Mondays are for Church History - 10/24/16
Gonzalez, Justo L. The Story of Christianity: The Reformation to the Present Day. Revised and Updated ed. Vol. 2. New York: HarperCollins, 2010b. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 10 “The Reformation in the Low Countries” Loc. 1897-2043.
Gonzalez notes that in the Low Countries Protestants were present very early, with the first martyrdoms in Antwerp in 1523 (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1903). In these provinces, near the mouth of the Rhine, Charles V encouraged common institutions but cultural diversity (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1912). After 1555, when Charles turned the Provinces to his son, Philip, the sense of unity eroded (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1912). The Protestant Reformation, which had been active in the area, had been discouraged by Charles V (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1927). Philip took even more forceful action, being loyal to Rome (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1942).
The leaders of the Seventeen Provinces attempted to gain more autonomy, but received instead a promise that those who would violate the Council of Trent should be executed (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1956). The leaders, unwilling to engage in mass executions, resisted, taking on the sign of a beggar’s leather bag (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1963). This movement took on religious overtones, resulting in iconoclastic movements (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1971). In 1567, Philip appointed the duke of Alba to stop the rebellion and heresy using an army (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1979). This he attempted, with many arrests and mass executions. Elizabeth of England eventually supported the dissidents with considerable success (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 1993). Alba retaliated fiercely, taking back all the territory he had lost, but never achieving naval control (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2001). Alba eventually was reassigned. His replacement, Requesens, chose to exploit the divide between Catholic and Protestant, effectively isolating the Protestants (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2009). The naval forces responded by flooding the lowlands and making a naval assault which overcame Requesens, who died at the time (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2016). The conflict continued between Philip and William of Orange until, some ten years after Philip’s death, in 1607, Spain allowed a truce and peace treaty (Gonzalez 2010b, Loc. 2038).
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