The Peace of Munster, signed between the Catholic Monarchy and the United Provinces in 1648, went against the political culture of both polities. The fact that the Spanish Monarchy definitively accepted the independence of its former subjects clearly negated the policy put forward by the Monarchy during the eighty years that the war lasted and to the Monarchy's declared main goals. For the United Provinces, signing a peace with the archenemy without having brought liberty and religious freedom to ten of the seventeen provinces that formed part of the ancient Burgundian circle was also considered by important groups in the rebel provinces as a defection. Portraying the political culture of both the Catholic Monarchy and the United Provinces, Conflicting Words analyses the views held in both territories concerning the points that were discussed in pamphlets and treatises published during the peace negotiations. Laura Manza Baena also traces the origin of the arguments presented, showing how they were transformed during the period under study, and discusses their influence, or presence, in the diplomatic negotiations among the ambassadors of the United Provinces and the Catholic Monarchy in the German town of Munster. These discussions are inserted in the wider framework of a Christian realm that had to reassess its own values as a consequence of the confessionalization process and the Thirty Years' War, which affected t only the Empire but also all Central and Western Europe.
Laura Manzano Baena works for the Spanish State Society for Cultural Action.