By population, Spain is the sixth largest in Europe and the fifth in the European Union. Spains capital and largest city is Madrid, other urban areas include Barcelona, Seville, Bilbao. Modern humans first arrived in the Iberian Peninsula around 35,000 years ago, in the Middle Ages, the area was conquered by Germanic tribes and by the Moors. Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a power and a major developed country with the worlds fourteenth largest economy by nominal GDP. Jesús Luis Cunchillos argues that the root of the span is the Phoenician word spy. Therefore, i-spn-ya would mean the land where metals are forged, two 15th-century Spanish Jewish scholars, Don Isaac Abravanel and Solomon ibn Verga, gave an explanation now considered folkloric. Both men wrote in two different published works that the first Jews to reach Spain were brought by ship by Phiros who was confederate with the king of Babylon when he laid siege to Jerusalem.
This man was a Grecian by birth, but who had given a kingdom in Spain. He became related by marriage to Espan, the nephew of king Heracles, Heracles renounced his throne in preference for his native Greece, leaving his kingdom to his nephew, from whom the country of España took its name. Based upon their testimonies, this eponym would have already been in use in Spain by c.350 BCE, Iberia enters written records as a land populated largely by the Iberians and Celts. Early on its coastal areas were settled by Phoenicians who founded Western Europe´s most ancient cities Cadiz, Phoenician influence expanded as much of the Peninsula was eventually incorporated into the Carthaginian Empire, becoming a major theater of the Punic Wars against the expanding Roman Empire. After an arduous conquest, the peninsula came fully under Roman Rule, during the early Middle Ages it came under Germanic rule but later, much of it was conquered by Moorish invaders from North Africa. In a process took centuries, the small Christian kingdoms in the north gradually regained control of the peninsula.
The last Moorish kingdom fell in the same year Columbus reached the Americas, a global empire began which saw Spain become the strongest kingdom in Europe, the leading world power for a century and a half, and the largest overseas empire for three centuries. Continued wars and other problems led to a diminished status. The Napoleonic invasions of Spain led to chaos, triggering independence movements that tore apart most of the empire, eventually democracy was peacefully restored in the form of a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Spain joined the European Union, experiencing a renaissance and steady economic growth
Spanish Netherlands, Pays-Bas espagnols) was the collective name of States of the Holy Roman Empire in the Low Countries, held in personal union by the Spanish Crown from 1581 to 1714. This region comprised most of modern Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as parts of northern France, the Imperial fiefs of the former Burgundian Netherlands had been inherited by the Austrian House of Habsburg from the extinct House of Valois-Burgundy upon the death of Mary of Burgundy in 1482. The Seventeen Provinces formed the core of the Habsburg Netherlands which passed to the Spanish Habsburgs upon the abdication of Emperor Charles V in 1556. When part of the Netherlands separated to form the autonomous Dutch Republic in 1581 and his granddaughter Mary had confirmed a number of privileges to the States by the Great Privilege signed in 1477. After the government takeover by her husband Archduke Maximilian I of Austria, Maximilian prevailed with the support of Duke Albert III of Saxony and his son Philip the Handsome could assume the rule over the Habsburg Netherlands in 1493.
The Habsburgs often used the term Burgundy to refer to their lands, actually until 1795. In 1522 Emperor Charles V concluded a treaty with his younger brother Archduke Ferdinand I of Habsburg, whereby the House of Habsburg split into an Austrian. By the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549, Charles declared the Seventeen Provinces a united, the Seventeen Provinces, de jure still fiefs of the Holy Roman Empire, from that time on de facto were ruled by the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs as part of the Burgundian heritage. Philips despotism and his stern Counter-Reformation measures sparked the Dutch Revolt in the mainly Calvinist Netherlandish provinces, the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs could only retain the rule over the partly Catholic Southern Netherlands, completed after the Fall of Antwerp in 1585. Better times came, when in 1598 the Spanish Netherlands passed to Philips daughter Isabella Clara Eugenia, in the early 17th century, there was a flourishing court at Brussels. Among the artists who emerged from the court of the Archdukes, by the Treaty of the Pyrenees of 1659 the French annexed Artois and Cambrai, and Dunkirk was ceded to the English.
