War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was a European conflict of the early 18th century, triggered by the death of the childless Charles II of Spain in November 1700. His closest heirs were members of the Austrian Habsburg and French Bourbon families. Charles left an undivided Monarchy of Spain to Louis XIV's grandson Philip, proclaimed King of Spain on 16 November 1700. Disputes over separation of the Spanish and French crowns and commercial rights led to war in 1701 between the Bourbons of France and Spain and the Grand Alliance, whose candidate was Archduke Charles, younger son of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor. By the end of 1706, Allied victories in Italy and the Low Countries forced the French back within their borders but they were unable to make a decisive breakthrough. Control of the sea allowed the Allies to conduct successful offensives in Spain, but lack of popular support for Archduke Charles meant they could not hold territory outside the coastal areas. Conflict extended to European colonies in North America, where it is known as Queen Anne's War, the West Indies as well as minor struggles in Colonial India.
Related conflicts include Rákóczi's War of Independence in Hungary, funded by France and the 1704–1710 Camisard rebellion in South-East France, funded by Britain. When his elder brother Joseph died in 1711, Charles succeeded him as Emperor, undermining the primary driver behind the war, to prevent Spain being united with either France or Austria; the 1710 British election returned a new government committed to ending it and with the Allied war effort now dependent on British financing, this forced the others to make peace. The war ended with the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, followed in 1714 by the treaties of Rastatt and Baden. In return for confirmation as King of Spain, Philip V renounced his place in the line of succession to the French throne, both for himself and his descendants; the Dutch Republic was granted its Barrier Fortresses, while France acknowledged the Protestant succession in Britain and agreed to end support for the Stuart exiles. In the longer term, the commercial provisions of Utrecht confirmed Britain's status as the leading European maritime and commercial power, while the Dutch lost their position as the pre-eminent economic power in Asia and the war marked their decline as a first-rank power.
Other long-term impacts include the creation of a centralised Spanish state and the acceleration of the break-up of the Holy Roman Empire into larger and more powerful German principalities. In 1665 Charles II became the last male Habsburg King of Spain. In 1670, England agreed to support the rights of Louis XIV to the Spanish throne in the Treaty of Dover, while the terms of the 1688 Grand Alliance committed England and the Dutch Republic to back Leopold. In 1700, the Spanish Empire included possessions in Italy, the Spanish Netherlands, the Philippines and the Americas and though no longer the dominant great power, it remained intact. Since acquisition of the Empire by either the Austrian Habsburgs or French Bourbons would change the balance of power in Europe, its inheritance led to a war that involved most of the European powers; the 1700-1721 Great Northern War is considered a connected conflict, since it impacted the involvement of states such as Sweden, Denmark–Norway and Russia. During the 1688–1697 Nine Years War, armies had increased in size from an average of 25,000 in 1648 to over 100,000 by 1697, a level unsustainable for pre-industrial economies.
The 1690s marked the lowest point of the Little Ice Age, a period of colder and wetter weather that drastically reduced crop yields. The Great Famine of 1695-1697 killed between 15-25% of the population in present-day Scotland, Finland, Latvia and Sweden, with an estimated two million deaths in France and Northern Italy; the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick was therefore the result of mutual exhaustion and Louis XIV's acceptance that France could not achieve its objectives without allies. Leopold refused to sign and did so with extreme reluctance in October 1697. Unlike France or Austria, the Crown of Spain could be inherited through the female line; this allowed Charles' sisters Maria Theresa and Margaret Theresa to pass their rights as rulers onto the children of their respective marriages with Louis XIV and Emperor Leopold. Despite being opponents in the recent Nine Years War, Louis XIV and William III of England now attempted to resolve the Succession by diplomacy. In 1685, Maria Antonia, daughter of Leopold and Margaret, married Maximillian Emanuel of Bavaria and they had a son, Joseph Ferdinand.
The 1698 Treaty of the Hague or First Partition Treaty between France and the Dutch Republic made the six year old heir to the bulk of the Spanish Monarchy and divided its European territories between France and Austria. The Spanish refused to accept the division of their Empire and on 14 November 1698, Charles published his Will, making Joseph Ferdinand heir to an independent and undivided Spanish monarchy; when he died of smallpox in February 1699, a new solution was required. This was of doubtful legality but France and the Nethe
Schloss Salzdahlum was a former summer palace built by Anthony Ulrich, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel in 1684. It was dismantled in 1813 but parts of it can still be seen in the town of Salzdahlum. Located between Braunschweig and Wolfenbüttel, the palace was the location where Frederick II of Prussia married Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Queen of Prussia in 1733; the large art collection that used to be kept there is intact and can be viewed locally at the Herzog Anton Ulrich Museum
Duchess Luise of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Luise of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel was daughter of Ferdinand Albert II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and his wife Antoinette of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. She was born at the Schloss Bevern near Holzminden/Weser, she was the seventh of fourteen children. Her parents were second cousins. On 6 January 1742 she married Prince Augustus William of Prussia, second son of King Frederick William I of Prussia and Sophia Dorothea of Hanover. Prince Augustus William was a younger brother of the reigning Frederick the Great, whose spouse, Luise's own sister, gave him no children; as such, her son was to inherit the Prussian throne in 1786. In her widowhood, she was given the Crown Prince's Palace in Berlin, her older sister was Elisabeth Christine of wife of Frederick the Great. She was the sibling of the Queen of Denmark and Norway and the Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Frederick William II of Prussia had issue. Married Frederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt and had issue. Prince Henry of Prussia died unmarried. Princess Wilhelmina of Prussia had issue.
