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this advantage, when the discontent of the army threatened them with unexpected danger; Cromwell encouraged the soldiers to resist the orders of the parliament, and by a bold measure gave fresh confidence to his party. Cornet Joyce, acting under his orders, removed the king from Holmby house, and brought him to the army. Cromwell and his friends made such a judicious use of the advantage thus obtained, that the presbyterian party soon lost all their influence. The behavior of Charles at this crisis was very injudicious ; he negotiated with both parties, and, by his obvious insincerity, displeased all. Finally, he attempted to escape ; but seeking shelter in the isle of Wight, he was seized by its governor, Hammond, and from that moment Cromwell became the master of his fate. Another opportunity of escaping from the perils that surrounded him was offered to the king; the Scotch took up arms in his favor, but they were routed by Cromwell with great slaughter, and all hopes from their assistance destroyed. But the parliament having reason to dread Cromwell's ambition, opened negotiations with the king on receiving the news of this victory, and the wisest of the royal counsellors entreated their master to seize this opportunity of concluding a treaty. Unfortunately he hesitated and delayed the arrangements for more than three months, until the army once more took possession of his person, and conveyed him to Hurst. The two houses, indeed, voted that the royal concessions were sufficient grounds for settling the peace of the kingdom; but two days afterward the avenues to the house of commons were beset with soldiers, and all the members supposed favorable to the king forcibly prevented from taking their seats. In this diminished house the resolutions leading to a reconciliation with the king were revoked, and proposals were made for bringing him to a public trial. The final resolution for impeaching the king of high treason before a court of justice constituted for the
purpose, was adopted by the house of commons (January 2, 1649): it was at once rejected by the lords; but their opposition was disregarded, and the court regularly constituted. The form of trial was but a solemn mockery ; Charles with great spirit refused to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the court, upon which some witnesses were called to prove what everybody knew, that he had appeared at the head of his army, which his judges declared to be treason against the people, and a crime worthy of death. Sentence was pronounced on the 27th of January and, on the 30th of the same month, the misguided and unhappy Charles was beheaded in front of Whitehall, amid the unaffected sympathy of crowds of spectators.
The death of Charles was followed by the usurpation of Cromwell, and Great Britain was subjected to a despotism more galling and severe than that of any monarch who ever swayed its sceptre.
SECTION XI.--Formation of the States-system in the Northern Kingdoms
of Europe. The revolutions in the northern kingdoms during the progress of the Reformation were scarcely less important than those in central Europe. Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, united by the treaty of Calmar, were never blended into a uniform goverment: the Swedish nobles kept their country in continued agitation ; without severing the union, they chose administrators of the kingdom whose allegiance to the crown of Denmark was merely nominal. Christian II., a tyrannical prince, resolved to destroy the Swedish independence, he overthrew the administrator at the battle of Bagesund, and had the ceremony of his coronation performed at Stockholm (A. D. 1520). A few days after this solemnity, Christian perfidiously violated the amnesty he had published; and to gratify the vengeance of the archbishop of Upsal, whom the Swedes had deposed, caused ninety-four of the principal nobles to be publicly executed. This massacre was the signal for a revolution : Gustavus Vasa, son of one of the murdered nobles, escaped to the mountains of Dalecarlia, and supported by the hardy peasants of that province, proclaimed the freedom of his country. Victory crowned his efforts, and he finally became king of Sweden (A. D. 1523). Christian II. was deposed by the Danes, and the crown conferred on his uncle Frederic; he wandered about for some years, vainly seeking support, but was finally seized by his subjects, and thrown into a prison, where he ended his days. The Danish monarchs, for nearly half a century, renewed their pretensions to the Swedish throne ; but finding that their efforts only exhausted their own resources, they recognised the independence of Sweden by the treaty of Stettin (A. D. 1570).
Denmark thus lost the ascendency which it had long maintained, and it was further injured by a disastrous change in its internal constitution. The aristocracy established a vicious supremacy over the prerogatives of the crown and the rights of the people. The senate, composed entirely of nobles, seized on all the authority of the state; the national assemblies ceased to be convoked ; the elections of the kings were confined to the aristocratic order, and the royal power was restricted by capitulations, which the senate prescribed to the kings on their accession to the throne.
