The Dutch Revolt, a long and terrible war between Spain and the Netherlands, was from 1568-1648. There were several reasons why the Dutch fought for their independence, but the major one was that King Philip II of Spain was a tyrannical ruler imposing his own beliefs upon the country. The Dutch Revolt started because Philip, ruling as an absolute monarch, had sent the cruel Duke of Alba to put down any resistance.
He had also enlarged the inquisition, enforced merciless punishments upon Protestants, and did not allow the freedom of worship. This forced the Dutch to rise up and take the stand for their God given rights. They were lead by William the Silent until his assassination in 1584. After eighty long years the Dutch finally won their freedom and the Dutch Republic emerged. Because of the Dutch Republic’s prosperity the ‘demonstration effect’ took place, which basically meant that other nations tried to imitate the Dutch. They imitated the Dutch because they were successful. This was due to the fact that they had no monarch, property rights were protected, the rule of law was enforced, there was intellectual freedom, the economy was prosperous, and there were religious freedoms.