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How Spanish were the Spanish Netherlands?

René Vermeir (UGent)
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Abstract
It is a firmly held belief that, from 1555 until 1700, the successive Habsburg sovereigns of the so-called Spanish Netherlands usurped the authority of the territory and maintained their power only by means of an army of occupation. Although recent research has thoroughly revised this antiquated analysis, it continues to live on until the present day. This article illustrates how stereotypes of Spanish usurpation were established at the beginning of the nineteenth century, both in the scholarly and popular literature, and demonstrates that, in the Spanish Netherlands, there was no 'absolutism' or 'occupation' on the part of the Habsburg authorities. On the contrary, after the separation from the rebellious provinces and the creation of the Dutch Republic, the Southern Netherlands were able to benefit from relative autonomy, at least when it came to domestic issues.
Keywords
Low Countries, Spanish Netherlands, Castile, Early modern period (sixteenth-seventeenth century)

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Vermeir, René. 2012. “How Spanish Were the Spanish Netherlands?” Dutch Crossing-journal of Low Countries Studies 36 (1): 3–18.
APA
Vermeir, R. (2012). How Spanish were the Spanish Netherlands? DUTCH CROSSING-JOURNAL OF LOW COUNTRIES STUDIES, 36(1), 3–18.
Vancouver
1.
Vermeir R. How Spanish were the Spanish Netherlands? DUTCH CROSSING-JOURNAL OF LOW COUNTRIES STUDIES. 2012;36(1):3–18.
MLA
Vermeir, René. “How Spanish Were the Spanish Netherlands?” DUTCH CROSSING-JOURNAL OF LOW COUNTRIES STUDIES 36.1 (2012): 3–18. Print.
@article{1978501,
  abstract     = {It is a firmly held belief that, from 1555 until 1700, the successive Habsburg sovereigns of the so-called Spanish Netherlands usurped the authority of the territory and maintained their power only by means of an army of occupation. Although recent research has thoroughly revised this antiquated analysis, it continues to live on until the present day. This article illustrates how stereotypes of Spanish usurpation were established at the beginning of the nineteenth century, both in the scholarly and popular literature, and demonstrates that, in the Spanish Netherlands, there was no 'absolutism' or 'occupation' on the part of the Habsburg authorities. On the contrary, after the separation from the rebellious provinces and the creation of the Dutch Republic, the Southern Netherlands were able to benefit from relative autonomy, at least when it came to domestic issues.},
  author       = {Vermeir, Ren{\'e}},
  issn         = {0309-6564},
  journal      = {DUTCH CROSSING-JOURNAL OF LOW COUNTRIES STUDIES},
  keyword      = {Low Countries,Spanish Netherlands,Castile,Early modern period (sixteenth-seventeenth century)},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {3--18},
  title        = {How Spanish were the Spanish Netherlands?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1179/0309656411Z.0000000004},
  volume       = {36},
  year         = {2012},
}

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