17thC-2014-2 - The 17th Century La vida es sueo Spain in...

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The 17 th Century: La vida es sueño
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Spain in the 1600’s Labor force is decimated, shortage augmented by later expulsion of the Moriscos. Spain is heavily in debt to her creditors. Spanish society turns on the concept of “hidalguía”: national sense of nobility based on agrarian values and “limpieza de sangre”. Mercantile values are scorned. Those who wish to enter commerce tend to leave for America. Inquisition focuses ever more on the Protestant threat. Noble society continues its ostentation. 1599-1600 plague claims 500,000 victims in Castile. Literature reflects conflict: picaresque, poems of Quevedo.
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The Reign of Philip III Takes over upon death of Philip II in 1598. Left with debts of his father. Does not follow example of micro-management of his father. Begins tradition of rule by ministers, most notably, the Duke of Lerma . During much of his reign, Spain enjoyed peaceful domination in Europe. Dies in 1621 at age 43.
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The Expulsion of the Moriscos Moriscos are continually accused backsliding and aiding Turkish raiders, especially after the revolts of 1567. Most are agricultural laborers, farmers or small tradesmen. In Aragon and Valencia, Moriscos constitute 20-30 percent of the population. In 1609 Lerma’s government orders expulsion. By 1614 some 275,00 are forced to leave Spain. Most go to Morocco, where they are suspect and victimized. Expulsion has a disastrous effect on Spain’s agrarian economy.
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Philip IV’s Reign Political affairs are governed by the Count-Duke of Olivares (Gaspar de Guzmán). Spain tries to maintain hegemony in Europe, yet begins to lose territories. Silver shipments from the Americas begin to fall off, and Castilian industries fall into decline, mostly due to a lack of manpower. In 1621, after a truce with the rebellious Dutch provinces, war breaks out again, involving France and Sweden, and later England. Naples and Sicily revolt in 1648, but the rebellions are put down. Spain sees itself involved in the Thirty Years’ War (1618- 1648). Spain loses the United (Dutch) Provinces in 1648.
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The Revolt of Catalonia After Portugal, Catalonia has highest degree of autonomy in Spain, including immunity from taxation. In 1639, Olivares opens a military campaign against southern France via Catalonia, wants to involve Catalonia. Peasants refuse to support the troops (billeted in the countryside), riots and open rebellion break out. In autumn of 1640, troops are sent against Catalan rebels. Rebels transfer their allegiance to the king of France “as in the time of Charlemagne”, and French troops enter Catalonia. War continues until 1652, when French withdraw their army due to civil wars in France and Castilians re-conquer Catalonia.
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