Biography of Felipe II. King of España (1527-1598)

King of Spain, called the Prudente, born May 21, 1527 in Valladolid and died September 13, 1598 at El Escorial. He/She was eldest son of the Emperor Carlos V and the Empress Isabel of Portugal.

Felipe II. Sánchez Coello.

The children of the Prince Felipe

March 11, 1526, in the Alcázar of Seville, Carlos V married his cousin Isabel de Portugal. The young couple spent their honey Moon in the Alhambra of Granada, where Felipe II was conceived the future.

The Queen may 21, 1527, with the Court transferred to Valladolid, was childbirth. The birth was difficult and long, lasted 13 hours. According to the Chronicles of the time, the midwife who attended Queen Elizabeth urged her to cry out, to which the Queen replied, in his native Portuguese: não me faleis such, minha comare, EU morirei, mas no gritarei.

Six weeks after the birth, the Prince was christened by the Archbishop of Toledo in the convent of San Pablo de Valladolid. As sponsors exercised the Constable of Castile, the Duke of Béjar and the older sister of the Emperor, Leonor. The international political situation caused that the joy of Carlos V was short-lived, since the war with France escalated in these dates. The imperial troops may 6, 1527 had punished the Pope Clement VII Alliance with the French King in the famous sack of Rome. The news of this event came to Valladolid in the month of June, which caused the end of the celebrations. The political plight absorbed the attention of the Emperor, who in the following years could just take care of the education of his firstborn.

On May 10, 1528, prosecutors of the courts met in the Madrid convent of San Jeronimo where recognized the child as Regent of the Kingdom. The 27 July 1529 the Emperor embarked in Barcelona, to not return until 1533.

The Prince childhood was spent between the absences of his father and the efforts of the Court, headed by his mother. He/She had a lonely childhood, as almost all the Princes of the time, away from contact with other children their age. This, coupled with the early death of his mother, marked its character. Felipe grew very attached to her sisters: María and Juana; and his mother. In the first years of his life had great role of Isabel's Court, especially the Lady Leonor Mascarenhas Portuguese characters.

Empress Elisabeth was that instilled in her son the sense of duty and profound religiosity which showed throughout his life. The Empress sought at all times to be together with their children, but Carlos V was considered necessary to that which was to be his successor received a careful education and that it not happen his childhood surrounded by women, therefore, named Pedro González de Mendoza greater Butler and ayo of the Prince. The work of Mendoza González consisted in instructing the Prince in the Protocol of the Court, provide a solid religious formation and instill the values that Carlos V was considered essential in his successor. The AI of the Prince had the mission regularly inform the Emperor of progress and learning of his heir. To this effect, Mendoza González maintained a wide correspondence with the Emperor, which supposes an important testimony not only of the education received by the Prince but also of life in the Court.

Emperor Carlos V. Titian.

In 1533, Carlos V returned to Spain and took the reins of the education of the Prince. The following year it was named as tutor Martínez Siliceoscholar. The preceptura of Martínez Siliceo had serious shortcomings, to the point that the Prince Felipe still couldn't read or write at the age of seven. In 1535, the Emperor decided that it was time that his heir had their own home and left the tutelage of his mother and the ladies of the Court. Pedro González de Mendoza was replaced by Juan de Zúñiga, who taught the Prince riding, fencing and courtly manners. The new AI was austere and much more severe than the last. That same year Carlos V returned to leave Spain, the following years would be marked by a continuous coming and going of the emperor. In recent years, a series of special manuals aimed at learning of the Prince were drafted. Also, he/she translated into Spanish the works of Desiderius Erasmus institution of Prince Christian, that serve as a guide to their educators. Between 1535 and 1540 siliceous Martínez maintained a wide correspondence with the Emperor informed of advances in the education of your child.

The health of the young Prince was not especially bad, although throughout his childhood he/she suffered diseases caused by their eating habits. In 1535, apparently because of a salmonella poisoning, he/she was about to die. Thereafter be tightened the concerns in the Court and Felipe developed an eternal concern by their State of health and his personal hygiene. In contrast to its more or less weak health, Prince was graceful physically and, according to a recent study by the historian Henry Kamen (Felipe of Spain. Madrid, Siglo XXI, 1997), became a great seducer to which about amorous adventures. It was a great dancer and enjoyed the festivities and music.

In the summer of 1538 Carlos V returned to Spain in search of money and men to the European wars. Courts in Toledo were convened in October. These were a great disappointment for the Emperor, since they refused to provide more money. During the spring of 1539 the Empress, again pregnant, sick in Toledo. In late April of that year he/she suffered an abortion and his State of health worsened. The Empress Elizabeth May 1, 1539 died. This death affected much the Prince Felipe, hata that point at that time is that he/she finished his childhood and began his long preparation as heir to the emperor. That same year Carlos V left Spain to end a revolt in Ghent. Due to the age of the Prince, was formed a Council of Regency formed by Cardinal Tavera, the Duke of Alba , and Francisco de los Cobos.

Duke of Alba. Tiziano.

The year of 1540 was particularly difficult for Carlos V and the Empire. The Protestant Reformation was Germany, the King of France promoted the aspirations of the Protestants and claimed the strategic Duchy of Milan; Castile was suffering the effects of poor harvests and the excessive wars. To this is added the Ottoman threat, increasingly more powerful thanks to the direction of Soliman.

Of age: its formation as the ruler

The death of the Empress and the poor education of Prince, led to Carlos V to take steps to make a good heir Felipe. In 1541 Siliceo was dismissed, Carlos V appointed new professors, Christopher Calvete de Estrella, Honorato of Juan and Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda. On the express recommendation of Martínez Siliceo was not sought any Professor of modern languages, so the Prince was never able to speak languages of their domains or neighboring kingdoms, although he/she came to understand them. The young Felipe was not a good student, despite the efforts of their teachers and the insistence of his father, never came to dominate latin, his calligraphy was not good, their knowledge of the very basic Greek, and literary, in the best of cases, poor style. He/She showed increased interest in dance, music, and hunting. From 1540 he/she was a Professor of music, Luis Narváez. From 1541, the Prince had a personal Secretary, Gonzalo Pérez. That same year, Felipe was declared adult and put an end to the mourning had kept by his mother.

