Alliance System and military conflicts in Europe (1494-1606)
The politics of the 16th century was marked by the establishment of large monarchical states in Europe, which struggled to consolidate their power by controlling more territory, both in Europe and in the newly discovered territories in America and the Pacific.
He has a degree in History from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (2009) and a Master's in World History from Pompeu Fabra University (2011).
Post on 2023-01-11 | Updated on 2023-02-16
The Early Modern Age began in Europe in a climate of great political and military turbulence. Alliance System and military conflicts spread across the continent in an attempt to extend their power and control over more territory.
The new monarchies of the Renaissance
The birth of the new monarchies
The papacy and the Empire were the highest religious and political authorities in the European world until the 13th century. In the lower sphere, who held the power in the Holy Roman Empire were the free cities and the feudal lords. Between the superior and inferior powers, a new power was consolidating: the monarchies. Monarchies that increased their power by obtaining greater territorial control.
Three aspects were decisive in this process of consolidation of the new monarchical power during the period between 1450 and 1600:
The End of Universal Authority:
Papacy: Universal power as vicar of Christ.
Emperorof the Holy Roman Empire: represented the power of the sword as the executing arm of the Church.
Between the 13th and 15th centuries, Christendom was divided into units that did not recognize the secular power of the papacy or imperial dependence.
The emperor's identification with the territory of present-day Germany limited his universal aspirations. Many kings granted themselves imperial attributes and symbols.
The powers of lords and cities
During feudalism (the most important stage between the 10th and 13th centuries) the territory was divided into lordly areas, autonomous territories under royal control. The nobles considered the king as "primus inter pares" (in English: first among equals), one more among the nobles.
Urban progress (XII-XIII centuries) with the bourgeoisie as the leading social class that was occupying new spaces of municipal power. The agrarian interests linked to the feudal lords are contrasted against the interests of the new bourgeoisie linked to industry and commerce.
Representative Assemblies (Courts, Parliament, States General). They created awareness of territorial unity. In the 13th-14th centuries, a mixed form of government (kings and assemblies) developed that the new challenges of the Modern Age put into question throughout Europe.
The appearance of the figure of the Renaissance prince
Marriage policy of the monarchies: family unions that provided them with considerable human and material means.
The new princes used the raison d'être (moral endorsement in the pursuit of power).
A Europe of composite monarchies and multiple identities
During the period between the centuries of the late Middle Ages and the beginnings of the Early Modern Age, the great monarchies (not the national states) were formed in Europe. The demographically most powerful ethnic groups were the ones that politically dominated each territory.
French monarchy: Duchy of Burgundy (incorporated into the Kingdom of France in 1477) and Duchy of Brittany (incorporated into France in 1532).
English Monarchy : Wales (Act of Union of 1536, creating the legal entity known today as England and Wales).
Composite monarchies: territories with different ethnicities and languages that shared the same monarch as a result of military occupation or inheritance. Each territory retained political structures: legal regimes and government institutions (assemblies).
The difficult composition of interests marked European political life until the moment when the weakest were erased from the map.
The clash of interests within the composite monarchies gave political value to terms such as:
Homeland: place of origin (traditional) of the political community (honour and defence).
Nation: attributed based on the language spoken, acquired more political connotations.
During the Early Modern Age, some characteristic features of national feelings were formed, compatible with various loyalties: local patriotism, jurisdictional (links between lords and vassals) and dynasticism.
1500: national consciousness in the elite (memory and calculation of institutions and languages that separate).
Internal government structures
Throughout the modern period, the scheme of duality of power was maintained. On the one hand, the royal power structures (State) and on the other the lordly jurisdictions (feudal lords and local powers). The new monarchies consolidated new internal governing bodies and new foreign policy instruments.
Institutional organization of monarchies:
Central government: formation of the court and the central councils.
Court: of medieval origin, around 1600 they are well-formed in the cities of Stockholm, Vienna, Paris, London and Madrid. Double scenario of the capital city:
Representation of image and royal power in festive and religious ceremonies (protocol).
Transaction between crown and elites, center of the main governing bodies.
Centralized governing bodies: structure of councils (synodal form of government), medieval inheritance of the duty of consilium.
Dual function: thematic (at first government and finance) and territorial. The link between the Councils and the king were the secretaries.
Bureaucracy: Empowerment of royal officials to bring administration everywhere. Pact with the groups that controlled the territory of England, through the courts of peace, reserved for the landed gentry. A system of buying and selling and patrimonialization of public offices at the local and central level was soon launched. The alliance with the bourgeoisie and the nobility strengthened the royal power.
Treasury: the expenses of the court, the central organs, the bureaucracy, the diplomacy and the army had to be paid. The monarchies were forced to articulate means of tax collection:
Private income and royalties (certain rights inherent in the status of sovereign), the rest came from the concession of the parliamentary assemblies.
Nobility and clergy were exempt from direct taxation.
The collecting bureaucracy was weak, and the privatization of administrative services in the hands of private companies gave large profits to private individuals with territorial control.
The improvement of the tax systems gave results: between 1485-1509 in England it went from 52,000 to 142,000 pounds.
New resources: sales of patrimony, of trades, monetary manipulation, forced labour, papal privileges, appropriation of ecclesiastical income.
Unequal career: credit of the great financiers. Between 1520-1556, the average interest was 32%. This caused the bankruptcy of the royal treasury and the consolidation of the public debt.
Diplomacy and foreign action
The new markets abroad in the world and the configuration of the confessional Europe generated military and political conflicts. From 1550 Europe was the permanent scene of war. That is why the monarchies had to set up themselves with more accurate international policy tools. It was the birth of modern diplomacy.
Diplomacy: Marriage policies and complex alliance games. Modern diplomacy developed first in the Italian States, especially in the Republic of Venice. It had official and unofficial (or secret) channels:
Official: Establishment of permanent ambassadors (1450) with the aim of obtaining information and influencing decision-making.
Secret: formation of networks of agents (who could be exiles, spies, correspondents and confidants), both inside and outside. In the Hispanic Monarchy there was the figure of the Espía Mayor del Reino (Major Spy of the Kingdom) who coordinated them.
