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Philip II (Spain) (1527–1598; Ruled 1556–1598)

PHILIP II (SPAIN) (15271598; ruled 15561598)

PHILIP II (SPAIN) (15271598; ruled 15561598), king of Spain. Philip, the firstborn of Charles V (ruled 15161556 as Charles I [Spain]; Holy Roman emperor, ruled 15191556) and Empress Isabella, was reared in Castile. The emperor's frequent absences limited Philip's contact with his father, and he was raised in his mother's court until her death in 1539. His tutor (15341541) was the future archbishop of Toledo, Juan Martínez Siliceo (14861557), while the Castilian nobleman Juan de Zúñiga (d. 1546) headed his household from 1535 and supervised his knightly training. Philip displayed reasonable aptitude in arms and letters alike, though historians have faulted Siliceo's narrow piety, and Philip for ineptitude in modern languages. Later he would study with more illustrious tutors, including the humanist Juan Cristóbal Calvete de Estrella (d. 1593). Philip was close to his sisters, María (15281603) and Juana (15351573), and to two pages, the Portuguese nobleman Ruy Gómez de Silva (c. 15161573) and Luis de Requesens (15281576), the son of his governor Zúñiga. These men would serve him throughout their lives, as would Gonzalo Pérez (d. 1566), his secretary from 1541.

Departing Spain in 1543, Charles V named Philip his Spanish regent, leaving him experienced advisorsnotably the secretary Francisco de los Cobos (14771547) and the general Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, duke of Alba (15071582)and written instructions emphasizing the defense of Catholicism on the one hand and mistrust of his advisors and personal intimacy on the other. Charles also arranged Philip's marriage to a first cousin, María Manuela of Portugal, who died in 1545 after the birth of Don Carlos (15451568). Philip acquitted himself well as regent, taking an increasingly active role when advisors such as Cobos and Zúñiga died. In 1548, he left Spain to visit his prospective Burgundian inheritance in the Netherlands. He met Charles in Brussels in 1549 and toured the Low Countries to be formally recognized as heir. Before returning to Spain, Philip attended the Imperial Diet of Augsburg (1550) and lingered while Charles negotiated the 1551 family agreement that would leave the Holy Roman Empire to his brother Ferdinand I (ruled 15581564); Philip would inherit Charles's other lands, then succeed his uncle as emperor. Subsequent reverses in Germany, however, invalidated this plan, and Philip renounced his claims to the empire in 1555.

Philip returned to Spain in mid-1551 and resumed his duties as regent. In 1553, in Brussels, Charles negotiated Philip's marriage to Mary Tudor of England (ruled 15531558) without consulting the prospective groom, who preferred a Portuguese match and had little interest in Mary or England. Nevertheless, Philip wed Mary in July 1554, receiving Naples and Milan from his father as wedding gifts. He spent fifteen frustrating months as consort in England before departing in September 1555 after Mary's pregnancy proved false.

Having resolved to abdicate, Charles relinquished the Netherlands to Philip in a Brussels ceremony (25 October 1555). A few months later (16 January 1556) Charles resigned Spain and its territories, subsequently transferring the Franche-Comté andwith dubious legalityimperial suzerainty in Italy to his son, now Philip II of Spain. The emperor retired to Castile, where he died in 1558. The young king was soon tested by his dynasty's enemies. War with Pope Paul IV (15551559) broke out in 1556, triggering a wider war against Henry II of France (ruled 15471559) in 1557. Alba quickly triumphed in Italy, while victories over the French at St. Quentin (10 August 1557) and Gravelines (13 July 1558) led to the 1559 Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis. Mary Tudor died in 1558, enabling Philip to seal the treaty by marrying Henry II's daughter, Isabelle de Valois.

INTERNAL POLICIES

Philip returned to Castile in 1559, establishing his court permanently at Madrid in 1561. He would never again leave Iberia. During his first years in Spain the Inquisitor-General Fernando de Valdés (14831568) spearheaded a campaign against heterodoxy, rooting out Protestant cells within Castile and contriving to destroy his rival (and Philip's confidant), Bartolomé de Carranza (15031576), archbishop of Toledo. Philip's government strove to rebuild crown finances, crushed by decades of military expenditures, and succeeded by 1562 in increasing Castilian revenues by 43 percent. During this period rivalry between two principal ministers, Ruy Gómez de Silva (now prince of Éboli) and the duke of Alba dominated the court. By 1565, Éboli's influence waned while Philip elevated Diego de Espinosa (15021572) to president of the Council of Castile, inquisitor-general, and cardinal. Espinosa's repressive policies provoked the Granadine Morisco revolt (15681570), suppressed with difficulty by forces under Don Juan de Austria (15471578), Philip's illegitimate half-brother.

As Espinosa (1572) and Éboli died (1573), and Alba fell from grace, Philip governed more personally through secretaries such as Mateo Vázquez de Leca (15431591) and Antonio Pérez (15401611). Increasingly the king manifested the traits of a roi casanier ('stay-at-home king')sedentary, obsessed with redacting state papers, and reclusive, retiring for months at a time to the Escorial and other palaces. Personal tragedy prompted some of Philip's introversion. His heir Don Carlos died insane under house arrest in 1568, soon followed to the grave by Queen Isabelle, who left Philip two daughters, Isabel Clara Eugenia (15661633) and Catalina Micaela (15671598). To secure the succession, Philip married his niece, Anna of Austria (15491580), in 1570. They had five children, including the eventual heir, Philip III (ruled 15981621). Philip's isolation allowed Antonio Pérez to embroil him in the 1578 murder of Don Juan de Austria's secretary, Juan de Escobedo. The unraveling of Pérez's plot forced him to flee to Zaragoza and caused the revolt of Aragón (1591). Philip sent Castilian troops to suppress the uprising, but afterward left most traditional Aragonese privileges intact.

Philip's reign in Iberia was marked by one great triumphthe annexation of Portugal and its empire in 15801581, following the death of his nephew, King Sebastian (ruled 15571578)and also by the crown's worsening financial difficulties. Even unprecedented silver yields from America could not offset the expense of Philip's warlike policies. Four timesin 1557, 1560, 1575, and 1596he suspended payments and renegotiated terms with his bankers. From 1590, the crown imposed the regressive excises known as the millones ('millions'). Royal debtCastile's share tripled to 85 million ducats between 1560 and 1598and mounting taxation contributed to Castilian economic deterioration, and eventually to the eclipse of Spanish power in Europe.

THE WARS OF PHILIP II

Constant warfareagainst Muslims, rebellious subjects, and the Protestants of northwestern Europeoccupied much of the attention of Philip II, and in the long run overextended the resources of his realm. In the first decade of his reign, Philip's government faced acute threats in the Mediterranean from the naval forces of the Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (ruled 15201566) and his North African clients. Spain was shocked by the loss of thirty galleys and six thousand troops at Djerba in 1560; combined with subsequent disasters, the king's fleet was reduced by 40 percent by 1562. Massive sums went into rebuilding the galleys by 1565, when García de Toledo (15141578) led them to the successful relief of the Turkish siege of Malta. That victory and the death of Suleiman provided some respite in the later 1560s, although the Morisco uprising excited fears of a Muslim invasion of Spain, while the Turkish assault on Cyprus in 1570 sharpened the threat to Venice. These anxieties fostered the brief and unstable Holy League, a naval alliance between Philip and the Venetians brokered in 1571 by Pope Pius V (15661572). Commanded by Don Juan de Austria, the Holy League inflicted a crushing defeat on the Ottoman fleet at Lepanto (7 October 1571), which would stand as the greatest victory of Philip's reign. The Holy League collapsed when Venice withdrew in 1573, but Lepanto opened a period of relative disengagement in the Mediterranean, as both Philip and his Ottoman counterparts attended to other affairs.

The early 1560s saw the progressive breakdown of religious unity and allegiance to the Spanish crown in the Low Countries as Calvinism made inroads in the southern towns, and the nobles grew restive under the government of Philip's half-sister Margaret of Parma (15221586) and Cardinal Granvelle (15171586). Philip worsened matters by appearing to relent in the face of noble protests in 15641565he dismissed Granvelle, and excited false hopes of relaxed strictures on heresybefore his continued rigidity provoked open rebellion in 1566. After some hesitation, Philip opted for repression, dispatching Alba and a Spanish army to restore order in the Low Countries in 1567. The duke's harsh measures had nearly crushed the revolt when the diversion of Castilian resources to the Holy League, coupled with the assaults of the Sea Beggars (Dutch privateers who harassed Spanish shipping), allowed rebellion to flare again in 1572. Alba was relieved of command in 1573. Despite following more flexible policies, his successors, notably Luis de Requesens (15731576) and Don Juan de Austria (15761578), could not fully restore crown authority. From 1578, Philip had a more adept governor in the Low Countries, his nephew Alexander Farnese, duke of Parma (15451592). Through shrewd diplomacy and military skill, Farnese forced the rebels onto the defensive, and perhaps only English intervention (negotiated in the 1585 Treaty of Nonsuch) thwarted Philip's reconquest of the Dutch provinces.

Elizabeth's (ruled 15581603) interference spurred a rapid deterioration in Anglo-Spanish relations, punctuated by the execution of the Catholic Mary Stuart (ruled Scotland 15421567), and Francis Drake's (1540?1596) raids on Iberian ports in 1587. Provoked, Philip activated a plan for an amphibious invasion of England, the Enterprise of England, aborted by the disastrous voyage of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Primary responsibility for its failure rests with Philip, who named a naval tyro (the duke of Medina Sidonia) to command his great fleet, while persistently disregarding the difficulties of coordination that would frustrate the planned English Channel rendezvous between Parma's Army of Flanders and the Armada. Philip impassively shrugged off this setback but beyond its cost in treasure, matériel, and trained manpower, the defeat of the Armada proved a great psychological victory for Philip's Protestant foes.

Undeterred, from 1589 Philip intervened in the final phases of the French Wars of Religion, ordering Parma's army into France in a failed effort to unseat Henry IV (ruled 15891610), and perhaps dreaming of placing his favorite daughter, Isabel Clara Eugenia, on the French throne. This adventure too came to naught (and cost Farnese his life), and Philip II's long reign ended with his negotiation of the inconclusive Peace of Vervins with Henry IV in 1598. This treaty and Philip's designation of Isabel Clara Eugenia and her consort the Archduke Albert (15591621) as rulers of the Low Countries were intended to scale back the monarchy's commitments for the benefit of the king's callow heir, Philip III, but the costly and seemingly endless conflict in the Low Countries would bedevil the Spanish Habsburgs for another half-century.

REY PRUDENTE?

As the bête noire of late sixteenth-century Protestantism, Philip II acquired an odious reputation, which grew only more fearsome with the passage of time. His vexed and conflicted relations with several popes, however, belie any notion that he was a simple pawn of the church, while accusations of cruel treachery should be balanced against the conscientiousness attested by the king's work habits, and the concern for his subjects' welfare reflected in his 1559 instructions to a viceroy: "The first thing you must realize is that the community was not created for the prince but rather that the prince was created for the sake of the community."

