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This essay examines the role that Charles V’s and Philip II’s politics played across the 16th-century world during an age of transition from Empire to the Spanish Monarchy. By focusing on government actors and their political practices and ideas, this essay explores the process of building one of the first global administrations. Instead of retracing a linear and chronological narrative to explain the development of the Spanish modern bureaucracy during the 16th century and focusing only on the much-studied figures of the first two Spanish Habsburg kings, this essay analyzes the actors and institutions which fostered groundbreaking practices of information management within a wider frame of an Early Modern and Spanish political Renaissance.

In: A Companion to the Spanish Renaissance
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The trajectory of Vicente Nogueira (1586–1654) demonstrates how an Iberian intellectual who was well attuned to the composite governmental structure of the Iberian empire (c.1580–c.1640) strengthened the ties between state communication systems and learned communities during the Late Renaissance. This article highlights the political valence of historical knowledge that was gathered and distributed throughout the Republic of Letters with emphasis on the code-switching of a scholar who styled himself differently across learned communities depending on his political circumstances, interests, and interlocutors. The study of Nogueira’s itinerary demonstrates the need for a history of early modern scholarship that takes into account the ways that early modern politics and state communication systems were connected by learned networks.

In: Erudition and the Republic of Letters
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This article analyzes the formation of scholar-jurists’ archives during Late Renaissance conflicts and their use by individuals and state powers. Departing from the case of the French scholar, Théodore Godefroy (1580-1649), and his role in the Peace of Westphalia (1643-1648), this article shows how scholars’ portable archives were used as archival arsenals during diplomatic negotiations, eventually leading to the adoption of a system of “archival absolutism” in France. This archival absolutism was a reaction to the fragmentation of archives that had previously fostered trans-imperial exchanges among scholars. This article also demonstrates, through the case of Godefroy’s portable archive and correspondence, how the search for political legitimacy by a “restored” monarchy—like Portugal—during a period of conflict between the chief hegemonic powers in western Europe—Spain and France—contributed to the distinct development of those states’ uses of legal experts and their archives over the course of the seventeenth century.

In: Journal of Early Modern History