Spain keeps the low countries?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by VVD0D95, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    So, the Eighty Years war resulted in the formation of the Dutch Republic, and the creation of the Spanish Netherlands in what is now modern day Belgium. However, was there any chance at all that the Spanish or the Habsburgs in general could have kept the entirety of the Low Countries? And if so, how could this have been achieved?
     
  2. Fehérvári Well-Known Member

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    Maybe a less bigot catholic governing-style might do the trick.
     
  3. Skallagrim Not the Skallagrim from YouTube. Different fellow.

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    In the recent thread about what we all consider the defining moment(s) in our respective countries' history, I actually picked the Dutch Revolt as that defining moment for the Low Countries, and expounded a bit on the subject:

    ...so, yeah, that's my take on it. The Habsburgs keeping the Netherlands was definitely possible, and would have very interesting ramifications.
     
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  4. Moosemac Well-Known Member

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    It is an interesting idea. Main question I have is how would you get both Philip and Charles to accept toleration?
     
  5. Skallagrim Not the Skallagrim from YouTube. Different fellow.

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    Charles especially was very fond if William of Orange. A simple POD whereby William is present to influence the way Charles deals with unease in the Low Countries will suffice. If Charles takes a more 'tolerant' approach early on - basically getting the Dutch nobles to carry out his various objectives in their own way instead of giving them direct orders, and communicating with them via a Dutch intermediary (ideally William himself) instead of 'foreign' representatives - would pretty much prevent escalation. Thus, the success of this approach plus the lack of a need for harshness would basically forestall the worst of the OTL problems.

    Philip is less likely to take such a course by himself, but if he inherits different policies and a different situation, he can just, ah... 'roll with it'.
     
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  6. Moosemac Well-Known Member

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    Would the Pope of the time accept it? I don't really know much about Spanish Netherlands, so I don't know how much they were involved in the area.
     
  7. Skallagrim Not the Skallagrim from YouTube. Different fellow.

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    As long as there is no attempt at any protestant revolt, and the Dutch protestant just keep peacefully doing their own thing, I don't foresee any problems in that department. At least not in the short term.

    In OTL, Charles acted repressively of his own volition, because he believed the protestants were a threat (based on the German conflicts). If William convinces him the Dutch have no intention of fighting their catholic overlords, it's pretty such settled. Because if that turns out to be true - which it will be, for the time being - neither the Habsburgs nor the pope will have any reason to deliberately start an additional conflict in the Netherlands.

    Charles believed that conflict inevitable in OTL. If that gets changed (by William), there are suddenly lots of possibilities.
     
  8. funnyhat Well-Known Member

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    It is hard to imagine Philip II tolerating Protestants, though. Fighting against them seemed to be in his DNA. You almost need him to die off (or have the inheritance from Charles V go differently) so that he is not ruling the Low Countries in the late 16th century.
     
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  9. Johnrankins Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, Phillip II was too much of a die hard fanatical Catholic to allow Protestantism to flourish in his domains.
     
  10. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Hmm, would Charles V having a second son to inherit the Netherlands be an ideal thing to go with, especially if Charles is convinced by William of Orange that the Netherlands won't be an issue?
     
  11. Clandango Well-Known Member

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    Think Burgundy would go along or be kept as a central route connecting the Dutch, Austrian, and Italian possessions of their house? And it need not be through inheritance, as Charles V split the empire in two before he died, then abdicated. I wonder if his brother would have still gotten a share of his possessions, as splitting rulership in the HRE might be seen as problematic. Though perhaps no more than if Spain ruled there. Having his brother or his second son rule Burgundy, Breisgau, Tryol, Austria, and Milan might be seen as a reasonably sized amount of land, in addition to overlordship of the other states. Probably would scare the Swiss a bit though. And whoever is in charge of the Netherlands would need to find a good way of getting cash. Five percent of the profits of everything, perhaps?
     
  12. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Hmm that would be good.

    If Charles had had a second son, would that son have been promoted for the purple then?
     
  13. Clandango Well-Known Member

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    Promoted for the purple? I would say given his lineage he would be highly sought after by every father with a daughter to marry off. Until his older brother had loads of sons reaching adulthood this would be the prospective heir to a great empire, be it the Empire of the Indies or the Holy Roman Empire. If you have the second son get along extremely well with his older brother then you also have the power of friendship meeting family, making him perfect as either a right hand man, a governor, or a surveyor, gaining in influence and prestige be it from blood or skills. Of course he can be a complete failure or wastrel, but that happens. It also will have a ripple effect down the line, for when the Habsburgs of Spain and Austria come to the end of their lines.
     
  14. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Oh this is very true, and something that would make for a fascinating timeline I think.

    I think Infante Juan, born in 1537, would make for a very good candidate.
     
  15. The Zeppelin Chevalier

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    Maybe France and Spain decisively win the War of Spanish Succession and later on both countries merge into a giant empire, including France, Spain, Naples, Lombardy and the aforementioned low countries?
     
  16. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    That would be insane aha
     
  17. The Zeppelin Chevalier

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    Why? Such a union was truly on the cards, that's part of the reasons why the British, Austrians and the Dutch fought tooth and nail with the French and pro-french Spanish. Surely, it would be a rather fragile empire and the rest of Europe would be set on fighting it but it's not entirely implausible.
     
  18. VVD0D95 Lemmy is God.

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    Hence why I said it would be insane, not in a bad way, just in a oh my god as if this has actually happened way.
     
  19. The Zeppelin Chevalier

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    Oh, I see. Sorry, I thought that you meant "insane" in a bad way. Communication failed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017 at 7:29 AM
  20. Clandango Well-Known Member

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    France unifying with the rest was on the table because of there not being enough Habsburgs and a Bourbon being next in line after a while. With a Low Country Habsburg you might not have that issue. Though as the French are likely to keep moving northward to get valuable land, I expect they would be somehwat hostile to the French. After all, the Spanish had the Pyrenees keeping the two form trading too much territory back and forth.
     
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