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War And Identity In The Habsburg Netherlands, 1477–1559

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Chapter Summary

The nature of the available evidence has inevitably drawn studies of national identity in the Burgundian-Habsburg Low Countries towards social and cultural elites. As the Burgundian-Habsburg polity faced the supreme challenge of repeated warfare on multiple fronts, we can test whether such action and cooperation took place, and infer what those outcomes tell us about the effect of the government's appeals. One way in which war did enforce adherence to supra-provincial identities was in the intensified application of treason law. Individuals may hold several identities at once, provided those identities do not place unbearably conflicting demands upon them, as may have happened to some Netherlanders, when attachments to prince and province began to clash in the years after 1566. In the Burgundian-Habsburg Low Countries many such identities were available, not only social, religious, or gendered identities, but political ones too.

Keywords: Habsburg Netherlands; national identity; warfare



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