Spain’s Empire study guide summary chapter




Spain’s Empire study guide summary chapter


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Spain’s Empire study guide summary chapter

Chapter 21.1 Spain’s Empire and European Absolutism

  • Philip II – Charles V son – Philip II became the Monarch of the Spanish Netherlands and the American Colonies
    • Deeply religious just like Charles V his father
    • Philip took over the Portuguese Empire when his uncle became ill
    • Portugal had colonies in Africa, India, and the East Indies – Philip is expanding his empire with more colonies- What happens- more land = more power
    • Philip was incredibly wealthy – because of the mines of gold the Spanish had discovered in the Americas wealth = power= strong military  (50,000 soldiers)
  • Defenders of Catholicism
    •  When Philip took over Europe was experiencing religious wars because of what event? – Reformation
    • Philip carried out a long lasting family heritage of religious persecution – he followed in the foot steps of the reconquista – campaign to get Muslims out of Spain
  • Golden Age of Spanish Art –
    • Spain’s great wealth allowed leaders to build palaces, and become patrons (consumers) -  of art
    • Don Quixote – published by Miguel de Cervantes  - known as the birth of the modern Spanish Novel –


Problems Weaken the Spanish Empire

  • The gold that Spain received from the Americas made them materialistic and wealthy, but also caused some economic problems –
  • Inflation and Taxes
    • Spain experienced severe inflation – Decline in the value of money, accompanied by a rise in the prices of goods and services – this happened because:
      • Spain’s population was growing – more people = more demands for goods= higher prices
      • Second – As more money /silver enters into circulation the values goes down, it takes more money to purchase things
  • Making Spain’s Enemies Rich
  •  Because raw materials for clothing /food/supplies were so high, Spain had to purchase goods from other European countries Such as France, England and Netherlands – All the money Spain was making was going into foreign pockets
  • Spain had to finance multiple wars – they barrowed money from Germany and Italy – they had to pay back their debts… for the wars - This made Spain have to declare bankruptcy 3 times
  • The Dutch Revolt
    • Because Spain had control of the Netherlands – (dutch) Philip had to keep an army there to maintain their power –
    • The Netherlands and Spain were very different in many ways –
      • religiously – Spain was Catholic while the Netherlands were Calvinists
      • Economically -  Dutch had a spread of wealth amongst its people while Spain’s wealth was very concentrated in a few peoples hands 
    • With Colonialism – Spain sought to spread their culture- religion on the Dutch people – they wanted to get rid of the Protestants – so Philip raised the taxes, hoping that this would impoverish the Dutch people and make them starve/leave the Netherlands so more Catholics could take over. 
    • William of Orange became the leader of the Dutch people – he wanted to free them of religious persecution and Spanish Control.  A revolt was waged – here we see Dissatisfaction with the Status Quo –
    • William of Orange lost many battles against Spain, but finally in 1579 the 7 northern provinces of the Netherlands came together and declared  independence from Spain
    • The 10 southern provinces of the Netherlands remained under Spanish control

The Independent Dutch Prosper

  • The 7 Northern Provinces of the Netherlands were different from the rest of Europe:
  • They had religious toleration – what does toleration mean?
  • Its government was different – Not a Monarch/Kingdom – a Republic – with elected governors whose powers depended on the support of merchant and landowners
  •  Dutch Trading Empires –
    • Because government was stable the focused their attention on economic growth –
    • They traded grain, lumber to France, Spain, Scandinavia –
    • They built their trading fleets what is a fleet? And had the larges fleets in the world at the time
  • Dutch Art
    • Because of the Netherlands success their arts flourished – they had a lot of money so they could focus on developing this – we will see in history that when countries are flourishing art/entertainment flourish…
    • Rembrandt was a famous Dutch artist

Absolutism in Europe

  • Philip II – was a forceful ruler – what does this mean?
  • He tried to control every aspect of his empires affairs
  • He sets the tone for the rest of Europe – they say –Hey I saw what Philip did in Spain and I am going to do that in my own Country
  • European Rulers would claim the authority to rule without limits! –
  • The Theory of Absolutism
    • Absolute Monarchs – Kings or queens who believed that all power withing thie state’s boundaries rested in their hands
    • They wanted to control every aspect of society
    • Believed in Devine Right – the idea that God created the Monarch and that the Monarch acted as God’s representatives on Earth
    • An Absolute Monarch only had to answer to God, NOT TO HIS SUBJECTS
  • Growing Power of European Monarchs
    • Centralized Authority
      • Decline of Feudalism – political system in which nobles are granted the use of land in return for their loyalty and military service and protection
      • The Rise of Cities
      • Growth of the National Kingdom
    • Because of the break down of the church and its power over the people – Monarchs could assume more control and power, because the church used to control most of the populations actions… after the reformation – Monarchs took this role over
    • Middle class usually backed Monarchs because they the Monarchs represented stability
  • Crises Lead to Absolutism –
  • 17th Century was a time period of great Upheaval – religious and territorial
  • In response to this Upheaval government built large armies and had high taxes
  • Monarch responded to this by increasing their power… (regulating religion and social gatherings) which made peasants more and more unhappy leading to revolts
  • The Monarchs goal was to free themselves from limitations – of their power


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Spain’s Empire study guide summary chapter