unhesitatingly the difficult and dangerous post, and ruled autocratically for seven years (1682-89), but this did not satisfy her ambition.
The revolution in Turkey had entirely changed the face of the Eastern Question; the problem of Macedonian reform was swallowed up in that of the reform of the Ottoman empire generally, there was even a danger that a rejuvenated Turkey might in time lay claim to the provinces occupied by Austria-Hungary under the treaty of Berlin; in any case, the position of these provinces, governed autocratically from Vienna, between a constitutional Turkey and a constitutional Austria-Hungary, would have been highly anomalous.
In short, Abdur Rahman's reign produced an important political revolution, or reformation, in Afghanistan, which rose from the condition of a country distracted by chronic civil wars, under rulers whose authority depended upon their power to hold down or conciliate fierce and semi-independent tribes in the outlying parts of the dominion, to the rank of a formidable military state governed autocratically.
Apart from the parliamentary crisis, really hingeing on the difficulty of discovering a means by which the real will of the people should be carried out without actually making the House of Commons autocratically omnipotent, but also without allowing the House of Lords to obstruct a Liberal government merely as the organ of the Tory party, the new king succeeded to a noble heritage.
Leopold's exploitation of this vast territory, which he administered autocratically, and in which he associated himself personally with various financial schemes, was understood to bring him an enormous fortune; it was the subject of acutely hostile criticism, to a large extent substantiated by the report of a commission of inquiry instituted by the king himself in 1904, and followed in 1908 by the annexa tion of the state to Belgium (see Congo Free State: History).