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The Ancient World Edit
Vajrayana Buddhism See Tantrism. Vardhamana Mahavira (c. 599–527 b.c.e.) religious leader The Mahavira (Great Hero) Vardhamana was one of the 24 Tirthanakras (Conquerors, or Ford-makers) who were founders of the Indian religious philosophy of Jainism. Vardhamana was born in Ksatriyakundagrama in India in approximately 599 b.c.e. and died in 527 b.c.e. Jainism, or its antecedent, was developed by the fi rst Tirthanakra, Rishabhadeva, who lived c. 1500 b.c.e. Through the example of his life and teachings, Vardhamana helped establish Jainism throughout India. The facts of his life may have become distorted by the desire of followers to lend additional spiritual meaning to them. Nevertheless, he was born a prince of the Kshatriya, or military caste, and lived his youth enjoying the perquisites of wealth before renouncing this at the age of 30. Jainism depends on the concept of ahimsa, which means avoiding injury to all living beings. In addition, it requires obedience to various vratas, or vows relating to the correct behavior. Vardhamana lived a life of extreme asceticism and obedience to the fi ve great vratas of renunciation of the physical world. These vows are similar to Buddhist precepts and call for avoidance of all violence, speaking the truth, avoiding theft, chastity, and the avoidance of attachment to any physical thing or person. Jainists reject the concept of a universe created by God and focus on the perfectibility of humanity and the attainment, therefore, of freedom from the physical world. Vardhamana attained the state of kevala, which means a form of omniscient perception beyond that possible for the average person. As a contemporary of Gautama Buddha, who was born in the same region of India, Vardhamana lived in an era of considerable religious excitement and development. Jain isim had similar characteristics to Buddhism but stood in contrast to Hinduism, which in its earliest form was infl uenced by Brahmanical ritualism. Recognized as the fi nal Tirthanankra of the current age, Vardhamana attracted many followers and disciples. He appointed 11 Ganadharas (disciples) to continue his work—each were converts from Brahmanism— but only two survived him. At the time of Var dhamana’s death, some 14,000 monks and 36,000 nuns served in his congregation. These then split according to various schisms, the most notable of which continues to the current day and features on one side the Shvetambaras (white-robed) and the Digambaras (naked), who believe theirs is the appropriate costume for monks and who deny the possibility that souls can transcend from the female body. Vardhamana’s disciples collected his thoughts and teachings in works known as the Agam Sutras but the originals of these have been lost. See also Hindu philosophy. Further reading: Sethia, Tara, ed. Ahimsa, Anekanta and Jainism. Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass, 2004; Shah, Natubhai. V 477 Jainism: The World of Conquerors. Sussex: UK: Sussex Academic Press, 1998. John Walsh Vedas The Vedas are the oldest sacred writings of all of the world’s major religions. Most scholars believe that the Vedas were transmitted orally for hundreds if not thousands of years before they were committed to writing. When written down, they were recorded in archaic Sanskrit and organized into collections called Samhitas. There are several versions of the Vedas in different parts of India. Internal evidence in the Vedas suggests that they were fi rst composed to serve as rituals at the performance of sacrifi ces. The Aryans who moved into the Indus Valley region around 1500 b.c.e. produced the Vedas. They were Indo- European-speaking peoples from the steppes of Central Asia, whose language when committed to writing became Sanskrit. The Aryan invaders (or possibly immigrants) moved through what are today areas of Iran and Afghanistan before crossing the Hindu Kush through the Khyber Pass or other mountain canyons. There may have been fi ve tribes of Aryans who called themselves arya, which means “noble” or “kinsman” in Sanskrit. They conquered the original residents or pushed them southward as they moved down the Indus River valley and eventually spread across much of the north Indian plain. The Aryans brought their own religion to India. The gods (devas) and goddesses of the nomadic cattle herding Aryans were usually primal forces of nature. Their Vedic religion practiced rituals that used songs and sacrifi ces. The title Veda(s) comes from a Sanskrit word, veda, which means “knowledge” or “sacred teachings.” They were the heard revelations (shruti) of holy men (rishis). The rishis did not “create” the Vedas, but “heard” the Brahma speak them and recorded them. The Vedasamhitas are a huge body of materials, six times the length of the Bible. There are four Vedas: the Rig-Veda, the Sama-Veda, Yajur-Veda, and the Atharva-Veda. The Rig-Veda (hymn knowledge) is a collection of more than 1,200 hymns. A rig is the Sanskrit word for “hymn,” and each rig is addressed to a single god or goddess. The oldest of the rigs date from well before the Aryan migrations into the Indus Valley. They were addressed to the sky god, Dyaus Pitar, who can be identifi ed with the classical Olympian god Zeus Pater or the Latin Deus (Ju)pitar. In a subsequent stage in the development of the Vedas the old gods faded and were replaced by new gods. These newer gods include Indra, the sky god and the king of the gods. Among the newer Aryan gods included in the Vedas are Agni, the Vedic god of fi re, and Soma, the god of a hallucinogenic drug. The hymns in the Rig-Veda developed during the period of 1500–1200 b.c.e. They reached their fi nal form around 1200 b.c.e. and were used as part of the cult of Soma. They were also used at the sacrifi ces used to extol the personifi ed deities of fi re (Agni), the sun (Surya and Savitr), the dawn (Usas), the storms (Maruts), war and raid (Indra), honor (Mitra), divine authority (Varuna), and creation (Indra and Visnu). A priest would chant the rigs of the Rig-Veda during the performance of a sacrifi ce. The gods that are praised in the Rig-Veda hymns are addressed individually, and each is praised above all the other deities to create a form of henotheism. There is fi rst an invocation of the deity. Then the deity is presented with a petition. Then the deity, a god or goddess, such as Varuna, Mitra, Aditi (mother of the gods), and Uma (the dawn) is given praises that recount the deeds of the deity. The fi nal part of the form of the rig is a summary restatement of the worshippers’ request. The themes of the rigs in the Rig-Vedas include creation, death, the elements of sacrifi ce, the horse sacrifi ce, gods of the storm, solar gods, and to sky and earth gods. In addition, rigs may be dedicated to Agni, to Soma, to Indra, to Varuna, or to Rudra and Visnu. The rigs that are dedicated to Indra tell of things such as the birth and childhood deeds of Indra. Some rigs were written about speech used to sing of Indra’s origin. Other rigs express delight in the drawing of the bow to strike those who hate prayer. Others rigs were used during the investiture of a new king. The Sama-Veda (chant knowledge) is a collection of chants and melodies (saman) used in sacrifi ces. It was composed after the Rig-Veda was completed. Most of the words in the Sama-Veda were taken from the Rig- Veda. The lines of the Rig-Veda quoted in the Sama-Veda were to be sung to fi xed melodies making them in effect mantras. The melodies used to sing the Sama-Veda materials were not captured in the text but are passed on from a singing priest to his disciples. The priests who sang the Sama-Veda were different from those who used the Rig- Veda. Proper lyrics and music are essential to the success of the rite. The Yajur-Veda (ceremonial knowledge) was also written after the Rig-Veda. Most of it is a collection of prose sacrifi cial formulas (yujus), used by the presiding priest in a sacrifi ce. More specifi cally they are directions for conducting the sacrifi ce. The Rig-Veda, Sama-Veda, and the Yajur-Veda are today known in Hinduism as 478 Vedas the “threefold Veda” (trayi-vidya). These refl ect the religious life of the priestly group. The Atharva-Veda (knowledge from the teacher Atharva) differs greatly from the other three. It is composed of spells, prayers, curses, and charms that are practical in nature. They include prayers for warding off snakes or sickness. When sacrifi ces were performed the priest would sing or chant materials from the Vedas that were appropriate to the type of sacrifi ce. A different priest would handle each part of a sacrifi ce. There were at least three groups of priests using the Rig-Veda at the sacrifi ces. The chief priest (hotr) would take material for his changes from the Rig-Veda. The priest responsible for chanting the sacred formulas (mantras) was the adhvaryu. A third group of priests, the chanters (udgatr), would chant melodic recitations that were linked to the Rig-Veda. Over time additional materials came to be attached to each of the four Vedas. Most commonly the Vedas are viewed as including the Brahmanas, the Arayankas, and the Upanishads. The Brahmanas (Brahman books) were the name for the priests, or Brahmans. They are the manuals for sacrifi ce. They discussed in detail rituals, proper time and place for ceremonies, the preparation of the ground, ritual objectives, purifi cation rites, and other matters. Ascetic holy men who went into the forests to meditate composed the Arayankas (forest books). These books interpreted the Vedas in a nonliteral and symbolic ways. They contain speculations on sacrifi ce, especially the sacrifi cial fi re and the New Year festival. The Upanishads (Sittings near a teacher) were the last to be composed and added to the Vedic collections. Several theories have been proposed to explain the origin of the name Upanishad. The belief is that they were composed as disciples sat near a guiding teacher. With the disciple sitting near the priest, both of them would experience spiritual enlightenment. They would experience the spiritual reality that is the unifying reality underlying all of the separate realities of the world. Most of the Upanishads are dialogic. The prose Upanishads, like the Chandogya, Birhadaranyaka, Taittiriya and the Kena are probably earlier than the poetic ones such as Katha and Mandukya. The emphasis on spiritual experience suggests a shift in Vedic religion from the view that only hereditary priests can be religious masters to the view that both priests and nonpriests can experience spiritual realities. The Upanishads are the most philosophical of the Vedas and are concerned with ultimate philosophical truth. They number about 100. Their concerns are to record insights into internal and external reality. See also Aryan invasion; Hindu philosophy; Vedic age. Further reading: Basham, A. L. The Origins and Development of Classical Hinduism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991; Bloomfi eld, Maurice. Hymns of the Atharva- Veda: Together with Extracts from the Ritual Books and the Commentaries. Reprint, Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass, 1964; ———. The Religion of the Veda: The Ancient Religion of India. New York: AMS Press, 1969; Chatterji, Jagadish Chandra. The Wisdom of the Vedas. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1980; Elizarenkova, T. Y., and Wendy Doniger. Language and Style of the Vedic Rsis. Albany: State University of New York, 1995; Gonda, J. The Vision of the Vedic Poets. The Hague, Switzerland: Mouton, 1963; ———. Vedic Literature: Samhitas and Brahmanas. Wiesbaden, Germany: Harrassowitz, 1975; ———. Vedic Ritual: The Non-solemn Rites. Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1980; Griffi th, Ralph T. H., and Jagdish Lal Shastri. The Hymns of the Rgveda. Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass, 1973; Keith, Arthur Berriedale. The Religion and Philosophy of the Veda and Upanishads. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1971; Miller, Jeanine. The Vision of Cosmic Order in the Vedas. Boston: Routledge, 1985; Muller, F. Max, and Hermann Oldenberg. Vedic Hymns. Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass, 1964; O’Flaherty, Wendy Doniger. The Rig Veda: An Anthology. New York: Penguin Books, 1981. Andrew J. Waskey Vedic age The roughly 1,000 years between 1500–500 b.c.e. is called the Vedic, or Aryan, age. The beginning of the Vedic age corresponded with the end of the Indus civilization (c. 2500–1500 b.c.e.), although it is not clear what precise role the Aryans played in the fi nal fall of the Indus civilization. The two peoples belonged to different racial groups, and the Indus urban culture was more advanced than the mainly pastoral society of the Indo- European Aryans. The 1,000 years after 1500 is divided into the Early and Late Vedic age, each spanning about 500 years, because of signifi cant differences between the cultures of the two halves. The earlier period marked the conquest and settlement of northern India by Indo-Europeans who crossed into the subcontinent across the Hindu Kush passes into the Indus River valley, across the Thar Desert and down the Ganges River valley. The latter half saw the development of a more sophisticated sedentary culture. The name Vedic refers to the Vedas, sacred texts of the Aryans, which is a principal source of information of that era. Vedic age 479 THE RIG-VEDA There are no significant archaeological remains from the first five centuries of the Vedic, or Aryan, era. Therefore, scholars must rely on the hymns and prayers of the Aryans, called the Vedas, or Books of Knowledge, for information about the earliest centuries. The most important work of the Aryans is the Rig-Veda, consisting of 1,017 hymns and songs addressed to various gods. Initially memorized by a class of priests, they were collected and written down c. 600 b.c.e. after a written script, called Sanskrit (related to other Indo-European languages such as Greek and Latin), was invented. The Rig-Veda is the oldest surviving Indo-European literature. Some hymns of the Rig-Veda refer to a god named Indra who demolished forts that could have been the walled Indus cities. They refer to themselves as Aryans, which means “high born” or “noble,” while the non- Aryan enemies are called the dasas or dasyus, which means “dark” and also came to mean “slave.” Aryan social organization was patrilineal. Upon marriage women became members of their husbands’ joint families. Sons were prized over daughters because they performed the family sacrifices, and only sons could inherit from their parents. Related Aryan families belonged to a clan, and associated clans formed a tribe, ruled by a raja, or king. Many Aryan tribes took part in the conquest and settlement of northern India. The most powerful one was called Bharata, which is the Sanskrit name of present-day republic of India. The battles between the ancient kings, many of them related to one another, is related in a long epic poem titled the Mahabaharata (Great Bharat). SOCIAL CLASS DISTINCTIONS Aryan society was stratified, based on function, and after the conquest, also on skin color. It is called caste, or class in English, and varna in Sanskrit, which means “covering,” referring to the color of the skin that covers one’s body. The top castes were the Brahman, who were priests and teachers, and the Kshatriya, or rulers and warriors. They were followed by the Vaisya, who were landowners and artisans. The secular hymns in the Rig-Veda mention many occupations that include carpenters, wheelwrights, blacksmiths, tanners, weavers, spinners, farmers, and herders as members of the Vaisya caste. All three were of Aryan origin and called “twiceborn,” the second birth referring to religious initiation or rebirth, which qualified the males to participate in religious rituals. The fourth caste was called Sudra, who were servants and manual laborers, probably many of them were originally the pre-Aryan dasas. Thus the invaders were able to integrate the conquered indigenous people and assign them a position in society. The division of people into castes was sanctioned in Vedic literature. Vedic literature describes the Aryan culture as one dominated by warrior heroes, men who fought hard and enjoyed feasting and strong drinks, and gambling. RELIGION AND GODS The Rig-Veda was the most sacred text of the Aryan religions. It was supplemented by three other ancient collections of poems, spells, and incantations, called the Sama-, Yagur-, and Arthava-Vedas. Other ritual works were added later. They were the Brahmanas, which elaborated on the ancient hymns and described the necessary steps for priests in performing the rituals and sacrifices. The Upanishads, philosophical essays written during the last centuries of the Vedic era, 108 of which survive, followed the Brahmanas. The above works are the core religious literature of Hinduism. The early Aryans worshipped a pantheon of nature gods, offering them sacrifices in return for granting their requests. There were many sacrifices that ranged from the daily domestic sacrifices performed by the head of the family, to great sacrifices ordered by kings that were presided over by many Brahman priests with many animal sacrifices. The most powerful early gods were Indra, the warrior god, who wielded the thunderbolt, killed dasas and destroyed their forts, and also brought rain. Varuna was the god of universal order and punished sinners by afflicting them with diseases. Agni was the god of fire and protector of the home and hearth. Soma was both the god of immortality and a hallucinogenic drink made from a hemp-type plant and drunk on the same day at religious ceremonies. There were many other gods and demigods in charge of various functions. SANSKRIT Writing began around 1000 b.c.e., although nothing has survived from the earliest period. It was called Sanskrit. The Vedic literature continued to be memorized by Brahman priests and was not written down until around 600 b.c.e. By that time some of the vocabulary had already become archaic. Classical Sanskrit used by scholars and government officials in the Late Vedic age was less complex grammatically than the Sanskrit of the Vedas. Less important writing was done in vernacular tongues, called Prakrits, meaning, “unrefined,” as opposed to the “perfected” or “refined” form of writing called Sanskrit. Modern languages in northern India are descended from Sanskrit and are related, whereas languages of southern India belong to the indigenous 480 Vedic age Dravidians and are unrelated to Indo-European languages. The year 1000 b.c.e. also marked the transition from the Early to the Late Vedic age. There are still few archaeological sources for the Late Vedic age, so scholars must principally rely on sacred texts: the later Vedas, the Brahmanas, and Upanishads. Other written sources include the epics (Mahabharata and Ramayana) and Puranas, which include legends that seem to refer to this period. By the Late Vedic age the Aryan tribes had spread across north India and almost forgotten their earlier home in the northwest and Punjab. Territorial kingdoms had replaced the tribal state and old kinship relationships were being replaced by geographic alignments. Late Vedic society was more advanced economically compared with that of the Early Vedic. Most people had settled down and become farmers. Many different kinds of trades and crafts were mentioned, indicating a more advanced material culture. They include jewelers, goldsmiths, basket makers, dyers, and potters. The rich had servants; there were also references to professional acrobats, musicians, fortune-tellers, and dancers who entertained the townspeople. While most people lived in villages, texts from the period mention towns; some of those names persist to the present. NEW RELIGIOUS TRENDS Two religious trends emerged. One had Brahman religious leaders challenging the power of the kings. Another was dissatisfaction with established religious rituals because they no longer satisfi ed the popular longings nor answered the questions of people whose lives had become more prosperous but felt insecure as a result of the changes. New religious ideas emerged. One was the doctrine of karma (karma means “deed” or “action”), which held that that one’s position in this life is the result of actions in previous lives and that one’s actions in this life will infl uence future lives. This doctrine of the transmigration of the soul gave ethical content to human conduct and also justifi ed inequities in life. Since the doctrine included all living things, it inspired kindness to animals, which resulted in vegetarianism. Some sought an answer in asceticism and joined bands of holy men debating religious questions and seeking answers. Out of the intellectual quest came the writing of the Upanishads and the emergence of two new religions, Buddhism and Jainism. The end of the Vedic age also ended the shadowy early historic age in Indian civilization. See also Aryan invasion; Hindu philosophy. Further reading: Basu, Praphullachandra. Indo-Aryan Society, Being a Study of the Economic and Political Conditions of India as Depicted in the Rig Veda. London: King and Son, 1925; Dutt, Romesh Chander. A History of Civilization in Ancient India Based on Sanskrit Literature. Rev. ed. Vol. 1, B.C. 2000 to 320. New Delhi, India: Cosmo Publications, 2000; Ghurye, G. S. Vedic India. Bombay, India: Popular Prakashan, 1979; E. J. Rapson, ed. The Cambridge History of India, Vol. 1, Ancient India. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1922; Majumdar, R. C. An Advanced History of India. London: Macmillan, 1958. Jiu-Hwa Lo Upshur Vercingetorix (72–46 b.c.e.) Gallic chieftain Vercingetorix was a tribal chieftain of the Gallic Celtic Arverni tribe who attempted to stop the encroachment of Romans into his territory, Provence, in presentday France, from 53 to 52 b.c.e. The Roman leader, Gaius Julius Caesar (100–44 b.c.e.), and his lieutenant Quintus Atius Labienus (100–45 b.c.e.), lost early engagements against Vercingetorix, who against all odds had managed to unite the generally warring tribes in Provence. This temporary alliance allowed Vercingetorix the upper hand. He retreated by using hit-and-run tactics within the natural boundaries of Provence that were unknown to the Romans. To prevent the Romans from fi nding sustenance, they scorched over 20 towns. In the spring of 52 b.c.e. Caesar ordered siege fortifi cations to be built in order to capture the capital of Avaricum, present-day Bourges, which contained huge supplies of grain. Through unrelenting rain his troops built two 80-foot towers with more than 300-foot ramps in one month. The Gauls tried to sabotage the Roman siege works unsuccessfully. In the end 800 Gauls fl ed to Vercingetorix. The angry Romans massacred the 40,000 remaining inhabitants of Avaricum. Caesar, tired of the ceaseless and unproductive skirmishes and battles, had no desire to face the fi erce Celtic tribes and decided to starve them out before reinforcement could reach Alesia. Caesar had his Romans build encircling fortifi cations around the Arverni stronghold at Alesia, near presentday Dijon, from which Vercingetorix had planned to fi ght and in which he was ultimately trapped. Caesar once again used siege warfare to obtain his objective. He had his troops build a two-walled perimeter that would keep the Arverni and the Romans within close contact. The outer ring held the Romans, Vercingetorix 481 who besieged the Arverni. Modern-day excavators found the fi rst wall to be 13 miles long with an 18-foot ditch that was meant to starve the Arverni. The second wall faced pointed stakes that could easily impale unsuspecting tribesmen. Yet another wall, 9 feet high and full of breastworks of earth, was constructed. In addition, every 130 yards, observation towers were erected. Two siege towers were built, each 80 feet high, that could contain ramparts of varying lengths. Vercingetorix tried to destroy the walls and often had skirmishes with the Romans, but to no avail. His last attempt to alleviate the siege led to failure, his men fell onto the spikes, and the Romans killed many Gauls. Alesia was so well fortifi ed by the Romans that Vercingetorix was given no choice when reinforcements failed to arrive. The war council in Alesia decided to wait for the end. The Arverni were slowly starving, so Vercingetorix released the women and children from his stronghold, hoping Caesar would take pity and treat them as prisoners, but he refused, and the women and children perished. Caesar won the fi ve-day Battle of Alesia because the tribes under Vercingetorix were poorly organized and some betrayed their leader. Various stories surround the surrender of Vercingetorix. One story relates that Vercingetorix and several tribal leaders simply surrendered to Caesar. The second story, written by Plutarch at least 100 years after the event, accounts that Vercingetorix rode out of Alesia in a stately fashion and around Caesar’s camp, removing his battle armaments and surrendering with theatrical gestures before kneeling to him. His death is also shrouded in debate. One historian claims he was killed shortly after his surrender. Another argues that for the next fi ve years Vercingetorix was Caesar’s prisoner in the Tullianum in Rome. Vercingetorix allegedly became a showpiece and was paraded around various Roman cities for fi ve years in between stays at the Tullianum prison in Rome. Vercingetorix was publicly beheaded in Rome in 46 b.c.e. The Celtic tribes never fought again in presentday France and were absorbed into the Roman Empire. See also Celts; Gaul. Further reading: Harmand, Jacques. Vercingetorix. Paris: Fayard, 1984; Julian, Camille. Vercingetorix. Paris: Hachette, 1963. Annette Richardson Visigoth kingdom of Spain The earliest Visigoths were a Germanic group that alternated between opposing and serving the Roman Empire. Unlike some other Germanic tribes, the Visigoths retained elected leaders, never shifting to a fully hereditary kingship. The early Visigoths, like other Germanic peoples in the late Roman and early post-Roman periods, were Arian Christians—believing that the Son, Christ, had been created by the Father rather than being coeternal, as the Catholic Church believed. This meant that Visigothic kings could not be fully sure of the loyalty of the Catholic Church in their dominions, although they did not attempt to destroy the church or extirpate Catholicism. After the famous sack of Rome by the Visigothic king Alaric in 410 c.e., the Visigoths settled in southern France, from which they fi rst spread into the Iberian Peninsula in 416, as allies of the Roman emperor Honorius. The Roman government was trying to regain control of the province, then in the hands of a barbarian coalition. The Visigoths returned to Spain, this time permanently, under their King Theodoric II in 456. The most signifi cant king of this phase of Visigothic history was Euric, who reigned from 466 to 484, under whom the Visigothic kingdom, with its capital at Toulouse, reached its greatest geographical extent, incorporating most of Iberia. Euric eliminated the last areas of direct Roman rule in Spain following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476. The Visigothic kingdom was based in Spain after 507, when the Visigoths were defeated and the Catholic Franks under Clovis killed their king, Alaric II. In Vercingetorix Throws His Arms at Caesar’s Feet. A reproduction of a painting by Lionel-Noel Royer, created in 1899. 482 Visigoth kingdom of Spain alliance with the Burgundians, the Franks drove the Visigoths out of nearly all their possessions in France. The sole remainder of the French Visigothic kingdom was Septimania, between the Pyrenees and the lower Rhone. The Visigoths also lost some coastal territories in southern Spain to the Byzantines under the Emperor Justinian I. The most important rulers in sixth-century Visigothic Spain were Leovigild, who reigned 568–586, and his son Reccared, who reigned 586–601. Leovigild reinvigorated the Visigothic monarchy, defeated the Suevi kingdom of northwestern Spain and incorporated it into the Visigothic kingdom, and drove the Byzantines from all but a few small footholds in the south. He also established a permanent capital at Toledo— previously, Visigothic rulers had traveled through the peninsula rather than having a permanent base. Leovigild was also a lawgiver, promulgating extensive revisions of the earlier code of King Euric. In 587 Reccared solved the problem of the kingdom’s religious divisions by converting to Catholic, Trinitarian Christianity, the religion of nearly all of his non-Visigothic subjects, as well as a growing number of Visigoths. He extended this conversion to his kingdom in the Third Council of Toledo in 589. At this council Reccared, his family, and other leaders of the kingdom formally renounced Arianism before the Catholic bishops. The new regime was intolerant toward Arians, and Recarred crushed a series of rebellions led by Arian clergy and believers. The removal of the religious divisions between the Visigoths and the Roman elite led to greater assimilation between the two groups. The seventh-century Visigothic monarchy was marked by strong cooperation between church and state, with the king making ecclesiastical as well as civil and military appointments, building churches, and working closely with the bishops. The Catholic Church in Spain, although in communion with Rome, was more subject to the king than to the pope. The Visigothic kingdom was also one of the more peaceful and prosperous areas of the post- Roman West, retaining its links to the Mediterranean economy and a relatively high degree of urbanization. One way in which the strongly sacral nature of Catholic Visigothic kingship was expressed was a series of decrees against the Jews. The Catholic Visigothic kings were an exception to the generally tolerant practices of Germanic barbarian kings toward the Jews in the early Middle Ages. King Sisebut (r. 612–621) ordered that Jews be forcibly baptized or exiled from the kingdom. Sisebut was one of the most learned early medieval kings, writing in Latin the Life of St. Desiderius and a poem on eclipses. Legislation was an important component of Visigothic kingship. The legal decrees and codes issued by the Visigothic rulers show a progression away from different laws for Visigothic and Roman subjects, toward a single code of law for all peoples in the kingdom. This process of assimilation culminated in the Laws of the Visigoths, issued in 654 by King Recceswinth. Recceswinth, following the path laid out by his father, King Chindaswinth, abolished previous codes of Visigothic and Roman law in favor of a law applying uniformly over Visigothic territory and drawing from both Germanic and Roman sources. The Laws of the Visigoths, revised again by King Erwig in 681, was the most detailed and sophisticated law code of the early post-Roman kingdoms. The Laws of the Visigoths continued to infl uence law in Christian Spain long after the fall of the Visigothic kingdom. Late seventh-century Visigothic kings, although supported by the church, suffered disputed successions, rebellions, and problems with the nobility. A dispute weakened the kingdom before the Arab invasion in 711. The Arabs also benefi ted from the Visigothic rulers’ alienation of the Jewish population, who welcomed the Muslim invaders as liberators. The Arabs killed the last Visigothic ruler, King Rodrigo, or Roderic, and the Visigothic kingdom and ethnic identity came to an end. Further reading: Collins, Roger. Visigothic Spain 409–711. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004; Heather, Peter, ed. The Visigoths from the Migration Period to the Seventh Century: An Ethnographic Perspective. Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 1999; James, Edward, ed. Visigothic Spain: New Approaches. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980. William E. Burns
