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HIS 244: The Problem of the Spanish Decline (error in title of doc)

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David Stiles

His 241 The Problem of the Spanish DeclineththImperialism dominated 16 century and 17 century with France as the hegemony until its decline at the Treaty of Westphalia How did Spain become a dominant power Why did it go wrong in the end Why does this matter for the rest of EuropeBackgroundThe inheritance of Charles V 15001558 The Accidental Hegemony inherited from each of his four grandparents Austria Spain Hapsburg North Africa Italy Holy Roman Empire A lot of Europe was under the control of one man Charles Vs son Philip II had a grand strategy to contain and defeat France through a policy of encirclement Spain to the south England to the north Hapsburg possessions to the east He wanted to centralize the power of the Spanish crown vast role for the monarch as a clearinghouse fro information and decisionmaking He wanted to be a champion of Catholicism and fight the good fight against the ProtestantsThe Dutch Revolt 15681648 The Eighty Years WarImposition of CounterReformation on a largely Calvinist population Netherlands was a hotbed of Protestants Calvinists Brutalities of the Duke of Alba 15071582 transformed discontent into revolt along with 10000 troops establishing military rule executing thousands vying against their rule while raising taxes Duke of AlbaDarth Vader This was seen as the Black Legend as Alba was an icon for that
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