Grand Alliance, War of the

Grand Alliance, War of the

Grand Alliance, War of the, 1688–97, war between France and a coalition of European powers, known as the League of Augsburg (and, after 1689, as the Grand Alliance). Louis XIV of France took advantage of the absence of Emperor Leopold I on a campaign against the Turks and of the promised support of James II of England to invade the empire and devastate (1689) the Palatinate. The revolution in England overthrew James, and William, prince of Orange, became William III of England (1688–89). In an attempt to keep William from leading troops to the Continent, Louis supported a counterrevolution in Ireland but was frustrated at the battle of the Boyne (1690). The naval war, of which the first major battle was the French victory at Beachy Head (1690), was practically ended by the English victory of La Hogue (1692). On land, however, Louis and Vauban took Namur (1692); Marshal Luxembourg was victorious at Fleurus (1690) over the Dutch and at Steenkerke (1692) and Neerwinden (1693) over William III; and the duke of Savoy was defeated at Marsaglia by Catinat (1693), while another French army entered Catalonia. The exhaustion of the belligerents and the defection of Savoy from the Grand Alliance (1696) finally led to the Treaty of Ryswick. This war was known on the American continent as King William's War (see French and Indian Wars).


See G. N. Clark, The Dutch Alliance and the War against French Trade, 1688–97 (1923, repr. 1971).

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Grand Alliance, War of the


(in Russian, War of the Palatine Succession), a war waged during the years 1688–97 between France and a coalition of European states, the League of Augsburg.

The war began in September 1688 with the invasion of the Palatinate by the French troops of Louis XIV, who laid claim to a considerable portion of palatine territory under the pretext of protecting the rights of his brother’s wife, the Duchess of Orléans, who was the daughter of the Palatinate elector Charles, who had died in 1685. Military operations spread to other regions of Germany, to the Netherlands, and to Spain. French troops were sent to Ireland to support an anti-British uprising from 1688 to 1691. There was also war at sea, which extended to the shores of America. The French Army, which devastated the Palatinate, gained a number of major victories on land at Fleurus on July 1, 1690, at Steenkerque on Aug. 3, 1692, and at Neerwinden on July 29, 1693. But the French suffered defeat from the Anglo-Dutch allied fleet off Cape Hague on May 29, 1692. The war was concluded by the Treaty of Ryswick of 1697.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.