Talk:Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search


with Fernando_Alvarez_de_Toledo

Merge? I say DELETE! This article is pure propaganda from a clearly Spanish POV. Needs to be redone from the ground up. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:13, 4 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Alba vs Alva[edit]

All information shows that he was the Duke of Alba, not Alva, from the ducal Alba family. Spanish Wikipedia shows the same. therefore request to move. Gryffindor 20:03, 3 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Support. Olessi 04:36, 4 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support. Reverted changes by who did a (blind) search & replace from Alba to Alva. Guus 20:44, 4 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"...Philip, who was an extreme Catholic..." - is this an objective statement? I'd like to delete it. Would that be agreable?--Thomas Ruefner 14:51, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Since nobody answered to my previous post I replaced the phrase "extreme catholic". --Thomas Ruefner 22:18, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)

another request[edit]

There were multiple Dukes of Alba, therefore request to move in order to reflect the order. see Alonso de Guzmán El Bueno, 7th Duke of Medina Sidonia for reference sake. Gryffindor 15:40, 20 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Done. —Nightstallion (?) Seen this already? 09:24, 25 April 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree Israel's "The Dutch Republic" is a well-regarded, scholarly, and reasonably neutral reference work. However, the figures given by Israel on pp. 159-60 are of those "condemned". Most of the condemned fled the country and thereby escaped execution. Israel provides the number of executions on pp. 156-157: "Altogether, under the Alba regime, some 8,950 persons, from all levels of society, were investigated and sentenced for treason or heresy, or both, more than one thousand being executed." I should add that escaping death did not equate to escaping punishment. In addition to being forced into exile or into hiding, with all that implies for one's ability to support oneself, all their property and any wealth they could not carry out with them were confiscated and forfeited to the Spanish crown. Another trusty reference work, J.H. Elliott's "Europe Divided, 1559-1598" has this to say on pp. 168-9 about the work of the Council of Troubles: "Between 1567 and 1573 it dealt with 12,203 cases. Of these, some 9,000 seem to have been convicted and just over 1,000 executed." So the number of executed should say "just over 1000", not "more than 5,000." On the other hand, there were plenty of military atrocities (as we would view them) committed under Alba; thousands died in these. One of the blackest episodes, at Naarden in December 1572, is mentioned in the article but might be expanded. Here Alba authorized the slaughter of every man, woman, and child. Only a few managed to escape across the snow under cover of night. See Israel p. 178. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bill in Chappaqua (talkcontribs) 16:23, 26 September 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Number of executions in the Netherlands[edit]

Looking at the number of victims mentioned in this article, there seems to be some disagreement. As Alferez mentioned in the article (a comment that has been removed by now) the Spanish wikipedia refers to hundreds of victims instead of the mentioned 6,000 (which should replace the 'exaggerated number' of 18,000). The Dutch article just mentions the number of 18,000. Jonathan Israel, who is usually well-informed, gives the following numbers of condemned people in his The Dutch Republic: its Rise, Greatness, and Fall 1477-1806 (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1995) pages 159-160:

  • Tournai: 1,036
  • Antwerp: 525
  • Valenciennes: 425
  • Ypres: 478
  • Ghent: 248
  • Brussels: 157
  • Bruges: 149
  • Hondschoote: 116
  • Courtrai: 84
  • Malines: 83
  • Lille: 68
  • Namur: 21
  • Louvain: 20
  • Douai: 4
  • 's-Hertogenbosch: 360
  • Utrecht: 288
  • Amsterdam: 242
  • Groningen: 209
  • Nijmegen: 187
  • Breda: 140
  • Middelburg: 140
  • Leeuwarden: 105
  • Brill: 88
  • Leiden: 83
  • Haarlem: 35
  • Gouda: 6

Refugees: 60,000.

Israel's sources are:

  • A.L.E. Verheyden, Le conseil des troubles. Liste des condamnés (1567-73) (Brussels, 1961).
  • G. Parker, The Dutch Revolt (London, 1977).

