War of Spanish Succession

War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714) was a War Cabinet , to the legacy of the last Spanish Habsburg , King Charles II of Spain , was performed. An alliance to the Austrian Habsburgs and England and Great Britain fought a war coalition led by France. Ultimately succeeded in France, with Philip V , the still reigning dynasty of the Bourbons to bring to the Spanish throne. Almost all the powers involved in the war had achieved at least partial success at the end of the war.

Charles II of Spain (1661-1700)

In the second half of the 17th Century was the Spanish throne to the object of general attention of European diplomacy since the death of the childless King Charles II was imminent extinction of the Spanish branch of the House of Habsburg. Three potential claimants to the throne came into question:

Philip of Anjou was the second son of the Dauphin Louis and grandson of Louis XIV of France , which launched him as heir to the throne. His claim to the throne was based on the fact that his great-grandmother, the Spanish Infanta Anna of Austria , daughter of Philip III. of Spain and his grandmother, the wife of Louis XIV , the eldest daughter of the Spanish King Philip IV was. Thus inherited Philip of Anjou of his grandmother Maria Theresa of Spain to their first-born as entitled under Spanish law of succession after the death of the male successor heirs. The opponents of Philip of Anjou , who feared a preponderance of France by the union of the vast resources of Spain and France, referred the claim on the grounds that Maria Theresa of Spain for her marriage to Louis XIV had waived their heritage. Ludwig XIV had this Erbverzicht but based on the Pyrenees peace declared invalid, since that was never done in the marriage contract of 1659 with the Erbverzicht firmly linked dowry payment of 500,000 Goldecu by Spain. Therefore, the French side, the waiver was ineffective and Maria Theresa automatically inherited their heirship as the eldest daughter of the Spanish crown to their male offspring with Louis XIV

Archduke Charles was the second son of Emperor Leopold I , and was declared as a heritage from the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs, while his older brother Joseph inherited the German-Roman crown. Archduke Charles was also closely related to the Spanish throne, after his father not only – as Louis XIV – a grandson . Philip III of Spain, but also also the husband of Margarita Teresa , the younger daughter of Philip IV was. Charles claims to the Spanish heritage that relied not only on the existing general of the Habsburg hereditary claims as collateral line of the Spanish monarchy . They were based concretely on the first marriage of his father with Margarita Teresa who, unlike her sister, Maria Theresa had not dispensed with her ​​marriage to her heritage. But even with this potential heir was a threat to large power excess weight, since this Erbfalle all Habsburg lands again come together in a house and would have been united by the sudden death of Joseph I in 1711, in one hand.

The third candidate for the Spanish inheritance was the Elector Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria . He was the son of Elector Maximilian II Emanuel of Bavaria and his first wife, Maria Antonia , daughter of Leopold I and his first wife, the Infanta Margarita Teresa of Spain . As a great-grandson of Philip IV of Spain so that he could also lay claim to the Spanish throne, with his death in 1699, however – ie one year before Charles II was invalid -.

The maritime powers, England and the Dutch provinces , ruled in personal union by William III. of Orange , präferierten the successor of the Bavarian prince. This seemed to be the simplest way to prevent the Spanish monarchy, with their rich colonies completely fell to France or to the Austrian Habsburgs. To compensate these two powers for their claims, a comprehensive plan for dividing the Spanish possessions in the Netherlands and Italy were devised.

King Charles II appointed then to strong diplomatic pressure of the maritime powers the young Bavarian prince bequeathed to his successors in all time Spanish lands. Than the latter on 6 Died suddenly in February 1699, joined William III. and Louis XIV on 25 March 1700 a new treaty of partition.

