Public opinion and publicity (XVII century)
Origin of public communication areas concerning royal weddings between Bourbons and Habsburgs in 1615
The aim of this thesis is Monarchic or representative publicity in the early XVII century: production support and distribution, ways of expression and of message transmission, communication webs and discursive strategies. The methodology used is multidisciplinary and applies different theoretical tools to the analysis of documents and images in order to establish a new concept of the history of communication in the period studied.
A specific and newsworthy subject, which is unique and unlikely to be repeated, has been chosen as the object of this study: the double royal wedding celebrated in 1615 between the royal Spanish and French monarchies. This solemnized the marriage of the Infanta Anne of Austria with the King of France Louis XIII, and the marriage between Princess Elisabeth of Bourbon with Prince Philip IV, future king of Spain.
The thesis is divided into three basic areas, analysing context, webs and production.
The first area is divided into three chapters. In Chapter 1, we have studied the historical context which places the specific moment of the exchange of princesses (November the 9th, 1615), the negotiating of the marriages (1614-1618) and the period when they take place (1598-1621), a period of relative peace and of radical political and cultural changes in Europe. Chapter 2 is dedicated to the theoretical and multidisciplinary context, always from the point of view of the history of communication. Chapter 3 studies the historiographical context.
The second area is about communication webs. Chapter 4 analyses the popular celebration (fiesta) as a way to communicate the advertising message. Chapter 5 analyses the wedding ceremony as the scenario where the rite becomes the language used by power. Chapter 6 is about the spatial frame where these communication webs are articulated and used by the monarchy to organise and control territory.
The third area is dedicated to the production of cultural objects, which are meant for representative publicity. Thus, Chapter 7 studies literary creation: comedy, chronicle, essay, events narration, apologetic prose and court poetry. Chapter 8 is about the iconography produced in the wedding celebrations, and includes engravings, emblems and commemorative pictures. Finally, Chapter 9 analyses the different polemic texts which unleashed a fierce debate about the usefulness of these royal weddings in 1615.
The Conclusion explains the notion of representative publicity and power performance patterns during the studied period. We have analysed the conceptual changes in values and social principles of the period, always in relation to the enlargement and replacing of information webs produced by the innovation of printing. We have also considered the difficult autonomy of the new group of opinion makers arising in the intellectual class. Finally, this study considers the creation of communication areas and the invention of public opinion and its utility in relation to a new multidisciplinary view of the history of communication.
Materiales de historia es una web de investigación en ciencias sociales basada en trabajos de José María Perceval