Dutch Royalty: Prince William I of Orange (153384)

Figure 1.--Philip II upon the eath ofhis father Charles inherited many tittles and lands includung the Spanish Netherlands. He lived in the Netherlands during the early years of his reign. He was vwey harsh with the Dutch Protestants who were growing in number, but unlike Spain there was no well-established Inquisitgion to deal with them. He decided to return to Spain (1559). This painting by Cornelis Kruseman shiws Philip berating William I, Prince of Orange on the quay in Amsterdam as he left for Spain. He accused William of personally leading the resistance against the king by the Dutch nobility. At the time the Reformation was just behinnung in the Netherlamds. The King and his retinue are on the left. Notice the Catholic priest. Prominently depicted are two unidentified page boys with a dog. In the background you cam see the sails of his ship. The king grasps the hand of Prince William while pointing his finger acusingly towards him. The Prince stands to the right holding his hat in his hand with his retinue, also including a boy, perhaps one ofhis sons--William had 16 children. In the foreground a Spanish soldier is kneeling holding a box--perhaps Philip's treasure box. This is not a contemprary portrait, but an histirical creation painted in 1832.

Revolt flared again led by William the Silent of the House of Orange (1568). William and the House of Orange are commonly seen as Dutch. They did not, however, begin in the Netherlands. In fact both were German. William was born in Hesse. He received both Protestant and Catholic teachngs as a boy. And William was a faithful sevant of Emperor Charles V who rewarded him at a young age for his military service. Chrles in return appounted him stadtholder of the counties Holland, Zeeland, and Utrecht. From this position he played a key role in the formation of the Dutch nation. It was the beginning of which the Dutch call the "tachtig jarige oorlog"--the War for Independence which lasted for 80 years. It was a dreadful, vicious war as religious wars often are. He was a deply religious, but not sectarin. And when Phulip II began to supress the Dutch, William came to their defenseand an imprtant part of the Dutch Revolt. The War for independence began with Prince William I of Orange's efforts to seize control of the Dutch provinces to protect them from King Philips plan to destoy Protestantism. He financed mercinary invasions (1568 and 1572). Both failed, supressed by the Duke of Alva. It was Geuzen raids, irregular Dutch land and sea forces, that sized control from the Spanish (1573). They completed the Reformation in Holland and Zeeland and firmly established Calvanist theology. The other provinces joined the revolt (1576) and a political union was forged.


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Created: 3:51 AM 10/21/2015
Last updated: 3:51 AM 10/21/2015