Thursday, April 9, 2009

Treaty of Antwerp

Peace between Spain and The Netherlands (and Spain expels the Moriscos)

by RSB:
The Treaty of Antwerp, signed in Antwerp on April 9, 1609, between Spain and the Netherlands, was a peace agreement that brought about a 12-year truce. The war between Spain and the breakaway Netherlands (the Eighty Years War, 1568–1648), had brought unbelievable carnage and loss of life in the Low Countries. Many heroes of England fought there and many died there. Philip Sidney was killed there in a skirmish in 1586.

The Dutch Republic (1581-1795), often called the United States, was an inspiration for the formation of the United States of America, whose revolution came approximately two centuries after the Dutch broke with Spain.

Spain also ordered the expulsion of all Muslims on April 9, 1609.

I must point out that England and Europe used different calendars after 1582, with Catholic Europe going with the Gregorian reform and England refusing until 1752. During that time there was a ten-day discrepancy between the two systems. Thus, these April 9 dates involving Spain are probably on the Gregorian calendar and would correspond to March 30, 1609, in England.

Here’s an explanation about the calendar problem I wrote in another context:

A curious aspect of all late 16th Century dates is tied to the Gregorian calendar reform of 1582. Because of a technical error in the Julian calendar, the seasons were gradually slipping away from calendric expectations. This was putting Easter out of synch with the actual occurrence of spring, and forced the church to issue a correction. Ten days were added in the Catholic countries, in October 1582, to re-synchronize the church calendar and restore Easter to its rightful time. The Julian problem and its solution involved the question of how many leap years should be counted in a century. From the adoption of the Julian calendar in 46 B.C. to the 16th Century, the slippage and error had added up to ten days.

 By official decree of Pope Gregory XIII, October 4, 1582 was followed immediately by Oct. 15, 1582. Was that adding 10 days or stealing 10 days? England noted the change with skepticism and laughter.
All of the Protestant countries, including England and Germany, and Russia (which kept the old Orthodox calendar), ignored, mistrusted, and refused to enact the 1582 correction and only came to their senses one by one, centuries later. 

When "correcting" dates from the past there is a sliding scale, not a static formula. English dates from 1582-1700 require a ten day correction. Dates from 1700-1752 require an eleven day correction; 1752 is the year Great Britain and her colonies fixed their system. Russia however, didn't correct its calendar until the Bolshevik revolution. So for Russian dates between 1700-1800 there's an 11 day correction, for 1800-1900 a 12 day correction, and from 1900-1920 a 13 day correction.

Other web locations:

Treaty of Antwerp

Expulsion of the Moriscos

Eighty Years' War


  1. A small correction: April 9, 1609 Gregorian equates to March 30, 1609 Julian (not March 31). You subtracted only 9 days. It takes some thought when the dates cross over the end of a month.

  2. Thank you Marty ... I've corrected the post. You are much better at counting backwards than I am. RSB

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