The Expanding World 600 CE to 1450 Edit
Valla, Lorenzo (1407–1457) humanist and grammarian Erudite and unmatched in his pursuit of scholarly activities, Valla is regarded by many historians to be the outstanding humanist scholar of the 15th century. His criticisms of sacred documents, coupled with his acerbic style and his arrogance, gained him the enmity of fellow humanists and religious offi cials. Nevertheless he managed to survive inquisitorial investigations and charges of heresy. The impact of his writings reverberated into the next century. They continued to anger church offi cials but had a positive infl uence on humanists such as Erasmus and gained acceptance in Protestant circles. Valla received a humanistic education in the Rome of his birth and was well versed in Greek and classical Latin. He was familiar with the works of Cicero and Quintilian but preferred the Latin style of the latter. Denied employment in the papal curia, he accepted a position in rhetoric at the university of Pavia. Because of controversy over his critique of Scholastic thought, he resigned after two years. From there, he moved to the court of King Alfonso the Magnanimous of Naples, at that time a budding center of humanism. Valla was at the king’s Neapolitan court for several years, where he served as secretary and historian to Alfonso. He participated in humanistic discussions and literary disputes while working on a number of his most important treatises. He moved to Rome at the invitation of the humanist pope Nicholas V in 1448. In Rome he presented the pope with Latin translations of Herodotus and Thucydides, continued his writing, and taught rhetoric. Valla ended his career in the service of Pope Calixtus III. Several of his works demonstrate the range of his scholarship. On Pleasure, 1431, later amended and retitled On the True and False Good, contrasts Stoic, Christian, and Epicurean views on pleasure. A controversial work when it was written, it continues to arouse disagreement among historians. His Elegances of the Latin Language extols the virtues of classical Latin and condemns medieval Latin as barbaric in grammar and style and unfi t for use. The Elegances infl uenced the content of Renaissance Latin grammar manuals and helped to shape the nature of the studia humanitatis, the liberal arts curriculum of the Renaissance. It is recognized as a precursor of modern-day linguistic studies. From the perspective of historical criticism, Valla’s most important treatise is his critique of the Donation of Constantine, a document that was supposedly issued by the Roman emperor Constantine that allegedly transferred temporal authority in the European west to the papacy. Valla utilized his knowledge of history, geography, and Latin to demonstrate the existence of anachronisms in the document and declared it to be a forgery. He criticized other hallowed documents, including St. Jerome’s Latin Vulgate and the Apostles’ Creed, which, he argued, had not been composed by the apostles. Valla also wrote a history of Alfonso’s father, King Ferdinand of Aragon. Shortly before his death in 1457, he composed an Encomium on St. Thomas Aquinas. V See also Florentine Neoplatonism; Pico della Mirandola; Italian Renaissance. Further reading: Kristeller, Paul Oskar. Eight Philosophers of the Italian Renaissance. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1964; Seigel, Jerrold. Rhetoric and Philosophy in Renaissance Humanism. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968; Trinkaus, Charles. In Our Image and Likeness: Humanity and Divinity in Italian Humanist Thought. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970. Louis B. Gimelli Venice The city of Venice with its famous canals traces its origins back to a small settlement in the Venetian lagoon where St. Mark, one of the authors of the Gospels and a friend of St. Paul, landed on his way to Rome. With the collapse of the Roman Empire, and the sacking of Rome by Alaric and the Visigoths in 410, many people fl ed into remote parts of the countryside, and some found refuge in the islands in the lagoon. This led to the founding of Venice in 452. It and neighboring settlements grew, and by the sixth century there was a type of federation formed by which the communities elected a regional authority. In 697 Paolo Zucio Anafesto was elected as the fi rst doge, and he ruled the area under the nominal control of the Byzantine Empire. In 726 Venice founded its navy under Doge Oro Ipato, and in 787 this navy helped in the overthrow of the Lombards. In 810 at the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne ceded the control over Venice to Byzantium, and in the following year the seat of government in Venice was moved from Malamocco to the Rialto. The main church in Venice, St. Mark’s Basilica, was originally built in 828 after the body of St. Mark was taken to Venice from Alexandria. It was said that an angel had foretold that the saint would be buried in the place he had landed when he was brought to Italy. The doge who was responsible for the fi rst basilica was Giustiniano Participazio, and the building was consecrated in 832. However this structure was destroyed by fi re in 976, in an uprising against the doge. The rebuilt basilica was demolished in 1063 and Doge Domenico Contarini had a much larger one constructed. This was fi nally consecrated in 1094 and was offi cially the private chapel of the doge until 1807, when it became the city’s cathedral. 412 Venice Venice’s famous St. Mark’s Basilica was built in 828 after the body of St. Mark was taken to Venice. It was said that an angel had foretold that the saint would be buried in the place he had landed when he was brought to Italy. Venice grew as a naval power but in 839 was defeated by the Turks at the Battle of Taranto. In 932–939 they managed to conquer lands in Istria, and in 999–1000, the doge Pietro Orseolo II conquered Dalmatia (modern- day Croatia). In 1081 Byzantium was forced to cede sovereignty over Venice with the signing of a commercial and political treaty. The next threat to Venice came from the Normans, but the Venetians were able to defeat them at Butrint in modern-day Albania in 1085. By the 10th and 11th centuries Venice had emerged as an important trading port, prospering greatly during the First Crusade of 1095. Further crusades and trade with the Holy Land led to massive wealth fl owing to the merchants of Venice, who had gained exemption from tolls from the Byzantines. The city was rapidly emerging as a challenge to the authority of Constantinople. In 1124 the Venetians took the city of Tyre, a port in the Holy Land. Doge Enrico Dandolo persuaded the crusaders of the Fourth Crusade to attack Constantinople, and they captured the city in April 1204. Many great treasures and pieces of art were brought back to Venice, including the four horses that have been displayed in St. Mark’s Square, with the exception of the period when Napoleon Bonaparte took them to Paris. Much of the Byzantine lands was occupied by Venice, which established an empire occupying the eastern coast of the Adriatic— modern-day Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, as well as parts of Greece. Venetian castles built during this period can still be seen on Corfu, along the coast of modern- day Croatia, at Durrës (Albania), and at Iraklion, Crete. Venetian merchants also opened up trade with the Turks, and in 1271 Marco Polo set off from Venice to China, returning 20 years later. Venetian ambassadors were prominent at the court of many kings and rulers throughout Europe. In several cases their reports provide extensive accounts of life in those countries. Although the doge of Venice was elected, ruling through the Consiglio dei Dieci (Council of Ten)— introduced as an emergency measure, and then made permanent in 1334—control of the city ended up with a handful of families who made up a formidable oligarchy. This was confi rmed by a decree in 1297 that limited membership of the Maggior Consiglio (Great Council) to those whose births and marriages were recorded in the Venetian Libro d’oro (Golden book), which was held at the Palazzo Ducale. The wealth of the city was measured in gold coins known as sequins, fi rst minted in 1284 and quickly recognized as a mode of exchange throughout the Mediterranean. During the 13th and 14th centuries Venice was involved in battles with Genoa for control of trade in the Mediterranean. The Venetians destroyed the Genoese fl eet at the Battle of Chioggia in 1380, giving them supremacy for the next 100 years. At this point the Venetians turned their attention to establishing a greater presence in the north of the Italian peninsula, taking Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna. In 1406 the Venetians captured Padua, and in 1441 controlled Ravenna. It was the Ottoman Turks who fi nally led to the decline of Venice. In 1453 they captured Constantinople and closed off Venetian access to the east, in order to lead Portuguese sea expeditions around the coast of Africa, in search of spices previously obtained by the Venetians. In 1470 the Venetians lost control of Negropont (Euboea) in Greece, to the Turks. In 1499 the Turks captured Morea in Greece from the Venetians, and this gave them control of the southern Adriatic. Although Venice started to decline as a maritime power, it remained a formidable political power during the Italian Renaissance. See also Byzantine Empire: political history; Crusades; Norman Kingdoms of Italy and Sicily; Ottoman Empire: 1299–1453. Further reading: Hibbert, Christopher. Venice: The Biography of a City. London: Grafton, 1988; Nicolle, David. The Venetian Empire 1200–1670. London: Osprey Publishing, 1989. Justin Corfi eld Verdun, Treaty of The Treaty of Verdun, which was signed in 843, was the second step toward the dissolution of the Carolingian dynasty. It created the idea of nation-states. After Emperor Charlemagne died in 814 his sole surviving legitimate son Louis I the Pious (778–840) inherited his vast empire and became emperor of the west. Louis had three sons by his wife, Ermengarde (778–818): Lothair (795–855), Pepin (797–838), and Louis (804–876). None of Charlemagne’s heirs possessed the leadership qualities of their grandfather. Lothair, as the eldest, was named coemperor and became the primary heir of Louis at the Assembly of Aachen in 817. Louis I named Pepin I as the king of the Aquitaine and Louis as king of Bavaria, believing this would provide an orderly succession. The succession evolved into a dynastic crisis when Louis I married Judith of Bavaria in 820 and they had a son, Charles the Bald (823–877). Louis I wished to change the dynastic succession to favor Charles and in 830 granted Charles some of the lands that had been Verdun, Treaty of 413 part of the inheritance of Lothair and Pepin, who now felt threatened. In 830 Lothair revolted and became sole ruler of his father’s empire. Fearing Lothair’s overlordship, Pepin and Louis restored their father to power. In 833 Louis met Lothair on the Field of Lies near Colmar, Alsace, to arrange a settlement. However all three sons met him and Louis once again was deposed. Pepin and Louis I again allied against Lothair and restored their father to power in 834. The inheritance issue remained problematic for the last few years of the lengthy reign of Louis. Soon before Pepin died, Louis proposed another partition in 837 and gave the Aquitaine, present-day southern France, to Charles. Pepin’s son, Pepin II; Lothair; and Louis rejected this decision. When Louis died in 840 the inheritance issue remained unresolved. Civil war ensued among the brothers and severely weakened the prestige of both Crown and empire; consequently the aristocracy gained greater power. The agreement fi nally to settle the issue militarily at Fontenoy-en-Puisaye, near Autun in Burgundy, in 842 led Louis and Charles to ally against Lothair and Pepin II, who decisively lost the battle. The outcome was the Oath of Strasbourg in 842 in which Charles and Louis once again allied against Lothair. After much consideration the Treaty of Verdun on the Meuse was signed in August 843. The treaty partitioned the empire for the second time. Lothair retained his imperial title and received a long strip of land in the middle of Charlemagne’s empire known as Francia Media, extending from the North Sea to the Mediterranean, including present-day Lorraine, Provence, Burgundy, and the northern half of Italy. Louis received Francia Orientalis, the eastern part of the empire, now Germany, and he became known as Louis the German— many historians consider him the founder of the German nation. Charles received Francia Occidentalis, most of present-day France. The Treaty of Verdun represented the Frankish practice of divisible inheritance rather than the primogeniture inheritance practiced elsewhere. The Treaty of Mersen in 870 further divided Lothair’s lands among Charles the Bald, Louis the German, and his son, Louis II. This last treaty completely dissolved Charlemagne’s hard-won kingdom. See also Frankish tribe; Pepin, Donation of. Further reading: Ganshof, François L. The Carolingians and the Frankish Monarchy: Studies in Carolingian History. London: Longman, 1971; Le Goff, Jacques. Medieval Civilization. Oxford: B. Blackwell, 1992; McKitterick, Rosamond. The Frankish Kingdoms Under the Carolingians: 751–987. London: Longman, 1983; Riché, Pierre. The Carolingians: a Family Who Forged Europe. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993. Annette Richardson Vijayanagara Empire The Vijayanagara Empire fl ourished in southern India from 1336 to 1565. It was a Hindu kingdom that left as its legacy a number of small, independent states that survived until colonial times. The city of Vijayanagara (or Vijayanagar), which means “City of Victory,” is located in modern day Karnataka. The brothers Harihara and Bukka founded the Vijayanagara state at a time when Muslim rulers were striving to enforce their will and control on Indian people attached to their own religious beliefs and cultural loyalties. The Deccan Muslim states to the north made various attempts to expand their territories to Vijayanagara to the south. The two brothers were originally Muslims and had served in the administrations of Islamic states. However when their early military campaigns failed, they changed their religion to Hinduism to achieve greater levels of support from the people they ruled. In 1565 an enemy alliance defeated the Vijayanagaran army and occupied and largely destroyed the city, which has never been fully rebuilt. The state persisted in some of its outlying regions for another century. The city of Vijayanagara contains elements from various religious traditions. Its earliest deity protectress was Pampa, who was integrated into the Hindu pantheon through her marriage to Virupaksha, a form of Shiva. Other religious elements accumulated over the years. The cave home of the monkey king of the Ramayana is rumored to exist within the city limits. Jainist and Islamic cultural elements were also introduced through the proximity of believers trading with neighboring states. The people of southern India were divided into numerous caste and occupation groups, which also depended on where they lived. Consequently it required considerable efforts for rulers to be able to demonstrate legitimacy to rule and also maintain a pluralist polity that would not be too divisive to maintain. Through the seaports of Calcutta and Basrur, Vijayanagara came into contact with numerous international states and their infl uences were also represented in southern India and contributed to the quality of life through provision of consumer products and intellectual property. 414 Vijayanagara Empire Further reading: Bauer, Brian S., and Alan Covey. “Dimensions of Imperial Control of the Vijayanagara Capital.” American Anthropologist. (v.104/3, 2002); Sinopoli, Carla M. “From the Lion Throne: Political and Social Dynamics of the Vijayanagara Empire.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient. (v.43/3, 2000); Stein, Burton. Vijayanagara. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005; Verghese, Anila. “Deities, Cults and Kings at Viyajanagara.” World Archaeology (v.36/3, 2004). John Walsh Vikings: Iceland, Icelandic sagas Norse immigrants from western Norway discovered and settled Iceland in the late ninth century. Servants and slaves accompanied these families; many of the indentured were Celts from Scotland and Ireland. Much of the history of Norse settlement in Iceland is derived from two Icelandic sagas. The Book of Icelanders, written by Ari Thorhilsson the Wise in the 10th century, tells of Iceland’s history for the fi rst 250 years after its settlement. The Book of Settlement tells of the founding of Iceland and where they settled. A Norwegian sailor named Naddodd is said to be the fi rst Viking to discover Iceland. On a seaborne expedition from Norway to the Faeroe Islands in the ninth century, he and his men lost their way and found a new land much farther northwest. Seeing no sign of human habitation, Naddodd sailed back east, but upon seeing snow fall on the mountains of this new land, decided to name this territory Snowland. Gardar Svarsson, a Swedish Viking, made the next voyage to Iceland. He circumnavigated the entire island, discovered that it was large and ripe for settlement, and decided to build houses in the northern part of the country in an area now called House Bay, where a village still stands. Gardar renamed Snowland as Gardar’s Island. Flóki Vilgerdarson, another Norwegian Viking, led the next voyage. He took his family, household, and friends with him and established a second settlement in a fjord in the northwest part of the island. Flóki noticed that a neighboring fjord was full of ice, so he again renamed the island Iceland, the name it has carried ever since. The Book of Icelanders describes much of the subsequent development of Iceland. Additional settlers arrived in an exodus from Scandinavia, encouraged by the Norse custom of a father’s passing all lands only to his fi rstborn son. Because of the general isolation of Icelanders and the lack of native cultures of Iceland, the Norse settlers held on to traditional Viking ways much longer than the Norse in mainland Europe. Icelanders, including Erik the Red, later traveled farther west and settled Greenland. According to Ari the Wise, the creation of the Althing or General Assembly in 930, which marked the beginning of the Icelandic Commonwealth, created a system of laws in the new country. Iceland was divided into four administrative districts with representatives chosen from each district to create a national legislative body. Yearly meetings of these representatives at the Althing further refi ned the laws of the new Icelandic nation. Iceland remained fairly independent from the kingdom of Norway until 1262, when it became a Norwegian Crown colony. From 1387 until 1944 Denmark ruled Iceland following the union of the two kingdoms. Some of the greatest cultural contributions made by Icelanders were the Icelandic sagas—stories about migration to Iceland, feuds between Icelandic facilities, ancient Germanic and Scandinavian history, and other Norse voyages—and were written in Old Norse. Most Icelandic sagas were written in the 12th to 14th centuries but discuss events in the period between 930 and 1030, a period referred to as the Age of Sagas. The word saga literally means “what is said,” which is derived from the Norse people’s oral tradition of storytelling. The texts tend to have an epic quality and are written largely in prose but with poetry embedded within the main text. Sagas often focus on heroic deeds performed by worthy men and women, who were usually Vikings. The majority of sagas focused on actual events but many detail legends, the mythic powers of saints and holy men, and other fi ctitious proceedings. All sagas are stylistically linked through their common emphasis on the basic humanity, for good and ill, of the characters in the stories. For their often-fantastic subject matter, historians have fi ercely disputed the accuracy of sagas. For instance the sagas detailing Norse voyages to North America in the year 1000 were only authenticated in the 20th century. See also Ericson, Leif; Vikings: North America; Vikings: Norway, Sweden, and Denmark; Vikings: Russia. Further reading: Byock, Jesse. Medieval Iceland: Society, Sagas, and Power. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990; Byock, Jesse. Viking Age Iceland. New York: Penguin Books, 2001; Christiansen, Eric. The Norsemen in the Viking Age. Malden: Blackwell Publishers, 2002; Karlsson, Gunnar. The History of Iceland. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000; Smiley, Jane, et al. The Sagas of Icelanders. New York: Penguin Books, 2000. Scott Fitzsimmons Vikings: Iceland, Icelandic sagas 415 Vikings: North America With the discovery in 1960–61 of artifacts and the ruins of eight buildings at L’Anse aux Meadows in Canada’s Newfoundland province, archaeologists and historians could at last replace centuries of fable and myth with hard evidence of Viking settlement in what, a half-millennium later, other Europeans would call the New World. Excavations at the remote site, begun by husband-andwife team Helge and Anne Stine Ingstad, revealed a web of connections between Greenland and Iceland’s people of Norse heritage and Vinland. Vinland was the Viking name for a western land rich in prized grapes and butternuts, lumber and fi sh, located in what today is eastern Canada and the extreme northeastern United States. Evidence found since then has enabled historians to link Viking activity in the New World to often-inconsistent tales of exploration and conquest found in ancient Norse sagas. L’Anse is now believed to have been a base camp for Norse chieftain Leif Ericson and others during the so-called Medieval Warm Period: several centuries of milder weather that permitted vigorous Norse exploration of sub-Arctic regions in both northern Europe and eastern Canada. During a three-year sojourn in Vinland, Ericson’s former sister-in-law, Gudrid, then married to rival chieftain Karlsefni, gave birth to a son, Snorri, the fi rst European known to be born in the Americas. Established sometime between 990 and 1030 and abandoned after just a few years, L’Anse provided access to Vinland and was a landmark for sailors from Greenland and other Norse settlements. Although it seems that some women were among about 100 people housed in eight sturdy wood and sod structures, L’Anse was less a colony than a gateway to southern Vinland’s richer resources. It was also a workshop where Norse traders could fi nd provisions and repair their ships and weapons. Slaves, probably of Scots or German origin, and sailors visiting L’Anse manned labor crews and ran a small ironmaking operation, the fi rst known in North America. Indigenous people, dismissively called skraeling by the Vikings, had often successfully confronted Norse invaders in other parts of Vinland but were not then living on the grassy peninsula where L’Anse was built. Nevertheless, residents soon abandoned the site, carefully removing useful goods and possibly setting fi re to the largest dwelling halls. They may have feared new indigenous attacks, or perhaps Vinland was not producing enough desirable resources and trade items to make the diffi culties of living there preferable to longersettled Greenland and Iceland. In 1497 fi ve years after Christopher Columbus’s fi rst voyage to what he believed to be Asia, Venetian John Cabot, sailing for England, “discovered” a “new isle,” soon named Newfoundland. Historians continue to argue whether other Europeans ever knew of Viking incursions into this western land or had forgotten that knowledge over the centuries. In any case, interest in Viking deeds, possibly including discovery of the New World, would become, especially for Scandinavian immigrants to America, a source of pride and fascination. In 1837 a Danish scholar translated parts of the Vinland sagas into English and argued for Norse presence in America. His research helped spawn various hoaxes and fantasies of America’s Viking past. In 2000 the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History celebrated the millennium of the fi rst European contact with North America. L’Anse is a Canadian National Historic Site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a tourist attraction. During its brief summer season, costumed reenactors show and tell visitors about America’s Viking past. See also Vikings: Norway, Sweden, and Denmark; Vikings: Russia. Further reading: Barrett, James H., ed. Contact, Continuity, and Collapse: The Norse Colonization of the North Atlantic. Turnhout: Brepols, 2003; Fitzhugh, William W., and Elisabeth I. Ward, eds. Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000. Marsha E. Ackermann Vikings: Norway, Sweden, and Denmark Vikings were peoples of Scandinavia who raided, conquered, and colonized parts of Europe from the end of the eighth century to the 11th century. Their homeland was in the three modern Scandinavian countries: Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The climate there caused poor soil conditions, necessitating seafaring, fi shing, and hunting in addition to agriculture. This sparsely populated region was surrounded by water, and various natural resources encouraged trade and contacts; therefore by the Viking age, Scandinavians, apart from Finland and the Sami territories, shared a common culture. By trading and traveling, Scandinavians were fast in adopting innovations and technologies; therefore their culture was rich and vibrant by the eighth century. Main sources of the history of Vikings are archaeological fi ndings and written records. 416 Vikings: North America Most of these texts were written long after the Viking period; therefore their reliability is debated. The migration period was a time of political, economic, and social change in Scandinavia. At the sites of Helgö or Lake Mälaren, exotic imports appeared, such as gold coins from the Eastern Roman Empire and a fi gurine of Buddha from northern India. The last phase of the Iron Age, the Vendel period (seventh–eighth centuries), was the advent of Viking culture; regional centers of power emerged in Scandinavia at this time. This led to the establishment of the market and craft working centers of Ribe in Denmark and Åhus in Sweden. Christian continental Europe underwent great changes in the eighth century. Social, economic, and political development resulted at fi rst in raids on the monastery of Lindisfarne in the British Isles, and then led to Viking conquests and colonization in various parts of Europe. VIKING ENTERPRISE AND SOCIETY Advanced sailing was a prerequisite of Viking age raids and trades. The importance of ships is further demonstrated in their poetry, religion, art, and burial practices. It was not until the eighth century that large Scandinavian vessels were developed. The oldest known sailing and rowing ship was built around 820 in Oslofjord. Ships were double-ended, with the bow and stern built in the same way. Timber of the smallest possible width was chosen for vessels. This advanced technique resulted in light and seaworthy ships. Cargo ships were shorter and wider and had heavier hulls than warships. The seagoing trade ship, known as the knarr, relied only on sailing and therefore worked with a small crew. For example a 54-foot-long vessel from Skuldelev could carry as much as 25 tons of cargo. Other cargo ships were excavated in Oslofjord, Göteborg, and Klåstad. Local trade was carried on smaller ships with limited cargo capacity. Most Scandinavians of the Viking age lived in rural settlements. The main farming activity was animal husbandry; cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats were the most common domesticated species. In the arable lands of southern Sweden and Denmark, barley, rye, oats, peas, beans, and cabbage were cultivated. In Norway, the geographical features of the land led to isolated farm settlements. Beside the fertile regions of Uppland and Västergötland, a similar pattern could be observed in Sweden. In contrast, small villages were the dominant form of settlements in Denmark. Typically Viking houses were long and accommodated people and animals under the same roof. Scandinavia did not have real towns before the Viking period, but as a result of accelerating trade and wealth, fairly large and densely populated permanent settlements were created by the 10th century. These settlements had some centralized functions, such as markets, religious and administrative centers, or a mint. Major sources of income were trading and crafting. Hebedy was one of Scandinavia’s southernmost towns on the eastern side of Jutland. Thanks to the risen water level in the area, which preserved wood and other organic materials, far more is known about this center than any other Viking settlements. The layout of Hebedy’s wooden-paved streets and fenced plots can be traced in great detail. A semicircular fortifi ed wall protected the town, while protective piles and jetties were found around the harbor as well. Some 350,000 objects were found here, including locally minted coins, leather footwear, glass beads, and jewelry. Although there is not clear evidence of a royal presence, cemeteries show that there were great class differences in Hebedy. According to written sources the town was destroyed several times in the mid-11th century when the settlement was deserted. Other towns such as Birka in Sweden or Kaupang in Norway show similar features to Hebedy. In the graves of Birka, the richest graves contained oriental textiles, vessels from the British Isles, and several other luxurious items mainly from the east. Although Kaupang never became a fortifi ed town with large permanent population, it was an important trading post with busy seasonal markets, having regular contacts with Denmark and western Europe. Scandinavian women played an important role in Viking society and the gender equality of the present-day Scandinavia may originate from those times. Written sources and archaeological fi ndings suggest that women accompanied men in voyages of explorations to Iceland, Greenland, and North America. They also went on continental raids and other travels. There is no clear evidence that women ever fought as warriors alongside men. Accompanying women would give useful support for the army, by cooking and nursing the sick and wounded. The graves of aristocratic women usually contained clothes, jewelry, and domestic implements. When their husbands were away, they had full responsibility of running the house and the farm. Therefore Scandinavian women, especially wealthy ones, exercised great authority over dependents and slaves. VIKING LITERATURE AND ART Scandinavia’s own script, the runes, originated from the fi rst or second century. The origin of this writing system is debated, but it is related to Mediterranean alphabets, especially to Roman. The runic alphabet, Vikings: Norway, Sweden, and Denmark 417 fupark, originally had 24 characters that were reduced to 16 during the eighth century. The oldest surviving texts were found on jewelry and weapons. Later on the custom of erecting runic stones prevailed to commemorate the dead. Runic scripts often ended with a curse on anyone who moves or destroys the stone. Viking gods and their power infl uenced different aspects of Scandinavian life. Religion was also associated with secular leaders. In Scandinavian mythology, there were two families of gods, the æsir and the vanir. The fi rst included Odin and Thor and the latter Njord and his son Freyr. Freyr’s sister, Freja, was associated with sexuality and fertility. Other gods and goddesses appear in mythology mostly in groups, such as the Valkyries, who were Odin’s servants. Religious feasts were held in autumn and spring, and according to later textual sources, animals were sacrifi ced and ale was drunk. Main sources of Scandinavian myths are the medieval copies of Eddic poems, Snorri Sturluson’s Edda, and some of the contemporary stone carvings. These myths help to encode moral life, which was signifi cantly different from the Christian one. All people were free, unless they were enslaved and considered to be the property of others. Viking freedom meant selfdetermination within the community and encouraged a very important feature of contemporary Scandinavian societies: honor. This was respected by others and maintained peace in a community with limited central power. Vengeance had a function of balance in Viking society. It was the answer to all kinds of offenses, from killing and rape, to wounds. Death, as a punishment, was the same for all and encouraged peace in a society with uneven distribution of wealth. Viking poetry was essentially oral, but numerous written poems remain and can be divided to three groups: rune poems, eddaic poems, and scaldic verse. Rune poems are brief, written in simple style and meters, praising the dead on rune stones. They date from the end of the 10th century to the 12th century. Eddaic poems were written in 13th–14th century Iceland and their anonymous authors tell about pagan gods and Scandinavian heroes. Most scaldic poems were carried on through the Icelandic sagas, written down in the 12th–13th centuries. The main theme is to praise certain kings and chieftains on specifi c occasions. Scandinavian art used high-quality ornamentation and a great variety of colors. Ornamentation has survived mainly on functional objects, such as clothes, weapons, and ships. The head was a popular motif of sculpting. Gold, silver, and bronze were used to make jewelry for high members of society. Neck and arm rings were made of gold, while silver was used primarily to inlay patterns of other metals, such as iron. Gold and silver were brought to Scandinavia, usually in the form of coins, from as far as present-day Iraq or the Volga region of Russia. Below the upper class, women and men wore baser materials such as bronze. RAIDS ON EUROPE AND THE MEDITERRANEAN From the end of the eighth century Scandinavians pirated, conquered, and colonized western Europe for 300 years. After the early raids on the monasteries of the British Isles, the fi rst recorded attack took place on continental Europe on the island monastery of St. Philibert’s, close to the mouth of Loire, in 799. The nuisance of Scandinavian pirates became serious on both sides of the English Channel and rulers took action against them by the last decade of the eighth century. The Anglo-Saxons blocked rivers and the Frankish emperor Charlemagne stationed guards on the coasts to prevent Viking upriver attacks. After Charlemagne’s death the empire was driven by internal confl icts and defense weakened. The Vikings exploited this political weakness quickly, especially after the death of Louis the Pious in 840, and they sailed upriver to penetrate the heart of Francia, sacking major towns, ports, and monasteries. Both Lothair’s and Charles the Bald’s kingdoms were severely attacked by pirates. In 844 Viking fl eets raided Iberia from their fi rst continental base at the mouth of Loire and sacked Lisbon, Cádiz, and Seville. Later on under Hastein and Bjorn Ironsides, they spent the years of 859–862 in the Mediterranean attacking Narbonne, Arles, Pisa, and other towns. Movements after 860 remain uncertain, but in 861 the Muslim fl eet off Spain defeated them. The Vikings sailed to the Loire base and never returned to the western Mediterranean. After 859 Charles the Bald, the king of West Francia, could turn his attention to Vikings; therefore town walls were restored and bridges were fortifi ed. He hired the chief of Somme, Weland, to attack the Seine Vikings in 860. Local leaders could react more quickly than the king; therefore they became the basis of Frankish defense. These changes turned many Vikings to England, which was divided into small kingdoms with limited cooperation in the ninth century. In 865 a Danish fl eet landed in East Anglia and by joining others formed the Great Army. By 870 Vikings controlled much of eastern England and tried to conquer the last remaining independent kingdom of Wessex. Norse colonists of Anglia had a signifi cant impact on language such as dialects, placenames, and farming vocabulary. The breakup of the Great Army after its failure to conquer 418 Vikings: Norway, Sweden, and Denmark Wessex was followed by the renewed attacks against Francia. Occasionally uniting Viking forces raided the Continent and concentrated on the nonfortifi ed area of the Rhine. Building fortifi cations was a successful defense strategy and prevented Vikings from invading Rochester and Paris. Although these measures did not hinder invaders from raiding farther inland, numerous captives and huge quantities of plunder and tribute were taken. After the defeat of 891 near Louvain, Vikings attempted to conquer West Saxony again without success. This lesson was learned in the British Isles as well. In 896 the Vikings failed to conquer the areas of England not already under their control because more and more fortifi cations were constructed. In the 10th century possibilities were limited for Vikings in the British Isles. Wessex was still on the defense in the beginning of the ninth century, but later on, the Vikings experienced defeat after defeat. At that time York was the center of the Scandinavians, but by the 940s the English were severely attacking the lands of the newcomers and took over York in 954. In Ireland fi ve high kingdoms and several subkingdoms were competing at the beginning of the ninth century. By the 830s raids became much more frequent and a decade later Vikings turned into a permanent presence. One of the most important new centers was Dublin, a fortifi ed enclosure that became a prosperous merchant and manufacturing town by the 10th century. When Norwegians and Danes settled, they became more vulnerable to counterattack; therefore after the major attacks of 847, many moved to Francia. After a 40-year resting period Viking activity renewed and soon reached its peak. However Vikings settlements did not live long in Ireland under the constant pressure of the kings of Munster and kings of Meath and the Norse population started to decline by the late 10th century. RETURN TO ENGLAND, AND CHRISTIANIZATION By the end of the 10th century Scandinavian raids renewed on western Europe, especially in England. Under the king Ethelred, the English were able to pay large sums to the Vikings, because the country had a signifi cant quantity of high quality silver coins. In 1013 Sweyn decided to conquer England and fi nished the campaign by the end of the year, probably to prevent the challenge of Thorkell. He was acknowledged as a king but died a few weeks later. The English recalled Ethelred, but Sweyn’s son, Canute, returned in 1015 and was the king of English, Danes, and Norwegians until his death in 1035. After the successors of Canute died in 1042 Ethelred’s son Edward became the king. He died childless in 1066 and his successor, Harold Godwinson, was challenged by the Norwegian king, Harald Hardrada. After the fi ghts of the following decades for the Crown, England never again suffered serious Viking attacks. Some Scandinavian raids did continue; however, pirates became more often the victims of such attacks. The Danes especially suffered from serious Slavic raids by the 11th century. Christianity became more and more important in Scandinavia. Paganism remained strong in Sweden, but by the end of the 12th century all Scandinavian nations were Christianized. Nordic merchants and pirates were amazed by the wealth of the British Isles and Francia. First conversions were often temporary, but by the 10th century most Norsemen who had settled in Europe were Christians. At the same time missions became more and more frequent to Scandinavia and all these changes led to the acceptance of Christianity in Nordic societies. By the help of religion Scandinavians integrated to Christian Europe and new political organizations were established, based on written law and royal diplomas. Therefore the Viking raids ended and Scandinavian kings gained more and more power by the 11th century. See also Ericson, Lief; Frankish tribe; Vikings: Iceland, Icelandic sagas; vikings: North America; vikings: Russia. Further reading: Campbell, James Graham, ed. Cultural Atlas of the Viking World. New York: Facts On File, 1994; Clarke, Helen, and Björn Ambrosiani. Towns in the Viking Age. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991; Fitzhugh, W. W., and E. I. Ward, eds. Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Books, 2000; Foote, P., and D. M. Wilson. The Viking Achievement. London: Sidgwick & Jackson 1970; Helle, Knut, ed. The Cambridge History of Scandinavia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003; Jesch, Judith. Women in the Viking Age. Rochester, NY: The Boydell Press, 1991; Logan, F. Donald. The Vikings in History. New York: Routledge, 1991. Viktor Pal Vikings: Russia Vikings (Rus in the Arabic and Varangians in the Greek sources), primarily from central Sweden and the Isle of Gotland, fi rst entered northwestern Russia by way of the Gulf of Finland, the Neva River, and Lake Ladoga, in small exploratory groups in the mid-eighth century. By c. 850 the Vikings had established a complex commercial network stretching from Lake Ladoga to the Islamic Vikings: Russia 419 caliphate and, by the early 10th century, had already extended their reach southward to the Byzantine Empire via Kiev, and east through intermediaries along the middle Volga in Bulgaria. From this tribute-taking merchant diaspora emerged a core group that settled permanently in places such as Novgorod and Kiev, gradually became acculturated with the Slavs, and helped found the fi rst East Slavic kingdom, Kievan Rus, in the 10th century. The main source for the Vikings in Russia, The Russian Primary Chronicle, tells that in 862 the Viking Riurik and his kin were invited by Slavic and Finnic tribes to come and rule over them, developing a tributary tax system stretching from northwestern Russia to the upper and middle Dnieper River regions. The chronicle’s account is substantiated by fi nds of Scandinavian-style artifacts (tortoiseshell brooches, Thor’s hammer pendants, wooden idols, weapons) and, in some cases graves, located at the tribal centers and riverside way stations of Staraia Ladoga, Riurikovo Gorodishche, Siaskoe Gorodishche, Timerevo, and Gnezdovo. The Volkhov-Ilmen- Dnieper river route, which linked the eastern Baltic with the Byzantine Empire, is known as “the Route from the Varangians to the Greeks.” In contrast to Viking activity in the west, which was characterized primarily by raiding and large-scale colonization, the Rus town network and subsequent tribal organization were designed for trade. Subject tribes living along river systems supplied the Rus with the furs, wax, honey, and slaves that they would further exchange for Islamic silver coins (dirhams), glass beads, silks, and spices in southern markets. The Rus expansion into Byzantine markets began in earnest in the early 10th century, with Rus attacks on Constantinople in 907, 911, and 944, resulting in trade agreements. By the end of the century, c. 988, Vladimir I (Vladimir the Great) (980–1015), a quarter Viking through his father Sviatoslav, had married into the Byzantine royal family and converted to Byzantine Christianity, thereby laying the foundation for the Eastern Slavic relationship with the Greek world. The 10th century marked the high point of Viking involvement in the east. Much of the Scandinavian-style jewelry found in European Russia and a majority of the Scandinavian-style graves date to the second and third quarters of the 10th century. Vladimir I and his son Yaroslav the Wise (1019–54) enlisted Viking mercenary soldiers such as Harald Hardrada in internecine dynastic wars. In the 11th century, however, the Viking footsoldier armies had become obsolete as the Rus princes were forced to adapt to another enemy in the south, the Turkic nomads who fought on horseback. A nomadic army on horseback defeated Yaroslav’s Viking mercenaries at the Battle of Listven (1024). See also Bulgarian Empire; Vikings: North America; Vikings: Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Further reading: Duczko, Wladyskaw. Viking Rus: Studies on the Presence of Scandinavians in Eastern Europe. Boston, MA: Brill, 2004; Franklin, Simon, and Jonathan Shepard. The Emergence of Rus, 750–1200. New York: Longman Press, 1996; Noonan, Thomas S. “Scandinavians in European Russia.” In Peter Sawyer, ed. The Oxford Illustrated History of the Vikings. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997. Heidi M. Sherman Vladimir I (Vladimir the Great) (956–1015) prince and saint Vladimir was a descendant of the ninth century Scandinavian chieftain Rurik, whose successors established control along the Dnieper and other river routes that connected Scandinavia to the Black Sea. Kiev became the political and cultural center of the new principality that was ruled by the descendants of Rurik, known as the Rus, through the 16th century. This land eventually became known as Russia. Vladimir’s father, Sviatoslav, appointed him prince of the northern city of Novgorod in 970. Upon his death in 972, civil strife emerged and Vladimir fl ed to Scandinavia. Returning in 980, he defeated his brother and gained control of the Kievan state. Vladimir expanded the kingdom’s power by waging wars with neighboring peoples, including the Poles and Volga Bulgars. Vladimir is remembered as the Constantine the Great of Russia because his reign marked the transition of Kiev from a pagan to a Christian state. Christianity had already made inroads from Byzantium and the Slavs of southeastern Europe. After a Rus attack on Constantinople in 860, the Byzantines had sent missionaries to draw its neighbor into the Eastern Christian orbit. At the same time, Christianity gained strength from the work of missionaries among the Slavs like Cyril and Methodios and their disciples. They invented a script for Slavonic (the ancestor of modern Slavic languages) called Cyrillic, which is still in use today among Russians, Bulgarians, and Serbs. They also translated Christian literature into Slavonic. This work was extremely useful to Vladimir. Vladimir’s grandmother, Olga, had accepted baptism at Constantinople in the 950s, but this was only a personal conversion. 420 Vladimir I According to one story in The Russian Primary Chronicle, Vladimir sent emissaries to examine the religions of neighboring peoples. He was unimpressed by the Christianity practiced by the Latin West, and he could not accept the Islam of the Volga Bulgars (since alcohol was prohibited), and the Judaism of the Khazars failed to convince him. When his emissaries reached Constantinople, however, they were mesmerized by the experience of worship in the great Church of Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom), which was so magnifi cent that they were not sure whether they were in heaven or on earth. The lure of Byzantine culture drew Vladimir south. Fortuitously, the eyes of the Emperor Basil II turned north when he was in need of help during the Civil War of 987–989. Vladimir sent several thousand soldiers with whom the emperor triumphed. The price of Vladimir’s help was an imperial bride. For this, Vladimir agreed to be baptized. When the emperor delayed, Vladimir attacked the Byzantine city of Cherson to force the emperor’s hand. Vladimir was baptized in 988 and married Anna, the emperor’s sister. Vladimir then oversaw the Christianization of his land. Kiev received an archbishop, appointed from Constantinople, to which the Russian church remained dependent until the 15th century. Vladimir began a campaign of church building, training of clergy (using the Cyrillic script and translated Slavonic books), philanthropic activity and social service, and the destruction of pagan temples. Today, Vladimir is recognized as a saint in both the Western and Eastern Churches. See also Byzantine Empire: architecture, culture, and the arts; Vikings: Russia. Further reading: Riasanovsky, N. A History of Russia. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005; Shepard, J. The Emergence of Rus: 750–1200. London: Longman, 1996. Matthew Herbst
The First Global Age 1450 to 1750 Edit
