter with the 32 Europes Industrialization and Its Social
Non-Western World, Consequences 424
CE 296
33 Europe in Ideological Conict 441
22 A Larger World Opens 298 34 Advanced Industrial Society 454
23 The Protestant Reformation 310 35 Consolidation of National States 466
24 The Rise and Fall of the Muslim 36 The Islamic World, 16001917 479
Empires 322
37 Africa in the Era of Informal Empire 492
25 Foundations of the European States 334
38 European Imperialism and Africa during
26 China from the Ming Through the Early the Age of Industry 505
Qing Dynasty 352
39 China and Southeast Asia in the Age of
27 Japan in the Era of European Imperialism 516
Expansion 363
40 Latin America from Independence to
28 From Conquest to Colonies in Hispanic Dependent States 526
America 374
Worldview FOUR: Disequilibrium: 41 Modern Science and its Implications 538
The Western Encounter with the
Non-Western World, 42 World War I and Its Disputed
C.E. 384 Settlement 548
Worldview FIVE: Revolutions,
Ideology, and the New
Part FIVE: Revolutions, Ideology, Imperialism, 564
and the New Imperialism,

Part SIX: Equilibrium Reestablished: 52 Africas Decolonization and Years of
The Twentieth-Century World Independence 665
and Beyond, Present 566
53 Latin America in the Twentieth
Century 677
43 A Fragile Balance: Europe in the
Twenties 569 54 The Reemergence of the Muslim
World 690
44 The Soviet Experiment to World War
II 581 55 Collapse and Reemergence in
Communist Europe 704
45 Totalitarianism Rened: The Nazi
State 593 56 A New Millennium 716
46 East Asia in a Century of Change 602 Worldview SIX: Equilibrium
Reestablished: The Twentieth-
47 World War II 612 Century World and Beyond,
Present 726
48 High and Low Cultures in the West 625
Glossary G-1
49 Superpower Rivalry and the European
Recovery 634 Answers to Test Your Knowledge A-1
Credits C-1
50 Decolonization and the Third World 644 Index I-1

51 The New Asiav 652


Maps xii LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Elizabeth I of England

Preface xiv (15331603) 316

About the Authors xix Religious Wars and Their Outcomes

to 1600 317
Introduction to the Student xx France 317
The Spanish Netherlands 318
The Legacy of the Reformation 318
Part FOUR: Disequilibrium: The EVIDENCE OF THE PAST: The St. Bartholomews Day
Western Encounter with Massacre 319
the Non-Western World,
24 The Rise and Fall of the Muslim
Empires 322
22 A Larger World Opens 298 The Ottoman Empire 322
Maritime Exploration in the 1400s 298 Ottoman Government 324
Overseas Empires and Their Eects 300 Non-Muslims under Ottoman Rule 325
Portuguese Pioneers 300 The Zenith of the Ottoman Empire: Suleiman
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Vasco da Gamas First and After 325
Contacts in East Africa 300 EVIDENCE OF THE PAST: Harem Intrigue in the Death of
The Spanish Empire in the Americas 302 Suleimans Favorite Son 326
The African Slave Trade Opens 302 The Muslim Empires in Persia and India 327
Dutch and English Merchant-Adventurers 303 The Safavid Realm 327
Mercantilism 304 The Mughal Empire 328
The Columbian Exchange 304
European Impacts and Vice Versa 305 PATTERNS OF BELIEF: The Rubaiyat of Omar
The Fate of the Amerindians 306 Khayyam 330
Racisms Beginnings 306
EVIDENCE OF THE PAST: Bartolom de las Casass Report 25 Foundations of the European States 334
on the Indies 307 The Thirty Years War 335
Theory and Practice of Royal Absolutism 337
French Government under Louis XIV 337
23 The Protestant Reformation 310 Strengths and Weaknesses of French
Luther and the German National Church 310 Absolutism 338
Luthers Beliefs 311 Revolt Against Royal Absolutism:
Calvin and International Protestantism 312 Seventeenth-century England 339
Calvinism and Lutheranism Compared 313 Civil War: Cromwells Commonwealth 339
Other Early Protestant Faiths 314 Restoration and Glorious Revolution
The Church of England 314
The Counter-Reformation 315

of 1688 340 America 374
Political Theory: Hobbes And Locke 341 The Fall of the Aztec and Inca Empires 374
SOCIETY AND ECONOMY: Women and the The Colonial Experience 376
Guilds 341 Colonial Administration 376
The Church in the Colonies 376
Absolutism East of the Elbe 342
Prussias Rise 342 EVIDENCE OF THE PAST: Recovering Life Stories of the
Voiceless: Testimonial Narratives by African Slaves 377
LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Hobbess Leviathan 343
The Early Economic Structure 378
The Habsburg Domains 344 Stagnation and Revival in the Eighteenth
The Struggle against the Ottomans 344 Century 378
Russia Under the Tsars 346 Colonial Society and Culture 379
Russias Antipathies to the West 346
Absolutism in Russia: Peter I 347 SOCIETY AND ECONOMY: Forced Labor and Debt
Peonage in the Spanish Colonies 381

26 China from the Ming Through the Early Worldview FOUR: Disequilibrium: The
Qing Dynasty 352 Western Encounter with the
Ming China, 13681644 352 Non-Western World,
Economic Progress 354 C.E
Urbanization and Technology 354
The Ming Political System 355
The Bureaucracy 355 Part FIVE: Revolutions, Ideology,
Dealing with Foreigners 356 and the New Imperialism,

Inventions 357
The Manzhou Invaders: The Qing Dynasty 358 29 The Scientic Revolution and Its
Qing Government 358 Enlightened Aftermath 389
The Scientic Revolution of the Seventeenth
LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Kangxis Sacred Edict 359 Century 389
Qing Culture and Economy 359 Background of the Scientic Revolution 390
Progress and Problems 360 The Progress of Scientic Knowledge:
Copernicus to Newton 391
Religion And Science in the Seventeenth
27 Japan in the Era of European Century 391
Expansion 363
Japan 363 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Isaac Newton
First European Contacts: Christianity 364 (16421727) 392
The Tokugawa Shogunate 364 The Science Of Man 393
LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Tokugawa Ieyasu The Enlightenment 393
(15421616) 365 Formative Figures and Basic Ideas 394
The Philosophes and Their Ideals 394
Shogun, Emperor, and Daimyo 366
Economic Advances 366 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Franklin as
Peasants and Urbanites 368 Scientist 396
Taming the Samurai 368 Economic Thought: Adam Smith 397
Tokugawa Arts and Learning 368 Educational Theory and the Popularization of
Literature and Its Audiences 369 Knowledge 398
Adaptation and Originality 369 Ideals of the Enlightenment: Reason, Liberty,
Response to The Western Challenge 369 Happiness 398
ARTS AND CULTURE: The Origins and Evolution of The Audience of the Philosophes 398
Haiku 370 SOCIETY AND ECONOMY: The Enlightened Woman:
Southeast Asia 371 Mary Wollstonecraft (17591797) 400

28 From Conquest to Colonies in Hispanic

30 Liberalism and the Challenge to Absolute Occupations and Mobility 433
Monarchy 403 Female Occupations 433
The Liberal Creed 403 SOCIETY AND ECONOMY: A Navvys Life on the
The American Revolutionary War 404 Tramp 434
Results of the American Revolution in European
Opinion 405 The Migration to the Cities: Urbanized
Society 435
LAW AND GOVERNMENT: The Declaration of Urban Growth 435
Independence of 1776 and the Declaration of the Urban Classes and Lifestyles 435
Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789 406 Diet And Nutrition 436
Public Health 436
LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Thomas Paine Housing and Sanitation 436
(17371809) 407 Living Standards 437
Reforms and Improvements 437
31 The French Revolution and the Empire of SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Cholera Arrives in
Napoleon 411 Manchester, 1832 438
The Background to the Crisis 411
Constitutional Monarchy 412
Calling of the Estates 412 33 Europe in Ideological Conict 441
The National Assembly and Its Constitution 413 Liberalism in Politics and Economics 441
The Gospel of Free Enterprise 442
SOCIETY AND ECONOMY: What Is the Third Estate? 413
Conservatism 443
Jacobin Terror 414 Moderate Conservatism 443
Reaction And Consolidation 415 Reaction 444
The Bonapartist Era Opens 415 Nationalism 444
Socialism in the Pre-Marx Era 444
LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Maximilien Robespierre
Political Events to 1848 445
(17581794) 416
The Liberal States: France and Britain 445
French Dominion Over Europe 417
Napoleon: Pro Or Con 418
(17721837) 447
The Vienna Settlement 419
LAW AND GOVERNMENT: The Civil Code of 1804 419 ARTS AND CULTURE: George Gordon, Lord Byron
(17881824) 448
Overall Estimate of the Vienna Settlement 421
The Reactionary States: Austria, Russia, and
32 Englands Industrialization and Its Social Prussia 449
Consequences 424 The Revolts of 1848 449
Prerequisites For Industrial Production 425 Two Phases 450
Agrarian Improvements 425 Consequences 451
The Method Of Machine Industry 426
The Factory 426 34 Advanced Industrial Society 454
England: The Initial Leader in Industrialism 426 The Second Industrial Revolution 454
New Energy Sources 456
SOCIETY AND ECONOMY: Textile Mills Labor 427
New Forms of Business Organization 456
Social Results of the Second Industrial
Revolution 457
Specialization 428
Socialism After 1848: Marxism 458
Spread of the Industrial Revolution 428 Marxist Theory 458
Railroads 430
PATTERNS OF BELIEF: Karl Marx (18181883) 459
Phases of the Industrial Revolution 431
Traditional Social Structures and Impacts of Early
LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Communist Manifesto 460
Industry 431
The Structure of the Family and Household 432 Marxist Organizations 460
The Place of Children 432 Rivals to Marxism 461
Relations Between Men and Women 433

Reform and Revisionism 461 38 European Imperialism and Africa During
Emigration Overseas 462 the Age of Industry 505
SOCIETY AND ECONOMY: Home Work: Berlin 1898 462 The Background of the New Imperialism,
17901880 505
Destinations 463 Rivalry for New Markets 506
Types of Emigrants 464 Strategic Issues 506
Nationalism and the Clash of Rival
35 Consolidation of National States 466 Imperialisms 506
Russia 466 The White Mans Burden 506
The Great Reforms 467 The Scramble For Africa, 18801914 506
France 469 Reactions To European Domination 508
The Unication Of Italy 469
The Unication Of The Germanies 471 LAW AND GOVERNMENT: One Who Resisted 509

LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Giuseppe Garibaldi Changes in African Societies 510

(18071882) 472 Undermining of the Old Ways 511
Economic Changes 511
The Multinational Empire of Austria-hungary 474
The United States in the Industrial Age 475 SOCIETY AND ECONOMY: Women of Colonial
Industrial Progress 475 Africa 513
The Nature of U.S. Industrialization 475
The Modern Nation-State 476 39 China and Southeast Asia in the Age of
Imperialism 516
36 The Islamic World, 16001917 479 China 516
The Decline of the Muslim Empires 480 The Decline of the Qing Dynasty 516
The Strengths and Weaknesses of Ottoman The Taiping Rebellion 517
Civilization 480
The Decline of the Ottoman Empire 480 SOCIETY AND ECONOMY: A Novel Cure for the Opium
Safavid and Mughal Decline 481 Plague 518
The Muslim Lands Until World War I 482 Failure of the Late Qing Dynasty
Reforms of the Muslim Ruling Elites 483 Restoration 519
The Tanzimat 483 Chinese Disintegration after 1895 520
Egypt and Sudan under Muhammad Ali Southeast Asia 520
and Khedive Ismail 484
Reforms under the Iranian Shahs 486 LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Empress Cixi (18351908) 521
Social and Intellectual Responses 487
Wahhabi Fundamentalism and Jihad 487 40 Latin America from Independence to
The Sala Movement 487 Dependent States 526
PATTERNS OF BELIEF: The Founding Figure of Islamic The Independence Movements 527
Fundamentalism and Reform 488 The Age of Chaos and Caudillos 528
National Consolidation Under Oligarchies 531
Arab Nationalism 489 Social Distinctions 532
37 Africa in the Era of Informal
Nineteenth-Century Latin America 533
Empire 492
The Era of Informal Empire 492 Land and Labor 534
The Slave Trade and Its Results 493 Latin American and Caribbean Cultures 534
Intensication of European Contacts 495
ARTS AND CULTURE: Multicultural Music: Argentinas
LAW AND GOVERNMENT: The Letter of King Affonso of Tango and Brazils Samba 535
Kongo, 1526 496
North Africa 497 41 Modern Science and its
West Africa 498 Implications 538
South Africa 500 The Physical Sciences 538
East Africa 501 Biology 539
Physics 539

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Charles Darwin Reects on Totalitarian Government 571
The Origin of Species 540 Five Characteristics 571
Antirationalism 571
Astronomy 541
Italian Fascism 572
The Social Sciences 542
Fascist Economic and Social Policies 572
Psychology 542
Germany in the Postwar Era 572
Anthropology and Sociology 543
The Malaise in Twentieth-Century Society 543 LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Benito Mussolini
(18831945) 573
ARTS AND CULTURE: Sigmund Freud (18561939) 544
Reparations 574
Religious Thought and Practice 545
Ination and Middle-Class Ruin 574
Churches under Attack 545
Eastern Europe 574
The Christian Revival 545
The Western Democracies 575
Britain 575
42 World War I and Its Disputed France 576
Settlement 548 The United States 576
Prewar Diplomacy 548
International Relations on The Eve of the
The Triple Alliance 549
Depression 576
The Anglo-French Entente and the Anglo-Russian
Agreement 549 SOCIETY AND ECONOMY: The Roaring Twenties 577
Causes of the War 549
Military Action, 19141918 551
44 The Soviet Experiment to
The Bloody Stalemate 552
World War II 581
U.S. Entry and Russian Exit 553
The March Revolution, 1917 581
EVIDENCE OF THE PAST: Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet The Bolsheviks 582
on the Western Front 553 The October Revolution 583
Civil War 583
Collapse of the Central Powers 554
Economic Revival and Internal Struggles 583
The Home Front During the War 555
The Five-Year Plans 585
Social Behavior 555
Agrarian Collectivization 585
Psychic Consequences 556
Industrial Progress 585
The Peace Treaties, 19191920 556
Conicting Principles and Their LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Leon Trotsky
Compromise 557 (18791940) 586
LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Nicky and Sunny 558 The Stalinist Dictatorship 587
The Purges: A Terrorized Society 587
Evaluation Of The Treaties 559
SOCIETY AND ECONOMY: Josef Stalin, Husband and
LAW AND GOVERNMENT: The Versailles Treaty, 1919 560
Father 588

Worldview FIVE: Revolutions, Ideology, Life Under the Dictatorship 589

and the New Imperialism, Possibilities Expanded 589
564 Liberties Suppressed 589
Material and Social Welfare in the Interwar
Soviet Union 590
Part SIX: Equilibrium Reestablished:
The Twentieth-Century World 45 Totalitarianism Rened: The Nazi
and Beyond, Present 566 State 593
Hitler and the Thousand-Year Reich 593
Hitlers Early Career 593
43 A Fragile Balance: Europe in the The Nazi Program 594
Twenties 569 The Great Depressions Eects 594
Political and Economic Backdrop 570
LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Adolf Hitler (18891945) 595
Political Diversity 570
Keynesian Economics 570 The Seizure of Power 596
Marxist Successes and the Soviet Chimera 570 The Nazi Domestic Regime 597

LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Heinrich Himmlers Speech to Movies 630
the SS 597 Radio 630
Music 630
The Jewish Question 598
Television 631
Nazi Economic Policy 599
Mass Culture and Its Critics 631

46 East Asia in a Century of Change 602 49 Superpower Rivalry and the European
China 603 Recovery 634
The Beginnings of Chinese Nationalism 603 Conict In The Postwar Generation 634
Chiang Kai-sheks Regime 603 The Division of Europe 635
LAW AND GOVERNMENT: The Father of Modern LAW AND GOVERNMENT: The Iron Curtain 635
China 604
Grudging Coexistence 636
The Sino-Japanese War and the Maoist From Cuban Missiles to NATOs Decline 637
Challenge 605 Europes Economic Recovery 638
The Communist Victory 606 Factors Promoting Prosperity 639
Japan 606
The Emergence of Modern Japan 606 LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Cuban Missiles
Meiji Reforms 606 in 1962 639
Foreign Successes 607 European Unity 640
Between the World Wars 607 The Communist Bloc, 19471980 641
Southeast Asia 608
50 Decolonization and the Third
47 World War II 612 World 644
The Rise and Fall of Collective Security 612 Decolonizations Causes 644
The Spanish Civil War 613 Dismantling of Western Colonies 645
Hitlers March to War, 19351939 613 Problems of the Third World 646
The Reoccupation of the Rhineland 613 The Population of the Earth 647
Anschluss in Austria 614
Munich, 1938 614 LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Vietnams Declaration of
The Nazi-Soviet Nonaggression Pact 614 Independence, 1946 648
World War II 616 Misapplied Technology 649
The European Theater 616
Phase 1: Axis Blitzkrieg 616 51 The New Asia 652
Phase 2: Allied Counterattack 616 Maos China, 19491976 652
LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Winston Churchill Recent China 654
(18741965) 617 LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Chairman Maos
Phase 3: Allied Victory 618 Thought 654
The Pacic Theater 619 Postwar Japan to 1952 656
Japanese Defeat and Surrender 619 Independent Japan 656
The Onset of The Cold War 621 Economic Progress 656
Wartime Alliance and Continuing South And Southeast Asia Since
Mistrust 621 Independence 657
The Original Issues 621 India 657
SOCIETY AND ECONOMY: Unsold Goods and Giant
48 High and Low Cultures in the West 625 Garbage 658
Fragmentation And Alienation 625
Modernism 626 Pakistan and Bangladesh 659
Modern Painting 626 Southeast Asia since World War II 660
Modern Literature 627 The War in Vietnam 660
Progress and the Promise of Future
ARTS AND CULTURE: Pablo Picasso (18811973) 628
Prosperity 661
Modern Philosophy 629
Popular Arts and Culture 629

52 Africas Decolonization and Years of The Muslim Nations Today 699
Independence 665 The Arabs 699
Decolonization: The Run-Up to The Non-Arabic Nations 700
Independence 666
The Immediate Post-Independence Years 668 55 Collapse and Reemergence in
SOCIETY AND ECONOMY: Changing Times in
Communist Europe 704
The Immediate Postwar Era 704
Kenya 669
The Communization of Eastern Europe 705
The African Economy 670 The Stalinist Regime 705
The Population Bomb 671 From Stalin to Brezhnev 706
Prospects at the Start of the Twenty-First Goulash Communism 706
Century 672 Stagnation 707
The End of Communist Rule 708
LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Inaugural Address by Nelson
The Breakup of the Soviet Union 709
Mandela 674
Eastern Europes Revolution of 1989 709
53 Latin America in the Twentieth
Berlin Wall 711
Century 677
Persistent Dependency 677 Problems of the Post-Communist Era 712
New and Old Social Problems 678
Economic Nationalism 679 56 A New Millennium 716
Mexico under Crdenas 680 A Short and Violent Century Behind Us 716
Argentina under Pern 680 Technology and Political Culture 717
The Shark and the Sardines 682 The Rich and the Poor: Contrasts 717
LAW AND GOVERNMENT: Fidel Castros Manifesto 683 Approaches to Social Reform 718
Prosperity in the Developed Societies 718
The U.S. Role in Recent Latin Aairs 684 Losing Ground in the Developing
Current Issues and Problems 684 Countries 718
Rich and Poor 685 The Other Half of Humanity 719
Changing Styles in Government 685 Family and the Individual 719
SOCIETY AND ECONOMY: Mexican Villagers 686 Looming Problems 720
The United Nations and National
Sovereignty 720
54 The Reemergence of the Muslim Control of Weapons of Mass Destruction 720
World 690 Terrorism 721
The Turkish Republic 691 Environmental Deterioration 722
Palestine 692
The Rise of Islamism 693
Worldview SIX: Equilibrium
LAW AND GOVERNMENT: The McMahon Letter to Reestablished: The
the Sharif of Mecca, 1915, and the Balfour Declaration, Twentieth-Century World and
1917 694 Beyond, Present
The Iranian Revolution 695
Glossary G-1
PATTERNS OF BELIEF: Ayatollah Khomeini Answers to Test Your Knowledge A-1
(19021989) 696 Credits C-1
The Oil Weapon 698 Index I-1
The Gulf War and the Invasion of Iraq 698


MAP IV.1 MAP 32.1 Britains Industrial Revolution 429

MAP 21.2 Europe, the Near East, and North Africa MAP 32.2 The Spread of Industry by 1850 430
in the Renaissance 284
MAP 33.1 Prussia and Austria after the Peace of
WORLDVIEW MAP 22.1 Spanish and Portuguese Voyages in the Vienna, 1815 446
Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries 299
MAP 33.2 Centers of Revolt in 18481849 450
MAP 23.1 Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox
Christians in Europe by 1550 317 MAP 34.1 European Population Growth in the
Nineteenth Century 455
MAP 24.1 The Ottoman Empires Growth 324
MAP 35.1 Europe after 1871 467
MAP 24.2 Safavid and Mughal Empires 328
MAP 35.2 Unication of the German Empire 470
MAP 25.1 Europe in the Seventeenth Century 336
MAP 35.3 The Unication of Italy 471
MAP 25.2 The Growth of the Austrian Empire,
15361795 345 MAP 35.4 Ethnic Groups in the Dual Monarchy 474

MAP 25.3 From Muscovy to Russia, 15841796 347 MAP 36.1 European Gains in Islamic Lands 481

MAP 26.1 The Empire under the Ming and Qing MAP 37.1 The African Slave Trade, c. 1700 494
Dynasties 353
MAP 37.2 Africa in the Nineteenth Century 500
MAP 27.1 Tokugawa Japan 367
MAP 38.1 Africa Before World War I 507
MAP 28.1 Colonial Latin America: Viceroyalties
and Trade Connections 375 MAP 39.1 The Partition of China 519

MAP V.1 MAP 39.2 East Asian Colonial Territories,

18401940 523
MAP 29.1 Centers of the Enlightenment,
c. 1750 397 MAP 40.1 Latin America in the Early
Nineteenth Century 529
MAP 30.1 North Americas Possessors,
17001783 408 MAP 42.1 The Balkan States, 1914 550

MAP 31.1 The French Republic and Its Satellites, MAP 42.2 The Western Front in World War I 551
Hostile States, and Neutrals in 1799 418
MAP 42.3 The Eastern Front in World War I 552
MAP 31.2 The Napoleonic Empire,
18101813 421

MAP 42.4 Europe after World War I 559 MAP 51.1 Postwar Conicts in East Asia 661

MAP VI.1 MAP 52.1 Africa Becomes Independent 667

MAP 44.1 Russian Civil War, 19181921 584 MAP 54.1 Modern Islam, 2007 691

MAP 45.1 Europe in 1939 at Eve of World War II 599 MAP 54.2 Israel and Its Arab Neighbors,
19472007 695
MAP 47.1 World War II in Europe 615
MAP 55.1 Eastern Europe and Former
MAP 47.2 World War II in Asia and the Pacic 620 Soviet Union 710

MAP 49.1 Cold War Europe, 19451990 637


ORLD CIVILIZATIONS is a brief history Organization of the
of civilized life since its inceptions some Fifth Edition
5,000 years ago. It is meant to be used
in conjunction with a lecture course in The table of contents in this fth edition contains a sig-
world history at the introductory level. nicantly increased amount of non-Western coverage,
The authors, who zbring more than fty total years of class- has been reorganized more chronologically, and shows in-
room experience to its writing, have kept the needs and creased coverage of worldwide trade and exchange.
interests of freshman and sophomore students in two- and The organization of World Civilizations is chronologi-
four-year colleges and universities constantly in mind. cal. There are six parts, dealing with six chronological eras
World Civilizations deals with the history of civilization from ancient civilizations (3500500 bce) to recent times
throughout the globe but attempts to walk a middle line (post-1920 ce). The parts have several binding threads
between exhaustive detail and frustrating brevity. Its nar- of development in common, but the main point of refer-
rative embraces every major civilized epoch, but the treat- ence is the relative degree of contact among civilizations.
ment of topics is selective and follows denite patterns and This ranges from near-perfect isolation, as, for example, in
hierarchies. It deliberately tilts toward social and cultural ancient China, to close and continual interaction, as in the
topics, as well as toward the long-term processes that aect late twentieth-century world.
the lives of the millions, rather than the acts of the captains The second organizing principle is the prioritization
and the kings. The evolution of law and the formative pow- of certain topics and processes. We generally emphasize
ers of religion upon early government, for example, receive sociocultural and economic aairs, and keep the longer
considerably more attention than wars and diplomatic ar- term in perspective, while deliberately minimizing some
rangements. The rise of an industrial working class in Euro- short-term phenomena. In terms of the space allotted, we
pean cities is accorded more space than the trade policies of emphasize the more recent epochs of history, in line with
European governments. Such selectivity, of course, is forced the recognition of growing global interdependence and
on any author of any text, but the rm intent to keep this cultural contact.
a concise survey necessitated a particularly close review of Although this text was, from its inception, meant as
the material. Dividing a brief narrative into fty-six short a world history and contains proportionately more ma-
chapters both gives the instructor considerable leeway for terial on non-Western peoples and cultures than many
additional material or expansion of the topics and makes others currently in print, the Western nations receive at-
it likelier that students will read the assigned material. This tention consonant with their importance to the modern
approach has been relatively successful and has found suf- history of the globe. (In this respect, Western means
cient favor among many teachers to justify the appearance not only European but also North American since the
of this fth edition. eighteenth century.) The treatment adopted in this book
should allow any student to nd an adequate explana-
tion of the rise of the West to temporary dominion in
Change in this edition modern times and the reasons for the reestablishment
of worldwide cultural equilibrium in the latter half of the
Chapter 38 New chapter on European imperialism in Africa; twentieth century.
New Law and Government box (One Who Resisted) and After an introductory chapter on prehistory, we look
Society and Economy box on women of colonial Africa. rst at Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China. In these
Chapter 39 New chapter on Asia in the age of imperialism, river valley environments, humans were rst successful in
incorporating coverage of colonial Southeast Asia. adapting nature to their needs on a large scale. Between
Chapter 40 New Society and Economy box on womens about 2500 bce and about 1000 bce, the river valley civili-
voices in nineteenth-century Latin America; new Arts zations matured and developed a culture in most phases of
and Culture box on the tango and the samba. life: a fashion of thinking and acting that would be a model
Part Six Additional material on Islamic fundamentalism for as long as that civilization was vital and capable of de-
and terrorism, as well as updates throughout. fending itself. Elsewhere, in Africa and in Mesoamerica,

similar processes were under way. However, in two note- civilizations encountered by early European traders and
worthy respects these regions provided exceptions to the what became of them, and at the Native American civili-
pattern by which people learned to produce food for them- zations of North and Latin America and their fate under
selves. In Africas case, people of the Sahara region domes- Spanish conquest and rule.
ticated livestock, most likely cattle, before they learned to From 1700 through World War I, Europe led the world
grow and depend on crops. Also unlike the patterns estab- in practically every eld of material human life, including
lished in the Old World, early Native American farmers of military aairs, science, commerce, and living standards.
the Western hemisphere developed forms of agriculture This was the age of Europes imperial control of the rest
that did not depend on the ood waters of major rivers. of the world. The Americas, much of Asia, Oceania, and
By 500 bce, the Near Eastern civilizations centered in coastal Africa all became formal or informal colonies at
Egypt and Mesopotamia were in decline and had been one time, and some remained under direct European con-
replaced by Mediterranean-based ones, as well as new trol until the mid-twentieth century.
ones in Africa, Asia, and the New World, which drew In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the pendu-
on the older civilizations to some extent but also added lum of power swung steadily away from Europe and toward
some novel and distinctive features of their own. First the what had been the periphery: rst, North America; then,
Greeks, then the Romans, succeeded in bringing much of Russia, Japan, and the non-Western peoples. As we enter
the known world under their inuence, culminating in the a new millennium, the world not only has shrunk but has
great Roman Empire reaching from Spain to Persia. For again been anchored on multiple power bases, Western
Europe, the greatest single addition to civilized life in this and other. A degree of equilibrium is rapidly being restored,
era was the combination of Jewish theology and Greco- this time built on a foundation of Western science and tech-
Roman philosophy and science. nology that has been adopted throughout the globe.
In the millennium between 500 bce and 500 ce, the en- Our periodization scheme, then, is a sixfold one:
tire globe underwent important change. Indias Hindu re- Ancient Civilizations, 3500500 bce.
ligion and philosophy had been challenged by Buddhism, Classical Mediterranean Civilizations, 500 bce800 ce
while China recovered from political dismemberment to Equilibrium Among Polycentric Civilizations, 500
become the permanent chief factor in East Asian aairs. 1500 ce.
Japan emerged slowly from a prehistoric stage under Chi- Disequilibrium: The Western Encounter with the Non-
nese tutelage, while the southeastern part of the Asian Western World, 15001700 ce
continent attained a high civilization created in part by Revolutions, Ideology, and the New Imperialism,
Indian traders and Buddhist missionaries. 17001920
In the Mediterranean starting about 800, an amalgam Equilibrium Reestablished: The Twentieth-Century
of Greco-Roman, Germanic, and Jewish-Christian beliefs World and Beyond, 1920Present
called Europe, or Western Christianity, had emerged after
the collapse of Roman civilization. At the same time, the
emergence of Islam created what many scholars believe Pedagogy
was the rst truly world civilization. Rivaling the great
civilizations of Asia and considerably surpassing that of An important feature of World Civilizations is its division
Europe, the great empire of the Abbasid caliphs in Bagh- into a number of short chapters. Each of its fty-six chap-
dad (7501258 ce) acted as a commercial and intellectual ters is meant to constitute a unit suitable in scope for a
bridge that transcended regional barriers from China to single lecture, short enough to allow easy digestion and
Europe. Therefore, in the many lands and peoples bor- with strong logical coherence. Each chapter oers the fol-
dering the Indian Ocean, the spread of Islam along the lowing features:
highways of commerce contributed to the emergence of
sophisticated maritime civilizations in Southeast Asia, Thematic boxes and photographs are keyed to the
India, and East Africa. In West Africa, the great Sudanic ve broad text themes: Society and Economy, Law and
civilizations of Mali and later Songhay likewise were based Government, Patterns of Belief, Science and Technol-
solidly on an Islamic foundation. Despite isolation, Native ogy, and Arts and Culture. All chapters have one or
Americans of the New World created a series of highly so- more boxed inserts, some of which are based on biog-
phisticated civilizations in the high Andes mountains of raphy, many others on primary sources. To encourage
South America, in Mesoamerica, and in the southwestern readers to interact with the material as historians would
and midwestern parts of what now is the United States. and to compare themes across chapters, each boxed
By 1500, Western Christianity began to rise to a posi- feature concludes with Analyze and Interpret ques-
tion of worldwide domination, marked by the voyages of tions. And, to provide readers with access to additional
discovery and ensuing colonization. In the next three cen- readings, many document excerpts are keyed to the full
turies, the Europeans and their colonial outposts slowly document or related documents available in the World
wove a web of worldwide commercial and technological History Resource Center.
interests anchored on military force. Our books treatment An additional boxed feature, Evidence of the Past,
of the entire post-1500 age gives much attention to the im- spotlights artifacts, material culture, and oral traditions
pacts of Western culture and ideas on non-Western peo- as source materials for historical study. Once writing
ples, and vice versa. In particular, it looks at the African became common, of course, some materials that you

will see in Evidence of the Past are written primary cluded is ExamView, an easy-to-use assessment and tuto-
sources, but we point out to you, where appropriate, rial system that allows instructors to create, deliver, and
their roots in oral traditions. We also include some eye- customize tests and study guides (both print and online) in
witness accounts for your analysis. minutes. ExamView oers both a Quick Test Wizard and an
A chapter outline and a brief chapter chronology Online Test Wizard that guide users step by step through
help readers focus on the key concepts in the material the process of creating testsusers can even see the test
they are about to encounter. they are creating on the screen exactly as it will print or dis-
A chapter summary encapsulates the signicance of play online. Instructors can build tests with as many as 250
the chapters concepts. questions using up to 12 question types. Using ExamViews
A Test Your Knowledge section at the end of the complete word-processing capabilities, instructors can
chapter provides a briefand uniqueself-test. Re- add an unlimited number of new questions or edit exist-
viewers tell us that their students rely on these tests to ing questions. PowerLecture also contains JoinIn on Turn-
assess their understanding of each chapter and to pre- ingPoint, preloaded, book-specic Response System content
pare for quizzes and exams. (via our exclusive relationship with TurningPoint software)
Key terms appear in boldface type and are repeated designed to work seamlessly with Microsoft PowerPoint and
at chapter end in an Identication Terms quiz. the clicker hardware of the instructors choice.
Parenthetical pronunciation guides now appear within
the text, facilitating ease of reading unfamiliar names. The following supplements are available for the instruc-
A sampling of the documents available in the Thomson- tor and the student:
NOW study system also appear at the end of each eBank Instructors Manual with Test Bank
chapter. Prepared by Janet Brantley, Texarkana College. One vol-
Color illustrations, many of them new, and abundant ume serves all three versions of the text. Includes the Re-
maps. We include Worldview maps that show global source Integration Guide, chapter outlines, lecture topics,
developments. Many maps are keyed with icons to in- denitions of terms to know, and student activities, in-
dicate that there is an interactive version of the map in cluding journal entry topics. The test bank includes over
the World History Resource Center. Strong map and 3,000 multiple-choice, essay, and ll-in-the-blank ques-
photo captions encourage readers to think beyond the tions. Multiple-choice questions have ve choices each.
mere appearance of each visual and to make connec- Also available in PowerLecture.
tions across chapters, regions, and concepts. And criti-
cal thinking questions encourage you to work with and Transparency Acetates for World History
read maps as a historian might. Includes over 100 four-color maps from the text and other
A world map in the front of the book. sources. Packages are three-hole punched and shrink-
wrapped. Map commentary is provided by James Harrison,
Other features include the following: Siena College.
An end-of-book Glossary, now with a pronunciation
guide, provides explanations of unfamiliar terms and pro- Sights and Sounds of History
nunciation guidance for the more dicult among them. Short, focused video clips, photos, artwork, animations,
Each period opens with a brief part introduction music, and dramatic readings are used to bring life to the
and a Worldview map highlighting the major civiliza- historical topics and events that are most dicult for stu-
tions discussed in that part of the text. At the end of dents to appreciate from a textbook alone. For example,
each part, there is a Worldview chart comparing the students will experience the grandeur of Versailles and the
same civilizations, color-coded to the same groups in defeat felt by a German soldier at Stalingrad. The video
the part-opening map and aording a nutshell review segments (averaging four minutes in length) are available
of their accomplishments according to the texts ve on VHS and make excellent lecture launchers.
major themes. This edition includes a new "Cross-Cultural
Connections" section at the end of each Worldview, to ThomsonNOW
encourage thinking beyond regional borders. Just what you need to know and do NOW! ThomsonNOW
is an online teaching and learning resource that gives you
more control in less time and delivers the results you want
Supplements NOW. For further information, visit www.thomsonedu.
The following supplements are available for the instructor: Wadsworth World History Resource Center
World History Resource Center, at www.thomsonedu.
PowerLecture: A Microsoft PowerPoint Tool com/history, gives students access to a virtual reader with
with Instructors Resource CD-ROM hundreds of primary-source documents, photos, inter-
This all-in-one multimedia resource includes the Instruc- active timelines and maps, and more. A map feature includ-
tors Manual, the Resource Integration Guide, and Microsoft ing Google Earth coordinates and exercises aids in student
PowerPoint slides with lecture outlines. Most of the map comprehension of geography and use of maps. Students can
acetates are incorporated into the presentations. Also in- compare a traditional textbook map with an aerial view of

the location today. Available within ThomsonNOW, or for at Northeastern University. Migration goes beyond the
separate purchase. Contact your local representative for or- mere chronicling of migratory paths. Over 400 primary
dering details. source documents in Migration provide a springboard
to explore a wide range of global issues in social, cul-
Book Companion Website tural, economic, and political history during the period
Both instructors and students will enjoy the chapter-by- 15002000.
chapter resources for World Civilizations, with access to the
Wadsworth History Resource Center, at www.thomsonedu. Journey of Civilization: The World and Western
com/history/adler. Text-specic content for students in- Traditions CD-ROM
cludes tutorial quizzes, Internet activities, and more. Instruc- This CD-ROM takes the student on 18 interactive jour-
tors also have access to the Instructors Manual, lesson neys through history. Enhanced with QuickTime movies,
plans, and PowerPoint slides (access code required). animations, sound clips, maps, and more, the journeys
allow students to engage in history as active participants
InfoTrac College Edition with InfoMarks rather than as readers of past events. Contact your local
Give students access to an entire librarys worth of reli- sales representative for information on packaging this
able sources with InfoTrac College Edition, an online uni- book with the text of your choice.
versity library of more than 5,000 academic and popular
magazines, newspapers, and journals.

Sources in World History, Fourth Edition Acknowledgments

This updated two-volume reader, edited by Mark Kishlan-
sky, includes a diversity of historical documents from world The authors are happy to acknowledge the sustained aid
and western history designed to supplement textbooks and given them by many individuals during the long incuba-
lectures in the teaching of world civilizations. It provides a tion period of this text. Phil Adlers colleagues in the his-
balance of constitutional documents, political theory, phi- tory department at East Carolina University, at the annual
losophy, imaginative literature, and social description. meetings of the test planners and graders of the Advanced
Placement in European History, and in several profes-
Primary Source Reader for World History sional organizations, notably the American Association
Two volumes, edited by Elsa A. Nystrom. This thought- for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, are particularly to
ful, aordable collection of essential primary source docu- be thanked.
ments gives students a broad perspective on the history of In addition, the following reviewers of past editions
the world. The readings are divided by eras and organized were instrumental in the gradual transformation of a man-
according to principal themes such as religion, law and uscript into a book; we remain indebted to all of them and
government, and everyday life. Each group of readings has to the students in HIST 10301031, who suered through
a section describing the signicance of subsequent read- the early versions of the work.
ings and how those readings interrelate.
William S. Arnett, West Virginia University
Document Exercise Workbook for World History, Kenneth C. Barnes, University of Central Arkansas
Third Edition Marsha Beal, Vincennes University
Prepared by Donna Van Raaphorst of Cuyahoga Commu- Charmarie J. Blaisdell, Northeastern University
nity College, this two-volume workbook provides a collec- Laura Blunk, Cuyahoga Community College
tion of exercises based on primary sources in history. William Brazill, Wayne State University
Alice Catherine Carls, University of TennesseeMartin
Map Exercise Workbook, Third Edition Orazio A. Ciccarelli, University of Southern Mississippi
Prepared by Cynthia Kosso of Northern Arizona University, Robert Clouse, Indiana State University
features approximately 30 map exercises in two volumes. De- Sara Crook, Peru State University
signed to help students feel comfortable with maps by hav- Sonny Davis, Texas A&M University at Kingsville
ing them work with dierent kinds of maps to identify places Joseph Dorinson, Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus
and improve their geographic understanding of world his- Arthur Durand, Metropolitan Community College
tory. Also includes critical thinking questions for each unit. Frank N. Egerton, University of WisconsinParkside
Ken Fenster, DeKalb College
Tom Fiddick, University of Evansville
Magellan World History Atlas David Fischer, Midlands Technical College
This atlas contains 45 four-color historical maps in a Jerry Gershenhorn, North Carolina Central University
practical 8 x 10 format. Erwin Grieshaber, Mankato State University
Eric Haines, Bellevue Community College
Migration in Modern World History 15002000 Mary Headberg, Saginaw Valley State University
CD-ROM Daniel Heimmermann, University of Northern Arizona
An interactive media curriculum on CD-ROM devel- Charles Holt, Morehead State University
oped by Patrick Manning and the World History Center Kirk A. Hoppe, University of IllinoisChicago

Raymond Hylton, Virginia Union University Ali Gheissari, San Diego State University
Fay Jensen, DeKalb CollegeNorth Campus Stephen Gosch, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire
Aman Kabourou, Dutchess Community College Wendell Grith, Okaloosa-Walton Community College
Louis Lucas, West Virginia State College Samuel Ho, Delaware State University
Ed Massey, Bee County College Tamara Hunt, University of Southern Indiana
Bob McGregor, University of IllinoisSpringfield Ellen J. Jenkins, Arkansas Technical University
John Mears, Southern Methodist University Karen Kimball, University of Maine, Machias
Will Morris, Midland College Aran S. MacKinnon, University of West Georgia
Gene Alan Mller, El Paso Community College Terrence Monroe, Darton College
David T. Murphy, Anderson University Elsa Nystrom, Kennesaw State
Tim Myers, Butler County Community College Thomas M. Ricks, University of Pennsylvania
Elsa A. Nystrom, Kennesaw State University Gary Scudder, Champlain College
William Paquette, Tidewater Community College William Seay, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
Nancy Rachels, Hillsborough Community College Thomas G. Smith, Nichols College
Enrique Ramirez, Tyler Junior College Anthony J. Springer, Dallas Christian College
Bolivar Ramos, Mesa Community College Werner Steger, Dutchess Community College
Robin Rudo, East Texas State University Leslie Tischauser, Prairie State College
Anthony R. Santoro, Christopher Newport University Kate Transchel, California State University, Chico
Shapur Shahbazi, Eastern Oregon State University Lloyd Uglow, Southwestern Assemblies of God University
John Simpson, Pierce College Michael Vollbach, Oakland Community College
John S. H. Smith, Northern Nevada Community College Peter von Sivers, University of Utah
Maureen Sowa, Bristol Community College Marjorie Walker, Samford University
Irvin D. Talbott, Glenville State College Max E. White, Piedmont College
Maxine Taylor, Northwestern State University Michael D. Wilson, Vanguard University
Eugene T. Thompson, Ricks College William Wood, Point Loma Nazarene University
Susan Tindall, Georgia State University
Kate Transchel, California State University, Chico But we would like to give special kudos to the following
Bill Warren, Valley City State University members of our Editorial Review Board, who stood by us
Robert Welborn, Clayton State College throughout this editions development process, approving
David Wilcox, Houston Community College every change and every new idea that you see in the text
Steve Wiley, Anoka-Ramsey Community College and package. Their involvement has been extraordinarily
John Yarnevich, Truckee Meadows Community College helpful and much appreciated. Janet Brantley in particular
Old Towne Mall Campus continues to provide invaluable service accuracy-check-
John M. Yaura, University of Redlands ing as well as preparing the Instructors Manual with Test
Many thanks, too, to Lee Congdon, James Madison
University; Maia Conrad, Christopher Newport University; Robin L. Anderson, Arkansas State University
Theron E. Corse, Fayetteville State University; Dennis Fiems, Janet Brantley, Texarkana College
Oakland Community College, Highland Lakes; Lauren Stuart Brewer, Dana College
Heymeher, Texarkana College; Maria Iacullo, CUNY Tamara L. Hunt, University of Southern Indiana
Brooklyn College; Rebecca C. Peterson, Graceland College; Ellen J. Jenkins, Arkansas Technical University
Donna Rahel, Peru State College; Thomas J. Roland, Univer- Elsa A. Nystrom, Kennesaw State University
sity of WisconsinOshkosh; James Stewart, Western State Kate Transchel, California State University, Chico
College of Colorado; and Brian E. Strayer, Andrews William Wood, Point Loma Nazarene University
The fourth and fifth editions, especially thoroughgoing We would also like to acknowledge Clark Baxters con-
revisions, had especially perceptive groups of reviewers. tribution as publisher; Sue Gleasons as senior development
Our thanks to them for their comments and suggestions. editor; Lauren Wheelocks as project manager, editorial
Patricia M. Ali, Morris College And special thanks go to Joel B. Pouwels, Associate
Robin L. Anderson, Arkansas State University Professor of Spanish, University of Central Arkansas, for
Janet Brantley, Texarkana College her important suggestions and contributions to the chap-
Stewart Brewer, Dana College ters on Latin American civilizations.
Brian Bunk, Central Connecticut College Note: Throughout the work, the pinyin orthography
David Cauble, Western Nebraska Community College has been adopted for Chinese names. The older Wade-
Janice Dinsmore, Wayne State College Giles system has been included in parentheses at the first
Joseph Dorinson, Long Island University mention and retained in a few cases where common usage
Nancy Fitch, California State University, Fullerton demands it (Chiang Kai-shek, for example).

About the Authors

PHILIP J. ADLER taught college courses in world his- work in African history. The History of Islam in Africa
tory to undergraduates for almost thirty years prior to (Athens, Oxford, and Cape Town, 2000) was jointly edited
his recent retirement. Dr. Adler took his Ph.D. at the with Nehemia Levtzion of Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
University of Vienna following military service overseas Widely praised in reviews, it was selected by Choice as an
in the 1950s. His dissertation was on the activity of the Outstanding Academic Title for 2001 and was made a
South Slav migrs during World War I, and his academic selection of the History Book Club. In addition, he has
specialty was the modern history of Eastern Europe and written numerous articles and reviews on East African
the Austro-Hungarian empire. His research has been history, the history of Islam in Africa, and historical
supported by Fulbright and National Endowment for the methodologies. His other research interests include the
Humanities grants. Adler has published widely in the history of the Middle East and the history and archaeol-
historical journals of this country and German-speaking ogy of Native Americans. Over the years, his work has
Europe. He is currently Professor Emeritus at East Carolina been supported by grants and fellowships from Fulbright-
University, where he spent most of his teaching career. Hays, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the
Social Studies Research Council, the National Geographic
RANDALL L. POUWELS earned his B.A. in history at the Society, and the American Philosophical Society. He has
University of Wisconsin and his Ph.D. in history at UCLA taught African history for over twenty years at LaTrobe
in 1979. His Ph.D. dissertation was on the history of Islam University in Melbourne, Australia, and at UCLA. He is
in East Africa. His book Horn and Crescent: Cultural presently Professor of African and Middle Eastern His-
Change and Traditional Islam on the East African Coast, tory at the University of Central Arkansas.
8001900 (Cambridge, 1987) has become a standard

Introduction to the
Student: Why Is History
Worth Studying?

UMAN ACTIONS tend to fall into broad exactly, and the difference in details is always important.
patterns, whether they occurred yesterday But history does exhibit general patterns, dictated by com-
or 5,000 years ago. Physical needs, such as mon human needs and desires. The French Revolution
the need for food, water, and breathable will not recur just as it did 215 years ago. But, as we know
air, dictate some actions. Others stem from all too well, people still depose their leaders and rise up
emotional and intellectual needs, such as religious belief in arms to change the way they live. Some knowledge of
or the search for immortality. Human action also results and respect for those patterns has been a vital part of the
from desires, such as literary ambition or scientic curios- mental equipment of all human societies.
ity, or the quest for political power over others, rather than But there is another, more personal reason to learn
from absolute needs. about the past. Adults who are historically unconscious
History is the record of how people have tried to meet are confined within a figurative wooden packing crate,
those needs or fulfill those desires. Many generations of into which they were put by the accident of birth at a given
our ancestors have found that familiarity with that record time and in a given place. The boards forming the box re-
can be useful in guiding their own actions. The study of strict their freedom and block their view in all directions.
past human acts also encourages us to see our own present One board of the box might be the prosperityor lack
possibilities, both individual and collective. This may be of itinto which they were born; another, their physical
historys greatest value. appearance, race, or ethnic group. Other boards could be
Many people are naturally attracted to the study of his- their religion, whether they were born in a city slum or a
tory, but others find it difficult or (even worse) irrelevant. small village, or whether they had a chance at formal edu-
Some studentsperhaps yourselfdread history courses, cation (about three-fourths of the worlds children never
saying that they can see no point in learning about the go beyond the third year of school). These and many other
past. My life, they say, is here and now; leave the past to boards form the boxes into which we are all born.
the past. What can be said in response to justify the study If we are to fully realize our potential as human beings,
of history? some of the boards must be removed so that we can see
People who are ignorant of their past are also ignorant out, gain other vistas and visions, and have a chance to
of much of their present, for the one grows directly out of measure and compare our experiences with others out-
the other. If we ignore or forget the experience of those side. And the smaller our global village becomes, the
who have lived before us, we are like an amnesia victim, more important it becomes to learn more about the world
constantly puzzled by what should be familiar, surprised beyond the campus, city, state, and country in which we
by what should be predictable. Not only do we not know live. An introductory course in world history is an ideal
what we should know, but we cannot perceive our true way to learn about life outside the box.
possibilities, because we have nothing to measure them As a good student, your best resource is your own sense
against. The nonhistorical mind does not know what it is of curiosity. Keep it active as you go through these pages.
missingand, contrary to the old saying, what you dont Remember, this and every other textbook is the beginning,
know can definitely hurt you! not the end, of your search for useful knowledge. Good
A word of caution here: this is not a question of his- luck!
tory repeats itself. This often-quoted clich is clearly P. J. A.
nonsense if taken literally. History does not repeat itself R. L. P.

Note: Some of you may at first be confused by dates followed the word century is in order: the phrase seventeenth century
by bce, meaning before the common era, and ce, meaning ce refers to the years 1601 to 1699 in the common era, and
common era. These terms are used to reflect a global per- the phrase first century bce refers to the years 99 to 0 bce
spective, and they correspond to the Western equivalents bc With a little practice, these terms become second nature and
(before Christ) and ad (anno Domini). Also, a caution about will increase your fluency in history.



Empire Japan
ATLANTIC Safavid China
OCEAN Empire
Mexico Mughal
Empire Macao PACIFIC
Southeast OCEAN


Europeans West Asians

South and
Americans East Asians
Disequilibrium: The Western
Encounter with the Non-Western
World, ce

ITHIN FIFTY YEARS on either side which amazed the envious Corts, with the sleepy, dusty
of 1500 CE, a host of events or pro- villages to which Mexicos Indians were later conned.
cesses contributed to an atmosphere Similarly, one might compare the army of the Persian Safa-
of rising condence in the power of vid rulers of the early sixteenth century that reduced the
European governments and their sup- mighty Mughals to supplicants for peace with the raggedy
portive institutions. In the political and military realm, the mob that attemptedin vainto stop a handful of Brit-
Mongol yoke in Russia was lifted; the Turks, victorious at ish from installing themselves on the Khyber Pass three
Constantinople, failed in an attempt to seize Vienna and centuries later. The West, whether represented by illiterate
central Europe; the Hundred Years War had ended and Spanish freebooters or Oxfordian British bureaucrats,
the French recovery commenced. The economy nally re- seemed destined to surpass or be invincible against what
covered from the ravages of the Black Death, and maritime one unrepentant imperialist called the lesser breeds. Part
trade had increased signicantly, as had the sophistication Four examines the massive changes that were slowly evinc-
of commercial and nancial instruments. The shameful ing themselves during these three centuries of heightening
derogation of the papal dignity brought about by the Bab- interactions between the West and the rest of the world,
ylonian Captivity and the Great Schism had ended. The interactions that by the end of the period had provoked
worst of the peasant rebellions had been put down, and a a state of disequilibrium in a world that had existed in a
peaceable transition from feudal agrarianism seemed pos- state of harmony and balance since the early stages of the
sible, at least in the West. common era.
But aside from these general developments, the epoch The voyages of discovery of the fteenth and sixteenth
centered on 1500 is usually heralded as the beginning centuries, the opening of maritime commerce across the
of the modern era because of two specic complexes of Indian and Atlantic Oceans, and the resultant Columbian
events: the questioning of traditional authority manifested Exchange and the slave trade are the subject of Chapter 22.
in the Protestant Reformation and the voyages of discovery Chapter 23 considers in detail the successful Lutheran and
that revealed the possibilities of the globe to Europeans Calvinist challenges to the papal church and their perma-
imaginationand greed. Both of these complexes contrib- nent eects on Western sensibilities. Chapter 24 briey
uted, in very dierent ways, to the expansion of Europes shifts the focus to Asia, where the rise and fall of the great
reach and authority that took place in the next 300 years, Muslim empires of central Asia and India are discussed.
until Europeans began to claim a prerogative to decide the Chapter 25 examines the absolutist idea, constitutionalism,
fates of others as almost a God-given right. This tendency and their expression in religious warfare and the desire for
was particularly striking in the American colonies, where stability, all of which became the cornerstones of mod-
the native Amerindians were either obliterated or virtu- ern governments in Western and Central Europe, and to
ally enslaved by their overlords, but it was also the case, smaller degree in pre-revolutionary Russia as well. Chinas
although in a much more limited way, for eastern and centuries of glory following the ejection of the Mongols
southern Asia, the coast of Africa, and the island or Arctic through the early Qing Dynasty are analyzed in Chapter 26.
peripheries of a world that was larger and more varied The history of preMeiji Restoration Japan and Southeast
than anyone had formerly supposed. Asia before 1700 follow in Chapter 27. Finally, the Iberian
The dierence between 1500 and 1850 in this regard might colonies of America and their struggle for independent
well be illustrated by comparing the Aztecs Tenochtitln, existence are outlined in Chapter 28.
I have come to believe that this is
a mighty continent which was
hitherto unknown.
Christopher Columbus

Mid-1400s Portuguese begin voyages

of exploration
Maritime Exploration in the s
A Larger
World Opens

1492 Christopher Columbus Overseas Empires and their Effects

reaches Americas Portuguese Pioneers The Spanish Empire in the Americas The African
Slave Trade Opens Dutch and English Merchant-Adventurers
1498 Vasco da Gama arrives in
Early 1500s Transatlantic slave trade
The Columbian Exchange
15191540 Spanish conquer Aztecs
and Incans European Impacts and Vice Versa
1522 First circumnavigation of The Fate of the Amerindians Racisms Beginnings
globe completed
1602 Dutch East India Company

later fteenth and early sixteenth centuries opened a new era of
intercontinental contacts. What were the motives for the rapid
series of adventuresome voyages? They ranged from Christian
missionary impulses to the common desire to get rich. Backed to
varying degrees by their royal governments, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, French,
and English seafarers opened the world to European commerce, settlement, and
eventual dominion. Through the Columbian Exchange initiated in 1492, the
New World entered European consciousness and was radically and permanently
changed by European settlers. In most of the world, however, the presence of a
relative handful of foreigners in coastal factories or as occasional traders meant
little change in traditional activities and attitudes. Not until the later eighteenth
century was the European presence a threat to the continuation of accustomed
African, Asian, and Polynesian lifestyles.

