During the Thirty Years’ War, a new type of source of transcendent credibility emerged. In the middle ages and in the Reformation era, the ruler’s authority was derived directly from God. However, in the late sixteenth century, political theorists began to develop theories that envisioned the authority of God passing to the ruler through an intermediary, the “nation,” “people,” or “commonwealth.” Because the ruler was perceived as the physical embodiment of the nation, such theories did not necessarily reduce the ruler’s authority. In fact, when successfully applied, these theories freed a ruler from the responsibility of protecting the Church or orthodox belief and allowed him to pursue a foreign policy that prioritized his own realm over the more amorphous Christendom. Cardinal Richelieu first successfully applied these theories when he devised French foreign policy in the Thirty Years’ War. As a result, although his country was predominantly Catholic, he succeeded in supporting the Protestant war cause without a loss in the king’s credibility. The success of this policy encouraged other European rulers to imitate Richelieu’s strategy. Thus, by the end of the War, the Peace of Westphalia instituted an international system based on this new theory of “proto-nationalism.”

Proto-nationalism was a developmental stage bridging the gap between the direct linkage of political authority familiar to the sixteenth century and the subsequent nationalism of the modern states system. It differed from later nationalism in that the ruler was so closely associated with the nation that he was seen as its physical embodiment. Later theories of nationalism would make popular the idea that the nobility, a representative institution, or the “people as a whole” embodied of the nation, rather than the ruler. In proto-nationalism, God granted authority to the political unit via the intermediary of the nation. When God bestowed authority on the nation, he thereby made it sacred, a thing that was blessed or even chosen.448 Thus, the nation became a thing that must be protected because it was holy. The ruler, as the physical embodiment of the nation, contained in his person the whole of the authority that God had granted and, thus, subjects must obey the ruler without question. Proto-nationalism increased the number of sources of transcendent credibility in the system, which increased the distinctiveness of boundaries between political units.

The crucial discussions of political authority in the late sixteenth century involved the question of whether a subject must obey a heretical ruler. This contradiction between the spiritual and political life, an inherent part of the theories developed in the Reformation, generated discussions in which the medieval idea of the nation emerged as a solution. The addition of the nation to the formula of political authority proved not only useful for the ordinary citizen, but also for the ruler who possessed the ability to put it into practice.

The Significance of the Addition of the Nation

The idea that political authority passes from God to the ruler through the people was not unheard of in the middle ages. Any discussion about authority in the middle ages must begin with the Pope. There were two distinct streams of thought regarding the source of the Pope’s authority. Some argued that the authority came to the person of the Pope directly from God.449 This, of course, is the precursor to the divine right of kings theory. Since temporal rulers of the period struggled to portray themselves on, at a minimum, equal footing to that of the Pope, they too claimed their authority devolved directly from God. The second stream of thought emerged in the late Middle Ages from the Conciliar Movement, in which it was argued that the Pope’s authority came from a general council of the Church.450 God, it was asserted, granted a measure of authority on earth to the Church, meaning the community rather than any single person. This council, then, passed some of its inherited authority on to the Pope. The latter stream suggested that authority progressed from God to the ruler through the community, while the former stream argued that the link was direct. Each perspective was further developed in early modern Europe.

That the ruler’s authority came directly from God was an idea that flowed unabated into the Early Modern period. The supporting scriptural credentials had been well developed. Chapter 13 of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans clearly stated: “Let everyone obey the authorities that are over him, for there is no authority except from God, and all authority that exists is established by God.” Theologically there were no exceptions – it included Christian kings, tyrants, and heathen rulers. In addition, hould a coup occur, then theoretically the new ruler would be as “established by  God” as the old. The political rebel had no place in the theology of Paul: “The man who opposes authority rebels against the ordinance of God.” Treason became punishable here on earth and in the afterlife. Political theories condoning resistance were likewise considered heresy. Although these verses protected the ruler’s position, they did not enhance his credibility. Later in the chapter, as Paul described the ruler as “God’s servant,” the implication was not that all rulers actively serve God, but that God uses all rulers, Christian or heathen, as his tools to reward and punish humanity.

Romans 13 could be and often was interpreted as a manifesto in support of the political status quo. Christian rulers enjoyed a special position in the unfolding of God’s plans on earth and rulers anxiously encouraged the clergy to continuously remind the people on this score. The middle ages did not see the development of a full-blown theory of the “Divine Right of Kings.”451 The lack of such a theory had two primary causes. First, the power and prestige of the Papacy precluded such an idea. From the Pope’s perspective, only he inherited the “keys of the kingdom,” placing him at the forefront of Christendom. The papal bull Unam Sanctam (1302) officially stated this theory.452

Only God could hold temporal rulers accountable, but he did so through his earthly mouthpiece – the Pope. Thus, the Pope possessed the authority to excommunicate rulers who violated the will of God and, if necessary, interdict entire realms. The Pope could generate compliance from a ruler’s population to a degree he was no longer able to achieve in the early modern period.453

A second reason Divine Right did not emerge in the middle ages is that rulers simply had to contend with a powerful set of nobles who had incentives to perpetuate an interpretation of the Christian source of transcendent credibility in which they possessed credibility rivaling that of the king.454 The feudal system ensured that, while a monarch may be first among equals, he was still merely one of the nobility.

Everything in the ruler-noble relationship, from the economy to the military, guaranteed that a ruler must consult with and listen to the lords of his realms. The nobility relied on the same theological arguments that the ruler did.455 Thanks to Romans 13, even at these lower political levels rebelliousness entailed sin. These two medieval obstacles to Divine Right theory declined in the early modern period: the Pope’s prestige had faded decidedly and, in many areas, the nobles no longer held the same ability to check the authority of the king.456

Under a Divine Right formulation the ruler’s behavior was still seen as limited. Theologically, this was because God was self-limited. An important debate regarding the relationship between God and natural law raged during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century.457 On one side were those who said God was omnipotent and therefore unlimited in power. In the mid-seventeenth century, several royal absolutists (such as Hobbes and Filmer) would associate their political position with this absolutist theological position.458 However, many theologians and mathematicians challenged this view, arguing that two plus two still equaled four for God. He created natural law and then he bound himself to this law. If God’s power was limited, albeit under by his own will, then the ruler’s power must be limited as well.459 Divine Right theories at the turn of the seventeenth century did not find this latter interpretation antithetical primarily because such a construction was not considered a real limitation on the power of God or the monarch. After all, the king legislated and interpreted the laws, so he could not realistically break them. Some even argued that the ruler would not break the law if he could since that would be contrary to his nearly divine nature.

The medieval concept of the “common good” was considered another limitation on the power of the ruler. Thomas Aquinas agreed with Aristotle that government is necessary – not a necessary evil as Augustine portrayed it, but a necessary good. To live in a group is “a necessity of man’s nature,” and this requires a government.460 Since there is One God governing creation, it stands to reason that rule by one person is the best form of government. As God’s representative, his actions “should be directed toward securing the welfare of that which he undertakes to rule,” namely his people.461 Most of this logic would remain unquestioned for hundreds of years. Even those in the conciliar movement who stressed the authority of the group recognized that one of the first functions of the council must be to select a single ruler. The goal of “welfare” of the people or even “common good” also was not disputed (except perhaps by Machiavelli). The question was not whether a ruler had limits on his behavior. The questions were who decided when those limits had been violated and who imposed a punishment for out-of-bounds behavior.462

The ambiguity of the terms “welfare” and “common good” narrowed the core of the discussion on political authority in the Early Modern period to a overwhelming concern: who defined “welfare?” Only a very few claimed the judgment belonged to the people as a whole. More argued that it belonged to a representative body of the people, such as a parliament. They cited the precedent of the Magna Carta of thirteenth century England, where the nobles successfully grabbed their right to define welfare. In Early Modern Europe, however, the growing bureaucratization of royal courts permitted kings to reassert the claim that they alone defined welfare, agents accountable only to God. In many cases, rulers now possessed sufficient power and independence to reasonably back that claim up.

Hamstrung by the commandments in Romans 13, early Protestant reformers in the first half of the sixteenth century offered no alternative. Martin Luther and John Calvin each supported a literal reading of this passage, even in places where Protestant congregations found themselves persecuted. In England, Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell used Luther’s and William Tyndale’s doctrines of obedience to convince the Parliament that the ecclesial structure erected by the king should be acquiesced to without question.463 Thus, any opposition to the growing Divine Right ideologies between 1500 and 1570 either came from the Radical Reformers or from Catholic nobles who were relatively secure from the growing Protestant movement.

James I of England, who argued that when a king is crowned, he “becomes a natural Father to all his Lieges.” His “fatherly duty is bound to care for the nourishing, education, and virtuous government of his children.”464 In short, it was he who provided for and decided the welfare of his subjects. It was not for the subjects to question the King any more than nature allowed children to question their father. The King was “to be judged only by God, whom to only he must give count of his judgment.”465 James extended this idea in a speech he gave in 1609. Kings were not merely fathers, but gods — “even by God himself they are called Gods.”466 They were justly called this because “they exercise a manner or resemblance of Divine power upon earth.”467 He would later, in 1616, explain to the Star Chamber: “It is Atheism and blasphemy to dispute what God can do: good Christians content themselves with his will revealed in his word. So, it is presumption and high contempt to dispute what a King can do, or say that a King cannot do this, or that.”468

It is uncertain the extent to which Early Modern theories interposed the “people” between God and the ruler owed a debt directly to the conciliar movement. The conciliar movement was not anti-Church or even anti-Pope. It merely argued that the spiritual authority God gave to men depended on the consensus of the leaders of the Church as representatives of the larger community. The Pope could still be considered “infallible,” since this was both a part of the authority granted him and a means of holding him in check.469 On the other hand, Protestant theorists of the Early Modern period who used similar reasoning had different goals in mind. First of all, when they argued that God granted authority to His “Church,” they did not mean the Roman Catholic Church, but what they argued was the True Church or the reformed church. Reformers did not see themselves as “breaking away” from the Catholic Church, but reconstructing the Church along the model God had originally intended.

