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 End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia

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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Wed 24 Oct 2018, 23:15

Started to look today at a documentary about the peace of Westphalia on my hard disc of the TV distributor. I wanted to show it as usual from Arte overhere in French and German, but no I could even not see it on Arte myself anymore, because I am not permitted anymore to view it in Belgium as an inhibitant of a foreign nation-state. And the time of the free youtube you could find from any programm are gone too. Tried to contact Arte via the standardized contact formula, but that said everytime: there happened something wrong with your message, I think because I sent from where I live. google said already to me in what location I lived and it was exact...i will have to contact I think Arte by phonecall...

But anyway from all this trouble I started to look further because it was said that the Treaty of Westphalia was the start of the sovereingty of the nation-state
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westphalian_sovereignty


An article that I found from the international Guardian underlines what I yesterday tried to explain to Vizzer...but I have also critics on the article...
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/apr/05/demise-of-the-nation-state-rana-dasgupta
And you can say its from an Indian...but perhaps those have the most neutral point of view?...
And an article on the same subject that I not yet read...
https://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1179&context=bjil


Tomorrow more...

Kind regards from Paul.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Thu 25 Oct 2018, 08:38

Sovereignty was simply an optional notion that could be drawn from the various peace treaties that constituted what was rather optimistically called the "Peace of Westphalia". In effect the treaties removed one "cause belli" under which war in Europe had been engaged, but as history (quickly) revealed it did little to end war and in fact threw up a whole slew of new "causa belli", in which "defence of sovereignty", be it one's own or on behalf of an allied nation, then became an acceptable shorthand justification for aggression thereafter, though the claim more often than not simply masked all the usual root causes of tension and warfare on the continent, including dynastic establishment, territorial expansion, economic rivalry and even outright sectarian hatred.  Plus ça change, and all that.

Genuine claims to sovereignty, such as in Ireland at the time to cite only one of many examples, simply did not register as valid among the signatories, and wouldn't for a long time afterwards. In fact the opposite principle tended to apply in those cases, and any appeal to a notion of "Westphalian Sovereignty" by these communities was as often as not suppressed violently and outlawed by the very people who held the principle up to be admired as justification for their own political autonomy and right to rule. There are, in Europe, even still several communities who would dearly wish to identify as a "nation state" but who have never been allowed prosecute such a policy politically. So when people decry the "end of the nation state", and especially if they hark back to Westphalian Sovereignty as if it was an enshrined political principle under which all European people have lived for over three centuries, then they should really take up a history book or two and actually learn about their subject.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Thu 25 Oct 2018, 22:37

@nordmann wrote:
Sovereignty was simply an optional notion that could be drawn from the various peace treaties that constituted what was rather optimistically called the "Peace of Westphalia". In effect the treaties removed one "cause belli" under which war in Europe had been engaged, but as history (quickly) revealed it did little to end war and in fact threw up a whole slew of new "causa belli", in which "defence of sovereignty", be it one's own or on behalf of an allied nation, then became an acceptable shorthand justification for aggression thereafter, though the claim more often than not simply masked all the usual root causes of tension and warfare on the continent, including dynastic establishment, territorial expansion, economic rivalry and even outright sectarian hatred.  Plus ça change, and all that.

Genuine claims to sovereignty, such as in Ireland at the time to cite only one of many examples, simply did not register as valid among the signatories, and wouldn't for a long time afterwards. In fact the opposite principle tended to apply in those cases, and any appeal to a notion of "Westphalian Sovereignty" by these communities was as often as not suppressed violently and outlawed by the very people who held the principle up to be admired as justification for their own political autonomy and right to rule. There are, in Europe, even still several communities who would dearly wish to identify as a "nation state" but who have never been allowed prosecute such a policy politically. So when people decry the "end of the nation state", and especially if they hark back to Westphalian Sovereignty as if it was an enshrined political principle under which all European people have lived for over three centuries, then they should really take up a history book or two and actually learn about their subject.

nordmann,

how right you are in your reply. And indeed, not that much changed from the Mesopotamian struggles for power, the Egyptian ones until these treaties to end the Thirty Years War and the Dutch Eighty Years War and yes as you say immediately after, you had the war of the Grand Alliance to contain the France of Louis XIV, first a James II supporting Louis, but then after the glorious revolution, William III supporting the Alliance against Louis, but when in the Spanish succession there was a chance for too much power of the HRE they changed support and obliged the weakened France to help them to contain the Emperor...what an interesting subject to read about the games of history...and it had gone that way until now...
https://www.britannica.com/event/War-of-the-Grand-Alliance
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_of_the_Spanish_Succession

But I wanted only use in my title that Westphalian Peace as a starting point for a more extended discussion of the nation-state today as discussed in the Guardian article and as such my title don't cover my intentions, but to my exoneration I wanted to keep a short title without much elaboration...perhaps better a title...The end of the nation-state?

In that sense that the nation-state has no power anymore over its own economic power as it is led by international players in which small states as Belgium and even Britain can't play a role anymore as international markets are influenced by big powers as the US, the Northern US-European alliance, China, Russia, Japan. The international capitalistic markets let me recall strangely the slogans of Hitler Germany about the "international Plutocrats (Jewish Plutocrats?)" And one of my critiques of the Guardian article is just that I don't see that much difference between the world of 1648 and todays world (only that this world is a bit more sophistcated)...and as before the common man in the street is still reigned by the big players at the top...but in all this I suppose an authortarian regime as in China can act more on the markets than a democratic US?
That are my first thoughts as I haven't read fully the two articles that I mentioned and can't give an "opinion"...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Fri 26 Oct 2018, 23:15

I now read the two articles.
The first is as I see now after research from Rana Dasgupta
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rana_Dasgupta
And I only give to start with my opinion as a personal one and based on what I know and if my critique is wrong that someone come with an alternative. I don't know if our small group is big enough to discuss such complex matter, but nevertheless I try. I expect something of a nordmann, who is nearly worth a group of contributors...
It's a long article and somewhere I thought that I read about the new thinking of the degrade of the nation-state as the right to intervene in nation-states if the human rights are not respected, but in my opinion that right is used unilaterally by for instance the US for their own political purposes, first the war by proxy against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and then the reaction against Muslim fundamentalism that they had first supported to thwart the Russians, the break up of Yugoslavia, the interventions in Iraq that lead to a lot of turmoil, the Lybian break-up...the war by proxy in Syria between Saudi Arabia and Iran...
And also the oldfashioned way of fighting by proxy between the great powers in third nation-states (the Cold War), which led to the degradation of this nation-states...
But in my opinion that is all nothing new under the sun...

But where I follow the author what in my opinion is the first task: the regulation by the big players of the international money and banking system and the escape routes from the international business groups and individuals to extract money on which nation-states have not control anymore and that they need for their national economy. And those nation-states can only gain power in that struggle by combining with others same minded clusters as the EU for instance, or Mercosur...but again in my opinion if the big players, as an US don't want to cooperate with the rest it will be dead born...

And I agree also with him that for the health of nation-states and the clusters of nation states it is important to seek for ways to have a redistribution of wealth between rich and poor to avoid tensions...and I agree it can't be built instantly, but with every acting it has at least to be the goal...

