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Synod of Dort Part 4: Revolution in the Netherlands

After so many years of persecution, men from the Calvinists, Anabaptists, and other Protestant branches decided to begin to fight back. They had appealed to Philip II with the plea that included the Belgic Confession to stop the persecution, but he hadn’t listened. It looked like the Reformation might be wiped out of the Netherlands if the people didn’t fight back.

In 1566, groups of the more militant of these men attacked Catholic churches and destroyed the images of saints and the crucifix in what is called the Beeldenstorm or Iconoclastic Fury, which means a storm against images.

As the rebellion grew, William the Silent, Prince of Orange, emerged as a leader. He had gained favor with Philip II at the court in the Netherlands and had been made the stadtholder of the provinces of Holland, Zeeland, and Utrecht. As the persecution had been building, he had protested the violence. Eventually, he converted to Calvinism.

In 1566, William the Silent rallied the other stadtholders to revolt against Philip II. Some fought because they wanted freedom to worship. Others fought because they didn’t want to be ruled by Spain any longer.

Revolution had begun in the Netherlands.