During the mid 1500s, the Protestant Preachers in Netherland had won many converts among the Dutch. The Dutch resented Philip II because he devoted most of his attention on Spain. This agitated Philip II who detested the Protestant teachings with a fervour, just like his father Charles V did previously. Thus, Philip II ordered officials to enforce harsh laws against the Protestants. This eventually led to the Dutch revolt as it further increased the Dutch’s discontentment for Philip II. When the revolt broke out, the Protestants went on a rampage and stormed the Catholic Churches.
Once there, they broke stained glass windows and statues of saints, leaving a path of destruction behind them. Word got around and soon Philip II found out about these attacks. In retaliation, he sent Spanish troops to subdue the region by seizing Dutch property and imposing harsh taxes on the people, thus severely affecting the Dutch’s trade. However, after the war with Spain, the Dutch came out as a leading commercial power, with better ships than any other nation. As a result, they started to dominate the seaborne trade in Europe and overseas.
After gaining independence, they were officially known as the Dutch Netherland.