Then the Archduke Charles was that the Spanish crown, the grandson of Louis XIV, Philip of Anjou , however Naples , Sicily , Guipuzcoa and Milan get. This would of been the Italian wars of the 16th Century-cherished desire of the French kings become a reality after the hegemony over Italy. But since this contract Leopold I refused to vote, also felt Louis XIV not bound to it. At the court of Madrid had the imperial ambassador , Count Harrach, together with the wife of the king, a princess of the Palatinate-Neuburg, the Archduke Charles. The French ambassador, Marquis d’Harcourt supported the claims of Philip of Anjou. At the end of Charles II sat by will dated 2 October 1700 Philip of Anjou, the heir of the whole Spanish monarchy.
Louis XIV declared his grandson, Philippe d’Anjou in Versailles, the new king of Spain

After the death of Charles II on 1 November 1700 Louis XIV took the will slow, since it was clear that both an acceptance and a rejection of the will would inevitably lead to war. Nevertheless, the French King saw no better alternative and allowed to ascend the Spanish throne to his grandson. This took as Philip V once owned by the Spanish throne and took early as 18 February 1701 in Madrid one. Initially raised only Emperor Leopold against this protest and made preparations for the start of the war in Italy. However, the situation became critical after French troops had driven the crews of the States-General of the border keeps them contractually secured in the south of the Spanish Netherlands (Barriere).

However Diplomatic equal momentous was the fact that Louis XIV after the death of former English King James II ‘s son from his second marriage with the Catholic Mary Beatrice of Modena as King James III. recognized by England. Thus, the confrontation between England and France was inevitable. A Catholic succession in England was moved by the active support of the Stuart pretenders back into the realm of possibility. Even more so, than the future Queen Anne Stuart little sympathy for potentially entitled to inherit the house of Hanover (for more detail: Sophie of Hanover , the aunt of Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate ) harbored. They would under certain conditions quite accepted her half-brother as his successor, especially as her own health made it seem more doubtful the birth of a viable offspring.

To counter the hegemonic ambitions of Louis XIV, it was on the 7th September 1701 on the initiative to England Hague Grand Alliance . Although King William III. of England on 19 Died in March 1702, were both England under his sister, Queen Anne, which Churchill and his wife Sarah was influenced as well by the Grand Pensionary Heinsius States General conducted its policy faithful. For the approval of the Emperor Leopold I in 1701 made the coronation of the Elector Frederick III. of Brandenburg to the king of Prussia, Frederick III had. must promise to support the Emperor. Thus Prussian regiments were used throughout the war in Austrian troops associations.

France had in the kingdom of the two Wittelsbach brothers Maximilian II Emanuel , Elector of Bavaria, and Joseph Clement of Bavaria , Elector of Cologne (together with its strategically most important gelegenem Prince-Bishopric of Liège ), the Herzog Anton Ulrich of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and Italy the strategically important Duchy of Savoy under Victor Amadeus II , father of both the eldest son of the Dauphin and of Philip of Anjou, to allies.
War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714)

(1703) – Gibraltar – Speyerbach – Schellenberg – Blenheim (1704) – Vélez-Málaga – Cassano – Barcelona (1705) – Sendlinger de Janeiro – Barcelona

The main hostilities took part simultaneously in the south of the Holy Roman Empire , in Flanders and Brabant , in northern Italy and Spain instead. War of Spanish Succession was also one of the first confrontations with effects on the colonial territories of the respective powers. In particular, the war in North America, there also as Queen Anne’s War called, was in the form of a proxy war conducted by the respective Indian auxiliary troops of England and France. A truly coordinated global confrontation was only with the war over the Austrian Succession from 1740 to 1748 and the Seven Years’ War reached (1756-1763).

As Philip V in Spain for the time being – and thus also in the Duchy of Milan – ruled and various Italian princes, as Victor Amadeus II of Savoy and Carlo IV Gonzaga , Duke of Mantua , allied with the Bourbons, French troops were almost entirely Northern Italy to Lake Garda occupy. The war was the imperial general Prince Eugene of Savoy opened without a declaration of war in Italy. Eugene struck the French marshal Catinat 9 July at the Battle of Carpi , and then came to the point inept Marshal Catinat Villeroi on 1 September in the Battle of Chiari . His goal of becoming Milan, he could not reach because of difficulties with the supply.
Louis-Joseph de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme

Spanish Netherlands / Republic of the Seven United Provinces (“States General”) – In the States General, the anti-Bourbon alliance collected under the English commander John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough an army of 110,000 men with this force Marlborough urged the French forces under Marshal Boufflers back and took some fortresses on the Meuse one. Earlier, Elector Maximilian of Bavaria, who was governor of the Spanish Netherlands for several years, the French army opened all the fortresses and then go to his electorate.