With the added notion that most other towns and especially the more northern regions experienced severely less condemned people, this totals at least: 5,297 people, and at least 60,000 people seem to have fled the region. This makes the number of 6,000 quite plausible. It therefore seems best to let this number remain in the article, unless someone else can provide other evidence. Another possiblity might be to omit the estimate altogether, and just mention the number of 18,000 as being hugely exaggerated. Tom 18:44, 5 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Good work, I have rewritten the sentence to reflect both Dutch (18000) and spanish (few hundred) POV's and added 6000 as most realistic using your reference to Israel as the source; I don't think deeper sources are necessary if we put that one in. Arnoutf 19:48, 5 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, Tom, great work. I'll take it as the real number. Will update the Spanish wikipedia as soon as I can. On the other hand, I wonder why Dutch POV's are allowed and Spanish POV's aren't (specially when speaking about a Spanish character) I'd rather not start an editing war, but would like some explanation for that from RexGermanorum or any of his "colleagues" in the Dutch Military History project. Alferez 16:55, 7 September 2006

Your numbers "a few hundred" were preposterous, you portaying them as "protestants" (as if they deserved it) was unacceptable.
Rex 16:27, 7 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No POV is allowed! However, they can enter the text if the text is written by a person from a certain group. Alba is just as much part of Dutch as of Spanish history though; and I think this it will be a challenging but worthy effort to write a balanced article (Spanish hero = Dutch villain; but who was the historical person). As you may have noticed we have taken up the core of your criticism i.e. that 18000 is too high and tried to put in a number that is more realistic, thus trying to remove Dutch POV. Arnoutf 17:45, 7 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sure guys, you are right in many points, like the fact that you reviewed the numbers (and gave a much more documented one that the one i simply added as a counter-reference from, that i do not consider "unacceptable").

There's still some Dutch POV (just to give an example, the use of the word "master" when speaking of the King makes the Duke appear like a dog with a master or a slave with a master... maybe vassal would be a better non POV-biased word) Notice that I NEVER tried to delete your points of view, but just to add another one, since I do consider too that it is a worthy effort to write a balanced article. My balancing was based more in adding other POVs rather than removing all possible POVs. But I am new to the Wikipedia (as a contributor, at least), so i will gladly follow your advice on the subject, Arnoutf :) RexGermanus, notice that you considering my contribution "unacceptable" probably made you delete the specific day of the instauration of the Council/Tribunal. (certainly unbiassed data, that got lost unnecessarily) Also, and lastly, please my apologies to you, RexGermanus, if you happened to find the word "protestants" ( -that I used- demeaning at all. I do not try to mean or imply that anybody deserves anything (neither good nor bad) for being protestant. I just tried to make everybody notice that those times were not as politically correct as the ones we live today. The Tribunal was not invented "out of nothing". Protestants assaulted and burnt churches/imagery. In those days, that was a terrible heressy, and heressy was punished with death, as were many other "crimes" that we woldnt consider crimes at all today (or even if crimes, not worthy of death penalty). In my oppinion, merely stating facts without bearing in mind the "mindframes" of the people in the past will not lead to a real understanding of History. Maybe you'd consider adding back part of the contribution I did to the article. That's up to you. I'd love to discuss with you many other points (i've seen Arnoutf has a very ambitious plan to contribute ;-) ), if you are open to other views, that is. All you have my best regards! Alferez 23:59, 7 September 2006

Actually, the word "master" seems to be used only in the English Wikipedia: the Dutch Wikipedia says Alba conducted the negotiations of 1558-1559 in the name of Spain, instead of his master. It seems to me more like a case of differing views on what the word 'master' means in different languages, as the word seems more or less acceptable in this context (in the English language, I mean, it may have a more negative meaning in Spanish, I don't know). Anyway, I changed the sentence into something that looks more neutral, I think.
This article could use an overhaul. It's not just that it may present some POV, but it seems to compress Alba's career before his governorship of the Netherlands (when he was a rather effective military commander, amongst others) into the 'introductory' part. Maybe it would be a good idea to rewrite his biography almost completely, disbanding all possible POV, and adding a 'legacy' chapter (or something similar), in which both Dutch and Spanish (and Portuguese?) POVs could be explained. I am not familiar with his reputation in Spain, but his reputation in the Netherlands (deservedly or not) is rather bad, as he is considered something of our main historical villain. This may not be justified, but this reputation is there and should be represented, as long as we can establish that it is just a POV and not neccesarily historical fact. This article deserves better, I think. Let's see what we can do. Tom 00:55, 8 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

