In this essay I will be treating the iconoclastic movement in the Netherlands (1566 1567) as the beginning of the Dutch Revolt. I will begin by examining the historical context of the Dutch Revolt, that is to say, the political, economic and social aspects of the Netherlands in the sixteenth century. I will then look more specifically at direct cause and effect what factors stimulated the launch of the iconoclasm in the Netherlands. I will also be taking into consideration those who supported the iconoclasts, overtly or otherwise, and try to understand what their motives were.
[...] Yet when captured and interrogated it was found that self-professed devout Calvinists knew very little about the dogma of the faith for which they were prepared to risk their lives; they had just known what they were against. This works in favour of the theory that religion did not play as major a role as it did in other iconoclastic movements, that the pedantics of religious difference between Christian faiths were an excuse for the iconoclastic movement of the Dutch Revolt, not a cause. [...]
[...] Catholic hesitancy to condemn the Calvinists was an illustration of a general attitude to the presence of Catholic Spain in Dutch affairs. Philip II's policies concerning the Netherlands provoked very negative reactions not just from the growing number of Calvinists in the Netherlands but from all tiers of society, especially the nobility, whose privileges were put in danger as a result of his actions. opposition against the harsh repression of heretics came not only from the rising number of Protestants. [...]
[...] Parker, however, paints a somewhat overly-optimistic picture of the situation, suggesting that there was sort of ‘United Netherlands'” by the time 1550 came around. This is quite a misleading statement, as the provinces were not united in a traditional sense nor in the way that Charles or Philip wished them to be. Although the States-General may well have been a source of cohesion, it was hardly a very strong one. Meetings were only held once every three years and until 1549 it was only a core group of hereditary provinces of the house of Burgundy that ever attended. [...]
[...] The political reasons behind opposition to the inquisition were the same reasons for Dutch opposition to Philip's other policies; the Netherlanders simply did not like what they saw as Spanish imposition on internal affairs, but even on a more basic level ‘many of them were repelled by the torture, the mutilation and the eventual incineration which accompanied serious heresy accusations.' The “legal reasons” alluded to here are ones I have already mentioned but they were of the utmost importance because it was primarily for these reasons that the nobles involved themselves in the cause for religious freedom. [...]
[...] These attempts were strongly opposed by the Dutch and had already led to several revolts in some of the provinces. So although huge divides and inconsistencies existed between the seventeen states, it was clear that the Dutch people as a whole were not averse to joining forces in the face of a common enemy. So with this in mind, let us look at the factors that acted as direct causes of the iconoclastic movement. The iconoclasm was, undoubtedly, a religious movement, and clashes of religious opinions and practises did have a part to play in the fiasco. [...]
Online readingwith our online reader
Content validatedby our reading committee