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Le sentiment national dans l’Europe méridionale aux xvie et xviie siècles

Alain Tallon



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1Tamar Herzog
Being Spanish in a Modern, Transatlantic World
The central point of this article is the means of identifying aliens and distinguishing them from natives (also called «Spaniards»). My intention in analysing the situation in Castile and America in the modern age up to the wars of independence is (i) to examine the relationship between the debates about native status in Castile (up to the 17th century) and in Spain (in the 18th century) and their transfer to and evolution in Spanish America; and (2) to demonstrate the complex nature of categories of belonging in the modem age. These categories clearly distinguished vassals from natives and held that the attribution of rights and privileges in the kingdom depended on naturaleza (native status) and not vassalage. Moreover, they eventually established a direct relationship between local belonging (vecindad) and naturaleza. The evolution that took place in America confirms these conclusions and shows that in the colonies Castilian criteria were applied differently for some aspects and the same for others.

2Arlette Jouanna
The Theme of French Liberty in Political Controversies at the Time of the Wars of Religion
In the second half of the 16th century religious division in France brought into question French identity and its capacity to resist centrifugal forces. Basing themselves on the old notion of «Frankish liberty», characterised externally by independence vis-à-vis foreign powers and internally by the demand for the subjects’ consent to taxation, thinkers attempted to forge a national sentiment capable of transcending differences of faith. We can identify three stages in the construction of the image of the «bon Français»: the line of argument espoused by the Amboise conspirators in 1560, denouncing the tyranny of the Guises as «foreigners» who sought to distort the kingdom’s laws; the risings of the Prince de Condé in 1567 and 1568, justified as defending the «public good» defined as a national heritage; and lastly the controversy following St. Bartholomew’s Eve, in which the king’s Italian counsellors were accused of seeking to abolish the freedom of the French people. These efforts to place the love of freedom at the core of French identity would be checked at the close of the civil wars by another image of the «bon Français», defined by obedience to the king.

3Gianvittorio Signorotto
Identity and Interests in the Italy of the Potentates
This essay examines the old Italy of the States in the light of present-day ideas on the «construction» of identity, which do not generally address specific cultural and political features of the Ancien Régime. The question discussed here is not that of the feeling of being Italian as opposed to other nationalities; it is rather a matter of the different identity perceptions coexisting in the historical contexts first of affirmation of the renaissance dynasties and then of the «Spanish period». The feeling of belonging that is expressed socially in the microcosm of corporate associations and confraternities (both strongly connoted by religious sentiment and devotional practices) is closely tied to the dynamics of affirmation of new identifies driven by urban patriciates and princely powers. To account for this complexity we need to hark back to memories based on religions, political and administrative traditions which are frequently overlooked by a historiography that focuses on questions of national consciousness and the construction of the «modern State». From this perspective, the action of the princely dynasty in affirming a new unitary «body politic» takes the guise of dialogue with feelings of belonging and the interests of urban or territorial entities, in a process of reciprocal consolidation (foreign policy is of particular interest as a sphere for affirmation of sovereignty). In this way the regional States of the Italian peninsula achieved long-term stability despite sometimes serious episodes of resistance. And finally, the essay examines the physiological bond linking the Italian reigning houses and aristocracies to the Holy See; these likewise possessed a «Roman» identity which was perpetuated despite intermittent jurisdictional disputes, with major political consequences.

4Jean-Pierre Dedieu
How the State Forged the Nation. Spain from the 16th to the early 19th Century
How was the present territory of Spain formed? By segregation rather than aggregation. Present-day Spain is what was left to the Spanish monarchy after the loss of Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy and finally America. The unity of this residual core is founded on the intensity of the direct ties that the elites dwelling there were able to forge with the sovereign. These ties were direct thanks to the size of the territory, which made it possible to do without intermediaries (unlike Italy or America). The strength of such networks progressively weakened the frontiers among the kingdoms, which nonetheless retained vitality enough that it was not until the Restoration that a constitution referred to the sovereign as Rey de España and not Rey de las Españas.

