Devolution, War of

Devolution, War of, 1667–68, undertaken by Louis XIV for the conquest of the Spanish Netherlands. On her marriage to Louis, Marie Thérèse, daughter of Philip IV of Spain, had renounced her rights of inheritance in return for a large dowry. Blaming Spain for having failed to pay the stipulated dowry, Louis declared war and invoked an old law of Brabant providing that property might “devolve” upon the children of a first marriage—in this case upon Marie Thérèse (rather than upon Charles II of Spain). The French easily captured (1667) the Spanish Netherlands. The United Provinces, in alarm, formed the Triple Alliance with England and Sweden (Jan., 1668). The French overran Franche-Comté (Feb., 1668) but came to terms with the Triple Alliance in the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle (May, 1668).

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