To these reformers, it was the Roman Catholic Church that broke away from God’s Church. Secondly, this theory mirrored the political situation in many of the towns of northern Germany and the Low Countries where Protestantism had most thoroughly taken root. Authority in these cities came from town councils, invested with power from the citizens. These councils could likewise create mayors. God was not perceived as directly appointing the officers of temporal authority in these urban areas. A theory of mediated authority killed two birds with one stone: it justified the actions of the Protestant Reformation and the political institutions already in existence in much of the urban North. Thus, it is possible to explain the existence of the theory in the early modern period without drawing direct links to the conciliar movement.

Catholic rulers’ continued persecutions of Protestant congregations sparked some of these reformers to generate theories of resistance. A theory of resistance was impossible for both Catholics and Protestants so long as it was believed that God directly granted a ruler’s political authority.470 The most logical answer politically and theologically was to develop a theory of mediated authority in which the ruler’s authority passed first through the community. The English restoration of Catholicism under Queen Mary (1553-58) became the first large-scale laboratory in which Protestants developed these theories of mediated authority and resistance.471 During this same decade, Scotland saw reformer John Knox publish numerous tracts against the Catholic regent Mary of Guise and Mary Queen of Scots that argued the people have the right and responsibility to determine whether their ruler was obeying God and resist and kill ungodly magistrates.472 More controversially, the Scottish reformer George Buchanan wrote that Romans 13 was intended only for the historical context in which it was written: Christians in the Apostle Paul’s day were not powerful enough to overthrow their Roman tyrants. The situation was very different in the sixteenth century, however. People gave authority to kings in exchange for protection.

When a ruler no longer fulfilled his side of the bargain, the people could depose or kill him.473 The installment of Protestant rulers in England and Scotland forced the next generation of Protestants to back away from theories of resistance that justified regicide – even as Catholic theorists began to develop theories of resistance of their own. However, the notion that authority was derived from the community endured among many Protestants, especially those associated with Parliament.474

It was during the French Wars of Religion (1562-98) that the theory of resistance came into its own. Before 1572, most Huguenots remained staunch supporters of the king, even as they rejected Catholicism.475 If there existed a unified “Huguenot strategy” it was to replace the king’s Catholic advisors with Protestants. However, the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of 1572 and its aftermath convinced many Huguenots that the king stood firmly on the side of evil (i.e. Catholicism) and must be resisted.476 Like their predecessors in England and Scotland, the Calvinists in southern France developed a theory of resistance that placed the “people” between God’s grant of authority and the ruler’s exercise thereof. Since God transmitted authority to the king via the people, the king was not free to act in any manner he desired and claim God as his sole judge. A right to resistance demanded a theory of political authority that disconnected God and the ruler. Perhaps the most influential tract published by the Huguenots during this period is Vindiciae contra Tyrannos (A Defense of Liberty against Tyrants), written in 1579 by an unknown Huguenot.477 A ruler’s ultimate authority stemmed from God.

However, “the people establish kings, puts the scepter into their hands, and who with their suffrages, approve the election.”478 This was not a usurpation of God’s right. On the contrary, “God would have it done in this manner, to the end that the kings should acknowledge, that after God they hold their power and sovereignty from the people.” This is “to the end that Kings may always remember that it is from God, but by the people, and for the people’s sake that they do reign, and that in their glory they say not (as is their custom) they hold their kingdom only of God and their sword, but withal add that it was the people who first girt them with that sword.”479

Thus, when the king acted contrary to the will of God (in this case meaning that he persecuted and rejected the Huguenot doctrines), the people stood in a position within the hierarchy of authority to judge his actions and, if necessary, resist. It must be pointed out that the Vindiciae did not advocate mob rule. The “people” could resist only if their recognized leaders, in this case the Huguenot nobles and clergy, had judged the king as guilty of opposing God and, as a result of this determination, called for resistance.480 If these conditions were met such resistance would not be heresy, but, on the contrary, the responsibility of the servants of God.

Thus, in the Huguenot theory of resistance, the “people,” not just the monarch and clergy, were considered “servants of God,” and had been given a charge that required collective action. Having been given one responsibility, it seemed perfectly logical that God should give the people other tasks in the fulfillment of His divine purpose. Here, then, was not merely a loose collection of individuals, but a divinely recognized corporate unit. God interacted with the collective people just as he would an individual. It was not merely the sum of its parts, but something much greater—it was a “nation.”

The idea that authority flowed from God to ruler through the consent of the people did exist among a few medieval authors. The popularity of Aristotle and Cicero in the late middle ages meant that there was awareness that the Greeks and Roman Republicans highly valued this political idea.481 However, until the Renaissance these classical political ideas belonged to a time before Christ and, thus, required adaptation. John of Paris, for example, attempted to combine classical political ideas with those of medieval Christianity. For John, all legitimate authority came from God, but God granted each community the choice of which individual would exercise that authority. Thus, royal power was “from God and from the people who elect a king by choosing either a person or a royal house.”482 Note that John’s theory said nothing about whether this consent was repeatedly sought or tacitly implied. Once consent had been given, albeit hundreds of years ago, the people’s consultation might be complete. This was very different from the early modern theories of resistance, though it adopted the same methodology of inserting the community or nation between God and ruler.

It is crucial to emphasize at this point that the “Nation,” or to be more specific, the “French,” had a very different meaning than it does today. The king was to aim for the common good of the people. But, who determined what was or was not for the common good of the people? It was with respect to this crucial distinction that absolutist and constitutionalist theories of government separated.483 The constitutionalist argued that the people decided for themselves or, at the very least, the ruler consulted the people through formal institutions when defining the common good. For the absolutist, the king (or his appointed ministers) defined the common good, or the “national interest.” As a result, the absolutist argued that regardless of how the ruler received his authority, the people lacked an adequate understanding of what was and was not in their interest; thus, they were in no position to judge.

Thus, if the modern phrase “government by the people and for the people” were presented to the absolutists Cardinal Richelieu and King Louis XIV, they would have had no objections to it. The king was the embodiment of the nation and acted in its best interests. They would have rejected the notion that the phrase implied the right and duty of the “people” to hold the monarch accountable. The nation was not merely a sum of its individuals. “France” was something greater than a sum of all Frenchmen. The king’s sovereignty and authority was derived from God via this entity. The people could not control this “more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts” entity – the nation – because the inferior could not have authority over the superior. The king, on the contrary, was the physical embodiment of the nation. He was France. Louis XIV supposedly boasted “I am the state.” One of Louis’ bishops’ put it this way: “The will of all the people is included in his.”484 The absolutist monarch was “government by the people for the people.”

This theory of political authority also differed from social contract theories that developed in the seventeenth century. Social contract theory argued that political institutions were neither God-given nor natural. For a variety of reasons, men voluntarily chose to leave the State of Nature, pool their consent, and form a government. In order for this to occur, each person required some assurance that he was not being left defenseless against every other person. Therefore, social contract theory imagined that each person signed a hypothetical (though binding) contract with every other person, thereby creating a collective government and protecting some individual privileges. Although often implied, this was followed with a second contract between the ruler and the ruled with the same end in mind.485

A contractual relationship was absurd without an enforcement mechanism capable of punishing violations. Three basic mechanisms were argued to exist. First, God was the neutral third-party adjudicator. Ultimately, all Christian confessions believed the ruler who violated his part of the contract had to face the judgment of God, if not in life then in death. This mechanism had the advantage of preserving many of the conclusions of the absolutist theories. Other princes constituted a second enforcement mechanism. Natural Law theorists had long argued that it was just to use force to compel a tyrant to cease mistreating his subjects. In the sixteenth century, the Spanish Jesuit Francisco de Vitoria argued in his treatise On the Indians that Spain was justified in waging war against rulers in the Americas that forbade the preaching of Christianity or oppressed native converts.486 European rulers eventually rejected this mechanism, however. They responded to an increase in the number of sources of transcendent credibility in the mid-seventeenth century by making internal matters of state off-limits to other rulers. Finally, a third mechanism to enforce the contract between ruler and ruled asserted that the injured party possessed the right to nullify the contract. When the ruler failed to fulfill his part of the contract, the contract was void.This, of course, renewed the debate over who spoke for the “ruled” and possessed the authority to declare the contract void. The answer in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was resoundingly the nobility and the wealthy, in other words, the “best” of the ruled. The seventeenth century conditions that prompted the development of social contract theories favored approaches that stressed this third enforcement mechanism.487

In social contract theory the authority of the government stemmed from this contract and from the parties that were signatories thereof. While social contract theories gained in popularity and use through the rest of the century and into the next, many in the population believed any contract was still ultimately dependent on God.488 A bridge was required linking the credibility of God with the credibility of the nation.The theories pursued by Machiavelli, Jean Bodin, and Cardinal Richelieu allowed the nation to appropriate and perpetuate the credibility that had been held by God. Though it may have been an unintentional outcome, once the nation possessed enough credibility to stand on its own, at least in part, God was able to drift into the early retirement of Deism without a concomitant threat to political order and stability.Many narratives of political authority skip over this intermediate step because their thematic focus is the progression from absolutism to constitutionalism. This process, whereby the torch of transcendent credibility was passed from God to the nation, is crucial to understanding current ideas about the legitimation of authority.

Thus, authority derivation became mediated, progressing from God to nation to monarch, rather than directly from God to monarch, as in a Divine Right theory. However, even though an intermediate step was added in the derivation of authority, the nation and the monarch remained nearly synonymous. This made it very different from modern nationalism. Because this early use of the nation foreshadowed later developments, we may refer to it as “proto-nationalism.” This constituted a transition stage between the period in which God was the source of transcendent credibility and a later era when the nation alone functioned as the source. In proto-nationalism, the nation of France was an entity recognized and sanctioned by God. Louis XIII (or more precisely, his minister Richelieu) claimed authority to act in the interests of France and as the embodiment of France.

Proto-nationalism’s addition of this intermediate step gave a monarch many new options. First, religious division within the realm no longer hobbled the monarch to the same degree it once did. It was not coincidental that it is France that pioneered this new theory of political authority. The Wars of Religion in the last half of the sixteenth century and the tenuous peace maintained under the Edict of Nantes increased the salience of the issue of religion. Under the new conception, every Frenchman owed allegiance to the king, whether or not they were Protestant or Catholic. The continued struggles later in the century revealed that this transformation was not an easy process.489 Under the cover of proto-nationalism, Richelieu and Louis XIV re-imposed Catholicism on France through overt and covert means. After nearly everyone in France was Catholic again following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, it became easier for the state bureaucracy to transfer the onus from religion to nationalism.