The teachers of the Prince Felipe received considerable economic resources to form a library for the heir. In the Decade of 1540, Felipe began one of the biggest of his life, the collecting of books. The Prince came to form one of the largest libraries of his time, treasured in his Magnum Opus, the monastery of El Escorial. Among his hobbies tournaments and jousting, were also so much it was so the Amadis de Gaula was always one of his favorite books. Since childhood, the Prince organized tournaments and jousts with his fellow students, among which was the son of Juan de Zúñiga, Luis of Requesens. Prince Felipe maintained a keen interest in the arts in general, which led him to be one of the greatest patrons of his time, but showed a special predilection for the architecture.

Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Herrera. Madrid.

By order of Carlos V wrote a book that described how it was educated Prince Juan, son of the Catholic monarchs. Once written the book, Zúñiga ordered to use it as a model for educating the Prince Felipe. Thanks to these efforts, the education of the Prince has improved significantly. Put special emphasis on teaching the young Prince to be disciplined, exercise broad restraint and not show their emotions in public.

In 1542 Prince Felipe held his first State trip. Carlos V, after his disastrous expedition to Algiers took refuge in Bejaia (Algeria), where he/she went to Cartagena at the end of 1541, thence did call her son and both were found in Ocaña in may 1542. Once there they undertook travel to Valladolid, and on 22 May the procession traveled to Burgos. On June 2 they went to Navarre and the 22nd came to Monzón in Aragon. The aim of the trip was that Prince jurase the charters from the Crown of Aragon. For this reason, were convened the cortes at Monzón. Felipe fell ill with fevers and was convalescing until the month of August. Between late September and early October the various courts swore to the Prince. In those months the French threatened the border. On 12 October the Prince marched toward Zaragoza and Carlos V to Barcelona. Both returned to gather at the beginning of November in Barcelona, where the Prince enjoyed the night life of the city and parties that were made in his honor. In November the procession marched to Valencia and at the end of the year the Prince returned to Castile.

After this trip, the emperor began what would become its longest absence, was fourteen years out, and left his son in charge of the Government. To help the young Prince, Carlos V made a Regency Council composed of their trust politicians: Francisco Cobos, the Duke of Alba, the cardinal Tavera and Fernando de Valdés. The Emperor recommended his son, in two letters, known as instruction, the best way to deal with their advisors and assert its authority. The advice given by his father, Felipe accompanied throughout his life: not ever rely on anyone, not to show their emotions, appear in public to certain hours, be devoted, fearful of God and just. In the second of the letters, Carlos V made a series of recommendations to his son about his private life that Felipe not attended.

As the Prince was making with the reins of Government and learning the operation of the various Councils of the Spanish monarchy, increasingly were greater friction between father and son. The Emperor continually requesting funds for their campaigns and Felipe complained of the harm that these requests made to the well-being of the kingdoms. The Emperor signed the peace of Crépy, for relief from the Court and his son with the King of France in 1544. Despite these differences, Carlos V never disavowed his son in public, moreover, he/she was proud of the independence of the Prince and his goodwill for the Government. Felipe was handed over to its new responsibilities, showing a great interest in everything that was happening in their domains. Zúñiga in a letter to the Emperor dated June 8, 1543 said in this regard: "His Highness received the instructions, with powers q V. Mgd. send him to one of those reynos overnacion and Aragon. And read everything after, invió special tribunals and councils, and comencado instructions to understand with much quydado in the q is commanded, and up to here with goodwill. And everything communicates with the Duke of Alba and the greater Comendado of Leon." Late 1543 the authority of the Prince was undeniable, handled all the important matters of the Government, participating in councils, dictated orders and receiving hearings.

In those moments the Court was divided into two antagonistic factions, which, despite their differences, always collaborated with the real decisions. On the one hand was the group led by Cardinal Tavera, President of the Council of State, Archbishop of Toledo and general Inquisitor. The other group was led by Francisco de los Cobos, who controlled the administration. This group they were part Fernando de Valdés, President of the Royal Council; and Francisco García de Loaysa. The Duke of Alba was alien to both groups, but it would end up allying themselves with the faction of Cobos. Among them, the most important of the collaborators of the Prince was Gonzalo Pérez, his Secretary staff and Secretary of the Council of State.

In 1543 the Prince's House, chaired by Zúñiga, was composed of 110 people. Current expenses amounted to 32,000 Duchies, one-eighth part of the expenses of the King's House. Prince based his power on the consumption of meat, sometimes including vegetables and fruits, but not fish.

In 1542 Carlos V had signed new laws, an attempt to regularize the situation of the American territories. A capital figure in its implementation was Bartolomé de Las Casas, who returned to America, as Bishop of Chiapas, to promote new legislation in 1544. The application of the new laws was about to cause a riot among the Spanish population of America, which was not prepared to lose their privileges. The situation was particularly serious in the Viceroyalty of Peru, where Gonzalo Pizarro led a revolt. Prince Felipe met his counselors in 1545 to search for a way out. Finally sent a negotiator, Pedro de la Gasca, which managed, in 1548, to put an end to the uprising and Pizarro executed. For the Prince Felipe, this was his first important government action.

First marriage: María Manuela of Portugal

From 1541 Carlos V began to consider the need to marry the heir to secure dynastic succession and strengthen international partnerships. The emperor thought initially in French Joan of Albret, heiress of Béarn, a rich region situated to the South of France; but the project was vetoed by Francisco I, since if the Béarn fell into the hands of Carlos V, this could jeopardize the territorial unity of France.

francisco I of France with his family and members of the Court.

