Nouvelle acquisition : Magnanimous Dukes and Rising States : the unification of the Burgundian Netherlands, 1380-1480
Magnanimous dukes and rising states : the unification of the Burgundian Netherlands, 1380-1480
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2017, XIV-315 p.
Collection Oxford studies in Medieval European History
In the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the Dukes of Valois-Burgundy created a composite monarchy in the Low Countries, an area that had been dominated for centuries by several regional dynasties. By doing sothey laidthe foundation for the modern states of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. The rise of the House of Burgundy can be read as the success story of a dynasty that in little over a century managed to assemble a great number of principalities, thus creating a nex state. The Burgundian takeover also resulted in a modernization of adminsitration, jurisdiction, and finances. The process of unification and the character of the union are the central topics of Magnaninous Dukes and Rising States. Robert Stein mirrors continuity and modernization in Burgundian times with the bankruptey of the former dynasties and the decline of feudal government. The powerful towns palyed an important role in the background; it was only with their suport that a unification of the Netherlands was possible, but this support was not unconditional. This study is about the development of power relations and institutions in the field of tension between ruler and subject, between centralisation and particularism.