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Political, Religious and Social Conflict in the States of Savoy, 1400–1700

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Edited By Sarah Alyn Stacey

Taking conflict as its collective theme, this book brings together the work of early modern specialists to offer a range of insights into the political, social and religious climate in Savoy between 1400 and 1700. The contributors focus on the broader context of early modern European history, making clear the sometimes overlooked political and historical significance of Savoy. The volume explores the diverse mechanisms whereby political, social and religious conflicts were articulated with reference to a wide range of primary sources, many of which are unpublished. The chapters offer important perspectives on subjects such as: the diplomatic relations between the court of Savoy and certain foreign powers during a time of European unrest; the role of propaganda; the construction of national and religious identities; and persecution and resistance, notably in relation to the Reformation and the Waldensians. The conclusions that are established advance a better understanding of the history of Savoy and of the broader conflicts shaping Europe in the early modern period.
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Sabaudian Propaganda and the Wars of Succession of Mantua and Monferrato, 1613–1631

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← 52 | 53 → BLYTHE ALICE RAVIOLA

Sabaudian Propaganda and the Wars of Succession of Mantua and Monferrato (1613–1631)1

Although general studies of early modern history might frequently contain a page or two about the second War of Succession of Mantua and Monferrato (1627–1631), it is certainly not common to find a reference to the first war (1613–1617), and quite unusual to read about the two conflicts in relation to the Thirty Years war and the broader European political context. If these wars are not, then, entirely forgotten, their international significance and impact is frequently misunderstood.2 A traditional and widespread interpretation, for example, is that the two wars signalled an end to Spanish supremacy in Italy and helped France increase its power in ← 53 | 54 → the peninsula, notably after the French acquisition of Pinerolo and Mantua thanks to the support of the Gonzaga-Nevers forces.3

In a recent lecture on the Thirty Years War, P. Wilson drew attention to the mistakes of dividing the war into phases and attributing responsibility for the two wars to one single nation or cause.4 The Thirty Years War, he argued, was neither totally German nor totally confessional in origin; it arose neither from fierce rivalry between the French and the Habsburgs, nor from the economic crisis of the seventeenth century. Rather, Wilson argues, it was an imperial war because the Empire had the authority to intervene in any dynastic matter. In light of such universal authority, the...

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