Germany – In the kingdom went Imperial , first of all against the princes who had stood on the side of Louis XIV. These were the Electorate of Cologne and Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel . All these principalities were occupied. Among other things, it came in the period from 18 April to 15 June the siege of the Electorate of Cologne Kaiserwerth , during which the city was almost completely destroyed. With the invasion of Ulm on 9 September opened the heavily armed, also in the covenant standing with France Bavarian Elector Maximilian II Emanuel of the war in southern Germany, in the hope, but to gain a recognized by the European powers royal crown ( Bavarian Diversion in the War of Spanish Succession (1700-1714) ). For the Imperial it was now a matter of preventing the union of the French with the Bavarians. For this purpose, the upper Rhine an army under Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm (Baden-Baden) established that the French army of Marshal Villars faced. The Margrave captured on 9 September Landau . On 14 October, the armies met in the indecisive Battle of Friedlingen or Battle of the beetle wood . After this the French army gave way back behind the Rhine, which a union with Bavaria was initially prevented. Further north occupied Marshal Tallard , however, again the entire Duchy of Lorraine and the city of Trier . Maximilian of Bavaria maintained its neutrality at the time being, and negotiated with the Emperor.

Italy – In the winter of 1702 Prince Eugene opened the hostilities of the year, which was very unusual for this period. He came over on 1 February, the French winter quarters in Cremona , where he was able to capture Marshal Villeroi. But in its place came the more vigorous French Marshal Vendôme . He managed to push back with overwhelming force (50,000 against 35,000 French Imperial), the army of Prince Eugene. In the Battle of New Ulm on 15 August tried to Imperial, to regain the initiative, but the fight ended in a draw and beginning of October both armies marched into winter quarters.

Iberian Peninsula – The English and Dutch fleet attempted to Cadiz to conquer, however, were defeated by the Spaniards. Then Admiral Rooke operated against the Spanish silver fleet from South America. In the Battle of Vigo Bay , he could beat the Spanish fleet, taking the coastal forts and capture a portion of the silver.
Marshal Villars
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough

Spanish Netherlands / General States – Among the allies, there was disagreement about the war, which meant that the operations had a rather sluggish this year. The Duke of Marlborough captured the fortress Electorate of Cologne Bonn and the fortress located in the diocese of Liège Huy and also Limburg , a Dutch Army during secured the border against the French. On 30 June, she suffered while but in the battle of acorns lossy defeat against the French troops Marshal Boufflers. This French victory, however, was not of great importance.

Germany – Elector Max Emanuel of Bavaria became openly sided with the Bourbons. The Austrian intentions were aimed to defeat Bayern before it received French aid. Two advances could throw back in the spring Bavaria. At the same time, the French army Marshal Villars went back across the Rhine (a first attempt in February had failed) and reached the Margrave of Baden in Buhl – Stollhofener line at. Although these attacks were unsuccessful, marched Marshal Villars without regard to its rear connections to Bavaria, where he united with the end of May Elector Max Emanuel. Both commanders now waited for reinforcements from France, while the Austrians also withdrew their forces together.

With 12,000 soldiers of the Elector of Bavaria to Tyrol tried a push to go to meet the French under Vendôme. Together they would then march on Vienna. But the resistance of the local rural population, the so-called ” Bavarian hype , “the company made ​​it impossible. At the same time Marshal Villars was on 20 September in the First Battle of Blenheim beat an Austrian corps. The Margrave of Baden withdrew his army to the Black Forest. Marshal Villars was unable to agree with the Elector of Bavaria on strategic issues and asked for his dismissal. He was Marshall Marcin replaced. Operated on the Rhine, meanwhile another French army (about 14,000 men) under Marshal Tallard . This captured Breisach on 7 September, and, after the victorious battle at Speyerbach 15 November Landau 17 November.

