The Spanish Netherlands

The kings of Spain gained sovereignty over the Netherlands following the abdication of Charles V. The Spanish period was marked by the religious strife that ravaged the whole of Europe. The result was the Eighty Years’ War, economic stagnation and the secession of the Netherlands (modern-day Belgium and the Netherlands), which was recognised in 1648. Under the sovereignty of Archdukes Albert and Isabella from 1598 to 1621, the truce signed with the northern provinces enabled economic and cultural development. After 1648, the Netherlands were the theatre for conflict between Louis XIV and the kings of Spain.