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Integration and conflict in spanish Sicily

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Chapter Summary

This chapter reflects on the two-hundred-year experience of Spanish Sicily, focusing on integration and conflict. It defines the specific characteristics of participation of the Kingdom of Sicily in the Castilian monarchy. It then explains the causes of Sicily’s long season of consensus with policies of the Spanish Habsburgs, a task that of course involves delineating the principal modes of integration. The chapter isolates the causes of upsurge of the widespread conflict during the course of seventeenth century, and then to discern what induced Sicilians to rebel on two occasions, first in 1647–48 coincident with the revolt of Naples, then in the revolt of Messina in 1674–78. It demonstrates that the conventional thesis of so-called “pact” or “contract” subscribed to by the Sicilian elites are overly schematic and, in substance, misleading. This thesis relies on some verifiable processes, but it renders them static and imprisons them within a rather mechanical scheme.

Keywords: Castilian monarchy; conflict; integration; revolt of Messina; revolt of Naples; Spanish Habsburgs; Spanish Sicily



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