5Bertrand Haan
The Affirmation of a Spanish National Sentiment in Opposition to France at the Outset of the Wars of Religion
In his Spanish kingdoms, throughout his reign Philip II strove to build up a national sentiment by exploiting his rivalry with France. Taking advantage of the civil and religions troubles of the neighbouring monarchy, he endeavoured to appear as the first prince of Christendom and the only true sovereign fighting against Protestantism, thus pandering to his Spanish subjects’ notion of being the elect. His relative success in this endeavour should not however be interpreted as solely fruit of the efforts of the royal power. It seems that it could equally have come about through a quite spontaneous reaction of xenophobia and rejection of the French as a people contaminated by heresy; moreover historically, it was on the frontier, in Navarre, in Aragon and in Catalonia, that an identity was first forged by resistance to the French monarchy. Thus, for a national identity to take shape it seems that it must both take root on an individual or regional level and be espoused by royal power; it can only spring from the interaction of the two and cannot be brought to life by diktat of the ruling circles.

6Jean-François Dubost
Identitary and Political Stratagems of a Controversy. French, Italians and Spaniards in the Libels Published in France in 1615
The libels published in France on the occasion of the Spanish marriages of 1615 helped strengthen a feeling of French identity. The regency of Maria de’ Medici, a time of frantic pamphleteering, was also a decisive point in the development of a genuine public opinion: the libels published in 1615 can thus be credited with having a real impact on the way in which the French saw themselves in contrast to their Latin neighbours. The stereotypes conveyed by these writings presented Spaniards and Italians at once as the opposite twins of the «bon Français» and as models of the «mauvais Français». They postulated a hierarchical order of peoples based on a physiognomic and mesologic discourse whereby the French were identified as the archetype of the noble people. In her dual condition of foreigner and of woman ruled by her passions, Maria de’ Medici was denounced as a seed of corruption lodged in the very heart of the monarchy. In making the queen mother the opposite twin of the nation-as-mother, the libels of 1615 presage the theme of «les anti-France» with which we have become familiar in recent political literature.

7Pablo Femández Albaladejo
From «Godos» to «Montañeses». Vicissitudes of a First Spanish Identity
Españoles montañeses was the expression first used in the 17th century as a generic name for the inhabitants of the north of Spain, particularly in the region running from Asturias to the province of Guipúzcoa. Implicit in the name was a species of superidentity in the sense –as Julio Caro Baroja put it– that these Spaniards were considered to be «the most Spanish of all Spaniards». Competing with if not superseding the traditional Gothic identity and asserting themselves as the foyer of Spain, the españoles montañeses or montesinos came to occupy a special place in the identifying imagery of Spain under the Ancien Régime. Carried along by a militant historical tradition, the province of Guipúzcoa and the Lordship of Vizcaya became the redoubt par excellence of those montañeses, in a process whose peculiarity would only be further intensified by the political changes of the 18th century and whose consequences would persist until the Carlist wars of the 19th century. In view of the complete contrast between that characterisation and the present situation of the same Basque territories, it is a subject that clearly merits the attention of historians.

8Jean-Frédéric Schaub
Is National Feeling as a Category Relevant for an Understanding of Loyalties and Conflicts under the Ancien Régime?
National identity as an obvious fact is today under pressure on two fronts. Politically and institutionally, the regional and European levels are now consolidated, even in non-federal countries like Spain and the United Kingdom. In the sphere of historical research, the grand accounts of the birth and consolidation of the nation-State now face competition from other approaches to the process of politicisation and socialisation in the modem and contemporary ages. However, an effective critique of the illusions of national discourse cannot fully satisfy the need to understand the forms of adherence to collective structures. From this standpoint, the Spanish case is an extreme example inasmuch as the combined pressures of regionalism and intellectual criticism have finally banished the term España from spontaneous utterance. This paper examines the sense with which the movers of the 16th and 17th centuries could imbue the expressions España, Great Britain and France. In a word, it seeks to throw light on the forms whereby Western Europe is identified as a seat of civilised society in contrast to the barbarism prevailing outside.

