Maurice of Nassau

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Maurice of Nassau

(môr`ĭs, năs`ô), 1567–1625, prince of Orange (1618–25); son of William the SilentWilliam the Silent
or William of Orange
(William I, prince of Orange), 1533–84, Dutch statesman, principal founder of Dutch independence. Early Life
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 by Anne of Saxony. He became stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland after the assassination (1584) of his father. He was later appointed (1588) captain general and admiral of the United Netherlands and became (1589) stadtholder of Utrecht, Gelderland, and Overijssel. In 1618 he succeeded his elder brother, Philip William, as prince of Orange. Throughout his career the NetherlandsNetherlands
, Du. Nederland or Koninkrijk der Nederlanden, officially Kingdom of the Netherlands, constitutional monarchy (2005 est. pop. 16,407,000), 15,963 sq mi (41,344 sq km), NW Europe.
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 continued to struggle for independence from Spain. In 1590 he took the offensive against the Spanish under Alessandro Farnese. His campaigns were primarily distinguished by his skill in siegecraft. His successes on land and on sea enabled the Netherlands to conclude (1609) a 12-year truce with the Spanish (then commanded by Spinola). The truce virtually established the independence of the seven United Provinces. During the first part of Maurice's career his principal adviser was OldenbarneveldtOldenbarneveldt, Johan van
, 1547–1619, Dutch statesman. He aided William the Silent in the struggle for Dutch independence from Spain and opposed the dictatorial policy set by Robert Dudley, earl of Leicester, chosen by the States-General as governor-general in 1586.
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, chief author of the truce of 1609. Relations between the two men were, however, strained after 1600 and flared into open conflict when the struggle between RemonstrantsRemonstrants
, Dutch Protestants, adherents to the ideas of Jacobus Arminius, whose doctrines after his death (1609) were called Arminianism. They were Calvinists but were more liberal and less dogmatic than orthodox Calvinists and diverged from the teachings of the Dutch
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 and strict Calvinists broke out. Maurice took the part of the Calvinists and in 1618 compelled the summoning of the Synod of Dort, which suppressed the Remonstrants. Oldenbarneveldt, as a leader of the Remonstrants, was arrested, tried, and executed. Thus the house of Orange became dominant in the Netherlands. Maurice's campaigns after the resumption (1621) of hostilities with Spain met with little success. He was succeeded by his brother Frederick Henry.

Maurice of Nassau

 

(prince of Orange; Maurits van Oranje). Born Nov. 14, 1567, in Dillenburg; died Apr. 23, 1625, in The Hague. State figure and military leader of the Republic of the United Provinces (the Netherlands). Son of William I of Orange.

Maurice was stadtholder of the provinces of Holland, Zeeland, West Friesland (from 1585), Utrecht and Overijssel (from 1590), Gelderland (from 1591), and Groningen (from 1621). In 1590, Maurice became commander in chief. He was an outstanding military leader and military reformer. He introduced a standard training program for the troops and strict military discipline; he laid the basis for a new, linear tactic and improved the tactics of defending and laying siege to fortresses. (In the area of fortifications he was a forerunner of the Marquis de Vauban.) He created a new form of cavalry, the cuirassiers, and a light artillery. In the 1590’s he directed the final liberation of the republic from Spanish troops and won a number of victories over Spain, the main one at Nieuport in 1600. Maurice carried out a policy of centralizing the state and consolidating his personal authority. His conflict with the chief political officer of Holland, Jan van Oldenbarneveldt, ended in the latter’s execution.