Europe; A Canvas For Military Warfare

1195 words - 5 pages

Beginning in 1618 in the Thirty Year's War (which ended in 1648 with the Treaty of Westphalia), Europe was a hotbed for military warfare; a trend that did not subside until 1763 with the Peace of Paris, a treaty that ended all of the wars between quarreling European countries within the past 30 years. Though the Treaty of Westphalia, dictated by France, was meant to keep peace among European nations in regards to religion, conflicts continuously broke out between various countries. The conflicts ranged anywhere from succession of the Spanish and Austrian throne, to international trading. These conflicts ended in 1763, which gave Europe a few moments of peace, but it was only a matter of time before an explosion in 1799 sent Europe into another turmoil of warfare. Following the Treaty of Westphalia, Europe went through a short period of silence before a conflict over who got succession to the Spanish throne arose. When King Charles II of Spain died, he died without leaving a legitimate male heir to the throne. Prior to his death in1700, France, Britain, and the Dutch Republic signed the First Treaty of Partition (1698), agreeing that Prince Joseph Ferdinand of Barvaria would inherit Spain, the Spanish Netherlands, and Spanish colonies upon the death of the Spanish king. Then, partitioned between Austria and France would be the Spain's Italian's dependencies. The treaty lasted about a year before Prince Joseph Ferdinand died in 1699, leaving the massive Spanish empire up for grabs between France, Britain, and the Dutch Republic. Another treaty was drafted, this one bequeathing the Spanish lands to Archduke Charles, Italy, and France. Charles' father, Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I however, felt that his son had every right to receive the Spanish territories intact and refused to sign the treaty. Outraged by the Holy Roman Emperor's reaction to the treaty, Charles II, preceding his death, scripted a will, this time bequeathing his empire to Phillip, duc d'Anjou, the grandson of Louis XIV of France. When Charles II died on November 1, 1700, Louis XIV pronounced his grandson as King of Spain (making Phillip the first Bourbon king in Spain) before invading the Spanish Netherlands. An alliance made against France quickly developed and consisted of Britain, the Dutch Republic, the emperor Leopold, Portugal, the German states, Prussia, and Hanover. With such an offensive opponent, Louis XIV's army was quickly deteriorating and in 1708 he considered ending the war, thus losing the Spanish possessions to the House of Habsburg. Britain however, made the mistake of asking the impossible from Louis XIV. Britain requested that Louis XIV use his own military to remove his grandson from the throne. Outraged by the request, Louis XIV called off arrangements and resumed the war. Though the alliance repeatedly crushed France's troops, by 1712, France was prevailing as the victor and soon talks of peace settlements began. The Treaty of Utrecht was signed in...

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