By the mid-17th century, the Goths were still the barbarians (for Catholics, classicists, and royalists). However, there was a growing opinion that saw the Goths as the forerunners of modern society. History was being written and rewritten in the context of political crisis. Debates focused on the origin and development of ‘Gothic’ forms of government. Royal critics looked for evidence from the past to curtail the absolutist desires of the monarch. ‘Liberty Gothic’ looks at the continuing developments of the notion of a Gothic culture. Connections with the mediaeval past lingered, and the Gothic justified this connection. By the end of the 17th century, the Goths had embedded themselves throughout Europe.