Philip IV of Spain (1605–1665)

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Philip IV of Spain (1605–1665)

Philip IV of Spain (b. 8 April 1605; d. 17 September 1665), king of Spain, Naples, and Sicily (1621–1665) and, as Philip III, Portugal (1621–1640).

Philip inherited from his father (Philip III) a state in decline. Until 1643 Philip's reign was overshadowed by the policies of his favorite, the count-duke of Olivares (1587–1645). Spain was frequently involved in European conflicts financed, in part, by its American empire. Much of Spain's foreign policy and war effort was directed at preserving and defending the Low Countries. Despite seeking peace with England and France, Spain ended up at war with both countries and was menaced overseas by the Dutch, who captured the entire New Spain silver fleet in 1628.

Olivares's attempts at financial and administrative reform met with little success and the crown declared bankruptcy in 1627. His Unión De Armas scheme to get non-Castilian provinces to share the costs of imperial defense ultimately led to the revolt of Catalonia in 1640. This, in turn, encouraged the Portuguese to seek independence and, in December 1640, the Duke of Bragança (1604–1656) was proclaimed John IV of Portugal. After making peace with the Dutch in 1648, Philip signed a treaty with France in 1659 that provided for the marriage of his eldest daughter, María Teresa, to the French king. Philip, who is known to art history as the patron and frequent subject of the great painter Diego Velázquez (1599–1660), was survived by one sickly son, Charles II (1661–1700). As king, Charles II inherited an empty treasury, a discredited currency, a multitude of new taxes, and very little to show for his father's foreign war expenditure.

See alsoUnión de Armas .


Antonio Domínguez Ortiz, Política y hacienda de Felipe IV (1960).

José Deleito y Piñuela, El declinar de la monarquía española (3d ed., 1955).

John Lynch, Spain Under the Habsburgs, vol. 2, Spain and America, 1598–1700 (1969), esp. pp. 62-228.

Jonathan Brown and John H. Elliott, A Palace for a King: The Buen Retiro and the Court of Philip IV (1980).

Additional Bibliography

Chamorro, Eduardo. Felipe IV. Barcelona: Planeta, 1998.

Fisas, Carlos. Historias de reyes y reinas. Barcelona: Planeta, 1998.

Herrero Sánchez, Manuel. Las Provincias Unidas y la monarquía hispánica (1588–1702). Madrid: Arco Libros, 1999.

Kamen, Henry Arthur Francis. Spain's Road to Empire: The Making of a World Power, 1492–1763. London: Allen Lane, 2002.

Lynch, John. The Hispanic World in Crisis and Change, 1598–1700. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994.

                          Suzanne Hiles Burkholder

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Philip IV of Spain (1605–1665)

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