What were King Philip II of Spain Accomplishments?

What were King Philip II’s policies? What is King Philip II known for the most? Was Philip II a hero or a villain?

Like a young sapling requires an adequate amount of sun and nutrition to grow into a beautiful lush tree, a kingdom requires the sweat and dedication of a mighty king that can bring glory to the kingdom. Under King Philip II’s rule, the Spanish empire attained its glory and power to become a symbol of prosperity. Let’s track down the life trajectory and all the history of Philip II failures and Philip II biography. Read the article and know all about King Philip II of Spain accomplishments.

1. Was King Philip II of Spain a good Ruler?

King Philip II undoubtedly brought great prosperity and fame to his empire and made the kingdom the largest dominion. But he was a notorious person owing to his rigid religious beliefs which were later counted as the Philip II failures. Philip has been described as a greedy, merciless, and tyrant who not only massacred some of his subjects in the Lower Countries or the Americas but was also involved in the death of his son, Prince Charles. He was called a monster of bigotry, ambition, lust, and cruelty by the protestant countries. Though he was a mighty ruler, he cannot be described as a good ruler because of his inhuman behavior towards protestants and followers of Islam. Read the next segments to get a complete idea about the King Philip II of Spain accomplishments. (See How did Alliances lead to World War 1?)

2. What King become France’s most powerful ruler?

Louis XIV the Grand Monarch, or the Sun King, was said to be the most powerful ruler of France. He was born on September 5, 1638, in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France. He ruled his country from his palace at Versailles which remains the symbol of the absolute monarchy of the classical age. In a series of wars between 1667 and 1697, he extended the eastern borders of French at the expense of the Habsburgs and then, in the Spanish Succession (1701 to 1714). He died on September 1, 1715, in Versailles, France.

Louis’s great fortune was the involvement of his extraordinary group of men (among his subjects) in every area of ruling activity and he knew well how to make use of them. He was the protector of writers, notably Molière and Jean Racine, whom he ordered to sing his praises. However, he also imposed his visions of beauty and nature on artists. The lifestyle of France was changed during this period when the great towns underwent a metamorphosis when the landscape altered, and monuments were built everywhere. (See Cunningham Name Origin)

3. Philip II of Spain was known as the?

Philip II of Spain was often known as the Philip the Prudent or the Evil Ruler. (See Why Alexander was called The Great?) 

4. When did Philip II rule? For How long did Philip II rule?

Although Philip officially came to the throne in 1556, he enjoyed the prior governing experience. He reigned from 1556 to 1598. (See The History of Medieval Jesters)

5. What is King Philip II of Spain Biography?

While discussing Philip II biography and King Philip II of Spain accomplishments, you must know that King Philip II was born in Valladolid on May 21, 1527. He was the only legitimate son of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and his wife Isabella of Portugal. His education was done in the Roman Catholic Church which later influenced his policies as king. Philip was a patron of art who got classic works translated into Spanish for him and was fond of music. Philip in the span of three years, 1548 to 1551, traveled to Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands, however his inability to speak fluently any language except Castilian made him unpopular with the German and Flemish nobility. (See Why the first council of Nicea was called?)

He married four times and those details are as follows:

  • His first marriage was to his cousin Princess Maria of Portugal who bore him a son, Don Carlos (born July 8, 1545).
  • Following Maria’s death due to a hemorrhage, he allied with the Kingdom of England, marrying Queen Mary I of England.
  • Philip’s third marriage was to Elizabeth of Valois, daughter of Henry II of France, in 1559, which called for the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis ( agreement marking the end of the 65 years from 1494 to 1559 struggle between France and Spain for the control of Italy). This resulted to make Habsburg Spain, the dominant power there for the next 150 years, which, for a generation, ended the open wars between Spain and France.
  • Following Elizabeth’s death, in 1570, Philip married Anna of Austria (his niece, twenty-two years younger than him), daughter of his first cousin the emperor Maxmillian II. She died in 1580 and her only surviving son became Philip III. 

All these life personal life events become part of the King Philip II of Spain accomplishments. Must read about the 6 lesser known St Valentine facts.

6. How did Philip II rise to power?

As in any other monarchy, King Philip II became the king of Spain as a hereditary privilege. He was made the Duke of Milan in 1540, followed by gaining control over the Netherlands in 1555 as his father, Charles I finally handed over the whole kingdom to his son in 1556.

King Philip II of Spain accomplishments also includes the time when he ascended the throne of Portugal in 1581. He was named the Philip I of Portugal as a result of the termination of the direct line of the Portuguese royal family when Sebastian of Portugal died following a disastrous campaign. Philip’s command of the Portuguese language was mostly because of his mother and this had helped him a lot to seize the throne. (See What were the Strengths of the Articles of Confederation?)