Conversely, the traditional Castilian appreciation of Philip II as el rey prudente ('the prudent king') will not withstand critical scrutiny either. In crises, his vaunted deliberation in reaching decisions partook more of avoidance than prudence. Philip's bureaucratic and reclusive bent and his mistrust of his counselors led to decision making divorced from practical considerations. The king repeatedly privileged statecraft over politics, for example, in his choice to impose his will on the Low Countries by proxy rather than journeying north to conciliate his powerful subjects. A cleric excoriated Philip for "the manner of transacting business adopted by your majesty, being permanently seated at your papers . . . in order to have a better reason to escape from people." The Armada fiasco and the quixotism of the Spanish intervention in France testify to Philip's recklessness rather than prudence, while the lasting deleterious effects of his unrelenting wars arose largely from his lifelong inability to grasp the monarchy's financial circumstances or the consequences of his expenditures.

Throughout his reign, Philip II tenaciously guarded his territorial inheritance from Charles V and heeded the emperor's 1543 warning not to "allow heretics to enter into your kingdoms." The lingering quagmire of the Netherlands war was the principal legacy of the policies Philip learned from the father, whom he did not know well but extravagantly admired. Even on his deathbed, Philip continued to defer to his father, ordering the exhumation of Charles V so he might learn what a ruler properly wore to the grave, and grasping the emperor's crucifix as he expired at the Escorial in September 1598. Overmatched by his myriad responsibilities, during a long reign Philip did his duty, but failed to achieve his fondest goals.

See also Alba, Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, duke of ; Armada, Spanish ; Burgundy ; Calvinism ; Cateau-Cambrésis (1559) ; Charles V (Holy Roman Empire) ; Cobos, Francisco de los ; Dutch Republic ; Dutch Revolt (15681648) ; Éboli, Ruy Gómez de Silva, prince of ; Elizabeth I (England) ; Ferdinand I (Holy Roman Empire) ; Granada ; Henry II (France) ; Henry IV (France) ; Holy Leagues ; Holy Roman Empire ; Inquisition, Spanish ; Isabel Clara Eugenia and Albert of Habsburg ; Juan de Austria, Don ; Lepanto, Battle of ; Mary I (England) ; Medina Sidonia, Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, 7th duke of ; Moriscos ; Moriscos, Expulsion of (Spain) ; Netherlands, Southern ; Ottoman Empire ; Parma, Alexander Farnese, duke of ; Philip III (Spain) ; Pius IV (pope) ; Pius V (pope) ; Portugal ; Sea Beggars ; Spain ; Suleiman I ; Wars of Religion, French ; William of Orange .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Primary Sources

Cabrera de Córdoba, Luis. Historia de Felipe II, rey de España. 4 vols. 1998. First two volumes first published 1619.

Porreño, Baltasar. Dichos y hechos del rey D. Felipe II. Edited by Ángel González Palencia. Madrid, 1942. First edition, 1628.

Secondary Sources

Bouza Álvarez, Fernando. "La majestad de Felipe II: Construcción del mito real." In La corte de Felipe II, edited by José Martínez Millán, pp. 3772. Madrid, 1994. Brilliantly suggestive.

Bratli, Carl. Felipe II, rey de España: Estudio sobre su vida y su carácter. Translated by Ángel Vega. Madrid, 1927. 1st ed. Copenhagen, 1909. Dated but perspicacious.

Eire, Carlos M. N. From Madrid to Purgatory: The Art and Craft of Dying in Sixteenth-Century Spain. Cambridge, U.K., 1995. Book 2 provides a fascinating account of Philip's death.

Kamen, Henry. Philip of Spain. New Haven, 1997. A favorable recent life.

Koenigsberger, H. G. "The Statecraft of Philip II." European Studies Review 1 (1971): 121. Concise and stimulating.

Marañón, Gregorio. Antonio Pérez (El hombre, el drama, la época). 2 vols. 6th ed. Madrid, 1958. Vol. 1, chapter 3 offers an influential and controversial assessment of the king's personality.

Mattingly, Garrett. The Armada. Boston, 1959. Unsurpassed narrative of the climax of Philip's wars.

Parker, Geoffrey. The Grand Strategy of Philip II. New Haven, Conn., 1998. Especially valuable for delineating Philip's governing style.

. Philip II. 4th ed. Chicago, 2002. Concise and readable.

Rule, John C., and John TePaske, eds. The Character of Philip II: The Problem of Moral Judgments in History. Boston, 1963. Useful excerpts from contemporary observers and later historians.

Williams, Patrick. Philip II. New York, 2001. A judicious synthesis.

James M. Boyden

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Philip II

Philip II

Philip II (1527-1598) was king of Spain from 1556 to 1598. During his reign the Spanish Empire was severely challenged and its economic, social, and political institutions strained almost to the breaking point.

The son of Emperor Charles V, Philip II inherited the larger portion of his father's dominions: Spain, the Low Countries (basically the Netherlands and Belgium of today), Franche-Comté, Sicily and southern Italy, the duchy of Milan, and Spain's colonies in the New World, including Mexico and much of South America. But the inheritance inevitably included the host of problems which his father had left unsolved or which were incapable of being solved. The other part of Charles's dominions, the Holy Roman Empire, was bequeathed to his brother Ferdinand, Philip's uncle.

Philip was born in Valladolid on May 21, 1527, at the outset of the religious and political wars that divided Europe and drained the resources of every major European country. France, the principal opponent of Emperor Charles's ambition, was likewise the chief rival of Philip's Spain. When he acceded to the throne in 1556, the two countries were still at war; peace was concluded at Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559, largely because both states were financially exhausted.

The need to find money and enforce order in his territories led to Philip's clash with his Dutch subjects, a clash that produced the first war for national independence in modern European history and eventually drew Philip into the ill-fated Armada expedition. Spain's resources, including its commercial and military lifeline to northern and southern Italy, were meanwhile threatened in the Mediterranean by the Turkish fleet and the incursions of pirates, largely operating out of North African ports.

On the one side combating rebellious Protestant subjects and on the other confronting the advance of Islam, Philip II has often been depicted as the secular arm of the Catholic Church, a religious zealot who sought to erase heresy and infidelity through military conquest. This, however, is a simplification and is misleading. He was indeed a devout Catholic and vitally concerned with the suppression of "heresy" in all the territory over which he ruled. But his policies and choices must also be viewed in the light of what he considered to be Spanish national interests.

Early Life

Philip's first marriage (1543) was to his cousin Maria of Portugal, who lived but 2 years, leaving a son, Don Carlos. To consolidate his empire and afford protection for his holdings in the Low Countries, Charles then married Philip to Mary Tudor of England, the Catholic queen of a basically Protestant country. Philip's stay in England was not a happy one, and Mary died in 1558 to be succeeded by her half sister, Elizabeth. His ties with England broken, Philip returned to Spain via Flanders in 1559. In that year the peace treaty with France was signed. The temporary harmony between the two powers was symbolized by Philip's marriage with Elizabeth of Valois, the daughter of the king of France, who proved to be his favorite wife.

Philip had succeeded his father as king of Spain in 1556. Unlike Charles V, Philip was to be a "national" monarch instead of a ruler who traveled from one kingdom to another. Though he was to travel widely throughout the Iberian Peninsula, he would never leave it again.

Personally, Philip was fair, spoke softly, and had an icy self-mastery; in the words of one of his ministers, he had a smile that cut like a sword. He immersed himself in an ocean of paperwork, studying dispatches and documents and adding marginal comments on them while scores of other documents and dispatches piled up on tables and in anterooms.

With the problems of communication in Philip's far-flung empire, once a decision was made it could not be undone. As king, he preferred to reserve all final decisions to himself; he mistrusted powerful and independent personalities and rarely reposed much confidence in aides. This personal stamp of authority during Philip's reign was in sharp contrast to the era of minister-favorites in 17th-century Spain. His private life included a delight in art, in the cultivation of flowers, in religious reading (his reign coincided with the great age of Spanish mysticism), and above all in the conception and building of the Escorial, the royal palace outside Madrid whose completion was perhaps the greatest joy of his life.

A combination palace, monastery, and mausoleum, the Escorial was Philip's preferred place for working. In a complex that included a place for his own tomb, naturally the thought of his successor concerned Philip greatly. His son Don Carlos was abnormal, mentally and physically, and on no account fit to become a responsible ruler. Philip was aware that contacts had been made between his son and political enemies. He had Don Carlos arrested, and what followed is one of the great historical enigmas: Don Carlos died on July 25, 1568, under mysterious circumstances that have never been explained satisfactorily. Did Philip have his son executed or did he die of natural causes? There is no persuasive proof on one side or the other. This incident was one of the most publicized in Philip's reign and one which naturally served to blacken his reputation. In any event, his fourth marriage, to Anne of Austria, produced five children, one of whom survived to succeed as Philip III.

Relations with Rome

During the Council of Trent (1545-1563) there was usually strong doctrinal accord between the papacy and Spanish bishops. The major difference lay in varying interpretations of the rights of Spanish bishops and their king visà-vis the Holy See. The King had almost total control over the Spanish Catholic Church, and although Spanish arms could advance Catholic interests, if Philip's Spain were to become supreme in Europe the Pope risked being reduced to a chaplain. One momentous occasion when they worked together came in the joint venture of Spain, the Vatican, and Venice against the Turkish navy. At Lepanto, in 1571, the Catholic forces devastated the enemy fleet. It was the most signal victory of Philip's career. Yet, although the Turks soon rebounded, Philip was never again to ally himself so strongly with Rome. The relations between Spain and the Vatican illustrate how senseless it is to speak of the "monolithic nature" of Catholicism in this era.

Dutch Revolt

In an attempt to shore up his depleted treasury and instill more centralization into his dominions, Philip disregarded the prerogatives and local traditions in the Low Countries, the most prosperous of the territories under his rule. In the 1560s he sought to exact more taxes, to impose more bishops, and to reshuffle the administration, thus provoking an increasingly militant opposition.

Protestant attacks upon Catholic churches, coupled with increasing resistance from the predominantly Catholic population, were followed by a severe response from Spain. A Spanish army moved against the rebels, executed several of their leaders, and opened the way to a broader war which lasted throughout Philip's reign. It was truly a war for national independence, with brutality and heroism on both sides and a growing identification of Protestantism (especially Calvinism) with opposition to Spain's political, religious, and economic policies. The rebels, entrenched in the north, declared themselves independent under the name of the United Provinces. The southern part (roughly the area comprising Belgium) remained under Spanish control.

Since the Dutch were subsidized by the English, and since Spanish supply ships could not safely move through the English Channel, Philip concluded that a conquest of England was necessary for the pacification of the Netherlands. But at the same time that the Dutch were in revolt, there were repeated clashes between the French royal armies and French Calvinists. The ups and downs of the warfare in France and in the Netherlands were viewed as barometers of the fortunes of European Protestantism versus Catholicism. After Philip's death, a truce with the Dutch was arranged in 1609. Though war was to break out again, the independence of the United Provinces was recognized in 1648.

