Spain: Age Of Absolutism : Spain: Age Of Absolutism By: Abdulaziz Al Henaidi
11-3 How Spain became powerful? : How Spain became powerful? Spain was recognized as a powerful and rich country in Europe during the 1400’s -1600’s.
It was known as the first European modern power.
Their wealth came after King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella sent Christopher Columbus to the Americas, where he found wealth's including silver and gold.
Ever since then, all other nations in Europe wanted to be like, and overcome the successes of Spain.
Many of this evolution was thanks to Philip II of Spain. “Charles V” : “Charles V” In 1519, after Ferdinand and Isabella, Charles V became the heir of Spain’s crown.
However, that wasn’t the only thing Charles inherited. Along with Spain, he became the heir of the Hapsburgs Empire, which included the Holy Roman Empire and the Netherlands.
Charles V was very concerned about religion because of being a Catholic, he fought many Protestants around Europe, including the German States.
His greatest rival was the Ottoman Empire, lead by Suleiman. Dividing Empires : Dividing Empires After he became very tired, Charles V decided to give up his titles and enter a monastery in 1556.
He gave the Austrian Hapsburg Empire to his brother Ferdinand, who became the Holy Roman Emperor.
He gave the rest of the nations including: Spain, the Netherlands, and southern Italy to his son, Philip II.
And so, the age of King Philip II began. Philip II and his beliefs : Philip II and his beliefs Philip II was one of the best rulers of Spain.
He was hard working, committed, and motivated.
He wanted to expand Spanish influence, strengthen the Catholic Church, and be recognized with his absolute power.
Unlike the previous rulers, he spent more time in government work than he did with religion.
He lived inside a palace in Madrid called the Escorial.
Like Ferdinand and Isabella, he was obsessed with making the rest of Europe.
In other words, he wanted to be an absolute monarch, or a ruler with complete authority and control over the government and the citizens.
Philip believed he ruled by divine right, or authority that came directly from God.
Because of his religious beliefs, he turned the Inquisition against the Protestants. Religious Battles of Philip II : Religious Battles of Philip II Philip II had fought many wars to spread Spanish Catholic Power.
His first battle was at Lepanto, Italy in 1571, where the Spanish and Italian troops defeated an Ottoman fleet
A major war for Philip was with the Netherlands.
He fought the Protestant rebels in the country, which was an important and rich part of Philip’s empire.
Both Protestants and Catholics in the Netherlands didn’t appreciate the oppressive Spanish rules, that threatened their cultures.
Therefore, riots began against the Inquisition in the Netherlands.
Until in 1581, the North Protestant side of the Netherlands declared its independence from Spain, and became known as the Dutch Netherlands. Invading England : Invading England By the 1580’s, Philip II saw England’s Queen Elizabeth I as a major threat to his government.
As a Protestant, Elizabeth supported the Dutch against Spain.
She also sent English captains “Sea Dogs” to raid Spanish ships.
To stop these attacks, Philip II prepared a massive armada “fleet” over 130 ships and 20,000 men, and 3000 cannon to invade England.
However, weather conditions wasn’t at their side. At the English Channel, the English ships easily defeated the Spanish ships. And a heavy storm struck the Spanish armada, which forced them to retreat.
It is because of this battle, the rest of Europe was able to overcome Spain. “Siglo De Oro” Artists : “Siglo De Oro” Artists 1550-1660 was a century for Spain which was called siglo de oro or the “golden century”.
It was named so because of the advance and evolution of art and literature by that time.
Philip II supported art and opened academies for science and mathematics.
One of the greatest artists in the age of absolutism was El Greco “the Greek” because he was born in the Greek island of Crete.
Famous for his religious pictures, and beautiful portraits for Spanish nobles
El Greco’s work was an inspiration to Diego Velazquez, court painter of King Philip IV. “Siglo De Oro” Writers : “Siglo De Oro” Writers This century also involved many writers such as Lope de Vega.
He wrote more than 1,500 plays, including “The Sheep Well”.
In this play, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand rescue a village from an evil lord.
A famous piece of text back then was Don Quixote, the first modern novel in Europe.
It was written by Miguel de Cervantes.
It’s about a man named Don Quixote who looks for adventure along with his follower Sancho Panza. Economic Decline : Economic Decline In the 1600’s, Spanish power and wealth began to decrease slowly.
Some of the reasons were as followed:
Lack of Leadership: The successors of Philip II were weaker rulers than him.
Oversea wars drained wealth out of Spain rapidly.
Because of treasures, people forgot farming and commerce.
The government place expensive taxes
Therefore, by the late 1600’s, Spain was replaced by France as the most powerful nation in Europe.