Army: 1500-1600 (in the whole century there were only ten years of peace). Changes produced in the war:
Architectural innovations (trace italienne style, military fortification to protect against artillery). Wide walls and advanced bastions equipped with artillery and defence.
Technically Perfected Siege: Difficult for the besieged to attack.
War of attrition: rising costs.
Artillery: sieges and open field.
Heavy cavalry, deployed as a fighting force by infantry equipped with firearms (offensive) or in pike formations (defensive).
The creation of the Hispanic Monarchy
The dynastic union between the Crown of Castile and the Crown of Aragon
In 1469, the future queen Isabella I of Castile and the future king Ferdinand II of Aragon laid the foundations of the Hispanic monarchy through their marriage union. It put an end to the traditional enmities between the two kingdoms. The union between the two kingdoms was confirmed in Castile in 1474 with the ascension to the throne of Isabel and in 1479 with the beginning of the reign of Ferdinand in Aragon.
On the death of Isabel I in 1504, the crown of Castile passed to her daughter Joanna. Ferdinand of Aragon married Germaine of Foix in 1506, niece of Louis XII of France. From her marriage to Ferdinand II the Catholic, a son was born, John, who died shortly after his birth on May 3, 1509.
Institutions of the Crown of Castile:
Royal Court: divided between two factions, the Elizabethans and the Juanists, for the succession to the crown after the death of Isabel I.
Councils and courts :
Royal Council (officially Real y Supremo Consejo de Castilla) and creation of other specific councils (Inquisition and military orders).
Barcelona County Court (officially Cort Comtal barcelonina): at the service of the count-king (butler).
Royal Chancellery (offically Cancelleria Reial): it was the administrative body of the kings.
Financial management was in the hands of the general treasurer.
The Crown of Aragon was a confederal type structure, because each territorial unit maintained its political sovereignty. The king legislated in the courts of each kingdom (formed by the three arms, except in Aragon). Ferdinand II introduced few innovations in this institutional structure. He promoted the creation of the Council of Aragon (1494) to decide on matters pertaining to the Aragonese territories.
Castilianization of the Spanish Monarchy under the reign of Charles I
Upon the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the crowns of Castile and Aragon, based on Ferdinand's last will, passed to his daughter Joanna, sole heir to the Crown of Aragon and her father's successor in all their titles. But due to his alleged incapacity (it is not at all clear that this was the case) the regency was granted to his eldest son, Prince Charles of Habsburg and future emperor of the Holy Empire.
Prince Charles arrived in the Iberian Peninsula on September 19, 1517, when he was seventeen years old. Due to his education outside of Castile and coming to a foreign court, he immediately encountered the opposition of the nobility before his ascension to the throne: at the first courts held in Valladolid in 1518, the nobles demanded an oath from him of respect for the laws of the kingdom.
Charles I of Castile (and Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire) had a disappointing initial stay in Castile, which had its peak during the revolt of the Comuneros (1520-1521). As a result of this conflict, the nobility was definitively neutralized against the triumphant authoritarian monarchy. The highest segment of the nobility was compensated by its support for the emperor, with whose interests it was closely identified, but the subordination of subjects to the monarch remained clear.
The monarchy of Charles I maintained a constant tension regarding the plurality of its kingdoms. Tension regarding the private interests of the dynasty over the interests of the territories. The interests of Castile were not always the same as those of Aragon.
Castile assimilated and integrated the different territories of the peninsula, except those that were integrated within the Crown of Aragon during the 15th and 16th centuries:
Canary Islands: possession on behalf of Castile by Jean de Bethencourt (1402) limited to the islands of Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Hierro and La Gomera.
1478-1496: conquest of Gran Canaria, La Palma and Tenerife; twenty-year resistance, colonization essay; demographic catastrophe.
1496-1525: Major islands, governed by adelantados; small, privatized islands.
Granada: conquest and annexation of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada (due to its internal division), the last Islamic stronghold on the peninsula (1481-1492).
Fleeting peace: Cisneros and the first revolt of the Alpujarras (149-1501).
Navarre: at the end of the 15th century, a large independent kingdom in the Pyrenees (under coastal pressure from Castile and France).
1479, marriage of the Queen of Navarre Catherina de Foix and the Count of Foix John III d'Albret, which served to unify the Foixen territories (from Bearn to Andorra and Castellbò) and with the people of Navarre.
1512: occupation and annexation to Castile of Upper Navarre (courts of Burgos, 1515). The Albrets retained Lower Navarre and counterattacked (Batalla de Noain, 1521). Descendants of the Albrets on the French throne (Henry IV, King of Navarre)
Portugal's annexation to Castile, result of:
The death of King Sebastian I (1557-1578) at Kasr al-Kabir during the Crusade in Morocco (1578).
Claim to the Portuguese throne by Philip II of Castile, who was the grandson of Manuel I (1495-1521) who had married two daughters of the Catholic Kings and a sister of Charles I.
Castilian occupation of Portugal by sea and land and recognition of the Courts of Tomar (1581). War with King Anthony I of Portugal (illegitimate grandson of King Manuel), supported by the majority anti-Castilian sentiments in the popular classes.
Result: the expectation of union between the two crowns (two monarchies under the world empire), soon frustrated; although Lisbon was a temporary court (1581-1583).
Aragon: the Aragonese institutions opposed the more authoritarian Philip II by relying on the provincial status and the figure of Justice.
1590-1591: Antonio Peréz del Hierro, Secretary of State of King Philip II, fled to Aragon. Refusal to deliver it and invasion of the kingdom; execution, imprisonment and exile of some of the main representatives of the country (Alternations of Aragon 1591).
Courts in Tarassona (1592): absolutist reforms. The initiative of the Aragonese institutions liquidated forever.
The Spanish Monarchy at the time of Philip II
The inheritance of Emperor Charles V
Philip II of Castile received from his father Charles I in 1554, in addition to the Crown of Castile and Aragon, the crown of Naples, the territories of the Spanish Netherlands, which were governed by his half-sister Margaret of Parma, and the Duchy of Milan. However, he did not bequeath the Imperial Crown, which was ceded to his brother Ferdinand I due to the latter's pressure.