Maritime Exploration in the s

The Vikings in their graceful longboats had made voyages across the North
Atlantic from Scandinavia to Greenland and on to North America as early as
1000 CE, but the northern voyages were too risky to serve as the channel for
permanent European expansion, and Scandinavias population base was too
small. Four hundred years later, major advances in technology had transformed
maritime commerce. The import of new sail rigging, the magnetic compass,
and the astrolabe (an instrument used to determine the altitude of the sun or
other celestial bodies) from Asia; a new hull design; and systematic navigational
charts enabled Western seamen, led by the Portuguese, to conquer the worlds
oceans. Firearms of all sizes backed up their claims to dominion over their
newly discovered territories. By the end of the fteenth century, the map of the

A Larger World Opens 299

Eastern Hemisphere was gradually becoming familiar to appearance of his book about his many years of service
Europeans. to Kubilai Khan.
Knowledge of the high cultures of Asia was current by Most of Europes luxury imports had long come from
the early 1400s. Muslim traders long before had estab- Africa, China and India, while the Spice Islands (as they
lished an active commerce with Southern and Eastern were called by Europeans) of Southeast Asia had been the
Asia by their command of the Indian Ocean routes and source of the most valuable items in international exchange
the famous Silk Road through central Asia and had served (see Map 22.1). In the fourteenth century, this trade was
as intermediaries to Europe (Chapter 14). Marco Polos disrupted, rst by the Ottoman Turkish conquest of the
great adventure was well known even earlier, after the eastern Mediterranean and then by the breakup of the

Text not available due to copyright restrictions

300 C H A P T E R 22

Mongol Empire, which had formed a single unit reaching Portuguese Pioneers
from China to western Russia.
Security of transit across Asia was threatened, as was In the middle of the 1400s and under the guidance of
the Europeans long-established and protable interchange the visionary Prince Henry the Navigator (13941460),
of goods with the Arabs and Persians. In 1453, the great tiny and impoverished Portugal sponsored a series of ex-
depot of Eastern wares, Constantinople, fell into the hands ploratory voyages down the west coast of Africa and out
of the Ottomans. With direct access to this old gateway into the ocean as far as the Azores (about one-third the
to the East now lost, Europeans became more interested distance to the Caribbean) in a search for African gold
than ever in nding a direct sea route to the East by circum- and pepper. In 1488, the Portuguese captain Bartolomeo
navigating Africa and so allowing them to bypass the Diaz made a crucial advance by successfully rounding the
hostile Ottomans. Cape of Good Hope. Some years later, Vasco da Gama
(VAHS-coh duh GAH-mah) sailed across the Indian
Ocean to the west coast of India. (For a closer look at
Overseas Empires da Gamas exploits, see Science and Technology.) Trying
and their Effects to follow a new route around the southern tip of Africa
that took him far to the west, Pedro Alvarez Cabral got
First the Portuguese and the Spanish and then the Dutch, blown all the way across the Atlantic, making landfall
English, and French created overseas empires that had far- in Brazil, which he promptly claimed for Portugal. By
reaching eects both at home and abroad. 1510, Portuguese ags were ying over Goa in India and


Vasco da Gamas First we gathered from gestures, came from another far country,
Contacts in East Africa and said that he had already seen great vessels like those
that carried us. With these signs we rejoiced greatly, be-
One of the most daring of all the explorers sailing in the name of cause it seemed to us that we were going to reach where
Portugal or Spain was Vasco da Gama, the rst to round the tip of we wanted to go. . . .
Africa and sail on to India. Da Gama made landfall on the Indian This land, it seemed to us, is densely populated. There
coast in 1498 before returning safely to Lisbon the following year. are in it many villages and towns. The women seemed to
He kept a detailed diary of his epoch-making voyage, from which be more numerous than men, because when there came
the following comments on the non-Muslim peoples of the East 20 men there came 40 women. . . . The arms of these people
African littoral are taken. are very large bows and arrows, and assagais [spears] of
iron. In this land there seemed to be much copper, which
These people are black, and the men are of good phy- they wore on their legs and arms and in their kinky hair.
sique, they go about naked except that they wear small Equally used is tin, which they place on the hilts of dag-
pieces of cotton cloth with which they cover their genitals, gers, the sheaths are of iron. The people greatly prize linen
and the Senhores [chiefs] of the land wear larger cloths. cloth, and they gave us as much of this copper for as many
The young women in this land look good; they have their shirts as we cared to give.
lips pierced in three places and they wear some pieces
of twisted tin. These people were very much at ease with
us, and brought out to us in the vessels what they had, in Analyze and Interpret
dugout canoes. . . . What seems to have been the attitude of the East Africans toward
After we had been here two or three days there came these European strangers? To what do you attribute this view?
out two Senhores of this land to see us, they were so From where do you suppose the previously seen vessels had
haughty that they did not value anything which was giv- come? To what kinds of material technology does it appear the
en to them. One of them was wearing a cap on his head Africans had access? Where do you think they got it?
with piping worked in silk, and the other a furry cap of Source: Harry Stephan, ed. The Diary of Vasco da Gama (Travels through African
green satin. There came in their company a youth who, Waters 14971499) (Sydney: Phillips, 1998), pp. 3233.
A Larger World Opens 301

Maco on the coast of China (see Map 22.1). In 1511, the How did a relative handful of European intruders es-
extraordinary admiral Afonso da Albuquerque seized the tablish themselves as regionally dominant authorities in
great port-depot of Malacca at the tip of the Malay pen- these distant corners of the globe? In the Indian Ocean and
insula. With the capital of their Indian Ocean empire in Southeast Asia, the patterns established by the Portuguese
Goa, the Portuguese became the controllers of the most were followed by all of their successors. The European out-
protable sea trade in the world. reach was seaborne, and control of the sea was the cru-
The Portuguese empire was really only a string of forti- cial element. Local populations that tried to resist quickly
ed stations called factories, from which the Portuguese learned that it was not protable to confront the European
brought back shiploads of the much sought-after spices, ships with arms, because the Europeans would generally
gold, porcelain, and silk obtained from their trading part- win. Their naval cannon, more advanced methods of rig-
ners in East Africa and the Southeast Asian mainland and ging, more maneuverable hulls, better battle discipline, and
islands. They paid for these imports initially with metal higher levels of training assured them of success in almost
wares, cloth, and trinkets, and later with rearms and li- all engagements. The intruders avoided land warfare, un-
quor. The Lisbon government was the initiator and main less and until mastery of the surrounding seas was assured,
beneciary of this trade, because Portugals small upper and in that case, land warfare was rarely necessary.
and middle classes were unable to pay suciently to outt After an initial display of martial strength, the new-
ships for the expeditions. comers were usually content to deal with and through es-
The era of Portuguese leadership was brief. The country tablished local leaders in securing the spices, cotton cloth,
was too poor and its population too small to maintain this silk, and other luxuries that they sought. In the normal
lucrative but thinly spread empire. By the late 1500s, course of events, the Europeans made treaties with para-
the aggressively expanding Dutch merchants had already mount regional rulers that assured them a secure place in
forced Portugal out of some of its overseas stations. Previous- the export market. A kind of partnership thus evolved be-
ly independent Portugal was incorporated into Catholic tween the local chieftains and the new arrivals, in which
Spain in 1580, which gave the Dutch and English Prot- both had sucient reasons to maintain the status quo
estants an excuse to attack the Portuguese everywhere. against those who might challenge it.
Eventually, by the end of the seventeenth century, Portugal The Portuguese frequently made the mistake of alien-
was left with only Angola and the Kongo kingdom in West ating the local population by their brutality and their
Africa, plus Mozambique, Maco, Goa, Brazil, and a few attempts to exclude all competition, but the Dutch and,
additional enclaves and scattered trading posts around the later, the British were more circumspect. Unlike the Portu-
Indian Ocean rim. guese, they made no attempt until the nineteenth century


what kind of vessel did the early explor-
ers set sail? Ships such as these opened
the trade routes to the East and to Brazil
and the Caribbean for the Lisbon govern-
ment in the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries. In their later days, two or three
rows of cannons gave them heavy re-
power as well as cargo space.
Service Historique de la Marine, Vincennes, France/Lauros-
Giraudon/Bridgeman Art Library
302 C H A P T E R 22

to bring Africans and Asians to Christianity. As a general that reached as far as the Philippine Islands. In the terms
rule, after the sixteenth-century Portuguese missionary of the royal charters granted to Columbus and his succes-
eorts had subsided, the Europeans interfered little with sors, the Spanish crown claimed the lions share of treasures
existing laws, religion, and customs unless they felt com- found by the explorers. Indian gold and silver (bullion) thus
pelled to do so to gain their commercial ends. Such in- poured into the royal treasury in Madrid. Those metals, in
terference was rare in both Asia and Africa. There, the turn, allowed Spain to become the most powerful European
European goal was to derive the maximum prot from state in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
trade, and they avoided anything that would threaten the Unlike the Portuguese, the Spanish frequently came to
smooth execution of that trade. The Spanish and Portu- stay at their overseas posts. Whereas the Portuguese were
guese empires in the Americas were a dierent proposi- primarily interested in quick prots from the trade in luxury
tion, however. items from the East, the Spanish noble explorers were ac-
companied by priests, who set up missions among the Indi-
The Spanish Empire in the Americas ans, and by a number of lowborn men (later women, also),
who were prepared to get rich more slowly. They did so by
By the dawn of the sixteenth century, a newly unied taking land and workers from among the native population.
Spanish kingdom was close behind and in some areas Finding that El Dorado and the much dreamed-of cities
competing with Portugal in the race for world empire. A of gold and silver were mirages, the Spanish immigrants
larger domestic resource base and extraordinary nds of gradually created agricultural colonies in much of Middle
precious metals enabled Spain to achieve more permanent and South America, using rst Amerindian and then
success than its neighbor. The Italian visionary Christo- African slave labor. The Spanish colonies thus saw the
pher Columbus was able to persuade King Ferdinand growth of a multiracial societyAfricans, Amerindians,
and Queen Isabella to support his dream of a shortcut to and Europeansin which the Europeans held the dominant
the Indies by heading west over the Atlantic, which he political and social positions from the outset. The domi-
thought was only a few hundred miles wide. The rst of nance of the whites was to assume increasing importance
Columbuss Spanish-nanced voyages resulted in his dis- for the societies and economies of these lands both during
covery of the American continents. He made three more their 300 years as colonies and later as independent states.
voyages before his death and was still convinced that
China lay just over the horizon of the Caribbean Sea. The African Slave Trade Opens
By then, the Spanish crown had engaged a series of
other voyagers, including Amerigo Vespucci, who even- The European export of slaves from Africa commenced
tually gave his name to the New World that Columbus in the fteenth century. When the Portuguese ventured
and others were exploring. In 15191521, the formidable down the West African coast, they quickly discovered that
Hernn Corts conquered the Aztec Empire in Mexico. selling black house slaves to the European nobility could
Soon Spanish explorers had penetrated north into what is be a lucrative business, but the slave trade remained small
now Florida, California, and Arizona. By the 1540s, Spain in scale through the 1490s and began to grow only when
controlled most of northern South America as well as all slaves started to be shipped across the Atlantic. By the mid-
of Central America, the larger Caribbean islands, and the 1530s, Portugal had shipped moderate numbers of slaves
South and Southwest of what is now the United States. to the Spanish Caribbean and to its own colony of Brazil,
Perhaps the greatest of these ventures was the fantas- and the trans-Atlantic trade remained almost a Portuguese
tic voyage of Ferdinand Magellan. Starting from Spain monopoly until into the next century. At that time, Dutch,
in 1519, his ships were the rst to circumnavigate the French, and then English traders moved into the business
world. A few survivors (not including the unlucky Magel- and dominated it throughout its great expansion in the
lan) limped back into Seville in 1522 and reported that the eighteenth century until its gradual abolition.
world was indeed round, as most educated people already Few European women traveled to the Americas in the
had thought. early years of colonization, so the Spaniards often married
Like the Portuguese, the Spaniards motives for explora- Amerindian or African women or kept them as concu-
tion were mixed between a desire to convert non-Christians bines. As a result, mestizos (the ospring of Amerindians
to the Roman Catholic Church and thus gain a strong ad- and whites) and mulattos (the children of Africans and
vantage against the burgeoning Protestants (see Chapter 23) whites) soon outnumbered Caucasians in many colonies.
and the desire for wealth and social respectability. Land, too, The same thing happened in Portuguese Brazil, where
was increasingly in short supply in Europe, especially for the over time a huge number of African slaves were imported
younger ospring of the nobility and the landed gentry. Gold, to till the sugarcane elds that provided that colony with
God, glory, and acquiring land were the motives most fre- its chief export. Here, the populace was commonly the o-
quently in play. By whatever motivation, however, the middle spring of Portuguese and African unions, rather than the
of the 1500s saw the Spanish adventurers creating an empire Spanish-Indian mixture found to the north.
A Larger World Opens 303

TH E SL AVE SH IP. This engraving shows

the usual arrangements for transport of black
slaves in the Atlantic trade. Packed in close together
with few or no sanitary facilities, death was com-
mon among the weakest. Occasionally, entire hu-
man cargoes were lost to outbreaks of contagious

Michael Graham-Stewart/Bridgeman Art Library

Dutch and English Merchant-Adventurers its Spanish overlords? A chief reason for the Dutch success
was the Dutch East India Company: a private rm chartered
Holland. When Portugals grip on its Indian Ocean trade by the government in 1602, the company had a monopoly on
began to falter, the Dutch Protestant merchants combined a Dutch trading in the Pacic. The company eventually took over
ne eye for prot with religious zeal to ll the vacuum. In the the Portuguese spice and luxury trade in the East and proved
late sixteenth century, the Netherlands gained independence to be an enormous bonanza for its stockholders. A partner-
from Spain. Controlling their own aairs after that, the bour- ship would be set up for one or more voyages, with both cost
geois ship owners and merchants of the Dutch and Flemish and prots split among the shareholders, while minimizing
towns quickly moved into the forefront of the race for trade. risks for all. The traders hired captains and crews who would
By the opening of the seventeenth century, Amsterdam and be most likely to succeed in lling the ships hold at minimal
Antwerp were the major destinations of Far Eastern ship- cost, whatever the means or consequences. Later in the seven-
pers, and Lisbon had fallen into a secondary position. teenth century, the focus of attention shifted from importing
Dutch interest in the eastern seas was straightforward spices and luxury goods to the alluring prots to be made in
and hard-edged. They wanted to accumulate wealth by the trans-Atlantic trade in African slaves.
creating a monopoly of demand, buying shiploads of
Southeast Asian luxury goods at low prices and selling the England. The English colonial venture was slow in getting
goods at high prices in Europe. Many of the Asian suppli- started. When the Portuguese and Spaniards were dividing
ers were Muslims, and their relationship with the Catholic up the newly discovered continent of America and the Far
Portuguese had been strained or hostile. They preferred Eastern trade, England was just emerging from a lengthy
to deal with the Dutch Protestants, who were simply busi- struggle for dynastic power called the War of the Roses
nessmen with no desire to be missionaries. If the suppli- (see Chapter 21). Starting in the 1530s, the country was
ers were for one or another reason reluctant to sell, the then preoccupied for a generation with the split from Rome
Dutch persuaded them by various means, usually involv- under Henry VIII and its consequences (see Chapter 23).
ing Dutch superiority in naval gunnery. Then came the disappointing failure of Sir Walter Raleighs
The Dutch focused on the East Indies spice and luxu- Lost Colony on the Carolina coast in the 1580s and a war
ry trade, but they also established settler colonies at Cape with Spain.
Town in South Africa, in New Amsterdam across the Atlan- Only in the early 1600s did the English begin to enter
tic, and on several islands in the Caribbean. These colonies the discovery and colonizing business in any systematic
were less attractive to the Dutch and eventually surrendered way. Like the Dutch, the English eorts were organized by
to other powers, such as England. New Amsterdam became private parties or groups and were not under the direction
New York at the close of the rst of two naval wars in the of the royal government. The London East India Company
seventeenth century that made England the premier colo- (often called the British East India Company), founded in
nial power along the East Coast of the future United States. 1600, is a good example. Similar to its Dutch counterpart,
How did such a small nation (Holland did not possess more it was a private enterprise with wide political as well as
than 2.5 million people at this juncture) carry out this vast commercial powers in dealing with foreigners and with its
overseas enterprise while it was struggling to free itself from own military resources.
304 C H A P T E R 22

After two victorious wars against the Dutch in the 1650s development in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century France,
and 1660s, the English were the worlds leading naval power. but it was subscribed to almost everywhere.
The East Asian colonial trade was not important to them, As for colonial policy, mercantilism held that only goods
however, and they soon gave up their attempts to penetrate and services that originated in the home country could be
the Dutch monopoly in East Indian luxuries, choosing to (legally) exported to the colonies and that the colonies ex-
concentrate on India. (The only important English station ports must go to the home country for use there or re-export.
in Southeast Asia was the great fortress port of Singapore, Thus, the colonies most essential functions were to serve as
which was not acquired until the nineteenth century.) captive markets for home-country producers and to provide
English colonies in the seventeenth century were con- raw materials at low cost for home-country importers.
centrated in North America and the Caribbean, and an
odd mixture they were. The northern colonies were lled
with Protestant dissidents who could not abide the An- The Columbian Exchange
glican Church regime: Puritans, Congregationalists, and
Quakers. Maryland was a refuge for persecuted Catholics. The coming of the Europeans to the New World resulted in
Virginia and the Carolinas began as real estate speculations. important changes in the resources, habits, and values of both
They were essentially get-rich-quick schemes devised by no- the Amerindians and the whites. Scholars call this the Co-
bles or wealthy commoners who thought they could sell o lumbian Exchange. Among the well-known introductions by
their American holdings to individual settlers at a fat prot. the Europeans to the Western Hemisphere were horses, pigs,
Georgia began as a noble experiment by a group of philan- cattle, sheep, and goats; iron; rearms; sailing ships; and, less
thropists who sought to give convicts a second chance. tangibly, the entire system of economics we call capitalism.
Elsewhere, the English were less inclined to settle new But the Columbian Exchange had another side: a reverse
lands than to make their fortunes pirating Spanish galleons ow of products and inuences from the Americas to Eu-
or competing with the Dutch in the slave trade. What the rope and through Europe to the other continents. Educated
Dutch had taken from the Portuguese, the English seized Europeans after about 1520 became aware of how huge and
in part from the Dutch. This was equally true in the New relatively unknown the Earth was and how varied the peo-
World, where the English and French superseded the Dutch ples inhabiting it were. This knowledge came as a surprise to
challenge to Portuguese and Spanish hegemony in the many Europeans, and they were eager to learn more. The lit-
Caribbean in the eighteenth century. erature of discovery and exploration became extraordinarily
popular during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
France. The colonial empire of France parallels that of Eng- From this literature, Europeans learned, among other
land. While they were relatively late in entering the race, the things, that the Christian moral code was but one of sev-
French sought overseas possessions and/or trade factories eral; that the natural sciences were not of overwhelming in-
throughout the world to support their prospering domestic terest or importance to most of humanity; that an eective
economy. From Canada (as early as 1608) to the west coast education could take myriad forms and have myriad goals;
of Africa (as early as 1639) and India (in the early eighteenth and that viewpoints formed by tradition and habit are not
century), the servants of the Bourbon kings contested both necessarily correct, useful, or the only conceivable ones.
their Catholic co-religionists (Portugal, Spain) and their Prot- Initially just curious about the Earths other inhabitants,
estant rivals (Holland, Britain) for mercantile advantage and upper class Europeans gradually began to develop a certain
the extension of royal powers. Thus, the French, too, reected tolerance for other peoples views and habits. This toler-
the seventeenth-century trend of allowing state policies to be ance slowly deepened in the seventeenth and especially the
dictated more by secular interests than by religious adher- eighteenth century as Europe emerged from its religious
ences, a process we will examine in detail in Chapter 25. wars. The previously favored view of unknown peoples
probably being anthropophagi (man eaters) began giving
way to the concept of the noble savage, whose unspoiled
Mercantilism morality might put the sophisticated European to shame.
Contacts with the Americas also led to changes in Europe.
During this epoch, governments attempted to control their Some crops such as sugarcane and coee that were already
economies through a process later termed mercantilism. known in Europe but could not be protably grown there
Under mercantilism, the chief goal of economic policy was were found to prosper in the New World. Their cultivation
a favorable balance of trade, with the value of a countrys formed the basis for the earliest plantations in the Caribbean
exports exceeding the cost of its imports. To achieve this basin and the introduction of slavery into the New World.
goal, the royal government intervened in the market con- In addition, a series of new crops were introduced to the Eu-
stantly and attempted to secure advantage to itself and the ropean, Asian, and African diets. Tobacco, several varieties
population at large by carefully supervising every aspect of of beans and peas, potatoes, squashes, rice, maize, bananas,
commerce and investment. The practice reached its highest manioc, and other agricultural products stemmed originally
A Larger World Opens 305

from American or Far Eastern lands. First regarded as nov-

eltiesmuch like the occasional Indian or African visitor
European Impacts
these crops came to be used as food and fodder. The most im- and Vice Versa
portant for Europe was the white or Irish potato, an Andean
native, which was initially considered t only for cattle and How strong was the European impact on the Amerindian
pigs but was gradually adopted by northern Europeans in cultures of the Western Hemisphere and on the peoples
the eighteenth century. By the end of that century, the potato of the Far East, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Pacic Rim?
had become the most important part of the peasants diet in Historians agree that it was enormous in some areas, but
several countries. The potato was the chief reason European much less so in others. The Portuguese and others trading
farms were able to feed the spectacular increase in popula- factories on the African and Asian coasts had minimal im-
tion that started in the later 1700s. pacts on the lives of the peoples of the interior. Only in ex-
So much additional coinage was put into circulation in ceptional circumstances was the presence of the Europeans
Europe from the Mexican and Peruvian silver mines that a prominent factor in local peoples consciousness. Even in
it generated massive ination. In the seventeenth century, the areas most directly aected by slaving such as Senegam-
the Spanish court used the silver to pay army suppliers, bia, the Nigerian Delta, and Angola, the consensus of recent
shipyards, and soldiers, and from their hands, it went on scholarly opinion holds that there was considerable varia-
into the general economy. Spain suered most in the long tion, largely depending on local traditions, demography,
run from the ination its bullion imports caused. More- and political circumstances. In many cases, the slave trade
over, with its tiny middle class and ideological opposition undermined social and political structures and destroyed
to the new sciences, Spain resisted technological inno- entire civilizations, such as Kongo and Ngola. In other loca-
vation and industrialization, so when the rest of Europe tions like Dahomey and the tiny states of the Niger delta,
began industrializing, Spanish gold and silver went into new societies were created that depended on the trade. Al-
the pockets of foreign suppliers, carriers, and artisans most everywhere, however, the commerce in human beings
rather than into domestic investments or business. This took away the youngest and most productive members of
situation would prove fateful in the next century. African societies, raised the frequency and level of violent
In a period of ination, when money becomes cheap conict, and destroyed local craft production.
and goods or services become dear, people who can con- Spains American settler colonies and Brazil were quite
vert their wealth quickly to goods and services are in an dierent in these respects. Here the intruders quickly and
enviable position. Those whose wealth is illiquid and can- radically terminated existing Amerindian authority struc-
not be easily converted are at a disadvantage. As a result, tures, replacing them with Spanish/Portuguese models. In
the landholdersmany of whom were nobles who thought the economy, the encomienda estates on which Amerindi-
it beneath them to pay attention to money matterslost ans were forced to live and toil replaced the villages with
economic strength. The middle classes, who could sell their free labor. Although the encomiendas were soon
their services and expertise at rising rates, did well. Best abolished, Spanish and Portuguese exploitation of help-
o were the merchants, who could buy cheap and sell at less Amerindians and Africans continued on tobacco and
higher prices. But even the unskilled or skilled workers in sugar plantations, which replaced gold and silver mines.
the towns were in a relatively better position than the land- As with the exchanges in agricultural products, the
lords: wages rose about as fast as prices in this century. stream of external inuences was not simply one way, from
In many feudal remnant areas, where serfs paid token Europe to the rest of the world. In the Americas, a no-
rents in return for small parcels of arable land, the land- ticeable degree of change was wrought in the Spanish and
lord was dealt a heavy blow. Prices rose for everything Portuguese culture by prolonged exposure to Amerindian
the noble landlords needed and wanted, while their rents, and African habits and attitudes. An example would be
sanctioned by centuries of custom, remained about the the adoption of maize culture by the mestizo and Spanish
same. Many of them had been living beyond their means populations in Mexico. Another would be the incorpora-
for generations, borrowing money wherever they could tion of Amerindian irrigation technique.
with land as security. Unaware of the reasons for the eco- In another part of the early imperial world created by the
nomic changes and unable to anticipate the results, many voyages of discovery, the architecture of the Dutch colonial
landlords faced disaster during the later sixteenth century town of Batavia (Jakarta) was soon converted from the trim
and could not avoid bankruptcy when their long-established and tight homes and warehouses of blustery Amsterdam to
mortgages were called. Much land changed hands at this the dierent demands of the Javanese climate.
time, from impoverished nobles to peasants or to the Perhaps it is most accurate to say that in the settler colo-
newly rich from the towns. Serfdom in the traditional nies of the Western Hemisphere and South Africa, the local
pattern became impractical or unprotable. Already weak- peoples were extensively and sometimes disastrously aect-
ened by long-term changes in European society, serfdom ed by the arrival of the whites, but in the rest of the world,
was abolished in most of Western Europe. including most of sub-Saharan Africa, the Asian mainland,
306 C H A P T E R 22

and the South Pacic islands, the Europeans were less dis-
ruptive to the existing state of aairs. Sometimes local peo-
ples even succeeded in manipulating the Europeans to their
own advantage, as in West Africa and Mughal India. This
would remain true until the nineteenth century. Promoted
by industrialization at that time, the European impacts mul-
tiplied, became more profound, and changed in nature so as
to subordinate the indigenous peoples in every sense.

The Fate of the Amerindians

By far the worst human consequences of the European

expansion were the tragic fates imposed on the native
Image not available due to copyright restrictions
Amerindians of the Caribbean and Hispanic America in
the rst century of Spanish conquest (see Evidence of the
Past box). Although the Spanish crown imposed several
regulatory measures to protect the Indians after 1540,
little could be done to inhibit the spread of epidemic dis-
ease (measles and inuenza, as well as the major killer,
smallpox) in the Amerindian villages. As a general rule,
because they had not been exposed to childhood dis-
eases like measles and smallpox, the immune systems of
the Amerindians were unable to cope with the diseases
brought by the newcomers, whereas the Spaniards were
much less aected by the Amerindian maladies. (Which
ethnic group is responsible for the appearance of syphilis
is much argued.)
Smallpox was a particular curse. The population of
Mexico, which was perhaps as high as 20 million at the
coming of Corts, was reduced to 2 million only sixty
years later, largely as a result of smallpox epidemics.
On the Caribbean islands, few Amerindians survived
into the seventeenth century in Cuba and the smaller
islands. The same story repeated itself in the viceroy-
alty of Peru, where as many as 80 percent of the native
population died in the sixteenth century. Only in mod-
ern times have the Amerindians recovered from this
unprecedented disaster.

Racisms Beginnings
light in the world. Blackhearted, a black scoundrel, and
Africans came into European society for the rst time in black intentions are a few examples of the mental connec-
appreciable numbers during the fteenth century. At that tion that was made between the color black and everything
time the rst faint signs of white racism appeared. The rst evil and contemptible. The Arab slave traders in both West
slaves from Africa were introduced to Europe through and East Africa who supplied some of the European as well
Muslim channels. Their rich owners mostly regarded them as the Asiatic markets were another source of prejudice.
as novelties, and they were kept as tokens of wealth or ar- They were contemptuous of non-Muslim Africans of west-
tistic taste. Some free black people lived in Mediterranean ern Sudan or the East African coast in whose esh they had
Europe, where they worked as sailors, musicians, and ac- dealt for centuries before the European trade began. These
tors, but they were not numerous enough for the average merchants point of view was easily transferred to their Ital-
European to have any rsthand contact. ian and Portuguese partners. However, once the European
Many Europeans thought of black people in terms dictat- slave trade became big business in the seventeenth century,
ed either by the Bible or by Muslim prejudices imbibed un- white racism became the mental cornerstone of a pervasive
consciously over time. The biblical references were generally and viciously exploitative slave-based economy in many
negative: black was the color of the sinful, the opposite of parts of the Western Hemisphere.
A Larger World Opens 307


Bartolom de las Casass

Report on the Indies

Glasgow University Library, Scotland/Bridgeman Art Library

Violence toward the conquered is a commonplace event in his-
tory, and nowhere is this more evident than in the history of the
state religions. Using inhumane means to propagate Christianity
was a cynical cover for some of the Spanish conquistadors in
their obsessive search for Indian gold. They were resisted, how-
ever, in this bloodthirsty enterprise by one of their own number.
Bartolom de las Casas (bahr-TAH-loh-may day-lahs-CAH-
sahs: 14741567), a Dominican priest who had been a conquis-
tador and slaveholder in the Caribbean in his youth, turned his
back on his former life and devoted himself to protecting the
Amerindians under Spanish rule. In his bold expos entitled
Brief Relation of the Destruction of the Indies (1522), he began an
uncompromising campaign to show the horrendous treatment
meted out by his fellow Spanish to the native populations of the
New World. So graphic and terrible were his accounts that foreign
powers hostile to Spain (notably, England) were able to use the
pen-and-ink drawing from the History of Tlax-
records for centuries to perpetuate the so-called Black Legend of cala, by the sixteenth-century artist Diego Munoz Ca-
the viciousness of Spanish colonialism. margo shows the brutal methods that some Spanish
priests applied to Native Americans who abandoned
Of the Island of Hispaniola Christianity for the religions of their ancestors.

The Christians, with their horses and swords and lances, annoyed the Captain or prevented him from sleeping, he
began to slaughter and practice strange cruelties among commanded that they should be strangled; the ofcer who
them. They penetrated into the country and spared neither was burning them was worse than a hangman and did not
children nor the aged, nor pregnant women, nor those in wish to suffocate them, but with his own hands he gagged
childbirth, all of whom they ran through the body and lacer- them, so that they should not make themselves heard, and
ated, as though they were assaulting so many lambs herded he stirred up the re until they roasted slowly, according to his
into the sheepfold. pleasure. I know this mans name, and knew his relations in
They made bets as to who could slit a man in two, or cut Sevilla. I saw all the above things and numberless others.
off his head at one blow . . . they tore babes from their moth- And because all the [Indian] people who could ee,
ers breasts by the feet, and dashed their heads against the hid among the mountains and climbed the crags to escape
rocks. Others, they seized by the shoulders and threw into from men so deprived of humanity . . . the Spaniards taught
the rivers, laughing and joking, and when they fell into the and trained the ercest boarhounds to tear an Indian to
water they exclaimed, boil the body of So-and-so! . . . pieces as soon as they saw him. . . . And because some-
They made a gallows just high enough for the feet to near- times, though rarely, the Indians killed a few Christians
ly touch the ground, and by thirteens, in honour and rever- for just cause, they made a law among themselves that for
ence of our Redeemer and the 12 Apostles, they put wood one Christian whom the Indians might kill, the Christians
underneath and, with re, they burned the Indians alive. should kill a hundred Indians.
They wrapped the bodies of others entirely in dry
straw, binding them in it and setting re to it; and so they
burned them. They cut off the hands of all they wished to Analyze and Interpret
take alive, made them carry them pinned on to their bod- Besides de las Casas, other Spanish priests tried to protect the
ies, and said Go and carry these letters, that is, take the Amerindians against cruelty, but usually in vain. What measures
news to those who have ed to the mountains. . . . might have been taken by the clergy to diminish such cruelty?
I once saw that they had four or ve of the chief lords Was it logical to expect the priests or bishops to intervene effec-
[Indians] stretched on a gridiron to burn them, and I think tively? What does the colonial record show?
there were also two or three pairs of gridirons, where they Source: Bartolom de las Casas, A Very Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies,
were burning others. And because they cried aloud and trans. F. A. McNutt (Cleveland: Clark, 1909), pp. 312319.
308 C H A P T E R 22

THE EXPLOSIVE WIDENING of Europes horizons in induced Europeans to adopt new attitudes of tolerance.
the sixteenth century, in both the geographic sense and The overseas expansion also added important new foods
the psychological sense, was one side of the Columbian to the European diet.
Exchange. First the Portuguese and the Spanish created For the non-Western hosts, this colonial and commer-
their colonial empires, then the Dutch, the English, and cial outreach had mainly negative consequences, although
the French after them. The original objective of the gov- circumstances varied from place to place. The most devas-
ernment-funded explorers was to nd new, more secure tating eects were certainly in Spains American colonies,
trade routes to the East, but soon their motives changed to where the indigenous peoples were almost wiped out by
a mixture of enrichment, missionary activity, and prestige: disease and oppression. In West Africa, East Africa, and
gold, God, and glory. the Asian mainland, the European trading presence had
The import of great quantities of precious metals creat- little overall eect on ordinary life at this time. Racisms
ed severe ination and promoted the rise of the business/ beginnings, however, can be traced to its roots in the Afri-
commercial classes. The discovery of customs and values can slave trade commencing in this era.
that were dierent from those of Europeans gradually

uIdentication Terms

Test your knowledge of this chapters key concepts by de- the end of the book, or working with the ashcards that
ning the following terms. If you cant recall the meaning are available on the World Civilizations Companion Web-
of certain terms, refresh your memory by looking up the site: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler
boldfaced term in the chapter, turning to the Glossary at

Bartolom de las Casas Dutch East India Ferdinand Magellan Prince Henry the Navigator
Columbian Exchange Company mercantilism Vasco da Gama

uTest Your Knowledge

Test your knowledge of this chapter by answering the fol- 3. Which of the following nations was most persistently
lowing questions. Complete answers appear at the end committed to converting the natives of the newly dis-
of the book. You may nd even more quiz questions in covered regions to Christianity?
ThomsonNOW and on the World Civilizations Compan- a. Spain
ion Website: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler b. Holland
c. England
1. The fteenth- and sixteenth-century voyages of ex- d. Portugal
ploration were stimulated mainly by e. France
a. European curiosity about other peoples. 4. What is the correct sequence of explorer-traders in
b. the determination to obtain more farming land the Far East?
for a growing population. a. Spanish, English, French
c. the individual explorers hopes of enrichment. b. Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch
d. the discovery that the Earth was in fact a sphere c. Dutch, English, Spanish
without ends. d. Portuguese, Dutch, English
e. new technology. e. Spanish, Portuguese, English
2. Which of the following was not proved by Magellans 5. The rst to engage in the slave trade were the
epic voyage? a. Dutch.
a. The globe was more compact than had been believed. b. Portuguese.
b. The globe was indeed spherical. c. Danes.
c. A sea passage existed south of the tip of South d. English.
America. e. Spanish.
d. The islands called Spice Lands could be reached 6. Which of the following reasons was least likely to be
from the East. the motive for a Dutch captains voyage of discovery?
e. The journey was a long and dicult one. a. A desire to deal the Roman church a blow
A Larger World Opens 309

b. A search for personal enrichment b. Rice

c. A quest to nd another lifestyle for himself in a c. Potatoes
foreign land d. Coee
d. The intention of establishing trade relations with a e. Wheat
new partner 9. The sixteenth-century ination aected which group
e. The desire to serve as a middleman between East most negatively?
Asia and Europe a. Landholding nobles
7. Mercantilism aimed rst of all at b. Urban merchants
a. securing nancial rewards for the entrepreneurs. c. Wage laborers
b. allowing the impoverished a chance at rising in d. Skilled white-collar workers
society. e. Church ocials
c. bringing maximum income to the royal throne. 10. The most devastating eects on the native population
d. securing a favorable balance of foreign trade. brought about by European discovery occurred in
e. developing a wide range of products for export. a. India.
8. Which proved to be the most important of the various b. Latin America.
new foods introduced into European diets by the voy- c. West Africa.
ages of discovery? d. Southeast Asia.
a. Tomatoes e. North America.

Enter ThomsonNOW using the access card that is avail- u World History Resource Center
able with this text. ThomsonNOW will assist you in un-
derstanding the content in this chapter with lesson plans Enter the Resource Center using either your ThomsonNOW
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explorations; and a wealth of other resources. You can read
the following documents, and many more, at the Wadsworth
World History Resource Center:

Prince Henry the Navigator, Chronicle of the Discovery

and Conquest of Guinea
Selections from Christopher Columbuss Journal
I have often been resolved to live
uprightly, and to lead a true
godly life, and to set everything
aside that would hinder this,
but it was far from being put
in execution. I am not able to
effect that good which I intend.
Martin Luther Reformation

1517 Posting of the Ninety-ve Luther and the German National Church
Theses Luthers Beliefs
1521 Excommunication of
Luther Calvin and International Protestantism
Calvinism and Lutheranism Compared
1534 Act of Supremacy
Other Early Protestant Faiths
1540s Calvinism spreads through The Church of England
much of Europe
1555 Peace of Augsburg divides The Counter-Reformation
1572 St. Bartholomews Day Religious Wars and their Outcomes to
Massacre France The Spanish Netherlands
1588 English defeat Spanish
Armada The Legacy of the Reformation
1593 Henry IV restores peace
in France

HE SPLIT IN CHRISTIAN BELIEF and church organization that
is termed the Protestant Reformation brought enormous conse-
quences in its wake. Its beginning coincided with the high point of
the Era of Discovery by Europeans. Taken together, these develop-
ments provide the basis for dividing Western civilizations history
into the pre-modern and modern eras around 1500.
What the opening of the transatlantic and transIndian Ocean worlds did
for the consciousness of physical geography in European minds, the Reforma-
tion did for the mental geography of all Christians. New continents of belief and
identity emerged from the spiritual voyages of the early Protestants. Luther and
Calvin worked not only a re-formation but also a trans-formation of the church
and its members.

Luther and the German National Church

The upheaval called the Reformation of the early sixteenth century had its
roots in political and social developments as much as in religious disputes. The
longstanding arguments within the Christian community over various points of
doctrine or practices had already led to rebellions against the Rome-led major-
ity on several occasions. In the major instances in thirteenth-century France,
fourteenth-century England, and fteenth-century Bohemia, religious rebels
(the ocial term is heretics, or wrong thinkers) had battled the papal church.
Eventually, all of them had been suppressed or driven underground. But now, in

The Protestant Reformation 311

sixteenth-century Germany, Martin Luther (14831546) MARTIN LUTHER. This contemporary portrait by Lucas V. Cranach
found an enthusiastic reception for his challenges to Rome is generally considered to be an accurate rendition of the great
among the majority of his fellow Germans. German church reformer in midlife. Both the strengths and weaknesses
Why was the church in the German lands particularly of Luthers peasant character are revealed.
susceptible to the call for reform? The disintegration of
the German medieval kingdom had been followed by the
birth of dozens of separate, little principalities and city-
states, such as Hamburg and Frankfurt, that could not well
resist the encroachments of the powerful papacy in their
internal aairs. Unlike the nations of centrally governed
France, England, and Spain, whose monarchs jealously
guarded their sources of revenue, the German popula-
tions were systematically milked by Rome and forced to
pay taxes and involuntary donations. Many of the German
rulers were angry at seeing the tax funds they needed go-
ing o to a foreign power and sometimes used for goals
they did not support. These rulers were eagerly searching
for some popular basis to challenge Rome. They found it
in the teachings of Luther.
Luther was a monk who had briey witnessed at rst
hand the corruption and crass commercialism of the
sixteenth-century Roman curia (court). When he returned
to the University of Wittenberg in Saxony, where he had
been appointed chaplain, he used his powerful oratory

Galleria degli Ufzi, Florence, Italy/Bridgeman Art Library

to arouse the community against the abuses he had seen.
He especially opposed the churchs practice of selling
indulgencesforgiveness of the spiritual guilt created by
sinsrather than insisting that the faithful earn forgive-
ness by prayer and good works.
In 1517, a major indulgence sales campaign opened
in Germany under even more scandalous pretexts than
usual. Much of the money raised was destined to be used
to pay o a debt incurred by an ambitious noble church-
man, rather than for any ecclesiastical purpose. Observing
what was happening, the chaplain at Wittenberg decided
to take his stand. On October 31, 1517, Luther announced
his discontent by posting the famous Ninety-ve Theses
on his church door. In these questions, Luther raised ob-
jections not only to many of the papacys practices, such
as indulgence campaigns, but also to the whole doctrine
of papal supremacy. He contended that if the papacy had The Catholic Church, on the other hand, taught that
ever been intended by God to be the moral mentor of the men and women must manifest their Christian faith by
Christian community, it had lost that claim through its doing good works and leading good lives. If they did so,
present corruption. they might be considered to have earned a heavenly fu-
ture. Martin Luther rejected this notion. He believed that
Luthers Beliefs faith alone was the factor through which Christians might
reach bliss in the afterlife and that faith was given by God
Luther had more profound doubts about the righteous- and not in any way earned by naturally sinful man. It is this
ness of the papal church than merely its claims to univer- doctrine of justication by faith that most clearly marks
sal leadership, however. His youth had been a long struggle o Lutheranism from the papal teachings.
against the conviction that he was damned to hell. Inten- As the meaning of Luthers statements penetrated into
sive study of the Bible eventually convinced him that only the clerical hierarchy, he was implored, then commanded,
through the freely given grace of a merciful God might he, to cease. Instead, his confidence rose, and in a series
or any person, reach immortal salvation. of brilliantly forceful pamphlets written in the German
312 C H A P T E R 23

vernacular, he explained his views to a rapidly increasing JOH N C ALVIN . This Swiss portrait of the pope of Geneva in his
audience. By 1520, he was becoming a household word younger days depicts Calvin in a fur neckpiece. This bit of bourgeois
among educated people and even among the peasantry. indulgence would probably not have been worn by an older Calvin.
He was excommunicated in 1521 by the pope for refus-
ing to recant, and in the same year, Emperor Charles V
declared him an outlaw.
The Catholic emperor was an ally of the pope, but the
emperor had his hands full with myriad other problems,
notably the assault of the Ottoman Turks. Charles had no
desire to add an unnecessary civil war to the long list of
tasks he faced. He took action against Luther only belat-

Collection of Albert Rilliet, Geneva, Switzerland/Lauros-Giraudon/Bridgeman Art Library

edly and halfheartedly, hoping that in some way an accept-
able compromise might be reached.
Threatened by the imperial and papal ocials, Luther
sought and quickly found the protection of the ruler of
Saxony, as well as much of the German princely class.
They saw in his moral objections to Rome the excuse they
had been seeking for advancing their political aspirations.
They encouraged Luther to organize a national church
free from papal overlords. With this protection and en-
couragement, Luthers teachings spread rapidly, aided by
the newly invented printing press and by the power and
conviction of his sermons and writings. By the mid-1520s,
Lutheran congregations, rejecting the papal authority and
condemning Rome as the fount of all evil, had sprung
up throughout most of Germany and were appearing in
Scandinavia as well. The unity of Western Christianity had
been shattered.

Calvin and International

It was not Luther, the German peasants son, but John
Calvin (15091564), the French lawyer, who made the laying down the law to that citys residents and having a
Protestant movement an international theological rebel- major inuence on much of the rest of Europes religious
lion against Rome. Luther always saw himself as a speci- development.
cally German patriot, as well as a pious Christian, and his Calvin believed that the papal church was hopelessly
translations of the Scriptures were written in a powerful distorted. It must be obliterated, and new forms and prac-
idiomatic German. (Luthers role in creating the modern tices (which were supposedly a return to the practices of
German language is roughly the same as the role Shake- early Christianity) must be introduced. In The Institutes
speare played in the development of English.) Calvin, on of the Christian Religion (1536), Calvin set out his beliefs
the contrary, detached himself from national feeling and and doctrines with the precision and clarity of a lawyer.
saw himself as the emissary and servant of a God who From this work came much of the intellectual content of
ruled all nations. Luther wanted the German Christian Protestantism for the next 200 years.
body to be cleansed of papal corruption; Calvin wanted Calvins single most dramatic change from both Rome
the entire Christian community to be made over into the and Luther was his insistence that God predestined souls.
image of what he thought God intended. When he was That is, a soul was meant either for heaven or hell for all
done, a good part of it had been. eternity, but at the same time, the individual retained
Calvin was born into a middle-class family of church free will to choose good or evil. The soul destined for hell
oceholders who educated him for a career in the law. would inevitably choose evilbut did not have to! It was
When he was twenty-ve, he became a Protestant, inspired a harsh theology. Calvin believed that humanity had been
by some Swiss sympathizers with Luther. For most of the eternally stained by Adams sin and that most souls were
rest of his life, Calvin was the leading gure in Geneva, destined for hellre.
The Protestant Reformation 313

Despite its doctrinal erceness, Calvins message found bishops, who maintained their crucially important power
a response throughout Europe. By the 1540s, Calvinists to appoint priests. The bishops themselves had to pass
were appearing in Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland, inspection by the civil authorities, a subordination that
England, and France, as well as Switzerland. Geneva had was to prove fateful for the German Church. In time, the
become the Protestant Rome, with Calvin serving as its Lutheran pastors and bishops became fully dependent on
priestly ruler until his death in 1564. the state that employed them, rarely defying it on moral
grounds. Lutheranism became a state church, not only in
Calvinism and Lutheranism Compared Germany but also in Scandinavia, where it had become
dominant by the mid-1500s. In contrast, Calvin insisted
What were some of the similarities and dierences be- on the moral independence of the church from the state.
tween the beliefs of Luther and Calvin (who never met and He maintained that the clergy as well as laity had a duty to
had little aection for one another)? First, Luther believed oppose any immoral acts of government, no matter what
that faith alone, which could not be earned, was the only the cost to themselves. In conicts between the will of
prerequisite for salvation. Good works were encouraged, God and the will of kings, the Calvinist must enlist on the
but they had little or no inuence on the Last Judgment. side of God.
Calvin demanded works as well as faith to indicate that a More than Lutherans, the Calvinists thought of the en-
person was attempting to follow Gods order on Earth. tire community, lay and clerical alike, as equal members of
Later, Calvinists saw their performance of good works the church on Earth. Calvinists also insisted on the power
as a sign that they were among the Elect, the souls pre- of the congregation to select and discharge pastors at will,
destined for heaven. The emphasis in some places and inspired by Gods word. They never established a hierarchy
times shifted subtly from doing good works as a sign of of clerics. There were no Calvinist bishops but only pres-
serving God to believing that God would logically favor byters, or elected elders, who spoke for their fellow parish-
the members of the Elect. Therefore, those who were ioners in regional or national assemblies. The government
doing well in the earthly sense were probably among of the church thus included both clerical and lay leaders.
the Elect. From this concept, some later students of reli- The combination gave the churchs pronouncements great
gion saw Calvinist beliefs as the basis for the triumph of political as well as moral force.
the capitalist spirit in certain parts of Europe. In eect, a By around 1570, Calvins followers had gained control
God worthy of mans love and worship could rationally be of the Christian community in several places: the Dutch-
expected to smile on those who did his bidding in this life speaking Netherlands, Scotland, western France, and parts
as well as the next. of northern Germany and Poland. In the rest of France,
Second, Luther saw the clergy as civic as well as spiri- Austria, Hungary, and England, they were still a minority,
tual guides for mankind. He believed in a denite hier- but a growing one. Whereas Lutheranism was conned
archy of authority within the church, and he retained to the German-speaking countries and Scandinavia and


painting is by a Dutch sixteenth-
century master, Hendrik van Steenwyck,
who portrays the purified interior of
the Antwerp cathedral after it was tak-
en over by Calvinists.
Private Collection/Bridgeman Art Library
314 C H A P T E R 23

did not spread much after 1550 or so, Calvinism was an A PROTE STANT VIE W OF TH E POPE . Clothed in hellish
international faith that appealed to all nations and iden- splendor and hung about with the horrible symbols of Satan, the
tied with none. Carried on the ships of the Dutch and Roman pope is revealed for all to see in this sixteenth-century cartoon.
English explorers and emigrants of the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries, it continued to spread throughout
the modern world.

Other Early
Protestant Faiths
The followers of a radical sect called Anabaptists (Re-
baptizers) were briey a threat to both Catholics and Lu-
therans, but both put them down with extreme cruelty.
The Anabaptists originated in Switzerland and spread
rapidly throughout German Europe. They believed in
adult baptism, a priesthood of all believers, andmost
disturbinglya primitive communism and sharing of
worldly possessions. Both as radicals in religious aairs and
as social revolutionaries, the Anabaptists were oppressed
by all of their neighbors. After their eorts to establish a
republic in the Rhineland city of Mnster were bloodily
suppressed, the Anabaptists were driven underground.
Their beliefs continued to evolve, and they emerged much
later in the New World as Mennonites, Amish, and similar
Yet another Protestant creed emerged early in Switzer-
land (which was a hotbed of religious protest). Founded
by Ulrich Zwingli (14841531), it was generally similar to
Lutheran belief, although Zwingli claimed he had arrived at

Stock Montage, Inc.

his doctrine independently. The inability of Zwinglis adher-
ents and the Lutherans to cooperate left Zwinglis strong-
hold in Zurich open to attack by the Catholic Swiss. The
Protestants were defeated in the battle, and Zwingli was
killed. This use of bloody force to settle religious strife was
an ominous note. It was to become increasingly common
as Protestant beliefs spread and undermined the traditional
religious structures. the clerical claim to sole authority in interpreting the
word of God and papal supremacy. The movement had
The Church of England been put down, but its memory persisted in many parts
of England.
As was often the case, England went its own way. The But it was the peculiar marital problems of King
English Reformation diered from the Reformation on Henry VIII (14901547) that nally brought the church
the Continent yet followed the general trend of European in England into conict with Rome. Henry needed a male
aairs. The English reformers were originally inspired by successor, but by the late 1520s, his chances of having
Lutheran ideas, but they adopted more Calvinist views as one with his elderly Spanish wife Catherine were bleak.
time went on. However, the Church of England, or Angli- Therefore, he wanted to have the marriage annulled by the
can Confession, came to be neither Lutheran nor Calvinist pope (who alone had that power), so he could marry some
nor Catholic, but a hybrid of all three. young Englishwoman who would presumably be able to
The reform movement in England had its origins in produce the desired heir.
the widespread popular resentment against Rome and the After trying to evade the issue for years, the pope re-
higher clergy, who were viewed as more the tools of the pope fused the annulment because he did not wish to impair
than as good English patriots. As we have seen, already in the close alliance of the Catholic Church with the Spanish
the 1300s a group called the Lollards had rebelled against monarchy. Between 1532 and 1534, Henry took the matter
The Protestant Reformation 315

into his own hands. Still believing himself to be a good The Counter-Reformation
Catholic, he intimidated Parliament into declaring him
the only supreme head of the church in Englandthe Belatedly realizing what a momentous challenge was be-
Act of Supremacy of 1534. Now, as head of the church, ing mounted, the papacy nally came to grips with the
Henry could dictate to the English bishops. He proceeded problem of Protestantism in a positive fashion during the
to put away his unwanted wife and marry the tragic Anne 1540s. Pope Paul III (served 15341549) moved to counter
Boleyn, who was already pregnant with his child. some of the excesses that had given the Roman authori-
Much other legislation followed that asserted that the ties a bad name and set up a high-level commission to see
monarch, and not the Roman pope, was the determiner what might be done to clean up the clergy. Eventually, the
of what the church could and could not do in England. church decided to pursue two major lines of counterattack
Those who resisted, such as the kings chancellor Thomas against the Protestants: a thorough examination of doc-
More, paid with their heads or were imprisoned. Henry trines and practices, such as had not been attempted for
went on to marry and divorce several more times before more than 1,000 years, combined with an entirely novel
his death in 1547, but he did at least secure a son, the emphasis on instruction of the young and education of all
future King Edward VI, from one of these unhappy alli- Christians in the precepts of their religion. These measures
ances. Two daughters also survived, the half-sisters Mary together are known as the Counter-Reformation.
and Elizabeth. The Council of Trent (15451563) was the rst general
attempt to examine the churchs basic doctrines and goals
Henrys Successors. Henrys actions changed English since the days of the Roman Empire. Meeting for three
religious beliefs very little, although the Calvinist reforma- lengthy sessions divided by years of preparatory work,
tion was gaining ground in both England and Scotland. the bishops and theologians decided that Protestant at-
But under the sickly boy-king Edward (ruled 15471553), tacks could best be met by clearly and conclusively den-
Protestant views became dominant among the English ing what Catholics believed. (Protestants were invited to
governing group, and the powerful oratory of John Knox attend, but only as observers; none did.) As a means of
led the Scots into Calvinism (the Presbyterian Church). At strengthening religious practice, this was a positive move,
Edwards death, it seemed almost certain that some form for the legitimacy and accuracy of many church doctrines
of Protestant worship would become the ocial church had come increasingly into doubt since the 1300s. But the
under the succeeding ruler. councils work had an unintended negative eect on the
But popular support for Mary (ruled 15531558), the desired reunication of Christianity: the doctrinal lines
Catholic daughter of Henry VIIIs rst, Spanish Catholic separating Catholic and Protestant were now rmly drawn,
wife, was too strong to be overridden by the Protestant and they could not be ignored or blurred by the many in-
party at court. Just as they had feared, Mary proved to be dividuals in both camps who had been trying to arrange
a single-minded adherent of the papal church, and she a compromise. Now one side or the other would have to
restored Catholicism to its ocial status during her brief give in on specic issues, a prospect neither side was
reign. Protestant conspirators were put to death without prepared for.
hesitation (hence, she is called Bloody Mary in English The founding of the Jesuit Order was the most striking
Protestant mythology). example of the second aspect of the Counter-Reformation.
Finally, the confused state of English ocial religion was In 1540, Pope Paul III accorded to the Spanish nobleman
gradually cleared by the political skills of Marys half-sister Ignatius of Loyola (14911556) the right to organize an
and successor, Elizabeth I (ruled 15581603). She ruled for entirely new religious group, which he termed the Society
half a century with great success while defying all royal tra- of Jesus, or Jesuits. Their mission was to win, or win back,
ditions by remaining the Virgin Queen and dying childless the minds and hearts of humanity for the Catholic
(see the Law and Government box). She was able to arrive Church through patient, careful instruction that would
at a compromise between the Roman and Protestant doc- bring the word of God and of his deputy on Earth, the
trines, which was accepted by a steadily increasing majority pope, to everyone. While the Jesuits were working to ensure
and came to be termed the Church of England. In most re- that all Catholics learned correct doctrine, the Index of
spects, it retained the theology and doctrine of the Roman forbidden books was created and the Inquisition was re-
Church, including bishops, rituals, and sacraments, but its vived to ensure that no Catholic deviated from that
head was not the pope but the English monarch, who ap- doctrine (Chapter 18). These institutions greatly expanded
pointed the bishops and their chief, the archbishop of Can- the churchs powers to censor the writings and supervise
terbury. The strict Calvinists were not happy with this the beliefs of its adherents. Both became steadily more
arrangement and wished to purify the church by removing important in Catholic countries during the next century,
all remnants of popery. These Puritans presented problems as what both sides regarded as a contest between ultimate
for the English rulers throughout the seventeenth century. Truth and abhorrent falsity intensied.
316 C H A P T E R 23


Elizabeth I of England (15331603) Elizabeth showed great insight in selecting her ofcials and
maintained good relations with Parliament. She conducted dip-
In the late sixteenth century, England became for the rst time a lomatic affairs with farsightedness and found she could use her
power to be reckoned with in world affairs. What had been an status as an unmarried queen to denite advantage.
island kingdom with little direct inuence on any other country Philip of Spain, widower of her half-sister Mary, made several
except its immediate neighbors across the Channel gradually proposals of marriage and political unity that Elizabeth cleverly
reached equality with the other major Western military and na- held off without ever quite saying no. She kept England out of the
val powers: France and Spain. But Englands achievement was not religious wars that were raging in various parts of Europe for most
just in military affairs. It also experienced a magnicent ower- of her reign, but in one of these wars, against her ex-suitor Philip,
ing of the arts and a solid advance in the economy, which nally the Virgin Queen led her people most memorably.
lifted the nation out of the long depression that had followed the In 1588, after long negotiations failed, Philip sent the Spanish
fourteenth-century plague and the long, losing war with France. Armada to punish England for aiding the rebellious Dutch Calvin-
The guiding spirit for this comeback was Elizabeth I, queen ists across the Channel. The queen rallied her sailors in a stirring
of England from 1558 until her death in 1603. The daughter of visit before the battle. The resulting defeat of the Armada not only
Henry VIII and his second wife, the ill-fated Anne Boleyn, Eliza- signaled Englands rise to naval equality with Spain but also made
beth emerged from a heavily shad- Elizabeth the most popular monarch
owed girlhood to become one of E LIZ ABE TH I OF E N GL AN D. The Armada England had ever seen.
the most beloved of British law- Portrait, perhaps the most famous, was painted by A golden age of English litera-
givers. Elizabeth was an intelligent, an anonymous artist in the late sixteenth century. Eliza- ture coincided with Elizabeths rule,
well-educated woman with gifts in beth was vain, despite being no beauty, and was always thanks in some part to her active
several domains. One of her most receptive to flattery, without in the least being influ- support of all the arts. Her well-
remarkable achievements was that enced by it in matters of state. known vanity induced her to spend
she managed to retain her powers large sums to ensure the splendor of
without a husband, son, or father in her court despite her equally well-
the still very male-oriented world in known miserliness. The Elizabethan
which she moved. Age produced Shakespeare, Mar-
Born in 1533, she was only three lowe, Spenser, and Bacon. By the
Private Collection/Bridgeman Art Library

years old when her mother was end of the sixteenth century, Eng-
executed. She was declared illegiti- lish literature for the rst time could
mate by order of the disappointed hold a place of honor in any assem-
Henry, who had wished for a son. bly of national arts.
But after her fathers death, Parlia- Elizabeths version of Protestant
ment established her as third in beliefthe Church of England
line to the throne, behind her half- proved acceptable to most of her
brother Edward and her Catholic subjects and nally settled the
half-sister Mary. During Marys reign stormy waves of sixteenth-century
(15531558), Elizabeth was impris- English church affairs. By the end of
oned for a time, but she was careful her long reign, Good Queen Bess
to stay clear of the hectic Protestant-Catholic struggles of the day. had become a stock phrase that most people believed, from bar-
By so doing, she managed to stay alive until she could become ons to peasants.
ruler in her own right.
Her rule began amid many internal dangers. The Catholic Analyze and Interpret
party in England opposed her as a suspected Protestant. The Cal- Given that an unmarried queen was considered a political risk,
vinists opposed her as being too much like her father Henry, who what reasons of state could have impelled Elizabeth to remain
never accepted Protestant theology. The Scots were becoming ra- the Virgin Queen? What political capital did she make out of
bid Calvinists who despised the English halfway measures in reli- creating the hybrid Church of England that otherwise would have
gious affairs. On top of this, the government was deeply in debt. been denied her?
The Protestant Reformation 317

Religious Wars and their the counter-reform was in full swing. Russia and south-
eastern Europe were almost unaected by Protestantism,
Outcomes to being either hostile to both varieties of Western Christi-
anity (Russia) or under the political control of Muslims.
The Counter-Reformation stiened the Catholics will to
In two countries, however, the issue of religious aliation
resist the Lutheran and Calvinist attacks, which had, at
was in hot dispute and caused much bloodshed in the
rst, almost overwhelmed the unprepared and inexible
later 1500s.
Roman authorities. By 1555, the Peace of Augsburg had
concluded a ten-year civil war by dividing Germany into
Catholic and Lutheran parcels, but it made no allowances
for the growing number of Calvinists or other Protestants.
France remained Catholic at the level of the throne but
In the rest of Europe, the picture was mixed by the late
developed a large, important Calvinist minority, especially
1500s (see Map 23.1). As we have just seen, England went
among the nobility and the urbanites. For a brief time the
through several changes of religious leadership, but it
Catholic monarchs and the Calvinists attempted to live
eventually emerged with a special sort of Protestant belief
with one another, but religious wars began in the 1570s
as its ocial religion. Scandinavia became Lutheran in
that threatened to wreck the country. The Evidence of the
its entirety, almost without violence. Austria, Hungary,
Past box on the St. Bartholomews Day Massacre gives an
and Poland remained mostly Catholic, but with large
eyewitness view of the violence.
minorities of Calvinists and Lutherans, who received a
After some years, the Calvinists found a politician of ge-
degree of tolerance from the authorities. Spain and Italy
nius, Henry of Navarre, who proted from the assassination
had successfully repelled the Protestant challenge, and

Text not available due to copyright restrictions

318 C H A P T E R 23

of his Catholic rival to become King Henry IV of France. the vast Armada of 1588 to invade England and re-conquer
In 1593, he agreed to accept Catholicism to win the sup- that country for the True Church.
port of most French (Paris is worth a mass, he is reported The devastating defeat of the Armadaas much by a
to have said). He became the most popular king in French storm as by English shipsgave a great boost to the Prot-
history. His Protestant upbringing inspired the Calvinist estant cause everywhere: It relieved the pressure on the
minority to trust him, and he did not disappoint them. Huguenots to accept Catholic over-lordship in France; it
In 1598, Henry made the rst signicant European saved the Dutch Calvinists until they could gain full in-
attempt at religious toleration as state policy by issuing dependence some decades later; and the defeat of the Ar-
the Edict of Nantes. It gave the million or so French mada marks the emergence of England as a major power,
Calviniststhe Huguenotsfreedom to worship without both in Europe and overseas.
harassment in certain areas, to hold oce, and to fortify Spain remained the premier military power long after
their towns. This last provision demonstrates that the edict the Armada disaster, but the country in a sense never re-
was more in the nature of a truce than a peace. It held, covered from this event. Other eets were built, bullion
however, for the better part of a century. During that time, from Mexican and Peruvian mines continued to pour into
France rose to become the premier power in Europe. Madrids treasury, and the Spanish infantry was still the
best trained and equipped of all the European armies, but
The Spanish Netherlands the other powers were able to keep Spain in check from
now on, until its inherent economic weaknesses reduced
The Spanish Netherlands (modern Holland and Belgium) it to a second-line nation by the end of the seventeenth
were ruled from Madrid by King Philip II, the most potent century.
monarch of the second half of the sixteenth century. He had
inherited an empire that included Spain, much of Italy, and
the Low Countries in Europe, plus the enormous Spanish The Legacy of the
overseas empire begun by the voyages of Columbus. Reformation
But Philip was a man with a mission, or rather two mis-
sions: the reestablishment of Catholicism among the Prot- The Protestant movement made a deep impression on
estant heretics and the defeat of the Muslim Turks in the the general course of history in Europe for centuries. It is
Mediterranean and the Near East. These missions imposed one of the chief reasons European history is convention-
heavy demands on Spanish resources, which even the ow ally divided into modern versus medieval around 1500.
of gold and silver out of the American colonies could not The religious unity of all western Europe under the Ro-
fully cover. Generally successful in his wars against the man pope was irrevocably shattered, and with the end of
Ottomans, Philip could not handle a combined political- such unity inevitably came political and cultural conicts.
religious revolt in Spains recently acquired province of For a century and a half after Luthers deance of the pa-
the Netherlands that broke out in the 1560s. The Nether- pal command to be silent, much of Europe was engaged
lands were a hotbed of both Lutheran and Calvinist doc- in internal acrimony that wracked the continent from the
trines, and the self-condent members of the large middle Netherlands to Hungary. In some countries, such as Italy,
class were much disturbed at the Spanish aliens attempt Spain, Sweden, and Scotland, one or the other faith was
to enforce on them the Counter-Reformation and papal dominant and proceeded to harass and exile those who
supremacy. thought dierently. In others, such as Austria, Germany,
Thanks to Spanish overextension, the revolt of the France, and the Netherlands, the question of religious su-
Netherlanders succeeded in holding Philips feared pro- premacy was bitterly contested. Separation of church and
fessional army at bay. The wars were fought with ferocity state was not even dreamed of, nor was freedom of con-
on both sides. While Philip saw himself as the agent of le- science. Even educated people did not seriously take up
gitimacy and the Counter-Reformation, the English Prot- these strictly modern ideas until the eighteenth century.
estants aided the Dutch rebels militarily and nancially In the Protestant societies, the abolition of the mon-
across the Channel. The English support was partly based asteries and convents and the emphasis on vernacular
on religious anity, but even more on the traditional Eng- preaching helped integrate the clergy and the laity and
lish dislike of a great powers control of Englands closest thus blurred one of the chief class divisions that had been
trading partners. accepted in Europe since the opening of the Middle Age.
In the mid-1580s, the friction came to a head. Philip Combined with the important roles of the middle-class
(who had earlier tried to convince Elizabeth I to become Protestants in spreading and securing reform, this devel-
his wife) became incensed at the execution of the Catho- opment provided new opportunities for the ambitious and
lic Mary, Queen of Scots, by order of Elizabeth, who had hardworking to rise up the social ladder.
imprisoned this possible competitor for Englands throne. Some of the other long-term cultural changes that
With the reluctant support of the pope, Philip prepared resulted from the Reformation included the following:
The Protestant Reformation 319


The St. Bartholomews Day Massacre [Protestant] religion, provided that he had something to be
taken, or was an enemy. So it came about that many Papists
During the sixteenth-century religious wars in Europe, no battle- themselves were slain, even several priests. . . .
eld was contested more ferociously by both sides than France. No one can count the many cruelties that accompanied
Not only did France contain Europes largest population, but it lay these murders. . . . Most of them were run through with dag-
between the Protestant North and the Catholic South. Although gers or poniards; their bodies were stabbed, their mem-
the bulk of the peasantry and the royal family remained bers mutilated, they were mocked and insulted with gibes
Catholic, an inuential and determined minority of nobles and sharper than pointed swords . . . they knocked several old
bourgeoisie became Calvinists, or Huguenots. people senseless, banging their heads against the stones
By 1572, because of the political astuteness of their leader, of the quay and then throwing them half dead into the
Gaspard de Coligny, the Huguenots were close to a takeover of the water [the Seine River]. A little child in swaddling clothes
French government. However, the queen mother, Catherine was dragged through the streets with a belt round his neck
de Medici, and the Catholic warlord Henry, duke de Guise, turned by boys nine or ten years old. Another small child, carried
the weak-minded King Charles IX against Coligny. The result was by one of the butchers, played with the mans beard and
a conspiracy that began with Colignys assassination on August 24, smiled up at him, but instead of being moved to compas-
1572 (St. Bartholomews Day), and quickly degenerated into a sion, the barbarous end ran him through with his dagger,
wholesale massacre of the entire Protestant population of Paris: then threw him into the water so red with blood that it did
men, women, and children. The death toll is estimated to have ap- not return to its original color for a long time.
proached 10,000, and the streets and alleys reeked of the stench
of decaying corpses for weeks afterward. Analyze and Interpret
According to an anonymous Protestant eyewitness who was What event in your memory seems most similar to the St.
among the fortunate few to escape the carnage, vicious cruelties Bartholomews Day Massacre? What are the dissimiliarities?
were committed without number, setting the scene for what Source: Excerpted from Julian Coudy, The Huguenot Wars, trans. Julie Kernon
would become twenty years of intermittent civil war in France: (Radnor, PA: Chilton, 1969).

