Pax Hispanica

The Pax Hispanica (Latin for "Spanish Peace") refers to a period of twenty-three years from 1598 to 1621, when Spain disengaged from the European wars of religion that afflicted Europe during the previous century. Peace was signed with the Kingdom of France, the Kingdom of England, and the Dutch United Provinces.[1]

The Spanish Empire in 1598

Peace was achieved by several treaties:

Spain, the foremost great power of the time, had been mired in conflicts with the Dutch since the reign of Philip II.

In 1579 the Dutch founded the Utrecht Union, after the reconquest by Spain of many territories in the Dutch provinces by Alexander Farnese.

The following year, the Spanish Monarchy achieved, for the first time since the Muslim conquest, the territorial unity of the Iberian Peninsula through a personal union with the Kingdom of Portugal, thus creating the Iberian Union (1580–1640). After capturing Ostend from Spinola, the Dutch continued their rebellion, finally achieving the independence during the reign of Philip III of Spain.

After this, Spain held the peace in Europe for nine more years, when the Twelve Years' Truce ended. The peace ended when Spain got involved with the Thirty Years' War as Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor was compelled to call on his nephew, King Philip IV of Spain, for assistance.


  1. ^ Elliott, John Huxtable (1963). Imperial Spain 1469–1716. Edward Arnold. p. 317.


  • Paul C. Allen (2000). Philip III and the Pax Hispanica, 1598–1621: The Failure of Grand Strategy. Yale University Press.