King Philip II could not govern uniformly the different territories that were part of the Spanish Monarchy. Throughout his reign, he never travelled. In 1561, he established the court in Madrid, becoming the capital of his Empire. He always governed through his secretaries and the Councils.
Institutional structure and factions
In the institutional structure, the new Councils of Italy, Portugal and Flanders were created. Within the court there were strong tensions between the bureaucrats, the cliques and the factions (confrontation between the Duke of Alba and the Prince of Òboli). All of them had different political views (for example, in the Revolt of the Netherlands).
Peninsular religious problems
Through the tribunal of the Inquisition, religious problems were liquidated with blood and fire. The foci of Protestantism that arose in the Iberian Peninsula were repressed through the Inquisition: "autos de fe " of Valladolid (1559) and Seville (1559-1560). Publication of the indexes of prohibited books and the impossibility of studying abroad.
The religious unity of the monarchy was strengthened:
Expulsion of the Jews (1492).
Forced conversion of the Mudejars (1520).
Pressure on the Moors and the Granada revolt (1568-1570).
Expulsion of the Moors (1609-1614).
Aggressive foreign policy
The Spanish Monarchy at the time of Philip II was the hegemonic power in Europe.
It had two scenarios of struggle: in the Mediterranean and in the Atlantic:
Mediterranean phase (1559-1578):
Peace treaty between the Spanish Monarchy, the French Crown and England (Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis, 1559). It was the most important treaty in Europe in the 16th century, due to the duration of its agreements (valid for a century) and because it marked the beginning of the hegemony of the Spanish Monarchy and, therefore, a displacement of the problems towards the West
Battles with the Ottomans: Djerba (1560), Peñón de los Vélez (1564) and Malta (1565).
Spanish-Ottoman truce (from 1578) and conquest of Portugal.
Stable front in the Netherlands.
Fight with England (indirect/direct). The Netherlands and Ireland gave English support to the republican cause. Castile was on the side of Wales.
Battle of the Atlantic: attacks on the Indian race and the Great Armada (1588), called the Invincible. 130 ships and 30,000 men lost.
The Italian States
Italian political diversity
The Italian peninsula was a rich territory, where the economy and culture in the Early modern age bore great fruit. But from the time of the fall of the Roman Empire, there was no political unity in Italy. There were about twenty States under three political formulas:
Kingdoms (monarchies): the most important were the Kingdom of Naples and the Papal States.
Aristocratic republics (city-states): Florence, Lucca, Genoa or Venice.
Duchies: Savoy, Mantua, Ferrara or Milan or marquessates: Saluzzo or Monferrato. They were controlled by families of military chiefs (condottieri). Rivalry with other cities and lordships (Este family in Ferrara or Sforza in Milan). Internal division: easy target of expansionist monarchies that intervened claiming rights or in support of a faction.
In the Early Modern Age five Italian states were a territorial and political power: Milan, Venice, Florence, Papal States and Naples (Hispanic possession):
Duchy of Milan: it was the most disputed piece during the Italian Wars (1494-1559):
In the hands of the Visconti family between 1277 and 1447. Then it passed to the Sforza family, 1450).
Changes of possession between the French (pro-Visconti) and Hispanics (pro-Sforza) that did not alter their institutions. The power of the royal governor was controlled by a Congregazione dello Stato (parliamentary assembly, 1543).
Republic of Venice: it was the largest territory of the Italian aristocratic republics. He controlled international trade with the East. It was the scene of artistic mannerism. Territorial expansion:
Plain of the Po: important cities such as Verona, Vicenza, Padua or Brescia.
Adriatic Empire (Istria and Dalmatia), to the islands of the Ionian, the Aegean (Crete and Cyprus). The Ottomans were the great enemies of the Venetians.
Institutional system headed by an elective and lifelong Dox; major decisions in the hands of a Great Council (2,000 of the main families). Senate of about 300 members (foreign policy).
Republic of Florence: social and political instability. Authoritarian government of the Medici family. The governing body was the Signoria.
1480: Board of Seventy, with finance and foreign affairs commissions.
Medici legacies: patronage, financiers' ability and economic prosperity.
Papal States: secular power of the popes extended to both sides of the Apennines. More direct domain of Lazio, in dispute with great families such as the Orsini and Colonna.
Roman Curia (nepotism): secular affairs, headed by the cardinal secretary (foreign policy) and chamberlain (treasury).
The revolt of the Netherlands
The scene of fights between the different European monarchies that was Italy in the period between 1494 and 1559 then moved to the Netherlands. The Netherlands was a highly valued territory for: the high population, the commercial vitality of its cities, the agricultural and manufacturing success. Until the 15th century, the territory was the centre of the domains of the Dukes of Burgundy.
At the time of Emperor Charles V, these territories were in dispute between the French (Valois) and Spanish (Habsburg) monarchies. France had seized the Duchy of Burgundy, while the Habsburgs controlled the Netherlands.
With a constant presence of the emperor, he appointed a governor resident in Brussels who was assisted by an administration made up of councils, Secretary of State and finance. The Netherlands had the States General, an assembly that brought together all the territories and the main cities.
First Revolt (1566-1570)
Part of the territory of the Netherlands was the scene of war in 1554 (the Battle of Renty) during the Italian War of 1551-1559 (war between France and the Spanish monarchy). This war led to the exhaustion of the population. The war expenses and the accommodation of troops imposed on the inhabitants provoked their anger in the form of fiscal protest, led by the nobility.
From 1554, a spiral of revolts and repression began between the Calvinist population of Flanders and Brabant (urban minstrels) and the royal institutions (which issued edicts against Calvinist heresy from the provincial Inquisition):
1554: with the abdication of Emperor Charles V, the territory of the Netherlands was inherited by his son Philip II of Castile.
1559-1566: the court of the Inquisition handed down 36,000 convictions for heresy. Alliance of Sint-Truiden (1566): discontented nobles and burghers and Calvinist communities. Iconoclastic Fury: Allied troops, defeated.