In an instant, the whole city was lled with dead bodies

of every sex and age, and indeed amid such confusion You can read another eyewitness account of
and disorder that everyone was allowed to kill whoever the St. Bartholomews Day Massacre at the
he pleased, whether or not that person belonged to the Wadsworth World History Resource Center.

1. Higher literacy and start of mass education. In much masses of faithful as it did for the clergya realization
of Protestant Europe in particular, the exhortation to that was often absent previouslyand that the belief of
learn and obey Scripture provided an incentive to read the faithful was the essence of the church on Earth.
that the common folk had never had before. The rapid 4. Increase in conicts and intolerance. Much of Europe
spread of printing after 1520 was largely a result of fell into civil wars that were initially set o by reli-
Protestant tracts and the impact they were seen to have gious disputes. These wars were often bloody and
on their large audiences. produced much needless destruction by both sides
2. Emphasis on individual moral responsibility. Rejecting in the name of theological truth. Religious alia-
the Catholic assurance that the clergy knew best what tion greatly exacerbated dynastic and the emergent
was necessary and proper in the conduct of life, the Prot- national conicts.
estants underlined the responsibility of individual believ- The Catholic-Protestant clashes led to intellectual
ers to determine through divine guidance and reading arrogance and self-righteousness not only in religion
Scripture what they must do to attain salvation. but in general among those who wielded power. Open
3. Closer identication of the clergy with the people they debate and discussion of contested matters became
served. Both the Catholic and Protestant churches came almost impossible between the two parts of Western
to recognize that the church existed as much for the Christianity for a century or more.
320 C H A P T E R 23

AS MUCH AS the discovery of the New World, the Prot- would gradually produce what later generations called the
estant movement gave birth to the modern era in the Protestant ethic. The Catholic response was the Counter-
West. The protests of Luther, Calvin, and many others Reformation, which, spearheaded by the Jesuits, eventually
against what they saw as the unrighteous and distorted reclaimed much of the Protestant territories for the Roman
teachings of the Roman papacy had immense long-term Church at the cost of an alarming rise in religiously in-
reverberations in Western culture. The reformers com- spired conict. Exceedingly bloody warfare broke out in
bined a new emphasis on individual morality with as- the Netherlands and in France and Germany between
sertions of the ability and duty of Christians to read the groups asserting their possession of the only correct the-
Gospels and take into their own hands the search for ology. Europe entered the Modern Age in a urry of erce
salvation. antagonisms among Christians, some of which were to
Among Calvinists, the material welfare of the Elect on continue for generations and permanently split apart pre-
Earth was linked to their quality of being saved, a link that vious communities.

uIdentication Terms

Test your knowledge of this chapters key concepts by de- the end of the book, or working with the ashcards that
ning the following terms. If you can t recall the meaning are available on the World Civilizations Companion Web-
of certain terms, refresh your memory by looking up the site: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler
boldfaced term in the chapter, turning to the Glossary at

Act of Supremacy of 1534 Elect, The justification by faith Puritans

Anabaptists Ignatius of Loyola King Henry VIII Reformation
John Calvin Institutes of the Christian Martin Luther Ulrich Zwingli
Counter-Reformation Religion, The Ninety-five Theses
Edict of Nantes Jesuit Order Peace of Augsburg

uTest Your Knowledge

Test your knowledge of this chapter by answering the c. Religious freedom for all
following questions. Complete answers appear at the end d. Indulgences
of the book. You may nd even more quiz questions in e. The rejection of good works as necessary for eter-
ThomsonNOW and on the World Civilizations Compan- nal salvation
ion Website: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler 3. Which of these men died ghting for his beliefs?
a. John Calvin
1. The posting of the Ninety-ve Theses was immediately b. Martin Luther
caused by c. Ulrich Zwingli
a. Luthers outrage over the ignorance of the clergy. d. Henry VIII
b. Luthers conviction that he must challenge papal e. Henry IV
domination. 4. Henry VIIIs reform of English religious organization
c. Luthers anger over the sale of indulgences. occurred
d. the tyranny of the local Roman Catholic bishop. a. after study in the Holy Land.
e. Luthers anger that church tithes were being b. for primarily religious-doctrinal reasons.
siphoned out of Germany to Rome. c. for primarily political-dynastic reasons.
2. Which of the following practices/beliefs is associated d. at the urging of the pope.
with Calvinism? e. after he experienced a vision from the Archangel
a. The basic goodness of humans Gabriel.
b. Predestination of souls
The Protestant Reformation 321

5. The term Counter-Reformation applies to 8. The Edict of Nantes

a. a movement in Germany aimed at extinguishing a. expelled all Protestants from Catholic France.
the Lutherans. b. gave Protestants in France a degree of ocial
b. the strong resistance of the Roman clergy to real toleration.
reforms. c. brought civic and legal equality to Protestants in
c. a Europe-wide campaign to win back the Protes- France.
tants to Rome. d. ended the war between Catholic France and Prot-
d. the political and military eorts of the German estant England.
emperor to crush the Protestants. e. established religious tolerance between Spain and
e. the attempt by German princes to suppress France.
Luthers ideas. 9. Which of the provinces of King Philip of Spain caused
6. The Jesuit Order was founded specically him the most problems over religion?
a. to train Catholic soldiers for battle. a. the American colonies
b. to oversee the activities of the Inquisition. b. the Netherlands
c. to act as the popes rst-line troop in religious wars. c. the Italian provinces
d. to open a new type of monastery. d. Spain
e. to recover through education fallen-away Catholics. e. the Caribbean
7. The St. Bartholomews Day bloodshed was 10. One of the chief negative eects of the Reformation
a. the result of the Catholic fanatics hatred of Prot- on Europe was
estants in France. a. the lessening of educational opportunity.
b. the revenge of the English Calvinists on the b. the loss of national identities.
English Catholics. c. the diminished tolerance for variations from
c. the upshot of a failed attempt to overturn the ocial doctrine.
Catholic dynasty in Spain. d. the decreased opportunities for social climbing.
d. the slaughter of rebel peasantry in Flanders. e. a loss of power for the clergy.
e. the massacre of French Catholics by Huguenots.

u World History Resource Center

Enter ThomsonNOW using the access card that is avail- Enter the Resource Center using either your ThomsonNOW
able with this text. ThomsonNOW will assist you in un- access card or your standalone access card for the
derstanding the content in this chapter with lesson plans Wadsworth World History Resource Center. Organized by
generated for your needs and provide you with a connec- topic, this website includes quizzes; images; over 350 pri-
tion to the Wadsworth World History Resource Center (see mary source documents; interactive simulations, maps,
description at right for details). and timelines; movie explorations; and a wealth of other
resources. You can read the following documents, and
many more, at the Wadsworth World History Resource
Martin Luther, Ninety-ve Theses
John Calvin, selections from The Institutes of the
Christian Religion
King Henry IV, Edict of Nantes
The Rise
and Fall of
He who cannot love another
human being is ignorant of
the Muslim
lifes joy.
Saadi Empires

c.1250 Osman founds the Ghazi The Ottoman Empire

Ottoman state Ottoman Government Non-Muslims under Ottoman Rule The Zenith
1300s1500s Ottoman Empire expands of the Ottoman Empire: Suleiman and After
and ourishes
1453 Mehmed the Conqueror
The Muslim Empires in Persia and India
seizes Constantinople/ The Safavid Realm The Mughal Empire
15201566 Reign of Suleiman the

T THE TIME WHEN Europe slowly began nding its way out
1500s1722 Safavid Empire in Persia
of centuries of feudal disintegration to early statehood and East
15561605 Reign of Akbar the Great Asian governments experienced challenges from both external
of India and internal rivals, Islamic empires in Asia and Africa experi-
15871629 Reign of Shah Abbas the enced seemingly endless upheavals. The Islamic world did not
Great of Persia have a middle age of governmental evolution and consolidation. Instead, de-
1500s Mughal Empire in India structive wars that set Muslims against Muslims wracked the world of Islam
mid-1800s and contributed much to its slow decline after 1600.
In Chapters 13, 14, and in parts of 15, we looked at how Islam expanded
rapidly in the tropical zone between Spain and India. Within remarkably few
decades, Arab Bedouin armies carried the message of Muhammad the Prophet
from Mecca in all directions on the blades of their conquering swords. The
civilization that sprang from this message and conquest was a mixture of Arab,
Greek, Persian, Egyptian, Spanish, African, and Southeast Asianthe most
cosmopolitan civilization in world history.
In the thirteenth century, the capital city of the Abbasid caliphs remained at
Baghdad, but by then the Islamic world had become severely fractured into dozens
of competing, quarreling states and sects. More devastating still, in that century
the Mongols swept into the Islamic heartland in central and western Asia,
destroying every sign of settled life in their path and establishing brief rule over
half the world (see Chapter 19). After their disappearance, the Ottoman Turks gave
Islam a new forward thrust. By the 1500s, the Ottomans had succeeded in captur-
ing Constantinople and reigned over enormous territories reaching from Gibraltar
to Iraq. Farther east and somewhat later, the Safavids in Persia and the Mughals in
India established Muslim dynasties that endured into the early modern age.

The Ottoman Empire

The Mongols had smashed the Persian center of Islam in the 1250s, conquered
Baghdad in 1258, and left the caliph as one of the corpses of those who had
dared oppose them. At this time, the all-conquering intruders intended to wipe
out the rest of the Islamic states that reached as far as Spain. One of these was

The Rise and Fall of the Muslim Empires 323

the Ottoman principality in what is now Turkey, which Osman succeeded in becoming independent when the
took full advantage of the Mongols defeat at Ain Jalut to Mongols destroyed the Rum Sultanate soon after they
maintain its independence. overran Baghdad. By the time he died, Osman had estab-
The arrival of the Ottoman Dynasty in Asia Minor and lished a core Ottoman state that included most of western
their subsequent rise to the status of most powerful state Asia Minor through continual warfare against both his
in the Islamic world was the partial consequence of two Muslim and non-Muslim neighbors. His son and succes-
developments that had preceded them. The rst of these sor, Orhan (ruled 13261359), continued this policy of ex-
was the Turkication of the caliphate that had begun as pansion, and he began the conquest of what remained of
early as the ninth century CE. The nomadic Turkish tribes the Byzantine Empire on the Balkan peninsula.
began migrating from their homelands in the steppes of More important, as the Ottoman ghazi state continued
Central Asia early in that century, and soon large numbers to grow, Orhan reorganized it along feudal lines. Landed
of them inhabited the eastern lands of the Abbasid caliph- estates were parceled out among the commanders of the
ate. Faced with increasing challenges to their authority mounted army. Orhan was also noted for creating the sys-
from Kharijites (KAH-ri-jites) and Shiites (SHEE-ites), the tem by which the growing numbers of various nationalities
Abbasid caliphs were forced to rely on the skills of these and religious groups were absorbed into the burgeoning
fearsome ghters to help quell revolts. Soon, Turkish Ottoman Empire. Each group was organized as a millet;
troops under Turkish commanders were largely stang that is, as a separate minority under the leadership of an
the armies of the caliphate, but the real power resided in appointed shaykh, who answered directly to the sultan
Baghdad under the Seljuk sultans (see Chapter14). Once and his ocials. Each millet was allowed a degree of self-
in power in Baghdad, the Seljuks resumed the Muslim of- regulation under its shaykh, and its rights were protected.
fensive against the rejuvenated Byzantine Empire in the
eleventh century. In 1071, a crucial Seljuk victory over the M E H M E D TH E C ON QU E ROR. The conqueror of Constanti-
Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert gave the Turks direct nople is portrayed in this Turkish miniature smelling a rose, symbol-
access to Asia Minor for the rst time. They established izing his cultural interests, as well as gripping a handkerchief, a symbol
the Rum Sultanate in eastern Asia Minor and continued of his power.
their jihad against the Christian enemies to the west.
The second important development was the growing
importance of the dervish, or Su (SOO-fee), orders in
Islam. As explained in Chapter 14, many Muslims embraced
mystical forms of Islam after the death of al-Ghazzali (al-
gah-ZAH-lee) in 1111 CE. Many dervishes/sus formed
religious associations or brotherhoods (tariqas; tah-REE-
kahs). In most cases, these were organized around a central
religious gure, or shaykh (shake), whom the dervishes be-
lieved possessed extraordinary spiritual authority and who
was responsible for the spiritual and intellectual direction of

Topkapi Palace Museum, Istanbul, Turkey/Giraudon/Bridgeman Art Library

his followers. Typically, too, the dervish order was organized
into grades, much like a secret society (like the Masons in
western Europe), and initiates graduated into higher levels
of the order as they were allowed access to secret knowl-
edge known only to members of these higher levels.
The Ottoman Empire began around 1250, when a Turk-
ish chieftain named Osman (after whom the dynasty was
named) and his group of followers entered into the service
of the Rum sultans of eastern Asia Minor. Osman was given
a small efdom in western Asia Minor to wage jihad (jee-
HAHD) against the Byzantines. Thus, the empire began as
a ghazi state; that is, one made up of ghazis (GAH-zees),
or frontier warriors, whose express purpose was waging
holy war against the Christians. Osmans tiny state was
initially organized around two dervish orders, and besides
being a warlord, the authority of Osman and his early
successors appears to have come from their positions as
shaykhs of one or both of these dervish orders.
324 C H A P T E R 24

By the 1450s, the empire had grown to include all of Ottoman Government
Asia Minor and most of the Balkans south of modern-day
Hungary. Of the Byzantine Empire, only the great capital Ottoman glory reached its apex during the reign of Sulei-
of Constantinople remained. After several failed attempts man the Magnicent, a sultan whose resources and abili-
to capture the great fortress city of the Christians on the ties certainly matched any of his fellow rulers in an age of
western side of the narrow waterway separating Europe formidable women and men (Elizabeth I of England, Akbar
from Asia, Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror (ruled 1451 the Great in India, and Ivan the Terrible in Russia). The gov-
1481) succeeded in taking this prize. A long siege weak- ernment he presided over was divided into a secular bu-
ened the Christians resistance, and the sultans new bronze reaucracy; a religious bureaucracy; and a chancery called
cannon destroyed the walls. In 1453, the city nally sur- the Sublime Porte, after the gate in the sultans palace near
rendered. Under the new name of Istanbul, it became the where it was located. At the head of both stood the sultan.
capital of the Ottoman Empire from that time forward. The ocials of the Sublime Porte were what we would call
By the reign of Suleiman (SOO-lay-man) the Magnicent the civil government, and it was composed of many levels
(r. 15201566), Hungary, Romania, southern Poland, and of ocials from the grand vizier (vih-ZEER; prime minis-
southern Russia had been added to the sultans domain, ter) down to the lowliest copyists. Most members of the
while in North Africa and the Middle East all of the Islamic secular bureaucracy originally were non-Muslims who had
states from Morocco to Persia had accepted his overlord- converted to the Muslim faith.
ship (see Map 24.1). At this stage, Ottoman military power The religious bureaucracy was parallel to the secular
was unmatched in the world. one. Its members were collectively the ulama (oo-la-MAH),
R hi


R. Dn
ube ies
Dan Vienna, t e r Ri
R. 1683 v er



Se Romania

ia Black Sea



Corsica at MAN
Rome i Constantinople

Bulgaria (Istanbul)


ds Naples PIR

Balearic I

1571 Athens

Sicily SYRIA

Eu ph


Crete Damascus R.

Mediterranean Sea


Ottoman Empire, 1451 LIBYA Cairo

Ottoman gains to 1521

Ottoman gains to 1566

0 250 500 750 Kilometers Red


Battle sites
0 250 500 Miles

MAP 24 .1 T h e O t t om a n Em p ires Grow t h

At its peak in the late 1500s, the domain of the View an interactive version of this
sultan in Istanbul reached from the Persian Gulf to or a related map at http://worldrc.
the Atlantic Ocean. wadsworth.com/

As the Ottoman Empire expanded, what different
groups came to be incorporated within it?
The Rise and Fall of the Muslim Empires 325

or learned scholars of the law, the Sharia, which was proselytize for converts or bear arms, and suered many
derived from the holy book of Islam, the Quran. The other disadvantages, but they were not forced to convert
sultan appointed a high ocial as the head of this vast to Islam and could run their own civil and cultural aairs
bureaucracy called the Shaykh al-Islam. The religious on the local and even provincial level. They were taxed,
bureaucracy lent its great moral authority to the work of but not excessively. Until the seventeenth century, the
the Sublime Porte. It was in eect a junior partner of the public lives of minorities within the millet system seem
government. In the ordinary course of events, conict be- to have assured them more security than most Jews or
tween the two was unthinkable. Muslims living under Christian rule could expect. On the
The army was an arm of the secular bureaucracy. The other hand, the brutality with which the Ottomans treated
Ottoman army was far superior to European militaries by defeated opponents and the forceful application of the
virtue of its professionalism and discipline. At its heart devshirme proved the limits of Ottoman tolerance for the
were the well-trained and well-armed Janissaries, an elite rights of subject populations.
infantry corps. The Ottomans used a system called the The majority of the Balkan population was Orthodox
devshirme (duv-SHEER-muh) to sta the Janissary units Christian. Under Turkish rule, those peasants were almost
of the army and other high positions within the sultans always decently treated until the seventeenth century.
administration. Essentially this system was based on seiz- They were allowed to elect their own headmen in their
ing Balkan Christian boys at a tender age, converting them villages; go to Christian services; and otherwise baptize,
to Islam, and giving them unlimited chances to advance marry, and bury their dead according to their traditions.
themselves in both army and government. The system was Like other non-Muslims, they were more heavily taxed
designed to create new units of the army and the Sultans than Muslims, but they were allowed to own land and
palace, staed by servants whose only loyalty was to the businesses and to move about freely.
sultan. Some of the most brilliant leaders of the Ottoman In the course of the seventeenth century, however, the
state in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries were condition of the Balkan Christians deteriorated badly for
these willing slaves of the sultan (as they proudly termed several reasons, including the central governments increas-
themselves), recruited from the indel. ing need for tax funds, the increasing hostility toward all in-
Through the devshirme, the Ottoman state for many dels at Istanbul, and a moral breakdown in provincial and
years successfully avoided the weakening of the central local government. The sh stinks from the head, says an
authority that was inevitable with the kind of feudal sys- old Turkish proverb, and the bad example of the harem gov-
tem Orhan had created in the fourteenth century. In- ernment in the capital was having eects in the villages.
stead, by the time of Mehmed and Suleiman, the bulk of During the eighteenth century, the condition of the
the standing army was a mobile, permanent corps that Balkan Christians had become suciently oppressive that
could be shifted about throughout the huge empire con- they began looking for liberation by their independent
trolled by Istanbul. Therefore, aside from the cavalry neighbors, Austria and Russia. From now on, the Ottomans
corps, most soldiers came to depend on salaries paid di- had to treat their Christian subjects as potential or actual
rectly to them by the central government. The Janissaries traitors, which made the tensions between the Sultans gov-
and other new infantry corpsmen remained loyal to the ernment and his Christian subjects still worse. By the nine-
central government alone because of their lack of local teenth and twentieth centuries, the treatment of Christian
connections and the fact that they rarely remained in one minorities, such as the Greeks, Armenians, and others, at
place very long. times was about as bad in the Islamic Near East as any peo-
As long as the Janissaries conformed to this ideal, the ple have ever had to endure. Unfortunately for the Balkan
Ottoman governmental system operated smoothly and states today, these old hatreds that Ottoman rule brought
eectively. The provincial authorities obeyed the central to the region remain the primary source of the ethnic and
government or were soon replaced and punished. But af- religious conicts that continue to plague it.
ter about 1650, when the professional army was able to
obtain land and develop the connections to purely local The Zenith of the Ottoman Empire:
aairs that landholding entailed, a lengthy period of de- Suleiman and After
cline commenced.
The Ottoman Empire reached its peak during the reign of
Non-Muslims under Ottoman Rule Suleiman the Magnicent in the sixteenth century. Many
consider Suleiman to have been the empires greatest ruler.
The treatment of non-Muslims varied over time. In the Even in a dynasty that had many long-reigning sultans, the
early centuries of Ottoman rule (13001600), ocial length of Suleimans rule was remarkably long, from 1520
treatment of Christians and Jews was generally fair. These to 1566. His was an outstandingly stable rule in which it
People of the Book were distinctly limited in what we seemed that everything the sultan attempted to accom-
would call civil rights, could not hold oce, could not plish succeeded.
326 C H A P T E R 24

Immediately, when Suleiman came to the throne at nally obliged Suleiman to make an orderly withdrawal.
26 years of age, he was successful in extending control Although the attack failed, it marked the crest of a long
over all of North Africa. For many years, the Spanish and wave of Ottoman expansion in Europe.
the Portuguese had attacked and occupied the port cit- As they had stacked conquest on top of conquest, the
ies of Morocco and Algeria. To deal with them, Suleiman Ottoman sultans increasingly had come to be regarded by
formed an alliance with a corsair by the name of Khair Muslims all over as the new caliphs of the Muslim Umma
ad-Din Barbarossa. The attacks that followed by the com- (see Chapter 13). With the golden age of the Abbasids long
bined eets of Khair ad-Din and the well-armed Otto- past, Muslims needed a powerful ruler who could assume
mans were eective in pushing the Iberians out of Tunis the responsibilities of religious leadership that were essential
and Algiers. Suleiman also seized the island of Rhodes, to Islam. Ottomans such as Mehmed and Suleiman lled that
which the Christian Knights of St. John hitherto had de- need admirably. Besides his attacks on Christian Europe, for
fended successfully against the Ottomans for centuries. example, Suleiman defeated a powerful Safavid Shiite state
With these victories, Suleiman came close to rivaling an- in Iran (see following section) and managed to occupy Iraq.
cient Rome by winning complete control over the entire He also took charge of making the crucial arrangements
Mediterranean Sea. In southeastern Europe, the sultans for the annual pilgrimages to Mecca. In addition, he remod-
huge army seized the cities of Belgrade and Budapest. eled the Tomb of the Prophet Muhammad in Medina and
Suleimans next and boldest move was against the capital the famous Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem.
of the Austrian Empire, Vienna. After a siege that lasted Despite the continued conquests and the unprecedented
through the summer in 1529, autumn and colder weather levels of prestige and inuence achieved by the sultanate


Harem Intrigue in the Death of [Roxilana] and its result in his somewhat [hasty] action in
Suleimans Favorite Son putting Mustapha . . . to death, which is generally [blamed
on Roxilanas] employment of love potions and incanta-
The following is an eyewitness account of a visit with Suleiman tions. It is generally agreed that, ever since he promoted her
by Ogier Ghislain de Busbecq, who had been sent as the Austrian to the rank of his lawful wife, he has possessed no [slave
ambassador to the court of the Sultan near the end of his reign. wives], although there is no law to prevent his doing so. He
As can be seen, Busbecq was impressed by the Sultan. However, is a strict guardian of his religion and its ceremonies. . . . For
take particular note of the hint of intrigue in the Sultans harem his agehe has almost reached his sixtieth yearhe en-
with the account of the scheming of Roxilana, his favorite wife, to joys quite good health, though his bad complexion may
have Suleimans favorite son, Mustapha, put to death. be due to some hidden malady; and indeed it is generally
believed that he has an incurable ulcer or gangrene on his
The Sultan was seated on a rather low sofa, no more than leg. The defect of complexion he remedies by painting
a foot from the ground and spread with many costly cover- his face with a coating of red powder.
lets and cushions embroidered with exquisite work. Near
him were his bows and arrows. His expression, as I have Analyze and Interpret
said, is anything but smiling, and has a sternness which, What effect did the death of Mustapha seem to have on the
though sad is full of majesty . . . great sultan?
. . . He is beginning to feel the weight of years, but his
Source: From Edward Foster, trans. The Turkish Letters of Ogier Ghiselin de
dignity of demeanor and his general physical appear- Busbecq, Imperial Ambassador at Constantinople, 15541562 (Oxford: Clarendon
ance are worthy of the ruler of so vast an empire. . . . Even Press, 1927), pp. 5859, 6566.
in his earlier years he did not indulge in wine or in
those unnatural vices to which the Turks are often addict- You can read about a visit to another of
ed. Even his bitterest critics can nd nothing more serious Suleimans wives at the Wadsworth World History
to allege against him than his undue submission to his wife Resource Center.
The Rise and Fall of the Muslim Empires 327

under this monarch, already harbingers of future problems The Safavid Realm
surfaced during Suleimans reign. He introduced new
practices that were followed by the sultans who came af- Within the Islamic world, the greatest rival of the Ottoman
ter him, all of which ultimately proved disadvantageous Empire after the sixteenth century was the Safavid Empire
to the empire. For example, after the demoralizing losses of Persia. Therefore, it is ironic that they shared similar
of his favorite grand vizier and his son, Mustapha, to ha- origins. The embryonic Safavid state began in the region
rem intrigues (see Evidence of the Past), Suleiman showed of Tabriz, west of the Caspian Sea, and like the Ottoman
less and less interest in the day-to-day details of govern- ghazi state it was organized around a Turkish Su asso-
ing than had been the case beforehand. He withdrew from ciation. This brotherhood took its name from its founder,
daily meetings of his divan, or royal council, allowing his Sa ad-Din (shortened as Safavid), who claimed to be a
new grand viziers to assume power, if not actual respon- descendant of Muhammad. By the fteenth century, the
sibility. The annual jihads and conquests continued, but Safavid state came to dier from the Ottoman orders in
Suleiman and his successors again deferred to their viziers one important aspect, however: it converted to Shiite
and other military ocials (who were given the title of Islam. The Safavids became a major threat to the Ottomans
pasha) for their execution. when they evolved a militant theology that advocated the
The remainder of the sixteenth century and most of supremacy of Shiism through the force of arms. Spread-
the seventeenth amounted to a stalemate between the ing their views through propaganda, they converted many
Islamic East and the Christian West. This period saw Turkish tribes in Iran, Syria, and eastern Asia Minor. These
growing diculties for the Ottomans and the other great Shiites took over much of the Persian Muslim state, and
Muslim empires, especially in their dealings with the from that base they waged frequent wars on their Sunni
West. Yet, there was little or no actual loss of territory. competitors to the west. In the early 1500s, a leader named
In 1683, the Ottomans even managed again to muster Ismail, claiming to be a representative of the hidden Shia
sucient resources for a second attack on Vienna. This Imam, succeeded in capturing much of Persia and Iraq,
assault failed, but unlike the failure of the rst one in including Baghdad, and made himself shah (king). With
1529, this one was followed by a disastrous defeat at the these successes, Ismail proclaimed Shiism to be the o-
hands of a Habsburg army led by Eugen of Savoy. Finally, cial cult of the Safavid state. Thus was founded the Safavid
in 1699, the Ottomans were forced to sign the Treaty of Empire, which lasted for two centuries and was a strong
Karlowitz, a momentous document that, after centu- competitor to the Ottomans, who were Sunni Muslims
ries of continuous expansion, forced the Ottoman sul- (see Map 24.2). This doctrinal opposition to Sunni Islam
tan for the rst time to cede territory to his European and political rivalry with the Ottoman Empire became
opponents. especially sharp by the early seventeenth century, and it
reached its height during the reign of Shah Abbas I (ruled
15871629), the greatest of the Safavid rulers.
The Muslim Empires in The European opponents of the Turks, who were then
Persia and India still established deep in central Europe, aided Shah Abbas
in his conicts with Istanbul. Several foreigners occupied
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Su and high positions in his government, as Abbas strove to avoid
Shiite divisions, which had existed within the theology favoring any one group within his multiethnic realm. His
of Islam for many centuries, became noticeably stronger. beautifully planned new capital at Isfahan was a center of
The Su mystics sought a dierent path to God than or- exquisite art and crafts production, notably in textiles,
thodox Muslims (see Chapter 13). Some of the sus of rugs, ceramics, and paintings. The Safavid period is con-
Central Asia adopted the historical views of the Shiites, sidered the cultural high point of the long history of Per-
who reject all of Muhammads successors who were not sia and the Iranian people. Just as in the case of Suleiman
related directly to him by blood or marriage. In the eighth the Magnicent, the reign of Abbas represented the high
century, as we saw in Chapter 14, this belief resulted in a point of Safavid rule in Persia. Following his reign, a
major split between the Shiite minority and the Sunni gradual decline resulted from encroachments by highly
majority, who believed that the caliph, or successor to independent Turco-Iranian tribesman. Making things even
the Prophet, could be anyone qualied by nobility of more complicated were the gradual and caustic inuences
purpose and abilities. From that original dispute over of European imperialists. The empire slowly lost vigor
succession gradually emerged a series of doctrinal dier- and collapsed altogether in the 1720s under Turkish and
ences. Much of Islamic history can be best conceived of Afghani attacks. It is worth noting that, like the European
within the framework of the rivalry between the Shiite Christians, the various subdivisions within Islam fought as
and Sunni factions. much against each other as against the indel. A common
328 C H A P T E R 24

Black Sea


Eu Herat Kabul
Mediterranean Sea p hr Qum KASHMIR TIBET
ate Baghdad Khyber
Isfahan PUNJAB

er PERSIA Kandahar







I ndu
N Gu Fatehpur Agra R
lf Sikri ive

ARABIA r Patna


RAJPUT (Varanasi) Plassey




Safavid Empire under Bombay DECCAN

Shah Abbas, 15871629 MARATHAS
Arabian Sea
The Mughal Empire, Bay of
c. 1700 Bengal
Dutch settlement Goa
British settlement Calicut Tranquebar
Portuguese settlement
0 600 1,200 1,800 Kilometers
French settlement CEYLON
0 600 1,200 Miles Colombo

MAP 24.2 S a f av i d an d M ug h a l em p ires

The Safavid Empire, shown at its maximal extent, about 1625 MAP QU E STION
under Shah Abbas I, was crushed by Ottoman and Afghani Can you locate the capitals of the Safavid and Mughal
attacks in the 1720s after two centuries of independent empires?
Shiite rule. The Mughal Empire, shown at its maximal ex-

tent, about 1700, included most of north and central India
View an interactive version of this or a related
until the late eighteenth century, when losses to the Hindu
map at http://worldrc.wadsworth.com/
Marathas and the British intensified.

religion is rarely able to counter the claims of territorial, Central Asia had raided and attempted to invade northern
economic, or military advantage in the choice between war India since the 900s but had been repulsed by the domi-
and peace. nant Hindus. As was seen in Chapter 15, in the early 1200s,
the Delhi Sultanate was established by a Turkish slave
The Mughal Empire army operating from their base at Ghazni in Afghani-
stan. Within a century, the sultanate controlled much of
When we last looked at the Indian subcontinent in Chap- the Indian subcontinent, reaching down into the Deccan.
ter 15, we commented on the gradual revival of Hindu Divorced from their Hindu subjects by every aspect of cul-
culture under the Gupta Dynasty in the fourth and fth ture, language, and religion, the sultans and their courts
centuries CE and the Golden Age that ensued. Very early attempted at rst to convert the Hindus and then, failing
in Islams history, during the late 600s, Arabs and Persians that, to humiliate and exploit them.
had moved into the Indus valley and seized the province The original dynasty was soon overthrown, but other
of Sind at its lower extremity. This was the beginning of Central Asian Muslims succeeded it, all of whom fought
a long, ongoing struggle between Hindu and Muslim in among themselves for mastery even as they extended their
the northwest borderlands. Out of this struggle, 800 years rule southward. Aided by continuing disunity among their
after the province of Sind was captured, a branch of the Hindu opponents, Mongols, Turks, Persians, and Afghanis
Turks known as the Mughals (MOO-guls) created one of fought for control of the entire width of the Indian sub-
the most impressive Muslim empires in world history in continent from the Indus to the Ganges. At last, a leader,
northern India. Babur, who was able to persuade his fellow princes to fol-
The word Mughal is a corruption of the name Mongol, low him, arose again from the Afghan base. Brilliantly suc-
to whom the Turks were distantly related. Muslims from cessful battle tactics allowed him to conquer much of the
The Rise and Fall of the Muslim Empires 329

SEF/Art Resource, NY
M OSQU E OF SHAH AB B AS I ( 16111638) . Persian archi-
tecture of the Safavid period differed significantly from that of
the Ottomans. The heavier styles favored by the latter betray a sig-
nificant Byzantine influence. The Safavid style, on the other hand,
SEF/Art Resource, NY

was characterized by its relative lightness, intricate surface work,

extensive use of blue tiles, and iwans, the oversized qibla, seen in this
mosque built by Shah Abbas the Great at Isfahan.

Because most of his subjects were Hindus, Akbar

A CO N C U B I N E FRO M THE PAL ACE O F S HAH ABB AS I thought it particularly important to heal the breach be-
(1611 1638) . The most common type of female servitude in
tween them and the Muslim minority. His initiatives
Islamic civilizations was sexual slavery, or concubinage. Few women
toward creating an ethnically equal society were remark-
were taught how to read or write, and the fact that this concubine is
shown writing suggests that she was a favorite at the palace. able. He married a Hindu princess, and Aurangzeb, one
of his sons by a Hindu woman, eventually succeeded him.
Hindus were given equal opportunities to obtain all but
territory once ruled by the Delhi sultans. By the time of the highest government posts, and the Hindu warrior caste
his death in 1530, he had established the Mughal Muslim called Rajputs became his willing allies in governance. By
Indian dynasty. This mans grandson and successor was repealing the odious poll tax (jizya) on non-Muslims,
Akbar the Great (ruled 15561605). Akbar was the most Akbar earned the lasting gratitude of most of his subjects.
distinguished Indian ruler since Ashoka in the third cen- The sorrow that existed among both Muslims and non-
tury BCE. He was perhaps the greatest statesman Asia has Muslims at Akbars death was the most sincere tribute to
ever produced. his character.
Akbar earned his title the Great in several dierent Midway in his long reign, around 1580, Akbar decided
ways. He splendidly fullled the usual demands made on to build an entirely new capital at Fatehpur Sikri, some dis-
a warrior-king to crush his enemies and enlarge his king- tance from the traditional royal cities of Delhi and Agra.
dom. Under his guidance and generalship, the Mughal This palace-city was soon abandoned and is now a ruin,
Empire came to control most of the subcontinentthe but its beauty and magnicence were famous throughout
rst time a central government had accomplished this the Muslim world. The court library reputedly possessed
feat since the day of the Mauryan kings. Second, despite more than 24,000 volumes, making it easily the largest
his own youthful illiteracy, he completely reorganized the collection of books in the world at this time. Akbars love
central government, developed an ecient multinational of learning encouraged sages of all religions and all parts
bureaucracy to run it, and introduced many innovative of the Asian world to come to his court at his expense as
reforms in society. Third and most strikingly, Akbar prac- teachers and students. His cultivation of the ocial Per-
ticed a policy of religious and social toleration that was sian language brought new dimensions to Indian litera-
most unusual in the sixteenth century. He was at least for- ture. The ties with Persian culture enabled by the language
mally a Muslim, ruling a Muslim-dominated empire, but contributed substantially to the revival of a sense of na-
he allowed all faiths including Christianity to ourish and tional unity among Hindus, which they had lacked since
to compete for converts in his lands. the Gupta era.
330 C H A P T E R 24


The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Tomorrow?Why, Tomorrow I may be

Myself with Yesterdays Sevn Thousand Years.
Perhaps the most-quoted poem in the English language is a 20
nineteenth-century translation of a twelfth-century Persian philoso- Lo! some we loved, the loveliest and best
pher, who may or may not have written the original. The Rubaiyat That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest
of Omar Khayyam is a collection of four-line verses that became Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
associated with his name long after his death in 1122. Edward And one by one crept silently to Rest.
Fitzgerald, who had taught himself Persian while passing his days 21
as a Victorian country gentleman, published them in 1859 in a very And we, that now make merry in the Room
free translation. Instantly nding a public, the Rubaiyat was reprint- They left, and Summer dresses in new Bloom,
ed several times during Fitzgeralds life and many more since then. Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
The poem speaks in unforgettably lovely words of our com- Descend, ourselves to make a Couchfor whom?
mon fate. Morality is all too often a negation of joy. Death comes 22
all too soon: in wine is the only solace. The verse story, of which Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
only a fragment is given here, opens with the poet watching the Before we too into the Dust descend;
break of dawn after a night of revelry: Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, andsans End!
1 23
Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night Alike for those who for TODAY prepare,
Has ung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight And those that after a TOMORROW stare,
And lo! the Hunter of the East has caught A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries
The Sultans Turret in a Noose of Light. Fools! your Reward is neither here nor there!
2 24
Dreaming when Dawns Left Hand was in the Sky Why, all the Saints and Sages who discussd
I heard a Voice within the Tavern cry, Of the Two Worlds so learnedly, are thrust
Awake, my Little ones, and ll the Cup Like foolish Prophets forth; their
Before Lifes Liquor in its Cup be dry. Words to Scorn Are scatterd, and their Mouths are stopd
7 with Dust.
Come, ll the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring 25
The winter Garment of Repentance ing Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the
The Bird of Time has but a little way Wise To talk; one thing is certain, that Life ies;
To yand Lo! the Bird is on the Wing. One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies;
14 The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.
The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
Turns Ashesor it prospers; and anon, * Aureate earth . . . means once buried, the body is no
Like Snow upon the Deserts dusty Face golden treasure.

Lighting a little Hour or twois gone. The verb to blow here means to bloom.
And those who husbanded the Golden Grain Analyze and Interpret
And those who ung it to the Winds like Rain Do you sympathize with the poetic point of view? Why or why
Alike to no such aureate Earth are turnd* not? Would a Su mystic or a Christian monk have agreed with
As, buried once, Men want dug up again. it? Given the religious origins and foundation of Islamic socie-
16 ties, how do you suppose such a point of view would have been
I think that never blows so red accommodated?
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears Source: The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, trans. and ed. Edward Fitzgerald (New
York: Dover, 1991).
Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head.
Ah, my Beloved, ll the Cup that clears You can read more of the Rubaiyat at the
Today of past Regrets and future Fears Wadsworth World History Resource Center.
The Rise and Fall of the Muslim Empires 331

Society and Culture. India under the Mughals remained variety of portraits, court scenes, gardens, and townscapes
a hodgepodge of dierent peoples, as well as dierent reli- is exceeded only by the precision and color sense of the
gions and languages. Besides those under Mughal rule, artists.
there were still many tribal groups, especially in the rain The Muslims had an extensive system of religious schools
forest regions of the eastern coast, whom neither Hindu (madrasa), while the local Brahmins took care of the mini-
nor Muslims considered fully human and often enslaved. mal needs for literacy in the Hindu villages by acting as
The caste system continued to be rened in constant open-air schoolmasters. Increasingly, the Muslims used the
subdivisions among Hindus. Although the Muslims never newly created Urdu language (now the ocial language in
acknowledged the caste system, it did serve as a useful wall Pakistan) rather than the Sanskrit of the Hindus.
to minimize frictions between subject and ruler. Despite Like the Safavid Persians to their west, the Mughals
extensive business and administrative dealings between the were an exceptionally cosmopolitan dynasty, well aware of
two religious communities, social intercourse was unusual cultural aairs in and outside of their own country and anx-
at any level. Even among the majority Hindus, culturally ious to make a good impression in foreign eyes. They wel-
based barriers existed that had nothing to do with caste. comed European travelers. Like Marco Polos reports about
A new religion, derived from the doctrines of both Kubilai Khans China, the sixteenth- and seventeenth-
Hindu and Muslim, arose in the Far North during the sev- century tales of visitors to the Great Mughal were only
enteenth century. At rst dedicated to nding a middle belatedly and grudgingly believed. Such cultivation and
ground between the two dominant faiths, it eventually display of luxury were still beyond Europeans experience.
became a separate creed, called the religion of the Sikhs
(seeks). Generally closer to Hindu belief (but rejecting The Mughal Economy. The existing agrarian system
caste), the Sikhs fought the last Mughal rulers and domi- was but slightly disturbed by the substitution of Muslim
nated the northwestern Punjab province. (They currently for Hindu authority. Beginning with the Delhi sultans,
represent perhaps 5 percent of the total population of In- courtiers and ocials were awarded a parcel of land con-
dia and strive still for full autonomy on either side of the sonant with their dignity and sucient taxes to allow them
India-Pakistan border.) to maintain a specied number of ghting men and their
After Emperor Aurangzeb (r. 16681707), the govern- equipment. This system of rewarding individuals who ren-
ing class was almost entirely Muslim again, and aspiring dered either civil or military duties to the state was called
Hindus sometimes imitated their habits of dress and man- the mansabdari (mahn-sahb-DAH-ree). Some mansab-
ners. Many foreigners, especially from the Middle East, dars maintained small armies of 5,000 or even 10,000 men.
came into the country to make their fortunes, often at the When the sultanate weakened, they established themselves
luxurious and free-spending courts of not only the em- as petty kings, joining the universal fray in northern India
peror but also subsidiary ocials. Prevented by imperial
decrees from accumulating heritable land and oce, the
Muslim upper class took much pride in funding institu-
tions of learning and supporting artists of all types.
In the ne arts, the Mughal rulers made a conscious
and successful eort to introduce the great traditions of
Persian culture into India, where they blended with the
native forms in literature, drama, and architecture. The
quatrains of Omar Khayyams Rubaiyat (roo-BAY-yat),
which have long been famous throughout the world, held
a special appeal for Mughal poets, who attempted to im-
itate them (see the Patterns of Belief box for an excerpt
from the Rubaiyat).
Bridgeman Art Library

The Taj Mahal (tahj mah-HAAL), tomb of the much-

loved wife of the seventeenth-century emperor Shah Jahan,
is the most famous example of a Persian-Indian archi-
tectural style, but it is only one of many, as exemplied
by the ruins of Fatehpur Sikri, the equally imposing Red
Fort at Agra, as well as a whole series of mosques. Much TH E TAJ MAHAL . This seventeenth-century tomb was designed
painting of every type and format from book miniatures in Indo-Persian style as the resting place of the beloved wife of
to frescos also survives from this era and shows traces of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Building commenced in 1632 and was
Arab and Chinese, as well as Persian, inuence. By this completed eleven years later. Four identical facades surround a central
time, Muslim artists ignored the ancient religious prohibi- dome 240 feet high. Gardens and the river that flows beside it supple-
tion against reproducing the human form. The wonderful ment the whole complex.
332 C H A P T E R 24

for territory and prestige. This system was carried over outright proprietors, but they were not yet haunted by
into the Mughal period. Perhaps half of the mansabdars the shortage of agrarian land that would arrive, as it did
under Akbar were Hindus, creating a loyalty to the impe- in China, during the later eighteenth century. Village tra-
rial government that continued even under Aurangzebs dition, the caste system, and government tax collectors
determined Islamic regime. restricted their freedoms. The latter were generally no
The peasants on the mansabdars domain were some- worse than in other places, and their demand for one-
what better o than their contemporary counterparts in third to one-half of the crop was bearable if the harvest
Europe or China. Most of them were tenants rather than was productive.

THE THREE PRINCIPAL Muslim empires that occupied Vienna before internal weakness drove them back in the
most of the Asian continent between 1250 and 1800 were 1700s. By the nineteenth century, the Ottomans had be-
able to hold their own militarily and culturally with their come so weak that they were sustained only by the rivalry of
Chinese, Hindu, and Christian competitors. Often war- the major European powers. Thus, the dreaded sixteenth-
ring among themselves, they were still able to maintain century empire of Suleiman had been degraded to the sick
their borders and prestige for 200 to 600 years. After the man of Europe, so called by a British statesman.
terrible destruction rendered by the Mongols, the Muslims For two centuries, the Shiite dynasty of the Safavids re-
of the Middle East absorbed their invaders and rebuilt their claimed grandeur for Persia and Iraq, where they ruled un-
cities. Chief and most enduring among their states were til they were brought down by the superior power of their
those of the Ottoman Turks and the Indian Mughals. The Sunni rivals in Istanbul. The Mughals descended on Hindu
Ottomans profited from the Mongol destruction of Bagh- India in the early sixteenth century and set up one of the
dad and the Rum Sultanate by erecting their own powerful few regimes in Indian history that managed to rule suc-
ghazi state and even eventually took Constantinople (Is- cessfully most of this intensely varied subcontinent. Under
tanbul) for their capital. Under a series of warrior-sultans, the extraordinary Akbar the Great, this regime reached its
the Ottoman leaders extended their power to the gates of apex, only to decline slowly during the following century.

uIdentication Terms

Test your knowledge of this chapters key concepts by de- at the end of the book, or working with the ashcards
ning the following terms. If you cant recall the mean- that are available on the World Civilizations Companion
ing of certain terms, refresh your memory by looking up Website: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler
the boldfaced term in the chapter, turning to the Glossary

dervish grand vizier Rubaiyat Sublime Porte

devshirme Janissaries Safavid Empire Suleiman the Magnificent
divan Karlowitz, Treaty of Shaykh al-Islam Taj Mahal
ghazis Mughals Sikhs

uTest Your Knowledge

Test your knowledge of this chapter by answering the c. could be termed a united political territory.
following questions. Complete answers appear at the end d. extended from the Atlantic to the Ganges River
of the book. You may nd even more quiz questions in valley.
ThomsonNOW and on the World Civilizations Compan- e. included such diverse areas as Iraq, India, and
ion Website: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler Italy.
2. The Ottoman Empire began
1. Taken together at their height, the Ottoman, Mughal, a. as a Shia dervish order.
and Safavid empires b. as a ghazi frontier state.
a. extended from the Atlantic Ocean to Australia. c. as a Byzantine state.
b. included all of Asia except the Japanese islands.
The Rise and Fall of the Muslim Empires 333

d. subordinate to the Abbasid caliphs. d. believe the leader of Islam must be descended
e. as a combination of three formerly competing from the prophet Muhammad.
dynasties. e. refuse to admit Sus into their sect.
3. Which of the following was not accepted by Ottoman 7. The Ottoman and Safavid empires were similar in one
statecraft? respect: they both were
a. The precepts and prescriptions of the Quran a. governed by a sultan and a grand vizier.
b. The function of the sultan as leader of the faithful b. organized in their beginnings around a Su order.
c. The favored situation of the Muslims over the c. organized to ght as holy warriors against Chris-
non-Muslim subjects tian indels.
d. The necessity to have at least one major Christian d. weakened by the demoralizing eects of harem
ally intrigues.
e. A grand vizier who served as the highest civil e. based on the Sunni sect of Islam.
ocial 8. The Muslim rulers of the Safavid Dynasty were
4. The treatment of non-Muslims in the Balkans under a. the conquerors of Constantinople.
Ottoman rule b. the allies of the Mughals in India.
a. deteriorated sharply in the seventeenth and eigh- c. a Persian family that converted to Shiite Islam.
teenth centuries. d. the rst conquerors of Persia for Islam.
b. improved as the powers of the sultan diminished. e. militant warriors who cared little for the arts.
c. tended to become better the farther away they 9. The attitudes and policies of Akbar the Great regard-
were from the capital. ing Hindus were that of
d. depended entirely on the whims of the ruling a. tolerance.
sultan. b. religious fanaticism.
e. deteriorated for a short time in the seventeenth c. a desire to secularize them if he could not convert
century, but by 1900 was much improved. them.
5. Suleiman the Magnicent accomplished all of these d. indierence.
except e. disdain.
a. driving the Europeans out of North Africa. 10. The most universally revered of the Indian Mughal
b. conquering Vienna. rulers was
c. remodeling several monumental buildings. a. Aurangzeb.
d. assuming leadership of the Islamic Empire. b. Akbar.
e. taking charge of the arrangements for the pilgrim- c. Ashoka.
age to Mecca. d. Abbas.
6. Shiite Muslims e. Babur.
a. believe the Quran is only partly correct.
b. make up the largest single group of Islamic
c. reject the prophetic vocation of Muhammad.

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Wadsworth World History Resource Center:

Sidi Ali Reis, Mirat ul Memalik (The Mirror of Countries)

Omar Khayyam, the Rubaiyat
The great and chief end of mens
uniting into commonwealths,
of the
and putting themselves
under governments, is the
preservation of their property.
John Locke States

16031625 James I (England) The Thirty Years War

16101643 Louis XIII (France)
Theory and Practice of Royal Absolutism
16181648 Thirty Years War/Treaty French Government under Louis XIV Strengths and Weaknesses
of Westphalia
of French Absolutism
16491651 Civil War in England
16531658 England under Revolt Against Royal Absolutism:
Oliver Cromwells Seventeenth-Century England
Commonwealth Civil War: Cromwells Commonwealth Restoration and Glorious
1660 Restoration of Charles II Revolution of 1688
16611715 Louis XIV (France) Political Theory: Hobbes and Locke
16881689 Glorious Revolution/
William and Mary Absolutism East of the Elbe
15331584 Ivan IV, the Terrible
(Russia) Prussias Rise
early 1600s Time of Troubles (Russia)
1613 ended by rst Romanov
The Habsburg Domains
tsar The Struggle against the Ottomans
16401688 Frederick William, the
Great Elector (Prussia)
Russia Under the Tsars
Russias Antipathies to the West Absolutism in Russia: Peter I
16821724 Peter I, the Great (Russia)
17131740 Frederick William I

17401786 Frederick II, the Great N EUROPE, THE SEVENTEENTH century saw the birth of the mod-
(Prussia) ern state as distinct from the domain of a ruling monarch. During this
17401748 War of the Austrian century, the powers attached to a governing oce began to be separated
Succession from the person of the occupant of the oce. This separation allowed
17401780 Maria Theresa (Austria) the creation over time of a group of professional servants of the state,
or bureaucrats, people who exercised authority not because of who they were,
17561763 Seven Years War
but because of the oces they held. Religious conict between Protestant and
17621796 Catherine II, the Great Catholic continued but gave way to political-economic issues in state-to-state
relations. The maritime countries of northwestern Europe became steadily
more important thanks to overseas commerce, while the central and eastern
European states suered heavy reverses from wars, the Turkish menace, and
commercial and technological stagnation.
Royal courts constantly sought ways to enhance their growing powers over
all their subjects. These varied from west to east in both type and eective-
ness. But by the early eighteenth century, some form of monarchic absolutism
was in force in every major country except Britain. In this chapter, we focus
primarily on France and England and somewhat less so on Russia and the
German states of Austria and Prussia.

