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Spain’s rise as a European empire: Italy and the Netherlands

Primary sources

'The Demands of the Comuneros', in J. Cowens ed., Early Modern Spain, A Documentary History (Pensylvania, 2003), pp. 46-48.

'Margaret of Parma, The Situation in the Low Countries (1566)', Cowens ed., Early Modern Spain, pp. 100-101.

'Baltasar Porreño, A Portrait of King Philip II (1628)', Cowens ed., Early Modern Spain, pp. 86-87.

Core readings

Hess, A., 'The Battle of Lepanto and Its Place in Mediterranean History', Past & Present, No. 57 (Nov., 1972), pp. 53-73.

Jordano, A., 'The Plus Oultra writing cabinet of Charles V: Expression of the sacred imperialism of the Austrias', Journal of Conservation and Museum Studies, Vol 9, Pp 14-26 (2012).

Kamen, Henry, Empire, How Spain Became a World Power, 1492-1763 (London, 2002), chapter 3, the early western empire, pp. 49-94.

Konrad, E., Charles V in Bologna: the self-fashioning of a man and a city, Renaissance Studies, 12/1/1999, Vol. 13, Issue 4, p. 430-439.

Gabriel Paquette, 'The Place of Naples in the 17th-century Spanish Empire', in Antonio Serra and the Economics of Good Government (Palgrave, 2016).
Randall, L., 'Charles V, Monarchia Universalis and the Law of Nations', Legal History Review, Vol. 71, Issues 1-2 (2003), pp. 79-124.

Further Readings

Dandelet, Thomas, Spanish Conquest and Colonization at the Center of the Old World: The Spanish Nation in Rome, 1555-1625, The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 69, No. 3 (1997), pp. 479-511.

Kan, A History of the Habsburg Empire, 1526-1918 (Berkeley, 1974).

Koenigsberger, H. G., Prince and States General: Charles V and the Netherlands (1506-1555): The Prothero Lecture, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Vol. 4 (1994), pp. 127-151.

Pagden, A., Spanish Imperialism and the Political Imagination: Studies in European and Spanish-American Social and Political Theory, 1513-1830 (Yale, 1998).

Key Questions

  • Where did Spain's Empire extend to in the old world and how important were European possessions to Spain?
  • Where European or global factors most important for the rise of the Spanish Empire?
  • What were the problems of the Spanish Empire in Europe?
  • How was empire experienced by Europeans?
  • What was the revolt of the comuneros and what were their concerns?

Historiographical theme: Political History