Países Bajos Españoles
|Province of Spain|
The Spanish Netherlands.
|-||1581–1592||Alexander Farnese (first)|
|-||1692–1706||Maximilian Emanuel (last)|
|Historical era||Medieval / Early Modern|
|-||Act of Abjuration||26 July 1581|
|-||War of the Reunions||1683–1684|
|-||Truce of Ratisbon||15 August 1684|
|-||Nine Years' War||1688–1697|
|-||War of Succession||1701–1714|
|-||Treaty of Rastatt||7 March 1714|
|Part of a series on the|
|History of the Netherlands|
The Spanish Netherlands (Spanish: Países Bajos españoles; Dutch: Spaanse Nederlanden), was a portion of the Low Countries controlled by Spain from 1581 to 1714, inherited from the Dukes of Burgundy. Although the territory of the Duchy of Burgundy itself remained in the hands of France, the Habsburgs remained in control of the title of Duke of Burgundy and the other parts of the Burgundian inheritance, notably the Low Countries and the Free County of Burgundy in the Holy Roman Empire. They often used the term Burgundy to refer to it (e.g. in the name of the Imperial Circle it was grouped into), until 1795, when the Austrian Netherlands were lost to the French Republic.
When part of the Netherlands separated from Spanish rule and became the United Provinces in 1581 the remainder of the area became known as the Spanish Netherlands and remained under Spanish control. This region comprised all of modern Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as parts of northern France and Germany.
The Spanish Netherlands originally consisted of the following territories, all part of modern Belgium unless otherwise stated:
- County of Flanders, including Lilloise Flanders (now Belgium and France)
- County of Artois (now France)
- City of Tournai
- Cambrai (now France: roughly the département Nord and the northern half of Pas-de-Calais)
- Duchy of Luxembourg, now independent, with parts in modern Belgium, France and Germany
- Duchy of Limburg
- County of Hainaut (now Belgium and France)
- County of Namur
- Lordship of Mechelen[note 1]
- Duchy of Brabant, including the Margraviate of Antwerp (now mostly Belgium, some in Netherlands)
- the Upper Quarter Bovenkwartier) of the duchy of Guelders (Now Netherlands and Germany: the area around Venlo and Roermond, in the present Dutch province of Limburg, and the town of Geldern in the present German district of Kleve)
The capital, Brussels, was in Brabant. In the early 17th century, there was a flourishing court at Brussels, which was under the government of Philip III's half-sister Isabella Eugenia and her husband, Albert of Austria. Among the artists who emerged from the court of the "Archdukes", as they were known, was Peter Paul Rubens. Under the Archdukes, the Spanish Netherlands actually had formal independence from Spain, but always remained unofficially within the Spanish sphere of influence, and with Albert's death in 1621 they returned to formal Spanish control, although the childless Isabella remained on as Governor until her death in 1633.
The failing wars intended to regain the 'heretical' northern Netherlands meant significant loss of (still mainly Catholic) territories in the north, which was consolidated in 1648 in the Peace of Westphalia, and given the peculiar, inferior status of Generality Lands (jointly ruled by the United Republic, not admitted as member provinces): Zeeuws-Vlaanderen (south of the river Scheldt), the present Dutch province of Noord-Brabant and Maastricht (in the present-day Dutch province of South-Limburg).
As Spanish power waned in the latter decades of the 17th century, the territory of the Spanish Netherlands was repeatedly invaded by the French and an increasing portion of the territory came under French control in successive wars. By the Treaty of the Pyrenees of 1659 the French annexed Artois and Cambrai, and Dunkirk was ceded to the English. By the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (ending the War of Devolution in 1668) and Nijmegen (ending the Franco-Dutch War in 1678), further territory up to the current Franco-Belgian border was ceded, including Lilloise Flanders (around the city of Lille), as well as half of the county of Hainaut (including Valenciennes). Later, in the War of the Reunions and the Nine Years' War, France annexed other parts of the region.
- A seignory comes closest to the concept of a heerlijkheid; there is no equivalent in English for the Dutch-language term. In its earliest history, Mechelen was a heerlijkheid of the Bishopric (later Prince-Bishopric) of Liège that exercised its rights through the Chapter of Saint Rumbold though at the same time the Lords of Berthout and later the Dukes of Brabant also exercised or claimed separate feudal rights.
- Demographics of the Netherlands, Jan Lahmeyer. Retrieved on 20 February 2014.