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A reversible diffusion-limited aggregation model for self-assembling polymers has been developed with the aid of computer simulations. The calculations have been performed in three dimensions and apply to linear chains bearing an associating site at each terminus. The results reveal that the associating sites form finite-sized clusters that, in turn, lead to the assemblage of a supermolecular network. The average cluster size is found to vary with the degree of reversibility of site binding.
The eschatological Protestant and classical republican contexts in which the ambassadors and the Rump placed the mission to the United Provinces makes it difficult to accept economic historians' explanation of the passage of the Navigation Act. Certainly it is hard to imagine that the calm, cool, and rational calculators of economic self-interest inhabited the same world as Walter Strickland, John Thurloe and Oliver St. John. Closer examination of the context of English politics in late 1651 makes it even harder to see the Navigation Act as the product of a group of merchant-interlopers.
The contemporary evidence which economic historians have adduced to demonstrate the political power of the colonial interlopers is of questionable quality. The material – a Royalist newsletter, the report of a Venetian ambassador based in Spain, and the account of the Dutch ambassadors to England in 1654 – all reflects the official Dutch and Royalist interpretation of English motivation. Not only does none of it come from sources who were in England in the summer and autumn of 1651, but it reflects the view of those who were unable and unwilling to understand the motivations for the English proposals to the Dutch in the spring of 1651. In fact, there is a good deal of evidence that the merchant-interlopers had little support in the government. The East India Company retained its control over exports of bullion. The Leveller William Walwyn's attempt to break the Levant Company's monopoly failed. The Greenland Company retained most of its exclusive rights.
In early December 1653, the Nominated Parliament granted the Dutch deputies their passports in recognition that their negotiation had failed. Cromwell and his more moderate colleagues, however, hinted to the Dutch that they should hold out a bit longer, that a change of government was imminent. The Dutch knew that it was the radical members of the Nominated Parliament and their fiery preachers who had obstructed the negotiations. Cromwell, Hugh Peter, and many of the commissioners had made it clear to the Dutch deputies that their hands were tied by the temporary ascendancy of the radical millenarians. However, the Dutch were convinced, as were most political observers, that the situation could not last for long, that Cromwell would put an end to this Parliament just as he had dissolved the Rump. A new regime, especially a new regime which was not so deeply influenced by Thomas Harrison and the hot men of St. Anne's Blackfriars, would certainly be more amenable to peace.
Sure enough, as soon as the Nominated Parliament submitted its resignation and the Protectorate was proclaimed, the prospects for peace were dramatically transformed. Cromwell immediately sent word to the Dutch deputies “that now he is advanced to a quality fit to treat with them” assuring them “of his desires of peace.” “There is probability of peace with the Dutch,” trumpeted the Several Proceedings of State Affairs. The bookstalls in London were filled with copies of The Peace-Maker which outlined the benefits of an Anglo-Dutch alliance.
In May 1660, after almost a decade in the political wilderness, Charles II entered the United Provinces, the last stop on his triumphal return to the British Isles. The treatment which the States General and the States of Holland afforded their royal guest “was incredibly splendid and noble,” recalled the Earl of Clarendon, “and the universal joy so visible and real, that it could only be exceeded by that of [the king's] own subjects.” Samuel Pepys, who had come with his fellow former Cromwellian the Earl of Sandwich to The Hague to bring Charles II back to England, could not “speak enough of the gallantry of the town.” Charles II himself declared “his meaning of keeping a true and firm friendship and alliance with [the Dutch], nay that he should be jealous if any other king or prince should have a more near and stricter friendship and alliance with them than himself.” On 23 May after almost interminable festivities Charles finally boarded his ships at Scheveling. The shore, wrote one observer, was “covered black with people … come from several towns far and near to see the king's departure and were forced for want of lodgings to walk all night or lie in the open fields.” The salutes and countersalutes from the English and Dutch ships were so tremendous that “the air was set on fire and the smoke like a cloud had made the fleet invisible.”
