By the autumn of 1579 Philip had spent twenty years in Spain as king — more than his father had done in the whole of his reign — and he had emphatically re-established the power of the monarchy. Certainly, the future of the dynasty seemed secure enough; Anna had presented Philip with three boys to add to his two daughters by Elizabeth and at thirty was still young enough to provide him with more children. Fernando, the eldest of Anna’s boys, died on 8 October 1578; his death was a deep personal loss, for Philip probably loved him more than any of his sons. However, he still had two sons (Diego Felix and Felipe) and Anna gave birth to a daughter on 14 February 1580; she was christened María. With five children now alive, Philip could be confident that the succession was assured. He could be confident, too, that he had provided his monarchy with a functional capital city in Madrid, and since the construction of the Escorial was rapidly nearing completion he had the courtly complex that was so fundamental to his kingship. The dynasty had a stage that was worthy of it. Politically, Philip could be reasonably confident that neither France nor Turkey would drag him into major wars in the immediate future. He had resolved the threat to national security created by the moriscos of Granada. He had reasserted the authority of the Crown over the American colonies and was about to receive his reward; in the years 1581–90 nearly twice as much silver was registered at Seville than in the previous decade (see Table 4.1). This silver would, in conjunction with Castilian taxes, make it possible for Philip to expand his political ambitions almost beyond measure during the next two decades. He was about to reach the very pinnacle of his kingly stature and prestige by adding Portugal and its empire to his monarchy.
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