Twelve Years' Truce

Twelve Years' Truce

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The Twelve Years' Truce was the name given to the cessation of hostilities between the Habsburg rulers of Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and the Southern Netherlands
Southern Netherlands
Southern Netherlands were a part of the Low Countries controlled by Spain , Austria and annexed by France...

 and the Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 as agreed in Antwerp on 9 April 1609. It was a watershed in the Eighty Years' War, marking the point from which the independence of the United Provinces received formal recognition by outside powers. For the time of its duration, the Truce allowed King Philip III
Philip III of Spain
Philip III , also known as Philip the Pious, was the King of Spain and King of Portugal and the Algarves, where he ruled as Philip II , from 1598 until his death...

 and his favorite minister the Duke of Lerma to disengage from the conflict in the Low Countries and devote their energies to the internal problems of the Spanish Monarchy
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

. The Archdukes Albert and Isabella
Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain
Isabella Clara Eugenia of Austria was sovereign of the Spanish Netherlands in the Low Countries and the north of modern France, together with her husband Albert. In some sources, she is referred to as Clara Isabella Eugenia...

 used the years of the Truce to consolidate Habsburg rule and to implement the Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

 in the territories under their sovereignty.


The war in the Low Countries reached a stalemate in the 1590s. After the fall of Antwerp in 1585, King Philip II
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 ordered Alexander Farnese
Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma
Alexander Farnese was Duke of Parma and Piacenza from 1586 to 1592, and Governor of the Spanish Netherlands from 1578 to 1592.-Biography:...

 to direct his military actions first towards the failed campaign of the Spanish Armada
Spanish Armada
This article refers to the Battle of Gravelines, for the modern navy of Spain, see Spanish NavyThe Spanish Armada was the Spanish fleet that sailed against England under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1588, with the intention of overthrowing Elizabeth I of England to stop English...

, then against France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 to prevent the succession of King Henry IV
Henry IV of France
Henry IV , Henri-Quatre, was King of France from 1589 to 1610 and King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. He was the first monarch of the Bourbon branch of the Capetian dynasty in France....

. In the following years the Army of Flanders
Army of Flanders
The Army of Flanders was a Spanish Habsburg army based in the Netherlands during the 16th to 18th centuries. It was notable for being the longest standing army of the period, being in continuous service from 1567 until its disestablishment in 1706...

 was entirely on the defensive. Unable to sustain the cost of a war on three fronts, Philip II was forced to declare a suspension of payments in 1596. Spain's predicament was adroitly used by Stadtholder
A Stadtholder A Stadtholder A Stadtholder (Dutch: stadhouder [], "steward" or "lieutenant", literally place holder, holding someones place, possibly a calque of German Statthalter, French lieutenant, or Middle Latin locum tenens...

Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange
Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange was sovereign Prince of Orange from 1618, on the death of his eldest half brother, Philip William, Prince of Orange,...

. In a series of campaigns, the Republic's army surprised Breda
Breda is a municipality and a city in the southern part of the Netherlands. The name Breda derived from brede Aa and refers to the confluence of the rivers Mark and Aa. As a fortified city, the city was of strategic military and political significance...

 in 1590, took Deventer
Deventer is a municipality and city in the Salland region of the Dutch province of Overijssel. Deventer is largely situated on the east bank of the river IJssel, but also has a small part of its territory on the west bank. In 2005 the municipality of Bathmen Deventer is a municipality and city in...

, Hulst
Hulst is a municipality and a city in southwestern Netherlands in the east of Zeelandic Flanders.- History :Hulst received city rights in the 12th century....

 and Nijmegen the following year and captured Groningen in 1594. By that stage the Army of Flanders had lost almost all its strategic positions north of the great rivers.