Seventeenth-century English foreign policy has more often been written off than written about. Domestic constitutional and social developments have dominated the recent historiographical headlines. Foreign policy's retreat from the stage of early modern English history has been so complete that one well-respected historian has recently challenged his readers to “ponder the question of how many English victories over continental powers you can name between the battles of Agincourt (1415) and Blenheim (1704).” The lack of memorable English victories, John Brewer has implied, indicates the relative unimportance of seventeenth-century England on the European scene, and consequently the insignificance of the study of its foreign policy. Brewer's is not a unique assessment. “For three centuries before 1688, the English state had been unable to raise adequate revenues from taxes,” Lawrence Stone has claimed in order to explain away the historiographical neglect of seventeenth-century foreign policy, “as a result of which [England] was no more than a marginal player in the European power game.”
Nevertheless seventeenth-century foreign policy was not always thought to be so marginal. Contemporaries thought of England as one of the great powers of Europe. Agents from Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, and France stood in line for favors from Oliver Cromwell. “The sea is your own and now all nations greet / with bending sails each vessel of your fleet,” bragged one panegyric to Cromwell, “your power extends as far as winds can blow / or swelling sails upon the globe may go.” This seventeenthcentury national self-image was not soon forgotten.
Despite the predictions of all the international pundits, no Anglo-Dutch war did break out in the summer of 1662. What explains this tremendous change of events? In order to answer that question it is necessary to examine English domestic politics.
The Restoration, even if it was not a complete return to the pre-Civil War polity, was a victory for the Anglican Royalists. Republicans, religious radicals, and even some Cromwellians were quite dissatisfied with the new regime. But the discussion and ultimate passage in May 1662 of the Act of Uniformity deeply offended the sensibilities of the Presbyterians who considered themselves responsible for the triumphant return of Charles II. The strict requirements of the Act of Uniformity made it impossible for even the more moderate of Presbyterian clergymen to remain within the Established Church. For many it must have seemed as if the ideological and religious divisions of the late 1630s and 1640s had been recreated.
Not surprisingly the movement of the Bill for Uniformity through the Houses of Parliament began to rekindle old fears. The Essex minister Ralph Josselin “heard many strange passages visional and prophetical of alterations in England.” The passage of the Act forced Independents, Presbyterians, and sectaries to shelve the differences which had dominated the politics of the 1640s and 1650s. “Three or four societies that for this 12 years or more could scarcely give each other a good word now upon publishing of the Act of Uniformity are all united,” warned the government informant William Williamson, “there will be some villainy designed or else they lost their old orders.”
The critics of the government “in whose hands we are yet entirely as to his Majesty's supply” were creating so much mischief in Parliament that “you will not wonder we make no more despatch in our preparations for the next year,” complained Arlington to Sandwich who was now ambassador in Spain. At the moment that the Dutch fleet was systematically burning his navy and terrifying the residents of his capital, Charles II fumed to Sir Thomas Osborne, one of the Duke of Buckingham's closest associates, that “we might thank those men” – those Parliamentary allies of Buckingham – for the Dutch fleet lying now upon our coast, for had the money been given in time “we had had a fleet in readiness” So powerful was this analysis, so seemingly prophetic was Arlington after the devastating Dutch raid on the Medway in June 1667, that it has become the accepted explanation for the English failure to set out a fleet in the spring of 1667. Members of the House of Commons, whether out of a lust for personal power or because they knew the country was simply unable to finance another year's campaign, are said to have successfully obstructed the war effort.
The enthusiasm with which members of the House of Commons had resolved to support their king with a generous supply for the war at the outset of the Parliamentary session, and the consistently anti-absolutist tone of much of the criticism of the conduct of the war, demand a reconsideration of the government's case.
