For those of you who don't want to read the entire node a summary can be gleaned by reading the bold sections. Like this? Hate this? /msg Great Neb and tell me.

Philip II, King of Spain

Philip II succeeded his father, Charles V as King of Spain. With this title came lands in the Netherlands, Milan, Sicily, Naples and the New World. Philip was groomed for sovereignty from an early age and had extensive experience of ruling when he inherited the throne in 1556 due to his father's abdication. This was in stark opposition to his father's inexperience and youth upon his ascension. However despite this apparent advantage combined with his greatly diminished responsibility - Charles V gave the Holy Roman Empire and the Habsburg lands to his brother Ferdinand of Habsburg - Philip failed to prevent the loss of the Netherlands to Calvinist rebels or to take advantage of French weakness during his reign. He did manage to annex Portugal in 1580 and he continued to expand Spanish control in the New World. Philip's biggest problem was money and he went bankrupt four times during his reign.

Philip was the subject of much malignment through the Black Legend, a series of writings designed to discredit their Catholic opponents. These works are exaggerated and best and completely untrue at worst. Known as El Prudente in his native Spain he had nothing of the wild hatred of heretics that he is accused of harboring. He was a cautious, perhaps over cautious, planner and thinker who considered all things carefully before making a decision.

   Isabella = Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, Charles I of Spain 
of Portugal | of Habsburg   
  (1503-39) | (1500-58)
    Philip II, King of Spain = (1)Maria       = (2)Mary Tudor = (3)Elizabeth = (4)Anne 
                    of Habsburg |    of Portugal |    of England |    of Valois |    of Austria
                      (1527-98) |    (1527-45)   X    (1516-58)  |    (1545-68) |    (1549-80) 
                                |         _______________________|              |  
                                |        |            |                         |
                          Don Carlos     |         Catalina = Charles Philibert |                     
                          of Habsburg    |      of Habsburg | of Savoy          |
                          (1545-68)      |      (1567-1597) | (1562-1630)       |
                                         |                  |                   |
                                    Isabella = Albert       |                   |
                                 of Habsburg | of Habsburg                |
                                 (1566-1633) X (1559-1621)                      |
                             |            |               |            |            |
                         Ferdinand     Carlos Lorenzo   Diego        Philip III   Maria
                         of Habsburg   of Habsburg      of Habsburg  of Habsburg  of Habsburg
                         (1571-78)     (1573-75)        (1575-82)    (1578-1621)  (1580-83)
X denotes died without issue

His Early Life

Philip was born in Valladolid on 21 May 1527, the first son of Isabella of Portugal and Charles V. Much like his parents he was, according to the Venetian ambassador, Paolo Tiepolo, "slight of stature and round-faced with very pale blue eyes, somewhat prominent lips and pink skin". He also possessed the distinctive Habsburg chin that was large and stuck out. His early education primarily fell to Martinez Siliceo and Bartholomé de Carranze and other specialist scholars. It soon became clear that, as G Woodward puts it, "Philip was an aesthete, not an athlete".

Charles intended to groom his son for kingship from an early age and at twelve Philip attended council meetings. At sixteen Philip became Regent of Spain and in his twenties he travelled to Milan, the Holy Roman Empire, the Netherlands and England. In 1543 he married his cousin, Maria of Portugal but she died only two years later with birth of his first son Don Carlos. During the next decade Philip continued to play a major part in ruling his father's dominions throughout Europe. In 1554 Philip married Mary Tudor, Queen of England. The marriage was purely political and Mary was ten years Philip's senior. Philip himself did not care for Mary in the slightest and could not stand to spend time with her, for her part Mary was obsessed with him.

Philip and Religion

For Philip the Church and his Catholic faith was the centre of his life. No decision could be made without consulting his spiritual advisers and when looking at his decisions one must bare in mind the key part that his faith played in his choices. Philip was extremely pious from an early age, inspired by his mother, Isabella of Portugal. He attended mass daily throughout his life and his great palace El Escorial was also a Jeronimite monastary. Most importantly God's omniscience meant that events were always as He desired them and could be no other way. When his advisers questioned his plans or opinions in even the most respectful way he would often fall back on an argument of God's will.