9Adriano Prosperi
In the Beginnings of a National Identity. Italy Between Antiquity and the Barbarians in the Historiography of Humanism and the Counter-Reformation
At the origin of the notion and the sentiment of Italianness lies an unbroken hereditary relationship with ancient Rome. And thanks to it, Dante Alighieri was able without difficulty to place Virgil, Cato and Marcus Aurelius in the Christian vision of the hereafter. The channels through which a heritage of myths and images linked to the Trojan epos was disseminated are yet to be fully explored. But it is with the humanist culture of Francesco Petrarca that we see the emergence of the notion of Italy as heir to the greatness of Rome and the consciousness of a break between past and present. That was the basis on which a modem historiography of Italy developed between the 15th and 16th centuries, with two predominant themes: the decline of ancient greatness and the hope of renaissance. A rich historiographic tradition grew up around these topics, with exponents such as Flavio Biondo, Leonardo Bruni and Lorenzo Valla. These were the subjects of Machiavelli’s political and historical reflection at the apogee of the Italian crisis of the 16th century. It was well into the 16th century that the resumption of studies on the concrete reality of Italy came, in a context of papal and Catholic hegemony as illustrated by the work of Fray Leandro Alberti.

10Cesare Vasoli
Italian Unity or Disunity? A Historiography of the Counter-Reformation, Scipione Ammirato and his Response to Machiavelli
Scipione Ammirato was a prominent literary figure, historian and political thinker of the Counter-Reformation period, well known to students of the origins and late 16th-century morphologies of the Reason of State. This essay, however, examines only a small set of writings collected and published in the Opusculi (printed and compiled many years after his death, between 1636 and 1642) containing his arguments against those parts of the Discourses where Machiavelli had accused the Church of Rome of having been the chief obstacle to the unification of Italy under a single political power, and hence of having been responsible for Italian decadence. There, Ammirato set forth the considerations that in his opinion gainsaid such a view. But the insistent theme of these was above all a complex explanation of the historical causes which after the fall of the Roman Empire had first produced and thereafter constantly maintained Italy’s political division, concluding that reunification would have had serious negative and highly injurious consequences.

11Richard L. Kagan
Nation and Fatherland in the Historiography of the Austrian Period
This essay analyses the way in which the historians in the i6th and 17th centuries used such terms as «nation» and «fatherland». Citing inter alia the writings of Esteban de Garibay, Juan de Mariana, Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas, along with Jerónimo de Zúrita and other historians linked to the Crown of Aragon, it shows that «nation» and «fatherland» were not opposing concepts. It seeks rather to show that in the hands of the historians of modern times, «nation» and «fatherland» were malleable terms, used without really set definitions. They were also used to harmonise relations between «nation» –normally linked to the still-abstract notion of Spain, or even to the monarchy– and «fatherland» [patria], a term connected with the various kingdoms of Aragon, Castile, Galicia, Valencia, etc.

12Chantal Grell
Annius of Viterbo and Fictitious Beginnings in France and in Spain
The fanciful genealogies of Annius of Viterbo published at Rome in 1498, which allowed the different nations of Europe to trace their ancestors back to the time following the Flood, achieved varying success in 16th-century Europe, particularly in France and Spain, the cases considered here. Introduced to France by Jean Lemaire de Belges at the beginning of the century, these genealogies enjoyed their moment of glory with the blossoming of the Gaulish myth in the years 1550-1560. In Spain, on the other hand, their success was immediate, The twenty-four kings counted by Annius not only simplified a history of origins which several generations had already embroidered, but they further lent the Spanish a decisive argument in their bid for primacy against their French rivals. All historians accepted this list without looking very much askance. Despite various reservations expressed here and there, historical criticism made little headway against Annius’s «forgeries», for this was «quality» counterfeiting which settled the doubts of the time and further assuaged the pride of the different States, besides thereafter affirming their nobility and their autonomy with regard to Roman history, and generally confirming their identity in the face of humanist Italy.

