Union of Arras

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Map of the Spanish Netherlands, the Union of Utrecht and the People of Arras (1579).

The Union of Arras (Dutch: Unie van Atrecht, Spanish: Unión de Arrás) was an accord signed on 6 January 1579 in Arras (Atrecht), under which the southern states of the Netherlands, today in Wallonia and the Nord-Pas-de-Calais (and Picardy) régions in France and Belgium, expressed their loyalty to the Spanish king Philip II and recognized his Governor-General, Don Juan of Austria. It is to be distinguished from the Union of Utrecht, signed later in the same month.

These were the conditions:

  • There should be no more garrisons of foreign troops;
  • The Council of State should be organized like that of the time of Charles V;
  • Two thirds of the council members should be installed by all member states consenting.
  • All privileges that were in force before the Dutch Revolt should be reinstated.
  • Catholicism was the only religion. Any other religion (i.e. Calvinism) should be abolished.

The regions that signed it were:

The regions that favored the Union, but did not sign it, were

Alexander Farnese, the Duke of Parma, used these counties as a base to start his conquest of the separatist parts (members of the Union of Utrecht).

See also[edit]


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