Second, the addition of the intermediate step increased the options in foreign policy. The Catholic Habsburgs had been a threat to the realm of the French monarchs for a century and a half, but they shared a source of transcendent credibility. On the other hand, Protestant areas in the Low Countries threatened France’s source of transcendent credibility, but were much less of a threat physically. Thus, France was beset with contradictions in foreign policy. Adding the intermediate step of nation allowed France to ally with “heretic” rulers and war against more powerful coreligionists.

In short, once France’s source of transcendent credibility shifted from Catholic Christianity to nationality (or “France”), the largest physical threats simultaneously became the largest threats ideologically, greatly reducing the potential for foreign policy contradictions. The intermediate step was useful for a third reason: it allowed the monarch to openly act in the interests of France rather than Christendom. In the middle ages, when the Pope summoned a Crusade, many kings and lords often dropped everything and, at great expense, marched toward the Holy Land. Similarly, the Catholic Church urged the formation of Catholic Leagues and other internal measures to eradicate the Protestant heresy in the sixteenth century. Inasmuch as the credibility of the ruler depended on the support of the Catholic Church, the interests of a realm occasionally coincided with the interests of a greater Christendom, but not always. The insertion of the “nation” in the process of authority derivation allowed kings to openly set aside the idea of Christendom in favor of the national interest, or in the language of the day, raison d’etat. Kings could, in effect, pursue the self-interest of their kingdom unabashedly, as a duty God had placed on them.

Rulers who possessed the necessary power to pursue what they saw as the “national interest” thrived under this new conception. Any threat against the nation could be spun as a threat against an entity God had created and infused with authority.In addition, it was a small step from God-created to God-blessed to God-chosen. The language of the Old Testament in which God chooses the nation of Israel became part of the mythos of many of the early nationalist movements of the period. As a result of these changes, smaller and weaker realms suddenly found themselves alone, without the implied support of co-religionists. On the other hand, this vulnerability could be compensated with alliances that would have been impossible (at least openly) before.

Nationalism, then, is analogous to the dogmas and traditions of a religion. The efficacy of a nation’s credibility depends on the narratives that are told about it to succeeding generations. The heroes of the nation gradually replaced the function of the saints. Speeches, stories, and even law, fulfill the role of proverbs and dmonitions of Scripture. Government, bureaucracy, and the courts supplant the Church and clergy as the primarily interpreters of doctrines. It is likely that both intentional and unintentional efforts were necessary to successfully sanctify the nation. Not only did nationalism resemble religion in its doctrinal and institutional forms, it could also mimic its function within the society: providing a source of transcendent credibility governments could use to more effectively generate compliance from the population.

This transitional “proto-national” phase differed from more modern versions of nationalism in that it depended on the added credibility that Catholicism provided. It was neither the Catholic God nor “France” alone that emerged as the source of transcendent credibility, but a melding of the two. The people of the nation were portrayed as a “chosen people.” Thus, religion was not jettisoned as a source, but used in a new manner. The religion piece of the equation became less and less important as time progressed, though it has not completely disappeared as the 2004 United States’Presidential election demonstrated. God (and gods) became seen as acting in history through nations, rather than merely transcending them.490


This shift to proto-nationalism developed in the writings of three important Early Modern theorists. Perhaps it is unfair to group Machiavelli, Bodin, and Richelieu together. Each lived in a different time from the others and promoted protonationalist ideas for very different reasons. While Richelieu probably had read Bodin and both Frenchmen were more than likely familiar with Machiavelli’s theories, there is no evidence of an epiphinous moment where one writer radically transformed the way of the thinking of another. And still, there was a common strand of thought that ran through each that was different from other theories of political authority in the period: political authority passed from God to ruler through a new, very subtle, intermediate step of a nation. The nation was a political community created by, in relationship with, and in some cases chosen by God. Yet, in these early theories the nation and the ruler were described as nearly synonymous: authority passed almost instantaneously from the nation to the ruler at the moment God passed authority to the nation. This made these theories different from modern theories of political authority.

Machiavelli reversed the medieval ends-means relationship between politics and religion. Theorists of the Middle Ages, driven on by the looming presence of Augustine’s City of God, understood that the role of government was to create an atmosphere that was conducive to salvation of the soul.491 Whether the sword of the state was wiping out heresy or maintaining peace in the realm, the government existed to allow God to work among the people. Fifteenth and sixteenth century Humanists largely preserved this relationship. Erasmus, for example, argued that the goal of the Christian prince must always be to live virtuously. All the good things of government would materialize if the prince were virtuous. 492 Machiavelli criticized this conclusion, saying that, in fact, the “virtuous” prince was the biggest sucker in Christendom. Other people would jump at opportunities to exploit the virtuous, and certainly naïve, prince to the detriment of the people he ruled, thereby defeating the purpose of government.

Thus, the goal of the prince must be survival and glory, because only once he had achieved these could the prince protect his people. Although Machiavelli believed that the virtue of Erasmus’ prince would rub off on the people, others would take advantage of them and wipe them out. On the other hand, the glory of Machiavelli’s prince would also transfer to the people and they would then be able to protect themselves and survive. Machiavelli’s study of the Ancient Romans and contemporary rulers led him to this conclusion. Government did not exist to protect religion or religious belief-these things existed to preserve government.493

He illustrated this principle in his Discourses in which he described how Numa, an early king of the Romans, “turned to religion as the instrument necessary above all others for the maintenance of a civilized state”494 Numa fabricated conversations with a nymph to convince the people of the validity of the religious institutions and ideas he was establishing. Machiavelli concluded that all legislators and wise men ultimately “have recourse to God.”495 In other words, religion served as a means to the end of politics.

In the final chapter of The Prince, Machiavelli proclaimed that an Italian leader should follow his prescriptions, unite Italy, and evict the foreign armies from Italian soil. He envisioned “Italy” as a unified entity: “Italy is waiting to see who can be the one to heal her wounds.”496 As opposed to a more general Christendom, Machiavelli pictured God caring about Italy itself. Like a mother bird pushing a baby out of a nest, “God does not want to do everything Himself, and take away from us our free will and our share of the glory which belongs to us.”497 Machiavelli had no desire to remove God from the equation, though many commentators accused him of such a purpose.After all, it was God who created and recognized this thing called “Italy.” Granted, Machiavelli took numerous shots at the Catholic Church, placing much of the blame of the fifteenth century wars and discord in Italy on the Church.498 But, this only served to emphasize the shift he was making from a single, united Christendom under the Catholic hierarchy to several God-ordained political units.

Putting his argument together, Machiavelli advocated a theory of political authority in which God granted authority to discrete political units or nations, who then passed that authority on to rulers through institutions. Whether the resulting institutions were absolutist, constitutionalist, or another variant depended on several factors, but the theory of political authority remained the same. Machiavelli clearly stated that a portion of the authority of a ruler came from his own skill, or the lion and the fox in him. But political authority also derived from the soundness of the institutions, which were dependent on religion, and from the appearance of virtuousness. Thus, whether God actually passed authority on to the political unit or not was unimportant – it was useful to let the people believe He does. The successful ruler would perpetuate this belief.

These theories made Machiavelli a pariah throughout much of the sixteenth century. The Catholics gave him a place of honor on their Index of Prohibited Books. His work fared no better among the Protestants as the publication of Anti-Machiavel in 1576 by the French Calvinist Innocent Gentillet attests. His image never recovered from the public relations beating that it took, but this only meant that people did not quote him – they still read him. Even Richelieu, who embodied a Machiavellian prince in his personal actions and foreign policy, eschewed association between himself and the Italian theorist. However, many of the rulers and political theorists of the sixteenth and seventeenth century paid the ultimate homage to Machiavelli as they began to follow his principles, all the while appearing to renounce them.

The Proto-nationalism of Jean Bodin

Jean Bodin published Six Books of the Republic in 1576, in the closing years of the French Religious Wars.499 During this period, many groups and persons in France claimed the right to judge for themselves the validity of political authorities. Bodin responded with a definition of sovereignty that grew to be the standard definition of the seventeenth century. Bodin named sovereignty as that indivisible power a state possessed that stood above question. It was “the most high, absolute, and perpetual power over the citizens and subjects in a Commonweal.” The entity within the community that exercised sovereignty could not be lawfully resisted. The law that compelled this was not man-made, but Natural Law, and hence God’s Law.

In Bodin’s theory, authority was passed to men in discrete packages. Bodin did not imagine it passed directly from God to a ruler, but instead to a Commonwealt,God used this intermediary because the Commonweal was the location where all of the disharmonious elements of the universe could be regulated.500 This paralleled Bodin’s beliefs about the human soul. In his last book, The Theater of Nature, Bodin described the soul as belonging to both the spiritual and physical worlds. Thus, the soul acted as an intermediary between these very different spheres, allowing one to impact the other.501

The "Commonweal" or nation operated in much the same manner,functioning as an intermediary between the spiritual world of God and the individuals of the particular group of people. A Commonweal was as invisible as the soul, but both were necessary to allow the realms of Heaven and Earth to communicate. However, temporal stability required that some entity within the Commonweal must be responsible for wielding the authority God granted to it.502 To Bodin, the best option was a single person or a monarch. After all, divine authority, which was perfect, was structured with a single God at the top of all. Bodin agreed with Divine Right theories that God was all-powerful and, likewise, the monarch must be absolute. Also, God was merciful and just, and thereby limited His own power. Like God, Bodin’s monarch is paradoxically absolute and limited.503 However, Bodin insisted that customary law represented a crucial limitation on the monarch. Divine Right theorists did not concede such laws were a limitation.504 For Bodin, customary law emerged from the Commonweal itself over time and was beyond the power of the monarch to abrogate.505 Tellingly, the staunchly Catholic Bodin supported Protestant Henry of Navarre’s claims to the throne because French customary law (Salic law) clearly stated that Henry was next in line.506 Another limitation on the monarch’s “absolute” power was that, once it was recognized that this person (or possibly group of persons) possessed sovereignty, the sovereign can neither voluntarily give any of the power up nor can anyone remove it from him, except God. Thus, with relatively few limitations, the monarch embodied the Commonweal.