On 1 November the promised embassy from the United Provinces disembarked on English soil, hoping to achieve a triple alliance among France, England and the United Provinces to guarantee commerce and mutual defense. Despite “the demonstration of honor and kindness” to which they were treated, little progress was made in their negotiation by the following spring. It is true, of course, that the Dutch were irritated with the renewal of the Navigation Act and the discussion of a nationalist fishing measure in the House of Commons. But this was hardly the cause of the delay. It was soon clear to everyone that the Navigation Act was not being enforced. Instead the difficulties were ideological. “The treaty here with the Dutch is not at all advanced,” Charles's chief minister, the Earl of Clarendon, complained to his French correspondent Bastide, because of “sharp expostulations between us upon the affair of the Prince of Orange.” Given the ideological outlook of the three Dutch ambassadors this was hardly surprising. Simon Van Horn, a burgomaster of Amsterdam, was said to be “one of the chiefest” of the republican faction. Louis of Nassau, the Heer of Beeverweert, “shows himself outwardly as if he were neutral for that he being descended from the House of Orange, which he inwardly hated by reason of a reproach of his birth objected to him by the late Prince of Orange's mother.” The third ambassador, Rippenda Van Farnsum, was “well affected to the interest of Orange, but is overvoted by the two others.”
Contrary to all expert predictions, however, the States General decided to send Jongstall and Nieupoort back to England, armed with fresh instructions. Hopes and expectations for peace soared. “Is it any wonder that I am fallen from my confidence that there will be no peace,” Edward Hyde whined to Edward Nicholas, “and can you ask me the reason, when you tell me your intelligence from England assures you that they will recede from all their extravagant propositions, and that that the people of Holland will grant anything [asked]?” What had precipitated such a dramatic change in the course of events?
Traditionally historians have explained this change by highlighting the conciliatory effect of Cromwell's private meetings with the Dutch deputies. Though there can be no doubt that Cromwell did meet with the Dutch deputies – especially with the republican Beverning – and that he spoke enthusiastically about what the Dutch and English could achieve together if allied, one should not overestimate his enthusiasm for peace without security before the autumn of 1653. In the much-discussed conferences with Beverning in St. James's Park, Cromwell expressed his “opinion that there must be one supreme authority to have the direction of all matters relating to the strict union for mutual defense of both states against all external enemies.” To Beverning's protestations that such an alliance would invalidate all other Dutch treaties, Cromwell mockingly replied that the Dutch were willing to cast aside their French allies at Munster in 1648.
Why then did the Rump begin negotiations with the States General in March 1653? Why were the English willing to treat with a nation which had perfidiously attacked them less than a year previously while an alliance was being discussed in Westminster?
There were, of course, many in England, even many supporters of the Rump, who opposed the war against their Protestant brethren. Almost as soon as newsmongers heard that Blake and Van Tromp had fought in the Downs, they began disseminating stories of an Anglo-Dutch rapprochement. Though these stories were certainly exaggerations and mere fabrications, there can be little doubt that there was a significant sector of the English population hostile to the war. “There be thousands who mutter at the business,” conceded the Hollandophobic Donald Lupton, “and seem to bear affection to” the Dutch cause. In the Rump itself there were frequent murmurings of discontent. “Parliament never meets,” the Venetian resident reported in February 1653, “without accusations and reproaches being heaped on the authors of this war.” Hugh Peter, one of Cromwell's favorite preachers, was known to have written to Sir George Ayscue “desiring him to forbear engaging the Dutch in this unjust quarrel.” Peter, in fact, was quite anxious to tell anyone who would listen that many in the United Provinces were anxious for peace. Though Peter was fiercely attacked for his activities in the summer, his very public rehabilitation by the Rump in January 1653 reveals a good deal about the temper of the House.
What were the political consequences of the defeat at Chatham and the subsequent concessions made at Breda? How did the English react to their government's failure to defend them against the wrath of the Dutch navy? How did they account for their defeat?
Certainly the end of the war was initially greeted as “good news” throughout the country. In London the peace was announced “with trumpets and kettle drums, and the people shouting for joy,” and villages throughout the country the rumor, and eventually the proclamation, of peace prompted huge celebrations: bells were rung, guns went off, fireworks were exploded. “The bells have hardly lain still in all the country about ever since the news of peace,” reported one of Williamson's corespondents from Lyme. In Weymouth the peace “raised the dead to life”
This display of popular emotion largely reflected relief at the conclusion of a war which had proved devastating. The end of the war meant the possibility of economic revival. Throughout the country people expected the peace to reinvigorate sagging commerce. From Truro Hugh Acland reported that “many people” were convinced that “if the treaty take effect” they would “be in better condition for the future.” In Bridgewater “trade advances in hope of a successful treaty.” “If a peace follow,” predicted Sir Andrew Riccard the Presbyterian governor of the East India Company, “the East India Company purpose to renew their trade, to attend it with as much or more vigor than ever.”
