petitioned Mary to consider marrying an Englishman, fearing that England would become a dependency of Spain.
Philip became the co-regent of England - the very same man who would afterwards send the Spanish Armada to invade England.
Philip and Mary had no children; Queen Mary I, or "Bloody Mary" as she came to be known in English Protestant lore, died in 1558 before the union could revitalize the Roman Catholic Church in England. With her death, Philip lost his rights to the English throne and ceased being King of England and Ireland.
Much of the rapid expansion of the Augustinian Order in Mexico and South America happened in the second half of the 16th century. Because this was with the involvement in Spain of Philip II, some basic details about him and his era are provided here.
Philip II of Spain (1527 - 1598) assumed the Spanish crown in 1556 with a great deal of potential.
In 1580 he also became King of Portugal. (He reigned from1580 to 1598 as Philip I of Portugal).
Philip defeated the armies of France at Saint-Quentin in 1557, and fought the Turks successfully on the Mediterranean Sea at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
Next he had to accept the destruction of his Spanish Armada when opposing England in 1588.
He lost control of Holland (which had begun declaring its independence in 1581).
He saw himself as the leader of the Catholic Reformation (the Counter Reformation).
He took interest in the reform of religious orders, which had been directed by the Council of Trent (1545 - 1564).
After the Council, he had the right to nominate the candidate that Rome would then appoint as a bishop in territories under his control.
Between 1562 and 1584, Philip built the El Escorial
as his residence near Madrid - a monastery as much as palace. (By way of comparison, the Spanish Armada cost 10 million ducats, and the building of the El Escorial cost 5.5 million ducats).
Underneath all of this was an economy that was weak and too dependent on foreign income.
Taxes in Spain increased by 430% during the thirty-two years of the reign of Philip II.
Financial inflation, which was a phenomenon previously rare in Europe, caused prices to rise by 400% during the same period.
The gold and silver bullion arriving from South America caused inflation, and went to repay existing bank debts of Spain.
(Continued on the next page.)