ENGLAND'S FIRST LOOK
IN the early spring of 1476 the Italian Giovanni Caboto, who, like Christopher Columbus, was a seafaring citizen of Genoa, transferred his allegiance to Venice.
The Roman Empire had fallen a thousand years before. Rome now held temporal sway only over the States of the Church, which were weak in armed force, even when compared with the small republics, dukedoms, and principalities which lay north and south. But Papal Rome, as the head and heart of a spiritual empire, was still a world-power; and the disunited Italian states were first in the commercial enterprise of the age as well as in the glories of the Renaissance. North of the Papal domain, which cut the penin-