The Armada

The need to cut off English subsidies and control the English Channel so as to throttle the Dutch revolt led Philip to undertake the Armada, the most famous event of his reign. The plan was for a huge fleet to rendezvous with Spanish troops in the Netherlands and then proceed to the military conquest of England, serving Philip's military and political ends and immeasurably injuring the Protestant cause. The skill of the English navy and adverse weather conditions led to a total fiasco. Though most of his ships eventually returned home to port and though Philip still dreamed of a future campaign, the expense of the expedition and the psychological shock of failure resulted in the "invincible" Armada's becoming the symbol of Philip's failure to achieve a Spanish predominance in Europe.

French Relations

As Philip sought to put down the rebellion in the Netherlands, he fomented dissension in France. French Protestants were sometimes subsidized by Spanish agents to ensure confusion in the enemy camp. Philip tried (unsuccessfully) to install his own candidate on the French throne, and Spanish troops became embroiled in the French wars. The struggle with France drew Spanish strength away from the Netherlands and so eased the pressure on the Dutch rebels. Peace was reached at the Treaty of Vervins in 1598, several months before Philip's death.

Domestic Affairs

The complexity and extent of these foreign ventures had, of course, a tremendous impact on the economy and life of Spain. There was a constant need for money and in a country where only careers in the Church and the army carried prestige and where commerce and manual labor in general were frowned upon, the already-staggering economy was crippled by a series of disasters. The costly adventures abroad were punctuated by abrasive relations between Philip and his Spanish domains over taxation and jurisdiction; a diminishing flow of silver from the American mines; a decreasing market for Spanish goods; a severe inflation; several declarations of government bankruptcy; and an agricultural crisis that sent thousands into the cities and left vast areas uncultivated. All these, together with plagues and the defeat of the Armada, were crushing blows—economically, socially, and psychologically.

Any one of these myriad problems and crises would have taxed the ingenuity of a government. Taken together and exacerbated by the strain of incessant warfare, they shook Spain to its roots. The union of Portugal to Spain in 1580 may have given Philip satisfaction but hardly lightened his burdens. He worked methodically, even fatalistically, puzzled by the workings of a God who would permit such calamities to occur. Spain had already entered into a period of sharp decline at his death on Sept. 13, 1598, at El Escorial.

Further Reading

Although it does not emphasize social and economic issues as much as contemporary studies do, Roger Bigelow Merriman, The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old World and in the New, vol. 4 (1934), remains a superb study of Philip II and his reign based on extensive archival research. A good introduction to the Spain of Philip II, with special emphasis on social and economic forces, is John H. Elliott, Imperial Spain, 1469-1716 (1963); it has a fine bibliography. Also excellent are John Lynch, Spain under the Habsburgs, vol. 1 (1964), and H.G. Koenigsberger, The Habsburgs and Europe, 1516-1660 (1971). A lively narrative enriched by verbal portraits of important figures of the time is Edward Grierson, The Fatal Inheritance: Philip II and the Spanish Netherlands (1969). The Armada expedition is brilliantly recounted by Garrett Mattingly in The Armada (1959), one of the finest and most interesting products of modern historical scholarship. Recommended for general historical background are Pieter Geyl, The Revolt of the Netherlands, 1555-1609 (1932; 2d ed. 1958), and John H. Elliott, Europe Divided, 1559-1598 (1969). □

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Philip II (king of Spain, Naples, and Sicily)

Philip II, 1527–98, king of Spain (1556–98), king of Naples and Sicily (1554–98), and, as Philip I, king of Portugal (1580–98).

Philip's Reign

Philip ascended the Spanish throne on the abdication of his father, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who had previously made over to him Naples and Sicily, the Low Countries, Franche-Comté, and the duchy of Milan. His first wife, Maria of Portugal, died giving birth to the unfortunate Don Carlos (1545–68), and in 1554 Philip married Queen Mary I of England. Continuing his father's war with France, he drew England into the conflict in 1557. In the same year Spain won the major victory of St.-Quentin, but in 1558 England lost Calais to France. After Mary's death (1558), Philip offered his hand to her sister, Elizabeth I of England, but he was refused. In 1559 the war with France was brought to an end by the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis, which was sealed by Philip's marriage to Elizabeth of Valois.

Although Philip was a devout Roman Catholic who sought to repress heresy whenever feasible, he subordinated religious questions to his political aims. His relations with the papacy were generally bad, because most of the popes feared Spanish power in Italy. Religious persecution and the Spanish Inquisition were used to eliminate resistance to Philip's policy of centralizing power under an absolute monarchy. The repression of the Moriscos, especially after the revolt from 1568 to 1571, assured Spanish religious unity; its main purpose, however, was to prevent the Moriscos from helping the Ottomans to invade Spain. Philip's half-brother, John of Austria (1545–78), defeated the Ottomans at the battle of Lepanto (1571), and Tunis was captured and held briefly (1573–74).

The second half of Philip's reign was dominated by the revolt of the Netherlands (see also Netherlands, Austrian and Spanish). Philip appointed (1567) the duque de Alba to replace his half-sister, Margaret of Parma, as governor, but when Alba's harsh methods failed to quell the revolt, Philip supported the more conciliatory tactics of Alba's successors—Luis de Zúñiga y Requesens, John of Austria, and Alessandro Farnese, duke of Parma—who managed to reconquer the S Netherlands (approximately present-day Belgium). English support of the Dutch rebels and their persistent attacks on Spanish shipping led Philip to plan the invasion of England in 1588. However, the "Invincible Armada" (see Armada, Spanish) was ignominiously defeated. The Dutch also received support from the French Protestants, and Philip intervened (1590) in the French Wars of Religion to aid the Catholic League against the Protestant Henry of Navarre (Henry IV). He claimed the French throne for his daughter Isabella but was finally forced (1598) to recognize Henry.

The only major military success of Philip's later reign was the conquest of Portugal, to which he had a claim as the son of Isabella of Portugal, daughter of Manuel I. When King Henry of Portugal died (1580) without issue, Alba overran the country, and Philip was recognized as king by the Portuguese Cortes.

The main stage of Spanish colonial expansion was completed before Philip's accession; during his reign, however, the Spanish established colonies and garrisons in the present S United States and conquered the Philippine Islands (named for the king). The debilitating effects of depopulation, of colonial overexpansion, and of the influx of gold began to make themselves strongly felt in Philip's Spain. American gold and the proceeds of an increasingly burdensome taxation were not enough to finance Philip's foreign wars and interventions and had to be supplemented with loans. The king repudiated his debts four times during his reign. He was succeeded by Philip III, his son by his fourth wife, Anne of Austria.

Character

Philip was not the bloodthirsty tyrant portrayed by his enemies and by later writers. The embodiment of the hard-working civil servant and bureaucrat, he sought to direct the destinies of a world empire from the seclusion of his cabinet, devoting infinite time and pains to the minutest administrative details. He did not trust even his ablest and most loyal servants, and partly as a result his court was riddled with faction. Philip's administration was generally just, but his bureaucratic absolutism, with its disregard for local conditions and privileges, inevitably caused discontent. This was true not only of the Netherlands but also of Aragón, which rose in revolt (1591) over the affair of Antonio Pérez. Isolated from reality, Philip lived and died in his strange court at the Escorial.

Bibliography

See study by W. H. Prescott (3 vol., 1855–58); R. B. Merriman, The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old World and the New, Vol. IV (1934); F. Braudel, The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II (1949, tr. 1972); J. H. Elliot, Imperial Spain, 1469–1716 (1963); J. Lynch, Spain under the Hapsburgs (1969); G. Parker, Philip II (1978) and The Grand Strategy of Philip II (1998); H. Kamen, Philip of Spain (1997).

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Philip II (1527–1598)

Philip II (15271598)

King of Spain from 1556 to 1598. Born in Valladolid, he was the son of Isabella of Portugal and Charles V, ruler of the Holy Roman Empire as well as Spain, southern Italy, Sicily, the Low Countries, and Spain's

colonies in the Americas. Charles named Philip his regent in Spain in 1543, when he also arranged his son's marriage to Maria of Portugal, who died giving birth to Philip's first son, Don Carlos, in 1545. Charles then arranged the marriage of Philip to Mary, the daughter of King Henry VIII of England, in 1554. He also made his teenage son the nominal ruler in the duchy of Milan, the Franche-Comte, Sicily, and Naples before abdicating all of his titles, leaving the Holy Roman Empire in the name of his brother Ferdinand I. Raised and tutored as a devout Catholic, Philip found the largely Protestant nation of England hostile and uncongenial, and returned to Spain in 1555. For the rest of his life, Philip remained within the borders of his kingdom, having little interest in following his father's example of frequent travel through far-flung domains.

At the start of Philip's reign, Spain was involved in open warfare with France, a brewing rebellion in the Low Countries, and threats to Spanish trade and shipping in the Mediterranean from North African pirates and the navy of the Ottoman Empire. Although England had allied with Spain in the war against France, the campaign turned into a pointless stalemate and was finally ended by the Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis in 1559, which was followed by Philip's marriage to Elizabeth of Valois, the daughter of the king of France. The succession was thrown into doubt when Philip's son Don Carlos showed himself unfit to inherit the throne; when evidence came to light implicating Don Carlos was plotting against Philip, the king had him arrested. Don Carlos died under mysterious circumstances in 1568, and may have been executed on Philip's orders.

In 1571 Philip joined a grand alliance, including Venice and the Papacy, that defeated the navy of the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Lepanto, off the western coast of Greece. But in the Low Countries, Philip badly miscalculated the determined opposition of Protestant towns and nobles against rule by Catholic Spain. By raising taxes, imposing Catholic prelates, and disregarding the authority of local councils, his policies inspired a full-scale revolt. The occupation of the Low Countries would end badly for Spain, as the northern Protestant countries ultimately won independence as the United Provinces (the modern Netherlands).

Philip's rivalry with Elizabeth, the queen of England who had spurned his offer of marriage, prompted him to assemble a massive fleet, known as the Spanish Armada, for a full-scale assault on the English coast. He ordered the ships to link with Spanish troops in the Low Countries, with the mission of disrupting England's support for the Protestant rebels and, ultimately, the Catholic conquest of England itself. In 1588 the Armada sailed to the British Isles but was defeated by storms and by the skilled English captains who had the advantage of lighter and more maneuverable ships.

Philip did have success in Portugal, where after the death of the childless King Henry, he pressed a claim to the monarchy through his mother, Isabella of Portugal. Spanish armies invaded Portugal and the country was annexed to Spain in 1580. Spanish colonists built outposts in Florida and in the Philippines, an archipelago named for the king. Philip also oversaw the building of the Escorial, a royal palace near Madrid, where he spent most of his time. Although he had raised a splendid monument to the wealth and power of the Spanish monarchy, he had emptied Spain's treasury with the many foreign wars, and the expense of the ill-fated Spanish Armada. Income from the American colonies dwindled, Philip's taxes remained a heavy burden on the people, and farmers suffered a series of droughts and poor harvests. After his reign Spain entered a period of slow decline from which it would never completely recover.

