War, Religion and Court Patronage in Habsburg Austria: The Social and Cultural Dimensions of Political Interaction, 1521-1622
This case study of the causes of the Thirty Years’ War suggests an alternative framework to that of Absolutism, and views state-building as an interactive bargaining process that can engender challenges to political authority. It shows how selective court patronage changed the cultural habits of nobles in education, manners, and tastes, but failed to transform religious identities, which were intimately tied to noble interests. Instead, the confessionalization of patronage deepened divisions within the elite, providing multiple incentives for the formation of an anti-Habsburg alliance among Protestants in 1620.
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