Philip saw himself as God's tool on earth and he believed he had been given a mission by God. This messianic imperialism often annoyed his advisers and as the Duke of Parma remarked in 1586,

"One day God will grow tired of working miracles for us"
Nevertheless religion continued to be the driving force in many of Philip's decisions, "The cause of religion must take precedence over everything" - Philip II 1591. His wars against England, France, the Dutch rebels and the Turks all had religious motivations behind them. Despite this as G Parker points out,
"It happened that these goals [religious ones] coincided with Philip's perception of Spain's political interests, and this congruence 'between God's service and mine' no doubt played a part in his numerous decisions to go to war"
Religion remained the cornerstone of Philip's policy making and often presented problems when war could no longer be sustained and a peace agreement needed to be reached. He would not compromise over religion, stating in 1566 to the Pope,
"I would rather lose all my lands and a hundred lives if I had them because I do not propose to be a ruler over heretics"

Philip: A Bureaucrat

Philip was one of the first monarchs to have to deal with the huge increase in information that occurred during the 16th century. Communications from all over his vast empire would be supplemented by a huge number of domestic issues that were now dealt with centrally under Philip's extremely centralised government. On top of this all ambassadors and Spanish contacts at foreign contacts at the European courts would send information to Philip and his government. Philip insisted on reading all of this information personally and making a decision himself. This became one of his most significant problems with governing his empire, his inability to delegate.

Philip continued to use the concilliar system of his father, Charles V, to govern where possible. This consisted of a number of councils as follows:

         |          | 
         | The King |
              |   Councils       |  Councils     |
              |                  |               |      
        ______|_______     ______|______     ____|_____     ________
       |              |   |             |   |          |   |        |
       | Council of   |   | Inquisition |   | Castile  |___| Indies |
       | State (1522) |   | (1483)      |   | (1480)   |   | (1524) |
       |______________|   |_____________|   |__________|   |________|
              |                  |               |
        ______|_______     ______|______     ____|_____     ________
       |              |   |             |   |          |   |        |
       | Council of   |   | Military    |   | Aragon   |___| Italy  |
       | War (1517)   |   | Orders 1495 |   | (1481)   |   | (1555) |
       |______________|   |_____________|   |__________|   |________|
                                 |               |
                           ______|______     ____|_____ 
                          |             |   |          |
                          | Cruxada     |   | Portugal |
                          | (1509)      |   | (1582)   |
                          |_____________|   |__________|
                                 |               |
                           ______|______     ____|_____
                          |             |   |          |
                          | Finance     |   | Flanders |
                          | (1523)      |   | (1588)   |
                          |_____________|   |__________|

Note: The dates are the foundation dates of the individual councils

The Council of State was the supreme council along with the Council of War and together they governed the Empire, subordinate only to Philip. The remaining councils dealt with their own specific area as is implied by their names with the Cruxada dealing with Crusades. Additional councils could be set up to deal with specific issues, such as the Armada.

Philip rarely sat in on the Council of State but did attend the Council of Castile once a week. He insisted that all councils report all their meetings to him on paper. He considered personal meetings inefficient and unproductive. The Spanish court was traditionally conducted on an aural basis and so this often irritated those at court, with Don Luis Manrique, the King's Almoner, angrily remarking,

"God did not send Your Majesty and all the other Kings to spend their time on earth so that they could hide themselves away reading and writing, or even meditating or praying."
This policy of micro-management meant that above all, each decision took a very long time, as Pope Pius V lamented,
"Your Majesty spends so long considering your undertakings that when the moment to perform them comes the occasion has passed and the money has been spent."
Or as Cardinal Granvelle put it
"If death came from Spain, I should be immortal"

The Legacy of Charles V

Charles mortgaged the future for the sake of the present

Philip's father, Charles V had ruled over a huge European Empire comprising of Spain, parts of Italy, the Netherlands and the Holy Roman Empire. He had experienced great troubles in attempting to govern such a huge area, so spread throughout Europe. As he neared the end of his reign he decided to divide his territories and his son Philip was to inherit Spain, her territories in the New World and Italy and the Netherlands. Charles left his son a number of pieces of advice including writing a "manual", often referred to as his 'Political Testament' for government that instructed Philip in the ways of ruling and contained Charles' thoughts on the most troublesome areas of his empire. As later as 1600 the Spanish ambassador in Savoy reminded his sovereign of "what His Majesty the emperor said in the instructions that he gave the later king our lord Philip II" and suggested that its strategic analysis still held good.

