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tion in the event of an actual irruption of of the ideas prevailing respecting Constantibarbarians or infidels, as when Frederic II. nople, thirty years after the fall of the city. repulsed the Moguls, or Charles V. scared If the forces of France and Spain, instead of the Ottomans under the great Solyman; but contending in deadly struggles for the posfor aggressive enterprise in distant regions session of Italy, had been combined against they were no longer available. The writings a common enemy upon the Hellespont, it is of Æneas Sylvius—one of the earliest states- certainly possible that something might have men who surveyed the several Powers of Eu- been achieved. The great Gonzalvo did, inrope in connection with each other—give an deed, once appear upon the scene as an ally intelligible picture of the condition of affairs of the Venetians, and with an effect proporat this period. The fall of Constantinople tionate to his reputation. But in computing had excited some sympathies, but more sel- the chances of any such enterprise, it must fishness. A certain commiseration, quick- be remembered that the Turks had hitherto ened by the refugees dispersed over the achieved their conquests, not by mere force countries of the West, was felt for the exiled of numbers, like the Tartar hordes, but by Greeks ; but a far more lively sentiment was superiority of discipline, tactics, equipments, excited by the demonstrations of the trium- and science. In this respect, at least, they phant Ottoman against the Italian peninsula. were no barbarians. Their army was incomSo reasonable were the apprehensions on this parably the strongest in Europe, and espehead made to appear, that within twelve cially in those departments which indicate months of the capture of the city, war was the highest military excellence. For many actually declared against the new Empire of years afterward, their artillery and engineers the East in the Frankfort Diet; and, five surpassed those of the best appointed Euroyears later, it was formally resolved at the pean troops. These advantages would have Congress of Mantua, that 50,000 confeder- told with tenfold effect from such ramparts ate soldiers should be equipped for the ex- as those of Constantinople, while nothing, pulsion of the infidel, and the conclusive de- on the other hand, short of a recapture of liverance of Christendom. Neither of these the city, and a complete dislodgment of the designs, however, proceeded beyond the orig- intruders, could have effected the objects of inal menace; and the Turks were left in un- the Christian Powers. Above all, it should disputed possession of their noble spoil. be recollected, what was so clearly proved in
Between this turning point of Turkish des- the sequel, that these powers could not then tinies, and the new epoch to which we must be relied on for any steadiness of concert, or now direct our attention, there intervened a any integrity of purpose ; and that the reliperiod of great general interest, and of re- gious zeal of former days was certainly not markable importance to the Ottoman Em- now in sufficient strength to furnish an extrapire—but not inducing any material changes ordinary bond of union. The Turks were no in the relations of this Power with Western longer politically regarded as the common Europe. The avowed designs of Mahomet foes, either of the human race or the ChrisII. upon the capital of Christendom, illustra- tian name. Already had the ordinary transted as they were by his attitude on the Dan- actions of bargains and contracts become faube and his actual lodgment at Otranto, miliar between them and the Venetians ; dealwere not indeed without their influence, as ings of a more degrading kind had comprowas shown by the multitude of volunteers mised the Papal See, and the Ottoman arms who flocked to the standard of the intrepid had in various expeditions been repeatedly Hunniades. But when the idea of Ottoman aided by small Christian succors. It is relainvincibility had been corrected by the victo- ted, indeed, that high pay and liberal enries of the Allies at Belgrade, by the suc- couragement attracted recruits from all councessful defiance of Scanderbeg, and by the tries to the Turkish ranks; nor is there, we triumphant resistance of the Knights of believe, much reason to doubt that many an Rhodes, this restlessness soon subsided, and European Dalgetty was serving under the the course of events became presently such standard of the Prophet. The number of reneas to substitute new objects of concern in gade vizirs and pashas that have figured in the European counsels for the power and pro- | Turkish service is something extraordinary. gress of the Turks. Perhaps the wild and To these considerations must be added indefinite projects of Charles VIII., in that the fact, that during the seventy years thus gigantic national foray upon Italy which dis- interposed between the capture of Constanorganized the mediæval constitution of Eu- ti nople and the accession of the Great Soly. rope, may be taken as a fair representation man, the designs of Ottoman ambition had