After the failure of negotiations, Carlos V considered the possibility of improving relations with France through a double bond with the sons of Francisco I. thought to marry Felipe with Margarita de Valois, and the heir of France, Henry, with the Princess María, niece of the Emperor and daughter of Fernando of Austria. To strengthen this union, Carlos V was willing to cede, the Milan or the Netherlands. Prince Felipe refused marriage unacceptable considering both the cession of the Milan as the Netherlands.

The Prince himself presented two candidates to his father, María Tudor; and his favorite, María Manuela of Portugal. Felipe by María Manuela preference might be motivated by this youth and the memory of his mother, Empress Elisabeth, who was Portuguese. The Emperor acceded to the wishes of her son and started the paperwork with the Portuguese Crown. For the Emperor, Portugal was a good ally against France and, in addition, harbored hopes for a good dowry.

The marriage negotiations were complex due to kinship linking both princes. The Portuguese King Juan III, was the son of Manuel I the lucky and the infanta María, daughter of the Catholic monarchs; and he/she was the brother of the Empress Isabel de Portugal, wife of Carlos V and mother of Prince Felipe. On the other hand, the Emperor Carlos was brother of Catherine of Austria, the wife of Juan III. The complicated relationship of kinship, is added the bad economic situation in Portugal. Juan III sought to marry his daughter with his brother, the infante Luis, to lower the dowry. The intervention of the Queen Catherine of Austria was instrumental in plans of Carlos V. The pressures of Catalina, the large age difference between the infante Luis and his niece María Manuela and the huge territorial possessions of Carlos V ended up deciding to Juan III.

A sector of the Portuguese nobility opposed the link since when Prince Juan Manuel, the heir to the throne, died childless, inheritance rights would pass to the Princess María Manuela and therefore to the Prince Felipe.

At the beginning of 1543 set the prenuptial agreement, which also included the marriage of the Portuguese heir to the daughter of Carlos V, Joan of Austria. Since that time the formalities with the papacy began to obtain the required waiver allowing in liaison between the cousins. The dowry was fixed at three hundred thousand ducats.

Marriage by proxy took place in Portugal on May 12, 1543. The representative of the Prince Felipe was Luis Sarmiento de Mendoza. After the first celebrations the Princess undertook a journey to meet her future husband, in this trip was escorted by the Duke of Braganza and the Archbishop of Lisbon. For its part, the Emperor chose Juan Alfonso de Guzmán, Duke of Medina Sidonia and siliceous Martínez, Bishop of Cartagena, to greet the Princess. After both delegations, a number of diplomatic incidents were about to derail the project.

On 13 November 1543 María Manuela and Felipe arrived in Salamanca, where the 14th held the marriage. The festivities took place for five days. After the pomp, young went to Valladolid and passing through Tordesillas, went to visit the grandmother of both, the Queen Juana la Loca, who had been locked up for three decades. Despite his madness and its closure, while mientras vivio lived was considered Queen of Castile jointly with her son, the Emperor Carlos. Demonstrated by the fact that Prince Felipe, during these years sign its decrees on behalf of Catholica Reyna and Emperor and King My Lords.

I juana, La Loca, Queen of Castile.

The Emperor showed great interest in the relationship between María and Felipe, concerned that an excess of sexual activity ended with the health of your child, as it was the case with the Prince Juan. The Emperor did everything possible to limit the encounters between the two. Felipe said he/she was willing to do little to his father in this matter, but a virulent attack of scabies, shortly after the wedding, forced him to sleep away from his wife.In the early hours of 8 to 9 July 1545 María Manuela of Portugal gave birth in Valladolid to a male, childbirth was very painful and the child was born very weak. In honor of his grandfather the new infant named Carlos. Joy was short-lived now that four days after the birth, the Princess of Asturias died. The death of María plunged the Prince into a deep sadness that took years to overcome, took refuge in the work, and departed from his son that, from the first moments of his childhood, showed no sign of serious physical and mental problems.

The Regency of the Peninsular kingdoms and the Prince of Asturias international training

After the death of María Manuela, and shortly after Cardinal Tavera, Felipe was devoted fully to the Government. Died in 1546 Juan de Zúñiga, who had accompanied the Prince since his childhood; and the 10 may 1547 Francisco de los Cobos died. Of his main advisers only the Duke of Alba he/she was alive, but in 1546 was called to Germany by the emperor to prepare a new campaign against the Protestants. The Emperor put new directors next to his son, which included Fernando de Valdés and Luis Hurtado de Mendoza. Despite the importance that these men had in court, the Prince did not depend on them as the former and began to make their own decisions. To reinforce the authority of the Prince, Carlos V appointed him Duke of Milan from September 16, 1546.

Felipe advised repeatedly to the Emperor that it moderase your expenses, since the population could not continue paying its large companies. Felipe and Francisco Cobos, were of the view that the tax system should be improved, and through all the means at its disposal tried to cope with the costly military spending to which was subject to the Empire, selling juros, leasing taxes and applying for subsidies in the courts. The economic situation was desperate and despite efforts the economy was melting it down, not even the arrival of the silver of America could alleviate the poor situation of the finances of the realm. In 1546, all State incomes were engaged until 1550. Felipe wrote to his father, December 20, 1546, showing its concern: "as to what I feel, and what the Commander greater before its unwillingness to dezir has meant me truth to your Majesty as is deve dezir, can this be by very finished." "Ny is known of where ny as compliance and search for means and ways to where is encarescer, and this is by the way that proncipalmente has put the Comendador Mayor in the State in which it is, and aggravado their evil".

