• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How successful was the government of King Philip II of Spain?

Extracts from this document...


How successful was the government of King Philip II of Spain? In order for Philip and his government to be defined as successful they would need to conform to the following characteristics: Philip would need to be a strong figurehead, efficiently overseeing all aspects of administration, but having the ability to delegate; communications should be proficient between separate areas of Philip's supervision, and implementation of policy should be smooth and uniform. There should be peace and unity within the regions of the country and a constant maintenance of law and order. There should be no cliques or factionalism within the court nor should there be any preference or bias in terms of personal regional favouritism. Finally there should be a sense of the government as an institution able to withstand change and the reigns of individual monarchs. Philip lived in an age when the idea of "personal monarchy" and the pretence of power, were extremely significant. Therefore Philip's personal role was crucial in the shaping and control of the government. Philip lived in the shadow of his father and took the advice given to him to "depend on no one but yourself" very literally. All work was done on paper, on the basis of consultas (memoranda, reports, and advice presented to him by his ministers). ...read more.


Towards the end of his reign he began to rely on juntas (specialised committees filled with his most skilled advisors), such as the Junta Grande but Philip's constant lack of trust meant that meant that he refused to succumb to the advise of just one junta and therefore once again succumbed to competing suggestions. Therefore despite the outward appearance of centralisation, the councils were actually an ad hoc system centred around the king, who again refused to delegate or devalue his power. Another aspect affecting Philip's government was his reliance on Spanish ministers and officials, and bias towards other more distant subjects of his empire. These subjects did not contest Philip's right to the throne, but the antipathy towards the Castilian stronghold of his empire meant that there was a definite lack of unity within his kingdom. Philip's predisposition to appoint Spaniards to official posts in the Netherlands, alienated local elites causing further tension and restricting efficient governing. Though Philip was well travelled and had a strong knowledge of the countries in his realm he did have a strong preference for Spaniards and could be narrow-minded when it came to receiving advice from officers of other nationalities, particularly as he grew older. This limited the range and quality of advice he was offered. On one hand the king recognised that a centralised base was needed away from the medieval-style travelling court government. ...read more.


Philip could not assert his authority without using force in those regions which challenged his rule. The revolt proved how jealously fueros were guarded and that these provinces resented a king who had ceased "to be their own". In conclusion, the government of Spain suffered as there was far too much power concentrated in Philip's hands. Unlike England, Spain was subject to separate assemblies: the Cortes in Castile along with the assembly in Navarre and three for each of the three regions of Aragon. The lack of a viable assembly lead to a great deal of power being concentrated in Philip's hands. Authority was administered by local agents appointed by the crown and viceroys carried out instructions of the crown. Philip, a compulsive micromanager, presided over specialized councils for state affairs, finance, war, and the Inquisition. A distrustful sovereign, Philip played royal bureaucrats against each other, leading to a system of imbalance, often damaging state business and the implementation of policy. A large part of this can be attributed to Philip's personal character traits as the pope Pius V said, "Your majesty spends so long considering your undertakings that when the moment to perform then comes the occasion has passed and the money has been spent.". However Spain was still a very medieval society, and the disunity of the country as a whole, due to the independence of the separate kingdoms, no doubt contributed to the deterioration and inefficiency of Philip's government. ?? ?? ?? ?? Katie Taylor 13S September 28th, 05 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. Why did a Civil War break out in Spain in 1936?

    Political infighting was in danger of pushing Spain into social revolution. In general the government tried to attack those which had, from its point of view, too many privileges in society. These were mainly the ones which had support it. The military, industrialists, land owners and the Roman Catholic Church.

  2. How successful were Ferdinand and Isabella in laying the foundations of Spain's Golden Age?

    But due to plague, competition and civil war during the 1460s seriously affected this and although Ferdinand would try his best to improve trade, industry and shipping, it would have little so effect and gave the Catalonian peasants in the countryside a dreadful experience in a declining economy.

  1. Gun control

    In 2002 in the U.S, thirty percent of women were killed by their intimate partner. Of that 30 percent of women killed, fifty-eight percent of them were killed by their partners using guns. This shows how the use of guns is vulnerable in killing someone easily.

  2. Constitutional and administrative law.

    Perhaps more significantly it is the judiciary is the binding element of our constitution. Constitutional law is the body of law that regulates the bringing together of these organs of state and identifies how they relate to each other. The judiciary is crucial in upholding the sovereignty of Parliament, the exercise of powers and thus maintains the rule of law.

  1. Nationalism as applied to business

    While this route will reduce drug costs, many of the problems of the current system will remain since it continues to rely on government granted patent monopolies to finance drug research4. In addition, if the government is setting drug prices, it is effectively directing research (companies will invest where government

  2. Was the Provisional Government fatally weakened from the first? Notes

    They considered the German government and the Bolshevik Party to be co-operating in a common cause, the defeat of Russia. There is no doubting the great significance of Lenin's return to Petrograd. Before then, the Bolsheviks had accepted the events of February, leading to the formation of the dual authority as part of a genuine revolution.

  1. How successful was Peel's 'Great Ministry' of 1841-46

    The income tax was a good idea because it would charge only 7 pence per pound on incomes over �130p.a. and wouldn't really effect these people. The income tax was originally proposed as a temporary measure for 3 years but it was so successful that Peel persuaded parliament to renew it for another 3 years.

  2. Constitutional and Administrative Law

    It also depends on Prerogative Orders. There are three Prerogative Orders: * Certiorari calls a case up from an inferior court to a superior one to ensure justice is done. * Prohibition prevents an inferior court from hearing a case it does not have the power to listen to.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work