Charles II of Spain
Charles II of Spain known as El Hechizado or the Bewitched, was the last Habsburg ruler of the Spanish Empire. He is now best remembered for his physical disabilities, believed to be the result of inbreeding, the war for his throne that followed his death, he died childless in 1700 with no immediate Habsburg heir. His will named his successor as 16-year-old Philip of Anjou, grandson of Louis XIV and Charles's half-sister Maria Theresa. Disputes over Philip's inheritance led to the War of the Spanish Succession. Charles was born in Madrid to his second wife, Mariana of Austria; the only surviving son of his father's two marriages, he was given the title Prince of Asturias, traditionally held by the heir to the Spanish throne. Philip and Mariana were uncle and niece, making Charles their son, great-nephew and first-cousin respectively; the impact of this inbreeding is not understood, while his elder sister Margaret Theresa did not appear to have the same issues. Charles has been the subject of various studies on the impact of inbreeding, which have suggested he may have had the endocrine disease acromegaly and a combination of rare genetic disorders transmitted through recessive genes, including combined pituitary hormone deficiency and distal renal tubular acidosis.
However, the authors of the most significant study state that "evidence supporting inbreeding as an important factor in the extinction of the Spanish Habsburg lineage not conclusive. It has not been demonstrated disabilities suffered by Charles II were caused by detrimental recessive alleles inherited from common ancestors."Regardless of their cause, Charles suffered ill-health throughout his life and has been described as "short, epileptic and bald before 35, always on the verge of death but baffling Christendom by continuing to live." In his case, the so-called Habsburg lip was so pronounced he spoke and ate only with difficulty, did not learn to talk until the age of four or walk until eight. However, foreign observers such as the Marquess of Torcy noted his mental capacities remained intact; when Charles became King in 1665, the Spanish Empire or'Monarchy' remained an enormous global confederation in terms of territory, but decades of war drained resources and ended Spain's supremacy in Europe.
The 1568-1648 Eighty Years' War with the Dutch, the 1635-59 Franco-Spanish War and other conflicts devastated finances, while Spain was forced to accept an independent Dutch Republic in 1648. The Kingdom of Spain comprised the two Crowns of Castile and Aragon, each with different political cultures and traditions; this made it hard to enact reforms or collect taxes and government finances were in perpetual crisis. Spain declared bankruptcy nine times between 1557 and 1666, including 1647, 1652, 1661 and 1666. However, the 17th century was a period of crisis for many European states and Spain was not alone in facing these problems. Feuds between those who ruled in Charles' name did little to help but it is debatable how far they or he can be held responsible for long-term trends predating his reign. Charles was three years old when his father, Philip IV, died on 17 September 1665. While Charles theoretically ruled in his own name after her death in 1696, in reality his frequent ill-health meant power was exercised by others.
This resulted in bitter internal struggles for control of government, the long feud between his mother and illegitimate half-brother John of Austria the Younger being damaging. Charles' father Philip had established the system of employing personal favourites or "validos" when he appointed the Count-Duke of Olivares in 1621. Mariana followed this precedent, the difference being that as they had been put in office by a woman, they were more visible; the first was her personal confessor, Juan Everardo Nithard, appointed Grand Inquisitor in 1666, placing him on the Regency Council. On Charles' accession, his administration had to end the long-running Portuguese Restoration War and settle the War of Devolution with France; the Spanish Crown declared bankruptcy in 1662 and 1666 and reducing Spain's military commitments was a matter of extreme urgency. In 1668, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ended the war with France and the Treaty of Lisbon accepted the restoration of the Crown of Portugal and loss of the Portuguese Empire.
These were an acceptance of reality while Aix-La-Chapelle was in many ways a diplomatic triumph, since France was forced to return most of its territorial gains. However, John exploited discontent within the ruling class to instigate a revolt in Aragon and Catalonia, compelling Mariana to dismiss Nithard in February 1669. Nithard was replaced by Fernando de Valenzuela; this would have resulted in the end of the Regency while John used the opportunity to dismiss the valido. Mariana succeeded in having the Regency continued on the basis of Charles's disabilities and Valenzuela returned to court in 1677; the outbreak of the Franco-Dutch War in 1672 dragged Spain into another war with France over the Spanish Netherlands, the cost of which placed intolerable strain on the economy. In January 1678, John took charge of government, expelled Mariana and exiled Valenzuela. Given his earlier opposition to the concessions made in 1668, his first act was to end the war.
Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria
Maximilian II known as Max Emanuel or Maximilian Emanuel, was a Wittelsbach ruler of Bavaria and a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire. He was the last governor of the Spanish Netherlands and duke of Luxembourg. An able soldier, his ambition led to conflicts, he was born in Munich to Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria and Princess Henriette Adelaide of Savoy. His maternal grandparents were Victor Amadeus I of Savoy and Christine Marie of France, daughter of King Henri IV. Maximilian inherited the elector's mantle while still a minor in 1679 and remained under his uncle Maximilian Philipp's regency until 1680. By 1683 he was embarked on a military career, fighting in the defense of Vienna against the attempt of the Ottoman Empire to extend their possessions further into Europe, he returned to court for long enough to marry Maria Antonia, daughter of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor and Margaret Theresa of Spain, on 15 July 1685 in Vienna, Austria. This marriage was unhappy since the couple disliked each other, but it was successful in producing a desired heir for both Bavaria and the Spanish monarchy.
Maximilian Emanuel's fame was assured when, in 1688, he led the capture of Belgrade from the Turks, with the full support of Serbian insurgents under the command of Jovan Monasterlija. In the War of the Grand Alliance he again fought on the Habsburgs' side, protected the Rhine frontier, being the Emperor's son-in-law and the husband of the King of Spain's niece, was appointed governor of the Spanish Netherlands in late 1691, his Netherlands adventure catalyzed Maximilian Emanuel's dynastic ambitions. One year after his appointment as governor, Maria Antonia died in Vienna, having given birth to a son, Joseph Ferdinand, appointed heir to the Spanish monarchy, but died before acceding thereto in 1699. An alternative avenue for Maximilian Emanuel's ambition was offered by his marriage on 12 January 1694 to Theresa Kunegunda Sobieska, the death of whose father, the elected King of Poland John III Sobieski, two years offered a potential avenue of influence in Polish affairs. However, he concentrated his interests in Western Europe, making his sons by Theresa Kunegunda Sobieska, Charles Albert and Clemens August, the principal beneficiaries of his ambitions.
The unsuccessful siege and bombardment of Brussels in 1695 during the Nine Years' War by French troops and the resulting fire during Max Emanuel's rule were together the most destructive event in the entire history of Brussels. Maximilian Emanuel, who had married Archduchess Maria Antonia, the sole child of Emperor Leopold's Spanish marriage, was one of the more serious claimants to the Spanish inheritance of Charles II of Spain, the birth of his son Joseph Ferdinand in October 1692 created a new pretender to the Spanish throne. In October 1698, William III of England and Louis XIV of France concluded the First Partition Treaty, which gave the Spanish crown with the Indies to Joseph Ferdinand, Milan to Emperor Joseph's younger son Archduque Charles, the rest of Spanish Italy to France; the unexpected death of Joseph Ferdinand four months voided this plan and in the Second Partition Treaty, the Bavarian portion of the inheritance was allotted to Archduque Charles. By the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1701, Maximilian Emanuel, who had long-term imperial aspirations, had hoped that his governorship of the Spanish Netherlands might yet reap the reward of a share of the Spanish inheritance from either Leopold or, failing him, Louis XIV.
Allying himself with the French against Austria, his campaign against Tyrol in 1703 did not have success and his plans were frustrated by the disastrous defeat at the Battle of Blenheim in 1704. In 1704–05, following the evacuation of the Bavarian court to the Spanish Netherlands after the defeat at the Battle of Blenheim, Max Emanuel's consort was in charge of the government in the Stewardship of Munich of the Electorate of Bavaria as Regent Princess. However, when Theresa Kunegunda had found love letters of the Countess of Arco, a mistress of Max Emanuel, she left Munich to see her mother in Venice; the army would not allow her to return. In the ensuing evacuation of his court to the Netherlands, Maximilian Emanuel's family became separated and his sons were held prisoners for several years in Austria, Klemens August being brought up by Jesuits. Bavaria was partitioned between Elector Palatine; the harsh Austrian administration which managed to extract massive amounts of money and manpower from Bavaria led to a serious peasant uprising within a year.