1567-1570: severe repression of the Council of Troubles (special court instigated by Philip II and presided over by the Duke of Alba). The Count of Egmont and Philip van Montmorency-Nivelle were sentenced to death. William I of Orange-Nassau had to go into exile in Germany. Thousands of Calvinists took refuge in France.
1570: the Great Pardon.
Second Revolt (1572-1576)
Under the threat of an invasion from France of the Netherlands, the Duke of Alba concentrated all his military forces in the south.
1572: Calvinist uprising in the northern provinces (Holland and Zeeland). The Huguenots from France and William of Orange from Germany begin the liberation.
Military response limited by geographical conditions: change of strategy by the Spanish royalist side. Lluís de Requesens, appointed new governor of the Netherlands, between the years 1573 and 1576.
1576: the Spanish troops, with extreme fury, took the lead in the Sack of Antwerp. William of Orange took advantage: in the Pacification of Ghent he proposed the withdrawal of Hispanic troops and the convening of the States General. The agreements adopted by the provinces were:
The Spanish troops had to leave the Netherlands.
The states-general could legislate on their own initiative.
Declaration of an amnesty for the Dutch insurgents.
Confirmation of the privileges of the nobility and the Church.
William of Orange would act as head of government alongside the tutor appointed by the king.
Truce period (1576-1580)
The new governor of the Netherlands, John of Austria, accepted the Pacification of Ghent through the publication of the Perpetual Edict in 1577. Recognized:
Accept the agreements of the Pacification of Ghent.
The rebel provinces recognized the authority of Philip II as king and of the governor John of Austria.
Respect for Catholicism in the rebel provinces.
The Spanish, Italian, German and Burgundian third parties had to leave the country twenty days after the ratification of the edict.
Both signatory parties renounced any alliance contrary to the edict.
The pacification situation was a failure, and two blocks were fixed:
The Union of Arras, the cities of Artois and the county of Hainaut and part of Brabant were part of it. The Union of Arras had the support of the Walloon nobility and the French-speaking clergy.
The Union of Utrecht (1580) included the Calvinist northern provinces, core of the United Provinces (1581).
Secession and reconquest (1581–1588)
1582-1587: Alessandro Farnese, governor of the Netherlands, obtained notable military triumphs (Antwerp, Ghent, Brussels and Nijmegen). But King Philip II had other priorities, such as the Invincible Armada (1588) and the problems linked to the succession to the throne of France after the death of Henry IV (1589).
The Republic of the Seven United Provinces (1581-1609)
Change of trend in the Eighty Years' War, which was concluded in the Twelve Years' Truce (or Truce of Antwerp, 1609). Consolidation of the United Provinces and definitive division of the space of the Netherlands.
The signing of the truce meant the de facto recognition of the independence of the northern provinces of the Netherlands: Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Friesland, Groningen, Overijssel and Guelders.
The Scandinavian monarchies
The Scandinavian area in the 16th century was an important commercial axis (straits of the sund). They were also a key point in the spread of Protestantism. The crowns of Denmark, Norway and Sweden (Finland) broke their unity with the end of the so-called Union of Kalmar (1397-1523) under Danish primacy.
Denmark under the reign of the House of Oldenburg. Triumph of Lutheranism (1536) and distribution of church property between the king and the nobility, a closed group that monopolized the positions and subjected the peasants to conditions similar to those of Eastern Europe. The toll of the passage through the Sund provided extraordinary income (2/3 of the royals) and allowed the control of Norway with some autonomy (villages of fishermen and foresters) and of Iceland.
The Sweden of the Vasa, who were never identified with the union of Kalmar. Gustav I (1523) needed nearly a decade to put an end to the noble and peasant revolts (spurred on by the Danes). He created the administrative bases of the new monarchy and made it hereditary in his family (1544).
Unlike Denmark, the role of the cities and the peasants was quite important politically and economically (peasants, fourth arm of the Riksdag or Parliament).
The successors of Gustav I undertook an aggressive foreign policy:
Nordic War of seven years (1563-1570) against Denmark, Poland and dispute over Ingria and Karelia in Russia.
End of century: approach to Poland and possibility of return to Catholicism (conversion of John III of Sweden, 1578).
New civil war in the 17th century. The total establishment of state Protestantism was achieved. It was Sweden's great century.
France during the Wars of Religion
The foundations of the Valois monarchy (1461-1559)
Period of government of the kings: Louis XI (1461-1483), Charles VIII (1483-1498) and Louis XII (1498-1515) :
Conseil du roi de France (King's Council): made up of 30/60 blood princes, great lineages, intellectuals and high hierarchy with maximum powers. Punctually, the king convened a Conseil étroit made up of councillors of the king's utmost confidence.
Sovereign courts: last judicial instance.
Justice : Parliaments, 7 in 1501. They registered royal ordinances and addressed complaints or demonstrations.
Finances : central accounting chamber in Paris and delegations that controlled taxation, the issuance of currency and the royal estate.
Finances : central accounting chamber in Paris and delegations that controlled taxation, the issuance of currency and the royal estate.
Estates General: made up of the three estates. These States were not convened between the years 1484-1555. The king preferred assemblies of notables.
Peripheral Provincial States (Brittany, Burgundy, Dauphiné, Provence and Languedoc) and Pyrenean territories, all in the process of absorption and annexation. They were summoned to vote on the payment of taxes.
The new monarchs: Francis I (1515-1547) and Henry II (1547-1559):
More authoritarian character of the monarchy. A series of transformations occur:
Image of the king: aesthetics as Good Shepherd (religious) and Charlemagne's heir (secular).
Theories of royal power reinforced : Chasseneuz, “Commentaria de consuetudinibus ducatus Burgundiae ” (1517); Loysay “Traité des ordres et simples dignitez ” (1610) summarizes the functions of the king which were: to make laws, to create offices, to arbitrate peace and war, to administer justice and to mint money.
Institutions of the monarchy: the reduced Council was imposed and received part of the highest judicial and fiscal functions.
At the death of Henry II (1559) France was subjected to a deep financial, political and religious crisis.
