The Act of Cession of 1598 is generally considered as a Habsburg failure, for it did not
succeed in the pacification and reunification of the Low Countries. By looking into the
negotiations surrounding the cession, and more specifically the arguments used to accept
or denounce the change of power from the Spanish King to the Archdukes, this article
tries to uncover the reasons for its lack of success. Whilst the loyal provinces benefitted
from extended cooperation with the dynasty, the United Provinces were not prepared to
rejoin Habsburg rule. This divide followed out of the growing state formation in both
parts of the Low Countries, which entailed uncomplimentary concepts of statehood.