Felipe acted as Regent of some kingdoms that were the heart of the rule of his father. Castilla had a population of about five million people and the Crown of Aragon about a million and a half. Despite the agrarian nature of the economy, the Regent was forced to import grain on a regular basis to ensure the supply of markets. Demographic expansion that occurred in the first half of the 16th century further accentuated problems of supply of the population. Both the Regent and his Government were concerned with finding a solution to the problems of his people. Laws were adopted to regulate begging, created hospitals for those in need and in the universities it was debating on the problem of poverty. Other major debates of the era were the indigenous people of America and the situation of the Jewish converts. In relation to America, the Prince was partisan posture of Bartolomé de Las Casas. As for the problem of the converts, Felipe was determined to fight against the anti-Semitism of some senior officials, as Bishop silicium which in 1546 had issued a statute by which forced to test blood cleaning of aspiring to the Toledo chapter. Felipe suspended status.

A number of key developments in Europe occurred in 1547. February 28 died Henry VIII of England, on March 31 expired Francisco I of France, a year before had been killed Luther and Barbarossa Khair. Thus, the main enemies of Carlos V disappeared. In addition, the emperor himself suffered from gout and saw its final close. It was urgent to prepare to Felipe for the new political situation. The peace between the different powers made sure the Prince travel to the Netherlands. Therefore, at the beginning of 1548 Carlos V ordered the Duke of Alba to go in search of his son. Until it departed, he/she drafted a series of instructions in Augsburg which were to be delivered to the Prince. The Duke of Alba had the mission to introduce in Spain the ceremonial of the Court of Burgundy, in order to prepare Prince for his new responsibilities at the head of the paternal domains.

Luther. Lucas Cranach, 1522.

The March of the Prince Felipe provoked protests by courts of Castile, who had spent years without their King and who feared losing her Prince. The Archduke Maximiliano, nephew of the Emperor, was in charge of the administration of the Peninsular kingdoms. The Archduke landed in Barcelona in the fleet of Andrea Doria, who waited at the port to the arrival of the Prince Felipe to take him to Italy, where he/she went to the Netherlands. In September of that year, the Archduke Maximiliano married his cousin María of Austria.

Italian cities were greeted with large celebrations to the retinue of Prince Felipe, which left a great impression. The Prince enjoyed the celebrations which were made in his honor and was highlighted both the dances and tournaments. In this journey through Italy he/she met the great painter Titian, he/she commissioned some portraits. At the end of January 1549 Entourage left Italy. In Trento, where he/she arrived on January 24, the Prince was received by the prelates dependent of Carlos V, participating in the Council and by the young Mauricio of Saxony, which the Prince was a good relationship. The trip to the Netherlands lasted six months full of celebrations. In April 1549 he/she came to Brussels, where he/she met with his father and the main adviser of Granvelle. The Queen María of Hungary, sister of Carlos V and Regent of the Netherlands, gave a great holiday travelers.

Felipe and Carlos spent three months in Brussels due to the poor health of the emperor. Prince Felipe had difficulty with the language, which meant that the local nobles formed is a bad initial impression. But the young Prince was able to adapt to the situation and the favour of the nobles won thanks to their participation in the celebrations. Felipe came into contact with the main nobles of the territory, which would have a prominent role in European policy in the coming years. There he/she met Guillermo de Orange and Lamoral of Egmont, among other young leaders. It seems that Felipe showed a special interest in the beautiful Duchess of Lorraine. Finally, on July 12, Carlos V undertook with his son on a journey through the Netherlands.

During 1549 Carlos V and Prince Felipe made a trip by the Netherlands, with the intention that both Felipe and his subjects were known. The trip was a success and the different cities who visited rivaled each other in terms of parties and engalanamiento, thanks to which the Prince Felipe took a pleasant impression of the Netherlands. The Prince was tolerant with the Protestants, enjoyed the spectacular celebrations in his honor and seduced some ladies. Felipe was impressed by the wealth and splendor of the Flemish cities, especially with Antwerp, the main commercial center of Europe. The delegation was also in Rotterdam, the hometown of Erasmo, where the Prince showed interest in the places where he/she had lived the humanist.

Erasmus of Rotterdam. Holbein the younger, (1523).

On July 8, 1550, Carlos V and Felipe came to Augsburg for the opening of the Imperial diet. The Prince took part in the political session of the diet, in which participants discussed religious problems of Germany and the possibility of a Turkish invasion by the Danube. Respect to the Lutheran faith in Germany was established in the diet and it was agreed that religious disputes were taken to the Council of Trent.

Prince Felipe called Titian to Germany and commissioned a series of works known as the poems. He/She also took this stay to broaden his architectural knowledge. After the diet, Carlos V brought to the Habsburg family concerning the distribution of their heritage. Carlos V intended his son to inherit the imperial crown along with the rest of their possessions, but his brother Fernando, who had already made to appoint King of Romans, refused to resign, so that the Emperor had to desist from his purpose. Family reunion lasted six months, plagued by disputes and negotiations, after which came to a compromise that would be not respected solution. It was agreed that the imperial Crown would pass to Fernando of Austria, this to Felipe and finally the Archduke Maximiliano.

Stay in the Netherlands and Germany lasted until may, 1551, date in which Felipe returned to the Iberian peninsula to be in charge of the Government. The Prince had spent two years in the Empire, surrounded by Protestants that had participated in celebrations of all kinds. Prince tour was considered a great success by the Court, although Felipe made numerous mistakes and her lack of knowledge of the languages was a problem for their integration in the meetings.

In the summer of 1551 Felipe arrived in Barcelona, where he/she remained several days waiting for his cousin Maximiliano. After saying goodbye to his cousin, began a journey to Zaragoza and then northward, reaching Tudela on August 19. There, he/she was a judge as Lord of Navarre. In the autumn of 1551 became Valladolid, from where took over the Government in a direct way. His father, convinced of the capacity of Government of the Prince, he/she asked since then opinion on all the important issues, without giving advice or instructions and relying on the criterion of his son.

