and concentrating all power in his own hands.
As a reformer, he therefore failed in every part of his dominions; and as he brought no enduring good to Hungary
, but rather an example of violating its constitution, so we shall find the Austrian court the only great European
power which, both as an ally of England
and an enemy to republics, remained inflexibly opposed to America
Yet the efforts of Joseph the Second, ill-judged and vain as they were, illustrate the universality of the new influence.1
The German empire, of which he was so soon to be the head, was the creature and the symbol of the Middle Ages
Its life was gone.
The forms of liberty were there, but the substance had perished under the baleful excess of aristocracy.
was an elective officer, but his constituents were only princes.
Of the nine electors, three were Roman Catholic Archbishops, owing their rank to the choice of others; but their constituents were of the unmixed nobility, to whom entrance into the electoral chapters was exclusively reserved.
The sovereignty of the empire resided, not in the emperor, but in the great representative body of the whole country, or Diet, as it was called, which was composed of the emperor himself, of about one hundred independent prelates and princes, and of delegates from nine and forty independent towns.
These last, besides the free cities of Bremen
, had internally not only municipal liberties, but self-government, and were so many little republics, dotted throughout the land, from the Rhine
to the Danube
But in the Diet, their votes counted as