The Project Gutenberg EBook of Introductory American History, by Henry Eldridge Bourne and Elbert Jay Benton This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.org Title: Introductory American History Author: Henry Eldridge Bourne Elbert Jay Benton Posting Date: October 24, 2011 [EBook #9897] Release Date: February, 2006 First Posted: October 28, 2003 Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK INTRODUCTORY AMERICAN HISTORY *** Produced by Juliet Sutherland, David Gundry and PG Distributed Proofreaders
INTRODUCTORY AMERICAN HISTORY
HENRY ELDRIDGE BOURNE AND ELBERT JAY BENTON
PROFESSORS OF HISTORY IN WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY
This volume is the introductory part of a course in American history embodying the plan of study recommended by the Committee of Eight of the American Historical Association. The plan calls for a continuous course running through grades six, seven, and eight. The events which have taken place within the limits of what is now the United States must necessarily furnish the most of the content of the lessons. But the Committee urge that enough other matter, of an introductory character, be included to teach boys and girls of from twelve to fourteen years of age that our civilization had its beginnings far back in the history of the Old World. Such introductory study will enable them to think of our country in its true historical setting. The Committee recommend that about two-thirds of one year's work be devoted to this preliminary matter, and that the remainder of the year be given to the period of discovery and exploration.
The plan of the Committee of Eight emphasizes three or four lines of development in the world's history leading up to American history proper.
First, there was a movement of conquest or colonization by which the ancient civilized world, originally made up of communities like the Greeks and Phoenicians in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean Seas, spread to southern Italy and adjacent lands. The Roman conquest of Italy and of the barbarian tribes of western Europe expanded the civilized world to the shores of the Atlantic. Within this greater Roman world new nations grew up. The migration of Europeans to the American continent was the final step.
Second, accompanying the growth of the civilized world in extent was a growth of knowledge of the shape of the earth, or of what we call geography. Columbus was a geographer as well as the herald of an expanding world.
A third process was the creation and transmission of all that we mean by civilization. Here, as the Committee remark, the effort should be to "show, in a very simple way, the civilization which formed the heritage of those who were to go to America, that is, to explain what America started with."
The Committee also suggest that it is necessary "to associate the three or four peoples of Europe which were to have a share in American colonization with enough of their characteristic incidents to give the child some feeling for the name 'England,' 'Spain,' 'Holland,' and 'France.'"
No attempt is made in this book to give a connected history of Greece, Rome, England, or any other country of Europe. Such an attempt would be utterly destructive of the plan. Only those features of early civilization and those incidents of history have been selected which appear to have a vital relation to the subsequent fortunes of mankind in America as well as in Europe. They are treated in all cases as introductory. Opinions may differ upon the question of what topics best illustrate the relation. The Committee leaves a wide margin of opportunity for the exercise of judgment in selection. In the use of a textbook based on the plan the teacher should use the same liberty of selection. For example, we have chosen the story of Marathon to illustrate the idea of the heroic memories of Greece. Others may prefer Thermopylae, because this story seems to possess a simpler dramatic development. In the same way teachers may desire to give more emphasis to certain phases of ancient or mediaeval civilization or certain heroic persons treated very briefly in this book. Exercises similar to those inserted at the end of each chapter offer means of supplementing work provided in the text.
The story of American discovery and exploration in the plan of the Committee of Eight follows the introductory matter as a natural culmination. In our textbook we have adhered to the same plan of division. The work of the seventh grade will, therefore, open with the study of the first permanent English settlements.
The discoveries and explorations are told in more detail than most of the earlier incidents, but whatever is referred to is treated, we hope, with such simplicity and definiteness of statement that it will be comprehensible and instructive to pupils of the sixth grade.
At the close of the book will be found a list of references. From this teachers may draw a rich variety of stories and descriptions to illustrate any features of the subject which especially interest their classes. In the index is given the pronunciation of difficult names.
We wish to express gratitude to those who have aided us with wise advice and criticism.
The Study of History in Elementary Schools. Scribner's, 1909.
INTRODUCTORY AMERICAN HISTORY
THE SCATTERED CHILDREN OF EUROPE
The Emigrant and what he brings to America. The emigrant who lands at New York, Boston, Philadelphia, or any other seaport, brings with him something which we do not see. He may have in his hands only a small bundle of clothing and enough money to pay his railroad fare to his new home, but he is carrying another kind of baggage more valuable than bundles or boxes or a pocket full of silver or gold. This other baggage is the knowledge, the customs, and the memories he has brought from the fatherland.
He has already learned in Europe how to do the work at which he hopes to labor in America. In his native land he has been taught to obey the laws and to do his duty as a citizen. This fits him to share in our self-government. He also brings great memories, for he likes to think of the brave and noble deeds done by men of his race. If he is a religious man, he worships God just as his forefathers have for hundreds of years. To understand how the emigrant happens to know what he does and to be what he is, we must study the history of the country from which he comes.
All Americans are Emigrants. If this is true of the newcomer, it is equally true of the rest of us, for we are all emigrants. The Indians are the only native Americans, and when we find out more about them we may learn that they, too, are emigrants. If we follow the history of our families far enough back, we shall come upon the names of our forefathers who sailed from Europe. They may have come to America in the early days when there were only a few settlements scattered along our Atlantic coast, or they may have come since the Revolutionary War changed the English colonies into the United States.
Like the Canadians, the South Americans, and the Australians, we are simply Europeans who have moved away. The story of the Europe in which our forefathers lived is, therefore, part of our story. In order to understand our own history we must know something of the history of England, France, Germany, Italy, and other European lands.
What the early Emigrants brought. If we read the story of our forefathers before they left Europe, we shall find answers to several important questions. Why, we ask, did Columbus seek for new lands or for new ways to lands already known? How did the people of Europe live at the time he discovered America? What did they know how to do? Were they skilful in all sorts of work, or were they as rude and ignorant as the Indians on the western shores of the Atlantic?
The answers which history will give to these questions will say that the first emigrants who landed on our shores brought with them much of the same knowledge and many of the same customs and memories which emigrants bring nowadays and which we also have. It is true that since the time the first settlers came men have found out how to make many new things. The most important of these are the steam-engine, the electric motor, the telegraph, and the telephone. But it is surprising how many important things, which we still use, were made before Columbus saw America.
For one thing, men knew how to print books. This art had been discovered during the boyhood of Columbus. Another thing, men could make guns, while the Indians had only bows and arrows. The ships in which Columbus sailed across the ocean seemed very large and wonderful to the Indians, who used canoes. The ships were steered with the help of a compass, an instrument which the Indians had never seen.
Some of the things which the early emigrants knew had been known hundreds or thousands of years before. One of the oldest was the art of writing. The way to write words or sounds was found out so long ago that we shall never know the name of the man who first discovered it. The historians tell us he lived in Egypt, which was in northern Africa, exactly where Egypt is now. Some men were afraid that the new art might do more harm than good. The king to whom the secret was told thought that the children would be unwilling to work hard and try to remember because everything could be written down and they would not need to use their memories. The Egyptians at first used pictures to put their words upon rocks or paper, and even after they made several letters of the alphabet their writing seemed like a mixture of little pictures and queer marks.
Old and New Inventions. Those who first discover how to make things are called inventors, and what they make are called inventions. Now if we should write out a list of the most useful inventions, we could place in one column the inventions which were made before the days of Columbus and in another those which have been made since. With this list before us we may ask which inventions we could live without and which we could not spare unless we were willing to become like the savages. We should find that a large number of the inventions which we use every day belong to the set of things older than Columbus. This is another reason why, if we wish to understand our ways of living and working, we must ask about the history of the countries where our forefathers lived. It is the beginning of our own history.
A Plan of Study. The discovery of America was made in 1492, at the beginning of what we call Modern Times. Before Modern Times were the Middle Ages, lasting about a thousand years. These began three or four hundred years after the time of Christ or what we call the beginning of the Christian Era. All the events that took place earlier we say happened in Ancient Times. Much that we know was learned first by the Greeks or Romans who lived in Ancient Times.
It is in the Middle Ages that we first hear of peoples called Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans, Dutchmen, Italians, Spaniards, and many others now living in Great Britain and on the Continent of Europe. We shall learn first of the Greeks and Romans and of what they knew and succeeded in doing, and then shall find out how these things were learned by the peoples of the Middle Ages and what they added to them. This will help us to find out what our forefathers started with when they came to live in America.
OUR EARLIEST TEACHERS
Ancient Cities that still exist. In Ancient Times the most important peoples lived on the shores of the Mediterranean. The northern shore turns and twists around four peninsulas. The first is Spain, which separates the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean; the second, shaped like a boot, is Italy; and the third, the end of which looks like a mulberry leaf, is Greece. Beyond Greece is Asia Minor, the part of Asia which lies between the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. (See the map.)
The Italians now live in Italy, but the Romans lived there in Ancient Times. The people who live in Greece are called Greeks, just as they were more than two thousand years ago. Many of the cities that the Greeks and Romans built are still standing. Alexandria was founded by the great conqueror Alexander. Constantinople used to be the Greek city of Byzantium. Another Greek city, Massilia, has become the modern French city of Marseilles. Rome had the same name in Ancient Times, except that it was spelled Roma. The Romans called Paris by the name of Lutetia, and London they called Lugdunum.
Ruins which show how the Ancients lived. In many of these cities are ancient buildings or ruins of buildings, bits of carving, vases, mosaics, sometimes even wall paintings, which we may see and from which we may learn how the Greeks and Romans lived. Near Naples are the ruins of Pompeii, a Roman city suddenly destroyed during an eruption of the volcano Vesuvius.
For hundreds of years the city lay buried under fifteen or twenty feet of ashes. When these were taken away, the old streets and the walls of the houses could be seen. No roofs were left and the walls in many places were only partly standing, but things which in other ancient cities had entirely disappeared were kept safe in Pompeii under the volcanic ashes.
The traveler who walks to-day along the ruined streets can see how its inhabitants lived two thousand years ago. He can visit their public buildings and their private houses, can handle their dishes and can look at the paintings on their walls or the mosaics in the floors. But interesting as Pompeii is, we must not think that its ruins teach us more than the ruins of Rome or Athens or many other ancient cities. Each has something important to tell us of the people who lived long ago.
Ancient Words still in Use. The ancient Greeks and Romans have left us some things more useful than the ruins of their buildings. These are the words in our language which once were theirs, and which we use with slight changes in spelling. Most of our words came in the beginning from Germany, where our English forefathers lived before they settled in England. To the words they took over from Germany they added words borrowed from other peoples, just as we do now. We have recently borrowed several words from the French, such as tonneau and limousine, words used to describe parts of an automobile, besides the name automobile itself, which is made up of a Latin and a Greek word.
In this way, for hundreds of years, words have been coming into our language from other languages. Several thousand have come from Latin, the language of the Romans; several hundred from Greek, either directly or passed on to us by the Romans or the French. The word school is Greek, and the word arithmetic was borrowed from the French, who took it from the Greeks. Geography is another word which came, through French and Latin, from the Greeks, to whom it meant that which is written about the earth. The word grammar came in the same way. The word alphabet is made by joining together the names of the first two Greek letters, alpha and beta.
Many words about religion are borrowed from the Greeks, and this is not strange, for the New Testament was written in Greek. Some of these are Bible, church, bishop, choir, angel, devil, apostle, and martyr. The Greeks have handed down to us many words about government, including the word itself, which in the beginning meant "to steer." Politics meant having to do with a polis or city. Several of the words most recently made up of Greek words are telegraph, telephone, phonograph, and thermometer.
Many Words borrowed from the Romans. Nearly ten times as many of our words are borrowed from the Romans as from the Greeks, and it is not strange, because at one time the Romans ruled over all the country now occupied by the Italians, the French, the Spaniards, a part of the Germans, and the English, so that these peoples naturally learned the words used by their conquerors and governors.
Interesting Ancient Stories. In the poems and tales which we learn at home or at school are stories which Greek and Roman parents and teachers taught their children many hundred years ago. We learn them partly because they are interesting, and because they please or amuse us, and partly because they appear so often in our books that it is necessary to know them if we would understand our own books and language. Who has not heard of Hercules and his Labors, of the Search for the Golden Fleece, the Siege of Troy, or the Wanderings of Ulysses? We love modern fairy stories and tales of adventure, but they are not more pleasing than these ancient stories.
The Story of the Greeks. Our language and our books are full of memories of Greek and Roman deeds of courage. The story of the Greeks comes before the story of the Romans, for the Greeks were living in beautiful cities, with temples and theaters, while the Romans were still an almost unknown people dwelling on the hills that border the river Tiber.
Memories of Greek Courage. The most heroic deeds of the Greeks took place in a great war between the Greek cities and the kingdom of Persia about five hundred years before Christ. In those days there was no kingdom called Greece, such as the geographies now describe. Instead there were cities, a few of which were ruled by kings, others by the citizens themselves. These cities banded together when any danger threatened them. Sometimes one city turned traitor and helped the enemy against the others. The most dangerous enemy the Greeks had, until the Romans attacked them, was the kingdom of Persia, which stretched from the Aegean Sea far into Asia. In the war with the Persians the Greeks fought three famous battles, at Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis, the stories of which men have always liked to hear and remember.
Preparing for Marathon, 490 B.C. To the Athenians belong the glories of Marathon. They lived where the modern city of Athens now stands. The ruins of their temples and theaters still attract students and travelers to Greece. The plain of Marathon lay more than twenty miles to the northeast, and the roads to it led through mountain passes. When the Athenians heard that the hosts of the Great King of Persia were approaching, they sent a runner, Pheidippides by name, to ask aid of Sparta, a city one hundred and forty miles away, in the peninsula now called the Morea, where dwelt the sturdiest fighters of Greece. This runner reached Sparta on the second day, but the Spartans said it would be against their religious custom to march before the moon was full. The Athenians saw that they must meet the enemy alone--one small city against a mighty empire. They called their ten thousand men together and set out. On the way they were joined by a thousand more, the whole army of the brave little town of Plataea.
How the Athenians were Armed. Although the Persians had six times as many soldiers as the Athenians, they were not so well armed for hand to hand fighting. Their principal weapon was the bow and arrow, while the Greeks used the lance and a short sword. The Greek soldier was protected by his bronze helmet, solid across the forehead and over the nose; by his breastplate, a leathern or linen tunic covered with small metal scales, with flaps hanging below his hips; and by greaves or pieces of metal in front of his knees and shins. He was also protected by a shield, often long enough to reach from his face to his knees. According to a strange custom the Athenians were led by ten generals, each commanding one day in turn.
The Battle-ground. Marathon was a plain about two miles wide, lying between the mountains and the sea. From it two roads ran toward Athens, one along the shore where the hills almost reached the sea, the other up a narrow valley and over the mountains. The Athenians were encamped in this valley, where they could attack the Persians if they tried to follow the shore road.
The Persians landed from their ships and filled the plain near the shore. They wanted to fight in the open plain because they had so many more soldiers than the Athenians and because they meant to use their horsemen. For some time the Athenians watched the Persians, not knowing what it was best to do. Half the generals did not wish to risk a battle, but Miltiades was eager to fight, for he feared that delay would lead timid citizens or traitors to yield to the Persians. He finally gained his wish, and on his day of command the battle was ordered.
The Battle. The Persians by this time had decided to sail around to the harbor of Athens and had taken their horsemen on board their ships. When they saw the Greeks coming they drew up their foot-soldiers in deep masses. The Athenians and their comrades--the Plataeans--soon began to move forward on the run. The Persians thought this madness, because the Greeks had no archers or horsemen. But the Greeks saw that if they moved forward slowly the Persians would have time to shoot arrows at them again and again.
When the Greeks rushed upon the Persians the soldiers at the two ends of the Persian line gave way and fled towards the shore. In the center, where the best Persian soldiers stood, the Greeks were not at first successful, and were forced to retreat. But those who had been victorious came to their rescue, attacked the Persians in the rear, and finally drove them off. The Persians ran into the sea to reach the ships, and the Athenians followed them. Some of the Greeks were so eager in the fight that they seized the sides of the ships and tried to keep them from being rowed away, but the Persians cut at their hands and made them let go.
The News of the Victory. The Athenians had won a victory of which they were so proud that they meant it never should be forgotten. Their city had suddenly become great through the courage and self-sacrifice of her citizens. One hundred and ninety-two Greeks had fallen, and on the battle-field their comrades raised over their bodies a mound of earth which still marks their tomb. The victors sent the runner Pheidippides to bear the news to Athens. Over the hills he ran until he reached the market place, and there, with the message of triumph on his lips, he fell dead.
Other Victories of the Greeks. Marathon was only the beginning of Greek victories over the Persians, only the first struggle in the long wars between Europe and Asia. Ten years after Marathon the Spartans won everlasting glory by their heroic stand at the Pass of Thermopylae --three hundred Greeks against the mighty army of the Persian king Xerxes. The barbarian hordes passed over their bodies, took the road to Athens, burned the city, but were soon beaten in the sea-fight which took place on the waters lying between the mainland of Athenian territory and the island of Salamis. This victory was also due to Athenian courage and leadership, for the Athenians and their leader, Themistocles, were resolved to stay and fight, although the other Greeks wanted to sail away.
Why Marathon is remembered. The victories of Marathon and Salamis were great not only because small armies of Greeks put to flight the hosts of Persia, they were great because they saved the independence of Greece. If the Greeks had become the subjects and slaves of Persia, they would not have built the wonderful buildings, or carved the beautiful statues, or written the books which we study and admire. When we think of the Greeks as our first teachers we feel as proud of their victories as if they were our own victories.
The Wars of the Greek Cities. The Athenians had done the most in winning the victory over the Persians, and therefore Athens was for many years the most powerful city in Greece. The Spartans were always jealous of the Athenians, and in less than a century after the victory of Marathon they conquered and humbled Athens. The worst faults of the Greeks were such jealousies and the desire to lord it over one another. Greek history is full of wars of city against city, Sparta against Athens, Corinth against Athens, and Thebes against Sparta. In these wars many heroic deeds were done, of which we like to read, but it is more important for us to understand how the Greeks lived.
HOW THE GREEKS LIVED
The Greek Cities. The Greeks lived in cities so much of the time that we do not often think of them as ever living in the country. The reason for this was that their government and everything else important was carried on in the city. The cities were usually surrounded by high, thick stone walls, which made them safe from sudden attack. Within or beside the city there was often a lofty hill, which we should call a fort or citadel, but which they called the upper city or acropolis. There the people lived at first when they were few in number, and thither they fled if the walls of their city were broken down by enemies.
In Athens such a hill rose two hundred feet above the plain. Its top was a thousand feet long, and all the sides except one were steep cliffs. On it the Athenians built their most beautiful temples.
Private Houses. Unlike people nowadays the Greeks did not spend much money on their dwelling-houses. To us these houses would seem small, badly ventilated, and very uncomfortable. But what their houses lacked was more than made up by the beauty and splendor of the public buildings, halls, theaters, porticoes, and especially the temples.
Temples. The temples were not intended to hold hundreds of worshipers like the large churches of Europe and America to-day. Religious ceremonies were most often carried on in the open air. The Parthenon, the most famous temple of Ancient Times, was small. Its principal room measured less than one hundred feet in length. Part of this room was used for an altar and for the ivory and gold statue of the goddess Athena.
The Parthenon. In a picture of the Parthenon, or of a similar temple, we notice the columns in front and along the sides. The Parthenon had eight at each end and seventeen on each side. They were thirty-four feet high. A few feet within the columns on the sides was the wall of the temple. Before the vestibule and entrances at the front and at the rear stood six more columns. The beauty of the marble from which stones and columns were cut might have seemed enough, but the builders carved groups of figures in the three-cornered space (called the pediment) in front between the roof and the stones resting upon the columns. The upper rows of stones beneath the roof and above the columns were also carved, and continuous carvings (called a frieze) ran around the top of the temple wall on the outside. The temple was not left a glistening white, but parts of it were painted in blue, or red, or gilt, or orange.
Other Greek Temples. This beautiful temple is now partly ruined. Ruins of other temples are on the Acropolis, and one better preserved, called the Theseum, stands on a lower hill. There are also similar ruins in many places along the shores of the Mediterranean. The most interesting are at Paestum in Italy, and at Girgenti in Sicily. Long before these temples were ruined they had taught the Romans how to construct one of the most beautiful kinds of buildings, and this the Romans later taught the peoples of western Europe.
Greek Methods of Building still used. If we look at our large buildings, we shall see much to remind us of the Greek buildings. Sometimes the exact form of the Greek building is imitated; sometimes this form is changed as the Romans changed it, or as it was changed by builders who lived after the time of the Romans. If the model of the whole building is not used, there are similar pillars, or gables, or the sculpture in the pediment and the frieze is imitated. The Greeks had three kinds of pillars, named Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. The Doric is simple and solid, the Ionic shows in its capital, or top, delicate and beautiful curves, while the Corinthian is adorned with leaves springing gracefully from the top of the pillar.
Theaters. The first Greek theater was only a smooth open space near a hillside, with a tent, called a skené, or scene, in which the actors dressed. Later an amphitheater of stone seats was constructed on the hillside, and across the open end was placed the scene, which had been changed into a stone building. On its front sometimes a house or a palace was painted, just as nowadays theaters are furnished with painted scenery. In these open-air theaters thousands of people gathered. Plays were generally given as a part of religious festivals, and there were contests between writers to see which could produce the best play. Sometimes the plays followed one another for three days from morning until night. Many of them are so interesting that people still read them, after twenty-five hundred years. The Romans studied them, and so do modern men who are preparing themselves to write plays.
The Stadium. A building which somewhat resembled the theater was the stadium, where races were run. The difference was that it was oblong instead of half round. The most famous stadium, at Olympia, was seven hundred and two feet long, with raised seats on both sides and around one end of the running track. The other end was open. About fifty thousand persons used to gather there to watch the races.
Porticoes. There were other buildings, some for meeting places, some for gymnasiums, and still others called porticoes, where the judges held court or the city officers carried on their business. The porticoes were simply rows of columns, roofed over, with occasionally a second story. As they stretched along the sides of a square or market place they added much to the beauty of a city.
Greek Sculpture. We know that the Greeks were skilful sculptors because from the ruins of their cities have been dug wonderful marble and bronze statues which are now preserved in the great museums of the world, in Paris, London, Berlin, and Rome, and here in America, in New York and Boston. Museums which cannot have the original statues usually contain copies or casts of them in plaster. The statues are generally marred and broken, but enough remains to show us the wonderful beauty of the artist's work. Among the most famous are the Venus, of Melos (or "de Milo"), which stands in a special room in a museum called the Louvre in Paris; the Hermes in the museum of Olympia in Greece; and the figures from the Parthenon in the British Museum in London.
Artists nowadays, like the Roman artists long ago, study the Greek statues and the Greek sculpture, in order that they may learn how such beautiful things can be made. They do not hope to excel the Greeks, but are content to remain their pupils.
Painting and Pottery. The Greeks were also painters, makers of pottery, and workers in gold and silver. Many pieces of their workmanship have been discovered by those who have dug in the ruins of ancient buildings and tombs.
What the Boys were taught. The Greek boys were not very good at arithmetic, and even grown men used counting boards or their fingers to help them in reckoning. In learning to write they smeared a thin layer of wax over a board and marked on that. There was a kind of paper called papyrus, made from a reed which grew mostly in Egypt, but this was expensive. Rolls were made of sheets of it pasted together, and these were their books. One of the books the boys studied much was the poems of Homer--the Iliad and the Odyssey--which tell about the siege of Troy and the wanderings of Ulysses. Boys often learned these long poems by heart. They also stored away in their memories the sayings of other poets and wise men, so that they could generally know what to think, having with them so many good and wise thoughts put in such excellent words.
Games and Exercises for Boys. It is not surprising that Greek boys knew how to play, but it is surprising that they played many of the games which boys play now, such as hide-and-seek, tug of war, ducks and drakes, and blind man's buff. They even "pitched pennies." In school the boys were taught not only to read and write, but to be skilful athletes, and to play on the lyre, accompanying this with singing. The gymnasium was often an open space near a stream into which they could plunge after their exercises were over. They were taught to box, to wrestle, to throw the discus, and to hurl the spear. Military training was important for them, since all might be called to fight for the safety of their city.
The Olympic Games. Boys and young men were trained as runners, wrestlers, boxers, and discus throwers, not only because they enjoyed these exercises and the Greeks thought them an important part of education, but also that they might bring back honors and prizes to their city from the great games which all the Greeks held every few years. The most famous of these games were held at Olympia. There the Greeks went from all parts of the country, carrying their tents and cooking utensils with them, because there were not enough houses in Olympia to hold so many people. Wars even were stopped for a time in order that the games might not be postponed.
The Rewards of the Victors. The principal contest was a dash for two hundred yards, although there were longer races and many other kinds of contests. Unfortunately the Greeks liked to see the most brutal sort of boxing, in which the boxer's hands and arms were covered with heavy strips of leather stiffened with pieces of iron or lead. For the games men trained ten months, part of the time at Olympia. The prize was a crown of wild olive, and the winner returned in triumph to his city, where poets sang his praises, a special seat at public games was reserved for him, and often artists were employed to make a bronze statue of him to be set up in Olympia or in his own city.