In 1551 the war erupted again. The German Protestant princes, supported by France, revolted against the emperor. In this conflict took place an event that marked deeply the Prince Felipe, the betrayal of his friend Mauricio from Saxony. The situation of the emperor was complicated and numerous nobles left Spain in their support, Felipe wanted to participate in the war, but Carlos V convinced him that is post was on the peninsula. Throughout the year, Felipe attended the courts in search of money and troops for the war. In 1552 was six months in monsoon negotiating with the courts of Aragon.

That same year the younger sister of Felipe, Juana de Austria, went to Portugal to marry the heir to the Portuguese throne, Prince Juan, heir of Juan III. The marriage was short by the death of the Prince, but was born a son, Sebastián, future King of Portugal. Between 1552 and 1555 they were disastrous years for Carlos V, German Protestants allied with Henry II and the Emperor lost the squares of Toul and Verdun, and was humiliated in Merzt. In the battle of Innsbruck the emperor was about to fall prisoner of troops from Saxony Mauricio. In 1555 was elected Pope on Italian Giamprietro Caraffa, under the name of Paul VI; staunch enemy of the emperor.

The second marriage: María Tudor, Queen of England

The complicated situation of the Empire, V Carlos sought new allies in England. After the death of Henry VIII in 1547 had risen to the throne his son Eduardo VI. This died in 1553, and the Crown went to María I Tudor, daughter of Enrique VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Carlos V saw the rise to the throne of María Tudor, with good eyes since the new Queen was his cousin. The emperor was already too old to marry María, but not his son Felipe.

maría Tudor, Queen of England. Antonio Moro. Museo del Prado. Madrid.

The Parliament, English, fearful of the link to require the entry of England into costly wars of Carlos V, was contrary to the link between María and Felipe, which for its part, was not very decided. The Royal Council of England also objected and the House of Commons formally requested to the Queen that you enter not into this marriage. However, the fierce disposition of Carlos V and the will of the Queen made possible the link. María fell in love of the Prince Felipe just see Titian's portrait that Carlos v sent him The English Queen was thirty-nine years old, was very aged and not was particularly graceful, while her fiance had twenty-six years, was elegant and to the tastes of the time, very physically graceful. For eight years that Felipe had been widowed and during that time their skirmishes with other ladies were numerous. In the moments in which the link was preparing, Felipe maintained an intense relationship with Isabel Osorio. This relationship lasted several years and Felipe was in charge of keeping Isabel until his death in 1590. As for his new wife, Ruy Gómez de Silva, who accompanied the Prince Felipe to England wrote: "seems to me that if using our gowns and headdresses, which seem you less old age and weakness." To speak truth with vustra merced, much God is necessary to swallow this quality".

The King of France, unable to stop the marriage, financed a revolt to remove the throne to María Tudor, but the Queen, surrounded by the people resisted and the plot was dismantled.

The prenuptial agreement was signed in London January 12, 1554. They established that the Queen was not forced to leave England and the possible child which was born of the marriage, would be King of England, from the Netherlands and where died disturbed Prince Carlos, would inherit the kingdoms to Felipe. The authority of Felipe in England would be equal to the one of his wife, but in the event that the Queen died before the King, this should leave the island and would not claim the throne. England was not obliged to participate in any war alien to their own interests and any public office could be occupied by foreigners. These conditions were very similar to which it had agreed on the link of the Catholic Kings.

Felipe prepared his trip in Valladolid, there recruited which was to be his entourage, between three and five thousand companions as well as six thousand soldiers and sailors. The future King of England considered that this turnout was appropriate, even somewhat modest, but his advisers convinced him that more than an Entourage that seemed an invasion force. Before leaving for England, Felipe had his sister Juana, widowed since January 2, to return from Portugal to take charge of the Regency. Felipe sailed from La Coruña 13 July 1554.

The fleet of Felipe, after an unpleasant trip, took port on 20 July. The Prince was then appointed member of the order of the Garter. Felipe and María met at Winchester on July 23. The next day the couple received the personal envoy of the Emperor, Juan Figueroa, who handed over to Felipe of the wedding gift from his father, the investiture as King of Naples and Duke of Milan. The wedding was held at the Cathedral of Winchester July 25, 1554.

From the first moment, Felipe worry to make a good impression on his new minions and gave precise instructions to his entourage so they adapt at all to English customs. You are the conclusions of the statement of 16 February 1554 to count Egmont: "governing and accommodate to the customs of the natives, the what all havemos of having own". Felipe joined English noblemen to his personal Entourage and adopted some of the customs of their new subjects, like drinking warm beer typical of England. Also tried to learn some English, but with little success. Despite efforts, the Spaniards had not just adapt to England, the weather did not like, parties seemed to them to be boring and the English thought: "are white, red, warriors (...). All parties here are eating and bever, who otherwise do not understand (...). Because there is much beer is drunk than he/she carries water Valladolid River". The Spanish Entourage did not feel safe and they were frequent disputes with the English nobles: "Although we are at good earth, we are among the more bad people of a nation that is in the world." These English are very enemies of the Spanish nation, which has well shown in many quarrels and travado have very large between them and us."

The main concern of the new couple was to have offspring that consolidate the dynastic union. At the end of 1554 Queen seemed to be pregnant, but many were those who doubted this. Ruy Gómez de Silva said on the subject: "Although his belly bulges already as much as the Guitierre López, still still in my doubts that is on tape". And, indeed, after the months, found that inflammation of the womb of the Queen was the work of dropsy. Prince Felipe, who had promised to stay with the Queen until he/she gave birth, was released from his promise, so the 29 August 1555 departed for Brussels, where the emperor was waiting for him. In the Netherlands Felipe maintained relationships with at least two women, one of which can be to even give him a son.