See Also: Charles V; Spanish Armada

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Philip II of Spain

Philip II of Spain (1527–98), consort of Mary Tudor. Philip's marriage to Mary in July 1554 was part of Spain's long struggle against the French. Son of the Emperor Charles V, he was regent of Spain between 1542 and 1548 and king from 1556 until his death. Although he was not crowned, Philip took the style of king of England. Mary was overjoyed with her young husband and bitterly disappointed when the marriage produced no heir. From Philip's point of view the marriage served its purpose by drawing England into the conflict with France, the effects of which were summed up by Armigail Waad in 1558—it had ‘consumed our captains, men, money, victuals’ and lost Calais, England's last continental possession.

After Mary's death in 1558, Philip offered himself as a husband to Elizabeth. Though she refused, England needed Spain as a counterbalance to France. But by 1565 many councillors were convinced that Philip intended to overthrow Elizabeth, place Mary Stuart on the throne, and restore catholicism. There was a sharp anti-Spanish turn in policy in 1569 which set the pattern for the rest of Elizabeth's reign. Philip was involved in plots against her—Ridolfi and Babington—and formal invasion plans—the great Armada in 1588, and further scares in 1595, 1596, and 1597. Elizabeth, for her part, sent an army into the Spanish Netherlands in 1585 and offered to support Philip's Morisco subjects against the Spanish government in the late 1580s.

Bruce Coleman

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Philip II

Philip II (1527–98) King of Spain (1556–98), King of Portugal (1580–98). In 1554, he married Mary I of England. From his father, Emperor Charles V, Philip inherited Milan, Naples, Sicily, the Netherlands and Spain with its empire in the New World. War with France ended at Cateau-Cambrésis (1559), but the Revolt of the Netherlands began in 1566. A defender of Roman Catholicism, Philip launched the unsuccessful Armada of 1588 to crush the English who, as fellow Protestants, aided the Dutch.

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Philip II

Philip II

Philip II (1165-1223), sometimes called Philip Augustus, ruled France from 1180 to 1223. He made the Crown more powerful than any feudal lord, more than tripled the royal domain, and turned the balance of power between France and England in favor of France.

Born in Paris on Aug. 21, 1165, Philip became the seventh Capetian king of France in 1180, when his father, Louis VII, died. As he grew to manhood, he became distrustful, cynical, and crafty, but physically sickly and tense. He had a practical intelligence but was not particularly interested in study.

Wars with England

Philip inherited from his father the difficult problem of trying to defend the small royal domain centering on Paris and Orléans against the much more extensive holdings of Henry II of England. By inheritance, marriage, and war, Henry had acquired lands extending from Normandy on the English Channel through Maine, Anjou, and Aquitaine to the Pyrenees. Although young Philip faced seemingly hopeless odds, he exploited the jealousy of Henry's sons, and when Henry invested his favored youngest son, John, with all the King's Continental holdings except Normandy, John's older brother Richard became an ally of Philip and fought his aging father. In 1189 Henry was forced to recognize Richard as heir to all his lands and Philip as his feudal lord for his lands in France. Shortly afterward, Henry II died.

The power struggle had been interrupted by the preparations for the Third Crusade following the fall of Jerusalem in 1187. Now Philip reluctantly joined Frederick I (Frederick Barbarossa) and Richard I, who had become king of England on the death of Henry II. Philip and Richard went to the East together but soon began to quarrel. When the Anglo-French forces recaptured Acre, Philip felt that he had done enough crusading and returned to France to take advantage of Richard's absence in the East.

Richard, unable to capture Jerusalem from Saladin, returned home through Austria but was taken prisoner there and held for ransom. He did not reach the West until May 1194, and in his absence Philip had joined forces with John to recover Normandy. The ensuing warfare between Philip and Richard ended when Richard was killed (1199) in a minor skirmish in central France and John became king of England.

Philip now became John's enemy and used feudal law to dispossess him of his Continental holdings. In 1202 he summoned John to his court to answer a charge made against him, but John refused to come, and Philip therefore declared John's holdings in France forfeit, occupying Normandy and all English lands north of the Loire River. With the occupation of Normandy, the Capetians now had access to the English Channel and deprived John of easy access to his Continental fiefs.

Relationship with the Pope

Although preoccupied with defending his kingdom against England, Philip was not unmindful of the opportunities for acquisitions in southern France. In 1207 Pope Innocent III invited Philip to lead a crusade there against the spread of heresy, but Philip declined to take part unless the Pope made John stop fighting in Poitou—something Innocent III could not do. A decade later Philip was still avoiding direct participation in the crusade, but he did permit his son, Louis of France, to lead a French army into Toulouse.

In January 1213, John was excommunicated and deposed for his spoliation of the Church. His troubles with his own English barons encouraged Pope Innocent III to urge Philip to invade England, seize John, and put Louis of France, now married to a niece of John's, on the English throne. But when John turned over England to the Pope and received it back as a papal fief, Innocent ordered Philip to give up the invasion.

John, restored to power with papal protection, then organized an Anglo-Flemish-German coalition to recover his French fiefs. In 1214 Philip met the challenge by sending his son Louis of France as leader of a French army against John, who had led an attack from southwestern France. But John fled rather than fight. Meanwhile, Philip led another French army northeastward from Paris to meet John's ally, Otto IV of Germany, who was about to invade France with an army of English, German, and Flemish knights. Philip crushed this army at Bouvines on July 27, 1214. The students in Paris celebrated the French victory for 7 days and 7 nights.

Bouvines was one of the decisive battles of European history because it led to the ruin of John, upset the balance of power in Europe in favor of France for over a century, and marked the end of the German Empire as the dominant political power in the Christian West. After Bouvines, John returned to England, where he died in 1216. Philip was able to live out his life in peace, certain of Capetian ascendancy.

Internal Reforms

While Philip was enlarging his kingdom, he was also developing and instituting a plan of civil service whereby men were given high office on the basis of competence rather than hereditary right. To assure obedience in the outlying provinces, where distance encouraged independence, Philip instituted salaried bailiffs responsible for the administrative, military, and judicial supervision of the areas assigned to them.

Philip encouraged the growth of town governments by selling charters and privileges to them, and thus he won the support of town bourgeoisie against the restless nobility. Most of the towns granted new charters were on the frontiers of the royal domain. For Philip they were defensive posts with military obligations. Incomes from this source, from the fees levied on foreign merchants and fairs for protection, and from the profits of justice gave the King the money needed to finance a professional army and government bureaucracy. By the time Philip died, he had become the richest and most powerful lord in the realm.

Philip loved Paris, which during his reign became the religious, political, and academic capital of France. It was Philip who gave the first charter to the University of Paris. Written after a town-and-gown riot, it recognized the right of students to enjoy clerical status and autonomy. Philip also built a wall around Paris for its defense and, in 1186, ordered the streets paved with stone to overcome the air pollution and stench caused by garbage and other household waste thrown into the streets and the effluvia of the pigs and other animals that roamed about.

Ill since September 1222, Philip died at Mantes on July 14, 1223, while on his way to Paris. He left France prosperous and at peace, and the strongest power in western Europe. He was called Augustus by his biographer, Rigord, who compared him to the Roman caesars because he had enlarged the realm and increased its income.

Further Reading

The most thorough study of Philip II is in German. In English, Philip is discussed in more general works on his time: Achille Luchaive, Social France at the Time of Philip Augustus (1912); Charles Petit-Dutaillis, The Feudal Monarchy in France and England from the Tenth to the Thirteenth Century (1936); Robert Fawtier, The Capetian Kings of France: Monarchy and Nation, 987-1328 (1962); and Kenneth Setton, A History of the Crusades (2 vols., 1962), which includes a discussion of the Third Crusade. □

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Philip II

Philip II

Philip II (382-336 B.C.) was a king of Macedon, a conqueror, and a leader of the Corinthian League. He suppressed his feudal barons, forged a professional army infused with a national spirit, and developed novel military tactics.

Philip II was born in Macedon to King Amyntas II of the royal house of Argeadae and his Illyrian wife, Eurydice. Philip cherished his Greek heritage. Some Greeks, especially the hostile Athenian Demosthenes, disclaimed his and the Macedonians' claim to membership in the Greek race and labeled Philip a barbarian or non-Greek. This left him with a marked inferiority complex. Culturally the Macedonians were less advanced than their southern Greek neighbors, had remained rural rather than urban, and retained a strongly Indo-European feudal and tribal sociopolitical structure. As king, Philip would actively work to import Greek culture to Macedon and to increase trade and urbanization.

As a youth of 15, Philip was sent as a hostage to Thebes, where he lived for 3 years. The military and political ideas acquired there greatly influenced him. He became king in 359 B.C., after his older brother Perdikkas was killed in battle fighting the Illyrians. As regent for Perdikkas's young son Amyntas, Philip jealously guarded the throne against three pretenders whom foreign powers supported. Only 24 years old, Philip acted with skill and energy, defeating the hostile powers and winning the army's support.

Philip ruled his feudal nobles as chieftain, or "first among equals, " in a highly aristocratic structure. His power, given to him by the chief nobles, included supreme generalship of the aristocratic cavalry and infantry forces, supreme judge as leader, or father, of the tribes, and chief priest. By acclamation, the assembly of the army, which possessed the right and duty, confirmed Philip's privileges.

Forging a Professional Army

Philip extended his dominance over the northern Macedonian tribes and their petty chieftains and thereby established the foundations of Macedonian greatness in the north. The landed nobility, or select "Companions, " were bound to serve him in a feudal manner as cavalry. Philip was perhaps the first to organize the free peasantry and shepherds into a regular infantry, to incorporate them into military territorial divisions, and to raise their political status, allowing them to participate in the assembly of the army and to obtain its privileges. This strengthened his royal position and diminished the power of the aristocracy.

Philip contracted an alliance with Neoptolemos, king of the Illyrian Molossians, and married his daughter Olympias in 357 B.C. The proud, impulsive, and independent queen bore him Alexander (later, Alexander the Great) in 356 B.C. and a daughter, Cleopatra, the next year.

Building an Empire

In 357 B.C. Philip seized Thracian Amphipolis and the silver and gold mines of Mt. Pangeios, which produced 1, 000 talents annually. The mines were the foundation of his power. His new silver and gold coins quickly structured Aegean commerce. Athens retaliated by claiming protection over Amphipolis and waged 11 years of intermittent warfare. Following the Sacred War over Delphi, which erupted in 356 B.C., Philip became involved in southern Thessaly. In 348 B.C. he destroyed Chalcidian Olynthos.

By 340 B.C. Philip held the territory from the Hellespont to Thermopylae. He had also pressed eastward toward the Bosporus and employed, for the first time in Greece, the Syracusan siege machines against Perinthos and Byzantion. Southern Greece feared Philip's empire, but many hailed him as the only man capable of ending their petty, parochial interstate wars. In his Philip (346 B.C.), the Athenian Isocrates urged Philip to unite Greece in a military federation and bring peace and concord to the Greeks by waging war against the Persian Empire.

A minor disruption, again centered at Delphi, brought Philip southward as arbiter, but hostile Thebes and Athens gathered forces against him at Boeotian Chaeronea in the summer of 338 B.C.. He defeated the Greeks, and the following winter a meeting of all the Greek states except Sparta was held at Corinth. There Philip constructed a league of states. He was automatically elected commander in chief of the self-governing military allies.

