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tendants, several soldiers and a number of free colonists Chap. XII. and private traders now proceeded to New Netherland.
1646. The little squadron sailed from the Texel on Christmas day, 1646. Running to the southward, the expedition visited the West Indies and Curaçoa; and during the pro- Stuyvelonged voyage, Stuyvesant's imperious temper gave fre-trary con quent earnests of a future arbitrary rule. At Saint Chris- voyage. topher's, the Fiscal Van Dyck, claiming a seat at the coun- 1647. cil board, to dispose of a captured prize, was rudely repelled—When I want you, I will call you," was Stuyvesant's haughty reply. Renewing his attempt at Curaçoa, the insulted fiscal met a still sterner rebuff, and was not allowed even a "stroll ashore” during the three weeks the ship lay at anchor there.*
In the middle of May, nearly six months after his de- 11 May. parture from Holland, the newly-commissioned director lands at general arrived at Manhattan, and landed under a spontaneous salute of the inhabitants. The “whole community” turned out under arms; and there was so much shouting and firing, that almost all the powder in New Amsterdam was expended. “I shall govern you as a father his children, for the advantage of the chartered West India Company, and these burghers, and this land,” said Stuyvesant, as he was about to assume the authority which Kieft had misused.t And the people went joyously home, with hopeful auguries of their new chief.
* Hol. Doc., vi., 62, 241.
† Alb. Rec., iv., 1; V., 36 ; xii., 30; Van Dincklagen to Van der Donck, in Hol. Doc., vi., 32; Breeden Raedt, 27.
WHILE Stuyvesant was commencing an administration
which was to endure until the end of the Dutch dominthe Father-ion over New Netherland, political events in Europe were
gravely affecting the fortunes of the Fatherland.
Frederick Henry, prince of Orange, who, since the death 1647. of his brother Maurice in 1625, had been stadtholder of Ble Marchine the United Provinces, died in the spring of 1647, at the er, Freder. age of sixty-three years. During his long term of pubick Henry. lic service, he had approved himself worthy of his exalted
station; and the judgment of posterity has pronounced him one of the wisest and best chief magistrates the United Netherlands ever possessed. Under the Act of Reversion, which the States of the provinces had passed
in 1631, Frederick Henry's offices devolved, immediately Succeeded upon his death, to his son, William II. The young prince
burned to emulate his father's military renown; but the nation, distrusting his inexperience, was unwilling to pro
long hostilities which Frederick Henry had anxiously deNegotia- sired to terminate. The draft of a separate treaty with Munster. Spain was agreed to by the States General, and instruc
tions to complete it were sent to their plenipotentiaries at Munster, in Westphalia. These orders excited bitter complaints on the part of France, that the United Provinces were about to violate the treaty which they had lately made with Louis XIV.; and Mazarin even ordered Turenne, who was on his march to Bohemia, to return to the frontiers of Luxemburg. But the Dutch ambassadors were in no mood to lend themselves to the cardinal's
by William II.
crooked diplomacy; and, in spite of the intrigues of the CH. XIII. French plenipotentiaries, the long-pending treaty was
1648. signed at Munster, in January, 1648, by the representa- Treaty tives of the United Netherlands and of Spain. The treaty si January was immediately ratified by Philip IV., and by the several states of the United Provinces; and peace was solemn- Peace proly proclaimed, on the fifth of June, amid demonstrations 5 June. of general joy. On the very day on which the Counts of Egmont and of Hoorn, the first martyrs for Batavian liberty, had been beheaded eighty years before, the undoubted sovereignty of the republic was formally recognized by the King of Spain, and formally published at the Hague. A few months afterward, the tranquillity of Europe was se- 24 October cured for a time by the definitive signature of the general Westphatreaty of Westphalia.*
Thus, after eighty years of constant strife-intermitted only for twelve years by the truce of 1609 — the war which patriotism and justice commenced against tyranny 1568. and wrong, and which had cost Spain over fifteen hundred millions of ducats, was gloriously terminated by the full 1648. and absolute recognition of the sovereignty of the United Provinces. By the decree of unerring providence, the ancient oppressors of the Netherlands hastened to propitiate the powerful republic they had at last distinctly recognized in the face of the world. Le Brun was sent as am- Spanish bassador to the Hague before Philip had himself received dor sent to one from the Dutch; and in his address to the States Gen- 1649. eral, on his first audience, the representative of Spain took 26 June especial pains to flatter the pride and conciliate the goodwill of that nation with which his master was now anxious to be on the best terms.
