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To what extent was Philip II personally responsible for the problems he faced in the Netherlands in the 1560s?

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Introduction

To what extent was Philip II personally responsible for the problems he faced in the Netherlands in the 1560's? During the 1560's Philip faced many problems in the Netherlands ranging from anger at his bishoprics scheme to the Iconoclastic fury of 1566. The trade depression and bad winter of 1564/65 along with the pent up dissatisfaction from Charles V's reign cannot be blamed on Philip, however he must bear the greatest responsibility for the problems he faced in the Netherlands in the 1560's due mainly to his insistence on the implementation of Catholicism, and also due to his appointments and his continued absence from the Netherlands. The main reason why Philip must bear the greatest responsibility for the problems he faced in the Netherlands in the 1560's was his insistence on the implementation of Catholicism. The Netherlands was one of the early centres of humanism and the reformation and so Philip's introduction of the bishoprics scheme in 1561 which attempted to deploy more bishops to cover smaller in ...read more.

Middle

Margaret of Parma wasn't politically astute and was feeble in her dealings with the grandees. This inability to deal with the grandees who were already angered after the secrecy of the bishoprics scheme was crucial as it enabled the grandees to force through laws to relax heresy. These in turn led to Calvinist hedge preaching and then the Iconoclastic fury of 1566 which involved the ransacking of images and paintings from churches and smashing them in the streets. This was known as the First Revolt and was the trigger of Philip's second poor appointment - the Duke of Alva as the leader 76,000 Spanish troops to put down the uprising. However, because of Philip's indecisive character it took him a long time to make this appointment and by the time the troops had arrived the uprising had already been put down by alarmed nobles. The appointment of the Duke of Alva was a bad decision by Philip because Alva's brutal massacre of those involved in the uprising through the ...read more.

Conclusion

This had pushed many into exile and in the long term had actually brought about many problems for Philip in the 1560's because whilst in exile around Europe these exiles had learned more about Calvinism an d during the 1560's they returned to the Netherlands and played an instrumental part in the hedge preachings and Iconoclastic fury of 1567. Overall Philip was highly responsible for the problems he faced in the Netherlands in the 1560's. Although the trade depression, the bad winter and the pent up dissatisfaction from Charles V's reign were not his fault, Philip contributed much more to the problems he faced in Netherlands in the 1560's mainly because of his insistence on the implementation of Catholicism, and also because of his appointments and his reluctance to visit the Netherlands. In the long term Philip's personal responsibility for the problems in the 1560's and his inability to solve these problems led to the majority of the Netherlands being lost in the Truce of Antwerp in 1609. ...read more.

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