This ideological shift in English popular opinion reflects the ambiguous nature of the Restoration itself. Presbyterians and Anglicans, moderate constitutionalists as well as those with more absolutist tendencies, had supported the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. All, of course, had been confident that their king would be everything that they had hoped for, would fit their own very different images of what a good English king should be. “The people in general desired a king,” the republican Algernon Sidney was forced to admit during the Anglo-Dutch War, but they had hoped “to see an abolition of taxes, the nation established in happiness, riches, strength, security, and glory.” Instead by the autumn of 1666 the English were overwhelmed with taxes, made miserable by economic hardship and the plague, and fearful of a French invasion. The hopes of moderates that “having been brought up in the school of affliction [Charles II] had there learned temperance in his prosperity; that the experience he had gained when he was abroad would so have armed him against the deceits and flatteries of courtiers that he would yield to nothing but reason and justice” were certainly not realized. Instead many began to believe that Charles II and many of his courtiers had returned from France with an affection for the French style of government, the French religion, and – despite the war which Louis XIV had declared against his cousin Charles II – the French king.
In the end the English lost the war not so much because the government's economic infrastructure had collapsed – though the sheer extent of popular misery certainly fueled the criticism of the government – but because the government was no longer fighting the war that a large segment of the political nation wanted it to fight.
Why did Anglican Royalists feel that the Dutch were the economic enemy? Why, in short, should the battle against republicanism and irreligion be conducted in economic terms? The answer to these questions lies in the way Restoration Englishmen understood the workings of European politics, an understanding conceived in terms of the idiom of universal monarchy.
The English in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries had feared and loathed the King of Spain and the House of Habsburg not just because they were the current enemies, but because they pretended to a universal monarchy of all the known world. The vast territories inherited by Charles V made it possible for the first time since Charlemagne for a secular prince to reclaim the imperium of Rome. In English and Protestant eyes the foreign, indeed the imperial, policy of Charles V and his son Philip II was a necessary adjunct to their alliance with the Antichristian Church of Rome. “Popish and Spanish invisible arts and counsels,” argued Fulke Greville in his famous Life of Sidney, aimed “to undermine the greatness and freedom both of secular and ecclesiastical princes … and by their insensible fall, a raising up of the House of Austria many steps toward her long-affected Monarchy over the West.” Spain's goal, opined Lord Burghley in 1590, was “to be lord and commander of all Christendom, jointly with the Pope and with no other associate.” “By fraud, policy, treason, intestine divisions and wars,” recalled the author of Philanax Protestant, “the Pope and Spaniard too” tried to reduce all Protestant princes and realms to “their long prosecuted universal monarchy.”
What, then, were the government's war aims? Did Charles II and his government intend to achieve the same goals through their war with the Dutch as did his subjects? Was the government indeed fighting a war to achieve some short-term economic advantage while those who were fighting the war hoped to prevent the Dutch from achieving universal dominion?
In fact, the available evidence suggests that those running the war knew well that there was no hope of garnering any immediate economic returns, that it would be militarily counterproductive to pursue immediate economic rewards. Overseas trade, it was soon concluded, needed to be curtailed in order to man his Majesty's ships. “When the seamen find it will be a war,” reasoned William Coventry who was the Duke of York's primary advisor on naval affairs, “you must not expect many volunteers to man the ships however big they may talk before, for when a war comes the merchants' wages rise high, and then some for profit, and some for fear of broken bones all decline the service, so then you must resolve to press.” This was why he advised secretary of state Bennet “that nothing will conduce more to the manning the fleet than the observation of the embargo.” Within a fortnight the Council of War agreed upon “a general embargo through the whole kingdom” in order that “his Majesty's fleet be manned.”