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Spain, Europe and the Wider World 1500-1800

Spain, Europe and the Wider World 1500-1800

J.H. ELLIOTT
Copyright Date: 2009
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 352
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt1npf31
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  • Book Info
    Spain, Europe and the Wider World 1500-1800
    Book Description:

    When J. H. Elliott publishedSpain and Its World, 1500-1700some twenty years ago, one of many enthusiasts declared, "For anyone interested in the history of empire, of Europe and of Spain, here is a book to keep within reach, to read, to study and to enjoy" (Times Literary Supplement). Since then Elliott has continued to explore the history of Spain and the Hispanic world with originality and insight, producing some of the most influential work in the field. In this new volume he gathers writings that reflect his recent research and thinking on politics, art, culture, and ideas in Europe and the colonial worlds between 1500 and 1800.

    The volume includes fourteen essays, lectures, and articles of remarkable breadth and freshness, written with Elliott's characteristic brio. It includes an unpublished lecture in honor of the late Hugh Trevor-Roper. Organized around three themes-early modern Europe, European overseas expansion, and the works and historical context of El Greco, Velázquez, Rubens, and Van Dyck-the book offers a rich survey of the themes at the heart of Elliott's interests throughout a career distinguished by excellence and innovation.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-16001-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Figures
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. PREFACE
    (pp. xiii-xx)
  6. Part I EUROPE

    • CHAPTER I A EUROPE OF COMPOSITE MONARCHIES
      (pp. 3-24)

      The concept of Europe implies unity. The reality of Europe, especially as it has developed over the past five hundred years or so, reveals a marked degree of disunity, deriving from the establishment of what has come to be regarded as the characteristic feature of European political organisation as against that of other civilisations: a competitive system of sovereign, territorial nation states. ‘By 1300’, wrote Joseph Strayer in a highly perceptive little book, ‘it was evident that the dominant political form in Western Europe was going to be the sovereign state. The universal Empire had never been anything but a...

    • CHAPTER II LEARNING FROM THE ENEMY: EARLY MODERN BRITAIN AND SPAIN
      (pp. 25-51)

      On 29 December 1956, Hugh Trevor-Roper wrote to tell me that he had cancelled a proposed visit to Spain. ‘I had intended to go’, he wrote, ‘in connexion with the subject which I had chosen for the Ford Lectures, which I had confidently supposed that I would be asked to give.’ But the Board of Electors, which moved, and still no doubt moves, in mysterious ways, decided otherwise. ‘So now’, wrote Trevor-Roper, ‘instead of pursuing my thus frustrated studies, I am scheming revenge.’ If his appointment to Oxford’s Regius Chair of Modern History six months later gave him his revenge...

    • CHAPTER III THE GENERAL CRISIS IN RETROSPECT: A DEBATE WITHOUT END
      (pp. 52-73)

      Some fifty years ago, Eric Hobsbawm published inPast and Present(1954) an article that was to spark one of the great historical debates of the second half of the twentieth century: the debate on the ‘General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century’. It was a debate that shaped the approach of a whole generation of historians to seventeenth-century Europe, and indeed to the development of early modern Europe as a whole. It was critically reviewed as long ago as 1975 by Theodore K. Rabb in the opening chapter of hisStruggle for Stability in Early Modern Europe, and more recently...

    • CHAPTER IV A NON-REVOLUTIONARY SOCIETY: CASTILE IN THE 1640s
      (pp. 74-91)

      The great historical debate of the 1950s and 1960s over the so-called ‘General Crisis of the Seventeenth Century’ led to some important and interesting attempts to compare the various revolutionary movements that occurred in Europe during the middle years of the century, and to produce a typology of revolution.¹ It is, however, a striking feature of the debate that the comparisons have always been revolutionary comparisons, in the sense that one movement of protest is compared with another, across either time or space. What has so far been largely missing from the discussion is an attempt to compare societies that...

    • CHAPTER V EUROPE AFTER THE PEACE OF WESTPHALIA
      (pp. 92-106)

      The Peace of Westphalia of 1648 has impressed itself on the collective memory of Europe as bringing to an end a European conflict more devastating than any before the twentieth century. Voltaire, inLe Siècle de Louis XIV, describes the ‘celebrated peace of Westphalia’ which ended the Thirty Years War as having become ‘the basis for all future treaties’. In other words, it marked the beginning of a new international order in which the European state system was henceforth to be regulated on the basis of a set of political arrangements made in the middle years of the seventeenth century...

  7. Part II A WIDER WORLD

    • CHAPTER VI THE SEIZURE OF OVERSEAS TERRITORIES BY THE EUROPEAN POWERS
      (pp. 109-130)

      ‘The establishment of the European colonies in America and the West Indies’, wrote Adam Smith in a famous phrase, ‘arose from no necessity.’¹ A vast literature has accumulated around the fifteenth-century European background to the overseas voyages of discovery—the motivations, the technology, the methods that made it possible for Europeans to break through the confines of their traditional space and, in due course, to encompass the globe. Much of this literature, however, has tended to ignore the distinction made by Smith between the ‘project of commerce’ which, as he saw it, took Europeans to the East Indies, and the...