In October of that same year, Carlos V, tired, sick and aged, abdicated in his son in the Government of the Netherlands. The abdication, which took place in Brussels, was a grand ceremony attended by the main nobles of Europe. The tired Emperor gave an emotional speech in which reviewed the major events of his life: "nine times went to Germany high, six I have spent in Spain, seven in Italy, ten have come here from Flanders, four in time of peace and war I've entered in France, two in England, two others went against Africa (...)" no other roads of less account. "And for this I have visited eight times the Mediterranean Sea and three ocean of Spain, and agora will be the fourth I'll to have to bury me". (Sandoval, op. cit., p. 479). In January 1556, Prince Felipe became King of Spain Felipe II. February 5 Carlos V transferred the Franche-Comté. On 28 March, Felipe was proclaimed King of Spain in Valladolid. From the spring of 1556 Felipe II became the most powerful monarch of his time. Their possessions were immense. In Spain it had the kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, Navarre, Roussillon and the Balearic Islands; This joined the broad American territories dependent on the Crown of Castile, along with some possessions in Oceania; under his reign was completed the conquest of the Philippine Islands. In Africa they had the Canary, Oran, spark plug, and Tunisia. In Italy it was King of Naples, Sicily and Sardinia, and Duke of Milan. In addition, belonged you to the Burgundian inheritance, the Netherlands and the Franche-Comté.

During the two years that Felipe II spent in the Netherlands, María Tudor constantly sent letters to her husband back to England, but it refused arguing that the Affairs of the Netherlands and the war with France were holding him abroad. In March 1557 Felipe II went to England for help against France. In July of that same year he/she embarked again on the continent to never return to the British Isles. The 17 November 1558 María Tudor died in London.

Reign of Felipe II (1556-1598)

Felipe II Hispanic Emperor.

One of the first decisions of Felipe II as King of Spain was to meet the old question of the use of Indian labor in America. On this issue, despite the fact that Felipe had repeatedly supported the positions of Bartolomé de Las Casas, ended to put themselves on the side of the Spaniards settled in America, since they offered the Crown five million ducats in gold. Carlos V was contrary to this decision, but Felipe II was adamant to the pressing need for funds. The Emperor spent time in Brussels, managing shadow your child policy, to subsequently withdraw definitively to Yuste, where he/she died September 21, 1558.

During the two years that Felipe II remained in the Netherlands (from end of 1555 to 1558) his policy was focused on solving the contribution of the Netherlands to the finances of his empire and try to resolve the strained relations with the papacy. After these problems was Enrique II of France, whose Kingdom was completely surrounded by the States of the Habsburgs. The King of France was allied with Paulo IV, at the time that lent their support to the Protestants in the Netherlands. Felipe II did not want war with France, since it was the impossibility to face new charges. Felipe II signed the truce of Vaucelles by surprise in February 1556. However the war ended up exploding the following year. In 1555 Felipe II was appointed the viceroy of Naples Duke of Alba. After months of provocations by the Papacy, in September 1556 Felipe II gave the order to harass the Papal States. Paulo IV requested French assistance and in January 1557 the Duke of guise invaded Italy at the time as Admiral Coligny attacked the Netherlands. The war had begun.

Felipe II regrouped his forces, obtained the help of England and launched on France with the aim of forcing Enrique II to declare peace. Felipe II met with his army in Brussels, there, the troops were under the command of the young Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy. The army of Felipe II was composed by about 35,000 infants, among which were the Prince of Orange and count of Egmont. The French, led by Anne de Montmorency, Colygny and Saint-André, were launched to attack and invaded the Netherlands. Both armies met in the town of San Quintin, with victory for Felipe II. The French army was crushed and some of the major French soldiers died or were arrested. San Quintin was a triumph for the armies of Felipe II, but not the Spanish troops as he/she has been said so many times. Of the 48,000 troops finally Felipe II could muster, only 12% were Spanish, while 53% were German, 23% Dutch and 12% English; None of the generals were Spanish.

The war was also favorable for Felipe II in Italy, where Alba forced the papacy to sign peace. Nevertheless, France was not expired. The Duke of guise recruited a new army and 1 January 1558 took Calais from the English. Felipe II reaction was swift and in July the French returned to being crushed, this time by the count of Egmont, at Gravelines. Peace was then possible.

1 November 1558, at Arras, Felipe II received news of the death of Carlos V (21 September) in Yuste. He/She immediately departed for Brussels, but along the way he/she received the news of the death of his wife María Tudor (that took place on 17 November). This provoked a protocol problem since Felipe II was not willing to ceremonies of both deaths are confused. Manuel Filiberto de Saboya was sent to London to convene the funerals of the Queen and took his place at the ceremony, while he/she turned to Brussels to prepare the parental funeral. In this city were held, first funerals by Carlos V, then by María Tudor and finally his aunt María of Hungary, who died on October 18.

The death of María Tudor supposed Felipe II lost their rights in England, but King was not willing to retreat without battle. Until the English Queen died, Felipe II surveyed the possibility of once produced the demise of María, married her sister Isabel. For Felipe were not an obstacle Protestant tendencies of Isabel and this not you dislike the idea of marriage with his brother-in-law. Finally, international partnerships strategy prevailed, and Felipe concluded his marriage with Isabella of Valois to cement relations with France. Despite this, Felipe II not resigned to keep England under its influence and proposed the marriage of Isabel Tudor and his nephew the Archduke Carlos. At the same time, France conspired to take over the throne of England through the link between Franciscodolphin, and the Queen of Scotland María Estuardo.

In 1559 were still developing peace talks with France, which at this date moved to Cateau-Cambrésis, place where he/she finally signed the peace on April 3. For Felipe II, it was urgent to sign a definitive peace, and both the State of finances and the unsettling news from Castile as well advised. Some reports may 1558, warned Felipe II of the discovery of a Protestant group in Valladolid. The general Inquisitor, Fernando Valdés, exaggerated the situation of the Peninsular kingdoms to try to win the favour of the King, so he/she alerted about Protestant groups in Valladolid, Seville, Salamanca and Murcia, at the time he/she claimed that the Moors were on the verge of the uprising. The peace of Cateau-Cambrésis allowed Felipe II to ensure its hegemony over Italy. The Treaty was ratified with the engagement between Felipe II and Isabella of Valois, daughter of Henry II and Catherine de Medicis.