Prince Emil of Prussia died in infancy. 29 January 1722 - 6 January 1742: Her Serene Highness Duchess Luise of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel 6 January 1742 - 13 January 1780: Her Royal Highness Princess August Wilhelm of Prussia
Anna Leopoldovna, born as Elisabeth Katharina Christine von Mecklenburg-Schwerin and known as Anna Carlovna, was regent of Russia for a few months in 1740 and 1741 during the minority of her infant son Emperor Ivan VI. Anna Leopoldovna was born as Elisabeth Katharina Christine, the daughter of Karl Leopold, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, by his wife Catherine, the eldest daughter of Tsar Ivan V of Russia. Catherine's father, Ivan V, was the elder brother and co-ruler of Russia with Peter the Great, but because he was mentally challenged and unfit to rule, all the power was in the hands of Peter the Great, like a father to Catherine and who looked out for her interest as long as he was alive. Elisabeth's mother Catherine was the third wife of Duke Karl Leopold, who had divorced his first two wives after short marriages. Catherine was the only wife to bear him a living child, Elisabeth was that single child. In 1721, when Elisabeth was three years old, her mother became pregnant a second time, but the child was stillborn.
By this time, the marriage between her parents was in trouble, in 1722, Catherine returned to the court of her uncle Peter the Great. She took her daughter with her, Elisabeth therefore grew up in Russia, having little or no contact with her father. In 1730, Tsar Peter II, the last surviving male member of the Romanov dynasty, died unwed, his dynasty died with him; the Russian privy council debated about whom to invite to the throne, Elisabeth's mother Catherine was one of the candidates, considered. However, she was passed over for several reasons and the throne was offered to her younger sister, Anna Ivanovna, who became known to history as Empress Anna of Russia; the new Empress was a childless widow with only one surviving sister and Elisabeth was Catherine's only child. Her position at court was therefore a important one. In 1733, Elisabeth converted to the Russian Orthodox Church and was given the name Anna Leopoldovna, a complement to her aunt, Empress Anna, of her father, Karl Leopold, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
Her conversion to the orthodox faith made her acceptable as heiress to the throne, but she was never declared heiress by her aunt. In 1739, Anna Leopoldovna was given in marriage to Anthony Ulrich, the second son of Ferdinand Albert, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Anthony Ulrich had lived in Russia since 1733 so that he and his bride could get to know each other better, He was able to do this because he was a younger son, it was improbable that he would be called upon to shoulder the responsibility of ruling his father's principality. Both of these circumstances indicate that Empress Anna intended her niece to inherit her throne, was laying the ground for it by selecting a husband of suitable birth and situation, observing him at close quarters for several years before the marriage was celebrated. On 5 October 1740, Empress Anna adopted their newborn son Ivan and proclaimed him heir to the Russian throne. On 28 October, just a few weeks after this proclamation, the empress died, leaving directions regarding the succession and appointing her favourite Ernest Biron, Duke of Courland, as regent.
Biron, had made himself an object of detestation to the Russian people. After Biron threatened to exile Anna and her spouse to Germany, she had little difficulty working with Field Marshal Burkhard Christoph von Münnich to overthrow him; the coup succeeded and she assumed the regency on 8 November, taking the title of Grand Duchess. Field Marshal Münnich arrested Biron in his apartment, where the tyrannical Biron ingloriously begged for his life on his knees. Anna knew little of the character of the people with whom she had to deal, knew less of the conventions and politics of Russian government, speedily quarrelled with her principal supporters. According to the Dictionary of Russian History, she ordered an investigation of the garment industry when new uniforms received by the military were found to be of inferior quality; when the investigation revealed inhuman conditions she issued decrees mandating a minimum wage and maximum working hours in that industry as well as the establishment of medical facilities at every garment factory.
She presided over a brilliant victory by Russian forces at the Battle of Villmanstrand in Finland after Sweden had declared war against her Government. She had Julia von Mengden. Anna's love life took up much time, as the bisexual Anna was involved in what were described as "passionate" affairs with the Saxon ambassador Count Mozritz zu Lynar and her lady-in-waiting Mengden. Anna's husband did his best to ignore the affairs. After becoming Regent, Anton was marginalized, being forced to sleep in another palace while Anna took either Lynar, Mengden or both to bed with her. At times the grand duke would appear to complain about being "cuckolded", but he was always sent away. At one point, Anna proposed to have Lynar marry Mengden in order to unite the two people closest to her in the world together; the regent's relationship with Mengden caused much disgust in Russia, though the French historian Henri Troyat wrote that amongst the many libertines of St. Petersburg Anna's "sexual eclecticism" in having both a man and a woman as her lovers was seen as a sign of Anna's open-mindedness.
