Peacemaking in Early Modern Europe: Cardinal Mazarin and the Congress of Westphalia, 1643-1648

Peacemaking in Early Modern Europe: Cardinal Mazarin and the Congress of Westphalia, 1643-1648

Peacemaking in Early Modern Europe: Cardinal Mazarin and the Congress of Westphalia, 1643-1648

Peacemaking in Early Modern Europe: Cardinal Mazarin and the Congress of Westphalia, 1643-1648

Synopsis

This book is the first full-length study of the French negotiating position, culminating in the end of a long conflict with the Holy Roman Empire. The author demonstrates that military success and defeat had less effect on the French negotiating position than had been assumed. Instead, the network of alliances not only shaped French policy, but the peace process as a whole, contributing decisively to its longevity.

Excerpt

Wherever I go now, I am told that diplomatic and military history are on the upswing. It is true that there is some evidence of this. Sociologists in particular seem more interested than ever in Bringing the State Back In , and in particular in studying the influence of war on state formation. This is not just a matter of a new generation, but of changing attitudes; as the author of another recent work admits, "once upon a time, the study of war annoyed me to tears." Even France, home of the Annales rebellion against "l'histoire événementielle" so many years ago, has witnessed something of a revival of interest, led by Lucien Bély.

Despite these indications, however, diplomatic history is still generally regarded as peripheral. Probably more typical of current attitudes than the aforementioned works is the reaction of a fellow graduate student to whom I explained that my dissertation topic was French policy at the Congress of Westphalia. "But how do you sell that?" he asked skeptically.

The answer is that the topic addresses two matters of vital moment: peacemaking and state-building. As an example of peacemaking, French policy at Westphalia elucidates an important case in the history of war termination and offers new insights into how states assess their needs, modulate their demands, and resolve their differences in negotiations. As a study of state-building, it explains the process by which one territory and group of people were transferred from one government to another, and why precisely that territory got transferred and no other. My original interest in this subject focused on the latter aspect: how France acquired rights in Alsace. One of the directions of recent research on early modern state formation has been the existence of "composite monarchies" and the attempts to incorporate newly conquered territory into a state. But while scholars have been interested in the fate of territories once they have been united, there has been no general study on how these territories came to be joined together in the first place. the few relevant, scattered comments suggest that more territory changed hands as the early modern period progressed, and that the com-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.