Tag Archive | DR

Can’t military and diplomatic historians all just get along?

It seems we are fated to be yin and yang. The descent into armed conflict, the domain of military historians, represents the palpable failure of diplomacy, the subject of study for diplomatic historians. Yet ultimately the futility of the military historian’s war-mongering forces an inevitable return to negotiation, and some sort of peace. The circle completes itself.

I guess we need each other after all.

For those wishing to take more of a walk on the diplomatic side, Brill has a new edited collection on diplomatic and legal history that might fit the bill:

Lesaffer, Randall, ed. The Twelve Years Truce (1609): Peace, Truce, War and Law in the Low Countries at the Turn of the 17th Century. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2014.

The Twelve Years Truce of 9 April 1609 made a temporary end to the hostilities between Spain and the Northern Netherlands that had lasted for over four decades. The Truce signified a crucial step in the recognition of the Republic of the Northern Netherlands as a sovereign power. As the direct source of inspiration for the 1648 Peace of Munster the Truce is a crucial text in the formation of the early modern law of nations. As few other texts, it reflects the radical changes to the laws of war and peace from around 1600.
The Twelve Years Truce offers a collection of essays by leading specialists on the diplomatic and legal history of the Antwerp Truce of 1609. The first part covers the negotiation process leading up to the Truce. The second part collects essays on the consequences of the Truce on the state of war. In the third part, the consequences of the Truce for the sovereignty of the Northern and Southern Netherlands as well as it wider significance for the changing laws of war and peace of the age are scrutinised.

Table of Contents:

Introduction … 1
Randall Lesaffer

Part 1 Truce and Peace

1 The Twelve Years Truce … 7
Paul Brood

2 Preparing the Ground … 15
Alicia Esteban Estríngana

3 The Act of Cession, the 1598 and 1600 States General in Brussels and the Peace Negotiations during the Dutch Revolt … 48
Bram de Ridder Violet Soen

4 The Anglo-Spanish Peace Treaty of 1604 … 69
Alain Wijffels

Part 2 Truce and War

5 Left ‘Holding the Bag’ … 89
Peter Borschberg

6 The Tactical Military Revolution and Dutch Army Operations during the Era of the Twelve Years Truce (1592–1618) … 121
Olaf van Nimwegen

7 ‘Une oppression insupportable au peuple’ … 152
Tim Piceu

Part 3 Truce and Law

8 The United Provinces … 181
Beatrix C.M. Jacobs

9 How ‘Sovereign’ were the Southern Netherlands under the Archdukes? … 196
Georges Martyn

10 The Early Doctrine of International Law as a Bridge from Antiquity to Modernity and Diplomatic Inviolability in 16th- and 17th-Century European Practice … 210
Carlo Focarelli

11 From Antwerp to Munster (1609/1648) … 233
Randall Lesaffer, Erik-Jan Broers and Johanna Waelkens

12 ‘La dernière ancre de leur finesse’ … 256
Bernd Klesmann

13 The Treaty of London, the Twelve Years Truce and Religious Toleration in Spain and the Netherlands (1598–1621) … 277
Werner Thomas

The Eighty Years War just got a whole lot longer

In a comment Averrones pointed out a recent (in historical terms) release of a new publication on the rise of the Dutch fiscal-military state. I like looking beyond the usual 1648 terminus; and if there was ever a case study that required a fiscal-military approach, and an author to do it, this would be it.

Hart, Marjolein ’t. The Dutch Wars of Independence: Warfare and Commerce in the Netherlands 1570-1680. London ; New York: Routledge, 2014.
In The Dutch Wars of Independence, Marjolein ’t Hart assesses the success of the Dutch in establishing their independence through their eighty years struggle with Spain – one of the most remarkable achievements of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Other rebellions troubled mighty powers of this epoch, but none resulted in the establishment of an independent, republican state. This book: tells the story of the Eighty Years War and its aftermath, including the three Anglo-Dutch Wars and the Guerre de Hollande (1570-1680); explores the interrelation between war, economy and society, explaining how the Dutch could turn their wars into commercial successes; illustrates how war could trigger and sustain innovations in the field of economy and state formation; the new ways of organization of Dutch military institutions favoured a high degree of commercialized warfare;    shows how other state rulers tried to copy the Dutch way of commercialized warfare, in particular in taking up the protection for capital accumulation. As such, the book unravels one of the unknown pillars of European state formation (and of capitalism).  The volume investigates thoroughly the economic profitability of warfare in the early modern period and shows how smaller, commercialized states could sustain prolonged war violence common to that period. It moves beyond traditional explanations of Dutch success in warfare focusing on geography, religion, diplomacy while presenting an up-to-date overview and interpretation of the Dutch Revolt, the Anglo-Dutch Wars and the Guerre de Hollande.
Check it out.

Recent article on military finance

Swart, Erik. “‘The field of finance.’ War and taxation in Holland, Flanders and Brabant, ca. 1572-1585.” Sixteenth Century Journal 42 (Winter 2011): 1051-1071.

Abstract: The Dutch province of Holland has solicited much research in the context of the link between war and political development, an important theme in early modern historiography. During the Dutch Revolt in the late sixteenth century it became the core and financial bedrock of a new, powerful, and very prosperous polity: the Dutch Republic. Why Flanders and Brabant, larger and traditionally wealthier, failed where Holland succeeded and were retaken by King Philip II’s army has never been explained. One difference was the structurally narrower political base in Brabant and Flanders; compared to Holland fewer people had a part and stake in the government. But the main problem in the former provinces was a structural lack of finances. From 1578 the war was right on top of them, which made the collection of newly introduced taxes impossible and attempts at administrative reorganization fruitless. War destroyed the tax base in Brabant and Flanders, while Holland’s taxes were the foundation of its success.

Now it’s the Dutch turn

Having just posted some new articles on the French Wars of Religion, I find those Sea Beggars demanding equal time.

Soen, Violet. “Reconquista and Reconciliation in the Dutch Revolt: The Campaign of Governor-General Alexander Farnese (1578-1592).” Journal of Early Modern History 16, no. 1 (2012): 1-22.

Dutch Revolt siege (photo of W. Baudartius engraving from German Ebay)

The campaign in the Low Countries led by governor-general Alexander Farnese from October 1578 onwards resulted in the reconquest of more cities for the King of Spain than had been achieved by any of his predecessors or successors. It serves here as a starting point for a contextual analysis of the relationship between the ruler and the city defiant during the Dutch Revolt, not only to cast new light on the oft-neglected and complex Spanish Habsburg policies, but also to understand the broader context of questions of resistance and reconciliation during the Dutch Revolt. Most capitulation treaties accorded by Farnese show at least four features at odds with the pattern of repression of urban revolts. The governor aimed at keeping the civic patrimony intact, he granted full pardon and oblivion, he conditionally restored urban privileges and he often felt obliged not to insist on immediate reconciliation with the Catholic Church. The divergent reactions to this Habsburg policy indicate that the Dutch Revolt showed striking features of a civil war, in which not only the conditions of revolt but also of reconciliation caused discord.