The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1576

John Lothrop Motley
The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1576

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Title: The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1576
Author: John Lothrop Motley
Release Date: January, 2004 [EBook #4825] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on March 26, 2002]
Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII


This eBook was produced by David Widger

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MOTLEY'S HISTORY OF THE NETHERLANDS, Project Gutenberg Edition, Volume 25.
By John Lothop Motley

Assumption of affairs by the state council at Brussels--Hesitation at Madrid--Joachim Hopper--Mal-administration--Vigilance of Orange-- The provinces drawn more closely together--Inequality of the conflict--Physical condition of Holland--New act of Union between Holland and Zealand--Authority of the Prince defined and enlarged-- Provincial polity characterized--Generous sentiments of the Prince-- His tolerant spirit--Letters from the King--Attitude of the great powers towards the Netherlands--Correspondence and policy of Elizabeth--Secret negotiations with France and Alencon--Confused and menacing aspect of Germany--Responsible, and laborious position of Orange--Attempt to relieve Zierickzee--Death of Admiral Boisot-- Capitulation of the city upon honourable terms--Mutiny of the Spanish troops in Schouwen--General causes of discontent--Alarming increase of the mutiny--The rebel regiments enter Brabant--Fruitless attempts to pacify them--They take possession of Alost--Edicts, denouncing them, from the state council--Intense excitement in Brussels and Antwerp--Letters from Philip brought by Marquis Havre-- The King's continued procrastination--Ruinous royal confirmation of the authority assumed by the state council--United and general resistance to foreign military oppression--The German troops and the Antwerp garrison, under Avila, join the revolt--Letter of Verdugo-- A crisis approaching--Jerome de Roda in the citadel--The mutiny universal.
The death of Requesens, notwithstanding his four days' illness, occurred so suddenly, that he had not had time to appoint his successor. Had he exercised this privilege, which his patent conferred upon him, it was supposed that he would have nominated Count Mansfeld to exercise the functions of Governor-General, until the King should otherwise ordain.
In the absence of any definite arrangement, the Council of State, according to a right which that body claimed from custom, assumed the reins of government. Of the old board, there were none left but the Duke of Aerschot, Count Berlaymont, and Viglins. To these were soon added, however, by royal diploma, the Spaniard, Jerome de Roda, and the Netherlanders, Assonleville, Baron Rassenghiem and Arnold Sasbout. Thus, all the members, save one, of what had now become the executive body, were natives of the country. Roda was accordingly looked askance upon by his colleagues. He was regarded by Viglius as a man who desired to repeat the part which had been played by Juan Vargas in the Blood Council, while the other members, although stanch Catholics, were all of them well-disposed to vindicate the claim of Netherland nobles to a share in the government of the Netherlands.
For a time, therefore, the transfer of authority seemed to have been smoothly accomplished. The Council of State conducted the administration of the country. Peter Ernest Mansfeld was entrusted with the supreme military command, including the government of Brussels; and the Spanish commanders; although dissatisfied that any but a Spaniard should be thus honored, were for a time quiescent. When the news reached Madrid, Philip was extremely disconcerted. The death of Requesens excited his indignation. He was angry with him, not for dying, but for dying at so very inconvenient a moment. He had not yet fully decided either upon his successor, or upon the policy to be enforced by his successor. There were several candidates for the vacant post; there was a variety of opinions in the cabinet as to the course of conduct to be adopted. In the impossibility of instantly making up his mind upon this unexpected emergency, Philip fell, as
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