Conflicting Words: Political thought and culture in the Dutch republic and in the Spanish monarchy around the Peace of Munster (1648)
Title: Conflicting Words: Political thought and culture in the Dutch republic and in the Spanish monarchy around the Peace of Munster (1648)
Author: MANZANO BAENA, Laura
Citation: Florence, European University Institute, 2007
Series/Report no.: EUI PhD theses; Department of History and Civilization
The aim of this dissertation is to study the influence exerted by the different political cultures in the Iberian Peninsula and in the Low Countries on these peace talks and how they contributed to delaying the solution finally achieved in Münster. The events on the battlefield accompanying the said negotiations, the negotiations themselves and their outcome are known thanks to a number of scholarly works devoted to the long struggle between the Spanish Monarchy and its 'rebel subjects' in the Low Countries and, from 1640, in the Iberian Peninsula. The second phase of the Eighty Years’ War - once hostilities were resumed after the Twelve Years’ Truce in 1621 - and the peace talks have attracted the interest mainly of Dutch historians, although they have received considerably less attention than the revolt. Spanish scholars have, while not neglecting the issue completely, generally included it in more general surveys of the reign of Philip IV whose access to the throne in 1621 roughly coincides with the starting point of this study. British historiography has contributed to research on the Dutch Republic and the Spanish Monarchy during the first half of the seventeenth century but studies jointly referring to both remain scarce, with the outstanding exception of Jonathan Israel’s works. In most accounts the peace appears as the inevitable outcome of the combination of Spanish decline and growing Dutch power and almost predetermined by the respective structural weaknesses and dynamism of each contender, and therefore of relative scholarly interest. In all cases, the political decisions, the military actions and the socio-economic background have received privileged attention from historians - the cultural and literary production in two polities living through their Golden Ages are only too often left to scholars of art and literature. Thanks to the efforts by Dutch historians, starting shortly after the peace settlement, how the negotiations actually proceeded is known. But these works have devoted little if any attention to the intellectual debates surrounding the negotiations. In the cases where scholars have referred to them, most generally they have assumed them to be pure pretexts, attempts at playing to the gallery that were mere window dresing, disguises of other, real (economic) interests. Although contemporary accounts offer a different view, frowning on those who were accused of using transcendental goals to disguise the pursuit of more worldly aims, many modern scholars have chosen to neglect the former altogether in their quest for a materialistic analysis of society.
LC Subject Heading: Spain. Treaties, etc. United Provinces of the Netherlands, 1648 Jan. 30; Political science -- Netherlands -- History -- 17th century; Monarchy -- Spain -- History -- 17th century
Defense date: 25/06/2007; Examining Board: Dr. Martin van Gelderen (EUI/Supervisor) Dr. Xavier Gil Pujor (Universitat de Barcelona) Dr. Benjamin Kaplan (University College London) Dr. Anthony Molho (EUI)
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