How Significant Was The Reformed Faith To The Success Of The Dutch Revolt?

1172 words - 5 pages

The Dutch Revolt, In the sixteenth century, was a conflict between the Protestant Low Countries, and the Catholic Spanish Empire. This resulted in the division of the seventeen provinces of the Netherlands, and eventually the formation of the Dutch Republic. The Dutch speaking north were tolerant to various religious affiliations, whereas, the French and Walloon South, remained loyal to Philip II, and were predominantly Catholic. In order to establish the significance of reformed faith in the success of the Dutch Revolt, this assignment will explore some of the events surrounding the uprising. In addition, it will consider social, economic and political factors, in order to identify how they contribute to the success of the conflict.

Ole Peter Griel's, et al (2007), interpretation of events, suggest that in early modern Europe, the Netherlands, Antwerp in particular, was a region in which commerce thrived. This prosperous and urbanised area, with contrasts both culturally and linguistically between the north and the south, provided for an ideal background in the manifestation of political and religious grievances.

Additionally, Philip II (1556 – 1598), king of Spain and the Hapsburg Netherlands, was indifferent to the traditional, political and cultural aspects of the provinces. Initially, the trigger for the 1566 crisis was the rise in taxation. ' Philips government in Brussels was widely perceived to extort money from the Netherlands without the consent of the local population, thereby violating traditional rights ' (griel). The local nobility, complained about the reorganisation of Catholic bishoprics, a process imposed by Cardinal Granville(), who was acting as chief advisor to Margaret of Parma(). The local nobility strongly opposed this process, which they believed would subsequently reduce their power. Here, another fundamental factor is introduced, that of centralisation and the independence of the individual provinces. Furthermore, Philip II, was a conservative Catholic. His policies to obtain religious uniformity, through his Edicts and the Inquisition were not welcome. The religious suppression resulted in a further aggravation to relations. The Count of Egmont() and William of Orange(), emerged as the leaders of the opposition.

On the 5th of April 1566, William presented the Petition of Compromise to Margaret. This requested Philip to end religious persecution in the Netherlands. ' [... ] his majesty's recent refusal to mitigate the edicts in any way [... ] present difficulties will undoubtedly increase ' and, ' we fear, will be an open revolt '(). This document makes clear that the Inquisition had not been adjusted since Charles's reign, and that during this time differences had appeared. This seems to indicate, that the introduction of Reformed faith and ideas, which entered the Netherlands, had some impact. The petition warns Philip of the situation, and presents the concerns of the nobility. It is clear here, that what...

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