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La Hogue, the French navy rode triumphant, and gained a decided superiority over the English and Dutch fleets. But France was exhausted by these efforts ; a dreadful famine ravaged the country, arising partly from an unfavorable season, and partly from the want of hands to till the ground ; and the finances of the state were fast falling into confusion. The allies, aware of these circumstances, made vigorous efforts to recover their losses, but they were generally unsuccessful, except on the side of Flanders, where William recaptured Namur, and thus, in some degree, retrieved his military reputation. All parties became weary of a war in which much blood was shed, much treasure expended, and no permanent acquisitions made. Negotiations were commenced under the mediation of Charles XI., of Sweden, at Ryswick (A. D. 1697), and a treaty concluded, in which Louis made many important concessions, to purchase an interval of tranquillity for his future projects. The French king's renunciation of the Spanish succession, which it had been the main object of the war to enforce, was not even mentioned in the articles of pacification, and several other omissions left abundant grounds for a renewal of the war at no distant period.
The emperor, though severely harassed by the Turks, consented to the peace with great reluctance, and complained bitterly of the desertion of his allies. But no one of the confederates derived more advantage from the treaty; he was enabled to direct his whole force against the Ottomans, who, under their new sultan, Mustapha II., became, for a brief space, formidable to Europe. The danger was averted by the celebrated Prince Eugene, of Savoy, who now began to attract admiration. After the peace of Ryswick, he took the command of the imperialists, and encountered Mustapha at Zenta, a small village on the banks of the river Theysse, in the kingdom of Hungary. The battle was brief, but, for its duration, one of the most sanguinary on record ; fifteen thousand Turks were slain, and eight thousand more drowned in their flight across the river; their artillery, baggage, and ammunition, the sultan's magnificent pavilion, countless standards, and the great seal of the Ottoman empire, remained the prize of the victors; the grand vizier, the aga of the janissaries, and twenty-seven pachas, were among the victims of this fatal field. Mustapha, having vainly attempted to retrieve his losses in a new campaign, was forced to consent to the peace of Carlowitz, by which several provinces were resigned to the Austrians, Azof ceded to the Russians, now fast rising into importance under the administration of the Czar Peter, and the Venetians gratified by the cession of the Morea, anciently called the Peloponnesus.
The declining health of the king of Spain, Charles II., engaged the general attention of Europe after the peace of Ryswick: three princes were candidates for the succession, Louis XIV., the emperor Leopold, and the elector of Bavaria. It is unnecessary to canvass their several claims, but it is manifest that the general interests of Europe pointed to the electoral prince as thu most eligible of the competitors. A secret treaty of partition was concluded between William and Louis, but Charles II. received information of the transaction, and enraged that his dominions should be shared during his life, proclaimed the electoral prince of Bavaria sole heir. Scarcely, however, had this arrangement been made, when that prince died suddenly, not without strong suspi
cions of poison (A. D. 1699). A new treaty of partition was arranged by Holland, France, and England, but the emperor Leopold refused his concurrence, expecting to obtain for his family the inheritance of the whole Spanish monarchy. During these negotiations, the affections of she Scotch were alienated from William, by his sacrificing the settlement which they had established at a great expense, on the isthmus of Darien, to quiet the fears of the Spaniards, and the commercial jealousy of the English. Could they have found leaders, they would probably have had recourse to arms, but fortunately they were contented to vent their rage in violent language, and furious invective. Charles II. was long disposed to favor the Austrian claimant to his crown, but the arrogance of his queen and her German favorites, alienated the nation from the court of Vienna, while the Spanish nobility and clergy urged the dying monarch to bestow the sovereignty on the house of Bourbon. Charles applied to the pope for advice ; Innocent XII., who then filled the pontifical chair, was very jealous of the progress of the Austrian power in Italy; he therefore strenuously recommended the choice of a French prince; a new will was made, and Philip, duke of Anjou, second son of the dauphin, was nominated heir to the crown of Spain. Not long after Charles died (A. D. 1701), and Louis, after some hesitation between the will and the partition treaty, proclaimed his grandson king of Spain and the Indies, under the title of Philip V.
