The actions of Maurice turned out to be very successful indeed. The Republic gained lots of territory and made a truce with the Spanish that lasted for 12 years. King Philip II had died and the remaining Habsburg Netherlands were given to the Spanish Habsburg Infanta Isabella, who had married her Austrian Habsburg cousin Albrecht, as joint suzerains, with the provision that if one of them died before they had children, the lands would fall back to the Spanish King Philip III. The Archdukes, as they were called, were the first independent rulers over the territory that about equals present day Belgium. This territory would prove to be one of the stubborn features on the map of Europe. Many powers tried to get rid of it, in the coming centuries (notably Holland, France and Germany), but it kept stubbornly reappearing on the map after all attempts to wipe it away! The Republic unilaterally declared all its ties with the Holy Roman Empire dissolved in 1607. In the Republic an internal struggle ensued between the proponents of a stronger federal authority (supported by Maurice of Orange) and proponents of a confederal construction, led by the Pensionary of the Council of Holland, Johan van Oldenbarneveld. This conflict also was reflected in a parallel religious schism within the Calvinist church. It ended with Van Oldenbarneveld's beheading. The Dutch became one of the leading merchant nations of the world and in this, their Golden Century, built an impressive colonial Empire in the Indian archipelago, South and North America, Ceylon and the Cape. Maurice became one of the champions of the Protestant cause in Europe's religious conflict.