After the accession of Philip III in Spain and of the Archdukes Albert and Isabella in the Habsburg Netherlands in 1598, the Army of Flanders tried to regain the offensive against the Dutch Republic. While it met with a severe tactical defeat in the Battle of Nieuwpoort
Battle of Nieuwpoort
The Battle of Nieuwpoort, between a Dutch army under Maurice of Nassau and Francis Vere and a Spanish army under Albert of Austria, took place on 2 July 1600 near the present-day Belgian city Nieuwpoort.-Campaign:...

 on 2 July 1600, it did succeed in its strategic goal to repel the Dutch invasion of Flanders
County of Flanders
The County of Flanders was one of the territories constituting the Low Countries. The county existed from 862 to 1795. It was one of the original secular fiefs of France and for centuries was one of the most affluent regions in Europe....

. The lengthy Siege of Ostend
Siege of Ostend
The Siege of Ostend was a three-year siege of the city of Ostend during the Eighty Years' War and one of the longest sieges in history. It is remembered as the bloodiest battle of the war, and culminated in a Spanish victory...

 (1601-1604) amply demonstrated the balance of power. Both sides poured enormous resources into the besieging or defending a town that was reduced to rubble. Ambrogio Spinola, who had succeeded Archduke Albert as commander in the field, eventually captured the town on 22 September 1604, but only at the price of accepting the loss of Sluis
Sluis is the name of both a municipality and a town located in the west of Zeelandic Flanders, in the south-western part of the Netherlands....

. The following year, Spinola seized the initiative, bringing the war north of the great rivers for the first time since 1594. Suddenly, the Dutch Republic had the enemy threatening its heartland.

Meanwhile, Habsburg diplomacy had managed to disengage from two fronts. In 1598 Henry IV and Philip II had ended the Franco-Spanish War with the Peace of Vervins
Peace of Vervins
The Peace of Vervins was signed between the representatives of Henry IV of France and Philip II of Spain, on 2 May 1598, at the small town of Vervins in Picardy, northern France, close to the territory of the Habsburg Netherlands...

. Six years later, James I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

, Philip III and the Archdukes concluded the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604) with the Treaty of London. Together, these treatises allowed the Habsburgs to concentrate their resources on the war against the Dutch. They did not however keep the Republic's allies from continuing their material support. Moreover, Habsburg successes in the Low Countries came at a heavy price. In 1605 the Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

 made serious inroads into the Portuguese spice trade, by setting up bases in Moluccas
Maluku Islands
The Maluku Islands are an archipelago that is part of Indonesia, and part of the larger Maritime Southeast Asia region. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone...

.. These advances signaled a serious threat that the conflict might spread further in the Spanish overseas empire. The scale of Spinola's campaigns had furthermore exhausted the Spanish treasury. On 9 November 1607 Philip III announced a suspension of payments. The balance of power had led to a balance of exhaustion. After decades of war, both sides were finally prepared to open negotiations.


The two opposing sides started putting out discrete overtures early in the campaign season of 1606. The contacts were intensified when Albert instructed Father Jan Neyen in March 1607 to seek out the preliminaries that would have to be met for formal negotiations. Raised a Protestant, Neyen had converted to Catholicism and joined the Franciscan Order
The Récollets were a French branch of the Roman Catholic order, the Franciscans , which developed out of a reform movement that began in the 15th century in Spain and established itself in France in Tulle in 1585, at Nevers in 1592, at Limoges in 1596 and in Paris in 1603...

. The move did not however seem to have cost him his longstanding access to Stadtholder Maurits, a fact that made him a valuable intermediary. Under the guise of visiting his mother in the United Provinces, Neyen travelled between Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 and The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

. The States-General
States-General of the Netherlands
The States-General of the Netherlands is the bicameral legislature of the Netherlands, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The parliament meets in at the Binnenhof in The Hague. The archaic Dutch word "staten" originally related to the feudal classes in which medieval...

 of the Republic insisted on a preliminary recognition of their independence, to which Albert consented, be it with significant reservations.

On 12 April 1607 the United Provinces and the Habsburg Netherlands agreed to a ceasefire, valid for eight months and taking effect on 4 May. The ceasefire was later extended to include operations at sea. Even then it was difficult to obtain the assent of Philip III. The king was appalled by Albert's readiness to concede on the point of independence. Only the desperate situation of Spain's finances compelled him to ratify the agreement. The ceasefire would be prolonged several times to allow for the negotiations that would eventually lead to the signing of the Twelve Years' Truce.

