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How Far Were The Policies Pursued By Philip Ii Responsible For The Revolts Against His Rule In The Netherlands

1266 words - 6 pages

How far were the policies pursued by Philip II responsible for the Revolts against his rule in the Netherlands (30 marks)

The way that Philip treated the Netherlands through his policies to a large extent cause widespread revolts throughout the Netherlands, especially in the revolt of 1572 where two provinces were held successfully. Policies such as increased taxation and refusal to lessen punishments caused the revolts against his rule in the Netherlands. However, we must also take into account that were beyond Philip’s control such as the Rise of Calvinism which encouraged Iconoclasm. These policies put together and factors beyond Philip’s control fuelled the Dutch Revolts to occur. Out ...view middle of the document...

The Council of Troubles helped to highlight this even further. The Council of Troubles were a Dutch inquisition that went round executing people for heresy if they were found guility. This helped William of Orange gather more support over 1567 to 1572 which allowed him to capture two provinces in the revolt of 1572. His close links allowed him to invade the Netherlands but with not much support the first time round. T I believe this is the most important policy that Philip undertook which caused the Dutch Revolts as if it wasn’t for Philip sending the Duke of Alva to the Netherlands, William of Orange would not have gone into exile. This would not have provoked William of Orange to launch the Revolts against the Duke of Alva’s rule in 1568 and 1572, so the Dutch Revolts may not have happened.

However, another policy such as the increase in taxation throughout the period when the Dutch Revolts built up. Mainly because of the Turkish War that the Spanish with and the Catholics from Spain aiding the Catholic side in the French Civil War, Philip needed more taxes to pay for these wars. This increase in taxation was making the Dutch people’s lives much worse, especially when Alva introduced the Tenth Penny Tax, a tax which took a tenth of all sales revenue and went to the government. In 1572, Alva enforced this rule on all trade coming in and out of the country without the approval of the State’s General. Aided by a freezing winter and the cloth trade with England had collapsed, the Dutch hatred towards Philip II rule was increasing rapidly. So when the second Dutch Revolt started in 1572, there was much more encouragement for William of Orange rather than in the first Dutch revolt in 1568. However, it was not just the tenth penny tax, increased taxation over the years and when Alva arrived increased taxation to pay for the soldiers occupying the Netherlands was also key in starting the Dutch Revolts. Especially as these soldiers were disruptive and hateful towards the Dutch population even fuelled the hatred towards the Spanish people and Philip II. Taxation over the years made the Dutch Revolt even worse! Wars over the 20 years before the first Dutch Revolt meant that people felt like they were paying taxes pointlessly and could be use or other things just like the feeling of German Nationalism. I believe the deployment of Alva to the Netherlands was much more important than the increase in taxation because if it wasn’t of Alva being deployed, William of Orange may not have planned the revolts against Philip II. Especially after the tenth penny tax (according to both Rady and Parker) widespread...

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