The Reign of Fernando VI (1746–59)
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Fernando VI,1 only surviving son of Felipe V by his first marriage with María Luisa of Savoy, good natured but very limited in mind, succeeded at the age of thirty-five. The British ambassador Sir Benjamin Keene had said of the newcomer that he would love peace as much as his father had loved war. Since 1734 Fernando and his wife Bárbara of Bragança had lived completely outside the course of public events, and some of that time even in disgrace, thanks to the machinations of Isabel Farnese. In consequence, although naturally generous, he had developed a suspicious and absolutely reserved character, which made him enigmatic. If for the diplomats who surrounded him he was an unknown quantity, for the nation as a whole he represented a hope for the future, and it awaited with enthusiasm the coming of a new king born on Spanish soil.
KeywordsUnited Province Reserved Character Naval Power Defensive Alliance Spanish Soil
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