1483-1515 important annexations:
Anjou and Provence: upon the death of the last Anjou in 1481, King Charles VIII of France inherited these territories and claimed the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
Burgundy: very powerful duchy in the 15th century (pioneer army); simultaneous combat against the empire and France. Incorporated in France by the Treaty of Arràs (1482). Part of the old territory went to the emperor.
Rosselloun : war with John II of Aragon (1473-1475) and control of Rosselloun until 1493 (in exchange for non-intervention in Naples), important precedent.
Brittany: Duchess Anne married Charles VIII (1491, forced by military occupation) and Louis XII (1499). Incorporation into France took place in 1532.
Lorraine: occupation of the bishoprics of Metz, Toul and Verdum (1557), French-speaking places. Fundamental axis of the aggressive policy of the XVII.
Calais (1558): ended the English presence on the continent.
The Italian Wars (1494-1559)
Claims to the inheritance of the Anjou family: Charles VIII (King of France between 1483-1498), arrived in Naples in 1495. Louis XII (1498-1515) maintained aspirations over the Italian territories and added to his control the Duchy of Milan (occupied in 1489).
French defeats against the Castilians at Cerignola (1503) and Garigliano (1503) that forced the signing of the Treaty of Lyon (1504): France renounced the Kingdom of Naples, but retained control of Milan.
During the long reigns of Francis I of France and Charles I of Castile, four wars were concatenated:
1521-1526: Charles I controlled the Duchy of Milan, a key piece for communications with Europe. Battle of Pavia (1525), captivity of Francis I and Treaty of Madrid (1526).
1526-1529: Sack of Rome (1527) by imperial troops and Genoese participation in the siege of Naples (1528): Peace of Cambrai (1529).
1535-1538 : Succession of Francesco II Sforza of Milan, who died without issue (1533). The domains of the duchy passed into the hands of Charles V, who ceded them in 1540 to Felipe II of Castile, becoming the domain of the Spanish Habsburgs. Francis I of France prepared the military alliances: Schmalkaldic League (1532) and Ottomans (1536). Truce of Nice (1538): Francis I took the territories of Savoy and Piedmont.
1542-1549: annexation of Milan to the Spanish Monarchy (1540). Francis I signed military alliances with Denmark, Sweden and Scotland. Charles I signed with Francis I the Peace of Crépy (1544), which meant Charles I's exit from the Italian Wars.
Retreat: rapid hostilities between Henry II and Philip II. Hispanic victories at Saint-Quentin (1557) and Gravelines (1558). The end of the wars in Italy came with the signing of the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis (1559). Clauses:
Saint-Quentin, Ham and Châtelet returned to France, along with the bishoprics of Metz, Toulon and Verdun.
The Spanish Monarchy retained the Franche-Comté.
France renounced its Italian ambitions forever and returned Savoy and Piedmont to the House of Savoy, Corsica to the Republic of Genoa and Montferrat to the Duchy of Mantua.
The Spanish and French monarchies decided to work actively against the Protestant heresy, which was one of the causes in the near future of the French religious wars.
France returned the cities of Bouillon and Couvin to the principality of Liège.
The Wars of Religion (1562-1598). 8 consecutive wars
Context prior to the religious conflict:
1526-1540: the expansion of Protestantism in France from the cities to the countryside thanks to the spread of books, which, despite being banned, were widespread. The destruction of images and the rejection of fasting were the most visible image of Lutheran practices.
1533: speech by the new rector of the University of Paris, Nicolas Cop, where he quotes Luther and Erasmus (exile with Calvin). His father was a personal friend of Erasmus.
1550-1559: organization as a political faction of Protestants, in the west and south of France, conquered by Genevan preachers. Attraction of the ruling classes (higher judiciary and merchants).
The Protestant offensive (1560-1570) :
Government in minority of Francis II (1559-1560); tutored by the Duke of Guise, a supporter of the repression against the Huguenots (Protestants).
1560: Conspiracy of Amboise, the first bloody episode of the Wars of Religion. Its purpose was to seize the king's person and remove him from the influence of the Guisa brothers, who had to be removed from power and prosecuted. The attempted coup by the Huguenots
New monarch: Charles IX (1560-1574) who was ten years old when he acceded to the throne. The government fell under the regency of his mother, Caterina de Medici. Catherine de Medici applied herself to the task of trying to end internal divisions, secure royal authority and restore the power of the French monarchy.
1560: States General. There were two opposing views: those who wanted to stamp out the heresy by force on one side and those who believed that repression would ruin the kingdom.
1561: Protestants already had 2 million faithful in France and 670 reformed churches.
1562: Catherine de Medici promulgated the Edict of Saint-Germain. Last attempt to reach a peaceful solution to the religious discord. The Huguenots were allowed to practice their worship outside the cities and in their private houses.
Preparation for war: military framework led by the local nobility attached to the major factions (retreat to the major cities and Provincial Parliaments).
Catherine prepared a marriage alliance to dissolve the factions: her daughter Margaret of Valois with Henry of Bourbon (future king of France) protestant and son of Antony of Bourbon (king of Navarre). Gaspard de Coligny (noble and leader of the Huguenot party) won the king's trust with the aim of displacing the regent Catherine. The Huguenots in arms proclaimed their loyalty to the king, stating that they only wanted to rid themselves of the Guises and maintain the edict that granted them freedom of worship.
1572: St. Bartholomew's Day massacre on August 23-24. Assassination of the Huguenot leaders gathered in Paris. Much of the nobility abandons the Protestant cause. Calvinism returned to its popular roots (ideological radicalization).
1576 : power rebuilt and new decree of tolerance. The Calvinist cause was organized in response to the Catholic League (directed by Henry I, Duke of Guise). The Catholic League promoted the limitation of royal power through the States General.
The Catholic offensive (1580-1598):
1585: the War of the Three Henrys broke out (Henry III of France, Henry of Guise and Henry of Navarre). The king ordered the assassination of Henry of Guise (1588). The Dominican monk Jacques Clément assassinated the king for considering him an enemy of Catholicism. Before he died he recognized as heir to the throne of France the King of Navarre Henry (conversion to Catholicism 1593).
Henry IV of France (1589-1610), from 1598 devoted to the recovery of the power of the monarchy, until his assassination at the hands of François Ravaillac, an intransigent Catholic (1610).
