Philip III and the Pax Hispanica, 1598-1621 : the failure of grand strategy /
Paul C. Allen.
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2000.
xvi, 335 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
0300076827 (alk. paper)
More Details
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2000.
0300076827 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-09-01:
Allen makes a forceful case, based on extensive archival sources in England, France, the Netherlands, and Spain, for interpreting negotiations leading to the Treaty of Vervins and the Twelve Years' Truce as pieces composing a "grand strategy" rather than, as prior studies have contended, pragmatic necessities imposed on a bankrupt state and its lackluster ruler. What appeared to such earlier historians as Geoffrey Parker (Europe in Crisis, 1598-1648, 1980, and other works) and Jonathan I. Israel (The Dutch Republic: Its Rise, Greatness, and Fall, 1477-1806, CH, Oct'95) as negotiations forced on a country no longer able to wage war are here convincingly portrayed as stages in a deliberate, if ultimately unsuccessful, effort to "wage peace," an effort with important implications for the development of international relations. The analysis of how and why Philip III came to favor a combination of tactical retreats and peace treaties over military conflicts as means toward long-term goals makes a valuable contribution to understanding the evolution of early modern European diplomacy. A complete critical apparatus enhances the book's value for both general and scholarly readership. All levels. K. Kennelly; Mount St. Mary's College
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Choice, September 2000
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Bowker Data Service Summary
Spain negotiated treaties with her three most powerful enemies at the end of the 16th century. This investigation looks at the strategies which led King Philip III to seek peace, arguing that this was in fact part of a grand plan to regain power.
Main Description
This intriguing book argues that the sixteenth-century treaties King Philip III forged with Spain's most powerful enemies were not intended to ensure a permanent peace. Instead, the author shows, Philip's plan was to lull his foes, thereby enabling Spain to regain its strength after fifty years of incessant and expensive warfare. Ending the truce and resuming war with the Dutch, the English, and the French were all a part of the grand strategy.
Unpaid Annotation
Impoverished and exhausted after fifty years of incessant warfare, the great Spanish Empire at the turn of the sixteenth century negotiated treaties with its three most powerful enemies: England, France, and the Netherlands. This intriguing book examines the strategies that led King Philip III to extend the laurel branch to his foes. Paul Allen argues that, contrary to widespread belief, the king's gestures of peace were in fact part of a grand strategy to enable Spain to regain military and economic strength while its opponents were falsely lulled away from their military pursuits. From the outset, Allen contends, Philip and his advisers intended the Pax Hispanica to continue only until Spain was able to resume its battles -- and defeat its enemies.Drawing on primary sources from the four countries involved, the book begins with a discussion of how Spanish foreign policy was formulated and implemented to achieve political and religious aims. The author investigates the development of Philip's"peace" strategy, the Twelve Years' Truce, and the decision to end the truce and engage in war with the Dutch, and then with the English and French.Renewed warfare was no failure of peace policy, Allen shows, but a conscious decision to pursue a consistent strategy. Nevertheless the negotiation for peace did represent a new diplomatic method with significant implications for both the future of the Spanish Empire and the practices of European diplomacy.
Table of Contents
Notes on Terminology, Dates, and Currency
Introduction: The Making of Strategy at the Court of Philip IIIp. 1
The Failure of the Habsburgs' "Bid for Mastery"p. 12
Setbacksp. 30
Strategic Overstretch: Saluzzo, Ostend, and Kinsalep. 55
"Driblets like Sips of Broth": In Search of the Elusive Cure-Allp. 77
The English Succession and the Hope for a Settlementp. 99
The Policy of Rapprochementp. 115
"Blood and Fire": Spinola's Invasion of the Dutch Provincesp. 141
Exhaustionp. 156
Warrior Diplomacyp. 172
The Search for the Advantage: Negotiation of the Twelve Year's Trucep. 203
Conclusion: The Pax Hispanica in Northwestern Europep. 234
Abbreviationsp. 245
Notesp. 247
Bibliographyp. 311
Indexp. 325
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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