The second article from 1999 that I read I have a complete other opinion about, with for instance Belgium and Canada that the author mentioned as example...but that will be for tomorrow...

A bit about the power of big players or even one big player:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polarity_(international_relations)

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Sun 28 Oct 2018, 22:58

https://scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1179&context=bjil

While it is already late in the evening to fully comment on the second entry of 1999 as promised, I would in essence say that it is my opinion  that in nation-states or in larger confederations as the EU,  one has to seek for common ground and try to work together for the gain of all, not an attitude of we and them or we are better than the others...that's perhaps easier for nation-states as Belgium and Canada where there is only a language difference and not a cultural one (I mean culture in the broad sense), and perhaps also for the new German-French entente where nowadays there is much less culture difference than before.
But it becomes more difficult, where there is a religious difference as for instance in the former Yugoslavia, while culture is greatly bound with religion, especially with a religion that wants to convince others of their religious culture or state management...but for instance that is not relevant anymore as before in the Netherlands between the Calvinists and the Catholics (at least I suppose) as the difference between the different religious cultures became irrelevant...it is perhaps still relevant between Hindous and Muslims in India?...it becomes more relevant in Indonesia? in Turkey?

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Mon 29 Oct 2018, 08:02

It would be nice if you could refer your musings on modern political theory to ... erm, history?

For example: you refer to "religious difference", which at face value seems to be self-apparently a form of demarcation but when looked at closely is anything but, though it would be wise to add that history reveals the use of religious allegiance as a politically short-hand substitute for ethnic distinction as being one that has always been fraught with danger, fundamentally because it rarely reflects accurately the actual political distinctions at play, nor does it help ascertain exactly who is using them as a political tool to their distinctly political ends. Ironically enough it was the various treaties of Westphalia (to which your thread referred to in its title but which then seems to have disappeared from your musings altogether) that probably were the first such political documents to attempt to neutralise future hijacking of religious identity as a political tool by the true power brokers of the day.

Westphalia failed with regard to its usefulness in further episodes of ante-belligerent diplomacy, at least as a precedent that could in any way be enforced long-term as a standard for rules of conduct and bottom-line definitions of sovereignty (something its participants weren't actually interested in anyway), but it did at least end a long and bloody example of such blatant hijacking that more realistic politicians across the continent had finally begun to realise was, if anything, a guarantee of political anarchy as long as it persisted, and the resolution of which therefore required a politically ground-breaking and highly complex re-definition of manageable distinctions that made sense politically, that could facilitate power-plays as they then existed, that could more accurately reflect and service actual communal claims to self-identity, and which therefore rescued diplomacy, political systems, and even warfare itself, from future incidents of being hijacked by anarchic religious fervour and ringleaders.

The notion of "sovereignty" therefore, at least as described within the terms of Westphalia, purposefully avoided reference to religious distinctions, and in fact enshrined the notion of political accommodation of religious differences withing one nation state as one very important "proof" of sovereignty when it occurred, not a challenge to it.

And regarding your other point above, again with reference to Westphalia, the notion of ethnic culture was also addressed by the treaties involved, both in the "broader sense" and in any narrow sense its participants wished to adopt. By the same token that Bavaria, for example, emerged from the treaty as a fiercely independent Catholic entity with its closest "cultural" allies in terms of future treaties professing sometimes a vehement Protestant faith, Switzerland was basically formed by the same rules as an official multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-lingual state, not as an affront to any one of its neighbours whose cultures it subsumed and who themselves might treat each other with suspicion and distrust, but as a logical buffer between these states through which it could henceforth act as "honest broker" in future diplomatic incidents between these states.

While Switzerland may have evolved slightly differently than intended in Westphalia, the notion of its unimpeachable sovereignty as well as its neutrality was born in Westphalia, and is probably the most visible legacy today of how religion, culture, and other ethnic considerations that previously had sparked continent-consuming warfare, were superseded by a "realpolitik" assessment of what constitutes a sovereign nation state that basically ignored all these previously divisive yard-sticks by politically accommodating them.

I look forward to your own views on Westphalia and how its legacy is visible today, if at all, as well as maybe why you brought it up in the first place when discussing modern socio-political theory?
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Mon 29 Oct 2018, 22:49

@nordmann wrote:
It would be nice if you could refer your musings on modern political theory to ... erm, history?

For example: you refer to "religious difference", which at face value seems to be self-apparently a form of demarcation but when looked at closely is anything but, though it would be wise to add that history reveals the use of religious allegiance as a politically short-hand substitute for ethnic distinction as being one that has always been fraught with danger, fundamentally because it rarely reflects accurately the actual political distinctions at play, nor does it help ascertain exactly who is using them as a political tool to their distinctly political ends. Ironically enough it was the various treaties of Westphalia (to which your thread referred to in its title but which then seems to have disappeared from your musings altogether) that probably were the first such political documents to attempt to neutralise future hijacking of religious identity as a political tool by the true power brokers of the day.

Westphalia failed with regard to its usefulness in further episodes of ante-belligerent diplomacy, at least as a precedent that could in any way be enforced long-term as a standard for rules of conduct and bottom-line definitions of sovereignty (something its participants weren't actually interested in anyway), but it did at least end a long and bloody example of such blatant hijacking that more realistic politicians across the continent had finally begun to realise was, if anything, a guarantee of political anarchy as long as it persisted, and the resolution of which therefore required a politically ground-breaking and highly complex re-definition of manageable distinctions that made sense politically, that could facilitate power-plays as they then existed, that could more accurately reflect and service actual communal claims to self-identity, and which therefore rescued diplomacy, political systems, and even warfare itself, from future incidents of being hijacked by anarchic religious fervour and ringleaders.

The notion of "sovereignty" therefore, at least as described within the terms of Westphalia, purposefully avoided reference to religious distinctions, and in fact enshrined the notion of political accommodation of religious differences withing one nation state as one very important "proof" of sovereignty when it occurred, not a challenge to it.

And regarding your other point above, again with reference to Westphalia, the notion of ethnic culture was also addressed by the treaties involved, both in the "broader sense" and in any narrow sense its participants wished to adopt. By the same token that Bavaria, for example, emerged from the treaty as a fiercely independent Catholic entity with its closest "cultural" allies in terms of future treaties professing sometimes a vehement Protestant faith, Switzerland was basically formed by the same rules as an official multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-lingual state, not as an affront to any one of its neighbours whose cultures it subsumed and who themselves might treat each other with suspicion and distrust, but as a logical buffer between these states through which it could henceforth act as "honest broker" in future diplomatic incidents between these states.

While Switzerland may have evolved slightly differently than intended in Westphalia, the notion of its unimpeachable sovereignty as well as its neutrality was born in Westphalia, and is probably the most visible legacy today of how religion, culture, and other ethnic considerations that previously had sparked continent-consuming warfare, were superseded by a "realpolitik" assessment of what constitutes a sovereign nation state that basically ignored all these previously divisive yard-sticks by politically accommodating them.