Valdivia, Pedro de (c. 1500–1553) Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia, a Spanish conquistador, is best known as the conqueror of Chile. He was born about 1500 at La Serena, Estremadura, Spain. He joined the Spanish army at a time of near constant warfare in Europe. As a soldier in the army of Charles V of Spain, Valdivia fought for the Habsburg empire in the Italian Wars. He saw action at Flanders and at Pavia in 1525. The Battle of Pavia is particularly notable as the first major modern battle, illustrating the shift from knights in armor and crossbowmen to cannoneers. Valdivia went to the New World in 1535. He took part in the prolonged conquest of Venezuela and then joined Francisco Pizarro, the conqueror of Peru, in 1532. Conspicuous among the conquistadores for his learning and conceit, Valdivia became the most distinguished officer and the highest in rank in Pizarro’s government. He commanded Pizarro’s forces at the 1538 Battle of Las Salinas, a struggle between Pizarro and other conquistadores for control of the city of Cuzco. Pizarro was a notoriously difficult man to the point where he was eventually assassinated by his fellow Spaniards, but Valdivia displayed an ability to get along with the conqueror and became his favorite. He received the title maestro del campo, or chief officer of staff, and appeared set for a prosperous life in Peru. However Valdivia had an ambitious nature. He wanted both an independent position and a territory of his own. He picked Chile for reasons that baffled the other Spaniards. Chile had such a bad reputation after the failed expedition of Diego de Almagro that public opinion in Peru held that the land could not feed 50 Spaniards; there was no wealth to be had in Chile. Nevertheless, Valdivia sought Pizarro’s support to explore and conquer the land. In exchange, he surrendered his valuable encomienda and a silver mine at Porco. In 1539, Pizarro named Valdivia as lieutenant governor of Chile and Valdivia set out to claim his territory. Valdivia had great trouble recruiting men to accompany him in part because he possessed little property. The commander of an expedition in this era had to pay all the expenses involved with the movement of troops. Since Valdivia had little money, he could afford only a small force. He left Cuzco in January 1540 with betweeen five and 20 Spanish soldiers, his mistress Inés de Suárez, and a Native American auxiliary force of about 1,000 men. Along the route to Arequipa, other Spaniards joined him. At Tarapacá, Valdivia waited for additional reinforcements, but when the army finally set out across the Atacama desert, it numbered fewer than 100 Spaniards including two priests. Valdivia marched south with the items deemed most useful for colonization—European grains, principally wheat; domestic animals, especially pigs and fowl; and a collection of agricultural implements. After 11 months of hardship, skirmishes with Indians, and internal conflicts, Valdivia’s forces arrived in the valley of the Mapocho. Almost immediately they were attacked by an Indian army led by the local chief, Michimalonco. The Spaniards eventually drove off the Indian warriors. At Copiapó, seven months after Valdivia’s journey had begun, he took possession of Chile in the name of the Spanish Crown. Soon after, he convinced the local Indians to aid in the construction of Chile’s first European-style city, Santiago, in February 1541. Less than a month later, Valdivia created a cabildo (governing council), which in turn, called upon Valdivia to make himself governor of Chile in the name of the king of Spain rather than as Pizarro’s lieutenant. After perfunctory objections, Valdivia agreed. Unfortunately for the Spaniards, on September 11, 1541, the Araucanian Indians (Southwestern South America)attacked Santiago and burned it to the ground. The war for Chile would consume the remainder of Valdivia’s life. He spent the next years pushing south from Santiago, warring against the Araucanians, and establishing a number of fort towns including Concepcion, La Imperial (present-day Carahue), Valdivia, and Villarrica. With the creation of each city, Valdivia handed out encomiendas to selected conquistadores, thereby granting them authority to collect tribute from the Indians in their jurisdiction and take charge of the process of Christianizing the Native Americans. Religious orders were also granted encomiendas by the conquistador. Since the indigenous Chileans had little accumulated wealth, tribute typically took the form of forced labor in the mines or gold washings. Not surprisingly, the Indians put up a fierce resistance to enslavement. In 1548, Valdivia received aid and reinforcements from Peru, raising the number of Spaniards in Chile to 500 men. It would not be enough, since the Spanish troops were stretched so thinly throughout the country. On December 25, 1553, the Araucanians were under the command of Lautaro, a former groom of Valdivia’s who had acquired knowledge of Spanish tactics and weaknesses during his time as a slave. Lautaro lured Valdivia into a trap. The Araucanians defeated the Spaniards in the Battle of Tucapel, killing Valdivia and all 50 of the men who had accompanied him. Although legend holds that the Indians captured Valdivia and poured molten gold down his throat in reference to the wealth that he so brutally sought, it is more likely that his decapitated head ended up on the point of an Araucanian lance. This was the Indians’ customary treatment of conquered enemies. Following Valdivia’s death, most of the Spaniards fled southern Chile for Santiago. The Spanish remained a presence only at the fort of Valdivia. Chile remained in a constant state of war until the 17th century. See also Habsburg dynasty; Peru, conquest of; silver in the Americas; Potosí (silver mines of Colonial Peru). Further reading: Graham, R. B. Cunninghame. Pedro de Valdivia: Conqueror of Chile. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1927; Loveman, Brian. Chile: The Legacy of Hispanic Capitalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001; Valdes, Gerardo Larrain. Pedro de Valdivia: Biografia. Santiago, Chile: Editorial Luxemburgo, 1996; Vernon, Ida W. Pedro de Valdivia, Conquistador of Chile. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1986. Caryn E. Neumann Valois dynasty The branch of the Capet family who ruled France from 1328 to 1589, the Valois, descended from 1285 when Philip III gave the county of Valois to his brother Charles. Charles’s son succeeded to the throne of France when the direct male line of the Capets failed in 1328. The succession was challenged by the English king Edward III, who claimed a closer link to the Crown via his mother, the sister of the last king. This was one direct cause of the Hundred Years’ War. There were three branches of Valois kings. The first was the direct line, reigning 1328–1498. The second was the Orleans branch, which reigned in the person of just one monarch, Louis XII. This branch dates to 1392 when the younger son of Charles V, noted poet Louis, was given the Duchy of Orleans. His descendant, Louis XII (1498–1515), succeeded in 1498. The third branch, the House of Angoulême, which reigned from 1515 to 1589, also descended from Duke Charles of Orleans. When the male line of this family ended, it went to another branch of the royal family, the Bourbon dynasty, under Salic Law, which limited the royal succession to a paternal male relative. The first king of the Valois family, Philip VI (1328–50), was unfortunate as he faced the great defeat of Crecy followed by the Black Death that took approximately onethird of France’s population. The second king, John the Good (1350–64), was captured at the Battle of Poitiers (1356) and spent the rest of his time as a prisoner of the English. This was a low point for France, as much of the country was occupied and facing civil unrest. The later kings of the first branch proved more capable. Charles V (1364–80), often called the wisest of the Valois, was able to win back most of the English conquest but died young. His successor, Charles VI (1380–1422), succeeded as a child, gave promise of ability, but succumbed to insanity in 1392. Thereafter, the French realm slid back into anarchy and eventual 39 4 Valois dynasty English invasion by Henry V, whose victory at Agincourt and intrigue by the House of Burgundy eventually led to a treaty in 1420 that made the English king, as the husband of Catherine of France, the heir. Perhaps half of France fell under English control. The next king, Charles VII (1422–61), was not a great king but was called “the well-served” because of his advisers and aides. A series of events led to the eventual expulsion of the English from France during Charles VII’s reign. First, Joan of Arc inspired the French in her quest to rid her country of England. Then Charles’s relatives persuaded him to establish the first standing army so as to reduce dependence on unreliable nobles. Additionally, the financier Jacques Coeur established a tax system to support the army. Together, these factors empowered the French to shake off English rule altogether. Louis XI (1461–83), who along with Charles V, is considered the ablest of the Valois kings, faced a threat from Burgundy, which was an offshoot of the royal line of France. The duchy and county of Burgundy (Franche- Comté) together with much of the Netherlands were under the control of this family. Other nobles joined Charles to flout Louis XI’s authority. Louis established a new civilian administration and gradually reduced the huge territories of the nobles. He was assisted by the defeat and death of his greatest rival, Charles of Burgundy, in 1477 so that with the exception of Brittany, the major fiefs of France had been annexed by his death. The marriage of his son Charles VIII (1483–98), who married the heiress of Brittany in 1498, completed the policy of consolidation. On Charles’s death in 1498, the direct line ended, and Louis XII succeeded. He retained Brittany by marrying the widow of Charles VIII. He also continued the Italian Wars started by his predecessor. On his death in 1515, he was succeeded by his cousin and son-in-law Francis I. A true Renaissance prince, Francis I spent the bulk of his reign struggling against the hegemony of the Habsburg dynasty as exemplified by charles v and I of Germany and Spain. His successor, Henry II, continued his policies. The French abandoned Italy at the end of his reign but gained the Lorraine territories of Metz, Toul, and Verdun. The last kings of the Valois (Francis II, 1559–60; Charles IX, 1560–74; and Henry III, 1574–89) had their reigns overshadowed by the Wars of Religion between devout Catholics on the one hand and the Protestant Huguenots on the other. When the last of the kings was murdered by a religious fanatic motivated by revenge, the line ended after a tumultuous 261 years of rule. Further reading: Cameron, Keith, ed. From Valois to Bourbon. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1989; Holte, Mack P. The French Wars of Religion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1960; Kendal, Paul M. Louis XI: The Universal Spider. Phoenix, AZ: Phoenix Press, 2001; Lewis, Wyndham. King Spider, Some Aspects of Louis, France and Their Companions. London: Norwood, 1985; Tyrell, Joseph. Louis XI. New York: Twayne, 1980. Norman C. Rothman Vasa dynasty The Swedish Vasa ruled Sweden directly from 1523 to 1654, and their descendants ruled through the female line until 1818. They also were kings of Poland 1587–1668. The people of Sweden had long resented the Union of Kalmar that had united Denmark, Norway, and Sweden (which then included Finland). Throughout the 15th century, there had been sporadic attempts to break away under Swedish claimants. The kings of Denmark held the other countries as glorified satrapies (provinces). Parts of former Swedish territory in the south were held by Denmark and Norway, while trade was in the hands of the German Hanseatic League. Against this background, the massacre of leading Swedish nobles who belonged to the National Party (the Stockholm bloodbath of 1520) by Christian II of Denmark provoked a national reaction, and in 1523 a young nobleman called Gustav Ericcson, who took the surname Vasa, was elected king. After a number of years of fighting, the deposition of Christian II by the Danes ultimately led to peace although for centuries Sweden was included on the Danish royal arms. In 1537, a peace between Lubeck, the leading Hanseatic power, and Sweden was arranged. As the archbishop of the Swedish church was an opponent of the new king, Gustav (1523–60) took advantage of this to establish the new Lutheran Church. After his death, the next 50 years saw the rule successively of three of his sons. Erik XXV (1560– 68) had ability but lapsed into insanity. His delusions of grandeur led to war with Denmark, Lubeck, and Poland. By 1567, his insanity had increased to such an extent that leading men feared for their lives. He had some of the foremost nobles imprisoned; others were assassinated and one was alleged to have been murdered. He was deposed in 1568, imprisoned, and died in 1577. His successor, John III (1568–92), was pleasant but ineffectual. He made peace with the powers at war with Sweden, and ultimately Estonia was put under Swedish Vasa dynasty 39 5 control, marking the beginning of Sweden’s access to great power status. From this time forward (ca. 1570), Sweden was considered the equal of Denmark, its great rival for the next two centuries. John vacillated between Lutheranism and Catholicism, as his wife was a Catholic, and his son was a potential heir to Poland. The son, Sigismund, adopted the Catholic faith and in 1587 became king of Poland. Sigismund’s faith led to his deposition in the by now strongly Lutheran country, and his pronouncedly Protestant uncle, Charles II (1599–1611), took over. Thus until 1668, when the Polish Vasa line died out, there was conflict between the senior Catholic branch ruling Poland and the junior Protestant branch ruling Sweden. Sweden’s rise to great power (1630–1723) began in the next reign, when Gustav Adolphus, Sweden’s great ruler, assumed the Crown. His first success was a treaty with Russia whereby eastern Karelia and Ingria (the area of present-day St. Petersburg) were given to Sweden so as to connect it with Estonia. In 1630, Gustav came to the aid of German Protestants and secured a series of brilliant victories between June 1630 and his death in battle in 1632. Nevertheless, under the able chancellor of state Axel Oxensteirna, the Swedes continued their success under Queen Christina Vasa, who succeeded as a minor. By the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) Sweden acquired large possessions in north Germany, some of which she was to hold until 1810, and part of Livonia (presentday Latvia). Christina came of age in 1644 and was brilliant, but also impulsive. Becoming interested in Catholicism, she decided to abdicate in 1654. She then converted to Catholicism and settled in Rome, where for many years she engaged in various intrigues. Her death in 1689 marked the end of the Vasa dynasty. In 1654, her cousin, a Vasa but also a Wittelsbach and a Protestant, succeeded her as king. See also Counter-Reformation (Catholic Reformation) in Europe; Luther, Martin; Reformation, the. Further reading: Akerman, Susan, and May Ellen Wraithe, eds. “Kristina Wasa, Queen of Sweden.” A History of Women Philosophers. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1991; Lockhart, Paul. Sweden in the Seventeenth Century. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2000; MacMunn, George Fletcher. Gustavia Adolphus, the Lion of the North. New York: R. M. McBride, 1951; Roberts, Michael. Gustavus Adolphus. New York: Longman, 1992; Singleton, Esther, ed. “Christina, Queen of Sweden.” Famous Women. New York: Dodd, Mead, & Co., 1907. Norman C. Rothman Vespucci, Amerigo (1454–1512) Florentine explorer An innovative explorer, pioneering cosmographer, and highly effective self-promoter during the age of discovery, Amerigo Vespucci was the first to recognize that the lands encountered by Christopher Columbus and Pedro Álvares Cabral represented an entirely “New World,” a term he coined in his collection of letters and documents titled Paesi novamente retrovati, published in Italy in 1507. During that same year, a Latinized version of Vespucci’s given name—America—was applied to these lands for the first time in a map published by an obscure French clergyman named Martin Waldseemüller in his collection of documents titled Cosmographiae introductio. Thus an explorer not involved in the initial discovery of the lands of the Western Hemisphere had the singular distinction of having two continents bear his name. His career as an explorer and cosmographer was actually Vespucci’s second, as he had built his fortune as a merchant and agent for the Medici interests in Italy. Launching his second career in 1499 at the age of 45, Vespucci joined the expedition of Spanish navigators Alonso de Ojeda and Peralonso Niño in 1499 in their exploration of the coasts of northern South America. By prior agreement, Vespucci separated from Ojeda and Niño and sailed south, exploring the mouth of the Amazon as well as various Caribbean islands. In 1500, he returned to Spain and in 1501 switched patrons. He served under King Manuel of Portugal when he explored nearly 10,000 kilometers of the southern coastline of South America and made many discoveries, including the Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. Sailing as far south as 50 degrees south latitude, south of the mouth of the Río de la Plata, Vespucci kept detailed notes, revisions of which were published in 1507. As did other explorers of his day Vespucci emphasized the most extraordinary and titillating features of the natives he encountered, describing them as perpetually naked (“just as they spring from their mother’s wombs so they go until death”), sexually promiscuous (“they marry as many wives as they please; and son cohabits with mother, brother with sister, male cousin with female, and any man with the first woman he meets”), without property of any kind (“neither do they have goods of their own, but all things are held in common”), without religion (“they have no church, no religion”), and horribly deformed by “unwonted and monstrous” ornamentation on their bodies and faces. 396 Vespucci, Amerigo In addition to his discoveries and publications, Vespucci was a pioneer in the art and science of cosmology, developing a method for computing nearly exact longitude (which up until then had been determined by dead reckoning). He also calculated the circumference of the Earth to within 80 kilometers of its actual dimensions. For centuries, most scholars discounted Vespucci’s accomplishments as secondary and derivative, a perception that was only corrected with the work of Italian scholar Alberto Magnaghi in the 1920s and 1930s. Vespucci died in 1512 at age 58, from malaria contracted during his explorations. See also scientific revolution; voyages of discovery. Further reading: Boorstin, Daniel J. The Discoverers. New York: H. N. Abrams, 1991; Dor-Ner, Zvi. Columbus and the Age of Discovery. New York: William Morrow & Co., 1991; Pohl, Frederick J. Amerigo Vespucci, Pilot Major. New York: Columbia University Press, 1944. Michael J. Schroeder Virgin of Guadalupe A fascinating synthesis of Roman Catholicism and pre-Columbian indigenous religious beliefs, the Virgin of Guadalupe (or queen of Mexico) represents a religious icon, a national myth, and Mexico’s most important, popular, and recognizable patron saint. The origins of this dark-skinned virgin are conventionally attributed to a vision experienced by the Indian Juan Diego on the hill Tepeyac, just outside Mexico City, in the year 1531, only a decade after the Spanish destruction of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán and conquest of Mexico. The question of why this particular apparition eventually reached canonical status in contrast to many other religious apparitions and visions reported by other Indians in the decades after the conquest remains a matter of scholarly debate. Indeed the Virgin of Guadalupe was not the only syncretic folk religious icon to which the newly conquered indigenous peoples of New Spain directed their prayers and faith in the decades following the tumult and violence of the conquest. Similarly constituted sacred icons, Virgin of Guadalupe 39 7 Amerigo Vespucci greets natives as he lands in the New World. Vespucci was the first to recognize that the lands encountered by previous explorers represented an entirely “New World,” a term he coined in his collection of letters and documents. images, and shrines, combining both Roman Catholic and indigenous beliefs, included the Virgin of Zapopán (c. 1531), the Virgin of San Juan de los Lagos (c. 1542), the Virgin of Talpa (c. 1590), the Lord of the Conquest (or Lord of Miracles, c. 1585), the Lord of Villaseca (or the Black Christ, late 1500s), and Our Lady of Atocha and the Christ Child of Atocha (1700s), among many others. Understanding the proliferation of popular sacred icons and shrines in postconquest New Spain requires understanding the pantheon of pre-Columbian gods worshiped by Mexico’s indigenous peoples; the Roman Catholic tradition of venerating saints, relics, and icons representing various manifestations of God, Jesus, Mary, and the Holy Trinity, in particular the Virgin of Guadalupe of Extremadura (Spain), the patron saint of the conquistadores; and the social and cultural devastation generated by the conquest and its aftermath of forced labor, compulsory religious conversion, and epidemic diseases, which together created a social environment ripe for the emergence of apocalyptic and messianic beliefs and doctrines. Tenacious in their retention of their ancient religious beliefs and practices, which included magic, sorcery, and divine intervention in every aspect of human affairs (commonly denigrated as superstition by Spanish religious authorities), the indigenous peoples of the Basin of Mexico and beyond responded to the destruction of the conquest by reinterpreting their ancient beliefs in the light of the newly imposed religious doctrines of the conquerors. The Virgin of Guadalupe represented one such syncretic spiritual creation. According to the French historian Jacques Lafaye, in an interpretation that has come to be broadly accepted within the scholarly community, the cult of the dark-skinned Virgin of Tepeyac (Guadalupe) emerged over decades as the synthesis of Indian folk beliefs and learned Spanish-creole writings, the most important of the latter including a book published in 1648 by the creole Miguel Sánchez, and the poems and plays of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. According to Lafaye, to the Indians she represented a transmutation of the Aztec goddess Tonantzín, whose traditional dwelling place was also the hill of Tepeyac. Whatever the precise combination of spiritual impulses that together forged the cult of the Virgin of Guadalupe, by the early 1700s the cult was in full flower, her image associated not only with miracles but with a burgeoning sense of national identity among Mexico’s creoles. Among the most arresting examples of this fusion can be seen in the campaigns of the hero of Mexican independence Miguel Hidalgo in 1810, whose ragtag army adopted as its emblem a banner bearing the Virgin’s image. Transmuted over centuries from an indigenous god into a syncretic Christian cult, the Virgin of Guadalupe remains to this day one of the most distinctive and important symbols of the Mexican nation. See also epidemics in the Americas. Further reading: Durand, Jorge, and Douglas S. Massey. Miracles on the Border: Retablos of Mexican Migrants to the United States. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1995; Lafaye, Jacques. Quetzalcóatl and Guadalupe: The Formation of Mexican National Consciousness, 1531–1813. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976. Michael J. Schroeder voyages of discovery Since ancient times, mariners have traveled large distances, usually in search of opportunities for trade or military expansion. The Phoenicians are believed to have sailed from modern-day Lebanon to England for tin, and accounts by the Romans and later the Vikings show the great skills in seamanship. The adventurer Thor Heyerdahl showed that it was possible to sail in relatively simple vessels across the Pacific in his epic voyage in the raft Kon-Tiki. A later expedition on the Tigris grew from a stone carving of Queen Hatshepsut, who commissioned the first visual record of a voyage of discovery in 1493 b.c.e. However the voyages of discovery from the 15th century were a concerted effort by European powers to map as much of the world as possible, as well as expand trade, make Christian converts, and carve out an empire. Although the most well documented, the European voyages were not the first with some of these objects in mind. In 1421, the great Chinese admiral Zheng He headed one of the largest fleets ever when he set out from China to travel around Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. There is also the possibility that some of his ships reached New Zealand and even the American continent. When he returned owing to palace machinations Zheng He was never able to repeat his voyage, and China entered a period of self-isolation, never again sending a large fleet to sea. Curiously this change in Chinese policy coincided with a move by European countries to begin journeys of exploration. The Portuguese were the first to take up this challenge. Under Henry the Navigator (1394–1460), following the Portuguese capture of the Moroccan city 398 voyages of discovery of Ceuta, Henry encouraged seafarers to travel around the coasts of Africa. The Italian Marco Polo in 1271–95 and a few other intrepid adventurers had reached China by land, but with the Ottoman Turks in control of much of the Middle East and Central Asia, the cost of importing spices into Europe was very high and Henry was in the position to encourage many people to embark on great voyages, even if he himself never traveled farther than Morocco. dias and columbus In 1434, Portuguese ships reached Cape Bojador in West Africa, and it was another 26 years before they reached modern-day Senegal. Some 22 years after that, Portuguese mariners were off the coast of modern-day Angola, and in 1488 the navigator Bartolomeu Dias (c. 1450– 1500) passed the Cape of Good Hope and found a route to the Indian Ocean. Being on the westernmost part of the European mainland had put the Portuguese in an ideal position to begin the European age of voyages of discovery, but other mariners from other countries had already achieved some enormous feats. English ships sailed regularly to Scandinavia and the Baltic. There are also references in English court records to a ship returning from “Brazil” in the 1470s. This does not necessarily mean the country of that name, but scholars have conjectured, more plausibly, that this might be Newfoundland, where some English sailors probably went in search of fish. Arab sailors were also involved in voyages down the east coast of Africa and around the Indian Ocean. Many settled in places like Zanzibar, the Maldives, and Sumatra. One of the great Arab travelers of the period was Ibn Batuta, who, between 1325 and 1353, traveled around north Africa, into Mali, down the east coast of Africa, throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, into parts of Russia, and around the coasts of India, and modern-day Myanmar (Burma), Malaysia, and Vietnam to China, keeping a detailed record of the voyages. When Christopher Columbus (1451–1506), an Italian in the service of Spain, set sail across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492 and returned in the following year, news of his voyage and discovery of the Americas swept across the capitals of Europe like wildfire. By this period, most people accepted that the world was a sphere, and some had even worked out, correctly, its size. For this reason it was thought that a voyage from Europe to China, India, or Japan would be far too long and it would be impossible to equip a ship for that voyage. Columbus believed that the world was smaller, and hence it was possible to reach China or Japan, and this idea gave him enough confidence to lead his men on their first voyage. One of the results of the first voyage of Columbus was that the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494 was signed between Portugal and Spain by which they divided the world at a line 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands. The land to the west went to Spain, and that to the east to Portugal. As a result, Portuguese seafarers limited themselves to Africa, to the Indian Ocean, and to establishing of the Portuguese Empire in Africa and Asia. It was only later that Brazil was discovered and found to be in the Portuguese sphere. Spain, on the other hand, sent ships to the Americas. An Italian in the service of Spain, Amerigo Vespucci (1454–1512), sailed to modern- day Brazil in the late 1490s and had the honor of America’s being named after him. In 1513, Vasco Núñez de Balboa (c. 1475–1519) was the first European to sight the Pacific Ocean and realize that Columbus was wrong in his estimation of the size of the world. cort és and pizarro As well as voyages purely of discovery, the Portuguese were able to trade extensively and their ships brought back large quantities of spices, and also slaves. The initial Spanish voyages found very little in the way of gold or silver until 1521, when Hernán Cortés (1484–1547) sacked the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán, and 13 years later Francisco Pizarro (c. 1475–1541) plundered and destroyed the Inca Empire. This wealth suddenly made Spain the richest country in Europe. Many of the early explorers also found much agricultural land, and in August 1535, one of the largest expeditions to leave Spain for the New World during that century sailed from Cádiz. Led by Pedro de Mendoza, it had 11 ships, more than 1,000 men, 100 horses, pigs, and cattle. The voyages of discovery had led to a desire to colonize the Americas. This expedition sailed up the river Plate and then the Río Paraguay in search of the Inca kingdoms. In a bend in the river they established the city of Asunción (now the capital of Paraguay). Within 50 years of Columbus’s first voyage, the kings of Spain had carved out an empire nearly 23 times the size of Spain itself. The Portuguese had also embarked on more ambitious voyages, and their great navigator Vasco da Gama (c. 1469–1525) was able to take a fleet on a two year voyage the 13,000 miles to Calicut in India, from which he was able to take back spices. The next of the great explorers was Ferdinand Magellan (c. 1480–1521) from Portugal, who sailed in the service of the king of Portugal from 1505 until 1512 and then in the service of the king of Spain from 1519. He sailed down the eastern coast of South America until he found what were later named the Straits of Magellan. Sailing through them, he voyages of discovery 399 was able to reach the Pacific. His voyage was the first to circumnavigate the world, although he was killed in the Philippines, halfway through the journey. By this time the Portuguese under Afonso de Albuquerque (1453– 1515) had started to carve out a colonial empire in Asia taking the cities of Ormuz, Goa, and Malacca. The English had tried to embark on a few voyages but never had much success. With Italian-born John Cabot (c. 1450–98) and later his son, Sebastian Cabot (c. 1476–1557), the English had tried to find the Northwest Passage—a route to the Pacific north of the Americas. They found no gold, although they did discover areas rich in fish, and eventually Sebastian Cabot joined the service of Spain. The next major English effort was through the Muscovy Company sailing to Russia. This had more success and led to the mapping of north coast of Scandinavia and some of the Russian coastline. However there was great interest in these voyages in England with Richard Hakluyt (1552–1616), a lawyer to the Muscovy Company, publishing a large number of accounts of the early voyages in his Principal Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries of the English Nation (1589). drake and la salle When England and Spain went to war, many English privateers set to sea. These were privately owned ships with the queen of England’s authority to attack Spanish possessions and ships around the world. The Spanish viewed them as pirates, the English as heroes. One of these, Sir Francis Drake (ca. 1540–96), in 1577 set out in his ship Pelican (later renamed Golden Hind), which, in the next three years, circumnavigated the world. He was able to map out parts of the coast of Chile, reaching modern-day California, before heading across the Pacific. His return not only was a feat of seamanship, but carrying many spices, a massive financial windfall for investors. The fortunes to be made encouraged further English voyages including Henry Hudson’s making another attempt for the Northwest Passage. The French had not been involved in the earlier voyages of discovery but with Samuel de Champlain (1567–1635) managed to map the St. Lawrence River in modern-day Canada and founded Quebec in 1608. He became lieutenant-governor of New France from 1613 until 1625. Another French voyager, trained in a Jesuit seminary, René Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle (1643– 87), sailed to the Americas several times, navigating the St. Lawrence and Ohio Rivers, and later the Mississippi River. With settlers he founded what became French Louisiana. During the 17th century, the Dutch became particularly active and took control of a part of Java, in modern- day Indonesia. Their military skills in the 1630s and 1640s ensured that they were able to capture a number of the Portuguese settlements and establish their own colonial empire. By this time, Portuguese power had waned and the Dutch took Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Malacca from them. Some early Dutch seamen also mapped parts of modern-day Australia and New Zealand. By the early 18th century, the Russians were beginning to fund explorers. The Bering expedition in 1728, led by a Danish mariner, Vitus Jonassen Bering (1681– 1741), was the first to include a number of scientists. After traveling across Siberia, a feat in itself, he sailed from Russia to modern-day Alaska, with the Bering Sea named after him. Bering died during the voyages, and only many years later was good use made of the reports by scientists from his voyages. The last part of the world to be explored by ship was the Pacific. Englishman William Dampier (1652–1715) and Abel Tasman (c. 1603–59) had mapped some of the coast of modern-day Australia. Louis de Bougainville sailed the Pacific and his book, when published back in France, became an immediate bestseller. When Captain James Cook (1728–79) sailed the Pacific, using better instruments than Dampier and Tasman, he was able to map the coastline of Australia more accurately. He kept a very detailed journal and did not allow his crew to keep a journal so that his book, when published, would be the only accurate account of the voyage. Cook was killed in Hawaii in 1779, but his example was followed by several other mariners including one of his former officers, William Bligh (1754–1817), who tried to sail to the Pacific via Cape Horn but was forced to turn back, unable to fulfill his ambition of circumnavigating the world. He was also subject to a mutiny in 1789, which he managed to survive. See also mercantilism; slave trade, Africa and the. Further reading: Castlereagh, Duncan. The Great Age of Exploration. London: Aldus Books, 1971; Heyerdahl, Thor. The Ra Expeditions. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1971; Hordern, Nicholas, et al. The New World. London: Aldus Books, 1973; Landström, Bjorn. The Quest for India. London: Allen & Unwin, 1968; Ley, Charles David, ed. Portuguese Voyages 1498–1663. London: Dent, 1965; Menzies, Gavin. 1421: The Year China Discovered the World. London: Bantam, 2003; Parry, J. H., ed. Discovery. Sydney: Reader’s Digest, 1978. Justin Corfield
