Philip III (king of Spain, Naples, and Sicily)

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Philip III (king of Spain, Naples, and Sicily)

Philip III, 1578–1621, king of Spain, Naples, and Sicily (1598–1621) and, as Philip II, king of Portugal (1598–1621); son and successor of Philip II of Spain. He was as pious as his father, but lacked his intelligence and capacity for work. Preferring to pursue his own pleasure, Philip left the actual government to his favorite, the duque de Lerma. Peace had been made with France by the Treaty of Vervins (1598) shortly before Philip III's accession. Peace with England followed in 1604, and in 1609 a 12-year truce was made with the United Provinces of the Netherlands. In Italy, however, Spain was involved in war (1615–17) with Savoy over Montferrat and in clashes with Venice. In 1620, Spain entered the Thirty Years War by sending troops into the Palatinate. The Spanish occupation of the Valtellina in the same year also led (1622) to war with France. Philip's reign saw a growing decline in Spain's economy, partly as a result of the expulsion (1609–14) of the Moriscos, while the grandees accumulated huge estates and the church prospered. Yet Spanish culture was in the midst of a glorious period which gave the world Cervantes, Lope de Vega, El Greco, and Zurbarán. Philip III was succeeded by his son, Philip IV. His daughter, Anne of Austria, married Louis XIII of France.

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