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In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the Nether-
lands lost some of their colonies to England, and as a
result of the Napoleonic wars, Ceylon and South Africa
also. Nevertheless, they continued to retain one of the
wealthiest of colonial empires, especially in the Spice
Islands off southeast Asia. This empire, lucrative and
important, was until recently administered without
great consideration for the welfare and advancement of
the natives, primarily in the interests of Holland.

The Dutch governing classes were conservative and
very tenacious in upholding the system established, so
that constitutional change was made more slowly than in
neighboring coimtries, and throughout the nineteenth
century constitutional progress lagged behind what was
accomplished in Great Britain or France. In 1848, when
the revolutionary movements were overturning so much
in Europe, the Dutch King, William II, quietly and wisely,
though against his own wishes, granted a more liberal
constitution, which with slight changes satisfied his people
thereafter. The ministry now became responsible to the
States General, the Dutch Parliament, though the repre-
sentatives in the lower chamber were still elected by a
small number of voters. In the later part of the nine-
teenth century, in 1887 and in 1896, the franchise was
extended to a larger number of voters, but as late as 1914
more than a third of the men were not yet permitted to
vote.



The Dutch

colonial

dominions



The govern-
ment of
HoUand



358 EUROPE SINCE 1870

Belgium in The history of the Belgian people is a long record of

the past prosperity and misfortune. In the Middle Ages they had

the most thriving industry in Europe, and splendid guild
halls and bell towers still attest the magnificence of that
era. But the country was also a debatable land, between
Germany and France, the road for attack by one on the
other, and therefore the battleground in many wars now
long forgotten. For a long time the sovereigns of France
strove to add these provinces to their dominions, as they
built up the kingdom of France; but they got only part
of what they tried for, since England in the fourteenth
century, as in the sixteenth and the seventeenth and the
nineteenth and the twentieth, dreaded to see the country
right across the narrow waters from her, and almost at the
mouth of the estuary of the Thames, in the hands of some
powerful rival. The Belgian pro\dnces joined the other
Netherlands in the revolt against Philip II, but the popu-
lation, being almost entirely Roman Catholic, accepted
the overtures of Spain, and in 1579 abandoned the contest.
Decline of Under the languishing rule of Spain, and afterward under
prosperity tJ^g ineffective administration of Austria, these provinces
suffered decline. By the Treaty of Miinster the port of
Antwerp was closed, so that its commerce was ruined, in
order to promote the interests of Holland. During the*
Revolutionary period the Austrian Netherlands were
easily occupied by the French and presently annexed to
France. This annexation of Belgium and the opening
of the port of Antwerp had much to do with the unyielding
opposition of Great Britain to the Revolutionary govern-
ments and to Napoleon. After the destruction of the
French Empire Austria resigned her Belgian possessions,
since they were too distant to be easily defended, and in
exchange for them she took territory in the north part of
Italy. Belgium was then added to the Dutch Nether-
lands, partly to make a strong state on the French frontier,
partly to compensate Holland for the colonies she had lost



ITALY, SPAIN, LESSER STATES 8.59

to England. For fifteen years the Belgian people endured
a union which they disliked, a union that was made
burdensome and oppressive by the Dutch rulers. In 1830
they rebelled, and, by the assistance of Great Britain and
France, they got their indej)en{k'nce.

In 1831 Belgium was established as a state independent The neu-
and perpetually neutral; and when in 1831) Holland at tralization
last accepted Belgian independence, this provision was
again confirmed by the five great powers: Austria, France,
Great Britain, Prussia, and Russia. Thus Belgium was
made a neutralized state as Switzerland had been in 1815.
The country now went forward wilh its devel()j)ment in
safety. Shortly before the Franco-German War, it is true,
Napoleon III entered into secret negotiations with Prus-
sia, apparently in hope that lie might be able to add Bel-
gium to France; but this came to nothing. When later,
in 1870, Bismarck revealed the proposal, the British
Government at once made treaties with France and wilh
Prussia respectively, engaging to join forces with either
one if the other violated Belgian neutrality.