The peace conference opened in The Hague on 7 February 1608. The negotiations took place in the Binnenhof
The Binnenhof , is a complex of buildings in The Hague. It has been the location of meetings of the Staten-Generaal, the Dutch parliament, since 1446, and has been the centre of Dutch politics for many centuries....

, in a room that has since been known as the Trêveszaal. As Stadtholder Maurits declined to take part in the conference, the leadership of the delegation of the Republic was given to his cousin William Louis of Nassau
William Louis, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg
William Louis of Nassau-Dillenburg was Count of Nassau-Dillenburg from 1606 to 1620, and stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen, and Drenthe. He was the eldest son of John VI, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg.William Louis served as a cavalry officer under William the Silent...

, the Stadtholder of Friesland
Friesland is a province in the north of the Netherlands and part of the ancient region of Frisia.Until the end of 1996, the province bore Friesland as its official name. In 1997 this Dutch name lost its official status to the Frisian Fryslân...

, Groningen
Groningen (province)
Groningen [] is the northeasternmost province of the Netherlands. In the east it borders the German state of Niedersachsen , in the south Drenthe, in the west Friesland and in the north the Wadden Sea...

 and Drenthe
Drenthe is a province of the Netherlands, located in the north-east of the country. The capital city is Assen. It is bordered by Overijssel to the south, Friesland to the west, Groningen to the north, and Germany to the east.-History:Drenthe, unlike many other parts of the Netherlands, has been a...

. The chief negotiator on the Dutch side was the influential Land's Advocate of Holland
Land's Advocate of Holland
The Land's Advocate of Holland acted as the chairman of the States of Holland. The office started in the early 14th century and ended in 1619, when the title was renamed into Grand Pensionary. He was the speaker of the nobility of Holland and had the first say on a subject during a meeting of the...

, Johan van Oldenbarnevelt. The delegation of the Habsburg Netherlands was led by Ambrogio Spinola. Its leading participant was the Chief-President Jean Richardot
Jean Richardot
Jean Grusset dict Richardot, knight was a statesman and diplomat from the Franche-Comté, who held high political office during the Dutch Revolt and played an important role in restoring Habsburg rule in the Southern Netherlands....

. They were assisted by Neyen, the Secretary of State and War, Don Juan de Mancicidor, and the Audiencier Louis Verreycken. There was no separate delegation for the King of Spain. The delegates of the Archdukes were empowered to negotiate on his behalf.

A number of princes sent delegations to the conference. The French team of mediators was led by the experienced negotiator and president of the Parliament of Burgundy, Pierre Jeannin
Pierre Jeannin
Pierre Jeannin was a French statesman.He was born at Autun. A pupil of the great jurist Jacques Cujas at Bourges, he was an advocate at Dijon by 1569 and became councillor and then president of the parlement of Burgundy. He unsuccessfully opposed the massacre of St Bartholomew in his province...

. The English delegation was headed by the ambassador in The Hague and future Secretary of State
Secretary of State (England)
In the Kingdom of England, the title of Secretary of State came into being near the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I , the usual title before that having been King's Clerk, King's Secretary, or Principal Secretary....

 Ralph Winwood
Ralph Winwood
Sir Ralph Winwood was an English diplomat and politician.-Life:He was born at Aynhoe in Northamptonshire and educated at St John's College, Oxford....

. King Christian IV of Denmark
Christian IV of Denmark
Christian IV was the king of Denmark-Norway from 1588 until his death. With a reign of more than 59 years, he is the longest-reigning monarch of Denmark, and he is frequently remembered as one of the most popular, ambitious and proactive Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects...

 sent his future Chancellor
Chancellor is the title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the Cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the...

 Jacob Ulfeldt. Other mediators represented the Palatinate
Frederick IV, Elector Palatine
Frederick IV, Elector Palatine of the Rhine , only surviving son of Louis VI, Elector Palatine and Elisabeth of Hesse, called "Frederick the Righteous" .-Life:Born in Amberg, his father died in October 1583 and...