What was presented in Bodin’s theory was the idea that political authority passed from God to the Commonweal to the sovereign. However, this last step was extremely subtle. Because there was no authority in the Commonweal that could withdraw the power from the sovereign and there was no moment in time when the Commonweal (whatever that may be) consciously permitted the sovereign to exercise power, the sovereign and the Commonweal were nearly synonymous. The actions of the king were the actions of the political community and vice versa. It differed from earlier theories in that there was the crucial intermediate step of the Commonweal, but in practical terms it did not differ at all. It shook the monarch partially loose from allegiance to a universal Christendom and the foreign policy implications thereof. The monarch must protect his people spiritually – this was considered nothing new. Yet, he also must physically protect the Commonweal – a discrete unit – because this unit was the conduit of sovereign power.

How this power passed from the Commonweal to the ruler was a mystery. Bodin clearly opposed any suggestion that the sovereign ruled with the consent of the Commonweal.507 Consent or not, once a sovereign, always the sovereign. William Barclay, who wrote The Kingdom and the Royal Power in 1600, suggested another possibility. He promoted an idea known as designation theory, which argued that how sovereign authority passed to a ruler did not matter; all that mattered was that once passed it could not be questioned.508 The analogy he used was that of the Pope. It did not matter if a council of the Church elected him or God appointed him directly either means was a legitimate way of passing authority to him. In either case, he ruled only under Christ. Still, although designation theory absolved the sovereign of accountability, it did not lessen his responsibility. Thus, Bodin asserted that while the power of the sovereign must not be resisted, the sovereign must also fulfill his duties to both God and his Commonweal.

Bodin’s ideas were extremely influential in late sixteenth and early seventeenth century France.509 French nobles seeking to ensure that the monarch continued to respond to their concerns in the Estates General quickly adopted Bodin’s broad definition of the “republic” or Commonweal.510 This, in turn, significantly impacted the evolving French political structures and institutions. Thus, the political vocabulary and institutions in place when Cardinal Richelieu appeared on the scene were infused with Bodin’s theories on political authority.511

Cardinal Richelieu

It has been charged that Richelieu cared little for God except where the Almighty could serve his needs. His motivations matter less, however, than those of his target audiences. He understood the realities of political authority in early seventeenth-century France and acted in ways to take advantage of these. His goal was to increase the authority of the king (and therefore of himself), not to live virtuously. Whether Richelieu was a devout believer in God or merely a Machiavellian manipulator of the same, his advice to Louis XIII likely would be the same.For example, Richelieu began the second part of his Political Testament with a chapter entitled, “The Reign of God the First Essential,” arguing in part that “princes are expected to establish God’s true church” within their kingdoms.512 One may interpret this to mean that he was primarily concerned with the souls of the French, though it would be hard to find a modern account that asserts this. More importantly, Richelieu knew that God was a necessary part of any equation of political authority.

The above statement could be more cynically read to mean that Richelieu urged the king to use his vast resources to protect a vital tool in the generation of those resources: the people’s belief. In short, the Cardinal suggested a very Machiavellian strategy to the Bourbon king. Richelieu then makes a second, less direct, appeal to God’s credibility. He instructed the king to rule with reason. God implanted reason in human nature and so to act otherwise was “contrary to Him Who is its Creator.”513 Because of this, “it is impossible for subjects not to love a prince if they know that reason is the guide of all his actions.”514 Richelieu argued that love was a great motivator of obedience. Richelieu had an ulterior motive in presenting this argument. Louis had a tendency to angry tirades in front of his court. Richelieu believed these emotional outbursts undermined the king’s authority, so he prescribed a stoical elevation of reason. Yet, like Machiavelli, the argument still stressed the primary importance of appearing to follow the precepts of God. Armed with these ideas and the political influence to put them into action, Richelieu proceeded to change the practice of foreign policy in the Continent-wide conflagration now known as the Thirty Years’ War.

Cardinal Richelieu seized the opportunity to put this political theory into action amidst the chaos generated during the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648). Militarily, France’s principle threat was the greater Habsburg Empire. France’s foreign policy dilemma revolved around the fact that one of the most potent checks on Habsburg power consisted of the Protestant heresy within its German territories. Protecting Catholicism, then, would mean helping the Habsburgs ever more powerful and threatening. Thus, Richelieu initiated a new foreign policy based on the idea that the legitimacy of the ruler derived from the French “people,” which meant that France could now support Protestant forces against the Catholic Habsburgs without damaging the French monarch’s ability to generate compliance from the predominantly Catholic French people. This policy proved so successful that, in order to counter France, other European powers imitated it. Thus, although the Thirty Years’ War began as a war of religion, by 1635 the religious motivations for fighting had broken down considerably.
The pretence of a Catholic army fighting a Protestant foe gave way to national alliances arrayed against one another, crossing confessional boundaries.

The Thirty Years’ War

The Thirty Years’ War began as a conflict between Catholic and Protestant. In 1619, the largely Protestant Bohemian Diet offered its kingship to Protestant Frederick of the Palatinate. The members of the Diet knew that Frederick’s acceptance would spark a war, but they believed that Frederick would receive the military support of his father-in-law, King James I of England. Unfortunately for them, the Diet and Frederick guessed wrong on this and a number of other issues. James would likely have aided in the defense against a Catholic invasion into Protestant territory, but his foreign policy goals did not include Protestant expansion into Bohemia. The other Protestant nations of Europe were preoccupied as well: Sweden was bogged down in Poland, while the Dutch Republic nervously approached the last few months of a twelve-year truce with the Spanish. Frederick and the Diet also misjudged Protestant unity. Lutheran principalities did not come to the assistance of the Calvinist Frederick. Lutheran John George of Saxony even sent his troops to fight with the Emperor after receiving concessions targeted at Lutherans alone. Lacking allies, Frederick and the Bohemians were easily defeated by Imperial forces near White Mountain in 1620. Thus, religious motivations produced this spark that flamed into the Thirty Years’ War.

A common interpretation of this period is that these Wars were about politics, not religion. The evidence demonstrates that not only is this incorrect, it is a false dichotomy: religion and politics were inseparable. The Holy Roman Empire had already divided itself into two camps following the 1555 Peace of Augsburg. These camps solidified their alliances in the Protestant Union of 1608 and the Catholic Union of 1609. The solution of the Peace of Augsburg converted every change in political leadership into a religious question: Cuius regio eius religio (Whose region, his religion). Since the Bohemian king also was one of the seven electors of the Empire every ruler in the Holy Roman Empire had a stake in whether the next king of Bohemia was the Catholic Archduke Ferdinand or the Protestant Frederick. The Bohemians had elected Catholic Archduke Ferdinand of Styria as their king in 1617. As a result, the Imperial Electors were split 4-3 Catholic. When Ferdinand refused to meet the religious guarantees the Calvinist Bohemian Diet requested, they replaced him with the Protestant Frederick, shifting the balance of the electors in favor of the Protestants. Ferdinand was elected as Holy Roman Emperor a few days later, but his election was questioned legally since he technically no longer held the right to cast a vote for himself. Thus, while there were many political and economic causes for the Wars, they could not be separated from the basic religious confrontation.515

While Protestants in the Empire and throughout Europe refused to assist an expansion into Bohemia, they quickly responded to Catholic expansion into the Protestant Palatinate. Archduke Ferdinand’s Jesuit advisors had inspired him to vow to eradicate heresy in his lands.516 Once he became Emperor Ferdinand II, the power at his disposal increased enormously. The Emperor captured Heidelberg in 1622, transferring one of the Protestant elector votes to the Catholics. The Catholics now solidly controlled the Electoral Diet. The tenuous balance created in 1555 had been destroyed. Even Catholic princes grew wary of the new power Emperor Ferdinand II possessed.517 Although this cautiousness did not blossom into outright resistance, it hindered the Habsburgs’ ability to deal a final blow to Protestantism. The European Protestants, for their part, organized in the summer of 1624. The Dutch Republic, England, and Denmark signed an alliance against the Habsburgs. The Danish king saw Sweden and the Dutch Republic as his greatest military threats; nevertheless, he set this dispute aside to oppose the growing dominance of the Counter-Reformation in the Empire.518 Once again ideological threats trumped physical ones and all the powers of Europe lined up behind their confessions. All, that is, except one.

The irony was that Cardinal Richelieu of Catholic France engineered this new European Protestant alliance. His foreign policy undermined the simplicity of the religious bifurcation. He pursued the interests of France first and foremost. With the Huguenot problem firmly in hand, the greatest threat to France was not Protestantism, but a powerful Spain that could only grow more powerful without the constant distraction of conflict in the Empire. Although Richelieu’s Protestant alliance fell apart in 1626 thanks to the military successes of Wallenstein, he had given the Protestants sufficient time to recover from the initial defeats of the war and for Sweden to enter the war in opposition to the Habsburgs. France benefited from a Catholic-Protestant stalemate: this kept Protestantism from spreading and it prevented the Habsburgs from gaining absolute powers.

The old habits of the early sixteenth-century reemerged as France and Spain again fought over control of northern Italy. In 1624, France began an unsuccessful campaign to wrestle control of the Valtelline Passes through the Alps away from Spain. In 1627, fighting broke out again when the duke of Mantua died without a male heir. Spain besieged Casale where the French candidate was holed up. After a delay in which Richelieu took La Rochelle back from the Huguenots, France relieved Casale, driving back the Spanish. The Pope stepped in and arranged a truce, arguing that two Catholic powers should not fight when the real enemy was heresy. Many in France shared his perspective, believing that Richelieu’s policy was both strategically wrong and morally evil. However, in October 1630, on the Day of Dupes, King Louis  XIII settled the question in favor of Richelieu, legitimating his policy and increasing his authority within the government.

How could Richelieu follow such a foreign policy and not simultaneously undermine the legitimacy of Louis XIII? If the King’s authority came directly from God maintaining legitimacy would have been difficult. After all, his policy supported heretics and religious allies of the hated Huguenots. However, Richelieu created a large propaganda machine designed to persuade crucial segments of the population that authority passed through the nation, the “French,” an entity recognized and created by God.519 Thus, the monarch’s job included protecting “France,” a divine thing as valuable and as “holy” as the Catholic Church. From this perspective, Richelieu was not promoting Protestant heresy, but defending the chosen nation of God. Hence, his innovative political theory allowed for a new foreign policy that proved to be incredibly successful.

