State Formation in Early Modern Alsace, 1648-1789

June 2019
268 pages
9x6 in
Changing Perspectives on Early Modern Europe
ISBN: 9781580469531
Format: Hardback
University of Rochester Press
BIC HBJD, 1DD, 2AB, 3J
BISAC HIS013000, HIS014000, POL058000

State Formation in Early Modern Alsace, 1648-1789

Stephen A. Lazer

Hardback
9781580469531
Pre-order
$99.00
A richly documented study of early modern state formation, sovereignty, legitimacy, and comparative political culture in Alsace between the Peace of Westphalia and the French Revolution
Alsace, a contested borderland region with a long and obdurate German heritage, first became part of France after the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Stephen Lazer's deeply researched book analyzes this history, focusing on Alsace itself rather than on the usual dichotomy between periphery and center. Lazer's narrative reveals how the French monarchy transformed this fractured borderland, which possessed neither fixed borders nor representative institutions, into something resembling a province. With only weak claims, France had to negotiate sovereignty with Alsace's many individual rulers. Those rulers then legitimized French rule, providing the administrative institutions and borders that Alsace lacked.

State Formation in Early Modern Alsace, 1648-1789, examines the wide range of power-sharing solutions the kings of France and Alsatian lords worked out between them through a close study of five territories ruled by the dukes of Pfalz-Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld. Some lands fell immediately to France; some required significant concessions; others contested the French bid for rulership. France eventually acquired all five territories. The dukes, members of the Holy Roman Empire, nevertheless maintained their autonomy, especially in the administrative and confessional spheres. Indeed, ducal officials proved decisive enacting Alsace's new, mixed political culture on the ground. Lazer's research makes a much-needed contribution to our understanding of the process of state formation in early modern Europe.

STEPHEN LAZER is Lecturer of History at Arizona State University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Mutual Legitimacy
The Bailiff's Two Bodies
All the Duke's Men
Confessionalization, Multiconfessionalism, and Administration
"A Manifest Illusion": The Battle over Sovereignty in Kleeburg
Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography

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