Rise and Fall of the Great Powers 1. The authors main thesis relates to "The Hapsburg Struggle for Mastery" by obviously displaying the improper use of resources available to the Hapsburgs. With the extent of their land, and therefore the great amount of human and physical resources that they controlled, the Hapsburgs could have had complete control of Europe, if they had operated correctly. As shown, though, the Hapsburg empire fell because their resources were improperly implemented during attempted conquest. 2. Kennedy's idea of mastery was achievable by the Hapsburgs because of their vast control of land in Europe. They also had a vast amount of human resources available, hence all the land they controlled. Because they held so much land, and it was well spread out, they could have easily encompassed Europe with their military force, and take it over. The Hapsburg's army also consisted of the elite Spanish trained infantry, which Kennedy feels is a great advantage. 3. There were some disadvantages to the Hapsburgs, which could also be thought of as advantages if used differently. One of the biggest disadvantages that Kennedy displays is the incompetence of rulers especially the Spanish government. The Spanish were unable to mobilize their army effectively which basically eroded their own power. 4. Kennedy displays that the Hapsburg quest for mastery was a failure as they went into dept and had to raise taxes greatly to compensate. The cost of warfare was much to high and troops mutineed often.