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During the wars of Charles V, the European nations had become acquainted with their internal resources and strength for war; and had learned how to put themselves in a formidable attitude. Those nations at the same time became acquainted and connected with each other, like one great political system, the contending interests of whose different parts kept them, in after days, in an alınost continual scene of bloody strife.
Soon after the peace of 1559, before noted, "the violent and bigoted maxims of Philip's government being carried into execution in the Netherlands, with unrelenting rigor, by the duke of Alva, the people there became exasperated to such a degree, that they threw off the Spanish yoke, and asserted their ancient liberties and laws. These they defended with a persevering valor, which gave employment to the arms of Spain during half a century; and exhausted the vigor, and ruined the reputation of that monarchy.” The Netherlands thus gained their liberties, and became a respectable Protestant power, after long and dismal scenes of blood. In this bloody contest the English were engaged with the Dutch against the king of Spain; and aided the former in the establishment of their independence. Spain and England had before fallen out. Philip had been the husband of the English queen Mary. Upon her decease, and the accession of Elizabeth to the crown of Britain, Philip tendered marriage to Eliz. abeth. And upon receiving a denial, (Elizabeth determining to support the Protestant cause in England, which Mary had labored to destroy,) Philip, a bigoted supporter of Popery, fitted out a most formidable expedition against Elizabeth. He employed the immense wealth which flowed into his coffers from Mex. ico and Peru, in preparing a fleet of the largest ships, which ever had been built; and with the terrible Arma. da he undertook a descent upon England. Lord admiral Howe met his fleet; engaged and dispersed the ships; and after chasing them several days, a tempest plunged in the ocean the most of those which were left; so that but few regained a harbor. Eighty one Spanish ships were lost in this calamity; and many thou
sands of their men. The British fleet in their turn attacked Spain; took and plundered Cadiz; and took and destroyed property to the amount of 20 millions of ducats. *
Portugal had been united to the kingdoms of Spain. But being oppressed by viceroys, they rebelled against the crown of Spain, which, after the reign of Philip, fell into the hands of weak princes. Portugal placed the duke of Braganza on the throne; and became an independent nation. The Austrian line of Spanish kings failed in the person of Charles II; and the duke of Anjou, grandson of Lewis XIV, mounted the throne, by the name of Philip V. This occasioned a long and bloody struggle between the house of Austria, and Lewis XIV, in which the French monarch was almost ruined. But he accomplished his object, of transferring the kingdom of Spain, with its enormous wealth, from the house of Austria to that of Bourbon. In these wars, and in those of the Low Countries, Spain had a copious share in the vial poured upon the rivers and fountains of the Papal see.
France had her full share in this vial. Some of her wars of this period have already been mentioned. In eight successive civil wars in France, from 1560 to 1605, (the last continuing twenty years) it was calculated that she lost more than a million of lives: 9 cities, 400 villages, 2,000 churches, 2,000 monasteries, and 10,000 houses were burnt; and 150 millions of livres were expended.t The judgments in which France was involved, during the reign of Lewis XIV, were terrible; to write the history of which, would be to write the history of Europe during that period. The ambition of this French monarch embroiled him with all his neighbors; and rendered Germany a dismal scene of devastation and blood. He wickedly repealed the edict of Nantz, I and murdered and banished two millions of his Protestant subjects in one year. He made treaties, and perfidiously broke them at pleasure;
* Guthrie, pp. 326, 7. + Ib. p. 430. By this edict Henry IV had granted the Protestants the free exercise of their religion.
till he raised against himself a confederacy of most of the European powers, with William, (prince of Or. ange, and afterward king of England,) at their head. Against this formidable coalition, Lewis for some time prevailed. But the arms of the English and of Ger. many (the former under the duke of Marlborough, and the latter under prince Eugene) at last prevailed. And rendered the latter part of the reign of this ambitious monarch miserable. From 1702 to 1711, he was tortured and disgraced with a series of defeats and disasters. Places, which he had formerly acquired, at the expense of many thousands of lives, he was now forced to yield up to triumphant enemies. Reduced and old, Lewis was forming the desperate purpose of collecting his people, and dying at their head in a last effort, when the peace of Utrecht was concluded, in 1713, and the combined armies retired. But in various bloody wars France was afterwards engaged with the house of Austria and others. Thus the French river and fountain of the Papal see had a dreadful portion of this vial.