By the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle and Nijmegen, further territory up to the current Franco-Belgian border was ceded, including Walloon Flanders, later, in the War of the Reunions and the Nine Years War, France annexed other parts of the region. During the War of the Spanish Succession, in 1706 the Habsburg Netherlands became an Anglo-Dutch condominium for the remainder of the conflict. By the peace treaties of Utrecht and Rastatt in 1713/14 ending the war, the Southern Netherlands fell back to the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy forming the Austrian Netherlands
Siege of Leuven
Poor organization and logistics and the spread of sickness among the French, along with the appearance of a relief army under Ottavio Piccolomini, forced the invading army to lift the siege. This failure allowed the Spanish forces to take the initiative and soon the invaders were forced into a headlong retreat, the village was taken by assault, looted for three days, and finally razed. The Spanish garrison and most of its inhabitants were massacred and this event gave Ferdinand time to improve the fortifications of Leuven and to camp his army in a fortified position next to the city. The Franco-Dutch army made its appearance soon after and camped two leagues from Ferdinands headquarters, on 20 June the Franco-Dutch army lifted his camp and advanced its lines to the eastern bank of the Dijle river. Duke of Lerma was immediately sent to avoid the crossing, in command of cavalry under Juan de Vivero and 300 musketeers of Celadas tercio led by Captain Antonio de Velandia. By the time arrived, more than 4,000 Franco-Dutch had passed the bridge and occupied strong defensive positions.
The Franco-Dutch army, having crossed the Dijle, looted the village of Tervuren, residence of the Dukes of Brabant and they soon turned back to Leuven to invest the town. Siege warfare ensued, with the artillery firing over Leuvens fortifications. Walloon troops and students of the University made many sorties, the besiegers, irritated by the obstruction to their works, decided to storm the ramparts even exposed to the enemy fire, taking advantage of their numerical superiority. Three regiments fell one night over the ramparts and bulwarks from the most advanced entrenchements, the following night, Frederick Henry in person led an assault on the ravelin which protected the gate of Mechelen, guarded by just a handful of Irish. Despite the initial success of the attack, the Irish, aided by some Germans and bourgeois and this tower, besides as artillery position, served as look-out to Baron of Grobbendonck. When the Franco-Dutch realized this, the Verlooren-Kost was put under heavy artillery fire, on 29 June, Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, while the Franco-Dutch remained inactive, Grobbendonck ordered 250 selected defenders to make a sortie.
They went out three different gates and met in front of the Verlooren-Kost tower. Then they stormed the besieging entrenchements by surprise, taking the troops occupying them completely unprepared, about 400 men, including a large number of officers, were killed. Despite the setback he suffered, Frederick Henry urged Grobbendonck that same day to surrender and their presence forced the Franco-Dutch army, which were suffering food shortages, to lift the siege and retreat north towards the United Provinces. A large number of soldiers deserted and were killed or captured by the Spanish cavalry, shortly afterwards the Cardinal-Infante made appearance in command of 22,000 infantry and 14,000 cavalry men. The Franco-Dutch failure in front of Leuvens walls allowed the Spanish to take the initiative, the Cardinal-Infante counter-attacked, pushing the Franco-Dutch army back to the Dutch border. He made a north-easterly thrust to the Rhine in the direction of Cleves, recapturing Diest, a party of 500 German mercenaries under Lt.
Crossing of the Somme
The siege ended in a costly failure because of bad logistics and organization, and as the French army was decimated by the plague. The Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand, governor of the Spanish Netherlands and expelled the invaders, the conquest of the Franche-Comté, entrusted to Henri de Bourbon, Prince de Condé and Charles de La Porte de La Meilleraye, soon became an absolute priority to the Cardinal Richelieu. Philip IV of Spain and Olivares rapidly agreed, on 4 July the Cardinal-Infante crossed the frontier via Avesnes and took the fortresses of Le Catelet and La Capelle. The alarming advance of the Cardinal-Infante forced Louis XIII to return to Paris from Fontainebleau, by Ferdinand was in Cambrai and had left the command of his army to the Prince Thomas Francis of Carignano, the commander of the Army of Flanders. Having arrived at the fields in front of Saint Quentin, the Prince changed the route of the army and boats were dispatched from Cambrai for this purpose. The Prince put on alert his Maestres de Campo and Colonels, on 4 August his troops occupied a small island in middle of the river and soon a skirmish began with the French troops on the other riverside.
