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William III: Early Life

He was born at The Hague after his father's death, when the office of stadtholder was suspended and power fell into the hands of Jan de Witt . In 1672, however, a revolution was precipitated by Louis XIV's invasion of the Netherlands; De Witt was overthrown, and William was made stadtholder, captain general, and admiral for life. In the ensuing warfare with France (see Dutch Wars 3 ), William was able to drive the French out of the Netherlands. He made peace with England in 1674 and finally with France in 1678. Thereafter he endeavored to build up a European coalition to prevent further French aggression.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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