Category History

In the decades between the end of the Habsburg-Burgundian Netherlands and the rise of the Dutch Golden Age, the Low Countries saw a generation of war, politics, and culture leave its mark. Here are some of those stories.

Timeline: 1548-1567

After decades of war and political maneuvering, Charles V united the Low Countries into the Seventeen Provinces in 1548. He'd later abdicate in favor of his son, Philip II, whose policies would stir the nobles and cities into open revolt by 1567.

Map of the Cities & Battles of the Dutch Revolt

The Dutch Revolt ravaged the Low Countries: pitched battles were fought in the countryside, dozens of towns were besieged, and murderous pillaging plundered the countryside. Use this map to orient yourself to the locations of significant battles, cities, and towns.

Also includes an inset map detailing post-Reformation religion in the northern provinces.

Common Names for the Low Countries

That part of Northwestern Europe forming the deltas and hinterlands of the Rhine, Meuse, and Scheldt rivers has been known by many names. And for many Americans, the term “Low Countries” itself is not well known or understood. This multiplication…

Malcontents & Royalists

The Dutch Revolt was not nearly as much an invasion by the Habsburgs as it was at first a civil war between Royalists and a small set of independently-minded provinces and cities. Among those Royalists were the “Malcontents” - former rebels whose Catholic faith brought them back to the king when the Calvinist faction rose in power in cities under rebel control.

Protestant Allies of the Dutch

The Dutch rebels were able to keep up the fight against the Habsburgs and Royalists in large part due to international support from other Protestant (and moderate Catholic) powers, including the towering historical presence of Elizabeth I of England.

Rebel Geuzen & Dutch Statesmen

“Do not be troubled, my Lady! These are just a bunch of… beggars.”

The epithet of geuzen (Dutch for “beggar”) was first hurled at noblemen protesting the policies of Philip II, but it quickly became a patriotic, highly political point of pride for the rebels who would fight to form the early Dutch Republic.