HIS103Y Lecture 8 October 12th
The War of the Spanish Succession: Part II
• The war of the Spanish succession was tried to be prevented by the European
powers, but it eventually lead to the development of a functioning balance of
power within Europe and a system of international order
• Spanish Empire was the largest and the richest one in the world at the time
• Many of the Spanish territories were very significant strategic positions in Europe
and elsewhere in the world (ex. Spanish Netherlands)
• The Spanish Netherlands where a very significant territory for the Dutch who saw
it as a buffer zone from a direct border with France
• In the after math of the Nine Years War, the Dutch left armed garrisons of their
own troops to occupy the fortresses within the Spanish region to make sure the
strategic territory didn’t’ fall
• The Spanish Netherlands was also an important maritime territory for the English
since any nation who had control over it could thus threaten the security of the
• The maritime powers (England and the Dutch) were also interested in the War of
Spanish Succession, because the Spanish held a monopoly of trade within its
o But in recent years the English and the Dutch made some inroads that
allowed them to trade illegally with the isolated Spanish colonies. So the
maritime powers didn’t want any Anti-Anglo-Dutch power, to get Spain
and cut of their important commercial interest
• The Austrians really didn’t care who gained control over the Spanish Netherlands,
they only really wanted control of the Italian territories like Milan, Naples, Sicily,
• The longest periods of peace within Europe were after a long war where the
horrible experience of insecurity felt by most European was still in their minds as
well as the total coast of war was too great. Now no European nation was willing
to rush into another war
• Louis XIV had become disenchanted with war
• July 1689 Louis to Tallard, “If it comes to war we are well suited, we are
militarily, politically, and legally prepared… one never knows how it could turn
out. War is a vital interment of the state and unpredictable” “having sacrificed
such great advantages to restore repose to my subjects no interest appears more
pressing to me than that of preserving for them the tranquillity which they
enjoyed at the present.”
• How would William III respond to Louis leaning towards peace?
• William III also wanted peaceful negotiations as well partly because the ruling
class of England the Dutch Republic favoured peace
• This resulted in the partition treaties
• The first partition treaty between Louis and William in October 11 1698
o Most of the Spanish inheritance to the neutral Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria
(7 years old, died following year) o Compensation for the other candidates Louis received Naples and Sicily.
o Son of Leopold (Charles) of Austria got control over Milan and Sardinia.
• However Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria dies shortly after getting the news of his
new inheritance in February
• The second partition treaty was in March 1700
o Archduke Charles of Austria was to receive control of Spain
o Leopold wanted Milan so much and gave up whole Spanish Empire.
o Dauphin (Louis) was to be made ruler of Lorraine
o So the former Duke of Lorraine was to be the Duke of Milan
• The problem was that Milan was the only real price that Austria really wanted, so
Austria rejected the new deal
• Spanish National Party convinced Carlos to write a testament that the inheritance
will be given to only one contestant.
o They wanted France to success because France was the strongest power.
• Thus Spain made a decisive intervention in October 1700 by Charles II the
current King of Spain made a will handing everything over to Philip of Anjou
• The Spanish logic towards such a move was that the French monarchy was well
adapted to deal with the administration of running the Spanish kingdom in an
efficient way that would help to eventually restore Spain to her former glory. As
well France had to accept two other conditions to the will
o Philip had to renounce his claim to the French thrown
o Philip also must accept all of the Spanish empire and must promise not to
divide up the Spanish empire and must keep all the Spanish territories
together or the inheritance would go to the Archduke Charles
• France saw the deal with Spain as a chance to gain entire territory.
o Dilemma: accepting the deal will make France to fight Leopold,
Netherlands, and England again in three years. (Assessment by Delar,
Ambassador in England)
o Gaining Spain will make French glorious and undermine Habsburg.
• Charles II dies November 1700. This puts Louis in the position of putting all of
France against him. Louis XIV accepts the deal in 1700.
o The Second Partition Treaty was gone.
• This made war almost inevitable but Louis XIV made a series of mistakes:
o Philip V (5) arrived in Spain with French troops and advisors
o French troops occupied the Spanish Netherlands
o Louis insisted on maintaining Philips right to the French throne
o Encouraged Philip to make concessions to the French considering
commercial deals (handing over Asiento)
o This challenged the Maritime bloc
o September 16 1701 Louis recognised the Catholic James III as the
legitimate king of England
o This forced the Grand Alliance of the Hague in September 1701 • “By accepting the bill, I am