Philip II. (15271598)

Philip II., king of Spain, only son of the Emperor Charles V.; married Mary Tudor in 1554, and spent over a year in England; in 1555 he succeeded his father in the sovereignty of Spain, Sicily, Milan, the Netherlands, Franche-Comté, Mexico, and Peru; a league between Henry II. of France and the Pope was overthrown, and on the death of Mary he married the French princess Isabella, and retired to live in Spain, 1559. Wedding himself now to the cause of the Church, he encouraged the Inquisition in Spain, and introduced it to the Netherlands; the latter revolted, and the Seven United Provinces achieved their independence after a long struggle in 1579; his great effort to overthrow Protestant England ended in the disaster of the Armada, 1588; his last years were embittered by the failure of his intrigues against Navarre, raids of English seamen on his American provinces, and by loathsome disease; he was a bigot in religion, a hard, unloved, and unloving man, and a foolish king; he fatally injured Spain by crushing her chivalrous spirit, by persecuting the industrious Moors, and by destroying her commerce by heavy taxation (15271598).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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