Spain's Empire and European Absolutism

Describe Spain's empire and the growth of absolute monarchy in Europe.

Steven Alvarez

In 1556, Philip II begins ruling Spain and its possessions. In 1580, Philip seizes Portugal. Gold and Silver from the Americas make Spain extremely wealthy. Philip defends Catholicism against muslim and protestants. Spanish fleet defeats Otytomans at Lepanto in 1571. Spanish armada defeated by British in 1588/ El Greco uses unusual style to convey religious themes. Work of Velazquez show Spanish court life. In 1605 Miguel de Cervantes publishes Don Quixote and marks the birth of modern European Novel. Inflation weakens the Spanish economy and over taxing of lower class prevents development of a middle class. Spanish buy foreign goods, this makes their enemies rich. Philip declares bankruptcy three times due to weak economy. In 1579 Dutch revolt helps Netherlands gain independence from Spain.
Netherlands are a democracy that practices religious toleration. In 1600s, Netherlands become center of European arts. Rembrandt and Vermeer are famous Dutch painters. Dutch merchants engage in world trade. Dutch has world's largest trading fleet. Dutch replace Italians as Europe's bankers.
Rulers wanted to be Absolute monarchs, rulers in complete power. Believe in divine right, monarchs represent God and earth. Decline of feudalism, rise of cities help monarchs gain power. Decline in church authority also increases power. 17th century is a period of great upheaval in Europe. monarchs impose power by increasing their own power.

Saluna Chow 10A
Spain had a very strong belief that religion was the one of the most important factors. The king Philip II saw religion as a way of representing his people, so he did everything he could to prevent/avoid outside influences. Philip II wanted people from other religion away from Catholics, people such as Muslims of the Ottoman Empire and Protestants from Europe. As a result, in 1571, a pope commanded the army to attack the Ottoman fleet. During the 16th and 17th century, Spain's artists and writers started to gain popularity. Monarchs and nobles became patrons these great artists that we still know today. Examples of important artist and writers that made an worldly impact were: Greco, Diego Velazquez and Miguel de Cervantes. Since Spain killed all the Muslims that used to live there, they lacked a middle class. Those Muslims used to form the middle class mass because they were valueable artisans and bussiness people. This and others factors such as inflation, taxes and the Dutch's independence process made the Spanish Empire to weaken.
Absolutism in Europe started to grow more and more. Kings started to claim absolute power by saying that it was their "divine right". Absolute power consists of ruling with unlimited power over the people and the government. They could do this because they believed in "divine right", which meant that they were chosen by God to rule over the people, so it was in God's will whatever they wanted to do with the nation. Also, absolutism included passing the throne hereditarily.

Luis Rafael Acta 10A
In 1552, Philip II, the son of the Catholic King Charles, inherited Spain, the Spanish Netherlands and the American colonies after his father divided his power. Philip II was the most powerful ruler in all of Europe. Philip II thought it was his duty to defend Catholicism from the Muslims of the Ottoman Empire and the Protestants of Europe. One of the most severe problems in Spain was inflation. Inflation had two main causes, the first was that the population had been growing in Spain. As more people started to demand food and other goods, merchants were benefiting from the raise of prices obecause demands for goods were great and the supplies were low. This started problems in the economy. The second was that the value of silver started to drop. It took big amounts of silver to buy things. The economic decline caused other problems in Spain. In addition to all the problems, Nobles in Spain did not have to pay taxes which made the tax burden fall to lower classes. Therefore, Spain never developed a middle class of people.

All of Europe’s rulers wanted to be absolute monarchs, kings or queens who believed that all power within their country's boundaries rested in their hands. They believed in divine right, the idea that God created the monarchy and that the monarch acted as God’s representative on earth. Absolute monarchs answered only to god.

Kendrick Abreu Grullon 10-A
Phillip II was a shy, serious, and deeply religious King. He would do anything for his Empire so seized the Portuguese kingdom which made him have a empire across the globe. Since he was very Religious so he be;lived that his duty was to defend Catholicism against Muslims of the Ottoman Empire and the Protestants of Europe in which he proved it by pushing the Ottoman forces. With the Empire's growth and wealth many monarch and nobles became patrons of artists causing Spain to experience golden age in the arts. the best contributors were Greco and Don Quixote. The Empire became to weaken because of all the inflammation and taxes, which were caused by increase population and money value drop; Making Spain's enemies rich, was cause by buying all they need from there enemies; and the Revolt of the Dutch made severe damage to Spain.

