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Assess the view that the Dutch rebels challenged Philip IIs rule primarily in defense of their liberties. Throughout Philips reign there were three major revolts in the Netherlands, in 1568, 1572 and 1576. These represented the interests of various

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Assess the view that the Dutch rebels challenged Philip II's rule primarily in defense of their liberties. Throughout Philip's reign there were three major revolts in the Netherlands, in 1568, 1572 and 1576. These represented the interests of various social, economic and ideological groups. There is much debate as to why the rebels revolted; it has been argued that it was in response to religious oppression, whilst a different interpretation suggests the economic crisis drove the rebels to protest. Although there has been much debate amongst historians, it would seem that the primary issue throughout Philip's reign was that of liberty. The people of the Netherlands were oppressed by the Spaniards centralisation of their political, religious, and economic freedoms. However, it must be taken into consideration that the rebellion was not consistent throughout the Netherlands; towns such as Gouda, Rotterdam, Dordrecht and Haarlem that had remained loyal during the first revolt were instrumental in the 1572 revolt. Conversely, the towns that were the most unruly during the first revolt remained loyal thereafter. As the uprising varied from region to region, the motive behind each revolt was similarly independent from the other. However throughout Philip's reign 'liberty was [broadly speaking] the central issue1', combining the diversity present in all three revolts. ...read more.


The nobles may have exaggerated their case in order to spur Margaret into acting on their behalf, it was however, a clear stand against overbearing laws denying them their right to rule. Coupled with the Segovia letters16 in which Philip writes: 'as for the inquisition, it is my intention that it should be carried out' and then went on to request that Margaret 'do all that is necessary and not to agree to any different policy17.' The situation Bredrode described therefore became tenable. These letters resulted in the formation of the Compromise of the Nobility, a group dedicated to defending their liberty, which formed the main opposition to Philip and his armies in both the second and third revolts. The Netherlanders resented the imposition of Philip's rule as a foreigner. This created both a 'definite identification of the Low Countries as a unit distinct from foreigners18' and the stirrings of revolt; as Granvelle remarked in 1561: 'there will be trouble here sooner or later on some other pretext19.' This was significant as he was addressing Philip's Secretary of State, and so would have had no ulterior motive or reason to diverge from the truth and needed to give an accurate account of the current situation so he could be provided for by the State. ...read more.


1 Peter Limm, 'The Dutch Revolt 1559-1649', page, 10 2 Geoffrey Parker, 'The Dutch Revolt', Revised edition (July 1984), page 33 3 Parker, page 34 4 Information from: http://www.mleuven.be/en/classical-art/m-collection/masterpieces/paintings/ 5 Peter Limm, page 35 6 Limm, page 125 7 Limm, pages 9-52 10 Lotherington, 'Years of Renewal' page 369 11 Lotherington, page 369 12 Kossman and Mellinck (63) pp. 96-7 13 Graham Darby, 'The Origins and Development of the Dutch Revolt', page 154 14 Bonney, Richard, 'The European Dynastic States 1494-1660' Oxford University Press 1991, page 148 15 Peter, Edwards, 'Inquisition' page 150 16 Two sets of letters, which Philip II wrote to Margaret of Palma rejecting proposals to compromise on heresy. 17 Bonney, Page 148-149 18 Lotherington, page 363 19 Parker, page 47 20 Lotherington, page 362 21 The most important royal house of the sixteenth century, typically the origin of the Holy Roman Emperor, who was, in this, period Philip II 22 Source of information: http://www.lepg.org/sixteen.htm 23 Peace treaty with the rebelling provinces: Holland and Zealand, and alliance with the Habsburgs. 24 Limm, page 52 25 Lotherington, page 365 36 Lotherington, page 365 26 Parker, page 47 27 Parker, page 62 28 Parker, page 63 29 Parker, page 63 30 10% permanent tax on all sales 31 Parker, page 15 32 Limm, page 124 33 Information from: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01371a.htm 34 The most prominent religious order of the century 35 De Rege et Regis 'Institutione' ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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