The Government of Athens. The citizen of Athens, and of other Greek cities, had more to do with his government than do most Americans with theirs. As nearly all work was done by slaves, he had plenty of time to attend meetings. All the citizens could attend the great assembly, or ecclesia, where six thousand at least must be present before anything could be decided. By this assembly foreigners might be admitted to citizenship or citizens might be expelled, or ostracized, from Athens as hurtful to its welfare.
There was a smaller council of five hundred which decided less important questions without laying them before the general assembly. This body was chosen by lot just as our juries are, but members of the council whose term had ended had a right to object to any new member as an unworthy citizen A tenth of the council ruled for a tenth of the year, and they chose their president by lot every day, so that any worthy man at Athens had a chance to be president for a day and a night.
Many citizens also served in the courts, for there were six thousand judges, and in deciding important cases as many as a thousand and one, or even fifteen hundred and one, took part. Before such large courts and assemblies it was necessary to be a good speaker to be able to win a case or persuade the citizens. Some of the greatest orators of the world were Athenians, the best known being Demosthenes.
Socrates. The Athenians were not always just, although so many of them acted as judges. One court, composed of five hundred and one judges, condemned to death Socrates, the wisest man of the Greeks and one of the wisest in the world. He did not make speeches, or write books, or teach in school. He went about, in the market place, at the gymnasium, and on the streets, asking men, young and old, questions about what interested him most, that is, What is the true way to live? If people did not give him an answer which seemed good, he asked more questions, until sometimes they went away angry. Many of them thought because he asked questions about everything that he did not believe in anything, not even in the religion of his city.
The Death of Socrates, 399 B.C. After a while the enemies of Socrates accused him of being a wicked man who persuaded young men to be wicked. He was tried by an Athenian court, which made the terrible blunder of finding him guilty and condemning him to death. According to the Athenian custom he was obliged to drink a cup of poisonous hemlock. This he did, after talking to his friends cheerily about how a good man should live. As he wrote no books we have learned about him from his friends. The most famous of these was Plato, who is also counted among the wisest men that ever lived. The story of the lives of these men is another gift which the Greeks made to all who were to live after them, and it is quite as valuable as are the ways of building, artistic skill, or great poems and plays.
GREEK EMIGRANTS OR COLONISTS
When the Atlantic was unknown. One of the most important things done by the men of Ancient Times was to explore the coasts and lands of Europe and to make settlements wherever they went. At first they knew little of the western and northern parts of Europe. Herodotus, a Greek whom we call the "Father of History," and who was a great traveler, said, "Though I have taken vast pains, I have never been able to get an assurance from any eye-witness that there is any sea on the further side of Europe." By the "further side" he meant "western," and his remark shows that he did not know of the Atlantic Ocean. He understood that tin and amber came from the "Tin Islands," which he called the "ends of the earth." As tin came from England, it is plain that he had heard a little of that island.
Greek Emigrants. Long before Athens became a great and beautiful city the Greeks had begun to make settlements on distant shores. Those who lived on the western coast of Asia Minor, as well as those who lived where the kingdom of Greece is now, sent out colonists or emigrants. The Greek colonies were very important, because by them the ancient civilized world was made larger, just as by the settlement of America the modern world was doubled in size. The colonists sailed away from home for the same reasons which led our forefathers to leave England and Europe for America. They either hoped to find it easier in a new land to make a living and obtain property, or they did not like the way their city was ruled, and being unable to change this, resolved to build elsewhere a city which they could manage as they pleased.
How they located a New City. There were several different lands to which they could go, just as the European of to-day may sail for the United States or South America or Australia. They could attempt to settle on the shores of the Black Sea, or cross over to northern Africa, or try to reach Italy and the more distant coasts of what are now France and Spain. In order to choose wisely, they generally asked the advice of the priests of their god Apollo at his temple at Delphi. These priests knew more about good places for settlements than most other persons, because travelers from everywhere came to Delphi and the priests were wise enough to inquire about all parts of the world.
The story is told that one group of emigrants was advised to locate their new colony opposite the "city of the blind." They discovered that these words meant that an earlier band of emigrants had passed by the wonderful harbor of the present city of Constantinople and had settled instead on the other shore of the Bosphorus. Taught by the oracle they chose the better place and began to build the city of Byzantium, which later became Constantinople.
Mother and Daughter Cities. Solemn ceremonies took place when colonists departed. They carried with them fire from the hearth of the mother city in order to light a similar fire on their new hearth, for every city had its hearthstone and on it a fire that was never quenched. The ties between the mother and the daughter city were close, and the enemies of one were the enemies of the other. He who wished to visit the colony usually went to the mother city to find a ship bound thither.
Where the Settlements were made. When the Greek sailors first entered the Black Sea, they thought it a boundless ocean, and called it the Pontus, a word which means "The Main." Until that time they had been accustomed to sail only from island to island in the Aegean Sea. After a while they made settlements all around the shores of the Black Sea, and in later times Athens drew from this region her supply of grain. Still more important settlements were made in Sicily and southern Italy, for it was through these settlements that some of the things the Greeks knew, like the art of writing, were taught to the Italian tribes and to the Romans.
Dangers of the Voyage. At first Greek sailors feared the dangers of the western Mediterranean as much as those of the Black Sea. They imagined that the huge, misshapen, and dreadful monsters Scylla and Charybdis lurked in the Straits of Messina waiting to seize and swallow the unlucky passer-by. On the slopes of Mount Aetna dwelt, they thought, hideous, one-eyed giants, the Cyclops, who fed their fierce appetites with the quivering flesh of many captives.
Greeks in the West.(See map[7a].) The earliest settlement of the Greeks in Italy was at Cumae, on a headland at the entrance of the Bay of Naples. Later these colonists entered the bay and founded the "new city," or Neapolis, which we call Naples. Finally there were so many Greek cities in southern Italy that it was named "Great Greece." The Greeks also made settlements in what is now southern France and eastern Spain. The principal one was Massilia, or Marseilles. Through the traders of this city the ancient world obtained a supply of tin from Britain, a country which is now called England.
Greek Colonies as Centers of Civilization. The Greeks in these colonies traded with the natives whose villages were near by, and many of the natives learned to live like the Greeks. In this way the Greeks became teachers of civilization, and the Greek world, which at first was made up of cities on the shores of the Aegean Sea, was spread from place to place along the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea.
Greek Ships. The ships of the Greeks were very different from modern vessels. Of course they were not driven by steam, nor did they rely as much on sails as modern sailing ships do. They had sails, but were driven forward mostly by their oars. The trireme, or ordinary war-ship, had its oars arranged in three banks, fifty men rowing at once. After these had rowed several hours, or a "watch," another fifty took their places, and finally a third fifty, so that the ships could be rowed at high speed all the time. With the aid of its two sails a trireme is said to have gone one hundred and fifty miles in a day and a night. These boats were about one hundred and twenty feet long and fifteen feet wide. They could be rowed in shallow water, but were not high enough to ride heavy seas safely. They had a sharp beak, which, driven against an enemy's ship, would break in its sides. The Greek grain ships and freight boats were heavier and more capable of enduring rough weather.
Alexander the Great, King of Macedon from 336 to 323 B.C. Greek ways of living were also carried eastward as well as westward. The enlargement of the Greek world in this direction was due to Alexander the Great, the most skilful soldier and the ablest leader of men among all the Greeks. Alexander was king of Macedon, and like the earlier Greeks he regarded the Persians as his enemies, and made war upon them. After conquering the Persians he marched across western Asia until he had reached the Indus River in India. He was a builder of cities as well as a conqueror. He founded seventy cities, and sixteen of them were named for him. The most important was the Alexandria which is still the chief seaport of Egypt. Greek became the language commonly spoken throughout the lands near the eastern Mediterranean. This is the reason why in later times the New Testament was written in Greek.
Alexandria. Of this Greek world Athens ceased to be the center and Alexandria took its place. At Alexandria there was a great library which contained over five hundred thousand volumes or rolls. There also was the museum or university, in which many learned men were at work. The best known of these men was Euclid, who perfected the mathematics which we call geometry, and Ptolemy, whose ideas about geography and the shape and size of the globe Columbus carefully studied before he set out on his great voyage. Alexandria was also a center of trade and commerce. From Alexandria, because its ships were the first foreign ships to be admitted to a Roman port, the Romans gained their liking for many of the beautiful things which the Greeks made.
NEW RIVALS OF THE GREEKS
The Greek Colonies and the Carthaginians. The Greek colonies were sometimes in danger of being attacked by the native tribes whose lands they had seized or by the wilder tribes that dwelt further from the coast. In Sicily their most dangerous neighbors were the Carthaginians at the western end of the island. The chief town of these people was Carthage, situated opposite Sicily in northern Africa in what is now Tunis. The Carthaginians were emigrants from Tyre and other cities of Phoenicia on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean, and because of their many ships held control of a large part of the western Mediterranean. They had colonies even in Spain, where in very early times Phoenician traders had gone to obtain gold and silver.
The Greeks and the Romans. In Italy the most dangerous neighbors of the Greek colonists were the Romans, who lived half-way up the western side of the peninsula along the river Tiber. The history of the Romans, like the history of the Greeks, is full of interesting and wonderful tales. Some of them are legends, such as every people likes to tell about its early history. They relate how the city was founded by two brothers, Romulus and Remus; how Horatius defended the bridge across the Tiber against the hosts of the exiled Tarquin king; how the farmer Cincinnatus, having been made leader or dictator, in sixteen days drove off the neighboring tribes which were attacking the Romans and then went back to his plough.
The Gauls burn Rome, 390 B.C. The Romans told stories of their defeats as well as of their victories. One of these tells how hosts of Gauls, a people of the same race as the forefathers of the French, streamed southward from the valley of the Po. The Romans were alarmed by such tall men, with fierce eyes, and fair, flowing hair, whose swords crashed through the frail Roman helmets. They sent a large army to stop the invaders, but in the battle, which was fought only twelve miles from Rome, this army was destroyed.
The few defenders that were left withdrew to the Capitoline, the steepest of the hills over which the city had spread. Some of the older senators and several priests scorned to seek a refuge from the fury of the barbarians, and took their seats quietly in ivory chairs in the market place or Forum at the foot of the Capitoline hill. The Gauls at first gazed in wonder at the strange sight of the motionless figures. When one of them attempted to stroke the white beard of a senator, the senator struck him with his staff; then the Gauls fell upon senators and priests and slew them.
The sides of the Capitoline hill were so steep that for a long time the Gauls were baffled in their attempts to seize it. At last they discovered a path, and one dark night were on the point of scaling the height when some geese, sacred to the goddess Juno, cackled and flapped their wings until the garrison was aroused and the Gauls hurled headlong down the precipice. The garrison was saved, but the city was burned. This happened in Rome just one hundred years after the battle of Marathon in Greece.
The Caudine Forks. Another adventure did not have so happy an ending. The Romans were at war with the Samnites, a tribe living on the slopes of the Apennines, who were continually attacking the Greek cities on the coast. The war was caused by the attempt of the Romans to protect one of the Greek cities. The Roman generals, with a large army, in making their way into the Samnite country attempted to march through a narrow gorge which broadened out into a plain and then was closed again at the farther end by another gorge. When they reached this second gorge they found the road blocked by fallen trees and heaps of stones. They also saw Samnites on the heights above them. In alarm they hastened to retrace their steps, only to find the other entrance closed in the same way. After vain attempts to force a passage or to scale the surrounding heights they were obliged to surrender.
The Samnites compelled the Roman army, both generals and soldiers, each clad in a single garment, to pass "under the yoke" made of two spears set upright with one laid across, while they stood by and jeered. If any Roman looked angry or sullen at his disgrace, they struck or even killed him. This was called the disaster of the Caudine Forks, from the pass where the Romans were caught.
The Romans and the Greek Cities. Not many years after this the Romans quarreled with the Greek cities of southern Italy. The Greeks of Tarentum, situated where Taranto is now, called to their aid Pyrrhus, who ruled a part of Alexander's old kingdom. Pyrrhus was a skilful general, and he had with him, besides his foot-soldiers and horsemen, many trained elephants. A charge of these elephants was too much for the Romans, who were already hard pressed by the long spears of the soldiers of Pyrrhus. But the Romans were ready for another battle, and in this they fought so stubbornly and killed so many of the Greek soldiers that Pyrrhus cried out, "Another victory like this and we are ruined." In a third battle, which took place 275 B.C., he was defeated, and returned to Greece, leaving the Romans masters of the Greek cities in Italy.
The Romans Conquerors of Italy. By this time there were few tribes south of the river Po which did not own the Romans as their masters. All Italy was united under their rule. This was the first step in the conquest of the world that lay about the Mediterranean Sea and in the extension of that ancient world to the shores of the Atlantic and to England. Before we read the story of the other conquests we must inquire who the Roman people were and how they lived.
How the Romans lived. In early times most of the Romans were farmers or cattle raisers. A man's wealth was reckoned according to the number of cattle he owned. Their manner of living was simple and frugal. Like the Greek, the Roman had his games. He enjoyed chariot-races, but used slaves or freedmen as drivers. He also went to the theater, although he thought it unworthy of a Roman to be an actor. Such an occupation was for foreigners or slaves.
Roman Boys at School. The boys at school did not learn poems, as did the Greek boys, but studied the first set of laws made by the Romans, called the Twelve Tables. This they read, copied, and learned by heart. Their interest in laws was the first sign that they were to become the world's greatest lawmakers.
Roman Women. In their respect for women the Romans were superior to the Greeks. The Roman mother did not remain in the women's apartments of the house, as she was expected to do at Athens, but was her husband's companion, received his guests, directed her household, and went in and out as she chose.
Patricians and Plebeians. The men of the families which first ruled Rome were called patricians or nobles, while the rest were plebeians or common people. There were also many slaves, but they had no rights. At first only the patricians knew exactly what the laws were, because the laws were not written in a book. When disputes arose between patricians and plebeians about property, the plebeians believed the patricians changed the laws in order to gain an advantage over their poorer neighbors.
The story is told that twice the plebeians withdrew from the city and refused to return until their wrongs were removed. Then they compelled the nobles to draw up the laws in a roll called the Twelve Tables. At this time messengers were sent to Athens to examine the laws of the Greeks. The richer plebeians were also gradually admitted to all the offices of the Roman republic, and so became nobles themselves.
Government at Rome. The Romans had once been ruled by kings, but now their chief officers were consuls. Two consuls were chosen each year because the Romans feared that a single consul might make himself a king, or, at least, gain too much power. The real rulers of Rome, however, were the senators, the men who had held the prominent offices. There were assemblies of the people, but these generally did what the senators or other officers told them to do.
Among the interesting officers of Rome was the censor, who drew up a list or census of the citizens and of their property. Another officer was the tribune, chosen in the beginning by the plebeians to protect them against the patricians. The tribune was not at first a member of the senate, but he was given a seat outside the door, and if a law was proposed that would injure the plebeians, he cried out, "Veto," which means "I forbid," and the law had to be dropped. This is the origin of our word "veto."
How the Romans treated the Italians. The Romans were wise in their dealings with the cities or tribes which they conquered. They not only sent out colonies of their fellow-citizens to occupy a part of the lands they had seized, but they also gave the conquered peoples a share in their government, and in some cases allowed them to act as citizens of Rome. These new Roman citizens helped the older Romans in their wars with other tribes. In this way Roman towns gradually spread over Italy.
THE MEDITERRANEAN A ROMAN LAKE
Rome in Peril. The conquest of Italy by the Romans took about two hundred and fifty years. The conquest of the peoples living in the other lands on the shores of the Mediterranean took nearly as long again. Only twice in these four or five hundred years was Rome in serious danger of destruction. Once it was by the Gauls, as we have read, who captured all the city except the citadel. The second time it was by the Carthaginians, who lived on the northern coast of Africa. The Romans were finally victorious over all their enemies because they were patient and courageous in misfortune and refused to believe that they could be conquered.
Cause of War with Carthage. The Carthaginians were angry at the way the Romans treated them. They watched with alarm the steady growth of the Roman power, and feared that the Romans, if masters of Italy, would attack their trade with the cities of the western Mediterranean. A quarrel broke out over a city in Sicily. At first the Carthaginians seemed to have the best of it, because they had a strong war fleet while the Romans had only a few small vessels. But the Romans hurriedly built ships and placed upon each a kind of drawbridge, fitted with great hooks called grappling-irons. These they let down upon the enemy's decks as soon as the ships came close enough, and over these drawbridges the Roman soldiers rushed and captured the Carthaginian ships.
When the Carthaginians asked for peace, the Romans demanded a great sum of money and a promise that the Carthaginians would leave the cities in Sicily which they occupied. Soon afterward the Romans took advantage of a mutiny in the Carthaginian army to demand more money and to seize Sardinia and Corsica. No wonder the Carthaginians were angry. The result was a new and more terrible war.
Hannibal. The Carthaginians in the new war were led by Hannibal, who understood how to fight battles better than any of the generals whom the Romans sent against him. The story is told that when he was a boy his father made him promise, at the altar of his city's gods, undying hatred to Rome. Even the Romans thought him a wonderful man. Their historians said that toil did not wear out his body or exhaust his energy. Cold or heat were alike to him. He never ate or drank more than he needed. He slept when he had time, whether it was day or night, wrapping himself in a military cloak and lying on the ground in the midst of his soldiers. He did not dress better than the other officers, but his weapons and his horses were the best in the army.
War carried into Italy, 218 B.C. Hannibal decided that the war should be carried into Italy to the very gates of Rome. He started from Spain, half of which the Carthaginians ruled, marched across southern Gaul, and came to the foot-hills of the Alps. To climb the Alps was the most difficult part of his long journey.
Crossing the Alps. There were no roads across the mountains, only rough paths used by the mountaineers, who constantly attacked Hannibal's soldiers, bursting out suddenly upon them from behind a turn in the trail, or rolling huge rocks upon them from above. The elephants, the horses, and the baggage animals of the army were frightened, and in the tumult many of them slipped over the precipices and were dashed on the rocks below. For five days the army toiled upward, and then rested two days on the summit of the pass.
Although the road down into Italy was short, it was steep, and the paths were slippery with ice and with snow trodden into slush by thousands of men and animals. In one place there had been a landslide, and the road along the rocky slope was cut away for a thousand feet. In order to build a new road it was necessary to crack the rocks. This the soldiers did by making huge fires and pouring wine over the heated surface. At last, worn out, ragged, and half starved, the army reached the plains of Italy, but with a loss of half its men.
How Hannibal won a Victory. The first great battle with the Romans was fought on the river Trebia in northern Italy, and in it Hannibal showed how easily he could outwit and destroy a Roman army. It was a winter's day and the river was swollen by rains. The two camps lay on opposite banks. In the early morning Hannibal sent across the river a body of horsemen to attack the Roman camp and draw the Romans into a battle. At the same time he ordered his other soldiers to eat breakfast, to build fires before their tents to warm themselves, and to rub their bodies with oil, so that they might be strong for the coming fight.
The Romans were suddenly roused by the attack of the Carthaginian horsemen, and, without waiting for food, moved out of camp, chasing the horsemen toward the river. Into its icy waters the Romans waded breast-high, and when they came up on the opposite bank they were benumbed with cold. As soon as Hannibal knew that the Romans had crossed the river he attacked them fiercely with all his troops. Two thousand men whom he had placed in ambush fell upon the rear of their line. Their allies were frightened by a charge of elephants. Seeing that destruction was certain, ten thousand of the best soldiers broke through the Carthaginian line and marched away. All the rest of the army was destroyed.
Roman Endurance. This was not the last of the Roman defeats. Two other armies were destroyed by Hannibal during the next two years. In the battle of Cannae nearly seventy thousand Romans, including eighty senators, were slain. The news filled the city with weeping women, but the senate did not think of yielding. When their allies deserted them, they besieged the faithless cities, took them, beheaded the rulers, and sold the inhabitants into slavery.
They did not dare to fight Hannibal in the open field, but tried to wear him out by cutting off all small bodies of his troops and by making it difficult for him to get food for his army. They carried the war into Spain and finally into Africa, and when, with a weakened army, Hannibal faced them there, they defeated him. His defeat was the ruin of Carthage, for the unhappy city was compelled to see her fleet destroyed, to pay the Romans a huge sum of money, and to give up Spain to them.
Other Roman Triumphs. The war with Carthage ended two hundred and two years before the birth of Christ. In the wars that followed, Roman armies fought not only in Spain and Africa, but also in Greece and Asia. Carthage was destroyed; as was also Corinth, a Greek city. Roman generals enriched themselves and sent great treasures back to Rome. Roman merchants grew rich because their rivals in Carthage and Corinth were ruined or because the conquered cities were forbidden to trade with any city but Rome. All this took a long time and many wars, but in the end the Romans became masters of every land along the shores of the Mediterranean. This was not wholly a misfortune, for the Romans had learned that the Greeks were superior to them in some things and they took the Greeks as their teachers in most of the arts of living. The ancient world became a sort of partnership, and we call its civilization Graeco-Roman, that is, both Greek and Roman.
The Romans as Rulers. The Romans at first treated the lands in Sicily, Spain, Africa, Greece, and Asia as conquered territories, or provinces, sending to rule over them officers who were to act both as governors and judges. With these men went many tax-collectors or "publicans." The Romans were obliged to leave in most provinces a large body of soldiers to put down any attempt at rebellion. Often the officers and the publicans robbed the country instead of ruling it justly.
Evil Results of Conquest. During the wars the Romans had lost many of their simple ways of living. Some had grown rich in the business of providing for the armies and navies, and they were eager for new wars in order to make still bigger fortunes. Hannibal's marches up and down Italy had driven thousands of farmers from their homes, and they had wandered to Rome for safety and food. When the war was over many of them did not go back to their homes. Those who did found that they could no longer get fair prices for their crops because great quantities of wheat were shipped to Rome from the conquered lands. Wealthy men bought the little farms and joined them, making great estates where slaves raised sheep and cattle or tended vineyards and olive groves. There was not much work for free men in Rome, for slaves were very cheap. One army of prisoners was sold at about eight cents apiece. In this way the poor were made idle, while the rich sent everywhere for new luxuries.
Cruel Sports. To amuse the idle crowds, office-seekers and victorious generals provided cruel sports. Savage animals were turned loose to tear one another to pieces. What was worse, human prisoners were compelled to fight, armed with swords or spears. These men were called gladiators, and often were specially trained to fight with one another or with wild beasts.
Some Things the Romans learned. But the successes of the Romans brought them other things which were good. They took the buildings of the Greeks as models and built similar temples and porticoes in Rome, especially about the old market place or Forum. Their own houses, which in earlier times were nothing but cabins, they enlarged, and if they were rich enough, built palaces, adorned with paintings and with statues. Unfortunately many of these came from the plunder of Greek cities, for the Romans were great robbers of other peoples. The poorer Romans continued to live in wretched hovels.
The Theater. The Romans learned more about the theaters of the Greeks. Their plays were either translated into Latin from Greek or retold in a different manner from the original Greek. The Romans did not succeed in writing any plays of their own which were as good as the plays of the Greeks.
The New Education of the Romans. The Greeks also taught the Romans how to write poems and histories. The first histories were written in Greek, but later the Romans learned how to write in Latin prose and poetry as good as much that had been written by the Greeks. Greek became the second language of every educated Roman, and thus he could enjoy the books of the Greeks as well as those written by Romans. The education of the Roman boy now began with the poems of Homer, and the young man's education was not thought to be finished until he had traveled in Greece and the lands along the eastern Mediterranean.
THE ANCIENT WORLD EXTENDED TO THE SHORES OF THE ATLANTIC
New Conquests of the Romans. The Romans had as yet conquered only civilized peoples like themselves, with the exception of the tribes in Spain and southern Gaul. Now the Roman armies were to push northward over the plains and through the forests of Gaul, across the Rhine into unknown Germany, and over the Channel into Britain, equally unknown. They were to be explorers as well as conquerors. In this way they were to carry their civilization to the Rhine and the Atlantic, and so increase greatly the part of the earth where men lived and thought as the Romans did and as the Greeks had before them. The ancient civilized world was beginning to move from its older center, the Mediterranean, toward the shore of the Atlantic.
Ancestors of the French and the Germans. The tribes living in Gaul were not at that time called French, but Gallic. The Gauls were like the Britons who lived across the Channel in Britain. The German ancestors of the English had not yet crossed the North Sea to that land. Beyond the Rhine lived the Germans, who had but little to do with the Romans and the Greeks and were still barbarians. The Gauls living farthest away from the Roman settlements were not much more civilized.
The principal difference between the Germans and the Gauls was that the Gauls lived in villages and towns and cultivated the land or dug in mines or traded along the rivers, while the Germans had no towns and dwelt in clearings of the forest. Their wealth, like that of the early Romans, was their cattle. The land they cultivated was divided between them year after year, so that a German owned only his hut and the plot of ground or garden about it. Some of the towns of the Gauls were placed on high hills and were protected by strong walls.