Absolute Monarch were kings or queens who held all of the power within their states' boundaries who believed divine right in which god created monarchy and monarch acted by the will of God. Monarchs grew increasingly in power because of the decline of feudalism, the rise of cities, and the growth of national Kingdoms.

Claudia Franjul:
When Charles V, Holy Roman emperor, divided his empire he gave Spain and its territories (the Netherlands and the American colonies) to his son Philip II. Philip ruled as a real absolute monarch, he presided over the assemblies of Castile, Aragon, and Navarre and sent his officials to supervise each of the regions. Under Philip Spain shipped large amounts of gold and silver from the Americas. With increased bullion and a growing population the value of money went down and the prices of products rose creating inflation. Despite the large amounts of precious metal the country went into bankruptcy several times. Philip was willing to unify Spain under Christianity, in order to accomplish his goal he exiled the Moors in Spain, suppressed the Protestant churches in Spanish territories, and fought the Muslim Turks at the Battle of Lepanto.

In order to finance this and other wars Philip increased taxes and took loans. With such high taxes to pay, Spanish people weren’t able to accumulate money and so a middle class never developed. In about 1566 the Dutch began rebelling. They were tired of taxes and religious persecution with much struggle they were able to free themselves from Spain.Philip II is just one example of the absolute monarchs that began rising in Europe. These kings and queens claimed the Divine right, meaning that they had been chosen as monarchs by god and that therefore they ahd the right to rule over the people. With the growth of cities and decline of the power of individual lords, monarchs were able to concentrate power in their hands and rule over all aspects of their states.

Catholic King Charles divided the empire and gave Spain, the Spanish Netherlands and the American colonies to his son Philip II in 1552. Philip was the most firm, strict, and powerful ruler in Europe. He thought religion as the way of representing his people. He was protecting Catholicism from outside Muslims of the Ottoman Empire and Protestants of Europe influences. The two main causes of the most severe problem in Spain, inflation, were the population had been growing in Spain and that the value of silver started to decrease. As the population increased, people needed more food and goods, but the government didn’t have enough to satisfy them. It took big amounts of silver to buy things. Spain went through hard time and problem due to the economic crisis. Since nobles didn’t paid taxes, the economy declined faster and Spain wasn’t able to develop a middle class.

Due to the decline of feudalism, the rise of cities, and the growth of national Kingdoms; absolute monarchs in Spain grew in power. Absolute monarchs were kings or queens who had unlimited power and seek to control all aspects of society.

The Spanish Empire was one of the first global empires, and one of the biggest empires in history. They started to get territory because of Phillip II. He was the kings nephew which was an advantage for him because like this he seized Portuguese kingdom and got territories of Africa, India and the East Indies which was the starting of his empire.Philip believed that he had to support Catholicism. Because of this the pope called on all catholic princes to take up arms against the mounting power of the ottoman empire. More than 200 ships defeated the great ottoman empire in a battle near Lepanto. This started to give wealth to spain and got spain to eats golden age.
In this age of spain, every ruler wanted to be an absolute monarch. An absolute monarch is a king or queen who has unlimited power or complete control of there territory and over the people. This contributed to the growth of absolute monarchs because everybody wanted to have the absolute control over the people because this way, they could rule completely over the people. So that's why absolute monarch grew, because now every ruler wanted to be an absolute monarch.

Natasha Chami 10A
When Charles V died, his son Philip II inherited Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, and the American Colonies. Philip II was deeply religious and a very serious man, in which he then had an empire that circled the globe after his uncle’s death, the king of Portugal. His empire had really good health, with an estimated 339,000 pounds of gold, and the he had 16,000 tons of silver bullion. Spain’s wealth was so good; it was able to support a large standing army of about 50,000 soldiers. However when conflicts started growing of religion he fought like a true crusader, but his setback weakened Spain.

In the growth of Absolute Monarchy, they try to ensure that all power stays in their hands. They believe in divine right or the idea that God gives them the right to rule. The growth of cities, colonies, and national kingdoms fuel the growth of absolute rule. Monarchs used the wealth of colonies to pay for their ambitions.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License