The Enlightened Despot

Twice in its history Portugal has had a leading part in Europe. In the fifteenth century it pioneered explorations and discovery in other continents, ending up with a vast empire including outposts in Asia, substantial parts of Africa, and half of South America, mostly now the territory of Brazil. Other …

Benevolent Dinosaur

Francis Joseph was Emperor of Austria from 1848 to 1916—that is, for almost sixty-eight years. This is the longest period of effective rule by one person in European history. The exceptional length of his reign had real significance. He ruled so unconscionably long that in the minds of many he …

Saint of Nationalism

Giuseppe Mazzini has a street named after him in every Italian town. He ranks with Victor Emanuel II, Count Cavour the statesman, and Giuseppe Garibaldi the guerrilla leader as a founding father of united Italy. Yet he boasted neither exalted birth nor military skill; he held office for only a …