Christopher Storrs

+44 (0) 1382 385086
Reader in History

Profile

Profile

I joined the University of Dundee in 1994.

My teaching focuses primarily on Europe in the early modern era (i.e. between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries). I offer a range of related Honours modules: Imperial Spain 1476-1840 (Level 3); Enlightened Despotism in Europe 1763-1789 (Level 4 Option); and The French Revolution 1789-1799 (Level 4 Special Subject).

My current research focuses on what has been called "Spain’s Dark Ages", between 1665 and 1746, and – focusing on the example of the Savoyard state in Italy - on the process of state formation, and the nature of the state in the early modern era. Issues related to these topics are important to some of the Honours modules I teach.

I am a member of the Scottish Centre for Global History: http://globalhistory.org.uk/

Teaching

Teaching

I teach a wide range of modules on early modern Europe and more specifically on Spain and its empire at all undergraduate levels and at taught Masters level. I have also supervised PhD theses relating to the history of early modern Spain.

Undergraduate Modules:

Research

Research

I am a member of the Scottish Centre for Global History: http://globalhistory.org.uk/

 

My research focuses – chronologically - mainly on the early modern world. In terms of geography my interest centres on Spain and its empire and I have just completed a study of the recovery of Spain under the first Bourbon king, Philip V (1700-1746) which with my earlier monograph on Charles II (1665-1746) represents an attempt to fill what was long been a gaping hole in Spanish historiography. But I also retain a strong interest in Italy, in particuIar focused on the Savoyard state, i.e. the territories ruled by the house of Savoy, whose capital was Turin). As for themes, my main areas of expertise and interest include, state (and empire) formation, international relations (armies, diplomacy, war and peace) and the so-called “fiscal-military state” which weaves these two strands together; the nobility.

Current and long-term projects include:

The problem of Public and Private Debt in Early Modern Europe. Building on my earlier (published) work on the “fiscal-military state”, I want to explore the extent to which there existed alongside the funded public debt a large, unfunded public debt (essentially unpaid salaries, wages, bills of all types) which effectively meant that large numbers of individuals working for and/or supplying services to the state were owed money by the latter and the extent to which individuals, families and communities and their own networks of credit were effectively underpinning the “fiscal-military state”.

Arising too out of my “fiscal-military state” work, I am interested in the role of foreign diplomats as observers of, commentators on and transmitters of information concerning the construction of that type of state. I intend to look at British and Savoyard diplomatic correspondence in respect of developments in eighteenth century Spain, British and Spanish in respect of the eighteenth century Savoyard state, and Spanish and Savoyard in respect of eighteenth century British developments.

Again building on my own earlier research, this time on Spain, I want to explore the persistence of older constitutional forms in eighteenth century Spain despite (a) the suppression of the distinctive laws (fueros) of the crown of Aragon from 1707 onwards and (b) the almost complete disappearance after 1665 of formal meetings of the Cortes.

Another, but longer-term research project relates to the fate of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in the early modern era. I want to explore the impact on numbers of pilgrims, on the great network that made up or serviced that pilgrimage and on the economy of the towns of northern Spain of Reformation, Counter-Reformation and Enlightenment.

Even longer-term research projects are major studies of (a) “The Decline of Spain” and (b) “The construction and collapse of an ancient regime polity: Spain c. 1470-1840”.

Suggested areas for postgraduate supervision

  • Early Modern Spain
  • Early Modern Italy, especially Spanish Italy and the Duchy of Savoy
  • State Formation in Europe
  • Identity in Europe
  • The European Nobility/-ies
  • War, Diplomacy and International Relations in Europe
  • Crime, Punishment and Military Justice in Europe
  • Espionage and Intelligence in Europe

AHRC funded studentships are available in my research area - more details

My research focuses – chronologically - mainly on the early modern world. In terms of geography my interest centres on Spain and its empire and have just completed a study of the recovery of Spain under the first Bourbon king, Philip V (1700-1746) which with my earlier monograph on Charles II (1665-1746) represents an attempt to fill what was long been a gaping hole in Spanish historiography. But I also retain a strong interest in Italy, in particuIar focused on the Savoyard state, i.e. the territories ruled by the house of Savoy, whose capital was Turin). As for themes, my main areas of expertise and interest include, state (and empire) formation, international relations (armies, diplomacy, war and peace) and the so-called “fiscal-military state” which weaves these two strands together; the nobility.

