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Title: To Counterbalance the World: England, Spain, & Peace in the Early 17th Century
Authors: Cross, Robert
Advisors: Grafton, Anthony
Lake, Peter
Contributors: History Department
Keywords: British History
early modern Europe
James I
Subjects: History
European history
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: What happens when two countries - the universally-acknowledged heads of rival religious traditions, many of whose citizens have come to see the other as the embodiment of all that is evil in the world - decide that after many years of conflict, it is finally time to make peace? As a result of extensive research in European archives, and by reading traditional diplomatic sources through a more culturally focused lens, my work sees the Anglo-Spanish connection in a very different light. Instead of the familiar narrative dominated by nationalistic stereotypes and sharp polarities, I see a complex interchange where cultural, political, intellectual, and commercial elements mixed and influenced each other to a surprising degree. Peace was neither a late-Elizabethan foregone conclusion nor a fait accompli upon the Stuart accession. A complicated sequence of events needed to occur in order to bring it to pass, and all of this was directly connected to the new strategies and political environments established at the beginning of the reigns of Philip III and James I. First I deal with how the opportunity for peace came about, with the change in Habsburg leaders and priorities, and the all-important accession of King James. Next, I look at the darker days when those first high hopes came into direct contact with the bumps and bruises of a factionalizing English domestic sphere and its interconnected, highly oppositional international system. Then comes a detailed section on the actual achievement of the treaty itself. And finally I examine the extraordinary embassies celebrating the peace, with an analysis of how this relationship would develop in the years to come. Politics, culture, religion, and popular perceptions were all at play here, and these moments of contact helped define attitudes in both countries over an entire generation. In the end, it is only by approaching these years from a fundamentally transnational perspective that we can see how it was that a difficult peace was achieved and gain crucial insight into the way in which both countries' domestic politics and the European international system would play out in the following two decades.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:History

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