The Terrible Germans. The Romans had at first been afraid of the Gauls, because they had never forgotten how terribly these people had once defeated them. But since that time they had fought the Gauls so often that they were losing this fear. They now dreaded more to meet the Germans, who seemed like giants because they were taller even than the Gauls.
Gallic and German Warriors. The leaders of the Germans were sometimes kings and sometimes nobles whom the Romans called duces, from which comes our word duke. The Gallic chieftains were adorned with gold necklaces, bracelets, and rings. When they went out to battle, they wore helmets shaped like the head of some ravenous beast, and their bodies were protected by coats of chain armor made of iron rings. Their principal weapon was a long, heavy sword. Both German and Gallic nobles were accompanied by bands of young men, their devoted followers, who shared the joys of victory or died with them in case of defeat. It was a disgrace to lose one's sword or to survive if the leader was killed.
How the Germans lived. When the Germans were not fighting they were idle, for all work was done by women and slaves. They were great drinkers and gamblers, and often in their games a man would stake his freedom upon the result. If he lost, he became the slave of the winner. The Germans respected their wives, even if they compelled them to do the hard work. The women sometimes went with the men to battle, and their cries encouraged the warriors, or if the warriors wavered, the fierce reproaches of the women drove them back to the fight.
Religion of the Germans. We remember the religion of the Germans because four days of the week are named for their gods or the gods of their neighbors across the Baltic. Their principal god was Wodan, or Odin, god of the sun and the tempest. Wodan's day is Wednesday. Thursday is named for Thor, the Northmen's god of thunder. The god of war, Tiw, gave a name to Tuesday, and Frigu, the goddess of love, to Friday. The German, like his northern neighbors, thought of heaven as the place where brave warriors who had died in battle spent their days in feasting.
Julius Caesar. Julius Caesar was the great Roman general who conquered the Gauls and led the first expeditions across the Rhine into Germany and over the Channel into Britain. He was a wealthy noble who, like other nobles, held one office after another until he became consul. He was also a great political leader, and with two other men controlled Rome. We should call them "bosses," but the Romans called them "triumvirs."
Caesar in Gaul. As soon as Caesar became governor of the province of southern Gaul, he showed that he was a skilful general as well as a successful politician. He interfered in the wars between the Gauls, taking sides with the friends of the Romans. When a large army of Germans entered Gaul, he defeated it and drove it back across the Rhine. One war led to another until all the tribes from the country now called Belgium to the Mediterranean coast professed to be friends of the Roman people. His campaigns lasted from 58 B.C. for nine years. Two or three times Caesar was very close to ruin, but by his courage and energy he always succeeded in gaining the victory.
Vercingetorix, Gallic Hero. The great hero of the Gauls in their struggle with the Romans was Vercingetorix. He was a young noble who lived in a mountain town of central Gaul. His father had been killed in an attempt to make himself king of his native city. Vercingetorix believed that if the Gauls did not unite against the Romans they would soon see their lands become Roman provinces. As he knew his army was no match for the Romans in open fight, he persuaded the Gauls to try to starve the Romans out of the country. He planned to destroy all village stores of grain, and to cut off the smaller bands of soldiers which wandered from the main army in search of food.
Caesar and Vercingetorix. Vercingetorix found the work of conquering Caesar in this way too difficult. He was finally driven to take refuge in Alesia, on a hilltop in eastern Gaul. Here the Romans prepared to starve him into surrender. They dug miles of deep trenches about the fortress so that the imprisoned Gauls could not break through. They dug other trenches to protect themselves from the attacks of a great army of Gauls which came to rescue Vercingetorix. These trenches were fifteen or twenty feet wide; they were strengthened by palisades and ramparts, and filled with water where this was possible. Several times the Gauls nearly succeeded in breaking through, but the quickness and stubborn courage of Caesar always saved the day.
Death of Vercingetorix. Vercingetorix now proved that he was a real hero. He offered to give himself up to Caesar, if this would save the town. But Caesar demanded the submission of all the chiefs. When they had laid down their arms before the conqueror, Vercingetorix appeared on a gaily decorated horse. He rode around the throne where Caesar sat, dismounted in front, took off his armor, and bowed to the ground. His fate was hard. He was sent to Rome a prisoner, was shown in the triumphal procession of the victorious Caesar, and was then put to death in a dungeon. On the site of Alesia stands a monument erected by the French to the memory of the brave Gallic hero. The defeat of Vercingetorix ended the resistance of the Gauls, and not many years afterward their country was added to the long list of Roman provinces.
Caesar in Germany. Caesar crossed the Rhine into Germany on a bridge which his engineers built in ten days. He laid waste the fields of the tribes near the river in order to make the name of Rome feared, and then returned to Gaul and destroyed the bridge. Twice he sailed over to Britain, the last time marching a few miles north of where London now stands. His purpose was to keep the Britons from stirring up the Gauls to attack him. Other generals many years later conquered Britain as far as the hills of Scotland.
The German Hero Hermann. The Romans were not fortunate in their later attempts to conquer a part of Germany. When Caesar's grandnephew Augustus was master of Rome, he sent an army under Varus into the forests far from the Rhine. Hermann, a leader of the Germans, gathered the tribes together and utterly destroyed the army of Varus. Whenever Augustus thought of this dreadful disaster, he would cry out, "O Varus, give me back my legions!" The Rhine and the Danube became the northern boundaries of the Roman conquests.
Gauls and Britons become Roman. Although the Gauls had fought stubbornly against Caesar they soon became as Roman as the Italians themselves. They ceased to speak their own language and began to use Latin. They mastered Latin so thoroughly that their schools were sometimes regarded as better than the schools in Italy, and Roman youths were sent to Gaul to learn how best to speak their own language. The Britons also became very good Romans. Even the Germans frequently crossed the Rhine and enlisted in the Roman armies. When they returned to their own country they carried Roman ideas and customs with them.
The Interest of Americans in Roman Successes. For Americans the influence the Romans exerted in Spain, Gaul, Germany, and Britain is more important than their work in the eastern Mediterranean, because from those countries came the early settlers of America. The civilization which the Romans taught the peoples of western Europe was to become a valuable part of the civilization of our forefathers.
Size of the Roman World. We may realize how large the world of the Romans was by observing on a modern map that within its limits lay modern England, France, Spain, Portugal, the southern part of Austria-Hungary, Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, the Turkish Empire both in Europe and Asia, Egypt, Tripoli, Tunis, Algeria, and Morocco. For a time they also ruled north of the Danube, and the Rumanians boast that they are descended from Roman colonists. The peoples in southern Russia were influenced by the Greeks and by the Romans, although the Romans did not try to bring them under their rule.
No modern empire has included so many important countries. If we compare this vast territory with, the scattered colonies of the Greeks, we shall understand how useful it was that the Romans adopted much of the Greek civilization, for they could carry it to places that the Greeks never reached.
THE CIVILIZATION OF THE ROMAN WORLD
Strife at Rome. While the Romans were conquering the ancient world they had begun to quarrel among themselves. Certain men resolved that Rome should not be managed any longer by the noble senators for their own benefit or for the benefit of rich contractors and merchants. They wished to have the idle crowds of men who packed the shows and circuses settled as free farmers on the unused lands of Italy.
Among these new leaders were two brothers, Tiberius and Caius Gracchus, sons of one of Rome's noblest families. The other nobles looked upon them with hatred and killed them, first Tiberius and afterward Caius. These murders did not end the trouble. The leaders on both sides armed their followers, and bloody battles were fought in the streets. Generals led their armies to Rome, although, according to the laws, to bring an army into Italy south of the Rubicon River was to make war on the republic and be guilty of treason. Once in the city these generals put to death hundreds of their enemies.
Caesar rules Rome. The strife in the city had ceased for a time when Pompey, a famous general, who had once shared power with Caesar as a "triumvir," joined the senators in planning his ruin. Caesar led his army into Italy to the borders of the Rubicon. Exclaiming, "The die is cast,'" he crossed the sacred boundary and marched straight to Rome. Pompey and his party fled, and civil war divided the Roman world into those who followed Caesar and those who followed Pompey, Caesar was everywhere victorious, in Italy, Africa, Spain, and the East. He brought back order into the government of the city and of the provinces, but in the year 44 B.C. he was murdered in the senate-house by several senators, one of whom, Marcus Brutus, had been his friend.
Origin of the Title "Emperor." Caesar had not been called "emperor," though the chief power had been his. One of his titles was "imperator," or commander of the army, a word from which our word "emperor" comes. He was really the first emperor of Rome. In later times the very word Caesar became an imperial title, not only in the Roman Empire, but also in modern Germany, for "Kaiser" is another form of the word "Caesar."
Beginnings of the Empire. Caesar's successor was his grandnephew Octavius, usually called Augustus, which was one of his titles. Augustus carried out many of Caesar's plans for improving the government in Rome and in the provinces. The people in the provinces were no longer robbed by Roman officers. Many of them became Roman citizens. After a time all children born within the empire were considered Romans, just as if they had been born in Rome.
The Roman Empire. The Roman Empire carried on the work which the republic had begun. It did some things better than the republic had done them. Within its frontiers there was peace for two or three hundred years. Many people had an opportunity to share in all the best that the Greeks and Romans had learned. Unfortunately the peoples imitated the bad as well as the good.
Roman Roads. As builders the Romans taught much to those who lived after them. Their great roads leading out from Rome have never been excelled. In Gaul these roads served, centuries later, to mark out the present French system of highroads and showed many a route to the builders of railroads. They were made so solid that parts of them still remain after two thousand years.
How these Roads were built. In planning their roads the Romans did not hesitate before obstacles like hills or deep valleys or marshy lands. They often pierced the hills with tunnels and bridged the valleys or swamps. In building a road they dug a trench about fifteen feet wide and pounded the earth at the bottom until it was hard. Upon this bottom was placed a layer of rough stones, over which were put nine inches of broken stone mixed with lime to form a sort of concrete. This was covered by a layer six inches deep of broken bricks or broken tiles, which when pounded down offered a hard, smooth surface. On the top were laid large paving stones carefully fitted so that there need be no jar when a wagon rolled over the road.
Such roads were necessary for the traders who passed to and fro throughout the empire, but especially for troops or government messengers sent with all speed to regions where there was danger of revolt or where the frontiers were threatened by the barbarians.
Aqueducts. Next to their roads the most remarkable Roman structures were the aqueducts which brought water to the city from rivers or springs, some of them many miles away. Had they known, as we do, how to make heavy iron pipes, their aqueducts would have been laid underground, except where they crossed deep valleys. The lead pipes which they used were not strong enough to endure the force of a great quantity of water, and so when the aqueducts reached the edge of the plain which stretches from the eastern hills to the walls of Rome, the streams of flowing water were carried in stone channels resting upon arches which sometimes reached the height of over ninety feet.
The Claudian Aqueduct. The Claudian aqueduct, which is the most magnificent ever built, is carried on such arches for about seven miles and a half. Although broken in many places, and though the water has not flowed through its lofty channels for sixteen hundred years, it is one of the grandest sights in the neighborhood of Rome. If we add together the lengths of the aqueducts, underground or carried on arches, which provided Rome with her water supply, the total is over three hundred miles. They could furnish Rome with a hundred million gallons of water a day.
Public Baths. The Romans used great quantities of water for their public baths, which were large buildings with rooms especially made for bathing in hot or cold water and for plunges. They were also, like the Greek gymnasiums, places for exercise, conversation, and reading. Many were built as monuments by wealthy men and by emperors. A very small fee was charged for entrance, and the money was used to pay for repairs and the wages of those who managed the baths.
Two Famous Buildings. Many of the Roman temples, porticoes, and theaters were copied from Greek buildings, but the Romans used the arch more than did the Greeks, and in this the builders of later times imitated them. Among their greatest buildings were the amphitheaters, from the benches of which crowds watched gladiators fighting one another or struggling with wild beasts. The largest of these amphitheaters was the Colosseum, the ruins of which still exist. Its outer walls were one hundred and sixty feet high. In one direction it measured six hundred and seventeen feet and in another five hundred and twelve. There were seats enough for forty-five thousand persons. The lowest seats were raised fifteen feet above the arena or central space where men or wild beasts fought. Through an arrangement of underground pipes the arena could be flooded so that the spectators might enjoy the excitement of a real naval battle.
Another great building was the Circus Maximus, built to hold the crowds that watched the chariot-races, and at one time having seats for two hundred thousand persons. In their amusements the Romans became more and more vulgar, excitable, and cruel. Some equally splendid buildings were used for better things.
The Pantheon. One of these was the Pantheon, a temple which was afterward a Christian church. It still stands, and is now used as the burial-place of the Italian kings. The most remarkable part of it is the dome, which has a width of a little over one hundred and forty-two feet. No other dome in the world is so wide. The Romans were very successful in covering large spaces with arched or vaulted ceilings. All later builders of domes and arches are their pupils.
Basilicas. The Romans had other large buildings called basilicas. These were porticoes or promenades, with the space in the center covered by a great roof. They were used as places for public meetings. One of them had one hundred and eight pillars arranged in a double row around the sides and ends of this central space. The name basilica is Greek and means "royal." Some of these basilicas were used as Christian churches when the Romans accepted the Christian religion. The central space was then called the "nave," and the spaces between the columns the aisles.
Triumphal Arches. The Romans built beautiful arches to celebrate their victories. Several of these still remain, with sentences cut into their stone tablets telling of the triumphs of their builders. Modern people have taken them as models for similar memorial arches.
Roman Law. The Romans did much for the world by their laws. They showed little regard for the rights of men captured in war and were cruel in their treatment of slaves, but they considered carefully the rights of free men and women. Under the emperors the lawyers and judges worked to make the laws clearer and fairer to all. Finally the Emperor Justinian, who ruled at the time when the empire was already half ruined by the attacks of barbarian enemies, ordered the lawyer Tribonian to gather into a single code all the statutes and decrees. These laws lasted long after the empire was destroyed, and out of them grew many of the laws used in Europe to-day. They have also influenced our laws in America.
CHRISTIANITY AND THE ROMAN EMPIRE
The Religion of the Jews. Among the cities captured by the Romans was Jerusalem, about which cluster so many stories from the Old Testament. There, hundreds of years before, lived David, the shepherd boy who, after wonderful adventures, became king of his people. There his son Solomon built a temple of dazzling splendor. Among this people had arisen great preachers,--Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah,--who declared that religion did not consist in the sacrifice of bulls and goats, but in justice, in mercy, and in humility. They had a genius for religion, just as the Greeks had a genius for art, and the Romans a genius for government.
The Jews conquered by the Romans. When the Jews first heard of the Romans they admired these citizens of a republic who made and unmade kings. In later years they learned that the Romans were hard masters and they feared and hated them. The Jewish kingdom was one of the last countries along the shores of the Mediterranean which the Romans conquered, but like all the others it finally became a Roman province.
Jesus of Nazareth. A few years before the Jewish kingdom became a Roman province there was born in a village near Jerusalem a child named Jesus. After he had grown to manhood in Nazareth he gathered about him followers or disciples whom he taught to live and act as is told in the books of the New Testament.
This was the beginning of the Christian religion. It was first held by a little band of Jews, but Paul, a Jew born in Tarsus, a city of Asia whose inhabitants had received the rights of Roman citizenship, believed that the message of the new religion was meant for all nations. He taught it in many cities of Asia Minor and Greece, and even went as far west as Rome. Several of the epistles or letters in the New Testament were written by Paul to churches which he had founded or where he had taught. So it happens that from Palestine came religious teachings which multitudes consider even more important than the art and literature of the Greeks or the laws and political methods of the Romans.
Why the Christians were persecuted. The Romans at first refused to permit any one in their empire to call himself a Christian. They disliked the Jews because the Jews denied that the Roman gods were real gods, asserting that these gods were mere images in wood and stone. The Christians did this also, but in the eyes of the Roman rulers the worst offense of the Christians was that they appeared to form a sort of secret society and held meetings to which other persons were not admitted. The emperor had forbidden such societies.
The Romans also disliked the Christians because of their refusal to join in the public ceremonies which honored the emperor as if he were a god who had given peace and order to the world and who was able to reward the good and punish the evil. The Christians believed it to be wrong to join in the worship of an emperor, whether he were alive or dead.
Christians put to Death. The Romans were cruel in their manner of punishing disobedience, and many Christians suffered death in its most horrible forms. Some were burned, others were tortured, others were torn to pieces by wild animals in the great amphitheaters to satisfy the fierce Roman crowd. Nero, the worst of the Roman emperors, who, many thought, set Rome on fire in order that he might enjoy the sight of the burning city, tried to turn suspicion from himself by accusing the Christians of the crime. He punished them by tying them to poles, smearing their bodies with pitch, and burning them at night as torches.
The Christians allowed to Worship. The new religion spread rapidly from province to province in spite of these persecutions. At first the Christians worshiped secretly, but later they ventured to build churches. Finally, three centuries after the birth of Christ, the emperors promised that the persecutions should cease and that the Christians might worship undisturbed.
The Roman Empire becomes Christian about 325 A.D. Constantine was the first emperor to become Christian. He was the one who made the Greek city Byzantium the capital of the empire and for whom it was renamed Constantinople. For a time both the old Roman religion and the Christian religion were favored by the emperors, but before the fourth century closed the old religion was forbidden. In later days worshipers of the Roman gods were mostly country people, called in Latin pagani, and therefore their religion was called "paganism."
How the Church was ruled. One of the reasons why the Christians had been successful in their struggle with the Roman emperors was that they were united under wise and brave leaders. The Christians in each large city were ruled by a bishop, and the bishops of several cities were directed by an archbishop. In the western part of the empire the bishop of Rome, who was called the pope, was honored as the chief of the bishops and archbishops, and the successor of the Apostle Peter. In the eastern part the archbishops or patriarchs of Constantinople and Alexandria and Jerusalem honored the pope, but claimed to be equal in authority with him.
There were also two kinds of clergy, parish priests and monks. The priests were pastors of ordinary parishes, but the monks lived in groups in buildings called monasteries. Sometimes their purpose was to dwell far from the bustle and wrongs of ordinary life and give themselves to prayer and fasting; sometimes they acted as a brotherhood of teachers in barbarous communities, teaching the people better methods of farming, and carrying the arts of civilized life beyond the borders of the empire.
EMIGRANTS A THOUSAND YEARS AGO
The Middle Ages. It was more than a thousand years from the time of Constantine to the time of Columbus. This period is called "Mediaeval," or the "Middle Ages." During these long centuries the ancient civilized world of the Roman Empire was much changed. The Roman or Greek cities on the southern shores of the Mediterranean were captured by Arabs or Moors. The Moors conquered the larger part of Spain. The eastern lands of Palestine and Asia Minor fell into the hands of the Turks. The Turks, the Moors, and the Arabs were followers of the "prophet" Mohammed, who died in the year 632. The Mohammedans were enemies of the Christians.
Western Europe. The other part of the European world was also changed. The countries on the shores of the Atlantic were now more important than those on the shores of the Mediterranean. The names of the different countries were changed. Instead of Gallia or Gaul, there was France; instead of Britannia, England; for Hispania, Spain; for Germania, Deutschland or Germany. Italy, the center of the old empire, was finally divided into several states--city republics like Genoa and Venice, provinces ruled by the pope, and other territories ruled by dukes, princes, or kings.
Fate of Civilization. The most important question to ask is, How much of the manner of living or civilization of the Greeks and the Romans did the later Europeans still retain? The answer is found in the history of the Middle Ages. In this history is also found what men added to that which they had learned from the Greeks and the Romans. The emigrants to America were to carry with them knowledge which not even the wisest men of the ancient world had possessed.
Mediaeval German Emigrants. The first part of the history of the Middle Ages explains how the German peoples from whom most of our forefathers were descended began to move from the northern forests towards the borders of the Roman Empire. Many thousand men had already crossed the Rhine and the Danube to serve in the Roman armies. Sometimes an unusually strong and skilful warrior would be made a general. Germans had also crossed the Rhine to work as farmers on the estates of the rich Gallic nobles. Other Germans, called Goths, worked in Constantinople and the cities of the East as masons, porters, and water-carriers. The Romans had owned so many slaves that they had lost the habit of work and were glad to hire these foreigners.
Story of Ulfilas. Many of the Goths who lived north of the Danube had forsaken their old gods and become Christians. They were taught by Bishop Ulfilas, once a captive among them, afterward a missionary. He translated the Bible into the Gothic language, and this translation is the most ancient specimen of German that we possess. Many of the other German tribes learned about Christianity from the Goths, and although they might be enemies of the Roman government, they were not enemies of the Church.
The Goths invade the Roman Empire. The Roman emperors tried to prevent the northern tribes from crossing the frontier in great numbers, because, once across, if they did not find work and food, they became plunderers. Not many years after Constantine's death, a million Goths had passed the Danube and had plundered the country almost to the walls of Constantinople. This was not like the invasion of a regular army, which comes to fight battles and to arrange terms of peace.
The Goths, and the Germans who soon followed their example, moved as a whole people, with their wives and children, their cattle, and the few household goods they owned. Wherever they wished to settle they demanded of the Romans one third, sometimes two thirds, of the land. They soon learned to be good neighbors of the older inhabitants, although at first they were little better than robbers. Alaric, one of the leaders of the Goths, led them into Italy and in the year 410 captured Rome. Alaric did not injure the buildings much, and he kept his men from robbing the churches. Some of the other barbarous tribes who roamed about plundering villages and attacking cities did far greater damage. The Roman government grew weaker and weaker, until one by one the provinces fell into the hands of German kings.
Beginnings of England, France, and Germany. Britain was attacked by the Angles and Saxons from the shores of Germany across the North Sea. (See map) They drove away the inhabitants or made slaves of them and settled upon the lands they had seized. The country was then called Angle-land or England, and the people Anglo-Saxons or Englishmen.
The Roman provinces in Gaul were gradually conquered by the Franks from the borders of the Rhine, and they gave the name France to the land.
At about the same time the other German tribes that had remained in Germany united under one king.
The Result of Barbarian Attacks. The part of the ancient world which lay about Constantinople was less changed than the rest during the Middle Ages. The walls of Constantinople were high and thick, and they withstood attack after attack until 1453. Within their shelter men continued to live much as they had lived in Ancient Times. A few delighted to study the writings of the ancient Greeks. In Italy and the other countries of western Europe most of the cities were in ruins. The ancient baths, amphitheaters, aqueducts, and palaces of Rome crumbled and fell. The mediaeval Romans also used huge buildings like the Colosseum as quarries of cut stone and burned the marble for lime. This was done in every country where Roman buildings existed.
The amphitheater at Arles in southern France had a still stranger fortune. It was used at one time as a citadel, at another as a prison and gradually became the home of hundreds of the criminals and the poor of the city. "Every archway held its nest of human outcasts. From stone to stone they cast their rotting beams and plaster and burrowed into the very entrails of the enormous building to seek a secure retreat from the pursuit of the officers of the law."
Few persons traveled from Constantinople to Italy or France, and few from western Europe visited Constantinople. The men of Italy and France and England did not know how to read Greek. Many of them also ceased to read the writings of the ancient Romans.
The English become Christians, 597 A.D. Christianity had spread throughout the Roman Empire, and it became the religion of all the tribes who founded kingdoms of their own upon the ruins of the Empire. The Angles and Saxons, when they invaded Britain, were still worshipers of the gods Wodan and Thor. They had never learned from the Goths of Ulfilas anything about Christianity.
One day in the slave market at Rome three fair-haired boys were offered for sale. Gregory, a noble Roman, who had become a monk and was the abbot of his monastery, happened to be passing and asked who they were. He was told they were Angles. "Angels," he cried, "yes, they have faces like angels, and should become companions of the angels in heaven." When this good abbot became pope, he sent missionaries to Angle-land and they established themselves at Canterbury.
Missionaries to the Germans and the Slavs. The conversion of the English helped in the spread of Christianity on the Continent, for Boniface, an English monk, was the greatest missionary to the Germans. He won thousands from the worship of their ancient gods and founded many churches. The Slavs, who lived east of the Germans, were taught by missionaries from Constantinople instead of from Rome.
The Educated Men of the Middle Ages. The missionaries and teachers of the Church had been educated like the older Romans. They read Roman books, and tried to preserve the knowledge which both Greeks and Romans had gathered. Influenced by them, the emigrants and conquerors from the north also tried to be like the Romans. Educated men, and especially the priests of the Church, used Latin as their language. In this way some parts of the old Roman and Greek civilization were preserved, although the Roman government had fallen and many beautiful cities were mere heaps of ruins.
The Vikings. The emigration of whole peoples from one part of Europe to another did not stop when the Roman Empire was overrun. New peoples appeared and sought to plunder or crowd out the tribes which had already settled within its boundaries and were learning the ways of civilization.
One of these peoples came from the regions now known as Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. They were called Danes by the English, and Northmen or Normans by other Europeans. They had another name, Vikings, which was their word for sea-rovers.
It was their custom to sail the seas and rivers rather than march on the land. They were a hardy and daring people, who liked nothing better than to fight and conquer and rob in other countries. There was not a land in western Europe, even as far south as Sicily, that they did not visit. Wherever they went they plundered and burned and murdered, leaving a blackened trail.