It was in the reign of Frederic I., the uncle and successor of the tyrannical Christian, that the principles of the Reformation were first established in Denmark. The king invited several of Luther's disciples to preach the new doctrines in his kingdom ; he openly professed them himself, granted liberty of conscience to all his subjects, and sanctioned the marriages of priests throughout his dominions. Christian III. completed the religious revolution; in a general assembly of the states he procured the abrogation of episcopacy, and the suppression of the Romish worship (A. D. 1536). The castles, fortresses, and vast domains of the bishops, were reunited to the crown; and the rest of their revenues applied to the maintenance of protestant ministers, the purposes of general education, and the relief of the poor. From Denmark the revolution extended to Norway; and about the same time this kingdom, having supported the deposed Christian II., was deprived of its independence, and reduced to a Danish province.
Christian IV. was distinguished among the northern sovereigns by the superiority of his talents, and the zeal that he showed in reforming the different branches of the administration. In his reign the Danes first directed their attention to Asiatic trade, and founded an East India
company; a commercial establishment was formed at Tranquebar, on the coast of Coromandel, which was ceded to the company by the
rajah of Tanjore. Several large manufactories were established, and many cities founded by this wise monarch, who was also a judicious patron of science and literature. He was less successful in his wars against Austria and Sweden, but this was owing rather to the restric tions which the nobles had placed on his power, than to any want of talent.
Sweden, from having been subject to Denmark, rose to be its successful rival, and even menaced its total overthrow. It owed this
preponderance to two of the greatest men of the period, Gustavus Vasa and Gustavus Adolphus. After Vasa had liberated his country, he was raised to the throne, and by his wise government justified the choice of the nation. He directed his attention both to the political and religious reformation of the country; instead of the aristocratic senate, he introduced a diet, composed of the different orders of the state, and by his influence with the commons, introduced Lutheranism, though opposed by the bishops and nobles. He also established the hereditary succession of the crown, which was extended to females in the reign of his son Charles IX.
Gustavus Adolphus, the grandson of Vasa, raised Sweden to the summit of its greatness. Involved in wars at his accession (A. D. 1611), he gained signal advantages over the Russians and Poles, which so extended his fame, that he was chosen, as we have seen, to be the leader of the protestant confederacy against the house of Austria After a glorious career of two years and a half, he fell in the battle of Lutzen : but the victory which the Swedes won after his death was chiefly owing to his skilful arrangements. The war was continued under the minority of Christina, and brought to a successful issue, as was also the war waged at the same time against Denmark. By the peace of Bromsebro (A. D. 1645), Sweden obtained the free navigation of the Sound, and the cession of several important islands in the Baltic.
Prussia, under the electors of Brandenburg, gradually increased in strength and power, especially during the administration of Frederic William, the true founder of the greatness of his house. His abilities were particularly conspicuous in the protestant wars of Germany; and he obtained such an accession of territory by the treaty of Westphalia, that his son Frederic assumed the title of king of Prussia.
The dismemberment of Livonia led to a fierce struggle between the northern powers, each of which sought a portion of the spoil. Russia, which had slowly acquired consistency, obtained a considerable portion, which, however, it was forced to yield to Poland. After having long submitted to the degrading yoke of the Mongols, the grand-dukes of Moscow, strengthened by the union of several small principalities, began to aspire after independence, which was achieved by Iwan III. This able ruler, having refused to pay the customary tribute to the barbarians, was attacked by the khan of the Golden Horde, as the leading sect of the Mongols was denominated. Instead of acting on the defensive, Iwan sent a body of troops into the very centre of the horde, and ruined all their establishments on the Volga. So great were the losses of the Mongols, that the Golden Horde disappeared, and left no traces but a few feeble tribes. Iwan IV. labored to civilize the empire acquired by the valor of his predecessors : he invited artisans from England and Germany, established a printing-press at Moscow, and raised the standing army of the Strelitzes to curb his turbulent nobles. It was in his reign that Siberia was discovered and annexed to the Russian dominions, but the complete reduction of that country belongs to the reign of his son Fédor (A. D. 1587), who founded the city of Tobolsk.
On the death of Fédor, without any issue (A. D. 1598), Russia was involved in a series of calamitous civil wars, which ended in the elevation of Michael Fedrowetsch to the crown. He found his dominions exhausted by the late commotions, and could only procure peace from Sweden and Poland by the cession of many valuable provinces (A. D. 1634).