 

Current and long-term projects include:

 

The problem of Public and Private Debt in Early Modern Europe. Building on my earlier (published) work on the “fiscal-military state”, I want to explore the extent to which there existed alongside the funded public debt a large, unfunded public debt (essentially unpaid salaries, wages, bills of all types) which effectively meant that large numbers of individuals working for and/or supplying services to the state were owed money by the latter and the extent to which individuals, families and communities and their own networks of credit were effectively underpinning the “fiscal-military state”.

 

Arising too out of my “fiscal-military state” work, I am interested in the role of foreign diplomats as observers of, commentators on and transmitters of information concerning the construction of that type of state. I intend to look at British and Savoyard diplomatic correspondence in respect of developments in eighteenth century Spain, British and Spanish in respect of the eighteenth century Savoyard state, and Spanish and Savoyard in respect of eighteenth century British developments.

 

 

Again building on my own earlier research, this time on Spain, I want to explore the persistence of older constitutional forms in eighteenth century Spain despite (a) the suppression of the distinctive laws (fueros) of the crown of Aragon from 1707 onwards and (b) the almost complete disappearance after 1665 of formal meetings of the Cortes.

 

 

Another, but longer-term research project relates to the fate of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in the early modern era. I want to explore the impact on numbers of pilgrims, on the great network that made up or serviced that pilgrimage and on the economy of the towns of northern Spain of Reformation, Counter-Reformation and Enlightenment.

 

Even longer-term research projects are major studies of (a) “The Decline of Spain” and (b) “The construction and collapse of an ancient regime polity: Spain c. 1470-1840”.

Publications

Publications

Books

  • War, Diplomacy and the Rise of Savoy 1690-1720 (Cambridge, 1999).
  • The Resilience of the Spanish Monarchy 1665-1700 (Oxford, 2006) This book is currently being translated into Spanish for publication in Spain late in 2011
  • The Fiscal-Military State in the Eighteenth Century: Essays for P.G.M. Dickson (Aldershot, 2009), edited by me, I also contributed the ‘Introduction: the fiscal-military state in the ‘long’ eighteenth century’’ (pp. 1-22), and ‘The Savoyard fiscal-military state in the ‘long’ eighteenth century’ (pp. 201-35)

