chapter  3
The Long-Run Instability of Multipolar Systems
Pages 25

Spain." According to Polisensky (1971, 22) the author of the previous quote, the conflict between the Netherlands and Spain was one of the two major axes of conflict in Europe (the other being the Turkish question), one which had already "been draining the life-blood of Spain since 1566 and had been the root cause of Spanish bankruptcies in 1557, 1575, and 1596 as it was to be again in 1607" (Polisensky 1971, 21). Thompson (1986) even treats the years preceding and including the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War (1608-1620) as unipolar with the Netherlands as the leading global power. Although this assessment is based principally on sea power, nevertheless the threat from this Calvinist state to the Spanish Habsburgs, also a sea power and militantly Catholic, must have been pronounced. Additionally, much of Switzerland already was Calvinist with the then strong reputation of the Swiss for military prowess.