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Olivares’ structural reforms in the high command

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Chapter Summary

Olivares response to the new conflicts within the upper crust of the Army of Flanders was determined by his notions of military science and his falta de cabezas theory. What the army most needed was a group of advisors, both professionals and gifted amateurs who would devise an adequate strategy and mitigate what the Count-Duke perceived as a falta de cabezas. The renewal of hostilities in 1621 revived controversies over the respective authority of ranks and army branches that had begun to plague the high command in the early seventeenth century. Olivares, in 1631, began to prepare a new edition of General Ordinances for the Army of Flanders. In June 1632, Olivares, did not abandon his master project of reform, but continued to press for its enforcement. Finally, in June 1633 the King bowed to reality and ordered the deletion of the most offensive sections of the Ordinances.

Keywords: Army of Flanders; falta de cabezas theory; General Ordinances; high command; structural reforms



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