    • CHAPTER VII ILLUSION AND DISILLUSIONMENT: SPAIN AND THE INDIES
      (pp. 131-148)

      In hisHistory of the Discovery of the Indies, written at some moment in the 1520s, the Spanish humanist Hernán Pérez de Oliva tells us that Columbus ‘sailed from Spain . . . to mix the world together and give to those strange lands the form of our own’.¹ In these few vivid words we can see unfolding before us the story of five centuries of European overseas expansion and imperialism, which was indeed successful in ‘mixing the world together’, although ultimately rather less successful in ‘giving those strange lands the form of our own’. Pérez de Oliva’s story, the...

    • CHAPTER VIII BRITAIN AND SPAIN IN AMERICA: COLONISTS AND COLONISED
      (pp. 149-172)

      One of the pleasures of historical research lies in the finding of improbable connections. At first sight it would seem that no one could be more remote from Spanish America than the great chronicler of Anglo-Saxon England, the Venerable Bede. But it so happens that Bede crossed the Atlantic in the sixteenth century, although travelling in a Spanish rather than an English ship. At least in spirit he was the travelling companion of Bartolomé de las Casas, the ‘Apostle of the Indians’, who tells the readers of hisApologetic Historythat, according to Bede, Pope Gregory the Great did not...

    • CHAPTER IX KING AND PATRIA IN THE HISPANIC WORLD
      (pp. 173-192)

      The Hispanic world of the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was a world of multiple loyalties. Ties of kinship and obligation bound an individual and his immediate family to the larger, extended, family and its most prominent representatives. These family networks interlocked and overlapped with networks of patronage and clientage in which it was expected that loyalty would be rewarded with favours (mercedes). When the Duke and Duchess of Cardona, the patrons of the Catalan lawyer and diarist Jeroni Pujades, paid their first visit to their town of Castelló d’Empúries in July 1628, Pujades composed a poetic greeting for them:...

    • CHAPTER X THE SAME WORLD, DIFFERENT WORLDS
      (pp. 193-210)

      A perennial tension has characterised the relationship between Europe and America: the tension between the assumption of similarity and the recognition of difference. On the one hand, Europeans over the course of the centuries have conceptualised the world they christened the ‘New World’ as an extension of their own. Consequently, the processes by which they imagined, colonised and organised this American world were elaborated on the assumption that it should, and could, be made to conform to European expectations and models. If, in the beginning, as John Locke argued, ‘all the world wasAmerica’, there was no reason why, through...

    • CHAPTER XI STARTING AFRESH? THE ECLIPSE OF EMPIRE IN BRITISH AND SPANISH AMERICA
      (pp. 211-230)

      During the closing decades of the eighteenth century and the opening decades of the nineteenth, old empires went into eclipse, new empires arose, and the sovereign nation state emerged into the full light of day. With the exception of Canada and the West Indies, Great Britain lost its American empire between 1776 and 1783. Spain, in turn, lostitsAmerican empire, with the exception of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Pacific outpost of the Philippines, between 1810 and 1825. The fifty years between the revolt of the British colonies and the culmination of the Spanish-American independence movements saw momentous changes...

  8. Part III THE WORLD OF ART

    • CHAPTER XII EL GRECO’S MEDITERRANEAN: THE ENCOUNTER OF CIVILISATIONS
      (pp. 233-253)

      The Mediterranean world of the sixteenth century—the world of El Greco—was a world in which three civilisations coexisted, interacted and clashed: the Latin West; the Greek Orthodox East; and the civilisation of Islam. As a Cretan, and hence a subject of the Republic of Venice, Domenikos Theotokopoulos, known as El Greco (1541-1614), belonged both to the Greek East and to Latin Christendom. He and his generation lived much of their lives in the shadow of confrontation between Christendom and Islam.

      More than a month’s sailing time from Venice,¹ Crete—a Venetian colony since 1211—was, by the sixteenth...

    • CHAPTER XIII COURT SOCIETY IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY EUROPE: MADRID, BRUSSELS, LONDON
      (pp. 254-278)

      ‘... I have a horror of courts ...’ wrote Peter Paul Rubens in March 1636 to his French friend Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc.¹ It was a subject on which Rubens could speak with considerable authority. His experience of courts included the court of the Duke of Mantua in the first years of the century; the Spanish court, first at Valladolid in 1603 and then in Madrid in 1628-9; the court of Louis XIII of France in 1622, where he was working for the Queen Mother, Marie de Médicis; the court of Charles I of England 1629-30; and, most of all,...

    • CHAPTER XIV APPEARANCE AND REALITY IN THE SPAIN OF VELÁZQUEZ
      (pp. 279-303)

      The Spain in which Diego Rodríguez de Silva Veláquez was born in 1599 was a country where appearances showed increasingly ominous signs of being at odds with reality. The old king, Philip II, had died in the previous year, after a reign of forty-two years. The most powerful monarch in Europe, he had left the young Philip III an exhausted realm of Castile, an immense burden of debt, and a faltering mission to preserve his dynastic inheritance intact and rescue Christendom from the advance of heresy. No expense was spared, however, to celebrate the deceased king’s exequies in a manner...

  9. INDEX
    (pp. 304-322)