What are your thoughts on King Philip II of Spain?

Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
Despite reigning for a long time and being arguably the most powerful man in the world at the time, I almost never see Philip II discussed on here. While his reign saw the height of the Spanish Empire's power and greatness both in Europe and globally, it also saw several bankruptcies and the independence of the Netherlands. He seems to be quite the complicated man. What are your thoughts on him and his reign? Do you think he mad more positive achievements or more failures?
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
6,144
Portugal
Although much despised by the Portuguese historiography during several centuries, Filipe I (Filipe II in Spain) is seen today as relatively consensual that he was the most elucidated Portuguese king since D. Manuel or even D. João II.

But you are right, he isn’t mentioned often here.
 
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sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
5,360
Sydney
Philip seems to have been a very conscientious , hard working monarch
he did the job of three ministers for an empire stretching over the globe
having a wonderful budget with convoys loaded with silver bullion giving him the means for his ends
an army whose arrogant pride was fully justified in fact
his enemies were many , on every sea and every lands

ultimately ,no matter how hard he tried , it was to much
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,217
Welsh Marches
I know of him mainly in connection with the Tudors, and my impression of him has already been summarized by sparky, one might also mention that he was also very pious. Always dutiful, might be regarded as the best kind of monarch, even if he had his share of difficulties and failures. I'm glad he wasn't able to subdue the Dutch - or conquer England for that matter! -, so I can't say that I regret all of his failures.
 
Jun 2017
2,988
Connecticut
Philip II's reign was the height of the empire but it's also where Spain's long decline(that still hasn't ended over 400 years later) began. The Low Countries rebelled and his Great Armada was destroyed. His marriage to Mary which could have made Spain even more powerful was a failure(though this was bad luck more than anything).

Competent or not he started out with a level of power that was very hard to build upon and his reign ended with his successor being in a worse situation. It wasn't his fault but he never was going to have the power Charles V had and in many ways Charles dividing his empire and giving part of it(though the much bigger part) to Philip meant Philip was overshadowed from the very beginning. He does seem to be well more remembered than his successors prior to Charles II(who is not remembered fondly for obvious reasons).
 
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martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,813
Spain
Don Filipo el Segundo... Don Phillip II...yes he was a pure Spanish King...as it was said by Don Claudio Sánchez de Albornoz... he was a Spaniard.. his soul was more Portuguese than Castilian...He was a Trastamara and a Habsburg...his figure has been distorted...and manipulated...for protestant.. he was The Southern Devil... a monster, full of malignancy... For the Catholic... he was a kind of Jesuchrist on Earth....full of wisdom and kindness ... some see to him "siempre de negro hasta los pies vestidos" (always in Black clothes till the feet dressed in black) with the rosary in his hand and praying without stopping...forgetting he was a happy and funny teenager ... .. famous for his teenage antics ... _"full of life"...In fact, for this UNIVERSAL king (still you can see his shield in Iran, Kenya, USA, Argentina, China, India, Low Countries, France, Italy etc etc) life was not easy.... he had to govern a World Empire...and had to face the heavy debts of his father, Cesar Don Carlos ... he wanted to maintain the unity of Europe under Catholicism and he faced the Turk...that prudent king (hesitant rather) .. full of idealism and timidity ... austere and honest ... who wanted to be taken alive to the tomb ... and that in his last will he left a true reflection of what his life was ...

I put you aside this scene but I want you see how end the monarchies of the earth. See His Excellency (Vuesa Merced) how God has stripped me from all the glory and Majesty of a monarch to give to your Excellency (Vuesa Merced). In a very few hours I will be covered with a poor shroud and tied with a rope. The account of your days only God knows, but someday the crown will fall from your temples as today falls from the mine ones. Two things especially I recommend you:

First: Remain always faithful to the Holy Mother Church, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman
Second: Treat always your subjects with Justice.

You are young and I am old ... but remember that once I was young too. My days are numbered and nearing their end, as some day yours days will also end.


(Don Felipo El Segundo. Philip II).

In a world like the present one, full of hypocrisy, falsehood, theater ... imposture... to see an authentic man ... who believed in what he said and was consistent with his beliefs ... is worthy of admiration .. .

The need that this man had to not content himself but with wonders
(Baltasar de Gracián)

Austerity:

 
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