I look forward to your own views on Westphalia and how its legacy is visible today, if at all, as well as maybe why you brought it up in the first place when discussing modern socio-political theory?

nordmann,

thank you very much for this excellent links of today history with the treaty of Westphalia. I learned a lot from it. And you are right about my title and yes the Westphalia peace was only an occasion to start a thread about the nowadays nation-state and I apologized already about it:
"But I wanted only use in my title that Westphalian Peace as a starting point for a more extended discussion of the nation-state today as discussed in the Guardian article and as such my title don't cover my intentions, but to my exoneration I wanted to keep a short title without much elaboration...perhaps better a title...The end of the nation-state?"

I hope I will be able to better make a connection with history in the thread: Are we back to the Thirties?. But it will always be invalid as history never fully repeats itself.

About Switzerland, that's really an interesting nation-state and as I have now some information from research on the internet that I did due to family living there for the moment. From all this information I have the impression that the real trick of the country are the cantons, where most decisions are made independentally from other cantons, and the Swiss nation-state is only an umbrella organisation for the extern international connections. But I am not sure about this and I will try to deepen my knowledge, for instance by asking a Swiss citizen (French language) on the French forum where I post too.

Anyway, I thank you again nordmann for the as usual insightfull comments that you made about this subject.

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Sat 03 Nov 2018, 13:28

I was musing on the state of the British Isles at the time of the Treaty of Westphalia - apologies if any of it is not deemed relevant.

The British Isles was in 1648 divided into three kingdoms (England, which included Wales, Scotland, and Ireland) ruled by the same monarch, Charles I.  However, it was in the midst of a series of civil wars which had caused a level of loss of life that, it is estimated, exceeded that of the two world wars put together in terms of the percentage of the population.  In Ireland, which Nordmann referred to, the loss of life was even worse. 

None of the 3 kingdoms had taken part in the Thirty Years War that ended with the Treaty of Westphalia; although large numbers of individuals had fought as soldiers in the various European armies, especially Scots fighting in the Swedish army.  None of the three kingdoms would have been considered significant powers at this time too.  That, however, had changed by the next time that Europe squared upon for a major war - the Nine Year War (1688 - 1697) - and by the time of the Spanish War of Succession (1701 - 14) England/Great Britain was a world power with the largest oceanic navy in the world.

1648 though had seen in England a Royalist revolt in the south which had been defeated by Fairfax, the commander of the New Model Army - in theory under the control of the English parliament.  It had also seen a Scottish invasion in support of Charles I which had been defeated at Preston by the New Model Army second in command - Cromwell.  Following Preston, the army was to move both to take Charles under its control and also to purge parliament of any MPs of which it did not approve.  

Scotland had been under the control of a group known as the Engagers who had signed the treaty with Charles I to restore him to power.  However, with the defeat at Preston and with Cromwell marching into Scotland, the Engagers lost power to Argyle who had previously sided with the English parliament against Charles I.

The Irish Catholics had revolted against Protestant domination in 1641 and the subsequent war caused a massive loss of life, much of which happened before the arrival of Cromwell and the New Model Army in 1649.  The situation in Ireland in 1648, as well as being grim, was very complicated with the presence of an Irish Catholic Confederate army in alliance with English Royalists, a renegade Confederate army which did not accept the alliance with the English Royalists, an English parliamentarian army under the command of a Welshman Michael Jones who had at one time fought for Charles I, and a Scottish Covenanter army.  As an example of the complexity of the fighting during 1648, the Scottish army which, under the terms of the agreement between Charles I and the Scottish Engagers, had changed sides to join the Catholic-Royalist alliance, moved to besiege the Parliamentarian forces in Londonderry.  However, a renegade Irish Confederate army marched to lift the siege in exchange for receiving supplies from Parliament.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Sat 03 Nov 2018, 21:10

Thank you very much Tim for this exposé about the contemporaneous Britain of the time of 1648.

I always appreciate input on British history, while contrary to the continental history, where the territory of the nowadays Belgium was many times linked with France, Spain, the Dutch Republic, Austria, the English and later the British was not interfering that much overhere or it had to be later from Waterloo on.
When I did research on the net about Cromwell and the Rump parliament, I felt especially my ignorance as I explained to you:
https://reshistorica.forumotion.com/t1281-rump-parliament-democratic

Even with a William III where we had also a bit to do with, I had in the excellent book of the author Troost about William III, only interest in the part of his Stadholdership for the Dutch Republic and not for the Glorious revolution and his later career.

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Fri 16 Nov 2018, 08:18

Hi Paul 

some English intervention in the Low Countries prior to the Act of Union in 1707

English involvement in the Dutch revolt against the Spanish began in 1572 when a group of Dutch pirates known as the sea beggars captured the ports of Flushing and Brielle in the Netherlands.  Ironically the sea beggars did this because they had just been expelled from England.  Although Elizabeth had allowed them to attack Spanish shipping, they had also attacked neutral and even English merchant ships.  However, 300 English and Welsh volunteers moved to support the Dutch rebels at Flushing.  In July Elizabeth sent 1200 troops, officially ‘volunteers’, under the command of Sir Humphrey Gilbert; ironically these were not sent initially against the Spanish but because Elizabeth was worried that the Dutch revolt would lead to the French taking control of the Netherlands.  What she wanted was a return to the Dutch autonomy under Spanish rule, the idea of an independent Netherlands did not seem feasible to Elizabeth at that time.  

On 24th August 1572, the French King Charles IX unleashed the St Bartholomew’s Day massacre of thousands of Huguenots (French Protestants).  This led to renewed civil war in France and removed the threat of a French invasion of the Netherlands.  However, this in turn allowed the Spanish authorities under the duke of Alba to concentrate on the crushing the Dutch revolt which they did using a policy of deliberate viciousness.  When towns were captured the garrisons were slaughtered and often the civilian population was massacred as well.

The English forces were initialling involved, none too successfully, in attempts to extend Dutch control in the Walcheren Islands.  From his base at Flushing, Gilbert launched two attempts to capture the town of Ter Goes.  The first was a complete fiasco and the second, carried out with Dutch support, was defeated when a Spanish commander led 3,000 veteran troops through flooded land to attack the besiegers from the rear.  In 1573 Thomas Morgan brought over another 1,500 troops who took part in the failed attempt to relieve the siege of Haarlem, which fell on 13th September.  However, despite these set-backs, the number of English and Welsh fighting in the Netherlands had by 1578 increased to around 3,000.  Also fighting against the Spanish were 4,000 Scots.  Having fervently embraced Protestantism and with Scotland and England at peace, Scots were to serve in large numbers in support of the Protestant cause in Europe in both the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 

The fighting in the Netherlands mainly consisted of sieges and small scale actions but on 31st July 1578 the English, commanded by John Norris, took part in one few large scale battles at the village of Rijmenan in what is now Belgium.  The army of the Dutch ‘States General’ as the government of the rebel provinces was known, in fact consisted mainly of English, Scottish and Huguenot troops.  Don Juan, who had replaced Alba as the Spanish governor-general chose to attack the States General army, despite having inferior numbers.  In this he was opposed by his second in command Parma.  The States army was drawn up in what appeared to be a fortified position in front of the village with both flanks secured by forest.  When the Spanish attacked they managed to fight their way into the village, but then discovered that they had in fact been drawn into a trap.  The true fortified camp was behind the village and now the States artillery opened up on the Spanish.  The troops who had entered the village were in danger of being wiped out but, through a clever manoeuvre for which he was to become famous, Parma managed to extricate the troops.   The Spanish suffered around 1,000 casualties while the States army suffered about half that number.  

