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 AugsburgAugsburg, League of,
defensive alliance formed (1686) by Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I with various German states, including Bavaria and the Palatinate, and with Sweden and Spain so far as their German interests were concerned.
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 (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 LuxembourgLuxembourg, François Henri de Montmorency-Bouteville, duc de
, 1628–95, marshal of France. Under his cousin, the Great Condé, he served in the Fronde, in the conquest of Franche-Comté (1668), and in the Dutch War.
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 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 CatinatCatinat, Nicolas
, 1637–1712, marshal of France. The son of a magistrate, he won promotion by merit rather than by wealth or descent. In the War of the Grand Alliance he commanded against Duke Victor Amadeus II of Savoy, whom he defeated in N Italy at Staffarda (1690) and
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 (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 RyswickRyswick, Treaty of,
1697, the pact that ended the War of the Grand Alliance. Its signers were France on one side and England, Spain, and the Netherlands on the other. It was a setback for Louis XIV, who kept Strasbourg but lost most other conquests made after 1679.
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. This war was known on the American continent as King William's War (see French and Indian WarsFrench and Indian Wars,
1689–1763, the name given by American historians to the North American colonial wars between Great Britain and France in the late 17th and the 18th cent.
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).

Bibliography

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.

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