Accomplishments Philip II’s accomplishments originated him as a very well known king. Philip II was a hard-working ruler who was ushered in the Golden Age of Spain, being the most powerful nation. He was the most powerful monarch, he also helped the Catholic Church persecute Protestants during the Counter-Reformation. His father, Charles V, ceded the duchy of Milan (1540), the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily (1554), the Netherlands (1555), and Spain and its overseas empire (1556) to Philip II. In 1556, Phillip II made his first major decision as a monarch for his country. There was a Protestant uprising in the Netherlands, in 1567, he sent the Spanish army to put them down. Philip made use of the Spanish Inquisition to control his people. The Spanish Armada of 1588 was an attempt by Phillip of Spain to conquer England. Phillip, who had been married to Queen Mary, was angry that her sister, Queen Elizabeth had refused his proposal of marriage, he was also infuriated that England had returned to Protestantism. Phillip planned an invasion of England; he would send his Spanish Armada of 131 ships and 17,000 men to France. Here his armada would collect a further 16,000 Spanish soldiers who had been fighting in Holland. The fleet was then to cross the English and defeat the armies of Queen Elizabeth's England.