Masaniello's Naples Revolt Against Spain

The son of a fisherman's revolt against Spanish taxes on fruit in Naples, on 7 July 1647, was part of a wider challenge to Spanish overlordship throughout the Habsburg domains.

The revolt of Masaniello in the Piazza del Mercato in Naples on 7 July 1648. Wiki Commons.

The extraordinary nine-day wonder that saw a Neapolitan fishmonger's son at the head of popular insurrection against Spanish overlordship should be seen in the general context of challenges to the status quo throughout the Habsburg domains which for a time threatened the territorial unity of Spain itself in the wake of the strains and setbacks provoked by the Thirty Years' War.

Those pressures which had eventually brought about the downfall of Philip IV's chief minister Olivares in 1643, continued to tempt the Spanish to exact more resources from their possessions in Italy, particularly Naples, which Philip IV described as `a gold mine which furnished armies for our wars and treasure for their protection'.

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