In the hands of able captains, like Francesco Sforza or Piccinino, these mercenary troops became moving despotisms, draining the country of its wealth, and always eager to fasten and found tyrannies upon the provinces they had been summoned to defend.
Under the fully-developed despotisms of the East a real nobility is impossible; the prince raises and thrusts down as he pleases.
In time, notwithstanding a certain inherent individualism and impatience of control, veritable despotisms arose in the Semitic world, although such organizations were invariably liable to sudden collapse as the old forms of life broke down with changing conditions.'
His foreign policy was essentially one of peace and non-intervention, and in pursuing it he was accused of favouring the despotisms of Europe.
The Macedonian kingdoms, strained by continual wars, increasingly divided against themselves, falling often under the sway of prodigals and debauchees, were far 12 sign from realizing the Hellenic idea of sound govern- of ment as against the crude barbaric despotisms of the older East.
His was the mildest and least reactionary of all the Italian despotisms of the day, and although always subject to Austrian influence he refused to adopt the Austrian methods of government, allowed a fair measure of liberty to the press, and permitted many political exiles from other states to dwell in Tuscany undisturbed.
These separate despotisms owned no common social tie, were founded on no common j us or right, but were connected in a network of conflicting interests and changeful diplomatic combinations.
Goethe, the cosmopolitan Weltbierger of the 18th century, had himself no very intense feelings of patriotism, and, having seen Germany flourish as a group of small states under enlightened despotisms, he had little confidence in the dreamers of 1813 who hoped to see the glories of Barbarossa's empire revived.
The Revolution had made war on princes and privilege, and the common people had in general gained wherever the Napoleonic rgime had been substituted for their effete despotisms; but the Continental System was felt as an oppression in every humble household, suddenly deprived of the little imported luxuries, such as sugar and coffee, which custom had made necessaries; and from this time date the beginnings of that popular revolt against Napoleon that was to culminate in the War of Liberation.