The Danes in England. The Danes ravaged the eastern and southern shores of England, and after they were tired of robbery, partly because there was little left to take, they began to settle in the land. Alfred, the greatest of the early English kings, was driven by them into the swamps for a while, but in the year 878 A.D. he conquered an army of them in battle and persuaded one of their kings to be baptized as a Christian. Alfred was obliged to allow them to keep the eastern portion of England, a region called Danelaw, because the law of the Danes was obeyed there.
The Danes become Normans. No more Danes or Northmen came to trouble England for a time, but instead they crossed the Channel to France and rowed up the Seine and tried to capture Paris. A few years later a Frankish king gave them the city of Rouen, further down the Seine, and the region about it which was called Normandy. These Normans also accepted Christianity.
The Vikings become Discoverers. Before another hundred years had passed the Northmen performed a feat more difficult than sailing up rivers and burning towns. They were the first to venture far out of sight of land, though their ships were no larger than our fishing boats. These bold sailors visited the Orkney and the Shetland Islands, north of Scotland, and finally reached Iceland. In Iceland their sheep and cattle flourished, and a lively trade in fish, oil, butter, and skins sprang up with the old homeland and with the British islands.
Before long one of the settlers, named Eric the Red, led a colony to Greenland, the larger and more desolate island further west. He called it Greenland because, he said, men would be more easily persuaded to go there if the land had a good name. This was probably in the year 985.
Discovery of Vinland. Eric had a son, called Leif Ericson, or Leif the Lucky, who visited Norway and was well received at the court of King Olaf. Not long before missionaries had persuaded Olaf and his people to give up their old gods and accept Christianity, and Leif followed their example. Leif set out in the early summer of the year 1000 to carry the new religion to his father, Eric the Red, to his father's people, and to his neighbors. The voyage was a long one, lasting all the summer, for on the way his ship was driven out of its course and came upon strange lands where wild rice and grape-vines and large trees grew. The milder climate and stories of large trees useful for building ships aroused the curiosity of the Greenlanders.
They sent exploring expeditions, and found the coast of North America at places which they called Helluland, that is, the land of flat stones; Markland, the land of forests; and Vinland, where the grape-vines grow. Helluland was probably on the coast of Labrador, Markland somewhere on the shores of Newfoundland, and Vinland in Nova Scotia.
The Settlement in Vinland. Thornfinn Karlsefni, a successful trader between Iceland and Greenland, attempted to plant a colony in the new lands. Karlsefni and his friends, to the number of one hundred and sixty men and several women, set out in 1007 with three or four ships, loaded with supplies and many cattle. They built huts and remained three or four winters in Vinland, but all trace of any settlement disappeared long ago.
They found, their stories tell us, swarthy, rough-looking Indians, with coarse hair, large eyes, and broad cheeks, with whom they traded red cloth for furs. Trouble broke out between the Northmen and the Indians, who outnumbered them. So many Northmen were killed that the survivors became alarmed and returned to Greenland.
Vinland forgotten. The voyages to Vinland soon ceased and the discoveries of Leif and his followers were only remembered in the songs or "sagas" of the people. They thought of Vinland mainly as a land of flat stones, great trees, and fierce natives. Nor did the wise men of Europe who heard the Northmen's story guess that a New World had been discovered. It was probably fortunate that five hundred years were to go by before Europeans settled in America, for within that time they were to learn a great deal and to find again many things which the Romans had left but which in the year 1000 were hidden away, either in the ruins of the ancient cities or in libraries and treasure-houses, where few knew of them. The more Europeans possessed before they set out, the more Americans would have to start with.
HOW ENGLISHMEN LEARNED TO GOVERN THEMSELVES
Heroes of the Middle Ages. The Middle Ages, like Ancient Times, are recalled by many interesting tales. Some of them, such as the stories of King Arthur and his Knights, the story of Roland, and the Song of the Niebelungs, are only tales and not history. Others tell us about great kings, Charlemagne and St. Louis of France, Frederick the Redbeard of Germany, or St. Stephen of Hungary. The hero-king for England was Alfred, who fought bravely against the pirate Danes and finally conquered and persuaded many of them to live quietly under his rule.
King Alfred began to reign in 871. King Alfred was a skilful warrior, but he was also an excellent ruler in time of peace. When he was a boy he had shown his love of books. His mother once offered a beautifully written Saxon poem as a prize to the one of her sons who should be the first to learn it. Alfred could not yet read, but he had a ready memory, and with the aid of his teacher he learned the poem and won the prize.
At that time almost all books were written in Latin and few even of the clergy could read. During the long wars with the Danes many books had been destroyed. Men found battle-axes more useful than books and ceased to care about reading. King Alfred feared that the Saxons would soon become ignorant barbarians, and sent for priests and monks who were learned and were able to teach his clergy. He sent even into France for such men.
Early English Books. As it would be easier for people to learn to read books written in the language they spoke rather than in Latin, Alfred helped to translate several famous Latin books into English. Among these was a history written by a Roman before the Germans had overthrown the Roman Empire. This history told about the world of the Greeks and the Romans.
Alfred commanded some of his clergy to keep a record from year to year of things which happened in his kingdom. This record was called the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and was the first history written in the English language. It was carefully kept for many years after Alfred's death. Another wise thing Alfred did was to collect the laws or "dooms" of the earlier kings, so that every one might know what the law required.
The Beginning of a Navy. Alfred has been called the creator of the English navy. He thought that the only way to keep the Danes from plundering his shores was to fight them on the sea. He built several ships which were bigger than the Danish ships, but they were not always victorious, for they could not follow the Danish ships into shallow water. Nevertheless, the Danes could not plunder England as easily as before.
The New Army. Alfred organized his fighting men in a better way. In times past the men had been called upon to fight only when the Danes were near, but now he kept a third of his men ready all the time, and another third he placed in forts, so the rest were able to work in the fields in safety. There are good reasons why Englishmen regard Alfred as a hero.
William the Conqueror began to rule England in 1066. About a hundred and fifty years after Alfred died, William, duke of Normandy, crossed the Channel with an army, killed the English king in battle, and seized the throne. This was not altogether a misfortune to the English, for they came under the same ruler as the Normans and they shared in all that the men of the Continent were beginning to learn. For one thing, builders from the Continent taught the English to construct the great Norman churches or cathedrals which every traveler in England sees. Besides, William the Conqueror was a strong king and put down the chiefs or lords that were inclined to oppress the common people.
Henry II. Henry II, one of William's successors, ruled over most of western France as well as over England. His officers and nobles were tired out by his endless traveling in his lands, which extended from the banks of the river Loire in France to the borders of Scotland. All Englishmen and Americans should remember him with gratitude because of the improvements he made in the ways of discovering the truth when disputes arose and were carried into courts.
Ordeals and Trials by Battle. Before Henry's reign it was the custom when a man was accused of a crime to find out the truth by arranging a wager of battle or what were called ordeals. The two most common ordeals were the ordeal by fire and the ordeal by water. In the ordeal by fire an iron was heated red-hot, and after it had been blessed by a priest it was put into the hand of the man the truth of whose word was being tested, and he had to carry it a certain number of feet. His hand was then bound up and left for three days. If at the end of that time the wound was healing, men believed he was innocent, for they thought God would keep an innocent man from being punished.
In the ordeal by water the man was tied and thrown into water which had been blessed by the priest. If he was guilty, the people thought the water would not receive him. If he sank at once, he was pulled out and treated as if he had told the truth.
A wager of battle was a fight between the two men whose dispute was to be settled, or between a man and his accuser. Each was armed with a hammer or a small battle-axe, and the one who gave up lost his case.
Trial by Jury. King Henry introduced a better way of finding out the truth. He called upon twelve men from a neighborhood to come before the judges, to promise solemnly to tell what they knew about a matter, and then to decide which person was in the right. They were supposed to know about the facts, and they were allowed to talk the matter over with one another before they made a decision.
Later these men from the neighborhood were divided into two groups, one to tell what they knew and the other to listen and decide what was true. Those who told what they knew were called the witnesses, and those who listened and decided were called jurors. The name jurors came from a Latin word meaning to take an oath.
Richard the Lionhearted. King Henry had two sons, Richard and John. Richard was the boldest and most skilful fighter of his time. When the news was brought to England that Jerusalem had been captured by the Mohammedans, he led an army to Palestine to recapture it. He failed to take the city, but he became famous throughout the East as a fearless warrior and was ever afterwards called the "Lionhearted." At his death his brother John became king. He was as cowardly and wicked as Richard was brave and generous.
The Great Charter. The leaders of the people, the nobles and the clergy, soon grew tired of John's wickedness. In 1215 they raised an army and threatened to take the kingdom from John and crown another prince as king. John was soon ready to promise anything in order to obtain power once more, and the nobles and bishops met him at Runnymede on the river Thames, a few miles west of London, and compelled him to sign a list of promises. As the list contained sixty-three separate promises, it was called the Great Charter or Magna Charta. If John did not keep these promises, the lords and clergy agreed to make war on him, and he even said that this would be their duty.
Promises of the Charter. Many of the articles of the Great Charter were important only to the men of King John's day, but others are as important to us as to them. In these the king promised that every one should be treated justly. He said he would not refuse to listen to the complaints of those who thought they were wronged. The king also promised that he would not decide in favor of a rich man just because the rich man might offer him money. He would put no one in prison who had not been tried and found guilty by a jury. By another important promise the king said he would not levy new taxes without the consent of the chief men of the kingdom. This opened the way for the people to have something to say about how their money should be spent. This right is a very important part of what we call self-government.
Promises of the Great Charter renewed. In after times whenever the English thought a king was doing them a wrong they reminded him of the promises made by King John in the Great Charter and demanded that the promises be solemnly renewed.
In 1265 a great noble named Simon de Montfort asked many towns to send a number of their chief men to meet with the nobles and clergy to talk over the conduct of the king. Others, even kings, soon followed Simon's example by asking the townsmen for advice about matters of government. After a while this became the custom. Occasionally the king wanted the advice of the clergy, the nobles, and the townsmen at the same time and called them together. The meeting was called a parliament, that is, an assembly in which talking or discussion goes on.
The English Parliament. Only the most important nobles or lords could go in person to the assemblies, otherwise the meeting would be too large to do any business. The other lords chose certain ones from their number to go in place of all the rest. We call such men representatives. In this way, besides the men who represented the towns, there were present these nobles who represented the landowners of the counties. Gradually these nobles and the townsmen formed an assembly of their own, while the greater lords, the bishops, and abbots sat together in another assembly. The two assemblies were called the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and the two made up the parliament.
An Assembly of Representatives. This parliament was a great invention. The English had discovered a better way of governing themselves than either the Greeks or the Romans. We call it the representative system. If a Roman citizen who lived far from Rome wanted to take part in the elections, he was obliged to leave his farm or his business and travel to Rome, for only the citizens who were at Rome could have a share in making the laws. It never occurred to the Romans that the citizens outside of Rome could send some of their number as representatives to Rome. The formation of the English parliament was an important step towards what we mean in America by "government of the people, for the people, and by the people."
THE CIVILIZATION OF THE MIDDLE AGES
What the English owed to their European Neighbors. If the English succeeded better than other Europeans in learning how to govern themselves, one reason was that the Channel protected them from attack, and they could quarrel with their king without running much risk that their enemies in other countries would take advantage of the quarrel to seize their lands or attempt to conquer them.
The French were not so well placed. France also was not united like England, and whole districts called counties or duchies were almost independent of the king, being ruled by their counts and dukes. In France it would not have been wise for the people to quarrel with the king, for he was their natural protector against cruel lords. Germany and Italy were even more divided, with not only counties and duchies, but also cities nearly as independent as the ancient cities of Greece.
The Europeans on the Continent did many things which the English were doing, and some of these were so well done that the English were ready to accept these Europeans as their teachers. The memory of what the Greeks and the Romans had done remained longer in southern France and Italy because so many buildings were still standing which reminded Frenchmen and Italians of the people who built them.
Classes of People. The people of Europe, as well as of England, were divided into two classes, nobles and peasants. The clergy seemed to form another class because there were so many of them. Besides the parish priests and the bishops there were thousands of monks, who were persons who chose to dwell together in monasteries under the rule of an abbot or a prior, rather than live among ordinary people where men were so often tempted to do wrong or were so likely to be wronged by others. The monks worked on the farms of the monasteries, or studied in the libraries, or prayed and fasted. For a long time the men who knew how to read were nearly always monks or priests. Outside of the monasteries or the bishops' houses there were few books.
The Nobles. The nobles were either knights, barons, counts, or dukes. In England there were also earls. Many mediaeval nobles ruled like kings, but over a smaller territory. They gained their power because they were rich in land and could support many men who were ready to follow them in battle, or because in the constant wars they proved themselves able to keep anything they took, whether it was a hilltop or a town. Timid and peaceable people were often glad to put themselves under the protection of such a fighter, who saved them from being robbed by other fighting nobles.
In this way the nobles served a good purpose until the kings, who were at first only very successful nobles, were able to bring nobles as well as peasants under their own rule and to compel every one to obey the same laws. After this the nobles became what we call an aristocracy, proud of their family history, generally living in better houses and owning more land than their neighbors, but with little power over others.
Castles. For safety, kings and nobles in the Middle Ages were obliged to build strong stone forts or fortified houses called castles. They were often placed on a hilltop or on an island or in a spot where approach to the walls could be made difficult by a broad canal, or moat, filled with water. At different places along the walls were towers, and within the outer ring of walls a great tower, or keep, which was hard to capture even after the rest of the castle had been entered by the enemy. These castles were gloomy places to live in until, centuries later, their inner walls were pierced with windows. Many are still standing, others are interesting heaps of ruins.
Knighthood. The lords of the castles were occupied mostly in hunting or fighting. They fought to keep other lords from interfering with them or to win for themselves more lands and power. They hunted that they might have meat for their tables. In later times, when it was not so necessary to kill animals for food, they hunted as a sport. Fighting also ceased to be the chief occupation, although the nobles were expected to accompany the king in his wars.
From boyhood the sons of nobles, unless they entered the Church as priests or monks, were taught the art of fighting. A boy was sent to the castle of another lord, where he served as a page, waiting on the lord at table or running errands. He was trained to ride a horse boldly and to be skilful with the sword and the lance. When his education was finished he was usually made a knight, an event which took place with many interesting ceremonies.
The young man bathed, as a sign that he was pure. The weapons and arms for his use were blessed by a priest and laid on the altar of the church, and near them he knelt and prayed all night. In the final ceremony a sword was girded upon him and he received a slight blow on the neck from the sword of some knight, or perhaps of the king. His armor covered him from head to foot in metal, and sometimes his horse was also covered with metal plates. When he was fully armed, he was expected to show his skill to the lords and ladies who were present.
The Duties of a Knight. The duties of the knight were to defend the weak, to protect women from wrong, to be faithful to his lord and king, and to be courteous even to an enemy. A knight true to these duties was called "chivalrous," a word which means very much what we mean by the word "gentlemanly." There were many wicked knights, but we must not forget that the good knights taught courtesy, faithfulness in keeping promises, respect for women, courage, self-sacrifice, and honor.
The Peasants. Most of the people were peasants or townsmen. There were few towns, because many had been burned by the barbarian tribes which broke into the Roman Empire, or had been destroyed in the later wars. The peasants were crowded in villages close to the walls of some castle or monastery. They paid dearly for the protection which the lord of the castle or the abbot of the monastery gave them, for they were obliged to work on his lands three days or more each week, and to bring him eggs, chickens, and a little money several times a year. They also gave him a part of their harvest.
The Townsmen. At first the towns belonged to lords, or abbots, or bishops, but many towns drove out their lords and ruled themselves or received officers from the king. When they ruled themselves, their towns were called communes. The citizens agreed that whenever the town bell was rung they would gather together. Any one who was absent was fined. For them "eternal vigilance was the price of liberty." Some of the belfries of these mediaeval towns are still standing, and remind the citizens of to-day of the struggles of the early days.
The men of each occupation or trade were organized into societies or guilds, with masters, journeymen, and apprentices. There were guilds of goldsmiths, ironmongers, and fishmongers, that is, workers in gold and iron and sellers of fish. The merchants also had their guilds. In many towns no one was allowed to work at a trade or sell merchandise who was not a member of a guild.
Old Cities which still exist. Many of the towns which grew up in the Middle Ages are now the great cities of England and Europe. Their citizens can look back a thousand years and more over the history of their city, can point to churches, to town halls, and sometimes to private houses, that have stood all this time. They can often show the remains of mediaeval walls or broad streets where once these walls stood, and the moats that surrounded them. The traveler in York or London, in Paris, in Nuremburg, in Florence, or in Rome eagerly searches for the relics about which so many interesting stories of the past are told.
Venice and Genoa. One of the most fascinating of these old cities is Venice, built upon low-lying islands two miles from the shore of Italy and protected by a sand bar from the waters of the Adriatic. Venice was founded by men and women who fled from a Roman city on the mainland which was ruined by the barbarians in the fifth century after Christ. In many places piles had to be driven into the loose sands to furnish a foundation for houses. The Venetians did not try to keep out the water but used it as streets, and instead of driving in wagons they went about in boats. They grew rich in trade on the sea, as the Greeks had done in those same waters hundreds of years before.
Farther down the coast of Italy were the cities Brindisi and Taranto, the Brundusium and Tarentum of the Romans. Across the peninsula to the west was another trading city called Genoa, which was the birthplace of Columbus.
Modern Languages. While the people of mediaeval times were building city walls and towers to protect themselves they were also doing other things. Almost without knowing it they formed the languages which we now speak and write--English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish.
The English and German languages are closely related because the forefathers of the English emigrated to England from Germany, taking their language with them. This older language was gradually changed, but it still remained like German. Dutch is another language like both English and German.
There are many words in these languages borrowed from other peoples. Englishmen, because of their long union with western France, borrowed many words from the French. The French did not invent these words, for the French language grew out of the Latin language which the French learned from the Romans.
How Modern Languages were formed. In English we have two sets of words and phrases: one is used in writing books or speeches, the other in conversation. When the Gauls learned Latin, the language of Rome, most of them learned the words used in conversation and did not learn the words of Roman books. Before long spoken words differed so much from the older written words that only scholars understood that the two had belonged to the same language. This new language was French. In the same way Italian and Spanish grew out of the ordinary Latin spoken in Italy and Spain.
When men began to write books in the new languages, the changes went on more slowly because the use of words in books kept the spelling the same. Men wrote less in Latin, but it was still used in the religious services of the Church and in the schools and universities.
Schools in the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages most boys and girls did not go to school. Education was principally for those who expected to become priests or monks. The schools were in the monasteries or in the houses or palaces of the bishops. The students were taught a little Latin grammar, to write or speak Latin, and to debate. They also learned arithmetic; enough astronomy to reckon the days on which the festivals of the Church should come; and music, so much as was then known of it. Printing had not been invented, so there were no text-books for them to study, and written books or manuscripts were too costly. Students listened to the teacher as he read from his manuscripts and copied the words or tried to remember them.
The Beginning of Universities. If students remained in the schools after these things had been learned, they studied the laws of the Romans, or the practise of medicine, or the religious questions which are called theology. Some teachers talked in such an interesting way about such questions that hundreds of students came to listen. Like other kinds of workers, who were organized in societies or guilds, the teachers and students formed a guild called a university. The teachers were the master-workmen, and the students were the apprentices.
Where the Students lived. In the beginning the universities had no buildings of their own, and the teachers taught in hired halls, the students boarding wherever they could find lodgings. Partly to help students who were too poor to pay for good lodgings, and partly to bring the students under the direct rule of teachers, colleges were built. These were not separate institutions like the American colleges, but simply houses for residence, although later some teaching was done in them.
Some Famous Universities. The oldest university was in Bologna in Italy, and teachers began to explain the laws of the Romans to its students eight hundred years ago. The University of Paris was called the greatest university in the Middle Ages. Its students numbered sometimes between six and seven thousand. About the same time the English universities of Oxford and Cambridge were formed, and there, many years later, a large number of the men who settled in America were educated.
The Wisdom of the Arabs. Students in these universities obtained several of the writings of the Greeks through the Arabs, the followers of Mohammed, who had conquered most of Spain. Long before Europeans thought of founding universities the Arabs had flourishing schools and universities in Spain. The capital of the Mohammedan Empire was first at Bagdad on the Euphrates, where once ruled Haroun-al-Raschid, the hero of the tales of the Arabian Nights.
What Europeans borrowed from the Arabs. The Arabs had learned much of geography and mathematics from the Greeks, and they also found out much for themselves. The numerals which we use are Arabic; and algebra, one of our principal studies in mathematics, was thought out by the Arabs. Their learned men were deeply interested in the books of Aristotle, an ancient Greek, who had been a teacher of Alexander the Great. They translated his books into Arabic, and Christian students in Spain translated the Arabic into Latin. The great scholars at the University of Paris believed that Aristotle reasoned better than other thinkers, and took as their model the methods of reasoning found in this Latin translation of an Arabic translation of what Aristotle had written in Greek.
[Illustration 128: THE ALCAZAR AT SEVILLE Built by the Moors in the twelfth century. Note the elaborate decoration of the Moorish architecture.]
Builders in the Middle Ages. The Greeks and the Romans had been great builders, but the men of the Middle Ages succeeded in building churches, town halls, and palaces or castles which equaled in grandeur and beauty the best that the ancient builders had made. The large churches or cathedrals seem wonderful because their builders were able to place masses of stone high in the air and to cover immense spaces with beautiful vaulted roofs. Builders nowadays imitate, but not often, if ever, equal them. Fortunately the original buildings are still standing in many English and European cities: in Canterbury, Durham, and Winchester; in Paris, Chartres, and Rheims; in Cologne, Erfurt, and Strasbourg; in Barcelona and Toledo; in Milan, Venice, and Rome.
Church Building. The Italians began by building churches like Roman basilicas. Roman arches and domes, supported by heavy walls, were also used north of the Alps, and the method of building was named Romanesque, or in England, Norman. The architects or builders of western France discovered a way of roofing over just as large spaces without using such heavy walls, so that the interior could be lighted by larger windows. Instead of having rounded arches they used pointed arches. The walls between the windows were strengthened by masses of stone called buttresses. The peak of the roof of these cathedrals was sometimes more than one hundred and fifty feet above the floor. The glass of the windows showed in beautiful colors scenes from the Bible or from lives of sainted men and women. The outer walls, especially the western front, the doorways and the towers, were richly carved and adorned with statues, and often with the figures of strange birds and beasts which lived only in the imagination of the builders. This method of building was named Gothic, and it was used not only for churches but for town halls and private houses. Architects use similar methods of building nowadays.
The Renaissance. Men who could build and adorn great churches and town halls and who were eager to study in the new universities should be called civilized. The barbarous days were gone, but men still had much to learn from the ancient Greeks and Romans. Many of the ancient buildings were in ruins, the statues half buried or broken, the paintings destroyed, and the books lost. Men began to search for what was left of these things and to study them carefully to learn what the Graeco-Roman world had been like. After a while students could think of nothing else, and tried to imitate, if they could not surpass, what the Romans and the Greeks had done. The age in which men were first interested in these things is called the Renaissance or "rebirth," because men were so unlike what they had been that they seemed born again. With the beginning of the Renaissance the Middle Ages came to an end.
Petrarch. One of the earliest of these "new" men was Petrarch, an Italian poet who lived in the fourteenth century, a hundred years before Columbus. He wished above all things to read, copy, and possess the writings of the Romans, and especially of Cicero, an orator and writer who lived in the days of Julius Caesar. Petrarch and his friends searched for the manuscripts of Roman authors which had been preserved, hidden away in monastery libraries.
The same love of Roman books seized others, and princes spent large sums of money in collecting and copying ancient writings. At this time a beginning of the great libraries of Europe was made, Petrarch tried to learn Greek, but could find no one in Italy able to teach him.
Greek Books brought again to Italy. Shortly after Petrarch died some Greeks came from Constantinople seeking the aid of the pope and the kings of the West in an attempt to drive back the Turks, who had already crossed into Europe and settled in the lands which they now occupy. Unless help should be sent to Constantinople, the city would certainly fall into their hands. With these Greeks was one of those men who still loved to read the writings of the ancient authors. He was persuaded to remain a few years in Florence and other Italian cities and teach Greek to the eager Italian scholars. He was also persuaded to write a grammar of the Greek language, in order that after he had returned to Constantinople others might be able to continue his teaching.
Collectors of books now searched for Greek writings as eagerly as they had searched for Latin writings. Merchants sent their agents to Constantinople to buy books. One traveler and scholar brought back to Italy over two hundred. Soon Italy was the land to which students from Germany, France, and England went to learn Greek and to obtain copies of Greek books. It was fortunate that so many books had been brought from Constantinople, for at last, in 1453, the Turks captured that city and no place in the East was left where the books of the Greeks were studied as they had been at Constantinople.
