THE emigration of the Englishmen who settled at Plymouth had been prompted by religious dissent. In what manner Robinson, who was capable of speculating on political tendencies, or Brewster, whose early position had compelled him to observe them, had augured concerning the prospect of public affairs in their native country, no record tells; while the rustics of the Scrooby congregation, who fled from a government which denied them liberty in their devotions, could have had but little knowledge, and no agency, in the political sphere. The case was widely different with the founders of the Colony of Massachusetts Bay. That settlement had its rise in a state of things in England which associated religion and politics in an intimate alliance.
The decline of the military system of the Middle Ages had brought about a necessity for new political organizations. The power of the great feudatories ceaslag to be the controlling element in affairs, the monarchical and popular principles were to confront each other in open field. France took the lead among the states of Western Europe in bringing to a settlement the question, which of the two opposing forces was to prevail. When the necessities of the invasion from England excused Charles the Seventh for establishing "the first standing army in modern Europe,"1 they enabled him to found a despotism. In Spain, whose constitutions were more popular
Rise of the conflict between arbitrary and popular principles.