Spanish Netherlands

Spanish Netherlands[note 1] (historically in Spanish: Flandes, the name "Flanders" was used as a pars pro toto[2]) was the name for the Habsburg Netherlands ruled by the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs from 1556 to 1714. They were a collection of States of the Holy Roman Empire in the Low Countries held in personal union by the Spanish Crown (also called Habsburg Spain). This region comprised most of the modern states of Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as parts of northern France, the southern Netherlands, and western Germany with the capital being Brussels. The Army of Flanders was tasked with the defence of the territory.

Spanish Netherlands
Spaanse Nederlanden  (Dutch)
Países Bajos Españoles  (Spanish)
Spanische Niederlande  (German)
Spuenesch Holland  (Luxembourgish)
Pays-Bas Espagnols  (French)
Belgica Regia  (Latin)
1556–1714
Flag
Coat of arms of Archduke Albert VII of Austria
Motto: Plus Ultra
"Further Beyond"
Spanish Netherlands (grey) in 1700
StatusProvince of the Spanish Empire
States of the Holy Roman Empire
CapitalBrussels
Common languagesDutch, French, German, Latin, Spanish, Low Saxon, West Frisian, Walloon, Luxembourgish
Religion
Roman Catholicism (State religion)
Protestantism
GovernmentGovernorate
Governor 
 1581–1592
Alexander Farnese (first)
 1692–1706
Maximilian Emanuel (last)
Historical eraEarly modern
1556
1568–1648
30 January 1648
1683–1684
15 August 1684
1688–1697
1701–1714
7 March 1714
Population
 1700
1,794,000[1]
CurrencyGulden
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Habsburg Netherlands
Dutch Republic
Austrian Netherlands

The Imperial fiefs of the former Burgundian Netherlands had been inherited by the Austrian House of Habsburg from the extinct House of Valois-Burgundy upon the death of Mary of Burgundy in 1482. The Seventeen Provinces formed the core of the Habsburg Netherlands which passed to the Spanish Habsburgs upon the abdication of Emperor Charles V in 1556. When part of the Netherlands separated to form the autonomous Dutch Republic in 1581, the remainder of the area stayed under Spanish rule until the War of the Spanish Succession.