Grand Alliance, War of the

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Grand Alliance, War of the

War of the Grand Alliance, 1688–97, war between France and a coalition of European powers, known as the League of Augsburg (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 Luxembourg 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 Catinat (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 Ryswick. This war was known on the American continent as King William's War (see French and Indian Wars).

See G. N. Clark, The Dutch Alliance and the War against French Trade, 1688–97 (1923, repr. 1971).

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