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First Fragment :

Below is the first fragment of the Act of Abjuration. (We start with the second paragraph of the document; to read the first, click >>here.) To study this text in more detail, click the underlined words or phrases and an explanation will appear in a new screen. Links will often contain questions for you to answer.



After the death of the >emperor Charles V who is remembered with respect and who left >all these Netherlands to him, >the king of Spain forgot the services which these countries and subjects had rendered his father and himself and which made it possible for him to achieve such glorious victories over >his enemies that his fame and power came to be talked of and respected throughout the world; similarly he forgot the admonitions made by His Imperial Majesty in the past and lent his ear to and put his trust in members of the >Council of Spain which was at his side.

granvelle | Detail of Granvelle |

These persons, most of whom knew of the wealth and the power of these countries, envied them and their liberty, because they could not be made governors of them or acquire high office in them as they could in the kingdoms of >Naples and Sicily, in Milan and the Indies and other places within the king's realm. This Council of Spain or some of its most prominent members repeatedly remonstrated with the king, asserting that it would be better for his reputations and majesty if he conquered these territories again so that he might >rule them freely and absolutely (that is, tyrannise over them at his will) instead of >governing them according to the conditions and under such restrictions as he had been bound on oath to agree when he took over the sovereignty of these countries. Ever since, on their advice the king had been trying to deprive these countries of their ancient freedom and to bring them into slavery under Spanish rule.