Age of Revolution and Empire 1750 to 1900 Edit
Vatican I Council (1869–1870) Pope Pius IX began laying the groundwork for the fi rst Vatican Council in late 1864. He intended to consult various bishops throughout the world concerning whether the church should convene an ecumenical council and what its agenda should be. The responses were favorable enough that Pius IX announced on June 26, 1867, his intention to summon the Council. On June 29, 1868, a proclamation, or bull, was written announcing December 8, 1869, as the day the Council would solemnly begin. Throughout Europe and America, critics asserted that the pope’s hidden agenda was to promote papal infallibility. On the eve of the Council, however, offi cial papers showed the following agenda: errors resulting from Rationalism; the Church of Christ; Christian marriage; church discipline concerning bishops, dioceses, seminaries, catechism, rituals, Christian morals, customs of the church year, and current developments in society such as dueling, spiritualism and secret societies; decrees on religious orders; and concerns involving the Eastern Churches. In addition, many Catholic bishops throughout the world demanded that a dogma concerning the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary be addressed, that St. Joseph be proclaimed Patron of the Universal Church, and that the infallibility of the pope be clearly defi ned. A document concerning infallibility was not found in any of the drafts of preparation. The preliminary gathering for Vatican I began as close to 500 bishops met in the Sistine Chapel on December 2, 1869. Approximately 74 percent of the eligible 1,050 worldwide prelates played some role in the nine-month proceedings. All told, the Council Fathers sat at 89 general congregations and four public sessions. The fi rst debate of the council was on the errors resulting from rationalism. This philosophy places human reason as the supreme criterion of truth. It fl ows from the teachings of Gottfried Leibniz and Christian Wolff and can be characterized by spiritualism, dogmatism, and determinism. The church wished to address the weaknesses of these philosophies and offer a Catholic response to them. The next topics to be discussed concerned bishops, dioceses without a bishop, morality among clerics, and a catechism. These items were sidelined throughout the proceedings by the growing desire among many of the bishops for a statement on papal infallibility. Meanwhile, pressures were being felt by the bishops that impeded the progress of the council, so the pope made some procedural changes that expedited decision making. One important result was the “constitution,” De Fide Catholica, promulgated on April 24, 1870. Finally, on May 9, participants received a draft of De Romano Pontifi ce, a document that spelled out the dogma of papal infallibility. Debate about this issue continued through June and into July. On July 4 the debate ended, and a vote was called for July 13. By this time many bishops had left Rome on hearing the news V about an imminent war between France and Germany. The remaining fathers voted 75 percent affi rmative, another 10 percent affi rmative with conditions, and 15 percent negative. On July 18 the pope personally presided over the Council and a last vote was taken. The results of the vote were 433 to 2 in favor of the document, and it was immediately promulgated. On September 8 troops from Piedmont entered the Papal States, and by September 20 they had reached Rome. Pius IX would from that day forward be a selfimposed prisoner in the Vatican. Unfortunately, the council did not address a large number of drafts and proposals due to the political situation that brought Vatican I to a premature end. However, two constitutions were promulgated, and these are of great importance to the Catholic Church. De Fide Catholica fortifi ed Rome’s defense against the errors of atheism, materialism, and rationalism. It affi rmed that God exists as a personal and all-knowing God, creating everything from nothing and leading everything to its end. This God can be known by reason, is revealed in Scripture and in tradition, and can be made known to the world by miraculous occurrences. Faith and knowledge support each other and are entrusted to the church to defend and interpret. De Romano Pontifi ce teaches that the primacy of the pope brings unity and strength to the entire church. This primacy is one of true pastoral jurisdiction to which all clergy and faithful are bound in obedience. This primacy strengthens and defends local bishops in their ministry. No secular power can interfere with these duties. Nonetheless, critics of the council emerged in the form of minor reactions and schisms. In Germany, the “Old Catholics” sect arose, and in Switzerland the “Christian Catholics” formed. After the war between France and Germany, the German government used the infallibility doctrine as a reason to encourage Kulturkampf (“Culture Struggle,” or Secularization). Austria annulled its concordat with the Holy See. Other than these few occurrences, the decisions of Vatican I did not result in objections throughout the world. On December 8, 1870, Pius IX fi nally declared St. Joseph as Patron of the Universal Church. Subsequent popes would challenge many of the moral and religious problems that were not addressed by Vatican I, including masonry, human freedom, Christian marriage, forbidden books, and the codifi cation of canon law. Further reading: Costigan, Richard F. The Consensus of the Church and Papal Infallibility: A Study in the Background of Vatican I. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2005; Hennesey, James. The First Council of the Vatican. New York: Herder and Herder, 1963; Heton, John A photo of the Vatican taken during the Vatican I Council. The Council was created by Pope Pius IX as a way to discuss issues within the Catholic Church. While initially controversial, the meetings were eventually accepted by most of the world’s Catholic population. 430 Vatican I Council (1869–1870) E. Lord Acton and the First Vatican Council: A Journal. Sydney: Catholic Theological Faculty, 1975. William J. Turner Victor Emmanuel II (1830–1878) king of Italy Victor Emmanuel II was born on March 14, 1830, in Turin, the eldest son of Charles Albert, king of Piedmont-Sardinia, and Maria Theresa of Habsburg- Lorraine. During the first Italian War of Independence (1848–49), Victor Emmanuel fought alongside his father, seeing action at Pastrengo, Santa Lucia, Goto, and Custoza where, on July 24–25, 1848, the Sardinian forces were driven from Lombardy. On March 23, 1849, Charles Albert was forced to abdicate the throne after being defeated at the Battle of Novara on March 23—he went into exile in Portugal and died four months later—and Victor Emmanuel became king. He managed to negotiate a peace agreement with the Austrians on August 9, 1849, but the Piedmont Chamber of Deputies refused to ratify it. Victor Emmanuel responded by sacking the prime minister, Claudio Gabriele de Launay, and replacing him with Massimo D’Azeglio. New elections were held, and the new chamber ratified the treaty. In 1852 Victor Emmanuel appointed Count Camillo di Cavour as prime minister, and together they were to be involved in the Italian Risorgimento— the reunification of Italy—along with Mazzini and Garibaldi. To achieve this, Cavour persuaded the king that there should be an alliance with the British and the French, and the opportunity arose with the outbreak of the Crimean War. Piedmont sent over a small contingent. Then Victor Emmanuel reached an agreement with the French emperor Napoleon III at Plombières in 1858, where Piedmont and France would take part in an attack on Austria and the former would get the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia and the French would be given Nice and Savoy. However, the fighting began badly for the French, with France getting Nice and Savoy, but Piedmont only gaining Lombardy. Cavour resigned, but Victor Emmanuel was able to get Naples and Sicily, in plebiscites, to vote to join Sardinia- Piedmont, and on February 18, 1861, the Kingdom of Italy was established. In 1866 Venice was added to Italy, and in 1871 the Papal States were annexed, with Rome as the capital. The taking of Rome was only possible with the French being involved in the Franco-Prussian War. It also led to Victor Emmanuel being excommunicated. This was reversed in 1878, just before Victor Emmanuel’s death on January 9, 1878. He was succeeded by his son, Umberto, who reigned until 1900. Further reading: Mack Smith, Denis. Victor Emanuel, Cavour and the Risorgimento. London and New York: Oxford University Press, 1971. Justin Corfield Victoria (1819–1901) queen of Great Britain, empress of India Queen Victoria was born May 24, 1819, acceded to the throne on June 20, 1837 (succeeding William IV), and died January 22, 1901 (succeeded by Edward VII). The woman who wore the crown of the United Kingdom through six decades of great political, economic, and social change in Britain and elsewhere might never have been born at all were it not for a dynastic crisis in 1817. That year, Princess Charlotte, the daughter of the Prince of Wales and second in line to inherit the throne, died due to complications from giving birth, during which her baby also died. Despite the fact that George III and his queen had 15 children, 12 of whom were still alive in 1817, Charlotte had been their only surviving legitimate grandchild. There were many illegitimate children, such as Prince William’s 10 Fitz Clarences, but these were excluded from the succession. Charlotte’s death thus created a major problem for the Hanoverian line. The king was an incapacitated old man, and his children were mostly unmarried and all in their 40s and 50s, not the prime time to start a family. Nevertheless, the solution was for the unmarried sons of George III to leave their mistresses behind, marry women of appropriate status, and serve their country by producing as many living heirs as possible. As an incentive, Parliament agreed to alleviate some of the debts of the princes if they would settle into family life. Prince Edward Augustus, the duke of Kent and Strathearn, the father of Queen Victoria, had both financial problems and a mistress. His long, stable, and loving relationship with the French gentlewoman Julie de St. Laurent was practically a common-law marriage, but this counted for nothing in the royal succession. Legislation such as the Settlement Act of 1701 and the Victoria 431 Royal Marriages Act of 1772 placed major restrictions on the choice of marriage partners for members of the royal family, and as a French Catholic without suitable pedigree, Julie was an inappropriate choice on many counts. So Edward, like virtually all of his brothers, went looking for a German Protestant princess to take as his wife. He found Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, a widow and the sister of Prince Leopold, the widower of Princess Charlotte. The couple was married in 1818, and Victoria was born in May 1819. Within a matter of months, other hastily arranged royal matches also produced children, but since none from the more senior dynastic lines survived infancy, Victoria was soon considered to be the most likely grandchild of George III to inherit the throne. The old king died early in 1820, followed within a week by the duke of Kent. Victoria was thus fatherless from infancy. Her mother, the duchess of Kent, sought to keep her isolated from the courts of both George IV and William IV, partly because she wished to shield her daughter from the corruption of courtly life and partly due to chilly personal relations between the duchess and most of the royal family. Later in life, Victoria would remember George, William, and the other sons of George III as her “wicked uncles.” The young princess also faced problems closer to home. Her mother was loving but domineering, and she was guided by Sir John Conroy, a former equerry of the duke who became comptroller of the household. There were rumors that Conroy was the duchess’s lover, but in any case, he certainly carried a great deal of infl uence over her. The two sought increasingly higher pensions from the government (which they would manage on the young princess’s behalf) and also tried to ensure that they would have complete control of the regency if Victoria came to the throne before she turned 18. The two people to whom Victoria looked for guidance and compassion were her German governess, Baroness Lehzen, and her maternal uncle, Prince Leopold. In 1830 Leopold was chosen to become king of the newly independent Belgium, and he continued to provide his niece with advice and support throughout his life. ERA OF GREAT CHANGES In the summer of 1837 William IV died, secure in the knowledge that Victoria had passed her 18th birthday, and would no longer be subject to the domination of her mother and Conroy. Victoria came to the throne in an era of great changes. A number of European countries had experienced political revolutions in 1830; the British political landscape had been altered by the 1832 Reform Bill and other initiatives of the Whig government, paving the way for popular demands for even further change, in the form of the Chartist movement. The Industrial Revolution was changing the British economy and the condition of its cities and people. Practical, steam-driven railways were barely a decade old, but the network of rails rapidly spread across the country. Some people worried that a young “girl” (in the parlance of the time) could not effectively rule a modern, industrial, and imperial state. As it was, in the early years of her reign Victoria relied heavily on the guidance of her fi rst prime minister, the Whig Lord Melbourne. This posed great risks to the supposed impartiality of the sovereign in the operation of the British constitution. Many conservatives saw the Bedchamber Crisis of 1839, when the queen refused to accept the changes to her household personnel proposed by the Tory leader Robert Peel, as proof of her Whig sympathies. At the time, the queen disliked Peel intensely, but she would grow to respect his abilities later. For the moment, however, her lack of cooperation led Peel to refuse to form a government and kept Melbourne and the Whigs in power for two more years. ROMANTIC MATCH In 1840 Victoria married her fi rst cousin, Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Some had suggested that her husband should be chosen for diplomatic reasons, but the queen opted for a romantic match. Although the personalities of the queen and her new husband differed in many respects, their partnership was very effective in both political and domestic affairs. Albert was somewhat shy and intellectual and never tired of paperwork; Victoria was more outgoing and temperamental and did not mind ceremonies and state functions as Albert did. Together they oversaw the management of the royal family and household, as well as making the monarchy more active and visible in society at large. The Victoria Cross was created during the Crimean War to recognize the courage and sacrifi ce of British soldiers fi ghting in her name. The Great Exhibition of 1851, which showcased machinery and products from around the world, but above all the ascendancy of Britain’s industrial might, was heavily infl uenced by Albert’s energy and enthusiasm. The couple had nine children: Victoria, born in 1840; Albert Edward, the future Edward VII, 1841; Alice, 1842; Alfred, 1844; Helena, 1846; Louise, 1848; Arthur, 1850; Leopold, 1853; and Beatrice, 1857. Although Albert invested so much energy and time in 432 Victoria trying to raise Albert Edward (known as Bertie) to be a good king someday, the prince was a constant source of disappointment to both of his parents. Even so, the Prince of Wales and his siblings were often sent to distant parts of the empire as emissaries of their mother, which helped to reinforce the sentimental attachment of settler colonies in Canada, Australia, and South Africa to the home country. Albert’s death in 1861 had an enormous infl uence on Victoria for the rest of her life. Out of devotion to him, she insisted that the routines that were followed while he was alive continue, including making up his rooms and putting out hot water for shaving and washing. She largely retreated from public appearances for decades, except for the unveiling of monuments to Albert around the country. Her continued use of public funds without performing a public role led to popular criticism of the queen and the monarchy as an institution, especially in the 1870s. Many scholars argue that lacking Albert’s counsel, her behavior in politics also changed; whereas during their marriage the royal couple had generally sought to remain above party and to work dutifully with the government of the day, in widowhood Victoria began to show a marked preference for the Conservative Party (especially Benjamin Disraeli) and more antipathy to the Liberals (especially William Gladstone). She could not singlehandedly decide who would form the government, as some of her predecessors had, but she could make day-to-day administration more or less diffi cult depending on her prejudices. Victoria also grew close to two of her male servants: fi rst the Scottish highlander John Brown, with whom many contemporaries and some historians assumed she had an affair, and later the Indian Abdul Karim. Regardless of the precise nature of her relationships with these men, there is no doubt that she was very attached to each of them in turn and found a measure of comfort for her loneliness in their company. At the same time, some people believed that she was being manipulated by such confi dants, and her image as Mrs. Brown added fuel to the criticism of the monarchy in the 1870s. Her popularity was salvaged to a large extent through her increasing association with imperialism and British prestige abroad. Disraeli arranged for her to assume the title of empress of India in 1876, and she became the centerpiece of the great pageants that marked her two jubilees. The Golden Jubilee of 1887 emphasized the respect and goodwill for Britain and the queen from countless foreign dignitaries, although it was also immediately preceded by the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in 1886. The 1897 Diamond Jubilee placed more emphasis on the empire, with multicultural soldiers and statesmen from India, the settler Dominions and other colonies surrounding the queen in a colorful and triumphant display. By this time she had also become the “Grandmother of Europe,” through her children and grandchildren marrying into the royal families of Germany, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Greece, Spain, and Romania. By her death at the beginning of the 20th century, Britain was a preeminent global power in political, economic, and military terms, as nearly all of her obituaries declared. These accomplishments were not the queen’s own doing, nor did they only begin to develop after she took the throne. But the great length of her life and reign provided a reassuring veneer of stability and timelessness to an age that saw great and unpredictable changes in every fi eld of human activity, from technology to women’s rights. The queen herself was not always an advocate of such transformations, but in Queen Victoria, one of Great Britain’s most infl uential monarchs, and Prince Albert with their many children Victoria 433 the popular imagination her name and image became inextricably linked with the period and all that happened within it. The life and times of Queen Victoria continue to fascinate historians and nonhistorians alike. The queen herself is still one of the most talked- and written-about women in history. According to her biographer Walter Arnstein, “only the Virgin Mary, Joan of Arc, and Jane Austen ranked ahead of the queen” in the holdings of the Library of Congress. She was a complex personality, and the fi rsthand documentary record is vast, encompassing her own diaries, letters, and published works, as well as offi cial papers and the memoirs of many of the people who lived and worked with her over eight decades. With the passage of time and new sources being uncovered, the discussion of Victoria has continually been fed with new opinions and reevaluations. Her biographers are both numerous and diverse: They include a jaded intellectual (Lytton Strachey), a Catholic aristocrat (Elizabeth Longford), and a feminist and communist historian (Dorothy Thompson). Regardless of perspective, most biographers have found both commendable and faulty elements in the queen’s character, and it appears likely that the interest in Queen Victoria will continue for a long time to come. Further reading: Arnstein, Walter. Queen Victoria. London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003; Hibbert, Christopher. Queen Victoria: A Personal History. London: HarperCollins, 2000; Strachey, Lytton. Queen Victoria. London: Chatto & Windus, 1921; Thompson, Dorothy. Queen Victoria: Gender and Power. London: Virago, 1990; Vallone, Lynne. Becoming Victoria. New Haven, CT, and London: Yale University Press, 2001. Christopher Tait Vienna, Congress of The Congress of Vienna was held in the Austrian capital, where ambassadors from the major powers in Europe discussed what should happen to the continent at the end of the Napoleonic Wars. The conference was chaired by the Austrian statesman Prince Clemens von Metternich and took place from October 1, 1814, to June 9, 1815. Strictly speaking, however, it was not a conference in the modern sense of the word, as the ambassadors never met in one place for these discussions, preferring to deal with other countries bilaterally, and then eventually come to a consensus. The peace terms with France had already been decided in the Treaty of Paris signed on May 30, 1814. The discussions began with the initial defeat of Napoleon in 1814, and his subsequent exile to the island of Elba. However, he returned to France in March 1815 but was defeated at Waterloo on June 18—the congress having broken up nine days earlier. Metternich, the Austrian foreign minister, presided, and much of the success of the congress was because of his diplomatic skills and his grasp of the situation. The United Kingdom was represented by Viscount Castlereagh, the foreign minister, and then by the duke of Wellington, although Wellington had to leave to take charge of the British forces in the southern Netherlands (modern-day Belgium), leading them at Waterloo. Prince Karl August von Hardenberg, chancellor of Prussia, represented the Prussians, with Count Nesselrode, the Russian foreign minister offi cially representing his country, although Czar alexander I intervened regularly in proceedings. The French were represented by Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, the foreign minister of King Louis XVIII. The Spanish, the Portuguese, and the Swedes were also represented, as were the German states of Bavaria, Hanover, and Württemberg. The victors in the Napoleonic Wars gained considerable territory, with the Russians being given the Duchy of Warsaw (Poland) and allowed to hold Finland, which they had annexed from Sweden in 1809. The German states were massively simplifi ed, with smaller states merged and 39 states created under the presidency of the Austrian emperor. Prussia was given land from the Duchy of Warsaw and also Saxony, Rhineland/Westphalia, and the port of Danzig. Austria regained the Tirol and Salzburg, the Illyrian coast (modern-day Croatia and Slovenia), and also Lombardy-Venetia. The British gains were around the world, with the United Kingdom retaining Cape Colony, South Africa, and also Tobago and Ceylon. However, it had to give up the Netherlands East Indies and Martinique. The House of Orange in the Netherlands was given control of modern-day Belgium and also the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Many other changes were made in Italy and Germany. There was opposition to the Congress of Vienna from the Poles, who saw their brief independence under the French being extinguished. Poland was not to appear as an independent country again until the end of World War I in 1918. The Congress also ignored the concept of nationalism, and the emerging national identity. However, it was the fi rst concerted effort to sort out major European problems through discussion, with subsequent congresses being held to work out 434 Vienna, Congress of solutions to new or emerging problems. The result was what became known as the congress system, by which the major powers controlled many events in Europe up until 1830, and in many cases up to 1848. Metternich emerged as the greatest statesmen in Europe at the time; in recent times, Henry Kissinger studied the congress system prior to his entry into U.S. politics, with him drawing parallels and differences between what was possible in the discussions such as the Congress of Vienna and what could be envisaged during the 1960s and 1970s. In many ways, the congress system envisaged international discussions that would occur in the 20th century under the aegis of the League of Nations and later the United Nations. Further reading: Kissinger, Henry. A World Restored: Europe after Napoleon. