Spain 1598-1659 Spain 1700-1714

Spain under the Later Habsburgs : 1659-1700

A.) The Foreign Policy

While the 30 Years War ended in 1648, the war between Spain and France continued. It was concluded in the PEACE OF THE PYRENEES in 1659; Spain had to cede ROUSSILLON to France, The country also had to take losses in the Caribbean; JAMAICA was taken by the English in 1655. In the SPANISH NETHERLANDS, Spain was unable to stem French aggression; in the War of Devolution 1667-1668, Spain was able to hold on to her territory because of Anglo-Dutch support; Anglo-Dutch forces again defended the Spanish Netherlands in the War of the Grand Alliance 1689-1697. During Dutch War of Louis XIV., Spain first was ignored and then, while siding with the Dutch Republic (1673), the Spanish forces were of little significance. In every peace treaty, Spain ceded some territory in the Southern Netherlands or Burgundy to France; the Franche Comte in 1678. Between 1678 and 1689, Spain did nothing to prevent Louis XIV. from annexing foreign territory in his infamous REUNION POLICY, a considerable part of the territory annexed was part of the Spanish Netherlands. In 1668, Spain finally recognized the Independence of Portugal.

B.) Domestic Policy

Philip IV., in the later years of his reign, expressed little optimism and had few reasons to do so. The Peace of the Pyrenees, for proud Castilians reminiscent of not too past glory, was a humiliation. In 1665 Philip IV. was succeeded by his infant son Carlos II.; his mother Marianne of Austria ruled as regent.
The Spanish court was a place where Spanish nobles competed, intrigued for positions of power. The most important political figures of the latter half of the 17th century are Don Juan Jose de Austria, uncle of King Carlos II. (1676-1679), and the Conte de Oropesa, chief minister 1685-1691. Among the most important measures were the restoration of Catalonia's privileges in 1659 and a currency reform undertaken by Conte de Oropesa, who also attempted to cut the Spanish government's expenses..

History of Spain from Infoplease; Le Cardinal Nidhard (1607-1672), Sp. prime minister and Grand Inquisitor, by Philippe Nithard, in French
Final de los Austrias : Carlos II, Conde de Oropesa, from Arte Historia, Fernando de Valenzuela, Juan Jose de Austria, Mariana de Austria, Nithard, Everardo, from Arte Historia
Sammenbrudd - Spania 1640-1715 (Collapse - Spain 1640-1715), from Europas Historie, in Danish
Spain and the Heritage of Madrid, by David Ringrose, scroll down for I. Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: The Hapsburg Empire
DOCUMENTS Data on Spanish State Revenue, 1520-1807, posted by ESFDB
Medal Marriage of Charles II., c.1689, from Medal eb, Collection Benjamin Weiss
REFERENCE Peter Pierson, The History of Spain, Greenwood, 1999, 248 pp.; KMLA Lib.Sign. 946 P624t

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on November 9th 2004

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