The War of the Spanish Succession was one of the defining events of the Versailles Century (1682-1789). Today on the blog we’ll examine the background of the conflict.
In the late 1690s, Europe was preoccupied by the question of who was to succeed Spain’s childless king, Carlos II, who was feeble of both mind and body. Still only in his 30s, he was nonetheless thought to be on his last legs. Unfortunately for him, his house, the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs, was the most inbred dynasty in the history of Europe. His own parents, for instance, were uncle and niece. The most visible outcome of this inbreeding in Carlos II was his deformed jaw, which made it difficult for him to speak and eat.