been diverted from the North and West to, but others, of no inferior interest, remain yet the East and South—from the shores of the to be noticed. Adriatic and the Danube to the defiles of In the month of February, 1536, the naArmenia and the plains of Cairo. Though tions of Europe were scandalized--we may the supremacy of the Turks was, it is true, still employ the expression—with the intellisteadily supported on the scene of its recent gence that a treaty of amity and concord had triumphs, and even unusually signalized on been struck, between the Grand Seignior of the waters of the Archipelago, yet the chief the Turks and the first king of the Christian efforts of the two immediate successors of world! At an earlier period, Francis I. of Mahomet were concentrated upon the terri- France had not hesitated to enter into one of tories of Persia and Egypt. It does not en- those nominal leagues against the Turk, ter into our present plan to discuss the inter- which decency was still thought occasionally esting results with which these efforts were to dictate, and of which it was the immediate attended. We need only remark, that while interest of Charles V. to perpetuate the the overthrow of the Mameluke dynasty and spirit. But the ease and readiness with the conquest (in 1516) of the kingdom of which these considerations were now suborEgypt, compensated for the less productive dinated to the very first suggestions of pracinvasions of the Persian provinces, the two tical policy, furnish edifying matter of obserobjects together combined to divert the at- vation. The political system of European tention of the Sultans from Europe, and to States-that is to say, the system in pursususpend, for an interval, the apprehensions ance of which a reciprocal relationship is of Christendom. Looking back, therefore, established between the several members of for a moment from the point which we have the community for the preservation of a gennow attained, we can see that the first rise eral equilibrium—was then in process of forof the Ottoman power occurred at such a mation ; and a more curious example of its period and under such circumstances as to tendencies could hardly be given than this deprive the phenomenon of any great singu- which we are now attempting to represent, larity or terror ; that even the passage of the in which the single idea contained in the Turks into Europe, their appearance on the term “ balance of power” sufficed, first, to inDanube, and the permanent investment of troduce an infidel State into the company of Constantinople which virtually ensued, exer- Christian sovereigns; secondly, to bring aid cised no proportionate influence on the opin- and countenance to that State in its very ag. ions of Western Europe, wearied as it was gressions ; and, lastly, when the course of with crusades, and detached as it had long events had hastened the premature hour of practically been from any civil or religious its decline, to protect its weakness, to assert intercourse with the Greeks of the Lower its cause against even Christian adversaries, Empire ; and that the Ottoman invaders and to guarantee it, long, apparently, beyond thus finally stepped without material oppo- the proper term, in a political and national sition into an imperial inheritance,—which existence. supplied them opportunely and in full per- The system of which we have been speakfection with what they most needed for the ing, took its rise, or, at least, assumed its first consolidation of their conquests—a local habi- practical developments, from the rivalry be. tation and a recognized name among the tween France and Spain. The aggrandizePowers of Europe. But for the occupation ment and consolidation which each of these of Constantinople, the dominion of the Otto- kingdoms, though in an unequal degree, had mans might possibly have been little more recently attained, constituted them the two durable than the dominion of the Horde on '” of Christendom. The antagonism the Don. Lastly, we may remark, that the naturally ensuing between Powers thus situpower of resistance to further aggression de- ated, soon drew the other States of Europe veloped at Belgrade, and exemplified by the into its sphere of action. This rivalry had evacuation of Otranto, contributed, in con- been first exemplified in the Italian wars nection with the diversion of Turkish con- which followed upon the expedition of Charles quests to other quarters of the globe, to re- VIII., and it was continued entirely in the assure the kingdoms of the West; and to pre- spirit which that extraordinary