Huesca temática

Number 165 - March of 2012 Spanish language Principal menu

Felipe I of Aragon

The European expansion
of the spanish sovereignty

    Felipe II of Austria (or Hapsburg), call "The Prudent", was born in Valladolid on 21th May 1527. He died in San Lorenzo de "El Escorial" (Madrid) on 13th September 1598. He was king of Spain from January 15 of 1556 until your death; of Naples and Sicily from 1554 and of Portugal and the Algarves (as Philip I) from 1580, realizing a long-awaited dynastic union with Portugal, that lasted sixty years. He was king of England also, for your marriage with María I, between 1554 and 1558 year. In Aragon he was Philip I from 1556 to 1598 year.
     Son and heir of Carlos I of Spain and Elizabeth of Portugal, brother of Maria de Austria and Juana de Austria, grandson for paternal route of Juana I of Castile and Felipe I and of Manuel I of Portugal and Maria of Aragón for maternal route; he died on September 13, 1598 being 71 years old, in the monastery of the St Lawrence of "El Escorial", for which he was brought from Madrid in a chair-bed made to such an end..
      From his death was presented by his defenders like virtues archetype; and like a fanatical and despotic monster by his enemies. This dichotomy between the Black Legend and the White or Pink Legend was favored by proper Prudent King, who refused to that his biographies should publish in life and arranged the destruction of his mail. Still nowadays, the Anglo-Saxon and Protestant historiography represents Felipe II as a fanatical, despotic, criminal, imperialist and genocidal person. His victories were minimized up to the anecdotal thing (except a few examples as the Battle of Lepanto) and his defeats praised in excess, although they did not suppose big political or military changes, like the loss of a part of the Big and Happiest Navy due to a strong storm, which also the Anglo-Saxon historians "transformed" into an English victory.
     During his government, the Spanish Empire directed the global exploration and the colonial extension across the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, turning for the long time into the main country and European potency in the whole world. His empire, the Spanish Empire turned under his government into the first global empire, because for the first time an empire was including possessions in all the continents, which, in contrast to what happened in the Roman Empire or in the Carolingian one, were not communicating by ground some with others.
     After the death - November 1, 1535 - of Francisco II, last Sforza, the Duchy of Milan stayed without sovereign.

     The kings of France, related to the Visconti family, were claiming the duchy. This was one of the causes of the successive Italian wars. Francisco I saw in the death of the duke of Milan a new opportunity to do himself with the territory, causing a third war against Carlos I of Spain, which finished with the Truce of Nice in 1538.
     In 1540 the duchy continued without sovereign, being in charge of a governor. In the first moment, proper Carlos I thought to nominate himself the duke, since Milan was the feudatory State of the Sacred Empire Germanic Roman and, the emperor had power to grant the title. But this might be considered to be a "casus belli" in France, and also, would damage his image of liberator and not conqueror. Then he decided to grant the title of prince to Felipe. On October 11, 1540 there was invested Felipe as duke of Milan. The ceremony was secret and did not consult with the electorate princes to avoid international problems.

 Peli II of Spain portrait

     In 1542 a new war exploded between France and Spain. Between the conditions of the Peace of Crépy, which finished the hostilities in 1544, there was the wedding of Carlos, duke of Orleans and son of Francisco I, with the daughter of Carlos I, Maria of Habsburgo (and the Netherlands and France-County as dowry), or with the daughter of the King of Romans Fernando, Ann of Habsburgo (and Milan as dowry). The election was Milan, but in 1545 the death of the duke of Orleans left without validity the agreements.Of secret form again the prince Felipe was invested Duke on July 5, 1546.
    In the year 1550 Felipe's appointment became finally public and on February 10 of the same year, Ferrante Gonzaga -at the time- governor of Milan, took him an oath of loyalty in his name and in of the city


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