UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Duke Charles of Burgundy and the Low Countries : 1467-1477 Groenewold, Harm Jan

Abstract

This thesis investigates the position of Duke Charles of Burgundy in the Low Countries. The heart of this thesis is found in the three chapters dealing with the life and work of Duke Charles and his significance for the Low Countries. His role in the political and economic spheres cannot he subordinated to the Franco-Burgundian conflict which came to the foreground during his lifetime. Charles’ attitude towards the economy and the position of the towns and counties was based on the needs and interests of the Low Countries. To understand the attitude of Duke Charles, the preliminary chapters give a brief analysis of the available historiography and of the heritage of Duke Charles. The succeeding chapters deal with the various aspects of his reign in an attempt to assess his position in the Low Countries and in Europe. Duke Charles' attitude towards the towns and institutions are also examined to illustrate his activity as a state-builder. These two chapters reveal that Duke Charles was consistent in his aims and that his activity was beneficial for the Low Countries. The conclusion of this thesis is that the traditional view of Duke Charles must be modified. It becomes quite clear that he was not a destructive force in the political development of the Low Countries but that he brought into focus the needs of the 'state'. Charles provided political stability and the opportunity for economic expansion which contributed to the growth of the Low Countries.

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