King William’s War and Queen Anne’s War

  • Mary K. Geiter
  • W. A. Speck
Part of the American History in Depth book series (AHD)


The principal reason which drove William of Orange to take the huge gamble of invading England, after the campaigning season had ended, was to get English resources to back his war with Louis XIV. When he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams, obtaining the jackpot of the Crown, he involved England as a major power in the war which had begun in Europe in 1688. Since it ended in 1697, Europeans called it the Nine Years’ War. American historians, however, traditionally call it King William’s War. The subsequent conflict, known in Europe as the War of the Spanish Succession, is likewise dubbed Queen Anne’s War in America. It has been suggested that Americans give them these different names to lay the blame for hostilities squarely on the kings and queens of England, and not on the colonists themselves. Whether the implied criticism is appropriate or not, the labels are, since without the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the reigns of William and Anne, the colonies would not have become involved in the essentially European conflicts.


Austrian Emperor Southern Theatre Glorious Revolution Northern Theatre West Indian Island 
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Guide to Further Reading

  1. Bruce Lenman, Britain’s Colonial Wars, 1688–1783 (2001).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Mary K. Geiter and W. A. Speck 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary K. Geiter
  • W. A. Speck

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