2.9c The Spanish Succession War (1702-1713)
On one side was Louis XIV of France, who was ably supported by the powerful prince of Bavaria, the Electorals of Bavaria and Spain. On the other side was Marlborough, the greatest stalwart of Britain during the War of the Spanish succession. The diplomatic genius of Marlborough had brought about the Grand Alliance in which England, Austria and numerous small states of the Empire along with Holland had joined hands. Later on, Savoy and Portugal also joined the Grand Alliance. Immediately after the accession of Queen Anne to the English throne the English Parliament declared that too much could not be done to reduce the exorbitant power of France. The parliament voted 80,000 soldiers for the army and navy on a half-and-half basis. Now, the Allied Powers were ready to make a plunge for war. They pledged themselves (a) to secure the Spanish throne for the Archduke Charles and (b) to prevent the Union of the Spanish and the French crowns. The places commonly known as the centers of war were Spain, Netherlands, Germany and Italy.
2.9d In Spain
William III appointed Rooke as the head of the naval force. Rooke was helped equally by the efficient leader Scholwell. The English army knew no bounds and captured Gibralter. The Gateway of Rome too came under the control of the English army.
2.9e In Netherlands and Germany
In the Netherlands and Germany, the first two years
of the war (1702-04) were spent in securing Holland from the risk
of a French invasion. In 1704 AD Marlborough and Prince Eugene completely
defeated the Franco-Bavarian army under Marshal Tallard at the battle
of Blenheim. This battle had dual results.
2.9f In France
After the defeat of the French army at Blenheim, both the enemies met again at a place called Ramilles. The French army faced serious defeat; Marlborough captured Brusail and Antwerp. The French army was driven from the greater part of the Spanish Netherlands. In 1707, the English army entered Madrid. But it was defeated at Almariza. This defeat encouraged Philip to regain his lost strength. But the French were also defeated in the battle of Oudenarde in 1708.
In 1709 was fought the bloodiest battle of the war at Malplaquet and the English were again victorious. The result was that the French were driven out of Flanders.
2.9g In England and Italy
Tory Ministry in England: There was no doubt that Marlborough won major victories but there came a dramatic change in the internal politics of England. The ministry of Godolphin came to an end. The new Tory ministry removed Marlborough from his office. In Italy, the French army was defeated at Turin by Prince Eugene, and was forced to leave Italy.
2.9h The End of the War
The newly formed Tory Ministry was in favor of peace. They wanted the war to come to an end. Oxford and Bolingbroke opened peace negotiations with France secretly. The Tory politicians deserted their allies. A general peace was arranged at Utrecht (1713 AD).