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1964; Nicholson, Harold. The Congress of Vienna: A Study in Allied Unity, 1812–1822. London: Methuen, 1961. Justin Corfi eld Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) (1694–1778) French philosopher François-Marie Arouet, better known to the world as Voltaire, was born in Paris on November 21, 1694. With his penetrating observations of society and his incisive wit, Voltaire would become one of the stars of the French Enlightenment, generally considered to be the beginning of the age of modern thought. Along with others like Denis Diderot, Voltaire changed the face of intellectual life forever. Although he spent his life poking fun at what he considered the absurdities of organized religion, Voltaire received his education at the Collège Louis Le Grand, an educational institution founded by the Jesuits, the Society of Jesus. While named after Louis Le Grand, Louis XIV, in honor of his visiting there and offering royal patronage, the college was established by the Jesuits in 1563. Even though it was named a college during Voltaire’s time, it is actually a lycée, roughly equivalent to an American high school. Victor Hugo, another of France’s great men of letters, was educated at Louis Le Grand. Born into the French middle class, or bourgeoisie, Voltaire’s knack for satire gained him aristocratic enemies early in his life. In 1717 he was imprisoned in the infamous Bastille in Paris for writing about the regency government of Philippe II, duc d’Orléans, who served as regent for the young Louis XV after the death of Louis XIV in 1715. Life in the Bastille, which was by then no longer the forbidding prison of the Middle Ages, did not dampen Voltaire’s creativity. While incarcerated there, he wrote the play Oedipe, and adopted the pen name Voltaire. Oedipe would become his fi rst success, and set him on his career as a writer. Ten years later, in 1726, Voltaire ran afoul of another French aristocrat, known to history as the chevalier de Rohan. By now, his fame had gained him a certain immunity from imprisonment. Those sent to the Bastille were often never tried, merely sentenced by the king or regent with a secret document. This time, Voltaire was given the choice of either the Bastille or exile. Wisely, he chose England, then the most intellectually free of European countries. After the Glorious Revolution of 1688 had ended the despotic rule of King James II, writers like John Locke in his Two Treatises of Government laid out a plan for representative government that would affect the rest of Voltaire’s career. His Letters on the English were published in Rouen, France, in 1731. Nowhere else is there a better statement of his political philosophy Best known for his works in political satire and theory, Voltaire was one of the fi rst major historians of the modern era. Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) 435 than in his Letter VIII: On the Parliament, where he writes, “The English are the only people upon earth who have been able to prescribe limits to the power of kings by resisting them; and who, by a series of struggles, have at last established that wise Government where the Prince is all-powerful to do good, and, at the same time, is restrained from committing evil; where the nobles are great without insolence, though there are no vassals; and where the people share in the Government without confusion.” Such views hardly endeared him to the court of King Louis XV, who was intent on carrying on the tradition of absolute monarchy that had been perfected by King Louis XIV, the Sun King. The closest approximation to the British parliament was the French Estates General, an assembly of the bourgeoisie, clergy, and nobility. Its last meeting had been in 1614, after the assassination of King Henry IV in 1610. It did not meet again until 1789, and its convocation then by an unwilling Louis XVI would begin the French Revolution. By 1734 Louis XV had heard enough of Voltaire’s views on government. At about that time, Voltaire began his liaison with Madame de Châtelet, whose husband was well aware of the affair. Voltaire apparently felt it prudent to take up residence at the Châtelet’s chateau at Cirey. However, from then on, Voltaire’s life became both more confusing and more intriguing. Voltaire remained an astute critic of French government and society, especially the offi cial Roman Catholic Church. While he is often portrayed as being an atheist, in one passage he declared his personal belief in Jesus Christ as his God. His satire on St. Joan of Arc, La Pucelle, showed as much humor as scandal to the organized church. The political satire of Voltaire remains a treasure to readers and writers alike. Voltaire’s best-known satire, Candide, was published in 1759, at the height of the Seven Years’ War and most likely was infl uenced by the carnage of the worst confl ict that Europe would witness between the Thirty Years’ War and the Napoleonic Wars. Although he lampoons the search for “the best of all possible worlds,” he nevertheless still reveals his faith in the indomitable spirit of mankind, a creed that never left him. While Voltaire is best known for his works in political satire and political theory, he also has claim to be one of the fi rst serious historians of the modern era. His biographies of Louis XIV of France and the warrior-king Charles XII of Sweden still stand as models of the historian’s art today. Both combine an appreciation for the times that the two monarchs lived in and an understanding of the personal impact that individuals could have on their eras. In 1755 Voltaire settled in Switzerland and purchased his own chateau at Ferney. The great and the humble came to visit him. However, his ideals of tolerance and just government gained him another bout with the authorities. Although he had moved from France, Voltaire remained French in his heart until his death. Fittingly, he died in Paris on May 30, 1778, only a little more than a decade before the old French monarchy, whose absolutist policies he so despised, collapsed of its own weight in the French Revolution of 1789. Further reading: Anderson, M. S. Europe in the Eighteenth Century 1713–1789: General History of Europe Series. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2000; Havens, George. Age of Ideas: From Reaction to Revolution in Eighteenth Century France. New York: Free Press, 1969. John F. Murphy, Jr. voodoo (Vodun), Haitian The origins of Haitian voodoo can be attributed to West African roots. Anthropologists have studied African voodoo rituals and applied this study to Haitian voodoo. The Ewe tribe in western Africa practices this religion to invoke spirits for protection. One ceremony is meant to show that voodoo rituals offer protection against hot knives burning the body and broken glass cutting into fl esh. The participants in these ceremonies believe their medicine and participation in these rites will appease the gods and offer them protection. Voodoo, like many other religions in the world, has a hierarchical system of gods and spirits (loas). One of the more powerful gods in this religion is bon dieu, the maker of the planet and heavens. The loas have their own characteristics and personalities and are able to perform both good and malicious deeds. The development of various loas did not just occur in Africa, as some loas were created in Haiti as well. Voodoo is not restricted to simply religious ceremonies; it also includes various social elements such as dancing. During voodoo rituals, people summon spirits to embody them, merging the identities of the person with the spirit, which allows that individual to possess the powers of the spirit. 436 voodoo (Vodun), Haitian Voodoo was introduced to Haiti as a result of the slave trade that brought in thousands of enslaved Africans. Haitian voodoo is diffi cult to research because many of the slaves were unable to keep written records of their culture and history. In fact, there was a great need for secrecy because plans for resistance were made and sworn upon at these religious festivals. These secret voodoo ceremonies were usually conducted during the later hours of the evening in a temple (hounfor) with the presence of priest (houngan) or priestess (mambo). The reason these ceremonies were conducted in secrecy is because slaves practicing voodoo in colonial Haitian society were assaulted, jailed, and/or executed. Haitian voodoo is a blending of African and Christian cultures; the majority of Catholics in Haiti embrace voodoo, while the majority of voodoo followers profess to be Catholics. Voodoo has a history of suppression and was a means of survival for the slaves. The use of African religion was a means to cope with the horrid conditions of the Middle Passage, the journey from Africa to the Americas. The demographic composition of Haiti prior to the Haitian Revolution was that of a society comprised mostly of African slave labor, with white colonists numbering in the minority. Voodoo societies were major contributors in creating the infrastructure needed for the slaves to form an uprising against the French colonial administration and to succeed in becoming an independent state. Voodoo has been suppressed by many leaders of the Haitian Revolution after 1791, as both Toussaint Louverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines, independent Haiti’s fi rst ruler, prohibited voodoo gatherings and dancing. Henry Christophe sought to get the new country of Haiti recognized by various nations by supporting Christianity and stifl ing the practice of voodoo. The attempts by these three Haitian leaders to suppress voodoo were unsuccessful, as the practice of this religion played a signifi cant role in the development of Haitian society. In fact, president and later dictator A hypnotic trance is induced during a voodoo dance. Voodoo was introduced to Haiti as a result of the trade that brought in thousands of slaves. Secret voodoo ceremonies were conducted in a temple with the presence of a priest (houngan) or priestess (mambo). voodoo (Vodun), Haitian 437 of Haiti Papa Doc (François) Duvalier, used voodoo in his 20th-century government, assigning a number of government posts to voodoo priests. Voodoo priests invoked a certain degree of fear within the Haitian populace since some believe that voodoo priests use sorcery to transform people into zombies. The belief in the zombie was instrumental to maintaining social order in Haiti, as there is a belief that if a person who committed evil deeds dies, his or her spirit is trapped in limbo. This belief becomes an incentive for the population to observe the rules of society. Voodoo has not only played a major role in the religious lives of the Haitian people and the maintenance of the social order, but has also penetrated into the realm of art, which is recognized, for example, in the artwork of the voodoo priest Hector Hyppolite. In an executive order by thenpresident Jean-Bertrand Aristide in April 2003, voodoo was sanctioned as an offi cially recognized religion in Haiti. This blending of voodoo beliefs with art has gained some degree of recognition from people who enjoy the beauty of the pictures and the messages these artworks convey. Voodoo has acquired a negative image, partly due to the belief that it represents uncivilized African superstition, and partly due to American depiction of voodoo in popular culture as a religion of superstitions and spiritual possessions. This depiction is intensifi ed by the fact that voodoo involves the use of an assortment of props such as chicken feathers, skulls, and snakes. It is this perception of voodoo that emerges in American popular culture as various movies emphasize the exotic nature of voodoo. Voodoo still possesses a sizable following, as approximately 40 million people practice this religion. Further reading: Keen, Benjamin. A History of Latin America. New York: Houghton Miffl in Company, 1996; Kennedy, J. “Haitian Art Inspired by Vodun.” American Visions (June, 1991); Langley, Lester. The Americans in the Age of Revolution: 1750–1850. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996; Nicholls, David. “Politics and Religion in Haiti.” Canadian Journal of Political Science (September, 1970); Schroeder, John. Cults: Prophecies, Practices & Personalities. London: Carlton, 2002. Brian de Ruiter
Crisis and Achievement 1900 to 1950 Edit
Valera, Éamon de (1882–1975) Irish nationalist and president Éamon de Valera was the dominant Irish nationalist leader for much of the 20th century. De Valera was born in New York City but was raised in Ireland by his mother’s family. After attending a university he joined the Irish Volunteers. He participated in the Easter Rebellion of 1916. De Valera was captured and sentenced to death, but legal delays saved his life. He was released in a general amnesty in 1917. He was elected to the British House of Commons and served as president of Sinn Féin. In 1918 he won election to the Irish parliament. The Irish conflict with the British broke out into the Irish War of Independence. Michael Collins was de Valera’s main political rival during this era. De Valera became president of the republic in 1921. De Valera vigorously opposed the treaty with the British, particularly the oath of allegiance to the king of England. De Valera’s inflamed rhetoric against the treaty contributed to the outbreak of civil war in 1922. The war lasted one year until the protreaty Free State forces defeated the antitreaty IRA. In 1926 de Valera established the Fianna Fáil (Soldiers of Destiny) political party, which remained the dominant political force for the next 50 years. De Valera served as the first Taoiseach from 1937 to 1948. He lost the 1948 election but returned to power in the 1950s. He forced through a new constitution in 1937 whereby Eire became the new name for the nation, the president of Ireland was elected in a popular vote, and the “special position” of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland was recognized. The Irish language, along with English, became the official national language. De Valera maintained Irish neutrality in World War II. His final term ended in 1973, when he was 91. De Valera died in Dublin in 1975. See also Irish independence. Further reading: Coogan, Tim Pat. De Valera: Long Fellow, Long Shadow. London: Hutchinson, 1993. Hachey, Thomas E., et al. Irish Experience: A Concise History. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 1996. Janice J. Terry Vargas, Getúlio (1883–1954) Brazilian president Getúlio Vargas served as president of Brazil for almost 20 years. Between 1930 and 1945 he filled the role of provisional president, elected leader, and dictator. Between 1951 and 1954 he held the presidential office by means of a democratic election. During his tenure he worked to modernize Brazil, advancing social reform programs, extended suffrage, and organized labor. However, Vargas’s government also gained a reputation as a repressive state as he disbanded congress, cancelled elections, gained state control over newspapers and labor unions, and even overthrew his own government to install himself as dictator. V Vargas was born in 1883 in rural Rio Grande do Sul to a wealthy cattle ranching family. As a young man he served briefl y in the army before entering law school, where he distinguished himself as a student politician. He entered politics in 1909 and was elected to the state legislature. By 1922 he was a state representative in the Brazilian congress in Rio de Janeiro. By 1926 he found himself appointed fi nance minister of Brazil, and just two years later he became state governor of Rio Grande do Sul. Vargas became president of Brazil in 1930 as a result of a revolution that ousted President Washington Luís Pereira de Sousa in hopes of a new government devoted to national progress and social reform. Vargas took offi ce just one month after the revolution began. He set about a program of national reconstruction based upon a centralized government. He dissolved the national congress and state and city legislatures and suspended the federalist constitution of 1891. He replaced state governors with his own offi - cials, called interventores, who reported directly to him. The centralized power of the Vargas government did not go unchallenged. In 1932 a constitutionalist revolt erupted in the coffee growing state of São Paulo. The rebellion ended after three months as São Paulo found itself isolated in its attempts to overthrow Vargas. Despite a new constitution, the Vargas administration steadily moved toward authoritarianism. As the presidential elections of 1938 grew closer, Vargas was not ready to give up power. He consequently overthrew his own government on November 10, 1937, initiating the Estado Novo, or New State, dictatorship. This new period of Vargas’s tenure as leader of Brazil did not translate into radical change, but rather denoted a culmination of the centralizing tendencies Vargas had demonstrated since 1930. The Estado Novo was a repressive dictatorship, and politicians, intellectuals, and leftists who challenged Vargas’s power were harassed, detained, tortured, and exiled. Vargas centralized not only the government but also education, labor, and the Brazilian economy. He felt that national progress could only be accomplished through the industrial modernization of Brazil. To achieve this goal, his administration implemented new education programs aimed at reforming secondary education and establishing vocational schools to train an industrial workforce. Vargas launched new labor policies that consolidated unions under state control, allowing only one union per category of workers. Vargas instituted minimum wage laws, pension plans, safety regulations, maternity leave, childcare, paid vacations, training programs, and job security. Vargas’s labor initiatives resulted in enormous popular support for his presidency. During World War II Vargas linked his country to the Allies, allowing Brazil to profi t from exports to the United States. Vargas also suspended the country’s payments on foreign debts in order to carry out public investments. With the defeat of authoritarian governments in Europe after World War II, growing pressure against the Vargas dictatorship emerged among citizens ranging from high-ranking army generals to student protesters. Vargas eventually bent to this pressure, and elections were held on May 6, 1946. He did not run as a candidate. But Vargas would once again be president of Brazil, elected democratically in 1950 due to his broad base of popular support. However, infl ation, labor strikes, dissent in the military, and other problems made it diffi cult for Vargas to fulfi ll his campaign promises, especially in regard to labor programs. As political opposition grew and the threat of a military overthrow loomed, Vargas committed suicide in the presidential palace on August 24, 1954, by shooting himself in the heart. In a suicide letter left to the Brazilian people, he identifi ed himself as a servant of the masses and lashed out at those who drove him to despair. See also Latin Americam populism. Further reading: Fausto, Boris. A Concise History of Brazil. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999; Levine, Robert M., and John J. Crocitti, eds. The Brazil Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999; Schneider, Ronald M. Order and Progress: A Political History of Brazil. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1991. Kathleen Legg Vasconcelos, José (1882–1959) Mexican politician and writer José Vasconcelos was born on February 28, 1882, in Oaxaca, in the south of Mexico. His family later moved to the far north of Mexico. For his education Vasconcelos attended primary school at Eagle Pass, Texas, crossing the U.S.-Mexican border each day. After the U.S. invasion of Cuba in 1906–09, the Vasconcelos family feared a similar invasion of Mexico, and they moved to Campeche in eastern Mexico. Vasconcelos became worried about the seeming permanence of the Porfi rio Díaz presidency. He ended up studying law, graduating in 1907, and in 1909 going to work for the Anti-Reelectionist Movement. Vasconcelos became the 400 Vasconcelos, José editor of El Antireeleccionista, the movement’s newspaper, and was forced to fl ee to the United States during the political climate of 1910. He returned to Mexico City when Fransisco Madero became president. When Madero was assassinated in 1913, the United States took over the Mexican port city of Veracruz. Vasconcelos was involved in the subsequent Niagara Falls Conferences, at which the United States agreed to pull out its soldiers. In November 1914 Eulalio Martín Gutiérrez Ortiz became provisional president of Mexico and appointed Vasconcelos his minister of public instruction to oversee the education service. However, when Venustiano Carranza became president in October 1915, Vasconcelos was forced to return to the United States in exile. It was during this time that he wrote his fi rst two books, La intelectualidad mexicana (1916) and El monismo estético (1919). He came back to Mexico City in May 1920 when Carranza was overthrown and replaced by Adolfo de La Huerta, who made Vasconcelos the rector of the National University of Mexico. Vasconcelos urged for a federal ministry of education rather than allowing schools to be run by individual states. As a result, on October 12, 1921, President Álvaro Obregón appointed Vasconcelos the secretary for public education. This new department was quickly divided into schools, libraries, and fi ne arts. Although Vasconcelos started work on building more rural schools, his long-term aim was to develop the thinking of children so that they could enjoy philosophical concepts rather than just settling for learning how to read and write. This was further encouraged by the libraries department, which produced cheap editions of many major works of literature and provided them at low cost to schools and interested members of the public. The fi ne arts section was particularly central to promoting muralists, who were allowed to paint in schools and in other public buildings On June 30, 1924, Vasconcelos resigned as secretary of public education and decided to enter opposition politics. He campaigned for the post of governor of Oaxaca but then had to go into exile in the United States. He then went to other parts of Latin America and to Europe, returning to Mexico after the overthrow of Obregón. The new president, Plutarco Calles, promised free elections, and Vasconcelos decided to contest the election in what became known popularly as the Campaign of 1929. He portrayed himself as an inheritor of the tradition of Francisco Madero. The offi cial results showed that the government candidate, Pascual Ortiz Rubio, won 1,948,848 votes and Vasconcelos got only 110,979 votes. The supporters of Vasconcelos claimed that the election was fraudulent, and Vasconcelos himself fl ed to the United States, where he called for an armed rebellion. The beliefs and attitudes of Vasconcelos lurched heavily to the right. In 1940 Vasconcelos, by now a strong anticommunist, returned to Mexico, where he ran a newspaper, Timón, that received support from the German government. His new stance was at odds with the radicalism he had espoused in the 1920s. His new philosophy was “aesthetic monism,” which saw the world as a cosmic unity where the future lay with the mestizo rather than the whites. He set forth his ideas in two books, La raza cósmica (The cosmic race, 1925) and Todología (1952). Beginning in the 1930s José Vasconcelos wrote an extensive autobiography: Ulises criollo (A creole Ulysses, 1935), La tormenta (The torment, 1936), El desastre (The disaster, 1938), El proconsulado (The proconsulship, 1939), and La fl ama (The fl ame, 1959). Many have hailed these books as some of the greatest works of Mexican literature covering the period from the 1910 revolution through the tumultuous 1920s and 1930s. José Vasconcelos was appointed director of the Biblioteca Nacional (national library) in 1940 and from 1948 was in charge of the Mexican Institute of Hispanic Culture. Vasconcelos spent his last years in quiet retirement and died on June 30, 1959, in Mexico City. See also Porfi riato. Further reading: De Beer, Gabriella. José Vasconcelos and His World. New York: Las Américas, 1966; Haddox, John H. Vasconcelos of Mexico, Philosopher and Prophet. