War, State, and Society in Liège

How a Small State of the Holy Roman Empire survived the Nine Year's War (1688-1697)

Roeland Goorts

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Small power diplomacy in seventeenth century Europe

War, State and Society in Liège is a fascinating case study of the consequences of war in the Prince-Bishopric of Liège and touches upon wider issues in early modern history, such as small power diplomacy in the seventeenth century and during the Nine Years’ War.

For centuries, the small semi-independent Holy Roman Principality of Liège succeeded in preserving a non-belligerent role in European conflicts. During the Nine Years’ War (1688–1697), however, Liège’s leaders had to abolish the practice of neutrality. For the first time in its early modern history, the Prince-Bishopric had to raise a regular army, reconstruct ruined defence structures, and supply army contributions in both money and material.

The issues under discussion in War, State and Society in Liège offer the reader insight into how Liège politically protected its powerful institutions and how the local elite tried to influence the interplay between domestic and external diplomatic relationships.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).
List of figures, maps, illustrations and tables 
List of archival abbreviations 1
Note on the nomenclature of the Nine Years’ War 

Chapter I
Introduction to the Nine Years’ War 
Chapter II
The balance of power in the Principality of Liège 
Chapter III
The finances of the Prince-Bishopric during the Nine Years’ War 
Chapter IV
The army of Liège 
Chapter V
The urban sites and their defences 
Chapter VI
Foreign relations 
Chapter VII
“Den kleinen Krieg” in the Prince-Bishopric 
Chapter VIII
The economic and social effects 
Chapter IX
Conclusion on the Nine Years’ War in the Princedom 


Format: Monograph - ebook

418 pages

b&w images

ISBN: 9789461662712

Publication: March 11, 2019

Series: Avisos de Flandes 17

Languages: English

Roeland Goorts, PhD, studied at the KU Leuven and the University of Reading. His research focuses on medieval and early modern military history, especially in the Prince-Bishopric of Liège.
Nevertheless, this book will undoubtedly spur researchers to more in-depth investigation, analysis, and comparison with other ecclesiastical and imperial, comparatively less neutral and more militarized, states.
Michael Depreter, Early Modern Low Countries 6 (2022) 1, DOI 10.51750/emlc.12179

Par la masse d’informations qu’il apporte, le livre rendra d’indéniables services aux spécialistes d’histoire militaire et diplomatique. Ses faiblesses rhétoriques n’obèrent pas son apport à l’histoire de la neutralité. Nous disposons ici, grâce au travail de R. Goorts, d’un éclairage essentiel sur l’histoire de l’espace mosan pris dans la tourmente des conflits entre la France, le Saint-Empire et les Provinces-Unies à la fin du XVIIe siècle.
Thierry ALLAIN, Revue d'histoire moderne & contemporaine 69-1, janvier-mars 2022

Much of the real value of Goorts’s work lies in the amount of detail he is able to provide on the workings of the state, the network of local communities within the territory, and the economy, and on the impact of war on all three. He is able to trace the careers and fortunes of any number of minor characters who would normally never make it into more broadly focused works; he shows much of the human cost of war in individual localities. Taken as a whole, his work is a valuable addition to the scholarship on war and society in the early modern period.
James R. Smither, Renaissance Quarterly , Volume 74 , Issue 2 , Summer 2021 , pp. 633 - 634 , DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/rqx.2021.44

Goorts’s War, State and Society in Liège is an important addition to our understanding of warfare during the early modern period, particularly in the age of Louis XIV, and of small states directly affected by such conflicts. While often portrayed as wars of maneuver and siege, Goorts’s investigation of Liège during the Nine Years’ War illustrates the complexities of late seventeenth-century warfare and the implications for those states caught in war’s path. War, State and Society in Liège sheds new light not only on Louis XIV’s wars, but on how small states coped with its challenges.
John M. Stapleton, Jr., Journal of Military History, vol. 84, no. 4 (October 2020)

Goorts provides a wealth of relevant empirical material on the internal politics and fiscal-military organization of the Prince-Bishopric of Liège that will prove valuable for historians working in this field.
Bram van Besouw, BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, 135(2). DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/bmgn-lchr.10805