On 19 November 2019 the Netherlands Institute of Military History (NIMH) presented the book The Eighty Years War. From Revolt to Regular War 1568-1648 in the Dutch Church in London. The presentation was held during a Nelson – De Ruyter Talk organised by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the NIMH (Leiden University Press, 2019)
The military factors underlying the division of the Low Countries and the creation of the Dutch Republic are described in this book. The birth of the new state was to no small degree determined by the balance of military power on land and at sea. That in the north the provincial States and the Calvinists gained the upper hand and in the south the Spanish rulers and the Catholic Church, was the result of eighty years of warfare. It was also something that no-one had foreseen in 1568.
From the outset the conflict between the Dutch insurgents and their Spanish sovereign lord captured the imagination. Against all expectations, Philip II and his successors failed to win a conclusive victory over their rebellious Dutch subjects. In 1648 the mightiest European power of the sixteenth century, the Spanish empire, was compelled to admit defeat at the negotiating table in Münster and recognise the breakaway Dutch provinces as a sovereign state.