The Invention of Printing. After collectors of Greek and Roman writings had made several good libraries, partly by purchase, partly by copying manuscripts belonging to others, a great invention was made which enabled these writings to be spread far and wide and placed in the hands of every student. This invention was the method of printing with movable types. It is not quite certain who made the invention, although John Gutenberg, of Mainz, in Germany, has generally been called the inventor. Probably several men thought of the method at about the same time, that is, about 1450.
Different Kinds of Type. In forming their type the German printers imitated the lettering made by copyists with a quill. Their type is called Gothic, and it is still widely used in German books. The Italian printers made their letters more round and simple in shape, imitating the handwriting of the best Italian copyists. This is the Roman type, in which many European peoples, as also the English and the Americans, print their books. The Italians also prepared a kind of lettering which, because they were the inventors, is named italic.
The Aldine Press. One of the most famous printers of this early time was a Venetian named Aldus Manutius or Manucci. He gathered about him a number of Greeks and planned to print all the Greek manuscripts that had been discovered. This he did in beautiful type, imitated from the handwriting of one of his Greek friends. He sold the books for a price per volume about equal to our fifty cents, so that few scholars were too poor to buy.
Some Early Printed Books. Another great printer was the Englishman William Caxton, who learned the art in the Netherlands. Among the books he printed was Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. The first book printed by Gutenberg was the Bible in Latin. Early in the sixteenth century, through the labors of a Dutch scholar, Erasmus, and of his printer, the German Froben, the New Testament in Greek was printed.
Architecture and Sculpture. The artists and the architects of this time began to imitate the buildings they found or that they unearthed. They used round arches and domes more than the pointed arches and vaulted roofs of the Gothic builders. Sculptors pictured in stone the stories of the Greek and Roman gods and heroes. Statues long buried in ancient ruins were dug up, and great artists like the Italian Michel Angelo studied them and rivaled them in the beautiful statues they cut. On every hand men's minds were awakened by what they saw of the work of the founders of the civilized world.
TRADERS, TRAVELERS, AND EXPLORERS IN THE LATER MIDDLE AGES
The Perils of Traders. There was a time in the Middle Ages when merchants scarcely dared to travel from one town to another for fear of being plundered by some robber lord or common thief. If they traveled by sea they might also be attacked by robbers. Some of these robbers, like the Northmen, came from afar, but others were ordinary sailors who put out from near-by ports when there seemed nothing better to do.
This state of things gradually changed. The kings or great lords succeeded in protecting merchants on land, and the merchants armed vessels of their own to drive the pirates from the sea. As trade grew greater the towns became richer and stronger and the robbers and pirates fewer, so that the number of merchant ships increased rapidly and long voyages were attempted.
Fairs. At first trade was carried on at great fairs, held in places convenient for the merchants of England and western Europe. The fairs lasted about six weeks, and one fair followed another. As soon as the first was over the merchants packed their unsold wares and journeyed to the next. At the fairs were found drugs and spices, cottons and silks from the East, skins and furs from the North, wool from England, and other products from Germany, Italy, France, and Spain.
The Treasures of the East. Men in the Middle Ages were dependent for luxuries upon the lands of Asia which are commonly called the East. By this name we may mean Persia, Arabia, India, China, or the Molucca Islands, where the choicest spices still grow. Spices were a great luxury, and were needed to flavor the food, because the manner of cooking was poor and there was little variety in the kinds of food. Most of the cotton cloth, the silks, the drugs, and the dyes were also procured from the East.
Routes to the East. No one knew that it was possible to reach Asia by sailing around the southern point of Africa or through what is called the Strait of Magellan. The products of the East were brought to Europe by several routes, two reaching the Mediterranean at Alexandria, in Egypt, a third at Antioch, in Syria, and a fourth on the southeastern shore of the Black Sea.
The loads were carried by camels in long caravans across the deserts from the Red Sea, or the Persian Gulf, or from northern India. Ships from the Italian cities of Genoa, Pisa, and Venice struggled with one another for the right to bring back these precious wares and sell them to the merchants of Europe, who were ready to pay high prices.
Venetian Traders. Merchants from Germany came to Venice to trade the products of the North for spices, drugs, dyes, and silks, which they carried back across the Alps. Once a year the Venetians sent a fleet of vessels westward through the straits of Gibraltar and along the Atlantic shore as far as Bruges and London. The voyage was long and dangerous, and the Venetians traded in ports on the way. Spices in Bruges sold for two or three times what they cost in Venice.
The Crusades. One event that brought to the Venetians an opportunity to enrich themselves was the Crusades. The Mohammedans had long held a large part of Spain, and towards the end of the eleventh century they threatened France and Italy. They also attacked what was left of the Roman Empire in the East, and the emperors sent to the pope and the western kings frantic appeals for help. Thousands of Frenchmen, Germans, Englishmen, and Italians were suddenly seized with the desire to go to Palestine and drive the Mohammedans from Jerusalem, the Holy City, and from the tomb of Christ. For the next two centuries large armies were sent there, sometimes gaining victories, sometimes being defeated in battle or overcome by disease.
What the Venetians gained from the Crusades. Most of the Crusaders went to the Holy Land by sea, and when they had no ships of their own they often took passage in Venetian ships. The Venetians asked large sums for this, and also succeeded in obtaining all the rights of trade in many of the seaports which were captured. Sometimes the Venetians undertook to govern islands like Cyprus and Crete, or territories along the coasts, but their main aim was to increase their trade rather than to build up an empire.
The new Venetian Ships. The Crusaders who returned to Europe brought back a liking for the luxuries of the East, and their tales made other men eager for them. For this reason more ships were built to sail in the Mediterranean. The shipowners attempted to make their ships larger and stronger. They were larger than those built by the English or by other peoples along the Atlantic coast, but they would seem small to us. There is an account of Venetian ships in the thirteenth century which tells us that they were one hundred and ten feet long and carried crews of one thousand men. They relied mainly upon the use of oars, but had a mast, sometimes two masts, rigged with sails, which they could use if the wind was favorable.
Dangers of the Sea. One difficulty about sailing was the lack of any means in cloudy weather, and especially at night, of telling the direction in which they were going. The sailors did not like to venture far from shore, although the open sea is safer during a storm than a wind-swept and rocky coast. At the time when the sailors of the Mediterranean were building up their trade to Alexandria, Antioch, and the Black Sea, two instruments came into use which enabled them to tell just where they were.
The Compass. One of these instruments was the compass, which the Chinese had long used, and which was known to the Arabs before the Europeans heard of it. If a boy will take a needle, rub its point with a magnet, and lay the needle on a cork floating in water, he will have a rough sort of compass. The point of the needle wherever it may be turned will swing back towards the north, thus guiding the sailors.
The compass was known in Europe about 1200. There is a story that at first sailors thought its action due to magic and refused to sail under a captain who used it. But a century later it was in general use, and had been so much improved that even in the severest storms the needle remained level and pointed steadily towards the north.
The Astrolabe. The other instrument, called the astrolabe, was a brass circle marked off into 360 degrees. To this circle were fastened two movable bars, at the ends of which were sights, or projecting pieces pierced by a hole. The astrolabe was hung on a mast in such a way that one bar was horizontal and the other could be moved until through its sights some known star could be seen. The number of degrees marked on the circle between the two bars told how high the star was above the horizon, and the sailors could reckon the latitude of the place where they were. In a similar way their longitude could be found out.
The astrolabe was not so useful as the compass, for it could be used only on clear days or nights. With these two instruments it was possible to sail far out into the Atlantic. By the middle of the fourteenth century ships from Genoa and Portugal had visited the Madeira and the Canary Islands, and even the Azores which are a thousand miles from the mainland.
What Men thought about a Sea Route to the East. Men learned more about other strange lands through a Venetian traveler, Marco Polo, who wrote an account of his wonderful journey to the court of the Grand Khan, or Emperor of the Mongols, of his travels through China, and of his return to Persia by sea.
Many men in the Middle Ages had believed that east of Asia was a great marsh, and that because of it even if they succeeded in sailing around Africa it would be impossible to reach the region of the spices and silks and jewels which they so much desired. They also thought that the heat in the tropics was so intense that at a certain distance down the coast of Africa they would find the water of the ocean boiling. These things and the tales of strange monsters that inhabited the deep sea had terrified them. The news which Marco Polo brought changed this feeling.
The Mongols. The way Marco Polo happened to visit the court of the Mongol emperor was this. The Mongol Tartars were great conquerors, and they not only subdued the Chinese but marched westward, overrunning most of Russia and stopping only when they were on the frontiers of Italy. For a long time southern Russia remained under their rule. Their capital was just north of the Great Wall of China.
The Mongol emperor did not hate Europeans, and even sent to the pope for missionaries to teach his people. Marco Polo's father and uncle while on a trading expedition had found their way to his court, and on a second journey, in 1271, they took with them Marco, a lad of seventeen years. The emperor was much interested in his western visitors and took young Marco into his service.
Marco Polo's Travels. Marco Polo traveled over China on official errands, while his father and uncle were gathering wealth by trade. After many years they desired to return to Italy, but the emperor was unwilling to lose such able servants. It happened, however, that the emperor wished to send a princess as a bride to the Khan or Emperor of Persia, also a Mongol sovereign, and the three Polos, who were known to be trustworthy seamen, were selected to escort the princess to her royal husband. After doing this they did not return to China, but went on to Italy.
They had been absent twenty-four years, and they found that their relatives had given them up for dead and did not recognize them. It was like the old story of Ulysses, who, when he returned to his native Ithaca after his wanderings, was recognized by nobody. The Polos proved the truth of what they said by showing the great treasures which they had sewed into the dresses of coarse stuff of a Tartar pattern which they wore. They displayed jewels of the greatest value, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires.
What Marco Polo told. In the account Marco Polo wrote of his travels and of the countries he had visited he described a wonderful palace of the Great Emperor. Its walls were covered with gold and silver, the dining hall seated six thousand people, and its ceiling was inlaid with gold. This palace seemed to Marco Polo so large, so rich, and so beautiful that no man on earth could design anything to equal it. The robes of the emperor and his twelve thousand nobles and knights were of silk and beaten gold, each having a girdle of gold decorated with precious stones.
Marco Polo told of great cities in China where men traded in the costly wares of the East, and where silk was abundant and cheap. He described from hearsay Japan as an island fifteen hundred miles from the mainland. Its people, he said, were white, civilized, and wondrously rich. The palace of the emperor of Japan was roofed with gold, its pavements and floors were of solid gold, laid in plates two fingers thick.
Reasons for finding a Sea Route to the East. Tales of such great wealth made Europeans more eager than ever to reach the East. Marco Polo had shown that it was possible to sail past India, through the islands, to the eastern coast of Asia. When printing was invented his account was printed, and the copy of that book which Columbus owned is still preserved. Upon its margins Columbus wrote his own opinions about geography.
Other travelers besides the Polos returned with similar tales of the East. Soon, however, all chance to go there by way of the land was lost, because the Mongol emperors were driven out of China and the new rulers would not permit Europeans to enter the country. The ordinary caravan routes to the East were also closed not long afterwards. In 1453 the Turks captured Constantinople, drove away the Italian merchants, and prevented European sailors from reaching the Black Sea. Fifty years later the Turks seized Egypt and closed that route also. Fortunately before this happened a better route had been discovered.
The Portuguese Sailors. During the Middle Ages the Portuguese princes fought to recover Portugal from the Moors. When this was done they were eager to cross the straits and attack the Moors in Africa. Prince Henry of Portugal made an expedition to Africa and returned with the desire to know more about the coast south of the point beyond which European sailors dared not venture. Sailors were afraid of being lost in the Sea of Darkness or killed by the heat of the boiling tropics.
From his love of exploring the seas Prince Henry has been called "The Navigator." He took up his residence on a lonely promontory in southern Portugal, and gathered about him learned men of all peoples, Arabian and Jewish mathematicians, and Italian mapmakers. Captains trained in this new school of seamanship were sent into the southern seas. Each was to sail farther down the western coast of Africa than other captains had gone. Before Prince Henry died in 1460 his captains had passed Cape Verde, and ten years later they crossed the equator without suffering the fate which men had once feared. But they were discouraged when they found that beyond the Gulf of Guinea the coast turned southward again, for they had hoped to sail eastward to Asia.
Cape of Good Hope discovered. At last in 1487 the end of what seemed to be an endless coast was reached. The fortunate captain who accomplished this was Bartholomew Diaz, who came of a family of daring seamen. He had been sailing southward along the coast for nearly eight months, when a northerly gale drove him before it for thirteen days. The weather cleared and Diaz turned eastward to find the coast. As he did not see land he turned northward and soon discovered land to the west. This showed that he had passed the southern point of Africa. His crew were unwilling to go farther and he followed the coast around to the western side again. The southern point he called the Cape of Storms, but the king of Portugal, when the voyagers returned, named it the Cape of Good Hope, for now he knew that an expedition could be sent directly to the Indies.
Diaz had sailed thirteen thousand miles, and his voyage was the most wonderful that Europeans had ever heard about.
The Sea Route to India. Eleven years later the Portuguese king sent Vasco da Gama, another captain, to attempt to reach the coast of India by sailing around the Cape of Good Hope which Diaz had discovered. Da Gama was successful and landed at Calicut on the south-western coast of India. He returned to Portugal in 1499, and his cargo was worth sixty times the cost of the voyage. This was the beginning of a trade with the East which enriched Portugal and especially the merchants of Lisbon.
THE DISCOVERY OF A NEW WORLD
Christopher Columbus. Six years before Vasco da Gama made his famous voyage to India around Africa and opened a new trade route for the Portuguese merchants, another seaman had formed and carried out a much bolder plan. This was Christopher Columbus, and his plan was to sail directly west from Europe into the unknown ocean in search of new islands and the coast of Asia. Columbus, who was a native of Genoa in Italy, had followed his younger brother to Portugal. Both were probably led there by the fame of Prince Henry's explorations.
The brothers became very skilful in making maps and charts for the Portuguese. They also frequently sailed with them on their expeditions along the coast of Africa. All the early associations of Columbus were with men interested in voyages of discovery, and particularly with those engaged in the daring search for a sea route to India.
How Columbus formed his Plan. Columbus gathered all the information on geography which he could from ancient writers and from modern discoverers. Many of them believed that the world was shaped like a ball. If such were its shape, Columbus reasoned, why might not a ship sail around it from east to west? Or, better, why not sail directly west to India, and perhaps find many wonderful islands between Europe and Asia? His imagination was also fired by Marco Polo's description of the marvelous riches of China, Japan, and the Spice Islands. But the idea of going directly west into the midst of the unknown and seemingly boundless waste of water, and on and on to Asia, appeared to most men of the fifteenth century to be madness.
His Notion of the Distance to Asia. Columbus made two fortunate errors in reckoning the distance to the Indies. He imagined that Asia extended much farther eastward than it actually does, making it nearer Europe, and estimated the earth to be smaller than it is. His figures placed Japan less than 3,000 miles west of the Canary Islands, instead of the 12,000 miles which is the real distance. He accordingly thought Japan would be found about where Mexico or Florida is situated.
How he secured Help. Even so, many years passed before Columbus was able to undertake a voyage. He was too poor himself, and needed the help of some government to fit out such an expedition. He may have tried to get his native city, Genoa, to help him. There is such a story. If he did, it was without success. He tried to obtain the help of Portugal, where he lived a long time, and whose princes were greatly interested in the discovery of new trade routes. His brother visited England in the same cause. Neither of these countries, however, was willing to undertake this expensive and doubtful enterprise.
The King and Queen of Spain, to whom Columbus turned, kept him waiting many years for an answer. They thought that they had more important work in hand. There was another king in Spain at the time, the king of the Moors. Ferdinand and Isabella, the Christian king and queen, were trying to conquer the Moors, and thus to end the struggle between Christians and Mohammedans for the possession of Spain, which had lasted nearly eight centuries. This war required all the strength and revenue of Spain.
Fortunately, just as Columbus was becoming thoroughly discouraged, the war with the Moors came to an end. Granada, the seat of their former power, was finally taken in January, 1492. Now was a good time to ask favors of the sovereigns of Spain, and to plan large enterprises for the future. Powerful friends aided Columbus to renew his petition, and Queen Isabella was persuaded to promise him all the help that he needed.
The Ships of Columbus. Three ships, or caravels as they were called, were fitted out. The Santa Maria was the largest of the three, but it was not much larger than the small sailing yachts which we see to-day. It was about ninety feet long by twenty feet broad, and had a single deck. This was Columbus's principal ship or flagship. The second caravel, the Pinta, was much swifter, built high at the prow and stern, and furnished with a forecastle for the crew and a cabin for the officers, but without a deck in the center. The third and smallest caravel, called the Niña, the Spanish word for baby, was built much like the Pinta. Ninety persons made up the three crews.
The ships were the usual size of those which coasted along the shores of Europe in the fifteenth century. Expeditions had never gone far out into the ocean. Columbus preferred the smaller vessels in a voyage of discovery, because they would be able to run close to the shores and into the smaller harbors and up the rivers.
Beginning of the Voyage. The expedition set sail from Palos in Spain, August 3, 1492. It went directly to the Canary Islands. These were owned by Spain, and were selected by Columbus as the most convenient starting-point. The little fleet was delayed three weeks at the islands making repairs. On September 6 Columbus was off again. He struck due west from the Canaries.
The Terrors of the Voyage. While the little fleet was still in sight of the Canary Islands a volcanic eruption nearly frightened the sailors out of their wits. They deemed such an event an omen of evil. But the expedition had fine weather day after day. Steady, gentle, easterly winds, the trade winds of the tropics, wafted them slowly westward. But the timid sailors began to wonder how they would ever be able to return against winds which seemed never to change from the east.
Then they came to an immense field of seaweed, larger in area than the whole of Spain. This terrified the sailors, who feared they might be driven on hidden rocks or be engulfed in quicksands. They imagined, too, that great sea-monsters were lurking beyond the seaweed waiting to devour them.
The first Signs of a New Land. In spite of fears and complaints, and threats of resistance, Columbus kept a westward course for more than four weeks. Then as he began to see so many birds flying to the southwest, he concluded that land must be nearer in that direction. He had heard that most of the islands held by the Portuguese were discovered by following the flight of birds. So on October 7 the westward course was changed to one slightly southwest.
From this time on the signs of land grew frequent. Floating branches, occasionally covered with berries, pieces of wood, bits of cane, were encouraging signs. Birds like ducks and sandpipers became common sights. The Queen had promised a small pension to the one who should first see land. Columbus had offered to give a silken doublet in addition. With what eagerness the sailors must have kept on the lookout!
The great Discovery. At last as the fleet was sailing onward in the bright moonlight Columbus saw a light moving as if carried by hand along a shore. A few hours later, about two o'clock on the morning of October 12, a sailor on the Pinta saw land distinctly, and soon all beheld, a few miles away, a long, low beach. The vessels hove to and waited for daylight. Early the same day, Friday, October 12, 1492, they approached the land, which proved to be a small island. Columbus named it San Salvador, which means Holy Saviour. We do not know which one of the Bahama islands he first saw, but we believe it was the one now called Watling Island. Columbus went ashore with the royal standard and banners flying to take possession of the land in the name of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
Where Columbus thought he was. The astonished inhabitants of the island soon gathered to see the strange sight--the landing of white men in the West Indies. They looked upon the ships as sea-monsters, and the white men as gods. Nor was Columbus less puzzled by what he saw. The people were a strange race--cinnamon colored, naked, greased, and painted to suit each one's fancy. They had only the rudest means of self-defense, and were almost as poor as the parrots that chattered in the trees above them. Such savages bore little resemblance to the people whom Marco Polo said inhabited the Spice Islands.
Columbus thought that he had reached some outlying island not far from Japan. A cruise of a few days among the Bahamas satisfied him that he was in the ocean near the coast of Asia, for had not Marco Polo described it as studded with thousands of spice-bearing islands? He had not found any spices, but the air was full of fragrance and the trees and herbs were strange in appearance. Of course if the islands were the Indies, the people must be Indians. Columbus called them Indians, and this name clung to the red men, although their islands were not the true Indies.
The Search for the Golden East. Columbus thought that the natives meant to tell him in their sign language of a great land to the south where gold abounded. He set off in search of this, and came upon a land the natives called Cuba. Its large size convinced him that he had at last found the Asiatic mainland, and he sent two messengers, one a Jew knowing many languages, in search of the Emperor of China. They found neither cities nor kingdoms, neither gold nor spices. This was a great disappointment to Columbus, but he patiently kept up his search for the riches which he expected to find.
The Misfortunes of Columbus. While on the coast of Cuba, Pinzon, the commander of the Pinta, deserted him. Pinzon, whose ship was swifter than the others, probably wished to be the first to get home, in order to tell a story which would gain him the credit of the discovery of the Indies. A few days later Columbus discovered a large island which the natives called Hayti, and which he called Española or "Spanish Land." At every island he searched for the spices and gold which Marco Polo had given him reason to expect. In a storm off Española Columbus's own ship, the Santa Maria, was totally wrecked. Such disasters convinced him that it was high time to return to Spain with the news of his discovery.
Preparations for Return to Spain. As there was not room for both crews on the tiny Niña, his one remaining ship, it became necessary to leave about forty sailors in Española. A fort was built, and supplies were left for a year. Columbus with the rest set off on the return to Spain. Ten Indians were captured and taken with them to show to his friends in Europe. Besides, Columbus hoped that they would learn the language of Spain, and carry Christianity back to their people.
The Search for China renewed. There was rejoicing in Palos when the voyagers returned. Great honors were bestowed upon Columbus. It was now easy to get men and money for another voyage. In September, 1493, Columbus started to return to his islands, this time with seventeen ships and fifteen hundred men, all confident that they would soon see the marble palaces of China, and secure a share in the wealth of the Spice Islands. No one yet realized that a new world--two great continents--lay between them and their coveted goal in Asia. Columbus went directly to Española, where he found that his colony of the previous year had been murdered by the Indians. A new settlement was quickly started. A little town called Isabella was built, with a fort, a church, a market place, public granary, and dwelling-houses. Isabella was the first real settlement in the New World.
Other Voyages to the New World. Columbus made two other voyages. He continued to search for the coast of Asia, which he believed to be near. He made a third voyage from Spain to the West Indies in 1498. He sailed farther south, and came upon the mainland which later was called South America. A fourth expedition in 1502 touched on the coast that we call Central America. He died soon after this voyage, still believing that he had discovered a new route to the Indies and new lands on the coast of Asia.
The sad End of Columbus's Life. The close of his life was a sad one. The lands he had found did not yield the riches which he had expected. The colonists whom he had sent out to the islands had rebelled, and jealous enemies had accused him falsely before the king and queen of misgovernment in his territories. Once his opponents had him carried to Spain chained like a common prisoner. He was given his liberty on reaching Spain, but the people had become prejudiced against him.
Ferdinand, the son of Columbus, tells us that as he and his brother Diego, who were pages in the queen's service, happened to pass a crowd of his father's enemies, the latter greeted them with hoots: "There go the sons of the Admiral of Mosquitoland, the man who has discovered a land of vanity and deceit, the grave of Spanish gentlemen." Hardships and disappointments broke down the great discoverer, and he died neglected and almost forgotten by the people of Spain.
OTHERS HELP IN THE DISCOVERY OF THE NEW WORLD
The Race to the Indies. The discovery of all the lands which make what we call the New World came very slowly. It was the work of many different explorers. Most of the expeditions sent out to the new islands went in search of a passage to India. It was a fine race. Each nation was eager to see its ships the first to reach India by the westward route. All were disappointed at finding so much land between Europe and Asia. It seemed to them to be of little value and to block the way to the richer countries of the East. Gradually, however, they discovered the great continents which we know as North and South America. Columbus had done more than he dreamed, and his discovery was a turning-point in history.
John Cabot. John Cabot, an Italian mariner at this time in the service of England, left Bristol in 1497 on a voyage of discovery. This was five years after Columbus discovered the West Indies. Cabot had heard that the sailors of Portugal and of Spain had occupied unknown islands. He planned to do the same for King Henry VII of England. For his voyage he had a single vessel no larger than the Niña, the smallest ship in the fleet of Columbus. Eighteen men made up his crew. He passed around the southern end of Ireland, and sailed north and west until he came to land, which proved to be the coast of North America somewhere between the northern part of Labrador and the southern end of Nova Scotia.
Cabot's Discovery. John Cabot saw no inhabitants, but he found notched trees, snares for game, and needles for making nets, which showed plainly that the land was inhabited by human beings. Like Columbus, Cabot thought he was off the coast of China.
The Cabot Voyages forgotten. Before the end of 1497 John Cabot was back in Bristol. It is almost certain that he and his son, Sebastian Cabot, made a second voyage to the new found lands in the following year. The Cabot voyages, however, were soon almost forgotten by the people of England.
The Naming of the New Lands. Why was our country named America rather than Columbia or New India? Both the southern and northern continents which we call the Americas were named for Americus Vespucius rather than for Christopher Columbus. This seems the more strange since we know so little about the life of Americus. Americus Vespucius was born in Florence, Italy, and like many other young Italians of that day entered the service of neighboring countries. He went to Spain and accompanied several Spanish expeditions sent to explore the new continent which Columbus had discovered on his third voyage.