The specific conditions of in the early stages of the Thirty Years’ War permitted the Protestants to justify working with Richelieu. After all, France’s territorial concern was not northern Germany but northern Italy, and Protestants everywhere could delight in the spectacle of Catholics fighting it out in the Pope’s backyard. Plus, the Protestants honestly needed the help; they were in real danger of  being wiped out of Germany. The Protestants could accept the physical presence of soldiers from Protestant Sweden, while Richelieu and Catholic France merely paid the bills, but supplied no troops. The Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus, for his part, envisioned himself as the deliverer of the Protestants from the persecuting Catholics.520 That France backed his army financially was less important than the ultimate goal of rescuing Calvinism.

Once the larger Protestant forces of the Dutch Republic and Sweden entered the fray, the Habsburgs once again faced a stalemate in their lands. This, rather than victory for one side or the other, was Richelieu’s intent. Thus, for several years France remained comfortably behind the scenes in the larger Catholic-Protestant struggle. The Swedes signed an agreement with Richelieu in 1631 in which they would supply the men for an army, while France would pay for much of the fighting for the next five years.521 At this stage, France was the only state pursuing a foreign policy linked to nation rather than religion.

Imitators of Richelieu’s Policies

France’s monopoly on this particular foreign policy changed over the course of the war. One of the earliest examples was Savoy, a duchy in northern Italy that had been the center of the conflict between the French and the Habsburgs for nearly a century and a half. Savoy’s very existence depended on what historian Toby Osborne has called “diplomatic pragmatism,” which was another way of saying that the  Savoyard dukes in the early stages of the Thirty Years War pursued a foreign policy based on “national” interests over the interests of Catholicism.522 Like France, the dukes’ survival depended on controlling the power of the Habsburgs, even if that meant alliances with Protestant powers. Thus, Savoyard foreign policy appeared incredibly erratic as the dukes alternately allied with France and plotted Richelieu’s death, all “as circumstances and pragmatism required.”523

The major powers of Europe recognized the strategic value of imitating France’s foreign policy more slowly. The death of the Swedish king Gustavus at Lutzen in 1632 and the crushing Protestant defeat at Nordlingen in 1635, greatly reduced the power of the major Protestant leaders. Sweden began to scale back on its commitments in Germany. Richelieu found that, to check the Habsburgs, France could no longer merely play the role of behind-the-scenes financial backer. Hence, Richelieu formed two new alliances in 1635, one with Sweden and one with the Dutch Republic. In each of these French troops and money would actively support the war efforts against Spain, in particular, and her allies. Although French troops had relatively few successes in the field (as Richelieu would lament in his Testament), the French spent money effectively in hiring mercenaries and preventing mutinies among the Swedish army. In terms of military organization, 1635 was a “turning point” in France as state appointed intendants began to coordinate much of the logistics,  thereby centralizing authority.524 For the most part, France’s Protestant allies could accept this new situation with a clean conscience: the enemy remained Catholicism.525

However, Richelieu’s new style of foreign policy did not go unnoticed for long. The policy was relatively successful and could only be countered with a similar approach. Many German Protestants began to argue that if they were going to fight side-by-side with Catholics anyway, it should be with fellow Germans rather than Frenchmen.526 Among the Catholic Germans there existed a thorough understanding of the implications of Richelieu’s policies, having been the victims of them for a decade and a half. Spanish Chancellor Olivares understandably distrusted the “Catholic Peace” the Pope brokered in 1630 and had since been preparing Spain for an offensive war against France.527 Emperor Ferdinand also recognized that if the Empire faced internal religious divisions and France did not, it was clear who would emerge in the stronger position. Thus, sufficient incentives existed among both German Protestants and Catholics to pursue negotiations designed to set aside religious differences and present a national front against “foreign” powers. In the Treaty of Prague, May 1635, the Emperor promised to suspend several of his anti-Protestant policies instituted during the war and the Protestant princes (who had not been bought off by Richelieu) agreed to help reclaim territory taken by invaders.528

Within a few months, German Catholics and Protestants together turned on the Protestant Swedish armies and their Catholic French allies in northern Germany.This new development forced Sweden to adjust its justification for war in Germany.529 Sweden had entered the war using theological arguments, principally the persecution of fellow Protestants. Whatever the additional economic and strategic advantages Gustavus hoped to gain, it was the theological justifications that had been sold to the Swedish people and nobles. After 1635, however, Sweden found itself allied with and supplied by Catholic France, fighting against German armies that contained Protestants. The theological arguments began to lose their effectiveness.As a result, justifications back home morphed into an argument resembling a modernday“police action.” Sweden was forced to come to terms with Richelieu’s new style of foreign policy and adjust its own arguments of authority accordingly, even though this meant a reduction in credibility in Sweden.

To a lesser extent, Richelieu’s foreign policy spread to areas at the very fringes of the war. Scotland, for example, developed a stronger sense of national feeling as a result of the war.530 Although predominantly Catholic through much of the sixteenthcentury, it had undergone a Presbyterian Reformation. The Presbyterians were in  ascendancy as their King, James VI, had also been crowned James I of England. It was his daughter, Elizabeth, wife of Frederick of the Palatinate, who had been “dishonored” by the Catholics in the opening stages of the war in 1620. Scottish Protestants had turned out in droves for the war effort on the continent and were considered highly valued troops in both the Swedish and Dutch armies. But, even Scottish Catholics in the highlands were incensed at this effrontery to the Scottish Elizabeth. The changes brought about in 1635 provided the opportunity for all loyal Scots, regardless of confession, to fight against the Empire. France created brigades in its forces in which Scottish Catholics could defend the honor of their “favorite daughter.” Here, at last, was a foreign policy goal that all “Scots” could unite behind.

Even the “soldiers” of the Counter-Reformation, the Jesuits, recognized the changing winds and adjusted their actions accordingly.531 Muzio Vitelleschi, the Superior General of the Order from 1615 to 1645, had consistently urged the Jesuit confessors in royal courts throughout Europe to avoid acting as political advisors. He recognized that the survival of the Society of Jesus depended on the support of princes and kings. When a Jesuit became embroiled in politics, he necessarily made enemies within the court. In 1638, Nicholas Caussin, Louis XIII’s Jesuit confessor, learned this lesson when he supported the noble faction that wanted to make peace with the Habsburgs against Protestants. Richelieu systematically decimated this group, forcing Caussin out of France. In order to continue the Jesuit mission in France, Vitelleschi ordered Caussin’s successor to submit any and all moral and political issues to Richelieu. In a bow to Richelieu’s Gallicanism, the Superior General even forbade Jesuits from writing on the supremacy of the Pope. The letters of Vitelleschi to the Jesuit confessors throughout Europe demonstrated that he understood a change had taken place in 1635 – the Catholic princes were far more open to allying with Protestants.532 Vitelleschi ordered the Jesuits to remain aloof of even this seemingly heretical turn of events and focus their energies entirely on the spiritual needs of their royal charges.

Though the war continued for another twelve years, a change in the definition of “we” was taking place in Germany. This should not be overblown: religion remained incredibly important to the people, but because the fighting no longer involved the extermination of heresy or the freedom of religious practice, it could be partially set aside in anticipation of peace. In addition, though we can talk about the “German” nation today, the concept would have been hard to pin down during the war. A somewhat shared culture had existed for many centuries and the devastation the war caused in the territories served to fuse the sense of “we” more strongly, yet the same influences applied to the individual principalities as well. No force within the Empire actively sought to fuse the various “national” tendencies into a single German movement and, in fact, many forces fought against such a move, in particular the princes. However, this does not negate the fact that there was a fundamental redefinition of why people fought and suffered. Protestantism could eventually be freely practiced in Saxony, for example, but only after the fighting was concluded.

The Peace of Westphalia 1648

By the 1640s, a new theory of political authority dominated the European landscape. Authority devolved to the ruler from God through a discrete bundle that was alternately called the “commonwealth,” “republic,” “people,” or “nation.” While not divorcing itself wholly from the three confessions that constituted the sources of transcendent credibility of the sixteenth century, rulers and people increasingly tended to focus on the nation as the source of political authority rather than the confession. As a result, the number of sources of transcendent credibility in Europe increased. At the very least, every major power emerging from the War considered its nation a separate source of transcendent credibility. A stable resolution to the War therefore required a political solution that recognized the new reality of “proto-nationalism.” In particular, far more distinctive boundaries were needed between political units of differing sources of transcendent credibility. For any peace to be stable, the European powers also had to develop rules regarding the mutual recognition of these borders and other issues involving territorial integrity. This became the key agenda at the multiyear talks that culminated in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.

The Peace of Westphalia returned to the 1555 Peace of Augsburg for a solution. At Augsburg, it had been decided that whatever religion the ruler of a territory was, Lutheran or Catholic, the people of the territory must be as well.
Persons who found themselves in a territory embracing a different religion could emigrate to a more appropriate principality. Augsburg succeeded in keeping a tenuous peace in the Empire for more than half a century. It ultimately fell apart for two reasons. First, it did not foresee the success of Calvinism. Augsburg did not allow for just any state religion, but only Lutheranism and Catholicism. Calvinism thus posed a threat to both recognized parties. However, over the course of the Thirty Years’ War, Lutherans and Calvinists began to unify their efforts against the common enemy of Catholicism.533 This made it easier to include Calvinists in any new settlement. The Peace of Augsburg also collapsed due to the popular strategy of replacing the prince of a territory with a prince of the other religion as a means of rooting out heresy in the Empire. This led to countless intrigues and conspiracies among the princes of Germany and contributed to the destabilization of the Empire. Negotiators knew that if the 1648 peace were to last, significant adjustments would need to be made to the Peace of Augsburg.534

These adjustments produced new international rules of behavior. The conferees at Westphalia started with the basic Augsburg formula, but added Calvinism as a legitimate third option for the ruler of a territory. This solved the immediate problem, but it was a far cry from suggesting that Westphalia resulted in religious toleration. As Historian John Coffey argues, “The Treaty of Westphalia did not stop the enforcement of uniformity within particular territories, it simply signaled an end to confessional wars between different states.”535 Lutherans who woke up in a Catholic principality still had to emigrate to practice their religion. The Treaty also accorded  “territorial superiority . . . in matters ecclesiastical as well as political” to the princes within the Holy Roman Empire.536 A political arrangement based on territoriality necessarily meant that a good deal of the remainder of the settlement’s text would involve exactly which prince would be superior in which territory. One common misconception about Westphalia is that it instituted the notion of “sovereignty.”

