had upon the political evolution of mankind. The French Revolution stood midway between two spheres of history, the sphere of medieval barbarism and that of modern enlightenment. It exploded like a bomb in the midst of the self-satisfied aristocracy of the earlier social system and rent it into the fragments which no hand could put together again. In this sense the career of Napoleon seems providential. The era of popular government had replaced that of autocratic and aristocratic government in France, and the armies of Napoleon spread these radical ideas throughout Europe until the oppressed people of every nation began to look upward with hope and see in the distance before them a haven of justice in the coming realm of human rights.
It required considerable time for these new conceptions to become thoroughly disseminated. A down-trodden people enchained by the theory of the "divine right of kings" to autocratic rule, had to break the fetters one by one and gradually emerge from a state of practical serf