Perhaps Americus went as a pilot; he certainly was not the leader in any expedition. But he seems to have written to his friends interesting accounts of what he had seen. In one of these letters Americus seems to have written boastfully of how he had found lands which might be called a new world. He said that the new continent was more populous and more full of animals than Europe, or Asia, or Africa, and that the climate was even more temperate and pleasant than any other region. This was clearly a new world.
Why Americus was regarded as the Discoverer of America. The statement of Americus was scattered widely by the help of the newly invented printing press. It was written in Latin, and so could be read by the learned of all countries. They were impressed by the belief of Americus that he had seen a new world and not simply the Indies. This was especially true of men living outside of Spain who had heard little of Columbus or his discovery.
Columbus for his part had written as if his great discovery was a way to the Indies and the finding of islands on the way thither less important. Besides, when he saw what we call South America he had no idea that it was a new world. The people of Europe either never knew that he had discovered the mainland or had forgotten it altogether. But they heard a great deal about Americus and his doings. It is not strange that Americus rather than Columbus was long regarded as the true discoverer of America.
Two Names for the New Lands. Even then the new continent might not have been called America but for the suggestion of a young scholar of the time. Martin Waldseemüller, a professor of geography at the college of St. Dié, now in eastern France, wrote a book on geography. In his description of the parts of the world unknown to the ancients, he suggested naming the continent stretching to the south for Americus.
Waldseemüller thought Americus had been the real discoverer of this continent. He said, "Now, indeed, as these regions are more widely explored, and another fourth part has been discovered by Americus Vespucius, I do not see why any one may justly forbid it to be named Amerige--that is, Americ's Land, from Americus, the discoverer."
Others adopted Waldseemüller's suggestion and the name America came into general use outside of Spain. But the Spaniards continued to call all the new lands by the name which Columbus had given them--the Indies. America was at first the name for South America only, but later was also used by writers for the other continent which was soon found to the north. It was natural to distinguish the two continents as South and North America.
Balboa. The successors of Columbus kept up a ceaseless search for the real Indies, but the more they explored the more they saw that a great continental barrier was lying across the sea passage to Asia. A few began to suspect that after all America was not a part of Asia. Vasco Nuñez Balboa was one of these. Balboa was a planter who had settled in Española. He fell deeply into debt, and to escape his creditors had himself nailed up in a barrel and put aboard a vessel bound for the northern coast of South America. From there he went to the eastern border of Panama with a party of gold seekers. The Indians told him of a great sea and of an abundance of gold on its shores to be found a short distance across the isthmus. It is probable that the Indians wished to get rid of the Spaniards as neighbors.
Balboa's Discovery of the Pacific. Balboa resolved to make a name for himself and to be the discoverer of the other sea. He set off in 1513. The land is not more than forty-five miles wide at Panama, but it is almost impassable even to this day. For twenty-two days the hardy adventurers advanced through a forest, dense with thickets and tangled swamps and interlacing vines--so thick that for days the sun could not be seen--and over rough and slippery mountain-sides until they came to an open sea stretching off to the south and west. Balboa called it the South Sea, but it is usually called the Pacific Ocean, the name given it afterward.
Balboa had made the important discovery that the barrier of land was comparatively narrow. This gave the impression that North America, too, was narrower than it proved to be, and the search for the passage to the Indies was pushed with greater vigor.
Magellan. A Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, had really won the race begun by Prince Henry's navigators and Columbus for India, the land of cloves, pepper, and nutmegs. He had won in 1497 by going around the Cape of Good Hope. Another explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, finally, reached the Indies in a long westward voyage lasting two years, from 1519 to 1521.
The Beginning of Magellan's Voyage. Magellan, himself a Portuguese, tried in vain like Columbus to persuade the king of Portugal to aid him in his project. He succeeded better in Spain, and sailed from there in 1519 with a small fleet given him by the young king Charles. The five ships in his fleet were old and in bad repair, and the crews had been brought together from every nation. They sailed directly to South America, and spent the first year searching every inlet along the coast for a passage.
They found that the natives of South America used for food vegetables that "looked like turnips and tasted like chestnuts." The Indians called them "patatas." In this way the potato, one of the great foods of to-day, was found by Europeans. A whole winter was passed on the cold and barren coast of Patagonia. Magellan called the natives "Patagones," the word in his language meaning big feet, from the large foot-prints which they left on the sand.
The Strait of Magellan. Magellan finally found a strait, since named for him the Strait of Magellan, and sailed his ships through it amid the greatest dangers. The change from the rough waters of the strait to the calm sea beyond made the word Pacific or Peaceful Sea seem the most suitable name for the vast body of water which they had entered.
The First Voyage across the Pacific. From the western coast of South America Magellan struck boldly out into the Pacific Ocean on his way to Asia. The crews suffered untold hardships. The very rats which overran the rotten ships became a luxurious article of food which only the more fortunate members of the crews could afford. The poorer seamen lived for days on the ox-hide strips which protected the masts. These were soaked in sea-water and roasted over the fire.
Magellan was fortunate enough to chance upon the Isle of Guam, where plentiful supplies were obtained. He called the group of small islands, of which Guam is one, the Ladrones. This was his word for robbers, used because the natives were such robbers. The expedition discovered a group of islands afterwards called the Philippines. There Magellan fell in with traders from the Indies and knew that the remainder of the voyage would be through well-known seas and over a route frequently followed. Poor Magellan did not live to complete his remarkable voyage. He was killed in the Philippine Islands in a battle with the natives.
Only one of the five ships found its way through the Spice Islands, across the Indian Ocean, around the Cape of Good Hope, and so back to Spain; but this one carried home twenty-six tons of cloves, worth more than enough to pay the whole cost of the expedition. Such was the value of the trade Europe was so eagerly seeking.
What Magellan had shown the People of Europe. Magellan's voyage had, however, been a great event. Historians are agreed that it was the greatest voyage in the history of mankind. It had shown in a practical way that the earth is a globe, just as Columbus and other wise men had long taught, for a ship had sailed completely around it.
But Magellan had also proved some things that they had not dreamed. He had shown that two great oceans instead of one lay between Europe and Asia; he had made clear that the Indies which the Spanish explorers had found, and which other people were beginning to call the Americas, were really a new world entirely separate from Asia, and not a part of Asia as Columbus had thought.
EARLY SPANISH EXPLORERS AND CONQUERORS ON THE MAINLAND
The Civilization of the Mexican Indians. Early Spanish explorers on the coast of Mexico found the Indians of the mainland more highly civilized than the natives of the West Indies. Some of these, especially the Aztecs, lived in large villages or cities and were ruled by powerful chiefs or kings. They built to their gods huge stone temples with towers several stories in height.
Their houses, quite unlike those of the other Indians the Spanish had seen, were made of stone or sun-dried brick and coated with hard white plaster. Some of them were of immense size and could hold many families. Doors had not been invented, but hangings of woven grass or matting of cotton served instead. Strings of shells which a visitor could rattle answered for door-bells.
The streets of the towns were narrow, but were often paved with a sort of cement. Aqueducts in solid masonry somewhat like the old Roman aqueducts, although not so large, carried water from the neighboring hills for fountains and rude public baths.
The women wove cotton and prepared clothing for their families. Workmen made ornaments of gold and copper, and utensils and dishes of pottery for every-day use. The people cultivated the fields around the cities, raising a great variety of foods, and even built ditches to carry water for irrigating the fields. All this was in striking contrast with the simple habits of the West Indians.
Cruel Customs of the Aztecs. With all the good features of Mexican life, with all the superiority of the Mexicans over the other Indians, there was much that was hideous and cruel. The Aztecs, the most powerful tribes, were continually at war with their neighbors. They lived mainly upon the plunder of their enemies and the tribute which they took from those they had conquered. Like all Mexicans, they worshiped great ugly idols as gods and to these their priests offered part of the captives taken in war as human sacrifices.
Spanish Ideas of Mexico. The reports of the Aztec civilization and of the treasures of gold, mostly untrue, excited the interest and greed of the Spaniards. Mexico seemed like the China which Marco Polo had described, and might offer a chance of immense wealth for those who should conquer it. In truth, Mexican civilization did resemble that of Asia more than anything that the Spaniards had seen. Montezuma, a powerful chief or king of the Aztecs, lived somewhat like a Mongol Emperor of Persia or China.
Cortés. In 1519 the governor of Cuba sent Hernando Cortés to explore and conquer Mexico. The expedition landed where Vera Cruz is now situated. The ships were then sunk in order to cut off all hope of retreat for the soldiers. "For whom but cowards," said Cortés, "were means of retreat necessary!" Cortés, with great skill, worked up the zeal of his soldiers to the fury of a religious crusade. All thought it a duty to destroy the idols they saw, to end the practice of offering human sacrifices, and to force the Christian religion upon the natives.
The small army marched slowly inland towards the City of Mexico, which was the capital of Montezuma's kingdom. Cortés and his men had learned the Indian mode of fighting from ambush, and also how successfully to match cunning and treachery with those villagers who tried to prevent his invasion of their country.
How the Spaniards and the Aztecs fought. The Mexican warriors, though they fought fiercely, were no match for the Spaniards. The Mexicans were experts with the bow and arrow, using arrows pointed with a hard kind of stone. They carried for hand-to-hand fighting a narrow club set with a double edge of razor-like stones, and wore a crude kind of armor made from quilted cotton. But such things were useless against Spanish bullets shot from afar.
The roaring cannon, the glittering steel swords, the thick armor and shining helmets, the prancing horses on which the Spanish leaders were mounted, gave the whole a strange, unearthly appearance to the simple-minded Indians. The story is told that the Mexicans believed that one of their gods had once floated out to sea, saying that, in the fulness of time, he would return with fair-skinned companions to begin again his rule over his people. Many Aztecs looked upon the coming of the white men as the return of this god and thought that resistance would be useless. Such natives sent presents, made their peace with Cortés, and so weakened the opposition to the conquerors.
Cortés in Peril. Cortés easily entered the City of Mexico, and forced Montezuma to resign. But here the natives attacked his army in such numbers that he had to retreat to escape capture. The Spaniards fled from the city at night amid the onslaught of the inhabitants fighting for their religion and their homes.
The retreat cost the Spaniards terrible losses. Cortés started in the evening on the retreat with 1,250 soldiers, 6,000 Indian allies, and 80 horses. There were left in the morning 500 soldiers, 2,000 allies, and 20 horses. Cortés is said to have buried his face in his hands and wept for his lost followers, but he never wavered in his purpose of taking Mexico. He was able to defeat the Indians in the open country, and to return to the attack on the capital city.
Capture of the City of Mexico. The siege which followed, lasting nearly three months, has rarely been matched in history for the bravery and suffering of the natives. The fighting was constant and terrible. The fresh water supply was cut off from the inhabitants in the city, and famine aided the invaders. At length the defenders were exhausted and Cortés entered. It had taken him two years to conquer the Aztecs. A greater task remained for him to do. He was to cleanse and rebuild the City of Mexico, make it a center of Spanish civilization, and Mexico a New Spain. By such work Cortés showed that he could be not only a great conqueror, but also an able ruler in time of peace.
Pizarro. A few years after Cortés conquered Mexico a second army conquered another famous Indian kingdom. Francisco Pizarro commanded this expedition, which set out from Panama in 1531. Pizarro had been with Balboa at the discovery of the South Sea or Pacific Ocean, and, like his master, had become interested in the stories the Indians told of a rich kingdom far to the south. The golden kingdom which the Indians described was that of the Incas, who lived much as the Aztecs. The Spaniards called the region of the Incas the Biru country or, by softening the first letter, the Peru country, from Biru, who was a native Indian chieftain.
Conquest of Peru. Pizarro found the Incas divided as usual by civil wars and incapable of much resistance. One of their rival chiefs was outwitted when he tried to capture Pizarro by a trick, and was himself made a prisoner instead. He offered to give Pizarro in return for his freedom as much gold as would fill his prison room as high as he could reach. The offer was accepted, and gold, mainly in the shape of vases, plates, images, and other ornaments from the temples for the Indian idols, was gathered together.
The Spaniards soon found themselves in possession of almost $7,000,000 worth of gold, besides a vast quantity of silver. As much more was taken from the Indians by force. The whole was divided among the conquerors. Pizarro's share was worth nearly a million dollars. But the poor chief who had made them suddenly rich was suspected of plotting to have his warriors ambush them as they left the country, was tried by his conquerors, and put to death. The bloody work of conquest was soon over. Peru, like Mexico, rapidly became a center of Spanish settlement. Emigrants, instead of stopping in the West Indies, had the choice of going on into the newer regions which Cortés and Pizarro had won.
Emigrants to Spanish America. It was much harder in the sixteenth century to leave Spain and settle in America than it is today. The first and sometimes the greatest difficulty was in getting permission to leave Spain. No one could go who had not secured the king's consent. The emigrant must show that neither he nor his father nor his grandfather had ever been guilty of heresy, that is, that he and his forefathers had been steadfast Catholic Christians. His wife, if he had one, must give her consent. His debts must all be paid. The Moors and the Jews of Spain could not secure permits to move to the New World. Foreigners of whatever nation were not wanted in the colonies and were usually kept out. Spain tried to keep its colonies wholly for Spaniards.
Hardships of the Sea Voyage. Those who did go to the colonies found the voyage dangerous and costly. One traveler has related that it cost him about one hundred and eighty dollars for the passage, and that he provided his own chickens and bread. The danger to sailing ships from storms was much greater than it is today for steamships. The voyage required three or four weeks and not uncommonly as many months.
The Need of Laborers. The hardships and dangers of the voyage and the reports of suffering from famine and disease kept most people from going to the New World. Emigration was slow, amounting to about a thousand a year. There were always fewer capable white laborers than the landowners in the colonies needed for their work, for there was much to do in clearing the land and preparing it for use. The landowners were usually well-to-do Spaniards who did not like to work in the fields themselves. A great many of the laborers who migrated to America served in the army or went to the gold and silver mines of Mexico and Peru. The craze for gold constantly robbed the older colonies of their farm laborers. The landowners in the islands of the West Indies, during the early history of the colonies, made slaves of the Indians and compelled them to take the place of the laborers they needed and could not obtain.
Indian Slavery. The people of Europe thought that the whole world belonged to the followers of Christ. Non-Christians, whether Indian or negro, had the choice of accepting Christianity or of being made slaves. The choice of Christianity did not always save them from the fate of slavery. In this the Spaniards were no more cruel than their neighbors the English or the French. The Spanish planters from the beginning forced the Indians to work their farms. The gold seekers made them work in their mines.
The labor in every case was hard, and specially hard for the Indian unused to work. The overseers were brutal when the slaves did not do the tasks set for them. Hard usage and the unhealthful quarters rapidly broke down the natives. The white men also brought into the island diseases which they, with their greater experience, could resist, but from which, one writer says, the Indians died like sheep with a distemper.
Slavery destroys the West Indians. When the number of the Indians in Española and Cuba had decreased so much that there were not enough left to meet the needs of the planters, slave-hunters searched the neighboring islands for others. Finally, when the Indians were nearly gone, and the planters began to look to the mainland for their slaves, the king of Spain forbade making slaves of the Indians. Unfortunately he did not forbid them to capture negroes in Africa for the same purpose, and the change merely meant that negroes took the place of Indians as slaves. The story of the change is in great part the story of the life of Bartholomew de Las Casas.
Las Casas. The father of Las Casas was a companion of Columbus on his second voyage in 1493. He returned to Spain, taking with him a young Indian slave whom he gave to his son. This youth became greatly interested in the race to which his young slave belonged. In 1502 he went to Española to take possession of his father's estate. The planter's life did not long satisfy him and finally he became a priest. He moved from Española to Cuba, the newer colony.
Las Casas became convinced that Indian slavery was wrong, and gave his own slaves their freedom. In his sermons he attacked the abuses of slavery. He visited Spain in order to help the slaves, and secured many reforms which lessened the hardships of their lot. Since the planters demanded more laborers and Las Casas thought the negro would be hardier than the Indian, he advocated negro slavery in place of Indian slavery as the less of two evils. Finally, in 1542, Las Casas persuaded his king, Charles V, to put an end to Indian slavery of every form.
His success came too late to benefit the natives of the West Indies. They had decreased until almost none were left. It is said that there were two hundred thousand Indians in Española in 1492, and that in 1548 there were barely five hundred survivors. The same decrease had taken place in the other islands. But the work of Las Casas came in time to save the Indians on the mainland from the fate of the luckless islanders.
Negro Slavery. Las Casas later regretted that he had advised the planters to obtain negroes to take the place of the Indians. Some negroes had been captured by the Portuguese on the coast of Africa during their explorations and taken to Europe as slaves. Columbus carried a few of these to the West Indies with him, and others had followed his example, but negro slavery had grown very slowly until after Las Casas stopped Indian slavery, when it increased rapidly in Spanish America.
The Missions of the Mainland. Las Casas became at one time a missionary to a tribe of the most desperate warriors located on the southern border of Mexico, in a region called by the Spaniards the "Land of War." Three times a Spanish army had invaded the country, and three times it had been driven back by the native defenders. Las Casas wished to show the Spaniards that more could be accomplished by treating the Indians kindly than by bloody warfare and conquest.
He and the monks whom he took with him learned the language of the Indians, and went among them not as conquerors but as Christian teachers. Their gentle manners and endless patience won the friendship of the Indians in time and changed the land of constant warfare into one of peace. They led the natives to destroy their idols and to give up cannibalism. The mission established among them and kept up by the monks who were attracted to it was only one of a great number which sprang up on the mainland.
The Work of the Missions. Influenced by the work of Las Casas against Indian slavery and for Indian missions, the Spaniards bent their efforts to preserve and Christianize the natives wherever they came upon them in America. Catholic priests gathered the Indians into permanent villages, which were called missions. Within about one hundred years after the death of Columbus, or by 1600, there were more then 5,000,000 Indians in such villages under Spanish rule. Priests taught them to build better houses, checked their native vices, and suppressed heathen practices.
Every mission became a little industrial school for children and parents alike, where all might learn the simpler arts and trades and the customs and language of their teachers. Each Indian cultivated his own plot of land and worked two hours a day on the farm belonging to the village. The produce of the village farm supported the church. The monks or friars who had charge of the mission cared for the poor, taught in the schools, preserved the peace and order of the village, and looked after the religious welfare of all.
Gradually Spanish emigrants settled in the mission stations, and planters established farms around them, and they became Spanish villages in every respect like those in the islands or in the Old World, except that many inhabitants in the towns on the mainland were Indians. The emigrants freely intermarried with the Indians and a mixed race took the place of the old inhabitants. The customs, language, religion, and rule of Spain prevailed in this New Spain, though in some ways the new civilization was not so good as that of the Old World.
THE SPANISH EXPLORERS OF NORTH AMERICA
Ponce de Leon. While men like Cortés were exploring and conquering the countries on the west shore of the Gulf of Mexico, others began to search the vast regions to the north. One of these explorers was Ponce de Leon, who had come to Española with Columbus in 1493. He afterwards spent many years in the West Indies capturing Indians, and understood from something they said that a magic fountain could be found beyond the Bahamas which would restore an old man to youth and vigor, if he bathed in it.
As Ponce de Leon was beginning to feel aged he went in search of this wondrous fountain, but he found instead a coast where flowers grew in great abundance. It was the Easter season in 1513. Since the Spanish call this season Pascua Florida or Flowery Easter, Ponce called the new flowery country Florida. He went ashore near the present site of St. Augustine, and later, while trying to establish a settlement, lost his life in a battle with the Indians.
Explorations of North American Coast. Other Spanish explorers between 1513 and 1525 followed the whole Gulf coast from Florida to Vera Cruz, and the Atlantic coast from Florida to Labrador. They sought continually for a passage to India. Every large inlet was entered, for it might prove to be the long-looked-for strait. Slowly the coast of North America took shape on the maps of that time. Two famous expeditions into the interior of the country did much to enlarge this knowledge. One was made by De Soto through the region which now forms seven southern states of the United States, and the other was by Coronado through the great southwest.
De Soto. Hernando de Soto, a noble from Seville in Spain, had won fame and fortune with Pizarro in Peru. The King of Spain, to reward his bravery and skill in conquering Indians, made him Governor of Cuba. In those days the Governor of Cuba controlled Florida. It was a larger Florida than the present state of that name, for Spanish Florida included the whole north coast of the Gulf of Mexico running back into the continent without any definite boundary.
The Story of the Gilded Man. De Soto had heard a fanciful story of a country so rich in gold that its king was smeared every morning with gum and then thickly sprinkled with powdered gold, which was washed off at night. De Soto thought this country might be somewhere in Florida, and prepared to search for the Gilded Man, or in the Spanish language El Dorado.
The Comrades of De Soto. More than six hundred men, some of them from the oldest families of the nobility of Spain and Portugal, flocked to De Soto's banner. They sold their possessions at home and ventured all their wealth in the hope of obtaining great riches in Florida.
De Soto's Route through the South of North America. De Soto crossed from Cuba to the west coast of Florida in 1539, and advanced northward by land to an Indian village near Apalachee Bay. Here he spent the first winter. A white man, whom the Indians had taken captive twelve years before and finally adopted, joined De Soto and became very useful as an interpreter.
In the spring De Soto renewed his explorations. It was like a journey into the interior of Africa. The expedition passed northeasterly through the country now within Georgia and South Carolina, as far, perhaps, as the border of North Carolina. From here it passed through the mountains, and turned southwesterly through Tennessee and Alabama until a large Indian village called Mauvilla was reached. This was near the head of Mobile Bay. Mobile was named from the Indian village Mauvilla. The Alabama Indians, whose name means "the thicket clearers," were near by. Here again De Soto changed his course to the northwest into the unknown interior.
The Hardships of the Journey. His army was almost exhausted by the difficulties of the journey. A road had to be cut and broken through thickets and forest, paths had to be made through the many swamps, and fords found across the rivers. It frequently became necessary to stop for months at a time, to let the horses, worn out from travel and starving because of the scarcity of fodder, fatten on the grass. The stores which the army brought with them soon gave out. The men were forced to live like Indians, and were often reduced to using the roots of wild plants for food. Where they could, they robbed the Indians of their scanty stores of corn and beans.
Cruel Treatment of the Indians. De Soto was cruel in his treatment of the conquered natives along his route. Many of his officers came with him really for the purpose of obtaining Indian slaves for their plantations in Cuba. Indian women were made to do the work of the camp. Indian men were chained together and forced to carry the baggage. The chiefs were held as hostages for the good behavior of the whole tribe. The Indians who tried to shirk work or offered resistance were killed without mercy.
De Soto's cruelties made the Indian of the South hate the white men, and left him the enemy of any who should come to those regions in after-years. More than once De Soto narrowly escaped destruction at the hands of the enraged savages. They attacked the Spaniards with all their strength at Mauvilla, and again while they were in camp in northern Mississippi for the winter of 1540-1541. These two battles with the Indians cost the Spaniards their baggage, which was destroyed in the burning villages. New clothing, however, was soon made from the skins of wild animals. Deerskins and bearskins served for cloaks, jackets, shirts, stockings, and even for shoes. The great army must have looked much like a band of Robinson Crusoes.
The Discovery of the Mississippi. De Soto marched on northwesterly until May 8, 1541, when he was somewhere near the site of the present city of Memphis. There he came upon a great river. One of his officers tells us that the river was so wide at this point that if a man on the other side stood still, it could not be known whether he were a man or not; that the river was of great depth, and of a strong current; and that the water was always muddy.
De Soto called it, in his own language, the Rio Grande or Great River, but the Indians called it the Mississippi. Americans have adopted the Indian name. Other Spanish explorers had probably passed the mouth of the Mississippi River before De Soto, and wondered at its mighty size, but De Soto was the first white man to approach it from the land and to appreciate the importance of his discovery.
Wanderings west of the Mississippi. The Spaniards cut down trees, made them into planks and built barges on which they crossed the Mississippi. Then they wandered for another year through the endless woods and marshes of the low-lying lands now within the state of Arkansas. They probably went as far west as the open plains of Oklahoma or Texas. In these border regions between the forests and the prairies they met Indians who used the skins of the buffalo for clothing.
Death and Burial of De Soto. The severe winter of 1541-1542 discouraged the hardy travelers, who had now spent nearly three years in a vain search. The natives whom they had found made clothing from the fiber in the bark of mulberry trees and from the hides of buffaloes, and stored beans and corn for food, but such things seemed of little value to the seekers for the Gilded Man.
De Soto returned to the Mississippi and prepared to establish a colony somewhere near the mouth of the Red River. It was his purpose to send to Cuba for supplies, and, with this settlement as a base, make a farther search in the plains of the great West. He did not live to carry out his plan. Long exposure and anxiety had weakened him. The malaria of the swamps attacked him, and he died within a few days. His body was wrapped in mantles weighted with sand, carried in a canoe, and secretly lowered in the midst of the great river he had discovered.
His successor tried to conceal De Soto's death from the Indians. The Spaniards had called their leader the Child of the Sun, and now he had died like any other mortal. They were afraid if the Indians found his body they would cease to believe that the strangers were immortal and would massacre them all. The Indians were told that the great leader had gone to Heaven, as he had often done before, and that he would return in a few days.
