The Spanish Dependencies in South America: An Introduction to the History of Their Civilisation - Vol. 1

The Spanish Dependencies in South America: An Introduction to the History of Their Civilisation - Vol. 1

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The Spanish Dependencies in South America: An Introduction to the History of Their Civilisation - Vol. 1

The Spanish Dependencies in South America: An Introduction to the History of Their Civilisation - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The constitutional governments of the Spanish kingdoms were early superseded by the rule of kings who neglected the Cortes and resorted to the devices of absolute monarchs. But the absolutism of the Spanish kings differed from the arbitrary power exercised by the rulers of other European states in this period. In England, Denmark, Sweden, and the German kingdoms, the movement towards absolutism came after the Protestant Revolution had weakened the authority of the Church in relation to the affairs of the State. 'But in Spain the movement fell within the years marked by the crusade against the Jews and the Moors, when the king and the priests were urged to action by a common motive, and when the aim of governmental activity was not determined by economic considerations, but by the desire to realise in Spain the designs of the Church, involving the unity of faith and the consolidation of ecclesiastical power. The Spanish kings became, therefore, rather the champions of ecclesiasticism than the defenders of the temporal interests of the nation.

The long wars against the Mohammedans merged the interests of the Church in the interests of the Crown, and often made it impossible afterwards to discriminate between the civil and the ecclesiastical functions. These wars also kept alive the fanatical zeal of the nation, and gave an ecclesiastical colouring to all great public undertakings. In this view it is significant that the discovery of America was contemporaneous with the fall of Granada. The discovery of a new world occupied by a non-Christian . . .

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