Its democratic constitution, which seems to have been entirely congenial to the population of small freeholders, and its ambition to gain control over the Alpheus watershed and both the Arcadian high roads to the isthmus, frequently estranged Mantineia from Sparta and threw it into the arms of Argos.
When in 1817 he went abroad to further his education, Germany was about to celebrate the tercentenary of the Reformation; and thus early he conceived the ambition to write the history of that great epoch.
Briihl must therefore be held wholly responsible for the ruinous policy which destroyed the position of Saxony in Germany between 1733 and 1763; for the mistaken ambition which led Frederick Augustus II.
His ambition was to play the role of peacemaker, and his conciliatory policy achieved many successes.
His pride and ambition were gratified by the foundation of a sort of dynasty of his nephews and nieces, whose hands were sought by the noblest in the realm.
But the rights of Clarence were conveyed in the first instance to an only daughter, and the ambition and policy of the house of Lancaster, profiting by advantageous circumstances, enabled them not only to gain possession of the throne but to maintain themselves in it for three generations before they were dispossessed by the representatives of the elder brother.
He renounced a federation in which his brothers were not sufficiently docile; he gradually withdrew power from them; he concentrated all his affection and ambition on the son who was the guarantee of the continuance of his dynasty.
Austria also concluded offensive and defensive alliancqs with Sardinia Tuscany and Naples; and Metternichs ambition was to make Austrian predominance over Italy still more absolute, by placing an Austrian archduke on the Sardinian throne.
William, now supreme in the States, while on land struggling with chequered success against the superior forces of the French, strove by his diplomacy, and not in vain, to gain allies for the republic. The growing power of France caused alarm to her neighbours, and Sweden, Denmark, Spain and the emperor lent a willing ear to the persuasions of the stadholder and were ready to aid his efforts to curb the ambition of Louis.
His principal aim was no doubt the maintenance and increase of his own influence and party, but his ambition corresponded with definite political views.