In a word, the monarchy had to share its dominion with the nobility; and the Danish nobility in the 16th century was one of the most exclusive and selfish aristocracies in Europe, and already far advanced in decadence.
The Thessalian League originated in the deliberate choice by village aristocracies of a single monarch who belonged from time to time to several of the so-called Heracleid families.
The same conditions have produced similar spiritual aristocracies again and again in the East in more modern times, and even in antiquity more than one Oriental priesthood took a line of development similar to that which we have traced in Judaea.
And yet strangely enough the States of Holland themselves were not really representative of the people of that province, but only of the limited, self-coopting burgher aristocracies of Amster- certain towns, each of which with its rights and liberties the highest abilities and of soaring ambition.
The civic aristocracies did not all arise in the same way.