Maximilian Emanuel was again forced to flee the Netherlands after the Battle of Ramillies on 23 May 1706 and found refuge at the French court in Versailles where his late sister Maria Anna had been the wife of the Grand Dauphin. In 1712, Luxemburg and Namur were ceded to Maximilian Emanuel by his French allies, a cession, not definitive since France was only the occupant of what was still the Spanish Netherlands; the war between France and Austria ended in 1714 in the Treaty of Rastatt in which Louis XIV compelled Austria to implement the full restoration of his faithful ally Maximilian Emanuel, including the return of the Upper Palatinate. Maximilian Emanuel was to remain in possession of Luxemburg and Charleroi until he was restored. Back in Bavaria, Maximilian Emanuel focused on architecture projects to balance the failure of his political ambitions, it was bitter for him to witness the royal elevation of the German princes Augustus II the Strong, Frederick I of Prussia and George I of Hanover as well as of his cousin Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia while his own political dreams cou
Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg
Eleonore Magdalene of Neuburg was a Holy Roman Empress, German Queen, Archduchess consort of Austria, Queen consort of Hungary and Bohemia as the third and last wife of Leopold I. She was the paternal grandmother of Empress Maria Theresa. Reputed to be one of the most educated and the virtuous women of her time, she took part in the political affairs during the reign of her husband and sons, she served as Interim Regent for a few months in 1711 and was during this timer period that the Treaty of Szatmár was signed, which recognized the rights of her descendants in the Kingdom of Hungary. Before her marriage and during her widowhood she led an ascetic and monastic life, being involved in charity work. Eleonore was born in Düsseldorf on the night of 6 January 1655, as the oldest of 17 children born from Philip William, Count Palatine of Neuburg and Duke of Jülich-Berg and his second wife Landgravine Elisabeth Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt. On her father's side her grandparents were Wolfgang Wilhelm, Count Palatine of Neuburg and his first wife Magdalene of Bavaria and on her mother's side her grandparents were George II, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt and his wife Sophia Eleonore of Saxony.
After birth, the princess was baptized Eleonore Magdalene Therese by the abbot of Altenburg Abbey. To celebrate her birth, the court chaplain and poet, Jesuit Jakob Balde composed a Latin poem in hexameters called the "Song of genius Eleonore", which he translated to German. Subsequently, he became the spiritual mentor of Eleonore until his death. In August 1655 she, together with her parents, moved from Düsseldorf to Neuburg. On 11 September 1661 at the Neuburg Hofkirche, the princess was anointed by Marquard II Schenk von Castell, Prince-bishop of Eichstätt. Eleonore was raised in a pious environment and received a good education: she was fluent in Latin and Italian, translated to German biblical and religious texts, was well versed in theology, she was fond to music and arts and dancing, but her special passion was reading. Since September 1672 Eleonore lived at Benrath Castle, under the guidance of a maid of honour, she began her training in etiquette. From her early childhood, Eleonore displayed a pious nature and a fervent adherence to Roman Catholicism.
She was four years old when she saw a Crucifixion scene and Eleonore burst into tears in sympathy with Jesus. In addition, every day she participated in religious services, visited the sick. Among the poor, Eleonore asked them to treat her as a commoner, rather than a person of noble birth, because she thought that all people were precious to God. On 2 February 1669 she entered the Brotherhood of Our Lady of Sorrows at the Cross; the special protection provided by Eleonore to the Carmelite monasteries in Düsseldorf and Neuburg reflected her wish to be a Carmelite nun, but her parents refused to give their consent. Five monarchs asked for her hand, all were refused by Eleonore. One of her rejected suitors was the widower James, Duke of York, the future King of England and Scotland, who proposed in 1671. In April 1676 Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor lost his second wife, immediately began to search for a new one, urged by the need of a male heir. From his previous marriages he had six children, but all except the oldest daughter, Archduchess Maria Antonia, died shortly after birth.
This time Eleonore was chosen, over Duchess Maria Anna Victoria of Bavaria, Princess Ulrika Eleonora of Denmark and many other potential candidates. Thanks to the intense diplomatic efforts of Eleonore's father, he gained to his side Francesco Bonvisi, Papal nuncio in Vienna, King Charles II of Spain. However, the opponents of the Count Palatine of Neuburg in the Imperial court, spread rumours that Eleonore suffered from poor health and was physically unattractive. However, these rumours did not stop the Emperor, who needed an heir and knew not only about Eleonore's family reputed fertility but about her fervent Catholicism and pious nature. In addition, the Count Palatine showed Leopold I a portrait of his daughter, made for this purpose; the marriage negotiations began in April 1676. To this end, an emissary send by the Count Palatine arrived to Vienna managed to win the support of Empress Dowager Eleonora Gonzaga and a number of notable courtiers, including Chancellor Johann Paul Freiherr von Hocher.