Philip himself clearly valued these pieces of advice, as he told a councillor in 1559:

"I remember a lesson that His Majesty [Charles] taught me very many years ago and things have gone well for me when I followed it and very badly when I did not"
Charles' Political Testament is often considered to be an extremely shrewd summary of the political problems likely to face Philip during his reign. Here are some extracts:
"Common sense and experience show that unless you watch and take the trouble to understand the actions of other states and rulers, and maintain friends and informants in all areas, it will be difficult if not impossible to live in peace, or to avoid, oppose, and remedy anything that is attempted against you and your possessions...especially since (as I have already noted) they are separated from another, and the object of envy."
"Avoiding war and keeping it at bay is not always in the power of those who want it...especially of those who rule realms as great and as numerous and as far-flung as God, in His goodness, has given me and which, if He pleases, I shall leave to you. Rather this depends on the good or ill will of neighbours and other states."
Both these points succinctly summarise some of the difficulties that Charles faced and that Philip was to face. While Philip was not such an obvious subject for jealousy as Charles (not possessing the Holy Roman Empire) he was still the most powerful European monarch and on many occasions natural allies would oppose him fearing an increase in Spain's power. Both quotes emphasise the troubles of that the geographical location of Philip's territories would cause him.
"The preservation, peace and grandeur of Spain depends on the affairs of Italy being well ordered"
Philip was able to gain almost entire control of large parts of Italy at the beginning of his reign following his defeat of the French. This, combined with the weak divided nature of the French nation throughout the latter part of the 16th century, gave him the required well ordered affairs in Italy. This proved of some advantage when attacking the Turks and in maintaining access to his lands in the Netherlands.
"Your treasury will be in such a state [when you succeed me] that it will give you a lot of trouble"
This was certainly an accurate appraisal, if a little obvious and he proceeded to recommend,
"Attend closely to finances and learn to understand the problems involved."
However, as G. Woodward points out "neither Charles nor Philip paid much attention to this aphorism" and in this perhaps lay Philip's downfall and with it the downfall of Spain.

Ascension of Philip and Defeat of France

On 22 October 1555 Charles V abdicated in the Netherlands and ceded his territories there to Philip II. This was followed on 16 Jan 1556 with the abdication of Charles V in Spain and Philip's ascension. Philip now ruled over the Netherlands, Spain and all Spain's territories including those in the New World. He had inherited his father's mantle of the most powerful monarch in Europe. Only one man could challenge him - Suleiman the Magnificent, Ottoman Sultan. The Ottoman Turks had been steadily encroaching on the Austrian Habsburg lands throughout his father's reign and now they were to challenge him in the Mediterranean.

Philip inherited a war from Charles V that had started in 1550 and was to continue to 1578. This battle was vital to Spain as many Spaniards saw the Mediterranean as Spain's true sphere of influence. However in the 1550s Tripoli, Peñón de Vélez and Bougie fell to the Turks and Philip knew that if the coast of Africa became Turkish communications with Naples and Sicily (both Spanish territories) would be seriously threatened. Despite this threat Philip's primary concern when he came to power was France.

The Valois kings of France and the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperors had been enemies for decades and Philip now had to deal with this rivalry. Italy and the Netherlands had traditionally been the battle grounds for the Valois/Habsburgs conflicts. Inheriting his father's conflict in Italy Philip sent Alva at the head of a 12,000 strong army to threaten the Pope into peace. The army proved a suitably persuasive tool and while Francis, Duke of Guise suffered defeat at Civitella the Pope was forced to capitulate. Philip's clement terms for the Papacy in the subsequent peace treaty won him the support of all major states in Italy.

A number of skirmishes followed in the next two years but neither Henry II of France nor Philip II could afford to continue the costly war and peace talks got underway at Câteau-Cambrésis. The talks proved successful for Philip. He had to sacrifice Calais (as King of England he had a claim to it) but he retained Savoy and all of the Italian states. To seal the treaty Philip married Elizabeth of Valois, Henry's daughter.

With France now dealt with Philip was free to concentrate on the Mediterranean. In 1560 his fleet sailed out only to be defeated by the Turks and eight galleys and 10,000 men were captured. Philip busied himself assembling a large fleet and in 1564 a Spanish fleet recaptured Peñón de Vélez and in September 1565 Spanish vessels lifted the siege of Malta.

