Spanish Netherlands

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Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) .svg
Territory in the Holy Roman Empire
Spanish Netherlands
coat of arms
Royal Coat of Arms of Spain (1580-1668) .svg
Map of the Habsburg Netherlands by Alexis-Marie Gochet.png
The Netherlands including the Liège Monastery until 1795
Location in the Reichskreis
Burgundian Circle-2005-10-14-de.png

Arose from Burgundian Netherlands  1522
Form of rule Province ( Lieutenancy )
Ruler / government King of Spain
Regent: Governor
Today's region / s BE / DE / NL / LU / FR

Reichskreis Burgundian Empire
Capitals / residences Brussels (Lieutenancy)
Dynasties Habsburg (Spanish line)

Incorporated into Republic of the Seven United Provinces 1648
Austrian Netherlands  1714

The Spanish Netherlands refers to the area of ​​today's Netherlands , Belgium and Luxembourg as well as the French North Department at the time of Spanish rule, or after the Thirty Years War 1648 and the independence of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces (United Netherlands) only its southern part. They existed as the possession of the Spanish Crown from the division of the inheritance of the Austrian and Spanish Habsburgs in 1556 to the handover to the House of Austria in 1714. The Spanish Netherlands after 1581, like the Austrian Netherlands , are also known as the Southern or Habsburg Netherlands , although under these terms the Principality of Liège and other empire-free countries are also included, which, however, never belonged to the Spanish or Austrian Netherlands.

Charles V era (1515/1522 to 1556)

The assumption of the Burgundian Netherlands into the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Spain dates back to 1522 in the inheritance agreement of Brussels between Emperor Charles V and his brother Ferdinand (later also Emperor Ferdinand I), who split the House of Habsburg into the Austrian and Spanish lines . After the abdication of Charles in 1556, these countries finally fell formally to the Spanish Crown. The administration was divided because the area was in the Holy Roman Empire . After 1500, Maximilian I founded the Burgundian Empire for the Valois-Burgundian legacy . Foreign rule was not welcomed within the borders of the Holy Roman Empire, so that Austrian Habsburgs temporarily took over the governorship .

Charles's reign was the heyday of the Netherlands. He acquired Overijssel and the Utrecht Stiftslande (1517), bought Albrecht's son Georg von Sachsen his rights to Friesland and also regained Groningen in 1538 and Gelderland in 1543 , so that he had the 17 provinces of Brabant, Limburg, Luxembourg, Gelderland, Flanders, Artois, Hainaut, Holland, Zeeland, Namur, Zütphen, East and West Friesland, Mechelen , Utrecht, Overyssel and Groningen united under his scepter.

Karl, born in Ghent , was considered by the Dutch to be their compatriot and liked to be called that. In his world empire, the Dutch were able to trade unhindered and seized a large part of world traffic, the center of which was Antwerp . In addition to trade and commerce, agriculture, animal husbandry and fishing, the arts and sciences also flourished. The political amalgamation also made progress: a supreme tribunal and an accounting chamber for the Netherlands were established in Mechelen . After Artois and Flanders had been freed from the French overlordship and the north-eastern provinces were detached from the Westphalian district , Charles elevated the 17 provinces to a constitutional unit through the Treaty of Augsburg in 1548, the Burgundian district , which was only loosely connected to the German Empire , after the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 should always be united and ruled by a prince. In doing so, Charles resolutely preserved his princely rights and took a stern approach to defiant resistance. In 1540 he forcibly subjugated his native city of Ghent. He tried to keep the Protestant movement from the Netherlands by persecution. He drew enormous sums (40 million ducats for a war ) from the grants of the States General .

Eighty Years War (1568 to 1648), independence of the Netherlands

By despotism and religious persecution zeal of his successor Philip II. Caused Eighty Years' War led to unsuccessful attempts, the political unity of the north and south of the seventeen provinces maintain, cause a separation. The seven northern provinces were constituted by the Union of Utrecht (January 1579) as a Protestant republic, which finally declared itself independent in 1581 as the republic of the seven united provinces . The rule of the Spaniards over the south, some of which had remained Catholic , was permanently strengthened by the conquest of Antwerp (August 17, 1585) and the Counter-Reformation .

The Spanish Netherlands was briefly independent between 1598 and 1621 after Philip II ceded the land to his daughter Isabella Clara Eugenia and her husband Albrecht VII of Austria . With their artistry and tolerant politics, the couple made a significant contribution to winning the inhabitants of the southern Netherlands over to Spanish rule. After the death of childless Albrecht, the land fell back to Spain in accordance with the treaty.

In the almost uninterrupted war between Spain and the Netherlands, neither the former succeeded in re-subjugating the defected provinces, nor the latter in liberating those who remained Spanish. Only parts of Flanders , Brabant , Geldern and Limburg fell to the Republic of the Netherlands as the so-called generational lands when the Spanish Netherlands was finally separated from the republic in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. These remaining southern Netherlands are the forerunners of today's Belgium .

Wars of Conquest of Louis XIV (1654 to 1697)

Spain could not prevent the closure of the Scheldt by the Dutch, which completely barred the port city of Antwerp and thus the south from sea trade. In the wars of conquest of France under Louis XIV , the Spanish Netherlands almost always served the Spanish motherland as a theater of war and an object of compensation. In the Peace of the Pyrenees (1659), Spain ceded the Counties of Artois , Gravelines , Landrecy , Diedenhofen , Le Quesnoy and Montmédy to France. The conquests made by the French in the war of devolution separated Lille , Charleroi , Oudenaarde and Kortrijk , among others . While some of these areas fell back to the Spanish Netherlands in the Peace of Nijmegen (1679), other area losses (e.g. Valenciennes , Nieuwpoort , Cambrai , Saint-Omer , Ypres and Charlemont) had to be accepted, which were only partially compensated for in the Peace of Rijswijk of 1697 could become.

War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714)

With the peace treaties of Utrecht and Rastatt (1713 and 1714), which put an end to the War of the Spanish Succession , which was also being fought on Dutch territory , the southern Netherlands fell to Austria and was henceforth known as the Austrian Netherlands .

See also


  • Wolfgang Alt: Language and Power: Spanish in the Netherlands under Philip II until the conquest of Antwerp (1555–1585). Diss. Phil. Trier, 2005 ( online , pdf; The introductory chapter in Spanish, 27 pages, pdf, 2010)

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ferdinand Seibt : Karl V. The Emperor and the Reformation . Siedler, Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-88680-338-4 , p. 82.
  2. Horst Lademacher : History of the Netherlands. Politics - Constitution - Economy . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1983, ISBN 3-534-07082-8 , p. 76.