Today in World History: October 8th

The Siege of Alkmaar, in which Dutch and English forces defeated the Spanish in the first Dutch victory in the Eighty Years’ War, ended on this day in 1573. The Protestant provinces of the Netherlands, previously under Spanish rule, declared their independence in 1568, leading to a war that would last until 1648, when Spain would be forced to grant the Netherlands its independence. Although the war had previously been dominated by Spain, the tides began to turn when England joined the war, and a truce was established in 1605, lasting for only twelve years before war broke out again. Now coinciding with the Thirty Years’ War, the Netherlands joined other Protestant countries such as England and France to go to war with Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, and other Catholic countries in Europe. The war finally ended in 1648 with the Peace of Munster, in which the Netherlands was granted independence, with the Spanish holdings in the South Netherlands were kept under Spanish rule.

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