, Brandenburg
John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg
John Sigismund was a Prince-elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg from the House of Hohenzollern. He also served as a Duke of Prussia.-Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia:...

, Ansbach
Joachim Ernst, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach
Joachim Ernst, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach was a German nobleman. He ruled as margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach from 1603 to 1625, succeeding his father John George and succeeded by his son Frederick III.- Youth :Joachim Ernst was the son of the elector John George of Brandenburg and his third...

 and Hesse-Kassel
Maurice, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel
-External links:...

. The Elector of Cologne
Ernest of Bavaria
Ernest of Bavaria was Prince-elector-archbishop of the Archbishopric of Cologne from 1583 to 1612 as successor of the expelled Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg. He was also bishop of Münster, Hildesheim, Freising and Liège....

 and the Duke of Jülich and Cleves
John William, Duke of Julich-Cleves-Berg
John William of Jülich-Cleves-Berg was a Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg.His parents were William the Rich, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg and Maria of Austria , a daughter of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and Anna of Bohemia and Hungary. He grew up and was educated in Xanten. John William became...

 sent observers. Most of these delegates left as the conference dragged out, with only the French and English mediators staying on until the end.

The conference failed to come to an agreement on the terms of a peace treaty and it broke up on 25 August. The parties were unable to compromise in matters of colonial trade and religion. To safeguard the Spanish Empire, the Habsburgs demanded that the Dutch would cease all navigation south of the Equator
An equator is the intersection of a sphere's surface with the plane perpendicular to the sphere's axis of rotation and containing the sphere's center of mass....

. It was a price that the mercantile United Provinces refused to pay. The demand inspired Hugo Grotius
Hugo Grotius
Hugo Grotius , also known as Huig de Groot, Hugo Grocio or Hugo de Groot, was a jurist in the Dutch Republic. With Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili he laid the foundations for international law, based on natural law...

 to publish his famous Mare liberum
Mare Liberum
Mare Liberum is a book in Latin on international law written by the Dutch jurist and philosopher Hugo Grotius. In The Free Sea, Grotius formulated the new principle that the sea was international territory and all nations were free to use it for seafaring trade...

 in defense of the Dutch refusal. The United Provinces likewise rejected the Habsburg demand that the Catholics in the Republic would be given freedom of religion as an interference in their domestic affairs. In spite of these setbacks, the French and English mediators nevertheless succeeded to convince the two sides to settle for a lengthy truce. It would preserve the peace, while remaining silent on all contentious subjects. After considering longer and shorter periods, the term of the Truce was set for twelve years.

Formal talks were resumed on 28 March 1609 at the Antwerp City Hall
Antwerp City Hall
The City Hall of Antwerp, Belgium, stands on the western side of Antwerp's Grote Markt . Erected between 1561 and 1565 to the design of Cornelis Floris de Vriendt and several other architects and artists, this Renaissance building incorporates both Flemish and Italian influences.The low arcaded...

. On 9 April the two delegations set their signatures to the text. The ratification process proved difficult. In the Republic, towns such as Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 and Delft
Delft is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland , the Netherlands. It is located between Rotterdam and The Hague....

 feared that the Truce would diminish their trade. The States of Zeeland
Zeeland , also called Zealand in English, is the westernmost province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg. With a population of about 380,000, its area is about...

 resented the loss of income from privateering
A privateer is a private person or ship authorized by a government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping during wartime. Privateering was a way of mobilizing armed ships and sailors without having to spend public money or commit naval officers...

 and insisted on maintaining the blockade
A blockade is an effort to cut off food, supplies, war material or communications from a particular area by force, either in part or totally. A blockade should not be confused with an embargo or sanctions, which are legal barriers to trade, and is distinct from a siege in that a blockade is usually...

 of the Scheldt
The Scheldt is a 350 km long river in northern France, western Belgium and the southwestern part of the Netherlands...

. Philip III had his own reasons to relent. It took several missions from the Archducal Court before he was prepared to ratify the treaty on 7 July 1609.