In 337 B.C. Philip prepared Macedon and the league to invade Persia. By early 336 B.C. his general, Parmenion, crossed the Hellespont, but at home jealous noblemen and Philip's wife plotted his assassination. At the festive wedding of his daughter, Cleopatra, to King Alexander of Epirus, Philip was stabbed to death.

Further Reading

Biographies of Philip's son, Alexander the Great, usually devote the first chapter to Philip and Macedon. A thorough and scholarly work is Ulrich Wilcken, Alexander the Great (1931; trans. 1932), and interesting and insightful is the study by Andrew Robert Burn, Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Empire (1947; 2d rev. ed. 1964). Richard Haywood, Ancient Greece and the Near East (1964), contains an excellent description of the rise of Macedon and of Philip's Greek world. See also The Cambridge Ancient History, vol. 6: Macedon, 401-301 B.C. (1927), edited by J. B. Bury, S. A. Cook, and F. E. Adcock.

Additional Sources

Cawkwell, George, Philip of Macedon, London; Boston: Faber & Faber, 1978.

Ellis, John R., Philip II and Macedonian imperialism, London: Thames and Hudson, 1976.

Hammond, N. G. L., Philip of Macedon, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994.

Philip II of Macedon: a life from the ancient sources, Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1992.

Philip of Macedon, Athens: Ekdotike Athenon, 1980. □

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Philip II

Philip II ( Augustus) (1165–1223) King of France (1180–1223). Greatest of the French medieval kings, he increased the royal domain by marriage, by exploiting his feudal rights, and by war. His main rival was Henry II of England. Philip supported the rebellions of Henry's sons, fought a long war against Richard I and, during the reign of John, occupied Normandy and Anjou. English efforts to regain these lands were defeated at Bouvines in 1214. Philip persecuted Jews and Christian heretics, joined the Third Crusade but swiftly withdrew, and opened the Crusade against the Albigenses in s France.

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Philip II

Philip II (382–336 bc) King of Macedonia (359–336 bc). He conquered neighbouring tribes and gradually extended his rule over the Greek states, defeating the Athenians at Chaeronea in 338 bc, and gaining grudging acknowledgment as King of Greece. He was preparing to attack the Persian Empire when he was assassinated, leaving the task to his son, Alexander the Great.

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Philip II

Philip II

BORN: May 21, 1527 • Valladolid, Spain

DIED: September 13, 1598 • El Escorial, Spain

Spanish king

Ruler of the most formidable power in Europe during the 1500s, King Philip II of Spain played a major role in world affairs and in the development of England's foreign policy during the Elizabethan Era, the period associated with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603) that is often considered to be a golden age in English history. His empire included not only large territories in Europe, but also rich colonies in Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and much of South America. Wealth from these possessions filled Spain's treasury and gave Philip control of the strongest army and navy of the time. Strongly devoted to the Roman Catholic Church, Philip acted to strengthen the power of Catholic rulers at a time of increasing dissent from Protestant factions in Europe. He faced increasing religious conflicts in Protestant parts of his

"You may assure His Holiness [the pope] that rather than suffer the least damage to religion and the service of God, I would lose all my states and a hundred lives, if I had them; for I do not propose nor desire to be the ruler of heretics."

empire, as well as challenges by England to Spain's dominance of the transatlantic sea trade, or trade with the Western Hemisphere across the Atlantic Ocean. During the reign of Elizabeth I (1533–1603; see entry), Philip was drawn into open conflict with England. He became involved in several plots to assassinate the queen, and he made Spain England's most formidable enemy.

Though Spain was stronger and wealthier than England, Philip did not succeed in crushing English power. His attempted naval invasion of England in 1588—which failed as the result of bad planning, superior English technology, and disastrous weather—destroyed his mighty naval fleet and led to a prolonged war. By the time of Philip's death in 1598, England had emerged as a significant rival to Spanish dominance in Europe and in the Western Hemisphere.

Early life and education

Son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1500–1558) and Isabella of Portugal, Philip II inherited an extensive and powerful realm that included Spain, the Low Countries (Belgium and the Netherlands), Sicily and southern Italy, the duchy of Milan, and Franche-Comte, as well as Spain's colonies in the Americas. As heir to this empire he received a good private education that was closely monitored by his father. Philip learned to read several languages in addition to Spanish, including French, Italian, and Portuguese. The young prince also learned Latin, Greek, mathematics, history, geography, science, and architecture. He enjoyed books, music, and art, and eventually owned a library of more than fourteen thousand volumes. He also loved the outdoors, and he became such an avid fan of hunting that his father worried that he would kill all the animals in the royal game preserve. Charles had to limit Philip's hunting to once a week.

Philip's mother, in whose household he lived as a young boy, died when he was twelve. Thereafter he lived in his own household, which included eight chaplains (priests), more than fifty pages (noble attendants), and hundreds of servants. An introspective person, Philip enjoyed privacy and sometimes commented in later life that he craved solitude. He spent time each day in prayer, and he also enjoyed weaving tapestries (large wall hangings) and jousting.

Charles V prepared his son carefully for the responsibility of ruling an empire. From 1543 on, Charles gave Philip the task of governing Spain whenever Charles himself had to be absent from the country. From 1548 to 1551 Philip traveled throughout his father's empire to learn about affairs of state. Charles emphasized to his son that ruling was a duty given them by God, and that they should take this role seriously. He advised Philip to make wise decisions and to guard against becoming too influenced by any one advisor. A dutiful and respectful son, Philip took this advice, eventually becoming known by his people as the "Prudent King."

Marries queen of England

In 1543 Philip married his cousin, Maria of Portugal, who died two years later, leaving him a son, Don Carlos. His second marriage, to Mary I (1516–1558; see entry), queen of England, took place in 1554. The match, which Charles V had proposed, was meant to strengthen ties between England and Spain, thus weakening the power of France and providing Mary with a powerful Catholic ally. Mary was the Catholic ruler of a predominantly Protestant country. Her father, Henry VIII (1491–1547; see entry), had severed ties to the Roman Catholic Church in the 1530s, and for decades the English had lived under Protestant rule. Mary's efforts to force England back to Catholicism met with great resentment. Though Mary's advisors urged her to marry an English nobleman, she felt more comfortable choosing a Catholic prince.

Philip was twenty-seven at the time of the wedding; Mary was thirty-eight. The marriage was not a happy one and produced no children. Philip hated England, and resented the hostility with which Mary's advisors treated him. Deeply suspicious that a foreigner had designs on the English crown, they insisted that Mary agree to severe restrictions on Philip's power. He would be king in name only; he would not enjoy any of the traditional powers of an English ruler. None of the courtiers (people who serve or participate in the royal court or household as the king's advisor, officer, or attendant) he brought with him from Spain could hold office, and if Mary died without producing a child, Philip would have no claim whatsoever on the English crown.

Though Philip was unhappy in England, after Mary's death he proposed marriage to Queen Elizabeth. He had defended Elizabeth, a Protestant, when Mary had suspected her loyalty and considered executing her for treason. Elizabeth, however, was wary of any marriage alliance and turned Philip down. The bond between England and Spain, which had never been a strong one, broke down soon after this and conflict between the two countries arose once more.

Philip married twice more. In 1559 he married Elisabeth of Valois (1548–1568), daughter of King Henry II of France. Elisabeth bore Philip two daughters and died in 1568. Philip then married Anna of Austria (d. 1580), daughter of Emperor Maximilian II, in 1570. She had one surviving son, Philip III.

Philip took the throne in 1558. At the time Spain held extensive possessions and military power, but decades of war with France had exhausted its economy. The Spanish government faced challenges in administering territories that were quite distant from the capital in Madrid. And the Ottoman Turks, who had been at war with Spain since 1551, threatened valuable Spanish territories in Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. Ever cautious, Philip did not let any of his ministers or advisors make government decisions. He insisted on researching every issue himself in painstaking detail before he came to any decision. According to one report he read through four hundred separate documents in one day, making careful notes in the margins before putting his signature on them.

Dutch revolt

The war with the Ottomans dominated foreign policy during the first twenty years of Philip's reign. But in 1566 a rebellion broke out in the Netherlands, where the Protestant population resented Philip's imposition of new taxes and other administrative policies that restricted their rights. This conflict, which developed into an outright war that was not finally resolved until 1648, became a central problem of Philip's reign and drew him into an increasingly hostile relationship with England, which supported the Dutch Protestants.

In 1567 Philip ordered his general, the duke of Alva (also spelled Alba; 1507–1582), to crush the rebellion. Alva used brutal tactics, in one instance executing twelve thousand rebels and their leaders. However, the Dutch grew even more determined to resist. Elizabeth and her advisors watched the situation with great interest. It would work to England's advantage to see Spain's power weakened in the Netherlands, and some of Elizabeth's councilors advised her to aid the rebels. But the queen, reluctant to intervene, waited. She did not authorize open support of the Protestant rebels until 1585, after their leader, William of Orange (1533–1584), was assassinated by a Spanish agent. Though England did not succeed in damaging Spanish interests in the Netherlands, its intervention placed it openly at war with Spain.

Meanwhile, England had also begun to challenge Spain's dominance of the sea trade, especially with the Americas. Since 1494 Spain and Portugal had enjoyed the exclusive right to exploit the riches of the Western Hemisphere, including its vast wealth in gold and silver. English merchant ships wishing to trade in the Americas risked having their goods confiscated by the Spanish unless they agreed to pay steep bribes. In order to weaken Spanish control in the Caribbean and other parts of the Western Hemisphere, the queen had, since the 1570s, given English seafarers such as Francis Drake (1540–1596; see entry) secret permission to raid Spanish treasure ships and attack Spanish colonies. Despite the fact that England and Spain were technically at peace, the queen wished to damage Spain as much as possible. As these attacks increased after 1585, Philip became convinced that it was essential to Spain's interests that he invade England and remove the queen from power.

Plots to assassinate Elizabeth

Though Philip had territorial motives for planning an invasion, he also acted on the belief that God wished him to free England from Protestant heresy. He came to believe that this goal was justified by any means, no matter how brutal. As early as 1570 he began to consider joining conspiracies to assassinate Elizabeth and replace her with her Catholic cousin, Mary Stuart (Queen of Scots; 1542–1587; see entry). Mary, the queen of Scotland, had been forced out of power there by Protestant lords and had sought refuge in England in 1568. Elizabeth allowed her cousin to remain in England, but suspected her of conspiring to seize power and kept her under close guard. Desperate to regain her freedom and convinced that, as a great-granddaughter of Henry VII (1457–1509), she had a more legitimate claim to rule England than Elizabeth did, Mary sought Catholic support for her cause. Philip did not at first approve of Mary or her schemes. If she became queen of England, the French, who strongly supported her, would gain considerable influence in England, which would work to Spain's disadvantage. But by the 1570s Philip was willing to consider any means of removing Elizabeth from power.

In 1570 Spain agreed to join a plot led by Roberto di Ridolfi (1531–1612), an Italian banker who conspired with nobles in northern England to overthrow Elizabeth and make Mary queen. Mary would then marry one of the chief conspirators, Thomas Howard (Duke of Norfolk; 1536–572). This plot, however, was discovered and Howard was executed for treason in 1572.

