The Wars Of Religion Between 1560 And 1648

Submitted By Ivan-Wang
Words: 519
Pages: 3

Ivan Wang

Euro History


The Wars of Religion between 1560 and 1648 was one of the many decisive factors that dramatically altered he world in which Europeans lived forever. War and religious issues dominated politics and were intertwined: religion was commonly used to rationalize wars. Nonetheless, it weakened some countries and strengthened others. For instance, the religious conflict that took place in Netherland crippled the economy of Spain while promoted the social welfare in Dutch through an inconsiderable way. The decadence of Spanish empire is completely due to the foolishness and over-ambition of Philips II, who devoted his life in to religious issue rather than internal improvement of the country as a whole. As a Catholic who relied heavily on God when it came to political issue, Phillips II was extremely inflexible toward the religious toleration. He identified toleration within the growth of heresy, civil disorder, violence and bloodshed: “Had there be no inquisition (in Spain) there would have been more heretics, and the country would be in a lamentable state like others (the Netherland) where there is no inquisition as we have in Spain.” With his determination to crush heresy in the Low Countries, he started wasting the enormous wealth from America by spending all of them on warfare. Because wars of the late sixteenth- and seventeenth- century armies were bigger than medieval ones, they are very costly; however, the obstinate Phillips II still paid the high cost on reorganizing army and maintaining fortresses that contributed heavily to state indebtedness. On top of that, he lost the sea war against England and never launched any decisive victory on Netherland, which would prolong the war to the level that he could not afford anymore. At the end, the key city for exchange got destroyed, and Dutch declared their independence; the only thing left for Spain was the spirit of defeatism. Their national economy had never recovered since then, and they are no longer the dominant power in