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War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714)


Battle over Spanish throne after death of childless Spanish Hapsburg, Charles II in 1700.

  • France:

  • Louis XIV's wife was Charles II's sister.

  • Wanted his grandson, Philip, to become Bourbon ruler of Spain (and Louis's successor in France)

  • Grand Alliance saw this as threat - France would be too strong.

  • Hapsburgs:

  • Emperor Leopold's wife was also Charles II's sister.

  • He wanted his son, Charles, to be ruler of Spain

Other goals

  • Spain:

  • Wanted to keep Spanish possessions unified.

  • England:

  • Wanted to advance England's commercial position in America and the Mediterranean


  • Control over the Spain and its vast empire.

  • If France won the war,

  • Philip, Duke of Anjou (Louis XIV's grandson) would rule over France and Spain (along with all the Spanish colonies)

  • France would be stronger than all the other colonies disrupting balance of power.

  • If Hapsburgs won and Leopold died

  • Archduke Charles would reunify all the Hapsburg territories (back to borders of Charles V)



  • France and Spain were defeated by Grand Alliance (League of Augsburg)

  • Grand alliance collapsed

  • Leopold died in 1711 (meaning Charles would inherit Holy Roman Empire and Austria)

  • Peace negotiations began 1712


  • Ignoring wishes of Charles II, Spain was divided.

  • Spain

  • Philip, Duke of Anjou, became King Philip V Bourbon.

  • But he and his descendants could never rule over France as well.

  • Most of Spain's European possessions (outside Spain itself) were given to Austrian Hapsburgs.

  • France

  • Agreed to stop supporting son of James II as England's king

  • And recognized Anne as rightful queen.

  • Gave up Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Hudson Bay territory and St. Kitts in North America

  • Kept Alsace and Franche-Comte

  • England

  • Got Gibraltar and Minorca in Mediterranean from Spain

  • ​Making Eglnd a naval power in the Mediterranean.

  • Got Newfoundland and Nova Scotia in Canada from France

  • Got Hudson Bay region from France.

  • Got asiento from Spain

  • The privilege of providing slaves to Spanish colonies for next 30 years.

  • Austria

  • Got the Italian Hapsburg holdings (Milan, Naples)

  • And got Belgium (now the Austrian Netherlands)

  • Belgium

  • Transferred from Spanish control (as Spanish Netherlands)

  • To Austrian control (as Austrian Netherlands)

  • Belgians founded an overseas trading company ("Ostend Company) in 1723

  • Under authority of Austria.

  • ​Pragmatic Sanction:

  • Austrians withdrew support to get Dutch and British recognition of Maria Theresa's

  • Dutch Republic

  • ​Receded from the international political stage.

  • Although they still had huge shipping and financial resources.

  • Brandenburg-Prussia

  • ​In exchange for his aid to the Austrians, the Elector of Brandenburg-Prussia is recognized by Leopold I as "King" Frederick I of Prussia.

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