Another plot in the early 1580s involved Spain's ambassador to England, who agreed to assist in a conspiracy headed by Francis Throckmorton (1554–1584). This young English Catholic nobleman had, through Mary, convinced the Spanish ambassador in England to join a plot to assassinate Elizabeth and launch a French invasion that would place Mary on the throne. Elizabeth's councilors discovered the plot and tortured Throckmorton to obtain a confession. He revealed details that implicated Spain. Throckmorton was executed for treason, and the Spanish ambassador, one of his chief contacts, was expelled from England.

The most serious of the conspiracies that Philip supported, the Babington plot, resulted in Mary Stuart's execution for treason in 1587. Sir Anthony Babington (1561–1586) obtained Philip's promise to send troops to England to support a planned Catholic rebellion that would assassinate Elizabeth and give the crown to Mary. Again, Elizabeth's agents discovered the scheme and executed the leaders. Finally realizing the seriousness of Mary's designs against her, Elizabeth was forced to sign Mary's death warrant, and the queen of Scots was beheaded.

Spanish Armada defeated

With no hope that any further conspiracies could succeed, Philip went ahead with plans to launch a full invasion of England. He took many years to draw up careful military plans. He would use his mighty navy, the Armada, to launch a naval attack in the English Channel, the body of water separating England from France. The ships would carry about eight thousand sailors as well as nineteen thousand troops. Philip had every reason to believe that his plan would succeed. His Armada was the most powerful navy in the world; indeed, many believed it to be incapable of defeat. But England's many spies kept Elizabeth's government well informed regarding Spain's preparations for war, and Elizabeth was able to plan a good defense. She appointed Charles Howard (1536–1624) to head the English fleet, with Francis Drake as his second-in command.

The Armada sailed from Lisbon, Portugal—by that time part of Philip's empire—in May 1588 with about 130 ships. But heavy winds forced it back to Spain for repairs. It sailed again in July, and it reached the southwest coast of England on July 29 and the Strait of Dover, near France, on August 6. There the Armada waited for land troops from the Netherlands to join the battle. This, however, took several days, and in the meantime England was able to launch its defense. At midnight on August 7 die English set fire to eight ships and aimed them at the Spanish fleet. The Armada was forced to cut its anchor cables in order to escape quickly, thus breaking formation. The English fleet, with lighter and more maneuverable ships, then inflicted serious damage on the Armada. The English drove the Spanish out of the Channel and northward, and then the English ships retreated to guard the southern coast. The Armada was forced to sail around the northern coast of Scotland to return to

The Invincible Armada

Philip II had every reason to believe that his naval assault on England would succeed. His fleet, which his subjects called "the Invincible Armada," was the largest and mightiest in the world. An inventory that Philip requested while he was drawing up battle plans listed 130 ships that could carry 30,000 men, including about 19,000 soldiers and 8,500 sailors. About 3,000 others—noblemen, volunteers, priests, surgeons, and officials, as well as all their servants—were also part of the Armada. Spain's ships had 2,830 cannons, 123,700 cannonballs, 22,000 pounds of shot, and 2,000 pounds of gunpowder. There were also more than 2,000 galley slaves, some of whom were English prisoners taken during raids between English and Spanish ships. These galley slaves, who propelled the ships with oars when sails alone provided insufficient speed, were chained to their seats and were often compelled to sleep and eat there. If a ship was sunk or wrecked, galley slaves drowned unless someone on board thought to unlock their chains.

Despite all this, the English navy possessed several unexpected advantages. England's navy, by contrast, was lighter and more streamlined than the Armada. According to Neil Hanson's The Confident Hope of a Miracle, its commander's flagship, for example, weighed 800 tons and carried 300 sailors and 125 soldiers. The Spanish flagship, weighing 1,000 tons, carried 300 soldiers but only 177 seamen. The superior maneuverability of the English ships played a large part in the Armada's defeat.

England also had an advantage in seamanship. While Spanish captains had gained most of their experience in the relatively calm Mediterranean Sea or in the transatlantic trade, where trade winds eased navigation, England was surrounded by treacherous rocky shores and violent storms. By necessity, English sailors developed exceptional seafaring skills and were used to difficult conditions. When the Armada was chased out of the English Channel into the northern waters near Scotland and Ireland, it encountered daunting weather for which it was not well prepared.

All these factors contributed to the Armada's defeat. Though Spain rebuilt its navy, it never recovered the absolute dominance it had once enjoyed at sea.

Spain. However, it encountered devastating storms that wrecked more than half of the fleet. Only sixty ships returned to Spain, and many of these were too badly damaged to repair. As many as fifteen thousand Spanish died. Though England lost between several hundred and a few thousand men to disease, it sustained relatively little damage to its fleet. Spain's defeat greatly boosted English morale, and gave Elizabeth's government cause to authorize continued raids against Spanish ships and possessions.

The defeat of the Armada was a shattering blow to Philip. He rebuilt his fleet as best he could, but from then on his efforts to conquer England failed. War dragged on for fifteen years with neither side able to win a clear advantage. Philip sent a larger Armada to the English Channel in 1596 and 1597, but bad weather once again forced the ships to scatter. War with England remained essentially at a stalemate, and neither Philip nor Elizabeth lived to see peace, which was finally declared in 1604 under Elizabeth's successor, James I (1566–1625; see entry).

From 1589 to 1598 Philip involved Spain openly in France's wars of religion. He gave financial and military support to the Catholic League, which fought against the French Protestants called Huguenots under Henry of Navarre (1553–1610). The conflict, which drew Spanish troops away from the Netherlands and thus indirectly helped the Dutch rebel cause, ended with Philip's adversary, Henry of Navarre, becoming king of France. Philip died of cancer that same year at his palace, El Escorial. Though he had preserved much of his realm from attacks on many fronts, Spain at the time of Philip's death had entered a period of decline.

For More Information

BOOKS

Hanson, Neil. The Confident Hope of a Miracle: The True History of the Spanish Armada. New York: Knopf, 2005.

Hilliam, David. Philip IT. King of Spain and Leader of the Counter-Reformation. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2005.

Kamen, Henry. Philip of Spain. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999.

PERIODICALS

Wernick, Robert. "Philip II's Grand Design for the Glory of God and Empire." Smithsonian, December, 1987.

WEB SITES

"Elizabethan Propaganda: How Did the English Government Try to Show that the Spanish Were Threatening to Invade England in 1588?" http://www.learningcurve.gov.uk/snapshots/snapshot45/snapshot45.htm (accessed on July 11, 2006).

'King Philip II." History Mole, http://www.historymole.com/cgi-bin/main/results.pl?type=theme&theme=SpainPhilipII (accessed on July 11, 2006).

"Philip II." NNDB. http://www.nndb.com/people/229/000092950/ (accessed on July 11, 2006).

'The Revolt of the Netherlands." Spain from Ferdinand and Isabella to Philip: Chapter 18. http://vlib.iue.it/carrie/texts/carrie_books/gilbert/18.html (accessed on July 11, 2006).

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Philip II

Philip II

382-336 b.c.e.

King of macedon

Sources

Beginnings . Philip II, or Philip of Macedon, was born in 382 b.c.e. As a boy he spent time in Thebes during the height of that city’s power. (He was actually a hostage to assure his people’s friendliness to the Thebans.) He first came to power in 359 b.c.e. after his brother was killed in battle against the Illyrians, the inhabitants of modern-day Albania.

Rising Power . For several years after his accession and reorganization of his armies, Philip was engaged in securing his northern and western borders. He also took advantage of Athens’s difficulties in its Social War (357-355 b.c.e.) to capture Amphipolis, which held a strategically important location on the river Strymon. Since the Macedonians practiced polygamy, he made several marriage alliances, one of which to Olympias, a niece of the king of Epirus, who bore him a son, the future Alexander the Great. One of his most important ventures brought him the region known as the Krenides, which he reorganized under the name Philippi, after himself, and colonized with Macedonians. Philippi was rich in gold mining, and provided Philip with a vital supply of bribe money, which he was able to use effectively.

Peace of Philocrates . Philip entered the Sacred War between Thebes and Phocis in 353. After an initial setback, he won a great victory in 352 in the Battle of the Crocus Field, which gained him control of Thessaly, an area rich in agriculture and in cavalry. From there he besieged Olynthus in 349, the most important city on the northern peninsula known as the Chalcidice. Despite several speeches to the Athenian Assembly, urging the Athenians to come to the aid of Olynthus, the Athenian orator Demosthenes was unsuccessful and Olynthus capitulated. Athens had officially been at war with Philip since his seizure of Amphipolis in 357, but except for patrolling the Aegean coast and checking the Macedonian advance into central Greece at Thermopylae in 352, the Athenians had been unwilling to take decisive action against Philip’s increasing power. Demosthenes’ political opponent Eubulus had made it illegal even to propose using the state’s funds for any military expedition unless Athens itself was directly threatened. Demosthenes finally had to urge support of peace negotiations with Philip, which were concluded in 346 as the Peace of Philocrates.

Political Machinations . Some Athenians, notably the intellectual Isocrates, saw Philip as the true leader of a united Greece and urged him to use persuasive tactics to unify Greece for a renewed campaign against Persia. Demosthenes, however, regarded Philip as a threat both to Athens and to the entire Greek political culture that had endured since the eighth century b.c.e. Philip was an autocrat, and he represented a dictatorial form of politics that was quite foreign to the Greek world. For instance, he arbitrarily moved great portions of his Macedonian population into new settlements in order to achieve his economic and strategic goals. Isocrates seems to have had little trouble accommodating himself to such a culture, but Demosthenes saw no compromise.

Confrontation . In 342 b.c.e. Philip began a campaign to the east of Macedonia, going beyond Amphipolis and Philippi to subdue all of Thrace. While besieging Byzantium, near the entrance to the Black Sea, Philip intercepted 230 grain ships, 180 of which were destined for Athens. Because of this direct attack on Athens’s vital food supply, Demosthenes was finally able to rouse the Athenians to decisive action, and the Persians also joined in. They saw which direction Philip’s campaigns were heading. Nevertheless, Philip was not greatly worried. He turned his attention first to his northern borders and attacked the Scythians, where he was injured.

Chaeronea . By 338 Philip had recovered and Demosthenes had managed to put together a coalition of almost all the Greek poleis, including Sparta, Corinth, and Thebes, as well as Athens. But at the Battle of Chaeronea, near Thebes, the coalition army was no match for Philip’s seasoned troops, and his cavalry, led by his son, Alexander, was able to annihilate the Theban Sacred Band, the Greeks’ best fighters. Philip’s highly maneuverable phalanxes then defeated the largely defenseless Athenian hop-lites. Demosthenes himself was among them, but he escaped to attempt to fortify Athens’s defenses.

