Philip II of Habsburg

(1527–1598)
   Lord of the Netherlands from 1555 and king of Spain from 1556; son of Holy Roman emperor Charles Vof Habsburgand Isabella of Portugal. Raised at the court of Spain, Philip’s Spanish-oriented policy estranged an important segment of the nobilityin the Low Countries. The Roman Catholic king’s harsh implementation of the legislation against the Protes tants met with wide resistance in those circles that advocated reli gious tolerance. However, probably the most opposition was stirred up by Philip II’s centralization policy. He aspired to be a “modern,” efficient monarch, doing away with old regional privileges and try ing to implement an efficient tax collection system for an ambitious and costly offensive foreign policy. The Revolt of the Netherlands beginning in 1566–1568 initiated a war that came to an end only with the Peace of Westphalia (Treaty of Munster) in 1648. The result was the international recognition of the Dutch Republic as an indepen dent state; the Southern Netherlands (Belgium) remained part of the Spanish, later Austrian, possessions until the French occupation in 1794.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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