In August 1676 the personal physician of the Emperor arrived in Neuburg and examined Eleonore to establish her fertility. Back in Vienna the following month, he gave the official conclusion. Leopold I took the final decision about the marriage only in the second half of October. For Eleonore, the news that she would become the new Empress did not make her happy, as she had still wished to become a nun. On 25 November 1676 the official betrothal took place; the bride and groom were third cousins, thus a papal dispensation was granted by Pope Innocent XI to allow the marriage. Eleonore's dowry was fixed at 100,000 florins; the first meeting between Leopold I and Eleonore took place two days before the wedding and they made a favourable impression on each other. The wedding took place in Passau on 14 December 1676; the wedding was somewhat private. The ceremony was still elaborate and th
House of Habsburg
The House of Habsburg called the House of Austria, was one of the most influential and distinguished royal houses of Europe. The throne of the Holy Roman Empire was continuously occupied by the Habsburgs from 1438 until their extinction in the male line in 1740; the house produced emperors and kings of the Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Germany, Kingdom of Hungary, Kingdom of Croatia, Kingdom of Illyria, Second Mexican Empire, Kingdom of Ireland, Kingdom of Portugal, Kingdom of Spain, as well as rulers of several Dutch and Italian principalities. From the 16th century, following the reign of Charles V, the dynasty was split between its Austrian and Spanish branches. Although they ruled distinct territories, they maintained close relations and intermarried; the House takes its name from Habsburg Castle, a fortress built in the 1020s in present-day Switzerland, in the canton of Aargau, by Count Radbot of Klettgau, who chose to name his fortress Habsburg. His grandson Otto II was the first to take the fortress name as his own, adding "Count of Habsburg" to his title.
The House of Habsburg gathered dynastic momentum through the 11th, 12th, 13th centuries. By 1276, Count Radbot's seventh generation descendant Rudolph of Habsburg moved the family's power base from Habsburg Castle to the Duchy of Austria. Rudolph became King of Germany in 1273, the dynasty of the House of Habsburg was entrenched in 1276 when Rudolph became ruler of Austria, which the Habsburgs and their descendants ruled until 1918. A series of dynastic marriages enabled the family to vastly expand its domains to include Burgundy and its colonial empire, Bohemia and other territories. In the 16th century, the family separated into the senior Habsburg Spain and the junior Habsburg Monarchy branches, who settled their mutual claims in the Oñate treaty; the House of Habsburg became extinct in the 18th century. The senior Spanish branch ended upon the death of Charles II of Spain in 1700 and was replaced by the House of Bourbon; the remaining Austrian branch became extinct in the male line in 1740 with the death of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, in 1780 with the death of his eldest daughter Maria Theresa of Austria.
It was succeeded by the Vaudémont branch of the House of Lorraine, descendants of Maria Theresa's marriage to Francis III, Duke of Lorraine. The new successor house styled itself formally as the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, because it was confusingly still referred to as the House of Habsburg, historians use the unofficial appellation of the Habsburg Monarchy for the countries and provinces that were ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg between 1521 and 1780 and by the successor branch of Habsburg-Lorraine until 1918; the Lorraine branch continues to exist to this day and its members use the Habsburg name. The Habsburg Empire had the advantage of size, but multiple disadvantages. There were rivals on four sides, its finances were unstable, the population was fragmented into multiple ethnicities, its industrial base was thin, its naval resources were so minimal. It typified by Metternich. Along with the Capetian dynasty, it was one of the two most powerful continental European royal families, dominating European politics for nearly five centuries.
Their principal roles were as follows: Holy Roman Emperors, kings of Germany, kings of the Romans) Rulers of Austria Kings of Bohemia Kings of Hungary and Croatia Kings of Spain Kings of Portugal Kings of Galicia and Lodomeria Grand princes of Transylvania Numerous other titles were attached to the crowns listed above. The progenitor of the House of Habsburg may have been Guntram the Rich, a count in the Breisgau who lived in the 10th century, forewith farther back as the early medieval Adalrich, Duke of Alsace, father of the Etichonids from which Habsburg derives, his grandson Radbot, Count of Habsburg founded the Habsburg Castle, after which the Habsburgs are named. The origins of the castle's name, located in what is now the Swiss canton of Aargau, are uncertain. There is disagreement on whether the name is derived from the High German Habichtsburg, or from the Middle High German word hab/hap meaning ford, as there is a river with a ford nearby; the first documented use of the name by the dynasty itself has been traced to the year 1108.