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967. Justin Corfi eld Vichy France Vichy France is the name given to the right-wing, authoritarian government that succeeded the Third Republic after the fall of France to the Nazis in 1940. It was named for the French spa town to which many of its leaders fl ed after the occupation of Paris. The government immediately sought an armistice and an ill-defi ned “collaboration” with the Nazis. Under the leadership of Marshal Henri-Philippe Pétain and Pierre Laval, the regime attempted to bring about what it called a “national revolution” for France to cleanse the nation of the decadence of the Third Republic and the humiliation of military defeat. Vichy ruled more or less Vichy France 401 autonomously over the southern, nonoccupied portion of France until late 1942, when the Nazis invaded this territory and brought it under the direct control of the Reich. Even then, the Vichy government retained some control over governmental affairs and did not fi nally capitulate until weeks before the liberation of Paris. Even today Vichy is inseparable from its collaboration with the Nazis, in particular its complicity in the Holocaust. The Vichy “national revolution” was a direct result of the fall of France in 1940, but its spiritual roots lay in the instability and perceived decadence that wracked the Third Republic. Many intellectuals and politicians blamed the Third Republic—and parliamentarianism in general—for a variety of political and social problems in the interwar period. The German Wehrmacht, fresh off their conquest of the Netherlands and Belgium, crossed the French border on May 13, 1940, and, despite the gallant resistance of some components of the French army, were in Paris a month later. The government of Premier Paul Reyn aud, which had fl ed the city for Bordeaux on June 10, resigned and was replaced by a government headed by Marshal Pétain, a general and hero of World War I. FULL GOVERNMENTAL POWER Before this point, certain elements of the Reynaud government, backed by British prime minister Winston Churchill, had advocated withdrawing to either Brittany or French North Africa to continue the fi ghting. However, both Pétain and Pierre Laval were staunch proponents of an armistice and negotiated peace with the Germans. That peace recognized the German occupation of most of the north and west of France, leaving Pétain’s government in control of the south. Fervent resisters like Brigadier General Charles de Gaulle escaped to Britain, but the lion’s share of French politicians and military leaders seemed resigned to the defeat. On July 4 the national assembly voted overwhelmingly to give Marshal Pétain full governmental powers. Pétain and his colleagues set about the task of remaking and regenerating France. Though its approach was corporatist and very conservative in nature, and though it articulated itself in racial and quasi-scientifi c terms, it is important to note that the Vichy “national revolution” was not fascist per se. Pétain was a devout Catholic who believed that France was being punished for a century and a half of corrupt republicanism and that the country needed to be saved. A full-fl edged personality cult sprung up around Pétain, based primarily on his reputation as war hero, grandfather fi gure (he was 84 upon assuming full powers), and moral paragon. This cult served a double purpose in the context of the war. To the Allies Pétain was the gallant old French patriot, he and his government providing the shield that prevented Adolf Hitler from occupying the rest of France and its empire. To the Nazis he was the stern moralist and antiparliamentarian, seeking to help build Hitler’s “New World Order” by cleansing France and purging her of “undesirables.” This double game prevented either side from fully knowing what to make of Vichy until quite late in the war. “NATIONAL REVOLUTION” It was also meant to achieve some breathing room for Pétain to bring off his “national revolution,” whose motto was “Work, Family, Fatherland.” Legislation was passed that forbade women from working outside the home and made divorces much more diffi cult to obtain. Compulsory military service was partially replaced by a youth work program that was meant to instill solid “peasant” values in France’s young people. Further measures taken to reestablish an agrarian society included a system of subsidies allotted to small farmers, the organization of local agricultural syndicates, and a supposedly simplifi ed scheme for dividing and distributing parcels of farmland. Finally, the “national revolution” demanded that France be purifi ed of the “disease” of “outsiders”—a term that applied to freemasons and communists, but primarily to Jews. Exclusionary measures were passed that barred Jews—defi ned by the ethnicity of the father—from being government ministers, civil servants, doctors, or teachers. Far more pernicious, however, was Vichy’s collaboration with the Germans with regard to the Holocaust. Much has been made of the regime’s eagerness to assist the Nazis by delivering France’s Jews to the concentration camps on the eastern front. An additional 55,000 to 60,000 Jews were interned in the unoccupied zone and in Algeria; these internments were thus not technically part of the Final Solution but an independent outgrowth of Vichy policy. The historiography on Vichy has been less than unanimous on whether collaboration was forced on the regime by the Nazis or was an independent choice. The armies under Vichy’s control fought at times as though they were allied with the Germans. The most obvious example of this came during Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942. The Allies had been led to believe by Vichy’s commanders on the ground that Vichy’s forces would allow the Allied landing. Instead, although Vichy did not actually open 402 Vichy France fi re on the Allies, Darlan delayed long enough in cooperating that word got to the Germans, who did resist the landings. The Allies eventually landed and signed an armistice with Darlan, but the Germans, enraged by Vichy’s vacillation, invaded and occupied the unoccupied French zone shortly thereafter. Historians have also disagreed on who was really the driving force behind Vichy—Pétain or Laval. It is a stated fact, however, that Laval was fi red from the government several times from 1940 to 1944 (either by Pétain or later by the Nazis). By contrast, Pétain’s stint as the head of the government continued uninterrupted until fi nally, in July 1944, in the wake of the Allied advance on Paris, the Nazis removed him to Sigmaringen Castle on the German border. There Pétain sat as head of a rump Vichy government until after the liberation, when the marshal gave himself up to Allied authorities after refusing asylum in Switzerland. Pétain, Laval, and other Vichy leaders were placed on trial in August 1945 in a decidedly downmarket version of the Nuremberg trials. At this trial Pétain claimed that, as the Allies had thought, he had been the only thing keeping the Nazis from occupying the whole country, that the purpose of Vichy was to stall for time, and that his government had only collaborated because they were forced to. “If I could not be your sword,” he said famously, “I tried to be your shield.” These ministrations proved unsuccessful, however, and Pétain, Laval, and numerous other former Vichy leaders were condemned to death. Although Laval was executed, the marshal saw his sentence commuted to life imprisonment by General de Gaulle, who was now the head of the French provisional government. The Vichy government’s legacy for France has been murky at best. In the aftermath of the war, successive French governments propagated a myth created by de Gaulle himself, which asserted that Vichy was an aberration and that the vast majority of the French had been resistant from the start. This myth had its political purpose, to be sure, but it kept the French people from accurately coming to terms with what had happened from 1940 to 1944 until many years later. Above all, France’s reluctance to fully address Vichy’s complicity in the Holocaust was probably the most disturbing legacy of a government born of humiliation and defeat. Further reading: Aron, Robert. The Vichy Régime, 1940–44. Humphrey Hare, trans. New York: Macmillan, 1958; Curtis, Michael. Verdict on Vichy: Power and Prejudice in the Vichy France Régime. New York: Arcade Publishers, 2002; Jackson, Julian. France: The Dark Years, 1940–44. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001; Rousso, Henri. The Vichy Syndrome: History and Memory in France Since 1944. Translated by Arthur Goldhammer. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991. Andrew Kellett Villa, Francisco “Pancho” (1878–1923) Mexican general Francisco “Pancho” Villa was a general in the Mexican Revolution from 1911 until 1920; he commanded troops mostly in the northern part of Mexico. Villa joined an antigovernment group in 1910 and started recruiting fi ghters. Villa could be vicious and was willing to kill those who opposed him. He also made sure his men were taken care of, which inspired loyalty in them. He was also interested in education and learned to write as an adult. Born Doroteo Arango in 1878 at Rancho de la Coyotada in the state of Durango, Villa’s parents were sharecroppers on a hacienda. Villa worked at the El Gorgojito ranch for a while as a teen. Then at age 13 he shot someone for reasons unknown, fl ed into the countryside, and became a bandit. During the following 20 years Villa spent time as a bandit and a cattle butcher. There is no clear record of exactly what he did and when. It was during this period that he changed his name to Francisco “Pancho” Villa. Villa met Abraham Gonzáles in 1910. Gonzáles was working to defeat the reelection of Mexican President José de la Cruz Porfi rio Díaz in Chihuahua, who was running against Francisco Madero. When Díaz won the election, Madero fl ed the country and called on his followers to rise up and overthrow Díaz. Díaz was slow to react to events in northern Mexico, where Villa was, and in May 1911 his government collapsed. Madero was elected president. Madero soon had to fi ght his own revolution. Villa was unwilling to turn against Madero, who he respected. During the campaign in 1912, Villa ran afoul of General Victoriano Huerta, who had him arrested and almost executed for insubordination. Villa received a reprieve from Madero and instead was jailed. In December Villa escaped from the prison and made his way to the United States. In February 1913 Huerta, with support from the United States, turned against Madero. He had Madero arrested and shot and then made himself president. Villa returned to Mexico to fi ght against Huerta. Throughout 1913 Villa won a number of battles with Villa, Francisco “Pancho” 403 Huerta’s forces and was chosen to command the Division of the North. In December Villa captured Chihuahua and made himself governor. During 1914 Villa’s forces drove south and eventually opened the way for the rebels to march on Mexico City. The fighting had badly damaged the federal army, and seeing that his cause was lost, Huerta resigned on July 15. An interim president was appointed, but the power was really with the three most powerful chiefs, of whom Venustiano Carranza was named first chief. Villa hated Carranza and spent the remainder of 1914 trying to remove Carranza from power. In December Villa and Emiliano Zapata joined forces to take control of Mexico City. Villa had Carranza on the run, but instead of finishing Carranza off, Villa chose to not attack directly; Carranza was able to rebuild his army. Villa would be defeated repeatedly in 1915 and pushed farther north by Carranza’s rebuilt army. On July 10 Villa’s Division of the North was soundly defeated and ceased to exist. Then, on October 19, with the continued decline of Villa’s power, the United States recognized Carranza’s government. On March 9, 1916, Villa led a raid against Columbus, New Mexico. Under pressure from the people of the United States, President Woodrow Wilson launched an expedition led by Brigadier General John Pershing to capture Villa. The expedition was never able to find Villa and nearly caused a war between Mexico and the United States. Having recovered from the wound he received while fighting Carranza’s forces, Villa continued to raid northern Mexican cities controlled by Carranza. When Carranza did not follow through on promised reforms, a rebellion broke out against him. After Carranza was killed, an offer was made to Villa that if he would lay down his arms, he would be allowed to retire. The negotiations continued until Villa finally agreed to surrender on July 28, 1920. Villa spent the remaining years of his life working the hacienda and making improvements to it. He added a school, put in a road to the nearby town, and paid for the education of some of the sons of his bodyguards and employees. During his retirement a number of attempts were made to assassinate him, and finally, on July 20, 1923, one succeeded. See also Porfiriato. Further reading: Katz, Friedrich. The Life and Times of Pancho Villa. Oakland, CA: Stanford University Press, 1998; Scheina, Robert L. Villa: Soldier of the Mexican Revolution. Washington, DC: Brassey’s, 2004; Vanderwood, Paul J., and Frank N. Samponaro. Border Fury: A Picture Postcard Record of Mexico’s Revolution and U.S. War Preparedness, 1910–1917. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1988. Dallace W. Unger, Jr.
The Contemporary World 1950 to the Present Edit
Vajpayee, Atal Bihari (1924– ) Indian political leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee is the former leader of the bharatiya janata party (BJP), or Indian People’s Party, a pro- Hindu political movement that seeks to define Indian culture and society according to Hindu religious values. Vajpayee was twice prime minister of India, in 1996 and from 1998 to 2004. He is considered the leader of Hindu nationalism and served as a member of parliament for almost 50 years. During his six years as prime minister, Vajpayee worked to modernize the Indian economy and settle long-standing disputes with Pakistan. His government has been accused of fostering racism against Muslims and political extremism. Alongside his political activity Vajpayee also earned a reputation as a poet, publishing collections of poetry. Vajpayee was born in Gwailor in Madhya Pradesh in 1924. He earned a master’s degree in political science from Victoria College and DAV College. His involvement with politics started at a very early age. Although initially close to communism he soon shifted to the right, finding inspiration in the campaigns of Syama Prasad Mookerjee for the inclusion of the Muslim majority state of Kashmir in the Indian Union. In 1957 Vajpayee won his first parliamentary seat, and, after Mookerjee’s death, he took on the leadership of the BJS, becoming one of the major and most respected voices of opposition to the congress party. Yet, although the BJS increasingly won strong support in the northern regions of the country, it repeatedly failed to remove the Congress from power. During the Indian Emergency of 1975–77, proclaimed by then-prime minister indira gandhi, Vajpayee was a vocal critic of the government and the suspensions of civil rights. He was also briefly put in jail. Upon his release he helped to form the Janata Coalition. In his two years in government and in spite of his Hindu nationalism, Vajpayee worked to improve diplomatic relationships with Pakistan and China, visiting both countries and establishing trade relations with them. As the Janata government folded, destroyed by internal rifts, Vajpayee founded the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which became the new party of Hindu nationalism and conservatism. The party performed badly in the 1984 election, in which it won only two seats in Parliament, in part because of the wave of sympathy for the Congress Party that swept the nation after the murder of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. The anti-Muslim sentiment that took hold of large sectors of the nation in the 1980s and early 1990s led to an impressive growth in the BJP. With strong parliamentary support, Vajpayee embarked on a large program of economic reforms, encouraging the private sector and limiting state involvement in the industrial sector to contain waste and public debt. He also stimulated foreign investments and research in information technology, making India one of the major powers in the field. During Vajpayee’s government, India experienced one of its fastest periods of economic growth. Yet critics argue that the poorer sectors of Indian society were left out of this prosperity. Vajpayee’s foreign policy record is equally mixed. His decision to V conduct five underground nuclear tests in Rajasthan provoked international criticism. Yet his government made historic progress in the establishment of normal relations with Pakistan, and President bill clinton’s official visit to India signaled the beginning of a new diplomatic entente between the United States and India after the tensions of the cold war. The economic and diplomatic successes of his government, however, were not enough to assure Vajpayee’s reelection. See also janata party. Further reading: Thakur, C. P., and Devendra P. Sharma. India Under Atal Bihari Vajpayee: The BJP Era. New Delhi: Ubs Publishing Distributors, 1999; Vajpayee, Atal Bihari. Selected Speeches. New Delhi: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, 2000. Luca Prono Vatican II Council (1962–1965) The Second Vatican Council was one of the most significant events in the history of the Roman Catholic Church. As an ecumenical council Vatican II attempted to redirect the Catholic Church. Its effect was considerable, both in its intended and unintended results. The council was called by Pope John XXIII in January 1959. He signaled the need for renewal so that the church could more effectively impact the world. The first session of the council was held in fall 1962. Shortly after its conclusion, Paul VI replaced John XXIII as pope. The council continued for three more sessions, concluding on December 8, 1965. It issued 16 documents, the most authoritative being the Constitutions on the Liturgy, the Church, Revelation, and the Church in the Modern World. The council envisioned serious change. It directed a major revision of the liturgy, the services of the Catholic Church that had practically not changed for four centuries. It promoted the use of the Bible and emphasized its authority, mandated a restoration of the college of bishops in the governing of the church, reversed the earlier rejection of the ecumenical movement among the Christian churches, took a positive approach to other religions and to modern society, and reversed the traditional Catholic position upholding the ideal of the governmental establishment of the church. The council opened the door to change, and a period of rapid, confusing, and often unintended change then began. For instance, shortly after the council, the liturgy began to be celebrated in the vernacular, the Eucharist was celebrated with the priest facing the people, and women stopped wearing head-coverings. For many, there was shock that the unchangeable had changed. For others, when Pope Paul VI refused to change the ruling against artificial contraception in 1967, there was shock that the changes would not include the elimination of many unpopular teachings and practices. Many Catholics took a secularizing approach, many a conservative resisting approach; many clergy and laity left, and soon there was a common conviction the Catholic Church was in crisis. Pope john paul ii, who had participated in the council as archbishop of Kraków, began a process of stabilization after becoming pope in 1978. The Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in 1985 under his leadership reaffirmed the value of Vatican II and urged Catholics to avoid the deviations of extreme rejection and of promotion of secularization. As a result of his papacy, Vatican II has been accepted as the charter of the modern church and may turn out to be the source of renewal that was hoped for. Further reading: Fesquet, Henri. The Drama of Vatican II. New York: Random House, 1967; Flannery, Austin O. P., ed. Vatican Council II, The Conciliar and Post Consiliar Documents. Northport, NY: Costell, 1981; Weigel, George. Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II. New York: Harper Collins Cliff Street Books, 1999. Stephen B. Clark 446 Vatican II Council (1962 –1965) Vatican City is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome. Velasco Ibarra, José (1893–1979) president of Ecuador The “father of Ecuadorian populism,” José María Velasco Ibarra was the country’s president five times from the 1930s to the 1970s. A gifted orator, charismatic and mercurial, he is perhaps best known for his boast, “Give me a balcony, and I will be president!” Beginning with his campaign for his second term (1944–47), Velasco Ibarra cultivated a large personal following, mainly among coastal urban dwellers, by employing a host of modern campaign techniques that included radio, public address systems, and mass-produced leaflets. In subsequent years, he forged a national state far more activist and populist in orientation. Pitching his appeal principally to the urban working and middle classes, he alienated many of the country’s traditional landowning and military elite while leaving traditional relations of power and privilege largely intact. In keeping with broader 20th-century trends in Latin America, he also promoted the expansion of internal infrastructure and public works (especially roads); implemented universal suffrage; and used nationalist discourse to bolster his own popularity and unify his compatriots vis-à-vis other countries. The populist legacy he bequeathed continues to shape Ecuador’s political landscape. Born in Quito on March 19, 1893, to a middleclass family, he graduated from the capital city’s Central University law school and soon established a reputation as one of the country’s leading writers and intellectuals. In 1932 he was named president of the House of Deputies and in 1933 won the country’s presidential election. Serving only a year before being overthrown by the military, he went into exile in Colombia and Argentina. From exile he built a formidable following, returning in 1944 to wide popular acclaim, mobilizing strikes and protests and forcing the resignation of the sitting president. As provisional president he supervised a constitutional convention and triumphed in the 1944 presidential election that followed. His populist policies alienated many of his elite supporters, prompting his overthrow by the military in 1947. Again going into exile, he returned for the 1952 presidential campaign and won in a landslide. He was reelected in 1960, only to be overthrown by the military a year later; the same sequence unfolded in his election of 1968 and overthrow in 1972. Like most populists of the era he was also a nationalist, and his emphasis on Ecuadorian national sovereignty prompted him to enforce the 1952 Declaration of Santiago among Ecuador, Chile, and Peru, which extended these countries’ territorial waters 200 miles into the Pacific to protect their rich fishing grounds. The United States, the Soviet Union, and other countries recognized only a 12-mile limit. The result was the so-called tuna war of the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the Velasco Ibarra regime impounded U.S. tuna boats that had not paid the requisite average $10,000 special fee, prompting a cutoff in most U.S. aid. His populist policies, causing a growing economic crisis and fiscally unsustainable, prompted his final overthrow in 1972. He died on March 30, 1979, leaving a complex legacy of heightened political mobilization, resurgent nationalism, and unmet political and economic aspirations on the part of the country’s poor majority. Further reading: de la Torre, Carlos. Populist Seduction in Latin America: The Ecuadorian Experience. Athens, OH: Ohio University Center for International Studies, 2000; Palmerlee, Danny, Carolyn McCarthy, and Michael Grosberg. Lonely Planet Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Oakland: Lonely Planet Publications, 2006. Michael J. Schroeder Vietnam, Democratic Republic of The Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), or North Vietnam, as it became commonly known after the 1954 Geneva Accords, came into existence on September 2, 1945. Following the Japanese surrender in World War II, Vietnamese Communist Party (Vietminh) leader ho chi minh seized the opportunity and declared Vietnamese independence. Vietminh strength was centered in the north. The French, however, were disinclined to accept this, and moved to reimpose their colonial rule over the entire region. They quickly established control in the south, although they could not effectively control the countryside. Since the French and the Vietminh hoped to avoid a full-scale war, both sides entered into intermittent negotiations. In March 1946 the French provisionally recognized the DRV in exchange for Ho’s agreement to include the north in a proposed French Union. Final agreement remained elusive, however, and the relationship between the two sides continued to deteriorate. In November 1946 the French shelled the port of Haiphong. Ho and his supporters escaped into the mountains in the north and began a war of nationwide resistance. Vietnam, Democratic Republic of 447 The war against the French unfolded against the backdrop of the emerging cold war. On the battlefield, the Vietminh relied on the military genius of General vo nguyen giap. They also seized land belonging to French landowners and alleged traitors and redistributed it to peasants, winning popular support. The French were decisively defeated at the Battle of Dien Bien Phu in May 1954. At the Geneva Conference that followed, Ho was pressured by the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China to accept a compromise. The result was the partitioning of Vietnam, with the promise of nationwide elections in 1956. Those elections never took place. Although he had envisioned the establishment of an independent government over all of Vietnam, Ho had to accept a truncated Democratic Republic of Vietnam north of the 17th parallel. With the official formation of the DRV, North Vietnam became the first communist state in Southeast Asia, with Ho Chi Minh as president and Hanoi as its capital. Political power rested in the Communist Party, or the Vietnamese Workers’ Party (VWP), as it had been renamed in 1951. The power nucleus of the VWP was the Politburo, which was responsible for day-to-day decision making. The primary task that confronted Ho and his colleagues was the need to consolidate their rule. At Geneva the DRV leadership had issued a directive that indicated its intention to proceed cautiously and take gradual steps toward establishing a socialist economy. In order to reassure the population, the government announced that the country would operate with a mixed economy, indicating acceptance of private wealth and property. At the same time, the government also stated its intention to respect the freedom of religion. These pronouncements failed to reassure many in the north, and after the partition some 800,000 refugees made the trek south. An official policy of fair treatment for Catholics notwithstanding, many leaders in the VWP and others in local party and government structures continued to nurture suspicion of them, and harsh treatment of Catholics bred resentment in some areas. The economy, which had been devastated by years of war, posed a tremendous challenge to the government. Moreover, fleeing refugees left many businesses abandoned. The DRV government moved to nationalize certain sectors of the economy such as utilities, banking, and some large enterprises. Prices and wages also came under government regulation. The industrial sector had remained underdeveloped under French rule. In 1961 the government launched the first Five-Year Plan to develop heavy industry. By the middle of the decade war with the United States diverted resources from industrial development and stalled these efforts. The agricultural sector required immediate attention since food was in chronically short supply. This, as well as the need to win over the rural population, seemed to demand land reform. In 1955 the government launched a program to confiscate land from wealthy landlords for redistribution. The land reform program, however, produced mixed results. On the positive side it increased the rates of landownership, increased rice production, reduced the influence of wealthy landlords, and won the support of numerous poor peasants who reaped the benefits. On the negative side, overzealous cadres and poor peasants often denounced those who owned only medium-sized holdings, and local tribunals executed many. In 1956 the hostility eventually erupted in a peasant uprising in the province of Nghe An. Ho Chi Minh publicly admitted that errors had been made and slowed the pace of land reform. But within two years the government initiated a large-scale collectivization effort that brought most of the rural population into some form of statecontrolled cooperative farming. The VWP also created party-run organizations that recruited different segments of Vietnamese society, including veterans, workers, farmers, youths, and women. By mobilizing the population into various communist- led organizations, the VWP realized its domination of Vietnamese society. 