The Marquis of Fontenay, who led troops, set fire to the village. The skirmish continued a long time with artillery and musketry fire, according to the French, only 20 of his soldiers were killed, among them the Comte de Matha, captain of a company of the Régiment des Gardes. The Prince ordered his Tercios of Spaniards march to the village of Cerisy, located a league south of Bray, and cross there the river. A pontoon bridge was promptly tended from one bank to the opposite, only the Régiment de Piedmont was in that place to confront the Spaniards. These formed in squadron at the riverside and became involved in a fight that lasted for three hours. The Maestro de Campo Alonso Pérez de Vivero y Menchaca, Count of Fuensaldaña, the Spanish artillery and some musketeers riddled the forest where the Régiment de Piedmont had sought coverage and forced the few surviving troops to retreat leaving behind about 300 corpses. The Prince lost that day around 35 soldiers killed and 50 wounded, the French losses could have been higher if the Spanish cavalry had crossed the river on time to pursuit them, but this did not happened and Soissons was able to withdraw his troops in good order.
The harassment of the German and Spanish cavalry diminished the strength of the French army, finding the Imperial-Spanish troops abandoned corpses, Soissons retreated to Noyon pursued by Johann von Werth. The Bavarian general destroyed 5 French cavalry regiments near the town, on 7 August the Prince of Carignano, by orders of the Cardinal-Infante, surrounded the vital fortress of Corbie, which surrendered to him a week later. The following day Louis XIII wrote to the Prince of Condé ordering him to abandon the siege of Dôle, at the French court it was believed that after Corbie the Spanish would advance further into France. Piccolomini, who wanted to do so, tried to persuade the Cardinal-Infante, the Cardinal-Infante felt that more ambitious operations could risk his army and resolved to retreat. He was back in Cambrai in early September, before Matthias Gallas invasion of France had begun, and the French armies regained most of the lost ground over the following months
Prince of Ligne
Prince of Ligne is a title of Belgian nobility that belongs to the House of Ligne, which goes back to the eleventh century. It owes its name to the village in which it originated, the lords of Ligne belonged to the entourage of the Count of Hainaut at the time of the Crusades. The Ligne family began a rise in the nobility, first as barons in the twelfth century, counts of Fauquemberg. Lamoral I received the titles of Prince of Ligne and Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in the seventeenth century from Emperor Rudolf II. Many of the Princes de Ligne have been Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, - Antoine, 13th Prince of Ligne Marek, Miroslav. Genealogy of the Princes of Ligne, the Peerage. com lycos. fr Héraldique européenne Online Gotha Eupedia. com
Kingdom of France
The Kingdom of France was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was one of the most powerful states in Europe and a great power since the Late Middle Ages and it was an early colonial power, with possessions around the world. France originated as West Francia, the half of the Carolingian Empire. A branch of the Carolingian dynasty continued to rule until 987, the territory remained known as Francia and its ruler as rex Francorum well into the High Middle Ages. The first king calling himself Roi de France was Philip II, France continued to be ruled by the Capetians and their cadet lines—the Valois and Bourbon—until the monarchy was overthrown in 1792 during the French Revolution. France in the Middle Ages was a de-centralised, feudal monarchy, in Brittany and Catalonia the authority of the French king was barely felt. Lorraine and Provence were states of the Holy Roman Empire and not yet a part of France, during the Late Middle Ages, the Kings of England laid claim to the French throne, resulting in a series of conflicts known as the Hundred Years War.
