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Kirmse, Stefan B.; Legay, Marie-Laure

Centres and Peripheries in Early Modern Europe (1500-1800)

In: (Ed.)
The European Experience
A Multi-Perspective History of Modern Europe, 1500–2000

Open Book Publishers

Abstract

This chapter discusses centre-periphery relations in early modern Europe, focusing on practical policy and its repercussions, while taking the evolution of discourse into account where appropriate. In so doing, it takes a sensitive view of power asymmetries and violence in early modern state-building; rather than reproducing the rhetoric of different centres, it tries to complement and challenge these narratives with more ‘peripheral’ perspectives. In addition, the chapter delves into the idiosyncrasies of the early modern period. How did centre-periphery relations during this period differ from earlier times and later developments? As this chapter alone cannot do justice to the variety of European experiences, it will zoom in on two specific contexts—France and Russia—and reveal instructive similarities and differences between these cases.