The next breach in the League’s structure was made by Germans-. In October 1933 Hitler withdrew from the League On March 16, 1935, he denounced the clauses of the Treaty of Versailles that limited German armaments and began openly rebuilding the German armed forces.
The next revolutionary wave, that of 1830, swept first over France. King Louis XVIII (r. 1814-1824) would have preferred to be an absolute ruler, but he knew that returning to the Old Regime was impractical, especially since he was declining in health and suffered from the additional political handicap of having been imposed on the French by their enemies.
In England, the Reformation arose from the desire of King Henry VIII (b. 1491; r. 1509-1547) to put aside his wife, Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536) because she had not given him a male heir. In 1533 Henry married Anne Boleyn (1507-1536), whom he had made pregnant; Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556), the archbishop of Canterbury, annulled the marriage with Catherine. When annulment invalid, Henry’s answer was the Act of Supremacy of 1534, which made the king supreme head of the church in England.
The Greeks are the first ancient civilization with which modern society feels an immediate affinity. We like to believe that they thought much as we do-that is, that they were rationalists, intensely curious about their environment, eager to acquire new knowledge and to use it to alter their condition. We recognize them as a reflective people, questioning the human condition, interested in the new, but respectful of the old. Their literature, one of the richest the world has seen, shows a feeling for history.
Russia, which did so much to determine the outcome of revolutions elsewhere, itself felt the revolutionary wave, but with diminished force. Liberal ideas continued to penetrate the country, spread by the secret societies that flourished in Russia after 1815.
On October 1 the first and only Legislative Assembly elected under the new constitution began deliberations. No one faction commanded a majority in the new Assembly, though the Center had the most seats. Since they occupied the lowest seats in the assembly hall, the deputies of the center received the derogatory nickname of the Plain or Marsh.
By the Treaty of Tordesillas Spain and Portugal had divided the world open to trade and empire along a line cut through the Atlantic, so that Brazil became Portuguese. This same line extended across the poles and cut the Pacific, so that some of the islands Magellan discovered came into the Spanish half. Spain conveniently treated the Philippines as if they, too, were in the Spanish half of the globe, though they were actually just outside it.
Besides tragic human losses from the war, Great Britain’s economic losses were grave. The national debt after the war was ten times that of 1914. Many British investments abroad had been liquidated to purchase food and war materials. Forty percent of the great British merchant fleet had been destroyed by enemy action.
The much admired and imitated French state, of which Versailles was the symbol and Louis XIV the embodiment, is also the best historical example of divine-right monarchy. Perhaps Louis never actually said, “Letat c’est moi” (I am the state), but the phrase clearly summarizes his convictions about his role. In theory, Louis was the representative of God on earth—or at least in France.
The revolutionary leaders of the post-Napoleonic generation remained firm for liberty, equality, and fraternity. The first two words of the great revolutionary motto continued to signify the abolition of noble and clerical privileges in society and, with few exceptions, laissez-faire economics. They also involved broadening civil rights, instituting representative assemblies, and granting constitutions, which would bring limited monarchy or possibly even a republic.