May 1, 2014
Reflections on The Spanish Golden Age in the Netherlands
It is impossible for me to think of the Spanish Golden Age without thinking of the Dutch revolt against Phillip II, which lasted 80 years (1568-1648) and led to the birth of the first republic in Europe, and the beginnings of a national identity for the Netherlands. Religious differences and persecution, economic problems and constitutional conflicts made the Spanish autocratic rule unacceptable to the largely Protestant low countries. ￼
Growing up in Delft, I daily passed by one of my favorite places in the world: the “Prinsenhof”, a beautiful little court of William of Orange, fighter for tolerance, freedom of religion, and just government, who led the revolt, and died there in 1584 at the hands of a hired murderer. The bullet holes in the wall can still be seen (picture at right).