Rijmenan provided a considerable boost to Dutch morale and made Norris’ name as a soldier but despite that he suffered problems with other English officers trying to undermine his authority or poaching men from his regiments to make good the shortfall in their own units.  Don Juan died soon after the battle and was succeeded by Parma as governor-general.  Initially he was not able to progress the reconquest of the Netherlands as in 1580 most of the Spanish troops had been sent to help conquer Portugal but in 1582 they returned.  Parma had a brilliant grasp of strategy and could work out exactly where to attack to isolate and capture key fortresses, often without having to even assault them directly.  In 1583 he captured most of the Flemish seaports, although not Ostend. 
The English troops in the Netherlands often suffered from not being paid or even provided with rations.  In November 1583 the officers commanding the English garrison at Aalst near Ghent sold the town and garrison to Parma in exchange for food and a months pay.  It seems that the rank and file soldiers were not privy to the deal and subsequently most deserted back to rejoin Norris’ forces.  However, the capture of the town paved the way for Parma to capture Ghent and, not surprisingly, soured relationships between the English and the Dutch.  The problem was that the finances of the States General were in a complete mess and they just could not raise enough money to pay the soldiers defending the rebel provinces.  On more than one occasion they had to disband troops and reduce the size of the army, not because the military situation had improved but because the troops could not be afforded.  One could hardly imagine Churchill in 1940 disbanding divisions in the British army because the government could not afford to pay them.  The net result was that Spanish gold or silver could often accomplish what Spanish guns could not.

During 1584 Parma captured all of Flanders other than Ostend, Ghent fell without a direct attack on it.  The main Dutch leader, William the Silent, was also assassinated in 1584.  Brussels fell in February 1585, again isolated and starved into surrender, and now Palma threatened Antwerp, the most important Flemish city.  It had a five mile circuit of powerful and modern fortifications and was considered impregnable.  However, Parma had an 800 yard long bridge built across the Scheldt so cutting of Antwerp from the sea.  The Dutch, to try and break the siege, launched a small flotilla of ships filled with explosives; some designed to explode on impact and some with delayed fuses.  They killed at least 800 of the besiegers and even Parma was blasted by the shock waves.  The attack failed in its objective in that Antwerp was later to fall but the memory of the ‘hell-burners’, as the exploding ships were christened, went deep into the Spanish psyche and possibly affected the Armada crews when the English fire ships drifted towards them.

As stated previously, it was clear that the English policy of opposing Spain through a mixture of ‘volunteers’, subsidies to the Dutch and privateering was not sufficient.  Either England would have to cut its losses and revert to a policy of ‘Fortress England’, as many of Elizabeth’s councillors urged, or move to a state of open warfare with Spain.  The queen decided that it was better to fight Spain with the Dutch as allies than possibly have to fight Spain alone at a later date.  On 2nd August 1585 Elizabeth signed the treaty of Nonsuch with the Dutch whereby an English army would be sent to support them.  In exchange the ports of Ostend and Sluis would be pledged as security to the English.  Following the fall of Antwerp, in a revised treaty, it was also agreed that the English would garrison Flushing and Breille, originally captured by the sea beggars.  It was not that Elizabeth wanted to add them to her domains, she had already turned down the idea of becoming queen of the Netherlands, but she wanted to get her money back if at all possible.  Two English were appointed to the Dutch Council of State with the hope that could sort out the total mess that was the Dutch finances and Elizabeth would appoint a governor-general of the Netherlands.  In order to save themselves from Spanish rule, the Dutch had agreed to become effectively an English protectorate.

rgds Tim
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Fri 16 Nov 2018, 11:15

I'll have to take some time when I have more liberty (at present I'm just taking a break from typing) to digest Tim's insightful posts on this thread.  I thought (and I'm sure I'm not the only one) about the UK via Brexit perhaps trying to re-establish itself as a nation state.  I can't see that we can go back in time.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Fri 16 Nov 2018, 18:22

"This realm of England is an Empire" - what exactly did Cromwell - Thomas, not Oliver - mean by that?

Was this not the first declaration of "nationhood"?



Few phrases in an English Statute can have left such an indelible imprint as the opening words of the Act in Restraint of Appeals of 1533...
...In this context 'empire' means a polity where ultimate authority flowed from the head of the polity itself, not from an outside figure (the Pope).
There seems to be some historical controversy over whether the statute was using 'empire' in a novel way to describe a new kind of political arrangement (a kind of proto sovereign national state), or whether it was just used for its rhetorical power.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Sat 17 Nov 2018, 21:44

Tim,

thank you very much for your suberb survey. I will comment it as soon as possible and I have some other items from you too to comment on this board, but this evening engaged on the Passion Histoire for the umpteenth time about the question: Was the treaty of Versailles too harsh? It was one of the first debates I participated in as an "apprenti" on the BBC history messageboard in 2002.
And still to reply to nordmann in the 11 November thread...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Thu 22 Nov 2018, 22:17

Tim,

"some English intervention in the Low Countries prior to the Act of Union in 1707

English involvement in the Dutch revolt against the Spanish began in 1572 when a group of Dutch pirates known as the sea beggars captured the ports of Flushing and Brielle in the Netherlands.  Ironically the sea beggars did this because they had just been expelled from England.  Although Elizabeth had allowed them to attack Spanish shipping, they had also attacked neutral and even English merchant ships.  However, 300 English and Welsh volunteers moved to support the Dutch rebels at Flushing.  In July Elizabeth sent 1200 troops, officially ‘volunteers’, under the command of Sir Humphrey Gilbert; ironically these were not sent initially against the Spanish but because Elizabeth was worried that the Dutch revolt would lead to the French taking control of the Netherlands.  What she wanted was a return to the Dutch autonomy under Spanish rule, the idea of an independent Netherlands did not seem feasible to Elizabeth at that time."

Yes Vlissingen and Den Briel were a turning point in the start of the Dutch Revolt and yes thanks to the support of the English and the Welsh. I mentioned it already on several fora. The Dutch pirates had received letters of marque from William of Orange-Nassau in his quality as Prince of Orange and became thus officlal "privateers", although they behaved still as "pirates" Wink .
But that of Elizabeth's fears for France taking control of the Netherlands is new to me. So one learns everyday something new...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Sun 25 Nov 2018, 00:18

Tim,

"On 24th August 1572, the French King Charles IX unleashed the St Bartholomew’s Day massacre of thousands of Huguenots (French Protestants).  This led to renewed civil war in France and removed the threat of a French invasion of the Netherlands.  However, this in turn allowed the Spanish authorities under the duke of Alba to concentrate on the crushing the Dutch revolt which they did using a policy of deliberate viciousness.  When towns were captured the garrisons were slaughtered and often the civilian population was massacred as well."

