De vrede verzilverd? Het Eeuwig Edict en de Intrede van Don Juan in Leuven (februari-april 1577)

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Elisa Masschelein

Violet Soen

Samenvatting

After troublesome negotiations, on 12 February 1577 an 'Eternal Edict’ was signed in
Marche-en-Famenne, in order to end the struggle between the rebelling States-General in
the Low Countries, and the newly arrived Habsburg governor-general of these regions, Don,
Juan de Austria, half-brother to King Philip II. Afterwards, Don Juan travelled to the university
city of Leuven. Historiography hardly ever deals with this peace treaty, and even
less with its implementation, as the treaty ended less than seven months later when Don
Juan occupied the citadel of Namur. This contribution, however, warns for a too teleological
interpretation of the failure of the Eternal Edict. It analyzes the sparked pacification process
on three levels: first, the mise-en-place by the Habsburg councilors, second, the mise-en-
scène by the city of Leuven, and third, the mise-en-intrigue by the citizens and opponents
in the Low Countries. This threefold analysis will show that peacemaking in early
modern Europe consisted of a complex interplay between words, deeds, and performances.

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