After 1831 the little country experienced a great in- Economic
dustrial development, its population and its prosperity ^"^^^^^'j'*^*
increasing. Unlike Holland, which remained an agricul-
tural and commercial country, Belgium possessed great
resources of coal and iron, and became one of the great
industrial regions of Europe. The constitution, which
had been adopted in 1831, was the most liberal at the time
in continental Europe. As in Great Britain the ministry
was responsible to a parliament. As elsewhere tlien the
franchise was narrow, being allowed only to those who
paid a considerable tax. In 18-1'8 it was extended a little,
but thereafter for nearly- half a century no change was
made. Meanwhile, great industrial i)opulations had been
assembled in the cities, and after the franchise had been
widely extended in all the neighboring countries still in
Belgium onlv one man in ten could vote. Therefore, at



progress



360



EUROPE SINCE 1870



The Swiss
cantons in
the past



Disunion
and stronger
union



last in 1893, the labor leaders called a general strike, and
the legislature, soon yielding, provided for manhood suf-
frage, though with double votes or even triple votes to men
of property and at the head of a family or with unusual
educational attainments or experience in public ofl&ce.
The result of this extension of the franchise, as in Spain,
was to give much greater power to the clergy, who con-
trolled the Catholic voters.

The history of Switzerland during this period is a record
of prosperous peace. Some of the Swiss, in the midst of
their mountains, won their freedom from Austria in the
Middle Ages, and joined together in a confederation.
After first defending themselves successfully, they pres-
ently became renowned as the best mercenary soldiers in
Europe, fighting in most of the great wars for pay. The
government was a federation of smaller units, or cantons.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries Switzerland
and the United Provinces (Holland) were the only two
important republics in the world. They were also two of
the principal places of refuge for the oppressed and those
who desired freedom of thought. During the French
Revolution Switzerland was first penetrated by the new
ideas and then overrun by French soldiers, and in 1798
the Helvetic Republic was established. During the Na-
poleonic period other cantons were added, and still more
w^ere joined to the Confederation in 1815 when the
Congress of Vienna reestablished it and guaranteed its
neutrality. The cantons remained, as they had been for a
long time before the French Revolution, united in a loose
confederacy, each with complete local autonomy, much
as were the American commonwealths before the adoption
of the Constitution of the United States.

In the first half of the nineteenth century the cantons,
which had so long remained in partnership, developed a
division which, after a while, threatened to disrupt the
Confederation. Some of the cantons were Catholic and



ITALY, SPAIN, LESSER STATES 361



agricultural and were under clerical influence; others
were Protestant, they contained large cities, and in I8.'30
they liberalized their governments and tended toward
newer ideas. Thus Switzerland, like the United States
of America about the same time, was split into two parts,
in which the people had different ideals and purpose, and
seemed unwilling to continue in the old association. In
1840 the radical party triumphed in an election in Aargau.
The clericals revolted, and when they were suppressed
their opponents proceeded to dissolve the monasteries
of the canton. Then in 1843 the Roman Catholic cantons
formed a Sonderhund, or separate league, to protect clerical
interests wherever they should be attacked. This was
much like the establishment of the Southern Confederacy
in America in 1861. In 1847 the federal diet of the
Confederation ordered the Sonderhund to dissolve. In
the contest that followed the separatist movement was
crushed. The triumphant party now remodelled the con-
stitution, and what had before been a loose confederation
became a federal republic, with a constitution something
like that of the United States. By this constitution of
1848 a federal assembly of two houses was established : an
upper house, the Council of States, consisting of two
delegates from each canton, chosen by the legislature of
the canton; the lower house, the National Council, con-
sisting of representatives elected by voters in electoral
districts, all adult males having the franchise. The
executive was vested in a Federal Council of seven mem-
bers and a president, chosen by the Federal Assembly.
The cantons, like the states of the American Union, had
their own constitutions and governments.

Thereafter the Swiss people went on in remarkable
progress and prosperity. They continued, as for a long
time before, to show that it was possible for men of differ-
ent races and religions to live side by side under the same
government, each having large measure of freedom, un-



The Sonder-
hund



Progress
and develop-
ment in self-
government



362



EUROPE SINCE 1870



The Refer-
endum



The
Initiative



The Scandi-
navian
countries
in the past



molested by the others. Most of the population was
German, but considerable portions were French and
Italian. Some were Protestants and some were Catholics.
There was no attempt to enforce uniformity of language
or customs, as in Russia and Austria-Hungary, but so
much freedom was left to all that the Swiss Confederation
was reckoned to be the most successful democracy in the
world. And while its people perfected their educational
system until their schools were as good as any in Europe,
and while they were developing great industrial prosperity,
they continued to teach other nations the art of self-
government. In attempting to work out devices by
which the people might more directly control their govern-
ment they perfected the Referendum and originated the
Initiative. The Referendum, or referring back for popular
vote measures already passed by the legislature, had been
employed by some of the American States in the latter
part of the eighteenth century, and afterward was put into
one of the provisions of the French Revolutionary Con-
stitution of the Year I; but its use was extended by the
Swiss Constitution of 1848 and it has since been frequently
employed. The Initiative, by which legislation or an
amendment is brought forward by petition of a certain
number of voters, was introduced in Switzerland, then
established in their constitution of 1848, and since widely
extended there. Both these devices were afterward copied
in the constitutions of some of the commonwealths of the
United States.

