Spain's Struggle for Europe, 1598-1668

This collection of essays contains an impressive body of the author's work on the history of Spain in the seventeenth century, which has focused particularly on the issues of high politics, international strategy and military infrastructure. The essays consistently illustrate R.A. Stradling's revisionist emphasis on aspects of the Spanish monarchy's 'survival', as opposed to orthodox treatments fixated upon 'decline'. The major questions about Spain in the period are all addressed: the quality of leadership, in particular that of Olivares and his master, Philip IV; the effect of war and the strains imposed by the demands of military provision; and the perception and reality of the 'decline'.Stimulating and immediate in style, the great majority of the essays are the result of sustained research work in the archives of Spain and other western European countries, as well as concentrated consideration of the broader contexts. They are all concernedto highlight interpretation and relevance in a way that enlivens the specific issues under review.