Subsequently, France sought to extend its influence into Italy, but was defeated by Spain in the ensuing Italian Wars, religiously France became divided between the Catholic majority and a Protestant minority, the Huguenots, which led to a series of civil wars, the Wars of Religion. France laid claim to large stretches of North America, known collectively as New France, Wars with Great Britain led to the loss of much of this territory by 1763. French intervention in the American Revolutionary War helped secure the independence of the new United States of America, the Kingdom of France adopted a written constitution in 1791, but the Kingdom was abolished a year and replaced with the First French Republic. The monarchy was restored by the great powers in 1814. During the years of the elderly Charlemagnes rule, the Vikings made advances along the northern and western perimeters of the Kingdom of the Franks, after Charlemagnes death in 814 his heirs were incapable of maintaining political unity and the empire began to crumble.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 divided the Carolingian Empire into three parts, with Charles the Bald ruling over West Francia, the nucleus of what would develop into the kingdom of France. Viking advances were allowed to increase, and their dreaded longboats were sailing up the Loire and Seine rivers and other waterways, wreaking havoc. During the reign of Charles the Simple, Normans under Rollo from Norway, were settled in an area on either side of the River Seine, downstream from Paris, that was to become Normandy. With its offshoots, the houses of Valois and Bourbon, it was to rule France for more than 800 years. Henry II inherited the Duchy of Normandy and the County of Anjou, and married Frances newly divorced ex-queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, after the French victory at the Battle of Bouvines in 1214, the English monarchs maintained power only in southwestern Duchy of Guyenne. The death of Charles IV of France in 1328 without male heirs ended the main Capetian line, under Salic law the crown could not pass through a woman, so the throne passed to Philip VI, son of Charles of Valois
Siege of Dunkirk (1658)
Dunkirk was a strategic port on the southern coast of the English Channel in the Spanish Netherlands that had often been a point of contention previously and had changed hands a number of times. Privateers operating out of Dunkirk and other ports had cost England some 1,500 to 2,000 merchant ships in the past year, the French and their English Commonwealth allies were commanded by Marshal of France Turenne. In return, Cromwell made the support of a fleet and 6,000 soldiers conditional on the transfer of Dunkirk to the English once it had been taken. The treaty was renewed in 1658 and encouraged by the additions the French were early into the field capturing a contingent of Spanish troops in Cassel. Turenne, with some 7,000 men was impeded by the seasonal rains. He had been advised that it would be impossible to bring artillery with him under these conditions, though often marching and wading through deep water holding their arms over their heads, French morale remained high and roads were made for their baggage and artillery.
When Turenne reached the road at the dike at Bergues the Spanish were caught by surprise as they had assumed Turenne would make for Cambrai. Turenne began the investment of Dunkirk on 25 May and reinforcements arrived in order so that the French along with their English allies were now some 20,000 strong. Turenne quickly seized the forts and immediately threw up lines of circumvallation and contravallation which on the east and west rested on the sea. The English fleet of 18 sail under the command of Mountague completed the blockade on the sea side, for the French, landing the supplies was difficult as the shores were obstructed with booms and chains but most supplies were brought by boat from Calais. To ensure his communications between the parts of his lines he had built over the inundations and had his supplies brought in by sea. Young King Louis XIV and Cardinal Mazarin were personally involved nearby arranging for supplies and ammunition, first at Mardyke and then, at Turennes urging, Calais.
Trenches were opened on the Downs side of Dunkirk on the night of 4/5 June and finished with the arrival of troops from France. The English under Lockhart made their approaches from the west side of Dunkirk, Turenne posted the Lorraine regiment in the great fort between Bergues and Dunkirk. Marquis de Castelnau with his troops deployed west of the Bergues canal, a sortie was made by the all cavalry of the garrison the first night after the opening of the trenches against the French which was driven back. The next morning all the cavalry with 20 guns on that side covering them made several attempts on the French lines. The French cavalry, in return, repulsed each advance although suffering some casualties from cannon fire as they pursued the Spanish back to the counterscarp, on the fourth day of the siege a high wind blew heavy sand into the faces of the French blinding them. The garrison sallied out under cover of the sand and filled in the point of the killing or wounding about 100 soldiers of the regiments of Picardy
Naval Battle of Tarragona (July 1641)
The French blockading fleet was under command of Henri dEscoubleau de Sourdis, Archbishop of Bordeaux, and consisted both of sailing and rowing vessels. On 4 July it was engaged by the Spanish galleys, of which managed to enter the port of the town during a fierce action. In the end, a number of Spanish galleys were abandoned when their crews panicked and fled to the beaches. On the night of 6 July Abraham Duquesne escorted 5 fireships to the mole of the harbor, where the Spanish galleys were abandoned, and set fire to them. This time, the number of vessels gathered was much larger, after the joining of Fernandinas squadron with another one commanded by the Duke of Maqueda, Sourdis offered battle to them on 20 August, but was defeated and the blockade was lifted. Viceroy Philippe de La Mothe-Houdancourt had to face simultaneously a land relief, even if the siege and the 2nd Battle were two clear setbacks for the French, some Spanish authors claim that Fernandina won the first battle. The preparations began in March with the concentration of soldiers and supplies at the town of Valls, the Prince entrenched his army into Tarragona and prepared the defense.
