War of Devolution

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Louis XIV (1638—1715)


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An attempt by Louis XIV of France to seize the Spanish Netherlands. In 1665, on the death of his father-in-law, Philip IV of Spain, he invoked dubious laws based on local customs by which a child of a first wife (as was his queen Maria Theresa) inherited titles and territory, rather than the son of a second wife. A campaign under the Vicomte de Turenne alarmed Europe, a defensive Triple Alliance was formed by the United Provinces, England, and Sweden to check the French advance, and Louis made peace. He restored most of his conquests, hoping to obtain part of the Spanish empire peacefully on the death of Charles II.

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