Sunday, December 19, 2010

Philip V of Spain and the War of Spanish Succession

Philip, Duke of Anjou andPetit Fils de France, was born at Versailles on December 19, 1683, the second son of Le Grand Dauphin of the Sun King, Louis XIV, also called Louis. Philips' older brother was Louis Le Petit Dauphin, who would be the father of Louis XV! When poor Charles II of Spain died in 1700, Philip was named as his heir. (I say "poor Charles II" because reports of his disabilities and deformities are rather horrifying.) The prospect of the Bourbon family controlling both the Kingdoms of France and of Spain was too much for the other European powers, including England/Great Britain, and thus began the War of Spanish Succession, which was fought in the North American British colonies as "Queen Anne's War."

One of the Duke of York's/James II's erstwhile followers, John Churchill, the lst Duke of Marlborough led British troops in the Low Countries (the Netherlands, Belgium, etc today). Churchill's victory at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704 brought him Queen Anne's gratitude and Blenheim Palace, but his wife's insistence on supporting the Whigs tired the Queen, who favored the Tories, as they supported the Church of England. After the War of Spanish Succession and the eventual death of Queen Anne, Marlborough gave his support to the Hanoverians, even after maintaining contact with the Jacobites toward the end of Anne's reign. He would even assist with the defeat of James II's son and Anne's half-brother, James Francis Edward (James III) in 1715.

The Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 led Queen Anne of England to pack the House of Lords and gain a Tory majority to accept the treaty and the end of the war. When the War of Spanish Succession was finally decided, with Philip V of Spain renouncing his rights to succession in France, Spain surrendered Gibraltor and Minorca to Great Britain. He reigned in Spain from 1700 to 1724, abdicating briefly for his son, Louis I (another Louis!) who died after seven months on the throne; therefore Philip V returned to reign from 1724 to 1746. The great castrati, Farinelli, sang for the king when he was depressed

Philip was succeeded by his son Ferdinand, who reigned from 1746 to 1759. By Philip's second marriage to Elizabeth of Parma, his daughter Infanta Maria Theresa Antonia Rafaela became Dauphine of France, married to [wait for it]--Louis, the Dauphin of Louis XV of France. She died after giving birth to a daughter, but the Dauphin remarried, to Maria Josepha of Saxony. Their sons Louis Auguste, Louis Stanislaus Xavier (reflecting family support for the Jesuits, bien sur!), and Charles Philippe reigned as Kings of France, respectively: Louis XVI, Louis XVIII (in deference to the Dauphin {Louis XVII} who died in the Temple), and Charles X. The two Bourbon lines "almost" joined to rule in both Spain and France!

No comments:

Post a Comment