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'Religious rather than political issues were the cause of the first revolt of the Netherlands'. Assess the validity of the statement in relation to the period from 1565 to 1573.

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'Religious rather than political issues were the cause of the first revolt of the Netherlands'. Assess the validity of the statement in relation to the period from 1565 to 1573. The First Revolt of the Netherlands came in 1565, when the ruler Phillip II returned to Spain and left his sister Margaret regent in his absence. The rebellion became a popular one when a group of lesser nobles took a petition to the regent demanding concessions on the heresy laws which they deemed too harsh. If their demands were ignored they threatened to use force. This appears that the cause of the rebellion was purely religious and as the problems increased it became clear that the rebels would stop at nothing at taking apart the established authority of the church. To call this revolt simply one of a religious nature would be an inaccuracy, as there were further reasons that led the people to rebel. The political nature of the Netherlands was very superficial, with each of the seventeen provinces being very autonomous in nature. Each province sent a member to sit on a States-General, which negotiated with the ruler. Each province equally enjoyed its own special rights and provinces, which the ruler of the Netherlands had to be careful not to infringe. If he did so he risked a reduction in power. ...read more.


This further infringed established rights and procedures, which Phillip showed a clear disregard for. Phillip's own personality disorder was the cause of the rift with the grandees to grow. He refused to trust anyone, and set himself up with the few he did trust around him in Spain. This would not work with the system in the Netherlands, but Phillip chose to do this and subsequently ignored the Aristocracy and did not involve them with matters of government. Phillip then made relations bad with the States-General, by trying to force them to do his bidding. This went against the traditional ways of give and take, and so Phillip lost their trust. He had set himself up with a situation of distrust from his nobility, and disrespect for his policies concerning religion. When Phillip left for Spain in 1559 he left his sister as regent. The grandees expected to be advisors to the regent as this had been traditionally the case but Phillip instead had set up an inner council called the Consulta as he feared that Margaret would have become 'a puppet of the aristocracy'. This angered several of the grandees, especially Egmont, Hornes and Orange. These three resented the leader of the council, a man named Granvelle who became a cardinal as well. They began a plan to have him dismissed from his position, which was the beginning of the start of rebelling against the authority. ...read more.


Religiously people were opposed to the strict heresy laws, and this had been growing for quite some time. With the support of the grandees and the lesser nobility the Calvinists began to do something about their problems. You could equally argue that based on the evidence that the revolt was based on the growing problems facing the aristocracy concerning the harnessing of their ancient rights and privileges. The cut back stemmed initially from the growth of the towns and subsequent reduction in their economic influence, and then they had their consultation rights ignored by Charles and eventually lost all rights in parliament under Phillip. There was also a combination of social factors that were directly related to either religious or political factors, that what affected the grandees had a knock on effect at grass roots level and also with religion that the way people were allowed to pursue their own beliefs was infringed upon. The revolt, in my opinion was a culmination of all these factors. I think they are all carefully intertwined, and so to say that religious rather than political factors were the main problem I feel is inaccurate. I believe all the problems that were felt by the grandees led them to gain support from other people who were disgruntled by the ruler, and despite the fact they disowned the movement by that stage they had led it too far, and it became religious in nature. ...read more.

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