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The war of the Spanish succession: Causes and consequences

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The causes of the war.
    1. The strategic issues.
    2. The death without issue of Charles II.
  3. The French military failures.
    1. Failure to control the situation till the end.
    2. Inability to take all the advantages of favourable strategic situations.
  4. Consequences of the war.
  5. Conclusion.
  6. Bibliography.

The War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714) was a major conflict leading to the end of French supremacy on the European continent. For the first time, the armies of the Sun King, Louis XIV, lost their reputation of invincibility. The purpose of this essay is to provide an extensive analysis of the causes and consequences of the War of the Spanish Succession, mainly focused on France but also on the other European countries involved in the conflict. We will also try to analyze the reasons for several French failures on military terrain, on a strategic and tactical scale. The first part will be devoted to the causes of the war, mainly focused on the strategic interests of each belligerent. In the second part, I will analyze the French failures on a strategic and military scale. Lastly, the third part will be focused on the consequences of this major war for France and the other countries involved.

[...] Bavaria was knocked out of the war and France lost one of its two major allies. Nevertheless, the French strategy and problems of commandment are not the only reasons of the French defeats at Blenheim in 1704, at Ramillies in the Brabant in 1706, and at Audenarde in Flander in 1708. The problem had also its origin in the French tactical doctrine. Even if the French Infantry was organised in units divided in squads, as in the other European armies. [...]

[...] The War of the Spanish Succession ended in 1714, with the Treaties of Rastatt and Baden between Austria and France. One year before, in 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht had ended the hostilities between the United-Provinces, England and France. III )Consequences of the war The direct consequences of the war were quite mixed for France. Philip V was recognized as King of Spain Philip V was recognised as King of Spain, but renounced his place in the French line of succession, thereby precluding the union of the French and Spanish crowns. [...]

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