Dutch Revolt

1 Assignment 2 How significant was the Reformed faith for the success of the Dutch Revolt Essay plan??? My essay will begin with a chapter on when and why the revolt Started, and will then continue to explain and talk about the main participants in its continuance and then go on to talk about their individual beliefs and reasons for the revolts emergence and success. The Dutch revolt or the revolt of the Netherlands as it is also known as, started in 1566 and carried on until the early 17th century.

The seventeen provinces of the Low Countries were acquired by the Hasburgs through marriage in 1477 but were still infested with independent lordships right up until the 17th century and were divided between German speaking Dutch in the north 2 East and French speaking Walloons (people from the area of modern day Belgium) in the south west. The reformation in the Netherlands was an international religious and political event with the seventeen provinces of the Low Countries against the ardent Catholics supported by Charles V and then his son Philip II of the Spanish Empire.

The seventeen provinces soon jelled under the leadership of William prince of orange. William was born in 1533 and was raised as a Lutheran, when he was 11, and when his cousin died he inherited the title Prince of Orange, on the condition that he had a Roman Catholic education. He grew up and became a wealthy nobleman who originally served the Hasburgs as a member of the court of Margaret of Parma, the governor of the Spanish Netherlands who was the king’s representative due to the fact of being Charles V illegitimate daughter from a relationship with Johanna Maria Van der Gheynst.

William held the position of the Stadholder (steward/ lieutenant). Having been raised as a Lutheran and later being educated in the 3 Catholic ways he grew dissatisfied at the persecution of the Protestants in the Netherlands. It was 1559 when he was given the position of Stadholder of the provinces of Holland and Utrecht, and his decision to oppose the king originated later in the same year when in the company of a couple of French noblemen he overheard about the plan to exterminate the protestants in both France and the Netherlands, and he decided he wanted, nothing to do with their slaughter.

In August 1566 the uprising was bought about with a wave of beeldenstorm (iconoclasm) spread with the destruction of statues and religious images in hundreds of churches and monasteries across the Netherlands. The destruction of these statues and Catholic images were denounced as superstitious and unbiblical and the stained glass images were also seen as false teachings of the church (pp68 Block 2 The European Reformation).

Margaret allowed influential noblemen including William to become more involved with the rebels in return for their help in quelling anymore destruction; she also granted some of the rebel’s wishes, which included suspending the heresy laws to enable a group of 4 petitioners to negotiate with Philip II, but in early 1567 it became clear she would not be allowed to fulfil her promises when the Duke of Alba was dispatched to the area to restore order. After his arrival the duke set up the council of troubles or known locally as the council of blood because of he 10,000 rebels called before the council for judgment and subsequently killed. William was one of these called up but he failed to show up, he was named as a rebel and had his lands and properties confiscated. Charles V was born in the Flemish city of Ghent in 1500.

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In 1506 he inherited his father’s Burgundian territories but because of his tender age his aunt Margaret acted as regent until 1515. From early on in 1515 Charles had to deal with a rebellion from peasants, and after defeating them in 1523 he went on to extend the Burgundian territories.

The European Inquisition executed their first Lutheran martyrs at Brussels in 1523, but private support for the new beliefs was more widespread than publically thought. In 1521 Charles called an assembly at worms in Germany to discuss Protestant Reformation. He called Martin Luther to appear before the assembly and to either renounce or reaffirm his views. 5 Luther Said “Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and ontradicted themselves), I am bound by the scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen. After the assembly Charles V made a decree (edict of worms) which stated “ We forbid anyone from this time forward to dare, either by words or by deeds, to receive, defend, sustain, or favour the said Martin Luther.

On the contrary we want him to be apprehended and punished as a notorious heretic, as he deserves, to be brought personally before us, or to be securely guarded until those who have captured him inform us, where upon we will order the appropriate manner of proceeding against the said Luther. Those who will help in his capture will be rewarded generously for 6 their good work”. It was the culmination of an ongoing struggle between Martin Luther and the Catholic Church. On his way back to Wittenburg after his meeting with Charles, William was picked up by soldiers of Frederick the Wise and escorted to Wartburg Castle for his own protection.

Philip II became king of Spain and Lord of the low countries in 1556 when he took over from his father Charles V. Philips rule in the seventeen separate provinces known collectively as the Netherlands faced many difficulties including heavy taxation and the suppression of Protestantism; this led to warfare in 1568. In 1566, protestant preachers sparked anti-clerical riots known as the Iconoclast Fury; in response to growing heresy, the duke of Alba`s army went on the offensive which further alienated the local aristocracy.

In 1584, William of Orange was assassinated by Balthasar Gerard, after Philip had offered a reward of 25,000 crowns to anyone who killed him, calling him a “pest on the whole of Christianity and the enemy of the human race”. 7 All of the key people involved with the revolt in the Netherlands had their own religious beliefs, and it was these beliefs which were instrumental in the uprising, from the catholic support of the Spanish royal family and the other established European rulers at the time, and the new believers such as Luther and Calvin who influenced William of Orange and other key rebels.

The key figures in the new religious movement had such influence over the wronged peasants that they were able to be guaranteed of their support in whatever was asked of them including the revolt itself. (Word Count 1149) Bibliography Wallace, P. (The Long European Reformation). Grell, Ole Peter. O`Day, R. Laurence, A. Loftus, D. (The European Reformation), Block 2. The Open University, Milton Keynes.

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