An anonymous editor had deleted the entire section on Alba in the Netherlands. I reverted that edit just now. Which gives me occasion to add a few remarks in addition to the above. I don't think it is POV to mention the atrocities Alba committed, as long as they are not exaggerated. I think it is correct to limit the number of executions by the Council of Troubles to 6,000, as there are meticulous court records documenting these. This number does not include the number of innocent civilians massacred in the sack of Mechelen, Zutphen and Naarden, or the massacre of the garrison of Haarlem, after they had surrendered. Maybe the total gets closer to 18,000 then after all. Those massacres are not in dispute: Alba proudly reported his order to kill even infants in Naarden in a letter to Philip. I can understand some Spanish contributors not being proud of these facts. But of course it doesn't reflect on present day Spaniards. Besides, apparently the number of victims was moderate compared to for instance the number of Moriscos massacred by Don Juan. So everything is relative.--Ereunetes (talk) 01:58, 8 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It's been years since I edited this page, but I now see that wholly new numbers were added: "During the ten years it operated, thousands of people were executed. The precise number is disputed: Dutch sources cite 18,000 victims, while Spanish accounts mention only a few hundred. About 12,000 casualties can be considered as the most accurate estimate, of which 1,083 were executed." This still uses Israel as a reference, even though to my knowledge he nowhere gives the numbers "12,000 as most accurate estimate" and "1,083" as documented. I'm changing this to "During the ten years it operated, thousands of people were executed. The precise number is disputed: at least 5,297 executions were documented." (see also my comments from 2006 above). This until someone else can provide better sources here. Tom (talk) 13:14, 2 May 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Section "Later Years and Death"[edit]

This section includes the sentence "He retained until the last moment his bravery, intelligence and greatness of spirit" which is unsourced so I am removing it as it uses terms of praise which need to have something backing them up,and a quote "Three things I will tell Your Majesty; the first is that your business was not offered, even if it was very small, that I did not put my own before yours, even if it was very important; the second is that I always looked after your property more carefully than I did my own, and so I am not in charge of the one bread to You or any of your vassals; the third is that I never suggested a name for any charge that was not the most sufficient of those I knew for the task, postponed all interest" which does not make any sense, apparently a very poor translation, which I am removing also.Smeat75 (talk) 19:04, 21 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This entire article is a joke[edit]

Seriously.. This guy is hero?! Glances over all his atrocities like it was nothing, mentioning some killed soldiers like that is the worst he's done. This guy ordered the rape, torture & murder of entire towns before looting them to such an extent many footsoldiers left the army as rich men immediately afterwards. Thousands of children alone were raped & murdered on his orders. Not even counting the women and men..(all civilians) Nothing you'd read in this article of course.

Guess this is a side effect of 50% of spanish youths unemployed with nothing to do but vandalize wikipedia with their nationalism. Reminds me why people don't take wikipedia seriously. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:05, 4 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The vast majority of the 'Spanish' troops in Holland were Dutch (Flemish), Belgian, German and Italian. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:12, 25 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not the entire article, but the second para of the lede was seriously problematic. Utterly unsourced while claimsing about military genius, crushing Dutch rebellion (which was never crushed) etc. I tried to tone down that para somewhat. The rest of the article seems more balanced. Arnoutf (talk) 18:30, 26 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

recent edits[edit]

Editor: Inesbugsbunnyines recently changed part of the text to....

"(1) ....(1535) -taking part in the victory of Charles I over the Ottoman pirate Barbarossa which restored the predominance of the Spanish Monarchy on the west of the Mediterranean Sea- and in battles like Mühlberg (1547) -in which the army of Emperor Charles defeated the German Protestant princes-. (2) Immortalized his memory suppressing the revolt of the Netherlands, where he performed with great rigor punishing the rebels, establishing the Council of Troubles and totally defeating the troops of William of Orange and later Louis of Nassau in the Battle of Jemmingen (1568) in the first moments of the Eighty Years' War. (3) He capped his career as an old man with the Portuguese succession crisis of 1580, winning the Battle of Alcantara and conquering that kingdom to Philip II. Thanks to his military genius Spain achieved the unification of all the kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula and the consequent expansion of the Overseas territories."

This was reverted and re-added a few times.

Personally I think the quoted text above is seriously problematic for several reasons.

