This is a comprehensive study in English of political thought in Spain during the Renaissance. In the early sixteenth century Castile experienced two major constitutional crises caused by the accession of a Habsburg ruler (shortly to become Holy Roman Emperor) to her throne, and by the discovery and conquest of America. Politically, these circumstances created a bizarre situation in which the venerable idea of medieval empire was forced to co-exist with a novel, imperial vision made inevitable by expansion in the new world. The strain imposed on Castile's constitutional fabric stimulated the most significant developments of Spanish political thought in the Renaissance. Against this background, Professor Fernández-Santamaria surverys the contribution of a number of eminent writers from diverse intellectual traditions who endeavoured to apply established political assumptions to these unprecedented circumstances.
Table of ContentsPart I. Medieval Constitutionalism, Christian Humanism, and Neoscholasticism (1516-1539): 1. The opposition to empire: Alonso de Castrillo; 2. Advocates for empire; 3. The discovery of America and the School of Salamanca: Francisco de Victoria (I); 4. Francisco de Victoria (II); 5. The age of Erasmus on war and peace; Part II. The Waning of Erasmianism (1539-1559); 6. Humanist foundations for a universal society: Juan Ginés de Sepùlveda (I); 7. Classical humanism on the American Indians: Juan Ginés de Sepùlveda (II); 8. On princes, counselors, and councils: Charles of Habsburg, Antonio de Guevara, and Fadrique Furió Ceriol.