The Bourbon Period

  • Richard J. Pym


The last Habsburg, the unfortunate Charles II The Bewitched’, died on 1 November 1700. His two marriages, to Marie-Louise of Orléans, who had died in 1689, and Maríana of Neuburg, had failed to produce an heir to the Spanish throne. The thirteenth clause of his will, drawn up on 3 October after considerable vacillation, accordingly named a French prince, Philip, Duke of Anjou, as his successor, following a majority recommendation by the Council of State. The choice of Philip, the grandson of Louis XIV of France and María Teresa, daughter of Philip IV of Spain, grandly ignored a provision in his grandparents’ marriage contract which had stipulated that none of their descendants might ascend to the Spanish throne. His accession later that month as Philip V, king of Spain and all its European and overseas possessions, marked the beginning of a long period of rapprochement between France and Spain, which had so recently (1689–97) been at war. It would last until the Napoleonic Wars once again plunged the two nations into conflict. The transfer of royal power had, however, been anything but smooth. The Austrian Archduke Charles’s rival claim to the Spanish throne, backed by Maríana of Neuburg and the Admiral of Castile, was quickly supported by the Grand Alliance of the Hague formed by Austria, Great Britain, and the United Provinces and bolstered two years later by Portugal.


United Province Marriage Contract Gypsy Family Gypsy Population Royal Power 
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© Richard J. Pym 2007

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  • Richard J. Pym

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