448 Vietnam, Democratic Republic of With fear showing on their faces, women and children scurry past the bodies of three Vietcong killed in the fighting in May 1968. The consolidation and nation-building efforts in the north also included increasingly harsh efforts to silence criticism and dissent. Freedom of expression was curbed. Authors of protest literature came under increasing public attack from 1958 onward. Culprits were sent to work in agricultural cooperatives or work camps to be reeducated. The South Vietnamese government’s decision to boycott the elections planned for 1956 compelled the North Vietnamese leadership to decide the priority it would give to reunification. By and large the DRV leadership decided to adhere to the decision to build socialism in the north while searching for some means to reunify the country. Debates in the VWP Central Committee in the mid-1950s, however, suggested that the leadership anticipated reunification to be realizable only after a military struggle. In 1959 the VWP shifted to a more activist approach and began to approve efforts to increase pressure on ngo dinh diem’s regime in the south. By this point a broad-based resistance movement against Diem had gained strength. In late 1960, largely at the behest of southern cadres, the National Liberation Front was created as an umbrella organization that rallied a broad range of anti-Diem resistance. The road to the reunification of Vietnam led the DRV to war against the United States, whose commitment to a noncommunist South Vietnam had grown steadily. Between 1965 and 1973 U.S. combat troops fought in the vietnam war. Some evidence suggests that Hanoi had begun infiltrating troops into the south in late 1964. Supplies and men flowed south along the Ho Chi Minh Trail through Laos and Cambodia. In January 1973, after several rounds of peace talks, the Paris Peace Accords ended U.S. involvement. The cease-fire between north and south broke down, and the war resumed. On April 30, 1975, victorious North Vietnamese forces captured Saigon and achieved Ho’s dream of a unified Vietnam. In his honor Saigon was renamed Ho Chi Minh City in 1976, in a country now renamed the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. See also Johnson, Lyndon B.; Vietnam, republic of. Further reading: Duiker, William. The Communist Road to Power in Vietnam. 2d. ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996; Duiker, William. Sacred War: Nationalism and Revolution in a Divided Vietnam. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 1995; Jamieson, Neil L. Understanding Vietnam. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993; Ruane, Kevin. War and Revolution in Vietnam, 1930–1975. London: UCL, 1998; Tarling, Nicholas. The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia: From World War II to the Present. Vol. 2, pt. 2: World War II to the Present. Paperback ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Soo Chun Lu Vietnam, Republic of The Republic of Vietnam was the portion of southern Vietnam that fought against communist North Vietnam in the second indochina war (vietnam war). It was created after the defeat of previous colonial masters, the French, and ceased to exist with the seizure of its capital, Saigon, by communist forces. Southern Vietnam was historically the home of the Cham peoples. When the French arrived in the 19th century, they made the southern part of the country, which they named Cochin-China, a full colony. It was, therefore, more firmly French-run than the rest of Indochina. Saigon was more thoroughly internationalized than the remainder of the country, and the people were more familiar with the capitalist system and French culture. The French created the state of Vietnam in 1949, which centered on the Cochin- China colony and had the emperor as head of state. The defeat of the French and the Geneva Conference of 1954 established the state as occupying the territory south of the 17th parallel. In the following year the Republic of Vietnam was announced after Emperor Bao Dai was deposed. The first president of the republic was ngo dinh diem, who had been involved in the ousting of the emperor and who adopted an authoritarian approach to ruling the country. When Diem was deposed and killed, a brief interlude under Nguyen Cao Ky was succeeded by military rule, which began in 1965. In 1967 nguyen van thieu was elected president and then was reelected unopposed four years later. Despite the massive outlay of lives and materiél to resist the North Vietnamese, after the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 1973 as a result of the Paris Accord, the capture of Saigon in 1975 seems to have been inevitable. Although the Republic of Vietnam had developed a sophisticated bicameral parliamentary system, its existence was tainted more or less throughout by corruption and by the authoritarian rule of its presidents and rulers. A number of people have characterized the state as little more than a puppet U.S. state, and certainly it would not have lasted so long without largescale U.S. military support. However, it would be Vietnam, Republic of 44 9 scarcely fair to consider the presidents of the republic, notably Nguyen Van Thieu, as mere puppets. Indeed Nguyen Van Thieu was often trenchant in his criticisms of U.S. leaders and intransigent in pursuing policies of his own devising. See also vietnam, democratic republic of. Further reading: Addington, Larry H. America’s War in Vietnam: A Short Narrative History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000; Tang, Truong Nhu. A Vietcong Memoir: An Inside Account of the Vietnam War and Its Aftermath. New York: Vintage, 1986. John Walsh Vietnam War The Vietnam War was America’s longest war. In total, the conflict in Vietnam lasted from 1946 to 1975. The official dates of U.S. involvement were 1964–73. The Vietnam War was extremely costly and destructive and had a profound effect on both the soldiers who fought it and the civilians who lived through it. The Tonkin Gulf Resolution was signed by Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 and gave him the power to wage war in Vietnam. Throughout the 1940s and into the 1950s, the Vietminh under ho chi minh were fighting the French colonial presence in Vietnam. By 1954 the United States was paying 80 percent of the cost of France’s war against the Vietminh. In July 1954 the French and the Vietminh signed an armistice in Geneva, which divided Vietnam at the 17th parallel. Ho Chi Minh controlled the north, and Vietnam-wide elections were to be held in 1956. The United States did not sign the agreement, and plans were put in place to stop Ho Chi Minh’s plans to conquer all of Vietnam. President Dwight Eisenhower was afraid that if Vietnam fell to communism, the rest of Southeast Asia would follow. Not wanting Vietnam to be under the control of a communist leader, the United States pushed aside the French puppet leader and replaced him with ngo dinh diem, a Vietnamese nationalist. Many were confident that Diem could rally Vietnam against communism. The United States increased aid to South Vietnam, and the first U.S. advisers arrived there in early 1955. These decisions laid the groundwork for the Vietnam War. Ho Chi Minh was frustrated that Vietnam was not yet independent and unified, so in 1957 the Vietminh in South Vietnam began to revolt against the Diem regime. In May 1959 communist North Vietnam came to the aid of the revolutionaries in the south. As a result, the United States increased its aid to South Vietnam. In South Vietnam conditions deteriorated rapidly. Diem’s regime never gained popular support. In 1960 anti-Diem communists and Buddhists created the National Liberation Front, with the Vietcong as its military wing, and began operations against Diem’s forces. The United States had pledged in the 1954 south east asia treaty organization pact to defend South Vietnam against external aggression, and President john f. kennedy lived up to that obligation. To Kennedy and other politicians, Vietnam was another cold war battlefield. Signs of weakness would lead the Soviet Union to believe that the United States was weak and vulnerable. As such, South Vietnam also became a testing facility for counterinsurgency units. The U.S. Green Berets advised the South Vietnamese army, and civilians provided medical and technical aid and economic and political reforms, all in an effort to “win the hearts and minds” of the Vietnamese. There was a general consensus in Kennedy’s administration about the consequences of losing Vietnam to communism; there were others who feared the worst. Undersecretary of State George Ball told Kennedy that within five years there would be 300,000 U.S. soldiers in Vietnam. However, Ball was incorrect: within five years nearly 400,000 soldiers were in Vietnam. Even with his advisers calling for escalation, Kennedy proceeded cautiously. By the middle of 1962 he had increased the number of military advisers from 700 to 12,000. He added another 5,000 in 1963. As the number of casualties increased, the prospects of withdrawing became increasingly difficult. In the face of so many problems, Kennedy gave the order to overthrow Diem. On November 1, South Vietnamese military officials, with the assistance of the U.S. embassy in Saigon, arrested Diem and his brother. While in custody, both were assassinated. However, the plan backfired. A number of inexperienced military officers took command in South Vietnam with little support and were unable to govern effectively. The country sank deeper into trouble and the role of the United States increased. After President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, the issue of Vietnam fell to President lyndon b. johnson; Johnson was deeply troubled over Vietnam and had been for some time. During the rest of the months leading up to the November 1964 election, Johnson tried all he could to keep the issue of Vietnam in the background, fearing it would hurt his chances of being elected. In many of his conversations with Robert McNamara, secretary of defense, Johnson 450 Vietnam War discussed doing all he could to keep the public thinking that he had made no final decisions on Vietnam. Some advisers were trying to give Johnson suggestions for getting out of Vietnam and still saving face; meanwhile, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were advising him that preventing the loss of South Vietnam was of overriding importance to the United States. Robert McNamara visited Saigon. He reported to Johnson that conditions had worsened there since General Khanh took over power in January 1964. Many officials there favored increased pressure on North Vietnam, including air strikes. McNamara, aware of Johnson’s wish to be ambiguous to the public regarding his stance, offered to take a lot of the heat. Johnson, knowing the conditions in Vietnam, understood that in order to achieve the ambitious conditions set out in McNamara’s policy statement, an escalation of military power in the country would have to be undertaken. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was passed in Congress on August 7, 1964. It provided the legal authority for Johnson to escalate the Vietnam War. On August 2 North Vietnamese gunboats had attacked the USS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin. On August 4 the Maddox and another vessel, the USS Turner Joy, reported being under attack. Many doubts exist about whether or not the second attack actually took place, but the Johnson administration used it as a pretext for retaliation. Johnson ordered the first U.S. air strikes against North Vietnam. The resolution was passed 88-2. Johnson won the 1964 presidential election by a landslide. In addition to his domestic agenda, the great society, Vietnam was the largest issue he dealt with. Still relying on trusted advisers like Richard Russell, even though he would not take his advice, Johnson had countless discussions about Vietnam. Johnson’s rationalization was what he considered a treaty commitment inherited from Eisenhower and Kennedy. No matter what Johnson said to him, Russell stuck to his conviction that Vietnam was not the place to invest U.S. blood and treasure. Johnson told Everett Dirksen, Senate minority leader, that communist propaganda, his advice from Eisenhower, and the domino theory informed his policies with regard to Vietnam. major escalation After July 1965 the war escalated into a major international conflict. The North Vietnamese army numbered in the thousands, and they supported an estimated National Liberation Front force of 80,000. From 6,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam in July 1965, the number increased to over 536,000 by 1968, with an additional 800,000 South Vietnamese troops. Both sides played to their own strengths. The United States had great wealth, modern weapons, and a highly trained military force under the command of General William Westmoreland. Using bombing raids and search-and-destroy missions, it sought to force the opponent to surrender. The National Liberation Front and the North Vietnamese army, under the exceptional direction of vo nguyen giap, used a different strategy altogether. They were lightly armed and knew the area. They relied on the guerrilla warfare tactics of stealth and mobility. Giap wanted to wear down the United States and its allies by harassment missions. Between 1965 and 1967 the United States did untold amounts of damage to Vietnam. Bombing increased from 63,000 tons in 1965 to over 226,000 tons in 1967. The U.S. military strategy failed to produce clear results. The war dragged on, and opposition to the conflict in the United States intensified. Countless protests took place in cities and on college campuses. Troops who returned home were often treated poorly, quite the opposite of the heroes’ welcome experienced by returning veterans of World War II. The Tet Offensive of 1968 brought a new phase of the war. In late 1967 the North Vietnamese launched operations in remote areas to draw U.S. forces away from cities. On January 31, 1968, the National Liberation Front launched massive attacks on the unsecured urban areas. They led strikes on 36 provincial capitals, 5 major cities in the south, and 64 district capitals. They also attacked the U.S. embassy in Saigon and captured Hue for a period. Although the Tet Offensive failed overall, it had a profound psychological effect on the people of the United States. Protests increased, and murmurs that Vietnam War 451 The social activism and antiwar movements of the late 1960s spurred many protests against the Vietnam War. the war was unwinnable became much more audible. As a result of developments in Vietnam and widespread unrest across the country, Lyndon Johnson announced that he would not seek reelection in 1968. After the Tet Offensive, ensuing peace talks failed to produce any agreement. The problem of Vietnam fell to the fourth U.S. president involved in the Vietnam conflict, richard nixon. In 1969 he expanded the war into neighboring Cambodia, a move that he kept from the press, further increasing the gap in the people’s trust in the government when he went public about the decision in 1970. The domestic backlash led to a new wave of protests, during which four students died at Kent State University in Ohio, and two more at Jackson State University in Mississippi. Nixon’s involvement in Vietnam was marked by increased domestic opposition. After the Cambodian affair, Congress repealed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. The trial of Lieutenant William Calley, commander of a unit that murdered 500 South Vietnamese civilians at My Lai, raised fundamental moral questions about the war. Finally, the Pentagon Papers were published in 1971, which deepened public distrust in the government. Polls showed that more than 70 percent of Americans felt that the United States had erred when it sent troops into Vietnam. During 1972–73 the U.S. phase of the war ended. A peace agreement was signed in Paris on January 27, 1973. It allowed for the extraction of U.S. military forces from Vietnam and the return of U.S. prisoners of war but did not address the fundamental issues over which the war had been fought. North Vietnam was allowed to leave 150,000 troops in the south, and the future of South Vietnam was not directly and clearly spelled out. Fighting broke out between the north and the south, and the U.S. Congress drastically cut military and economic aid to South Vietnam. When Richard Nixon resigned because of the watergate scandal, the Vietnam War issue was passed to its fifth president, gerald ford. Congress rejected his request for $722 million in aid for South Vietnam, agreeing to only $300 million in emergency aid to extract the remaining U.S. personnel from the south. The climax of this came on May 1, 1975, with a harrowing rooftop helicopter evacuation. The total cost of the war was extensive. South Vietnamese military casualties exceeded 350,000, and estimates of North Vietnamese losses range between 500,000 and 1 million. Civilian deaths cannot be accurately counted but ran into the millions. More than 58,000 U.S. troops were killed, and over 300,000 were injured. The total financial cost of the war exceeded $167 billion. Many of Johnson’s Great Society reforms were cut back because of the increased military expenditures. Veterans returning home experienced long-lasting effects, which ranged from flashbacks to posttraumatic stress disorder to the effects of exposure to chemicals. Furthermore, the war saw no tangible results. Once the United States evacuated Saigon, the north overran the city, and Vietnam was united under communist rule. Further reading: Beschloss, Michael. Reaching for Glory: Lyndon Johnson’s Secret White House Tapes, 1964–1965. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001; Herring, George C. America’s Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950–1975. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1996; ———. LBJ and Vietnam: A Different Kind of War. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1994; McMahon, Robert. Major Problems in the History of the Vietnam War. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2003. James E. Seelye, Jr. Vo Nguyen Giap (1911– ) Vietnamese military leader In the history of communist Vietnam, Giap is second only to ho chi minh in the impact he had. Ho named Giap commander in chief of the Vietminh forces fighting the French at the end of World War II. Giap orchestrated the defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu in 1953 and was named minister of defense of the democratic republic of vietnam. Giap was also the chief military strategist against the U.S. led vietnam war. Giap was born in central Annam, just north of the 17th parallel, on August 25, 1911, to Nguyen Thi Kien and Vo Quang Nghiem. His early life was spent in one of the poorest sections of Vietnam. However, Giap’s father was a member of the tiny middle class of his region, a rice farmer who tilled his own land and rented another small portion, in addition to being a practitioner of traditional Asian medicine. From age five until eight, he attended school in An Xa. The school was supervised by the French but taught by Vietnamese. In 1923 he received a certificate for finishing elementary studies, which was not very common. The following year he took the entrance examination to qualify for additional education at Hue but failed. He studied diligently and passed the exam in 1925. He attended school at the Quoc Hoc, which was a known 452 Vo Nguyen Giap seedbed of revolution; his leadership abilities and intelligence helped him excel as a student. Giap then became a history teacher, a profession he retained throughout the 1930s. At the same time, he was active in various revolutionary movements. He joined the Communist Party in 1934, and assisted in founding the Democratic Front in 1936. He was a devoted scholar of military tactics and studied Napoleon and the ancient Chinese military tactician Sunzi extensively. The French outlawed communism in 1939, so Giap, along with Ho Chi Minh, fled to China, where he studied guerrilla warfare. From 1939 until around 1947 Giap was busy developing and directing the military plan that defeated the French and eventually caused the United States to abandon its efforts in Vietnam. It was a multifaceted plan that included gathering popular support for his efforts and mobilizing the people to join the communist cause. Giap’s military strategies caused millions of people to lose their lives, including millions of Vietnamese, both North and South, and over 58,000 Americans. Many American soldiers were impressed with the diligence of the Vietnamese, the skill of the North Vietnamese army, and their discipline. Much of this was due to the leadership of Giap. When the Socialist Republic of Vietnam was established in 1975, when North Vietnam conquered the south and united the nation, Giap served as deputy prime minister and minister of defense. After his retirement, he wrote several books. In 1992, he was awarded the Golden Star Award, Vietnam’s highest decorative honor. Further reading: Currey, Cecil B. Victory at Any Cost: The Genius of Vietnam’s Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap. Washington, DC: Brassey’s, Inc., 1997; O’Neill, Robert. General Giap: Politician and Strategist. New York: Praeger Books, 1969; Vo Nguyen Giap and Van Tien Dung. How We Won the War. Philadelphia: Recon Publishing, 1976. James E. Seelye, Jr. Vorster, B. J. (1915–1983) South African prime minister Balthazar Johannes (John) Vorster was South African prime minister from 1966 to 1978. He is perhaps best known for having legislated into power some of apartheid’s most discriminatory and racial policies. Born on December 13, 1915, in Uitenhage, Eastern Cape, John Vorster was the 13th child of a wealthy sheep farmer. After receiving his primary and secondary education in the Eastern Cape, he went on to receive his bachelor of law degree from Stellenbosch University and set up a law practice in Port Elizabeth in the late 1930s. With the onset of World War II, he ardently opposed South Africa’s involvement in support of the Allies by becoming a member of the pro-Nazi Ossewa-Brandwag. His support of the Nazi regime under Adolf Hitler landed Vorster in jail during much of World War II. However, this did little to deter his radical ideology, and he maintained that the dictatorial regime in Germany at the time was a more productive and suitable model for South African governance than the parliamentary system already in place. When Vorster was released from jail in 1944, his right-wing political and social views led him to join the growing South African National Party. Vorster worked his way up the ranks of the party cadre, and in 1953 he was elected to parliament in Cape Town as a National Party representative. After one session in parliament he was appointed deputy minister of education in 1958; he rigidly enforced apartheid’s Bantu education policies. Under Prime Minister Verwoerd he became minister of justice in 1961. During this time, the government sent South African Defense Force soldiers to support Ian Smith’s white regime in rhodesia, with the popular support of most of white South Africa. Vorster succeeded Prime Minister Verwoerd unopposed after Verwoerd was assassinated in 1966. His brief and uneventful time as a cabinet minister under Verwoerd meant that he knew little about the workings of departments other than his own. He knew little about the African population and the inner workings of the huge departments that governed their lives. However, during the year he came to succeed Verwoerd, Vorster combined the Justice portfolio with that of Police and Prisons, strengthening the power of the department and the South African Police Service. Although Vorster continued with the basic tenets of separate development policies, he alienated extremist factions of the National Party early in his prime ministership by pursuing diplomatic relations with African countries and by agreeing to let black African diplomats live in white areas. However, Vorster’s tenure as prime minister was marked mainly by an increase in racial discrimination and violence in all of South Africa, including an increase in detention without trial. Although Vorster’s government is mainly known for streamlining and harshly enforcing apartheid’s policies, his foreign policy initiatives are generally viewed Vorster, B. J. 453 as moderate and conciliatory. He began by unofficially supporting Rhodesia, which at the time was struggling to gain independence from British rule under prime minister Ian Smith. Although publicly he espoused the white public opinion in South Africa, he did not wish to alienate potential political allies such as the United States by extending diplomatic recognition to Rhodesia. He exerted his pressure as a hegemon in the region by persuading Smith to negotiate with Mozambique during the regional civil war that was ongoing in southern Africa. Vorster began cutting off vital supplies to Smith and even went so far as to refuse calls made by the Rhodesian prime minister. International pressure continued to squeeze South Africa for the remainder of apartheid. Vorster, in an attempt to regain South African public approval, invaded Angola in the 1970s in order to protect South-West Africa (present-day Namibia) against rebel attempts by Angola to invade the country for diamonds. Continuing his conciliatory initiatives in September 1974, Vorster announced in Cape Town his famous Détente with Africa policy. Despite regional efforts in Angola at the time, Vorster promised cooperation with the leaders of neighboring black African nations. The negotiations over Rhodesia and attempts to make peace with black Africa were predicated on the hopes that such maneuvers would postpone Vorster’s day of reckoning in South Africa. His hope was that emerging Zimbabwean and Mozambican states would feel indebted to South Africa for its role in liberating these countries. The 1970s were a turbulent time for Vorster. He harshly suppressed the Soweto uprising in 1976, which would draw more international pressure in the form of economic and social sanctions. He granted independence to the Transkei in 1976 and Bophuthatswana in 1977 in accordance with apartheid’s separate development policies, although economic development within them would stagnate. He maintained the view that Africans could exercise political rights only in their homelands regardless of where they actually lived. On September 12, 1977, Steve Biko, the Black Consciousness leader, died in horrifying circumstances while in police custody. Vorster’s response was personally to ban 18 organizations. This step helped him to an overwhelming victory in the general election of November 1977. However, Vorster did take the first, unconscious steps toward a more equal South Africa. Vorster’s minister of sport and recreation, Dr. Piet Koornhof, managed to secure some limited desegregation of sport by invoking the fiction of multinationalism: Each national group had to play sport separately, but they might play against each other in multinational events. Similarly higher-class hotels and restaurants might acquire multinational status and thereby admit people of all races. An elaborate system of permits for mixed gatherings, events, and venues was initiated. Vorster saw many apartheid policies as unnecessary and began the slow process of weeding them out. In the late 1970s Vorster was implicated in what became known as Muldergate (so named after Dr. Connie Mulder, the information cabinet minister at the center of the scandal). Although Vorster was certainly a victim of the scandal, in a sense the scandal arose from circumstances that he himself had perpetrated. Vorster was implicated in the use of a slush fund to buy the loyalty of The Citizen, the only major English-language newspaper favorable to the National Party. The official investigation concluded that Vorster, in conjunction with the head of the South African Police Services, General H. J. van den Bergh, had not only conspired to manipulate The Citizen but also to buy the U.S.-based Washington Star. It was discovered that in 1973 Vorster had agreed to Mulder’s plan to shift about 64 million rands from the defense budget for a series of propaganda campaigns. In what became a National Party embarrassment, a commission of inquiry finally concluded in 1979 that Vorster had been aware of the fund and had tolerated it. After the scandal, Vorster retired from the position of prime minister in 1978. Vorster died in Cape Town in 1983. See also mandela, nelson. Further reading: Deegan, Heather. The Politics of the New South Africa: Apartheid and After. New York: Longman, 2001; D’Oliveira, John. Vorster—The Man. Johannesburg: Ernst Stanton Publications, 1977; Meredith, Martin. In the Name of Apartheid: South Africa in the Postwar Period. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1988; Rees, Mervyn. Muldergate: The Story of the Info Scandal. Johannesburg: Macmillan South Africa, 1980. Rian Wall