Subproject A03 — Dynastic marriage contracts and securitisation
Bild: Friedrich V. und Elisabeth Stuart
Dynastic marriage contracts form an integral part of International Public Law during the early modern period. Research has often emphasised, how relevant dynastic marriage politics and marriages were to national and international security, but their actual role is assessed controversially. Some scholars consider dynastic marriages to be one of the main reasons for destabilisation and war in early modern Europe, whereas others see them as a means of creating additional security. Our project tries to understand the relationship between dynastic marriage politics and the representation and creation of security in a historically adequate way, in order to sort out the political function of marriage contracts, especially from the actors’ point of view.
For this purpose, early modern marriage treaties need to be collected and analysed first, and this is what we do in our project focus Ia. By the end of the project, our database will contain the contents of up to 600 dynastic marriage agreements between royal or virtually royal partners from all over Europe between 1500 and 1815.
Closely referring to the database and its macro-perspective, there are two detailed case-studies dedicated to researching the relationship between dynastic politics and security in depth:
Our project focus 1b investigates the dynastic politics of the Danish-Norwegian monarchy between 1523 and 1700. It provides a promising example, not only because the importance of this power changed during the investigated period. The investigation is also facilitated by the existence of an extensively annotated edition of all the treaties concluded by the Danish-Norwegian monarchy in the respective period (“Danmark-Norges Traktater”). It is intended to find out how dynastic marriages were integrated into diplomatic practice, how political actors used dynastic marriages to shape the future from a perspective of securitisation, and which concepts of security became effective during marriage negotiations.
Our research focus 2 deals with security and dynastic politics on two different levels: First, it shall be tried to identify early-modern normative ideas on royal marriages and security by translating and evaluating political and judicial treatise literature from 1517 to 1795. Common to the educated public, these ideas were spread by university education, legal opinion and political advice. How they eventually contributed to the formation of political concepts and to determining political actions shall be investigated on a European level in micro-studies on the dynastic marriages in the house of Hesse-Kassel between 1649 and 1740.
With this approach, our project initially focuses specifically on those aspects of dynastic marriage politics that have been rather neglected in the past, i.e. the marriages of Northern and North-Western Europe. The detailed studies also focus on issues of representation and the understanding of security in the core area of royal dynastic politics.