Foundations of the European States 335


In this panorama by Jan Brueghel,
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria/Bridgeman Art Library

the horror of war in the seventeenth

century is brought home. Turned
loose on the hapless peasants and
townspeople, the mercenaries who
made up the professional armies of
the day killed and stole as they

The Thirty Years War

The Thirty Years War, which wrecked the German states
and was the most destructive conict Europe had seen for
centuries, arose from religious intolerance, but it quickly
became a struggle for territory and worldly power on the
part of the multiple contestants. The war began in 1618,
when the Habsburg (HAPS-berg) Holy Roman Emperor
attempted to check the spread of Protestant sentiments
in part of his empire, the present-day Czech (check)
Republic or Bohemia (boh-HEE-mee-ah), as it was then

Louvre, Paris, France/Lauros/Giraudon/Bridgeman Art Library

By 1635, the war had become an international struggle
beyond consideration of religion. The Protestant kings of
Scandinavia and the Catholic French monarchy supported
the Protestants, whereas the Spanish cousins of the Habsburgs
assaulted the French.
For thirteen more years, France, Holland, Sweden, and
the German Protestant states fought on against the Holy
Roman Emperor and Spain. Most of the ghting was in
Germany. But nally, a peace, the Treaty of Westphalia,
was worked out in 1648 after ve years of haggling. The
big winners were France and Sweden, with the latter sud-
denly emerging as a major power in northern Europe. The
losers were Spain and, to a lesser degree, the Austrian-
based Habsburgs, who saw any chance of reuniting
Germany under Catholic control fade. From 1648 on,
Germany ceased to exist as a political concept and broke
H E N RY IV AN D H IS QU E E N . The great Flemish painter Peter
up into dozens, then hundreds of small kingdoms and Paul Rubens created this imaginary scene of the French king tak-
principalities, some Catholic and some Protestant (see ing leave of his wife, Marie de Mdici, to take command of the army
Map 25.1). fighting the Habsburg emperor. Between the royal figures is their lit-
The Treaty of Westphalia was the rst modern state tle son who would grow up to be King Louis XIII and father
treaty. From start to nish, its clauses underlined the of Louis XIV.
336 C H A P T E R 25

Text not available due to copyright restrictions

decisive importance of the sovereign state, rather than war with France was foolishly resumed until Spain was
the dynasty that ruled it or the religion its population forced to make peace in 1659. By that date, the tremen-
professed. Theological uniformity was replaced by secu- dous military and naval advantages that Spains govern-
lar control of territory and population as the supreme ment had once possessed had all been used up. Spains
goal of the rival powers. This division negated any chance government was bankrupt, and its incoming shipments
of German political unity for the next two centuries. of overseas bullion were now much reduced. Worse, the
For Spain, the ultimate results were almost as painful, domestic economy had seen little or no de velopment
although the war was not fought on Spanish territory. for a century and a half. Despite much effort in the
The Dutch Protestants gained full independence from eighteenth century to regain its former status, Spain
Madrid, and Portugal, which had been under Spanish was now condemned to a second rank in European and
rule for sixty years, rebelled successfully in 1640. The world affairs.
Foundations of the European States 337

Theory and Practice of French Government under Louis XIV

Royal Absolutism
Louis XIV had the longest reign of any monarch in Euro-
The theory of royal absolutism existed in the Middle Age, pean history. In the last fty-four of those years, he was his
but the upheavals caused by the Hundred Years War in own chief minister, totally dominating French govern-
France and England, the Black Death in the fourteenth ment.He was the incarnation of absolute monarchy, be-
century (see Chapter 20), and the wars of religion following lieving in divine right, which said that the monarchys
Luthers revolt had distracted the rulers attention and weak- powers flowed from God and that the kings subjects
ened their powers. Now, in the seventeenth century, they should regard him as Gods representative in civil aairs.
got back to the business of asserting their sacred rights. The late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were the
The outstanding theorist of absolutism was a French Age of France or, more precisely, the Age of Louis XIV.
lawyer, Jean Bodin (boh-DAN), who stated in a widely read Not only in government, but also in the arts, the lifestyle
book that sovereignty consists in giving laws to the people of the wealthy and the highborn, military aairs, and lan-
without their consent. Sovereignty cannot be divided; it guage and literature, France set the pace. What Florence
must remain in the hands of a single individual or one in- had been to the Renaissance, Paris was to the European
stitution. For France, Bodin insisted that this person should cultural and political world of the eighteenth century. King
be the French monarch, who had absolute power to give Louis allegedly once said, I am the state, a statement he
his people law. Another Frenchman, Bishop Bossuet (bos- truly believed. He saw himself as not just a human being
SWAY), gave a theological gloss to Bodins ideas by claiming with immense powers and prestige but as the very esh
that kings received their august powers from God. Bodin
found his most potent and eective adherent in Cardinal
Richelieu (rish-LYOU;15851642), the prime minister for
the young Louis (LOO-ee) XIII in the 1620s and 1630s.
Richelieu was the real founder of absolute monarchy in
Franceand most of Europe soon imitated Paris. Despite
being a prince of the church, Richelieu believed wholeheart-
edly in the primacy of the state over any other earthly insti-
tution. Raison dtat (ray-ZOHN day-TAH; reason of state)
was sucient to justify almost any action by government,
he thought. The state represented order, the rule of law, and
security for the citizenry. If it weakened or collapsed, gen-
eral suering would result. The government had a moral
obligation to avoid that eventuality at all costs.
The cardinal set up a cadre of ocials (intendants;
ahn-tahn-DAHNTS) who kept a sharp eye on what was
happening in the provinces and reported to the kings min-
isters. Thus, the faint outlines of a centralized and central-
izing bureaucracy began to appear: these men were picked
for their posts at least partially on merit, depended on the Louvre, Paris, France/Giraudon/Bridgeman Art Library
central authority for pay and prestige, and subordinated
local loyalties and personal preferences to the demands
and policies of the center. The cardinal-minister used
them to check the independence of the provincial nobles,
particularly the Huguenots. He used armed force on sev-
eral occasions and summarily executed rebels.
Richelieu was the real ruler of France until he died in
1642, followed a bit later by his king. The cardinal had hand-
picked as his successor as chief minister another Catholic
churchman, Cardinal Mazarin (mah-zah-REHN), who had
the same values as his master. The new king, Louis XIV
(ruled 16431715), was but ve years old, so the government
remained in Mazarins hands for many years. The young LOU IS XIV. This masterful portrait by the court painter Rigaud
Louis was brought up to believe that kingship was the high- shows Louis as he would have liked to appear to his subjects. The
est calling on Earth and that its powers were complete and well-turned leg was considered to be an absolute essential for royal
unlimited except by Godand perhaps not by him, either! figures. Louiss wig and ermine cape were also necessities for a king.
338 C H A P T E R 25

propaganda against the monarch in

the series of wars on which he now

Wars of Louis XIV. Although

Louis kept the peace for the rst
thirty-ve years of his reign, his
overpowering thirst for glory led
him to provoke four conicts with
England, Holland, and most of the

Giraudon/Bridgeman Art Library

German states, led by the Austrian
Habsburgs, in the last twenty years.
The most important was the nal
one, the War of the Spanish Succes-
sion (17001713), in which France
tried to seize control of much-
weakened Spain and its empire
and was checked by a coalition led
VERSAILLES. The view is from the garden side, with the grand fountain in the foreground. by England. The war bankrupted
The palace lies a few miles outside Paris and is now one of the most visited tourist centers in France and was extremely unpopular
Europe. Built by increments from the seventeenth through the eighteenth century, Versailles set among the French people by its end.
the architectural and landscaping pace for the rest of the Western worlds royalty. The signing of the Treaty of Utrecht
in 1713 nally ended the hostilities.
France succeeded only in placing a
and blood of France. It is to his credit that he took kingship member of the Bourbon (boor-BOHN) family (the French
very seriously, working twelve hours a day at the tedious, dynasty) on the Spanish throne, but under the condition
complex task of trying to govern a country that was still that Spain and France would never be joined together. Eng-
subdivided in many conicting ways and notoriously dif- land emerged as the chief winner, having gained control of
cult to govern. In this task he was greatly aided by a series part of French Canada and the key to the Mediterranean,
of rst-rate ministerial helpersthe marquis of Louvois Gibraltar. Englands biggest prize, however, was Spains
(loo-VWAH), Jean-Baptiste Colbert (cohl-BAYR), Sebas- concession of the rights to trade with her possessions in the
tien de Vauban (voh-BAHN), and otherseach of whom Caribbean. The war began the worldwide struggle between
made major contributions to the theory and practice of England and France for mastery of Europe, but the Treaty of
his chosen eld. Utrecht helped vault England into a position that enabled
Louis was steeped in Richelieus concepts from child- her to become the worlds greatest imperial and industrial
hood and was determined to establish the royal throne power over the next 200 years.
as the sole seat of sovereignty. To do so, he had to nullify
the independent powers of the aristocrats in the prov- Strengths and Weaknesses
inces. He did this by forcing them to come to Versailles of French Absolutism
(vayr-SIGH), his magnicent palace outside Paris, where
they vied for his favor and he could keep them under a Louis XIV gave all of Europe a model of what could
watchful eye. He was generally successful at this eort. be accomplished by a strong king and a wealthy coun-
By his death, the previously potent nobles had been re- try. His well-paid ocials were the most disciplined
duced to a decorative, parasitic fringe group, with few and most eective that any Western country had seen.
real powers and few responsibilities save those granted Through them, the king kept a constant watch on the
by the king. country as a whole. Anything that happened in the prov-
Louiss revocation of the Edict of Nantes (nahnt) in inces was soon known at Versailles Palace and received
1685 was a mistake, which led to the loss of a valuable a royal response whenever necessary. The palace was
asset: the Huguenots (OO-geh-nose), who emigrated en awe-inspiring, serving to reinforce Louiss prestige and
masse in the following decade. By allowing them to do so, power in visible fashion. Originally a mere hunting lodge
the king hoped to emphasize the unity of Catholic France. for his father, Louis reconstructed it into the largest and
He mistakenly thought that most of the Calvinists had most impressive secular structure in Europe. It was
been reconverted anyway and that the edict was no longer surrounded by hundreds of acres of manicured gardens
needed. Welcomed to Protestant Europe, some 200,000 and parks and was large enough to house the immense
Huguenots served as bastions of anti-French activity and court and its servants. Its halls were the museums of
Foundations of the European States 339

the Bourbon Dynasty and remained so until the French It is impossible to say how numerous the Puritans
Revolution in 1789. were because Puritanism was more a state of mind than a
But problems also persisted. Finance was always the sore formal aliation. Puritans were inclined to accept the
point for aspiring kings, and Louis spent huge amounts of Calvinist social values: hard work, thrift, and a sober life-
cash in his quest for military and civil glory. A helter-skelter style that aimed at nding its true rewards in eternity. The
system of tax farms, concessions for tax collection in the capitalist ethic was rooted deeply in them, and they, in turn,
provinces, did not work well. Worse, with the government were well represented in the business classes of England. In
legally prevented from taxing the Church and the nobility, the House of Commons, they were now a majority.
Louiss common subjects, particularly the peasants, were Absolutist king and Puritan Parliament clashed repeat-
forced to bear most of the burden of his and his successors edly in the 1620s over taxation and religion. James died
extravagances. The nancial problem of the monarchy was in 1625, and was succeeded by his son Charles I (ruled
in fact never solved. The French peasants slowly became 16251649). The son turned out to be as difficult as his
aware of the contrasts between the taxes they had to bear father. When the Commons attempted to impose limits
and the exemptions of various sorts enjoyed by the privi- on his taxing powers, he refused to honor the ancient
leged orders of the clergy and nobility. When that discontent custom of calling a Parliament at least every third year.
was later joined by the resentment of the much-enlarged He attempted to bring England into the Thirty Years
group of middle-class townspeople during the course of the War against strong public opinion that held that Eng-
eighteenth century, the potential for revolution would exist. land had no interest in that conflict. He appointed an
archbishop of Canterbury who many people believed
was a sympathizer with popery, and he was at least as
provocatively stubborn as his father had been. Find-
Revolt Against Royal ing that Parliament would not cooperate with him, he
Absolutism: Seventeenth- sent it home in 1629 and ruled without its advice and
Century England consent.
Charless marriage to a French Catholic princess had
At the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603, the English crown stirred up much resentment, and his high-handed atti-
passed by prearrangement to Elizabeths nearest male Prot- tude toward the Calvinist clergy nally oended his Scot
estant relative, the Stuart king James VI of Scotland, who subjects so badly that in 1640 they rose in revolt. Charles
became James I (ruled 16031625) of England. James was needed moneylots of itto raise an army against them.
a great believer in absolutism and the divine right of kings That meant he had to impose new taxes, which in turn
and quickly alienated the English Parliament with his insis- meant he had to summon Parliament.
tence that the Crown should have sole control over taxes and By this time, Parliament had not met for eleven years,
the budget. This plus his lack of respect for English customs and when the representatives came together, they were
and his arrogance combined to make him highly unpopular in no mood to support an arrogant and unpopular kings
by the end of his reign. His greatest achievement was his se- demands. Instead, Parliament passed a series of restric-
lection of a committee of distinguished churchmen, who tive laws on the royal powers, but the king maneuvered to
produced in short order the most inuential English book bypass them in clear violation of English traditions. When
ever written: the King James Version of the Bible. the increasingly radical Puritans in Parliament insisted on
The England that James ruled was fast developing into direct control of military aairs, Charles raised an army
a society in which the commercial and professional classes of royalist supporters, and this action led directly to the
had a great deal of political savvy and were becoming used beginning of civil war in 1642.
to exercising local and regional power. The well-o mer-
chants and municipal ocials who were represented by Civil War: Cromwells Commonwealth
Parliaments House of Commons now insisted on their
rights to have nal input on taxation and much else in Britain divided about evenly between supporters of the
national policy. They were armed with a tradition of par- king (the Anglican clergy, most of the nobility, and most
liamentary government that was already four centuries peasants) and supporters of Parliament (most townspeople,
old. They could not be intimidated easily. the merchant and commercial classes, the Puritans, and
Another topic of acrid debate between the king and his the Scots). Regional and local economic interests often dic-
subjects was the proper course in religious aairs. James tated political allegiance. After several years of intermittent
had been brought up as a Scot Calvinist but had agreed struggle, the war ended with Charless defeat. Parliament
to adopt Anglicanism (the Church of England) as king then tried the king for treason. After a rump trial, he was
of England. In truth, many people believed he sympa- found guilty and beheaded in 1649.
thized with Rome, which made the Anglicans nervous and After the kings execution, Parliament debated at length
appalled the growing number of Puritans. the question of where sovereignty lay, and it concluded by
340 C H A P T E R 25

declaring that England was a commonwealththat is, a re- younger brother, James, who had become a practicing
public with no monarch. Its executive was the chief orga- Catholic while in exile in France, the English viewed
nizer of the triumphant Puritan army, Oliver Cromwell, their new king with a great deal of suspicion from the
who had gained a deserved reputation as a man of iron will outset.
and erce rectitude. During his turbulent tenure as Lord James II (ruled 16851688) made things worse by
Protector (16531658), a comprehensive attempt was inging insult after insult at the Protestants in and out of
made to eliminate such vices as dancing, drinking, mak- Parliament. So long as the king had no Catholic children
ing merry on the Sabbath, and theatrical performances. to succeed him, the English could grit their teeth and
Such eorts to limit human enjoyment had the predictable wait for the elderly mans death. But in 1688 his young
result: when Cromwell died, few people wanted to hear second wife unexpectedly produced a healthy baby son
more about Puritan government. Cromwells rule had also who would be raised a Catholic and would presumably
become unpopular because of the high taxes he levied to rule Britain for many years. To many, this prospect was
pay for frequent military expeditions. He put down rebel- too much to bear.
lions against English rule in Catholic Ireland and Calvinist Practically all of England rebelled against King James
Scotland with much bloodshed, and forced them into the in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 that ended the Stu-
British Commonwealth. A maritime war with Holland in art male line on the English throne. James again went into
the 1650s brought England far along the road to control of French exile accompanied by his family, while parliamen-
the seven seas and in North America the rich prize of the tary committees stepped into the vacuum in London. After
former Dutch colony of New Amsterdam. brief negotiations to establish the boundaries of governing
Three years before his death, the Lord Protector tired of power, William of Orange, the Dutch Calvinist husband
parliamentary quibbling and instituted a forthright mili- of Jamess daughter Mary, was invited to rule England
tary dictatorship. When Cromwells weak son attempted jointly with his Protestant wife. So, as the guests of a self-
in vain to ll his fathers shoes, parliamentary negotiations condent Parliament, began the reign of William and Mary
with the exiled son of Charles I were begun. After eighteen (16891702).
months, the Restoration was completed with the return
of King Charles II (ruled 16601685) to his native land. Signicance of the Glorious Revolution. The revolu-
tion against James Stuart had been swift and almost blood-
Restoration and Glorious Revolution of 1688 less; its signicance was political and constitutional, not
military or economic. Sovereignty shifted from the mon-
The pendulum of power in British government had swung arch to his or her subjects, as represented by their elected
decisively toward the House of Commons during the revo- Parliament. From now on England was a constitutional
lutionary era, and Charles made his peace with the Com- state. The king or queen was the partner of Parliament
mons by establishing the beginnings of the ministerial in matters of high policy, both domestic and foreign.
system. The king appointed several of his trusted friends William and Mary had accepted the oer of the throne
to carry out policy, but these men had to answer to par- from a parliamentary delegation. What parliamentary
liamentary questioning. Gradually, this informal arrange- committees had given, they could also legitimately take
ment became a fundamental part of government and was away. Although relations were generally cordial, the royal
formalized when the party system got under way in the pair was never allowed to forget that.
eighteenth century. From it came the modern British cabi- The most concrete result of the Glorious Revolution
net, with its collective responsibility for policy and its reli- was the Bill of Rights, which was adopted by Parliament
ance on parliamentary votes of condence to continue its in 1689. Its most important provisions spelled out the
authority as a government. rights and powers of Parliament versus the Crown:
Charles cared little about religion (his private life was
Law was to be made only by Parliament and could
a continual sexual scandal, and real or alleged royal bas-
not be suspended by the king.
tards abounded), but one aspect of Charless religious
Members of Parliament were immune from pros-
policy helped create problems for his successor. Under
ecution when acting in their ocial capacities.
a secret arrangement with King Louis XIV of France,
The king could not impose taxes or raise an army
Charles was to receive a large annual monetary pay-
without prior approval by Parliament.
ment in exchange for returning England to Catholicism.
Although nothing ever came of the rather absurd pact, In addition, the Bill of Rights ensured the independence
the news inevitably leaked out in Britain and created of the judiciary from royal pressures, prohibited standing
a wave of anti-Catholicism that led to a virtual panic. armies in peacetime, extended freedom of worship to non-
Thus, when it became clear that the aging and (legiti- Anglican Protestants, and stipulated that the throne should
mately) childless Charles would be succeeded by his always be held by a Protestant.
Foundations of the European States 341

With all it accomplished, however, the Glorious leadership manipulated the frequently absent monarchs
Revolution was not a democratic revolution. The great more and more, so that Parliament became the more
majority of the English and other Britons did not have important force in most aspects of internal policy. While
the vote at any level beyond the village council. That foreign aairs and the military still belonged primarily in
right would have to wait until near the end of the nine- the Crowns domain, Parliament was supreme in legisla-
teenth century. And women of any class would not have tion and nance.
political equality in Britain until the twentieth century
(see the Society and Economy box for a view of their
status in guilds).
Marys younger sister Anne succeeded William and Political Theory:
Mary on the English throne. Like William and Mary, she Hobbes and Locke
died without surviving children. Parliament exercised its
new powers by inviting the duke of Hanover, a distant Two British political philosophers formed the basis of
German relative of King James I and the nearest male public debate on the nature of government during the
Protestant relation to the deceased queen, to become King tumultuous seventeenth century. In his book, Levia-
George I (ruled 17141727). George thus introduced the than, Thomas Hobbes (15881679) thought that the pre-
Hanoverian Dynasty to Great Britain. governmental state of nature had been a riotous anarchy,
The rst two Georges lived mostly in Hanover, could a war of all against all. Recognizing the need to restrain
barely speak English, and showed little interest in the violence, early societies soon gave birth to the idea of the
intricacies of English political life. Robert Walpole, the state and to the states living embodiment, the monarch.
prime minister for more than twenty years (17211742), The state commanded absolute obedience from all. Those
was the central gure in British government and the key who rebelled should be crushed without mercy for the
developer of the ministerial government that had begun protection of the rest (see the Law and Government box).
under King Charles II. Under Walpole, the parliamentary Most signicant, however, was that Hobbes implied that


Women and the Guilds certainly better that men, and not women, learn a trade, as
not everything can be learned at home or during the
The change in females economic status from the Middle Age to apprenticeship, but must be picked up through experience
the early modern epoch was clearly downward. The near-equality and wandering. From this comes the old saying of the jour-
that working women had enjoyed with males in the fteenth neymen: what I havent learned, I got from my wandering.
century had deteriorated sharply by the late seventeenth, when But wandering doesnt suit womens place in the world, as
this statement was made by a young German tradesman: they would return from their Wanderjahre [years of wan-
dering] with their reputation in tatters, and therefore there
Women are shut out from our guild and cannot be trained
is another axiom: journeymen who havent done their
by a master. The reason is, they are given the leadership
Wanderjahre, and maidens who have, are equally dubi-
of the family, under the supervision of their husbands.
ous. To lead, protect and command is the duty of a master,
Because it is impossible to know who will be their husband
and is rightly given over to the male sex.
when girls are still children, it is better and more suitable
to their sex to teach them the domestic arts, which any
husband will appreciate. It is also better for everyone that Analyze and Interpret
each sex does what is proper for it, and doesnt attempt What do you think of the defense of exclusion of women from
to butt into the others affairs while ignoring or neglecting the guilds? Given that females are often physically able to per-
their own. form the same tasks as males, do you think that should be the
I might add, that a woman who moves in male circles primary consideration in job assignments?
[namely, journeymen, who were almost always bachelors]
puts herself in danger to her good reputation. . . . It is Source: Dora Schuster, Die Stellung der Frau in der Zunftverfassung (Berlin: 1927).
342 C H A P T E R 25

the state and the monarch derived their sovereignty from economic freedom as in the West. In part through actual
the people, rather than from God. use of armed force against the rebel nobles as in Russia
Hobbess uncompromising pessimism about human and in part through its threat, as in Prussia and Austria,
nature was countered at the end of the seventeenth cen- the royal dynasts were gradually able to subordinate all
tury by the writings of John Locke (16321704). In his classes and interests to themselves.
most famous work, the Two Treatises of Civil Government, The three states political evolution was not identical,
Locke said that all men possess certain natural rights, however. Russia became the most autocratic by far. The
derived from the fact that they were reasonable creatures. Romanov tsar (ROH-mah-no zahr) was not beholden
Some of those rights were voluntarily given up to form a to any earthly power in Russian legal theory; his will was
government that would protect and enhance the remain- law. At the opposite extreme, the power of the Austrian
ing ones: the rights to life, liberty, and property. No prince emperoralways a member of the Habsburg Dynasty
might interfere with such rights or claim to have one-sided was sharply limited by the high nobility until the later
powers to dene the citizenrys welfare. Insofar as the gov- eighteenth century. The Prussian kinga Hohenzollern
ernment fullled its duties, it should enjoy the citizens (HOH-hehn-zoh-lern)originally had fewer supreme
support and loyal service. When it did not, it had no claim powers than the Romanovs but more than the Habsburgs.
to their support, and they could righteously push it aside Eventually, the Prussian king was to become in fact the
and form a new government. most powerful and successful of the three, and from Prus-
Whereas Hobbess words were harsh and shocking sia came modern Germany.
to most English people of his time, Lockes message fell
on much more welcoming ground. His readers, like the
author, were members of the middle and upper classes,
who possessed properties and freedoms they were deter- Prussias Rise
mined to protect from the claims of absolutist monarchs.
The English Revolution of the 1640s and the events of the As we have seen, after the Thirty Years War (16181648),
1680s had given them condence that their views were much of Germany was in a state of economic decay and
both correct and workable. Lockes arguments made good political confusion. The 300-odd German states and
sense to them, and he was also to become the most im- statelets were divided along religious lines: about half
portant political philosopher for the English colonials in were Catholic and half Protestant. Neither accepted the
North America. other, and distrust and animosities were always present.
The famines and epidemics that accompanied the war
had led one-third of the population to an early death, and
whole regions almost reverted to wasteland. From this
Absolutism East of the Elbe unpromising situation, however, arose one of the major
powers of modern Europe, Prussia-Germany.
East of Germanys Elbe River, absolute monarchy was able The rise of the small and economically insignicant
to develop more completely, largely because of the rural, Prussia during the later seventeenth and eighteenth cen-
farm-based economies that lingered there longer than in turies was largely attributable to the Hohenzollern princes
western Europe. Feudal monoculture estates lasted much who occupied the Prussian throne from 1640 to 1786.
longer than in France, England, and Sweden. The social Frederick William, the Great Elector (ruled 16401688),
cleavage between noble lord and peasant serf was enabled was a man of iron will and great talent. He united his pre-
and perpetuated by the rising prots the landlords were viously separate family holdings of Prussia, Brandenburg,
able to wring from their large estates. The struggle between and some small areas in western Germany into a single
noble landowners and the royal government was resolved government that was known thereafter simply as Prussia.
in eastern Europe by a silent compromise: the monarchs During his reign, Berlin began its rise from a simple mar-
surrendered full control over the peasants to the land- ket town to a capital city. A sign of his strength was his
lords in return for the landlords loyalty and service to the victory over the powerful feudal lords in a constitutional
Crown. As time passed, the once-weak monarchs steadily struggle over who would have the nal word regarding
gained power through control of the sole permitted armed taxes.
forces, and the nobles became their servants, just as the Through such measures, the Great Elector tripled
peasants were servants to the nobles. the governments revenues and then spent much of the
Moreover, no eective middle-class voice was ever increase on his prize: a new professional army. Every
heard in constitutional aairs east of the Elbe. Why? The fourteenth male citizen was a member of the army on
towns were too few and too impoverished, and the small active service. No other European country even came
urban populations never gained self-government and close to this ratio. Its existence was enough to intimidate
Foundations of the European States 343


Hobbess Leviathan Thirdly, that these creatures, having not [as man] the
use of reason, do not see, nor think they see any fault,
in the administration of their private business: whereas
Thomas Hobbes published Leviathan in 1651 to provide a among men, there are very many that think themselves
philosophical basis for absolutist monarchy that went beyond wiser, and abler to govern the public, better than the rest;
the conventional idea of divine right. Much inuenced by and these strive to reform and innovate, one this way, an-
the events of the day in Englandthe civil war was raging other that way; and thereby bring it into distraction and
Hobbes wished to demonstrate that strong control of the body civil war.
politic by a monarch was a political necessity. Note how he Lastly, the agreement of these creatures is natural; that
bases all effective lawmaking on peoples fear of punishment of men, is by covenant only, which is articial; and there-
by a superior force, and not at all by the action of reason or fore it is no wonder if there be somewhat else required to
compassion. He is interested in establishment of an effective make their agreement constant and lasting; which is a com-
governing authority, and not in the moral and/or reasonable mon power, to keep them in awe, and to direct their action
basis for it. He had no illusions about the benign nature of to the common benet.
mankind. The following excerpts come from the opening The only way to erect such a common power . . . [is]
section of the second part of Leviathan, where the author to confer all their power and strength upon one man,
summarizes his case: or upon one assembly of men, that may reduce all their
The nal cause, end, or design of men (who naturally wills, by plurality of voices, unto one will . . . as if every
love liberty, and dominion over others) in the introduc- man should say to every man, I authorize and give up my
tion of that restraint upon themselves . . . is the foresight right of governing myself to this man, or to this assembly
of their own preservation, and of a more contented life of men, on this condition, that thou give up thy right to
thereby; that is to say, of getting themselves out of that him, and authorize all his actions in like manner. And he
miserable condition of war, when there is no visible that carries this power is called sovereign, and said to
power to keep them in awe, and tie them by fear of pun- have sovereign power, and everyone besides him is his
ishment to the performance of their covenants. For the subject.
laws of nature . . . without the terror of some power to The attaining of this sovereign power is by two ways.
cause them to be observed, are contrary to our natural One, by natural force . . . the other, is when men agree
passions. . . . And covenants without the sword are but amongst themselves to submit to some man or assembly
words, and of no strength to secure a man at all. . . . And in of men, voluntarily, in condence to be protected by him
all places where men have lived in small families, to rob against all others. This latter may be called a political
and spoil one another has been a trade, and so far from Commonwealth.
being reputed against the law of nature, the greater spoils
they gained, the greater was their honor. . . . And as small
families did then; so now do cities and kingdoms, which
Analyze and Interpret
Do you believe Hobbes is wrong in his assumption that only
are but greater families. . . .
fear of superior force keeps people in a more or less peaceable
It is true that certain living creatures, as bees and ants,
community? What might a devout Calvinist have to say about
live sociably with one another. . . and therefore some man
that assumption? How do Leviathan and The Prince by Machia-
may perhaps desire to know, why mankind cannot do the
velli resemble or contradict one another?
same. To which I answer
First, that men are continually in competition for honor Source: From The English Works of Thomas Hobbes, ed. Thomas Molesworth,
and dignity, which these creatures are not. . . . vol. 3, chap. 17.
Secondly, that amongst these creatures, the common
good differs not from the private; and being by nature
You can read further selections from Leviathan
inclined to their private, they procure thereby the com-
mon benefit. at the Wadsworth World History Resource Center.
344 C H A P T E R 25

his many opponents both inside and outside of Prussias Vienna, the Habsburg Dynasty (HAPS-berg) ruled over
borders. three quite dierent areas: Austria proper, Bohemia (the
Frederick William also began the understanding be- present-day Czech Republic), and Hungary (see Map 25.2).
tween king and nobles that gradually came to characterize In addition, the Habsburgs found allies among the southern
Prussian politics until the twentieth century. The Crown German Catholics, who sympathized with their Austrian
handed over the peasants to the noble landlords, who acted cousins and had strong antipathies toward the Prussian
as their judge and jury and reduced most of them to a con- Protestants.
dition of misery as serfs. In return, the Crown was allowed The dynasty had acquired Hungary and Bohemia
almost total control over national policy, while the noble through lucky marriages in the sixteenth century. At that
landlords sons were expected to serve in the growing time, much of Hungary was still occupied by the Ottoman
military and civil bureaucracy that Frederick William was Turks (see the next section). Habsburg armies liberated it
creating. at the end of the seventeenth century. Although a poten-
As in the rest of eastern Europe, the Prussian urban tially rich agricultural country, Hungary had been laid to
middle classes did not play the crucial role they had in waste by the Turks during their long occupation. By the
western Europe. They could not strike a deal with either end of the eighteenth century, it had been revivied and
king or nobles to guarantee their own rights. They had to repopulated by Catholic Germans and others under the
pay the taxes from which the nobles lands were exempt, close control of the Vienna government.
and their social and political status remained much lower
than that of the Prussian nobility, the Junkers.
After Frederick Williams death, his son Frederick I and The Struggle against the Ottomans
grandson Frederick William I ruled Prussia until 1740. By
clever diplomacy in the War of the Spanish Succession, Toward the end of the seventeenth century, Austria was
Frederick I was able to raise his rank from prince to the being threatened on several sides. Against its southern and
much loftier king of Prussia, while Frederick William I eastern anks, the Ottoman Turks were still a menacing foe,
(ruled 17131740) was even more intent than his grand- and they mounted an invasion that reached the outskirts of
father on building the nest army in Europe. During his Vienna in 1683. In the west, the French monarch Louis XIV
reign, Prussia was aptly called an army with a country. was readying the War of the Spanish Succession (1700
Military priorities and military discipline were enforced 1715). The Ottomans attack was beaten o, and the counter-
everywhere in government, and the most talented young attack against the Ottomans went well at rst, but then
Austrias preparations for the imminent war with France
men by now automatically entered state service. The of-
allowed the Turks to recoup their strength temporarily. The
cer corps became the highest social group in the nation,
Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699 (see Chapter 24) eliminated the
enjoying even its own legal code separate from the civil
threat of a Turkish invasion of Central Europe, and Austria
The series of notable Hohenzollern monarchs culmi- became a leading power for the rst time.
nated in the eighteenth century with Frederick II, the This new power, however, had a aw that became ap-
Great (ruled 17401786), who is generally seen as one of parent with time. Ethnically, the empire of Austria was the
the most talented kings in modern history. His victories least integrated of all European countries. It included no
against Austria in Silesia (and later in the Seven Years War) fewer than ten dierent nationalities: Germans, Hungar-
enabled Prussia to rise into the rst rank of European pow- ians, Italians, Croats, Serbs, Slovenes, Poles, Czechs, Slo-
ers. Under Fredericks rule, the Prussian economy pros- vaks, and Ukrainians. In this historical epoch, few if any
pered. The Prussian territorial gains in western Germany Europeans were conscious of their national aliations in
were brought together under the ecient bureaucracy that the modern, political sense and were thus not disturbed at
Frederick continued to develop. Frederick II cleverly as- being ruled by non-natives or being unable to use their na-
sociated the Prussian monarchy with a reviving German tive tongues in court proceedings or schools. Nevertheless,
sense of national unity. With him began the German dual- as late as the mid-eighteenth century, the Habsburg lands
ism, the century-long contest between Austria and Prussia resembled a salad of nations and regions that had little in
for leadership of the German-speaking people, the most common except rule by the dynasty in Vienna.
numerous in Europe. Maria Theresa, the only surviving child of the previous
emperor, became the rst and only female to rule Austria
(17401780). She and her son Joseph II (ruled 1780
The Habsburg Domains 1790) did much to modernize the Austrian armed forces
and civil bureaucracy. She was also the rst to introduce
Prussias rival for eventual political supremacy over the some coherence and uniformity to the Habsburg govern-
fragmented Germans was Habsburg Austria. Based in ment. Despite losing Silesia to the Prussians in the War of
Foundations of the European States 345

0 250 500 750 Kilometers

0 250 500 Miles


S ea
Dublin North


London Amsterdam BRANDENBURG
Antwerp Rhine Magdeburg Berlin st ul a Warsaw

Atlantic Nantes
i e pe
R Metz Dni rR
Lo i re iv est
O ce an er Riv

COMT Vienna Pest
Geneva Zurich


PORTUGAL ees Belgrade





Lisbon T Corsica Rome

a gu s R i (to Genoa)
SPAIN Balearic Is. NAPLES OTTOMAN Constantinople

Sardinia Naples

Habsburg-Austrian lands Palermo

Habsburg-Spanish lands Sicily Athens Tau s.

ru s Mt
Prussian lands
Other German states Crete Cyprus

Swedish lands M e d i t e rran e a n

Boundary of Holy Se a
Roman Empire

MAP 25.2 The Growth of the Austrian Empire, 15361795

By an extraordinary stroke of luck, the Vienna-based Habsburg fam- MAP QU E STION

ily painlessly acquired the crowns of both Bohemia and Hungary What happened that explains the success of Austrias expansion
when the last king of both those monarchies fell, childless, on the into the Balkans after 1600?
field of battle against invading Turks in 1526. The surviving widow
and heir was a Habsburg princess.

the Austrian Succession (17401748) at the outset of her turned east and south to realize their version of colonial
reign, she slowly welded the various provinces and king- expansion. By so doing, they encountered the Turks, who
doms into a single entity under a centralized government had sunk into second-level status and would not have
headquartered in the impressive royal city. Much later, in been a serious obstacle if they had been forced to stand
the mid-nineteenth century, when it gradually became alone. But in the nineteenth century, Europes diplomats
clear that Austria was losing the battle over the future agreed to let the Turks continue to control southeastern
allegiance of the German-speaking people, the Austrians Europe (the Balkans), so as to avoid the inevitable conicts
346 C H A P T E R 25


This palace was built by and for
Prince Eugen of Savoy, greatest of the
Habsburg generals in the wars of the
late seventeenth and early eighteenth
centuries. It is a perfect example of
British Library, London, UK/Bridgeman Art Library

Austrian baroque architecture.

that would ensue if the Turks were pushed aside and during the Mongol era. One Muscovite prince actually
replaced by others. Foremost among those contenders defeated the Mongol cavalry in 1380, but he could not
were the newly powerful Russians. follow up his victory.
The Mongol Yoke, as the Russians call it, was nally
thrown o in a bloodless rebellion led by Moscow in
Russia Under the Tsars 1480. The once-fearsome Golden Hordes remnant re-
tired eastward into the Siberian steppe, and the Russians
Russias government rose from centuries of retardation slowly reemerged into European view. In fact, as late as
and near-disintegration to attain great power status in the the 1600s, few western Europeans gave any thought to
eighteenth century (see Map 25.3). Until the 1200s, Russia Russia or the Russians. Trade relations were eventually
had been an independent Christian principality based established with Britain through the Arctic seas and later
on the impressive city of Kiev (kee-YEV), with exten- with the Scandinavians and Germans through the Baltic.
sive trading and cultural contacts with both western and But beyond some raw materials available elsewhere and
Mediterranean Europe through the Baltic and Black Seas. some exotic items such as ermine skins, there seemed
The Russians had been converted to Orthodox Christianity little reason to confront the extraordinary challenges in-
by Greek missionaries in the late 900s and had remained volved in trading with this alien society. Militarily and
closely attached to Constantinople in secular, cultural, and politically, it had nothing to oer the West, and what-
religious doctrine for the next three centuries. ever technical and cultural progress was made in Rus-
But in 1241, the erce Mongols conquered the princi- sia during these centuries almost always stemmed from
pality of Kiev and settled down to rule the Russians for Western sources.
the next 240 years (see Chapter 19). During that period,
Russias formerly numerous contacts with both eastern Russias Antipathies to the West
and western Europe were almost completely severed or
neglected, and the Russians retrogressed in many diering The Russians were in any case not inclined to welcome
fashions, ranging from literacy rates to peasant supersti- Western ideas and visitors except on a highly selective
tions. Even their crafts and skills declined. Their govern- basis. The Orthodox church had been crucially impor-
mental institutions also deteriorated. The Russian princes tant in keeping alive national identity during the Yoke,
connived and maneuvered to serve as agents and inter- and most Russians responded with an uncompromising
mediaries of the Mongol khan, who played them o attachment to its doctrines and clergy. Their distrust of
against each other for almost two centuries. Moscow, one Western Christians was strong. The sporadic attempts
of the dozen or so principalities into which Russia was of both papal and Protestant missionaries to convert the
divided after the conquest, came through cunning, perse- Russian heretics contributed, of course, to this distrust
verance, and good luck to overshadow its rivals even and dislike on the Russians side.
Foundations of the European States 347

0 125 250 375 Kilometers

Russia in 1584
0 125 250 Miles
Acquisitions, 15841700
FINLAND Acquisitions, 17001772

KARELIA (primarily Peter the Great)

Acquisitions, 17721795

St. Petersburg
(Catherine the Great)

u nt
ESTONIA Narva (1700)
V o l ga

Riga Ri
v er Kazan
LITHUANIA Smolensk Moscow
A rc an
Minsk D tic Oce

Ri Okhotsk (1649)
Warsaw v
r U r al Ri v e r

Kiev Moscow
Dni iep
es t er
e r Riv R.
er Tomsk (1604)

Azov Astrakhan
D a n ube Caspian
Ri ve r Sevastopol Cau
B l a ck Se a casus M Sea CHINA

MAP 25.3 From Muscovy to Russia, 15841796

The gathering of the Russian lands by the Muscovite rulers MAP QU E STION
was facilitated by their acting as the Mongols agents for centu- What changes helped enable the Russians to expand into the Black
ries and then by defeating them and the aggressive Lithuanians Sea and Caucasus regions under the Muscovites and the Romanovs?

and Poles in the late 1400s. Later acquisitions were based on
View an interactive version of this or a related map
the alleged rights of Moscow to reclaim what had once been
at http://worldrc.wadsworth.com/

Culturally, Russia experienced almost nothing of the much strengthened by the churchs close support of the
consequences of the Protestant revolt against Rome or the Muscovite princes struggle to free Russia from the Mon-
Renaissance, a situation that greatly heightened the dier- gols. The high Orthodox clerics saw their role as helper and
ences between it and the rest of Europe. The Renaissance moral partner of the government in the mutual and inter-
glorication of individuality, of examination of the human dependent tasks of saving Russian souls and preserving the
potential, of daring to oppose was to make no impact east of Russian state.
Poland. In religious aairs, the Russians either were ignorant
of or rejected the changes Western Christianity had under- Absolutism in Russia: Peter I
gone, such as the enhanced role of the laity in the church,
the emphasis on individual piety and Bible reading, and the The expansion of the Muscovite principality into a major
restrictions on the clergys power. Protestants were regarded state picked up its pace during the sixteenth century.
either as negligible heretics with a basically erroneous Roman The tsar Ivan IV, or Ivan the Terrible (ruled 15331584),
faith orworseWestern surrender to the lures of a false ra- encouraged exploration and settlement of the vast and
tionalism that could only lead to eternal perdition. almost unpopulated Siberia. He brushed aside the Mon-
Above all, from their Byzantine-inspired beginnings, gol remnants in a program of conquest that reached the
the Russian clergy had accepted the role of partner of the Pacic shores as early as 16396,000 miles from Muscovy
civil government in maintaining good order on Earth. (muhs-COH-vee) proper. Soon after, Russia was brought
Unlike the papal or Protestant West, the Russian Christian into formal contacts with China for the rst timea fateful
establishment accorded the government full authority over meeting and the onset of a dicult relationship along the
the earthly concerns of the faithful. This tradition had been longest land border in the world.
348 C H A P T E R 25

Like the countries of western Europe, Russia adopted a

form of divine right monarchy in the seventeenth century.
Already in the previous century, Ivan the Terrible had estab-
lished a brutal model by persecuting all who dared question
his rights. So fearful had been his harassment of his nobles
(boyars) that many of them abandoned their lands and posi-
tions and ed. Those who chose to remain often paid with
their lives for nonexistent treason or betrayal. Whether Ivan
became clinically paranoid is open to question. Mad or not,
he bullied and terried the Russian upper classes in a fashion

Chateau de Versailles, France/Giraudon/Bridgeman Art Library

that would have certainly led to revolt in other countries of
the age, but in Russia, no such rebellion occurred in his day.
A Time of Troubles in the early seventeenth century
threatened the states existence. The ancient dynasty of
Kievan princes died out, and various nobles vied with
armed force for the vacant throne. A serf rebellion
added to the turmoil, and the Poles and Swedes on the
western borders took advantage of the confusion to an-
nex huge slices of Russian territory. Nevertheless, recov-
ery under the new Romanov Dynasty (ROH-mah-no ;
16131917) was fairly rapid. Peter I, the Great (ruled
16821724), is the outstanding example of Russian royal
absolutism. Brutal he may have been, but there is no
question of Peters sanity. In fact, his foreign policy was
one of the shrewdest of his age. Like Ivan IV, however, he
was in no way inclined to share power with any group or PETER THE GREAT. The great reformer/modernizer of backward
institution and believed the fate of the country was solely Russia, painted in the early years of his reign.
his to decide. The impact of the human whirlwind called
Peter on stolid, isolated, and conservative Russia is im-
possible to categorize. He was the rst Russian ruler to
set foot outside the country and to recognize how primi-
tive Russia was in comparison with the leading countries Defeating the Swedes and Poles, Peter established a
of Europe. He brought thousands of foreign specialists, new capital at St. Petersburg to be Russias long-sought
craftsmen, artists, and engineers to Russia on contract window on the West, through which all sorts of West-
to practice their specialties while teaching the Russians. ern ideas and values might ow. He began the slow, state-
These individualsmany of whom eventually settled in guided modernization of what had been a backward
Russiaacted as yeast in the Russian dough and had in- economy; he built a navy and made Russia a maritime
ordinate inuence on the countrys progress in the next power for the rst time; he also encouraged such cultural
century. breakthroughs as the rst newspaper, the rst learned
Peter was the driving force for an enormously ambi- journal, the Academy of Sciences, and the rst technical
tious, partly successful attempt to make Russia into a schools.
fully European-style society. He did westernize many But Peter also made Russian serfdom even more rigid
Russian public institutions and even the private lives of and more comprehensive. He used his modernized, pro-
the upper 2 to 3 percent of the society. This tiny minority fessional army not only against foreign enemies in his
of gentry or noble landowners/ocials assisted the tsar constant wars but also against his own peasant rebels.
in governing his vast country; they were swept up into He discouraged any independent political activity and
lifelong service to the state, much against their will. In made the Orthodox clergy into mere agents of the civil
Peters scheme, the peasants (ve-sixths of the popula- government under a secular head. His cruelty bordered
tion) were to serve the nobility on their estates and feed on sadism, and his personal life was lled with excess.
the townspeople; the nobles were to serve the govern- Perhaps, as he himself said, it was impossible to avoid
ment as both military and civil bureaucrats at the beck every evil in a country as dicult to govern as Russia.
and call of the tsar; and the tsar, in turn, saw himself as In any event, he remains the watershed gure of Russias
the chief servant of the state. long history.
Foundations of the European States 349

THE THIRTY YEARS War wrecked Germany while the limited urban classes and the nobilitycould nd ways
providing a forcible resolution to the question of reli- to substitute themselves for the throne. The clergy in all the
gious conflict in post-Reformation Europe. The Treaty of eastern Christian empires were mainly a part of the machin-
Westphalia, which ended the war, was founded on state ery of government rather than an autonomous moral force
interests, rather than religious doctrine or dynastic claims. that could challenge the government.
From the early seventeenth century on, doctrines of faith The rise of the Prussian Hohenzollern Kingdom began
took an ever-decreasing role in forming state policy. The in earnest in the mid-1600s when the Great Elector cleverly
Catholic but anti-Habsburg French emerged as the chief made his petty state into a factor in the Thirty Years War,
beneficiaries of the conflict in Germany. France replaced while subordinating the nobility to a centralized govern-
Habsburg Spain as the prime force in military and political ment. Continued by his successors, the electors policies
affairs and, under the guidance of Richelieu and the long- culminated in the reign of his great-grandson Frederick II,
lived Louis XIV, became the role model for the rest of the one of the most eective monarchs of European history.
aspiring absolutist monarchies on the Continent. The Habsburgs of Austria, through fortunate marriage
The English Revolution, sparked by the attempts of alliances, gradually came to rule a large empire based
the Stuart kings to emulate Louis XIV, ended in clear vic- on Bohemia and Hungary as well as Austria proper. The
tory for the anti-absolutist side. Led by the Puritan rebels weaknesses of this state were partially addressed by the
against Charles I, the wealthier, educated segment of the eorts of Empress Maria Theresa, who brought a degree
English people successfully asserted their claims to be equal of centralization and uniformity to the government.
to the Crown in dening national policies and the rights of But Austrias great problemits potentially competing
citizens. The Glorious Revolution of 1688 cemented these nationalitiesremained.
gains. The seeds thus planted would sprout continuously in After an obstacle-lled climb from obscurity under the
the Western world for the next two centuries, especially in Mongols, the Muscovite principality gathered the Russian
the British colonies in North America. Given a theoretical lands in the 1500s and began to expand eastward. Its Pol-
underpinning by philosophers such as John Locke and prac- ish, Turkish, and Swedish rivals in the West were gradually
tical form by the 1689 Bill of Rights, the idea of a society that overcome by lengthy wars. The Russian nobility, once all-
was contractual rather than authoritarian in its political ba- powerful, were reduced by the various devices of the tsars
sis began to emerge. Along with this came the ideal of a state to more or less willing servants of the imperial throne. As
that guaranteed liberty and legal equality for all its subjects. in Prussia, this collaboration of throne and noble had been
The eastern European dynasties were able to grow and secured by giving the estate-owning nobility full powers
foil the occasional eorts to restrict their royal powers be- over the unfortunate serfs and the sparse and insignicant
cause neither of the two potential secular counterforces urban residents.

uIdentication Terms

Test your knowledge of this chapters key concepts by at the end of the book, or working with the ashcards
dening the following terms. If you cant recall the mean- that are available on the World Civilizations Companion
ing of certain terms, refresh your memory by looking up Website: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler
the boldfaced term in the chapter, turning to the Glossary

Bill of Rights Habsburg Dynasty Mongol Yoke Treaty of Utrecht

Glorious Revolution of 1688 Hanoverian Dynasty Peter the Great Treaty of Westphalia
Great Elector (Frederick intendants Restoration (English)
William) Ivan the Terrible Romanov Dynasty
350 C H A P T E R 25

uTest Your Knowledge

Test your knowledge of this chapter by answering the 6. The message conveyed by Hobbess Leviathan was in
following questions. Complete answers appear at the end brief that
of the book. You may nd even more quiz questions in a. man would nd his way to a better future.
ThomsonNOW and on the World Civilizations Compan- b. man could make more progress once religion was
ion Website: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler abolished.
c. man was irredeemably stained by original sin.
1. The Thirty Years War began d. man needed a powerful government to avoid
a. as a struggle for religious freedom for Protestant anarchy.
reformers in Bohemia. e. man by nature would do good if taught to do so.
b. as a contest between Calvinists and Lutherans in 7. East of the Elbe, the feudal landlords of the fteenth
Germany. through seventeenth centuries
c. as a political contest between Germans and French a. maintained or increased their local powers and
in the Rhineland. prestige.
d. as an attempt by the French to re-Catholicize their b. regularly overthrew the royal governments.
nation. c. suered a general decline economically.
e. as none of these. d. practically became extinct with the rise of urban life.
2. The founder of absolute monarchy in France was e. had little to do with the peasants under their
a. Jean Bodin. control.
b. Louis XIV. 8. Maria Theresas major achievement for Austria was
c. Cardinal Richelieu. a. to conquer more territories from the Turks.
d. Cardinal Mazarin. b. to bring order into the workings of government.
e. Henry IV. c. to defeat the claims of the Prussians to Austrian
3. Raison dtat is most accurately translated as lands.
a. the power of a duly constituted government to do d. to clean up the corruption in society.
virtually anything to maintain internal order. e. to leave a strong son behind who would rule for
b. a false reason given by a spokesperson to justify thirty years after her death.
what the government desires. 9. A great dierence between Ivan IV, the Terrible, and
c. a pretext used by a government to justify illegal Peter I, the Great, is
acts. a. the savagery of the rst and the subtlety of the
d. the states legal power to make war. second.
e. the power of the state to choose its peoples b. the minimal successes of Ivan and the tremendous
religion. ones of Peter.
4. Which of the following characteristics was not true of c. the tender consideration shown to the nobles by
the government of Louis XIV? Peter.
a. It was based on parliamentary policy making. d. the degree to which they incorporated Western
b. It was Catholic in religion. ideas into their country.
c. It was staed by many members of the middle e. their views about the concept of absolute rule.
classes. 10. The most striking dierence between the absolutist
d. It was highly concentrated in the person of the king. governments in East and West was
e. It succeeded in nullifying the actual powers of the a. the almost complete lack of a middle class in the
aristocrats. East.
5. Which of the following seventeenth-century English b. the ability of the peasants to express their political
monarchs was most successful in retaining the sup- opinions to the central government.
port of Parliament? c. the coordination of the policies of the ocial
a. James II church and the government.
b. Charles I d. the degree to which constitutions restrained them
c. James I in their policies.
d. Charles II e. the development of professional armies in the East
e. William of Orange but not in the West.
Foundations of the European States 351

u World History Resource Center

Enter ThomsonNOW using the access card that is available Enter the Resource Center using either your ThomsonNOW
with this text. ThomsonNOW will assist you in understand- access card or your standalone access card for the Wadsworth
ing the content in this chapter with lesson plans generated World History Resource Center. Organized by topic, this
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description at right for details). movie explorations; and a wealth of other resources. You
can read the following documents, and many more, at the
Wadsworth World History Resource Center:

The Secret History of the Reign of Jan Sobieski, 1683

The Treaty of Westphalia
Thomas Hobbes, selections from Leviathan
John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
China from

the Ming
through the
Great wealth is from heaven;
modest wealth is from
Early Qing
Chinese Folk Saying Dynasty

13681644 Ming Dynasty Ming China,

1400s Maritime expeditions
Economic Progress
1500s First contacts with Urbanization and Technology
16441911 Qing Dynasty The Ming Political System
1700s Economic growth; The Bureaucracy
population rises, trade
increases Dealing with Foreigners
The Manzhou Invaders: The Qing Dynasty
Qing Government

Qing Culture and Economy

Progress and Problems

HE AGES OF CHINA do not coincide with those of Europe. China
had no Middle Age or Renaissance of the fourteenth century.
The outstanding facts in Chinas development between 1000 CE
and 1500 CE were the humiliating conquest by the Mongols and
their overthrow by the rebellion that began the Ming Dynasty.
For more than 200 years, the Ming rulers remained vigorous, providing the
Chinese with a degree of stability and prosperity that contemporary Europeans
would have envied. But the sustained creative advance in the sciences and basic
technologies that had allowed China to overshadow all rivals during the thou-
sand years between the beginning of the Song and the end of the Ming dynas-
ties (6001600) was slowly drawing to a close. The West was overtaking China
in these areas, but as late as the eighteenth century, this was hardly evident
to anyone. Possessed of an ancient and marvelous high culture, China was still
convinced of its own superiority and was as yet far from being forced to admit
its weaknesses.

Ming China,
The Ming was the last pure Chinese dynasty. It began with the overthrow of the
hated Mongols, who had ruled China for 100 years. Founded by the peasant
Zhu Yuanzhang (Choo yuwen-chahng), who had displayed masterful military
talents in leading a motley band of rebel armies, the Ming would last 300 years.
Zhu, who took the imperial title Hongwu (hoong-woo; ruled 13681398), was

China from the Ming through the Early Qing Dynasty 353

an individual of great talents and great cruelty. In many inward to Mongolia (see Map 26.1). The eastern half of
ways, his erce ruthlessness was reminiscent of the First the Great Wall was rebuilt, and the armies of China were
Emperor. He built the city of Nanjing (Nanking) as his everywhere triumphant against their Mongol and Turkish
capital near the coast on the Yangtze River. His son and nomad opponents.
successor, Yongle (yuhng-leh), was even more talented as In the Ming era, China generally had an eective gov-
a general and an administrator. During Yongles twenty- ernment. One sign of this was the sharp rise in popula-
two-year reign (14021424), China gained more or less its tion throughout the dynastic period. When the Ming
present heartlands, reaching from Korea to Vietnam and took power, bubonic plague (the same epidemic that was

Text not available due to copyright restrictions

354 C H A P T E R 26

simultaneously raging in Europe; see Chapter 20) and

Mongol savagery had reduced the population to about 60
million, the same size it had been in the Tang period, 500
years earlier. The population rose to perhaps 150 million
by 1600, the most dramatic rise yet experienced by any
This new population necessitated an equally dramatic
rise in food supply. The old center of Chinese food pro-
duction, the Yangtze basin in south-central China, was not
able to meet the demand. A new area for rice cultivation
in the extreme south near Vietnam was developed during
the Ming, and some new crops from the Americas such
as corn, squash, peanuts, and beans made their way into
Chinese elds via the trans-Pacic trade with the Portu-
guese and Spanish. Interestingly, the Irish or white potato,
which would become the staple food crop of northern
European peasants in the eighteenth century, was intro-

Giraudon/Bridgeman Art Library

duced into China but did not catch on. Because rice has
greater nutritional value than the potato, this turned out
to be a boon for China.

Economic Progress
Commercial activity steadily increased until it was probably
more commonplace in China than in any other country of
M IN G POTTE RY MAKE RS. The late Tang through the Ming
the world by the 1600s. A larger percentage of the labor
eras saw significant developments in Chinese society. There were
force was directly engaged in buying, selling, and transport- notable developments in the size and sophistication of its cities, techno-
ing goods than in any other land. The merchants remained logical innovation, and cultural efflorescence. A key to its manufacturing
quite low on the social ladder but were acquiring sucient and commercial sectors was the organization of craftsmen, like these pot-
money to provide them with a comfortable and cultivated ters, into imperial workshops and guilds (cohong).
Commercial contact with the Europeans started in the In general, the villagers and city dwellers of Ming China
early 1500s with the coming of the Portuguese into the In- seem to have been decently housed and fed.
dian and, soon, the Pacic oceans. Originally welcomed, Historians have often asked why China with its large,
the Portuguese behaved so badly that the Chinese quickly nancially sophisticated commercial class and a leader-
limited them to a single port, Macao (mah-COW). Here, ship role in so many ideas and techniques did not make the
in return for silver from the Americas, the Portuguese ob- breakthrough into a mechanical mode of industry. Why, in
tained luxurious and exotic goods that brought exorbitant other words, did the Chinese fail to make the leap from
prices from European nobles, who coveted them for the the commercial revolution of the later Ming period to an
prestige they conveyed. A merchant who could take a few industrial revolution of the kind that began in the West
crates of rst-class Chinese porcelain tableware back to a century later? Various answers have been proposed, but
Europe could make enough prot to start his own rm. no single one is satisfactory. The Chinese esteem for artists
and scholars and the tendency of such people to place little
Urbanization and Technology emphasis on accumulation of material goods must be part
of the explanation. Engineers and inventors were never
The Ming period also saw an enormous increase in the prominent in Chinas culture, even though Chinese science
number of urban dwellers. Some Chinese cities, serving as and technology led the world until at least the 1200s. Also,
marketplaces for the rural majority and as administrative the Confucian ethos did not admire the capitalist entrepre-
and cultural centers, grew to have several hundred thou- neur or his activities. It was the retention of the old, not
sand inhabitants; one or two possibly had more than a mil- the invention of the new, that inspired properly educated
lion at a time when no European town had a population Chinese. In the end, we can only attest that China did not
of even 100,000. In these Chinese metropolises, almost experience an industrial-technical breakthrough. If it had,
anything was available for money, and the kind of abject China and not western Europe would have been the domi-
poverty that would arise later was probably still unknown. nant power of the world in the past three centuries.
China from the Ming through the Early Qing Dynasty 355

The Ming Political System to prepare boys for the government service exams. These
exams, which had been suspended by the Mongols, were
As always since Han times, the Chinese government immediately reinstated by the rst Ming emperor. Their es-
culminated in the person of an all-powerful but not divine sentials would not change until the twentieth century. The
emperor, who ruled by the mandate of Heaven through exams were administered every other year at the lowest
a highly trained bureaucracy derived substantially from (county) level and every third year at the provincial capitals.
talented men of all classes and backgrounds. Hongwu, Each candidate was assigned a tiny cubicle in which he slept
the peasant rebel commander, brought militaristic and and ate under constant surveillance when not writing his
authoritarian ways to the government he headed. The essays during the three to ve days of the examination.
rst Ming ruler divided China into fteen provinces, sub- Only a tiny minority was successful in obtaining an
divided into numerous counties, an arrangement that has ocial post even at the province level. The most distin-
survived almost intact into the present day. He made occu- guished of these would then compete for the central gov-
pations hereditary and classied the population into three ernment posts every third year, and the successful ones
chief groups: peasants, soldiers, and workers. Supposedly, were considered the most prestigious of all of the men of
the class into which people were born would determine Han. Unchanged for centuries, the exams inuenced all
the course of their lives, but this was much truer on paper Chinese education and kept what we now call the curricu-
than in reality. China was far too vast and the bureaucracy lum to a very narrow range. After basic reading, writing,
far too small to allow this restrictive and non-traditional and arithmetic, most Chinese schooling was aimed only at
theory to be successfully put into practice. preparing students for the civil service examinations. It
But the emperors powers during the early Ming were consisted of a good deal of rote memorization and re-
probably greater than ever before. Hongwu created a quired extensive knowledge of the various interpretations
corps of palace eunuchs, men without families who had of Confucian thought. Imagination, creativity, and indi-
been raised since boyhood to be totally dedicated servants viduality were denitely not desired. Over the long term,
of the ruler. They served as his eyes and ears, and during this limited education put Chinas ocials at a distinct dis-
periods of weak leadership, the eunuchs often exercised advantage when confronted with situations that required
almost dictatorial powers over the regular ocials, be- exibility and vision. On the other hand, the uniform
cause they alone had direct access to the emperor. This preparation of all Chinese ocials gave the country an es-
practice, of course, led to much abuse, and the eunuchs pecially cohesive governing class, the mandarins (see
were hated and feared by most Chinese. Curiously, the
eunuchs never seem to have attempted to overthrow a le-
gitimate ruler, although some Ming emperors practically
turned the government over to them. The imperial corps
of eunuchs lasted into the twentieth century, though their
powers were much diminished by then.
After a brief sojourn in Nanjing during the rule of the
rst Ming emperor, the government was returned to the
northern city of Beijing (bay-jing), which was originally
built by the Mongols. In its center was the Forbidden
City, a quarter-mile-square area of great palaces, oces,
and living quarters for the higher ocials. No ordinary
person was ever permitted within its massive walls. The
Forbidden City was expanded several times during the
Ming, until it came to house more than 20,000 men and
women, who served the emperor or his enormous ocial
Giraudon/Art Resource, NY

family. Its upkeep and the lavish entertainments and feasts

that were regularly put on for thousands were a heavy
burden on the whole country.

