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Revolts against the rule of Philip II Richard Fitzsimmons Strathallan School ex.php?app=core&module=attach&sec tion=attach&attach_id=1333
Overview … There were a number of major revolts against Philip’s rule - the Dutch Revolt, the revolt of the Alpujarras, revolt of Naples in revolt in Aragon, 1591 One of the factors they all had in common was their opposition to what they regarded as infringements on their ‘rights’ –Netherlands – heresy laws, noble exclusion from power, rights and privileges of towns etc –Moriscos – right to worship, increased government pressure of their way of life –Naples – economic pressure and rising prices –Aragon – fueros and alienation of nobility
Moriscos in 16 th C Spain … 1 Under Ferdinand and Isabella the last Moorish kingdom of Granada fell in 1492, though this left a sizeable minority of Moriscos (converted Moors) within Christian territory – about 33% population in Valencia and 54% in Granada itself Initially the Moors were left alone, then came forcible conversion and persecution – a succession of edicts and missionary efforts including actions of the Inquisition Many Moriscos never genuinely converted, and the efforts of the Inquisition were ineffective. In many areas, e.g. Aragon, Moriscos enjoyed protection from the ruling classes who resented the Inquisition and who opposed persecution of the Moors as a Castilian attack on local fueros Many Castilians regarded the Moriscos with suspicion, the idea of ‘fifth columnists’ within Christian Spain, when Castile was waging war against the Ottoman Turks and Barbary pirates of N. Africa.
Moriscos in 16 th C Spain … 2 In the 1560s Philip II’s government began to pressurise the Moriscos –Confiscation of 100,000 hectares of Morisco land in 1559, based on lack of proof of land ownership –Increasing taxes on leather and silk –1563 – attempts to disarm the Moriscos by royal edict –Ending of local arrangements (convivençias) whereby Moriscos could pay a fine to the Inquisition in return for being left alone –Inquisition under Valdes stepped up measures to suppress Morisco customs and culture –1567 – royal decree stopped peaceful assimilation of Moriscos into Spanish society – suppressed use of Arabic, clothing etc Why ? The Spanish government was afraid of the possibility of the Moriscos helping an invasion of mainland Spain e.g. during siege of Malta in 1565 information appeared to suggest the Moriscos were a security threat. They were close to home and, when the best troops had already been sent to the Netherlands, Spain might be vulnerable.
Revolt of the Alpujarras, – failure of harvest put further pressure on Morisco population 24 th Dec – Moriscos of Granada rose in revolt – around 30,000 Revolt became confined to the Alpujarras hills, though Philip feared it could spread to Valencia and Aragon – particularly in 1570 when it was supported by 4000 Turks and Berbers Marquis of Mondéjar recaptured 180 villages but the revolt continued – he was replaced by Philip’s half-brother Don John of Austria and 20,000 troops (many more had already been sent to the Netherlands in 1567 under Alva) This was a savage conflict with atrocities on both sides, but the conflict ended finally in March 1571 with the murder of the new Morisco leader Abenaboo. It only remained for some splinter groups to be mopped up by the summer.
Revolt of the Alpujarras, Both sides committed a number of atrocities in this most savage of conflicts, fuelled by religious and ethnic hatreds … –1570 – 2500 men, women and children from Galera were slaughtered by Don John’s forces –Moriscos terrorised the countryside torturing and killing all Catholic priests they could find –3000 innocent Moriscos from Granada were rounded up and forcibly relocated across Spain – the intention was to deprive the Morisco rebels of support
Results of the Alpujarras revolt (1) : over 80,000 Moriscos were deported from Granada and dispersed throughout Castile – the rationale behind this was that smaller units might bring about greater integration into Christian society 5500 to Seville; 6000 to Toledo; to Cordoba; to Albacete. Many (120,000) did not survive the relocations The dispersal of the Moriscos did not eliminate their identity, instead it was reinforced as a large number of exiles congregated in southern Castile – often they were now in areas that had not seen racial and religious tensions before, e.g. around Valencia the operation of the Inquisition. 50,000 settlers were dispatched to the newly vacant Granada When they arrived at their new locations the Moriscos often found serious hostility from their new Castilian neighbours According to some historians Castile now became a more intolerant and bigoted society – the Moriscos were all expelled in 1609 The relocations cost the Spanish economy dear in lost income, drop in trade and agriculture.
