Any assessment of Philip II's rule assumes the appearance of a paradox. In analysing the nature and impact of Philip II's rule and government, the author seeks to examine the extent of the changes in royal finance, the economic and social issues, the impact of religion -- both within Spain and throughout its Empire -- and the aims and motives behind the king's foreign policy.
PART ONE: THE BACKGROUND 1. Charles V's Legacy 2. Philip II's Character PART TWO: DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS 3. Government and Administration 4. Finances 5. The Economy 6. Religion and Religious Affairs 7. Domestic Rebellions 8. Foreign Policy PART THREE: ASSESSMENT 9. How Absolute was Philip II? 10. Success or failure? Spain in the 1590's PART FOUR: DOCUMENTS Genealogy: Philip II's family Glossary Bibliography Index