Third marriage: Isabella of Valois

22 June 1559 was celebrated in the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris wedding by proxy between Felipe II and Isabella of Valois. On 30 June a great tournament in the French Court was held as part of the wedding celebrations. A lance with the Earl of Montgomery, this spear introduced accidentally by the visor of the helmet of the King of France, causing a fatal wound that died on 10 July. The throne of France then went on to his son Francisco II. Felipe II, after holding funerals by the King of France in Ghent, began preparations to return to Spain and left the Government of the Netherlands in the hands of his half-sister Margaret of Parma, located next to her Antonio Perrenot as adviser. On 14 September he/she reached Valladolid.

Throughout his stay in the Netherlands, Felipe II came to know and appreciate their culture, he/she liked music and flamenco, to the point that on his return to Spain introduced in court to some Flemish artists. However, he/she was keen to return to Spain, where missed climate, language, and customs which was more familiar. In Spain there were problems requiring their intervention. Since in 1543 had made by the Government of Spain had passed sixteen, of which eight had gone them out of the country, in territories of Germany, France, Italy, England and the Netherlands. No other monarch of the time, with the exception of Carlos V, had traveled so much. Felipe II had maintained contact with the main characters in the Europe of his time, had related to the Protestants, had participated in battles and had accumulated great experience in international politics. However, the biggest problem that had over the years was its inability to languages, what had caused her reputation for quiet and shy.

The first stage of his reign (1559-1565)

In 1559 the situation in Peninsular kingdoms was bad, in Castile, they were scarce food and in Aragon the political situation had deteriorated dangerously for the attempt of the Inquisition to extend its influence in the Kingdom using the problem of the Moors. In addition, the Treasury was in a very delicate situation and the Inquisitor Valdés, in an attempt to recover the influence lost, had begun a series of proceedings against what he/she considered Protestant cells.

Felipe II. The inherited policy

"Lutheranism in Spain

The most important process against the Iberian Lutheranism was that Valdés started against the head cleric of Spain, the Archbishop of Toledo Bartolomé de Carranza. The struggle between Carranza and Valdés had more to do with personal differences than with the so-called Lutheranism of the Archbishop, but it was a hard pulse by the ecclesiastical power that the King himself was not alien. The process lasted until 1576, date in which Carranza died, in this period the Archbishop was forced to recant any of his thesis, but he/she did not lose his ecclesiastical dignity. In 1558, after having discovered some Protestant groups in Spain, the Inquisitor Valdés tried to persuade Felipe II to increase the powers of the Inquisition to Felipe II refused.

8 October 1559 Felipe II presided at Valladolid a stunning car of faith, which was a novelty due pomp and ceremonial employed. The ceremony lasted about twelve hours and was witnessed by thousands of people. Felipe, who attended the entire process, was not however present at the executions, in fact throughout his reign never attended any.

From this date settled censorship on publications and was forbidden to study at foreign universities, as measures to avoid a possible Protestant influence. The measure concerning the study abroad was more a symbol than anything else, as it only affected to Castilla and were very few the Castilians who studied at European universities. Books with foreign trade was not interrupted despite the ban; Navarre, Catalans and Aragonese continued studying in foreign universities. At a time when border controls were deficient, a measure of this type was doomed to fail. In addition, much of the population was unaware of laws and even less were those who were willing to respect them; Spanish society of 16th-century smuggling was so common that the authorities had no option to impose such measures.

Felipe II was always very concerned about maintaining religious unity, tried to prevent by all means relapse religious clashes which ravaged half of Europe in Spain. The religious measures imposed by the King and the Inquisition had its fruits and Lutheranism never take root. In the years immediately after 1559 in England had been executed three heretics than in Spain, in France more than twice, and in the Netherlands almost ten times more. The measures taken by Felipe II in 1559 were not, essentially different from that of other European countries.

Felipe II had rejected in 1547 Bishop silicium blood cleaning status, but in 1559 the situation had changed. The King had received various reports on the activity of the converts and their relationships with the Protestant heresy, these reports, the Inquisitor Valdés-driven managed to convince to Felipe II that converts could pose a danger for religious unity. Felipe II adopted a distinctly anti-Semitic policy characterized by its full support to the activities of the Inquisition and the status of blood cleaning from that moment. In 1554 he/she approved the statutes of cleaning of blood for the four cathedrals of the Kingdom of Granada.

The problems of the early years

Ruy Gómez de Silva, Prince of Eboli, was one of the key men in these first years of Government. The Prince of Eboli had educated with the King and had occupied senior positions with the monarch. Ruy Gómez, despite their unquestionable loyalty to Felipe II, was bringing to her around a large circle of followers who came to form a powerful courtier party. A key figure of the circle was the young wife of Ruy Gómez, the intriguing Ana de Mendoza. Compared to the Group of Eboli, was the Duke of Alba, only survivor of the directors as Carlos V had put to the service of his son. Alba, although initially he/she remained oblivious to the struggles of power of the time of Cobos, finally ended by forming their own group to oppose the rise of Eboli. Felipe II was away gradually from the party the Duke of Alba, which felt great respect, but joined the few things; at the time that was approaching the match in Eboli, with which it had a greater ideological affinity. While these two factions were able to discuss any matter, by banal to be, the truth is that fidelity to the King, unquestionable in both characters, always maintained together at critical moments. What everyone knew was that decision corresponded exclusively to the King and therefore, the diversity of views favored the Government rather than impede it. This system could be held only by Felipe II ability to match both groups and not support one over the other.

Spanish economy under the reign of Felipe II.