The Habsburgs agreed to treat the United Provinces like an independent state for the duration of the Truce. The wording of the article was ambiguous. The Dutch version of the agreement stated more or less that the independence of the Republic had been recognized. The French text suggested that the Republic would be treated as if it were independent.

All hostilities would cease for twelve years. The two parties would exercise their sovereignty in the territories that they controlled on the date on the agreement. Their armies would no longer levy contributions in enemy territory, all hostages would be set free. Privateering would be stopped, with both parties repressing acts of piracy
Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator...

 against the other. Trade would resume between the former belligerents. Dutch tradesmen or mariners would be given the same protection in Spain and the Archducal Netherlands as enjoyed by Englishmen under the Treaty of London. This meant that they could not be prosecuted for their beliefs, unless they gave offense to the local population. For their part, the Dutch agreed to end the blockade of the Flemish coast, but refused to allow free navigation on the Scheldt.

Exiles from the Southern Netherlands were allowed to return, but would have to conform to Catholicism. Estates that had been seized during the war would be restituted or their value would be compensated. A number of aristocratic families stood to gain from this article, with Stadtholder Maurits and his siblings foremost among them. The practicalities of the restitution were agreed upon in a separate treaty dated 7 January 1610.

The agreement was silent on the trade with the Indies. It did not endorse the Spanish claim to exclusive rights of navigation, nor did it back the Dutch thesis that it could trade or settle wherever there was no previous occupation by either the Spanish or the Portuguese. The Truce did not alleviate the situation of Catholics in the Republic or of Protestants in the Habsburg Netherlands. Although they were not actively persecuted, they could not profess their religion in public and remained excluded from public office.

Developments in the Dutch Republic

To mark the recognition of the independence of the United Provinces, the States-General added a closed crown
Crown (heraldry)
A Crown is often an emblem of the monarchy, a monarch's government, or items endorsed by it; see The Crown. A specific type of crown is employed in heraldry under strict rules....

 with two arches to their arms. Soon after the Truce, their emissaries in Paris and London were accorded full ambassadorial
An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization....

 status. The Republic established diplomatic ties with the Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

, the Moroccan sultans
Saadi Dynasty
The Saadi dynasty of Morocco , began with the reign of Sultan Mohammed ash-Sheikh in 1554, when he vanquished the last Wattasids at the Battle of Tadla....

 and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. A network of consuls
Consul (representative)
The political title Consul is used for the official representatives of the government of one state in the territory of another, normally acting to assist and protect the citizens of the consul's own country, and to facilitate trade and friendship between the peoples of the two countries...

 was set up in the main ports. On 17 June 1609 France and England had signed a treaty, guaranteeing the independence of the Republic. To protect their interests in the Baltic
Baltic region
The terms Baltic region, Baltic Rim countries, and Baltic Rim refer to slightly different combinations of countries in the general area surrounding the Baltic Sea.- Etymology :...

, the United Provinces signed a defensive pact with the Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

 in 1614 that was designed to protect them against Danish
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...


The Truce did not halt Dutch colonial expansion
Dutch Empire
The Dutch Empire consisted of the overseas territories controlled by the Dutch Republic and later, the modern Netherlands from the 17th to the 20th century. The Dutch followed Portugal and Spain in establishing an overseas colonial empire, but based on military conquest of already-existing...

. The United East India Company established its presence on the island of Solor
Solor is a volcanic island located off the eastern tip of Flores island in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia, in the Solor Archipelago. The island supports a small population that has been whaling for hundreds of years. They speak the languages of Adonara and Lamaholot. There are at least five...

, founded the town of Batavia
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

 on the island of Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

 and gained a foothold on the Coromandel Coast
Coromandel Coast
The Coromandel Coast is the name given to the southeastern coast of the Indian Subcontinent between Cape Comorin and False Divi Point...

 in Pulicat
Pulicat is a historic seashore town in Thiruvallur District, of Tamil Nadu state, South India. It is about 60 km north of Chennai and 3 km from Elavur, on the barrier island of Sriharikota, which separates Pulicat Lake from the Bay of Bengal. Pulicat lake is a shallow salt water lagoon...