enterprise pare the way for the eventual admission of had generated. The contested supremacy à Mahometan Power into the political com- was for many years conceived to be repremunity of Christian States. Some of the sented by the possession of Italy; and the earlier causes conducive to this remarkable innumerable permutations of alliances which consummation we have already pointed out; I had been witnessed in the wars referred to, suggested all the requisite ideas of State- | joyed by the Christian traffickers had been combinations. Whether it can be strictly judiciously confirmed and augmented. These said that, in these early transactions, regard antecedents were turned to account by Franwas really had to that equitable adjustment cis, who based upon them a proposal for a of power which became, subsequently, the general commercial treaty between France avowed object of similar struggles, may be and the Porte.* The instrument, it is true, reasonably doubted; but at all events, Euro- did not stipulate any alliance for offence or pean States now first began to group them- defence ; but the assurances of amity now selves about two centres; and both parties ostentatiously interchanged, were sufficiently anxiously cast about for means of circum- indicative of the point to which matters were scribing the resources of their adversary or tending; and within a few months, the cor enlarging their own. It was no more than a sair subjects of the Porte were actually let natural result of such a condition of things, loose upon the Neapolitan possessions of the that the causes which had hitherto operated Catholic king! in promoting hostilities or friendship between Such was the first formal recognition of States, should be superseded by more ab- the Ottoman dynasty of Constantinople. sorbing considerations of present policy; and Truces and treaties had, of course, been preit will be seen, accordingly, that though reviously concluded between the Porte and its ligious differences were still capable of origi- enemies ; but this was the earliest instance nating wars, yet no material obstacle was of an amicable and gratuitous alliance ; and found in diversity of creeds to the establish it is worth observing, that so early did it ocment of cordial and permanent alliances. In cur, as to make the admission of a Mahomethe Thirty Years' War, for instance, though tan Power into the community of Christian the dispute lay ostensibly between the Ro- States contemporaneous with the very first man Catholic and the Protestant constituen- and rudimentary combinations of these States cies of the Empire, yet the paramount object among each other. That it was considered of the aggressive belligerents was the depres- a step out of the common course of politics, sion of the House of Austria ; and in this and that it created, even in impartial quarters, good cause, the Popish troops of France, at some scandal, we can easily perceive; but not the instigation of a cardinal minister, fought more, perhaps, than had been occasioned by shoulder to shoulder with the parti-colored the previous overtures of the same unscruProtestants of Germany and Sweden. pulous monarch to the Protestants of Smal
It was in such a state of affairs and opin: cald. It is a significant indication, too, of the ion, that Francis I. turned his eyes toward temper of the times, that the treaty was nethe Porte. Solyman the Great, who in 1520 gotiated at Constantinople by a knight of St. had ascended the Turkish throne, had again John—and that it contained a special prodirected the Ottoman arms to European con- vision for the admission of the Pope to the quests and with a success surpassing the league ! boldest achievements of his victorious prede- Still, there was really, as we have said, cessors. But these events, which a century some scandal ; and it needed in fact a conbefore might have struck all Christian capi- currence of conditions to bring about so tals with indignation and alarm, were now strange an innovation as the political naturalonly looked upon as so many inducements to ization of the Turk among the States of a political alliance. Francis saw in Solyman, Christendom. Some of these conditions are not the conqueror of Rhodes and the would in the highest degree curious and interesting. be subjugator of Christendom, but the mon- In the first place, since the period when we arch of a mighty State availably situated for left the Ottomans on their way toward active diversion, and already at feud with his Egypt and Persia, the Reformation of relideadly enemy. That the Ottoman Sultan gion in Europe had been successfully carried should have invested Vienna, and openly ad- out. This mighty event exercised a twofold vanced pretensions to the supremacy claimed influence upon the relationship between the by Charles, were circumstances only addi- Christian Powers and the Papal See.
