Appel à participation : « Décadence ou reconfiguration ? Les monarchies espagnoles et portugaises entre deux siècles (1640-1724) » (Madrid, 2-4 décembre 2015)

Call for papers. Decadencia. 1Argumentaire (en anglais)

The historical narration of the seventeenth century as a period of crisis belongs to an obsolete paradigm. The social and economic history on which the interpretation of this century was based, which started with the debates in Past & Present in the decade of the 1950’s, is no longer appropriate and has become outdated. In the 1980’s the limits of this interpretation were already pointed out (starting with the debate on the character of the English Revolution) and afterwards flagrant contradictions emerged which showed the whole early modern period as a large succession of consecutive crises: the religious crisis of the sixteenth century, the crisis of the 1590’s, the one of 1640 and finally the crisis of European consciousness between 1670 and 1715. Apart from reflecting on the meaning of crisis (and the use historians make of it), we consider it more logical to establish a new historical narration. In our studies on the sixteenth century we used the concept “configuration of the Hispanic Monarchy”, and regarding 1640 we conceive, on the basis of the research we are carrying out, a “reconfiguration” of both monarchies which implies transformation and not necessarily crisis.

From our point of view, the so called decadence of the Iberian Empires was much more complex and not only the consequence of economic causes, which is above all clear when we take into account that several territories of these monarchies went through a period of economic growth in this epoch. It was a general collapse which not only affected the social and political configuration on which these empires were founded during the sixteenth century, but also the ideological justification (political and theological) which had given raison d’être to their political practices. The Catholic Monarchy’s loss of interest in the European continent after the Peace of Westphalia, the evolution of the Portuguese monarchy and the attention for the Atlantic world are good indications for that.

Taking these considerations as a starting point we propose to analyse both monarchies from the perspective of the “reconfiguration” of their structures, which took place before the reforms of the eighteenth century.



Session 1 : Le concept de décadence

Session 2 : L’effondrement de la Cour. La reconfiguration de la Maison royale, les Conseils et les Validos. La fonction des résidences royales.

Session 3 : Décadence des vice-royautés ? La transformations institutionnelle des vice-royautés européennes et américaines.

Session 4 : Les relations diplomatiques entre les monarchies ibériques. La fin de l’expansion.




Instituto Universitario la Corte en Europa-Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
Camões -Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua


2-4 Décembre 2015


Université Autonome de Madrid
Université Rey Juan Carlos


Communications et séances publiques


Espagnol, portugais, anglais

INSCRIPTIONS (en anglais)

The proposals for panels should include three papers of 20 minutes each,
the name of the chair, the participants with their affiliation, the title of the
papers and a summary in 200 words. Proposals for individual papers are
also accepted, and have the same requirements. The proposals should be
sent by 10 April 2015 to

The presented papers will be published after peer review.

Inscriptions pour assister à la conférence

50 euros (repas et pauses comprises)
IBAN: Banco de SANTANDER ES3400496704582910002485
Libellé : “inscripción congreso decadencia”


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Accéder à l’appel en espagnol, portugais et anglais.

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