Victor Amadeus II
Victor Amadeus II(ămədē`əs), 1666–1732, duke of Savoy (1675–1713), king of Sicily (1713–20), king of Sardinia (1720–30). Succeeding his father, Charles Emmanuel II, as duke of Savoy, he overthrew the regency of his mother in 1683. Finding himself caught between France and the house of Hapsburg, he steered an opportunistic course in foreign policy, guided in part by his desire to rid Savoy of French influence, in part by his appetite for territorial aggrandizement. Under French pressure he took (1686) severe measures against the WaldensesWaldenses
Protestant religious group of medieval origin, called in French Vaudois. They originated in the late 12th cent. as the Poor Men of Lyons, a band organized by Peter Waldo, a wealthy merchant of Lyons, who gave away his property (c.
..... Click the link for more information. , but in 1690 he joined the League of Augsburg (see Augsburg, League ofAugsburg, 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.
..... Click the link for more information. ) against the French king Louis XIV and returned to a more tolerant policy at home. Although defeated by the French in the War of the Grand AllianceGrand 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).
..... Click the link for more information. , he concluded a favorable separate peace in the Treaty of Turin (1696), which restored Pinerolo to Savoy and caused the collapse of the alliance. In the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–13) he at first sided with France, but changed sides once more in 1703. The French occupied Savoy, but were obliged to lift the siege of Turin after Victor Amadeus and his cousin, Eugene of Savoy, had thoroughly defeated them in 1706. The peace (see Utrecht, Peace ofUtrecht, Peace of,
series of treaties that concluded the War of the Spanish Succession. It put an end to French expansion and signaled the rise of the British Empire. By the treaty between England and France (Apr.
..... Click the link for more information. ) awarded him Sicily with the royal title and gave him additional territory in N Italy, including Alessandria. When the Spanish seized (1718) Sicily, the Quadruple AllianceQuadruple Alliance,
any of several European alliances. The Quadruple Alliance of 1718 was formed by Great Britain, France, the Holy Roman emperor, and the Netherlands when Philip V of Spain, guided by Cardinal Alberoni, sought by force to nullify the peace settlements reached
..... Click the link for more information. was formed and humbled Spain. Victor Amadeus in 1720 abandoned his claim to Sicily in exchange for the island of Sardinia and became king of Sardinia. He abdicated in 1730 in favor of his son, Charles Emmanuel III.