There is a lot of discussion about the St Bartholomew's Day. I read in a French novel that I think commented here, about the role of Mary de Medici and De Guise, but I read also about Spanish agents...and at school in Dutch we learned it always as "Sint Bartholomeusnacht" Perhaps from the French: La nuit de Saint-Barthélemy
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_de_la_Saint-Barth%C3%A9lemy
https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartholomeusnacht
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Bartholomew%27s_Day_massacre

Nobody believed me when I said in the time of the BBC that there were 9 wars of religion in France
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Wars_of_Religion


But when this war saved the Spanish armies in their reconquest of the North of the Low Countries perhaps with Philip II's agents, he made a mistake when he ordered the able Parma to go to help in another French religious war in support of the Catholics. With a Parma, who was near to win the war of reconquest, a mistake in my opinion and seemingly also in the opinion of some historians.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Farnese,_Duke_of_Parma

"Farnese was to have turned his attention back to the northern Netherlands, where the Dutch rebels had regrouped, but on 1–2 August 1589, Henry III of France was assassinated, and Farnese was ordered into France, in support of the Catholic opposition to Protestant Henry IV of France. This enabled the Dutch rebels to turn the tide in favour of the Dutch Revolt, which had been in ever deeper trouble since 1576. In September 1590 he moved to relieve Paris from the lengthy siege it had been placed under by Huguenots and Royalists loyal to Henry IV.
On 20 April 1592 he repeated the same deed at Rouen, but was subsequently wounded in the hand during the Siege of Caudebec whilst trapped by Henry's army. Having escaped from there he withdrew into Flanders but with his health quickly declining, Farnese called his son Ranuccio to command his troops. He was however removed from the position of governor by the Spanish court and died in Arras on 3 December 1592, aged 47."

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Sun 25 Nov 2018, 23:27

Tim,

I thought again on the what if Farnese (Parma) was not ordered to France to help the French Catholics. In the struggle with the later Dutch Republic it could be even more desastrous for Spain with a more Protestant France perhaps at the side of the Dutch and England...? Therefore what ifs are mostly outside reality, because there are too many intangibles to guess what could have happened in reality...

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Thu 29 Nov 2018, 17:06

Hi Paul

thanks for your responses, below is my continued take on the involvement of the English Elizabethan army in the low countries

Elizabeth went into the war most reluctantly and also wanted to extricate herself from it as soon as possible, although it was not to have ended by the time she died in 1603.  With that in mind, Elizabeth’s generals were forbidden from undertaking offensive actions, which were to be left to Drake, operating at sea.  Despite this Norris, probably realising that it was necessary to undertake some offensive in order to attempt to disrupt Parma’s steady conquest of the Netherlands, decided to launch some probing attacks on Parma’s positions near Arnhem.  The queen was furious with Norris and ordered him to withdraw.  The Spanish promptly attached the Dutch forces left behind to hold the allied line and routed them.  

The earl of Leicester, at one time Elizabeth’s favourite, arrived in December 1585 to become governor general.  He found an army short of funds and wasting away, the reinforcements sent over from England were proving to be of poor quality.  Leicester was to prove to be no match for Parma as a general but he also managed to very rapidly make an enemy of Elizabeth.  Leicester decided to have himself installed as effectively the ‘absolute ruler’ of the Netherlands; he probably felt that a single figurehead was needed to co-ordinate the war effort.  Elizabeth was beside herself with fury, she was always suspicious of men’s desire for the ‘glory of war’, only ever fought for specific political purposes, and considered that Leicester was setting up a power-base independent from her.  He became subject to a barrage of criticism from her which only subsided when Burghley, her chief minister, threatened to resign unless the queen stopped undermining Leicester’s authority with the Dutch and, as a result, the war effort.

Parma opened the campaign of 1586 by sending forces to besiege the town of Grave.  Leicester managed to scrape together about 3,000 English and Dutch commanded by Norris and in a furious battle in heavy rain, which rendered firearms useless, the Spanish were driven back with heavy losses.  The Spanish were to come to see the English troops, when sober, as good as soldiers as themselves.  Leicester was overjoyed by the victory, but his celebrations were premature as Parma himself took the field capturing Grave and several other towns on the Meuse and then besieged Neusz on the Rhine.  Due to lack of funds Leicester army was virtually in rags and close to mutiny and his attempt to relieve the town failed.  Neusz was stormed, the garrison massacred, and the town virtually destroyed in an orgy of violence.

In mid July the Anglo-Dutch forces received a boost to their confidence when a force led by Sir Philip Sidney, Lord Willoughby and the rising leader of the Dutch, Maurice of Nassua, captured the town of Axel.  The troops attacked at night with a small group of soldiers swimming the moat, climbing the ramparts, and opening the gate - Sidney excelled in the assault.  In revenge for Neusz, the Spanish garrison were all killed.  Following this Leicester decided to threaten the Spanish held town of Zutphen.  He led an army of 7,000 infantry (of which 5,000 were English) and 2,000 cavalry but Parma quickly moved to protect the town.  On 22nd September Norris and Sir William Stanley, a friend of Leicester, were sent with 200 heavy cavalry and 300 pikemen to intercept a convoy travelling to reinforce the town.  The English were joined by a group of about fifty English aristocratic ‘young bloods’ and their squires spoiling for a fight.  The convoy was found to be much stronger than expected consisting of 2,500 infantry and 600 light cavalry; the Spanish had stopped using heavy cavalry and instead only used their cavalry for scouting and skirmishing.  Despite being outnumbered by twelve to one, the English cavalry charged straight into the escorting troops.  Full body armour actually reached its apogee during the sixteenth century for its lightness, ease of use and protection that it afforded; a film at Bodiam castle shows an Elizabethan knight equipping himself in such armour.  The attack of the English heavy cavalry and knights proved an unpleasant shock to the Spanish with the heavy armour deflecting Spanish weapons and even bullets while the English lances, swords and axes inflicted heavy casualties on the Spanish.  However, the Spanish were experienced troops and the commander concentrated on ensuring that the wagon train of supplies safely reached Zutphen, which he did despite taking heavy casualties in the process.  The English were elated that they could take on veteran Spanish troops even when heavily outnumbered, but the elation faded when Sir Philip Sidney, the hero of Axel, died of his wounds.  His funeral in London became the focus, not just for the many eulogies for him but also as a means of raising support for the war, which was starting to decline.  The charge of the English cavalry was, in its day, as famous as the charge of the light brigade while achieving more like the success of the charge of the heavy brigade; it is a pity that it is now almost completely forgotten.

Another success was achieved at Zutphen on 6th October when the English managed to capture one of the outer forts.  In a scene almost from out of a Hollywood epic, the assault on a breach in the walls was close to failure when one officer, Edward Stanley, personally took on nine or ten defenders, first with his pike and then with his sword, inspiring the rest of his men to hold the breach and hence take the fort.  However, this triumph was completely undone when in January 1587 Sir William Stanley, who was a Catholic, took his regiment of largely Irish infantry and Welsh officers over to the Spanish and with it the captured fort.  This defection was to make Elizabeth even more suspicious of the loyalty of English Catholics and Stanley’s Irish regiment was later to become a renowned unit in the Spanish army.  It also made the Dutch, who were already contemptuous of the English troops for their shear poverty, the army had completely run out of money during the winter, now positively hostile towards them.  

