On February 16, 1568, the most massive death sentence in history was handed down. The Holy See has sentenced the entire population of the Netherlands to death, with the exception of a few people listed by name. It is about 3 million men, women and children.
At that time the region was part of the Seventeen Provinces. Protestantism is spreading in the Netherlands, especially Calvinism.
On the Feast of the Presentation of the Mother of God in 1566, a small incident in front of Antwerp Cathedral marked the beginning of a mass revolt of Calvinists who attacked churches and destroyed statues and images of Catholic saints they considered heretical. The riots have been going on for months. Finally, King Philip II of Spain, a devout Catholic, sent an army to the Netherlands, led by the Duke of Alba, to restore order.
The verdict was the occasion for the outbreak of the 80-year war, which went down in history as the Dutch Uprising. The war was fought from 1568 to 1648, and the goal was to liberate the provinces from Spanish rule. For 19 years, Britain also supported its rebels with its troops.
In the course of the war, the Republic of the United Provinces was created, which became a world power.