The four British nations
Tudor England (1485-1603)
The War of the Roses (1455-1485) between the supporters of the houses of Lancaster and York meant the establishment of the Tudor dynasty on the English throne.
Henry VII (1485-1509) was the first monarch of the new Tudor dynasty. The priorities of his government were:
Affirmation of the new dynasty.
Pacification and restoration of order.
Isolationist foreign policy: end of English intervention on the continent, which contrasted with the policy followed by his successor.
Henry VIII (1509-1547), "expansive and expensive policy". Anglican schism, three key processes:
The consolidation of Parliament.
The expropriation of church property
The English political penetration on the territories of Wales, Scotland and Ireland.
Consolidation of the Parliament
The English Parliament is a legislative assembly with medieval origins. It has two chambers: the Lords and the Commons. The king shared sovereignty with Parliament: King-in-Parliament. The two basic functions of Parliament were: to approve taxes and to legislate. Taxes basically served to finance the war. The expansive policy of Henry VIII made him go to Parliament 6 times between 1510 and 1516.
In 1530 the absolute sovereignty of the Parliament was established. This meant that Parliament could legislate on all matters. At this time the laws of the Anglican Reformation were being passed which separated England from Rome. Main legislation that passed during this period in Parliament:
Succession regulation (1534, 1536 and 1544).
Book of Common Prayer of the Parliaments of Edward VI (1547, 1548-1549 and 1552).
Restoration of Catholicism during the reign of Mary I (1553-1555).
Reinstatement of the Reformation in the time of Elizabeth I (1559).
Contention of Parliament in the time of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). Distinction between Commonwealth affairs and State affairs (religious, marriage, royal succession, and foreign policy).
The political and fiscal structure
Organization of government at Westminster (late 15th century):
Council: Treasurer, Chancellor, Lord of the Privy Seal and Secretary.
Royal House: service environment that always accompanied the monarch
Reformation: succession of chancellors (Thomas Wolsey, 1515-1529) amid a bloody factional struggle. Henry VIII carried out the conservative aristocracy of this office to bring order.
Edward VI (1547-1553): creation of the regents-aristocrats (Dukes of Warwick and Sommerset).
Maria I (1553-1558): ministerial renewal to redirect the government towards Catholicism.
Elizabeth I (1558-1603): Conservative and authoritarian government, with a Privy Council controlled by professional bureaucrats.
Reorganization of the Treasury:
Confiscation of ecclesiastical property during the Anglican Reformation.
1536: attacks on monasteries (a thousand were suppressed, and the rest were secularized). It had two consequences:
Giant spoliation and agrarian redistribution (revolt of the Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536).
Reinforcement of the Treasury of the Crown.
The confiscation of property was followed by alienations and donations of land:
Administrative and financial needs
Research of political affiliations and loyalties
Assignment to the demand of the land market. Results: 1547 33% of the lands were alienated. In 1558 45%.
English territorial expansionism
The territory of Wales had its origins in Celtic culture from the arrival of the Saxon and Norman population. In the time of Edward I of England (1239-1307) this territory was occupied and organized politically (Rhudlan Statute of 1284). This statute was in force until the laws of Henry VIII of England in 1536.
Between 1536 and 1542, direct control of Wales by the King of England was established. Meanwhile, the Anglican Reformation and the arrival of the printing press had a negative impact on Welsh culture. William Morgan promoted the translation of the Bible into Welsh.
The Scottish territory had a complex composition due to its scant Romanisation. During the Middle Ages, there were constant conflicts against Norman expansionism: a first stage of vassalage with England (1174) and subsequent occupation and annexation (1296).
With the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton of 1328 Scotland regained its independence. The treaty was signed by Robert I of Scotland and the English Parliament. But Scotland had two permanent problems throughout the Middle Ages: constant English intervention and clan divisions.
Alliances and conflicts:
1547-1551: English campaigns in Scottish territory and alliance with France.
Queen Mary I of Scotland (1542-1567) married Francis II of France (1558), becoming queen consort of France for a few months.
Spread of Protestantism:
1559-1560: Elizabeth I's accession to the English throne coincided with the Protestant and noble revolt.
1567: Queen Mary I was forced by parliament to abdicate. She was imprisoned, but managed to escape. He took refuge in England, but his cousin and rival Elizabeth I accused him of conspiracy and ordered his execution (1587).
Maria I's successor was her son James VI (1567-1625), educated in Protestantism.
James ruled Scotland as James VI from 1567 until his death, and from the so-called Union of the Crowns, in England and Ireland as James I from 1603 until his death.
James I was the first monarch of England from the House of Stuart, succeeding the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I, who died without issue.
The island of Ireland has Celtic roots, aside from Romanization. Ireland experienced a strong medieval Christianization. The Irish colonized Armorica (French Britain). The clan division allowed the Normans to intervene with papal endorsement to control the Irish Church (1170-1172).
The English domain of the island of Ireland was limited to the area of the English Pale (territory under direct control of the English king in Dublin). In 1366 the Statutes of Kilkenny were approved, "more Irish than the Irish".
Colonization process of the island by the English ( plantations ).
Spiral of revolts and land confiscations.
Evidence bank of British colonization in American territories.
Ireland's employment process:
Poynings Act (1492): Sovereignty of the English Parliament throughout the island of Ireland (economic vein to be exploited).
Henry VIII of England, lord of Ireland (1504). Law Surrender and Regnant Acts : mechanism according to which Ireland was transformed from the old clan system to the semi-feudal system under the rule of the English Crown.
Difficulties in the human replacement process. Irish Answer:
Attacks on settlers.
Alliance with the papacy (missionaries in Rome) and the Hispanic Monarchy (Simancas).
Century of revolts:
Revolt of Gerald Fitzgerald, 9th Earl of Kildare (Lord Deputy of Ireland 1513-1534): coincides with the schismatic rupture.
Desmond Rebellions (1569-1583): Guerrilla warfare against English pressure in the province of Munster. Catholic landings (1579-1580).
Hugh O'Neill's revolt in the Ulster or Nine Years' War (1594-1603), which opposed the English presence in Ireland.
