Orange's partnership with the estates
- Orange promised to revert the trend of the power of Alva increasing at the expense of local priviledges and traditional rights.
- He promised to return the lost freedoms to the people of the Netherlands.
- In Holland and Zealand he soon fulfilled his commitments.
- In July 1572 Orange communicated his wish and promise to the estates of Holland that 'that they shall sicuss and ordain the best and most suitable means of restoring and reestablishing... all the old priviledges, rights and usages of the towns.'
- Orange was in this communication attempting to enlist support and gain money; the towns alone possessed reserves of wealth and only they through the provincial estates could impose taxes.
- Orange's defeat in 1572 gravely weakened his natural authority and to maintain his influence Orange had to concede a partnership in government to the estates.
- Orange was confirmed as stadholder of Holland, Zealand and Utrecht in 1572 and with the estates' permission, Orange now used these titles to justify his authority in the rebel provinces.
- In 1572, the 2 states accepted a formal union and orange was made head of the combined government.
- The estates appointed committees to advise the prince on all matters of government and war; their deputies sat in Orange's councils of state and finance.
- The decrees of the stadholder were issued in the name of 'His Excellency and the Estates'.
- Parliamentary regime was thus installed in Holland and Zealand with power jointly shared by Orange and the estates.
- Orange's undertakings expressed a belief in parliamentary government?
- By 1576 he had engineered a constitutional revolution as he had talked of constitutional restoration before.
- This constitutional revolution was accompanied by what has since been called 'the revolutionary reformation'.
- Both Orange and the estates had intended a full measure of religious toleration; in July 1572 the estates of Holland had promised freedom of worship 'to Reformed and Roman Catholic'.
- This commitment soon gave way.
- In summer of 1572 outbreaks of iconoclasm erupted in the towns occupied by the Sea Beggars.
- Churches and monasteries were ransacked; priests were murdered.
- In 1573, Orange had the most violent Beggars arrested for their excesses; this removed a potential source of opposition but did not resolve the religious conflict.
- Returning exiles fanned the unrest and by the spring the exercise of the Catholic religion had to be banned in the interest of public…