Duarte Ribeiro De Macedo. A Modern Diplomat (1618-1680)

Ana Maria Homem Leal de Faria
14 páginas

Modern diplomacy in Portugal was shaped by historical circumstances that gave it very individual characteristics. The congresses and the peace of Westphalia (1644-48) allowed diplomatic relations to be re-established in a Europe that had seen its system of representation shaken to the core by the schism caused by the Reformation and the Wars of Religion. Portugal had managed to seize the opportunity created by international circumstances to restore its independence, which Spain and the Papacy refused to acknowledge for almost thirty years. While war-based diplomacy required secret missions and specific negotiations, peacetime diplomacy constituted different demands. Using Duarte Ribeiro de Macedo’s life-history – he was the first diplomat sent to Louis XIV to justify the peace with Spain (13 February 1668) that went against the treaty with France signed less than a year before (31 March 1667) – we can define behaviour connected to the conditions surrounding diplomatic activity, as well as identify aspects that provide an understanding of the worldviews of a small social group, a governing elite in the period when the modern State was being established and the absolute monarchy was being consolidated. This involves studying the process involved in the creation of modern diplomacy – starting from the concrete case of Portugal – and its contribution in defining the foreign policy of European states and developing international relations, including the impact of the external conjuncture of events on domestic policy at a time when the concept of Europe gradually started to replace the mediaeval notion of Christendom.

Palavras-chave: Early Modern Period, Absolutism, Diplomacy, War, Inquisition, Mercantilism