The man had constant health-problems, was psychologically disturbed – and he wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer – but he was king anyway because hey, Habsburgs.
Yet Spanish government owed its weakness not to any one monarch or single event but to a long process of neglect during which absolute power and central authority had been allowed to wither and decay.
See, now that’s nice.
I only bring this tidbit up because I rediscovered this book, The Hispanic World in Crisis and Change by John Lynch, a real classic. All I’m saying is that if you’re interested in the sixteenth/seventeenth centuries and the Spanish Empire, give this one a try – then again, if you’re interested in these things, you probably already have.
John Lynch, The Hispanic World in Crisis and Change, 1598-1700 (Cambridge, 1994), 348.
Lynch, The Hispanic World, 348-9.