Articles/chapters

  • 'Thomas Coxe and the Lindau Project', in A. de Lange, ed., Dall'Europa alle Valli Valdesi. Atti del Convegno 2Il Glorioso Rimpatrio 1689-1989, (Torino, 1990), pp. 199-214
  • 'Machiavelli Dethroned: Victor Amadeus II and the making of the Anglo-Savoyard alliance of 1690',European History Quarterly, Vol. 22, (1992), 3, pp. 347-82
  • with HM Scott, 'Introduction: The Consolidation of Noble Power in Europe c. 1600-1800'. in H.M. Scott, ed., The European Nobilities in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, 2 vols., (London, 1995), I, pp. 1-52 (2nd edition published, 2006)
  • with H.M. Scott (50% contribution), 'The Military Revolution and the European Nobility c. 1600-1800', War in History, Vol. 3, (1996), pp. 1-41
  • ‘The Army of Lombardy and the Resilience of Spanish power in Italy 1665-1700. Part One’, War in History, Vol. 4/4, (1997), pp. 371-97
  • ‘The Army of Lombardy and the Resilience of Spanish power in Italy 1665-1700. Part Two’, War in History, Vol. 5/1, (1998), pp. 1-22
  • ‘Disaster at Darien (1698-1700)? The Persistence of Spanish Imperial Power on the Eve of the Demise of the Spanish Habsburgs’, European History Quarterly, Vol. 29/1 (1999), p. 5-38. This article was republished in translation in the Spanish Revista di Storia Naval Ano XVIII, Num. 68 (2000), pp. 7-34.
  • ‘Sardinian diplomacy in the Eighteenth Century (1684-1798)', in D. Frigo, ed., Politics and Diplomacy in Early Modern Italy. The Structure of Diplomatic Practice, 1450-1800 (Cambridge, 2000), pp. 210-253
  • ‘Germany’s Indies? The Spanish Monarchy and Germany in the Reign of the Last Spanish Habsburg, Charles II’, in C. Kent, T.K. Wolber and C.M.K. Hewitt, eds., The Lion and the Eagle. Interdisciplinary Essays on German-Spanish Relations over the Centuries (New York and London, 2000),pp. 108-129.
  • ‘Le Politiche Statali: Lo Stato Sabaudo, Pinerolo e la Chiesa 1690-1748’, in A. Bernardi, et. al., eds., Il Settecento Religioso nel Pinerolese, (Pinerolo, 2001), pp. 23-47.
  • ‘La pervivencia de la monarquía española bajo el reinado de Carlos II (1665-1700)’, Manuscrits, Vol. 21 (2003), pp. 39-61
  • ‘Ormea as Foreign Minister 1732-45: the Savoyard State between England and Spain’, in A. Merlotti, ed.,Nobilta e Stato in Piemonte. I Ferrero d’Ormea (Turin, 2003), pp. 231-48
  • ‘Der politische Kontext der Vertreibung der franzosischen Protestanten aus dem Piemont (1698)’, in A. de Lange and G. Schwinge, eds., Pieter Valckenier und das Schicksal der Waldenser um 1700 (Heidelberg-Basel, 2004), pp. 13-36
  • ‘Health, Sickness and Medical Services in Spain’s Armed Forces 1665-1700’, Medical History, Vol. 50, (2006), pp. 325-50
  • ‘Foreign Penetration of the Spanish Empire 1660-1714: Sweden, Scotland and England’, inA. I. Macinnes and A.H. Williamson, eds., Shaping the Stuart World, 1603-1714. The Atlantic Connection (Leiden, 2006), pp. 337-65
  • ‘The (Spanish) Armies of Carlos II (1665-1700)’, in E. Garcia Hernan and D. Maffi, eds., Guerra y Sociedad en la Monarquía Hispánica Política, Estrategia y Cultura en la Europa Moderna (1500-1700), 2 vols. (Madrid, 2006), I, pp. 485-500.
  • Imperial Authority and the Levy of Contributions in “Reichsitalien” in the Nine Years War (1690-1696)’, in M. Schnettger and M. Verga, eds., L’Impero e l’Italia nella Prima Eta Moderna/Das Reich und Italien in der Fruhen Neuzeit (Bologna and Berlin, 2006), pp. 241-73
  • ‘Intelligence and the Formulation of Spanish Policy and Strategy (1665-1700)’, Intelligence and National Security, Vol. 21, (2006), pp. 493-519
  • ‘Provincial Governors and the Absolute State: Piedmont, 1713-48’, European History Quarterly Vol. 37/1, (2007), pp. 35-60
  • ‘Giustizia militare, militari e non militari nell’Europa della prima eta moderna’, in C. Donati and B.R. Kroener, eds., Militari e societa civile nell’Europa dell’eta moderna (secoli XVI-XVIII’, (Bologna, 2007), pp. 573-609
  • ‘Savoyard Diplomacy: A Case of Exceptionalism?’,in P. Bianchi, ed., Il Piemonte Come Eccezione?(Turin, 2008), pp. 95-111
  • ‘The Union of 1707 and the War of the Spanish Succession’, special (monograph) issue of Scottish Historical Review, LXXXVII (2008), pp. 31-44
  • ‘Italians in Military Service outside Italy in Early Modern Europe: Britain’, in P. Bianchi, D. Maffi and E. Stumpo, eds., Italiani al servizio straniero in eta moderna, Guerra e pace in eta moderna. Annali si storia moderna, 1 (2008), pp. 41-53
  • ‘Inglaterra y la Guerra de Sucesion Espanola’, in F. Garcia Gonzalez, ed., La Guerra de Sucesion en Espana y la Batalla de Almansa (Madrid, 2009), pp. 109-31.
  • ‘The Role of Religion in Spanish Foreign Policy in the Reign of Carlos II (1665-1700)’, in D. Onnekink, ed.,War and Religion after Westphalia 1648-1713 (Aldershot, 2009), pp. 25-46
  • ‘The Savoyard state: another Enlightened Despotism?’, in G. Paquette, ed., Enlightened Reform in Southern Europe and its Atlantic Colonies, c. 1750-1830 (Aldershot, 2009), pp. 203-228
  • ‘British Diplomacy in Switzerland (1689-1789) and Eighteenth Century Diplomatic Culture’, in E. Pibiri and G. Poisson, eds., Le diplomate en question, (Lausanne, 2010), pp. 181-215
  • ‘The Fallen Politician's Way Back In: Melchor de Macanaz as Spy and Secret Negotiator’, in D. Szechi, ed., The Dangerous Trade. Spies, Spymasters and the Making of Europe (Dundee, 2010), pp.

Invited Lectures

  • La Trasformacion de Inglaterra/ The Rise of Britain c. 1689-1725 at the University of Cantabria (Santander, Spain) on 17 October (part of a seminar series "Europa en torno a Utrecht")
  • The Revival of Spain c. 1713-1748 at the Spanish Embassy in London on 24 October (part of a symposium on the Treaty of Utrecht 1713-2013)