Italy – Prince Eugene of Savoy had been recalled from Italy to serve as President of the War Council to coordinate the overall operations. He was General of the Ordnance Guido from Starhemberk replaced. This should try to withstand the Bourbon supremacy in Italy. This was facilitated by the fact that the Duke of Savoy went over to the side of the Emperor, making the war on the Duchy concentrated. The French Marshal Vendôme trying to achieve union with the Bavaria Tyrol, but this advance could be prevented from Starhemberk. This succeeded, however, to unite with the troops of the Duke of Savoy.

Hungary – In Hungary, there was a rebellion under Francis II Rákóczi , which many officers from the Hungarian Habsburg army joined. Soon, this uprising against Habsburg rule from expanded so much that Prince Eugene of Savoy in Bratislava had to make preparations for military operations in Hungary.

Iberian Peninsula – On 16 May declared himself king of Portugal, Dom Pedro II on the side of the Habsburgs, and promised to send 20,000 soldiers.

France – During the year, took the revolt of the Protestant population in the Cevennes , a mountainous region south of the Loire , the features of a civil war (see also: camisards ).

Spanish Netherlands / General States – Hendrik van Nassau-Ouwerkerk commanded the allied forces (about 40,000 troops) against the superior French army without being able to step out of the defensive. With the other troops Marlborough marched into southern Germany, as the allies were come to the conclusion that the Franco-Bavarian forces there represented the greatest threat. A part of the French troops under the command of Marshal followed Villeroi the allied army to the south, there to maintain the balance of forces.

Germany – In southern Germany, both parties gathered their forces. The Duke of Marlborough the end of June was united in Ulm with the Margrave of Baden, and shortly thereafter with the Austrian army under Prince Eugene of Savoy. Also, the French withdrew (the army Tallards) over the Black Forest examined other forces, while Villerois troops covered the connections across the Rhine. After a first battle of Schellenberg took place on 13 August the decisive Second Battle of Blenheim , in which the allies were victorious.

The Franco-Bavarian troops had to evacuate all of Bavaria and the theater of war was transferred to the Rhine. The Elector of Bavaria initially fled to Brussels where he entertained as Governor General also fled together with his brother, the Elector of Cologne, a court. The armies of the allies parted again. Marlborough conquered Trier , while Louis of Baden Landau besieged the fortress, which on 26 November capitulated. Prince Eugene of Savoy revealed these operations in Alsace against the army of Marshal Villeroi.

Italy – In Italy, the Duke of Savoy became more under heavy pressure from the French army under Marshal Vendôme and General Feuillade . This went to the siege of Turin and urged the Austrian corps to Mantua from. This corps, which now by Philipp Ludwig von Leiningen was commanded, came under additional pressure as another son of the French army under Marshal Vendôme from the Bourbon Naples was approaching. Therefore, the Austrians evacuated almost all of Italy and withdrew to Tyrol.

Hungary – After the victory of Blenheim troops could be moved to Hungary. This succeeded by General Heister Sigbert the Hungarian troops on 26 December at the Battle of Trnava (1704) to beat. A small contingent of Austrian troops also claimed Transylvania .
Henri de Massue de Ruvigny, Earl of Galway

Iberian Peninsula – Spain developed during the year to a new theater of war. 9 March landed an Anglo-Dutch Corps Meinhard von Schomberg in Lisbon (Schomberg was later replaced by General Henri de Massue de Ruvigny, 1st Earl of Galway replaced). In this army also was Archduke Charles as the Habsburg pretender to the Spanish throne. At the same time a French army came under Marshal Berwick , Philip V of Spain to help (Berwick was in the course of Marshal Tessé replaced.) but it was not to major battles in the Portuguese-Spanish border. In these operations came to meet the allies that some Spanish provinces, especially Catalonia , the Bourbon government resisted. They feared that a centralization of the crown was to be expected at the expense of local liberties. Therefore, the Imperial and English possessed at the beginning of the operations in the Iberian Peninsula on an important bridgehead .