In 1559, one of the main problems of Felipe II was the pitiful state e Hacienda, virtually ruined by the Imperial wars. The economic situation led to desperate measures, to constantly increase the fiscal pressure, to lease income from a few years to others and a heavy dependence on the arrival of remittances from American silver. Felipe II was forced to then impose the first bankruptcy of his reign.

Despite the bad economic situation, the biggest problem of Felipe II in these years was to conjure the Ottoman threat. The powerful Ottoman Empire had invaded the Eastern Mediterranean, stretched along the northern coast of Africa, pushed Russia's borders and especially the eastern borders of Europe, defended by the Habsburgs. The Ottoman power was based in a vast fleet and a capacity of mobilization of troops far superior to that of the rest of powers of the time. The Ottomans were also allies of the Muslim States of Tripoli and Algiers, whose Corsair fleets were led by the fearsome Dragut. Faced with this threat, in June 1559, Felipe II launched an expedition to conquer Tripoli. The Christian fleet, about 12,000 men and 90 ships, was under the command of Andrea Doria. The Christians were able to conquer Djerba, but the Ottomans responded and defeated Christians in may 1560. The Christian fleet, now commanded by Gian Andrea Doria, was sunk or captured by the Ottomans. The disaster, the greatest military defeat of Spain in its history, European States plunged into despair.

The problem of the Lutheran heresy, the economic crisis, the revolt of the Netherlands and the defeat against the Ottomans, left Felipe II in a critical situation that could still worsen and he/she did. 1559 was a year of bad crops, causing famine in 1560, again, in 1561, crops were lost so the famine are exacerbated in 1562. In early 1561 upset Prince Carlos suffered a serious accident that almost cost him his life. The Prince fell down stairs while he/she was chasing a maiden and suffered a strong blow to the head. The unique joy of Felipe II in these years was his wedding with Isabella of Valois.

France, the Netherlands, the Council of Trent and the Turkish threat

The policy of Felipe II.

In 1559 died Henry II, which produced a great instability in the main enemy of Spain in Europe. The French Calvinists, took advantage of the power vacuum to strengthen and increase their ranks. The rise of the Huguenots was directly linked to the noble struggles for the control of the monarchy, especially with the rise of the family Bourbon. The premature death of Francisco II, did nothing more than increase the instability since the monarchy was then Carlos IX, a ten-year-old boy. The Queen Mother, Catherine de Médicis, took the reins of the Government. French Catholics, grouped under the direction of the guise family, clashed violently with the Huguenots. In 1562 Huguenots of Vassy massacre began the wars of Religion. For the King of Spain, the French conflict was alarming since it could extend both the Netherlands and Spain. How dangerous was not Protestantism, was the revolt involving his triumph against the established power. Catherine de Médicis Spanish military aid was conditioned to that France does not apply religious tolerance (promised in January 1562) since the Spanish authorities feared that this could destabilize the Netherlands.

In 1565 the religious conflict in France led to the Queen Catalina de Médicis to seek the help of Spain. Felipe II, who was not sure of the benefits of participating directly in the conflict, Queen Isabella commissioned the representation of Spain at the meeting. After a series of long conversations and an incredible economic expenditure, the encounter between the French and the Spanish delegation ended up not agreeing anything and only raised suspicions of the Huguenots.

The Flemish revolt during the reign of Felipe II.

At this time the situation in the Netherlands was very delicate. The Netherlands, a key component in the economy of the Spanish monarchy, were under the rule of Margaret of Parma. The Regent Cardinal Granvelle had his main adviser, however, the local nobles opposed to Granvelle, mostly due to the desire of creating a network of bishops that do against the advance of Protestantism. In 1563 the main nobles of the Netherlands sent an ultimatum to Felipe II, Granvelle was removed from the Council of State. The Madrid Court factions, also took part in the conflict. The Alba Group took Granvelle, while that of Ruy Gómez spoke against the cardinal. In 1563 the Regent Margaret relented to pressure and wrote to Felipe II recommending the dismissal of Granvelle; in January, 1564 Felipe II sent a letter to Cardinal recommending him to come out of Flanders. Finally, in March Granvelle left the Netherlands.

In the summer of 1563 the King began a journey through the peninsula with the idea of visiting their domains and bring together the courts so that they swore to Prince Carlos as heir. The dismissal of Granvelle happened while the King was in monsoon, attending the meeting of the Cortes of Aragón. Once resolved the crisis and after the meeting of the Cortes, Felipe II left for Barcelona, on January 23, 1564. After enjoying Carnival in Barcelona, he/she moved with the Court to Valencia, where came April 25 heading to Madrid. There he/she rested for a few months, but at the end of 1564 the international situation became complicated.

The dismissal of Granvelle had not finished with the problem of the Netherlands. The religious question posed problems with the aristocratic authority in their territories, so that the crisis did not hesitate to pop. In December of that year Guillermo de Orange spoke out in favor of freedom of conscience. At the same time, the count of Egmont represented the nobles to Felipe II. Egmont came to Madrid from February 23, 1565, and presented a memorial of grievances. Felipe II, after a careful study, responded to Egmont giving hopes that some of their demands would be met. Egmont returned to the Netherlands, happy and with the idea that the problems in Flanders would have quick solution. Peace in the Netherlands was short-lived, since in May of that same year, Felipe II gave the order to execute several Anabaptists. The nobles, with Egmont at the head, protested what they considered a deceit the agreement in Madrid.

Felipe II never intended to mislead Egmont, what happened was a misunderstanding of fatal consequences; on the one hand, the response of Felipe II to Egmont had been drafted at the Court of Madrid, while the instructions for the execution of the Anabaptists had left Valladolid, Valladolid French Secretaries knew nothing of what was agreed in Madrid, nor these written in Valladolid. Secretary Gonzalo Pérez wrote shortly afterwards: "many busi