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laws were expressed; and, therefore, that man himself was the originator and founder of laws and institutions, and was their master, not their slave. Whilst, during the greater part of the eighteenth century, it was held that government existed for the security and prosperity of the governed, yet it was also held that it could not be, and ought not to be, administered by the people. But this latter notion was being denied ; and the French Revolution was the articulate declaration of the belief in the sovereignty of the people, i.e., government of the people, for the people, and by the people. It must be remembered that, throughout the century, the majority of the peasants of Europe were, in effect, absolute serfs. They were compelled to give so much time to working for their lords that they had to cultivate their own land by moonlight. They were not allowed to leave their villages, or marry, without their lord's consent; neither could any of them learn a trade without permission. They, therefore, were as the driest of dry tinder to the sparks of the intellectual revolution which fell upon them.

Speaking of the political theories which were then "in the air," Mr. Lecky writes: "The true causes of their mighty influence are to be found in the condition of society. Formerly they had been advocated with a view to special political exigencies, or to a single country, or to a single section of society. For the first time, in the eighteenth century, they penetrated to the masses of the people, stirred them to their lowest depths, and produced an upheaving that was scarcely less general than that of the Reformation" (Rationalism in Europe). Thus, though monarchs had never done so much, as during this period, in the way of important civil re


itself; thus the political rights were limited to only seventy-one families..

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"From the end of the fifteenth century it became the rule in Zurich and Bern to consult the peasantry and advise with them upon all important acts of government, such as the declaration of war, the conclusion of peace, alliances, taxes, etc. During the course of the sixteenth century, however, the idea gradually obtained that the authorities wielded the sword of protection and punishment in God's name, and that the divine law required obedience from subjects in all cases so [they] tried to destroy the influence of the people, more especially after an exclusive ruling faction had arisen within the cities themselves" (Dr. Karl Dändliker, A Short History of Switzerland). The result of this was that there were constant revolts of the peasants. Such risings, being of small bodies in different localities, were easily put down and the ringleaders severely punished. In 1653 the peasants made common cause with one another and rose in rebellion. This was known as the Peasants' War, and it ended in their complete overthrow.

During the seventeenth century considerable material progress took place. "Outwardly considered, the aristocracy developed an appearance of no inconsiderable prosperity, especially in administration. The general conditions and necessities of the time led to many useful institutions. . . In Bern, Zurich, Zug, Basel, and even in Soleure, Lucerne, Stanz, etc., public almshouses, hospitals, orphan asylums, improved houses of correction, etc., were established. The governments of Zurich, Bern, Basel and Zug made more extensive provision than formerly for scholastic institutions, scientific col

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