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Fernando Alvarez de Toledo Alva or Alba Duke of

spain

Alva or Alba, Fernando Alvarez de Toledo, Duke of (1507?–82), Spanish general who tyrannized the Netherlands. During his brutal campaign against rebellious Dutch Protestants (1567–73), he executed some 18,000 people. Hated for his atrocities and harsh taxes, and harassed by William the Silent's liberation army, Alva was recalled to Spain in 1573. In 1580 he conquered Portugal for Spain.

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