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Reason of state and constitutional thought in the crown of Aragon, 1580-1640

Rubiés, Joan-Pau (1995) Reason of state and constitutional thought in the crown of Aragon, 1580-1640. Historical Journal, 38 (1). pp. 1-28. ISSN 0018-246X

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Abstract

The political significance of Spanish reason-of-state literature has been studied almost exclusively from the perspective of imperial institutions, in particular the monarchy. This article argues that there was a distinctive political perspective in the crown of Aragon, based on its constitutional traditions, which inspired a particular kind of `reason of state'. Focusing on the works of a Catalan nobleman, Don Francisco Gilabert, the argument goes on to show that this constitutional thought was able to articulate a project of reform alternative to that of the minister of Philip IV, the count-duke of Olivares, and that therefore it cannot be merely analysed (as it often has been) as an anachronistic form of aristocratic self-seeking. On the contrary, by denying the king the power of absolute sovereignty, and by insisting on the idea of a mixed constitution, Gilabert's approach was able to articulate republican ideals, even though at the cost of some fundamental ambiguities concerning the idea of empire. It is suggested that the recognition of this distinctive intellectual tradition has important implications for the overall interpretation of the course of Spanish history in the seventeenth century, before and after the Catalan revolt of 1640.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2640161
Additional Information: © 1995 Cambridge University Press
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DP Spain
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2009 16:53
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/26111/

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