The Bureaucracy

The basis for entry and success in the bureaucracy re- E XAM IN ATION S FOR GOVE RN M E NT POSTS. This
mained the same as it had been for the last 1,500 years: mas- seventeenth-century painting shows the examinations for
tery of the Confucian philosophy and ethics. Confucianism government posts in progress. Despite years of preparation, very few
grew stronger than ever. Many schools were founded solely candidates were successful at the higher levels.
356 C H A P T E R 26

Chapters 6 and 16), and conicts generated by diering areas to the pirates, hoping this tactic would enable
philosophies of government were rare or nonexistent. them to protect the rest.
Until recently, civil upheaval and antagonism never oc- Otherwise, the Ming period was a high point in cultural
curred within the governing class, only between it and and commercial interchange between China and Japan.
some outer group (usually foreigners, eunuchs, or provin- Direct Chinese-Japanese relations concentrated on trading
cial usurpers). This unity of view and the loyalty it engen- between a few Japanese daimyo and Chinese merchants,
dered were valuable in preserving China from threatened a private business supervised by the respective govern-
disintegration on repeated occasions. ments. Several of the shoguns of Japan (see Chapter 27)
In the early Ming period, both the government and most were great admirers of Chinese culture and saw to it that
of the educated population agreed on the vital principles Japans doors were thrown widely open to Chinese ideas as
of a good civic life and how to construct it. All ocials, well as artifacts.
from the emperor down to the minor collector of cus- The trading activity with the Japanese was exceptional,
toms in some obscure port, were accepted by the masses however. Generally speaking, Chinas rulers believed that
as their proper authorities. The ever-recurring question the Empire of the Middle needed little from the outside
of how to meet the modest demands of the peasantry for world. A brief but signicant excursion onto the Indian
survival without alienating the often rapacious landlord- Ocean trade routes seemed to underline this conviction.
ocials was handled eectively. Unfortunately, this har- The Maritime Expeditions of the early 1400s are a notable
mony declined in later years, as weak emperors ignored departure from the general course of Chinese expansionist
the examples set by the dynastys founders. policy, in that they were naval rather than land ventures.
Between 1405 and 1433, huge eets carrying as many as
30,000 sailors and soldiers traveled south to the East Indies,
Dealing with Foreigners and as far west as the coast of Africa. The expeditions were
sponsored by the government, and at the emperors order,
The Mongols and other nomadic peoples on the northern they stopped as suddenly as they had begun. Their purpose
and northwestern frontiers were still a constant menace remains unclear, but it does not seem to have been com-
after they had been expelled from China proper. Much mercial. The eets made no attempt to plant colonies or
of the large military budget of Ming China was spent on to set up a network of trading posts. Nor did the expedi-
maintaining the 2,000 miles of the Great Wall, large sec- tions leave a long-term mark on Chinese consciousness or
tions of which had to be rebuilt to defend against potential awareness of the achievements and interests of the world
invaders. To do this job, a huge armywell over a million outside.
strongwas kept in constant readiness. The main reason The Maritime Expeditions were a striking demonstra-
for moving the capital back to Beijing from Nanjing was to tion of how advanced Chinese seamanship, ship design,
better direct the defense eort. and equipment were and how condent the Chinese were
The rulers at Beijing followed the ancient stratagem of in their dealings with foreigners of all types. Although
use the barbarian against the barbarian whenever they China certainly possessed the necessary technology (ship-
could, but twice they miscalculated, and the tribes were building, compass, rudder, sails) to make a success of over-
able to put aside their squabbles and unite in campaigns seas exploration and commerce, the government decided
against the Chinese. The rst time, the Mongols actually not to use it. The governments refusal was the end of the
defeated and captured the emperor, liberating him only matter. The large mercantile class had no alternative but
after payment of a tremendous ransom. The second time, to accept it because the merchants had neither the inu-
they smashed a major Chinese army and overran Beijing ence at court nor the high status in society that could have
itself in 1550. Eventually, both incursions were forced enabled the voyages to continue. In this sense, the failure
back, and the dynasty was reestablished. to pursue the avenues opened by the expeditions reects
With the Japanese, relations proceeded on two the dierences between the Chinese and European gov-
planes: that of hostility toward pirates and smugglers ernments and the relative importance of merchants and
and that of legitimate and beneficial exchange. From entrepreneurial vision in the two cultures.
the fourteenth century, pirate-traders (there was little Contacts with Westerners during the Ming era were
distinction) from Japan had appeared in Korean and limited to a few trading enterprises, mainly Portuguese or
north Chinese waters. Gradually, they became bolder Dutch, and occasional missionaries, mainly Jesuits from
and often joined Chinese pirates to raid coastal ports Spain or Rome. The Portuguese, who arrived in 1514
well into the south. Because the Japanese could always before any other Europeans, made themselves so oensive
flee out of reach in their islands, the Chinese could only to Chinese standards of behavior that they were expelled,
try to improve their defenses, rather than exterminate then conned to the tiny port of Macao, near Guangzhou
the enemy fleets. During the sixteenth century, the (gwong-choh). The missionaries got o to a consider-
Beijing government actually abandoned many coastal ably more favorable start. They made enormous eorts to
China from the Ming through the Early Qing Dynasty 357

empathize with the Confucian mentalities of the upper- the emperor thanks to his scientic expertise, adoption of
class Chinese ocials and to adapt Christian doctrines to Chinese ways of thought, and mastery of the dicult lan-
Chinese psyches. Several of the missionaries were well- guage. Ricci and his successors established a Christian
trained natural scientists and were able to interest their bridgehead in the intellectual focal point of China that for a
hosts in their religious message via their demonstrations century or more looked as though it might be able to broaden
of Western mechanical and technical innovations. its appeal and convert the masses. But this was not to be. (See
Outstanding in this regard was Matteo Ricci (mah-TAY- the Science and Technology box for some of Riccis remarks
yoh REE-chee; 15511610), a Jesuit who obtained access to on Chinese technology and his insights into Chinese culture.)


Chinese Inventions The art of printing was practiced in China at a date

somewhat earlier than that assigned to the beginning of
In the sixteenth century, an Italian priest named Matteo Ricci was printing in Europe. . . . It is quite certain that the Chinese
invited by the emperor to reside at the court in Beijing in the ca- knew the art of printing at least ve centuries ago, and
pacity of court astronomer. Ricci had learned Chinese and drew on some of them assert that printing was known to their peo-
his learned background in the sciences to both instruct and enter- ple before the beginning of the Christian era. . . .
tain his hosts. His journals were published shortly after his death Their method of making printed books is quite inge-
in 1610 and gave Europeans their rst eyewitness glimpse of the nious. The text is written in ink, with a brush made of very
Ming Dynasty civilization and the rst knowledgeable insight into ne hair, on a sheet of paper which is inverted and pasted
Chinese affairs since Marco Polos report three centuries earlier. on a wooden tablet. When the paper has become thor-
oughly dry, its surface is scraped off quickly and with great
All of the known metals without exception are to be found in
skill, until nothing but a ne tissue bearing the characters
China. . . . From molten iron they fashion many more things
remains on the wooden tablet. Then with a steel graver, the
than we do, for example, cauldrons, pots, bells, gongs,
workman cuts away the surface following the outlines of
mortars . . . martial weapons, instruments of torture, and a
the characters, until these alone stand out in low relief.
great number of other things equal in workmanship to our
From such a block a skilled printer can make copies with
own metalcraft. . . . The ordinary tableware of the Chinese
incredible speed, turning out as many as fteen hundred
is clay pottery. There is nothing like it in European pottery
copies in a single day. Chinese printers are so skilled at
either from the standpoint of the material itself or its thin
turning out these blocks that no more time is consumed in
and fragile construction. The nest specimens of porce-
making one of them than would be required by one of our
lain are made from clay found in the province of Kiam and
printers in setting up a form of [moveable metallic] type
these are shipped not only to every part of China but even
and making the necessary corrections. . . .
to the remotest corners of Europe where they are highly
The simplicity of Chinese printing is what accounts for
prized. . . . This porcelain too will bear the heat of hot
the exceedingly large number of books in circulation here
foods without cracking, and if it is broken and sewed with
and the ridiculously low prices at which they are sold. Such
a brass wire it will hold liquids without any leakage. . . .
facts as these would scarcely be believed by one who had
Finally we should say something about the saltpeter,
not witnessed them.
which is quite plentiful but which is not used extensively
in the preparation of gunpowder, because the Chinese are
not expert in the use of guns and artillery and make but lit- Analyze and Interpret
tle use of these in warfare. Saltpeter, however, is used in Why do you think the Chinese did not use gunpowder tech-
lavish quantities in making reworks for display at public nology in war as in entertainments? In light of what Ricci
games and on festival days. The Chinese take great plea- reports, is contemporary European preference for metallic
sure in such exhibitions and make them the chief attrac- type justified?
tion of all their festivities. Their skill in the manufacture of
Source: P. Stearns et al., eds. Documents in World History: Vol. 2. The Modern
reworks is really extraordinary and there is scarcely any- Centuries (New York: Harper & Row, 1988).
thing which they cannot cleverly imitate with them. They
are especially adept at reproducing battles and in making
rotating spheres of re, ery trees, fruit, and the like, and You can read further selections from Riccis
they seem to have no regard for expense where reworks The Art of Printing at the Wadsworth World
are concerned. . . . History Resource Center.
358 C H A P T E R 26

The Manzhou Invaders: The governors, and the army was sharply divided between the
two ethnic groups, with the Qing having superior status as
Qing Dynasty the so-called Bannermen, who occupied key garrisons.
Like most new dynasties, the Qing were strong reform-
The end of the Ming Dynasty came after a slow, painful
ers in their early years, bringing order and respect for
decline in the mid-seventeenth century. A series of in-
authority, snapping the whip over insubordinate ocials
eective emperors had allowed government power to slip
in the provinces, and attempting to ensure justice in the
into the hands of corrupt and hated eunuchs, who made de-
village. The two greatest Qing leaders were the emperors
cisions on the basis of bribes, without responsibility for
Kangxi (kang-shee; ruled 16621722) and his grandson
their consequences. Court cliques contended for supreme
Qienlong (chee-yen-loong; ruled 17361795). Their un-
power. The costs of the multitude of imperial court ocials
usually long reigns allowed them to put their stamps on
and hangers-on were enormous and could be met only by
the bureaucracy and develop long-range policies. Both
squeezing taxes out of an already hard-pressed peasantry.
were strong personalities, intelligent and well-educated
Peasant rebellions began to multiply as the govern-
men who approached their duties with the greatest seri-
ments ability to restrain rapacious landlords declined.
ousness. Both attempted to keep the Manzhou tribesmen
The administrative apparatus, undermined by the eu-
and the ethnic Chinese separate to some degree, although
nuch cliques at court, ceased to function. Adding to the
the Manzhou were always a tiny minority (perhaps 2 per-
troubles was the popularity among the mandarins of an
cent) of the population and were steadily sinicized after
extreme version of scholarly Confucianism that rejected
the early 1700s by intermarriage and free choice. (See the
Law and Government box for more on Kangxi.)
The Manzhou (man-choo) tribesmen living north of the
Kangxi was the almost exact contemporary of Louis
Great Wall in Manchuria had paid tribute to the Beijing
XIV of France and, like him, was the longest-lived ruler of
emperor but had never accepted his overlordship. When the
his countrys history. From all accounts, Kangxi was a re-
rebellions led to anarchy in several northern provinces, the
markable man with a quick intellect and a ne gift for ad-
Manzhou saw their chance. The Manzhou governing group
ministration. He retained the traditional Chinese system
admired Chinese culture and made it clear that if and when
of six ministries advising and implementing the decrees
they were victorious, conservative Chinese would have
of the Son of Heaven in Beijing. He did much to improve
nothing to fear from them. Presenting themselves as the al-
the waterways, which were always of great importance for
ternative to banditry and even revolution, the Manzhou in-
transportation in China. Rivers were dredged, and canals
vaders gradually won the support of much of the mandarin
and dams built. He was particularly active in economic
class. One province after another went over to them rather
policy making, both domestically and toward the Western
than face continuous rebellion. The last Ming ruler, faced
merchants whose vessels were now starting to appear
with certain defeat, committed suicide. Thus was founded
regularly in Chinese ports. After decades of negotia-
the last dynasty of imperial China, the Manzhou or Qing
tions, Kangxi opened four ports to European traders and
(ching) dynasty (16641911). In its opening generations, it
allowed them to set up small permanent enclaves there.
was to be one of the most successful as well.
This decision was to have fateful consequences in the mid-
nineteenth century, when the Beijing government was in
Qing Government much weaker hands.
Kangxis grandson, Qienlong, was a great warrior and
When the Qing Dynasty was at the apex of its power and perceptive administrator. He eradicated the persistent
wealth, China had by far the largest population under one Mongol raiders on the western borders and brought Tibet
government and the largest territory of any country in the under Chinese control for the rst time (see Map 26.1).
world (see Map 26.1). China reached its largest territorial The peculiar fashion of dealing with neighboring indepen-
extent at this time. The Qing had been close to Chinese dent kingdoms such as Korea as though they were volun-
civilization for many years and had become partially sini- tary satellites of China (tributaries) was extended to much
cized (adopted Chinese culture), so the transition from of Southeast Asia at this time. Qienlong ruled through the
Ming to Qing rule was nothing like the upheaval that had last two-thirds of the eighteenth century, and we know a
followed the Mongol conquest in the 1200s. Many Ming good deal about both him and his grandfather because
ocials and generals joined with the conquerors volun- Jesuit missionaries still resided in Beijing during this era.
tarily from the start. Many others joined under pressure or Their perceptive reports to Rome contributed to the in-
as it became apparent that the Qing were not savages and terest in everything Chinese that was so manifest in late
were adopting Chinese traditions in government. High eighteenth-century Europe.
positions in the central and even the provincial govern- The early Qing emperors were unusually vigorous lead-
ments were in fact occupied by two individuals: one Qing, ers, and the Chinese economy and society responded
one Chinese. Qing ocials oversaw Chinese provincial positively to their lengthy rule until the mid-nineteenth
China from the Ming through the Early Qing Dynasty 359


Kangxis Sacred Edict 9. Elucidate propriety and yielding courtesy, in order to

make manners and customs good.
Emperor Kangxi, the seventeenth-century Qing dynast, was per- 10. Labor diligently at your proper callings, in order to
haps the greatest of all the Chinese rulers, in part because of the stabilize the will of the people.
extraordinary duration of his hold on the throne. In 1670, he is- 11. Instruct sons and younger brothers, in order to
sued a Sacred Edict to popularize Confucian values among the prevent them from doing what is wrong.
people. 12. Put a stop to false accusations, in order to preserve the
honest and good.
1. Esteem most highly lial piety and brotherly submission,
13. Warn against sheltering deserters, in order to avoid
in order to give due importance to the social relations.
being involved in their punishment.
2. Behave with generosity toward your kindred, in order
14. Fully remit your taxes, in order to avoid being pressed
to illustrate harmony and benignity.
for payment.
3. Cultivate peace and concord in your neighborhoods,
15. Unite in hundreds and tithing, in order to put an end to
in order to prevent quarrels and litigations.
thefts and robbery.
4. Recognize the importance of husbandry and the
16. Remove enmity and anger, in order to show the
culture of the mulberry tree, in order to ensure a
importance due to the person and life.
sufciency of clothing and food.
5. Show that you prize moderation and economy, in
Analyze and Interpret
order to prevent the lavish waste of your means.
What might Kangxis motives have been in promoting such values
6. Give weight to colleges and schools, in order to make
to the common people?
correct the practice of the scholar.
7. Extirpate strange principles, in order to exalt the Source: From Popular Culture in Late Imperial China by David Johnson et al.
Copyright 1985 The Regents of the University of California.
correct doctrine.
8. Lecture on the laws, in order to warn the ignorant and

century, when the dynastys power and prestige suered Qing eras. Best known are the Book of the Golden Lotus
under a combination of Western military intrusions and and The Dream of the Red Chamber, the latter a prod-
a growing population crisis. (This period is covered in uct of the eighteenth century. Most of the authors are
Chapter 39.) unknown, and the books that have survived are probably
only a small portion of those that actually had been pro-
duced. Some of the stories are pornographic, a variety
Qing Culture And Economy of literature that the Chinese evidently enjoyed despite
ocial disapproval.
Although the Qing were looked on as foreign barbarians Porcelain reached such artistry in the eighteenth cen-
originally and they exerted themselves to remain sepa- tury that it became a major form of Chinese aesthetic
rate from the Chinese masses, no break in fundamental creation. Throughout the Western world, the wealthy
cultural styles occurred between the Ming and Qing dy- sought ne china as tableware and objets dart and
nasties. As in earlier China, the most respected cultural were willing to pay nearly any price for the beautiful
activities were philosophy, history, calligraphy, poetry, blue-and-white Ming wares brought back by the Dutch
and painting. In literature, a new form matured in the and English ships from the South China ports. Chinese
1500s: the novel. Perhaps inspired by the Japanese ex- painting on scrolls and screens was also imported in
ample, a series of written stories about both gentry life large amounts, as were silks and other luxury items for
and ordinary people appeared during the late Ming and the households of the nobility and wealthy urbanites.
360 C H A P T E R 26

calligraphy, was considered as essential to proper education

in China as mastering literacy and basic math. Painting,
poetry, and meditation were considered far more impor-
tant than physics or accounting or chemistry. This ongoing
downgrading of the quantitative sciences and the technical
advances they spawned in the West was to be a massively
negative turning point in international power relations for
China. Aesthetic sensitivities and artistic excellence proved
to be little aid when confronted by cannons and steam

Progress and Problems

Among the outstanding achievements of the early Qing

Muse Guimet, Paris, France/Bridgeman Art Library

emperors were improvements in agriculture and engi-
neering that beneted uncounted numbers of ordinary
Chinese. Kangxi, for example, did much to ensure that the
South China rice bowl was made even more productive
and that the Grand Canal linking the Yellow River with the
central coast ports and the Yangtze basin was kept in good
order. New hybrid rice allowed rice culture to be extended
and increased yields, which in turn supported an expan-
sion in population.
Internal trade in the large cities and many market towns
continued the upsurge that had begun during the Ming
Dynasty and became ever more important in this era.
Although most Chineseperhaps 80 percentremained
MI N G VA S E. This superb example of Chinese porcelain was villagers working the land, there were now large numbers
made in the seventeenth century, possibly for the developing of shopkeepers, market porters, carters, artisans, money-
export trade with Europe. lenders, and all the other occupations of commercial life.
Money circulated freely as both coin and paper, the coins
being minted of Spanish silver brought from the South
The popular decorative style termed chinoiserie (shin- American colonies to Manila and Guangzhou to trade for
WAH-seh-ree) reected late-eighteenth-century Eu- silk and porcelain.
ropes admiration for Chinese artifacts and good taste. All in all, the Chinese in the early Qing period were
The Clipper ships of New England made the long voy- probably living as well as any other people in the world and
age around Cape Horn and across the Pacic in the rst better than most Europeans. But this high standard of liv-
half of the nineteenth century to reap enormous prots ing worsened in later days, when for the rst time the popu-
carrying luxury goods in both directions: sea otter furs lations growth exceeded the ability of the agrarian economy
from Alaska and the Pacic Northwest and porcelain, to allow suitable productive work for it. By the nineteenth
tea, and jade from China. century, almost all of the land that had adequate precipita-
During the Ming and Qing periods, far more people tion or was easily irrigable for crops had already been
were participating in the creation and enjoyment of for- brought under the plow. The major improvements possible
mal culture than ever before. By the 1700s, China had a in rice farming had already been made, and yields did not
large number of educated people who were able to pur- continue to rise as they had previously. Machine industry
chase the tangible goods produced by a host of skilled art- had not yet arrived in China (and would not for many years),
ists. Schools and academies of higher learning educated and trade with the outside world was narrowly focused and
the children of anyone who could aord the fees, generally on a relatively small scale that government policy refused to
members of the scholar-ocial class who had been gov- expand. (China wanted very few material things from the
erning China since the Han Dynasty. non-Chinese, in any case.) In the nineteenth century, rural
In this era (from the 1500s on), however, China de- China began to experience massive famines and endemic
nitely lost to the West its lead in science and technol- poverty that were the result of too-rapid growth in popula-
ogy, which it had maintained for the previous thousand tion in a technically backward society without the desire or
years. Developing a sensitivity to beauty, such as the art of means to shift to new production modes.
China from the Ming through the Early Qing Dynasty 361

THE OVERTHROW OF the Mongols introduced another the Qing leader began the nal dynastic period in Chinas
of the great Chinese dynasties: the Ming. Blessed by ex- 3,000-year history, that of the Qing.
ceptionally able emperors in the early decades, the Ming The two rst Qing emperors were extraordinarily able
imitated their Tang Dynasty model and made notable im- men, who in the eighteenth century led China to one of
provements in agriculture and commerce. Urban life ex- the summits of its national existence. The economy pros-
panded, and the urban bourgeoisie of merchants became pered, and overpopulation was not yet a problem. In the
economically (but not politically) important. The borders arts there was extraordinary renement and development
were extended well to the west and north, and the barbar- of new literary forms. But in science and technology,
ian nomads thrust once again behind the Great Wall for a China now lagged far behind the West, and the coming
couple of centuries. century would be lled with political and cultural humilia-
In the classic pattern, however, the Mings grip on gov- tions. China entered the modern age unprepared to handle
ernment and people weakened, and the costs of a huge the type of problems that it faced on the eve of the Euro-
court and army pressed heavily on the overtaxed popula- pean intrusion: growing impoverishment, military back-
tion. When rebellions began in the northern provinces, wardness, and technical retardation. First the Europeans
the people were encouraged by the promises of change and then the Japanese would nd ways to take advantage
oered by the invading Qing in the northeast. Triumphant, of these handicaps.

uIdentication Terms

Test your knowledge of this chapters key concepts by de- the end of the book, or working with the ashcards that
ning the following terms. If you cant recall the meaning are available on the World Civilizations Companion Web-
of certain terms, refresh your memory by looking up the site: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler
boldfaced term in the chapter, turning to the Glossary at

The Dream of the Red Forbidden City Maritime Expeditions Qing Dynasty
Chamber Manchuria Ming Dynasty

uTest Your Knowledge

Test your knowledge of this chapter by answering the 3. Chinas rst commercial contact with Europeans was
following questions. Complete answers appear at the end with the
of the book. You may nd even more quiz questions in a. British.
Thomson NOW and on the World Civilizations Companion b. Dutch.
Website: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler. c. Spanish.
d. Greeks.
1. The most serious menace to Chinas stability during e. Portuguese.
the 1300s and 1400s was 4. The emperor Hongwu initiated a period during
a. the Japanese coastal pirates. which only the ____________ had direct access to the
b. the Mongol conquerors from the north. emperor.
c. the conspiracies of the palace eunuchs. a. royal family
d. the invasions of the Vietnamese in the south. b. leading merchants
e. the isolation that caused the Chinese to fall behind c. government ocials
the rest of the world. d. palace eunuchs
2. The last dynasty to be of pure Chinese origin was the e. military leaders
a. Qing. 5. During the Ming/Qing era, China was ruled by a
b. Song. bureaucracy that was
c. Tang. a. selected on the basis of aristocratic birth.
d. Ming. b. controlled by a professional military establishment.
e. Qin. c. dominated by the Buddhist priesthood.
362 C H A P T E R 26

d. selected on the basis of written examinations. c. carried out by Westerners, who were anxious to
e. unconcerned about the Chinese peasantry. install a tame government in Beijing.
6. During the Ming period, Chinese-Japanese contacts were d. caused by Western Christian missionaries hostile
a. restricted to occasional commerce and raids by to the Ming.
Japanese pirates. e. the natural result of cultural interaction between
b. thriving on a number of fronts, both commercial the two groups.
and cultural. 9. The outstanding Qing emperors of the eighteenth
c. hostile and infrequent. century
d. marked by the Japanese willingness to accept a. learned much of political value to them from the
Chinas dominance. West.
e. exceptional, in that the Chinese adopted Japanese b. were cruel tyrants in their treatment of the common
technology. Chinese.
7. The Maritime Expeditions of the fteenth century were c. split governmental responsibility between Qing
a. the product of contacts with Arab traders. and Chinese.
b. the result of Mongol invaders who had occupied d. tried hard to expand commerce between China
China. and Europe.
c. the government-sponsored explorations of the e. rejected the traditional Chinese bureaucracy in
Indian Ocean. favor of absolute rule.
d. begun at the initiative of private traders. 10. Which of the following did not gure prominently in
e. an opportunity for the Chinese to show the rest of Qing cultural achievement?
the world their superiority. a. Poetry
8. The replacement of the Ming by the Qing Dynasty was b. Landscape painting
a. caused by a Japanese invasion of China and c. Theology
collapse of the Ming. d. Fictional narratives
b. a gradual armed takeover from a demoralized e. Calligraphy

u World History Resource Center

Enter ThomsonNOW using the access card that is available Enter the Resource Center using either your ThomsonNOW
with this text. ThomsonNOW will assist you in understand- access card or your standalone access card for the Wadsworth
ing the content in this chapter with lesson plans generated World History Resource Center. Organized by topic, this
for your needs and provide you with a connection to the website includes quizzes; images; over 350 primary source
Wadsworth World History Resource Center (see descrip- documents; interactive simulations, maps, and timelines;
tion at right for details). movie explorations; and a wealth of other resources. You
can read the following documents, and many more, at the
Wadsworth World History Resource Center:
Matteo Ricci, The Art of Printing
Pere du Halde, The Chinese Educational System
The Dream of the Red Chamber
Japan in
the Era of
The white chrysanthemum
Even when lifted to the eye
Remains immaculate.
Basho Expansion

c. 12001600 Malaysians and Indonesians Japan

convert to Islam
1521 Portuguese seize control First European Contacts: Christianity
of Malacca
The Tokugawa Shogunate
1543 First European contacts
Shogun, Emperor, and Daimyo Economic Advances Peasants and
with Japan
c. 1600 Tokugawa shogunate
established in Japan
Taming the Samurai
c. 1630s Christianity suppressed
in Japan; foreigners Tokugawa Arts and Learning
expelled/sakoku begins Literature and Its Audiences Adaptation and Originality
1600s1700s Money economy and
commercial society Response to the Western Challenge
develop in Japan
Southeast Asia

EFORE THE 1500S, THE Japanese islands contacts with the outer
world were only with Korea and China. The arrival of Portuguese
trader-explorers brought change to a substantial segment of society,
which adopted Christian belief. But this trend was later reversed by
government action, and in a remarkable turnabout, the Japanese
entered a long period of self-imposed seclusion.
Southeast Asia also experienced the European outreach, but in a highly lo-
calized and restricted manner, linked to the exclusive interest of the newcomers
in the spice trade. Only much later, in the nineteenth century, did Europeans
begin to develop Southeast Asian colonies.

Although akin to China in some ways, Japan was very dierent in many others.
The political power of the emperor in Kyoto was weak throughout early modern
times, and Japan became a collection of feudal provinces controlled by clans.
In the century between the 1460s and the 1570s, the warrior-nobles (daimyo;
DEYE-myoh) had engaged in a frenzy of the strong eating the weak. Finally, a
series of military strongmen managed to restore order, culminating in the estab-
lishment of a type of centralized feudalism, the Shogunate.
The rst European contacts occurred in the mid-1500s, when traders and
missionaries were allowed to establish themselves on Japanese soil. One of the
most important trade items brought by the Portuguese was rearms. Another

364 C H A P T E R 27

was the Christian Bible. Contacts with Europe were com- killed by one of his cohorts. Following Nobunagas death,
plicated by Japanese distrust of the Christian faith and its his lieutenant Toyotomi Hideyoshi (toh-yoh-TOH-mee
hints of submission to an alien culture. The shogun even- hee-deh-YOH-shee) took over. Aided by the rst large-scale
tually decided that this danger was intolerable. Within a use of rearms in Japan, Hideyoshi had visions of Asian, if
generations time, Japan withdrew behind a wall of en- not worldwide, supremacy. He invaded Korea with a well-
forced isolation from the world, from which it would not equipped army of 150,000 as a rst step toward the conquest
emerge until the nineteenth century. of Ming China. Repulsed in 1592, he was in the midst of a
second attempt when he died in 1598. After a couple of years
of struggle among Hideyoshis would-be successors, the for-
First European Contacts: midable warrior and statesman Tokugawa Ieyasu (toh-koo-
GAH-wah ee-eh-YAH-soo; ruled 16031616) seized the
Christianity baton. (See the Law and Government box.)
Tokugawa ceased the abortive invasion of the mainland
The Portuguese arrived in Japanese ports for the rst time and by 1600 had beaten down his several internal rivals.
in 1543, looking for additional opportunities to make Thus began the 250 years of the Tokugawa shogunate,
money from their active trading with all the Eastern coun- a military regency exercised in the name of an emperor
tries. They took Chinese silk to Japan and Japanese silver who had become largely a gurehead. Tokugawa ate the
to China and used the prots from both to buy spices in pie that Nobunaga made and Hideyoshi baked goes the
the South Pacic islands to bring back to Portugal. schoolchildrens axiom in modern Japan. He was the deci-
One of the rst inuences from the West to reach the sive gure in premodern Japanese history, using a selective
thus-far isolated Japanese was Christianity, which arrived violence against the daimyo to permit a special form of
via the numerous Catholic missionaries sponsored by centralized governance.
the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). The Jesuit order had been
founded to ght Protestantism only a few years earlier, and
its missionaries were well educated and highly motivated.
For various reasons, a fair number of the daimyo were sym- The Tokugawa Shogunate
pathetic to the Jesuit eorts and converted to Christianity
during the 1550s and 1560s. By the year 1600, it is esti- Once in power, Tokugawa continued and expanded the
mated that 300,000 Japanese had converted. That number changes that Hideyoshi had begun. By disarming the peasants,
would have constituted a far higher Tokugawa removed much of the
percentage of the population than do source of the rebellions that had
Christians in modern times. haunted Japan during the pre-
Museo Nacional de Soares dos Reis, Porto, Portugal/Giraudon/

At this time, most Japanese were ceding century. From this time
adherents of either Shinto or one of the on, only the professional war-
many varieties of Buddhism. Why did rior class, the samurai, and their
the ruling group allow the missionar- daimyo employers had the right
ies free access to the people? And why to own weapons. The daimyo,
did the Japanese initially prove more who were roughly equivalent to
receptive to Christianity than, for ex- the barons of Europe some cen-
ample, the Chinese or the Indians? turies earlier, were expected to
It is impossible to say with certainty. spend half their time at the court
One reason was the personal example of the shogun, where they would
Bridgeman Art Library

of the Jesuits, led by St. Francis Xavier, be under the watchful eyes of
who greatly impressed their hosts the shogun and his network of
with their piety and learning. informers.
Other changes were under way. In the early 1600s, the Toku-
In the later 1500s, a movement for gawa shoguns began to withdraw
Japanese national unity led by Oda Japan into seclusion from outside
Nobunaga (OH-dah noh-buh-NAH- inuences. Earlier, Hideyoshi had
black slave unloading the goods, showing
gah; 15231582), a feudal lord who that the Portuguese were already using black la-
had misgivings about the activi-
had fought his way to regional power, bor in their transIndian Ocean trade in the first ties of the Jesuits within his do-
was getting under way. In the 1570s, half of the seventeenth century. The Japanese mains, and in 1587 he had issued
the brutal Nobunaga succeeded in observer is possibly the merchant for whom the an order, which was later revoked,
capturing Kyoto and most of the goods were consigned, and the monkey is the that they should leave. After newly
central island of Honshu, but he was ships mascot. arrived members of the Franciscan
Japan in the Era of European Expansion 365

Order attempted to meddle in the shogunates internal Buddhism. After Christian peasants supported a revolt in
aairs, Tokugawa acted. He evicted the Christian mission- 1637, pressure turned into outright persecution. Death
aries who had been in the country for half a century and became the standard penalty for Christian aliation. In a
put heavy pressure on the Christian Japanese to reconvert to few places, the Christians maintained their faith through


Tokugawa Ieyasu (15421616) able to appreciate the blessings of a permanent peace. He care-
fully redivided the feudal lords domains throughout the islands
On March 8, 1616, the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu died. According to ensure his control over all of them. He established the daimyo
to his wish, he was buried in Nikko, a beautiful wood ninety miles as the ofcials of his kingdom. They were given considerable
north of Tokyo. His tomb stands at freedom to do as they pleased in their
the end of a long avenue of great gar- TO K UG AWA IE YASU. This portrait was done own backyards, so long as their loyalty
dens. Posthumously, Tokugawa was after the powerful warrior had assured his position to the shogun was not in doubt. Ieyasu
given the title Noble of the First Rank, as shogun in 1603. and his successors in the 1600s did
Great Light of the East, Great Incarna- much to improve and nationalize Japans
tion of the Buddha. He was already economy, particularly among the peas-
acknowledged as the individual who ant majority. The heimin or plain folk
brought law to a lawless society. were divided into three basic groups:
Tokugawa Ieyasu (that is, Ieyasu of farmers, artisans, and traders, in that
the Tokugawa clan) was born in 1542. rank order. Farmers were generally re-
During the last decades of the six- garded as honorable people, while trad-
teenth century, he became an ally of ers were originally looked down upon,
Toyotomi Hideyoshi, the most power- as in China. At the bottom of the social
ful of all the feudal aristocrats who di- scale were the despised hinin, who were
vided the country among themselves. equivalent to the Indian untouchables.
When Hideyoshi died unexpect- Unlike the untouchables, however, the
edly in 1598, Ieyasu and another man hinin were able to rise in status.
were the prime candidates to succeed In many ways, Tokugawa Ieyasu was
him. Tokugawa assembled a force of the father of traditional Japan. The po-
80,000 feudal warriors, while his oppo- litical institutions of the country did not
nent led a coalition of 130,000. In the change in any signicant way after him
decisive battle of Sekigahara in 1600, until the late nineteenth century. He
the outnumbered Tokugawa forces lives on in the pantheon of Japans he-
claimed the eld. In the next few roes as a model of military virtue, who
years, Ieyasu destroyed the coalitions reluctantly employed harsh and even
resistance and secured the shoguns brutal measures in order to bring about
ofce for himself and his second son. the rule of law in a lawless society.
Ieyasus victory was a turning point
of great importance. For the next 250 Analyze and Interpret
years, the Japanese were forced to live Would there have been many alterna-
Private Collection/ Bridgeman Art Library

in peace with one another. This Era tives to Tokugawas method of impos-
of Great Peace was marked by the ing order in sixteenth-century Japan?
Tokugawa clans uninterrupted control What problems may arise from having
of the shogunate in Edo (Tokyo), while absolute powers supposedly in one
the semi-divine emperor resided in mans (the emperors) hands, while
Kyoto and remained the symbolic another actually exercises them? How
center of Japanese patriotism. might this arrangement be compared
Ieyasu was an extraordinarily gifted to similar situations throughout his-
man. Coming out of the samurai tradition tory (for example, the later Abbasid
of military training, he was nevertheless caliphate, as in Chapter 14)?
366 C H A P T E R 27

century. It was a remarkable experiment with highly

successful results so far as the ruling group was concerned.
Japan went its own way and was ignored by the rest of
the world.

Shogun, Emperor, and Daimyo

The Tokugawa shoguns continued the dual nature of Jap-

anese government, whereby the shogunate was estab-
lished at Edo (EH-doh; later Tokyo) while the emperor
resided in the imperial palace at Kyoto and occupied
himself with ritual and ceremony as the current holder of
the lineage of the Sun Goddess who had created Japan
eons earlier (see Chapter 17). True power in both a mili-
tary and a political sense remained with the shogun, who
now headed a council of state composed of daimyo aris-
tocrats. An individual who was always a member of the
Tokugawa clan acted in the name of the emperor while
closely overseeing some twenty large and perhaps two
hundred small land-holding daimyo, who acted both as
his agents and as autonomous regents in their own domains.
The shogun controlled about one-fourth of Japan as his own
efdom. This system continued without important change
until 1867.
The daimyo were the key players in governance and
posed a constant potential threat to Tokugawas arrange-
ments. As the source of military power on the local level,
they could tear down any shogun if they united against him.
Therefore, to secure the center, the shogun had to play the
The Art Archive

daimyo against each other in the countryside. He did this

by constant intervention and manipulation, setting one
clan against another in the competition for imperial favor.
The shogun controlled the domains near Edo or put them
HIDEYOSHI AS SAMURAI. This later illustration of General Hideyoshi
in the hands of dependable allies. Domains on the outlying
allows close inspection of the traditional samurai costume and weapons.
islands went to rival daimyo clans, which would counter-
balance one another. Meanwhile, the wives and children of
the more important daimyo families were required to live
underground churches and priests, but the majority permanently at Edo, where they served as hostages for loyal
gradually gave up their religion in the face of heavy state behavior. The whole system of supervision and surveillance
penalties and their neighbors antagonism. much resembled Louis XIVs arrangements at Versailles in
At the same time, Japans extensive mercantile contacts seventeenth-century France.
with the Europeans and Chinese were almost entirely
severed. Only a handful of Dutch and Portuguese traders/ Economic Advances
residents were allowed to remain in two ports (notably,
Nagasaki, where two Dutch ships coming from the East Japans society and economy changed markedly during
Indies were allowed to land each year). (See Map 27.1.) these centuries of isolation. One of the most remarkable
The building of oceangoing ships by Japanese was forbid- results of sakoku was the great growth of population and
den. No foreigners could come to Japan, and no Japanese domestic trade. The population doubled in the seventeenth
were allowed to reside abroad (with a few exceptions). century and continued to increase gradually throughout
Japanese who were living abroad were forbidden to re- the remainder of the Tokugawa period. Closing o trade
turn. The previously lively trade with China was sharply with foreigners apparently stimulated internal production,
curtailed. rather than discouraged it, and domestic trade rose ac-
This isolation (called sakoku in Japanese history, pro- cordingly. The internal peace imposed by the powerful and
nounced SAH-koh-koo) lasted until the mid-nineteenth respected government of the shogunate certainly helped.
Japan in the Era of European Expansion 367

Text not available due to copyright restrictions

The daimyo aristocracy had an ever increasing appetite for Even so, the merchants as a class were still not as respected
ne wares such as silk and ceramics. Their fortress-palaces as were government ocials, scholars, and especially the
in Edo and on their domains reected both their more daimyo and their samurai. Nevertheless, the merchants
rened taste and their increasing ability to satisfy it. growing wealth, which they often lentat high interestto
The merchants, who previously had occupied a rather impoverished samurai, began to enhance their prestige. A
low niche in Japanese society (as in China) and had never money economy gradually replaced the universal reliance on
been important in government, now gradually gained a barter in the villages.
much more prominent place. Formerly, the mercantile and Commercialization and distribution networks for artisans
craft guilds had restricted access to the market, but the early invaded the previously self-sucient lifestyle of the coun-
shoguns forced them to dissolve, thereby allowing many new try folk. Banks and the use of credit became more common
and creative actors to come onto the entrepreneurial stage. during the later Tokugawa period. Some historians see the
368 C H A P T E R 27

of thousands of skilled and unskilled workers, casual

laborers, beggars, prostitutes, artists, and the unlucky
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Angers, France/Giraudon/

samurai at the bottom. Most Japanese, however, still lived

as before in small towns and villages. They depended on
local farming, timbering, or shing for their livelihood
and had only occasional and supercial contact with the
urban culture. Until the twentieth century, the rhythms
of country life and rice culture were the dominant inu-
ence on the self-image and the lifestyle of the Japanese
Bridgeman Art Library


Taming the Samurai

SUNRISE. This wood cut by the famed engraver Hiroshige In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the samurai
(17971858) shows a typical procession of laborers going to work in a caste, which had been the military servants of the wealthy
seaside town, while the fishermen raise sail and the rice sellers ready their daimyo and their enforcers with the peasants, lost most
booths for the morning trade along the quay. The long net is presumably for of its prestige in Japanese society. Estimated to make up
capturing birds that will be put into the cages and sold.
as much as 7 percent of the population at the time of
establishment of the Tokugawa regime, the samurai had
growth of a specically Japanese form of capitalism long be- now become superuous.
fore Japans entry into the world economic system in the later With the creation of the lasting domestic peace, there
nineteenth century. was literally nothing for them to do in their traditional
profession. They were not allowed to become merchants
Peasants and Urbanites or to adopt another lifestyle, nor could they easily bring
themselves to do so after centuries of proud segregation
The condition of the peasants, who still made up the vast from the common herd. The Edo government encouraged
majority of the population, improved somewhat under the samurai to do what they naturally wished to do: enjoy
the early Tokugawa regime. Since the beginnings of the themselves beyond their means. Borrowing from the mer-
shogunate under the Fujiwara (foo-jee-WAH-rah) clan, chants, the samurai tried to outdo one another in every
the peasantry had been sacriced to keep the daimyo and sort of showy display. After a generation or two, the result
their samurai retainers satised. In most of the Japanese was mass bankruptcies and social disgrace.
lands, the peasant was no better than a serf and lived in The fallen samurai were replaced in social status by
misery. In the early Tokugawa era, the peasants received newcomers, who were nding they could advance through
some protection from exploitation, and the shoguns gov- commerce or through the civil bureaucracy. As in the West,
ernment claimed that agriculture was the most honorable this bureaucracy was slowly assuming the place of the feu-
of ordinary occupations. But the governments taxes were dal barons and becoming the day-to-day authority in gov-
heavy, taking up to 60 percent of the rice crop, which was ernance. The samurai lost out to a new class of people: men
by far the most important harvest. In later years, the in- who did not know how to wield a sword but were good with
creasing misery of some peasants led to many provincial a pen. Trained only to make war and raised in the bushido
rebellions, not against the shogun but against the local (boo-SHEE-doh) code of the warrior, most of the samurai
daimyo who were the peasants landlords. These revolts, were ill equipped to transition from warrior to desk-sitting
although numerous, were on a much smaller scale than ocial of the shogun or a daimyo lord. Most samurai seem
those that would trouble Manzhou (or Manchu) China in to have gradually sunk into poverty and loss of status as they
the same nineteenth-century epoch. reverted to the peasant life of their long-ago ancestors.
Cities grew rapidly during the rst half of the Tokugawa
period but more slowly later. Both Osaka (oh-SAH-kah)
and Kyoto were estimated to have more than 400,000 in- Tokugawa Arts and Learning
habitants in the eighteenth century, and Edo perhaps as
many as 1 million. All three cities were bigger than any The almost 250 years of peace of the Tokugawa period
town in Europe at that date. The urban population ranged produced a rich tapestry of new cultural ideas and prac-
from wealthy daimyo and merchants at the top, through tices in Japan. Some of the older ideas, originally imported
tens of thousands of less fortunate traders, shopkeepers, from China, were now adapted to become almost entirely
and ocials of all types in the middle, and many hundreds Japanese in form and content. The upper classes continued
Japan in the Era of European Expansion 369

to prefer Buddhism in one form or another, with a strong Adaptation and Originality
admixture of Confucian secular ethics. Among the people,
Shinto and the less intellectual forms of Buddhism formed In the ne arts, Japan may have drawn its initial inspiration
the matrix of belief about this world and the next. Japanese from Chinese models, but it always turned those models
religious style tended to accept human nature as it is with- into something dierent, something specically Japanese.
out the overtones of penitence and reform so prominent This pattern can be found in landscape painting, poetry,
in Western thought. As before, a strong current of eclecti- adventure and romance stories, gardens, and ceramics
cism blended Buddhism with other systems of belief and in any art medium that both peoples have pursued.
practice. The Japanese versions were often lled with a playful
humor that was missing in the Chinese original and were
Literature and Its Audiences almost always consciously close to nature, the soil, and the
peasantry. The rened intellectualism common to Chinese
Literacy rates were quite high in Japan and continued to arts appeared less frequently in Japan. As a random example,
increase in the later years of the Tokugawa period, when the rough-and-tumble of Kabuki and the pornographic jokes
perhaps as many as 50 percent of the males could read and that the actors constantly employed were specically Japa-
write the cheap product of wood-block printing presses. nese and had no close equivalent in China.
This percentage was at least equal to the literacy rate in cen- The merchants who had prospered during the Tokugawa
tral Europe of the day and was facilitated by the relative ease era were especially important as patrons of the arts. Again, a
of learning the phonetic written language (in distinct con- parallel can be drawn to the European experience, but with
trast to Chinese, the original source of Japanese writing). dierences. The European bourgeoisie became important
Literature aimed at popular entertainment began to commissioners of art two centuries earlier than the Japa-
appear in new forms that were a far cry from the elegant nese merchants and did so in self-condent rivalry with the
and restrained traditions of the past. Poetry, novels, social nobles and church. Japan had no established church, and
satires, and Kabuki plays were the foremost types of litera- the bourgeoisie never dared challenge the daimyo nobility
ture. By this era, all of these forms had been liberated from for taste-setting primacy. Nevertheless, high-quality paint-
imitation of classical Chinese models, and several were ing and wood-block prints displaying a tremendous variety
entirely original to the Japanese. of subjects and techniques came to adorn the homes and
Haiku (HEYE-koo) poems, especially in the hands of collections of the rich merchants. In fact, much of what
the revered seventeenth-century poet Basho, were extra- the modern world knows of seventeenth- and eighteenth-
ordinarily compact revelations of profound thought. In three century Japanese society is attributable to the knowing eye
lines and seventeen syllables (always), the poet reected the and talented hands of the artists rather than to historians.
Zen Buddhist conviction that the greatest of mysteries can Unlike the Chinese, the Japanese never revered compilers
only be statednever analyzed. Saikakus contributions in of records. There are no Japanese equivalents of the great
ction matched those of Basho in poetry, also during the late Chinese histories.
seventeenth century. His novels and stories about ordinary
people are noteworthy for their passion and the underlying
sense of comedy with which the characters are observed.
Saikakus stories, like Bashos verse, are read today in Japan Response to the Western
with the same admiration aorded to them for centuries. Challenge
(See Arts and Culture box.)
Kabuki (kah-BOO-kee) is a peculiarly Japanese form of In the later Tokugawa, the main emphasis of Japanese
drama. It is highly realistic, often humorous and satirical, thought shifted from Buddhist to Confucian ideals, which is
and sometimes violent in both action and emotions. For another way of saying that it changed from an otherworldly
its settings, it often used the oating world, the unstable emphasis to an empirical concern with this world. The
but attractive world of brothels, shady teahouses, and gam- Japanese version of Confucianism was, as always, dierent
bling dens. Kabuki was wildly popular among the upper from the Chinese. The secular, politically pragmatic nature
classes in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Japan. It of Confuciuss doctrines comes through more emphatically
was not unusual for a particularly successful actor (males in Japan. The Chinese mandarins of the nineteenth century
played all parts) to become a pampered star. Actors were had little tolerance for deviation from the prescribed ver-
often also male prostitutes, just as actresses in the West sion of the Master. But in Japan, several schools of thought
were often female prostitutes at this time. Homosexuality contended and were unimpeded by an ocial prescription
was strongly frowned on by the shogunate authorities, but of right and wrong. Another dierence was that whereas
it had already had a long tradition among the samurai and China had no room for a shogun, Japan had no room for
some branches of Buddhism. the mandate of Heaven. Chinese tradition held that only
370 C H A P T E R 27


The Origins and Evolution of Haiku The years rst day

thoughts and loneliness;
Haiku is undoubtedly the most distinctive and well-known form the autumn dusk is here.
of traditional Japanese poetry. Haiku has changed somewhat over
Clouds appear
the centuries since the time of Basho, and today it is typically a
and bring to men a chance to rest
three-line, 17-syllable verse form consisting of three metrical units
from looking at the moon.
of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. Three related terms, haiku, hokku, and
haika, have often caused considerable confusion. What we know Harvest moon:
today as haiku had its beginnings as hokku, a starting verse of a around the pond I wander
much longer chain of verses known as haika. The hokku was the and the night is gone.
most important part of a haika poem; therefore, it was an espe-
Povertys child
cially prestigious form of poetry from its inception. Before long,
he starts to grind the rice,
therefore, poets began composing hokkus by themselves. One
and gazes at the moon.
nineteenth-century master in particular, Masaoka Shiki, formally
established the haiku in the 1890s in the form in which it is now No blossoms and no moon,
known. Here are a few samples of the poetry of Basho: and he is drinking sake
all alone!
An old pond!
A frog jumps in Wont you come and see
The sound of water. loneliness? Just one leaf
from the kiri tree.
The rst soft snow!
Enough to bend the leaves Temple bells die out.
Of the jonquil low. The fragrant blossoms remain.
A perfect evening!
In the cicadas cry
No sign can foretell
How soon it must die.
Analyze and Interpret
To what do you attribute the appeal of this simple poetic form?
No one travels What seems to be the poems purpose, if any?
Along this way but I,
Source: From Haiku for People, http://www.toyomasu.com/haiku/#Basho.
This autumn evening.
In all the rains of May
there is one thing not hidden
the bridge at Seta Bay.

China could be the Confucian Empire of the Middle. The their seclusion and investigate whatever Western technol-
Japanese, on the other hand, although condent they were ogy could oer them with an open mind. In sharp contrast
in that desirable position of centrality and balance, believed to China, when the Western avalanche could no longer be
they need not ignore the achievements of other, less fortu- evaded, the Japanese governing class accepted it with little
nate but not entirely misguided folk. inherent resistance or cultural confusion.
What was the signicance of this pragmatic secular- At the outset of the Tokugawa shogunate, the Japanese
ism for Japan? It helped prepare the ruling daimyo group educated classes were perhaps as familiar with science and
for the invasion of Western ideas that came in the mid- technology as were the Westerners. Sakoku necessarily in-
nineteenth century. The Japanese elite were able to abandon hibited further progress. The Scientic Revolution and its
Japan in the Era of European Expansion 371

accompanying technological advances were unknown in

Japan, and the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century was
equally foreign to the cultural landscape of even the most
rened citizens (see Chapter 29). From the early 1800s, a
few Japanese scholars and ocials were aware that the West
(including nearby Russia) was well ahead of them in certain
areas, especially the natural sciences and medicine, and that
much could be learned from the Westerners. These Japa-
nese were in contact with the handful of Dutch merchants
who had been allowed to stay in Japan, and they occasion-
ally read Western science texts. Dutch medicine, as West-
ern anatomy, pharmacy, and surgery were called, was fairly
well-known in upper-class Japan in the early nineteenth
century although it did not yet have much prestige.
When the American naval commander Matthew Perry
arrived with his black ships to forcibly open the coun-
try to foreign traders in 1853 and 1854, the Japanese were
not as ill-prepared as one might assume after two centuries
of isolation. Aided by the practical and secular Confucian
philosophy they had imbibed, the sparse but important
Western scientic books they had studied, and the care-
fully balanced government they had evolved by trial and
error, the Edo government, the daimyo, and their sub-

Michael S. Yamashita/Corbis
ocials were able to absorb Western ideas and techniques
by choice rather than by force. Rather than looking down
their cultured noses at what the hairy barbarians might
be bringing, the Japanese were able to say, If it works to
our benet (or can be made to), use it. Unlike China, the
West decidedly did not overwhelm the Japanese. On the
contrary, they were true to their nations tradition by show-
ing themselves to be condent and pragmatic adapters of H IM E JI C ASTLE . This relatively late construction, known as
the White Egret to the Japanese, stands today as a major tourist
what they thought could be useful to themselves, rejecting
attraction. The massive stone walls successfully resisted all attackers.
the rest.

in 1511, Malacca had become a commercial crossroads of the

Southeast Asia Indian Ocean and East Asian networks, as well as the most
important point of dissemination for Islam throughout the
The territories in Southeast Asia that had succeeded in region. From Malacca the Portuguese extended their control
achieving political organization before the appearance of over the Spice Islands. Except for the island of Bali, the origi-
European traders and missionaries had little reason to take nal syncretistic blend of Hindu with animist beliefs that had
much notice of them until a much later era. Contacts were been Indias legacy had faded away. Only in the Philippines
limited to coastal towns and were mainly commercial. In was there a Christian element.
the 1600s, the Dutch had driven the Portuguese entirely If the islands were relatively untouched by the early
out of the islands spice trade, and they had established European traders, the mainland populations were even
a loose partnership with the local Muslim sultans in Java less so. In the 1700s, the three states of Thailand, Burma,
and Sumatra to assure the continuance of that trade with and Vietnam dominated the area. The rst two were by
Europe. After a brief contest with the Dutch, the British, in then part of the Hinayana Buddhist world, while Vietnam
the form of the East India Company, had withdrawn from under Chinese inuence had remained with the Mahayana
the Spice Islands to concentrate on Indian cotton goods. version of the faith. The once-potent Khmer state of Cam-
Only in the Spanish Philippines was a European presence bodia had been divided between the Thais and the Viets by
pervasive and politically dominant over a sizable area. stages during the fteenth through seventeenth centuries.
Most of the insular Asians were by now converted to Islam, Nowhere was there a visible European inuence so late as
a process that began in the 1200s through contact with Arab the end of the eighteenth century, but this was to change
and Indian Muslim traders. By the time the Portuguese arrived radically in the next century.
372 C H A P T E R 27

AFTER A CENTURY of unchecked feudal warfare in Japan, Population surged and the general economy prospered.
three strongmen arose in the late sixteenth century to The arts, particularly literature and painting, ourished.
re-create effective centralized government. Last and When Japans solitude was nally broken, the governing
most important was Tokugawa Ieyasu, who crushed or elite were ready to deal with the challenge of Western sci-
neutralized all opposition, including that of the Chris- ence and technology constructively.
tian converts who were the product of the first European In Southeast Asia, the colonial period commenced
contacts with Japan in the mid-1500s. with Dutch and Spanish presence in the Indonesian and
By the 1630s, Japan was rapidly isolating itself from the Philippine Islands, respectively. But as late as the end
world under the Tokugawa shogunate. The chief goal of the of the eighteenth century, the Western traders and mis-
Tokugawa shoguns was a class-based political stability, which sionaries had had relatively little impact on the mass of
they successfully pursued for centuries. The shogun controlled the native inhabitants of the islands and even less on the
all contacts with foreigners and gradually ended all inter- mainland.
action to isolate the island empire for more than 200 years. This situation changed gradually but with increasing
The daimyo nobility were carefully controlled by the shogun rapidity. The nineteenth century saw both a transforma-
in Edo, who ruled from behind the imperial throne. Massive tion of the former subsistence economy of the peasantry
social changes took place at the same time the feudal political and the introduction of direct European control of govern-
structure remained immobile. While urban merchants rose ment both in the islands and on the mainland. By 1900, the
in the socioeconomic balance and peasants became wage entire region, except for Thailand, had become a European
laborers, the samurai slowly declined into obsolescence. colony.

uIdentication Terms

Test your knowledge of this chapters key concepts by de- the end of the book, or working with the ashcards that
ning the following terms. If you cant recall the meaning are available on the World Civilizations Companion Web-
of certain terms, refresh your memory by looking up the site: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler
boldfaced term in the chapter, turning to the Glossary at

daimyo haiku Kabuki sakoku


uTest Your Knowledge

Test your knowledge of this chapter by answering the fol- c. a mixture of Christianity and Japanese pagan belief.
lowing questions. Complete answers appear at the end d. a variety of Buddhism imported from Korea.
of the book. You may nd even more quiz questions in e. a reaction to the proselytizing of the Jesuits.
ThomsonNOW and on the World Civilizations Compan- 3. The Tokugawa shogun is best described as a
ion Website: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler a. military dictator.
b. military adviser to the emperor.
1. The early Christian missionaries to Japan c. chief of government under the supposed supervi-
a. found a hostile reception. sion of the emperor.
b. were mainly Protestants. d. symbolic and religious leader under the emperors
c. made the mistake of trying to conquer the Buddhist supervision.
natives. e. feudal lord who rst implemented shogunate rule.
d. were welcomed and given a hearing. 4. The government system created by the shoguns in the
e. were evicted from the country within ve years of 1600s
their arrival. a. allowed the local chieftains called daimyo to rule
2. The Shinto faith is best described as unchecked.
a. the native Japanese religion. b. was an imitation of the Chinese system of manda-
b. the Japanese Holy Scripture. rin ocials.
Japan in the Era of European Expansion 373

c. made the daimyo dependent on the shoguns favor. d. was an import from China.
d. used the emperor as military chief while the sho- e. portrayed in realistic fashion the military exploits
guns ruled all else. of the samurai.
e. provided imperial protection for the families of 8. Which of the following art forms was an original
the daimyo. Japanese invention?
5. Which of the following did not occur during the a. Wood-block printing
Tokugawa period? b. Haiku
a. Japanese elite thought shifted from Buddhist to c. Nature poetry
Confucian patterns. d. Weaving of silk tapestry
b. Japanese formal culture stagnated in its continued e. The epic poem
isolation from the world. 9. In general, it can be said of Japanese merchants that they
c. Trade and economic activity generally increased. a. emigrated in large numbers and established wider
d. Internal peace and order were eectively maintained. trade networks under Tokugawa rule.
e. The elite samurai faded into obsolescence. b. always enjoyed high status in Japanese society.
6. The reduction of the samurais inuence in public c. saw little change in their trade throughout the
aairs was entire period of the Tokugawa shogunate.
a. carried out through government-ordered purges. d. gained in status after the imposition of sakoku.
b. attempted but not achieved during the shogunate e. saw an increase in trade with foreigners as a result
period. of sakoku.
c. achieved by eliminating internal warfare through 10. Which of the following was true of the islands of
a strong government. Southeast Asia by the 1600s?
d. achieved by encouraging them to become mer- a. The Portuguese established control over its trade.
chants and landlords. b. The Dutch established control over its trade.
e. opposed by the shoguns but supported by the c. Most of its trade was lost to China.
emperor. d. Most of its inhabitants had converted to Islam.
7. The Kabuki drama e. Both b and d
a. specialized in dreamy romantic comedies.
b. was limited in appeal to the samurai and daimyo.
c. depicted drama in daily life in a realistic, humor-
ous way.

u World History Resource Center

Enter ThomsonNOW using the access card that is avail- Enter the Resource Center using either your ThomsonNOW
able with this text. ThomsonNOW will assist you in un- access card or your standalone access card for the Wadsworth
derstanding the content in this chapter with lesson plans World History Resource Center. Organized by topic, this
generated for your needs and provide you with a connec- website includes quizzes; images; over 350 primary source
tion to the Wadsworth World History Resource Center (see documents; interactive simulations, maps, and timelines;
description at right for details). movie explorations; and a wealth of other resources. You
can read the following documents, and many more, at the
Wadsworth World History Resource Center:

Honda Toshiaki, A Secret Plan for Government

Kaibara Ekken or Kaibara Token, Greater Learning for

[The conquest] was neither a
victory nor a defeat.
to Colonies
It was the dolorous birth of the
mestizo people.
in Hispanic
Anonymous Inscription at
the Site of Final Aztec Defeat America

1520s1810s Latin America under The Fall of the Aztec and Inca Empires
Spanish/Portuguese rule
1650s1750 Stagnation under a The Colonial Experience
weakened Spain Colonial Administration The Church in the Colonies
17601790 Revival of economy under
Charles III The Early Economic Structure
17931804 Haitian slave rebellion
and independence
Stagnation and Revival in the Eighteenth century
Colonial Society and Culture

HE ARRIVAL OF THE Europeans in the New World started an
enormous exchange of crops and commodities, modalities, and
techniques. The beginning and most important phase of this
exchange was conducted under the auspices of the Spanish con-
quistadores, who so rapidly conquered the Indian populations in
the sixteenth century. For the next 300 years, most of the newly discovered lands
were administered by a colonial system that superimposed Iberian Christian
economic institutions, habits, and values on existing indigenous ones. The form
of colonial lifestyle that gradually evolved in Latin America was the product of
the native Indians and the imported black slaves, as much as of the whites.

The Fall of the Aztec and Inca Empires

We have seen (Chapter 22) that the initial phase of Spanish exploration in the
Caribbean was dominated by the search for treasure. The Indies of Columbus
were reputed to be lands of gold and spices, waiting to be exploited by the rst
individual who might happen upon them. Within a few years, however, this
image was obliterated by the realities of the Caribbean islands, where gold was
nonexistent. The search then shifted to the mainland, and the immediate result
was the conquest of the Aztecs in Mexico and the Incas in Peru.
The Aztec capital fell in 1521 to conquistador Hernn Corts, who began
construction of Mexico City with stones from the leveled pyramids. Within
a decade, Francisco Pizarro used the tactics of Corts to conquer the Inca
empire in South America. Pizarro, based in Panama, followed rumors of gold
to the south, and by 1532 he had taken the Inca capital, Cuzco. Just as in Aztec
Mexico, when the Spanish arrived in Peru, they found many allies to help
them overthrow the Cuzco government, which was engaged in civil war. The
viral pandemics (smallpox, measles, and inuenza) carried by the Spaniards
to Mexico and Peru decimated the Indians ranks while hardly aecting the

From Conquest to Colonies in Hispanic America 375

Spaniards. The Native Americans perceived that their dei- todays U.S. Southwest but were beyond the practical
ties and leaders were powerless against the scourges of the reach of the viceroyal capital, Mexico City. The eective
conquistadores, while the apparently superior Catholic re- northern borders of Spanish colonization were anchored
ligion was able to protect its faithful. The generous social by the fortied Franciscan mission towns of San Fran-
assistance programs of the Incas (see Chapter 11) were no cisco and Santa Fe (see Map 28.1). The early Portuguese
longer enough to win the active loyalty of the Incas sub- colonization of Brazil was similar to the Spanish coloniza-
jects. Pizarro and his band, which was even smaller than tion of Chile and the Argentine areas. Lacking the allure
that of Corts in Mexico, were able to take the Inca king of precious metals and a ready-made Indian workforce,
hostage and demolish the regime in a short time in the these regions were gradually colonized by merchants and
Peruvian lowlands and valleys. Some of the imperial fam- farmers, rather than swiftly conquered by gold-seekers
ily and their ocials escaped to the high mountains and or would-be aristocrats. Brazil was named after the rst
attempted to rule from there for another thirty years natural resource exploited by the Portuguese: the valuable
before being crushed. red dye, called brazil, extracted from the brazilwood tree.
Spain showed much less interest in colonizing the The (male) settlers in precarious areas, such as coastal
sparsely populated areas of northern Mexico and southern Brazil, arrived without their wives and families. Iberian
South America, where no gold or silver had been found. men freely mixed with indigenous women; their ospring
In these areas, recalcitrant Amerindian groups such as in Brazil were called mamelucos (ma-muh-LOO-koez;
the Puebloans of New Mexico and the Mapuche (mah- the Portuguese version of Spanish-Indian mestizos). The
POO-chay) of Patagonia, violently resisted Hispanization. societies were less class-conscious because everyone had
The northernmost reaches of Spanish lands encompassed to work together to survive.