7. What were Philip II’s policies?

  • Philip, a great traditionalist, improved the central administration of his empire through the creation of the Council of Italy (1558).
  • By the virtue of his sheer hard work, Philip tried to overcome the defects of his ruling system which are famous and relevant even today. All work was done on paper, based on memoranda, reports, and advice presented to him by his ministers.
  • The councils were the king’s right hand which helped a great deal in the list of King Philip II of Spain accomplishments. Philip listened to their ideas and read their correspondence. He also used to acknowledge the advice of the governors and viceroys. He used their ideas to balance up opinions to formulate his own ideas. By balancing opinion he prevented the emergence of any institutional challenge to his authority. Also, check out what were the causes and effects of the War of 1812?
  • Philip II was Chief Minister and he appointed Secretaries of State to aid him. The first was Gonzalo Perez who died in 1566. The nobles of Castile were well-controlled by Philip. They took no part in the direct administration of Castile except the viceroys, admirals, etc.
  • He fundamentally walked on the path laid out by his father, Charles I. His major policies were guided by his father’s instructions including upholding the Catholic Church and its rituals so much that this conservative ideology led to the War of Netherlands for which Philip II is infamous.
  • Under Philip, the Spanish inquisition continued to eradicate heretics in Spain, focusing mainly on Jews and Muslims. However, the threat of Protestantism had grown stronger during the reign of Charles I and Philip II. His persecution of Jews, Muslims, and Protestants fueled resentment and led to underground dissent. His religious zeal drove him to wage costly that resulted in wars against France, England, and the Mediterranean. (See What were some Negative Effects of the Industrial Revolution?)

8. What were King Philip II of Spain Accomplishments?

The glory of the kingdom is itself a testimony to King Philip II of Spain accomplishments. His reign is known as the height of the Siglo de Oro (Golden Age) in Spain.

  • Philip II was a strong supporter of the arts in his Spanish, Flemish and Italian territories. His kingdom was best known for its magnificent palaces and royal mausoleum at the Monastery of San Lorenzo of El Escorial. All forms of art including painting sculpture, literature, and especially drama flourished under his patronage. As a patron of art, he made notable contributions toward buildings and restoring splendid palaces and gardens. He supported leading Renaissance painters throughout Europe. He had a great collection of rare manuscripts and books other than in-depth geographical surveys and scientific studies. Must read why did Western Europe slip into the dark ages?
  • In 1565, Spain brought the Philippines directly and opened a trans-Pacific trade route, making trade with Asia significantly easier. In 1580, when he became the King of Portugal. Philip II added the rule of Brazil and Portugal’s other colonial territories to his dominion.
  • He ensured Spain’s military supremacy by defeating the Ottoman empire in the Mediterranean at the Battle of Lepanto (1571), completing the unification effort in the Iberian Peninsula This led to successfully preserving the southern Netherlands along with suppressing the Morisco. (See How Alexander the great defeated the Persians at Gaugamela?)

9. What is Philip II known for the most?

Due to King Philip II of Spain accomplishments, he was known for being the self-proclaimed protector of the Roman Catholic Church. His education by the Catholic Church made him an ardent follower of the religion leading him to persecute Jews and Muslims. This further resulted in the war of the Netherlands and that caused the loss of the invincible Armada in the attempted invasion of England (1588). (Also read Was Jesus Really a Carpenter?)

10. What were King Philip II of Macedon failures?

Philip II of Macedon was born in 382 BCE and died in 336 BCE, in Aegae (now Vergina, Greece). He was the 18th king of Macedon who restored internal peace to his country and by 339 BCE, he had gained domination over all of Greece by military and diplomatic means. However, he used bribery, warfare, conservative views, and threats to secure his kingdom. (See Why Hitler hated Jews?)

11. Was King Philip II a Hero or a Villain?

Like everything in the world cannot be categorized as either completely white or completely black, similar was the story of the king. However, King Philip II of Spain accomplishments has proved him to be a hero by bringing prosperity and glory to his kingdom and a villain owing to his rigid religious ideologies which led to the war of the Netherland.

Philip II failures can be attributed to him but inheriting a weak, backward country with an ineffective, undisciplined army was not easy. He knows how he molded that army into a formidable and efficient military force. This helped later him rule around Macedonia as well as subjugate most of Greece. A Spanish philosopher, Miguel de Unamuno, sums up Philip’s predicament as a monarch poorly known and even less understood. He was capable, pious, and respected by his people. But the qualities contributed to Philip II failures due to his Protestant opponents for whom he was the bogey-man of Europe ruling a hostile foreign power and also a cruel king whose rule brought utter ruin. (See What does 4 score and 7 years ago mean?)

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