In April the Franco-Catalan offensive was launched, and on 4 May, La Mothe was in front of Tarragona ahead a force of 10.000 foot and 2.000 horse soldiers, the fleet commanded by Henri dEscobuleau de Sourdis was deployed to support the land operations. The French admiral, with some 30 vessels, began a blockade of Tarragona, to resolve the problem, Sourdis engaged his forces in the capture of the fort of Salou on 9 May and the tower of Los Alfaques on 13 May. On 8 June a third fort was built at Tamarin, completing the defenses, the French blockade was not at all ineffective. Meanwhile, the Duke of Fernandina, who had with him 21 galleys, the Spanish fleet had 41 galleys and 7 brigantines and appeared off Los Alfaques on 3 July. A day it was in sight of Tarragona, eastwards of the nearest French vessels under Rear admiral de Cazenac, Sourdis was ill and had entrusted the command of his fleet to the Chevalier de Cangé. Nevertheless, the Archbishop assisted in directing the battle, lying on his bed aboard a shallop, the thirtieth galley, San Felipe, was closely engaged by two French galleys and surrendered.
Two other Spanish galleys which lagged behind were captured by the French La Pille, Cangé was able to keep them covered behind the mole, thanks to the heavy gunfire of his ships and gave time to his remaining vessels to joining him. Vice admiral de Montigny, Abraham Duquesne and other commanders came close, the Spaniards panicked and began to evacuate the galleys which had taken refuge behind the mole, one of which was set on fire by a French fireship. Firstly the Genoese and the Spaniards, in all 4,500 men, the confusion amidst the town was considerable, with soldiers and civilians deeping into the waves with carts to collect the supplies. The Santa Olalla ran aground near Salou and was destroyed by a party of French cavalry,450 prisoners and 3 Spanish flags were taken. One of the Spanish officers killed was Captain Leonardo de Moles, all of them were still abandoned, so it was easy for the French to burn them
Relief of Thionville
On June 7,1639, a Spanish and Imperial relief column under Ottavio Piccolomini lifted the siege lines around Thionville and destroyed the besieging French army under the Marquis de Feuquieres. Feuquières, wounded in the fighting, was captured by the Imperial forces, in recognition of his victory, Piccolomini was created Duke of Amalfi by the Spanish Crown June 28. In 1643 the Duc dEnghien capitalised on his victory at Rocroi by pushing on to Thionville, dictionary of Battles And Sieges, A Guide to 8,500 Battles from Antiquity Through the Twenty-first Century. Richelieus army, war and society in France, French Armies of the Thirty years War
John of Austria the Younger
John of Austria or John Joseph of Austria was a Spanish general and political figure. He was the bastard son of Philip IV of Spain to be acknowledged by the King and trained for military command. In 1677 in a coup he took control of the monarchy of his half-brother Charles II of Spain. He remained in power until his death in 1679 and his mother was María Calderón, a popular actress, who was forced into a convent shortly after his birth. He was raised in León by a woman of modest circumstances who likely did not know his parentage, in 1642, the King recognized him officially as his son, and John began his lifes career as a military representative of his fathers interests. Don John was sent in 1647 to Naples, in the throes of the popular rising first led by Masaniello, with a naval squadron, there he played a waiting game. He was next sent as viceroy to Sicily, whence he was recalled in 1651 to complete the pacification of Catalonia, which had been in revolt since 1640. The high handedness of the French, whom the Catalans had called in to help their revolt, had produced a reaction, in 1656, he was sent to command in Flanders, in revolt against his own sovereign.
During 1661 and 1662, he fought against the Portuguese in Extremadura, the Spanish troops were ill-supplied and irregularly paid and in a rugged, hostile country. Morale was poor and they were untrustworthy but they were superior in numbers, if Don John had not suffered from the indolence which Clarendon considered his chief defect, the Portuguese might have been hard pressed. Don John was removed from command and sent to his command at Consuegra, after the death of Philip IV. in 1665 Don John became the recognized leader of the opposition to the government of Philips widow, the regent. She and her favorite, the German Jesuit Juan Everardo Nithard and put to one of his most trusted servants. Don John, in return, put himself at the head of a rising of Aragon and Catalonia, Don John was, forced to content himself with the viceroyalty of Aragon. In 1677, the queen mother aroused universal opposition by her shameless favor for Fernando de Valenzuela, Don John was able to drive her from court, and establish himself as prime minister.
Great hopes were entertained for his administration, but it proved disappointing and short, Don John died and his name featured prominently in the Popish Plot fabricated by Titus Oates in 1678. Memoirs of Spain during the Reigns of Philip IV. and Charles II