In Germany the wars of this period of the second vial, were terrible. With civil wars, and wars of foreign powers, her fields became fields of blood. * The Turks renewedly invaded Germany. The Hungari. ans contended with the emperor Randolf; and the Bohemians with his successor Matthias. The Bohemi. ans threw the Imperial commissioners out at the win. dows, at Prague; which brought on a furious war of thirty years.
Terrible scenes followed in Germany. Great battles were fought under some of the ablest generals of the age. The Protestant princes had many able generals, who prosecuted their defence with great firmness against the house of Austria. Christian ÎV, king of Denmark, declared for them. This monarch, at the head of the evangelic league, was defeated by the Imperialists. But the Protestants formed a new confederacy at Leipsic, with the celebrated Gus. tavus Adolphus, king of Sweden, at their head. The
* See Guthrie, p. 470,
subsequent victories which attended the Protestant arms, were amazing; till the excellent Gustavus fell at the battle of Lutzen, in 1632. But the brave generals, who had served and learned under him, continued to shake the Austrian power, till the general peace of Munster in 1648. In these scenes, Germany, that river and fountain of the Papal see, was turned to blood. Nor did the terrible judgment cease at this time. Wars were rekindled. France and the Turks were again troublesome neighbors. The former took Alsace, and other frontier places of the empire. And the Turks laid seige to Vienna, and had well nigh carried their point, when prince Eugene defeated them. France now threatened to overrun the empire, till the aforementioned confederacy against Lewis XIV checked him. The Hungarians, under protection of the Porte, were in arms. Terrible battles were fought between the Germans and the Turks at Peterwaradin, and at Belgrade, till a peace was concluded between them in 1718. Soon after, a rupture took place between the emperor and George I, king of England. "And so unsteady was the system of affairs all over Europe, at that time, (says Mr. Guthrie,) that the first powers often changed their old alliances, and concluded new ones, contrary to their interests." Upon the death of the emperor Charles VI, 1740, a new blaze of war broke out, and the pragmatic sanction (so called) was attacked on all hands. Spain, France, England, the elector of Bavaria, and the king of Prussia, (a bigoted Papal kingdom) were now engaged. The king of Prussia with a powerful arıny took Silesia. The French poured their armies into Bohemia, and took Prague. The Hungarians encountered them, and drave them out of Bohemia. George II gained the battle of Dettingen. The king of Prussia in vaded Bohemia, took Prague, and subdued a great part of the kingdom. Soon after this the king of Prussia announced, that he had discovered a combination between the empress queen, the empress of Russia, and the king of Poland, (another bigoted Catholic kingdom) to divide his dominions among them. Upon
which he suddenly attacked the king of Poland, as elector of Saxony, defeated his armies, drave him out of his Saxon dominions, and took Dresden. This war continued in the Low Countries, to the great injury of the Dutch and of the Austrians, till the peace of Aix la Chapelle, in 1748. But the awful judgment of this vial was not yet finished upon the rivers and fountains of the Papal see. Soon after, another war blazed in the empire. The empress queen, the king of France, the king of Poland, and the empress of Russia were engaged on the one side: And the king of Prussia, and George II, king of England on the other. The king of Prussia broke again into Saxony; defeated the Saxons under general Brown; and caused the king of Poland to flee. Upon this the French and the Russians poured their armies into Germany to co-operate against the king of Prussia. The conduct of the latter was most astonishing. He rushed, with incredible rapidity, into Bohemia, in order to defeat the Austrian ariny, before the combined arinies of his enemies should form a junction; which he accomplished. He defeated 100,000 Austrians; and killed their valiant general Brown. He besieged Prague with a tremendous artillery; but was soon after defeated. The war now raged with increasing fury. The Prussians gained the battle of Lissa, took Breslau, and other places. The Russian army advanced to aid the Austrians. They too were at first defeated. But the king of Prussia was soon after defeated, and forced to flee from Saxony. “Few periods of history (says the historian) afford such matter for reflection, as did this campaign. Six sieges were raised almost at the same time.” Important events were also transpiring in other places between the armies of the contending powers. The French were by the English driven out of Hanover. And Mr. Guthrie remarks upon the operations on both sides, that although they were terrible and bloody, they were "of little importance to history, because nothing was done that was decisive." Those events appear to have been a mere dashing among the naLions, to execute the judgments of the third vial. The