Devolution, War of 1667-68

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Devolution, War of (1667-68)


a war between France and Spain for control of the Spanish Netherlands. Striving to take possession of the Netherlands territories belonging to Spain, France made use of the so-called right of devolution as the pretext. This right, in effect in some of these lands (in particular, Brabant), prescribed the transfer of landed inheritance in the event of the remarriage of the father to the children of his first marriage.

After the death of the Spanish king Philip IV in 1665, a struggle broke out between Philip’s daughter by his first marriage, Maria Theresa, who was the wife of the French king Louis XIV, and Philip’s successor on the Spanish throne, his son from his second marriage, Charles II Hapsburg. In May 1667, Louis XIV’s army invaded Flanders and soon had occupied part of Flanders and Hainaut; in February 1668 another French army occupied Franche-Comté. In January 1668, Holland, England, and Sweden, disturbed by the successes of the French forces, concluded an alliance in The Hague and proposed their mediation in the conclusion of a peace. According to the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle of May 2, 1668, France kept 11 cities in the Spanish Netherlands that it had occupied (including Douai and Lille) but returned Franche-Comté to Spain. The Franco-Spanish struggle continued after the War of Devolution, in the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14).


André, L. Louis XIV et I’Europe. Paris, 1950.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.