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The evolution of the Count-Duke’s appointment policies

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Chapter Summary

During almost the entire duration of his valimiento, Olivares held almost absolute power over appointments to the Army of Flanders and exercised powers of promotion formerly reserved for the monarch and the Council of State. The King made it a point to focus exclusively on merit and experience in a number of minor military appointments in the Netherlands and elsewhere. The General Reformation of 1627, a document drafted by the Junta, represents Olivares most ambitious and systematic attempt to shape the Army of Flanders in accordance with his reformist views. The first test of the Junta's new prescriptions for promotions occurred that very year. It has been questioned whether Olivares pro-aristocratic appointment policy of the 1630s possessed enough benefits to offset not only its financial cost, but also its impact on life in the high command, the military cursus honorum, and the armys fighting ability.

Keywords: appointment policies; Army of Flanders; General Reformation of 1627; Junta; Netherlands; Olivare

10.1163/ej.9789004170827.i-408.32
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