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There were two Unions of Brussels, both formed in the end of the 1570s, in the opening stages of the Eighty Years' War, the war of secession from Spanish control, which lasted from 1568 to 1648. Brussels was at that time the capital of the Spanish Netherlands.
The northern counties of Holland and Zeeland rebelled in 1572, when Calvinists took over control of most of the cities. The Spanish army tried to reconquer them but failed during the Siege of Leiden in 1574. In 1575 Philip II had to declare bankruptcy. As a result, the Spanish soldiers did not receive any payment, and they mutinied, pillaging the countryside of Brabant and Flanders and the city of Antwerp, where 10,000 inhabitants in a city with 100,000 people were killed by the Spanish soldiers, who tried to kill all the local Protestants.
This event discredited the Spanish army enormously. The Estates-General of the Netherlands, sitting in Brussels, wanted to end the war in 1577. However, some of the fervently Roman Catholic provincial Estates did not want to invite the Calvinists of Holland and Zeeland to join. The Estates-General, without Holland and Zeeland, founded the first Union of Brussels. King Philip II of Spain agreed with this.
The leader of the resistance, William of Orange, went to Brussels in 1577 to try to convince the General Estates to accept the Calvinist provincial Estates of Holland and Zeeland. The population of Brussels celebrated him as a hero, and it was with his urging that the General Estates accepted the two counties. Turmoil broke out in the Netherlands when the news spread throughout the realm.Calvinists took over the cities in Flanders and in other provinces of the Netherlands, but the estates of the eastern provinces did not accept this. The French-speaking provinces in the south started the pro-Spanish Union of Arras in 1579, when the French-speaking Protestants were driven out. The Stadtholder of Groningen and Drenthe supported the king, and the city of Amsterdam did as well. The Calvinists had taken over most of the Netherlands and they created the Calvinist Union of Utrecht the same year. The Union of Brussels came to an end. Most of Brabant including the city of Brussels were neutral. The General Estates, which were dominated by Calvinists, fled from the Spanish army to Antwerp.
Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities, regions and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language, politics, and history, and sometimes involving neighbouring countries. The demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming, while the corresponding adjective is Flemish. The official capital of Flanders is the City of Brussels, although the Brussels-Capital Region has an independent regional government. The government of Flanders only oversees the community aspects of Flanders life in Brussels, such as Flemish culture and education.
The Union of Utrecht was a treaty signed on 23 January 1579 in Utrecht, Netherlands, unifying the northern provinces of the Netherlands, until then under the control of Habsburg Spain.
The Seventeen Provinces were the Imperial states of the Habsburg Netherlands in the 16th century. They roughly covered the Low Countries, i.e., what is now the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, and most of the French departments of Nord and Pas-de-Calais (Artois). Also within this area were semi-independent fiefdoms, mainly ecclesiastical ones, such as Liège, Cambrai and Stavelot-Malmedy.
William the Silent, also known as William the Taciturn, or William of Orange, was the main leader of the Dutch Revolt against the Spanish Habsburgs that set off the Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) and resulted in the formal independence of the United Provinces in 1581. Born into the House of Nassau, he became Prince of Orange in 1544 and is thereby the founder of the Orange-Nassau branch and the ancestor of the monarchy of the Netherlands. In the Netherlands, he is also known as Father of the Fatherland.
The Union of Arras was an alliance between the County of Artois, the County of Hainaut and the city of Douai in the Habsburg Netherlands in early 1579 during the Eighty Years' War. Dissatisfied with the religious policies of rebel leader Prince of Orange and the States General of the Netherlands, and especially the rise of the radical Calvinist Republic of Ghent since October 1577, they signed a declaration on 6 January 1579 about their intent to offer a vigorous defense of the Roman Catholic religion against what they saw as encroachments by Calvinists in other provinces. These signatories would begin negotiations for a separate peace with the Spanish Crown, which resulted in the Peace Treaty of Arras of 17 May 1579.
The Eighty Years' War or Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648) was a revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg against Philip II of Spain, the sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands. After the initial stages, Philip II deployed his armies and regained control over most of the rebelling provinces. Under the leadership of the exiled William the Silent, the northern provinces continued their resistance. They eventually were able to oust the Habsburg armies, and in 1581 they established the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. The war continued in other areas, although the heartland of the republic was no longer threatened. This included the origins of the Dutch colonial empire, which began with Dutch attacks on Portugal's overseas territories. At the time, this was conceived as carrying the war with the Spanish Empire overseas due to Portugal and Spain's being in a dynastic union.
The Act of Abjuration is the declaration of independence by many of the provinces of the Netherlands from the allegiance to Philip II of Spain, during the Dutch Revolt.
The Pacification of Ghent was an alliance of the provinces of the Habsburg Netherlands, signed on November 8, 1576. The alliance was formed to drive Spanish mercenary troops out of the country and to promote a formal peace with the rebelling provinces of Holland and Zeeland.
Spanish Netherlands was the name for the Habsburg Netherlands ruled by the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs from 1556 to 1714. They were a collection of States of the Holy Roman Empire in the Low Countries held in personal union by the Spanish Crown. This region comprised most of the modern states of Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as parts of northern France, the southern Netherlands, and western Germany with the capital being Brussels. The Army of Flanders was tasked with the defence of the territory.
