The Burgundian Period, 1384-1515 Suppression of Protestantism

The Netherlands, 1500-1576 : Tax-Paying Provinces

A.) The Low Countries and the Empire

The Habsburg dynasty continued the Burgundian policy of accumulation of territories and of centralization. In 1512 the Holy Roman Empire was reorganized under Emperor Maximilian; the formerly Burgundian territories were allocated to the Burgundian Circle.
Maximilian resided in Brussels in the earlier years of his rule; later he moved his capital to Innsbruck. His grandson Charles V. was raised in Brussels, spoke Dutch and French, and was sympathetic to the problems and traditions of the inhabitants of the Low Countries. Ruler over an Empire in which the sun never set, he retired in 1556, partitioning his possessions among his brother Ferdinand (raised in Vienna; he inherited the Imperial crown and the Austrian lands) and his son Philip II. (raised in Madrid; he inherited Spain, the Italian possessions and the Low Countries). Actually, the Netherlands were ruled by Philip's half-sister, Margaret of Parma, stadholder of the Netherlands; in 1566, she lost control when the radical iconoclastic riots broke out; she asked her brother Philip for help. Philip II. was under the influence of Catholic bishops. He spoke neither Dutch nor French and rarely visited the Low Countries, which were of primary importance to him as sources of tax revenues, in order to finance his wars. Philip appointed the Duke of Alva as stadholder.

B.) Expansion and Consolidation of Habsburg Rule

The Habsburgs continued the Burgundian policy of territorial expansion, of unification of the low countries under dynastic union : the territories of Friesland (1524), Utrecht (1527), Overijssel (1528), Groningen, Drente (1536) and Gelderland (1543) were acquired, the latter after a feud with Duke Karel of Gelre. In 1548 the Netherlands were declared a separate, quasi autonomous region within the Empire, with Brussels as the capital.
The Burgundian and Habsburg Dukes had succeeded in unifying the Low Countries, with the exception of the diocesis of Liege, in Dynastic Union. They had established central authorities such as the Staten Generael, a parliament in which all territories were represented, a high court at Mechelen (Malines), a Ducal court at Brussels. In 1562 the University of Douai was founded. In the collateral councils, Philip II. replaced the (Dutch) nobles by professional jurists.
The estates of the various territories regarded the continuing policy of centralization with increasing scepticism, as their privileges were infringed upon and their political position became threatened. Holland and Zeeland openly rebelled in 1568.

Around 1540 Italian glass makers settled down in Antwerp, establishing a glass industry there (bottle production); shortly afterward it spread to Brussels and Liege.

List of (Spanish) Stadholders
Source : Landvoogden of Gouverneurs-Generaal, from Golden Age Web
Margaret of Savoy
Maria of Habsburg (of Hungary)
Emanuel Philibert of Savoy
Margaret of Parma
Ferdinand of Toledo, Duke of Alva
Juan de la Cerda, Duke of Medina Celi
Luis de Requesens

History of Holland , by M. Iqbal, concise. Does not clearly distinguish between Holland and the Netherlands
Dutch Republic History Site, bibliography, compiled at Univ. Leiden
History of the House of Orange, from koninklijkhuis
Biography of Emperor Maximilian I, from World Roots
Spanish Occupation, Philippe II., from Walloon Brabant
Biography of the Duke of Alva, of Alessandro Farnese, from Catholic Encyclopedia
Money, Wages, and Real Incomes in the Age of Erasmus: The Purchasing Power of Coins and of Building Craftsmen's Wages in England and the Low Countries, 1500 - 1540, by John H. Munro
De Vlaamse Natie op de Canarische eilanden in de 16de eeuw. (The Flemish Nation on the Canary Islands in the 16th Century), by Kevin Coornaert
De Hervorming in Friesland (the Reformation in Friesland), by Y. Bloemhof
DOCUMENTS Lopez Martin Manuscript Collection, from ukans, a collection of Spanish-language documents, 1566-1571; contains doc.s on Spain's economic policy towards the Dutch Rebels
Map Netherlands 1559-1609, from Perry Castaneda Library, UTexas
Map : Netherlands in 1580, from Museum voor Vaderlandse Geschiedenis / Mees, Historische Atlas 1865
Portraits of Maximilian I. : no. 1 and no. 2, of Charles V. : no. 1, Charles V., of Philip II. : no. 1, no. 2, from Art istocracy
Portrait of Maria of Habsburg, Stadholder of the Netherlands, from Art istocracy
List of Spanish stadholders, 1506-1656, from Golden Age Web
From Hans Weigel's book of costume, 1577 : Woman from Flanders; Man from Middelburg, Zeeland; Sailor from Zeeland; Citizen of Groningen; Holland or Belgian costume posted by La Couturiere Parisienne
Vosmeer, Michiel, Principes Hollandiae et Zelandiae, Domini Frisiae. Cum genuinis ipsorum iconibus, Antwerpen: Chr. Plantin fur Ph. Galle, 1578, images of the counts of Holland from the 9th to the 16th century, including the Habsburg rulers of the Netherlands, posted by MATEO (Univ. Mannheim, comment in German, or. text in Latin)
Coins of the Southern Netherlands, by territory, 1309-1750, posted by Jean Elsen
Lists of coins minted for the Southern Netherlands under Charles V., Philip II., Philip II., Pt.2, from, in Dutch, no images
Beschrijving van deze eerste hagenpreek door de Antwerpse magistraat (brief, 25 juni 1566), from Historische Teksten, in Dutch
Willem van Oranje schrijft Margaretha van Parma (1566), from Murmelius Gymnasium Alkmaar, in Dutch
Smeekschrift aan Margaretha van Parma ter verzachting van de plakkaten (1566), from Murmelius Gymnasium Alkmaar, in Dutch
Uit een plakkaat tegen de speculatie met graan (1571), from Murmelius Gymnasium Alkmaar, in Dutch
Ooggetuigeverslag door de Engelsman Richard Clough van de beeldenstorm in Antwerpen (1566), from Murmelius Gymnasium Alkmaar, in Dutch
Marcus van Vaernewijck, katholiek edelman en ooggetuige van de Beeldenstorm in Gent, from Murmelius Gymnasium Alkmaar, in Dutch
Gents Onze Vader (1572) (anoniem), from Murmelius Gymnasium Alkmaar, in Dutch
Image Council of Blood, from Murmelius Gymnasium Alkmaar, in Dutch
REFERENCE Jonathan I. Israel, The Dutch Republic. Its Rise, Greatness and Fall 1477-1806, Oxford : University Press 1995, 1232 pp.
Simon Schama, The Embarassment of Riches, Vintage Press 1997, 720 pp.
Jan de Vries and Ad van der Woude, The First Modern Economy. Success, Failure, and Perseverance of the Dutch Economy, 1500-1815, Cambridge : UP 1997, KMLA Lib.Sign. 330.9492 V982f

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First poisted in 2000, last revised on April 19th 2009

Click here to go Home
Click here to go to Information about KMLA, WHKMLA, the author and webmaster
Click here to go to Statistics

Impressum · Datenschutz