In the following volumes the authors seek to present a brief account of the beginnings, development, and final unity of the people of the United States.
ative isolation. With half the heritage of the Roman Empire in infidel hands, the followers of the Cross and of the Crescent faced each other, like hostile armies, across the sea. The temporary expansion of the Frankish Empire ceased with the life of Charlemagne, and under his successors formidable enemies closed it in on every hand. Barbarian Slav and Saxon pressed upon the eastern frontier, while the hated Moslem, from the vantage of Spain and Africa, infested the Mediterranean and threatened the Holy City. Even the Greek Empire, natural ally of Christendom, deserted it, going the way of heresy and schism.
Danger from without was accompanied by disorganization within. In the tenth century the political edifice so painfully constructed by Charlemagne was in ruins. The organization of the Roman Empire and the Gregorian ideal of a Catholic Church, now little more than a lingering tradition, was replaced by the feudal system. Seigneurs, lay and ecclesiastic, warring among themselves for the shadow of pow