Philip had established Spanish control in the Mediterranean, defeated France, won Italy and seen his great rival, Henry II of France, die in a jousting accident in 1559. Philip had passed the early test of his reign but troubles lay over the horizon.

Troubles Begin

From these promising beginnings troubles began to arise for Philip. In 1568 the Moriscos, converted Muslims, revolted in Spain. The Moriscos had been increasingly discriminated against, their primary source of income, the silk trade, had gone into recession and the harvest failed in 1567. In addition the Moriscos still resented their forcible conversion in 1526 and many had not changed their ways at all, they remained a predominantly non-Christian element in Spain. The discrimination against the Moriscos culminated on 1st January 1567 with a royal decree banning Moorish literature, songs, dress and traditional customs.

The war was extremely bloody and atrocities were committed on both sides. At Medena, for example, the curate was filled with gunpowder and blown up by Muslim rebels. Don John of Austria, the Spanish leader, ordered the entire population of Galera, about 2,500 men, women and children, to be put to death in February 1570. Perhaps the cruellest blow came with Philip's solution to the revolt, the deportation and resettlement of all Morsicos throughout Spain. The Moriscos were uprooted with few or none of their possessions and moved all over Spain. Although they were no longer able to rebel the policy had no success in integrating the Moriscos into Spanish society.

Whilst Spain's Morisco revolt was crushed Philip's subjects in the Netherlands were making their voices heard. The nobility resented Philip's attempts to increase his control, the presence of Spanish troops and they wanted toleration for their Calvinist faith. Philip's natural sister, Margaret of Parma, was his Governor General in the Netherlands and she panicked, fearing that she was losing control. She wrote to Philip claiming that the Netherlands was in outright Calvinist rebellion, a completely exaggerated claim. Philip prepared to send an army to the Netherlands under the command of the Duke of Alva. The army arrived in the Netherlands expecting a country in a disarray and rebellion. When they arrived they found an entirely ordered and calm country. Not one to be deterred by such minor matters Alva proceeded to persecute the Dutch until a rebellion actually occurred.

This rebellion would result in 78 years of conflict, broken only by the twelve year truce between 1609 and 1621. Alva remained in control of the Netherlands until 1572 when William of Orange invaded with the help of the Sea Beggars. He succeeded in taking the Northern states of Holland and Zealand and these states became the base for the Dutch/Spanish conflict. Alva was recalled in 1573 and replaced by Don Luis de Requesens y Zuniga. This has little success though and Requesens dies in 1576 having achieved little. The next Governor General, Don John of Austria, took over 6 months to arrive and it while the Spanish forces remained leaderless the Dutch signed the Pacification of Ghent. Calling a truce between the Spanish and rebel territories.

The Turks returned as a threat after Philip's victories in 1564 and 65. The mounting problem prompted Pope Pius V to form a Holy League comprising of the Papacy, Venice and Spain. Philip reluctantly agreed and in October 1571 the League fleet scored an astounding victory over the Turks at Lepanto. The fleet, commanded by Don John of Austria, Philip's half brother, captured over half the Turkish ships and killed 30,000 Turks. This was the worst Naval defeat for the Turks since 1402. The defeat marked a key point in the ongoing battle for control of the Mediterranean and historians have argued that after this the Mediterranean no longer held the same level of significance for Spain.

By 1578 Philip appeared to be facing a united Netherlands aided by a recovering France, a protestant England and German nobility. He had declared bankruptcy in 1575 for the third time. More importantly at the age of 51 his eldest son was only three and many Spaniard believed that his death would result in the collapse of Spain. Despite these problems Philip recovered over the next decade to annex Portugal and make significant gains in the Netherlands thanks to his new Governor General, Allesandro Farnese, Duke of Parma.

Unification of the Iberian Peninsula and Religious War

Sebastian I, King of Portugal disappeared whilst crusading against the Turks and he was assumed killed at Alcázarquivir in Morocco. His heir was his great-uncle Henry. Unfortunately, as G Woodward puts it Henry was a "deaf, half-blind, toothless, sixty-six-year-old cardinal who was far from well when he surprisingly married the thirteen-year-old daughter of the Duchess of Bragança;a". Henry died on 31 January 1580 and Philip had a claim to the throne through his mother, Isabella of Portugal, daughter of Manuel I. Philip acted quickly sending representatives to Portugal to win over the nobility. By June he had sufficient support to send in an army of 37,000 troops. The army swiftly dealt with Don Antonio, an illegitimate son of Henry's brother and Philip gained control of Portugal. He was recognised as King of Portugal in April 1581 and the Iberian peninsula was unified.