However, although the German princes were superior in their territory and they could form foreign alliances without the Emperor’s approval, the settlement clearly stated that the actions and alliances of the princes’ could not be used against the Empire or Emperor. Hence, the princes were not “sovereign” in any absolute sense, even though they possessed some sovereign powers. In short, the new proto-nationalism produced a “proto-sovereignty.” Proto-sovereignty necessitated more distinctive boundaries between political units. Territorial superiority was not a gift bestowed but a right to be protected. The boundaries listed in the Peace of Westphalia became focal points at which one ruler’s authority began and another’s ended. The militaries of non-major powers that had been designed to fight within larger armies alongside other principalities were now reformed to be more self-sufficient and to protect their own borders. More powerful political units, such as the Austrian Habsburgs and France, created militaries that could both attack and defend. These reforms in support of more distinctive borders were enhanced by the fact that political units that could afford it frequently hired foreign mercenaries who brought significant expertise to the changing armies.537

The settlement of Westphalia did not bring a utopian peace to Europe, but it did provide many of the smaller political units (especially within the Empire) with sufficient space and time to capitalize on their newfound proto-sovereign powers.
Westphalia was just a peace of paper with no enforcement mechanisms so to speak. Still, at least in Germany, the exhaustion of the War enabled the Peace to be selfenforcing. For the most part, principalities left one another alone to rebuild what was destroyed and to consolidate their power in their respective territories. The princes took advantage of this with enhanced hierarchical judicial systems, the minting of coins of more determinate value than those circulating during the War, and the licensing of new mints under strict government control. However, it was difficult to establish national currencies during this period. Germany had been the international meeting place for soldiers from every land for the past three decades, which meant that there was a tremendous amount of foreign currency still in circulation. Thus, the idea that “market forces were more powerful than the coercive power of early modern rulers” must be balanced with the fact that, despite these difficulties and costs, early modern rulers kept trying to set up national currencies.538 In sum, the boundaries between political units grew relatively more distinct in this period, although at least in the Empire they were still far from a modern conception of a distinctive border.

Many scholars have argued that Westphalia’s primacy of place in the study of modern international relations has been overdone.539 I would contend that such an argument is true if one is looking to Westphalia as a moment in which real sovereignty became the core principle of international relations practice. Westphalia was only a reflection of practices and beliefs that had begun to emerge during the War, first with France and soon imitated by other European powers. If a moment of change is demanded, two moments in particular stand out. First, the loose Protestant alliance Richelieu cobbled together in 1624 signaled a change in foreign policy as it had been practiced since Martin Luther. Second, the year 1635 brought France directly into the war effort in Germany and the Treaty of Prague united German Catholics and Protestants together against invaders. This Treaty was recognition that the rules of the game had changed – rulers now shifted to generating compliance using protonationalism rather than a confession. The Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 merely codified these new realities of inter-polity relations.

Westphalia also disappoints those who want to see it as the birthplace of the true sovereignty associated with the modern nation-state. The idea that it was the start of the modern nation-states system has taken many hits recently, and I would tend to agree with the modern critics.540 However, I also would argue that it did institutionalize a system that was an evolutionary stage between the systems of the sixteenth century and the system of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It represented the beginnings of sovereignty, rather than sovereignty itself. Hence, if Westphalia was not a moment of change, it was the background in which important changes were occurring. It marked the period in which rulers began to put new ways of thinking about legitimacy into practice.

So in any case, the complex religious clauses of the [Westphalian] settlement were a modus vivendi that enabled Protestants and Catholics to coexist in an age in which they cared less and less about the uniform establishment of their faith.541 And the above has demonstrated that the reason why the sixteenth century dominance of confessions became less important was the adoption of protonationalist ideas on political authority during the Thirty Years’ War. France adopted this theory because Cardinal Richelieu believed that the minimal costs in compliance that resulted from the slight change in the source of transcendent credibility would be far outweighed by the benefits of the foreign policy that proto-nationalism now made permissible. Other European powers adopted this same proto-nationalist theory because France had demonstrated how effective it could be and because it was the only means to counter France’s growing power. The change in sources of transcendent credibility was subtle, but the effects were enormous. God still held the position of prominence as ultimate source of political authority and legitimacy, yet because this power now passed through the “nation” and the ruler was the physical embodiment of that nation, the ruler could openly act in the interest of his realm rather than in the name of Christendom or orthodox belief.

Conclusion of P.6

The adoption of proto-nationalism increased the number of sources of transcendent credibility as each major power, at the very least, saw political authority passing from God to ruler through a different nation. However, as the Peace of Westphalia made clear, this change was very subtle for two main reasons. First, God was still a crucial part of the proto-nationalist formula. Therefore, rulers still had to be aware of the religious questions within their territory and throughout Europe. The pursuit of national interest was not unlimited (hence, proto-nationalism). Second, at least within the Holy Roman Empire, princes continued to rule under the nominal sovereignty of the Emperor. Granted, they received many sovereign-like powers, yet they still lacked true sovereignty. Thus, in many ways they functioned as sovereigns within their territory, but on major matters of state, the Emperor and the Imperial institutions dominated (in theory, if not in practice). Thus, the system instituted in Westphalia was something very different from that which preceded it and that which would eventually follow it.

Since proto-nationalism increased the number of sources of transcendent credibility, this created a situation in which a political unit’s security depended on investment in more distinctive boundaries. Within the Holy Roman Empire, however, boundaries between principalities were relatively more distinctive, but not as distinctive as would be the case for other major European powers who possessed powers approaching that of modern-day sovereignty. We may today call this protosovereignty, knowing with the advantage of hindsight that a far more developed form of sovereignty would follow over the course of the next century. However, in 1648, these changes would have appeared incredibly significant in themselves producing boundaries that, when compared with the earlier century, were quite distinctive. Proto-nationalism and proto-sovereignty enjoyed a reciprocal relationship: the growing acceptance of one enhanced the acceptance of the other and vice versa. Thus, proto-nationalism should not be considered an instance of punctuated equilibrium in the evolution of international systems. From its inception, it tended to move toward a system in which “nationalism” and “sovereignty” were the norms. The story of why and how this occurred and the effects of this change are the subjects of the next and final part.


448 See Adam J Lerner (1991), “Transcendence of the Nation: National Identity and the Terrain of the Divine,” Millennium: Journal of International Studies 20(3): 407-27; Hertmut Lehmann (1991), “The Germans as a Chosen People: Old Testament Themes in German Nationalism,” German Studies Review 14(2): 261-73; Dale VanKley (1991), “Protestantism, Catholicism, and the Religious Origins of the French and American Revolutions,” Fides et Historia 23(1): 53-68; AJ Hoover (1987), “Religion and National Stereotypes: A German Protestant Example,” History of European Ideas 8(3): 297-307; Bo Andersson (1999), “Sweden, the Elect Nation,” Lutheran Quarterly 13(3): 305-14.

449 “God alone chooses, he alone confirms . . . . Neither those who are now called ‘electors,’nor others who in whatever way have been so called, should be given this name; rather they should be thought of as ‘proclaimers of divine providence,’” Dante (1996 [1314]), Monarchy, Prue Shaw, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 93.

453 The revitalization of the Catholic Church in the mid-sixteenth century enabled this theory to experience a brief renaissance. Toward the end of the 1500s, several Jesuits in Spain argued that God gave the Pope authority to judge secular rulers. Foremost among this group was Francisco Suarez who reasoned that, although security and order on earth are important, God ordained that the spiritual purpose of man was far more important. Just as God subordinated secular goals to spiritual goals, likewise, Christ made his “Vicar pastor over Christian princes no less than over the rest of Christendom, Francisco Suarez (1612), A Treatise on the Laws and God the Lawgiver, quoted in WM Spellman (1998), European Political Thought 1600-1700 (New York: St. Martin’s Press): 47.

454 Georges Duby (1980), The Three Orders: Feudal Society Imagined (Chicago: University of Chicago Press): 13-64.

455 Although both ruler and nobility relied on the same source of transcendent credibility, there remained crucial differences between the ruler and the nobles, for example, the ruler’s divine ability to heal scrofula with a touch, EH Kantorowicz (1957), The King’s Two Bodies (Princeton: Princeton
University Press).

456 See Hendrik Spruyt (1994), The Sovereign State and Its Competitors (Princeton: Princeton University Press): 34-57.

457 Yves Charles Zarka (1999), “The Foundations of Natural Law,” British Journal for the History of Philosophy 7(1): 15-32.

458 Stephen M Fallon (1988), “‘To Act or Not To Act:’ Milton’s Conception of Divine Freedom,” Journal of the History of Ideas 49(3): 425-53.

459 The debate on the distinction between “absolute” and “ordained” power of God and the parallel with rulers is most thoroughly discussed by the medievalist Francis Oakley, especially (1998), “The Absolute and Ordained Power of God and King in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: Philosophy, Science, Politics, and Law,” Journal of the History of Ideas 59(4): 669-690.

460 Thomas Aquinas (1961 [13th century]), “On Kingship,” in Michael Curtis, ed., The Great Political Theories, Volume I (New York: Avon Books): 197.

461 Ibid., 198.

462 These two questions must be considered together. According to seventeenth century Divine Right theorists, the king could not make laws without the consent of the people. However, if the monarch did violate this principle, he could not be resisted. Thus, the ruler had responsibilities, but no
accountability to the people, Glenn Burgess (1992), “The Divine Right of Kings Reconsidered,” English Historical Review 107(425): 837-61.

