Phillip II reigned from May 21, 1527 until September 13, 1598. He inherited Spain, spanish Netherlands, and the American colonies. He was shy, hard working, and worked alone. In 1580, he inherited Portugal, which had strongholds in Africa, India, and the East Indies. By 1600 the New World supplied Phillips empire with lots of gold and silver. During his reign he defended catholicism against protestants and muslims. In 1588 he launched the spanish armada, but the massive fleet failed.