In June Parma moved to besiege the port of Sluis and Leicester was unable to relieve it.  Despite a heroic defence the garrison, which included 800 English, surrendered on 6th August.  For once the garrison were not slaughtered but were allowed to march out with full military honours.  In 1588 some English units and Leicester returned home to strengthen the militia raised to defend England if the Spanish Armada should succeed in landing.  In August the English garrison at Ostend mutinied over not just failure to be paid but also over being supplied with inedible supplies and, what was worst, undrinkable beer.  

However, the situation changed following the defeat of the Armada, which raised the spirits of both the English and Dutch troops.  In mid September Parma moved to besiege the strategically important town of Bergen-op-Zoom.  It seemed that it would quickly fall as the Anglo-Dutch garrison was relatively weak and the supplies of food in the town had been run down by officers determined to feed their starving troops.  However, Parma was unable to prevent river access to the town and Willoughby, who had taken over from Leicester as the English commander, managed to raise £2,000 worth of supplies and arms on his own credit.  The garrison began to conduct a very aggressive defence against the Spanish forces which quite disconcerted them.  Parma was therefore relieved when two English deserters offered to betray the town’s northern fort in exchange for money.  So on the night of 10th October these deserters led the Spanish to take control of the fort but then suddenly, just as the Spanish thought they had secured the place, muskets opened up from all around them and the next the Spanish knew, they were being attacked from every side.  The Spanish had been led into an ambush and Parma lost several hundred of his best men before he was able to extricate his troops.  The two ‘deserter’ were in fact part of a stratagem agreed between Willoughby and the Dutch leader, Maurice of Nassau, son of William of Orange.  Given the frequency with which troops had betrayed their own side, it had been completely believable; but the fact was that Parma had been outwitted and defeated.  Parma was forced to abandon the siege showing that for the first time the greatest soldier of the age, had been personally defeated.  Following on from the defeat of the Armada, the Spanish had been shown to be beatable on land as well as at sea.

Although the siege of Bergen-op-Zoom may seem a very minor action compared with the siege of Orleans or Stalingrad; Bergen-op-Zoom, like the other two, proved to be the turning point in the war.  From then on the Spanish were more often on the defensive while the Anglo-Dutch forces were frequently on the offensive and the Spanish reconquest of the Netherlands was, to a significant extent, rolled back.  Even the defection of the German garrison of the town of Geetruidenberg, who were in the pay of the Dutch, in 1589 to the Spanish failed to prevent that tide from turning.  

There was also a change in the relationship between the English and the Dutch, Willoughby; who did not get on with the Dutch left the Netherlands.  His replacement Vere did not try to run the war, instead the English field army became an integral part of Maurice’s multinational army and Maurice proved to be a general to rival Parma.  Maurice had studied Roman military manuals and set about drilling his troops in the most effective use of their weapons.  Musket firing, for example, was broken down into forty two separate actions.  He also changed from the Spanish ‘tercia’ formation, which could be up to fifty men deep, to smaller more ‘linear’ infantry formation, although still ten deep.  Gustavus Adolphus II, king of Sweden, during the Thirty Years War, was to refine Maurice’s system and use even smaller more flexible infantry units only six deep.  Maurice was also aided in that in 1590 Philip II decided to divert Parma’s army to support the Catholic faction in the French civil war, which had flared up again in 1589; Parma was to die in 1592.  Other factors that favoured the Dutch were that from 1589 onwards the Spanish army regularly mutinied due to not being paid and when Henri of Navarre emerged as the victor in the French civil war, he cut the ‘Spanish Road’.  This was a route through Spanish controlled territory by which Spain was able to send reinforcements to the Netherlands by land, rather than by sea. 

Maurice may have read the Iliad as well as Roman military manuals for in February 1590 some men were smuggled into Breda in a boat full of turf.  They then opened the gates to let in the assault force, which included Vere and 600 English troops, who captured the town.  In 1591 Maurice captured a number of towns including Nijmegen, Deventer and Zutphen.  Vere’s troops played a prominent part in most of these operations.  While Maurice generally directed the army from the rear, Vere would lead from the front dressed in a bright red coat; English redcoats go back further than is generally realised.  Vere’s troops became increasingly professional as a result of Maurice’s training methods and the English army in the Netherlands was to provide a core of professional troops for operations elsewhere, such as in Ireland.  The war in the Netherlands was to drag on for many more years; in fact it was not until 1648 that Spain fully recognised the independence of the Netherlands, to the Dutch the war is known as the Eighty Years War.  However, the revolt was never again in real danger of being crushed as it was in 1585 when Elizabeth signed the treaty of Nonsuch.  The English intervention succeeded in its aim of preventing the Netherlands being dominated by either Spain or France but it unintentionally created a new European power that in the seventeenth century was, for a period, to overtake England as a maritime power and dominate the world’s oceanic trade.

regards 

Tim
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Thu 06 Dec 2018, 23:00

Tim,

thank you very much for a new chapter of the Egnlish support to the Dutch in the 80 years war. I learned from it.

"There was also a change in the relationship between the English and the Dutch, Willoughby; who did not get on with the Dutch left the Netherlands.  His replacement Vere did not try to run the war, instead the English field army became an integral part of Maurice’s multinational army and Maurice proved to be a general to rival Parma.  Maurice had studied Roman military manuals and set about drilling his troops in the most effective use of their weapons.  Musket firing, for example, was broken down into forty two separate actions.  He also changed from the Spanish ‘tercia’ formation, which could be up to fifty men deep, to smaller more ‘linear’ infantry formation, although still ten deep.  Gustavus Adolphus II, king of Sweden, during the Thirty Years War, was to refine Maurice’s system and use even smaller more flexible infantry units only six deep.  Maurice was also aided in that in 1590 Philip II decided to divert Parma’s army to support the Catholic faction in the French civil war, which had flared up again in 1589; Parma was to die in 1592.  Other factors that favoured the Dutch were that from 1589 onwards the Spanish army regularly mutinied due to not being paid and when Henri of Navarre emerged as the victor in the French civil war, he cut the ‘Spanish Road’.  This was a route through Spanish controlled territory by which Spain was able to send reinforcements to the Netherlands by land, rather than by sea."

See also my thread the "new model Dutch army" on the War and Conflicts...
Perhaps unintentionally you made a résumé of it. I only extended to the Cromwell "New Model Army"

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Fri 07 Dec 2018, 09:17

The 30 years war and thus the Treaty of Westphalia were the subject of yesterday's "In Our Time" on BBC Radio 4. Only caught bits of it, but will listen later for anything germane.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Fri 07 Dec 2018, 10:15


Further to Tim's comments above about English support of the Dutch in the Eighty Year's War and also Paul's on the 'Dutch New Model Army' thread ...

