Friday, March 28, 2008

Golden Freedom


"Progress was defeated at each turn by the selfish interests of magnates who preached that they were acting thus to defend their Golden Freedom, and in a sense they were.

They were defending their freedom to neutralize the king; they were defending their freedom to keep the newly built towns subservient to their country areas; they were defending most strongly their freedom to keep their peasants in a state of perpetual serfdom as opposed to the liberties which were being grudgingly won in the western parts of Europe; and they were doing everything reactionary within their power to preserve the advantages they had against the legitimate aspirations of the growing gentry. The Golden Freedom which the magnates defended with every bit of chicanery and power they commanded was the freedom of the few to oppress the many, the freedom of a few grasping magnates to prevent a strong king from arising."

- Poland, James A. Michener

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