Philip Ii

Topics: Philip II of Spain, Spanish Armada, Spanish Empire Pages: 8 (3171 words) Published: April 26, 2013
Philip II, king of Spain and only son of the Holy Roman emperor Charles V, had everything in his favor to become the dominant power in Europe and probably the world at that time. Nonetheless, he did not succeed in doing so due to his poor leadership, incompetence, bad fortune and his inept financial understanding. As an ardent Catholic defender and due to his strong sense of duty and devotion to his empire, Philip focused on expanding the Spanish realm throughout Europe and promoting Catholic faith. Barbara Tuchman analyzing Philip's incompetence: "No experience of the failure of his policy could shake his belief in its essential excellence. That whatever he did was done for the service of God, that success or failure depended on the inscrutable will of the Almighty and not on himself, were his guiding convictions, which he transmitted to his successors." (The March of Folly) Furthermore, Philip II was not only incompetent due to his unshakable and often erroneous beliefs and interpretations of them. Despite having everything in his favor to become the dominant power in Europe and defy the traditional European balance of powers imposed since the dissolution of Charlemagne's empire, he did not achieve to rule his empire astutely and rise as the dominant nation in Europe . He received an annual income of 2 million ducats in form of gold and silver from the Spanish territory in the New World. He inherited a huge part of land in Europe and the Americas as well as several colonies in Africa and India from his father, Charles V. He possessed the largest fleet in the world and the best military formation. He had the power to dominate the world. Regardless of these advantages, he was not able to dominate Europe and become the most powerful absolute ruler. Philip acted "for the service of God," hence he believed that the Almighty would grant him the power to dominate the world if he promoted and defended the only true religion, Catholicism. Therefore, he believed that all of his military and political campaigns would prosper due to God's supreme support.             Phillip II was born in Valladolid on May 1527; he was son of the emperor Charles V and Isabella of Portugal. Charles V had inherited the Hapsburg territory from his father Philip I who had founded the Spanish Hapsburgs. However, the monarchy of the Catholic king Ferdinand I and queen Isabella of Spain triggered the rise of Spanish power. Their couple is one of the most renowned in history, they are responsible for expanding the Spanish empire overseas, consolidating the Muslim-free Iberian peninsula and turning Spain into a respected and powerful country via economic wealth and commercial advantage. Furthermore, during their rule, Spanish culture flourished as Arts and Literature underwent a Golden Age.  It is only due to their essential and thoughtful rule that Philip had the opportunity to dominate Europe. In order to prepare him for the arduous duty of commanding the vast Spanish empire, Philip II's early life was devoted to education. Despite his thorough education, by the end of his childhood, he was neither a skillful soldier nor a strong Latin linguist. This is due to his poor Latin teacher and Philip's clumsiness as a warrior. His education was solely catholic; therefore, he developed a strong faith for God and tenaciously defended catholic ideals. His father, though in constant travels throughout his empire, supervised Philip's education from afar. Charles V sent letters to little Philip, which influenced the maturing child by developing a profound sense devotion to his country and the uttermost necessity to keep the nobles away from the government's affairs as well as the distrust for counselors, which will shape Philip’s kingship. Charles V expanded the Hapsburg dynasty throughout Europe, but was not able to turn all of his territory into a unified country, due to several problems. The emperor's lands were not homogenous. Therefore, the unification and battle...
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