The growing power of Japan, seen in her wars with China and Russia, and the impotence of the Boxers against the European allies, made all classes in China realize their comparative impotence, and the central government began a series of reforms, reorganizing the military, educational, fiscal and political systems on Western lines.
Lowest depths of spiritual and political impotence since the Reformation, and the belief was even widespread that the prisoner of Fontainebleau would be the last of the long line of St Peter's successors.
And he finds in the existence of divine foreknowledge no argument for the impotence or determined character of human acts of will.
The impotence of the Austrian government in this crisis was due to the necessity of keeping the bulk of the Austrian forces in Italy, where the news of Metternich's fall had also led to a concerted rising against the Habsburg rule (see Italy).
This omnipotence of the sultan in deciding the policy of the government was in striking contrast with his impotence in enforcing his views on his subjects and in his relations with foreign powers.
Much as he admired the French chivalry, he recognized their impotence at Crecy.
The terrible spectacle of the battlefield covered with dead and wounded, together with the heaviness of his head and the news that some twenty generals he knew personally had been killed or wounded, and the consciousness of the impotence of his once mighty arm, produced an unexpected impression on Napoleon who usually liked to look at the killed and wounded, thereby, he considered, testing his strength of mind.
But when the revolt of the younger Cyrus against his brother (401 B.C.) had demonstrated the surprising ease and rapidity with which a courageous army could penetrate into the heart of the empirewhen the whole force of that empire had proved powerless, not only to prevent some 12,000 Greek troops, completely surrounded, cut off from their communications, and deprived through treachery of their leaders, from escaping to the coast, but even to make a serious attack on themthen, indeed, the imperial impotence became manifest.
The political leaders were far more conscious than either Vienna or Budapest of the volcanic state of public opinion: but when in genuine alarm and from a sense of impotence they attempted to restrain their followers, the only result was a loss of influence over the younger generation, which had become increasingly infected by revolutionary ideas.
The Reformation restored the teaching of Augustine; in Calvinism especially the sovereignty of the divine and the impotence of the human will were emphasized; and against this exaggeration Arminianism was a protest.