In the late 15th century Holland was under the rule of Philip II of Spain. In Holland the majority of citizens shared the same Catholic beliefs that Philip proclaimed. Although these Dutch were Catholic, they were very tolerant towards Protestants who were living there. However, King Philip was not tolerant at all, as he struck up an inquisition to route out all the Protestants in the Netherlands. The problem with this inquisition was that the Catholic Dutch didn’t approve of all of the bloodshed. They strongly urged Phillip to put a stop to this immediately. Even Margret the Duchess of Parma, who ruled in Phillips stead, insisted that this inquisition be terminated.
Phillip finally lifted the inquisition, however he was uneasy about the fact that Dutch Protestants were holding armed meetings. Also, at this point the Netherlands had fallen into disorder. Many Protestants were vandalizing Catholic churches and the whole scene was not very pretty. So now it enters Phillips mind that maybe he is being to soft on these Protestants. Sure enough Phillip sent 10,000 soldiers led by the Duke of Alba to suppress this Dutch disorder. At this point this imposing force amused neither the Protestants nor the Catholics and it wasn’t long before Phillip had a full-scale rebellion on his hands. The Protestants and the Catholics worked together under the leadership of William “the silent” to claim their independence in 1648.