The flight of the Earls (the flight of the counts) (1607).
The multinational Habsburg Empire
The House of Habsburg
Feudal lineage originating in the territories of Aargau, in Switzerland. From Alsace, they consolidated their domains in the territories of the Holy Roman Empire. Between 1450 and 1500 they seized the Empire, a multinational territory based on respect for the different institutional systems:
Very limited power of the emperor (patrimonial elective title).
Heritage or hereditary states (Erbland): duchies of Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola and Tyrol (from the end of the 13th century).
States incorporated in the personal union: Burgundian inheritance (1477); Hungary and Bohemia (1526, kings XIV-XV): today the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia.
Great territorial concentration in the form of personal union. Why did the Empire survive for so many centuries (1273-1918):
Nation-state/supranational monarchy: loyalty to the sovereign and goddess of union and common patriotism.
Marriage policy: taking advantage of the rules of succession, strong noble power (intermediate foreign dynasties).
Rejection of primogeniture. Involvement of minor children. Decentralized Cairo of governance and cohesion.
Danubian Europe: constitution of the Austrian monarchy (hereditary states and incorporated states). Division into two Empires: Holy Roman Empire and the Ottoman Empire.
Germanic territories during the Middle Ages: idea of universalism (Holy Empire) and the particularism of the different states. Division into Stämme (tribes) constituted in principalities and with linguistic differences. Imperial attempts to unify the territory into a single state always failed (organized resistance).
1500 : mosaic of 800 sovereignties. The central core was formed by 30 principalities (the most important were the Palatinate, Bavaria, Württemberg, Saxony, Mecklenburg and Brandenburg) and 60 free cities (Aachen, Cologne, Worms, Frankfurt, Strasbourg, Colomar or Augsburg).
The emperor of the Empire was chosen according to the procedure described in the Golden Bull of 1356 by a college of electors formed by: 3 ecclesiastics (archbishops of Mainz, Trier and Cologne) and 4 secular (King of Bohemia, Duke of Saxony, Marquis of Brandenburg and Count Palatine of the Rhine).
Institutional organization of the Empire:
Chancellery: chaired by the archbishop of Mainz (the archchancellor).
Imperial Chamber of Justice: extension of Roman law (concentration of the people).
Diet (Reichstag): 7 electors, nobility (counts, margraves, landgraves) and urban representatives. He advised the emperor, approved taxes and laws that affected all territories. The power of the emperors (money, army) came from the patrimonial states.
The most important territories had a Landtage: pole of power with its lord (Württemberg, Saxony and Brandenburg).
Evolution of the Empire during the 16th century
Maximilian I (1459-1519): unsuccessful reforms. The princes imposed a council of state that made the most important decisions (the emperor was an almost honorary position). In return, he obtained soldiers for his campaigns (the registration fee).
Charles V (1519-1558): emperor, not very present in the imperial territories. He created a council of regency (1521) and appointed his brother Ferdinand as representative. Lutheranism broke out.
Ferdinand I (1558-1564).
Maximilian II (1564-1576): the German territories of the Empire maintained some cohesion. But the imperial political organization did not have much content.
The hereditary territories of Austria
Austria had dominion over peripheral lands: Swabia of the Hohenstaufen, the main medieval lineage par excellence, Lower Austria, Carinthia, Styria and the Tyrol.
Maximilian I (1493-1519): centralizing policy (failure as emperor). He incorporated new territories into the Empire (1500-1516): northern Tyrol and the Venetian border.
Ferdinand I (1522-1564): Charles V ceded the government (Treaty of Brussels, 1522). Ferdinand I undertook the centralization of the Empire in the city of Vienna.
Recognition as king in Hungary and Bohemia (1526). Austria poured into the Danube (mental separation from Germany). He promoted the plurinational state, the new Austrian monarchy.
Double retaining wall:
Ottoman impulse: they reached Vienna (1529 and 1532), without being able to occupy it. The Austrians seized a small western strip of the old Hungarian kingdom (1547).
Protestant impulse: powerful focus of the counter-reformation. Jesuits in Vienna (1552). Colleges and universities run the privileged classes.
Central Asian population (Hungarian is not an Indo-European language) Europeanized and early Christianized. Intense Germanic influence, especially in the urban area.
Enemy of the Habsburgs and great Renaissance monarch, considered the king of the golden age of the Hungarian kingdom.
Warrior King: His Father Save Belgrade (1456). He created a powerful nationally based mercenary army (the Black Army); occupied a large part of Austria (Vienna, 1485) and incorporated Croatia and Bosnia. Serbia only temporarily.
Lover of humanism : Artistic and cultural renaissance. Foundation of the University of Bratislava (1526, capital of Hungary) and Library of Corvinniana.
Lodislaus VII Jagiellon (1490-1516), successor of Maries Corvinus. From a dynasty of Lithuanian origin, he was king of Bohemia. Weak man who made a pact with the Habsburgs in 1515: an alliance with Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg, with whom in the future his kingdoms would be under the influence of the Habsburgs, since he married his two sons to grandsons of the Germanic emperor
Louis II (1516-1526) only reigned for ten years, abandoned by large social sectors (peasant revolt of 1514), faced 100,000 Turks and died in Móhacz (1526).
The throne of royal Hungary passed into imperial hands and the central plain and Transylvania to the Ottomans (John Zápolya, voivode of Transylvania and vassal of Istanbul).
With the allied states of Moravia, Silesia and Lusatia, they were part of the Empire. The king of Bohemia was an imperial elector. Territory of conflicting ethnic complexity: Slavic Czechs dominated. Germanization process underway (since the 13th century) which caused two civil wars at the beginning of the 15th and 16th centuries.
Jordi Podebrady (House of Poděbrady) was the first European king to reject Catholicism and support the Hussite reform movement (patriotic affirmation, social revolt and religious reform).
When King George of Poděbrady (1458-1471) died, the Catholic nobility chose a new monarch, Matías Corvinus, King of Hungary.
Louis II Jagiellon: feudal territorial disintegration and religious combat between Utraquists and Catholics.