The Scandinavian countries, during most of their
career, were outside the great currents of European af-
fairs, though twice they greatly affected neighboring
countries. In the eighth, ninth, and tenth centuries,
sailors and pirates from Norway and Denmark spread
terror of the Northmen's name all over western Europe,
and some of them established themselves on the shores of
the Mediterranean Sea. The Danes ravaged Ireland, and



ITALY, SPAIN, LESSER STATES 3G3

conquered England for a while; the Nortlunen sailed to
Iceland, Greenland, and even Vineland or America, and
established themselves in Normandy (northern France)
and afterward in southern Italy. Meanwhile, !)an(ls (jf
Swedes entered Russia. After these great Scandinavian
wanderings came to an end, for a long time the northern
peoples affected the rest of Europe hut little, for neitlier
their population nor their resources made it possible for
them to take a great part among wealthy and powerful
peoples. In LSOT the three countries were loosely united
under theheadsliip of Denmark, })ut from this union Swed-
en broke away in lo'-23, and presently rose to a position of The great-
considerable greatness. Her zenith was reached during the °^^^ °^
seventeenth century. ^Mien central Europe was torn to
pieces by the religious struggles of the Thirty Years War,
and when the fortunes of Protestantism were at their
lowest ebb, Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden, became
the Protestant champion, and, bringing to Germany an
army of zealous soldiers with a powerful train of artillery,
he won great battles and saved Protestantism from the
Counter-Reformation. He also established the greatness
of his country, for the settlement made after his death in
1648 left the shores of the Baltic under Swedish control.
But during the eighteenth century greater neighbors,
Hke Russia and Prussia, rose up against her, and Sweden's
resources were hopelessl}- wasted in vain struggles to keep
her outlying possessions. At the time of the French
Revolution Scandinavian greatness was definitely past.
By 1814 Denmark, to which Norway was still joined, was
an unimportant country, and Swetlen had lost lier pos-
sessions outside the Scandinavian peninsula. In each of
these countries the Lutheran faith was the religion of al-
most all of the people.

From Denmark the Congress of Vienna took Norway Sweden and
and joined it to Sweden. In 1814 the Norwegian people Norway
declared their country a sovereign state. They yielded.



364



EUROPE SINCE 1870



Different
circum-
stances in
the two
countries



Foreign
relations



however, to the Great Powers, and the two countries were
loosely joined, each having its own constitution, but the
two being united under one king. This arrangement
lasted throughout the nineteenth century, because of the
moderation and prudence of the rulers, but the interests
of the two peoples were incompatible and divergent.
The Swedish kings always desired to make their state
stronger by bringing about a closer union of the two coun-
tries, and having the two peoples cherish the same inter-
ests in common ; the people of Norway, with different ideas
and desires, wished that there were no union at all, and
strove to have it made looser. Sweden was larger and
more populous, but while there was more wealth in the
country, wealth and power were concentrated in the
hands of nobles and aristocracy, leaving the mass of the
people without property or political power. The govern-
ment was vested entirely in the hands of the king, checked,
when at all, only by an assembly of estates, something
like those which had disappeared in England and Spain
long before, and like those which had been resurrected in
France in 1789. In Norway, while the resources of the
country were little and the soil was poor, the land had
become divided among a large number of small farmers,
there was much democratic feeling, and the constitution
adopted in 1814 put the government in the hands of a
Storthing or legislature, in which the representatives were
elected by voters whose franchise depended upon a low
property qualification. In the nineteenth century the
Industrial Revolution gradually became important in
Sweden, and then manufacturing was added to her agri-
culture. In Norway commerce was developed until the
Norwegian merchant marine was the fourth largest in the
world. In foreign relations Norway was drawn more and
more toward England and France, while Sweden, resent-
ing the Russian seizure of Finland, and always fearing
further Russian expansion toward the sea, more and



ITALY, SPAIN, LESSER STATES 365



more imitated Germany's methods and synipatliized with
her purpose and desires.

