Siege of Haarlem

Siege Of Haarlem

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Siege of Haarlem

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The siege of Haarlem was an episode of the Eighty Years' War. From December 11, 1572 to July 13, 1573 an army of Philip II of Spain laid bloody siege to the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands, whose loyalties had begun wavering during the previous summer. After the naval battle of Haarlemmermeer and the defeat of a land relief force, the starving city surrendered and the garrison was massacred. The resistance nonetheless was taken as an heroic example by the Orangists at the sieges of Alkmaar and Leiden.

Pretext

The city of Haarlem had a moderate view in the religious war that was going on in the Netherlands at that time. The city managed to escape from the Reformed iconoclasm in 1566 that affected other cities in the Netherlands. When the city of Brielle was conquered by the Geuzen revolutionary army on April 1, the Haarlem municipality did not immediately start supporting the Geuzen. Initially, most city administrators -- unlike many citizens -- did not favor open revolution against Philip II of Spain, who had inherited rule of the Netherlands from his father, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. However, after much political debate the city officially turned against Philip II on July 4, 1572.

The ruler of Spain was not pleased, and sent an army up north under command of Don Fadrique (Don Frederick in Dutch), son of the Duke of Alva. On November 17, 1572 all citizens of the city of Zutphen were murdered by the Spanish army, and on December 1 the city of Naarden...
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