in the list of grievances is the story of the >Pacification of Ghent (8 November 1576). In the Pacification the southern provinces and the
Protestant provinces of Holland and Zeeland agreed upon the terms on
which they would accept peace with Spain; the conditions included bringing
an end to religious persecution; the departure of foreign soldiers and
functionaries; and the confirmation of all privileges. Next is a passage
on the misbehaviour of the new governor-general, Don Juan of Austria,
who upon his arrival swore to uphold the Pacification of Ghent but hopes
of a settlement were soon to be destroyed, according to the document,
because of his deceit. It is alleged that his real intentions had always
been to start the war again. For a short biographical note on Don Juan
of Austria, click >here.
this has given us more than enough legitimate reasons for abandoning
the king of Spain and for asking another powerful and merciful
prince to protect and defend these provinces. This is particularly
clear because for more than twenty years during all these troubles
and disorders >these
provinces have been abandoned by their king and been
treated not as subjects but as enemies, whom their lord sought
to subdue by force of arms [...].
||| Detail of an innocent child |
we have not ceased to attempt through humble letters and through
the mediation of the >most
important princes of Christendom to reconcile ourselves
and to make peace with the king. Indeed, until quite recently
we kept envoys in >Cologne,
hoping that through the mediation of His Imperial Majesty and
the Electors who took part in the negotiations we might obtain
a firm peace guaranteeing some freedom granted in mercy [...].
document concludes with the story of the ban of Philip II against William
of Orange (March 1580). >>Then follow the reasons why the States General can no longer accept Philip II as their legal ruler. The final passages of the document include the
actual decree that Philip II was no longer sovereign of the Netherlands.
This act was the logical culmination of the Revolt which had now come
to be a war of independence.
And within a few years it would also come to be a fight between a Calvinist
regime (in the North) against areas reconciled or reconquered by Spain
and ruled by Roman Catholics (in the South).