The Habsburg Castle was the family seat in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Habsburgs expanded their influence through arranged marriages and by gaining political privileges countship rights in Zürichgau and Thurgau. In the 13th century, the house aimed its marriage policy at families in Upper Swabia, they were able to gain high positions in the church hierarchy for their members. Territorially, they profited from the extinction of other noble families such as the House of Kyburg. By the second half of the 13th century, count Rudolph IV had become one of the most influential territorial lords in the area between the Vosg
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Louis, Grand Dauphin
Louis of France was the eldest son and heir of Louis XIV, King of France, his spouse, Maria Theresa of Spain. As the heir apparent to the French throne, he was styled Dauphin, he became known as Le Grand Dauphin after the birth of Le Petit Dauphin. As he died before his father, he never became king, his grandson became Louis XV of France. Louis was born on 1 November 1661 at the Château de Fontainebleau, the eldest son of the young French King, Louis XIV of France, his Spanish wife, Maria Theresa of Spain; as a Fils de France he was entitled to the style of Royal Highness. He was baptised on 24 March 1662 at the chapel of the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye and given his father's name of Louis. At the ceremony, the Cardinal de Vendôme and the Princess of Conti acted as proxies for the godparents, Pope Clement IX and Queen Henrietta Maria of England; the latter was Louis's great-aunt. It was for this occasion, he was under the care of royal governesses, among them being Julie d'Angennes and Louise de Prie de La Mothe-Houdancourt.
When Louis reached the age of seven, he was removed from the care of women and placed in the society of men. He received Charles de Sainte-Maure, duc de Montausier, as his governor and was tutored by Jacques Bénigne Bossuet, Bishop of Meaux, the great French preacher and orator, without positive result: Louis XIV secretly nursed the same suspicious jealousy of the Grand Dauphin that Louis XIII had once shown to himself. No prince could have been less deserving of such feelings. Monseigneur, as the heir to the throne was now known, had inherited his mother's docility and low intelligence. All his life he remained petrified with admiration of his formidable father and stood in fear of him while lavish proofs of'affection' were showered upon him; the best way for Monseigneur to do someone an injury was to commend him to the royal favour. He knew it, did not conceal it from his rare petitioners. Louis XIV saw to it. Instead of a devoted mother and an affectionate and likeable tutor, the Dauphin had the repellent and misanthropic Duc de Montausier, who ruthlessly applied the same methods that had so disturbed Louis XIII.
They annihilated his grandson. Bossuet overwhelmed his backward pupil with such splendid lessons that the Dauphin developed a lasting horror of books and history. By the age of eighteen, Monseigneur had assimilated none of the knowledge amassed to so little purpose, the apathy of his mind was second only to that of his senses, it was said that when Louis was an adult, he could pass a whole day tapping his cane against his foot in an armchair. Nonetheless, his generosity and liberality gave him great popularity in Paris and with the French people in general. Louis was one of six legitimate children of his parents; the others all died in early childhood. Louis XIV, had a low opinion of his son: indolent and dull, only the saving grace of his bourgeois morals kept him from outraging the pious people about him. Like his father he enjoyed the hunt, but, about the only way in which this disappointing son resembled his father. Alive to political considerations, the King considered various European royal daughters as possible wives for his heir, such as Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, Louis' own cousin Marie Louise d'Orléans, daughter of Philippe, Duke of Orléans, Princess Henrietta of England.
According to various reports, Marie Louise and Louis were in love. However, Louis XIV decided to use Marie Louise to forge a link with Spain and forced her to marry the invalid Charles II of Spain, the Dauphin's own half-uncle. Louis was engaged to Maria Anna Victoria of Bavaria, when he was seven, she was a year older than Louis and, upon arriving at the French court, was described as being unattractive. Nonetheless, she was a cultured princess, made a good impression upon her arrival as she was able to speak French fluently, they were married by proxy in Munich on 28 January 1680. Although he was permitted at first to attend and to participate in the Conseil d'en haut, Louis did not play an important part in French politics. Nonetheless, as the heir to the throne, he was surrounded by cabals battling for future prominence. Apart from the minor political role he played during his father's reign, Louis engaged in more leisurely pursuits and was esteemed for his magnificent collection of art at Versailles and Meudon.
