Philip II of Spain

By Katie Leger

Basic Biography

Born: May 21, 1527

Died: September 13, 1598

Date of Reign: 1556-1598

Location: Spain

Family name: Hapsburg Family

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Philip II of Spain was an absolute monarch. His dad was Charles V, a great monarch, and his mother was Isabella of Portugal. He was born in Spain on May 21, 1527. He had four other siblings. Philip started ruling in 1556 and stopped in 1598. Philip II conquered Spain in 1580 while he was in power which was one of his greatest achievements. Later in life Philip II was married to five different women ( Maria Manuela Princess of Portugal, Mary Tudor of England, Princess Elisabeth of Valois and Archduchess Anna of Austria) and ended up having four children. Philip II ruled Spain from 1556 until 1598 and then died on September 13, 1598.

Hapsburg Family

The Hapsburg family was a crucial part on how Spain came to be. It was an European family that controlled all of Europe. In 1556 Charles V divided the empire into multiple parts and left them to different family members He gave lands in central Europe to his brother, Ferdinard. He gave Spain to his son, Philip II.

Purpose of Marriage

Philip II didn't marry for love. He married for many reasons, money, land, power, to spread religion and to expand his empire. When he married Mary Tudor she was the queen of England at the time. In his mind hew thought marrying her would make him in charge of controlling England and Spain until he died which wasn't the case. When Mary Tudor died Philip II didn't get England the next one in line on Mary's side did. Philip also loved god and religion so he would marry for religion too. In his mind he was making all the right choices because he just kept getting what he wanted but the one thing he was missing was love.

Approach to Government

Philip believed in having a very large empire, he was an absolute monarch. He wanted to know what was going on in Spain no matter how small or how large. Philip II would also change his mind frequently which in some cases lead to problems when discussing Government problems. Philip II was a great leader and a very powerful monarch, he did many great things for Spain but also harmed them. In 1588 Philip attempted to take over England and failed, this event was called the Spanish Armada.


Philip II had many amazing achievements during his time being king. His first achievement was in 1580 when he conquered Spain. His next achievement was in 1557 when they defeated the French forces in St. Quen. This was a great achievement for Spain. Philip's last major achievement was when they beat the Ottoman Turks at Lepanto.

Policies Put into Place

The foreign policy was used to defeat the Turk Turks at Lepanto but failed when it came to the Spanish Armada. This policy had a lot of religion involved.The domestic policy was put into place when Spain went bankrupt and tried to get money from the Americas but failed.