Philip's fortunes in the Netherlands began to turn as Parma showed his military prowess by retaking a number of key towns and forcing the rebels back into their stronghold of Holland and Zealand. The unification of the Netherlands was over and the Catholic southern provinces united under Spain with Union of Arras while the Northern rebels signed the Union of Utrecht, both in 1579. The rebels were successful in enlisting help from the English who signed the Treaty of Nonsuch in 1585 pledging key support to the rebels. Despite this they were still decidedly on the defensive. William of Orange, the rebel leader, had been assassinated in 1584 by a Catholic fanatic and the rebels now remained unsure of direction and in danger of succumbing to Parma. However Philip's later insistence that Parma take a quick jaunt into France cost the Spanish valuable territory.

In France Henry III was proving to be a foolhardy and incompetent King and Philip had to intervene on numerous occasions with troops to aid the Catholic League. He had been funding the Guise family and the League in their religious war for some years yet Henry's indecision and attempts to play the Huguenots and Catholics off against each other had caused further troubles. Although the situation in France distracted Philip it was not until 1589 with the assassination of Henry III that the situation became truly desperate.

England's involvement in the Netherlands had forced Philip to consider strategies for launching an assault on Britain. The plans for the Enterprise of England would take two years but they culminated in one of the largest fleets ever assembled and one the most famous naval battles in history.

The Armada and Henry IV

In 1588 The Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon and travelled along the coast of France to the English channel. A series of events (detailed in the Spanish Armada node) resulted in the resounding defeat of the Armada, an enterprise that had cost Philip 10 Million Ducats. The defeat was a blow to the prestige of Spain and of Philip but more importantly it had failed to end English aid to the Dutch rebels and as Parma was distracted by events in France the rebels were able to win back many of the towns taken by him. The damage was so great that by 1594 the rebels held all land which they could hope to lay claim to. Philip's hopes of retaining a united Netherlands under Spain had evaporated and without Parma there was no real chance of future success.

In France King Henry III was assassinated in 1589 and Henry IV, a protestant, immediately claimed the throne. He had already proved his military prowess and he laid siege to Paris. He had defeated the armies of the Guise family and the Catholic League and it was clear that the fall of Paris was imminent. Philip decided that should Paris fall the Catholic cause would be lost so in 1590 he ordered Parma to leave the Netherlands and relieve Paris. Parma successfully did this and Henry IV was forced to give up his siege. However Henry IV was able to continue his successful manoeuvrings around France and he managed to take more and more cities. Philip was forced to send Parma back into France in 1592. Parma again showed his reputation as one of the best Generals in Europe was deserved as he out manoeuvred Henry's forces and relieved Rouen. Parma, however, died on his return journey to the Netherlands and Philip lost both a great General and a valued adviser.


Philip is viewed differently by historians. Traditionally he has been seen as a bungler whose insistence on micro-management and bureaucracy caused huge problems for his regents, espcially with the size of his empire. However recent historians, particularly Geoffrey Parker and Henry Kamen have taken a more kindly view towards Philip's efforts. Henry Kamen believes that,

"Philip was never at any time in adequate control of events, or of his kingdoms, or even of his own destiny. It follows that he cannot be held responsible for more than a small part of what eventually transpired during his reign...He was 'imprisoned with a destiny in which he himself had little hand'. He could do little more than play the dice available to him"
While a kinder view of Philip than historians have so far presented is perhaps merited one must not fall into the trap of blindly following modern revisionist historians. Philip made a number of mistakes during his reign and his policy of micro management caused him and Spain a number of serious problems, not least of which were financial. In 1556 Philip did not inherit a healthy treasury but as the following table shows he left it in an even worse state for his son, Philip III.

      | Estimated | National |   Debt
      |  Income   |   Debt   | Interest
1560  |   3.1     |   25.5   |   1.6
1575  |   5.5     |   40.0   |   2.7
1598  |   9.7     |   85.5   |   4.6

Philip's son, Philip III, is commonly regarded as having presided over the decline of the Spanish empire. However the seeds for this decline were most definitely sown in the reign of Philip II. He lost part of the Netherlands to rebellion, his treasury was in a dire state and France, England and Germany were dominated by Protestants. Despite the improvement in communications technology the efficiency and speed of communication was not high enough for Philip's policy of central government. His decision were often slow to arrive and out of date by the time they did so yet he would not allow his Generals and regents scope to make their own judgements and decisions.

