The imposition of trade tariffs in Flanders and Brabant as a means to assess the state formation process in the Spanish Netherlands (1659–1699)


The research project focuses on the Spanish Netherlands in the period between the Peace of the Pyrenees and the War of the Spanish Succession. It remains to be investigated whether the state formation process in this area progressed during said period. The attempts to impose trade tariffs in the economically most valuable provinces of the Spanish Netherlands, Flanders and Brabant, will be studied to uncover the role of external forces in the state formation process. The emergence of customs duties is regarded as an important step towards centralization, with which early modern states "territorialized" their sovereignty and levied taxes independently of the will of the estates. As a region that was constantly influenced by its neighbors due to geopolitical interests, Flanders and Brabant are suitable for studying the role of this exposed position as an engine of state formation. The study will demonstrate how external forces could bring about a “state formation from above” and will thus adjust prevailing assessments of the Spanish Netherlands.

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Project duration:
01/2024 - 12/2029

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Principal Investigators

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Yves Huybrechts

Geschichte Flanderns in europäischer und globaler Vernetzung

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