The Good Law of a Vassal: Fidelity, Obedience and Obligation in Habsburg Spain

Interpersonal relations such as fidelity and obedience were basic in Old Regime societies as they derived from some higher principles (love, charitas, beneficentia) implying both hierarchy and reciprocity. Like other composite monarchies, Habsburg Spain was confronted with the issue of securing loyalty to a common king while observing it s juridical heterogeneity. In times of increasing fiscal and military pressures, fidelity could paradoxically provide convincing arguments for revolt, since it was thought to have it s own limits.