Charles of Ghent Speaks Italian to His Mistresses, French to His Courtiers, German to His Soldiers, Spanish to His Churchmen, and Dutch to His Horse
Dan Nexon writes:
The Duck of Minerva: Done! ... for now (and with a jot of guilt, just as a bonus): I just sent my book manuscript, provisionally entitled Religious Conflict, International Change, and the Struggle for Power in Early Modern Europe, to Princeton University Press, sans a few "final status" maps. The blurb I wrote for it (but not the one they'll use):
In 1517 Charles of Habsburg, ruler of the Netherlands and Franche-Compté, arrived in Castile to claim the thrones of Castile and Aragon-Catalonia. That same year, Martin Luther publicly challenged the Catholic Church and triggered a series of religious upheavals known as the Protestant Reformations. In 1521 Charles, now emperor-elect of the Holy Roman Empire, declared Luther an outlaw and demanded that his German subjects destroy Luther’s works.
For well over the next century, the spread of reformation movements rocked a European order already subject to intense power-political rivalries. Charles, defeated by German Protestants, divided his vast domains between his brother Ferdinand and his son, Philip II of Spain. France next fell into decades of civil war. The Dutch began an Eighty Years War for independence against the Spanish Habsburg Monarchy. Unresolved religious tensions in Germany eventually exploded into the European-wide conflict known as the Thirty Years War.
International-relations scholars have long debated whether these events inaugurated the modern state system. But they have overlooked a more fundamental puzzle: why did the spread of transnational religious movements lead to a profound crisis in the European order? Nexon argues that the key to this question lies in the imperial character of early modern states. He presents a theory of imperial dynamics that explains how transnational religious contention altered the European balance of power. In doing so, he develops a new approach to studying state formation and international change, one with broad implications for the theory and analysis of contemporary world politics...
- Do you really want to write "Franche-Compté" rather than "Franche-Comté"?
- Do you really want to leave blurb-readers (and us!) hanging as to what your theory of state formation and the Wars of the Reformation actually is?
- Jan de Vries and I, after class last Wednesday, were discussing why it was that transoceanic trade seems to have done something to strengthen the forces of tolerance, economic liberty, and representative government in the United Provinces and the United Kingdom, and to have done a great deal to strengthen the forces of religious intolerance and autocracy in Spain. Jan mentioned that he had somewhere at some point in the past seen a map of the travels of Charles of Ghent, and I would dearly love to be able to track it down...