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History of the United Netherlands (1584-1609)   By: (1814-1877)

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HISTORY OF THE NETHERLANDS, PG EDITION, COMPLETE

by JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY, D.C.L., LL.D.

Corresponding Member of the Institute of France, Etc.

1555 1623

CONTENTS: The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555 1584 History of the United Netherlands, 1584 1609 Life and Death of John of Barneveld, 1609 1623

A Memoir of John Lothrop Motley by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

THE RISE OF THE DUTCH REPUBLIC, 1555 1566

A History

JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY, D.C.L., LL.D. Corresponding Member of the Institute of France, Etc. 1855

[Etext Editor's Note: JOHN LOTHROP MOTLEY, born in Dorchester, Mass. 1814, died 1877. Other works: Morton's Hopes and Merry Mount, novels. Motley was the United States Minister to Austria, 1861 67, and the United States Minister to England, 1869 70. Mark Twain mentions his respect for John Motley. Oliver Wendell Holmes said in 'An Oration delivered before the City Authorities of Boston' on the 4th of July, 1863: "'It cannot be denied,' says another observer, placed on one of our national watch towers in a foreign capital, 'it cannot be denied that the tendency of European public opinion, as delivered from high places, is more and more unfriendly to our cause; but the people,' he adds, 'everywhere sympathize with us, for they know that our cause is that of free institutions, that our struggle is that of the people against an oligarchy.' These are the words of the Minister to Austria, whose generous sympathies with popular liberty no homage paid to his genius by the class whose admiring welcome is most seductive to scholars has ever spoiled; our fellow citizen, the historian of a great Republic which infused a portion of its life into our own, John Lothrop Motley." (See the biography of Motley, by Holmes) Ed.]

PREFACE

The rise of the Dutch Republic must ever be regarded as one of the leading events of modern times. Without the birth of this great commonwealth, the various historical phenomena of: the sixteenth and following centuries must have either not existed; or have presented themselves under essential modifications. Itself an organized protest against ecclesiastical tyranny and universal empire, the Republic guarded with sagacity, at many critical periods in the world's history; that balance of power which, among civilized states; ought always to be identical with the scales of divine justice. The splendid empire of Charles the Fifth was erected upon the grave of liberty. It is a consolation to those who have hope in humanity to watch, under the reign of his successor, the gradual but triumphant resurrection of the spirit over which the sepulchre had so long been sealed. From the handbreadth of territory called the province of Holland rises a power which wages eighty years' warfare with the most potent empire upon earth, and which, during the progress of the struggle, becoming itself a mighty state, and binding about its own slender form a zone of the richest possessions of earth, from pole to tropic, finally dictates its decrees to the empire of Charles.

So much is each individual state but a member of one great international commonwealth, and so close is the relationship between the whole human family, that it is impossible for a nation, even while struggling for itself, not to acquire something for all mankind. The maintenance of the right by the little provinces of Holland and Zealand in the sixteenth, by Holland and England united in the seventeenth, and by the United States of America in the eighteenth centuries, forms but a single chapter in the great volume of human fate; for the so called revolutions of Holland, England, and America, are all links of one chain.

To the Dutch Republic, even more than to Florence at an earlier day, is the world indebted for practical instruction in that great science of political equilibrium which must always become more and more important as the various states of the civilized world are pressed more closely together, and as the struggle for pre eminence becomes more feverish and fatal... Continue reading book >>


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