The Revolution had made war on princes and privilege, and the common people had in general gained wherever the Napoleonic rgime had been substituted for their effete despotisms; but the Continental System was felt as an oppression in every humble household, suddenly deprived of the little imported luxuries, such as sugar and coffee, which custom had made necessaries; and from this time date the beginnings of that popular revolt against Napoleon that was to culminate in the War of Liberation.
Goethe, the cosmopolitan Weltbierger of the 18th century, had himself no very intense feelings of patriotism, and, having seen Germany flourish as a group of small states under enlightened despotisms, he had little confidence in the dreamers of 1813 who hoped to see the glories of Barbarossa's empire revived.
These separate despotisms owned no common social tie, were founded on no common j us or right, but were connected in a network of conflicting interests and changeful diplomatic combinations.
His was the mildest and least reactionary of all the Italian despotisms of the day, and although always subject to Austrian influence he refused to adopt the Austrian methods of government, allowed a fair measure of liberty to the press, and permitted many political exiles from other states to dwell in Tuscany undisturbed.
The Macedonian kingdoms, strained by continual wars, increasingly divided against themselves, falling often under the sway of prodigals and debauchees, were far 12 sign from realizing the Hellenic idea of sound govern- of ment as against the crude barbaric despotisms of the older East.