Essay on Assess The Main Reasons Why Spain Was Unable To Crush The Revolt In The Netherlands In The 1570s And 1580s

Submitted By jamesseymour_
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Assess the main reasons why Spain was unable to crush the revolt in the Netherlands in the 1570s and 1580s
Philip II inherited the Netherlands from his father when he took over as king. Although Charles V was loved by the Dutch, they hated Philip by the end of his reign. The main reason that Spain couldn’t crush the revolt was due to William of Orange, a nobleman who had a lot of influence and power in the Netherlands. Other reasons include the actions of Philip, the Union of Utrecht and also the economic and financial state of Spain.
The main reason Spain couldn’t crush the revolt in the Netherlands was due to the great influence of William of Orange. At the beginning of Philips reign, William was quite content to Philips laws and went a long with them due to the great friendship he had with Charles V. However, his views changed after he fled to Germany, William became quite anti-Spaniard and joined the Calvinist Church in 1573, a religion in which believed they could overthrow the king. He had quite an influence over the States General and so it was easy for him to withhold Spanish laws, this resistance made it much harder for Philip to take control over the Netherlands. Although Don John (new Governor General of the Netherlands) signed the Perpetual Edict, William of Orange did not trust him and refused to co-operate with him as he believed as soon as Don John had sufficient funds, he’d bring troops back into the Netherlands, which he did. In 1579, the Union of Utrecht was set up directly under William’s influence, ‘uniting’ the Northern provinces against Spain. This created a religious and political division in the Netherlands, something which Philip just wouldn’t be able to fix. It was this resistance and unwillingness to co-operate at all with Spain which made it impossible for Philip to crush the revolt.
Another big reason why Spain was unable to crush the revolt was because of Philips actions. Unlike Charles V, Philip was resented by the Netherlands mainly due to his ignorance towards their rights and traditions. He didn’t speak their language and never visited again after the 1560’s. They believed they were being ruled by a careless foreigner. In most ways Philip was not much different than his father, in fact, Charles had burnt 2000 heretics already, but Charles…