It is perhaps worth noting that the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia also marked the point at which The Netherlands ceased to be an ally of Protestant England, together aligned against the Catholic Habsburgs in Spain/Central Europe, and against Catholic France. With Dutch independence the Netherlands and England rapidly became bitter rivals in their mutual attempts to seize Spanish and Portuguese overseas possessions, and to carve trading empires of their own in the Americas, the Carribbean and the Far East. This competing mercantilism was in addition to centuries of rivalry over control of the Baltic trade, North Sea fisheries and textile industries, which until then had largely been suppressed in the cause of Protestant solidarity. In England there were also several more recent perceived slights: the Dutch were considered to have shown themselves insufficiently grateful for the aid they had received against the Spanish; they vociferously stuck to the principle of free trade to avoid paying taxes in the English colonies; and during the English Civil War many Dutch had supported the Royalist cause and subsequently during Cromwell's Commonwealth the Netherlands provided a sanctuary for many escaped Royalists. On the Dutch side they had seen English solidarity against Spain begin to waver since Charles I's reign when he had sought to improve English-Spanish relations and when he had made a number of secret agreements with Spain specifically directed against Dutch sea power.

All out war betweed the former allies broke out in 1652 just four years after the Treaty of Westphalia. To protect its position in North America, in October 1651 the English Parliament passed the first of the Navigation Acts, which required that all goods imported into England must be carried by English ships or vessels from the exporting countries, thus excluding (mostly Dutch) middlemen. This measure did not as such particularly hurt the Dutch as the English trade was relatively unimportant to them, but it was used by the many pirates operating from British territory as an ideal pretext to legally take any Dutch ship they encountered. The Dutch responded to the growing intimidation by enlisting large numbers of armed merchantmen into their navy. Then, the English, in trying to revive an ancient right they perceived they had to be recognised as the 'lords of the seas', demanded that other ships strike their flags in salute to their ships, even in foreign ports. On 29 May 1652, the Dutch Admiral, Maarten van Tromp, refused to show the respectful haste expected in lowering his flag to salute an encountered English fleet. This resulted in a naval skirmish, the Battle of Goodwin Sands, after which Cromwell's Commonwealth declared war in July 1652. The war lasted until 1654 when, because the English Republic was now at war also with Spain over control of Carribbean possessions and so desired peace with the Dutch, it was concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Westminster, but the commercial rivalry was not resolved with the English having failed to replace the Dutch as the world's dominant trade nation.

The Treaty of Westminster also contained a secret, anti-Royalist measure, the Act of Seclusion, forbidding the infant Prince William III of Orange (his mother was Mary daughter of Charles I so he was a potential heir to the English throne) from becoming stadtholder of the province of Holland. This measure provided a future cause of discontent because after the English Restoration in 1660 Charles II tried to get his nephew, the now adult Prince William, nominated as Stadtholder of the Republic. At the same time Charles promoted a series of anti-Dutch mercantilist policies, which led to a surge of anti-Dutch jingoism in England and anti-English sentiment in the Netherlands. Almost inevitably the second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667) broke out, followed by the third war (1672-74). It was only with William III's 'Glorious' revolution/conquest of England in 1688 that Anglo-Dutch relations were improved, and then they were not so much restored as re-established on an entirely new basis.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Fri 07 Dec 2018, 21:30

@Green George wrote:
The 30 years war and thus the Treaty of Westphalia were the subject of yesterday's "In Our Time" on BBC Radio 4. Only caught bits of it, but will listen later for anything germane.


Yes Gil. I will listen as soon as I have time.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0001fv2

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Fri 07 Dec 2018, 22:57

Meles meles,

thank you so much for your survey of the post Westphalia history. And as you see it this history had a lot to do with economics, as seemingly the same still in the 21th century.
I studied this economic warfare of this period and the accompanied politics in three books:
https://www.amazon.com/Dutch-Republic-Greatness-1477-1806-History/dp/0198207344
And in Dutch but now available in English too:
https://www.amazon.com/William-III-Stadholder-King-Political-Biography/dp/0754650715
And about the reasons, among others for Louis XIV to invade the Dutch Republic, the nearly personal abhorrence of Louis XIV for those free thinking merchants without monarch, in fact the Stadtholderless period of the brothers De Witt, even more stirred up by a Colbert, who saw his policies counteracted by these bloody Dutch merchants...
https://www.fayard.fr/histoire/colbert-9782213006918


And as I thought that the Stadtholderless period was very important to the period you described, I read this very good and lengthy wiki that I read compeltely this evening. It is nearly a book, and I suppose it is composed by an American because it is in American English and I see that he/she took most from the book of Jonathan Israel that I mentioned above.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Stadtholderless_Period

For me the Regents were a kind of democratic oligarchy, which was in continuous conflict with the Orangists, who were the old way sectarian protestant and longing to a monarch, who they only obtained in 1815...
But perhaps that these merchants republic neglected too long the standing army, perhaps for cost reasons until it was too late in the Annus Horibilis or it can be that the Dutch Republic was not strong enough against the combined might of two of the great powers of that time: the United Kingdom and France...
In any case the two protagonists of that period were in my opinion for the Republic: the Regents and William of Orange, the later William III in the UK.


And the regents class had even a theoretical base of their politics: "the true freedom"
From the wiki:
"The rejection of the dynastic claims of the House of Orange therefore was not just a matter of defending the political patronage of one particular political faction, against the aspirations to lucrative political office of another faction. It was a matter of principle to the States Party: they were against the notion of any "eminent head" of the Dutch state, not just the Prince of Orange. The absence of such an "eminent head" was to them a mark of superiority of the Dutch political system over other forms of government. The fact that compromise was a constant feature of the Dutch political landscape, and that often the pace of decision-making was glacial, was also viewed in a not necessarily negative light. (Besides, as was abundantly proved during the reign of William III, when he had obtained the stadtholdership after 1672, an "eminent head" did not necessarily eliminate the need for compromise, or speed up decision-making). Like his contemporaries as statesmen, such as Mazarin, De Witt was a raison d'état statesman, but his raison d'état had a different content. Unlike the princely version, his disdained territorial aggrandizement, military capability for its own sake, and concentration of power in the central state. Instead, he strove to ensure security of the Dutch state, its independence from outside interference, and advancement of its trade and industry, all elements being intended to benefit the society of which the regent class were the proper representatives. The Republic, in De Witt's view, sought to attain goals which were commensurate with the interests of its citizens, not in conflict with them, as the goals of absolutist rulers often were.[60]

And in that were they perhaps already the forebears of the American constitution?

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Sat 08 Dec 2018, 11:27

I think a remnant of the time that the Netherlands and England were at loggerheads still remains in English speech (or it did in my childhood/adolescence which admittedly was half a century or so ago).  A bit like "If Team X is a good football team then I'm the Lord Mayor of London" - the inference being that Team X were anything but a good team.  In the phrase I'm thinking of instead of "I'm the Lord Mayor of London the expression would be "I'm a Dutchman" or (Dutchwoman).  Example "If Dick Van Dyke does a good English accent I'm a Dutchwoman" - the inference being that Mr Van Dyke's "English" accent is inaccurate.*

Were there not two De Witts?  I remember commenting when there was some discussion on the accuracy/inaccuracy of the TV series Versailles that the said series only referred to Jan and not to Cornelis.  I seem to remember something about the de Witts' corpses being at least in part cannibalised?  Ugh.

