Jump to Navigation

What If... Philip II Had Gone to the Netherlands?

Print this article   Email this article

Geoffrey Parker considers the far-reaching consequences of a sudden change of plan by the king of Spain in 1567.

The Dutch Revolt lasted longer than any other uprising in European history, from 1566 to 1648; and it involved more continuous fighting than any other war of early modern times, from 1572 to 1607 (with only a six months' ceasefire in 1577) and from 1621 to 1647. The rebellion arose from the combination of two separate developments: the spread of Protestant ideas - Lutheran, Anabaptist, above all Calvinist - throughout the Netherlands despite savage persecution by the central government in Brussels; and the mounting opposition of some noble members of that central government to the policies decreed by their absentee sovereign, Philip II (r.1555-1598). Until 1559 the King had ruled from Brussels, but in that year he departed for Spain leaving his half-sister, Margaret of Parma, as his regent.


 This article is available to History Today online subscribers only. If you are a subscriber, please log in.

Please choose one of these options to access this article:

Call our Subscriptions department on +44 (0)20 3219 7813 for more information.

If you are logged in but still cannot access the article, please contact us



About Us | Contact Us | Advertising | Subscriptions | Newsletter | RSS Feeds | Ebooks | Podcast | Submitting an Article
Copyright 2012 History Today Ltd. All rights reserved.