Results of De Soto's Journey. The weary survivors built boats, floated down the Mississippi into the Gulf, and sailed cautiously along the coasts to Mexico. They had been gone four years and three months, and half of the army which set out had perished. However, the expedition of De Soto will always remain one of the most remarkable journeys in the history of North America. It had extended the Spanish claims far into the interior. With it had begun the written history of the country now composing at least eight states in the United States, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas. It had perhaps reached the present Oklahoma and Texas, and had certainly passed down the Mississippi River through Louisiana.
The Story of the Seven Cities. While De Soto was exploring the southeastern part of North America a second expedition searched the southwest. Both were looking for rich Indian kingdoms like Mexico and Peru. The second expedition came about in this manner. Some of the Indians from northern Mexico told the Spaniards a strange tale of how in the distant past their ancestors came forth from seven caves.
The Spaniards, however, confused the tale with a story of their own about Seven Cities. They believed that at the time Spain was overrun by the Moors in the eighth century, seven bishops, flying from persecution, had taken refuge, with a great company of followers, on an island or group of islands far out in the Atlantic Ocean, and that they had built Seven Cities. Wonderful stories were told in Spain of these cities, of their wealth and splendor, though nobody ever pretended to have actually seen them. The Spaniards thought the Indians meant to tell them of these Seven Cities instead of seven caves.
The mistake was natural, as the Spanish explorers had much trouble in understanding the Indian languages. They had long expected to find the Seven Cities in America. Indeed there was rumor that white travelers had seen them north of Mexico.
The Journey of Friar Marcos. In 1539 the Viceroy of Mexico sent a frontier missionary, Friar Marcos by name, together with a negro, Stephen, and some Christianized Indians to look for them. Friar Marcos traveled far to the north. He inquired his way of the Indians, always asking them about Seven Cities. He described them as large cities with houses made of stone and mortar. The Indians, half-understanding him, directed him to seven Zuñi villages or pueblos. The first of these they called Cibola. Friar Marcos henceforth spoke of them as the Seven Cities of Cibola.
The good friar himself never entered even the first of them. His negro, Stephen, had been sent on in advance to prepare the way, but this rough, greedy fellow offended the Indians, who promptly murdered him. When the friar approached he found the Indians so excited and hostile that he dared not enter their village. He did, however, venture to climb a hill at a distance, from which he had a view of one of the cities of Cibola. The houses, built of light stone and whitish adobe, glistened in the wonderfully clear air and bright sunlight of that region, and gave him the idea of a much larger and richer city than really existed. Friar Marcos, by this time thoroughly frightened, hurriedly retraced his steps.
Coronado. There was great excitement in Mexico over the story Friar Marcos told. The account of what had been seen grew, as such stories always do, in the telling and retelling. Nothing else was thought of in all New Spain. The Viceroy of Mexico made ready a great army for the conquest of the Seven Cities of Cibola. He gave the command to his intimate friend, Francisco de Coronado. Everybody wanted to accompany him, but it was necessary to have the consent of the viceroy. Sons of nobles, eager to go, traded with their more fortunate neighbors for the viceroy's permit. Some men who secured these sold them as special favors to their friends. Whoever obtained one of them counted it as good as a title of nobility. So high were the expectations of great wealth when the Seven Cities should be discovered!
The Army of Coronado. In the early part of 1540, Coronado set forth from his home in western Mexico near the Gulf of California. He had an army of three hundred Spaniards, nearly all the younger sons of nobles. They were fitted out with polished coats of mail and gilded armor, carried lances and swords, and were mounted on the choicest horses from the large stock-farms of the viceroy. There were in the army a few footmen armed with crossbows and harquebuses. A thousand negroes and Indians were taken along, mainly as servants for the white masters. Some led the spare horses. Others carried the baggage, or drove the oxen and cows, the sheep and swine which would be needed on the journey. A small fleet carried part of the baggage by way of the Gulf of California, prepared also to help Coronado in other ways, and to explore the Gulf to its head.
The Route of Coronado to Cibola. The large army marched slowly through the wild regions of the Gulf coast. Coronado soon became impatient and pushed ahead of the main body with a small following of picked horsemen. They went through the mountainous wilderness of northern Mexico and across the desert plains of southeastern Arizona. After a march lasting five months, over a distance equal to that from New York to Omaha, Coronado came upon the Seven Cities of Cibola; but the real Seven Cities of Cibola as Coronado found them bore little resemblance to what he had expected.
The real Seven Cities of Cibola. The first city of Cibola was an Indian pueblo of about two hundred flat-roofed houses, built of stone and sun-dried clay. The houses were entered by climbing ladders to the top and then passing down into the rooms as we enter ships through hatches. The people wore only such clothes as could be woven from the coarse fiber of native plants, or patched together from the tanned skins of the cat or the deer. They cultivated certain plants for food, but only small and poor varieties of corn, beans, and melons. They had some skill in making small things for house and personal decoration, mainly in the form of pottery and simple ornaments of green stone.
The kingdom of rich cities dwindled to a small province of poor villages inhabited by an unwarlike people. We know now that Coronado had found the Zuñi pueblos in the western part of New Mexico. The conquest of these was a wofully small thing for so grand and costly an expedition. No gold or silver or precious jewels had been found.
The Canyon of the Colorado. Yet the wonders of the natural world about them astonished and interested the Spaniards. Some of their number found the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River and vividly described it to their comrades. As they looked into its depths it seemed as if the water was six feet across, although in reality it was many hundred feet wide. Some tried without success to descend the steep cliff to the stream below or to discover a means of crossing to the opposite side. Those who staid above estimated that some huge rocks on the side of the cliff were about as tall as a man, but those who went down as far as they could swore that when they reached these rocks they found them bigger than the great tower of Seville, which is two hundred and seventy-five feet high.
Coronado in New Mexico. Coronado marched from the Cities of Cibola eastward to the valley of the Rio Grande River, and settled for the winter in an Indian village a short distance south of the present city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Spaniards drove the natives out, only allowing them to take the clothes they wore.
A Winter in an Indian Village. The soldiers passed the severe winter of 1540-1541 comfortably quartered in the best houses of the Indian village. A plentiful supply of corn and beans had been left by the unfortunate owners. The live stock brought from Mexico furnished an abundance of fresh meat. Coronado required the Indians to furnish three hundred pieces of cloth for cloaks and blankets for his men, to take the place of their own, now worn out. Nor did the officers give the Indians time to secure the cloth that was demanded, but forced them to take their own cloaks and blankets off their backs. When a soldier came upon an Indian whose blanket was better than his, he compelled the unlucky fellow to exchange with him without more ado.
Coronado's strenuous efforts to provide well for the comforts of his men made him much loved by them, but much hated by the Indians. It is no wonder that such treatment drove the Indians into rebellion, and that Coronado was obliged to carry on a cruel war of reconquest and revenge.
The Tale of Quivira. An Indian slave in one of the villages cheered Coronado and his followers with a fabulous tale about a wonderful city, many days' journey across the plains to the northeast, which he called Quivira. The king of Quivira, he said, took his nap under a large tree, on which were hung little gold bells, which put him to sleep as they swung in the air. Every one in the city had jugs and bowls made of wrought gold. The slave was probably tempted by the eagerness of his hearers to make his tale bigger. He perhaps made it as enticing as he could in order to lead the strangers away to perish in the pathless plains where water would be scarce and corn unknown.
The Search for Quivira. The slave's story deceived the Spaniards. Coronado grasped eagerly at the only hope left of finding a rich country and marched away in search of Quivira. He traveled to the northeast for seventy-seven days. There were no guiding land marks. Soldiers measured the distance traveled each day by counting the footsteps. The plains were flat, save for an occasional channel cut by some river half buried in the sand; they were barren, except for a short wiry grass and a small rim of shrubs and stunted trees along the watercourses.
Quivira. The most marvelous sight of the long journey was the herds of buffaloes in countless numbers. The Indians guided Coronado in the end to a cluster of Indian villages which they called Quivira. This was somewhere in what is now central Kansas near Junction City. The Indians were in all probability the Wichitas. Here again the great explorer met with a bitter disappointment.
Instead of a fine city of stone and mortar, he found scattered Indian villages with mere tent-like houses formed by fastening grass or straw or buffalo skins to poles. The people were the poorest and most barbarous which he had met. Coronado was, however, fortunate in securing a supply of corn and buffalo meat in Quivira for his long return journey.
Coronado's Opinion of the West. A year later a crestfallen army of half-starved men clad in the skins of animals stumbled back homeward through Mexico in straggling groups. Great sadness prevailed in Mexico, for many had lost their fortunes besides friends and relatives in the enterprise. Coronado seemed to the people of the time to have led a costly army on a wild-goose chase. He himself thought that the regions he had crossed were valueless. He said they were cold and too far away from the sea to furnish a good site for a colony, and the country was neither rich enough nor populous enough to make it worth keeping.
Results of Coronado's Explorations. We know better to-day the value of Coronado's great discoveries. He had solved the age-long mystery of the Seven Cities, and explored the southwest of the United States of our day. The rich region now included in the great states of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas had been seen, and it was soon after described for the European world. His men had explored the Gulf of California to its head, and the Colorado River toward its source for two hundred miles. They had proved that lower California was not an island but a part of the mainland. Others soon explored the entire coast of California to the limits of the present state of Oregon.
How De Soto and Coronado came near meeting. De Soto and Coronado together pushed the Spanish frontier far northward to the center of North America. A story which was told by De Soto's men shows how close together the two great explorers were at one time. While Coronado was in Quivira, De Soto was wandering along the borders of the plains west of the Mississippi River, though neither knew of the nearness of the other. An Indian woman who ran away from Coronado's army fell in with De Soto's, nine days later. If De Soto and Coronado had met on the plains there would have been a finer story to tell, almost as dramatic as the meeting of Stanley and Livingstone in central Africa. One cannot refrain from wondering how different would have been the ending with the two great armies united and encouraged to continue their explorations.
RIVALRY AND STRIFE IN EUROPE
The Rivals of Spain. When the early voyages to America and Asia were ended, the French, the English, and the other northern peoples of Europe seemed to be beaten in the race for new lands and for new routes to old lands. The French had sent a few fishermen to the Banks of Newfoundland, and that was all. The English had made one or two voyages and appeared to be no longer interested. (See 166.gif, Cabot) The Dutch seemed to be only sturdy fishermen, thrifty farmers, or keen traders, occupied much of the time in the struggle against the North Sea, which threatened to burst the dikes and flood farms and cities.
The Trade-Winds. The Portuguese and the Spaniards had a great advantage in living nearer the natural starting-point for such voyages. To go to Asia ships went by way of the Cape of Good Hope. To go to America a southern route was taken, for in the North Atlantic the prevailing winds are from the southwest, while south of Spain the trade-winds blow towards the southwest, making it easy to sail to America. To take the northern route, which was the natural one for French and English sailors, would be to battle against head winds and heavy seas.
The Spaniards and the Portuguese divide the World. The Spaniards and the Portuguese believed that their discoveries gave them the right to all new lands which should be found and to all trade by sea with the Golden East. Two years after the first voyage of Columbus the Spaniards agreed with the Portuguese that a line running 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands should separate the regions claimed by each. The Spaniards were to hold all lands discovered west of that line, and the Portuguese all east of it. This left Brazil within the region claimed by the Portuguese. The rest of North and South America lay within the Spanish claims. It is the future history of this region that especially interests us as students of American history.
The Main Question. Were the Spaniards to keep what they claimed and continue to outstrip their northern rivals? The answer to this question is found in the history of Europe during the sixteenth century. Unfortunately for the Spaniards they were drawn into quarrels in Europe which cost them many men and much money. The consequence was that they were unable to make full use of their discoveries, even if they had known how. Before the century was ended their rivals, the English and the French, were stronger than they; and the Dutch, their own subjects, had rebelled against them.
The English and the French desire a Share. Men had such great ideas of the immense wealth of the Indies that the successes of one nation made the other nations eager for some part of the spoil. Englishmen and Frenchmen were not likely to allow the Portuguese to take all they could find by sailing eastward around the Cape of Good Hope, and the Spaniards to keep whatever they discovered by sailing directly westward or by following the route marked out by Magellan. Both would search for new routes to the East, and both would lay claim to lands they saw by the way, regardless of any other nation. Many quarrels came from this rivalry, but quarrels arose also from other causes.
King Charles and King Francis. About the time Cortés conquered Mexico, his master, King Charles of Spain, began a war against Francis, the king of France. As long as these two kings lived they were either fighting or preparing to fight. Had Charles been king of Spain only, there might have been no trouble, but he ruled lands in Italy and claimed others which the French king ruled. He also ruled all the region north of France which is now Belgium and Holland, and he owned a district which forms part of eastern France near Switzerland. As he was the German emperor besides, the French king thought him too dangerous to be left in peace. These wars have little to do with American history, except that they helped to weaken the king of Spain and to prevent the Spaniards from making the most of their early successes in colonizing.
Religion a Cause of Strife. Religion was the most serious cause of quarrel in the sixteenth century, and the king of Spain was the prince most injured by the struggle. At the time of Prince Henry of Portugal and of Columbus all peoples in western Europe worshiped in the same manner, taught their children the same beliefs, and in religious matters they all obeyed the pope. But by 1521 this had changed. The troubles began in Germany when Charles V was emperor. Before they were over Philip II, son of Charles, lost control of the Dutch, who rebelled and founded a republic of their own. The English finally became the principal enemies of Spain. The French, most of whom were of the same religion as the Spaniards, came to hate Spanish methods of defending religion, especially after the Spaniards had massacred a band of French settlers in America.
The "Reformers." Many men became discontented at the way the Church was managed. At first all were agreed that the evils of which they complained could be removed if priests, bishops, and pope worked together to that end. After a while some teachers in different countries not only complained of evils, but refused to believe as the Church had taught and as most people still believed. They did not mean to divide the Christian Church into several churches, but they thought they understood the words of the Bible better than the teachers of the Church.
The Reformation. At that time people who were not agreed in their religious beliefs did not live peaceably in the same countries. The princes and kings who were faithful to the Church ordered that the new teachers and their followers should be punished. Other princes accepted the views of the "reformers," and soon began to punish those of their subjects who continued to believe as the Church taught. In Germany these princes were called "Protestants," because they protested against the efforts of the Emperor Charles and his advisers to stop the spread of the new religion. This name was afterwards given to all who refused to remain in the older Church, subject to the bishops and the pope.
Catholic and Protestant Leaders. The most famous leaders of the Roman Catholics at this time were Ignatius Loyola, a Spaniard, Reginald Pole, an Englishman, and Carlo Borromeo, an Italian. Loyola had been a soldier in his youth, but while recovering from a serious wound, resolved to be a missionary. With several other young men of the same purpose he founded the Society of Jesus or the Jesuit Order. Of the Protestants the greatest leaders were Martin Luther, a German, and John Calvin, a Frenchman. Luther was a professor in the university at Wittenberg in Saxony, which was ruled by the Elector Frederick the Wise. Calvin had lived as a student in Paris, but when King Francis resolved to allow no Protestants in his kingdom, Calvin was obliged to leave the country. He settled in the Swiss city of Geneva.
The Lutheran Church. Luther's teachings were accepted by many Germans, especially in northern Germany. He translated the Bible into German. After a while his followers formed a Church of their own which was called Lutheran. It differed from the Roman Catholic Church in the way it was governed as well as in what it taught.
The French Huguenots. Calvin lived in Geneva, but most of those who accepted his teachings continued to live in France. The nickname Huguenots, or confederates, was given to them. They were not permitted by the French king to worship as Calvin taught, but by 1562 so many nobles had joined them that it was no longer possible to treat them as criminals. They were permitted to hold their meetings outside the walled towns. The leader whom they most honored was Admiral Gaspard de Coligny. Both he and they, as we shall see, soon had reason to fear and hate the Spaniards. But we must first understand the difficulties which the king of Spain had in dealing with his Dutch subjects.
The King of Spain and the Netherlands. Philip II inherited from his father Charles seventeen duchies, counties, and other districts north of France in what is now Belgium and Holland. Charles had known how to manage these people, because he was brought up among them. The task of managing them was not easy. Each district or city had its own special rights and its people demanded that these should be respected by the ruling prince. Charles had remembered this, but Philip wished to rule the Netherlanders, as these people were called, just as he ruled the people of Spain.
Protestants in the Netherlands. The trouble was made worse because many of the Netherlanders became followers of Luther or Calvin, and brought their books into the country. Now Philip, like his father Charles, was faithful to the teachings of the Church, and thought it was his duty to punish such persons. The result was that Philip soon had two kinds of enemies in his Netherland provinces, those who did not like the way he ruled and those who refused to believe as the Church taught, and the two united against him. After a while most of the Lutherans were driven away, but the Calvinists kept coming in over the border from France.
The Netherlands. The Netherlands, or Low Countries, are well named, especially the northern part where the Dutch live, because much of the land is below the level of the sea at high tide, and some of it at low tide. For several hundred years the Dutch built dikes to keep back the sea, or pumped it out where it flowed in and covered the lower lands. Occasionally great storms broke through the dikes and caused the Dutch months or years of labor. A people so brave and industrious were not likely to submit to the will of Philip II. The chances that they would rebel were increased by the spread of the new religious views, which the Dutch accepted more readily than their neighbors, the southern Netherlanders. The southern Netherlanders who became Calvinists generally emigrated to the northern cities, like Amsterdam, where they were safer.
William of Orange. William, Prince of Orange, was the leader of the Dutch against Philip II. He had been trusted by Charles, Philip's father, who had leaned on his shoulder at the great ceremony held in Brussels when Charles gave up his throne to Philip. William was called the "Silent," because he was careful not to tell his plans to any except his nearest friends. When Philip returned to Spain, William was made governor or stadtholder of three of the Dutch provinces--Holland, Zealand, and Utrecht. Philip was angry because William and other great nobles in the Netherlands opposed his way of dealing with the heretics and of ruling the Netherlands. In this both the southern Netherlanders and the northern Netherlanders were united, although the southern Netherlanders remained faithful to the Roman Catholic religion.
Spain and England. The English at first had no reason to quarrel with the king of Spain. They were friendly to the Netherlanders, who were his subjects. During the Middle Ages they sold great quantities of wool to the Netherland cities of Bruges, Brussels, and Ghent, and bought fine cloth woven in those towns. The friendship of the ruler of the Netherlands seemed necessary, if this trade was to prosper. It was the trouble about religion which finally made the English and the Spaniards enemies.
Henry VIII. During the reign of Henry VIII, King of England, the king, the parliament, and the clergy decided to refuse obedience to the pope. The king called himself the head of the Church in England. Lutheran views crept into the country as they had done into the Netherlands, but King Henry at first disliked the Lutherans quite as much as he grew to dislike the pope.
The English Church. So long as Henry lived not much change was made in the beliefs or the manner of worship in the Church. During the short reign of his son, the English Church became more like the Protestant Churches on the Continent, except that in England there were still archbishops and bishops, and the government of the Church went on much as before. When Henry's daughter Mary was made queen she tried to stop these changes, and for a few years her subjects were again obedient to the pope, but she died in 1558 and her half-sister, Elizabeth, became queen.
The English Church and the Catholics. In religious matters Queen Elizabeth did much as her father and her brother had done. All persons were forced to attend the religious services carried on in the manner ordered in the prayer-book. Roman Catholics could not hold any government office. They were punished if they tried to persuade others to remain faithful to the older Church. Philip did not like this, but for a time he preferred to be on friendly terms with the English.
Queen Elizabeth. Queen Elizabeth ruled England for forty-five years. The English regard her reign as the most glorious in their history. Before it was over they proved themselves more than a match for the Spaniards on the sea. They also began to seek for routes to the East and to attempt settlements in America. Their trade was increasing. The Greek and Roman writers were studied by English scholars at Oxford and Cambridge. Books and poems and plays were written which were to make the English language the rival of the languages of Greece and Rome. This was the time when Shakespeare wrote his first plays.
FIRST FRENCH ATTEMPTS TO SETTLE AMERICA
Cartier. During the reign of Francis I, the French made the first serious attempts to find a westward route to the Far East and to settle the new lands that seemed to lie directly across the pathway. In 1534 Jacques Cartier was sent with two ships in search of a strait beyond the regions controlled by Spain or Portugal which would lead into the Pacific Ocean. Cartier passed around the northern side of Newfoundland and into the broad expanse of water west of it. This he called the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Cartier at Montreal. Cartier made a second voyage in the following year, exploring the great river which he called the St. Lawrence. He went up the river until the heights of Mount Royal or Montreal, as he called them, appeared on his right hand, and swift rapids in the river blocked his way in front. The name Lachine rapids, or the China rapids, which was afterwards given to these, remains to remind us that Cartier was searching for a passage to China.
The First Winter in Canada. Cartier spent the severe winter which followed at the foot of the cliffs which mark the site of the modern city of Quebec. The expedition returned to France with the coming of spring.
Attempts to plant a Colony at Quebec. Several years later, in 1541, Cartier and others attempted to establish a permanent settlement on the St. Lawrence. As it was hard to get good colonists to settle in the cold climate so far north, the leaders were allowed to ransack the prisons for debtors and criminals to make up the necessary numbers. They selected the neighborhood of the cliffs where Cartier had wintered in 1535, where Quebec now stands, as the most suitable place for their colony. But the settlers were ill-fitted for the hardships of a new settlement in so cold and barren a country. Diseases and the hostility of the Indians completely discouraged them, and all gladly returned to France.
The zeal of the French for American discovery and settlement on the St. Lawrence ceased with Cartier. His hope that the St. Lawrence would prove the long-sought passage to China had to be given up, but the river which he had discovered and so thoroughly explored proved to be a great highway into the center of North America.
Coligny's Plan for a Huguenot Colony. Nearly thirty years later the French Protestant leader, Coligny, formed the plan of establishing a colony in America, which would be a refuge for the Huguenots if their enemies got the upper hand in France. An expedition left France in 1564, and selected a site for a settlement near the mouth of the St. Johns river in Florida. It seemed a good place. A fort, called Fort Caroline, was quickly built. But the first colonists were not well chosen. They were chiefly younger nobles, soldiers unused to labor, or discontented tradesmen and artisans. There were few farmers among them.
The Misdeeds of the Colonists. They spent their time visiting distant Indian tribes in a vain search for gold and silver, or plundering Spanish villages and ships in the West Indies. No one thought of preparing the soil and planting seeds for a food supply. It seemed easier to rob neighbors. The provisions which they had brought with them gave out. Game and fish abounded in the woods and rivers about them, but they were without skill in hunting and fishing. Before the first year had passed the miserable inhabitants of Fort Caroline were reduced to digging roots in the forest for food. Starvation and the revenge of angry Indians confronted them.
Relief sent to the Colony. In August, 1565, just as the half-starved colonists were preparing to leave the country, an expedition with fresh settlers--mostly discharged soldiers, a few young nobles, and some mechanics with their families, three hundred in all--arrived in the harbor. It brought an abundance of supplies and other things needed by a colony in a new country. It looked then as though these Frenchmen would succeed in their plan and establish a permanent colony in America.
Fort Caroline and the Spaniards. The French had, however, settled in Florida. Indeed, it would have been difficult to settle in America at any place along the Atlantic coast without doing so. The Spaniards regarded all North America from Mexico to Labrador as lying within Florida. The attempt of the French to settle on the lands claimed by the king of Spain was sure to bring on a war, sooner or later. The conduct of the French at Fort Caroline in plundering the Spanish colonies in the West Indies made all Spaniards anxious to drive out such a nest of robbers and murderers. Besides, the Spaniards hated Coligny's followers more than ordinary Frenchmen, because they were Huguenots.
Menendez. At the time the news reached Spain of Coligny's settlement at Fort Caroline, a Spanish nobleman, Pedro Menendez, was preparing to establish a colony in Florida, and thus after a long delay carry out the task which De Soto had vainly attempted. Menendez was naturally as eager as the king to drive out the French intruders. So an expedition larger than was planned at first was hurried off. Menendez was to do three things: drive the French out, conquer and Christianize the Indians, and establish Spanish settlements in Florida.
The Defeat of the French Fleet. Menendez with a part of his fleet arrived before Fort Caroline just one week after the relief expedition which Coligny had sent over came into harbor. His ships attacked and scattered those of the French. The vessels of the French for the most part sought refuge on the high seas. They were too swift to be overtaken, but no match for the Spanish in battle. Menendez decided to wait for the rest of his ships before making another attack on Fort Caroline. Meanwhile he sailed southward along the coast for fifty miles till he came to an inlet. He called the place St. Augustine.
St. Augustine founded. A friendly Indian chief readily gave his dwelling to the Spaniards. It was a huge, barn-like structure, made of the entire trunks of trees, and thatched with palmetto leaves. Soldiers quickly dug a ditch around it and threw up a breastwork of earth and small sticks. The colonists who came with Menendez landed and set about the usual work of founding a settlement. Such was the beginning of the Spanish town of St. Augustine, founded in 1565, and the oldest town in the United States.