13Gigliola Fragnito
«Zurai non Legger Mai Più». Literary Censorship and Linguistic Practices in the Italian Peninsula
In response to the spread of the Reformation in Italy and the interest aroused by the religions debate at all levels of society, Rome set itself the fundamental goal of rendering the patrimonium fidei inaccessible to the mass of believers. The Inquisition and the Index of forbidden books progressively took back the ground won by the common tongue, thanks to which laymen, clergy and religions orders had been able to compensate for the growing ignorance of Latin. Resolved to eradicate two principles on which the Protestants had founded their spiritual renovation –knowledge of the Scriptures and intelligibility of religions practices– the Church forbade not only reading of the Bible and of devotional texts with biblical content, but also the writing of biblical commentaries and Works of theology and religions controversy in Italian. In this way it was eventually successful in preventing Italians front partaking of a conscious experience of faith and a personal means to a knowledge of God, thus producing a number of peculiarities in the nation’s religions, moral and civil identity. The essay reconstructs the stages of a pedagogical project designed to achieve a more deeply-penetrating control over the minds and consciences of the faithful, reducing them to the role of eternal children.

14Sylvio Hermann de Francescht
The Irremediable Cracks in the Christendom of History. Paolo Sarpi between the Idea of Italy Idea and the Ideal of Christendom
This article is intended to contribute to the as-yet unwritten history of the idea of Christendom. Here we have chosen to address the issue of Christianitas by way of an example, that of Paolo Sarpi (1552-1623), a Venetian theologian who while never officially renouncing his allegiance to the Catholic faith, nonetheless defended anti-Roman positions at the time of the Venetian Interdict (1606-1607). Haunted by the phantasm of a post-Tridentine pontificate in a State of petrified theocracy, Sarpi in his discourse sought to put an end to a notion of Christendom that was henceforth doomed to obsolescence. And thus the dream of Christendom as a ‘salvific community’ faded, to be replaced by a need for collective security based on a System of balance of powers. For Sarpi, Christianitas was a historiographic concept, and hence an outdated notion harking back to a reality that was past and gone.

15Denis Crouzet
Royal Mystique and «National Feeling»? The Visions of Frère Fiacre de Sainte-Marguerite
A manuscript of 315 numbered folii stored in the manuscripts department of the BNF gives an astonishing account «des visions et des songe et des révélasions de dieu et de la saincte vierge et des saincts et des ange et des homme dans leglise militant arivé en la personne de frere fiacre de saincte marguerite, augustin des chausse indigne». And indeed for fifty years Denis Antheaulme, born on 21 February 1609 and received into the Church on 20 May 1632, collector at the monastery of Notre-Dame des Victoires in Paris, inhabited a visionary universe at whose centre stood the God-given king, Louis XIV. Thus emerged another face of the monarchy of the second half of the 17th century –that of a wondrous, miraculous monarchy, apprehended through a process of mythical fusion between the sovereign power and the people governed by it. Louis XIV took his place there as a new Christ, a king born of grace, possessor of a virtue in response to which the French people could do no other than identify fully with their king, living for his glory and his defence as they stood firm against the adversaries of the royal State. The visions of frère Fiacre de Sainte-Marguerite thus conjure up the faint beginnings of a «national consciousness» whose source of strength lay in a feeling of the sacredness of France, glorified by the deeds of a saintly and providential monarchy.

16Myriam Yardeni
Religion and National Feeling in France in the 16th and 17th Centuries
Until the Wars of Religion, national feeling and Catholicism in France went hand-In-hand. Underpinning this national feeling was the triple notion of French people, king and country. Since the Huguenots could not accept this collective and Catholic triple notion, they tended thereafter to stress their patriotism and loyalty to the king, and after St. Bartholomew’s Eve also their rights as naturel subjects. In the 17th century, notion and patriotism increasingly crystallised in the person of the king. When the king –and not merely France– became «entirely Catholic», the Protestants, divorced from king and nation, began to call up biblical motifs of the heavenly kingdom, of the stranger in his own land, of the wandering pilgrim, to ease the break which they already presaged.

© Casa de Velázquez, 2007

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