Academic Master


Religious Wars in the Early Modern Western Civilization

Where are De Thou’s sympathies as he describes the murder of Coligny?

De Thou sympathies are evident from the way he describes the torture and suffering of Coligny who was blinded by his credulity and false assurance of the king’s goodwill and protection. However, realizing how late he was, he took comfort in prayers and encouraged those with him to seek safety.

Please quote one sentence in De Thou’s text that provides evidence for your answer

De Thou’s sympathy is also apparent in how he describes Coligny’s loss of hope through his message to the people present; “I see clearly that which they seek, and I am ready steadfastly to suffer that death which I have never feared and which for a long time past I have pictured to myself. I consider myself happy in feeling the approach of death and in being ready to die in God, by whose grace I hope for the life everlasting.” (De Thou 180). His sympathy is also apparent in how he describes Coligny’s suffering as outrageous and intense insults when his body was thrown out of the window, covered in blood, and immensely disfigured as an assurance of death to the duke of Guise.

What, according to the sources describing Philip II, is the basis for Philip II’s wealth?

Upon becoming King of Portugal, Philip II’s dominion in Europe was extensive. This prompted an increase in Spain’s wealth. Being King, he had vast control over Europe and America and he soon began taking over the northern Netherlands through the expansionist foreign policy. Spain provided gold, silver, cochineal, cotton, and sugar while minerals came from Peru. The king had a significant share of everything that was produced (Anthony and Donald 372). Besides the one-fifth of the total produce paid to the king, he also received five million of gold as his income from Spain, Indies, Naples and Sicily, Flanders, and the third world countries. Similarly, the king was at liberty to impose extraordinary taxes on his subjects to cater for the extra expenses and therefore had the authority to control all the money for the special undertakings (Weber 102).

Does the author believe this wealth is sustainable?

The author holds that the wealth was highly unsustainable following the depletion of silver and gold on the earth’s surface. This increased the difficulty of accessing the minerals requiring more manpower, skills, and effort.

How would you connect the letters describing Philip II’s wealth to the material covered in the previous twelfth module?

Western expansion and capitalism discussed in twelfth module connect directly to Philip II’s description of wealth and expansion of territory. The motive in both historical aspects is to seek dominance and amass wealth to protect their territories. “This was foretold by the kings who governed your city, and now it has taken place. You have come back to us; you have come down from the sky. Rest now, and take possession of your royal houses. Welcome to your land, my lords! “(Halsall 1).

Based upon the primary sources and additional learning materials we have described in this module, please describe one strength and one weakness of Philip II as a ruler

As a king, Philip II’s strength is found in his ability to expand his territories and grow the wealth of Spain by exercising extensive dominion in the Netherlands, Italy, and the Americas. He successfully executed the expansionist foreign policy and taxation that saw his wealth increase progressively. The growth of wealth revived his urge to control the northern Netherlands. However, his greatest downfall emerged from his stand against Protestantism, reactivating the Spanish inquisition that targeted curbing its spread (Simkin 103). Persecution of protestants in Europe stirred up a rebellion against the reign of Philip, first by Muslims, the Netherlands, and later the defeat in an attempt to conquer England and end queen Elizabeth’s protestant rule.

Based upon the primary sources and additional learning materials we have described in this module, please describe one strength and one weakness of Elizabeth I of England as a ruler

In the 16th century, Elizabeth became queen of England and her reign began with challenges both from outside and within due to the apparent conflicts between the catholic monarchy and Protestantism. As a ruler, however, Queen Elizabeth’s strength lies in her ability to hold firm to her values and what she believed in. Being a protestant, she rejected King Philip’s offer hand in marriage. She was an astute ruler with deep capabilities to influence and unite her subjects. She offered her soldiers the protection of the protestants in the Netherlands when Philip II mounted persecutions against them (Simkin 103). Before the Spanish invasion, she assured the troops of her readiness to fight for liberation and protection of her territories. “And now you have come out of the clouds and mists to sit on your throne again” (Halsall). However, in her firm defense of what she believed in, she failed to unite her subjects and end the religious conflicts.

Works Cited

Anthony Grafton and Donald Bell. “The West: A New History”, pp. 370-398; 433-434

de Thou, Jacques Auguste. Histoire des choses arrivees de son temp’s mise en francois par P. Du-Kyer. Vol. 2. Courbe.

Halsall, Paul. “Internet History Sourcebooks”. Sourcebooks.Fordham.Edu, 1997,

“Philip II: Two Documents”. Thenagain.Info,

Simkin, John. “Philip II Of Spain”. Spartacus Educational, 1997,

Weber, Eugen. “Sources Of The Western Tradition Volume II: From The Renaissance To The Present”. Google Books, 1995,



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