During the reigns of the Jagellons, Poland was one of the most flourishing northern powers. The reformation was favored by Sigismond Augustus II., the last of this dynasty ; but the want of a middle order of society, which has ever been the cause of Polish misery, prevented evangelical principles from taking deep root in the country, and producing the benefits that had resulted from them in other states. When the male line of the Jagellons became extinct on the death of Sigismond (A. D. 1572), the throne of Poland became elective (without any restriction),* and the right of voting was given to all the nobles, who met in arms to choose a sovereign. These elections were generally marked with violence and bloodshed; but though the nobles were divided among themselves, they readily united to restrict the royal authority ; every sovereign, on his accession, was obliged to sign certain capitulations, which greatly limited his rule, and secured the chief powers of the state to the aristocracy. Under its new constitution, Poland was internally weak and miserable, though some of its monarchs still distinguished themselves by foreign conquests, especially Vladislaus IV., who wrested the dutchy of Smolensko from Russia.
SECTION XII.-Progress of the Turkish Power in Europe.
The successors of Mohammed II. on the throne of Constantinople imitated the vigorous policy of that conqueror, and for nearly a century were the terror of Christendom. Bayezíd II. subdued Bessarabia, and acquired some important provinces in Asia. He was forced to resign the throne by his son Selim (A. D. 1510), and was murdered in prison. Selim I., surnamed Gavúz, or the Savage, was obliged to maintain the throne Le had so criminally gained, by a series of sanguinary wars with the other members of his family. Having triumphed over these competitors, he turned his arms against the Persians, and gained a complete victory over Ismael Sofí at Tabríz (A. D. 1514). In consequence of this and other successes, Diarbekr and several other provinces beyond the Tigris were annexed to the Turkish empire. The Mameluke sultans of Egypt having assisted the Persians in this war, Selim led an army into Syria, and encountered Sultan Gaurí near Aleppo. After a sanguinary engagement, the Mamelukes were defeated and their leader slain, upon which Aleppo and Damascus submitted to the Turks. This success opened the way for invading Egypt : Túmán Bey, who had been elected sultan in place of Gaurí, assembled the remnants of the Mamelukes under the walls of Cairo, and having procured some auxiliary forces from the Arabs, prepared to meet the enemy. Selim advanced steadily, and attacked the hostile camp. The battle was obstinate and bloody, but the superior fire of the Turkish artillery, which was served principally by Christian gunners, decided the fate of the day; and Túmán Bey, after having done everything that could be expected from an able officer and a brave warrior, was driven into Cairo (A. D. 1517). Selim stormed the city; but Túmán, not yet disheartened, fled across the Nile, and by incredible exertions once more collected an army. The Turks pursued him closely, and forced him to a final engagement, in which the Mamelukes were utterly routed, and their gallant sultan taken prisoner. Selim was at first disposed to spare the captive, but his officers, who feared and envied Túmán, persuaded him that such clemency might inspire the Mamelukes with the hope of recovering their dominions, and the unfortunate sultan was hanged at the principal gate of Cairo.
* See page 486.
Soleyman, usually surnamed the Magnificent, succeeded his father Selim, and emulous of the fame acquired by the conquest of Egypt, resolved to turn his arms against the princes of Christendom. Hungary, during the reign of Matthew Corvinus, had become a powerful and flourishing kingdom. Inspired by the example of his father, the renowned Hunniades, Corvinus wrested Bosnia from the Turks, and maintained his supremacy over Transylvania, Wallachia, and Moldavia. But during the reigns of his indolent successors, Uladislaus II. and Louis, who were also kings of Bohemia, Hungary was distracted by factions, and ravaged by the Turks. Soleyman took advantage of the minority of Louis, and the weakness of Hungary, to invade the kingdom. He captured, with little difficulty, the important fortress of Belgrade, justly deemed the bulwark of Christian Europe (A. D. 1521). Inspired by his first success, he returned to the attack; having traversed the Danube and the Drave, without meeting any resistance, he encountered the Christians in the field of Mohatz, and gained over them one of the most signal victories that the Turks ever won (A. D. 1526). King Louis, and the principal part of the Hungarian nobility, fell in this fatal battle, the entire country was laid at the mercy of the invaders; but Soleyman, instead of securing a permanent conquest, laid waste the land with fire and sword, and carried myriads of the inhabitants as slaves to Constantinople.
A triumph of even greater importance was gained by the Turks during the Hungarian war. Rhodes, the seat of the heroic knights of St. John, was besieged by Soleyman's vizier. All the arts of assault and defence that had yet been devised by human ingenuity were used in this siege, which lasted more than five months. The assailants and the garrison fought with such fury that it seemed a contest rather for the empire of the world than the possession of a single city. The sultan himself came in person to superintend the operations of his army, while the knights were not only neglected by the Christian powers, but exposed to the open hostilities of the Venetians. They protracted their resistance until every wall and bulwark had crumbled beneath the over