Glossary: Please note this is a very long document, you may need to scroll down to find the term you require. This document is used throughout the study-pack and it is a good idea to keep this window open at all times.
Black Legend: refers to the depiction of Spain and the Spaniards as bloodthirsty and cruel, greedy and fanatical. Some of the most damning support for the legend comes from Bartolome de las Casas' Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies (1552), a polemical account of the excesses which accompanied colonization, in which he blamed Spanish brutality for the near-extinction of the indigenous population of the island of Hispaniola. The book was extensively used by the Dutch during the revolt.
'Blijde Inkomst' (Joyous Entry): The ‘Blijde Inkomst’, first granted by the duke of Brabant in 1356, concerns the solemn acts of inauguration in which each new duke drew up a contract with his subjects under which he pledged himself to rule. The text, among other things, justified suspension of obedience (but not armed resistance). The 1356 document became the basis for all future constitutions of Brabant.
Council of Troubles: or 'Blood Council', a special tribunal erected by the Duke of Alba to try approximately 12,000 people who had allegedly been engaged in the disturbances of 1566-67. Approximately 9,000 were sentenced in their absence, including most of the nobles (for instance, William of Orange) who had taken refuge in Germany. More than 1,000 people were executed, including the counts of Egmont and Hoorne, two popular opposition leaders.
Counter Reformation: or Catholic Reformation was a reform movement within the Roman Catholic Church, partly in response to the Protestant Reformation. It led to a strong reaffirmation of the doctrine and structure of the Catholic Church, climaxing at the Council of Trent (1545-1563). Major institutional reforms included greater attention to the education of the clergy, a close supervision of bishops and parish priests, and precise regulations about Church appointments (including a requirement of specific standards of learning for high position).
governor-general: under Charles V he or she was appointed to rule in the absence of the monarch and was assisted by native bureaucrats; under Philip II executive decision-making reverted to the monarch.
##Iconoclastic Fury: in 1566 many Calvinists stormed the churches to destroy statues and images of Catholic saints ('beeldenstorm' in Dutch), which they felt were heretical. As a counter measure, Philip II sent the Duke of Alva to the Netherlands with an army.
League of the Great: from about 1561 William of Orange, together with other high noblemen (Hoorne, Egmont) who felt themselves excluded from their rightful share in the country's government, began to protest openly against the conduct of the Brussels administration, in which Granvelle, the principal adviser of the regent Margaret, duchess of Parma, was the most powerful figure.
Oath of the Nobles: in 1566 a confederation of lesser (Catholic and Protestant) nobles and gentlemen was formed with the object of obtaining the suppression of the Inquisition. They and their followers soon came to be called the 'Gueux' (Beggars). The great lords kept aloof, but William and a few others showed sympathy for the movement. Orange persuaded the confederates not to resort to armed action but instead to petition the regent Margaret for a suspension of the decrees against Protestants. The Duchess did indeed promise a moderation of the antiheretical measures, but it was already too late for minor relaxations to avert trouble.
Pacification of Ghent (8 Nov 1576): agreement between the southern provinces and the Protestant provinces of Holland and Zeeland regarding the terms on which they would accept peace with Spain, including the preservation of Roman Catholicism in all provinces, except Holland and Zeeland which were openly recognized as Protestant; a general repeal of the anti-heresy edicts; the departure of foreign soldiers and functionaries; and the confirmation of all privileges.
Reorganisation of the diocesan structure: the establishment of fourteen new dioceses was a controversial measure. In all the seventeen provinces there were but four dioceses; all of them were subject to foreign archbishops; and much of the country was under the direct jurisdiction of foreign bishops. The measure gave rise to many complaints. To endow the new dioceses it was found necessary to incorporate with them the richest abbeys in the country, and in certain provinces these carried the right of voting in the States-General. And this right being for the future exercised through the bishops, the result was that the king who nominated them gained a considerable influence in the States-General. It was also rumoured that this measure was but a step towards introducing the Inquisition into the Low Countries.
States: historically, the provincial estates (States of Brabant, etc.) were assemblies of representatives of the 'three estates' (nobility, clergy and towns) which scrutinised central government policy (e.g. taxes could only be levied with their consent) and discussed serious common problems.
States-General: under the Burgundian dukes delegates from the provincial estates (see above) were increasingly jointly invited by the ruler in a body called the 'Staten Generaal' (States-General). After the separation of the northern Netherlands from Spanish rule, the representatives elected by the seven sovereign provincial estates in effect took over the government of the country, assuming the power to legislate, to conclude treaties, to raise an army, etc.
Union of Utrecht (23 Jan 1579): a common defence alliance between the provinces of Zeeland, Utrecht and Gelderland, the ‘Ommelanden’ of Groningen, later followed by Friesland and most of Brabant and Flanders. The signatories pledged not to make a separate peace with Philip II; to collectively defend their rights and privileges; and to promote freedom of conscience in religious matters - each province was entitled to make its own concrete arrangements in this area. The Treaty of the Union of Utrecht served as a constitution of the Dutch Republic until its demise in 1795.