Succession among the Habsburgs: limited aristocratic power. Bohemia of Slavic origin was politically subdued, but kept its feudal power.
The most important contribution of the Habsburgs to Bohemia was during the time of Emperor Rudolf II (1575-1611). Prague became the imperial capital ; a gesture of complicity or attempt at Germanization on the ground.
Rudolf II was educated at the court of Philip II. He was protector and patron of artists and scientists (Tycho Brahe or Kepler). He turned Prague into the sanctuary of European culture in the 1600s.
As a result of pressure from Czech Protestantism, Rudolf II accepted freedom of worship (1609).
The birth of an empire
The political organization of this empire does not correspond to the canons discussed so far. The Turkish Empire made conquests that have left an important trace. It was not an exclusively Turkish or Islamic empire. The usual language of the imperial administration was Turkish, but many of its ministers were of Christian and Jewish origin.
In 1453, the Ottomans took part in a momentous event in European history: the fall of Constantinople. The Ottomans put an end to the last vestige of the Eastern Roman Empire. It was from the conquest of Constantinople that the Ottomans began the race of territorial expansion, in the years of Sultan Selim I (1512-1520):
Servant of the holy cities of Mecca and Medina (use of the title Caliph).
Open access to the African gold and slave market.
Intervention in species trafficking.
Constantinople, 50,000 inhabitants (1453); Istanbul, imperial capital, 500,000 inhabitants (1550). It was the most cosmopolitan city with the highest volume of business.
The internal organization of the empire
The Sultan: Eastern despotism based on his authority (without counterweights). Originally chosen among the descendants of the founder of the empire in the 14th century, Osman I.
First task: eliminate all brothers (and their children) to secure power through civil war; then, ministerial environment (of eunuchs and renegades) completely faithful.
Often, the son of a Christian slave; the sultan had only one son by slave, when he was born, separated and sent as governor to the provinces.
The central administration:
Grand Vizier: Empire-wide government functions; presides over the highest court, Imperial council or Divan (ulema in the interpretation of Islamic law).
Administration: mainly personal slaves of the sultan; meritocracy: social ascent (from palace schools to Beylerbeyi provincial governor ); many viziers were Balkan or Albanian.
The territorial organization:
Mehmet II (1451-1481) began centralization, completed by Suleiman I (1520-1566): division into Sancaks ; 1534, 34 in Europe and 63 in Asia.
The Ottoman army
Human composition: empire, product of the process of military conquest. Origins: border state of the Byzantine Empire, forced to organize itself as a military machine.
Two forms of recruitment:
Mobilization of the feudal cavalry of the timariots (timars or fiefs granted in usufruct to warlords in exchange for soldiers). 16th century: tendency towards patrimonialization; sedentary and demobilized gentlemen.
Specialists trained from childhood: Janissary infantry corps; product of the devshirme (blood tax): Christian children educated in Islam and subjected to military discipline (marriage ban).
Funding: 80,000 (1550). Bundle of tribes: tithes of the Muslims, tributes of the subjugated peoples (Jews and Christians), on the land or customs duties (double the income of Charles V).
Weaponry: traditional weaponry (bows, short swords or javelins), firearms; field artillery (1450), a key role in the fall of Constantinople. Initially, huge guns: difficult to place and excessive heating (cadence hours).
The occupation of the Balkans
1453: permanent occupation of European lands, facilitated by internal division.
Greek, Venetian, Slavic, Albanian and Romanian populations; religious divisions (Orthodox and Roman Christians, remnants of Bogomils).
Persistence of a harsh feudal regime: in Hungary, the peasant revolt flattens the entry of the Ottomans.
Chronology: expansion (1459-1561) and stabilization (1561-1608):
1454-1459: conquest of Serbia (Belgrade defended by the Hungarians in 1456, fell in 1521) and Bulgaria 1463-1464: conquest of Bosnia; 1483, Herzegovina.
1526: Móhacz and occupation of Buda: Ottoman artillery defeats Hungarian cavalry 1529 and 1532: Sieges of Vienna, solidarity of German Protestants and Catholics.
Stable occupation in the Balkans and the Hungarian plain (from 1541); in the Danubian north, based on the existence of vassal princes (Wallachia, Moldavia or Transylvania).
1566: border with the Habsburgs static; the empire has reached its logistical limit (also in Asia the Persian Shiites are resisting): a hundred days of march in summer campaigns.
1593-1606: new war with the Habsburgs resolved in tables (non-tributary and strengthen ties with Transylvania); the Ottomans lose superiority in armaments; strategic capacity (battles in the open field).
Situation of the subjugated towns:
Escape from the nobility; people embrace Islam en masse (Albania and Bosnia).
Confirmation of Islamized lords; Christian popular classes as social and national resistance (Serbia).
The Mediterranean expansion
The Republic of Venice was the main rival in the expansion of the Ottoman Empire in the control of the shores of the Aegean and the Adriatic. Venice had the support of the corsairs of the North African ports (especially Tunis and Algiers).
Chronology: first notice, violent maritime campaign culminating in the capture of Otranto (1480).
1499-1503: successes in the fight against Venice.
1515 and 1518-1520: enormous effort in Istanbul shipyards.
1522: the island of Rhodes falls, key to the Eastern Mediterranean, defended by the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem (refuge in Malta, ceded by Charles V).
Turkish control of Libya, Tunis and Algiers (1534); only Morocco remained as an independent kingdom: increase in piracy.
balance of forces 1565, symbolic of the failure in the attempt to take Malta.
1571: conquest of Cyprus which was an enclave of the Venetians (successive sieges of Nicosia and Famagusta). Venice kept Crete and other islands of the Ionian Sea and the Aegean. Despite the Ottoman presence on the Albanian coast, Venice controlled the Dalmatian coast, with Ragusa (now Dubrovnik) as its main port.
1571: the alliance of the Holy League (Hispanic, papal and Venetian troops commanded by John of Austria) wins the Battle of Lepanto.
Biggest battle of the century: 45,000 people died (30,000 Turks, 15,000 Christians), 113 Turkish galleys sunk and 117 captured.
Historiographical debate on the true impact of the battle.
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