New France
Effective Frontier

of Spanish Settlement
ppi R

o lo Lisbon
San Francisco  C 

Santa Fe  lis Cadiz


Viceroyalty of
New Spain
Zacatecas Havana
Mexico City

Acapulco  Vera Cruz

To Manila, Philippines
(part of New Spain) Portobelo
Panama  Viceroyalty of Slave Coast
New Granada 

Viceroyalty Viceroyalty
of Peru Recife
of Brazil Pernambuco 

Lima  Angola
Spanish America: Viceroyalities Baha Mozambique 
 Potos Rio de
Portuguese America: Viceroyalty of Brazil Janeiro
Spanish Fleet System of La Plata OCEAN
Portuguese trade routes
Slaves Aires

Legal silver trade

Contraband Indian

MAP 28 .1 Colonial Latin America: Viceroyalties and Trade Connections

How did commerce, both legal and contraband, connect colonial
Latin America with the rest of the world?
376 C H A P T E R 28

The Colonial Experience religious inuence is particularly strong in the plantation

zone (the territory from the Caribbean area to southern
Spains colonization of the New World focused on the Brazil), which was the destination of most slaves.
conquered areas of the Aztec and Maya dominions
(the colonial viceroyalty of New Spain) and the Inca em- Colonial Administration
pire (the viceroyalty of Peru). These areas had treasure in
gratifying abundance, both in gold and, in even greater The Spanish administration in most of the Americas and
amounts, silver. Here Indian resistance was broken, and the Portuguese system in Brazil were essentially similar.
the small groups of Spaniards made themselves into feu- Under the auspices of the home government, an explorer/
dal lords, each with his Spanish entourage and Indian conqueror was originally allowed nearly unlimited propri-
servants. One-fth (quinto) of what was discovered or etary powers in the new land. Soon, however, he was dis-
stolen belonged to the royal government; the remainder placed by a royal council set up with exclusive powers over
could be divided up as the conquistadores saw t. Agri- commerce, crafts, mining, and every type of foreign trade.
cultural production was greatly enriched by the introduc- Stringent controls were imposed through a viceroy or
tion of draft animals and new crops (wheat, rice, sugar governor appointed by the Spanish government in Madrid
cane, citrus fruits). The survivors of the pre-Columbian and responsible solely to it. Judicial and military matters
empires furnished a ready-made free labor pool, which were also handled through the councils or the colonial
was accustomed to organized labor for tribute to a central audiencia (high court) in each province. The only hints of
authority. elective government were in the bottom ranks of the bu-
In this earliest period, until about 1560, the Spanish reaucracy: the early Spanish town councils (cabildos) and
crown, which in theory was the ultimate proprietor of all the traditional communes of the Indian villages.
the new lands, allowed the conquerors of the Indians the Iberian born nobles (peninsulares) dominated the colo-
encomienda (en-koh-MYEN-dah), or the right to demand nial administration. It was highly bureaucratized and mir-
uncompensated labor from the natives as a reward for the rored the home government in its composition and aims.
risks and hardships of exploration. This soon led to such A great deal of paper dealing with legal cases, regulations,
abuses that the priests who were charged with converting appointment procedures, tax rolls, and censuses owed
the Indians to Christianity (especially the determined and back and forth across the Atlantic. From the mid-sixteenth
brave Dominican Bartolom de las Casas, see Chapter 22) century, the governments basic aim was to maximize scal
protested vigorously to Madrid, and the encomienda was and commercial revenues for the home country.
abolished midway through the sixteenth century on paper, Secondarily, the government wished to provide an av-
although somewhat later in fact. enue of upward mobility for ambitious young men in the
Prompted by protests from Father de las Casas and others, administration of the colonies. The viceroyalties of New
King Charles V and his advisors were the rst Europeans to Spain and of Peru were established in the mid-sixteenth
debate the legal and ethical status of conquered peoples. As century, and the holders of these posts were always pen-
a result of the debates, the Spanish home government passed insulares. A few of them were able administrators; most
idealistic reform laws, including a prohibition against Indian were court favorites being rewarded with a sinecure with
enslavement. However, no legalistic injunctions could pre- opportunities for wealth. Despite all attempts to ensure
vent the ensuing demographic disaster, which was without Madrids controls over colonial policies, the sheer dis-
parallel in history. Owing in part to a kind of soul sickness tance involved and the insecurity of ocean travel meant
induced by their enslavement and subservience but much that the local ocialsnormally criollos (cree-OH-yoz;
more to epidemic diseases brought by the whites and un- native-born people of Iberian race in Latin America)
familiar to the Indians, the populations of these accom- had considerable autonomy. Their care of their Indian and
plished, agricultural folk crashed horrically (see Chapter 22). mestizo charges varied from blatant exploitation to admi-
By the mid-seventeenth century, the Indian populations rable solicitude.
had begun to recover but never did so fully. Latin American
populations only reached their pre-Columbian levels in the The Church in the Colonies
nineteenth century, when the inux of blacks and whites had
created a wholly dierent ethnic mix. Another Iberian institution was a partner to the civil
African slaves were relegated to the lowest echelon of government in the colonies: the Catholic Church. Filled
colonial society, with no protections from abusive own- with the combative spirit and sense of high mission that
ers (see Evidence of the Past). However, slavery in the were a legacy of the long reconquista struggle against the
Iberian colonies included the possibility of buying or Moors, the missionaries were anxious to add the Cen-
other wise earning ones freedom, creating a growing tral and South American Indians to the churchs ranks.
class of free African-Americans. The African cultural and In this endeavor the government authorities supported
From Conquest to Colonies in Hispanic America 377


Recovering Life Stories of the

Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz/Art Resource, NY

Voiceless: Testimonial Narratives by
African Slaves
The oral histories of a handful of ex-slaves provide the only rst-
person accounts of life on the colonial plantations. Sympathetic
editors have collected, edited, and published these accounts.
The slaves in Cuba and Brazil worked mainly on cash-crop plan-
tations in a variety of capacities. The following selection is from
one of the few rst-person slave narratives from Brazil. In about
1850, Mahommah G. Baquaqua told his story to one of the aboli-
tionists who had freed him.
[After being captured as a boy in Africa] I was then placed
in that most horrible of places, the slave ship . . . [where] we A B RAZILIAN PL ANTATION IN 1830. A Portuguese colonist in
became desperate through suffering and fatigue [as well Brazil planted the first sugar cane there in 1521. Sugar soon became Brazils
as hunger and thirst]. . . . We arrived at Pernambuco [Recife, economic mainstay, and African slaves were imported to work on planta-
Brazil], South America, early in the morning. . . . We landed tions like this one overlooking a harbor near Rio de Janeiro.
a few miles from the city, at a farmers house, which was
used as a kind of slave market. . . . I had not been there very
long before I saw [the farmer] use the lash pretty freely on black women to give birth. . . . Blacks were sold like piglets,
a boy, which made a deep impression on my mind. . . . and they sold me right offthats why I dont remember
When a slaver comes in, the news spreads like wild-re, anything about that place. . . . At all the plantations there was
and down come all those that are interested in the arrival an inrmary near the [slave quarters]. It was a large wooden
of the vessel with its cargo of living merchandise. . . . I was house where they took the pregnant women. Children were
soon placed at hard labor [by my new master], such as none born there and stayed until they were six or seven years old
but slaves and horses are put to. [My master] was building when they went to live in the slave quarters and to work like
a house, and had to fetch building stone from across the everyone else. . . . If a little black boy was pretty and lively,
river, a considerable distance, and I was compelled to carry they sent him inside, to the masters house. . . . [T]he little
them that were so heavy it took three men to raise them black boy had to spend his time shooing ies [with a large
upon my head, . . . for a quarter of a mile at least, down to palm fan] because the masters ate a lot. And they put [him]
where the boat lay. Sometimes the stone would press so at the head of the table. . . . And they told him: Shoo, so those
hard upon my head that I was obliged to throw it down ies dont fall in the food! If a y fell on a plate, they scolded
upon the ground, and then my master would be very an- him severely and even whipped him. I never did this work
gry indeed, and would say the [dog] had thrown the stone, because I never liked to be near the masters. I was a cimar-
when I thought in my heart that he was the worst dog; rn [wild, runaway] from birth.
but . . . I dared not give utterance in words.
Source: Miguel Barnet, ed. Biography of a Runaway Slave. Translated by W. Nick
Source: Samuel Moore, ed. Biography of Mahommah G. Baquaqua, A Native of Zoogao Hill. New York: Pantheon Books, 1994, pp. 1920, 22, 38.
[sic] in the Interior of Africa. Detroit: George E. Pomeroy and Co., 1854, pp. 3450.

Analyze and Interpret

The Cuban ex-slave Esteban Montejo was 103 years old when
When Baquaqua and Montejo told their stories, they had lived
he told his life story to an anthropologist, in 1963. The following
many years as free men. Do you think that the intervening years
passage begins with his birth on a sugar plantation.
might have affected their childhood memories of slavery in any
Like all children of slavery, the criollitos, as they were called, way? What inuence might the editors of their published stories
I was born in the inrmary where they took the pregnant have had on the narratives?
378 C H A P T E R 28

on these otillas were intended to protect the returning

treasure from the Americas from pirates and to restrict
what was sent to and taken from the colonies.
The great bonanza of the early years was the mountain
of silver at Potos (poh-tuh-SEE) in what is now Bolivia.
Next to it came the Mexican mines north of Mexico City.
The Granger Collection, New York

The silver that owed from the New World to Seville (and
from Acapulco to Manila) from the 1540s to the 1640s far
overshadowed the gold taken from Moctezuma and the
Inca in the conquest period. When the volume declined
drastically in the 1640s, the Madrid government experi-
enced a crisis. Production stayed relatively low for a century,
but thanks to new technology and increased incentives, it
reached great heights in the later eighteenth century before
A HACENDADO AND HIS FAMILY. This nineteenth-century scene declining again, this time for good.
shows a Mexican hacendado, owner of a large plantation, with his The input of bullion did not produce lasting construc-
wife and one of his overseers. The elaborate costumes were impractical tive results in Spain. Some of it owed on through royal
but necessary in maintaining social distance from the peons. or private hands to enrich the western European shippers,
nanciers, merchants, and manufacturers who supplied
them. A church stood at the center of every town in the Iberia with every type of good and service in the sixteenth
new lands; all other buildings were oriented around it. and seventeenth centuries. Perhaps a third wound up in
The bishops, nominated by the Crown, were as impor- Chinese hands to pay for the Spanish version of the triangu-
tant in the administration of a given area as the civil gov- lar trade across the Pacic: Spanish galleons left Acapulco,
ernors; cultural and educational matters pertaining to Mexico, loaded with silver and bound for Manila, where they
both Europeans and Indians were in their hands. In its met Chinese ships loaded with silk and porcelain, which,
lavish baroque buildings and artworks, the church left after transshipment across Mexico or Panama, wound up in
a long-lasting physical imprint throughout the Spanish Seville and might be reshipped back to the Caribbean. Less
and Portuguese colonies. The spiritual imprint was even than half of the Spanish silver remained in Spanish hands,
more profound, continuing to the present day. but this was enough to start an inationary spiral there that
seized all of Europe by the end of the sixteenth century and
brought ruin to many landholding nobles (see Chapter 22).
The Early Economic Structure
International commerce between the Iberian colonies and
Europe and Asia connected the colonies to the nascent Stagnation and Revival in the
global economy (see Map 28.1). The major element in the Eighteenth Century
economy of the early Spanish colonies was the mining of
precious metals. Everything else served that end. (Brazil, The later seventeenth century and the rst decades of
the Portuguese colony, was originally a sugarcane planta- the eighteenth were a period of stagnation and decline
tion, but later it also emphasized mining.) The agricultural in New Spain. The last Spanish Habsburg kings were so
estates, which were rst encomiendas and then haciendas weak that local strongmen in Hispanic America were able
(hah-see-EN-duhz)rural plantation-villages with at least to overshadow the high courts and municipal authorities
technically free wage laborexisted primarily to supply of the viceroyal governments. The once-annual treasure
food for the mining communities. Handicraft industries eets were sailing only sporadically, and the total sup-
made gloves and textiles, prepared foods, and provided ply of American bullion was down sharply from its high
blacksmithing services for the same market. There were point. Several of the larger Caribbean islands were cap-
few exports beyond the produce of the mines and a hand- tured by the British, French, or Dutch or were taken over
ful of cash crops such as sugar, tobacco, and indigo. by buccaneers. The import/export controls imposed by
Rights to export goods to the Spanish colonies were the Madrid government were falling apart, because non-
limited to Spaniards; the goods could be carried only in Spaniards were able to ignore the prohibitions against
Spanish ships, which left from one port, Seville (later also trading with the colonies, were granted exemptions, or
Cdiz), twice a year. From Latin America, another otilla collaborated with the criollos in smuggling in systematic
laden with the bullion mined the previous year left annu- fashion. By now the colonies could produce the bulk of
ally from the Mexican port of Vera Cruz. The restrictions their necessities and no longer had to import them.
From Conquest to Colonies in Hispanic America 379

At this juncture, the Spanish government experienced producers. And the remarkable increase in silver produc-
a revival when a new dynasty, an oshoot of the French tion as a result of new mining techniques and new discov-
Bourbons, took over in Madrid in 1701 as a result of the eries did not ow to the benet of the locals but rather to
war of Spanish Succession (see Chapter 25). Especially what was more often now viewed as an alien government
under King Charles III (ruled 17591788), who gured in Madrid. The loosening of the former restrictions on
among the most enlightened monarchs of the eighteenth trade and manufactures had a distinctly stimulating eect
century, thoroughgoing reform was applied to the Indies. on the intellectual atmosphere of the criollo urbanites.
A form of free trade was introduced, the navy and mili- After decades of somnolence, there arose within a small
tary were strengthened, and a new system of intendants, but crucially important minority a spirit of criticism and
administrators responsible to the center on the French inquiry, which reected the stirring of European liberal-
Bourbon model, was able to make Spanish colonial gov- ism we shall examine in Chapter 30.
ernment much more eective. Taxes were collected as In the 1770s, the criollo elite witnessed the successful
they had not been for years, and smuggling and corruption (North) American revolt against Britain, and a few years
were reduced. The two Spanish American viceroyalties later, the radical French revolution doctrines seized their
were subdivided into four: New Spain, Peru, New Granada attention. In both of these foreign upheavals, they believed
(northern South America), and Rio de la Plata (Argentina they saw many similarities with their own grievances
and central South America). The ocials for these new di- against their government, similarities that were to be ulti-
visions continued to be drawn almost exclusively from the mately persuasive for their own rebellion.
peninsula, an aront that the people in the colonies did not
easily swallow. Another point of contention was that many
criollo clergymen were among the Jesuit missionaries ban- Colonial Society and Culture
ished by the anticlerical Bourbons from the Iberian empire.
Colonists throughout the Western Hemisphere rose up in The class system was based on the degree of purity of
protest against the expulsion of the Jesuits, who had won the Spanish bloodlines. In a legal sense, both peninsulares and
hearts and minds of all, and who from their exile encour- criollos were considered Spanish. However, the peninsu-
aged the emerging sense of Hispano-American identity lares considered themselves superior to their criollo cous-
among criollos and mestizos alike. ins, whom they supposed were even physically inferior by
The reforms did not benet the mass of Indian and virtue of their birth in the Americas. The peninsulares oc-
mestizo inhabitants at all. Indian population increased cupied the uppermost ranks of society, church, and gov-
(perhaps doubling) in the eighteenth century, creating an ernment, and they excluded the criollos from positions of
irresistible temptation to hacienda owners to press this power to prevent the formation of a strong native-born elite
defenseless and unskilled group into forced labor in the that might threaten the dominance of the peninsulares.
expanding plantation agriculture. The market for these Yet the criollos (especially the descendants of the conquis-
products was not only the seemingly insatiable demand tadores), being owners of haciendas and mines, were often
for sugar in Europe and North America but also the rap- wealthier than the peninsulares. Both groups did their ut-
idly growing population in the colonies. The foreseeable most to re-create Spanish life in the New World.
result was an expansion of brutal serfdom, generating a Social life was centered in the cities and towns, because
series of Indian uprisings. Tupac Amaru, a descendant the Spaniards preferred urban life. The elite lifestyle was
of the Inca, led the most notable of these in the 1780s. slow-paced and leisurely, consisting of carriage rides and
The viceroyal government of Peru was nearly toppled other outings to display their nery, religious ceremonies
before the revolt was put down. A few years later in the and festivals, and diversions such as gambling, bullghts,
Caribbean island of Haiti (then Saint Domingue), a black and the popular baroque poetry contests. It was said that
ex-slave named Toussaint LOuverture led an uprising of the (mostly bad) colonial poets were a ock of noisy mag-
slaves that ended French dominion on that island. The pies. For the men, there were cockghts, liaisons with the
Toussaint rebellion eventually succeeded in attaining beautiful mixed-blood women, and other indulgences.
complete independence for Haiti, and it made an indel- The criollos, relegated to secondary status, cultivated in-
ible impression on both the friends and enemies of the tellectual and literary pursuits to enrich the limited cul-
daring idea of a general abolition of slavery. tural environment. Although the Inquisition prohibited
The oppressed Indians and enslaved blacks were by no reading novels and other heretical material, and the print-
means the only Latin Americans who were discontented ing presses in Mexico and Lima produced mostly religious
in the last years of the eighteenth century. Economic pol- material, secular books were nonetheless widely available,
icy reforms, however needed, were also sometimes painful and the criollo intellectuals kept abreast of Enlightenment
to the native-born criollos. With free trade, imports from thought and the latest European literary currents. Women
Europe became considerably cheaper, hurting domestic were mainly limited to religious literature.
380 C H A P T E R 28

The monastery or convent were also permitted to bear rearms. African-

Museo de America, Madrid, Spain/Giraudon/Bridgeman Art Library

options for the criollos. In the more le- Americans were at the bottom of
nient religious orders, the cells were the social pyramid. Along with the
more like suites of rooms. surviving Indians, they slaved from
In this strongly patriarchal society, dawn to dusk in the mines, on ha-
women lacked independent legal status ciendas and plantations, in sweat-
and were expected to obey their fathers, shops and mills, for little or no pay
brothers, or husbands unconditionally. (see Society and Economy). Their
Spanish women were carefully protected only opportunities for rest were
because their familys honor depended the Sunday mass and markets and
on their irreproachable behavior. The the occasional festival. Non-Spanish
daughters of criollos were married, if women were less restricted because
possible, to newly arrived peninsulares the Amerindian and African cul-
to ensure the familys prestige. Young tures were less patriarchal in origin.
men were sent to Spain or France for However, these women suered
higher education. Young women were sexual exploitation and abuse by
given a rudimentary education by tutors their Iberian masters.
at home, and a few learned domestic and The subdued Amerindians lived
social arts at mission schools, but they Juana is revered as the finest poet of her time
in a variety of other settings be-
were denied any higher education. In in New Spain (Mexico), an extraordinary achieve- sides haciendas and plantations.
the nal analysis, elite women had three ment given the constraints on colonial women. Sister Communally run Indian towns,
alternatives: marriage, spinsterhood, or Juanas unique intellectual outlook made her the ob- vestiges of the pre-Columbian em-
the convent. Widows of comfortable ject of both admiration for her originality and severe pires, were remote from the His-
nancial status were the most indepen- criticism for her worldliness. panic towns and were left intact.
dent women in colonial times; they were The only outsiders they saw were
free to make their own decisions, and priests and the infamously corrupt
they often ran the family businesses with tribute collectors. In areas where
great success. the Indians had dispersed and a
The mestizos (mehs-TEE-sohz), or demand arose for their labor in the
mixed-blood, sons of Spanish men mines, the Spanish rounded them
and Indian women, became adept at up and settled them in newly estab-
creating roles for themselves in a soci- lished Spanish-run towns, where
ety that had originally despised them clergy saw to their instruction in
as mongrels. They served as intermedi- the Catholic faith, and where they
aries and interpreters among the elites, were readily accessible for tribute
the Indians, and other categories of labor. Finally, the religious orders
mixed-blood peoples. Mestizos were collected the Indians in missions,
Private Collection/Bridgeman Art Library

excluded from the universities and where they received the rudiments
from positions in the church and the of religious indoctrination and
government. They could be soldiers were taught useful crafts. Treat-
but not ocers, artisans apprentices ment of the Indians in the missions
but not master craftsmen. Mestizos ranged from exploitative to benev-
might also be tenant farmers or haci- olent, but even in the best of cases,
enda managers. The mestizo gaucho they were legally classied as mi-
horsemen of the Argentine great plains nors and treated as children. Indi-
area found their niche as providers of ans were exempt from some taxes,
contraband cowhides and tallow. The and because they were viewed as
mixed-blood mamelucos of Brazil were children in the eyes of the Church,
intrepid explorers of the western fron- PAMPAS. The gaucho, usually a mixed-
they were beyond the reach of the
tiers, who sometimes raided the Jesuit blood mestizo, created a lifestyle that blended the Inquisition. The Jesuit missions in
missions to capture Indian slaves. cultures of Spanish and Native American horse- Paraguay and Brazil protected their
The fteen other categories of mixed- men. Gaucho contraband traders, frontiersmen, Indian charges from capture by
blood peoples were more severely re- and soldiers helped shape the history of the River ruthless mameluco slave-hunters
stricted than the mestizos and were not Plate region (todays Argentina and Uruguay). from Brazil.
From Conquest to Colonies in Hispanic America 381


Forced Labor and Debt Peonage Spanish royal ofcials described the plight of the Indians in
Peru, who not only paid the tribute tax, but also were condemned
in the Spanish Colonies to the serfdom of debt peonage; that is, perpetually working off
debts forced on them by their masters.
The luxurious lifestyle of the colonial elites was supported by the
labors of their inferiors in the social pyramid: Native Americans, On farming haciendas, an Indian subject . . . earns from fourteen
Africans, and mestizos. They toiled in the textile mills and on the to eighteen pesos a year. . . . In addition, the hacendado assigns
haciendas, where conditions (although wretched) were still pref- him a piece of land, about twenty to thirty yards square in size,
erable to working in the mines. to grow his food. In return the Indian must work three hundred
In the 1620s, a Spanish monk traveled through the Spanish days in the year, leaving him sixty-ve days of rest for Sundays,
colonies in the Americas, making careful observation of what he other church holidays, illness, or some accident that may pre-
witnessed, including the workings of Mexican textile mills and vent him from working. The mayordomo [foreman] of the ha-
how they got their labor. cienda keeps careful record of the days
worked by the Indian in order to settle ac-

Havana, Cuba/Index/Bridgeman Art Library

. . . To keep their [woolen] mills sup-
counts with him at the end of the year.

Museo Nacional Palacio de Bellas Artes,

plied with labor, they maintain indi-
From his wage the master deducts
viduals who are engaged and hired
the eight pesos of royal tribute that
to snare poor innocents; seeing some
the Indian must pay; assuming that the
Indian who is a stranger to the town,
Indian earns eighteen pesos, the most
with some trickery or pretense, such as
he can earn, he is left with ten pesos.
hiring him to carry something . . . and
From this amount the master deducts
paying him cash, they get him into the
2.25 pesos to pay for three yards of
mill; once inside, they drop the decep-
coarse cloth . . . [for] a cloak to cover
tion, and the poor fellow never again
his nakedness. He now has 7.75 pesos
gets outside that prison until he dies
SLAVE LABORERS ON A CUBAN SUGAR with which to feed and dress his wife
and they carry him out for burial.
C ANE P L ANTATION . Cubas colonial econ- and children, if he has a family, and
In this way they have gathered in and
omy, like Brazils, depended on African slaves to to pay the church fees demanded by
duped many married Indians with fami- work the sugar, tobacco, and cacao plantations.
the parish priest. But . . . since he can-
lies, who have passed into oblivion here
not raise on his little plot all the food
for 20 years, or longer, or their whole lives, without their wives
he needs for his family, he must get from the hacendado
and children knowing anything about them; for even if they
each month two bushels of maize, [at] more than double
want to get out, they cannot, thanks to the great watchfulness
the price if he could buy elsewhere, [an annual total of]
with which the doormen guard the exits. These Indians are
nine pesos, which is 1.75 pesos more than the Indian has
occupied in carding, spinning, weaving, and the other opera-
left. Thus the unhappy Indian, after working three hundred
tions of making cloth; and thus the owners make their prots
days of the year for his master and cultivating his little plot
by these unjust and unlawful means.
in his free time, and receiving only a coarse cloak and twelve
And although the Royal Council of the Indies, with the
bushels of maize, is in debt 1.75 pesos, and must continue
holy zeal which animates it in the service of God our Lord,
to work for his master the following year. . . . [T]he poor
of his Majesty, and of the Indians welfare, has tried to rem-
Indian . . . remains a slave all his life and, contrary to [all]
edy this evil . . . and the Viceroy of New Spain appoints mill
law . . . after his death his sons must continue to work to pay
inspectors to visit them and remedy such matters, neverthe-
the debt of their father.
less, since most of those who set out on such commissions
aim rather at their own enrichment, . . . than at the relief of Source: Jorge Juan and Antonio de Ulloa, Noticias secretas de Amrica (Madrid,
the Indians, and since the mill owners pay them well, they 1918), 2 vols., I, pp. 290292, as quoted in Benjamin Keen, ed., Latin American
Civilization, 4th ed. (Boulder and London: Westview Press, 1986), pp. 7576.
leave the wretched Indians in the same slavery; and even if
some of them are red with holy zeal to remedy such abuses
when they visit the mills, the mill owners keep places pro-
Analyze and Interpret
When enslavement of Amerindians became illegal and obsolete,
vided in the mills in which they hide the wretched Indians
debt peonage replaced the encomienda system. Was debt peonage
against their will, so that they do not see or nd them, and
an improvement on the encomienda? Explain your answer.
the poor fellows cannot complain against their wrongs.
Source: A. Vsquez de Espinosa, Compendium and Description of the West
Indies, trans. C. Clark (Washington, DC: Smithsonian, 1942).
382 C H A P T E R 28

The Indians throughout the colonies adopted Chris- of Indians devoutly praying at a saints altar in a baroque
tianity, identifying particularly with the consoling gure cathedral might well be paying homage to the Inca or Az-
of the Virgin Mary (similar to their earth goddesses) and tec deity hidden under the statues skirts. In the Caribbean
with the crucied Christ (whose suering paralleled their areas, the Africans equated Catholic saints to Orisha dei-
own traumatic conquest). To varying degrees, the Catholic ties, resulting in syncretic belief systems such as santera,
saints were blended with pre-Columbian deities. A group which is still practiced by most Cubans.

THE IBERIAN CONQUEST of Latin America was a clash of Many Europeans eventually settled there but remained
cultures that devastated the pre-Columbian civilizations but far outnumbered by the native Indians and the imported
set the stage for the creation of a new society that blended blacks. The church and government worked together to
contributions from Native Americans, Iberians, and later, create a society that imitated that of the mother coun-
Africans. As the conquerors and explorers became colonists, tries, while remaining different in many essentials. The
they replaced the Aztec and Inca masters at the top of the so- unique melding of Iberian with Indian and African cul-
cioeconomic ladder. The conquerors thirst for gold and elite tures proceeded at differing tempos in different places.
status could be quenched only with the labor of the Indians. After the flow of American bullion to the Old World ta-
Some progressive missionaries tried in vain to protect their pered off in the mid-seventeenth century, a long period
Indian charges in order to convert them humanely to Chris- of stagnation and neglect ensued. A century later, the
tianity. Unlike the Portuguese and other imperial powers, the Spanish Bourbons supervised an economic and politi-
Spanish monarchs grappled with the legal issues involved in cal revival in Latin America with mixed results. While
the enslavement of their Indian subjects. However, few ques- the economies of the colonies were stimulated, so was
tioned the morality of importing African slaves to the great resentment against continued foreign rule. By the early
plantation zones of Brazil and the Caribbean islands. 1800s, armed rebellion against the mother country was
The colonial experience in Latin America was quite imminent, inspired in part by the North American and
different from that in Asia, North America, or Africa. French models.

uIdentication Terms

Test your knowledge of this chapters key concepts by de- the end of the book, or working with the ashcards that
ning the following terms. If you cant recall the meaning are available on the World Civilizations Companion Web-
of certain terms, refresh your memory by looking up the site: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler
boldfaced term in the chapter, turning to the Glossary at

criollos encomienda haciendas mestizos

uTest Your Knowledge

Test your knowledge of this chapter by answering the fol- 2. Which of the following factors helped bring about the
lowing questions. Complete answers appear at the end rapid fall of both the Aztec and Inca empires?
of the book. You may nd even more quiz questions in a. The Indians thought Corts and Pizarro were
ThomsonNOW and on the World Civilizations Compan- devils.
ion Website: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler b. The conquistadores lost their Indian allies against
the emperors.
1. Which of following Spanish terms does not apply to c. The conquistadores bribed Moctezuma and Ata-
Hispanic American social or ethnic divisions? hualpa to betray their people.
a. Criollo d. The Indians had steel weapons capable of killing
b. Menudo an armored horseman.
c. Mestizo e. Masses of Indians died or were weakened by
d. Mameluco foreign diseases.
e. Mulatto
From Conquest to Colonies in Hispanic America 383

3. The following were introduced to the Americas by the 7. The only successful rebellion by slaves in the Western
Iberians: Hemisphere occurred in
a. turkeys and tobacco. a. Haiti.
b. chocolate and maize. b. Cuba.
c. cattle, sugar cane, and wheat. c. Colombia.
d. pyramids and potatoes. d. Brazil.
e. tomatoes and tortillas. e. Mexico.
4. Which of these were main features of the colonial 8. Which factor led to the discontent of the criollos with
system? colonial rule?
a. Viceroyalties and cabildos a. The consolidation of two viceroyalties into one
b. Democratic elections b. The peninsulares exclusion of criollos from the
c. Free trade among the viceroyalties upper echelons of government and society
d. The predominance of small farms owned by c. The expulsion of the Muslim Moors
mulattos d. The Monroe Doctrine
e. Separation of church and civil government e. The Black Legend
5. Of the following elements, which were important 9. Colonial Amerindians usually worked
goals of the Spanish in the New World? a. in the colonial government.
a. Gold and silver b. in mines, mills, and religious missions.
b. Religious conversion of the Amerindians c. as foremen on the haciendas.
c. Establishment of new industries d. for inated wages and comfortable retirements.
d. The Black Legend e. part-time as horsebreakers.
e. Both a and b 10. The colonial mestizos
6. One result of the Bourbon reforms was a. were exempt from taxation and the Inquisition.
a. decentralization of power and more autonomy for b. were never nomadic horsemen.
the colonies. c. served as links between the Indian and Spanish
b. vast improvements in the Indians quality of life. populations.
c. mercantilism and trade monopolies. d. were encouraged to attend university.
d. more ecient government and less corruption. e. could be military ocers.
e. mine closures and the breakup of huge haciendas.

u World History Resource Center

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Aztec Accounts of the Conquest of Mexico

Hernn Corts, Second Letter to Charles V
Worldview Four

Law and government based on class, but effect of reli- Economy continues to diversify, with strong capitalist
EU ROPE AN S gious wars makes them increasingly secular. Absolut- character, especially in Protestant nations. Urban mid-
ist monarchy the rule. Nobles and landlords rule free dle class prominent in business and commerce. Class
peasants in West, serfs in East. State and church still divisions and number of impoverished increase, with
intertwined; religious tolerance considered danger- serfdom common east of Elbe River. Machine industry
ous to public order by most governments. begins in later eighteenth century.

Government continues along traditional Quranic Complex trade further evolves among Muslim
WEST A S IAN S lines, and law follows Sharia. Ottomans bring Mus- countries as well as between them and non-
lim empire to apex in sixteenth century, but cannot Muslims. Slavery common, mainly from African
sustain momentum after 1700. Safavid Dynasty in sources. Wealth from gold mines in West Africa,
Persia has 200 years of glory but exhausts itself be- spices from East Asia, and carrying trade between
tween Ottoman and Mughal rivals. India/China and West.

Western presence not yet decisive but becoming Japan prospers and advances while maintaining sakoku
S OU TH AN D E A ST more apparent. Many South Pacic territories under isolation. China has last great age under Qing before suf-
Western administration since 1500s. Japan origi- fering humiliation from Europeans. Trade brings North
ASIAN S nally welcomes Westerners but then shuts itself off and South together. Mughul India still well-organized-
in sakoku. China continues as imperial dynasty rul- country, with much commerce with Southeast Asia and
ing through mandarin bureaucracy after Manzhou islands. Merchants and craftsmen multiply, but every-
replace Ming in 1600s. Indias north and center uni- where agrarian village is mainstay of economy.
ed under Mughals in Delhi, with Europeans begin-
ning to occupy coasts after 1700.

By the mid-1500s, Spain and Portugal establish Ibe- Mercantilism enforced until later 1700s, with colo-
AMERI CAN S rian law and viceroyalties from Mexico to Argentina. nial artisans and manufacturers obstructed by Ma-
Natives subordinated to minority of whites. Central- drid and London. Mining and plantation agriculture
ized colonial governments committed to mercantilist dominant large-scale economic activities in the
system and discouragement of autonomy. Reversal Latin colonies. Most in both North and South live in
of policies occurs in later 1700s. agrarian subsistence economy.

CROSS - CU LTUR AL Migrations and Population Changes Trade and Exchange Networks
Europe: European migration and widespread colo- Regional trade systems of the Old and New Worlds
CON N E CTIO N S nization of Western hemisphere; fewer Europeans tied into global network for rst time during era of Eu-
settle permanently in Asia and Africa. ropean discovery and exploration. However, Europe-
Asia: SW Asians migrate and settle Asian and African ans creation of overseas empires and imposition of
lands on Indian Ocean; Chinese merchants migrate mercantilist trading rights adumbrate full potential
to SE Asia; Indians settle E. African coast. of worldwide, free-market based system.
Africa: Africans taken as slaves to Brazil, Caribbean
Islands, New Spain, British colonies, Europe, India,
and Middle East. Dutch settle Cape Colony.
America: Pandemics destroy up to 90% of Native
Am. population; many cultures disappear. Ancestral
Puebloans continue migrations to upper Rio Grande
and Hopi Mesa.

Disequilibrium: The Western Encounter
with the Non-Western World, CE



Protestant Reform breaks Christian unity. Papal Renaissance continues in plastic arts; age of ba- Physical, math-based sciences ourish in scientic
church challenged, but regains some lost ground in roque architecture, sculpture, and painting in revolution of seventeenth century. Science replaces
seventeenth century. Churches become nationalis- Catholic Europe. Neoclassicism of eighteenth cen- scripture and tradition as source of truth for educated.
tic, and theology more narrowly dened. Skepticism tury led by France. Vernacular literature ourishes Technology more important. Improved agriculture
and secularism increase after 1700, leading to toler- in all countries. Western orchestral music begins. enables population explosion of eighteenth century.
ance by end of eighteenth century. Enlightenment Authors become professionals, and arts begin to be Beginnings of the Industrial Revolution in England.
dominates intellectual affairs after c. 1750. democratized.

Ulama and Islamic tradition resist evidence of Western High point of Islamic art forms under Ottoman, Safa- Sciences neglected; mental capital derived from
economic and technical advances and refute it on doc- vid, and Mughal aegis. Architecture, ceramics, minia- Greek and Persian sources exhausted. Technology
trinal grounds. Orthodoxy severely challenged in parts ture painting, and calligraphy particular strengths. also lags, with all ideas coming from West rejected. By
of empire (e.g., Su, Shia) and becomes defensive. Ex- the end of period, Westerners moving into preferred
pansion makes its last surge into Mughal India. posts in commerce of Ottoman and Mughal empires.

Religious beliefs undergo no changes from Bud- Superb paintings and drawings on porcelain, bam- Sciences throughout Asia behind Europe by end of
dhism (China, Japan, Southeast Asia); Hinduism boo, and silk created in China and Japan. Calligra- period. Exceptions in medicine and pharmacy. China
(most of India, parts of Southeast Asia); Islam (North phy major art form. Kabuki and No plays invented in adopts defensive seclusion from new ideas under
India, Afghanistan, East Indies); and Shinto (Japan). Japan, and novels in China. Poetry of nature admired. mandarins. Technology lags, as overpopulation be-
Christianity briey ourishes in Japan until sup- In India, Taj Mahal, frescoes, enamel work, and archi- gins to be problem at end of period, further reducing
pressed by Tokugawa shoguns in 1600s. tecture are high points. need for laborsaving devices.

Catholicism makes impression on Latin American In- Church in Latin America remains the sponsor of arts, Science and technology in Latin colonies dependent
dians, but religion remains mixed cult of pre-Christian but folk arts derived from pre-Columbian imagery on stagnant mother country and have no importance
and Christian beliefs, supervised by criollo priest- remain universal. Little domestic literature written, to masses. Enlightened monarchs of later 1700s make
hood and Spanish hierarchs. but secular Enlightenment makes inroads into edu- improvements, but these are temporary and partial.
cated class by mid-eighteenth century. In North America, Enlightenment nds acceptance.

Spread of Foods, Diseases, Technologies and Ideas

Europe: New World crops introduced to Europe; tobacco, potatoes, squashes, and maize have greatest impact. Bananas, yams, and coconuts introduced from Asia and
Asia: Some slaves exported to South Africa. Chinese migrations to regions of Southeast Asia. Some Southeast and South Asians convert to Christianity.
Africa: New World crops introduced, especially manioc and maize. Decline in population in regions of West Africa most heavily affected by the slave trade. Some states
destroyed and others thrive because of slave trade. Christianity introduced in some regions, but survives in few areas beyond sixteenth century. Islam continues advances
in West Africa.
America: New food crops brought from Old World: citrus fruits, beef, mutton, and spices. Wool textile weaving. European settlers and African slaves populate areas previ-
ously settled by Native Americans. New diseases imported from Europe and Africa. Christianity introduced and many Native Americans and Africans forced to convert.



Canada Russia
United States Japan
OCEAN Middle East China
Southeast OCEAN

West Asians Europeans AUSTRALIA

South and Africans

East Asians

Revolutions, Ideology,
and the New Imperialism,

FTER RISING SECULARISM had gradually industrial epoch in the ensuing century by stages. The
dampened the Europe-wide crisis generated initial Industrial Revolution was powered by steam and
by the Protestant challenge to the papal church, concentrated on a few basic commodity production pro-
the seventeenth century witnessed the rst cesses. Its immediate social repercussions were bitter for
wave of scientic revolutions that would the masses of poor laborers in the new towns but were grad-
mark modern times. For the rst time since the Greeks, the ually ameliorated (Chapter 32). However, the post-revolu-
West took the forefront in advances in knowledge about this tionary peace was disturbed by clashes between conservative
world and its natural phenomena (Chapter 29). monarchies and the rising forces of political liberalism,
The same curiosity and willingness to challenge ancient which culminated in the rebellions of 1848 in much of Eu-
authority that impelled the breakthroughs in natural sci- rope (Chapter 33). Advancing industrial development, now
ence were a bit later applied to the Science of Man, as the powered by the new energy sources of petroleum and elec-
eighteenth-century Enlightenment called it. The Enlight- tricity, helped bring about further democratization as well
enment was the project of an urban upper class deter- as a rising wave of Marxian socialism as the nineteenth cen-
mined to bring Reason and its child Wisdom to take their tury entered its nal quarter (Chapter 34).
rightful places in the halls of government as well as the school The short-term failure of most of the 1848 rebellions was
and home. Filled with a sense of sacred mission, the phi- caused largely by the new ethnically based nationalism that
losophes fought the intolerance and ignorance of the past, had arisen in many lands as an indirect result of the French
most especially the darkness surrounding the established Revolution. The situation was exacerbated by the cleft be-
church and absolutist throne. To some extent, such no- tween the bourgeois political liberals and the socially radi-
tions had contributed to the English civil wars of the sev- cal working classes, which came to light during the revolts.
enteenth century (Chapter 25), and in the 1770s they By the 1870s, this cleft was being bridged in the western,
stirred dissidents in Englands American colonies to rise democratizing states, although it was still quite wide in the
up against what they believed were an unrepresentative eastern and southern parts of Europe (Chapter 35).
government and a tyrannical monarchy (Chapter 30). Meanwhile, with the shift in the military balance of
What they desired in political and constitutional aairs power between the West and the East, Europe became in-
seemingly came to pass in the rst ush of the popular creasingly aggressive overseas. Islamic powers such as those
revolution in France, but the original reforms were soon of the Ottomans, the Safavids, and the Mughals were at a
overshadowed by a radical democracy and a dictatorship disadvantage for the rst time in dealing with the European
employing terror against all who opposed it. The Napole- powers. Chapter 36 examines the responses of the Islamic
onic empires aggressions conrmed the negative impres- peoples of the Near and Middle East to this changed situa-
sion gained by most observers outside France and also tion. Chapter 37 provides an overview of pre-colonial
strengthened the eventual victors resolve to limit and Africa through this period of transition. Chapters 38 and
control both political and social change (Chapter 31). 39 consider how the dramatic rise in European aggression
Following the pattern established in late-eighteenth- in late-nineteenth-century spilled over into Africa and
century Britain, the rest of western Europe entered the Asia and how Africans and Asians responded as Europeans
c. 15,000 End of the Last Ice Age
10,000 b.c.e.
now became their masters in a colonial era that lasted into century and had various eects on the European popular
c. 10,000 b.c.e. First evidence of
the mid-twentieth century.
agriculture in theThe Iberian colonies of Amer- consciousness (Chapter 41). The nineteenth centurys nave
ica and their struggle for independent existence are out-
Levantine Corridor faith in progress had a horrid demise in the catastrophic
lined in Chapter 40. World War I, with fateful impacts on both the West and the
c. 5000 b.c.e. Sumerians arrive in
The physicalMesopotamia
sciences and some of the social sciences also non-Western world (Chapter 42).
took imposing strides in the second half of the nineteenth
c. 3500 b.c.e. Cuneiform writing
c. 3000 b.c.e. Sumerian city-states
c. 2300 b.c.e. Sargon of Akkad
1700s b.c.e. Hammurabi/Oldest
surviving law code
c. 1500 b.c.e. Hittites conquer
c. 900 b.c.e. Rise of Assyria
539 b.c.e. Conquest by Persia
The Scientific

and its
If I have seen farther than others,
it is because I have stood on
the shoulders of giants.
Isaac Newton Aftermath

1543 Nicholas Copernicus, The Scientific Revolution of the

Revolution of the Seventeenth Century
Heavenly Bodies
Background of the Scientic Revolution
c. 1575c. 1650 Francis Bacon, Galileo
Galilei, Ren Descartes The Progress of Scientific Knowledge:
1687 Isaac Newton, Principia Copernicus to Newton
Mathematica, law of
gravitation Religion and Science in the
1690 John Locke, Essay Seventeenth Century
Concerning Human
The Science of Man
1730s1789 Enlightenment ourishes
1776 Adam Smith, Wealth The Enlightenment
of Nations Formative Figures and Basic Ideas The Philosophes and Their Ideals
Economic Thought: Adam Smith Educational Theory and the Popularization
1776 Thomas Jefferson,
Declaration of of Knowledge Ideals of the Enlightenment: Reason, Liberty, Happiness
Independence The Audience of the Philosophes

ERHAPS THE MOST FAR-REACHING of all the revolutions since
the introduction of agricultural life in the Neolithic Age was the
early modern eras change in educated peoples thinking about natu-
ral phenomena, their laws, and their relation to a presumed Creator.
This Scientic Revolution became fully evident in the work of the
eighteenth-century philosophes, but its major outlines were drawn earlier, when
the focus of European intellectual work gradually shifted away from theology to
the mathematical and empirical sciences. By the end of the eighteenth century,
it had proceeded so far among the educated classes that a new worldview was
taken for granted, one that seriously challenged the medieval conviction that an
omniscient God ordained and guided the natural processes, including the life
and eternal fate of mankind. While the consolidation of royal absolutism
seemed to be rigorously proceeding in most of Europe during the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries, the sciences successfully undermined traditional the-
ologys claims and by so doing countered the royal thrones aspirations to be
taken as Gods chosen representative on earth.

The Scientific Revolution

of the Seventeenth Century
So great were the achievements during this epoch that one of the outstanding
modern philosophers has said that the two centuries [that followed] have

390 C H A P T E R 29

been living upon the accumulated capital of ideas pro- became the normal fashion of proceeding in all of the
vided for them by the genius of the seventeenth century. sciences.
The natural sciencesthat is, those based primarily on
observed phenomena of natureexperienced a huge up- Background of the Scientic Revolution
swing in importance and accuracy. A new style of exam-
ining phenomena, the scientic method, came into Why did the spectacular advances in natural science oc-
common usage. It was composed of two elements: care- cur in the seventeenth century rather than earlier or
ful observation and systematic experimentation based later? There is no single answer to this question. As with
on that observation. Interpretation of the results of the most important changes in the status quo of human
experiments, largely relying on mathematical measure- knowledge, several factors both material and immaterial
ment, was then employed to achieve new and veried came together at that time to encourage more rapid
knowledge. progress than before, but this is not to say that no prog-
The most signicant advances in the sciences came from ress had been under way previously. It is now accepted
posing new types of questions rather than from collecting that the old view of medieval science as a laughable col-
new facts. Dierent questions led directly to novel avenues lection of superstitions and crackpot experiments is quite
of investigation, and those led to new data being observed wrong. The medieval universities harbored many people
and experimented with. For example, Ren Descartes who seriously undertook to widen the horizons of knowl-
(reh-NAY day-CART; 15961650), one of the founders of edge and had some success in doing so. The long search
the mathematical style of investigation, wished to take for magical elements to convert base metal into gold, as
humanity to a higher plane of perfection than ever yet an important instance, did much to found the science of
achieved. To do so, he separated the material from the non- chemistry.
material universe completely, insisting that the material The real problem of medieval and Renaissance science
world could be comprehended by mathematical formulas seems to have been not its superstitions but its exagger-
that existed entirely apart from the human mind. If that ated reliance on authority, rather than evidence. The great
was so, knowledge of these broad laws of number and Greek philosophers of scienceAristotle, Ptolemy, Galen,
quantity could provide explanationshitherto lackingof Eratosthenes, and Archimedeswere held in excessive
observed phenomena. The proper way to understand the reverence as the givers of nal truth. The weakening of this
material world, then, was to formulate broad generaliza- reverence, or perhaps intimidation by the ancients, made
tions of a quantitative nature and employ them to explain possible the breakthroughs of the sixteenth and seven-
specic events or processes. This approach, in which one teenth centuries.
went from a general law to a particular example of that Stimulated and aided by the reports of the explorers and
law observed by the human mind, was called deductive voyagers in the New World, scholars accumulated a mass
reasoning. of evidence about nature and geography that both ampli-
Another method of accumulating knowledge about ed and contradicted some of what the traditional authori-
the natural world was exemplied in the writings of the ties had taught. Such evidence could be ignored only at the
Englishman Francis Bacon (15611626). Bacon insisted risk of retarding the power and wealth of the whole explor-
that contrary to traditional belief, most ideas and princi- ing society. Still more important, perhaps, was the rapid
ples that explain nature had not yet been discovered or advance in the mathematical capabilities of Europeans. At
developed but lay buried, like so many gems under the the beginning of the sixteenth century, European math was
earth, awaiting discovery. Like Descartes, he looked for- still at the same level as in the seventh century. Only with
ward to a better, more completely understood world, but the recovery of the Greek and Hellenistic mathematical
this world was to be created through persistent and careful works could it advance into new areas: logarithms, calcu-
observation of phenomena without any preconceived laws lus, and decimals. By the mid-seventeenth century, math
or general explanations of them, a process that became had become as much a device for theoretical exploration as
known as inductive reasoning. for counting.
Bacon was not methodical in his science or his reason- Another mass of data that partly contradicted what
ing. His close association with the concept of inductive the Greeks had believed was the product of new instru-
reasoning is perhaps not really deserved, but his writings ments. The new math made possible analyses of the
did encourage later scientists to practice the empirical physical world that had never before been attempted.
method of gathering data and then forming generaliza- Instruments of all sorts (sensitive scales, pressure gauges,
tions. Empirical means the evidence obtained by observa- microscopes, telescopes, thermometers, chronometers)
tion through the ve senses, which is then worked up into came along one after the other to assist in this analysis.
varying hypotheses (assumptions) that may be subjected It was now possible to measure, weigh, divide, and syn-
to experiment. This style of assembling and verifying thesize the world in ways that explained the previously
knowledge blossomed in the seventeenth century and later inexplicable.
The Scientic Revolution and its Enlightened Aftermath 391

The Progress of Scientific sun centered and that the Earth was a relatively small,
insignicant planet in a huge solar system. Not only did
Knowledge: Copernicus Galileos astronomy force clerical authorities to a re-
to Newton consideration of the condemned theory of Copernicus,
but his physics contributed to the nal overthrow of Aris-
The rediscovery of the Greco-Roman scientic treatises by totles long reign as master physicist. Through his work
the Renaissance scholars (often working from Arabic with falling bodies and the laws of motion, Galileo came
translations of the Greek and Latin originals) stimulated close to discovering the fundamental law of all nature:
curiosity while providing a series of new insights into the the law of gravity.
makeup of the natural worldinsights that contradicted When Galileo died in 1642, the whole traditional view
the conventional wisdom of the day. This progress was of the physical universe as an impenetrable mystery
sharply interrupted by the wars of religion in the sixteenth created by God for his own reasons and not responsive to
century, when the focus shifted away from science to human inquirieswas beginning to come apart. The limit-
clashing theologies. Only with the exhaustion of those ing horizons that had been in place for many centuries were
religious antipathies after the Thirty Years War did scien- steadily receding as the seventeenth century progressed.
tic endeavors once again take a primordial position in What was still needed was some overarching explanation
educated mens aairs. of the physical world order, which was now being revealed
Our emphasis on seventeenth-century events does not as though through a semitransparent curtain.
mean that modern science commenced then. The ac- The genius of Isaac Newton (16421727) put the cap-
knowledged breakthrough advance in empirical knowl- stone of the new science in place. While still a student at
edge of the natural world came a century earlier with the Cambridge University, he theorized that there must be a
Revolution of the Heavenly Bodies, the pioneering treatise master key to the edice of the universe. In the century
on astronomy by the Polish scholar Nicholas Copernicus and a quarter since Copernicus, a great deal had been dis-
(14731543). Copernicus cast severe doubt on the tradi- covered or strongly indicated about the laws of nature.
tional and generally accepted theory of an Earth-centered Still lacking, however, was a universally applicable expla-
(geocentric) universe, which he criticized as unnaturally nation of the most basic property of matter: motion.
complex and dicult to understand. Copernicuss obser- In the 1660s, Newton occupied himself with the study
vations led him to conclude that the Earth revolved around of physics. At that time he evolved his deceptively simple
a xed sun, a belief rst advanced by Hellenistic Greek as- looking theorem, the most famous in the history of the
tronomers. A cautious and devout Catholic, Copernicus world: E = M 2/D2. This was the formula of the law of gravi-
published his conclusions only in the year of his death. The tation, although it yet lacked mathematical proof. After
church ignored his theory at rst, although both Luther many more years of research, Newton published his con-
and Calvin ridiculed it, but when heliocentrism began to clusions and their proofs in the Principia Mathematica in
win adherents in large numbers, both Rome and the Prot- 1687. The Principia was the most inuential book on sci-
estants ocially condemned it as contrary to both Scrip- ence in the seventeenth century and was soon known from
ture and common sense. one end of educated Europe to the other. (See the Science
Two astronomer-mathematicians who emerged a gen- and Technology box for more on Newton.)
eration after Copernicus also deserve our attention. The Newton proposed a new universe. The physical cosmos
rst was an eccentric Dane, Tycho Brahe (15461601), was a sort of gigantic clockwork in which every part played
who spent much of his life taking endless, precise mea- a particular role and every movement and change was
surements of the cosmic rotation of the visible planets. explained by the operation of law. It was humans proud
Using these data, Tychos student, the German Johannes duty and privilege to identify those laws and in so doing to
Kepler (15711630), went on to formulate the three laws penetrate to the heart of the God-created universe.
of celestial mechanics, which showed that the heavenly
bodies moved in great ellipses (ovals) around the sun,
rather than in the perfect circles that had been believed
necessary as the handiwork of a perfect Creator. This in- Religion and Science in
sight explained what had been previously inexplicable and the Seventeenth Century
made Copernicuss proposals still more persuasive.
In the early 1600s, an Italian professor at Pisa named How did the ocial churches react to this challenge to tra-
Galileo Galilei (15641642) used his improvement of the dition? Both Catholic and Protestant preachers felt that
telescope to rewrite the rules of cosmology as handed relegating the Earth to a secondary, dependent position in
down from the ancients. His discoveries strongly sup- the universe was at least an implied rejection of Holy
ported Copernicuss suppositions that the universe was Scripture (the Old Testament story about the sun standing
392 C H A P T E R 29


Isaac Newton (16421727)

