What social tensions were present in the Netherlands which might lead to disaffection later on?

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It started off like a dream...:

Government by consent

  • Throughout the first half of his reign and through his regents Margaret of Austria and Mary of Hungary, Charles's rule was flexible and accomodating.
  • The aristocracy were regularly consulted and their advice was taken into account.
  • The Grandees were given a leading role in the Council of State.
  • The Grandees were entrusted with Stadholderates and military commands in the provinces.
  • The States-General was summoned regularly and Charles took on their recommendations.
  • Even in matters of taxation Charles listened, the Emperor endeavoured to borrow more from the merchants and tax them less in 1540 after persistent complaints from the States-General.
  • The level of taxation in the Netherlands grew sevenfold under Charles's reign. This shows his ability to gain the confidence and trust of the States-General.
  • Charles' prefered 'government by consent' faltered  however in the matter of religion.

But was destroyed by Charles's obsession with...:


  • The matter of religion was what Charles encountered as his greatest difficulty.
  • He was a devout Catholic and felt that his duty was to defend the faith whatever the cost may be.
  • Early on in Charles's reign , Protestantism started to spread into the Netherlands from


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