Positives and Negatives of Philip II's Inheritance

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Information about Positives and Negatives of Philip II's Inheritance

Published on March 16, 2009

Author: Michelle2309

Source: slideshare.net


Government  New councils had been set up, such as the Council of War, making admin more efficient.  The government was fully functioning, and had experience.  Charles had appointed family members to positions in government – loyal.

Religion  Spain was completely Catholic, and untainted by Protestantism.  Philip inherited the Inquisition, which helped to maintain Catholic uniformity by finding and destroying heresy.  Censorship helped to restrict the Spanish peoples’ access to dangerous Protestant ideas.  Philip made sure he had power over the Pope in Spain. All papal laws had to have royal approval before they were passed.  Religious unity = order.

Economy and Finance  The Spanish economy benefitted from bullion – precious metals from the New World.

Law and Order  There had been little opposition to Charles reign since the Comuneros Revolt (1520) had been defeated.  The Spanish people supported Philip as the rightful heir, and were reconciled to his rule.

Foreign Policy  AlthoughPhilip inherited the Habsburg- Valois war, the Spanish eventually won and made gains at the Treaty of Cateau- Cambresis in 1559.

Empire Philip inherited what is now seen as one of  the largest and most powerful empires in history.

1556 Negatives of Philip II’s Inheritance

Government A conciliar system had worked well for  Charles – an absentee monarch – but did not work so well for Philip as he did not like to delegate.  Family members had been appointed and although they were loyal, they were not necessarily the best people for the job. This damaged the potential effectiveness of government.  Secretaries grew in power and status, and they could become threatening to Philip.

Government (2) Separate assemblies (e.g. Castile Cortes)  guarded rights and privileges that had existed before the Iberian Peninsula was united. This could make government difficult. Philip had different powers in each state.  Consequently, consistency was almost impossible to achieve. Philip met with difficulty when it came to issues such as taxation, for example. Communication was extremely slow.  No fixed capital. 

Religion Isolated cells of heresy existed, especially  in rural areas, threatening Spain’s Catholic uniformity.  The growth of Protestantism was always a threat.  The Inquisition contributed largely to the ‘Black Legend’ view of Philip as a tyrant.  Censorship was almost impossible to enforce.

Economy and Finance 36 million ducats in debt, 68% of annual  revenue needed to pay off loans. As early as 1532, revenue was less than  expenditure. Charles had sold crown land and offices to  make immediate money, but these were now exempt from tax, and so damaged Spain in the long-term. There was a lack of investment in new  farming and industrial techniques, making it hard for Spain to raise money in the future.

Economy and Finance (2) Trade was disrupted by war, and the  economy also suffered as war affected population.  The treasury was strained by almost 40 years of continuous warfare.  Each area of Spain needed to be self- supporting, with a little profit for the Empire. However, only Castile and the Netherlands did this in reality.

Law and Order Relied heavily on Grandees and  Corregidores to enforce – they had self- interests at heart.  Philip was biased towards Castile, causing resentment.

Foreign Policy War with France, not going well on  Netherlands border.  Ottoman Empire always a threat.  Uneasy ceasefire with the Turks.

Empire The Empire demanded costly and  extensive defence.  Military forces were strained across the Empire, leaving some areas vulnerable.  The Empire threatened France, who were surrounded by Spanish territory on all sides. They aimed to destroy the Spanish Empire.

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