The man many consider to be the most distinguished scientist of

Acadmie des Sciences, Paris, France/Lauros-Giraudon/Bridgeman Art Library

all history, Sir Isaac Newton, was born on Christmas Day, 1642, in
Lancashire, England. Best recognized as the discoverer of the law
of gravity, Newton was equally famed for his work in optics,
higher mathematics, and physics in his own day. He was a distinct
exception to the rule that pioneers are not appreciated; his career
as both a Cambridge professor and government ofcial under
William and Mary was brilliant and adequately rewarded.
Although his father was a farmer with little property, Newton re-
ceived an exceptional education. He completed studies at the local
grammar school near his home village, with the aid and encourage-
ment of the Anglican vicar, who was a graduate of Cambridge. With
this gentlemans recommendation, Isaac won a scholarship to the
university in 1661, graduating in 1665 with what would now be
called a major in natural science. He wished to go on for the M.A.
degree at once, but an outbreak of plague forced the university
to close in both 1666 and 1667, and Newton returned home.
During these years, his great, groundbreaking work on gravity
was basically outlined. The notion that all physical being was, so
to speak, tied together by a single principlethat of gravity
took shape in the twenty-ve-year-olds long studies at his family ISAAC N E WTON
home in Woolsthorpe. Newton gradually rened and expanded
his theory when he returned to Cambridge, rst as an M.A. candi-
date, then as a professor in 1669. He held this post until his honor-
have. In 1703, he was elected president of the Royal Society, the
lled retirement in 1701.
premier scientic post in England, and was reelected every year
Although Newton apparently regarded gravitation as a fact as
thereafter until his death. The queen knighted Sir Isaac in 1705
early as the 1660s, he hesitated in publishing his work until 1687.
for services to his country as well as to the realm of science.
In that year, his Principia Mathematica, or Mathematical Princi-
Newton died at eighty-ve years of age, heaped with honors and
ples of Natural Philosophy, was nally published in London and
substantial wealth. On his deathbed he is supposed to have said,
soon afterward in most of the capitals of Europe. Rarely has a
If I have seen farther than others, it is because I have stood on
scientic book been hailed so universally as a work of genius. At
the shoulders of giants. After a state funeral, he was buried in
the same time, Newton was bringing out fundamentally impor-
Westminster Abbey.
tant work on the spectrum, proving that light was composed of
The famous story of the falling apple just may be true; no one
colored particles. Newton is also generally credited with being
will ever know.
the co-discoverer of calculus, along with his rival Gottfried Leib-
niz. The two men were working independently, and their quarrel
Analyze and Interpret
over who was rst became one of the Scientic Revolutions less
Contrast the fashion in which Newton gave his formula on gravi-
appetizing anecdotes.
tation to the world and the way such an announcement might be
In his later years, Newtons dedication to Old Testament stud-
made today by modern scientists. Why do you think he chose to
ies and theology surpassed his scientic interests. Newton was a
use Latin as his vehicle, so late in the 1680s?
master of Greek and Hebrew and spent much energy on his
researches into the Old Testament prophecies.
Highly placed friends secured his appointment as warden of You can read some of Isaac Newtons Principia
the royal mint in 1696, a lucrative post that Newton was grateful to at the Wadsworth World History Resource Center.
The Scientic Revolution and its Enlightened Aftermath 393

still at the battle of Jericho, for example). It also down- (Thoughts) to calm a troubled mind and produced a work
graded the jewel of Gods creation, human beings, who that has been considered one of the greatest of Christian
lived on this inferior Earth and were presumably limited to consolations ever since. The fact that Pascal was highly
it. The Catholic Galileo was threatened with imprison- suspect to the French clerical establishment only added to
ment if he did not retract parts of what he had published his later fame.
in one of his books on science. He spent his nal years
under house arrest by order of the pope.
Were these condemnations justied? Most of the
seventeenth-century scientists considered themselves good The Science of Man
Christians and made no attempt to rule a divine being out
Until modern times, the natural sciences were regarded as a
of the universe. A devout Anglican, Newton spent most of
branch of philosophy rather than a separate intellectual disci-
his later life embarked on religious speculations and
pline, but as a branch of philosophy they had obtained some
obscure theological inquiries. Descartes, like Copernicus
respectability. Already in the Renaissance, math and physics
before him, was a Catholic who saw no conict between
began to establish a place in the university curriculum. Their
what he taught about the nature of the material world and
prestige was still relatively low, and they could not rival medi-
what he believed about the spiritual one. Quite to the con-
cine, law, or theology in attracting students, but they did
trary, Descartes believed that his speculations only pointed
begin to form their own rules of evidence and analysis.
more clearly to the existence of a divine intelligence in the
universe. As the mathematics-based sciences came to be accepted
as the sources of much previously unknown truth, the
Most ordinary people were unmoved by the revelations
previous relation between natural science and philosophy
of science. The peasants never heard of them, and even
underwent a gradual but decisive reversal. Philosophy,
urban dwellers were ignorant of them except for the privi-
which had been the more inclusive term, encompassing sci-
leged few whose education went beyond the three Rs. The
ence, now became for many people a branch of science, and
fourth R, religion, generally retained the strong grip on
a somewhat dubious one at that. Insomuch as an object of
the daily lives and beliefs of common folk that it had al-
thought could not be measured and weighed, it ceased to be
ways had.
worthy of close attention. Such individuals held that only
But the churchs truth, resting as it did on revelation
what could be determined in its existence by the tools of
rather than empirical data, was being challengedat rst
science was reachable by the power of reason and useful to
only tangentially, but later more confrontationallyby the
humans. They did not deny that other phenomena that were
truth of science. And sciences truth had potent appeal for
not measurable and not reachable by reason existed, but
men and women who were weary of the strife of theolo-
they insisted that these phenomena should have only a sec-
gians and the claims of priests and pastors. Sciences truth
ondary place in the hierarchy of human values.
had no axes to grind for one party or another. It was not
Among those phenomena, of course, were religious
linked to politics or to a social groups advantage or dis-
belief, artistic creativity, wonder, imagination, ethics, and
advantage. It was self-evident and could sometimes be
political theory, to mention only a few. None of these could
used to benet the ordinary person; for example, through
be measured, and none could be brought under uniform
its conversion to new technology (although the connec-
and predictable laws. Or could they? A body of thought
tions between science and technology were as yet almost
gradually arose that said these phenomena, too, might be
entirely undeveloped).
subject to law, analyzable through mathematical computa-
Increasingly, educated people were beginning to won- tions, and comprehensible in the same way as physics. The
der whether it was more useful to know whether the Holy Science of Man, not man as an anatomical construct or an
Eucharist should be given in two forms than to know how example of biological systems but as a thinker, political
digestion takes place in the stomach or some similar as- actor, and artist, began to form. By the early eighteenth
pect of the new physical science. Science came to be seen century, this sciencewhich we now call social science
as an alternative to theology in nding useful knowledge was competing with physical science for the attention of
and applying it to societys multiple problems. the educated classes.
In this regard, two of the most important thinkers of
the seventeenth century were the agnostic Dutch Jew
Baruch Spinoza and the pious Catholic Frenchman Blaise
Pascal. Spinoza was a great questioner, who after leaving The Enlightenment
Judaism nally found some measure of peace by perceiv-
ing his God in all creationpantheism. His rejection of a Eighteenth-century intellectual leaders saw no reason why
personal deity earned him a great deal of trouble, but his what had been done in the natural sciences could not be
thought inuenced generations. Pascal wrote his Penses attempted in the social sciences. They wanted to put history,
394 C H A P T E R 29

politics, jurisprudence, and economics under the same logi- human nature is dynamic and unxed; it has been in the
cal lenses that had been applied to math and physics. Spurred past and will be in the future formed by external experi-
on by such hopes, the Enlightenment was born. ence, and this experience is capable of being controlled.
Above all, the eighteenth century in western Europe Thus, humans are not condemned to repeat endlessly
was distinguished from what had come before by the atti- the sin of Adam and the mistakes of the past. They can and
tudes that educated persons exhibited in the aairs of ev- must take charge of their destiny; they can perfect them-
eryday life: the atmosphere of their mental life. Two key selves. More than anything else, this faith in perfectibility
characteristics assert themselves again and again: opti- is the distinguishing innovation of the Enlightenment. For
mism and rationality. Here optimism refers to the belief the previous seventeen centuries, the Christian idea of
that change is possible and controllable in society at large, guilt from the sin of Adam as an insuperable barrier to hu-
while rationality refers to the idea that the universe and all man perfection had been the foundation stone of Western
creatures within it, especially humans, are comprehensi- moral philosophy. Now, the eighteenth century proposed
ble, predictable, and lawful. The commitment to a rational to move the house o this foundation and erect it anew.
view of the universe usually embraced a similar commit- Progress, both moral and physical, was reachable and real.
ment to secularismthat is, a downgrading or outright The study of history showed how far humans had come
rejection of the importance of supernatural religion. The and how far they still had to go. The past was lled with
Enlightenment preferred to see humanity as capable of error and blindness, but it could bemust belearned
creating its own moral code for its own benet and in from, so that it could light the way to a better future.
accord with the precepts of a rational mind. The reformers believed that those who proted from
How did this translate to concrete activity? The ways ignorance and prejudice controlled religious belief, and
of viewing the physical world that math and physics had used it as a tool everywhere to obscure the truth. They
introduced were now appliedor an attempt was made to took an especially harsh view of the Roman Catholic clergy.
apply themto the worlds social, political, and moral as- Where the church had obtained a monopolistic position
pects. If physicists could measure the weight of the Earths in the state and was the ocial church, the reformers
atmosphere (and they now could), then why couldnt his- believed that inevitable corruption had made it a parasite
torians isolate the exact causes of cultural retardation and that should be cast o as soon as possible and replaced
determine how to avoid them in the future? Why couldnt with freedom of conscience and worship.
criminologists build a model prison and establish a regime In the reformers view, education was the salvation of
there that would turn out completely rehabilitated prison- humankind. It should be promoted at every opportunity
ers? Why couldnt political scientists calibrate various everywhere. Insofar as people were educated, they were
methods of selecting public ocials to ensure that only good. The fully educated would be unerring seekers of the
the best were elected? best that life held, defenders of the helpless, teachers of
the misguided, and the liberators of the oppressed.
Formative Figures and Basic Ideas
The Philosophes and Their Ideals
Although the movement was a truly international one, the
two outstanding progenitors of the Enlightenments ideals The Enlightenment was a view of life, a philosophy, and
were the Englishmen Isaac Newton and John Locke. As we that meant it must have its philosophers. Generically
have already seen, Newton was the greatest scientic mind known by the French term philosophes, they included
of his age, and Locke was the leading mapper of the politi- men and women of both thought and action, scientists
cal path that England embarked on with the Glorious and philosophers, who were committed to the cause of
Revolution of 1688 (see Chapter 25). reform. Despite their often intense personal dierences,
Newtons greatest contribution to sciencerelated to they were united in their desire for progress, by which they
but even more important than the law of gravitywas his meant controlled changes.
insistence on rational, lawful principles in all operations of Several of the outstanding philosophes were French.
physical nature. He rejected supernatural causes as an ex- Paris, and secondarily London, was the Center of the En-
planation of the natural world. Because nature is rational, lightenments activities (it was a decidedly urban phenom-
human society as part of nature should be rational in its enon), but the philosophes kept in frequent touch with
organization and function. one another through a network of clubs and correspon-
Locke was as much a psychologist as a political scien- dents that covered the map of Europe (see Map 29.1). They
tist; he set forth his view of the mind in the immensely included the Frenchmen Voltaire (Vohl-TAYR: Franois-
inuential Essay Concerning Human Understanding Marie Arouet), Baron Montesquieu (MAHN-tehs-kyoo),
(1690). Here he said that the mind is a blank page until ex- Denis Diderot (DEE-deh-roh), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau
perience and environment write on it and mold it. Thus, (Roo-SOH); the English and Scots David Hume, Adam
The Scientic Revolution and its Enlightened Aftermath 395

Smith, Samuel Johnson, William Godwin, and Mary Woll- British example came closest to perfection in that line (he
stonecraft; the Germans Josef von Sonnenfels, Gotthold did not really understand the British system, however),
Lessing, and August Ludwig von Schlozer; and the Italians and his ideas strongly inuenced the makers of both
Lodovico Muratori and Cesare Beccaria; but the list could the U.S. and the French revolutions and their ensuing
be made as long as one wants. The Americans Thomas constitutions.
Jeerson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams belong as The constitutional limitation of monarchic power was
well. The Enlightenment had no territorial boundaries, considered an absolute essential of decent government. The
although it was much narrower and shallower in eastern brilliant Voltaire (16941778), in particular, led the charge
Europe than in the West and had much less impact on here, because he had a good deal of personal experience
the public conduct of government. (See the Science and with royal persecution in his native France before becom-
Technology box for more on Franklin.) ing such a celebrity that kings desired his witty company.
Chronologically, the earliest evidence of enlightened ac- He, too, admired the British system of ensuring civil rights
tivity in organized fashion dates from the 1730s. The period and condemned the French lack of such safeguards.
of most active endeavor ended with the French Revolutions The philosophes also agreed that freedom of conscience
political crises. The high point was in the 1770s and 1780s, must be ensured at least for all varieties of Christians, if not
when various governments from North America to Russia Jews and atheists as well. Established or tax-supported
experimented with, gave lip service to, or fully adopted one churches should be abolished, and no one faith or sect
after another of the favored ideas of the philosophes. should be equipped with governmental powers (as was the
Beyond the commitment to reform, it is dicult to nd case in all European countries at this time).
a common denominator in these ideas because the philos- All persons should enjoy a fundamental equality before
ophes themselves are dicult to categorize. Some of them the law. The philosophes saw this as a basic right that no
were the rst public atheists, but most were at least out- government could take away or diminish. In line with this
ward Christians, and some were pious clergymen. Mura- principle, punishments were to be blind to class distinc-
tori, for example, was a priest. Most believed constitutional tions among criminals; the baron would be whipped just
monarchy was the best form of government, whereas like the peasant. Meanwhile, those who had talent should
others were uncompromising republicans. have increased possibilities for upward mobility. This did
In the physical sciences, some believed unreservedly in not mean that the philosophes were democrats; almost
the Baconian procedure of going to the sense-perceptible all of them agreed that humans, being dierently gifted,
data (empirical science), others doubted all knowledge should denitely not have equal social and political rights.
that was not reducible to mathematics, and still others The philosophes were convinced that the cause of most
classied quantiable knowledge as inherently inferior. misery was ignorance, not evil intentions or sin. They were
Some were hopeful of gradual improvement in human thus picking up a thread that had been running through
aairs (ameliorationism); others were convinced that the fabric of Western intellectual discussion since the
nothing important could be accomplished without radical, Renaissance: that the main causes of mans inhumanity to
even revolutionary changes in society. man were to be found in ignorance and that in a good
The philosophes did not hesitate to argue with one an- society, such ignorance would not be tolerated. This view
other as well as with their conservative opponents. Much led the philosophes to call for state-supervised, mandatory
of the literature of the later eighteenth century consists of education through the elementary grades as perhaps the
pamphlets and newspapers arguing one or another favor- most important practical reform for the general benet.
ite idea. In a society where literacy levels made wide distri- Most philosophes viewed the abolition of most forms of
bution of printed matter a paying proposition for the rst censorship as a positive step toward the free society they
time, the philosophes fully used the available channels to wished to see realized. Just where the lines should be
get their various messages into the public domain. drawn was a topic of debate, however; some of them would
permit direct attacks on Christianity or any religion, for
Common Goals. Although they diered on specics, instance, whereas others would not.
most of the philosophes agreed on many general points. In In addition to censorship, the philosophes did not agree
political theory, they universally acclaimed the idea of a on several other broad areas of public aairs. Some would
balance of governmental powers between executive and have abolished the barriers to social equality, so that, for ex-
legislature, as presented in Baron Montesquieus famous ample, all government posts would be open to commoners;
Spirit of the Laws (1748), perhaps the most inuential of others feared that this would guarantee the rule of the mob.
a century of inuential books on government. In it, the A few, such as the Marquis de Lafayette (Lah-fah-YEHT)
French aristocrat argued for the careful division of powers and the North Americans, became republicans; most thought
to prevent any one branch from becoming too strong and that monarchy was a natural and necessary arrangement
dictatorial. He thought that of current governments, the for the good of all.
396 C H A P T E R 29


Franklin as Scientist
Ben Franklin is better known to Americans as a political activist
and philosopher, but he is equally entitled to be in the front
rank of those who created the Enlightenments views of science.
His work in isolating and controlling electricity was fundamen-
tal, and his interest in the subject was, as almost always with
him, closely tied to the practical applications it might contain.
But to ascertain those applications, certain experiments were
Franklin spoke of electricity as fire, but this fire, he thought,
was the result of a disturbance between the equilibrium of the
positive and the negative fiery fluids that he conceived
electricity to be. All bodies, in his view, contained such electri-
cal fluid: a plus body, containing more than its normal
amount, is positively electrified and tends to discharge its sur-
plus into a body containing a normal amount or less; a minus

The Granger Collection, New York

body, containing less than a normal amount, is negatively elec-
trified and will draw electricity from a body containing a
normal amount or more.
His work with lightning rods to protect buildings from such
electrical discharges was at rst rejected as visionary by the
Royal Society in London but was soon validated: Two French sci-
entists, de Lor and dAlibard, tested Franklins theory by erecting
a pointed iron rod fty feet high; they instructed a guard to touch
the rod with an insulated brass wire if, in their absence, thunder
clouds should pass overhead. The clouds came, the guard FRAN KLIN AT H IS L AB ORATORY. This nineteenth-century
French engraving shows the American diplomat-scientist investi-
touched the rod not only with wire but also with his hands, sparks
gating the attraction and repulsion of electrical ions. Franklin was
ew and crackled, and the guard was severely shocked. De Lor convinced that someday electricity could be rendered useful to
and dAlibard conrmed the guards report by further tests and humankind.
informed the Acadmie des Sciences that: Franklins idea is no
longer a conjecture, but reality.
Franklin, however, was not satised; he wished to make the
identity of lightning and electricity evident by extracting light- electric re thus obtained spirits may be kindled, and all
ning with something sent up into the storm cloud. In June 1752, as other electric experiments performed . . . and therefore the
a thunderstorm began, he sent up on strong twine a kite made of sameness of the electrical matter with that of lightning
silk; a sharply pointed wire projected some twelve inches from completely demonstrated.
the top of the kite to act as a lightning attractor; and at the ob-
servers end of the twine, a key was fastened with a silk ribbon. In
sending to England directions for repeating the experiment, Analyze and Interpret
Franklin indicated the results: Why do you think it generally took a century or more to convert
knowledge of science into technology that was useful to humans,
When the rain has wet the kite twine so that it can con-
before our own days?
duct the electric re freely, you will nd it stream out plen-
tifully from the key at the approach of your knuckle, and Source: W. and A. Durant, The Story of Civilization (New York: Simon & Schuster,
with this key a phial [Leiden jar] may be charged, and from 1965), vol. 9, p. 520.
The Scientic Revolution and its Enlightened Aftermath 397

Arctic Ocean
Important universities
Publication of scientific
or philosophical journals
Location of royal
academies of science

Uppsala St. Petersburg


Glasgow Sea
Cambridge El
Amsterdam be V i st
ula R
Oxford Riv Berlin

iv e
London Leiden Gttingen er

Halle Leipzig
Heidelberg i ep
Cracow er R
Paris Dresden Prague iv er
Strasbourg Vienna

Atlantic Venice

Turin Dan

Ocean Bologna

Pisa Florence
River Black
ro Rome
R. Corsica

r ic I
B a lea
Mediterranean Sicily

0 300 600 900 Kilometers

0 300 600 Miles

MAP 29 .1 Centers of the Enlightenment, c. 1750

The absence of Enlightenment centers in Turkish- MAP QU E STION S

controlled Southeast Europe and their paucity east Why were cities the places most likely to be receptive
of the Elbe and south of the Pyrenees were decisive to new ideas?
influences on the futures of these regions in the
ensuing century. Focused on cities and academies,
the Enlightened society was the spearhead of later
social and political innovation.

Economic Thought: Adam Smith published in 1776 and soon became a European best seller
in several languages, Smith put forth the gospel of free
The outstanding gure in eighteenth-century economic trade and free markets. Smith is often described as saying
thought was undoubtedly the Scotsman Adam Smith that the smaller the governments role in the national
(17231790). In his Wealth of Nations, which was economy, the better, and that a free market could solve all
398 C H A P T E R 29

economic problems to the benet of all. Laissez-faire (Let (17511765) against enormous odds. Contributors to the
them do what they will) was supposedly his trademark, Encyclopdie (the rst of its kind) included the outstand-
but this is oversimplication of Smiths ideas. In reality, he ing intellectuals of Europe. The philosophical articles
acknowledged that government intervention in one form were often controversial, and their slant was always in
or another was necessary for societys well-being in many the direction favored by the more liberal philosophes.
instances. (Not the least valuable part of the enterprise were the nu-
Smith is, however, rightly credited with being the father merous volumes of illustrations, which are the greatest
of free enterprise as that term is used in the modern West. single source of information on early technology.) The
In The Wealth of Nations, he laid out in persuasive detail expensive Encyclopdie (AHN-suh-cloh-pay-dee) sold
his conviction that an unseen hand operated through a more than 15,000 copies, a huge number for the day, and
free market in goods and services to bring the ultimate was found on personal library shelves from one end of
consumers what they needed and wanted at prices they Europe to the other, as well as in the Americas and
were willing to pay. Smith criticized mercantilism, the rul- Russia.
ing economic wisdom of his time, for operating to the dis-
advantage of most consumers. As in so many other instances, Ideals of the Enlightenment: Reason,
his doctrines followed the Enlightenments underlying Liberty, Happiness
conviction that the sum of abundant individual liberties
must be collective well-being. Whether this is true, seen Reason was the key word in every philosophical treatise
from the perspective of the twenty-rst century, is debat- and every political tract of the Enlightenment. What was
able; to the eighteenth-century reformers, it was a matter reasonable was good; what was good was reasonable. The
of faith. philosophes took for granted that the reasoning faculty
was humans highest gift and that its exercise would,
Educational Theory and the sooner or later, guarantee a decent and just society on
Popularization of Knowledge Earth.
Liberty was the birthright of all, but it was often stolen
One of the least orthodox of the philosophes, Jean-Jacques away by kings and their agents. Liberty meant the personal
Rousseau (17121778), was the most inuential of all in freedom to do and say anything that did not harm the
the vitally important eld of pedagogy and educational rights of another person or institution or threaten the
philosophy. Rousseau was a maverick in believing that welfare of society.
children can and must follow their inherent interests in a Happiness was another birthright of all humans. They
proper education and that the teacher should use those should not have to defer happiness until a problematic
interests to steer the child in the wished-for directions. eternity; it should be accessible here and now. In a reason-
Rousseau had little following in his own lifetime, but his able, natural world, ordinary men and women would be
ideas strongly inuenced some of the revolutionary lead- able to engage in what one of the outstanding philosophes
ers a few years later and gained more adherents in the called the pursuit of happiness (Thomas Jeerson in the
nineteenth century. He is now regarded as the founder of Declaration of Independence).
modern pedagogical theory and, along with Smith, is All of the ideals of the philosophes owed together
probably the most important of the philosophes to the in the concept of progress. For the rst time in European
present age. history, the belief that humans were engaged in an
In the mid-eighteenth century, Europeans were able to ultimately successful search for a new state of being here
prot for the rst time from the popularization of science on Earth crystallized among a large group. The condence
and intellectual discourse that had come about through and energy that were once directed to the attainment
the Scientic Revolution. The upper classes developed a of heaven were now transferred to the improvement of
passion for collecting, ordering, and indexing knowledge earthly life. Progress was inevitable, and it was the individ-
about the natural world and humans relations with it and uals proud task to assist in its coming.
with each other. The century also saw the initial attempts
to make science comprehensible and accessible to the The Audience of the Philosophes
The most noted of these was the immensely successful How thoroughly did the Enlightenment penetrate Euro-
French Encyclopdie, which contained thirty-ve vol- pean society? It was not by any means a mass movement.
umes and thousands of individual articles on literally ev- Its advocates, both male and female, were most at home
ery thing under the sun. Its general editor was Denis amid the high culture of the urban elite. (See the Society
Diderot (17131784), assisted by Jean dAlembert (dah- and Economy box on Mary Wollstonecraft.) There were
lehm-BAYR), who saw the work through in fteen years probably more fans of the acid satire of Voltaire in Paris
The Scientic Revolution and its Enlightened Aftermath 399

Musee Antoine Lecuyer, Saint-Quentin, France/Giraudon/Bridgeman Art Library

Two faces of the Enlightenment

are shown here, when they were

National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland/Bridgeman Art Library

young men. Voltaires confident
smile suited the man who wrote
the savagely satirical Candide,
while Rousseaus moral serious-
ness comes across in this portrait
of the author as a young man.

than in all the rest of France and more readers of Hume

in London than in all the remainder of the British Isles. It
was an age of brilliant conversationalists, and the host-
esses who could bring the celebrated minds of the day to-
gether were indispensable to the whole movement. In the
salons of Madame X or Madame Y were heard the ex-
changes of ideas and opinions that were the heartbeat of
the Enlightenment.
The movement hardly ever attempted direct communi-
cation with the masses. In any case, most were still illiterate
and could not absorb this highly language-dependent mes-
sage. Others, especially among the peasants, rejected it as
atheist or antitraditional. Only the upper stratathe edu-
cated professional and merchant, the occasional aristocrat
and liberal-minded clergymanmade up the audience of
the philosophes, bought the Encyclopdie, and were con-
verted to the ideals of progress, tolerance, and liberty. Most
of these adherents would undoubtedly have been appalled
by the prospect of revolution, and they had no sympathy
for the occasional voice that considered violence against an
evil government acceptable.
The Enlightenment was, then, an intellectual training
ground for the coming explosion at the end of the eigh-
teenth century. In its insistence on human perfectibility,
the necessity of intellectual and religious freedoms, and
the need to demolish the barriers to talent that every-
where kept the privileged apart from the nonprivileged,
the Enlightenment spirit served as an unintentional fore-
runner for something far more radical than itself: the
400 C H A P T E R 29


The Enlightened Woman:

Mary Wollstonecraft (17591797)
The Enlightenment supported the notion of the equality of the
sexes only in general ways, and there was a wide disagreement as
to the extent and the ways in which women were the equals of
men. Most characteristic of that era was the notion that women
have a nature specic to themselves, so this produced endless
speculation among the philosophes as to what makes a woman a
woman; what it is that distinguishes her from a man; and, once

Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz/Art Resource, NY

such comparisons were made, what rights could be given to
women in a rational, ordered society.
Into this situation stepped one of the few women willing to
take a public stance on behalf of her sex, the English intellectual
and writer, Mary Wollstonecraft. The courage it took to speak her
mind and to live a life independent of social approval required a
lifetime of learning to fend for herself. Born the second of six
children to an abusive father who squandered his inheritance, at
the age of nineteen Mary was forced to seek her own livelihood.
Just four years later, she interceded to help her sister escape a
bad marriage by hiding her until a separation could be arranged.
To support themselves, Mary and her sister established a school,
an experience from which Mary formed her ideas concerning
womens education. In 1788 she became a regular contributor of MARY WOLL STON E C RAFT
articles and reviews to the radical journal, Analytical Reviews. In
1792, she published her Vindication on the Rights of Woman, the
work for which she became at once both notorious and famous. most free-thinking men of the Enlightenmentin short, a per-
In this, she dared to advocate the equality of the sexes and ex- fect soul mate for Mary. Although both she and Godwin consid-
pressed opinions that eventually became the foundation of the ered marriage to be a form of social despotism, and actually lived
womens movement. She accused society of breeding and edu- apart, Marys second pregnancy drove them to the altar to save
cating women to be helpless gentle domestic brutes. To the ex- their child from the stigma of illegitimacy. In October 1797, Mary
tent that contemporary society considered women to be foolish gave birth to a second daughter, whom she named Mary, but the
and devoid of serious thought, Wollstonecraft argued that such new mother died nearly two weeks later of puerperal fever, an
was the result of their being Educated in slavish dependence infection caused when portions of the placenta fail to be ejected
and enervated by luxury and sloth. Thus, she felt that the key to from the mothers womb.
womens liberation was to be given an education equal to mens. (As a footnote, Marys daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin,
This would permit them to achieve a new sense of self-worth and married the Romantic poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and became
the chance to put their innate abilities to better uses. In Maria, or famous in her own right as the authoress of the classic horror
the Wrongs of Women, she went further in asserting that women novel, Frankenstein.)
have strong sexual needs, and that denying them the chance for
sexual fulllment helped to dehumanize them. Analyze and Interpret
After setting out in 1792 for Paris, Mary met the American Were Mary Wollstonecrafts ideas truly radical? By what standards
Gilbert Imlay. The couple, though unmarried, settled down to- should we judge them?
gether in Le Havre, where Mary bore her rst child, a daughter.
Less than a year later, Imlay abandoned her and their child. Mary
returned to England for what became the only happy years of You can read Mary Wollstonecrafts Vindication
what had been a sad and difcult life until then. She began a on the Rights of Woman at the Wadsworth
close friendship with William Godwin, perhaps one of Britains World History Resource Center.
The Scientic Revolution and its Enlightened Aftermath 401

IN THE SIXTEENTH century, the Renaissance scholars all would fall into place, and the Earth would cease to be
rediscovery of classical learning and its methods produced out of joint.
an acceptance of empirical observation as a method of de- The conviction that progress was inevitable and that
ducing truth about the physical world. This new attitude humans were good and wanted good for others was the
was responsible for the Scientific Revolution, which was at product of a relatively small but very inuential group of
first confined to the physical sciences but inevitably spread philosophes in Britain, France, and other countries. They
to other things. Inductive reasoning based on observation were the leaders of a signicant transformation of West-
and tested by experiment became commonplace in the ern thought that was gradually embraced by most mem-
educated classes. Mathematics was especially crucial to bers of the educated classes during the course of the
this process. eighteenth century. This transformation is termed the
A century later, the condence that the method of sci- Enlightenment. The philosophes were obsessed by reason
ence was adequate to unlock previously incomprehensible and the reasonable and saw nature as the ultimate referent
mysteries had spread to the social sciences: the Science of in these respects. A phenomenon of the urban, educated
Man. The same overreaching law that governed the rotation classes, the Enlightenment made little impact on the
of the planets operatedor should operatein politics masses but prepared the way for middle-class leadership
and government. When that law was nally understood, of the coming revolutions.

uIdentication Terms

Test your knowledge of this chapters key concepts by at the end of the book, or working with the ashcards
dening the following terms. If you cant recall the mean- that are available on the World Civilizations Companion
ing of certain terms, refresh your memory by looking up Website: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler
the boldfaced term in the chapter, turning to the Glossary

deductive reasoning Essay Concerning Human heliocentrism scientific method

empirical method Understanding inductive reasoning Spirit of the Laws
Encyclopdie geocentric philosophes Wealth of Nations

uTest Your Knowledge

Test your knowledge of this chapter by answering the a. Physics and astronomy
following questions. Complete answers appear at the end b. Math and chemistry
of the book. You may nd even more quiz questions in c. Math and medicine
ThomsonNOW and on the World Civilizations Compan- d. Biology and chemistry
ion Website: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler e. Biology and astronomy
3. Keplers great contribution to science was
1. The source of the major elements of medieval Euro- a. his theory of the creation of the universe.
pean thought in the physical sciences was b. the three laws of celestial mechanics.
a. Augustus Caesar. c. the discovery of the planet Jupiter.
b. Aristotle. d. his theory of the geocentric nature of the universe.
c. Virgil. e. his development of the empirical method of
d. St. Augustine. reasoning.
e. Archimedes. 4. Which of the following did not make his fame as a
2. Developments in which two sciences were at the heart natural scientist?
of the advances of the sixteenth and seventeenth a. Galileo
centuries? b. Spinoza
402 C H A P T E R 29

c. Copernicus d. democracy and freedom.

d. Brahe e. community and religion.
e. Kepler 8. Which of the following was not a common goal held
5. Newtons conception of the universe is often de- by the philosophes?
scribed as a. Fundamental equality before the law
a. an apparent order that cannot be comprehended b. A more rigid class system
by humans. c. State-supervised education
b. an incoherent agglomeration of unrelated phenomena. d. Constitutional limitations on rulers
c. a mirage of order that exists only in the human e. The separation of church and state
mind. 9. Which of the following was particularly interested in
d. a machine of perfect order and laws. reforming education?
e. complete chaos. a. Rousseau
6. By the end of the seventeenth century, educated Euro- b. Diderot
peans were generally c. Hume
a. ready to abandon the search for a more intelligible d. Voltaire
natural science. e. Montesquieu
b. considering applying the scientic method to the 10. The Enlightenment is best described as a phenom-
study of humans. enon that
c. impelled toward atheism by the conicts between a. was generally limited to an urban, educated group.
religion and science. b. was found more or less equally throughout
d. abandoning Bacons empiricism for Descartes Christendom.
inductive reasoning. c. reached quickly into the consciousness of most
e. returning to religion as the center of their existence. people.
7. The key concepts of the Enlightenment were d. was generally favorable to the idea of an ocial
a. science and religion. religion.
b. faith and prayer. e. was contained to the country of France.
c. optimism and rationality.

u World History Resource Center

Enter ThomsonNOW using the access card that is available Enter the Resource Center using either your ThomsonNOW
with this text. ThomsonNOW will assist you in understand- access card or your standalone access card for the
ing the content in this chapter with lesson plans generated Wadsworth World History Resource Center. Organized by
for your needs and provide you with a connection to the topic, this website includes quizzes; images; over 350
Wadsworth World History Resource Center (see descrip- primary source documents; interactive simulations, maps,
tion at right for details). and timelines; movie explorations; and a wealth of other
resources. You can read the following documents, and many
more, at the Wadsworth World History Resource Center:
Ren Descartes, Discourse on Method
Isaac Newton, Principia
Voltaire, entries from Philosophical Dictionary

and the
The American Revolution broke
out, and the doctrine of the
sovereignty of the people came
out of the townships and took to Absolute
possession of the State.
Alexis de Tocqueville Monarchy

17561763 Seven Years War The Liberal Creed

(French and Indian War)
1765 Stamp Act The American Revolutionary War
1773 Boston Tea Party Results of the American Revolution in
1775 Fighting begins at European Opinion
Lexington and Concord
1776 Common Sense; Declaration
of Independence

1781 Articles of Confederation MONG THE MOST IMPORTANT long-term consequences of
the Scientic Revolution and the subsequent Enlightenment
1783 Treaty of Paris
was the set of beliefs called liberalism. It took especially strong
1789 U.S. Constitution adopted root in the Anglo-Saxon countries, where it was also fostered
by the events of 1688 and the writings of John Locke (see
Chapter 25).
The political revolutions in America and France were dierent in course and
outcome, but they were linked by a common origin in the belief in the inherent
freedom and moral equality of men. This belief was at the heart of liberal poli-
tics and economics and could not be reconciled with the existing state of aairs
in either the American colonies or France in the late eighteenth century. In this
chapter, we will look at the linkage of liberal thought with the particular prob-
lems of the American colonies; in the following one, at the troubles in France.
In America, the more radical colonists discontent with their status grew to the
point of rebellion in the 1770s. The term rebellion is usually associated with starv-
ing workers or exploited peasants. On the contrary, a prosperous middle class led
the American Revolution, who had nothing against their government except that
nal authority was located in London and not directly responsible to them.

The Liberal Creed

Where did the liberal creed begin, and what were its essentials? Liberalism was
born in the form identied by the modern world in the late eighteenth cen-
tury. Its roots go back much further, to the Protestant Reformation and the
seventeenth-century political philosophers in England. The basic principles of
liberalism are a commitment to (1) the liberty of the individual in religion and
person and (2) the equality of individuals in the eyes of God and the laws.
Eighteenth-century liberals were children of the Enlightenment and thus
especially noticeable in France and England, much less so in central, south-
ern, and eastern Europe, where that movement had taken only supercial root.
They believed in the necessity of equality before the law and freedom of move-
ment, conscience, assembly, and the press. They considered censorship both

404 C H A P T E R 30

ineective and repressive, and they despised the inborn world. They admired its segregation of parliamentary and
privileges accorded to the aristocracy. They thought that a royal powers, with Parliament holding the whip hand in
state religion was almost inevitably corrupt and that indi- matters of domestic policies. They thought England after
viduals should have the power to choose in which fashion the Glorious Revolution had achieved a happy blend of
they would serve and obey their God. individual freedoms within proper limits, allowing the re-
Liberals originally did not believe in equality for all in sponsible and forward-looking elements to retain political
political or social matters but only in restricted legal and and social dominance.
economic senses. They subscribed to what we would now
call the level playing eld theorythat is, that all people
should have the opportunity to prove themselves in the
competition for wealth and the prestige that comes with it. The American
Those who were weaker or less talented should be allowed Revolutionary War
to fail, as this was natures way of allowing the best to show
what they had to oer and keeping the best on top. The In this context, it was natural that the British American
liberals of the eighteenth century reected the general op- colonies were strongholds of liberal thought and sym-
timism of the Enlightenment about human nature. pathy. Men like George Washington, Thomas Jeerson,
Like most of the philosophes, the liberals believed that James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, and many others were
the good would inevitably triumph and that humans would ardent supporters of the liberal view. They had pored over
recognize evil in whatever disguises it might assume for Locke and Montesquieu and digested their ideas. They
the short term. They believed that rational progress was had much less fear of popular democracy than the home
possible andin the long runcertain. They believed that country, because the masses of desperate poor who might
education was the best cure for most of societys problems. threaten the continued leadership of the middle and up-
The enthusiasm for education carried over to a fascination per class liberals in Europe were not present in America.
with new technology that could demonstrate the innate In fact, the 3 million or so free colonists were probably
mastery of men over nature. the materially best-o large group of individuals in the
In matters of government, they sympathized with John world.
Locke and Baron Montesquieu. These men thought that The American Revolutionary War began with a routine
the powers of government must be both spread among dispute between the British government and its subjects
various organs and restricted by a checks and balances over taxation. Fighting the war of the Austrian Succession
system in which the legislative, judicial, and executive (Queen Annes War) and the Seven Years War (French
powers were held by separate hands. Liberals believed that and Indian War), which lasted from 1754 to 1763 in North
representative government operating through a property- America, had cost the British government a consider-
based franchise was the most workable and most just sys- able sum, while the American colonists had contributed
tem. They rejected aristocracy (even though there were little to meet those expenses. The necessity of maintain-
many liberal nobles) as being outmoded, a government by ing a much larger standing army to garrison Canada and
the few for the few. But they mistrusted
total democracy, which they thought
would lead to rule by the mob, those
who were uneducated, bereft of any
property, and easily misled. They were
willing to have a monarchy, so long as
Private Collection/Bridgeman Art Library

the monarchs powers were checked by

a constitution of laws, by a free parlia-
ment, and by free and secure judges.
In the liberal view, the legislature
should be the most powerful branch
of government. It should be elected by
and from the solid citizensthat is,
from among the liberal sympathizers:
educated and well-o landowners, pro-
fessionals, merchants, and the lower
ranks of the nobles. They all believed THE TEA PARTY IN BOSTON, 1773. This contemporary engraving shows colonists emptying
that in structure, if not in practice, cases of tea into Boston Harbor to express their contempt for the new excise tax laws im-
the government of eighteenth-century posed by Parliament. Their disguise as Indians neither fooled nor was intended to fool
England should be the model for the anyone.
Liberalism and the Challenge to Absolute Monarchy 405

the new American frontiers meant that London would be maltreated by their fellow Americans or chose to emigrate
faced with a budgetary drain for the foreseeable future. at wars end. The conict was as much a civil war as a re-
Therefore, Parliament imposed a series of new taxes on bellion. Even families were split. Washingtons troops froze
the colonists, most notably the Stamp Act of 1765, which during the savage winter at Valley Forge, while in nearby
created such a furor that it was quickly repealed. The Philadelphia most of the populace enjoyed their comforts
Navigation Acts, demanding the use of British ships in under British occupation and protection.
commerce between the colonies and other areas, which The military outcome was eventually dictated by three
had been loosely enforced until now, were tightened and factors favoring the rebels: (1) the logistic eort needed to
applied more rigidly. transport and supply a large army overseas; (2) the aid pro-
These British demands fell on colonists who in the vided to the rebels by the French eet and French money;
Hanoverian Dynasty era had become thoroughly accus- and (3) the only halfhearted support given to the Crowns
tomed to running their own households. The American eorts by the sharply split Parliament in London.
colonies had the highest per capita income in the Western Under the Alliance of 1778, the French supplied the Amer-
world in 1775, and they paid among the lowest taxes. They icans with much material aid, contributed some manpower,
were the great success story of European settlement colo- and, above all, prevented the British navy from controlling
nies, and they had achieved this condition without much the coasts. By 1779, after the critical defeat at Saratoga, it was
guidance or interference from the London government. clear that the second-rate British commanders had no plans
The Americans were used to a high degree of democratic worth mentioning and could not put aside their mutual jeal-
government in local and provincial aairs. Many now felt ousies to join forces against Washington. Even if they had, the
the ministers of King George III were unduly pushing them many London sympathizers with the Americans, both in and
about, and they resolved to let their feelings be known. The out of Parliament, would negate any full-edged war eort.
focal point of discontent was in the Massachusetts Bay The defeat of General Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781
colony, where maritime commerce was most developed. spelled the end of armed hostilities, and the Peace of Paris of-
The Boston Tea Party of 1773 was a dramatic rejection cially ended the war in 1783.
of the right of the Crown to change the terms of colonial
trade in favor of British merchants. When the London
government replied to the deant and illegal acts of the
Bostonians by sending troops and closing the crucially im-
Results of the American
portant Boston harbor, the clash came much closer. One Revolution in European
act led to another as the stakes were raised on both sides. Opinion
Finally, in April 1775, the shots heard round the world
were red by the Minutemen in Lexington, and the War for What exactly was the American Revolution? We are accus-
Independencethe rst full-blown revolt by a European tomed to thinking of a revolution as necessarily involving
colony against its home countrywas on. an abrupt change in the economic and social structures,
What did the rebellious colonists want? At the outset, but this was not the case in the new United States. The ex-
the moderate faction in the Continental Congress, which isting political, economic, and social circumstances of the
the rebels summoned to provide political leadership, was citizenry, whether white or black, were scarcely changed
in control. They demanded no taxation without repre- by independence. The War for Independence had been
sentation and other, relatively mild slogans upholding the won, but this was not at all the same as a revolution.
alleged rights of Englishmen after the Glorious Revolution The real American Revolution was slower to manifest
of 1688. But by 1776, after blood had owed, a more un- itself and did so only by degrees after 1783. The Paris treaty
compromising group, led by Patrick Henry and Jeerson, recognized the thirteen former colonies as a sovereign
assumed the leadership role. This group wanted nothing nation, equal to any other. All of the territory west of the
less than independence from Britain, and in the Declaration Appalachians to the Mississippi was open to the new
of Independence, Jeerson wrote their program and battle nation (see Map 30.1). For the rst time, a major state (Swit-
cry (see rst the Law and Government box for excerpts zerland preceded the United States but did not qualify as a
from this work as well as a comparable French declaration). major state) would have a republican form of govern-
The great popularity of the radical pamphlet Common mentthat is, one that had no monarch and in which
Sense by the newly arrived Thomas Paine showed how in- sovereignty rested ultimately in the people at large. A rep-
amed some tempers had become (see the Law and Gov- resentative body that was responsible to the citizenry
ernment box on page 407 for more on Paine). through the electoral process would exercise lawmaking
Not all colonists agreed. Besides the very hesitant power. Most of the (white male) citizens would be entitled
moderates, many people in all of the colonies remained to vote and to hold oce. They would enjoy freedom of re-
true to the Crown, and these Loyalists later either were ligion, be fully equal before the law, and have no economic
406 C H A P T E R 30


The Declaration of Independence of 4. Liberty consists of the power to do whatever is not

1776 and the Declaration of the Rights injurious to others; thus the enjoyment of the natural
of Man and Citizen of 1789 rights of every man has for its limits only those that as-
sure other members of society the enjoyment of those
The American 1776 Declaration of Independence and the French same rights;
1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen were products 5. The law has the right to forbid only actions which are
of individuals who had studied the same authors and were com- injurious to society. Whatever is not forbidden by law
mitted to the same visions of governments proper role. may not be prevented, and no one may be constrained
to do what it does not prescribe.
The Declaration of Independence of 1776 6. Law is the expression of the general will. . . . All citizens,
being equal before it, are equally admissible to all
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are public offices, positions, and employments.
created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with 7. No man may be accused, arrested, or detained except
certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, in the cases determined by law, and according to the
and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, forms prescribed thereby. . . .
governments are instituted among men, deriving their just 10. No one is to be disquieted because of his opinions,
powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever even religious, provided their manifestation does not
any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, disturb the public order established by law.
it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to in- 11. Free communication of ideas and opinions is one of
stitute new government, laying its foundation on such prin- the most precious of the rights of man. . . .
ciples and organizing its powers in such form, as to them 17. Since property is a sacred and inviolate right, no one
shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. may be deprived thereof unless a legally established
public necessity obviously requires it.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and
Citizen of 1789 Analyze and Interpret
Point out if and where you see that the American declaration
The representatives of the French people, organized in was intent on dissolving political ties with what the colonists
National Assembly . . . recognize and proclaim, in the pre- considered an unjust and alien government, and that the French
sence and under the auspices of the Supreme Being, the document was aimed at generic reform of a monarchy that had
following rights of man and citizen: neglected its duties to its people.
1. Men are born equal and remain free and equal in rights. . . .
2. The aim of every political association is the preservation of You can read all of the Declaration of
the natural and inalienable rights of man; these rights are Independence at the Wadsworth World
liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression; . . . History Resource Center.

restrictions imposed on them by birth, residence, or cir- the states together. They set about creating a workable,
cumstance. The establishment of that form of government permanent system of government. The outcome of the ef-
and those freedoms was the American Revolution, not the fort, the U.S. Constitution of 1789, is now one of the oldest
forcible severance of ties with London, however remarkable constitutions in the world. Men raised in the liberal tradi-
that had been. tions of the eighteenth century drafted this document. The
A few years after independence, the ex-colonists ac- framers of the Constitution under which Americans still
knowledged the severe shortcomings of the 1781 Articles live were conservatives in their approach to social institu-
of Confederation, which had been their rst try at bonding tions but liberals in their approach to individual freedom.
Liberalism and the Challenge to Absolute Monarchy 407


Thomas Paine (17371809) the times that try mens souls with references to the summer
soldier and the sunshine patriot.
Of all those who might be called the liberal instigators of the In 1787 Paine returned to England for a short visit. Delays kept
American Revolution, Tom Paine must take pride of place. When him until 1789, and while there, he was swept up in the initial lib-
he came to the colonies in 1774, he was an unknown English eral euphoria about the French Revolution. He wrote The Rights
acquaintance of Benjamin Franklin. Two years later, he was one of Man (1791) to defend the Revolution against the increasing
of the foremost gures in America, but at that point his extraordi- number of English critics. Having to ee England, Paine went to
nary public career was just beginning. France and was elected to the Convention of 1793 despite being
Paine was born into rural poverty in 1737 and had to leave a foreigner. But here his independent attitude also made him an
school at age thirteen to go to work to supplement the familys uncomfortable ally, and he was imprisoned for almost a year
meager income. For the next quarter century, he failed at every- during the Reign of Terror. Released by the intercession of the
thing he tried, from seaman to schoolteacher. His appointment American minister James Monroe, Paine wrote The Age of Reason
as excise collector (a hated post among the people) in 1762 was (1794), a pamphlet denouncing revealed religions, especially
revoked because of an improper entry in his records. Although Christianity, and challenging people to exercise their capacity to
he managed to be reinstated in 1766, he remained under a cloud nd a morality independent of faith.
of suspicion and was dismissed again in 1774 for reasons that are When Paine nally returned to America in 1802, he was aston-
unclear. At this juncture, friends introduced him to Franklin, who ished and depressed to nd that the outrage over his attack on
had come to London to represent the North American colonies religion had overwhelmed all gratitude for his services in the
before Parliament. Revolution. Former friends such as John Adams and his fam-
At his invitation, Paine arrived in Philadelphia in late 1774 ily avoided him, and the children in his adopted town of New
and began writing for Franklins Pennsylvania Magazine. A few Rochelle, New York, taunted him. After several years of living as
months later, he became editor of the magazine. His contribu- a social pariah on his farm, he died in 1809 and was denied the
tions were marked by a gift for rhetoric and a radical turn of mind burial in a Quaker cemetery he had requested. A nal bizarre note
on public issues. was added when a project to take his remains back to England
In early 1776, his pamphlet Common Sense appeared. The failed because of the bankruptcy of one of the principals, and the
work immediately became a best seller in the colonies and was cofn, which was seized as an asset, disappeared forever.
reprinted in several European countries as well. Paine had a way
with memorable phrases. Common Sense made a powerful argu- Analyze and Interpret
ment not only against colonial government but also against the Tom Paine once wrote, It is absurd that a continent be ruled
person of George III as a hardened, sullen Pharaoh. In a mere by an island. Do you agree in the sense that Paine meant? Do
seventy-nine pages, the pamphlet gave discontented Americans you think Paines treatment after returning to America was justi-
both abstract arguments and concrete objections against being ed given that almost all of his fellow citizens were Godfearing
ruled by a distant, uncaring, and allegedly tyrannical monarch. Christians?
General Washington and other leaders at once recognized
Paines merits and his potential to assist in the revolutionary
cause. Between 1776 and 1783, in support of the rebels, he pro- You can read selections from Common Sense at
duced the papers known collectively as The Crisis: These are the Wadsworth World History Resource Center.

They wished to create a system that would allow free More than the successful war, the Constitution strongly
play to individual talent and ambition and protect indi- inuenced educated European opinion. Against many ex-
vidual rights, while still asserting the primacy of the state. pectations, it demonstrated that a large number of men
They believed in freedom of opportunity, while reject- could create a moderate system of self-government with
ing political and social equality. They believed in equal- elected representatives and without an aristocracy or
ity before the law and in conscience, but like Locke, they a monarch at its head. Many European liberals had in-
believed in the sacred rights of property and hence left formed themselves in detail about the United States. Some
slavery untouched. of them even came to ght in the rebellion (the French
408 C H A P T E R 30

Muse de la Ville de Paris, Muse Carnavalet, Paris, France/Giraudon/Bridgeman Art Library

Capitol Collection, Washington,
DC/Bridgeman Art Library
JU LY 4, 1776. This well-known painting by the American John
Trumbull shows Jefferson as he presented his final draft of the Dec-
laration of Independence to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia.

Marquis de Lafayette, the Poles Kazimierz Pulaski and

Tadeusz Kosciuszko, and the German Baron von Steuben
among many others). They were an eective propaganda
apparatus, and they were seconded by the equally eec-
tive work of Americans such as Franklin, Jeerson, and the
Adamses, who resided for a time in Europe as ocials of
the new country. L AFAY E TTE , MARQU IS DE FRAN C E . This engraving shows
On the continent, the American innovations received the Lafayette as the adherent of the earliest stage of the revolution in
most attention in France. The rebellion had many friends in France, when he was commander of the Garde Nationale, 1790. He was
enlightened society, including some in the royal government soon disillusioned by the increasing terror.

Hudson Hudson Hudson

Bay Bay Bay

Atlantic Atlantic Atlantic

Ocean Ocean Ocean

Gulf of Mexico Gulf of Mexico Gulf of Mexico

1700 1763 1783

British Spanish Russian French U.S.A.

MAP 30 .1 North Americas Possessors, 17001783

The changing balance of power in Europes affairs was closely reflected View an interactive version of this or a related map
in North America in the eighteenth century. at http://worldrc.wadsworth.com/
Can you think of any political developments that might have altered
the claims made by the European powers to North American territory?
Liberalism and the Challenge to Absolute Monarchy 409

who welcomed this weakening of the British winner of more people of high social standing were convinced that
the Seven Years War. Many French ocers had been in the present French monarchic system was in terrible need
America and had contact with the leading American g- of reform, and they looked to some aspects of the Ameri-
ures. The drawing rooms of the Parisian elite were lled can experiment for models of what they wished to intro-
with talk about America. Some of it was negative: the duce at home.
crude Americans would soon see that government must Like the Enlightenment, the liberal frame of reference
be either by the king and his responsible ocials or by the in politics was to contribute mightily in a few more years
mobno third way was possible, given human nature. But to a movement for reform that would go much further
much of the talk was enthusiastically favorable. More and than originally intended.

LIBERAL POLITICS WAS the product of beliefs dating to rebellion against British rule in 1775. Thanks in part to
the Protestant Reformation and the seventeenth-century French military and nancial aid and the lukewarm support
English Revolution against absolutism. Its fundamental prin- of the war eort by Parliament, the rebellion was success-
ciples asserted the equality and liberty of individuals in both ful: the American republic was born, the rst large-scale
the moral and the legal sense. Liberals believed that all were experiment in liberal politics. Although the War for In-
entitled to the opportunity to prove their merits in economic dependence was won, the true American Revolution took
competition, but they generally rejected social and political longer to develop. Its paramount expression came in the
equality as impractical for the foreseeable future. Constitution of 1789, which made a deep impression on
The British colonies in America were strongholds educated Europeans, particularly the French adherents of
of liberalism, and those convictions led directly to the reform.

uIdentication Terms

Test your knowledge of this chapters key concepts by at the end of the book, or working with the ashcards
dening the following terms. If you cant recall the mean- that are available on the World Civilizations Companion
ing of certain terms, refresh your memory by looking up Website: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler
the boldfaced term in the chapter, turning to the Glossary

Alliance of 1778 Navigation Acts Seven Years War Stamp Act of 1765
Common Sense

uTest Your Knowledge

Test your knowledge of this chapter by answering the e. a total democracy was the only government that
following questions. Complete answers appear at the end could succeed in the long run.
of the book. You may nd even more quiz questions in 2. In matters of religion, eighteenth-century liberals
ThomsonNOW and on the World Civilizations Compan- normally believed that
ion Website: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler a. there should be an ocially designated and sup-
ported faith.
1. Eighteenth-century liberals thought that b. all individuals should have freedom to believe as
a. all individuals should have equal opportunities to they saw t.
amass wealth. c. the government must have authority over religion
b. all individuals should have basic necessities guar- because of its connection with politics.
anteed to them. d. all humans were naturally inclined to evil and
c. men and women were essentially equal in talents sinfulness.
and abilities. e. the best religion was one that recognized the
d. social and cultural position should be about the worth of humanity.
same for all.
410 C H A P T E R 30

3. The essence of Baron Montesquieus theses on gov- c. The Rights of Man.

ernment is that d. a series of papers known as The Crisis.
a. power should clearly be concentrated in the e. editorials in the Pennsylvania Magazine.
executive. 7. Which of the following was not a reason for American
b. lawmaking powers should be shared between the victory in the Revolutionary War?
federal and state levels of government. a. The division in Parliament about the conduct of
c. elections should be guaranteed to be held within the war
short time periods. b. The military mediocrity of the British command-
d. powers should be divided among three branches ing ocers
of government. c. The better equipment of the American forces
e. the aristocracy, having more to gain, would work d. French aid to the rebels
harder to make a representative government e. The petty jealousies among the British ocers
successful. 8. The impact in Europe of the American Revolution can
4. An important reason for the democratic spirit among the best be summarized as
North American colonists in the era before 1776 was the a. important and inuential among the educated
a. natural inclinations of colonials toward equality classes everywhere.
for all. b. important in Great Britain but not acknowledged
b. total absence of the social divisions commonly widely elsewhere.
found in Europe. c. minimal except among a handful of liberals.
c. habit of religious tolerance in the American d. important in a military but not a political sense.
traditions. e. sucient to anger conservative Europeans who
d. absence of masses of poor people who might have still believed in the divine right of kings.
threatened social revolution. 9. To liberal-minded Europeans, the success of the
e. need for all colonists to work together against the American Revolution meant above all that
perceived abuses of Parliament. a. force is most important in political aairs.
5. The main reason that the American colonists resented b. democracy should be introduced to their own
the Navigation Acts and other such laws was that they governments.
a. believed the taxes were too high. c. the teachings of the Enlightenment were feasible.
b. resented Britains renewed restrictions after years d. Americans were more aggressive than other
of ruling their own aairs. Westerners.
c. preferred to trade with countries other than e. all monarchies had become obsolete.
Britain. 10. The American Revolution had the most direct impact
d. did not recognize the sovereignty of George III. on the citizens of
e. new restrictions placed a tremendous strain on a. England.
the colonies meager resources. b. Scotland.
6. Thomas Paines rst radical writing in the American c. Germany.
colonies was d. Spain.
a. the popular pamphlet, Common Sense. e. France.
b. a small pamphlet used as a model by Thomas
Jeerson for the Declaration of Independence.

u World History Resource Center

Enter ThomsonNOW using the access card that is available Enter the Resource Center using either your ThomsonNOW
with this text. ThomsonNOW will assist you in understand- access card or your standalone access card for the Wadsworth
ing the content in this chapter with lesson plans generated World History Resource Center. Organized by topic, this
for your needs and provide you with a connection to the website includes quizzes; images; over 350 primary source
Wadsworth World History Resource Center (see descrip- documents; interactive simulations, maps, and timelines;
tion at right for details). movie explorations; and a wealth of other resources. You
can read the following documents, and many more, at the
Wadsworth World History Resource Center:

Thomas Jeerson, The Declaration of Independence

Thomas Paine, selections from Common Sense
The French

The effect of liberty upon
individuals is that they may do
and the
as they please; we ought to see
what it will please them to do Empire of
before we risk congratulations.
Edmund Burke Napoleon

17151774 Reign of Louis XV The Background of the Crisis

17741792 Reign of Louis XVI
Constitutional Monarchy
17891791 First phase of the Calling of the Estates The National Assembly and Its Constitution
Revolution: Constitutional
monarchy Jacobin Terror
17921794 Second phase of the
Revolution: Jacobin Terror Reaction and Consolidation
17951799 Third phase of the The Bonapartist Era Opens
Revolution: Thermidorean
Reaction French Dominion Over Europe
18001814 The Revolution
terminated: Napoleonic Napoleon: Pro and Con
1815 The Vienna Settlement The Vienna Settlement
Overall Estimate of the Vienna Settlement

HE WATERSHED OF MODERN political history is the upheaval
called the French Revolution that struck France and then all of
Europe in the last years of the eighteenth century. More than what
had happened in the American colonies a few years earlier, the
unrest in France challenged every tradition and shook every pillar
of the establishment. During its unpredictable and violent course evolved the
ideas of popular democracy, social equality, and personal liberty, which the
Revolution originally stood for but later betrayed. What started as a French
aristocratic rebellion against royal taxes became the milepost from which all
modern political and social developments in the Western world are measured.