Naples revolt, May 1585 Naples was important in the front line fight against the Turks – providing ships It was one of the most taxable of Philip’s Italian lands – large, populous and with a relatively subservient assembly – but it was among the poorest of Philip’s lands Revolt began as a result of poor harvests and rise in the price of bread Revolt saw middle classes, peasantry and urban poor join in uprising Viceroy, the Duke of Osuna, lost control and was only able to restore order when the local nobility supported him, and Spanish troops arrived. Reprisals were swift – 820 placed on trial, 31 executed, 71 sent to the galleys, 300 exiled. Some estimates put refugees at 12,000.
Aragon in Philip’s empire The constituent kingdoms that made up Aragon had long been a thorn in Castile’s side The Aragonese jealously guarded their fueros (customs) and resented any attempt by Madrid to interfere in their affairs For much of his reign Philip largely left Aragon alone, though the maintenance of law and order there was of major concern and eventually led to Philip’s intervention in the 1580s.
Aragon’s place in the empire What limitations were there on Philip’s freedom to act in Aragon ? –Aragon was responsible for kingdoms of Catalonia & Valencia –Nobles controlled society, dominating the Diputacíon which met in place of a Cortes –Philip could only appoint the viceroy –The office of Justiciar was normally in the hands of the Lanuza family –Other Aragonese officials were elected –Only the King could call the Aragonese Cortes What other problems were there ? –Riots early in 1556 in response to execution of some bandits by the viceroy –An illegal Cortes in 1559 called by the nobles –Philip’s failure to visit Aragon ( ) stored up problems for the future, not least the impression that the King was more concerned about other areas of his monarquia … –Escalating violence and a breakdown in law and order prompted Philip’s intervention –There was a sizeable Morisco population
Revolt of Aragon, – Philip sent 18 companies of infantry to defend the Valencian coast – direct violation of Aragonese fueros 1589 – Ribagorza – county near to the French border – another military expedition ordered by Philip 1590 – Antonio Perez had fled in 1578 to Zaragoza claiming the right as a Catalan to be tried there – under suspicion for the murder of Escobedo and pursued by the Inquisition – attempt by Philip to have him handed over to the Inquisition – led to death of viceroy Almenara in a riot (May 1591) Aragon’s nobility was determined that Perez be tried in Aragon, believing that Philip had been responsible for Escobedo’s death, not Perez – Sept 1591 a noble rebellion involved the Justiciar – Juan de Luna Oct 1591 – 14,000 army marched into Aragon – Philip claimed he respected Aragon’s laws and that they were going to fight France – this won over Aragonese public opinion Order was restored after 4 days, Zaragoza fell easily and Perez fled to France
Results of the Aragonese revolt Justiciar Luna and 22 other nobles were executed Perez fled to France where he continued to publish allegations about Philip’s conduct of government Inquisition held an auto da fe in Zaragoza, over 80 victims, reinforcing the royal will In a Cortes of 1592 Philip confirmed the fueros of Aragon He also asserted his right to hire and fire the viceroy – the viceroy no longer had to be Aragonese Majority voting was introduced in the Cortes, except for financial matters Younger nobility were to be excluded from the Cortes
Historians’ opinions … C. Pendrill: ‘Compared to the revolt in the Netherlands, the Revolt of Aragon was something of a non-event.’ D. McKinnon- Bell: ‘Such cautious and balanced handling of local liberties and fears contrasted strongly with Philip’s handling of the Netherlands, and shows that the King was capable of learning from his mistakes.’ G. Woodward: ‘Arguably Philip showed his prudence and moderation in this settlement: a minimum of force had been used to restore control, and royal power in Aragon was now much more effective.’ H. Kamen: ‘Royal authority had therefore made some gains, but these were concurred in by the ruling classes, who feared the greater dangers resulting from rebellion, particularly rebellion involving an invasion by the French.’
Assess how far Philip II’s treatment of the Moriscos was consistent with his religious policy within Spain. You need to be clearly aware of Philip’s religious aims - inherited dynastic obligation to uphold doctrinal orthodoxy, morality, religious custom and law against the encroachment of heresy and Islam - reform of the Church - education of the laity Define the problem and issue of the Moriscos - limpieza de sangre - perceived threat to Spain of 5 th Columnists - support for Barbary pirates and Ottoman Turks - was there any evidence of their threat ? Other issues could have affected the treatment of the Moriscos - complications of faction and local privilege - economy - social & racial tensions - treatment by the Inquisition - discussion of the revolt tach&attach_id=1333