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Thirty Years War Essay

4837 words - 19 pages

Thirty Years War

Philip, Spanish kings. Philip I (the Handsome), 1478-1506, king of Castile (1506), was the son of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I and Mary of Burgundy. He inherited Burgundy and the Low Countries from his mother and was titular joint ruler of Castile with his wife, Joanna. But her father ruled these lands as his regent, so he contested (1504) Ferdinand's regency and assumed (1506) joint rule of Castile with his wife. Philip's early death, however, and his wife's deteriorating mental condition allowed Ferdinand to resume joint control of Castile. The Low Countries passed to Philip's son, who later became Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Philip II, 1527-98, king of Spain (1556-98), king of Naples and Sicily (1554-98) and, as Philip I, king of Portugal (1580-98), centralized authority under his absolute monarchy and extended Spanish colonization to the present S United States and the Philippines (which were named after him). From his father, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, he inherited Naples, Sicily, the Low Countries, and other territories. After the death of his first wife, Maria of Portugal, he married (1554) Queen Mary I of England and drew that nation into his father's war with France. Following Mary's death (1558), he married Elizabeth of Valois and concluded the war with France in 1559. Philip used the Inquisition to repress the Moriscos and assure Spanish religious unity. He dealt with the Dutch revolt in his Low Countries domain by reconquering the southern half of the country. English support of the rebels and their persistent attacks on Spanish ships led him to plan an invasion of England by the Spanish Armada (1588), which was ignominiously defeated. Earlier, he succeeded in conquering Portugal (1580). Despite his conquests and the influx of gold from America, the cumulative effects of depopulation, colonial overexpansion, and burdensome taxation debilitated Spain by the end of his reign (1598). Philip was a hardworking bureaucrat with a capacity for infinite detail, and though his administration was generally just, his bureaucratic absolutism inevitably created discontent. His court was at the Escorial. Philip III, 1578-1621, king of Spain, Naples, and Sicily, and, as Philip II, king of Portugal (1598-1621), lacked the intelligence and capacity for work of his father, Philip II, and left the actual government to the duque de Lerma. Shortly before his reign began, Spain had ended the war with France (1598) and then made peace with England (1604) and the Netherlands (1609). But the nation fought in Italy (1615-17) and entered the Thirty Years War. Although the church prospered and the grandees accumulated vast estates, the Spanish economy declined, partly as a result of Philip's expulsion (1609-14) of the Moriscos. During Philip's reign, Spanish culture flourished and gave to the world great artists such as the author Cervantes and the painter El Greco. Philip IV, 1605-65, king of Spain, Naples, and Sicily (1621-65)...

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