Philip II (1527-1598) was born at Valladolid, the son of the Habsburg emperor Charles V, and in 1554 married Queen Mary of England.
On his father's abdication 1556 he inherited Spain, the Netherlands, and the Spanish possessions in Italy and the Americas, and in 1580 annexed Portugal. His intolerance and lack of understanding of the Netherianders drove them into revolt.
Political and religious reasons combined to involve him in war with England and, after 1589, with France. The defeat of the Spanish Armada invasion fleet marked the beginning of the decline of Spanish power.