The British fleet under Admiral George Rooke also succeeded on 4 August with a landing force under George of Hesse-Darmstadt , the taking of Gibraltar . This could also be defended against a Spanish counterattack. Also, the hurrying of the French fleet under the command of Louis XIV, son of Madame de Montespan , Admiral de Toulouse was in the Battle of Vélez-Málaga on 24 August defeated by Admiral Rooke.
Jean Baptiste Martin: The Battle of Cassano ( Military History Museum )

Spanish Netherlands / General States – A Franco-Bavarian army under the Elector of Bavaria and Marshal Villeroi moved successfully before in the Netherlands, while Marlborough tried about Lorraine invade France. Under the pressure of the French army, he was called back to the States General. There he broke the Franco-Bavarian lines in Tienen , but was on the Dyle stopped.

Germany – After the death of Emperor Leopold I on 5 May 1705, put his son Joseph continued to fight vigorously. He obtained the proscription against the two Wittelsbach elector. The occupation of the Electorate of Bavaria was enforced with some brutal action. At the center of imperial diplomacy was in the years that followed the incorporation of the Electorate of Bavaria in the composite of the Habsburg hereditary lands , leading to a revolt led the Bavarian population ( Bavarian uprising ), which in the Sendlinger Mordweihnacht was bloodily suppressed.

On the Rhine, the opposing armies were initially against idle. In late summer, the armies maneuvered back on both banks of the Rhine. By the end of the year Louis of Baden occupied the modernists line and captured Haguenau and Druze home .

Italy – Still the troops Victor Amadeus of Savoy and of Guido Starhemberg were besieged in Turin. Prince Eugene of Savoy took over the command of the corps of General von Leiningen, which he had strengthened and entered again into Italy, to relieve Turin. On 16 August, he was however in the Battle of Cassano struck back by Marshal Vendôme. The Prince claimed by Brescia and returned to Vienna at the end. Took over the command of General Reventlow .

Hungary – In Hungary, Graf took over from Louis Herbeville command of the Austrian troops, but neither in the Battle of Waag (August 11), nor in the Battle of Sibo (November 11), he was able to prevail against the Hungarians. Only in Transylvania achieved a stabilization of the Austrian government.

Iberian Peninsula – In Spain, the Allies made ​​further progress. They besieged by land and water in Barcelona , which on 7 October capitulated. Thus immediately fell the whole province Catalonia to the Habsburgs.
In Portugal fought the commanding generals of the war. Although they conquered Valencia de Alcántara and Alburquerque , but after a defeat at the Battle of Talavera , they had the siege of Badajoz give up.
The Duke of Marlborough at the Battle of Ramillies, down from 1890
Jean Baptiste Martin: The Battle of Calcinato ( Military History Museum ).

Spanish Netherlands / General States – In the spring, both warring parties decided to take the offensive. It succeeded the Duke of Marlborough in May, to induce the Elector of Bavaria and Marshal Villeroi to rise before they were reinforced by troops from the Rhine. On 23 May 1706 he fought in the Battle of Ramillies a decisive victory. Taking advantage of this success he occupied or conquered lions , Mechelen , Brussels , Menin , Ostend and Bruges , leaving everywhere Charles III. proclaimed as king.

Germany – On the Rhine had to retreat behind the Rhine Ludwig of Baden. All the conquests of the previous year fell again to Marshal Villars. Only when Villars had to send 12,000 men to the Netherlands, a stoppage occurred in the operations. Louis of Baden very ill (he died in January 1707) and gave the supreme command of General Hans Karl I, Count of Thungen from. This in turn took the initiative, crossed the Rhine and forced the French troops behind the Lauter back.

Italy – In the spring of the Austrian army was on 19 April in the Battle of Calcinato beaten by Marshal Vendôme and had up to the room Trento retreat, while General Feuillade Turin besieged. Prince Eugene of Savoy gained a new army and fell for the third time in the war in Italy. He marched quickly to Turin and defeated there on 7 September, the French army in the Battle of Turin . After this heavy defeat, Louis XIV undertook in the general surrender of 13 March 1707, giving Italy.

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