More damagingly, many in the Russian elite believed that at the age of twenty-two Anna was too young and immature to be the Regent of Russia and that her preoccupation with her relationships with Lynar and Mengden at the expense of governing Russia made her a danger to the state. Troyat described Anna as an "indolent d
Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern
Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern was Queen of Prussia from 1740 to 1786 as the spouse of Frederick the Great. By birth, she was a Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, she was the longest-serving queen of Prussia. Elisabeth Christine was born the daughter of Duke Ferdinand Albert II and Duchess Antoinette of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. In 1733, Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia, having failed in his attempt to flee from his father's tyrannical regime, was ordered to marry a daughter of the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Elisabeth Christine was the niece of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI's wife Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. On 12 June 1733, Elisabeth Christine married Frederick at her father's summer palace, Schloss Salzdahlum in Wolfenbüttel, Germany. On their wedding night, Frederick spent a reluctant hour with his new wife and walked about outside for the rest of the night. Due to the circumstances behind their betrothal, Frederick was well known to have resented the marriage from the beginning.
He had only agreed to marry Elisabeth after his failed attempt to escape from his father's tyrannical regime. The King had thereafter ordered Frederick to marry the daughter of Duke Ferdinand Albrecht of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel, Frederick had submitted to his father's will in order to regain his freedom. Thus, the position of Elisabeth Christine, only seventeen on her marriage, at the Berlin Court, was difficult from the beginning, as the only support that she could count on was the King's, her father-in-law, Frederick William I, had indeed remained attached to his daughter-in-law until his death and was fond of her piety, which did nothing to endear her husband. However, Frederick was shrewd enough to recognise the opportunity his wife provided to improve his own relationship with his father, systematically used her to gain favours from him. During the first year of their marriage, Frederick was garrisoned in Ruppin, while Elisabeth lived in Berlin at the king's court, he showered her with letters asking for travel permits, etc. from the King or demanding that she run up debts in Brunswick to pay for his expenses.
This pattern continued after the couple moved to the palace in Rheinsberg in 1736. There, Frederick was allowed to maintain a court of his own for the first time, there the couple's marital life seems to have been as normal as it would become—Elisabeth Christine recalled the Rheinsberg years as the "happiest of her life". However, the basis for this relationship, characterised by admiration, or love, on Elisabeth's side, cool calculation on Frederick's, disappeared with his accession to the throne in 1740; when Frederick's father died and he acceded to the throne of Prussia as Frederick II in 1740, he and Elisabeth Christine began to live separately. It should be mentioned that throughout his life, Frederick did not show any sexual interest in women, the only woman whom he considered a close friend was his older sister, Wilhelmine, he had no known affairs with women, presided over a spartan military court, where women appeared and never held any influence. Tradition has it that Elisabeth Christine could not understand Frederick's indifference and that she had an unrequited love for her spouse.
Her mother-in-law felt sorry for her because of this and invited her to her residence. Frederick the Great did not care for ceremonial court life and representation, which he associated with the undue influence of women upon state affairs, such as the influence of the royal mistresses in France, left most of the posts in his own court vacant and thereby did not possess much of a court at Potsdam. During the first years of his reign, he did somewhat revive the court life, but after Sanssouci palace in Potsdam was completed in 1747, he spent his life more and more isolated in Sanssouci in the summer and the Potsdam royal residence in winter, only appeared at the official royal court in Berlin at special occasions such as birthdays of members of the royal house and visits of foreign princes. Despite his personal contempt for representational court life, however, he realized its importance in the system of state, therefore did not abolish court life in Prussia, but rather left all representational duties to his wife.
Queen Elisabeth Christine therefore had a visible and official role as queen of Prussia: during the first seventeen years of his reign, she shared the representational duties of the court with her mother-in-law, after the death of the dowager queen in 1757, she handled them alone. When he became king, Frederick gave Elisabeth Christine her own summer residence, Schönhausen Palace in Berlin, redecorated her apartments in the Berlin Royal Palace, appointing a large court for her to assist her in upholding the court routine. In Berlin, Elisabeth Christine received foreign princes and generals, hosted official court events such as royal birthdays and weddings. During summers at Schönhausen, she entertained the royal family and the Prussian aristocracy with concerts and dinners, and hosted a circle of Lutheran theologians such as Büschning, Spaldning and Zöllner. At both residences, she presided at the weekly reception days, which were the only occasions were the entire Prussian royal court assembled as a whole during the reign of Frederick the Great.
She was described in 1779 by the English tourist Dr. Moore: "The Queen has one Court-day in the week, when the Princes and foreign ambassadors wait upon her, at five o' clock. After she has made the tour of the circle, said a few words to each, she se