* When the film of Mary Poppins came out I was too old to read the book really though I've heard quite a lot was changed in adaptation (not uncommon with Disney films).  Although I may have found DVD's cockney accent not to be very cockney I did like his singing and dancing.
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Sun 09 Dec 2018, 13:33

@Temperance wrote:
"This realm of England is an Empire" - what exactly did Cromwell - Thomas, not Oliver - mean by that?

Was this not the first declaration of "nationhood"?

It’s certainly a statement of sovereign independence but not necessarily of ‘nationhood’. Neither was it the first. The Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, for example, and taken at face value, is very much a national tract. It claims to be not just a declaration from the barons and freemen ‘barones et liberetenenetes’ but also from ‘tota communitas regni Scocie’ i.e. the whole community of the kingdom of Scotland. This is a quite remarkable claim coming as it did in the 14th century.

It also includes a rather bizarre ‘roman national’ by which the Scottish nation ‘Scottorum nacio’ is described as having originated in ancient Scythia (roughly in the vicinity of the Caspian Sea) who travelled (for reasons unspecified) all the way to northern Britain where, firstly, they ethnically-cleansed the Britons and then exterminated the Picts - ‘expulsis primo Britonibus et Pictis omnino deletis’. This proud boast is given in a document intended for the attention of Pope John XXII. He was a famously phlegmatic and reformatory French pope in Avignon, who was more interested in fostering a diplomatic rapprochement with the nominally Moslem khanate of the Golden Horde than in pandering to blood-curdling national myths in the British Isles. An added irony being that the Golden Horde occupied that region of Eastern Europe and Western Asia (i.e. ancient Scythia) from which the drafters of the Declaration claimed that the Scots had originated.

By contrast, the Peace of Westphalia had almost nothing to do with nations or nation states. Whereas the Declaration of Arbroath uses the words ‘nacio’ and ‘gentes’, these words simply don’t appear in the texts of either of the 2 Munster treaties or of the Osnabruck treaty. As nordmann has pointed out the Peace of Westphalia was focussed more on sovereignty rather than nationhood as such. Specifically it could be said to have set the scene for the development of inter-sovereignty law (today commonly called ‘international law’).

The treaties merely deal with the settlement of the disputes between the varying protagonists of the Thirty Years War and also called for ‘fida vicinitas’ - trustworthy neighbourliness. It was this idea of ‘trustworthy neighbourliness’ which raised the concept of territorial sovereignty to a new level. Princes were henceforth expected to respect each others borders and not casually interfere or declare war for sectarian or other reasons. Coming 130 years after the Reformation, this idea may have seemed revolutionary and in many respects it was. But it certainly wasn’t new. Even the drafters of the Declaration of Arbroath made as their main plea that as a small neighbour ‘minoribus proximis’ (of England) all they (the Scots) really wanted was just ‘in pace dimittat’ to be left in peace.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: End of the nation-state born 1648 Westphalia   Sun 09 Dec 2018, 23:49

Vizzer,

"The treaties merely deal with the settlement of the disputes between the varying protagonists of the Thirty Years War and also called for ‘fida vicinitas’ - trustworthy neighbourliness. It was this idea of ‘trustworthy neighbourliness’ which raised the concept of territorial sovereignty to a new level. Princes were henceforth expected to respect each others borders and not casually interfere or declare war for sectarian or other reasons. Coming 130 years after the Reformation, this idea may have seemed revolutionary and in many respects it was. But it certainly wasn’t new. Even the drafters of the Declaration of Arbroath made as their main plea that as a small neighbour ‘minoribus proximis’ (of England) all they (the Scots) really wanted was just ‘in pace dimittat’ to be left in peace."


Thank you very much for this message about nationhood and you are right about the treaty more about territorial sovereignity and the trustworthy neighbourliness, but de facto they happily acted furhter as before.

But while you mentioned "nationhood" it brought me back to the endless discussions on Historum, on the French Passion Histoire and even transferred overhere in discussions essentially with nordmann, about nation-state, nation, nationhood and ethnicity.
It kept me the whole evening to read about it again...
As the difference between the concept of "la nation" of Renan and the "Volk" of Herder. I see now that they speak of civic and ethnic nationhood, but the last years there is really an explosion of academic studies about the question and one would lose the way in all that as there seems to be no clear definitions as the same word is used along the perceptions in different concepts.
What I read about Renan and Herder (the old thinking) seems to be in contrast with the modern studies, but if they bring also an enlightenment is also a question...
http://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199743292/obo-9780199743292-0217.xml
I am still reading this two entries and will give tomorrow my take on nationhood, etnicity and nation-state.
https://www.humboldt-foundation.de/pls/web/docs/F29575/roshwald.pdf
http://hyllanderiksen.net/Ethnicity.html


Perhaps something this evening about my take:
On Historum we had a discussion about nation-state and ethnicity...A Turkish one said that the Europeans would become a minority in Europe due to the higher birthrate of the Turkish community in Europe. That is of course as populist as the nattional right populism of an Orban in Hungary. He referred or was it someone else to Belgium and the ethnicities, meaning the Flemish and the Walloons. First of all those of Brussels speak also French and are not so-called Walloons. I said that in my opinion there is only a difference of language and no cultural difference, as I found the cultural difference between the "Arab" communities, as the Turks and the Moroccans, much much greater than this between the French and Dutch speaking community in Belgium. Even the Turkish more different as the Moroccans adopting more and the Turkish ones more vociferous about "their" nationhood...
About the concept of "les Arabes", we had an interesting discussion on Passion Histoire about an Algerian and a Frenchman, but sadly it is in French. If you understand French I can lead you to it...
And in Belgium and Europe it seems to be actual, as we had yesterday a lot of trouble overhere to maintain the government about our Prime Minister subscription to the UN resolution at Marrakech
Said it yesterday to MM:
Meles meles,
thank you very much for the additional information about the weeverfish.Excuses for the delay, the whole evening the turmoil in our national government with a stalemate between the Flemish Nationalist coalition partner and the rest of the government over the UN migration pact. I think Thursday a pro Marrakech resolution in the parliament with an alternative majority of more than two thirds with the opposition voting with that rest of the government. Some two minutes ago press conference of our Prime Minister, changing the government with the Flemish nationalists out of the government, de facto the Flemisn nationalists no part of the government anymore. And taht is no good news for the coming elections, with a Flemish regional government perhaps dominated with the far right Flemish nationalists and the less hardline Flemish Nationalists now out of the national government. If this soft line nationalists join with the hardline of the Vlaams Belang in the Flemish regional parliament...back to the Thirties with the VNV? And Steve Bannon was here today with Marine Le Pen...
https://www.politico.eu/article/steve-bannon-in-brussels-un-migration-pact-already-dead/
https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/nl/2018/12/03/vlaams-belang-strikt-steve-bannon-en-marine-le-pen-voor-spoedmee/
I look further now to the latest news just started.
And yes, as said a Liberal/Christian-Democrat minority government hopefully till the elections of May

Kind regards from Paul.
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