Ghent, Pacification of


Ghent, Pacification of

(Nov. 8, 1576) Declaration by which the northern and southern provinces of the Low Countries put aside their religious differences and united in revolt against the Spanish Habsburgs. As the first major expression of national consciousness in the Netherlands, it called for the expulsion of Spanish troops from the Low Countries, the restoration of provincial and local prerogatives, and an end to the persecution of Calvinists. The Spanish governor soon resumed hostilities, however, and religious differences within the region caused a split in 1579 between the Calvinist north (the Union of Utrecht) and the Catholic south (the Union of Arras). The general union ended in 1584.

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