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The legacy of Olivares and the end of the war in Flanders, 1643–1659

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Chapter Summary

The shock of Rocroi did not alter official attitudes towards the Army of Flanders. Olivares policies remained almost unchanged and continued to produce familiar results. The political fall from favor of the creators brought few changes to the military structures and procedures they had set in place. In August 1648 the defeat of Lens finally shook the monarch and his ministers from their complacent policies. Once again Philip IV demanded the trial of the cavalry officers who had, as in Rocroi five years earlier, fled the field and left the infantry alone to be massacred. Olivares reforms and the interregnum of 164851 had fatally weakened the Superintendency and Valcrcels attempt to bring the high command back under his supervision only hastened the final demise of the civilian-run military justice system. The King lost a valuable mechanisms to regulate and improve the effectiveness of his officers and Army of Flanders.

Keywords: Army of Flanders; civilian-run military justice system; Olivares' policies; Philip IV



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