The political constitution of the Iberian monarchies

Authored by: Pedro Cardim , Antonio Feros , Gaetano Sabatini

The Iberian World

Print publication date:  September  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138921016
eBook ISBN: 9780429283697
Adobe ISBN:


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The creation of what are known as the Iberian (Spanish and Portuguese) monarchies was the more or less unforeseeable outcome of a series of political and dynastic processes. Despite their many individual peculiarities, the two monarchies had a parallel history, developing similar political and legal cultures, and, for 60 years between 1580 and 1640, they were united under the authority of the same Spanish Habsburg monarch. This chapter presents a summary of this parallel history and the gradual and interactive development of these traditions and forms of government. Although the period of the Union of the Crowns is dealt with in other chapters of this volume (Chapters 6 and 14), some attention here will be given to Habsburg Portugal. This chapter covers the period from the reign of Charles I of Spain and João III of Portugal (early sixteenth century) until 1700, the year which, in the Spanish case, marked the end of the Habsburg dynasty and its replacement by the Bourbons. This was a period marked by continuity, but also by debates about new forms of government of political entities characterised by their vast size and their unprecedented heterogeneity, and on the virtues of the Union of the Crowns.

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