On tionally suggestive of the projected treaty. the one hand, by subtracting so many States His resolution was taken accordingly. There had long been certain relations of trade and amity between French merchants and the other countries was as usefully employed as that of
* What a benefit to History, if the National press of Mameluke Soldans of Egypt; and when France, in publications resembling the one, which we this country fell, as we have stated, under have placed at the head of our present Article. Is from the supremacy of the Pope, and weak-, which we have alluded, gave to its deportening, in direct proportion, his authoritative ment the genuine impress of barbaric pride. power, it dislocated and neutralized the in- The Emperor of the Ottomans carried him. fluence of that particular court, from which self as a sovereign immeasurably exalted all combinations against the misbelievers had above all the monarchs of the West—espepreviously received their warrant and organ- cially above those with whom he was brought ization. "No crusade could be maintained into immediate contact. The view taken by without the auspices of a Pope; and upon Solyman of the overtures of Francis I. may the good-will and services of this potentate be collected from his haughty boast, that in more urgent and impressive claims were now bis shadow the kings of France, Poland, Ve. preferred. But a few years before, indeed, nice, and Transylvania had been fain to seek the Pontiff had been besieged and imprisoned refuge. The first Austrian ambassador dein his own city,—not by the fierce Mahome- spatched to the Sublime Porte was sternly tans, who once threatened such an attack, rebuked for applying a majestic epithet to and at the echo of whose arms on Italian his own master, and was thrown contemptterritory a former Pope had actually prepared uously into prison. Indeed, for a long subto retreat beyond the Alps, but by the sworn sequent period, the Oriental arrogance of foes of these intruders—the troops, on whose Turkish sultans withheld from the representprotection against such contingencies the atives of foreign Powers those honorable powerless Romans had been heretofore immunities which in the intercourse of civiltaught to rely. The time had past when the ized nations is ever attached to their office; most deadly antagonist of the Pope was ne- and the personal liberties of the diplomatic cessarily the Turk, and with it had gone all body in the vicinity of the Seven Towers opportunity for the moral or material organ- were proverbially insecure. Meanwhile, it is ization of an actual crusade. On the other affirmed, by no less competent authority than hand, the support derivable for such pur- that of Azuni, that on general international poses from popular opinion was diminished in questions, Turkey has at all times set an exa corresponding degree by the operation of ample of moderation to the more civilized the same events. A new object had been governments of Europe. Sketching, now, a found for the combative propensities of fanat- broad outline of the position of Turkey beicism or zeal. In the religious wars of tween this time and a period which we may these times, “ heretic” was substituted for fix at the commencement of the Thirty "infidel,” and the enthusiasm or animosity Years' War, we might say that the idea of which in former days might have been direct- the “ Infidels ” had, from various causes, ed against the encroachments of the Turk, virtually disappeared ; and that if the Porte were now furnished with sufficient occupa- was on other than acceptable terms with the tion by the fatal divisions of Christendom courts of Christendom, the difference was itself. These causes, co-operating with a not owing to its national faith. By the States visible and settled repugnance to distant cru engaged in hostilities with it, it was regarded sades, with the distractions arising from do- as neither more nor less than an ordinary mestic vicissitudes, and with the indifference enemy; nor would we undertake to prove to alarming phenomena which familiarity ul- that Hungary* had much greater repugtimately brings on, may be taken perhaps as nance to a Turkish than to an Austrian masexplanatory of that course of events which ter. The States removed from occasions of at length not only established the House of collision with the Porte were positively amiOthman upon the throne of the Cæsars, but cable-submitting to certain barbaric asgave it a title and place in the courts and sumptions in consideration of commercial adcouncils of Europe.
nobody engaged upon a translation of Von Hammer's the dominion of the Turks, the privileges en- Ottoman Empire ?'
vantages. France had led the way from It was not, however, under any ordinary motives already explained; Venice, which in aspect that this diplomatic debut was solem- mercantile compacts had been already in the nized. The Ottoman Porte made its entry field, promptly followed; and England's first into the European system with all the appli- ambassador departed from the court of Elizances of glory, grandeur, and triumph. Not abeth. His reception, curiously enough, was only was it a first-rate Power, but, excepting not unopposed. Previously, our few negotithe yet scarcely manageable resources of Im- ations with the Porte had been transacted perial Germany, it was the strongest Power through the representatives of the States alwhich could take the field. This conscious- ready accredited there ; and neither Venice ness of strength, combined with that orthodox insolence and heritage of pretensions :)
* Ed. Rev. vol. 1. p. 454-5.
