Maria Theresa, the queen of Louis XIV., was the child of the first marriage of Philip IV. of Spain; and on her father's death in 1661, Louis, on pretext of an old law in Brabant, which gave the daughters of a first marriage the preference over the sons of a second, claimed the Low Countries from the young Charles II. of Spain. He thus began a war which was really a continuance of the old struggle between France and Burgundy, and of the endeavour of France to stretch her frontier to the Rhine.
At first England, Holland, and Sweden
united against him, and obliged him to make the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle
in 1668; but he then succeeded in bribing Charles II. of England to
forsake the cause of the Dutch, and the war was renewed in 1672.
William, Prince of Orange, Louis's most determined enemy through life,
kept up the spirits of the Dutch, and they obtained aid from Germany and
Spain, through a six years' terrible war, in which the great Turenne was
killed at Saltzbach, in Germany. At last, from exhaustion, all parties
were compelled to conclude the peace of Nimeguen in 1678. Taking
advantage of undefined terms in this treaty, Louis seized various cities
belonging to German princes, and likewise the free imperial city of
Strassburg, when all Germany was too much worn out by the long war to
France was full of self-glorification, the king was
viewed almost as a demi-god, and the splendour of his court and of his
buildings, especially the palace at Versailles, with its gardens and
fountains, kept up the delusion of his greatness.
In Honor of Charles Krug, 2011
4 months ago