So the two peoples drew ever further apart. In 18Gf5
a Swedish constitution was granted, with a parHament
hlce those of western Europe, hut great power was
left to the king and also to the wealthy upper classes.
Meanwhile, Norway became increasingly liberal and
democratic. In 1884 manhood suffrage was established.
In 1901 she gave the municipal franchise to women tax-
payers, and six years later followed this by granting the
parliamentary franchise to women and allowing thorn to
sit in the Storthing. Moreover, in Norway a great literary
national revival was carried on, so that the people became
more conscious of their nationality and more eager for
complete independence. For a long time they insisted
that they should have a separate flag, and particularly
that their immense shipping entitled them to appoint
their owti consuls abroad. Sweden refused to allow this,
and great tension arose, though, because of restraint and
moderation on both sides, there was never a resort to
arms. Finally, in 1905, the Storthing declared the inde-
pendence of Norway. The Swedes, more powerful though
they were, wisely decided not to try to force their neigh-
bors back into a distasteful allegiance of no use to them-
selves, and so ihcy acceded to the separation. A Danish
prince was invited to be king, but the monarchy was as
limited and as democratic as in England. In 1907 Great
Britain, France, Germany, and Russia signed a treaty
with Norwegian representatives guaranteeing the integrity
and also the neutrality of Norway. Good relations be-
tween the two Scandinavian countries were soon resumed,
despite the fact that some resentment lingered in Sweden.
The two countries, accordingly, proceeded peaceably on
their separate ways.

During all this time Denmark had gradually become
the least important of the northern nations. Norway



Separation
of Norway
from
Sweden



The inde-
pendence of
Norway,
1905



Denmark



366



EUROPE SINCE 1870



Loss of

Schleswig-

Holstein



Government



The

franchise



had been taken from her in 1814; Schleswig-Holstein,
containing some Danish population, had been lost in 1864.
Across the base of the Jutland peninsula, which had pre-
viously been hers, the great German Kiel Canal was cut,
and through it went ships that would formerly have gone
around through the Danish channels. She still had Ice-
land and Greenland, far away and unimportant, and a few
islands in the West Indies, which finally she sold to the
United States. Furthermore, her territory seemed to some
of the ambitious German pleaders to be properly a German
outpost like Holland or Belgium. In 1905 the German
emperor told the tsar that, in the event of war with
England, Russia and Germany should occupy Denmark;
and increasingly the people of the country lived under the
shadow of their neighbor to the south. Meanwhile, in
Denmark, as in Norway and in Sweden, democracy and
constitutional government made progress, though much
less rapidly than among the Norwegians. In 1849 a
constitution was granted, establishing a parliament or
Rigsdag, but actually government remained in the hands
of the king and the upper class, and the ministry was not
responsible to representatives of the people any more than
it was in Prussia. Indeed, in the latter part of the nme-
teenth century money was frequently collected as a result
of royal decree, and not because appropriation was made
by the Folkething or lower chamber. But the people de-
veloped their intensive agriculture and their dairy farming
and established a remarkably successful system of co-
operative enterprise, by which middlemen were largely
eliminated, and so far improved their economic position
that they really became more and more important. Ac-
cordingly, in 1901 the king granted what he knew they
desired, that the ministry should be dependent upon the
majority elected to the Folkething by the people. By the
constitution of 1849, which was revised in 1866, the fran-
chise was given to men who were householders and not



ITALY, SPAIN, LESSER STATES 3G7

dependent upon charity, who were thirty years of age or Extension of
more. In 1915 the suffrage was granted to all men twenty- ^^^ franchise
five years old and upward, and also to most of the women.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Italy: E. Bourgeois and E. Clermont, Rome et Sapoleon III
(1907); R. Cadorna, La Liberaziune dl Roma nelVAniio 1S70
(1889); L. Cappeietti, Storia di Vittorio Emmanuele II, 3 vols.
(1893); Francesco Oispi, Politica E.stera; Memurie e Docu-
menti, ed. by T. Palamenghi-Crispi (1914); Memoirs of Francesco
Crispi, 3 vols. (1912-14); G. S. Godkin, Life of I'ictor Emmanuel
II, 2 vols. (1879); Italia e Jugoslavia (1918); consisting of essays
by various Italian and South Slav writers, in moderate spirit;
Ernest Lemonon, Ultalie Eco7wmique et Sociale, lSGl-1912
(1913); Bolton King and Thomas Okey, Italij To-day (2d ed.
1909); G. Massari, La Vita ed il Regno di Vittorio Emanuele II,
2 vols. (1901); P. L. Orsi, U Italia Moderna (2d ed. 1902); A.
Pingaud, Ultalie depuis 1870 (1915); A. Pougeois, Ilistoire de
Pie IX et de Son Pontifical, 6 vols. (1877-88); W. K. Wallace,
Greater Italy (1917).

