For some of these we have no certain information, and regarding others the tales narrated in the early records are so hard to reconcile with present knowledge that they are better fitted to be the battle-ground of scholars championing rival theories than the basis of definite history.
During those fifteen years the kingdom of Jerusalem was agitated by a struggle between the native barons, championing the principle that sovereignty resided in the collective baronage, and taking their stand on the assizes, and Frederick II., claiming sovereignty for himself, and opposing to the assizes the feudal law of Sicily.
In spite of his Imperialist views, however, he did much to smooth over the party difficulties, and when the tariff-reform movement began in 1903, he seized the opportunity for rallying the Liberals to the banner of freetrade and championing the "orthodox" English political economy, on which indeed he had been a lecturer in his younger days.
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