The Twelve Years’ Truce (1609), was a form of triumph for the seven United Provinces. Merely by signing it, their former overlords Spain tacitly acknowledged their independent existence after 40 years of rebellion. It began with the ‘Statue Storm’ (1566), the destruction of Catholic icons, and rapidly became military. Initial rebel successes were decisively reversed at Jemmingen (1568), and the revolt seemed to have stalled, when the ‘Sea Beggars’, a group of rebel privateers, unexpectedly seized Vlissingen (1572). Spain was hampered in its attempts at suppression by wars with the Ottomans, and was harried by both the English and French. It also went bankrupt, leading to the first of over 40 mercenary mutinies, and the looting of Antwerp (1576). The Duke of Parma won a series of victories in the early 1580s, and Dutch leader William of Orange was assassinated (1584), but his son Maurice reversed the tide, culminating in victory at Nieuwport (1600), stalemate, then the Truce.
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