Line (1): The Ottoman pirate Barbarossa is probably Hayreddin Barbarossa, but this is unclear. From his article it appears that by 1535 he was actually an Ottoman admiral and no longer a pirate. Why this specific commander in the Habsburg-Ottoman war is singled out is unclear. Also wikilinking the word pirate is overdoing it. In my view a text like "especially distinguished in conquest of Tunis during the the Ottoman-Habsburg wars" would suffice. Line (2) This is a seriously problematic sentence as I have mentioned repeatedly before. Because:

(a) The phrases "immortalised his memory", "great rigor punshing" are very poor English, non encyclopedic and not neutral.
(b) In addition Alba did not suppress the Dutch revolt at all. He won most of his battles, but as governor lost the war because of his actions outside the battles. (1) He executed high nobility (Egmont and Hoorne) as traitors because they wanted to negotiate with the rebels. (2) He further raised taxes to pay for the army suppressing the revolt, while high taxes were already one of the main reasons for the revolt. (3) During times of financial shortage he did not stop his troops from pillaging towns to supplement their food and income (4) He supported the sack of Mechelen, because the Mechelen population (who hailed his troops as liberators) did not free themselves from the rebel army; he allowed the Zutphen, Naarden and Haarlem populations and garrisons to be butchtered against holy oaths sworn during surrender. As a consequence cities rather starved to death during lenghty sieges than surrender. As a consequence of these governmental (rather than military) decisions the rebellion among the citizens of the Netherlands gained in strength and no major cities could be captured by the Spanish after Haarlem.

Line (3) Again poor wording, and non encyclopedic - non neutral phrasing (e.g. Thanks to his military genius). What is wrong with the current much more neutral sentence "His last successes where in the Portuguese succession crisis of 1580, conquering that kingdom for Philip II. His military career contributed to Spain unifying the kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula and the consequent expansion of the Overseas territories." Arnoutf (talk) 15:16, 10 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To be honest, the entire article seems very poor at the moment: there's lot of bad (non-)English, needless glorification and repetition going on. I feel the older version had more merit; the article could use a complete overhaul. Tom (talk) 15:30, 10 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am very hesitant to edit much on this page as I am Dutch and well aware of the black image he has in the Netherlands; and I find it hard to be neutral towards him.
When I try to be neutral I recognise he must have been a very competent field commander for the Spanish crown through a long career. Of course as a negotiator, politician and governor he has been a disaster. I would rather have that non-Dutch non-Spanish editors take the lead to guard neutrality, however unlikely that is going to be..... Arnoutf (talk) 13:41, 11 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I made some edits being as neutral as possible. I tried not to bring in a Dutch POV, and to stick with historic facts and to avoid common Dutch knowledge on Alba (as this is heavily coloured by the anti Spanish propaganda of the time). Hope this is ok from a more neutral pov. Arnoutf (talk) 20:25, 17 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have removed the Motley source who was not a historian and this sentence; "Considered by historians the best general of his generation."<refDe la Fuente Arrimadas, Nicolás. Fisiografía e historia del Barco de Ávila. Ávila. Tipografía y encuadernación de Senén Martín. 1925. P. 251.</ref> and one of the best generals ever.ref>Belda Plans, Juan. Grandes personajes del Siglo de Oro español. Ediciones Palabra S.A. Madrid. 2013. P. 20. ISBN 978-84-9840-851-5.ref> needs verification since Inesbugsbunnyines does not appear to understand policies of Wikipedia(original research,reliable sources) and the 1925 source is clearly out of date. --Kansas Bear (talk) 01:40, 23 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

My apologies, Inesbugsbunnyines linked John Lothrop Motley to John Lothrop incorrectly, however, the Motley source is extremely out of date, 1868. --Kansas Bear (talk) 01:50, 23 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I tried to copyedit the article to something that is more or less consistent. While doing this I noticed that it appears that Inesbugsbunnyines is adding full sections that are (bad) translations of the Spanish Wikipedia article. As the article here is long enough, and the Spanish article is not featured there, and English Wikipedia tends to have somewhat higher standards than most sister-projects (is only because many more editors are around) I see no sense in that. Arnoutf (talk) 16:55, 28 December 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Apparently editor Inesbugsbunnyines sees it as his God given right to add poor English, highly unencyclopedic phrases and non neutral point of view to this article; and all of that without informative edit summaries, any talk page discussions. Reverting the mess the editor has been repeatedly creating in spite of warning now has resulted with Inesbugsbunnyines with claiming that I vandalise his work and that he will report me next time [1]. I have tried to be a fair as possible with this editor, and tried to see the good bits in his extremely biased and poorly worded edits, under the assumption of good faith. From now on I will be pressured to assume good faith from this editor however. Arnoutf (talk) 12:32, 4 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I have protected this article against editing by unregistered editors because of recent edit-warring. If a registered user continues this edit war, I will block the editor from editing. Make your argument for changes on this talk page and get consensus before making these edits. Ground Zero | t 13:58, 8 January 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]



External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

This message was posted before February 2018. After February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{source check}} (last update: 18 January 2022).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 23:54, 28 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]