463 SW Haas (1980), “Martin Luther’s ‘Divine Right’ Kingship and the Royal Supremacy: Two Tracts from the 1531 Parliament and Convocation of the Clergy,” Journal of Ecclesiastical History 31(3): 317-27; Haas (1979), “Henry VIII’s Glasse of Truth,” History 64(212): 353-62.

464 James I (1961 [1598]), “The Trew Law of Free Monarchies,” in Michael Curtis, ed., The Great Political Theories, Volume I (New York: Avon Books): 282.

465 Ibid.

466 James I (1961 [1609]), “Speech of 1609,” in The Great Political Theories, Volume I: 285.

467 Ibid.

468 James I (1961 [1616]), “Speech in Star Chamber,” in The Great Political Theories, Volume I: 286-87.

469 Infallibility served as a check on the Pope because the current Pope was constrained by the decrees of his equally infallible predecessors, Brian Tierney (1971), “The Origins of Papal Infallibility,” Journal of Ecumenical Studies 8(4): 841-64.

470 Although the overwhelming number of sixteenth century authors who advocated the right of the people to resist were Protestant, the Catholics also had a number, especially among the Spanish Jesuits, that advocated resistance to a tyrant and even in some cases assassination. Advocating mediated authority, the Jesuit priest Juan de Mariana asserted, “Assuredly the republic, whence the regal power has its source, can call a king into court . . . [and] it can strip him of his principate,’ Juan de Mariana (1948 [1599]), The King and the Education of the King, George Albert Moore, ed. (Washington: Country Dollar Press): chapter 8. Many Catholics also still adhered to the Medieval version of resistance: the Pope had the authority to call for the resistance of a king.

471 Christopher Goodman (1972 [1558]), How Superior Powers Ought to be Obeyed of Their Subjects (New York: Da Capo Press); Dan G Danner (1981), “Resistance and the Ungodly Magistrate in the Sixteenth Century: The Marian Exiles,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 49(3): 471-81.

472 “I say, it is not only lawful to punish to the death such as labour to subvert the true religion, but the magistrates and people are bound to so to do unless they will provoke the wrath of God against themselves. And therefore I fear not to affirm that it had been the duty of the nobility, judges, rulers and people of England not only to have resisted and againstanded Mary that Jezebel whom they call their queen, but also to have punished her to death, with all the sort of her idolatrous priests,” John Knox (1994 [1558]), “An Appellation to the Nobility and Estates of Scotland,” On Rebellion, Roger A Mason, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 104.

473 Buchanan wrote his Dialogue on the Law of Kingship among the Scots in the 1550s while in exile, but the book was published posthumously in 1579, coinciding with the publication of several Calvinist tracts that promoted the same basic (though less radical) theory of resistance. Buchanan specifically stated that each individual had the authority to lawfully assassinate a bad ruler: “A tyrant hath not only no just authority over a people, but is also their enemy . . . . A lawful war being once undertaken with an enemy, and for a just cause, it is lawful not only for the whole people to kill that enemy, but for every one of them,” George Buchanan (2004 [1579]), A Dialogue on the Law of Kingship among the Scots: A Critical Edition and Translation of George Buchanan’s De Iure Regni apud Scotos Dialogus (St. Andrew’s Studies in Reformation History Series) (Aldershot: Ashgate). Ironically, Buchanan served as a tutor for Mary Queen of Scots, Michel Montaigne, and James VI of Scotland (later James I of England). James did not have pleasant memories of his tutor.

474 For example, Richard Hooker (1989 [1593]), Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, Arthur Stephen McGrade, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press); Thomas Smith (1565), De Republica Anglorum.

475 Huguenots often claimed they were fighting for the purpose of defending the king and his estate, Kathleen A Parrow (1991), “Neither Treason Nor Heresy: Use of Defense Arguments to Avoid Forfeiture during the French Wars of Religion,” Sixteenth Century Journal 22(4): 705-16.

476 Luc Racaut (2002), “Religious Polemic and Huguenot Self-Perception and Identity, 1554-1619,” in Raymond A Mentzer and Andrew Spicer, eds., Society and Culture in the Huguenot World,1559-1685 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 29-43.

477 According to Julian H Franklin it was probably written by Philippe de Mornay; Julian H Fraklin, ed. (1969), Constitutionalism and Resistance in the Sixteenth Century: Three Treatises by Hotman, Beza, and Mornay (New York: Pegasus): 39.

478 “Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos,” in Michael Curtis, ed., The Great Political Theories, Volume I (New York: Avon Books, 1961): 255-56.

479 Ibid., 256 (emphasis added).

480 Theodore de Beza, the most influential post-Calvin theologian among the Huguenots, probably inspired this limitation. In 1574, he wrote that the Romans 13 command of obedience to government applied locally. Thus, when the king violated the rights of the local magistrates, usually Huguenots, these magistrates were justified in resisting, deposing, and killing the king and in calling the populace to assist in this work, Scott M Manetsch (2000), Theodore Beza and the Quest for Peace in France, 1572-1598 (Leiden: Brill). Also see Theodore de Beza (1969 [1574]), “Right of Magistrates,” in Constitutionalism and Resistance in the Sixteenth Century: 101-35.

481 Antony Black (1992), Political Thought in Europe, 1250-1450 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 19-20.

482 John of Paris (1988 [1302-03]), “On the Origin and Nature of Government in Church and State,” in Tierney, The Crisis of Church and State: 208.

483 Recent historical scholarship has attacked the traditional concept of absolutism, pointing out in particular that no monarch can rule without at least some form of consent, Richard Bonney (1987), “Absolutism: What’s In a Name?” French History 1(1): 93-117; William Beik (1990), “The Culture of Protest in Seventeenth-Century French Towns,” Social History 15(1): 1-23; Nicholas Henshall (1992), “The Myth of Absolutism,” History Today 42: 40-47; John Rogister (1996), “Some New Directions in the Historiography of State Assemblies and Parliaments in Early and Late Modern Europe,” Parliaments, Estates and Representation 16: 1-16; William Beik (2005), “The Absolutism of Louis XIV as Social Collaboration,” Past and Present 188(1): 195-224. One example of this is that a king or duke who raised taxes without summoning the parliamentary body still usually activated informal channels of advise and consent with key lesser nobles and burghers, Matthew Vester (2000), “Fiscal Commissions, Consensus and Informal Representation: Taxation in the Savoyard Domains, 1559-1580,” Parliaments, Estates and Representation 20: 59-74. A parallel argument concerning the non-absolute nature of absolutism within the Catholic Church during the Counter-Reformation can be found in Barbara B Diefendorf (2004), “Contradictions of the Century of Saints: Aristocratic Patronage and the Convents of Counter-Reformation Paris,” French Historical Studies 24(3): 469-99. Thus, absolutism was never absolute, Hilton Root (1989), “Tying the King’s Hands: Credible Commitments and Royal Fiscal Policy During the Old Regime,” Rationality and Society 1(2): 240-58. Absolutism as a definitional term may be misleading, yet it remains a useful signifier of a type of political authority that existed in the early modern period and should not be discarded. At the very least, absolutism can be seen as the monarch’s struggle “to move in the direction of greater independence without ever achieving complete freedom of action,” JS Morrill (1978), “French Absolutism as Limited Monarchy,” Historical Journal 21(4): 961-72. The private nature of informal networks provided the monarch greater independence than the more public formal institutions of assemblies. Thus, the distinction between absolutism and constitutionalism may be seen as reliance on formal versus informal institutions of representatives of the people.

484 Quoted in Richard S Dunn (1979), The Age of Religious Wars, 1559-1715 (New York:WW Norton and Company): 181-82.

485 Yoram Barzel (2002), A Theory of the State: Economic Rights, Legal Rights, and the Scope of the State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 138-54.

486 Francisco de Vitoria (1991 [1539]), “On the American Indians,” in Anthony Pagden and Jeremy Lawrence, eds., Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 231-92.

487 Two conditions in particular made the success of the third mechanism inevitable. First, as God was replaced by the more secular idea of the nation as the source of transcendent credibility, the first mechanism became ineffective. Second, the development of Westphalian notions of sovereignty (also a consequence of the success of the idea of the nation as the source of transcendent credibility) increasingly rendered the second mechanism irrelevant. Thus, the third mechanism and the political ideas that necessarily accompanied it achieved dominance in Europe.

488 In his Reflections, Edmund Burke would argue that any social contract was superseded by “the great primeval contract of eternal society, linking the lower with the higher natures, connecting the visible and invisible world, according to a fixed compact sanctioned by the inviolable oath which holds all physical and all moral natures each in their appointed place” and which depends on the divine
“Institutor and Author and Protector of civil society.” Quoted in Don Herzog (1998), Poisoning the Minds of the Lower Orders (Princeton: Princeton University Press): 34.

489 While a transition to a “French proto-nation” as the source of transcendent credibility entailed several benefits for the government, there is still a question of why the French people went along with it. First, the French proto-nation would have been consistently linked to Catholic Christianity, so in large part, there would have been few instances where old beliefs would have been contradicted outright. Second, the French Catholic Church had a long history of distancing itself from the larger Catholic Church (a phenomenon known as Gallicanism), JHM Salmon (1991), “Catholic Resistance Theory, Ultramontanism, and Royalist Response, 1580-1620,” in JH Burns, ed., The Cambridge History of Political Thought, 1450-1700 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 231-33. Thus, the average French subject would have been less surprised than other European Catholics to find the leaders of their respective proto-nation increasingly distancing it from the larger European Catholic community. Third, “reason of state” theories were increasingly used in France since the late sixteenth century in response to the civil wars in France, Nannerl Keohane (1980), Philosophy and the State in France: Renaissance to Enlightenment (Princeton: Princeton University Press): chs. 4-5. French subjects would therefore have been somewhat familiar with the vocabulary used by protonationalism. Fourth, Richelieu invested heavily in authors, artists, and scholars who were paid to produce propaganda that helped the new proto-nationalism to appear legitimate and natural [see below]. These four reasons suggest why the French subjects went along with the transition to the degree that they did, at least in the beginning.

490 See, for example, Montesquieu, Vico, and Hegel.

491 DE Luscombe and GR Evans (1988), “The Twelfth-Century Renaissance,” in JH Burns, ed., The Cambridge History of Medieval Political Thought, c. 350 – c. 1450 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 323-25.

