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The Nine Years War, 1688-1697: Part One.doc

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Denis Smyth

The Nine Years War, 1688-1697: Part One - October 1685, Louis XIV began to make a series of blunders; 3 major mistakes in a row that would transform the international scene from one of French domination to one in which France had mobilized most of Europe against it in open warfare and had to fight for its survival - Mistake #1: Revoking the Edict of Nantes  Most important result is the international fallout…it provoked most of Protestant Europe to united together against him.  He furthermore failed to impress the Catholic powers of Europe by attempting to appear more Catholic than the Pope.  The Catholics instead turned to Leopold I, the Holy Roman Emperor for pushing back the Ottoman Turks in the Battle of Mohasc. - The French realized that they only had 1 of the 330 states left in Germany that was still loyal to them: The Leader of Cologne & Liege. True this was a very strategically placed state, but the pro-French ruler fell into sickness and died in the Summer of 1668. - The Holy Roman Empire managed to engineer the election, with Papal approval, of Joseph Clement of Bavaria as the new anti-French ruler of Cologne & Liege in late August1668. - Joseph Clement was the younger brother of Max Emmanuel (the ruler of Bavaria), who was in charge of the Imperial German forces. He was Leopold I’s right hand man in Germany. Thus this was a drastic setback to French strategic forces. - Mistake #2: 25 September 1688, French forces struck across the river Rein and lade seige to Philippsburg.  They saw their diplomatic star falling in Germany and by capturing Philippsburg they thought that they could secure their power in Germany. Before the end of October was out they captured Philippsburg; however, the French failed to grasp how this move would be viewed by the rest of Europe and in Germany.  They failed to understand how this “defensive move” would look as an offensive move.  They also miscalculated the ability of the other states (especially within Germany) to respond collectively and vigorously to what they saw as a French challenge. - Frederick III of Brandenburg, John George, the elected Prince of Saxony, and Duke Ernest August of Brunswick-Luneburg formed the initial coalition to resist French aggression and in 15 October 1688 signed the Magdeburg Concert - The Magdeburg Concert was a defensive treaty because they saw that they had to defend all of Germany. - This initial show of German force caused Marquis de Boufflers to retreat. Now they realized that this cause a more open conflict than they had wished. - What worried them especially were growing signs of hostility from Spain (other Habsburgs). They realized the would perhaps be fighting this war on two or three fronts. - Winter of 1688-1689, the French army was unleashed in the Western Germany territory of Palatinate (Heidelberg, Trier, Worms and Speyer were almost raised to the grown). - The French purpose was essentially defensive…to try and deny this area as a resource space for a future invasion of France. To make the land barren and scarce – and this achieved its end. However, they failed to understand that this barbaric act made ready propaganda for the enemies of France. - 15 November 1688, William III arrived in England by invitation of the English Protestant’s King James II. William III and James’ daughter Mary laid claim to the British crown. Thus occurred England’s “Glorious Revolution” into Protestantism. - This defection of England to the anti-French camp would prove key in deciding the direction with which France’s future would head towards. - William III from his secure power base in England was able to provide pivotal aid to the anti-French camp. - 12 May 1689, William III formed a formal Dutch-Austrian alliance with the Emperor Leopold I. Their precise goal was to roll back French power and establishing a collective system to contain any international threats in the future. - December 1689, William III led Britain to join the Dutch-Austrian alliance - June 1690, Spain and Savoy joined Britain, the Dutch Republic, and Austria in their coalition against France. - The signatories promised not to make separate peace and they also promised to make war with all their resources (not to simply play make at war). - England, the Dutch Republic, and Austria would emerge to be great powers in Europe because collectively they were able to hold France to a stalemate. - Equilibrium is imperative for international order. - The progressive character of England’s governing institution was the reason they were able to stand up to the French. They were much more efficient at mobilizing their resources against the French. - How did England grow to be such a great power? (A) Progressive Institution (B) Good with using what they have and making the most out of it (C) Mobilizing their resources, money, men, naval power, army etc…. - 1693, Britain was the first country in the world to establish National Debt. - 1694, The first government state financial system was also established, the Bank of England. - William Paterson wrote to William III to persuade him of the prudence and wisdom of royal financial institutions: “Nations now find how money commands all things, particularly the sword. Nations have reason to know that the wars of these times are to be waged rather with gold than with iron.”  Financial power was the key to fire power. - Creditors would lend money to the National Debt through the Bank of England. - These financial institutions were important because they created a pool of money that the state could draw on. - All the people who lent money to the government knew with confidence that they were guaranteed the return of their money plus interest because England was a Constitutional Monarchy. The House of Commons (lower house of Parliament) controlled the financial policy of William III – thus they could consist that the national debt be honored. - The creditors were not only willing to lend money to the state but were also willing to increase taxation on themselves. This was because the taxable class was being taxed for the NATIONAL GOOD. - Britain proved itself capable of solving the financial problems that came with war much more easily than the French. - 29 May 1692, Tourville state was soundly beaten by the modernized and streamlined British feat (that was doubled in size)…which caused the French to retreat fully from the naval war of the Nine Years War. Britain became he ruler of the waves and immerged wi
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