League of Corinth . As it turned out, Philip did not need to attack Athens; the city surrendered. Philip might have been much more vindictive to the Athenians, but the city still had something he did not—a fleet. He did not want it to fall into the hands of the Persians. He imposed a new political order on the Greeks, however, the League of Corinth, a sort of federated state with Philip himself as its hêgemôn (leader). Philip had plans to attack the Persian Empire, so he needed Greek help. He guaranteed the Greek poleis freedom in the running of their own affairs and in commerce so long as they accepted his hegemony. Shortly before the Battle of Chaeronea, the king of Persia had been assassinated, and the instability of the Persian Empire made it a good time for Philip to attack the Persians. A year later, in 337, the Sunedrion, or Congress, of the League of Corinth declared war on Persia, and Philip sent an advance force to prepare the way for an invasion; however, internal politics got in the way. In 336 Philip was assassinated by a fellow Macedonian, as a result of court intrigues and jealousies.

Assessment . Within a twenty-three-year period, Philip of Macedon had gained control of Greece and the Balkan peninsula through a skillful use of warfare and diplomacy. He transformed a disunited, semibarbarous Macedon into a rich, powerful kingdom and established the Macedonian army as a professional fighting force. After his death his first son, Alexander III, would make Macedon into the dominant military and political power of the Mediterranean world.

Sources

Eugene N. Borza, In the Shadow of Olympus: The Emergence of Macedon (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990).

George Cawkwell, Philip of Macedon (London & Boston: Faber & Faber, 1978).

John R. Ellis, Philip II and Macedonian Imperialism (London: Thames & Hudson, 1976).

Raphael Sealey, Demosthenes and His Time: A Study in Defeat (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993).

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Philip II

Philip II

May 21, 1527
Valladolid, Spain
September 13, 1598
El Escorial, Spain

King

Philip II was king of Spain from 1556 to 1598. During his reign the Spanish empire was severely challenged, and its economic, social, and political institutions strained almost to the breaking point.

Inherits vast empire

Philip was born in Valladolid, Spain, on May 21, 1527. He was the son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1500–1558; see entry). In 1543, at age sixteen, Philip married his cousin, Maria of Portugal. She lived only two years, leaving a son, Don Carlos. Charles then arranged for Philip to marry Mary I (called Bloody Mary; 1516–1558; ruled 1553–58) of England, the Catholic queen of a basically Protestant country. Charles did this to consolidate his empire. Philip moved to England, but his stay was not a happy one. Mary died in 1558 and was succeeded by her half-sister, Elizabeth I (1533–1603; see entry), who was committed to keeping England a Protestant nation. Charles V also died in 1558, and Philip inherited the larger portion of his father's dominions: Spain, the Low Countries (basically present-day Belgium and the Netherlands), Franche–Comté, Sicily and southern Italy, the duchy of Milan, and Spain's colonies in the New World (the European term for the Americas), including Mexico and much of South America. The rest of Charles's dominions was the Holy Roman Empire (Austria and parts of Germany), which he left to his brother Ferdinand (1503–1564; ruled 1558–64), who succeeded him as emperor.

Philip returned to Spain in 1559. In that year Spain and France signed the Cateau-Cambrésis peace treaty, which ended the Italian Wars (1494–1559), a conflict between the two countries over control of Italy. The war ended mainly because both Spain and France had run out of money, not as the result of a resolution of differences. The temporary harmony between the two powers was symbolized by Philip's marriage to Elizabeth of Valois (1545–1568), the daughter of the French king Henry II (1519–1559; ruled 1547–59) and his wife Catherine de Médicis (1519–1589; see entry). Elizabeth proved to be Philip's favorite wife. Philip was married four times: In 1543 to Maria of Portugal (died 1545), mother of Don Carlos; in 1554 to Mary I of England (1516–1558); in 1560 to Elizabeth of Valois, mother of the infants Isabella and Catalina; and in 1570 to Anna of Austria (died 1580), mother of the next king, Philip III.

Unlike Charles V, Philip did not travel extensively. Instead, he preferred to rule the country from his palaces. Philip was fair, soft-spoken, and had an icy self-mastery. In the words of one of his ministers, he had a smile that cut like a sword. He immersed himself in an ocean of paperwork, studying dispatches and documents and adding marginal comments on them while scores of other documents and dispatches piled up on tables. With the problems of communication in Philip's far-reaching empire, once a decision was made it could not be undone. As king, he preferred to reserve all final decisions for himself. He mistrusted powerful and independent personalities and rarely placed much confidence in aides. Philip devoted his private life to collecting art, cultivating flowers, and reading religious works. His main interest, however, was designing and building El Escorial, the royal palace outside Madrid. He was overjoyed when the huge complex was finally completed. A combination palace, monastery (religious house for men), and mausoleum (building that holds tombs), Escorial was Philip's preferred place for working.

Confronted with numerous problems

During the first twenty years of his reign, Philip was confronted with many problems. Charles had left him in charge of an unresolved war with the Muslim Turks, which had begun in 1551 over control of the Mediterranean Sea. The Muslim Turks were followers of the Islamic religion who lived in the Ottoman Empire, a vast kingdom in Asia and North Africa. For many centuries, the Muslims were viewed as an archenemy to the Europeans, who saw them as a threat to Christian dominance of Europe. In 1560 the Spanish attempted unsuccessfully to take Tripoli, a port city in northwest Lebanon, from the Turks. In 1563 and 1565, Philip's troops managed to repulse Turkish attacks on Oran, a port city in Algeria, and the island of Malta, a Spanish stronghold in the Mediterranean near Sicily. The conflict ended in 1571, when Philip's illegitimate (born out of wedlock) half-brother, John of Austria (1545–1578), led a Catholic armada (fleet of armored ships) against the Turks in the great naval battle of Lepanto (Gulf of Corinth) in the Ionian Sea off the coast of Greece. The Spaniards took 127 Ottoman ships and thousands of soldiers and seamen. As a result of John's victory, the Ottoman Empire was no longer a threat to Spain's rich possessions in Italy and along the Mediterranean.

While Spanish forces were defeating the Ottomans, Philip was contending with the Revolt of the Netherlands, which broke out in 1566. Though the revolt did not end with Dutch independence until 1648, the Spanish had many military victories in the Netherlands during Philip's reign. The uprising began when Dutch Protestants staged violent riots and smashed statues of Catholic saints. In 1567 Philip introduced the Spanish Inquisition (a court that sought out and punished heretics, or those who violated church laws) in the Netherlands. He then sent Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, duke of Alba (c. 1507–1582) to crush the revolt. Alba initiated an extremely repressive regime. Arresting two rebel leaders, Lamoral, count of Egmont (1522–1568), and Philip de Montmorency, count of Hoorn (c. 1518–1568), Alba established the Council of Troubles. Alba had Egmont and Hoorn executed along with perhaps twelve thousand other rebels. Other notable leaders fled to safety in Germany. Among them was William I Prince of Orange (1533–1584), the spiritual leader of the rebellion. Nevertheless, Alba's repression continued unchecked, until by 1573 Philip had seen enough. He recalled Alba and replaced him with Luis de Requesens (1528–1576). In 1577 Requesens was replaced by John of Austria (1547–1578).

In 1568, at the height of his Dutch troubles, Philip experienced several other misfortunes. He lost his third and most beloved wife, Elizabeth of Valois, as she was delivering a baby daughter. Philip's son, Carlos, was exhibiting bouts of severe mental instability. For instance, Carlos threw a servant out of a window when the young man crossed him. He frequently attacked his father's ministers, including the duke of Alba, with a knife. Carlos also made a shoemaker eat a pair of boots because they fit too tight. The troubled young man was finally locked away in a tower, where he went on a series of hunger strikes and died later in the year.

Defends Catholic faith

The Dutch troubles worsened in 1578 when Philip approved the assassination of Juan de Escobedo (died 1578), John of Austria's dangerous and ambitious secretary. Two years later, Philip issued a royal proclamation condemning William of Orange as an outlaw and the main source of unrest in the Netherlands. The king's announcement also offered a reward of 25,000 ducats (an amount of Spanish money) for the capture of William of Orange. Orange responded with a document that accused Philip of incest (having sexual relations with family members), adultery (having sexual relations outside marriage), and the murders of both Carlos and Elizabeth of Valois.

Philip was convinced, however, that God had chosen him for a special mission to defend the Catholic faith. Indeed, it seemed to many Europeans that "God had turned into a Spaniard" by 1584. That year an assassin killed William of Orange in his home in the Delft region. In 1585, Alessandro Farnese (1545–1592), the duke of Parma, surpassed the military skill of Alba when he captured the great walled town of Antwerp (a city in present-day Belgium). The successful siege ended a five-year Spanish offensive that conquered more than thirty rebel Dutch towns and maintained Spanish and Catholic control of the southern provinces of the Netherlands until 1714.

Meanwhile, in 1580, Philip had claimed the throne of Portugal. Forced to fight for what he considered to be his hereditary rights (his mother was the princess of Portugal), he had sent Alba into Portugal with twenty-two thousand troops. The old and brutal duke was again successful, and the vast dominions of Portugal fell into Philip's hands. Then in a crowning victory, Philip's navy, under Álvaro de Bázan (1526–1588), the marquis de Santa Cruz, smashed a combined English-French force off the coast of the Azores in 1582 and 1583. In the New World, Spanish conquistadors (conquerors) accomplished the "taming of America" by violently subduing various rival Native American groups. To many Europeans at the time, this was Philip's most impressive achievement.

Organizes "Invincible Armada"

Just as Philip was on the verge of reclaiming the northern provinces of the Netherlands, his attention was diverted by war with England. The English Protestant queen, Elizabeth I, was worried about the Catholic advance in the Low Countries. In 1585 she openly supported the Dutch rebels. Philip immediately began organizing the famous "Invincible Armada," a fleet of 130 heavily armored ships that carried 30,000 men, for an invasion of England. Leading the venture would be the experienced admiral, the marquis de Santa Cruz. The plan called for the Armada to sail from Lisbon, Portugal, into the English Channel. The ships would stop off the coast of Flanders and pick up the 22,000-man army led by the duke of Parma. The Armada would then sail on to England and stage a massive sea assault.

Almost from the beginning, things went wrong with the complicated Spanish plan. In 1587, even before the Armada could set out, the English seaman Francis Drake (c. 1540–1596) launched a surprise attack on the Spanish ships, which were anchored in the port of Cádiz, Spain. The destruction to the Armada was so great that the invasion was delayed for a year. In the meantime, Santa Cruz died and Philip replaced him with the inexperienced Alonso Pérez de Guzmán (c. 1550–1619), duke of Medina-Sidonia. Medina-Sidonia was an army commander, so he protested that he was unqualified to lead a naval fleet. Philip brushed his reservations aside, insisting that only a man of Medina-Sidonia's stature would be obeyed by the captains of the Armada ships.

England defeats Armada

In May 1588 the Spanish Armada set out from Lisbon, but storms forced the fleet into La Coruña in northwestern Spain. The ships did not set sail again until July. By this time Elizabeth had prepared the English fleet and organized a small but dedicated land army. In August, sailing against strong winds, the Armada began moving up the Channel toward Flanders. Medina-Sidonia had been ordered not to engage in battle with the English until he had made contact with Parma. This gave the advantage to the English main fleet, which departed from Plymouth and was sailing with the wind. Once within range of the Armada, the English ships were able to fire their weapons at the Spanish vessels from a relatively safe distance. The light and quick English ships also had the advantage of being able to outmaneuver the bulky Spanish galleons (ships powered by oars). The English made three assaults on the Spanish, but they did not inflict any serious damage. On August 6, Medina-Sidonia anchored his fleet at Calais to await contact with Parma. But Medina-Sidonia made a fatal mistake on the night of August 7. He had not secured all of the anchors, so some ships drifted in the water and left an opening for a squadron of English fire ships to move in and set the Armada ablaze. One by one the Spanish ships broke their cables and headed for open water. The smaller English ships darted in and out of the flames, pouncing on stragglers.