A Timeline

My Own notes made in class
Philip II - Geoffrey Woodward, Longman 1993
Philip II: A Grand Strategy - Geoffrey Parker

The state of the lands inherited by Philip II: A 'poisoned chalice'?

Charles V had spent 35 years as the most powerful man in Europe, attempting to rule over Spain, parts of Italy, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and most of Eastern Europe. When he abdicated, knowing the huge problems of running an Empire this size, he split his lands between his brother, Ferdinand of Habsburg, and his son, Philip II. Philip received Spain and her territories in the New World, Italy and the Netherlands (he would lose the latter in the Dutch revolt).

The biggest problem to plague Charles’ reign had been finance, and this was a problem he passed on to Philip. Charles advised his son that,

"Your treasury will be in such a state when you succeed me that it will give you a lot of trouble."

Charles had imposed a huge tax burden on the poor, and yet failed to remove the tax immunity of the Spanish nobility. Not only did this cause huge resentment (for the first three years of Philip’s reign, Aragon was in revolt), it led the upwardly mobile to ignore trade and industry and instead clamour for a place in the nobility, with the tax exemption that came with it.

As Charles sought more and more money, he was forced to turn to Castile. Firstly he borrowed heavily, raising juros (interest-bearing loans) from his subjects. Repayment of these loans consumed over 60% of the crown's income by 1556. He then borrowed heavily from international sources, but when Philip ascended he was forced to suspend all payment from the Castilian treasury and convert all of the crown's debts into juros. Philip and his successors would never shake off the legacy of debt left behind by Charles . When Charles abdicated he left Philip with a debt of 36 million ducats and an annual deficit of 1 million ducats.

Charles had burdened his territories in the Low Countries with excessive taxation. This caused deep resentment in the Low Countries and Ghent (Charles' birthplace) was in open revolt in 1537. Even as the Dutch economy was in decline Charles continued to increase their burden to finance his Italian wars. This has led many historians to argue that the conditions for the Dutch revolt, which would be a huge thorn in the side for Philip, and arguably bring about the downfall of the Spanish Empire, were set in the reign of Charles.

Although Charles had managed to defend the Catholic faith admirably during his reign, it could be argued that the animosity of the Netherlands led to them becoming a hotbed for Lutherism. Charles had been adamant in his persecution of heretics, but even during his reign there was evidence that the provincial leaders in the Netherlands were failing to implement Charles' religious policies. Even when his policies were successful, some historians argue this only increased the tenacity of the remaining Protestants.

Despite these problems, it must not be forgotten that Charles passed his son the mantle of the most powerful monarchy in Europe. Possibly the only man who could challenge Philip was Suleiman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire. Charles had managed to hold the line against the Muslim naval challenge in the Mediterranean and stop them gaining mastery there. It can be argued that Charles laid the foundations for Philip's success at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, although he never totally achieved his objectives here. Historians are divided as to whether Philip's successes here really owed to his father's.

Despite the financial difficulties and dissent in the Spanish Empire, Charles left his son a powerful and religiously-unified Empire in a period of great religious strife in Europe. Philip was able to win the war against his Valois rival Henry II by default, with a treaty signed at Cateau-Cambresis and Henry then dying in a jousting accident. However great the Spanish Empire was, if Philip III is said to have presided over its decline, and the seeds for this sowed in the reign of Philip II, it can be said that the seeds of Philip's troubles were sowed in the reign of Charles V. The legacy of debt which followed his expensive wars and Imperial ambitions would overshadow his lineage.

Node your homework

Philip II is also the name of the ancient King of Macedonia and father to Alexander the Great.

Reigning from 359 to 336 B.C., King Philip used the detrimental effects of the Peloponnesian War on the Greek city-states as an opportunity to capture these territories.

Philip was assassinated in 336 B.C. and his son Alexander took the throne.

source: The Western Experience by Mortimer Chambers

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