The Dutch Republic, which, for nearly a century after The Dutch it first took its place in the rank of independent nations, continued to sway the balance of European politics, owed
the Hague. The house
* Corps Dip., vi., 429, 450 ; Basnage, Annales des Prov. Un., i., 102, 110 ; Grattan, 262; Davies, ii., 645, 649; ante, p. 160.
+ « On remarqua qu'il affectoit dans sa harangue de nommer la République avant le Roi son maître, et de répéter souvent les titres d'Etat Puissant, Florissant, et Souverain.' -Basnage, i., p. 156.
€r. XIII. its proud position to the moral qualities and free spirit of
the people of the Netherlands; to the constitution of their 1648.
government; to their geographical situation; their maritime power; their liberal commercial policy; their spirit of universal toleration; and to the wise statesmanship which attracted to their shores a winnowed population from other lands.
The feudal sovereignty of the Netherlands had early of Burgun centred in the house of Burgundy; and Philip I., from 1426. the time he became their chief, carefully respected the
ancient rights and privileges of the Dutch. 66 Taxation only by consent,” was the grand principle which the Batavian burghers steadily asserted as the fundamental condition of their obedience. And during Philip's sovereignty, the self-ruling spirit of the towns demanded and obtained successive enlargements of their franchises.
The short and eventful rule of Philip's son, Charles the Bold, was not favorable to the liberties of the Dutch. Military service was the original feudal tenure of lands; and the towns, which had commuted their liability by an obligation to pay a fixed “Ruytergeld,” or militia rate, were constantly called upon to assist their warlike sovereign. But relief from oppression came before long, and it came from an unexpected quarter. Like the Dutch, the Swiss had early learned to depend upon their own unaided industry. Kindred in spirit, the Helvetians lived among the mountains whence the Rhine flowed; while the horne of the Batavians was in the marshes where at length it
reached the sea. At the memorable field of Morat, the 147.
forces of the impetuous Charles were overwhelmed; and the fatal battle of Nancí, soon afterward, ended the brilliant but ill-starred career of the last reigning Duke of Burgundy.
On the death of Charles the Bold, the sovereignty of the
Netherlands passed to his only child Mary, then nineteen Burgundy.
years of age; and the Dutch at once determined to render secure those liberties which had been invaded, and to extend still further the privileges they were resolved to en
ter of Holo
joy. Three months after the accession of Mary, the first Ch. XIII. assembly of the States General was summoned at Ghent.
1477. To this assembly came the deputies of the Netherlands, states Genwith anxious thought and immovable determination. erabat They told their young sovereign that they would support and assist her ; but, at the same time, they demanded of her the renouncement of prerogatives which had, of late years, made "great encroachments on the liberties and privileges of the provinces and towns." Mary was obliged to yield to the firm resolution of the States, and soon sealed patents of privileges for all the provinces of the Netherlands. The formal acknowledgment of the conditions Great Char upon which the popular allegiance was based was com- land. monly known among the Hollanders as their “Great Charter.” It guaranteed and confirmed the ancient privileges of the municipal governments, and recognized the right of the towns, at all times, to confer with each other, and with the states of the Netherlands. It declared that no taxes Taxation should be imposed without the consent of the states; and consent. it distinctly secured the freedom of trade and commerce. * To these vital principles the Dutch ever afterward clung with the noblest tenacity.
Twenty-three years after the concession of the “Great Charles V. Charter” of Holland, the future Emperor of Germany, Charles V., was born at Ghent. He was brought up in 1500. the Low Countries, where he passed the happiest of his years. Through his grandmother, Mary of Burgundy, he inherited the sovereignty of the Netherlands; toward which country, during the greater part of his reign, he manifested so much partiality as to cause dissatisfaction to his Spanish subjects. At length he abdicated his enormous Ilis abdica empire; and the kingdom of Spain and the sovereignty of 1555. the Netherlands passed to his son, Philip II.
But the son, on succeeding to his father's hereditary Philip I1. dominions, did not inherit his father's political wisdom. Born at Valladolid, and educated in Spain, Philip knew but little of the ardent patriotism and love of liberty which
* Groot Placaatbook, ii., 658; Barante, xi., 1; Davies, i., 284; McCullagh, ii., 129–139