Then a powerful storm—the "Great Protestant Wind," as the English called it—swept through the Channel and forced the Spanish vessels away from England. Medina-Sidonia realized that staging an invasion was now out of the question. He did his best to save the fleet, and the Armada sailed north. Storm after storm seemed to come from nowhere to pound the galleons as they desperately tried to sail around the British Isles. Many of the Spanish ships broke up on the west coast of Ireland. Nearly three months after the battle, Geoffrey Felton, secretary for Ireland, went walking on the coast of Sligo Bay. Although the secretary had seen slaughter and bloodshed during Irish wars with the English, he reported that these horrors paled in comparison to the terrible sight of the bloated corpses of more than eleven hundred Spaniards that had been washed up onto the coast. Half of the armada was lost and so was Philip's dream of making England into a Catholic province.

In 1584 Philip began Spanish financial aid to France's Catholic League (an alliance formed by Catholics against Protestants in France), in an unsuccessful effort to put a Catholic on the throne of France. Philip II died in 1598, four months after making peace with France in the Treaty of Vervins. He believed he had left his son, King Philip III (1578–1621; ruled 1598–1621), relatively free from international difficulties. Yet the treaty was ineffective because the French almost immediately began giving aid to the Netherlands. Claiming also that the treaty applied only to the continent of Europe, the French continued to encroach on Spanish commerce in the Atlantic Ocean.

For More Information

Books

Kamen, Henry. Philip of Spain. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1997.

Web Sites

Knight, Kevin. "Philip II." Catholic Encyclopedia. [Online] Available http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12002a.htm, April 5, 2002.

Letters of Philip II, King of Spain, 1592–1597. [Online] Available http://library.byu.edu/~rdh/phil2/, April 5, 2002.

"Philip II." Infoplease.com. [Online] Available http://www.infoplease.com/ce5/CE040637.html, April 5, 2002.

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Philip II (1527–1598)

Philip II (1527–1598)

Philip II (1527–1598), king of Spain from 1556 to 1598. During Philip II's reign the Spanish Empire was severely challenged and its economic, social, and political institutions strained almost to the breaking point.

The son of Emperor Charles V, Philip II inherited the larger portion of his father's dominions: Spain, the Low Countries (basically the Netherlands and Belgium of today), Franche-Comté, Sicily and southern Italy, the duchy of Milan, and Spain's colonies in the New World, including Mexico and much of South America. But the inheritance inevitably included the host of problems which his father had left unsolved or which were incapable of being solved. The other part of Charles's dominions, the Holy Roman Empire, was bequeathed to his brother Ferdinand, Philip's uncle.

Philip was born in Valladolid on May 21, 1527, at the outset of the religious and political wars that divided Europe and drained the resources of every major European country. France, the principal opponent of Emperor Charles's ambition, was likewise the chief rival of Philip's Spain. When he acceded to the throne in 1556, the two countries were still at war; peace was concluded at Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559, largely because both states were financially exhausted.

The need to find money and enforce order in his territories led to Philip's clash with his Dutch subjects, a clash that produced the first war for national independence in modern European history and eventually drew Philip into the ill-fated Armada expedition. Spain's resources, including its commercial and military lifeline to northern and southern Italy, were meanwhile threatened in the Mediterranean by the Turkish fleet and the incursions of pirates, largely operating out of North African ports.

On the one side combating rebellious Protestant subjects and on the other confronting the advance of Islam, Philip II has often been depicted as the secular arm of the Catholic Church, a religious zealot who sought to erase heresy and infidelity through military conquest. This, however, is a simplification and is misleading. He was indeed a devout Catholic and vitally concerned with the suppression of "heresy" in all the territory over which he ruled. But his policies and choices must also be viewed in the light of what he considered to be Spanish national interests.


Early Life. Philip's first marriage (1543) was to his cousin Maria of Portugal, who lived but 2 years, leaving a son, Don Carlos. To consolidate his empire and afford protection for his holdings in the Low Countries, Charles then married Philip to Mary Tudor of England, the Catholic queen of a basically Protestant country. Philip's stay in England was not a happy one, and Mary died in 1558 to be succeeded by her half sister, Elizabeth. His ties with England broken, Philip returned to Spain via Flanders in 1559. In that year the peace treaty with France was signed. The temporary harmony between the two powers was symbolized by Philip's marriage with Elizabeth of Valois, the daughter of the king of France, who proved to be his favorite wife.

Philip had succeeded his father as king of Spain in 1556. Unlike Charles V, Philip was to be a "national" monarch instead of a ruler who traveled from one kingdom to another. Though he was to travel widely throughout the Iberian Peninsula, he would never leave it again.

Personally, Philip was fair, spoke softly, and had an icy self-mastery; in the words of one of his ministers, he had a smile that cut like a sword. He immersed himself in an ocean of paperwork, studying dispatches and documents and adding marginal comments on them while scores of other documents and dispatches piled up on tables and in anterooms.

With the problems of communication in Philip's far-flung empire, once a decision was made it could not be undone. As king, he preferred to reserve all final decisions to himself; he mistrusted powerful and independent personalities and rarely reposed much confidence in aides. This personal stamp of authority during Philip's reign was in sharp contrast to the era of minister-favorites in 17th-century Spain. His private life included a delight in art, in the cultivation of flowers, in religious reading (his reign coincided with the great age of Spanish mysticism), and above all in the conception and building of the Escorial, the royal palace outside Madrid whose completion was perhaps the greatest joy of his life.

A combination palace, monastery, and mausoleum, the Escorial was Philip's preferred place for working. In a complex that included a place for his own tomb, naturally the thought of his successor concerned Philip greatly. His son Don Carlos was abnormal, mentally and physically, and on no account fit to become a responsible ruler. Philip was aware that contacts had been made between his son and political enemies. He had Don Carlos arrested, and what followed is one of the great historical enigmas: Don Carlos died on July 25, 1568, under mysterious circumstances that have never been explained satisfactorily. Did Philip have his son executed or did he die of natural causes? There is no persuasive proof on one side or the other. This incident was one of the most publicized in Philip's reign and one which naturally served to blacken his reputation. In any event, his fourth marriage, to Anne of Austria, produced five children, one of whom survived to succeed as Philip III.


Relations with Rome. During the Council of Trent (1545–1563) there was usually strong doctrinal accord between the papacy and Spanish bishops. The major difference lay in varying interpretations of the rights of Spanish bishops and their king vis-à-vis the Holy See. The King had almost total control over the Spanish Catholic Church, and although Spanish arms could advance Catholic interests, if Philip's Spain were to become supreme in Europe the Pope risked being reduced to a chaplain. One momentous occasion when they worked together came in the joint venture of Spain, the Vatican, and Venice against the Turkish navy. At Lepanto, in 1571, the Catholic forces devastated the enemy fleet. It was the most signal victory of Philip's career. Although the Turks soon rebounded, Philip was never again to ally himself so strongly with Rome. The relations between Spain and the Vatican illustrate how senseless it is to speak of the "monolithic nature" of Catholicism in this era.


Dutch Revolt. In an attempt to shore up his depleted treasury and instill more centralization into his dominions, Philip disregarded the prerogatives and local traditions in the Low Countries, the most prosperous of the territories under his rule. In the 1560s he sought to exact more taxes, to impose more bishops, and to reshuffle the administration, thus provoking an increasingly militant opposition.

Protestant attacks upon Catholic churches, coupled with increasing resistance from the predominantly Catholic population, were followed by a severe response from Spain. A Spanish army moved against the rebels, executed several of their leaders, and opened the way to a broader war which lasted throughout Philip's reign. It was truly a war for national independence, with brutality and heroism on both sides and a growing identification of Protestantism (especially Calvinism) with opposition to Spain's political, religious, and economic policies. The rebels, entrenched in the north, declared themselves independent under the name of the United Provinces. The southern part (roughly the area comprising Belgium) remained under Spanish control.

Since the Dutch were subsidized by the English, and since Spanish supply ships could not safely move through the English Channel, Philip concluded that a conquest of England was necessary for the pacification of the Netherlands. But at the same time that the Dutch were in revolt, there were repeated clashes between the French royal armies and French Calvinists. The ups and downs of the warfare in France and in the Netherlands were viewed as barometers of the fortunes of European Protestantism versus Catholicism. After Philip's death, a truce with the Dutch was arranged in 1609. Though war was to break out again, the independence of the United Provinces was recognized in 1648.


The Armada. The need to cut off English subsidies and control the English Channel so as to throttle the Dutch revolt led Philip to undertake the Armada, the most famous event of his reign. The plan was for a huge fleet to rendezvous with Spanish troops in the Netherlands and then proceed to the military conquest of England, serving Philip's military and political ends and immeasurably injuring the Protestant cause. The skill of the English navy and adverse weather conditions led to a total fiasco. Though most of his ships eventually returned home to port and though Philip still dreamed of a future campaign, the expense of the expedition and the psychological shock of failure resulted in the "invincible" Armada's becoming the symbol of Philip's failure to achieve a Spanish predominance in Europe.

French Relations. As Philip sought to put down the rebellion in the Netherlands, he fomented dissension in France. French Protestants were sometimes subsidized by Spanish agents to ensure confusion in the enemy camp. Philip tried (unsuccessfully) to install his own candidate on the French throne, and Spanish troops became embroiled in the French wars. The struggle with France drew Spanish strength away from the Netherlands and so eased the pressure on the Dutch rebels. Peace was reached at the Treaty of Vervins in 1598, several months before Philip's death.


Domestic Affairs. The complexity and extent of these foreign ventures had, of course, a tremendous impact on the economy and life of Spain. There was a constant need for money and in a country where only careers in the Church and the army carried prestige and where commerce and manual labor in general were frowned upon, the already-staggering economy was crippled by a series of disasters. The costly adventures abroad were punctuated by abrasive relations between Philip and his Spanish domains over taxation and jurisdiction; a diminishing flow of silver from the American mines; a decreasing market for Spanish goods; a severe inflation; several declarations of government bankruptcy; and an agricultural crisis that sent thousands into the cities and left vast areas uncultivated. All these, together with plagues and the defeat of the Armada, were crushing blows—economically, socially, and psychologically.

Any one of these myriad problems and crises would have taxed the ingenuity of a government. Taken together and exacerbated by the strain of incessant warfare, they shook Spain to its roots. The union of Portugal to Spain in 1580 may have given Philip satisfaction but hardly lightened his burdens. He worked methodically, even fatalistically, puzzled by the workings of a God who would permit such calamities to occur. Spain had already entered into a period of sharp decline at his death on Sept. 13, 1598, at El Escorial.

EWB

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