Though England and Holland were equally alarmed at this proceeding, both powers were obliged to acquiesce for a season. William found his parliament reluctant to engage in a new war, and Louis, by an unexpected movement against the barrier towns, had secured a great portion of the Dutch army. The emperor, however, commenced a war, claiming the dutchy of Milan as a fief of the imperial crown, and his army, under the command of Prince Eugene, gained several advantages over Marshal Catinat, in Italy. During this campaign, the states-general and William, having failed to make any satisfactory explanations of his designs from the French king, concluded a treaty, called the Grand Alliance, with the emperor. Its avowed objects were “ cure satisfaction to his imperial majesty in the case of the Spanish succession ; obtain security to the English and Dutch for their dominions and commerce; prevent the union of the monarchies of France and Spain, and hinder the French from possessing the Spanish dominions in America.” But this treaty would probably have been frustrated by the English parliament, but for the imprudence with which Louis hazarded an insult to the British nation (A. D. 1701). On the death of James II., he caused his son, commonly called the Old Pretender, to be recognised king of Great Britain and Ireland, under the title of James III. The parliament at once entered heartily into the war, which they had hitherto disapproved, and their martial ardor was not abated by the death of William, who fell a victim to a fall from his horse, and the unskilfulness of an inexperienced surgeon (A. D. 1702). The intelligence of this event filled the allies with consternation, but their fears were of short duration, for Queen Anne, who next ascended the throne, declared her resolution to adhere steadily to the policy of her predecessor.
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SECTION V.-The War of the Spanish Succession.
The accession of Queen Anne gave great satisfaction to the English people ; William was disliked as a foreigner, who was more strongly attached to Holland than to his adopted country, and his coldness of manner had greatly tended to increase his unpopularity. He was suspected by the tories of secret designs against the “nurch, on account of his attachment to presbyterianism, and the whigs had ceased to respect him, because he had not shown himself sufficiently grateful for their services in raising him to the throne. Though his military talents were great, he had not been a very successful general, and it was studiously circulated, that he endeavored as much as possible to keep back the earl (afterward duke) of Marlborough, through envy of his superior abilities. He had, at first, recognised the duke of Anjou to the crown of Spain, and therefore when he joined the grand alliance formed to pre, ent what he had previously sanctioned, he was exposed to suspicions of insincerity, and it was generally believed that if Louis made any large sacrifices to conciliate the Dutch, the English monarch would not persevere in his resistance. It is scarcely necessary to say that it was of very little importance to England, whether an Austrian or a French prince became monarch of Spain ; the war of the succession, in which this country bore the principal share, was that in which its interests were the least involved; and this country lavishly poured forth its blood and treasure to accomplish objects which had no connexion with its real position. It was the indignation excited by the attempt of Louis to impose upon the English people a sovereign of his choice, which induced the queen and her people to enter on a bloody and expensive war, for no other purpose than humiliating the insolence of a despot. They subsequently found out that they had to pay too dear a price for the luxuries of war and vengeance.
Queen Anne infused vigor into the grand alliance, not only by the prompt declaration of her adhesion, but by her judicious choice of ministers ; Lord Godolphin was placed at the head of the treasury, and the earl of Marlborough, who was connected with the premier by marriage, was appointed commander-in-chief of the English army in Flanders, and appointed ambassador extraordinary to the states-general. War was declared against France on the same day, at London, the Hague, and Vienna; ant. the campaign was simultaneously opened in Italy, Germany, and Flanders (A. D. 1702). The earl of Marlborough, who commanded in Flanders, was the only one of the allied generals who obtained success; he captured several important towns, and would probably have defeated the French in the open field, had not his motions been fettered by the presence of the Dutch field-deputies, who were too cautious or too timorous to allow of his hazarding an engagement At sea the ancient renown of the English navy was re-established; Sir George Rooke sailed against Cadiz with a fleet of fifty sail, having with him the duke of Ormond and an army of twelve thousand men. Cadiz was too strong to be taken, and Rooke sailed to Vigo, where the galleons, laden with the treasures of Spanish America, lay protected by a French fleet and a formidable castle and batteries. The English admiral broke the boom that protected the narrow entrance ipt. the inner harbor, Ormond stormed the castle, and the French losing all hope, set fire to their ships. But the English and Dutch were at hand to extinguish the flames; six ships of the line and nine galleons became the trophies of the conquerors.
These losses, and the defection of the duke of Savoy, did not abate the courage of Louis; and the confederates, though joined by the king of Portugal, did not improve their advantages (A. D. 1703). The elector of Bavaria, the firm ally of France, being joined by Marshal Villars, gained a great victory over the imperialists at Hochstet, by which a road was opened to Vienna. The armies of Louis retained their superiority in Italy; evex at sea the French disconcerted the plans of the confederates, and these disasters were poorly compensated by the acquisition of a few fortified towns in Flanders, which were captured by Marlborough. Even these slight successes gave courage to the allies ; the English parliament voted liberal supplies for continuing the war and the emperor, though menaced on one side by the Hungarian insur gents, and on the other by the French and Bavarians, ordered his second son, Charles, to assume the title of king of Spain, and to proceed to Portugal, for the purpose of invading that country.
