1st Edition

The Spanish Habsburgs and Dynastic Rule, 1500–1700

By Elisabeth Geevers Copyright 2023
    278 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    278 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Providing a novel research methodology for students and scholars with an interest in dynasties, at all levels, this book explores the Spanish Habsburg dynasty that ruled the Spanish monarchy between c. 1515 and 1700.

    Instead of focusing on the reigns of successive kings, the book focuses on the Habsburgs as a family group that was constructed in various ways: as a community of heirs, a genealogical narrative, a community of the dead and a ruling family group. These constructions reflect the fact that dynasties do not only exist in the present, as kings, queens or governors, but also in the past, in genealogies, and in the future, as a group of hypothetical heirs.

    This book analyses how dynasties were ‘made’ by the people belonging to them. It uses a social institutionalist framework to analyse how family dynamics gave rise to practices and roles. The kings of Spain only had limited power to control the construction of their dynasty, since births and deaths, processes of dynastic centralisation, pressure from subjects, relatives’ individual agency, rivalry among relatives and the institutionalisation of roles limited their power.

    Including several genealogical tables to support students new to the Spanish Habsburgs, this book is essential reading for all students of early modern Europe and the history of monarchy.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

    Introduction: Who was Prince Filiberto of Austria? 1. Dynastic Centralisation: Tradition and Transformation in Habsburg Succession Practices 2. The Trunk and the Foliage: History versus Reality in Genealogical Narratives 3. Communities of the Dead: Family Dynamics and the Formation of the Dynasty at the Escorial 4. A Widow’s World: The Ruling Family Group in the Early Sixteenth Century 5. The Advent of the Arch-Nephew and the Infanta Monja: The Ruling Family Group in the Late Sixteenth Century 6. The Legacy of Catalina: The Dynastic Ruling Group in the Seventeenth Century 7. A Coda: The Medici as Habsburgs? Conclusion; The Past, Present and Future of Dynasty


    Liesbeth Geevers is an associate professor of history at Lund University, Sweden; she was awarded her PhD at University of Amsterdam (2008); her research interests include dynasties, dynastic identity and diplomacy. She published, among other titles, the volume, Dynastic Identity in Early Modern Europe: Rulers, Aristocrats and the Formation of Identities (2015), co-edited with Mirella Marini, and Dynasties and State Formation (2023), co-edited with Harald Gustafsson.