Date of Award

Summer 1965

Degree Type

Master's Essay - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




The seventeenth century was to see great changes in the structure of power in Europe. These changes were slow to be recognized and resulted in a complex cross-play of diplomacy. There were wards, counter-wars, alliances, counter-alliances, shifting interests, and bewildering intrigues. In 1598 Philip II died, leaving his empire of Spain as the dominant power in Europe. This pre-eminence of Spain sprang not only from her own resources; her inner strength and spirit, her resources, her wealth, her colonies, her diplomats, but also from her family connections with the Austrian Habsburgs. Between the two houses of Habsburgs much of Europe was ruled; Spain, Austria, much of Italy, Bohemia, Hungary, the Spanish Netherlands, and the Holy Roman Empire itself.