Spain: Don Rafael Altamira, Historia de Espana, 4 vols.
(1900-11); J. L. M. Curry, Constitutional Government in Spain
(1899); Discursos Parlamentarios y Politicos de Emilia Castelar,
4 vols, (no date), for many a.spects of Spanish life and govern-
ment from the point of view of the great liberal and republican
leader; Yves Guyot, L" Evolution Politique et Sociale de VEspagne
(1899); David Hannay, Don Emilio Castelar (1896); Angel
Marvaud, La Question Sociale en Espagne (1910), UEspagne
an XX' Siccle (1913) ; J. W. Root, Spain and Its Colonies (1898) ;
E. H. Strobel, The Spanish Revolution, 1S6S-1S75 (1898); H.
R. Whitehouse, The Sacrifice of a Throne (1897), best for the
reign of Amadeo of Savoy; H. W. Wilson, The Downfall of Spain
(1900), concerning the Spanish-American War.

Portugal: Gustav Diercks, Das Moderne Portugal (1913);
A. Marvaud, Le Portugal et Ses Colonies (1912); H. M. Stephens,
Portugal {IS91).

Holland: excepting books written in Dutch there are fewer
books about modern Holland than the other small countries
of Europe. There is, however, a work of the highest excellence:
P. J. Blok, Geschiedenis van het Xederlandsche I'olk, 4 vols.
(2d ed. 1912-15), trans, by Ruth Putnam and others. History of



368 EUROPE SINCE 1870

the People of the Netherlands, 5 vols. (1898-1912), the later chap-
ters concerning the recent period. Clive Day, The Policy
and Administration of the Dutch in Java (1904), excellent.

Belgium: J. Barthelemy, L' Organisation du Suffrage et VEx-
pSrience Beige (1912), best on Belgian political institutions;
L. Bertrand, LSopold II et Son Regne, 1865-1890 (1890), Histoire
de la Diniocratie et du Socialisme en Belgique depuis 1830, 2 vols.
(1907), from the socialist point of view; Leon Dupriez, V Organi-
sation du Suffrage Universel en Belgique (1901), R. C. K. Ensor,
Belgium (1915); Leon van der Essen, A Short History of Belgium
(1916); J, de C. MacDonnell, King Leopold II, His Rule in
Belgium and the Congo (1905), Catholic; M. Wilmotte, La
Belgique Morale et Politique, 1830-1890 (1902).

Switzerland: F. O. Adams and C. D. Cunningham, The Swiss
Confederation (1889); Karl Dandlicher, trans, by E. Salisbury,
A Short History of Sivitzerland (1899); W. H. Dawson, Social
Switzerland (1897); H. D. Lloyd and J. A. Hobson, A Sovereign
People; a Study of Svnss Democracy (1907); I, B. Richman,
Appenzell, Pure Democracy and Pastoral Life in Inner Rhoden
(1895); Paul Seippel, editor, La Suisse au Dixneuvieme Siecle,
3 vols. (1899-1901), the most important work on the subject,
by a group of Swiss writers.

The Scandinavian countries: R. N. Bain, Scandinavia, a
Political History of Denmark, Norway and Sioeden, from 1513 to
1900 (1905); Povl Drachmann, The Industrial Development and
Commercial Policies of the Three Scandinavian Countries (1915).

Norway: A. A. F. Aall, Die Norwegisch-Swedische Union, Ihr
Bestehen und Ihr L'osung (1912); H. H. Boyesen, The History of
Norway (1896); Knut Gjerset, History of the Norwegian People,
2 vols. (1915); L. Jordan, La Separation de la Suede et de la
Norvege (1906); Fridtjof Nansen, Norway and the Union with
Sweden (1905), from the Norwegian point of view.

Sweden: P. Fahlbeck, La Constitution Suedoise et le Parle-



Online LibraryEdward Raymond TurnerEurope since 1870 → online text (page 30 of 49)