. In the New World, the Republic encouraged the colonization of New Netherland
New Netherland
New Netherland, or Nieuw-Nederland in Dutch, was the 17th-century colonial province of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands on the East Coast of North America. The claimed territories were the lands from the Delmarva Peninsula to extreme southwestern Cape Cod...

. The Dutch merchant navy
Merchant Navy
The Merchant Navy is the maritime register of the United Kingdom, and describes the seagoing commercial interests of UK-registered ships and their crews. Merchant Navy vessels fly the Red Ensign and are regulated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency...

 expanded rapidly, asserting itself on new routes, particularly in the Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

. In the mother country, the ports profited from the expansion of trade. A brewing town such as Delft or textile producing centers like Leiden and Gouda
Gouda is a city and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland. Gouda, which was granted city rights in 1272, is famous for its Gouda cheese, smoking pipes, and 15th-century city hall....

 on the other hand, suffered from the competition of goods produced with cheaper wages in the Habsburg Netherlands.

During the Truce, two factions emerged in the Dutch Republic. The divisions separating them were religious as well as political. The unity of the Dutch Reformed Church
Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church was a Reformed Christian denomination in the Netherlands. It existed from the 1570s to 2004, the year it merged with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to form the Protestant Church in the...

 was threatened by a controversy that found its origins in the opposing views of Jacobus Arminius
Jacobus Arminius
Jacobus Arminius , the Latinized name of the Dutch theologian Jakob Hermanszoon from the Protestant Reformation period, served from 1603 as professor in theology at the University of Leiden...

 and Franciscus Gomarus
Franciscus Gomarus
Franciscus Gomarus , was a Dutch theologian, a strict Calvinist and opponent of the teaching of Jacobus Arminius , which was formally judged at the Synod of Dort .-Life:His parents, having embraced the principles of the Reformation, emigrated to the Palatinate in 1578, in order...

 on predestination
Predestination (Calvinism)
The Calvinistic doctrine of predestination is a doctrine of Calvinism which deals with the question of the control God exercises over the world...

. Arminius' less rigid views appealed to the well-to-do merchants of Holland. They were also popular among the regents dominating the political life of that province, because they offered the prospect of an inclusive church controlled by the state. Johan van Oldenbarnevelt and Hugo Grotius were among the principal supporters. The strict interpretations of Gomarus stood for a church of the elect, independent of outside control. They appealed to the industrious strata of the manufacturing towns as well as to exiles from the Southern Netherlands who were excluded from political power, adding an element of social conflict to the controversy. In many towns congregations split between Remonstrants
The Remonstrants are the Dutch Protestants who, after the death of Jacobus Arminius, maintained the views associated with his name. In 1610 they presented to the States of Holland and Friesland a remonstrance in five articles formulating their points of disagreement from Calvinism.-History:The five...

 seeking to moderate the Belgic Confession
Belgic Confession
The Confession of Faith, popularly known as the Belgic Confession, is a doctrinal standard document to which many of the Reformed churches subscribe. The Confession forms part of the Reformed Three Forms of Unity...

, and Counter-Remonstrants insisting on its rigid interpretation. On 23 September 1617 Stadtholder Maurits openly sided with the Counter-Remonstrants. In an attempt to force the issue, Remonstrants used their sway over local authorities to organize militias. Maurits had them disbanded and ousted Remonstrant regents from one town council after the other. On 29 August 1618 he had Oldenbarnevelt and other leaders of the Remonstrants arrested. Oldenbarnevelt and three others were tried and executed. Others, such as Grotius, were imprisoned in Castle Loevestein
Castle Loevestein is a medieval castle built by the knight Dirc Loef van Horne between 1357 and 1397....

