The Sad Incident in London of 1661 Essay

The Sad Incident in London of 1661 Essay

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The Sad Incident in London of 1661
Luis XIV a todo anteponía su propia «gloria»,
termino que se conesponde con lo que para los
Austrias era la «reputacion»
In introducing the topic of precedence—which can seem to the modern citizen as nothing more than childish behavior—one must also remember the importance of such acts in defining and structuring society. The concept of primitive accumulation as described in Capital by Karl Marx is useful in understanding the role of such behaviors. Marx wrote that “the usurpation of feudal and clan property, and its transformation into modern private property under circumstances of reckless terrorism, were just so many idyllic methods of primitive accumulation.” Here he describes the process by which invaders appropriate themselves of a land and then, through the feudal system, create a higher class for themselves from which they dominate the masses. This higher class is not separate from the people unless they give themselves names, ranks, and protocol. The Spanish nobility in the Reconquista was formed in such a way; they were invaders in their own land. They recuperated their old land from the moors. To solidify the position of the nobility, protocol, titles, and privileges were decreed. Thus, the lower class was separated from the possibility of social upward movement. The nobility was also segregated, and a strict protocol was created and adapted to keep them stratified and immobile. The protocol defined with strictness every act one could perform in public. In this manner, public perception became the honor of the nobility. Morals were only an outward appearance of protocol.
With these concepts in mind, the sad incident of 1661 involving Spain and France occurred in London. This i...


... middle of paper ...


...da de Excusas” “en presencia de toda la Corte, Nuncio apostólico, más de una veintena de embajadores extranjeros y toda suerte de altos dignatarios” (119). The French wanted to gain as many benefits as possible from this treaty.
In conclusion, precedence in the courts was a matter of the utmost importance. It was reason for embarrassment, bloodshed, and even possible war. Spanish precedence in the European courts lost way to the French at the “Embajada de Excusas” because of the incident in England. This incident also marked Spain’s decline from the most important power in Europe and their handing of the reigns to France.


Works Cited

Marx, Karl. Capital. 23 Nov. 2009
Williams, Geoffrey. “EI incidente diplomático hispano-francés de 1661.” Boletin de la Real Academia de la Historia. 1. 2004:97-159.

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