Marlborough had hitherto been greatly impeded by the timid cautio of his Dutch colleagues; he concerted the plan of his next campaig with a more congenial spirit, Prince Eugene. As his Flemish con quests, in the preceding campaigns, had secured a good barrier for the united provinces, Mariborough now advanced to the title of duke leaving the defence of the fortresses to the Dutch garrisons, concen. trated his forces, with the professed design of invading France, and then suddenly marched into Germany. A junction was effected with the imperialists, the elector of Bavaria’s lines at Donawert were forced, and the allies advanced to the Danube. The Bavarian prince having been reinforced by thirty thousand French under the command of Marshal Tallard, resolved to hazard a battle, and the duke having been joined by Prince Eugene, with an equal number, eagerly sought for an engagement (August 13, A. D. 1704). The French and Bavarians were advantageously posted on a hill between the Danube and the village of Blenheim; but their line was weakened by detachments, and Marlborough, taking advantage of their error, charged through, and won a decisive victory. Thirty thousand French and Bavarians were killed, wounded, or taken ; their camp-equipage, baggage, artillery, and standards, became the prize of the conquerors; Tallard was taken prisoner, and the Bavarian prince narrowly escaped the same fate. The allies, however, suffered very severely; their loss amounted to no less than five thousand killed and seven thousand wounded.
The consequences of this brilliant but bloody victory were, the immediate liberation of the emperor from all danger; the Hungarian insurgents were terrified into submission, Bavaria was abandoned by its sovereign to the ravages of the imperialists, and the shattered relics of the French army were driven to seek shelter within their own frontiers. The moral influence of the victory was even of more importance than the immediate results · it not only compensated for the ill success of the allies in Italy and Spain, but changed the whole complexion of the war At sea the English navy began to retrieve its
fame; though Sir George Rooke failed in an attack on Barcelona, he stormed Gibraltar, a fortress hitherto deemed impregnable, and gained a glorious but unprofitable victory over the French fleet off Malaga.
Had all the allies exhibited the same vigor as the English, Louis must have been speedily ruined ; but the Germans were sluggish; the death of the emperor Leopold, and the accession of his more enterprising son Joseph, made no change in their policy (A. D. 1705): the prince of Baden, the general of the imperialists, obstinately refused to join Marlborough on the Moselle, and the allies could attempt no conquest of importance in Flanders. In Italy the French obtained so many advantages that the duke of Savoy was forced to shut himself in his capital, where he was besieged, with but little prospect of relief; but on the side of Spain the allied arms were crowned with brilliant
Sir John Leake defeated a French fleet off Gibraltar, and thus forced the marshal de Tessè to raise the siege of that fortress; the confederates, entering Spain on the Portuguese side, captured severa) places in Estremadura, while the earl of Peterborough, having been convoyed by Sir Sir Cloudesly Shovel to the coast of Catalonia, took the important city of Barcelona, and established the authority of Charles III. in the whole province of Catalonia, and the greater part of the kingdom of Valencia.
These variations of success inflamed the courage and obstinacy of the belligerant powers. Louis was so elated that he ordered Marshal Villeroy to act on the offensive in Flanders, while his Italian
besieged Turin, and the forces he sent into Germany drove the prince of Baden and the imperialists before them (A. D. 1706). The English parliament, now composed principally of whigs, showed the greatest eagerness for the prosecution of the war, and voted liberal supplies for the ensuing campaign. Marlborough joined the united army of Holland and England in May, and soon after received a subsidiary Danish force. Villeroy, relying on his superior strength, advanced to attack the allies, and the two armies met near the village of Ramillies. The Frenclı marshal posted his left wing behind a morass, where it could not be attacked, but where it was equally incapable of advancing against the enemy. Marlborough took immediate advantage of this error; amusing the French left wing by a feigned attack, he poured his infantry in masses on the centre; they encountered a brave resistance, but the duke bringing up the cavalry just as the French lines began to waver, broke through them with a headstrong charge, and in an instant Villeroy's army was a helpless mass of confusion. Seven thousand of the French were slain, six thousand taken prisoners, and a vast quantity of artillery and ammunition abandoned to the victors. The loss of the allies, in killed and wounded, did not exceed three thousand five hundred men.
The results of this brilliant victory were the immediate conquest of Brabant, and almost all the Spanish Netherlands ; but its consequences were felt even in Italy. Marshal Vendome having been recalled to remedy, if possible, Villeroy's disaster, Prince Eugene resolved to raise the siege of Turin, and baffled the efforts of the duke of Orleans to obstruct his march. Orleans therefore joined the besieging army, and as a battle was manifestly inevitable, the French marshals anxiously de