King Philip II
May 21, 1527 – September 13 1598
King of Spain 1556 – 1598
King of Naples 1554 – 1598
King of Portugal 1580 – 1640
The only son of German Emperor, Charles V and Isabella of Portugal, King Phillip was born in Valladolid on May 21st 1527. He was carefully educated in the sciences, learned French and Latin and showed a large interest in architecture and music. During this time, hostile wars regarding religious and political differences divided Europe and drained financial stability throughout the country. Philip held an unyielding attitude toward crusading Catholic orthodoxy throughout his reign. He was considered a national monarch of his time as he traveled and attempted to bridge together kingdoms. However during his time in power, the Spanish empire was in severe turmoil of economic complications and debt left by his father, Charles V.
Since a young boy he was commended absolute control of Spain and by 1548 he became fully initiated into his father’s policy at Brussels. He then inherited complete control and power over the larger portion of his father’s dominions with the support from the Catholic Church. Philip continued with a strict Catholic policy throughout Spain. He focused on exterminating Protestantism in Spain and became known for his merciless suppression of the Lutheran heresy. In 1543, Philip wed his first cousin Maria of Portugal, who died two years later leaving him a son, Don Carlos. With the intentions of gaining support as well as consolidate his empire, Philip married Mary Queen of England. His political projects eventually ended in his frustration leading him to leave England and return back to Brussels for good in 1555.
Philip held deep concern regarding the rising power of the Ottoman Empire. This fear of Islamic dominance caused him to pursue aggressive foreign policy. In 1560, Philip organized a Holy League between Spain, Venice and Republic of Genoa to rise against the Ottoman threat. The fleet was...