Montesquieu
 

VIII.18 That the monarchy of Spain was in a particular case

Do not cite the exam­ple of Spain ; ins­tead, it pro­ves what I am saying. To keep America, she did what even des­po­tism does not do : she wiped out all the inha­bi­tants ; in order to pre­serve her colony, she had to keep it depen­dent for its very sub­sis­tence.

She tried des­po­tism in the Netherlands1 ; and as soon as she had aban­do­ned them, her dilem­mas grew. On one side, the Walloons did not want to be gover­ned by the Spanish, and on the other, the Spanish sol­diers did not want to obey the Walloon offi­cers.2

She main­tai­ned her hold in Italy only by dint of enri­ching her and rui­ning her­self. For those who would have rather been rid of the king of Spain were not for that ready to do without his money.

[The Spanish crown ruled there from 1556 to 1714.]

See the History of the United Provinces by M. [Jean] Le Clerc.