The Fall of Antwerp on 17 August 1585 took place during the Eighty Years' War, after a siege lasting over a year from July 1584 until August 1585. The city of Antwerp was the focal point of the Protestant-dominated Dutch Revolt, but was forced to surrender to the Spanish forces. Under the terms agreed, all Protestants were given four years to settle their affairs and leave the city. Many migrated north, especially to Amsterdam, which became the capital of the Dutch Republic. Apart from losing a high proportion of its mercantile population, Antwerp's trade suffered for two centuries as Dutch forts blockaded the River Scheldt up to 1795.
The Battle of Gembloux took place at Gembloux, near Namur, Low Countries, between the Spanish forces led by Don John of Austria, Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands, and a rebel army composed of Dutch, Flemish, English, Scottish, German, French, and Walloon soldiers under Antoine de Goignies, during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604). On 31 January 1578 the Spanish cavalry commanded by John's nephew, Don Alexander Farnese, Prince of Parma, after pushing back the Netherlandish cavalry, attacked the Netherlandish army, causing an enormous panic amongst the rebel troops. The result was a crushing victory for the Spanish forces. The battle hastened the disintegration of the unity of the rebel provinces, and meant the end of the Union of Brussels.
A Spanish Fury was one of a number of violent sackings of cities in the Low Countries mostly by Spanish Habsburg armies, that occurred in the years 1572–1579 during the Dutch Revolt. In some cases the sack did not follow the taking of a city. In others the sack was ordered, or at least not restrained, by Spanish commanders after the fall of a city.
The Dutch Revolt (1566–1648) was the revolt in the Low Countries against the rule of the Habsburg King Philip II of Spain, hereditary ruler of the provinces. The northern provinces eventually separated from the southern provinces, which continued under Habsburg Spain until 1714. The northern provinces adopted Calvinism and Republicanism whereas the southern provinces became wholly Catholic again due to the expulsion of Protestants and the efforts of the Counter-Reformation and remained under absolutist rule. The Dutch Revolt has been viewed as the seedbed of the great democratic revolutions from England, to America to France.
This article describes the history of Flanders. The definition of the territory called "Flanders", however, has varied throughout history.
The Siege of Eindhoven, also known as the Capture of Eindhoven of 1583, took place between 7 February and 23 April 1583 at Eindhoven, Duchy of Brabant, Spanish Netherlands during the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604). On 7 February 1583 a Spanish force sent by Don Alexander Farnese, Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands, commanded by Karl von Mansfeld and Claude de Berlaymont, laid siege to Eindhoven, an important and strategic city of Brabant held by Dutch, Scottish, and French soldiers under the States' commander Hendrik van Bonnivet. After three months of siege, and the failed attempts by the States-General to assist Bonnivet's forces, the defenders surrendered to the Spaniards on 23 April.
In Dutch and English historiography the Dutch struggle for independence from the Spanish Crown in the 16th and 17th century was long known as the Eighty Years' War. More recently, the initial part of this period has become known as the Dutch Revolt. This concept covers the period between the initial insurrection of Netherlandish Calvinists against the regime of the Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands, Margaret of Parma, in 1566, and the conclusion of the so-called Twelve Years' Truce in 1609 between the Spanish Crown and the Dutch Republic. The historiography of this period covers both political and diplomatic developments, and events in military history. But the period of the Truce, and the military events that followed after the Truce had ended and the war was resumed, until the conclusion of the Peace of Münster in 1648, still form one continuous whole with the Dutch Revolt, and this continuous narrative, spanning the period 1566–1648, is still known as the Eighty Years' War.
The Battle of Borgerhout was a battle during the Eighty Years' War, of the Spanish Army of Flanders led by Alexander Farnese, Prince of Parma, upon a fortified camp at the village of Borgerhout, near Antwerp, where several thousand French, English, Scottish, and Walloon soldiers in service of the recently created Union of Utrecht were stationed. It took place during the reconquest by the armies of Philip II of Spain of the Burgundian Netherlands, whose different provinces had united in 1576 under the Pacification of Ghent to drive out the foreign troops and to grant religious liberty to Protestants.
The Malcontents in the context of the Eighty Years' War or the Dutch Revolt were a faction of Catholic nobles in Hainaut and Artois who openly opposed William the Silent, also known as Orange, the leader of the States General of the Netherlands in the Union of Brussels of the Habsburg Netherlands during the period after the adoption of the Pacification of Ghent. They formed the Union of Arras in January 1579 and negotiated a separate peace with the Spanish Crown, represented by the royal governor-general Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma, in the form of the Treaty of Arras (1579), signed on 17 May 1579.
The Calvinist Republic of Ghent was a Calvinist republic that existed between 1577 and 1584 in the Flemish independent city of Ghent.
Netherlands–Spain relations are the bilateral and diplomatic relations between these two countries. The relations between both countries are defined mainly by their membership in the European Union and by being allies in the NATO, as well as belonging to numerous International Organizations.