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WILLIAM STUBBS Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects
page 272

266 CONCENTRATION OF POWERS. [X. of force more effective than the policy of idea. The crisis of the Reformation is not less remarkable for its results than for its causes. The throwing off of the Roman supremacy, in doctrine and ecclesiastical government, was, in those countries in which it was permanently effected, a most complex proceeding. No doubt there was throughout Europe much religious disaffection at the opening of the sixteenth century; but for a century before there had been even more prominent'doctrinal disaffection, and only just a century before the Church had passed through a most dangerous schism, which threatened its substantial organisation as well as its doctrine. The desired reformation in head and members had been familiar all this time. But it did not come till now; till the stage had, as we have seen, been cleared for the new actors. We might conjecture that whilst the concentration of the new powers gave them in themselves greater vitality and more manageable force, it would exhaust the vitality of the older organisation, which had kept them together whilst the divisions were smaller and the common action less vivid. Whilst all the powers of Christendom were busy with their own internal rights and border quarrels, a languid acquiescence in the undivided supremacy of Rome was more a powerful influence than it could be when two or three new and well girt combatants were ready to assert their own αυτάρκεια ; still more, when the new combatants saw the truth that they must be lords in their own L, houses. As we saw, the concentration of power in Spain, France, and Germany meant more than the absorption of γ weaker states ; it meant the absorption of inferior powers in the state. The strong actors in the new drama must be strong governors at home as well as strong combatant^ abroad. Great designs, great rivalries, demanded concen trated energies, determined wills. Strong government came in with the sixteenth century, and strong government w^as a

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