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Title: War, state and society in the Prince-Bishopric of Liège during the Nine Years' War (1688-97)
Author: Goorts, Roeland
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines the impact of war on the Prince-Bishopric of Liege in the only period when Liege was finally obliged to abandon its long-standing Medieval principle of neutrality by raising a standing army. The study starts with a discussion of the geographic and political context of the Prince Bishopric, a territory ruled by the Bishop, who had to be elected by an ecclesiastical Chapter. The neighbouring European rulers desired to gain influence in this country because of the significance of the Meuse valley. Even when this neutral status was lost during the Nine Years' War there remained a constant interplay between the foreign relations and the internal factors. In 1689 the Chapter elected the native Jean Louis d'Elderen as their new prince ruler against possible foreign influences. Despite this new sovereign had to cooperate with his Canons, he accepted to participate in the conflict against Louis XIV and recruited a newly formed army of circa 6,000 men. After his death in 1694 the canons composed a capitulation before accepting Joseph Clemens of Wittelsbach as their sovereign. He even had to consent to the establishment of a Council of War. As we shall discuss, the passing, foraging and quartering of troops had particular effects on the Liegeois society. Despite this constant threat most inhabitants refused to abandon their farms due to their sense of community and a confidence in their personal and economic future. Thanks to this believe, as well as the material resources and industries of the realm, the debts of the state were diminished to a greater extent than those of France and the other smaller European polities. That is why this small second rate country could keep an old style government with different power institutions, which enabled the locals to behave as genuine Europeans avant-la-lettre.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available