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Dutch Revolt, 1568–1648

Michael F. Gretz


The Dutch Revolt, also known in the Netherlands as the Eighty Years' War, was one of the most important moments of protest and rebellion of the early modern era. In the late sixteenth century, motivated by religion, economics, and nationalist sentiment, the Dutch began a long period of armed revolt against the domination of the Spanish Hapsburg empire. The Netherlands, a relatively small country, had emerged from the feudal era under the control of the Hapsburg empire. However, the nature of Dutch society was rapidly changing as urban areas in the Netherlands began to dominate trade in the emerging Atlantic and global economy of the early modern period. Moreover, many parts of the Netherlands, particularly in the north, had converted to Calvinism , which produced much conflict with the Catholic Hapsburg authorities. During the Dutch War of Independence against the Spanish in 1566, Calvinists throughout the Netherlands stormed Catholic churches and desecrated other religious buildings, protesting against what they deemed the worship of idols. (akg-images) In 1566, the first salvos of the revolt were launched, beginning a war that would last for most of the next six decades. The Dutch Revolt was marked by the development of total warfare, in which the civilian population on both sides was heavily targeted. Eventually, the Dutch Revolt was integrated into a wider pan-European war, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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