. Meanwhile the Synod of Dort
Synod of Dort
The Synod of Dort was a National Synod held in Dordrecht in 1618-1619, by the Dutch Reformed Church, to settle a divisive controversy initiated by the rise of Arminianism. The first meeting was on November 13, 1618, and the final meeting, the 154th, was on May 9, 1619...

 upheld the strict interpretation of predestination and declared Arminianism
Arminianism is a school of soteriological thought within Protestant Christianity based on the theological ideas of the Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius and his historic followers, the Remonstrants...

 heretical. Arminian theologians such as Johannes Wtenbogaert
Johannes Wtenbogaert
Johannes Wtenbogaert was a Dutch Protestant minister, a leader of the Remonstrants.-Life:Born at Utrecht, he was brought up a Roman Catholic, and attended the school of St. Jerome there. He intended a legal career, but gave it up from 1578 with Catholicism when required to cease hearing the...

 went into exile, where they set up a separate Remonstrant Church
The Remonstrants are the Dutch Protestants who, after the death of Jacobus Arminius, maintained the views associated with his name. In 1610 they presented to the States of Holland and Friesland a remonstrance in five articles formulating their points of disagreement from Calvinism.-History:The five...


Developments in the Archducal Netherlands

The Archducal Netherlands benefited from the Truce. Agriculture was at last allowed to recover from the devastation of war. The archducal regime encouraged the reclaiming of land that had been inundated in the course of the hostilities and sponsored the impoldering of the Moeren
Les Moëres
De Moeren or Les Moëres are a marshy region in the Westhoek, politically divided between the French-Belgian border. At one time the area was inhabited by the Gallic people known as the Morini; they are believed to have lent their name to the territory.For many centuries, beginning around 800,...

, a marshy area that is presently astride the Belgian–French border. The recovery of agriculture led in turn to a modest increase of the population after decades of demographic losses. Repairing the damage to churches and other buildings helped to boost demand. Industry and in particular the luxury trades likewise underwent a recovery. Other sectors, such as textiles and breweries, benefited from relatively lower wages in comparison to the Dutch Republic. International trade was however hampered by the closure of the river Scheldt. The archducal regime had plans to bypass the blockade with a system of canals linking Ostend via Bruges to the Scheldt in Ghent and joining the Meuse to the Rhine between Venlo
Venlo is a municipality and a city in the southeastern Netherlands, next to the German border. It is situated in the province of Limburg.In 2001, the municipalities of Belfeld and Tegelen were merged into the municipality of Venlo. Tegelen was originally part of the Duchy of Jülich centuries ago,...

 and Rheinberg
Rheinberg is a town in the district of Wesel, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is situated on the left bank of the Rhine, approx. north of Moers and south of Wesel....

. In order to combat urban poverty, the government supported the creation of a network of Monti di Pietà
Mont de Piété
A mount of piety was an institutional pawnbroker run as a charity in Europe from the later Middle Ages times to the 20th century, more often referred to in English by the relevant local term , such as monte di pietà , mont de piété , or monte de piedad...

 based on the Italian model.

Meanwhile the archducal regime ensured the triumph of the Counter Reformation in the Habsburg Netherlands. Most Protestants had by that stage left the Southern Netherlands. Under the terms of legislation passed shortly after the Truce, the remaining Protestant presence was tolerated, provided they did not worship in public. Engaging in religious debates was also forbidden by law. The resolutions of the Third Provincial Council of Mechelen of 1607 were likewise given official sanction. Through such measures and by the appointment of a generation of able and committed bishops, Albert and Isabella laid the foundation of the catholic confessionalisation of the population.

Resumption of hostilities

More than once it looked as if the Truce was about to collapse. The succession crisis
War of the Jülich Succession
The War of the Jülich Succession was a conflict that began in 1609 and ended in 1614 with the signing of the Treaty of Xanten.-Background:...

 over the duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg resulted in severe tensions during the siege of Jülich
Jülich is a town in the district of Düren, in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Jülich is well known as location of a world-famous research centre, the Forschungszentrum Jülich and as shortwave transmission site of Deutsche Welle...

 of 1610 and the confrontations that led to the Treaty of Xanten
Treaty of Xanten
The Treaty of Xanten was signed in the Lower Rhine town of Xanten on November 12, 1614 between Wolfgang William, Duke of Palatinate-Neuburg and John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg, with representatives from England and France serving as mediators....

 in 1614.

Petrus Peckius the Younger led a failed attempt at renewing the truce in 1621.