Strategies of Border Management

Strategies of border management: the evolution of the boundaries between the Habsburg Netherlands and the Dutch Republic, ca. 1580-1660

Primary Researcher: Bram De Ridder

Promotor: V. Soen

This research project focuses on the broad period known as the Eighty Years’ War, during which the Habsburg Netherlands and the United Provinces were formed as independent states. This process also entailed that the borders between the two states needed to transform from a military front to a boundary agreed upon by both parties. This was gradually arranged with the Twelve Years’ Truce and the final peace treaty in 1648, but given the hostile relations during the war both states still needed to determine their approach to the new border. This was all the more necessary given that these states had grown out of the loosely connected Habsburg domain known as the Seventeen Provinces, resulting in claims from both sides on the territories of the enemy. This complex situation resulted in the formulation of ‘border management’ strategies, which could include the building of fortifications or the sending of religious missions across the border. However, in order to have an idea of the impact these actions had, this research will also look into the response of the local communities near the new delineation. For example, it is important to know how much contact there still could be between cities on opposite sides of the freshly determined border, and how this influenced their relation to the central authorities. By doing this, we will get a clearer view on how these young states functioned, and how the relations between them evolved.

Publications related to this project:

B. De Ridder, The institutionalization of Habsburg-Dutch border controls during the Eighty Years War, Philostrato. Revista de historia y arte, extraordinary nr. (2018), p. 55-76. Link to article.

B. De Ridder, ‘Early Modern Peace and International Society: Using Disciplinary Hybridity to Question the Pax Hispanica (1598-1618)’, in: The International History Review, published online (2016). Link to article

B. De Ridder,‘Benchmarking the Past: Politico-Legal Connotations of Tradition, Custom and Common Practice in the Diplomacy of the Eighty Years War’, in: Dutch Crossing: Journal of Low Countries Studies, published online (2016). Link to article

B. De Ridder, ‘Sustaining the Munster Peace: The Chambre Mi-Partie as an Experiment in Transnational Border Arbitration (1648-1675)’, in: Journal of Modern European History, 14.1 (2016), 35-53. Link to article

B. De Ridder, ‘Rusland, de Krim en het hernieuwde belang van territoriale claims’, in: Internationale Spectator: Tijdschrift voor Internationale Politiek, 68:10 (2014), 37-41.

B. De Ridder and T. Vermeersch, ‘Grensstudies in de Zwinstreek. De studie en ontsluiting van een historisch grensland’, in: Tijd-Schrift. Heemkunde en lokaal-erfgoedpraktijk in Vlaanderen, 4.1 (2014), 60-74.

B. De Ridder, ‘Frans-Vlaanderen als grensland tussen het koninkrijk Frankrijk en het graafschap Vlaanderen’, Romaneske, 38 (2013), 2-9.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *