Amsterdam suddenly emerged as a major trading and political center at the start of the sixteenth century. From the earliest times, Amsterdam had created a limited government with a solid dedication to the rule of law, thus placing limits on feudal interests and religious interference. In 1572 Amsterdam led the Dutch speaking provinces of the Netherlands in a revolt against the Spanish monarchy. The successful revolt created the Dutch Republic with Amsterdam as an economic center but not as its leader. As a place that encouraged freedom, Amsterdam’s scientific, intellectual, and artistic life grew rapidly and its toleration helped to make it a place of refuge in a time of widespread persecution. By the end of the seventeenth century, it had achieved a remarkable place as a leader in artistic and intellectual life in Europe, and had developed a level of personal freedom that earned Amsterdam the open hatred of Louis XIV. All authoritarian regimes detested the intellectual and artistic freedom of Amsterdam though they admired the technical and engineering successes that the city inspired.