Manage episode 252533732 series 24311
War wasn’t good for everything in the early 17th century, and nowhere was this more evident than in the spate of peace treaties which were signed between Spain and its enemies during the years 1598-1609. Spain went from at war with, to at peace with, its three primary enemies in the space of little more than a decade, and I think it’s time we examined why! Such a task isn’t possible without first looking at where the most dominant of these conflicts – that of the Dutch War – first came from. We go a bit deeper into the history of the Dutch revolt here, and assess how a lucrative corner of Spain’s Empire went onto become the greatest pain in Madrid’s backside.
What began as the Burgundian Netherlands had split into North and South, Dutch and Spanish, loyal and rebellious, by 1609, but the conflict had dragged on relentlessly since the 1560s, so it was little wonder that some inclinations towards peace were pursued. Here we are introduced to the logic behind a temporary peace with one’s enemies, as well as the family charged with taking the fight to the Spanish in the first place, the House of Orange. This semi-royal House started off as a source of loyal Spanish governors for Madrid, but had been transformed into stadtholders – agents of rebellion and military reform, with talents that surpassed and ruined all Spanish expectations. Orange and the Dutch henceforth were inseparable, much like the two Habsburg branches.
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