Rise of the Dutch Republic, the — Complete (1574-84) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 687 pages of information about Rise of the Dutch Republic, the — Complete (1574-84).

The Union of Utrecht; narrowed as it was to the nether portion of that country which, as a whole, might have formed a commonwealth so much more powerful, was in origin a proof of this lamentable want of patriotism.  Could the jealousy of great nobles, the rancour of religious differences, the Catholic bigotry of the Walloon population, on the one side, contending with the democratic insanity of the Ghent populace on the other, have been restrained within bounds by the moderate counsels of William of Orange, it would have been possible to unite seventeen provinces instead of seven, and to save many long and blighting years of civil war.

The Utrecht Union was, however, of inestimable value.  It was time for some step to be taken, if anarchy were not to reign until the inquisition and absolutism were restored.  Already, out of Chaos and Night, the coming Republic was assuming substance and form.  The union, if it created nothing else, at least constructed a league against a foreign foe whose armed masses were pouring faster and faster into the territory of the provinces.  Farther than this it did not propose to go.  It maintained what it found.  It guaranteed religious liberty, and accepted the civil and political constitutions already in existence.  Meantime, the defects of those constitutions, although visible and sensible, had not grown to the large proportions which they were destined to attain.

Thus by the Union of Utrecht on the one hand, and the fast approaching reconciliation of the Walloon provinces on the other, the work of decomposition and of construction went Land in hand.

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     Local self-government which is the life-blood of liberty
     No man ever understood the art of bribery more thoroughly
     Not so successful as he was picturesque
     Plundering the country which they came to protect
     Presumption in entitling themselves Christian
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     Republic, which lasted two centuries
     Throw the cat against their legs
     Worship God according to the dictates of his conscience

MOTLEY’S HISTORY OF THE NETHERLANDS, Project Gutenberg Edition, Vol. 32


By John Lothrop Motley


Parma’s feint upon Antwerp—­He invests Maestricht—­Deputation and letters from the states-general, from Brussels, and from Parma, to the Walloon provinces—­Active negotiations by Orange and by Farnese —­Walloon envoys in Parma’s camp before Maestricht—­Festivities—­The Treaty of Reconciliation—­Rejoicings of the royalist party—­Comedy enacted at the Paris theatres—­Religious tumults in
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Rise of the Dutch Republic, the — Complete (1574-84) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.