Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




Nicholas S. Popper

Committee Member

Fabrício Prado

Committee Member

Joshua Piker

Committee Member

Fidel J. Tavárez


My dissertation, “The Spyglass and the Mirror: The Intelligence State in Conflict and Crisis During the War of the Spanish Succession,” explains the role of practices of intelligence in creating modern governance at a moment of considerable crisis and change in the early eighteenth century. Combining insights from recent approaches to early modern history, political practice and Atlantic history rooted in information practices, my research demonstrates that the actions and structures of governments during the early modern period cannot be understood without an intense focus on the creation and utilization of intelligence. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, several of Europe’s major powers became embroiled in a conflict surrounding the royal successions of Spain and England. This conflict spanned more than a decade and stretched from the Philippines to the Balkans all of which necessitated considerable expenditure of informational resources. Ultimately, I demonstrate that practices of intelligence structured policies, actions, and perspectives of government through multilateral process of observation, introspection, and reflection. In turn, these practices thereby delineated the structure of the state itself.



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