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Early modern war narratives and the Revolt in the Low Countries$
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Raymond Fagel, Leonor Álvarez Francés, and Beatriz Santiago Belmonte

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526140869

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526140876

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Orange’s Spanish mulatto and other side-changers: narratives on Spanish defection during the Revolt in the Low Countries

Orange’s Spanish mulatto and other side-changers: narratives on Spanish defection during the Revolt in the Low Countries

Chapter:
(p.107) 6 Orange’s Spanish mulatto and other side-changers: narratives on Spanish defection during the Revolt in the Low Countries
Source:
Early modern war narratives and the Revolt in the Low Countries
Author(s):

Raymond Fagel

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7765/9781526140876.00013

Defection is a considerably neglected topic in the context of the Dutch Revolt. This chapter concentrates on a selection of narrative fragments on Spanish defectors to the rebel side during the Revolt in the Low Countries. The analysis not only shows the importance of this rather unknown phenomenon, but also addresses the different ways of describing these side-changers. Especially striking is the fact that although Spanish chronicler and military man Alonso Vázquez criticizes all defectors, he does find positive words for some of them in his individual biographical descriptions. One of them, a mulatto soldier, decided to change sides after being the victim of racist comments from within his own army unit. The fact that rebel propaganda produced a strong and lasting image of all Spaniards as cruel and untrustworthy liars did not prevent the presence of Spaniards within the rebel army.

Keywords:   Defection, side-changers, Dutch Revolt, war narratives, Spanish tercios, Alonso Vázquez, Mulatto

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