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The Limits of Royal Authority
Resistance and Obedience in Seventeenth-Century Castile

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Early Modern History

  • Date Published: February 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521033633

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  • In what is sometimes called the age of absolutism, Castilian nobles and commoners, tribunes and towns, were to a considerable degree able to resist and shape royal commands. Whereas there was little open conflict, there was sometimes a surprising degree of autonomy, rights and reciprocity on the part of the king's vassals. This is a study of one such form of resistance: the opposition to military levies. This opposition took place during a period of crisis, during the 1630s and 1640s, when the Crown's need to raise an army came into conflict with a notion of kingship that was far from absolute. From the king's advisory councils to parliament, from city councils and seigneurial estates, to the most humble villages, Castilians had recourse to a wide range of political and juridictional means with which to dispute the king's claims and avoid conscription.

    • An interesting and accessibly written book which combines narrative with historical analysis
    • Differs from other critiques of absolutism by examining the king's relationship with all his vassals, from an institutional and a social perspective
    • Based on local documents which reveal the voices of ordinary Castilians as they spoke to the Crown
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    Awards

    • Winner, 2000 Leo Gershoy Award, American Historical Association

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Mackay has put together a very interesting study that addresses some of the most important historical and historiographical themes arising from the situation of Castile and the Spanish monarchy during the central decades of the seventeenth century.' Journal of Modern History

    '… excellent little study.' History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521033633
    • length: 212 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.324kg
    • contains: 1 map
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements
    Introduction
    1. Recruitment and royal authority
    2. Making soldiers of townsmen
    3. War, lords, and vassals
    4. Common claims
    Conclusion
    Glossary
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Ruth MacKay

    Awards

    • Winner, 2000 Leo Gershoy Award, American Historical Association

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