nor France was disposed to forego the prero-dinand, thus strengthened, succeeded in ingative of mediation, or to welcome a new corporating the elective crown of Hungary competitor on the scene. The objections, with the already aggrandized inheritance of however, were overruled, and the Ottoman his family. From this consolidation of doPorte was declared open to all. In 1606 minion flowed two results of signal importhe United States despatched also their en- tance to the subject we are now considering. voy to Constantinople. And thus, either the Not only was a State created of sufficient suggestions of policy, or the temptations of magnitude to resist the aggressions of the trade, had collected the representatives of Turk, but this rival empire became actually Christendom about the Turkish Sultan, at as conterminous with the Ottoman dominions. early a period as could be reasonably antici- Prague, Buda, and Vienna were now capipated from the temper of the government, tals of the same kingdom ; a blow struck at and the distance of the scene.
Zeuta was felt at Frankfort ; and thus, inThe influence directly exerted at this pe- stead of the uncertain resistance dictated by riod by Turkey upon Western Europe was the fitful and erratic impulses of Hungarian not, indeed, remarkable; though there are cavaliers, a steady force was organized and two points connected with it which deserve arrayed against the Turk, and the majesty to be recorded. The incessant attacks of and strength of Imperial Christendom was the Ottomans along the Danube and the brought bodily on his borders. Theiss, created in Germany such a sense of It is with no wish to disparage the national insecurity as had not been felt since the ir- character of Hungary that we here acknowruptions of the Moguls; and it became in- ledge our doubts whether this kingdom of itdeed evident that the protection of the Em- self either served or could have served as pire under such new frontier relations could that “ bulwark of Christendom” which it not be entrusted to a distant or non-resident has been often denominated. We think, insovereign. It was true that the front recently deed, that after an impartial review of the shown by Charles V. to Solyman proved that annals of this period, it will be difficult to the armies of the East could be over-match- escape the conclusion that, but for its praced, on emergencies, by the forces of the tical identification with the Germanic Empire, West ; but these forces could be mustered it would probably have become, and perhaps only by such desperate appeals, and after have remained, a dependency of the misbesuch difficulties, that they supplied but an lievers. Even as it was, it should be rememuncertain resource against the perils con- bered that Buda was Turkish for almost as stantly impending from the ambition or fero- long a period as Gibraltar has been English ; city of the Sultan. Even on the occasion while, as regards any active or inveterate analluded to, the Mahometans were in the very tagonism on the score of religion, we find heart of Styria, before the strength of the little ground for concluding that the inhabiEmpire could be collected for the deliverance tants of Hungary would have shown more of Germany. These obvious considerations, tenacity than the population of Wallachia or though they had less weight than might Moldavia. The personal prowess and brilhave been anticipated with the Imperial liant successes of Hunniades and Matthias States, who apprehended more danger to Corvinus were mainly instrumental, no doubt, their liberties from the House of Hapsburgh in stemming the first torrent of Ottoman than from the House of Othman, dià induce conquest ; but though the flower of the arCharles so far to modify his own schemes as mies which encountered the Moslem on the to partition the reversion of his possessions, Danube were usually supplied from the and to bespeak the Imperial crown for his chivalry of Hungary, it is impossible not to brother Ferdinand, instead of his son Philip. trace the ultimate transfer of ascendency, to His exertions secured a settlement which he those events which established a mutual asafterward vainly tried to cancel. Ferdi- surance among all the kingdoms between the nand was elected King of the Romans; and Vistula and the Rhine. thus the substitution of the formidable Otto- The second of the points to which we alman for the degenerate Greek in the halls of luded as notably exemplifying the influence Constantinople, was the means of settling of Turkey upon Christendom was the estabthe crown of the Empire in a German in- lishment, on the coast of Barbary, of those stead of a Spanish House—and of laying anomalous piratical States which have only the broad foundation of the great monarchy within our own generation become extinct. of Austria. The event, too, produced its From the earliest development of their nareaction on the fortunes of Turkey; for Fer- tional strength, the Turks have always expe