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 Fernando Alvarez de Toledo

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PostSubject: Fernando Alvarez de Toledo   Fernando Alvarez de Toledo EmptyMon Oct 27, 2008 5:09 pm

Fernando Alvarez de Toledo
Duke of Alba (1507 - 1582)

Fernando was a Spanish soldier and administrator, with an established military reputation having served under Emperor Charles V in Italy, Tunisia, France and against the Lutheran Princes of Germany.

However, Fernando incurred the enmity of Charles' son, King Philip II of Spain, who sent him to the Netherlands as Governor-General with orders to crush the growing independence movement and put an end to the Protestant rebellion (1567).

Upon arrival, Fernando's first task was to disband the rebel army led by William the Silent of Orange which he did successfully, forcing William to flee to Germany. However, Fernando's subsequent cruelty only exacerbated matters - Fernando was said to have executed as many as 180,000 people and exiled 100,000 more in less than five years.

As a result, William of Orange successfully returned to the Netherlands and was subsequently able to establish an independent Dutch state.

Fernando was recalled to Spain in disgrace (1573) - though some sources state that he requested to return to Spain due to illness and exhaustion.

"For my part, I adhere to the maxim of antiquity: The throne is a glorious sepulchre."
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