The period between the late 16th and the early 18th centuries was one of tremendous, and ultimately decisive, shifts in the balance of political, military and economic power in both Europe and the wider world. In these essays Jonathan Israel argues that Spain's efforts to maintain her hegemony continued, for a number of reasons, to be centred on the Low Countries. This had as much to do with her attempts to check the rise of France and manipulate the affairs of Germany as it had with her long war with the Dutch, Spain's overwhelming dominance in the 1580s seemed unassailable, yet by the Peace of Utrecht in 1713 its greatness had been eclipsed, leaving supremacy to Britain, France and, in commercial terms, the Dutch.
Conflicts of Empires
Spain, the Low Countries and the Struggle for World Supremacy, 1585-1713