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War of the Spanish Succession

Spanish Succession, War of the (1701–14), conflict between France and the Grand Alliance of England, the Netherlands, Austria, and the smaller states of the Holy Roman Empire over control of the Spanish Empire. The childless Charles II of Spain willed his kingdom and its empire to France on his deathbed. The alliance sought to prevent France from becoming the dominant European power. Though the decisive battles were fought in Europe, there were also engagements overseas, including North America. The duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene of Savoy won remarkable victories at Blenheim (1704), Ramillies (1706), and Malplaquet (1709), but Louis XIV fought on. The accession of Charles VI as the new Holy Roman emperor removed obstacles to the recognition of Philip of Anjou as Philip V of Spain. England made a separate peace in 1712, and a general settlement of differences in the Peace of Utrecht followed in 1713.

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