Act of Abjurationwikipedia
The Act of Abjuration (Plakkaat van Verlatinghe, literally 'placard of abjuration') is the declaration of independence by many of the provinces of the Netherlands from the allegiance to Philip II of Spain, during the Dutch Revolt.
Plakkaat van VerlatinghePlakkaat van Verlatinghe (Act of Abjuration)declaration of independenceproclaim the independencefull independencedeclared itself independentDutch declaration of independence of 1581proclamationabjured1581 declaration

Philip II of Spain

Philip IIKing Philip IIPhilip
The Act of Abjuration (Plakkaat van Verlatinghe, literally 'placard of abjuration') is the declaration of independence by many of the provinces of the Netherlands from the allegiance to Philip II of Spain, during the Dutch Revolt.
This was partly the cause of the declaration of independence that created the Dutch Republic in 1581.

States General of the Netherlands

States GeneralStates-GeneralDutch parliament
Signed on 26 July 1581 in The Hague, the Act formally confirmed a decision made by the States General of the Netherlands in Antwerp four days earlier. But this actually meant that he assumed the feudal title of each individual province, as Duke of Brabant, Count of Holland etc. There never was a single, unified state of the Netherlands, though the provinces were all represented in the States General of the Netherlands, since the Great Charter or Privilege of Mary of Burgundy of 10 February 1477.
After the Act of Abjuration in 1581 the northern States General replaced Philip II as the supreme authority of the northern Netherlands, which then became known as the United Provinces.

Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor

MatthiasMatthias IIArchduke Matthias
When Don Juan attacked Antwerp and Namur in 1577, the States General, as the provincial estates did with the non-royalist stadtholders, appointed Archduke Matthias, Philip's nephew, as viceroy, without Philip's consent.
Matthias continued as titular governor for the rebels until they deposed Philip II and declared full independence in 1581, at which point he returned home to Austria.

Dutch Revolt

Dutch rebelsEighty Years' WarDutch revolt
The Act of Abjuration (Plakkaat van Verlatinghe, literally 'placard of abjuration') is the declaration of independence by many of the provinces of the Netherlands from the allegiance to Philip II of Spain, during the Dutch Revolt.
The States-General issued the Act of Abjuration, which declared that the King of Spain had not upheld his responsibilities to the people of the Netherlands and therefore would no longer be accepted as the rightful sovereign.

Declaration of independence

declaration of independencedeclared independencedeclaraing
The Act of Abjuration (Plakkaat van Verlatinghe, literally 'placard of abjuration') is the declaration of independence by many of the provinces of the Netherlands from the allegiance to Philip II of Spain, during the Dutch Revolt.

States of Brabant

A committee of four members – Andries Hessels, greffier (secretary) of the States of Brabant; Jacques Tayaert, pensionary of the city of Ghent; Jacob Valcke, pensionary of the city of Ter Goes (now Goes); and Pieter van Dieven (also known as Petrus Divaeus), pensionary of the city of Mechelen – was charged with drafting what was to become the Act of Abjuration.
In 1579 and 1580, during the Eighty Years' War, most cities and States of Brabant joined Dutch independence declaration (Union of Utrecht and Act of Abjuration), but Spanish troops reconquered most of the territory of the duchy and restored Spanish Catholic rule (except for North Brabant.

William the Silent

William of OrangePrince of OrangeWilliam the Silent
William the Silent, the leader of the Dutch Revolt, therefore decided that the rebellious Netherlands should look for an overlord who could bring useful foreign allies.
On 22 July 1581, the Staten Generaal declared that they no longer recognised Philip II of Spain as their ruler, in the Act of Abjuration.

Habsburg Netherlands

NetherlandsFlemishHabsburg
The Seventeen Provinces of the Habsburg Netherlands were united in a personal union by Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain Charles V with the incorporation of the duchy of Guelders in his Burgundian territories in 1544.
In 1579 the northern provinces established the Protestant Union of Utrecht, in which they declared themselves independent as the Seven United Provinces by the 1581 Act of Abjuration.

Union of Utrecht

Utrecht UnionUnited Provinces1579 Treaty of Utrecht
It declared that all magistrates in the provinces making up the Union of Utrecht were freed from their oaths of allegiance to their lord, Philip, who was also King of Spain.
However, the Union contributed to the deterioration in the relationship between the provinces and their lord, and in 1581 the United Provinces declared their independence of the king in the Act of Abjuration.

Stadtholder

stadtholderstadholderstadhouder
At first they pretended just to have revolted against his viceroys, successively the Duke of Alba, Luis de Zúñiga y Requesens, John of Austria, and the Duke of Parma, while the stadtholders appointed by the provincial estates continued to pretend they represented Philip.
When, in 1581, during the Dutch Revolt, most of the Dutch provinces declared their independence with the Act of Abjuration, the representative function of the stadtholder became obsolete in the rebellious northern Netherlands – the feudal lord himself having been abolished – but the office nevertheless continued in these provinces who now united themselves into the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands.

