The rebellion of the Netherlands against ruling Spain was, in the end, a success leading to complete independence in 1648, with the Treaties of Den Haag and of Westphalia. All the Northern provinces of the "Spanish Netherlands" became fully independent, forming the United Provinces. A major European power such as Spain didn't succeed in its attempt to re-establish its supremacy on a small country, strongly divided by distinctive local identities, religion and several other trends. Why did Spain fail to regain full control of its possessions? Was it to weak to do it or was the rebellion movement too strong and deeply rooted to be stopped and annihilated? What were the main errors made by the Spaniards in their struggle for supremacy in the Low Countries? Did Spain have any chances to crush the rebellion?
[...] That's why he tried to establish the Duke of Anjou as monarch in 1581. needed to find someone as leader who was acceptable to both north and south. The brother of the king of France was chosen - the Duke of Anjou. This was a logical appointment as France had always been an enemy of Spain and Anjou was a strong catholic'. He could have been accepted by the North and the South as well. In 1581, thirteen provinces out of seventeen offered their allegiance to Anjou. [...]
[...] The Calvinists who wanted religious freedom Poor urban workers who wanted to change their conditions of life.' These four distinct groups had four separate aims and there was no genuine link between them all. Not all of them wanted to become independent from Spain. The magnates had showed their loyalty with their oath of allegiance while the lesser nobles were now less openly rebellious after the shocking Iconoclastic Riots. The Calvinists hated the Catholic Church while the poor urban workers disliked the church of Spain. [...]
[...] That is to say that the troops had first to reach Lombardy via Genoa, and then to travel through Piedmont and Savoy, Franche-Comté and Lorraine, countries which were possessions or allies of the King of Spain”. This military corridor was vital since no troops could be sent by sea. The last permanent problem was that the Netherlands were a rich and densely populated country. For that reason, the rebellion could easily provide of a lot of resources. This aspect was quite important in the Spanish defeat, as Spain lacked money during the conflict and even went bankrupt, even if it was of course richer than the Netherlands, as it had often to fight on several fronts and couldn't only focus on the Dutch revolt. [...]
[...] The Dutch succeeded to seize several provinces of Brazil from the 1620's, threatening the union between Spain and Portugal. Not only had Spain to fight overseas, as it was also engaged in other conflicts on the European continent. In 1588, Philip II decided to send the “Invincible Armada” against England. One year later, he decided to intervene on the Catholic side in the French religious wars. In 1618, Spain engaged itself into the Thirty Year's War in which most of the major European powers were or would be engaged. [...]
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