The Struggle for Power in Early Modern Europe: Religious Conflict, Dynastic Empires, and International Change

The Struggle for Power in Early Modern Europe: Religious Conflict, Dynastic Empires, and International Change

by Daniel H. Nexon
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691137935

ISBN-13: 9780691137933

Pub. Date: 03/31/2009

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Scholars have long argued over whether the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, which ended more than a century of religious conflict arising from the Protestant Reformations, inaugurated the modern sovereign-state system. But they largely ignore a more fundamental question: why did the emergence of new forms of religious heterodoxy during the Reformations spark such

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Overview

Scholars have long argued over whether the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, which ended more than a century of religious conflict arising from the Protestant Reformations, inaugurated the modern sovereign-state system. But they largely ignore a more fundamental question: why did the emergence of new forms of religious heterodoxy during the Reformations spark such violent upheaval and nearly topple the old political order? In this book, Daniel Nexon demonstrates that the answer lies in understanding how the mobilization of transnational religious movements intersects with--and can destabilize--imperial forms of rule.

Taking a fresh look at the pivotal events of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries--including the Schmalkaldic War, the Dutch Revolt, and the Thirty Years' War--Nexon argues that early modern "composite" political communities had more in common with empires than with modern states, and introduces a theory of imperial dynamics that explains how religious movements altered Europe's balance of power. He shows how the Reformations gave rise to crosscutting religious networks that undermined the ability of early modern European rulers to divide and contain local resistance to their authority. In doing so, the Reformations produced a series of crises in the European order and crippled the Habsburg bid for hegemony.

Nexon's account of these processes provides a theoretical and analytic framework that not only challenges the way international relations scholars think about state formation and international change, but enables us to better understand global politics today.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691137933
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
03/31/2009
Series:
Princeton Studies in International History and Politics Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
408
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents


List of Figures and Tables ix
Preface xi
CHAPTER 1: Introduction 1
CHAPTER 2: Theorizing International Change 20
CHAPTER 3: The Dynastic-Imperial Pathway 67
CHAPTER 4: Religious Contention and the Dynamics of Composite States 99
CHAPTER 5: The Rise and Decline of Charles of Habsburg 135
CHAPTER 6: The Dynamics of Spanish Hegemony in the Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries 185
CHAPTER 7: The French Wars of Religion 235
CHAPTER 8: Westphalia Reframed 265
CHAPTER 9: Looking Forward, Looking Back 289
References 301
Index 333

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