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"Lords of the Forests in Flanders: Small War by ..." Topic

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©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Tango0124 Aug 2017 12:36 p.m. PST

…Freebooters and the Dutch Contributions System in Flanders, 15841592.

"The successful Spanish reconquista of the major rebellious cities in Flanders and Brabant (158485) by Alexander Farnese did not bring peace to these provinces. Based in frontier towns such as Ostend and Sluis, which were held by the Dutch, the so-called vributers (freebooters) penetrated deep into Flanders and Brabant to wage guerrilla warfare. This chapter investigates who the freebooters were, it describes their actions and their impact on life and the economy in the front region, and it discusses the largely unsuccessful stratagems developed by both the Spanish and the Dutch to control this very fluid aspect of early modern warfare. It is shown how freebooters suddenly disappeared from the war scene early in the 1590s to be replaced by a full-fledged contributions system run by Dutch civil servants. This contributions system changed life and power relations in the front region and beyond and altered the course of the conventional war leading up to the battle of Nieuwpoort (1600) and the siege of Ostend (16011604)"
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