French sail to attack St. Augustine. Both sides prepared for a terrible struggle, the French at Fort Caroline and the Spaniards in their new quarters at St. Augustine. The French struck the first blow. A few of the weaker and the sick soldiers were left at Fort Caroline to stand guard with the women and children. The main body aboard the ships advanced by sea to attack St. Augustine, but a furious tempest scattered and wrecked the French fleet before it arrived.
Menendez destroys Fort Caroline. Menendez now took advantage of the storm to march overland to Fort Caroline, wading through swamps and fording streams amid a fearful rain and gale. His drenched and hungry followers fell like wild beasts upon the few French left in the fort. About fifty of the women and children were spared to become captives. As many men escaped in the forests around the fort, but the greater part were killed.
Capture of the shipwrecked French. The French fleet had been wrecked off the coast of Florida a dozen miles south of St. Augustine. A few days later Menendez discovered some survivors wandering along the coast, half starved, trying to live on the shell-fish they found on the beach, and slowly and painfully working their way back toward Fort Caroline. The Frenchmen begged Menendez to be allowed to remain in the country till ships could be sent to take them off, but he was unwilling to make any terms with them.
Murder of the Captives. The unhappy Frenchmen were taken prisoners, and, a few hours later, put to death. Other shipwrecked refugees were captured a few days later, and these suffered the same fate. Nearly three hundred perished in this cold-blooded manner. It was a merciless deed, and yet such was the character of all warfare at the time. Menendez believed that he was doing his duty. Nor did the king of Spain think Menendez unduly cruel, for when he heard the story of the fate of the Frenchmen of Fort Caroline he sent this message to Menendez: "Say to him that, as to those he has killed, he has done well; and as to those he has saved, they shall be sent to the galleys."
THE ENGLISH AND THE DUTCH TRIUMPH OVER SPAIN
Cruel Treatment of the Netherlanders. Two years after the cruel massacre of the Huguenot colony in Florida, Philip II, the King of Spain, decided to put an end to the obstinacy of the Netherlanders, and sent an army from Spain commanded by the Duke of Alva, who was as pitiless as Menendez. Alva began by seizing prominent nobles, and he would have arrested the Prince of Orange, but he escaped into Germany. A court was set up which condemned many persons to death, including the greatest nobles of the land. The people nicknamed it the Council of Blood. Alva also turned the merchants against him by compelling them to pay the "tenth penny," that is, one tenth of the price of the goods every time these were either bought or sold. Alva made himself so thoroughly hated that even Philip decided to call him back to Spain.
The Beggars of the Sea. Just then something happened which gave Coligny and the Huguenots their chance for vengeance. The men who were resisting the king's officers in the Netherlands had been nicknamed the "Beggars." When they were driven from the cities they took to the sea. The "Beggars of the Sea" sometimes found a port of refuge in La Rochelle, a Huguenot town on the western coast of France, and sometimes they put into friendly English harbors. From these places they would sail out and attack Spanish vessels. When Queen Elizabeth in 1572 ordered a fleet of these "Beggars" to leave, they crossed over to their own shores and drove the Spanish garrison out of Brille. This success encouraged the Dutch and many of the southern Netherlanders to rise and expel the Spanish soldiers from their towns.
The French promise Aid. As soon as Coligny heard the news he urged the French king to send an army into the Netherlands and take vengeance not only for the massacre at Fort Caroline, but also for all the wrongs that he and his father and his grandfather had ever received at the hands of the Spaniards. The French king agreed and wrote a letter to the Netherlanders promising aid.
Massacre of Huguenots in Paris. The plan was never carried out. While Coligny and many other Huguenots were in Paris, his enemies attempted to kill him. When the attempt failed these enemies, including the king's mother, persuaded the king that Coligny and the Huguenots were plotting against him, and goaded the king into ordering the murder of all the Huguenots in Paris and the other cities of France. Thousands of Huguenots perished. When the Netherlanders heard of what had befallen Coligny and his followers, they were crushed with grief. Coligny had missed the chance of vengeance. But the Spanish king was soon to have other enemies besides the Huguenots who were ready to help the Dutch. These new enemies were the English.
The English drawn into the Conflict. The religious troubles in England had been growing more serious. Two or three plots were made to assassinate Elizabeth in order to put on the throne Queen Mary of Scotland, who was the next heir. Philip began to encourage these plotters, especially after the pope in 1570 had excommunicated Elizabeth and forbidden her subjects to obey her as queen. She was sure to be dragged into the struggle in the Netherlands sooner or later. We have seen that she had once sheltered the "Beggars of the Sea." The murder of Coligny and his followers frightened the English and made many of them anxious to join in the conflict before their friends on the Continent, the French Huguenots and the Dutch Calvinists, were utterly destroyed.
Growth of English Trade. If England should be drawn into war, her safety would depend mainly upon her ships. Englishmen had always taken to the sea, as was natural for men whose shores were washed by the Atlantic, the Channel and the North Sea, but they were slow in building fleets of ships either for trade or for war. The trade of the country with other peoples in the Middle Ages was carried on mostly by foreigners. Yet since the days of Elizabeth's father and grandfather a change had taken place. English merchants found their way to all markets. They also made new things to sell. Refugees driven by the religious troubles from France and the Netherlands brought their skill to England and taught the English how to weave fine woolens and silks.
The new English Navy. The English navy was growing. One of the new ships, The Triumph, carried 450 seamen, 50 gunners, and 200 soldiers. Besides harquebuses for the soldiers, there were many kinds of cannon with strange names, such as culverins, falconets, sakers, serpentines, and rabinets. Four of the cannon were large enough to shoot a cannon-ball eight inches in diameter. But it was on the skill and courage of her men rather than upon the size of her ships that England relied for victory.
Sir Francis Drake. One of these men was Francis Drake. He was son of a chaplain in the navy and as a boy played in the rigging of the great ships-of-war, as other boys play in the streets. In time young Drake was apprenticed to the skipper of a small trading vessel. Fortune smiled on the lad early in life. His master died, and out of love for the apprentice who had served him so well, left him the vessel. Francis Drake became thus a shipmaster on his own account, and in time the most popular of Queen Elizabeth's sea-captains.
Slave-Traders. He often went with his cousin, John Hawkins, on voyages to Africa. They bought negro slaves from slave-traders along the coast, or kidnaped negroes whom they found, and carried them to the Spanish planters of the West Indies. Hawkins and Drake were as devout and humane as other men of their time. They simply could not see any wrong in enslaving the heathen black men in Africa. Besides, they enjoyed the wild life of the slave-trader with its dangers and rich rewards.
Why Drake hated the Spaniards. The king of Spain tried to keep the trade in slaves for his own merchants, and attempted to prevent the trade of the English slavers with the West Indies. Spanish ships-of-war ruined one of the voyages from which Hawkins and Drake hoped for large profits. The Spaniards won thereby the undying hatred of Drake.
The Dragon of the Seas. It was a time, too, when Drake's countrymen at home shared his intense hatred of the Spaniard. While England and Spain were not at war with one another, English and Spanish traders fought whenever they met on the high seas. The English made the Spanish settlements in America their special prey. At certain times of the year Spanish ships, called government ships, carried to Spain gold and silver--the royal share of the products of America. Drake, like many another of his countrymen, lay in wait to rob these ships of their precious cargoes. He managed to gather a fortune by his cunning and courage. More than once he was forced to bury his treasures in the sand to lighten his ships that they might sail the faster, and escape his pursuers. The Spaniards came to know and to fear Drake as the Dragon of the Seas.
Drake's Venture. Drake once formed the plan to take a fleet into the Pacific Ocean in order to plunder the treasure ships where they would be less on their guard. A fleet of five ships was made ready. Contributions from wealthy merchants and powerful nobles, perhaps a gift from Queen Elizabeth herself, gave him the means for unusual luxuries in the equipment of his fleet. Skilful musicians and rich furniture were taken on board Drake's own ship, the Pelican, or the Golden Hind as he afterwards christened it. The brilliant little fleet left Plymouth in 1577. One after another of the ships turned back or was destroyed on the long voyage of twelve months across the Atlantic and through the Strait of Magellan.
Beyond the Strait of Magellan. The Golden Hind alone remained to carry out the original project. As it entered the Pacific Ocean a furious storm drove the little vessel southward beyond Cape Horn to the regions where the oceans meet. No one before had sailed so far south.
The first Prizes. Drake regained control of his ship when the storm had passed, and sailed northward along the coast, plundering and robbing as he went. Once, as a land-party was searching along the shore for fresh water, it came upon a Spaniard asleep with thirteen bars of silver beside him. His nap was disturbed long enough to take away his burden. Further on they met another Spaniard and an Indian boy driving a train of Peruvian sheep laden with eight hundred pounds of silver. The Englishmen took their place, and merrily drove the sheep to their boats. A treasure ship, nicknamed the Spitfire, on the way to Panama, was captured after a long chase of nearly eight hundred miles. Drake obtained from it unknown quantities of gold and silver. With such a rich load, his thoughts turned to the homeward voyage.
Drake's Voyage around the World. By this time a host of Spanish war-ships were on Drake's track. They expected to capture him on his return through the Strait of Magellan. Drake, now confronted with real danger, cunningly outwitted his enemies. He and many other Englishmen of his day were sure a passage would be found somewhere through North America between the Atlantic and the Pacific. Spanish, French, and English explorers had all carried on the search for this passage. Drake decided to return by such a route, if it were possible. He followed the coast of California, and probably passed that of Oregon and Washington as far as Vancouver.
When it grew colder and the coast turned to the westward, he gave up the search.
After making some needed repairs in a small harbor a few miles above the modern San Francisco, Drake set out boldly across the Pacific to return home, as Magellan's men had done before him, by going around the world. He touched at the Philippines, visited the Spice Islands, and slowly worked his way around the Cape of Good Hope. The Golden Hind, long since given up as lost, reached England in the fall of 1580, after nearly three years' absence. For a second time a ship had sailed around the world. Drake was the first Englishman to gain the honor.
Drake's Reward. Queen Elizabeth liked the story Drake told of outwitting and plundering Spaniards. Arrayed in her most gorgeous robes she visited his ship, where a banquet had been prepared. While Drake knelt at her feet she made him a knight. And so it was that the man whom the Spaniards called with good reason the Master Thief of the Seas, the English called by a new title, Sir Francis Drake, and praised as the greatest sea-captain of the age. His ship, the Golden Hind, was ordered to be preserved forever.
The Dutch Struggle against Spain. A few years after Drake returned the English took a deeper interest in the struggle between Philip and the Dutch. Although the Dutch had lost hope of help from the French Huguenots, they resisted Philip's generals more boldly than ever. The Spanish soldiers treated the towns which surrendered so savagely that the other towns decided it was better to die fighting than to yield. The siege of Leyden became famous because, after food had given out and the inhabitants were starving their friends cut the great dikes in order that the boats of the "Beggars of the Sea" loaded with provisions might be floated up to the very walls of the city. This unexpected flood also drove away the Spaniards. Fortunately after the rescue of the city a strong wind arose and drove back the waves so that the dikes could again be replaced.
The Death of William of Orange. King Philip had come to the conclusion that unless William of Orange were killed the Dutch could not be conquered, and so he put a price on Prince William's head, offering a large sum of money to any one who should kill him. The first attempts failed, but finally in 1584 he was shot.
Sir Philip Sidney. The murder of William alarmed the English for Elizabeth's life, especially as Philip had already aided men who were plotting against her. She sent an army into the Netherlands to aid the Dutch, although she had not made up her mind to attack Philip directly. The army did not give much help to the Dutch, but it is remembered because a noble English poet, Sir Philip Sidney, was mortally wounded in one of the battles. The story is told that while Sidney was riding back, tortured by his wound, he became very thirsty, as wounded men always do, and begged for a drink of water. Looking up when it was brought to him he saw on the ground a common soldier more sorely wounded than he. He immediately sent the water to the soldier saying, "Thy necessity is greater than mine."
The Invincible Armada. The king of Spain now decided that he could not subdue the Dutch until he had thoroughly punished the English. He even planned to put himself upon the English throne, claiming that he was the heir of one of the early kings of England. Months were spent in preparing a great fleet, an "Invincible Armada" which was to sail up the Channel, take on board the Spanish army in the Netherlands, and cross over to England. While these preparations were being made with Philip's usual care, Sir Francis Drake swooped down on Cadiz and burnt so much shipping and destroyed so many supplies that the voyage had to be postponed a year. This Drake called "singeing the king of Spain's beard."
The Armada in the Channel. It was July, 1588, before the "Invincible Armada" appeared off Plymouth in the English Channel. Many of the Spanish ships were larger than the English ships, but they were so clumsy that the English could outsail them and attack them from any direction they chose. Moreover, the Spaniards needed to fight close at hand in order that the soldiers armed with ordinary guns might join in the fray. The English kept out of range of these guns and used their heavy cannon.
Destruction of the Armada. With the English ships clinging to the flanks and rear of the Armada, the Spaniards moved heavily up the Channel. In the narrower waters between Dover and Calais the English attacked more fiercely, and sank several Spanish vessels. Soon the others were fleeing into the North Sea, driven by a furious gale. Many sought to reach Spain by sailing around Scotland and Ireland, and some of these ships were dashed on the rocky shores. Only a third of Philip's proud fleet returned to Spain.
Effect of the Defeat of the Armada on Spain. This was the last attempt Philip made to attack the English, because Spain had been exhausted in the effort to collect money and supplies for the Invincible Armada. The war dragged on for many years, and the English attacked and plundered Spanish vessels wherever they found them.
The Independence of the Dutch. The ruin of the Armada also meant that the Dutch would succeed in becoming independent of the Spanish king. Seven of the northern provinces had already formed a union and had begun to call themselves the United Netherlands. They were growing richer while their neighboring provinces on the south, which had decided to return to their allegiance to Spain, grew poorer.
First Voyage of the Dutch to the East. Even while the fight was going on the Dutch traded in places where Philip had not permitted them to trade while he could control them. One of these places was Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Here the Dutch obtained spices which the Portuguese brought from the East Indies. But in 1580 Philip seized Portugal, and the Dutch could no longer go to Lisbon. This made them anxious to find their way to the East. In 1595 the first fleet set out. This voyage was unsuccessful, but other fleets followed, until soon the Dutch had almost driven the Portuguese, now subjects of the king of Spain, from the Spice Islands. Soon also Dutch sailors ventured across the Atlantic to the shores of America.
THE ENGLISH PEOPLE ATTEMPT TO SETTLE AMERICA
English Interest in America Awakened. Voyages like those made by Sir Francis Drake awakened a desire throughout England to learn more about the New World. Until this time even the great discoveries of Columbus and the Cabots had failed to stir the English people to take part in the exploration and settlement of the Americas. The principal reason was because their attention was occupied by the struggle between their monarchs and the popes to decide whether king or pope should govern the English Church. This continued until Queen Elizabeth had been on the throne some years.
Other sea-captains, hearing of Drake's success, now turned their ships toward the Americas. Many went to the West Indies, as he had done, mainly to seize the rich plunder to be found on board the ships of Spain bound homeward. Some of them explored the coast of North America, hoping to find valuable regions that had not fallen into the possession of the Spaniards.
The Northwest Passage. Martin Frobisher made three voyages, the last in 1578, in search of a passage through North America to China. He entered the bay which bears his name, and the strait which was later called after Hudson, but failed to find a passage. Drake attempted to find the western entrance to such a passage in 1579 as a short cut homeward when he tried to avoid his Spanish pursuers.
Gilbert. A grander scheme was planned by Humphrey Gilbert. He wished to build up another England across the sea, just as the people of Spain were building up another Spain. He planned to do this by establishing farms to which he and others might send laborers who could not find work at home. Queen Elizabeth liked this plan, and to encourage him, and to repay him for the expense of carrying the emigrants over, she promised him the land for six hundred miles on each side of his settlements.
Failure of Gilbert's Expedition. Gilbert tried twice to plant a colony in the neighborhood of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Sir Walter Raleigh, his half-brother, was one of his captains in the expedition of 1578. He would have been in the disastrous second attempt in 1583 had not Queen Elizabeth, full of forebodings of danger to her favorite, refused to let him go. As it was he sent a ship at his own cost. Gilbert took a large supply of hobby-horses and other toys with which to please the savages. Mishap, desertion, and shipwreck pursued the luckless commander.
The second expedition left Plymouth with five vessels in 1583. The ship that Raleigh sent, the best in the fleet, deserted before they were out of sight of England. One was left in Newfoundland. The wreck of the largest ship, with most of the provisions, off Cape Breton, so discouraged the crews that they prevailed upon Gilbert to abandon the plan to settle on such barren and stormy shores, Gilbert attempted to return on the Squirrel, the smaller of the two remaining vessels. This was a tiny vessel of scarcely ten tons burden. What was left of the little fleet voyaged homeward by the southern way, and ran into a fearful storm as it approached the Azores.
Although Gilbert was urged to go aboard the larger vessel, he refused to desert his companions, with whom he had passed through so many storms and perils, and tried to calm the fears of all by his reply, "Do not fear, Heaven is as near by water as by land." One night the Squirrel suddenly sank. All on board were lost. Such was the sad ending of the first efforts to establish an English colony in North America.
Raleigh Sir Walter Raleigh took up the interesting plan which his kinsman, Gilbert, had at heart. Raleigh was now at the height of his favor with Queen Elizabeth. She had made him wealthy, especially by the gift of large estates which she had taken from others. She readily promised him the same privileges in America which she had offered to Gilbert. Raleigh doubtless thought that he might increase his fortune and win glory for himself and for his country by planting English colonies in the New World. No man of the age was better fitted for the undertaking. He had shown himself a fearless soldier and an able commander in the war against Spain in the Netherlands. He had fortune, skill, and powerful friends. Like Gilbert, he was a friend of poets and scholars and a student of books; like Drake, he was a natural leader of men.
Virginia. Raleigh began in 1584 by sending an expedition to explore the coast for a suitable site for a colony. His men sailed by way of the Canaries, and came upon North America in the neighborhood of Pamlico Sound, avoiding the stormy route directly across the Atlantic which Gilbert had followed. They found, therefore, instead of the bleak shore of Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island, the genial climate of North Carolina and Virginia.
They carried home glowing reports of the country. They were particularly pleased with an island in Pamlico Sound called by the Indians Roanoke Island. They noted with wonder the overhanging grape-vines loaded with fruit, the fine cedar trees which seemed to them the highest and reddest in the world, the great flocks of noisy white cranes, and the numberless deer in the forests. The Indians appeared gentle and friendly, Elizabeth was so pleased with the accounts of the country that she allowed it to be called Virginia after herself, the Virgin Queen, and made Raleigh a knight.
The first English Colonists. Raleigh made several attempts to plant a colony in Virginia. The most famous one was led by John White in 1587. White had visited Virginia on an earlier voyage, and painted more than seventy pictures of Indian life, representing their dress and their manner of living. These may still be seen in the British Museum in London. His interest in the country and its Indian population made his appointment as governor seem a wise choice. Care was taken in the selection of colonists in order to secure farmers rather than gold-seekers. Twenty-five women and children were included in the colony of about one hundred and fifty persons.
Roanoke. White and his followers settled on Roanoke Island. They found that the fort, which one of Raleigh's officers had built some years earlier, was leveled to the ground. Several huts were still standing, but they were falling to pieces. The first task was to rebuild the huts and move into them from their ships. A baby girl was born a few days after the landing, the first child born of English parents in the New World. Her father, Ananias Dare, was one of White's councilors; her mother, Eleanor Dare, was the daughter of Governor White. The baby was given the name Virginia, the name of the country which was to be her home.
The Colonists in Danger. The little colony must have foreseen the hostility of the Indians and a scarcity of food, for before Governor White had been in America two months, he was sent back to England to obtain more provisions, White, from his own account, did not wish to leave his daughter and granddaughter.
White's Search for Aid. White returned to England in the fall of 1587 at the wrong moment to ask for aid. All England was alarmed by the rumor that a great Spanish fleet was about to land an invading army. The friends of Virginia in England were too busy protecting their own homes from the invader to give heed to the needs of the farmer colonists across the sea. White traveled through England, seeking aid for his friends and family, but was disappointed everywhere.
Why Raleigh gave no Help. Raleigh had by no means forgotten his colonists, but his queen and his country had the first claim on him through the long war with Spain. Twice during this period, he found time and means to prepare relief expeditions for Virginia. The queen stopped the first one just as it was ready to sail, because all the ships were needed at that moment for service in the war. A second expedition was attacked by the Spaniards and forced to return.
The lost Colony. White finally secured passage for himself on a fleet going to the West Indies, not with a fleet and relief supplies of his own, but as a passenger on another man's ship. It was the summer of 1591 when he arrived at Roanoke, four years after his departure. The colonists were not to be found. Their houses were torn down. The chests which they had evidently buried in order to hide them from the Indians had been dug up and ransacked of everything of value. White's own papers which he had left behind were strewn about. His pictures and maps were torn and rotten with the rain. His armor was almost eaten through with rust.
One trace of the fate of the settlers was left. The large letters CROATOAN were carved on a tree near the entrance to the old fort. White recalled the agreement made when he left four years before. If the colonists should find it necessary to leave Roanoke, they were to carve on a tree the name of the place to which they were going. If they were in danger or distress when they left, they were to carve a cross over the name of the place. White found no cross. The word Croatoan was the name of a small island lying south of Cape Hatteras, where Indians lived who were known to be friendly. White believed his friends to be safe among the Indians at Croatoan, but he could not go farther in search for them because the captains of the ships which brought him over refused to delay longer. They gave many excuses, but were evidently more eager to attack the Spaniards than to find a few luckless emigrants.
The fate of Raleigh's colony is one of the puzzles of history. It is believed that they took refuge with friendly Indians, and lived with them until they lost their lives in war or had adopted the ways of their protectors.
Value of the Efforts of the English and the French. Raleigh had failed to carry out his great plan to plant a new England in America, but he had awakened in his countrymen an interest in America, and made known the advantages of its soil and climate. The French had apparently made no greater headway. Cartier's colony on the St. Lawrence had broken up, and the Spaniards had driven the French colony from Florida. The history of Coligny's colony at Fort Caroline, Cartier's at Quebec, Gilbert's on the coast of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Raleigh's at Roanoke, had shown how useless were attempts to settle in America which were not strongly supported by friends or by the home government. These attempts to plant colonies in America were not, however, as bad failures as they appeared. Both nations had learned much about the country and about the preparations needed for permanent settlements.
What the Spanish had accomplished. In 1600 Spain seemed to have achieved much more than either of her rivals. The map of that time shows Spain in possession of vast territories in North and South America. The English had a small tract, Virginia, in which they had some interest but no colonists. The French regarded the St. Lawrence valley as theirs by right of discovery, but they could point to no settlements to clinch that claim.
The Spaniards, on the other hand, counted more than two hundred cities and towns which they had planted in their territories. About two hundred thousand Spaniards, farmers, miners, traders, soldiers, and nobles, had either migrated from Spain to America or had been born there of emigrants since Columbus's discovery. Five million Indians had come under their rule, and most of them were living as civilized men, and called themselves Christians. One hundred and forty thousand negro slaves had been carried from Africa to the plantations and mines in Spanish America.
The City of Mexico, the largest in all America, was much like the cities of Spain. Well-built houses of wood, stone, and mason-work abounded. Churches, monasteries, a university, higher schools for boys and girls, four hospitals, of which one was for Indians, and public buildings, similar to those in the cities of old Spain, already existed. Spanish life and Spanish culture had spread over a large area in the New World, and the most remarkable fact was that the Old World civilization had been bestowed on the Indian population. As Roman culture went into Spain and Gaul, so Spanish culture went into a New Spain in a new world.
The Prospects of the Spanish Colonies. But the outlook for Spain in America was not wholly bright. Her struggle with her Dutch subjects and the war with England, which grew out of that quarrel, left her completely worn out. She no longer had the people to spare for American settlements. These ceased to grow as they once had. Negroes and Indians outnumbered the Spaniards in most of them. The three races mingled together and intermarried until a new people, the Spanish American, differing in color and blood from either of the old races, was formed.
The later Story of Colonization. Spain's rivals--the Dutch, the English, and the French--were just reaching the height of their power. They had settled their most serious religious differences. Their merchants were eagerly looking about for commercial opportunities. A considerable population in each of them, but more especially in England, was discontented and ready to try its fortunes in a new world. The Spaniards had passed by the best parts of North America as worthless. The people and the unoccupied land were both ready for the formation of colonies on a larger scale. In many ways a greater story of American colonization remains to be told. This will be the story of the Dutch, the French, and the English colonization of North America.
REFERENCES FOR TEACHERS
The following references are given in the hope that they will be helpful to the teacher. The list is by no means exhaustive, but enough are given so that one or more books for each subject should be found in any fairly equipped school or public library. Some of these books may be assigned to the brighter or more ambitious members of the class for home readings. Extracts from others may be read to the class directly. Still others will furnish the teacher a variety of stories or fuller statements of fact upon matters treated briefly in the text. A Bibliography of History for Schools and Libraries by Andrews, Gambrill and Tail (Longmans, 1911), will give many more references and further information regarding those that are given here.