Abjuration

abjurationabjureoath of abjuration
The Act of Abjuration (Plakkaat van Verlatinghe, literally 'placard of abjuration') is the declaration of independence by many of the provinces of the Netherlands from the allegiance to Philip II of Spain, during the Dutch Revolt.
Another famous abjuration was brought about by the Plakkaat van Verlatinghe of July 26, 1581, the formal declaration of independence of the Low Countries from the Spanish king, Philip II.

Dutch Republic

United ProvincesDutchNetherlands
This was followed in 1581 by the Act of Abjuration, the declaration of independence of the provinces from Philip II.

United States Declaration of Independence

Declaration of IndependenceindependenceAmerican Declaration of Independence
This form, to which the American Declaration of Independence bears striking resemblance, has given rise to speculations that Thomas Jefferson, when he was writing the latter, was at least partly inspired by the Act of Abjuration.
The Scottish Declaration of Arbroath (1320) and the Dutch Act of Abjuration (1581) have also been offered as models for Jefferson's Declaration, but these models are now accepted by few scholars.

Guelders

GueldersDuchy of GueldersGelderland
The Seventeen Provinces of the Habsburg Netherlands were united in a personal union by Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain Charles V with the incorporation of the duchy of Guelders in his Burgundian territories in 1544. In order of appearance, these provinces are mentioned in the declaration: the Duchies of Brabant and Guelders, the Counties of Flanders, Holland and Zeeland, and the Lordships of Frisia, Mechelen and Utrecht.
When the Netherlands revolted against King Philip II of Spain in the Dutch Revolt, the three northern quarters of Gelderland joined the Union of Utrecht and became part of the United Provinces upon the 1581 Act of Abjuration, while only the Upper Quarter remained a part of the Spanish Netherlands.

County of Holland

Hollandcounty of HollandCount of Holland
But this actually meant that he assumed the feudal title of each individual province, as Duke of Brabant, Count of Holland etc. There never was a single, unified state of the Netherlands, though the provinces were all represented in the States General of the Netherlands, since the Great Charter or Privilege of Mary of Burgundy of 10 February 1477. In order of appearance, these provinces are mentioned in the declaration: the Duchies of Brabant and Guelders, the Counties of Flanders, Holland and Zeeland, and the Lordships of Frisia, Mechelen and Utrecht.
The States General of the Netherlands signed the Act of Abjuration, deposing Philip as Count of Holland and forming a confederation between the seven liberated provinces.

Seventeen Provinces

NetherlandsDutch provinceLow Countries
The Seventeen Provinces of the Habsburg Netherlands were united in a personal union by Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain Charles V with the incorporation of the duchy of Guelders in his Burgundian territories in 1544.

County of Flanders

FlandersFlemishcounty of Flanders
In order of appearance, these provinces are mentioned in the declaration: the Duchies of Brabant and Guelders, the Counties of Flanders, Holland and Zeeland, and the Lordships of Frisia, Mechelen and Utrecht.
Originally Flanders cooperated with the northern provinces as a member of the Union of Utrecht, and also signed the Act of Abjuration in 1581, but from 1579 to 1585, in the period known as the "Ghent (Calvinist) Republic", it was reconquered by the Spanish army.

Politics and government of the Dutch Republic

politics and governmentPoliticStates of HollandPolitics and ggovernment
When several provinces and cities in rebellion against Philip II of Spain declared themselves independent in 1581 with the Act of Abjuration, they initially aspired to appoint another prince as head of state.

List of Dutch noble families

Dutch noble familyDutch nobilityone hundred Dutch baronial families
In 1581, representatives of the Seven Provinces abjured Philip II of Spain, heir of the Dukes of Burgundy.

First Stadtholderless Period

1650-1672
Even when independence from the King of Spain was declared with the Act of Abjuration there was no reason to change anything: the act simply declared that henceforth the magistrates, amongst whom the stadtholders, would hold their commissions from the from now on sovereign provincial states (there was no stadtholder on the federal level).

List of ambassadors of Spain to the Netherlands

Ambassador to the Netherlands
The Netherlands were part of the Spanish Monarchy until 1581, during the Dutch Revolt, when a number of provinces issued the Act of Abjuration repudiating Philip II of Spain.

Dutch Empire

DutchDutch coloniesDutch colony
Led by William of Orange, independence was declared in the 1581 Act of Abjuration.

Republicanism in the Netherlands

republicanrepublicanismDutch republican
Discontented with the hereditary system of allocating posts, the decline of the Dutch East India Company's Asian trade, unemployment in the textile industry and the desire of democratisation, the middle and upper classes looked towards the American Revolution and its Declaration of Independence and the Dutch Act of Abjuration and began to reclaim their rights (first written down in the 1579 Union of Utrecht).