492 Erasmus (1997 [1516]), The Education of a Christian Prince, Lisa Jardine, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 2.

493 Quentin Skinner (2000 [1981]), Machiavelli: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press): 70-72.

494 Nicolo Machiavelli (1970 [1514]), The Discourses, Bernard Crick, ed. (New York: Penguin Books): 139.

495 Ibid., 141.

496 Nicolo Machiavelli (1961 [1513]), The Prince, George Bull, ed. (New York: Penguin Books): 134.

497 Ibid., 135.

498 The Discourses: Book I, Chapter 12.

499 Jean Bodin (1992), On Sovereignty, Julian H Franklin, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

500 David Parker (1981), “Law, Society, and the State in the Thought of Jean Bodin,” History of Political Thought 2(2): 253-85.

501 Ann Blair (1997), The Theater of Nature: Jean Bodin and Renaissance Science (Princeton: Princeton University Press): 137-42.

502 Daniel Engster (1996), “Jean Bodin, Scepticism and Absolute Sovereignty,” History of Political Thought 17(4): 469-99.

503 Parker (1981), “Law, Society, and the State in the Thought of Jean Bodin.”

504 James I argued that the Chancery Court, “his own court of conscience,” stood above customary law in England (common law), Mark Fortier (1998), “Equity and Ideas: Coke, Ellesmere, and James I,” Renaissance Quarterly 51(4): 1255-81.

505 JHM Salmon (1996), “The Legacy of Jean Bodin: Absolutism, Populism, or Constitutionalism,” History of Political Thought 17(4): 500-22.

506 Paul Lawrence Rose (1978), “Bodin and the Bourbon Succession to the French Throne, 1583-1594,” Sixteenth Century Journal 9(2): 75-98.

507 This made Bodin’s theory very different from the theories of political authority being produced by the Huguenots in the same era. JHM Salmon (1973), “Francois Hotman and Jean Bodin: The Dilemma of Sixteenth-Century French Constitutionalism,” History Today 23(11): 801-09. 450 “It must be held . . . that God permits those assembled in a general council, in defining a question of faith and in other matters, to proceed according to their intelligence, assisted by the general divine influence. It is therefore conceded that it is not possible for a general council to err,” William of Ockham (1995 [1347]), “A Dialogue, Part III, Tract I, Book III, Chapter VIII,” in A Letter to the Friars Minor and Other Writings, Arthur Stephen McGrade and John Kilcullen, eds. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): 210; “A matter of faith is not always defined by the arbitrary will of the Roman pontiff alone for he could be a heretic . . . . Indeed in decisions on matters of faith which is why he possesses the primacy, he is subject to the council of the Catholic Church,” Nicholas of Cusa (1991 [1443]), The Catholic Concordance, Paul E Sigmund, ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press): (I.61) 43.451 Yves-Marie Berce (1996), The Birth of Absolutism: A History of France, 1598-1661 (New York: St. Martin’s Press): 62.452 “If the earthly power errs, it shall be judged by the spiritual power, if a lesser spiritual power errs it shall be judged by its superior, but if the supreme spiritual power errs it can be judged only by God not by man,” “Unam Sanctum” (1302), in Brian Tierney, ed., The Crisis of Church and State 1050-1300 (Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching 21) (Toronto: University of Toronto Press,1988): 189.

508 “God bestows on kings lawfully constituted, whether by divine inspiration or permission [of] the peoples this prerogative of authority, which is superior to all power of the people,” William Barclay (1954 [1600]), The Kingdom and the Regal Power, trans. George Albert Moore (Chevy Chase, MD: Country Dollar Press): 145.

509 Bodin’s Six Books of the Republic “was arguably the most original and influential work of political philosophy to be written in the sixteenth century,” Quentin Skinner (1978), The Foundations of Modern Political Thought, Volume I: The Renaissance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press):208.

510 James B Collins (2001), “Noble Political Ideology and the Estates General of Orleans and Pontoise: French Republicanism,” Historical Reflections 27(2): 219-40.

511 Richard Bonney (1990), “Bodin and the Development of the French Monarchy,”Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 40: 43-61.

512 Armand Jean du Plessis, Duke of Richelieu (1968 [1638]), The Political Testament of Cardinal Richelieu, Henry Bertram Hill, trans. (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press): 69.

513 Ibid., 71.

514 Ibid., 72.

515 Rivalries between Protestants and Catholics for positions in the Habsburg court, a rivalry that more often than not swung in favor of the Catholics, produced political divisions that mirrored the religious divisions in the Empire. Historian Karin J MacHardy calls this process “confessionalizing patronage,” further demonstrating the inextricability of religion and politics in the early seventeenth century, War, Religion, and Court Patronage in Habsburg Austria: The Social and Cultural Dimensions of Political Interaction, 1521-1622 (New York: Palgrave MacMillen): 198.

516 Robert Bireley (2003), The Jesuits and the Thirty Years War: Kings, Courts, and Confessors (New York: Cambridge University Press).

517 German Catholic princes were in a precarious position. The Emperor was able to demand more authority from the princes to counter the Protestant threat. However, although the Catholic princes benefited from the weakening of Protestantism, they also found themselves less able to counter the Emperor. A similar process had occurred in France as the struggle against the Huguenots had provided Richelieu was the opportunity to centralize authority in the hands of the king. It may be true in general that the Reformation (specifically the entrance of a new source of transcendent credibility into the European system) was a more significant factor in the decline of the power of the nobility than war or other hypothesized factors.

518 Paul Douglas Lockhart (1995), “Religion and Princely Liberties: Denmark’s Intervention in the Thirty Years War, 1618-1625,” International History Review 17(1): 1-22.

519 RJ Knecht (1991), Richelieu: Profiles in Power (Harlow, England: Longman): 169-189. Richelieu founded the Academie Francaise in 1634, which was designed “to harness artists and writers to the chariot of the state, to present a favorable image of the king and his government,” Peter Burke (1992), The Fabrication of Louis XIV (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press): 185. Richelieu also established a weekly newspaper, the Gazette, that supported government policies, Howard M Solomon (1972), Public Welfare, Science and Propaganda in Seventeenth-Century France (Princeton: Princeton University Press): 111. Richelieu demonstrated a deep interest in using the arts (e.g., paintings, statuary) to portray the king (and himself) in favorable ways. One example of this use of the arts is the establishment of a ballet company, which became an important tool to generate nationalist sentiment and mock France’s many enemies; Marie-Claude Canova-Green (1995), “Dance and Ritual: The Ballet des nations at the Court of Louis XIII,” Renaissance Studies 9(4): 395-403.

520 Michael Roberts (1973), Gustavus Adolphus and the Rise of Sweden (London: English Universities Press).

521 Richard Bonney (1976), “The Secret Expenses of Richelieu and Mazarin,” English Historical Review 91(361): 825-36.

522 Toby Osborne (2002), Dynasty and Diplomacy in the Court of Savoy: Political Culture and the Thirty Years’ War (Cambridge Studies in Italian History and Culture Series) (Cambridge:Cambridge University Press).

523 Ibid., 140.

524 David Parrott (2001), Richelieu’s Army: War, Government, and Society in France, 1624-1642 (New York: Cambridge University Press).

525 Justifications for war continued for a while to revolve around defending Protestantism. Recognizing that alliance with Catholic France toward that end would quickly undermine the justification, Swedish leaders began to change their justifications, Partel Piirimae (2002), “Just War in Theory and Practice: The Legitimation of Swedish Intervention in the Thirty Years War,” Historical Journal 45(3): 499-523.

526 Gary Nichols (1989), “The Economic Impact of the Thirty Years’ War in Habsburg Austria,” East European Quarterly 23(3): 257-68. Nichols argues that economic factors, not religious ones, convinced persons in the Habsburg Empire to unite behind the Emperor to end the war. However, I would argue economic factors could only have an impact after the introduction of proto-nationalism had weakened the religious factors that had dominated at the start of the war. This explanation is also supported by Nichols data.

527 RA Stradling (1986), “Olivares and the Origins of the Franco-Spanish War, 1627-1636,” English Historical Review 100(398): 68-94.

528 Richard Bonney (1991), The European Dynastic States, 1494-1660 (Oxford: Oxford University Press): 198.

529 Piirimae (2002).

530 Steve Murdoch, ed. (2001), Scotland and the Thirty Years War, 1618-1648 (History of Warfare 6), (Leiden: Brill).

531 Bireley, The Jesuits and the Thirty Years War: 167-203.

532 Ibid., 160-64.

533 The Westphalian settlement recognized this new, albeit tenuous, alliance. Institutionally, the Imperial Diet adopted new rules that said matters that came before it must receive a joint resolution of Catholics (Corpus Catholicorum) and all Protestants (Corpus Evangelicorum), Richard Bonney (2002), The Thirty Years’ War, 1618-1648 (Oxford: Osprey Publishing): 88-89. A Protestant alliance was possible now largely because proto-nationalism made the crucial differences between the Lutherans and Calvinists less significant.

534 Ronald G Asch (2000), “Religious Toleration, the Peace of Westphalia and the German Territorial Estates,” Parliaments, Estates & Representation 20: 75-89.

535 John RD Coffey (2000), Persecution and Toleration in Protestant England, 1558-1689 (Longman).

536 Quoted in Bonney (1991), European Dynastic States: 201.

537 MS Anderson (1998), War and Society in Europe of the Old Regime, 1618-1789 (Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing): 82-94.

538 Bonney (1991), European Dynastic States: 423.

539 Stephane Beaulac (2004), The Word Sovereignty in Bodin and Vattel and the Myth of Westphalia (Developments in International Law 21) (Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers): 40, 97.

540 Ronald G Asch (1997), The Holy Roman Empire and Europe, 1618-1648 (New York: St. Martin’s Press); Andreas Osiander (1994), The States System of Europe, 1640-1990 (Oxford: Clarendon Press); Stephen Krasner (1993), “Westphalia and All That,” in Ideas and Foreign Policy: Beliefs, Institutions, and Political Change, Judith Goldstein and Robert O Keohane, eds. (Ithaca: Cornell University Press).

541 Daniel Philpott (2001), Revolutions in Sovereignty: How Ideas Shaped Modern International Relations (Princeton: Princeton University Press): 136.

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