Louis XIV purchased Meudon for him from the widow of Louvois. The Dauphin employed Jules Hardouin Mansart and the office of the Bâtiments du Roi, but most his long-term "house designer" Jean Bérain, head of the Menus Plaisirs, to provide new decors, he lived at Meudon for the remainder of his life surrounded by his two half-sisters Marie Anne de Bourbon and the Princess of Condé, both of whom he loved dearly. These three made up the main part of the Cabal de Meudon which opposed the Dauphin's son Louis and his Savoyard wife, the Duchess of Burgundy. Louis is said to have hunted wolves to extinction in the Île-de-France. During the War of the Grand Alliance, he was sent in 1688 to the Rhineland front. Before leaving the court, Louis was thus instructed by his father: In sending you to command my army, I am giving you an opportunity to make known your merit. There Louis succeeded, under
Mariana of Austria
Mariana of Austria or Maria Anna was Queen of Spain from 1649 until her husband Philip IV died in 1665. She was appointed regent for their three-year-old son Charles II and due to his ill health remained an influential figure until her own death in 1696. Maria Anna was born on 24 December 1634 in Wiener Neustadt, the second child of Ferdinand of Hungary and Maria Anna of Spain. In 1637, her father became Emperor Ferdinand III on the death of Emperor Ferdinand II, her parents had six children. Maria Anna's elder brother, Ferdinand IV of Hungary died in 1654 at the age of 21; the Habsburgs preferred to marry within the family to retain their lands and properties, in 1646 Maria Anna was betrothed to her Spanish cousin Balthasar Charles, Prince of Asturias, heir to the Spanish crown. When he died three months Maria Anna was left without a husband and Philip IV without a male heir, his own wife had died several years before and on 7 October 1649, forty-four-year-old Philip married his fourteen-year-old niece in Navalcarnero, near Madrid.
From on, she was known by her Spanish name'Mariana.' The marriage was not a happy one. Only two of their five children lived into adulthood. Mariana's second daughter, Maria Ambrosia, lived only fifteen days, followed by two sons, Philip Prospero and Ferdinand Thomas. Shortly after Philip Prospero's death, on 6 November 1661 Mariana gave birth to her last child, Charles. Unlike his elder sister, he suffered a number of physical disabilities and was known as El Hechizado or "The Bewitched" from the popular belief his ailments were caused by "sorcery." In Charles' case, the so-called Habsburg lip was so pronounced he spoke and ate with difficulty all his life. He did not learn to walk until he was eight and never attended school but foreign observers noted his mental capacities remained intact, it has been suggested Charles suffered from the endocrine disease acromegaly and a combination of rare genetic disorders transmitted through recessive genes, including combined pituitary hormone deficiency and distal renal tubular acidosis.
However, this is speculation. As Charles was only 3 years old when Philip died on 17 September 1665, Mariana was appointed his regent, advised by a Regency Council, until he became a legal adult at the age of 14, her competence is difficult to assess. Recent studies argue she attempted significant reforms but these were compromised by internal political feuds; the struggle between'Austrian' and'French' factions led by Mariana and Charles' illegitimate half-brother John of Austria the Younger, was worsened by Spain's division into the Crowns of Castile and Aragon. Each had different political cultures and traditions, making it hard to enact reforms or collect taxes. Mariana followed the system established by Philip of governing through personal advisors or "validos," the first of whom was Juan Everardo Nithard, an Austrian Jesuit and her personal confessor. Since Philip's will excluded foreigners from the Regency Council, Nithard first had to be naturalised, which caused immediate resentment; the new government was faced with the long-running Portuguese Restoration War and the War of Devolution with France.
In 1668, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle ended the war with France while the Treaty of Lisbon accepted the restoration of the Crown of Portugal and loss of the Portuguese Empire. These concessions were an acceptance of reality and in many ways Aix-La-Chapelle was a diplomatic triumph, since France returned most of its gains but many nobles saw it as a humiliation. John instigated a revolt in Aragon and Catalonia, forcing Marianna to dismiss Nithard in February 1669 and replace him with Fernando de Valenzuela; when Charles came of age in 1675, John used the opportunity to dismiss Valenzuela but he was restored in 1677 when the Regency was reinstated due to Charles's ill-health. The Franco-Dutch War in 1672 dragged Spain into another expensive war with France and John gained control of government in 1678, he died in September 1679, one of his last acts being to arrange a marriage between Charles and 17-year-old Marie Louise of Orléans in November 1679. Mariana was once more restored as regent, although her influence over Charles was diminished by his new wife.
The 1683-84 War of the Reunions was followed in 1688 by the outbreak of the Nine Years' War. In February 1689, Marie Louise died. To replace her, Mariana selected Maria Anna of Neuburg, one of 12 children, whose eldest sister Eleonore was the third wife of Emperor Leopold, making her aunt to future emperors Joseph I and Charles VI. From Marianna's perspective, these Austrian connections and the family'