The Background of the Crisis

The Revolution of 1789 in France was triggered by a dispute over nances and
taxation between monarch and subjects, just as the American Revolution was.
But the tax question could have been remedied, if the deeper problems of the
royal government in Paris had not been so intense and so complex.
Since the death of the Sun King, Louis XIV, in 1715, the quality and the morale
of French ocialdom had declined. Louiss immediate successor was his great-
grandson (he had outlived both his son and grandsons), Louis XV, a young boy.
For many years during his youth, actual power had been exercised by a group of
nobles who used the opportunity to loosen the controls put on them by the Sun

412 C H A P T E R 31

Kings monopoly of power. Intent mainly on personal luxu- just to meet the interest due on current accounts. No one
ries, they abused their powers and their newly regained free- knew when or whether the principal could be repaid.
dom. Corruption and bribery began to appear in the courts Faced with the refusalonce moreof the nobles and
and in administrative oces where it was previously not tol- the clergy to pay even a token sum, the king reluctantly
erated. The middle-class professional ocials who had been agreed to the election of an assemblage that had been for-
the heart and soul of Louis XIVs bureaucracy were passed gotten for 175 years: the Estates General, or parliament
over or ignored in favor of the aristocrats who monopolized representing all segments of the society of all France. No
the highest oces, by right of birth. Estates had been convoked since 1614, because after that
How did this deterioration come about? By nature, time rst Richelieu and then Louis XIV had embarked on
Louis XV was not suited to the demands of absolutist gov- absolutist royal government.
ernment. He was intelligent but cynical and preferred play
to work. When he did take action, he delegated power to
sycophants and careerists and refused to involve himself if Constitutional Monarchy
he could avoid it.
But the tax revenue problems could not be put o in- According to tradition, their own colleagues would elect
denitely. During the mid-eighteenth century, France engaged the members of the Estates General. There were three
in a series of costly and losing wars against Britain overseas estates, or orders of society: the First Estate was made
and against Austria and then Prussia on the Continent (War up of the clergy, the Second consisted of the nobility, and
of the Austrian Succession, 17401747; Seven Years War, the Third included everyone else. Rich or poor, rural or
17561763). Taxes had to be increased, but from whose urban, educated or illiterate, all people who were neither
pockets? The urban middle classes and the peasantry were in the church nor of the nobility were in the Third Estate.
already paying a disproportionate amount, while the state Tradition further held that each estate voted as a bloc, so
church (the greatest single property owner in France) and that only three votes would be cast on any issue. Because
the nobles were paying next to nothing, claiming ancient the two privileged estates could always form a majority
exemptions granted by medieval kings. By the time of Louis against the commoners, they were assured of retaining
XVs death in 1774, the government was already on the verge their privileges if they stayed together.
of bankruptcy, unable to pay its military forces on time and
forced to go to several moneylenders (notably, the Rothschild Calling of the Estates
family) to meet current accounts.
Louis XV was succeeded by his weak-minded and in- The rst two estates made up only about 3 percent of the total
decisive grandson Louis XVI (ruled 17741792). A sym- population of France, but the nobles and clergy dominated
pathetic and decent person, Louis was in no way qualied every aspect of public life except commerce and manufac-
to lead an unstable country that was rapidly approaching turing. They were the exclusive holders of political power
a nancial crisis. Specically, he could not be expected above the local level. They were the kings powerful servants
to limit the vast expenditures that were wasted on the and concession holders, and they had every social privilege
maintenance and frivolities (such as the amusements of imaginable. They lived a life apart from the great majority,
Queen Marie Antoinette) of the royal court at Versailles. with their own customs and their own entertainments. They
Nor would he take an eective stand against the rising looked on the commoners with contempt and, sometimes,
political pretensions of the nobility. This latter group, acting fear. They held a very large share of the property in France
through their regional assembliesthe parlements (pahrl- about 40 percent of the real estate and an even higher share of
MOHNT)claimed to be the true defenders of French income producing enterprises and oces of all sorts.
liberties. In practice, this claim translated into an adamant Some of the representatives of the First and Second Es-
refusal to pay their share of taxes. tates were liberal-minded individuals who sympathized with
This was the situation in 1778 when the royal govern- the demands for reform. Their leadership and assistance
ment decided to enter the American rebellion on the side were crucially important to the success of the Revolutions
of the colonials, to weaken Britain and perhaps to reclaim rst phase.
what it had lost in the Seven Years War earlier (that is, Can- Mainly lawyers and minor ocials represented the
ada and the Mississippi valley). The expenses of this eort Third Estate, the commoners. A very few delegates were
were very high for France. And by now, much of the entire peasants, but there were virtually no representatives from
budget had to be funded by borrowed money at rates of the masses of artisans, employees, and illiterate laborers.
interest that rose higher and higher because of the justied The Third Estates major complaints were the legal and so-
fear that the government would declare bankruptcy and cial inequalities in the kingdom and their own lack of po-
refuse to honor its outstanding debts. (This had happened litical representation. The Estates guiding principles and
before in France.) Half of the revenues had to be paid out its political philosophy were taken straight from the liberal
The French Revolution and the Empire of Napoleon 413

Enlightenment. (See the Society and Economy box for more country, played a major role in the course of political
on the Third Estate.) events, the rst time in modern history that the urban
In the spring of 1789, the elected Estates General con- underclass asserted such direct inuence. The moder-
vened just outside Paris at Versailles, the site of the royal ates and conservatives who dominated the Assembly were
palace and government. Immediately, a dispute arose over forced to listen to and heed the demands of the poor, who
voting. The Third Estate demanded one man, one vote, staged a series of bread riots and wild demonstrations
which would have given it the majority when joined with around the Assemblys meeting place.
known sympathizers from the others. The other two orders On August 4, 1789, the nobles who had joined the As-
refused, and the king was called on to decide. After attempt- sembly made a voluntary renunciation of their feudal rights,
ing a vain show of force, Louis XVI caved in to the demands eectively ending serfdom and the nobilitys legal privileges
of the commoners. Some renegades from the privileged in France forever. A little later, the Assembly adopted the
then joined with the Third Estate to declare themselves the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, which
National Constituent Assembly. On June 20, 1789, they re- went much farther than the almost simultaneous rst ten
solved not to disperse until they had given the country a amendmentsthe Bill of Rightsof the American Con-
constitution. In eect, this was the French Revolution, for stitution. (For a sampling of historic documents from both
if this self-appointed assembly were allowed to stand, the France and the United States, see the box in Chapter 30.)
old order of absolutist monarchy would end. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy, meaning the Catho-
lic clergy in France, followed this democratic manifesto. It
The National Assembly and Its Constitution allowed the state to conscate the churchs property and
made the priests into (unwilling) agents of the emerging
What the Assembly wanted was a moderate, constitutional new governmentpaid by it and therefore controlled by it.
monarchy like Englands, but the kings hope to reestablish This radical act was a misreading of the countrys temper,
control and the refusal of most of the nobility and clergy because most French were still obedient Catholics and ral-
to go along with the Assemblys project made a confron- lied to the support of the churchs continued independence.
tation unavoidable. The confrontation came in the sum- The pope in Rome condemned the Civil Constitution, and
mer of 1789, beginning with the storming of the Bastille resistance against it began the counterrevolution.
(the royal prison in Paris). For the next several months, By the end of 1791, the new constitution had been com-
the Parisian mob, whipped up by radicals from all over the pleted. It provided for powers to be shared between king and


What Is the Third Estate? Who is bold enough to maintain that the Third Estate does
not contain within itself all that is needful to constitute a
The original ideals of the French Revolution were moderate and complete nation? It is like a strong and robust man with one
primarily concerned with eliminating the special privileges of the arm still in chains. If the privileged order were removed, the
church and the nobles. By the 1780s, most of the French populace nation would not be something less, but something more!
understood more or less clearly that they were severely dis- What then is the Third Estate? All; but an all which is
advantaged by the various exemptions and concessions that the fettered and oppressed.
3 percent of the population belonging to the privileged classes What would it be without the privileged order? It would
held. be all; but free and ourishing. Nothing will go well without
No one better expressed the sentiments of the middle classes the Third Estate; everything would go considerably better
(the bourgeoisie) at this time than the priest Emmanuel Sieyes without the two others.
(17481836) in a pamphlet entitled What Is the Third Estate?
We must ask ourselves three questions: Analyze and Interpret
1. What is the Third Estate? Everything. How would you have answered the same questions?
2. What has it been till now in the political order? Nothing. Source: Emmanuel Sieyes, What Is the Third Estate? trans. M. Blondel. Reprinted
3. What does it want to be? Something. . . . with permission of Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc., Westport, CT.
414 C H A P T E R 31

all enemies within the country. This was historys rst mass
purge of people on account of their social origins or sus-
pected beliefs. Over the next year or so, between 25,000
Muse de la Ville de Paris, Muse Carnavalet, Paris, France/Giraudon/

and 40,000 victims were guillotined, and many tens of thou-

sands more were imprisoned or exiled by the extraordinary
Courts of the People, which were everywhere.
Among the early victims of the Terror was the king. Held
as a prisoner since his foiled attempt to escape France, he was
given a mock trial for treason and beheaded in January 1793.
Marie Antoinette followed him to the guillotine in October.
The killing of the king and queen was an enormous shock to
the many Europeans who believed in liberal ideals and had
seen the rst stage of the Revolution as their implementation.
From 1793 on, the educated classes of Europe were sharply
Bridgeman Art Library

divided between friends and enemies of the Revolution, with

more and more tending toward the latter camp as the atroci-
ties of the Terror were recognized. What had started in 1789
as a high-principled campaign for justice, liberty, and pro-
gress had degenerated into a bloodbath.
After September 1792, France was no longer a monar-
FE MALE PATRI OTS , 179 0 . A club of women discusses the lat-
chy but a republic. The National Conventions Committee
est decrees of the revolutionary government, while a collection plate
is set up for the relief of those families who have suffered in the cause. of Public Safety exercised the executive power with dic-
tatorial authority. Maximilien Robespierre was its lead-
ing member and the theoretician of the Revolution. (For
parliament along the English lines, but with even stronger more about Robespierre, see the Law and Government
powers for the parliament. A national election for this new box.)
Legislative Assembly was ordained and carried through. The years 17931794 were the height of the Revolution. The
Jacobins produced many novel ideas and techniques of power
that would be imitated in revolutions to come over the next
two centuries. They insisted on the following three points:
Jacobin Terror
That all men were legally, socially, and politically
The conservative monarchic governments of Europe led
equalEgalit (Eh-GAH-lih-tay)
by Austria and Prussia were closely watching what was
That they were free in mind and bodyLibert
happening, and they were determined to restore Louis XVI
to his rightful powers with armed force. The counter-
That they were, or should be, brothersFraternit
revolutionary war began in the summer of 1792. Combined
with the misguided attempt of Queen Marie Antoinette and
Louis to ee the country, the war changed the internal at- They elevated reason and patriotism to entirely new
mosphere at a blow. Until 1792, the moderates, who wished heights, making these faculties into virtues that were sup-
to retain the monarchy and to avoid any challenge to the rule posed to supplant the old ones of religion and subservience.
of property, had been in control. Now the radical element They recognized no neutrality, nor would they tolerate
called the Jacobins (their original headquarters was in the neutrals. Those who did not support the Peoples Revolu-
Parisian convent of the Jacobin order of nuns) took over the tion were necessarily its enemies and would be treated ac-
Legislative Assembly. The moderates were soon driven into cordingly. These were novel and shocking thoughts to the
silence or exiled. conservative forces inside and outside France. It seemed to
What did the new masters of France want? The Jacobins them that the Jacobins systematic rejection of traditional
were determined to extend the Revolution, to guarantee the authority must lead to chaos rather than freedom.
eradication of aristocratic privileges and royal absolutism, Believing the royal professional military to be a dubious
and to put the common man in the drivers seat. They dis- ally, the Jacobins also started the leve en masse (leh-VAY
solved the Legislative Assembly and called a National Con- ahn MAHS: conscript army) to defend the Revolution.
vention, elected by universal male surage, into being. In With the aid of many recruits from the former royal forces
Paris, a self-appointed Jacobin Commune established itself (such as Napoleon Bonaparte), they developed and used
as the legal authority. By early 1793, the war emergency en- that army so eectively that the French were on the oen-
couraged the Jacobins to institute a Reign of Terror against sive from 1794 onward against the conservative coalition.
The French Revolution and the Empire of Napoleon 415

XVI. It was not the original intention of
the Revolutionary Assembly to do away with the
Bourbon monarchy. However, the rise to power
of the radical Jacobins and the attempted es-
cape by the royal family doomed both the king
and Queen Marie Antoinette.

Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY

And they completed the wholesale conscation and dis- The Bonapartist Era Opens
tribution of royal, noble, and clerical land to the peasants,
thereby eliminating one of the major causes of complaint From 1794 to 1798, French armies seemed irresistible (see
in pre-1789 France. The nobility and the church had lost Map 31.1). A young and well-connected general named
their economic bases. They would never get them back. Napoleon Bonaparte distinguished himself in the campaigns
that forced the Austrians and Prussians to make a losing
peace with France. In 1798, however, Russia joined the anti-
Reaction and Consolidation French coalition, and Britain remained an enemy that would
not give in. Napoleon persuaded the Directors to send him
The machinery of terror was quickly dismantled after with a large army to Egypt to cut o the British commercial
the execution of Robespierre, as the pervasive fear had route to the East and thus induce this nation of shopkeepers
become too great for most French, even radicals, to live to make peace. The ill-thought-out Egyptian campaign of
with. The period 17941795 is termed the Thermidorean 17981799 turned into a disaster, but Napoleon saved his
Reaction against the excesses of the Reign of Terror. The reputation by returning home in time and letting his sub-
name comes from Thermidor, the new name for August, ordinates take the eventual blame. His ambitious wife, Jose-
the month after which Robespierre fell. In place of the phine, and his friends had told him that the time was ripe to
Jacobin-led poor who had greatly inuenced government brush aside the unpopular government and take command
policy until now, the middle classes and the wealthy in France. In November 1799, he acted on their advice.
came again to the fore. They chose several of their own Finding little resistance in defense of the by-now vastly
to form a new executive, called the Directory, and by unpopular Directors, Bonaparte and his army accom-
sharp restriction of the franchise created a much more plices pulled o the coup dtat of 18 Brumaire. It made
conservative-minded assembly, derived largely from the Napoleon First Consul of France, holding supreme civil
propertied classes. and military power in his ambitious hands. A new era
The ve directors were soon maneuvering for power and was about to begin, led by a thirty-year-old Corsican who
squabbling among themselves. Meanwhile, the economic had risen dramatically since entering the revolutionary
condition of the urban poor grew desperate, and the ongoing army six years previously as a young lieutenant.
war created a severe ination and a new class of wealthy pro- Condent of his talent and his vast energies, Napoleon as
teers. The peasantry sought in vain for legal recognition of its First Consul (17991804) pretended to obey a new constitu-
newly seized lands, while neither the clergy nor its secularist tion that was concocted by his agents in the tame legislature
detractors were satised with the relationship between state he allowed to stand. He suppressed all political opposition
and church. These various discontents could be contained and solidied his already-high standing with the public by
only so long as the revolution was winning on the battleeld carrying out a series of acts, called collectively the Napole-
and the prospect for nal victory looked good. onic Settlement. It embraced the following:
416 C H A P T E R 31


Maximilien Robespierre (17581794)

The most dreaded name in all of France during the Reign of
Terror of 17931794 was that of the leader of the Committee
of Public Safety, Maximilien Robespierre. A small figure with

Muse de la Ville de Paris, Muse Carnavalet, Paris, France/Giraudon/

a high-pitched voice, he had come to the forefront during the
National Assembly in 17901791 as an advocate of a republi-
can democracy. His power base was the Society of Jacobins in
Robespierre was the driving force behind the steady radi-
calization of the Legislative Assembly in 1792 and its successor,
the Convention. He engineered the declaration of the republic
in August 1792 and justied the horric massacre of imprisoned
nobles and clerics in September as a necessary step in preparing
France to defend its Revolution. Attacked by his enemies in the
Convention as a would-be dictator, he deed them to nd any
stain on his patriotism and his selessness in the revolutionary

Bridgeman Art Library

His election to the Committee of Public Safety in July 1793
meant a sharp turn toward even more shocking measures. In
the fall, he led the Convention into pronouncing the Republic
of Virtue, an attempt to supplant Christianity and all religion
in France. Patriotism would henceforth be measured by devo- ROB E SPIE RRE . An anonymous eighteenth-century portrait
tion to reason and the people rather than to God and king. The of the man whom some considered the pure and selfless ser-
names of the days and the months were changed to rid them vant of the little people and others viewed as the personification
of all overtones of gods and saints, and the counting of the of evil.
years began anew, with the declaration of the republic in 1792
being Year One. Churches were renamed Temples of Reason,
and the Catholic clergy was subjected to both ridicule and
bloody persecution. Much of this change went far beyond In July 1794, the increasingly isolated Robespierre rose in the
what Robespierre had intended, but he was powerless to stop Convention to denounce the backsliders and the hesitant. In the past,
the frenzy that he had helped set loose among the sans-culottes such speeches had foretold another series of arrests by the Peoples
(urban working class) and the provincial Jacobins. Courts. This time, by prearrangement, the Convention shouted him
Robespierre found it necessary to eliminate even his co- down and arrested him. On the following day, July 28, he was guillo-
workers in the committee and the Convention for being lukewarm tined amid sighs of relief and curses.
supporters of the Revolution. He believed he was destined to
cleanse the ranks of all who would falter on the road to perfection.
In June 1794, he pushed the notorious Law of 22 Prairial through
Analyze and Interpret
Can you think of the counterpart of Robespierre in a more recent
an intimidated Convention (Prairial was the name of the month in
revolution? What case can be made for the application of terror
the revolutionary calendar). This allowed kangaroo courts all over
against the internal enemies of a radical political movement?
France to issue the supreme penalty with or without substantive
What case against it?
evidence of hostility to the government. In that summer, thousands
of innocents were guillotined, either because they were anony-
mously denounced or simply because they were members of a
hostile class such as the nobles. Robespierre justied these ac- You can read Robespierres Address to the
tions in a speech saying that because the Terror was but an inex- National Convention at the Wadsworth World
ible application of justice, it was a virtue and must be applauded. History Resource Center.
The French Revolution and the Empire of Napoleon 417

Giraudon/Art Resource, NY

Runion des Musees Nationaux/Art Resource, NY

THE LEV E EN MA SS E . In 1792, the National Convention cre-
ated a new, massive army composed of volunteers from all classes,
and later, of conscripts. Here, citizens enthusiastically sign up while
receiving money payments for their enrollment.

Establishing the concordat (CON-cohr-dah) with

the papacy in 1801. This agreement pacied the French
clergy and the peasants by declaring that Catholi- PORTRAIT OF N APOLE ON . Though incomplete, this portrait
of a still-youthful Napoleon by the artist Jacques David is possibly
cism was the semiocial religion, but it also pleased
the most accurate likeness of him that has survived. Most later portraits
the strong anticlerical party by making the Catholic
were done after he had become Emperor and tend to romanticize his
Church and clergy a part of the state apparatus and put- appearance.
ting them under strict controls.
Creating administrative and judicial systems that have so popular at home that he could raise vast conscript armies
lasted in France until the present day. Napoleon created a and levy heavy taxes to support their expense, employing a
highly centralized network that went far to integrate and legislature and bureaucracy that were completely his crea-
standardize the formerly diverse provincial governments tures. And the wars went well for France for several years.
and connect the regions more tightly with the capital. Napoleon was perhaps the greatest military strategist of
Granting legal title to the peasants for the lands they the modern era. He devised and led one victorious campaign
had seized earlier in the revolution after another, often against superior numbers, between 1796
Giving the country new uniform civil and criminal and 1809. His implacable enemy was Britain, which actively
codes of law (the Civil Code of 1804; see the Law and supported the various coalitions against him by contributions
Government box for more on this code.) of troops, ships, and money. War reigned between France and
Putting the new single national currency and the Britain uninterruptedly (save a few months in 1802) for twenty-
governments nances in good order two years, 17931814. French armies conquered Spain, Portu-
Establishing social peace by allowing the exiles to gal, the Italian peninsula, Austria (three times), Prussia, and
return if they agreed to support the new France Holland, all of which were incorporated into France directly,
Crushing royalist plots to return the Bourbons, and made into satellites, or neutralized. He also defeated a Russian
also crushing the radical Jacobin remnants army sent against France and was on the verge of invading
England when his defeat in a major sea battle at Trafalgar o
the Spanish coast in 1805 put that plan to rest forever.
French Dominion Over Europe Napoleons relations with Russia were always edgy,
even after its decisive defeat at French hands in 1807. By
In 1804, Napoleon felt the time was ripe to do what every- 1810, Napoleon was convinced that the tsar, Alexander I,
one had long expected: He crowned himself monarch of was preparing hostilities again and would form an alliance
France. His intention was to found a Bonaparte dynasty with the English. He decided on a preemptive strike. In the
that would replace the Bourbons. He took the formal ti- summer of 1812, the invasion began from its Polish base
tle of emperor, because by then France controlled several with a huge army of 600,000, including Frenchmen, their
non-French peoples. As long as his wars went well, he was coerced allies, and some volunteers.
418 C H A P T E R 31


0 125 250 375 Kilometers
0 125 250 Miles REPUBLIC Berlin
London 1795

Rhi n

R e

Atlantic AUSTRIA
Da n u
HELVETIC Vienna ver
1798 lp
SAVOY A Campo Formio
Milan Venice
R h ne R

Pyr P o R.
sM Marseille Genoa
t s. 1798




Corsica 1798 OTTOMAN

French republic Naples

French satellites Sardinia

Hostile states PARTHENOPEAN

Neutral states
Mediterranean Sea REPUBLIC

MAP 31.1 The French Republic and Its Satellites, Hostile States, and Neutrals in 1799

Napoleons campaign in Russia is one of the epic stories Napoleon: Pro or Con
of modern war. After initial successes against the retreating
Russian army, the French belatedly realized that they had The debate over Napoleons greatness as a leader and states-
fallen into a lethal trap: exposure and starvation claimed man has occupied the French and others for almost two
most of those who survived the guerrilla warfare of the centuries. Opinions divide nearly as sharply now as dur-
long winter retreat from Moscow. Perhaps one-third of ing his lifetime. Although some see him as a man of genius
the original force found their way to friendly Polish soil. and the founder of a progressive, stable social order, others
La Grande Arme, Napoleons magnicent weapon with see him as a dictator whose visions for society were always
which he had ruled Europe for the preceding decade, was subordinate to his concern for his own welfare and glory.
irretrievably broken despite his frantic eorts to rebuild it. There can be little doubt that he was an able adminis-
The culminating Battle of the Nations at Leipzig in 1813 trator and selector of talent. In those crucial capacities,
ended in French defeat at the hands of combined Russian, he came closer to the ideal enlightened despot than any
Prussian, and Austrian forces. Occupied Europe was then other ruler of his day or earlier. In contrast to the recent
gradually freed of French troops and governors. In March Bourbon regime, his government was for years ecient,
1814, Paris was surrendered and occupied, and Bonaparte able, popular, and relatively honest. Men of ability could
was forced to abdicate. move upward regardless of their social background.
The French Revolution and the Empire of Napoleon 419

Although by no means a revolutionary himself, Napoleon expected to pay new and onerous taxes, to furnish conscripts
kept the promises that the French Revolution had made for the French armies, and to trade on terms that were ad-
to the peasants and to the middle classes. He conrmed, vantageous to the French. Napoleon also strongly promoted
though he may not have originated, many of the liberals fa- the nationalist spirit that had been so important to the early
vorite measures, such as the disestablishment of the Cath- years of the Revolution, but only as long as the subject peo-
olic Church, equality before the law, and the abolition of ples accepted the leadership of Paris. When they did not,
privilege by birth. His codes provided a modern, uniform they were regarded as traitors and dealt with accordingly.
basis for all French law, both civil and criminal (though the The Prussian liberals, especially, learned this to their dismay
subordination of women was kept very much intact). His when, in true national spirit, they attempted to reject French
administrative reforms replaced the huge mishmash that overlords after royal Prussias defeat in 1806.
had been the French regional and provincial bureaucracy There is also no doubt that as time went on, Bonaparte
with a thoroughly rational centralized system. Now power became increasingly cynical and indierent to the welfare
was concentrated in the government in Paris, which ap- of the masses he once claimed to champion against their
pointed and oversaw the provincial and local ocials. aristocratic oppressors. His willingness to create a new
But the imperial regime developed more than a few class of nobles, based on alleged merit but actually too of-
blemishes as well. After about 1808, the French govern- ten mere opportunists and sycophants of the Bonapartist
ment was a dictatorship in which individual liberties de- regime, was not unnoticed by the idealists.
pended on Napoleons wishes. No political parties were
allowed, and the Napoleonic legislature was at all times a
sham. The press was so heavily controlled that it became The Vienna Settlement
meaningless. Political life was forced underground and
degenerated into a series of conspiracies. An internal spy With Napoleon exiled (in luxurious circumstances) to the
system had informants everywhere. island of Elba in the Mediterranean, the allies who had
In the occupied or satellite territories that made up the united against him went to Vienna to try to work out a
Napoleonic empire (see Map 31.2), governmental policies general settlement of the extremely complex issues that two
were often harsh even when enlightened, and patriots who decades of war had created. Originally, France was not in-
opposed French orders were executed without mercy. The vited, but the brilliant and slippery Talleyrand, foreign min-
non-French populations were steadily exploited. They were ister to the now-restored Bourbon monarch Louis XVIII


The Civil Code of 1804 Female adultery was punishable by imprisonment or nes;
male adultery was legally blameless unless the illicit partner
The systematic reworking of French law called the Civil Code of was brought into the wifes home.
1804 proved to be one of the most lasting and most important be- Generally, a married or single woman had no control over
quests of the French Revolution. Whereas the radical democratic property.
spirit and the atheism of the Jacobins was soon submerged and Married womens wages were legally the property of their
the French military dominion over much of the Continent was husbands, and a married woman could not engage in business
ended by Waterloo, the Napoleonic code had a supranational or sign contracts without the permission of her husband.
inuence not only on the continent of Europe but also on Latin
These restrictions on females remained essentially unchanged
America and the European colonies.
until the entry of large numbers of women into the labor force in Eu-
One of the codes important aspects was its conservative and
rope and the resultant necessity of allowing them greater manage-
patriarchal denition of the rights of females, a denition that
ment of their independent incomes. The crises generated in society
would not be substantially altered in France until the twentieth
by World Wars I and II also contributed greatly to this movement.
century. Those denitions and distinctions between male and
female included the following:
The legal residence of a married woman was that desig- Analyze and Interpret
nated by her husband. How do the codes restrictions on womens rights compare with
Women could not serve as witnesses or institute lawsuits those in earlier laws affecting women, such as the Code of Ham-
in court. murabi, the Laws of Manu, and the Quran?
420 C H A P T E R 31

(brother to the last king), used his talents to ensure that in European aairs. Alexander had originally sympathized
France soon received an equal seat at the bargaining table. with liberalism and constitutionalism but came to mistrust
In the midst of the discussions came the news in February those concepts after the struggles with Napoleon began. Led
1815 that Napoleon had ed Elba, landed in southern France, by mystical hopes for peace and harmony, the tsar became a
and issued a call to all of his followers to renew the war. They conservative autocrat in later years. Under Alexanders suc-
responded with enthusiasm in the tens of thousands. The cessor, Nicholas I (ruled 18251855), the country became a
Hundred Days campaign nearly succeeded but ended in to- bastion of reactionary and anti-liberal forces.
tal defeat for the Bonapartists at Waterloo in Belgium. This Austria under the astute diplomat Prince Metternich
time, Napoleon was shipped o as a prisoner of war to a rock also took a leading role in the reconstruction. Metternich
in the South Atlantic, St. Helena, where he lived out the re- was convinced that nationalism and popular participation
maining six years of his life writing his memoirs. in government would ruin the multinational state of Aus-
In Vienna, the Big Four victorsAustria, Prussia, Rus- tria and then all of Europe. He fought these ideas with all
sia, and Englandwere busy working out the political and of his considerable skill and energy. Because he stayed at
territorial outlines of a new Europe. Actually, the conserva- the helm of Viennas foreign policy for almost forty years,
tive powers, led by Austrias Prince Clemens von Metternich, he became the outstanding example and main voice of
hoped to reconstruct the old Europe but found that was European conservatism until 1848. Austria stagnated in-
impossible. Too much had happened since 1789: too many tellectually and scientically, however, as conservatism
hopes had been awakened, borders changed, kings removed, turned into rst reaction and then paralysis.
and constitutions issued. In the years since, Europe had expe- Prussia originally tended toward liberalism and carried
rienced a great watershed in political and social history. The out internal reforms under a group of statesmen who admired
Old System of European government and society (lancien the constitutional phase of the French Revolution. But, after
rgime: LAHN-cee-ahn ray-ZHEEM) was like Humpty the defeat of the French, the Prussian king Frederick William
Dumpty after his fallit could not be reconstructed. III made clear his distaste for constitutional government and
After nearly coming to blows on the thorny question of succeeded in turning back the political clock for a genera-
what should happen to Polanda state that had been par- tion. As a nation, Prussia came out of the wars with France
tially re-created by Napoleonthe four victors hammered strengthened and expanded, with improved technology and
out a series of agreements that collectively gave Europe an aggressive entrepreneurial class. By the 1830s, it had the
its political borders for the next hundred years. They were best educational system in Europe and was in a position to
guided in their work by several underlying principles: contest Austria for the lead in pan-German aairs.
1. Legitimacy in government. Kings were restored to Great Britain was clearly the leading naval power and
their thrones, and radical constitutions written by pro- one of the strongest military forces in Europe by 1815, but
French revolutionaries were thrown out or rewritten to the British governing class primarily wanted to concentrate
reect more conservative themes. Revolutions would on its business interests to take advantage of the big lead it
henceforth be suppressed by international collabora- had established since 1780 in the race to industrialize (see
tion and intervention. the next chapter). The British liberals always felt uncom-
2. International cooperation to maintain peace. The vic- fortable on the same side of the table as Tsar Alexander and
tors (and soon also France) formed an alliance with Metternich, and by 1825, they had abandoned the Quadru-
regular meetings of foreign ministers. The Quadruple ple Alliance system. Having helped establish the balance of
Alliance lasted for only a decade, but its principles of power on the Continent, they retreated into splendid iso-
international responsibility for peace guided diplomatic lation for the rest of the nineteenth century. They involved
meetings throughout the century from 1815 to 1914. themselves in Europes aairs only when they deemed that
3. Discouragement of nationalism and liberalism in poli- their commercial and business interests were endangered.
tics. The conservative forces saw both nationalism and These four powers plus France would mold Europes
liberalism as evils brought by the French radicals to destinies for the rest of the nineteenth century. The oth-
Europe. Neither was recognized as a legitimate demand ers had little to say beyond their own borders. Italy was
of the citizenry. not yet formed into a single state and would in any case
4. Balance of power. No single state would be allowed to remain in the second tier in international aairs. Spain
dominate the Continent as had France under Napoleon. subsided into a third-rank state, especially after losing
Within the framework created by these general principles, its empire in the Western Hemisphere early in the nine-
what now were the agendas of the four chief victors? Each teenth century (see Chapter 40). Turkey was the sick man
had, in fact, separate needs that had to be harmonized with of Europe, increasingly powerless to protect its southeast
those of the other countries. European possessions. Already during the Napoleonic
Russia, under the visionary Tsar Alexander I (ruled 1801 era, the Scandinavian countries had adopted the neutral
1825), had been the main force in the nal military defeat of course that they would henceforth maintain in world
the French and now for the rst time played a leading role political aairs.
The French Revolution and the Empire of Napoleon 421

Overall Estimate of the Vienna Settlement ordinary people and their right to participate in politics
and government.
During the later nineteenth century, the treaty making at All of these criticisms are more or less true. Yet, if success
Vienna was criticized on many grounds. The aristocratic is measured by the practical test of enduring peace, it would
negotiators meeting in their secluded drawing rooms be hard to nd another great international settlement as
ignored the growing forces of popular democracy, na- successful as the treaty of Vienna of 1815. The borders it es-
tional feeling, liberalism, and social reform. They drew tablished endured without serious challenge for fty years
up territorial boundaries in ignorance of and disregard until the German and Italian petty states were unied into
for popular emotions and restored kings to their thrones two great powers. With the single exception of the Franco-
without the citizenrys support. The treaty makers were a Prussian conict of 1870, Europe did not experience an im-
small handful of upper-class men, contemptuous of the portant, costly war until the outbreak of World War I in



No r th Borodino, 1812

Se a

DENMARK Copenhagen Smolensk

GREAT Danzig
PRUSSIA Friedland, 1807
London Rhine
SAXONY Berlin Eylau, 1807 EMPIRE

Leipzig, 1813 Warsaw

A t l a nt i c Brussels
Waterloo, 1815 Auerstdt, 1806
Paris Jena, 1806 Kiev
Austerlitz, 1805
er R
THE RHINE ter iver
GRAND DUCHY Vienna Pressburg
OF BADEN Ulm, 1805

EMPIRE P o R. Milan
Eb Py Genoa KINGDOM be
ro ren OF
Bla ck S ea

M ts. Marseilles ITALY



Lisbon Madrid Elba

Corsica Rome
I sland
Balearic Sardinia
Trafalgar, 1805

Ta u r .
0 250 500 750 Kilometers
Crete Cyprus
0 250 500 Miles

French empire Neutral states

Medit erra nea n Sea
French satellite Napoleon's route,
Allied to France, Cairo
18071812 Battle site EGYPT

MAP 31. 2 The Napoleonic Empire, 18101813

Except for Britain and Russia, Napoleon controlled almost all of MAP QU E STION S
Europe by 1810, either directly through incorporation into his empire Check where the major battles of Napoleon were fought. Do you see
or by coerced alliances. a connection between these and the areas that had become allies or
satellites of France?
422 C H A P T E R 31

1914. The great multilateral conicts that had marked the toward the end, at least, for the common people as well.
late seventeenth and all of the eighteenth centuries were That this was not the specic intent of the peacemakers is
avoided, and Europe had three generations of peaceable beside the point. Any judgment of the treaties must consider
economic expansion both at home and overseas. that the massive social and economic changes witnessed by
The Vienna Treaties were followed by a century of cul- the nineteenth century were successfully accommodated
tural and material progress for the middle classes and within the international relationships established in 1815.

THE PROBLEMS OF the French monarchy in the late eigh- two years, and a consolidation begun under the Directory
teenth century were cumulative and profound. Inspired by in 1795. Corruption and incompetence weakened the
the Enlightenment and the example of the U.S. Revolutionary Directory to a point that allowed a military coup by the
War, many French were convinced that the weak and direc- young general Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799.
tionless regime of King Louis XVI must change. In 1789, they Napoleons authoritarian settlement of the Revolutions
were able to overcome the stubborn resistance of both king conicts within France was successful, and his wars in the
and nobility to bring about a moderate constitutional monar- name of defense of the Revolution went well for several
chy. Within two years, however, this situation was turned into years. For a long and important decade, most of western
a radical social upheaval by the Jacobins and their support- and central Europe was under French sway. The 1812
ers among the nations poor. The ancien rgime of rule by an Russia campaign was disastrous, however, and the retreat
absolutist monarch and a privileged church and nobility could soon led to defeat in 1814 and its Waterloo sequel. At the
not survive this challenge despite the attempt by Frances con- Vienna congress of victors, a framework of compromise
servative neighbors to save it through armed intervention. between reaction against and grudging acceptance of the
The exigencies of invasion and war combined to create Revolutions principles was worked out; despite its attempt
the Reign of Terror led by the Jacobin Committee of Public to ignore popular nationalism and other defects, it allowed
Safety. This egalitarian dictatorship was overthrown after Europe a century of peace and progress.

uIdentication Terms

Test your knowledge of this chapters key concepts by de- at the end of the book, or working with the ashcards
ning the following terms. If you cant recall the mean- that are available on the World Civilizations Companion
ing of certain terms, refresh your memory by looking up Website: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler
the boldfaced term in the chapter, turning to the Glossary

Battle of the Nations Directory lancien rgime Third Estate

Civil Code of 1804 Estates General leve en masse Waterloo
Declaration of the Rights of First Consul Napoleonic Settlement
Man and Citizen Jacobins

uTest Your Knowledge

Test your knowledge of this chapter by answering the d. the assassination of the king.
following questions. Complete answers appear at the end e. the frivolous excesses of Queen Marie Antoinette.
of the book. You may nd even more quiz questions in 2. The Third Estate in France consisted of
ThomsonNOW and on the World Civilizations Compan- a. the peasants.
ion Website: www.thomsonedu.com/history/adler b. the urban dwellers of all types.
c. everyone outside the ranks of the nobility and the
1. The trigger for the outbreak of revolution in France was clergy.
a. the refusal of the nobles and the clergy to pay their d. the children of the nobles who had no right of
share of taxes. succession.
b. peasant unrest caused by landlord abuses. e. those outside the Catholic faith.
c. an armed rebellion by outraged middle-class
The French Revolution and the Empire of Napoleon 423

3. The opening phase of the French Revolution saw the c. The enactment of uniform legal codes for the
demand for whole country
a. a republic. d. The elimination of the Catholic clergys inuence
b. a military dictatorship. on French opinion
c. a representative democracy. e. The establishment of a uniform currency
d. a constitutional monarchy. 8. The chief conservative powers at the Vienna peace
e. an end to civil government that was tied to the conference were
Catholic Church. a. Prussia, Russia, and Austria.
4. Emmanuel Sieyes wrote a much-read pamphlet in b. Prussia, Russia, and Britain.
1789 that c. Austria, Russia, and France.
a. attacked the whole idea of the monarchy in France. d. Russia, Prussia, and France.
b. defended the rights of the Third Estate. e. France, Prussia, and Austria.
c. demanded the separation of church and state. 9. Which of the following was least considered in the
d. urged the immediate introduction of a proletarian negotiations at Vienna?
dictatorship. a. The right of forcibly deposed monarchs to regain
e. mirrored the American Declaration of Independence. their thrones
5. Napoleon came to power in 1799 because of the b. The right of working people to determine their
a. public reaction against the Terror of the Jacobins. form of government
b. complete anarchy in France after Robespierres fall. c. The right of states to retain adequate territory and
c. threat of the counterrevolutionaries. resources for defense
d. unpopularity of the Directory. d. The responsibility of nations to work together to
e. success he had attained in the war against Britain promote peace
in Egypt. e. The need to suppress rebellions in the future
6. The battle at Trafalgar 10. Which country of post-1815 Europe does the phrase
a. ensured French domination of most of the Continent. splendid isolation apply to most directly?
b. frustrated a potential French invasion of England. a. Great Britain
c. knocked the Russians out of the anti-French b. France
coalition. c. Russia
d. made it necessary for France to sell the Louisiana d. Turkey
Territory to the United States. e. Austria
e. was Napoleons last victory over England.
7. Which of the following did Napoleon not preside over
in France?
a. The signing of a concordat with the Vatican
b. The creation of a new administrative system

u World History Resource Center

Enter ThomsonNOW using the access card that is available Enter the Resource Center using either your ThomsonNOW
with this text. ThomsonNOW will assist you in understand- access card or your standalone access card for the Wadsworth
ing the content in this chapter with lesson plans generated World History Resource Center. Organized by topic, this web-
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the following documents, and many more, at the Wadsworth
World History Resource Center:

Cahiers de Dolances (Lists of Grievances in response to

Louis XVIs call for delegates to the Estates General)
Maximilien Robespierre, Address to the National
Napoleon Bonaparte, The Coup dtat of 18 Brumaire
Steam is an Englishman.


Increase in trade,
population, and
32 Englands
and Its Social

Prerequisites for Industrial Production

agricultural production
Agrarian Improvements
17501850 Change in premarital
relationships and family The Method of Machine Industry
The Factory
1760s1820s First Industrial Revolution
in Britain/steam power England: The Initial Leader in Industrialism
c. 1815c. Industrialization of
1860s northwestern Europe Spread of the Industrial Revolution
1830 First railroad completed in Railroads
Phases of the Industrial Revolution
Late 1800s Second Industrial
and electricity Traditional Social Structures and
Impacts of Early Industry
The Structures of the Family and Household The Place
of Children Relations Between Men and Women

Occupations and Mobility

Female Occupations

The Migration to the Cities:

Urbanized Society
Urban Growth Urban Classes and Lifestyles

Diet and Nutrition

Public Health
Housing and Sanitation

Living Standards
Reforms and Improvements

in the nineteenth century was a direct outgrowth of the Scientic
Revolution and, like that earlier event, was not really so much a
revolution as a steady accretion of new knowledge and techniques.
It was made possible by another revolution: the transformation

Englands Industrialization and Its Social Consequences 425

of agriculture that took place at the same time. England they were the home of numerous individuals who
led in both of these transformations, and the rest of Europe had had experience in organizing and managing fairly
only slowly and unevenly fell into line. large enterprises. These people knew how to calculate
And to what extent were the lifestyles of ordinary peo- risks, how to spread them, and how to use the corpo-
ple altered during the transition from a preindustrial to rate form of organization and insurance to minimize
an industrial society? We shall see that the change was them. They knew how to raise capital, secure credit,
substantial, but it was gradual in most cases and only re- and share prot. They were relatively open to new ideas
ally remarkable over a generation or more. Taken all in all, and new technology that promised good returns on
however, the lives of many Europeans changed more in the investment.
century between 1750 and 1850 than they had in all pre-
ceding centuries together.
Agrarian Improvements
If industrial society was to be possible, Europes farmers
Prerequisites for Industrial would have to produce sucient food to feed the growing
Revolution urban labor force. To ensure this production, the crop yields
had to be increased. Everywhere in seventeenth-century
Historians have identied several factors that are neces- Europe, croplands were tended in much the same way and
sary for an economy to engage in large-scale industrial with much the same results as in the Middle Age. The ratio of
production. All of these were present in England by the grain harvested to seed sown, for an important example, was
late eighteenth century: still only about 3 or 4 to 1, which was far too low. However,
1. Upsurge in world trade. The expanding market for with the world becoming ever more interconnected,
European goods and services created by the new colo- high-yield New World crops, like the potato, helped revolu-
nies was matched by the large volume of exports from tionize agricultural output.
those colonies destined for European consumption. The most important single step toward moderniz-
In the eighteenth century, French overseas trading ing farming was the change from open elds to enclo-
grew more than tenfold, and the English were not sures, which enabled progressive proprietors to cultivate
far behind. Intra-European trade also grew spectacu- their lands as they saw t. These newly enclosed elds
larly, as the colonial goods were often re-exported to were capable of producing two crops yearly, while only
third parties. one-third, rather than the traditional one-half, lay fallow.
2. Rising population. The increased demand for imports The enclosed eld system originated in Holland, which
was largely a result of the rapidly rising population of had the densest population in all of Europe and conse-
most of the Continent and England. Although the pre- quently the most precious agrarian land. The Dutch also
cise reasons for this rise are still in dispute, it is clear pioneered many other new techniques that improved crop
that the death rate steadily fell and the birth rate steadily yields, including the intensive use of manure fertilizer,
rose in Europe after 1750. The English population, for rotation between root crops such as potatoes and seed
instance, quadrupled in a centurya phenomenon crops such as wheat, the use of hybrid seeds, and land
never before recorded in history from natural increase drainage.
alone. From Holland the new agrarian practices spread quickly
3. Increased ow of money. Commercial expansion required to Britain, and as it became apparent that landowners using
additional capital. Money was needed to nance the the new methods and crops could make prots equal to
purchase of goods until they could be resold. Many those of the industrial manufacturer but at much less risk,
individuals tried to prot from the rising consumption many larger landlords took up the new idea of market
by building new factories, port facilities, and ware- farming (that is, producing for an urban market rather than
housesall of which required money or credit. Capital for village subsistence). This was the advent of agrarian
was raised by the expanding stock markets, partnerships capitalism, in which reducing unit costs and raising the
and speculations, and the issue of paper money backed volume of product were just as important as in industrial
by the bullion coming from America. production.
4. Experienced managers and entrepreneurs. By the later Without these improvements in agriculture, the huge
eighteenth century, several pockets of entrepreneur- numbers of ex-farm laborers required by industry and
ial expertise could be found, primarily in London, commerce in the nineteenth century might not have become
Antwerp, Amsterdam, and other cities of north- available. They certainly could not have been adequately fed.
western Europe. All of these places had already had Not only were they fed, but many of them were fed consid-
two centuries of experience in colonial trade. Now erably better than ever before.
426 C H A P T E R 32

The Method of Machine The shift to factory production was as important in

changing lifestyles in the Western world as the industrial
Industry products themselves were. In the new factory system, an
entrepreneur or a company gathered together perhaps
Industrial production is aimed above all at lessening the
hundreds of individual workers under one roof and one
unit cost of production through improved technology.
managerial eye. They were paid on a prexed pay scale and
The changes that occurred in late eighteenth- and early
worked under tight discipline on a single, repetitive part
nineteenth-century consumption took place not so much
of the production process. See the Society and Economy
because new products were produced but because indus-
boxes for more about labor practices during this era.
trialized technology allowed the production of familiar
No longer did the individual workers function as part-
products in greater quantity and at lesser cost.
ners of the employer and have a good deal to say about the
For example, one of the chief early products of industry
conditions and pay they received. No longer would workers
was underclothing for men and women. There was nothing
have much to say about how their skills would be employed,
new about its design, raw material, or general method of
the nature of what they were making, or where it would be
production. What was new and revolutionary was the much
sold or to whom. All of those decisions and many others
lower price for a shirt or underpants when those items
were now exclusively made by the employer, the capitalist
were woven on a machinea power loomfrom textiles
entrepreneur who controlled the factory (or mine, or
that had been spun by machine from ax or cotton that had
foundry, or railroad).
been cleaned and deseeded by machine. The factory owner
could sell to wholesale outlets at much lower unit prices
because perhaps ve machine-made shirts could be pro-
duced for the cost of one previously hand-woven shirt. The England: The Initial Leader
wholesaler could then place those ve shirts with a single in Industrialism
retailer because the price was so low that the retailer could
be sure of disposing of all ve quickly. Men and women Why did England take the early lead in the industrial pro-
who had previously not worn underclothing because of its duction of goods and services? There were several reasons:
high cost were now able and willing to buy several sets. 1. Entrepreneurial experience. Already in the early eigh-
Most early industrial products were simply variations of teenth century, the English were the Western worlds
previously handworked items that had been adapted to a most experienced traders and entrepreneurs. The English
mode of production that used machines for all or part of colonies were spread around the world, and the North
the process. These products included clothing and shoes, American colonies were the biggest markets for goods
lumber, rough furniture, bricks, coal, and pig iron. Sophisti- outside Europe. The English national bank had existed
cated or new products came only gradually, when inventors as a credit and nance institution since 1603, rates of
and entrepreneurs had developed a clearer vision of what interest were lower than anywhere else, and the English
could be accomplished with the new machinery and had stock markets were the worlds largest and most exible
developed a trained labor force. for raising capital.
2. Population increase. As mentioned earlier, the English
The Factory population rose about 15 percent per decade through-
out the eighteenth century, generating a huge increase
Before the eighteenth century, it was unusual for a single in demand and an equally huge increase in the potential
employer to have more than a handful of workers on the or actual labor supply.
payroll directly. Very often, people took in some type of 3. Energy, or Steam is an Englishman. The key to indus-
raw material, such as rough bolts of cloth, and worked it trialization as a mechanical process was a new source
up into a nished consumer product in their own homes, of energy: steam. The English pioneered the inventions
working on their own schedules, and being paid when that made steam engines the standard form of mechan-
they had completed the task assigned. This was commonly ical energy during the nineteenth century. All over the
called the putting-out system because the same entre- world, English steam engines opened the path to indus-
preneur secured the raw material, found the parties who trialized production of goods.
would work it, and collected the nished product for sale 4. Agricultural improvements. The improvements in agri-
elsewhere. He bore the risks and made all of the prots, cultural production made it possible for the farmers
while the workers received a piecework wage. Most cloth- to not only feed the rapidly growing urban sector but to
ing, draperies, shoes, kitchenware, harness, and table uten- do so with fewer workers in the elds. The excess rural
sils, as examples, were made this way in early modern population then migrated from the countryside, con-
days. The wages earned were an important part of the in- tributing to the growth of the urban sectors demand
come of many rural and urban families. for foodstus.
Englands Industrialization and Its Social Consequences 427

5. Key raw materials. England controlled much of the two market. Not only were there few natural obstacles to
basic raw materials of early industry: coal and cotton. travel and transport, but the river system, connected by
The English coalelds were large and easy to access. canals in the eighteenth century, made transportation
They provided the fuel for the new steam engines and cheaper and safer than elsewhere.
used those engines extensively to produce coal more As a result of these advantages, it was natural for England
cheaply than anywhere in Europe. Cotton came from to take the lead in industry (see Map 32.1). In the generation
India, which was by now an English colony, and from between 1740 and 1780, England produced a variety of me-
the North American colonies. It was carried across the chanical inventions, including John Kays spinning machine,
ocean almost entirely in English ships, woven in English called the spinning jenny, and Samuel Cromptons mule,
factories, and the nished cloth was exported to the rest which made yarn or thread. By 1800, these machines had
of Europe without eective competition for a century. been joined by others, including the cotton gin, invented
6. Transportation. England had the most favorable inter- by an American, Eli Whitney, Richard Arkwrights water
nal transport system. The geography and topography of frame, and Edmund Cartwrights power loom. Together,
England made the country ideal for moving goods to these inventions revolutionized the production of cotton


Textile Mills Labor the morning, and I know the general practice is for them
to go as early to all the mills. . . .
Following the victory over Napoleon, a wave of industrial unrest How late in the evening have you seen them at work,
broke over England, as the working conditions of early industrial or remarked them returning to their homes?I have seen
society became intolerable both to the workers themselves and them at work in the summer season between nine and ten
to the awakening conscience of part of the liberal middle classes. in the evening: they continue to work as long as they can
In the 1830s and 1840s, a series of parliamentary commissions see, and they can see to work in these mills as long as you
were charged with investigating the conditions of working and could see to read. . . .
living among the factory and mine laborers. Their reports Your business as a clothier has often led you into these
shocked the British public and were followed by some of the mills?Frequently.
earliest attempts to control the free market endorsed by the What has been the treatment that these children re-
more extreme followers of Adam Smith. ceived in the mills, to keep them attentive for so many
The following is an excerpt from a commission report on child hours at such early ages?They are generally cruelly
labor, interviewing a witness named Abraham Whitehead. His treated, so cruelly treated that they dare not hardly for
and other, similar testimony led directly to the rst child labor law their lives be late to work in the morning. . . . I have seen
in British history, passed in 1833: them so fatigued, they appear in such a state of apathy
What is your business?A clothier and insensibility as really not to know whether they are
Where do you reside?At Scholes, near Holmrth. doing their work or not. . . .
Is that not in the centre of very considerable woollen
mills? Yes, I live nearly in the centre of thirty to forty Analyze and Interpret
woollen mills. . . . The committees report was unpopular with many parents of
Are the children and young persons of both sexes working children, because it recommended limiting the hours
employed in these mills?Yes and types of work they might do. What would you think of this
At how early an age are children employed?The attitude? Is it still true of some parents? Can it be justied?
youngest age at which children are employed is never Source: The Report of the Committee on the Bill to Regulate the Labour of
under five, but some are employed between five and Children, British Seasonal Papers 15 (London: n.p., 1832), p. 195.
six. . . .
How early have you observed these young children You can read another account, by J. L. Hammond,
going to their work?In the summertime I have fre- of labor during the Industrial Revolution, including
quently seen them going to work between ve and six in child labor at the Wadsworth World History
Resource Center.
428 C H A P T E R 32


Adam Smith on Specialization business of making a pin is, in this manner, divided into
about eighteen distinct operations, which in some manu-
One of the outstanding innovative results of early industrializa- facturies, are performed by distinct hands, though in others
tion was the specialization of labor. Tasks that previously had the same man will perform perhaps two or three of them.
been performed by two or three individual craftspeople working I have seen a small manufactory of this kind where ten
at their own pace and in their own sequence were broken up by men only were employed . . . they could when they exerted
the early factory operators into distinct phases, each with its themselves make among them about twelve pounds of
own machine-supported applications by individual workers. pins per day. There are in a pound upwards of four thou-
Adam Smith (17231790) anticipated these results in his epoch- sand pins of a middling size. Those ten persons, therefore,
making book The Wealth of Nations, written in 1776 when the could make among them upwards of forty-eight thousand
Industrial Revolutions effects were just barely discernible in Great pins in a day. Each person, therefore, making a tenth part of
Britain. Smith provided the economic and philosophical bases of forty-eight thousand pins, might be considered as making
liberalism, as that word was used in the eighteenth and nineteenth four thousand, eight hundred pins in a day. But if they had
centuries. In the following excerpt, he considers the division of all [worked] separately and independently, and without
labor, which the introduction of factories was greatly stimulating. any of them having been educated to this peculiar busi-
Chapter I: Of the Division of Labor ness, they certainly could not each of them have made
To take an example, therefore, from a very triing man- twenty, perhaps not one pin in a day; that is, certainly, not
ufacture; but one in which the division of labor has been the two hundred and fortieth, perhaps not the four thou-
very often taken notice of, the trade of the pin-maker; a sand eight hundredth part of what they are at present
workman not educated to this business (which the division capable of performing, in consequence of proper division
of labor has rendered a distinct trade), nor acquainted with and combination of their different operations.
the use of the machinery employed in it (to the invention
of which the same division of labor has probably given Source: Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of
occasion), could scarce with his utmost industry, make one Nations, ed. Edwin Canaan (New York: Modern Library, 1994).
pin in a day, and certainly could not make twenty. But in
the way in which this business is now carried on, not only Analyze and Interpret
the whole work is a peculiar trade, but it is divided into a Does Smith show any appreciation of the psychic results of the
number of branches, of which the greater part are likewise new method? What might some of the subsidiary results of this
peculiar trades. One man draws the wire, another straight- type of specialization be?
ens it, a third cuts it, a fourth points it, a fth grinds it at
the top to receive the pin-head; to make the head requires You can read further selections from The
two or three distinct operations; to put it on is a peculiar Wealth of Nations at the Wadsworth World
business, to whiten the pins is another; it is even a trade History Resource Center.
by itself to put them into the paper; and the important

cloth. Machines that still used water or animal power were Spread of the Industrial
now quickly replaced by the perfected steam engines de-
signed by James Watt and Matthew Boulton. Cheap and reli-
able steam power became the standard energy source of
From England the new processes spread slowly during the
the Western worlds machines for the next hundred years.
eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. No other coun-
Engineers of all sorts, bridge builders, railroad and
try had Englands peculiar combination of advantages, but
tramway developers, and mining superintendentsin
there were other reasons for this tardiness. A major factor
short, all types of the nineteenth centurys burgeoning
was Englands attempt to treat industrial techniques as
technical aristocracywere rst and foremost Englands
state secrets. These restrictions could not be eectively
contribution to the industrial world.
Englands Industrialization and Its Social Consequences 429

Text not available due to copyright restrictions

enforced, and the theoretical knowledge of machine design

and technology spread into northern Europe and the
United States after about 1820.
Another factor retarding industrialization was the
long Napoleonic wars, which disrupted the normal com-
munications and commerce between the Continent and
England for the quarter-century between 1793 and 1815.
It would take another generation before even the more
advanced areas of western Europe could rival Britain in
industrial techniques.
By about 1830, the areas on the Continent closest to
England had begun to industrialize part of their produc-
tive capacity. Belgium and northern France began to use
steam power rst in coal and textile production, the same
industries that had initiated the use of steam in England.
By the 1860s, industrial techniques had spread to the
Rhine valley, especially the Ruhr coal and iron elds, as
well as to parts of northern Italy and the northern United
States (see Map 32.2).
Nevertheless, even as late as the 1860s, eastern Europe,
Russia, and Iberia (Spain and Portugal), as well as most of
Italy, were almost untouched by the industrial lifestyle and
industrial production. These regions all lacked one or more
of the important factors that had to come together for


Named in honor of Queen Victorias husband,
this span was a design by I. K. Brunel and one of the
triumphs of the transport revolution spawned by
Shropshire, UK/Bridgeman Art Library
Ironbridge Gorge Museum, Telford,
430 C H A P T E R 32

industrialization to proceed. They became the permanent, the new invention spread rapidly. The rst commercial use
involuntary clients of the industrialized regions. Some of steam railroading was in 1830, when a line connected
areas, such as eastern Europe and the Balkans, were still Liverpool and Manchester, two of the newly important
untouched well into the middle of the twentieth century. British industrial towns. By the 1840s, lines were under
Industrialization was not automatic or inevitable, and way in most countries of the old and new worlds, includ-
large parts of the non-Western world are still only super- ing Russia and the United States.
cially and partially industrialized in their essential produc- Private companies built most early rail lines, but rail-
tion techniques. roads were costly, and the large debts the owners incurred
were often more than the lines could sustain during the
Railroads frequent downturns in the economic cycle. As a result,
many railroads went bankrupt and were taken over by
One of the most spectacular results of steam power was the government. By the 1860s, most railroad lines were in
the railroad. Again, Britain led the way, but in this instance, government hands everywhere but in the United States.

Text not available due to copyright restrictions

Englands Industrialization and Its Social Consequences 431

The steam locomotive was the heart of a railroad. Yet The Second Industrial Revolution began in the later
the locomotives mechanics were so simple that only a part of the nineteenth century in various parts of western
few years after the rst one was mounted on its track, Europe and produced modern applied science or tech-
it had reached a state of perfection that hardly changed nology. The chemical and petroleum industries especially
over the next century. Bigger and slightly more ecient came to the fore in this phase, and a new source of energy
locomotives were built, but they were essentially the same was developedelectricity. National leadership shifted
machine as the famous Rocket of the 1830 Liverpool gradually from Great Britain to Germany (after its forma-
Manchester line. tion in 1871) and the postCivil War United States.
The railroad dramatically reduced the costs of shipping In our own time, industrial production has spread rap-
and personal travel. It also greatly increased the security of idly into many countries that were previously untouched,
moving goods and people over long distances. By as early as or almost so, by these revolutions. At the same time, the
1850, trains were steaming along in excess of fty miles per older industrial countries in the West have moved on to a
houra speed that seemed almost diabolical to many on- postindustrial society, in which the production of goods
lookers. By that year it was possible to travel from London in factories and their transport by railroad has given way
to Edinburgh overnight in safety and comfort. Twenty years in importance to the provision of services and informa-
earlier, the same journey had taken four or ve jolting, bang- tion relying on electronic transmissions. We are, in fact,
ing days in a stagecoach, and the train cost less as well. The living through a Third Industrial Revolution symbolized
railroad had an impact on the rst half of the nineteenth and powered by the computer.
century similar to the impact of the automobile on the rst
half of the twentiethanother revolution!
Traditional Social
Structures and
Phases of the Industrial Impacts of Early Industry
During the later eighteenth century in Britain and France
Industrial work and lifestyles did not develop rapidly as a (where the records are best preserved), a massive, wide-
onetime occurrence at the end of the eighteenth century. spread change in social habits and relationships became
The changes that began then have continued to the present apparent. The causes of this change are not well under-
day, but they can be divided into certain discernible stages. stood, but they seem to be linked with the arrival of Enlight-
The First Industrial Revolution, which lasted in Eu- enment science as a competing primary source of ethical
rope from about 1760 to 1820, was marked by the pre- guidance with religion. The beginnings of the Industrial
dominance of Britain, the central importance of a new Age accelerated changes that had already begun. One
supply of energy from steam, and the production of tex- striking example is the structure of the family and the
tiles and iron in the factory setting. household.
Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, Surrey,
UK/Bridgeman Art Library

RAI L S TATIO N. This magnificent 1862 illustration by the British painter W. Powell Frith captures the bustling activity
of a Victorian-era station and the crowds who were glad to board the iron horse.
432 C H A P T E R 32

very young children. The reason was simple: The mortality

rate for infants and children was so high that it discour-
aged people from putting much nancial or emotional in-
Bibliothque des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France/

vestment into them. In many places, three of ve children

Archives Charmet/Bridgeman Art Library

of ordinary people normally would die before age ten, and

another would die before age twenty.
Diseases of every type hit children (and the aged) harder
than others. In times of famine, young children were often
the rst victims. Household and farm accidents of a lethal
nature were an everyday aair among children (we fre-
quently hear of children drowning in the farm pond or the
well, being kicked by a horse, cut by sharp tools, or burned
to death). In those days, when medical care for rural peo-
ple was nonexistent and hospitals were feared, even minor
burns or slight infections would become aggravated and
THE ROC KET, 1829. This engraving shows George Stephensons
locomotive as it traveled across the English countryside in 1829. often result in death, weeks or months later.
Essentially a steam boiler laid on its side with pistons and wheels, the Therefore, the usual attitude toward the infant was a
Rocket quickly outdistanced its stagecoach competitors between Liverpool mix of indierence with a good deal of realistic caution
and Manchester. about his or her prospects. Most peasants and workers
viewed children below age seven or so as debit factors:
they demanded time-consuming care and feeding without
The Structure of the Family and Household being able to contribute anything to the family resources.
Only after they had become strong and rational enough to
For most people, the family they are born into is the most do adult work were they looked on as assets.
important social institution in their lives. We tend to think The urban classes and the wealthy could aord to take
of the family as unchanging: a man, a woman, and their a more relaxed attitude toward childrens work, but their
children. But is this so? Historians once assumed that emotional relations with the young child were about as dis-
for many centuries before industrialization, the Euro- tant as the peasants. Urban children died as readily and
pean family had a standard structure, which varied little. as unpredictably as rural children. It only made biological
An extended kin group living under one roof, high rates sense to restrict maternal love and paternal pride to those
of illegitimate children, and early universal marriage, so children who were old enough to have a good chance of a
it was thought, characterized this family. Now, however, long life. And for most people, the point of having children
researchers have established that this stereotype of the was to provide a primitive form of social security. Children
preindustrial family is false. The characteristics that were were expected to see to it that their parents did not suer
assumed to be commonplace were in fact uncommon dur- the ultimate indignity of a beggarly old age or have to throw
ing the preindustrial centuries. themselves on the charity of others when ill or disabled.
Instead, it is now clear that major changes in the family At some point between 1750 and 1850, a change became
structure took place beginning in the middle of the eigh- evident, as parents began to show what we now consider
teenth century before industry became common. normal parental love and tenderness toward newborn and
Three changes were particularly noticeable: young children. This change occurred rst in the better-
1. A lowering of the average age of marriage from the o segment of society and then seeped downward into the
previous 27 for both men and women to about 22 for lives of the majority. Why did it happen?
women and 23.5 for men by 1850. Several factors can be identied: the declining child
2. A sharp increase in the number of children born out- mortality rate, which gradually increased the chances that
side of wedlock, beginning in the towns but soon also a child would survive; the rising numbers of middle-class
becoming common in the rural areas, where the major- people who did not need childrens labor but valued them
ity of the population lived. for their own sake; and the inuence of educational re-
3. A steady increase in the previously low number of aged formers such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Johann Heinrich
persons (over sixty) who had to be cared for by younger Pestalozzi, and Friedrich Herbert. These reformers insisted