1701

The road to war

Politics

English Flag

England's parliament bent on peace

The new session of parliament started in February 1701. Compared to the previous session the government now held more Tory elements. Godolphin was first lord of the treasury, Hedges was secretary of state and Rochester was Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. The election of Harley as speaker expressed the Common's desire to continue the policies of peace and limitations to the power of the executive. Louis XIV's acceptance of Charles II's last will previous November does not seem to have changed this. In fact Charles' condition that the crowns of France and Spain should never be united even seemed to have assured the Commons.

These policies translated in two actions. First were the impeachment proceedings against Portland, Somers, Orford and Montague (Halifax) on account of secretly agreeing to the partition treaties. Second was the act of settlement that settled the succession to the crown on Sophia of Hanover and her progeny. The immediate effects of this law were very limited because most of it was specified to take effect at this succession 1). Its lasting effects were far stronger because lawyers stressed its constitutional significance.

England's parliament provoked by Louis XIV

The Commons thus seemed to be bent on a policy that differed widely from William's thoughts, but now Louis XIV started to provoke it. His first provocation was that last December he had let the parliament of Paris register an act by which the right of Felipe V to accede to the throne of France was recognized 2), but this does not seem to have made a big impression. Next he let Felipe V order his governors to obey the orders of the king of France too. This was already one step too far because it was something very different then adhering to the will of Charles II.

Then Louis found it necessary to shred another treaty: with the consent of Max Emanuel (vice-roy of the Spanish Netherlands) French troops marched into the Southern Netherlands. On 9 February these surprised the about 9,000 Dutch troops that occupied the so-called barrier fortresses under the recent peace treaty of Rijswijk. The fact that these were first interned for some time only served to irritate parliament. The traders of London reacted by withdrawing their money from the banks.

Another sign that something was seriously wrong came in February 1701 when the postmaster-general found a letter that had mysteriously ended up in the London post instead of being sent to France. It spoke about a French invasion of England in support of James and created an uproar in Parliament 3).

Dutch Flag

The United Provinces

The Dutch government had been seriously grieved by Louis' acceptance of Charles II's will. It was alarmed and ordered its ambassador to demand that Louis adhered to the second partition treaty. Louis reacted by sending the Count d'Avaux to The Hague in order to prevent an immediate war. In itself this measure could have had positive effects, but these were soon undone by the occupation of the barrier towns (6 February 1701) and by keeping the garrisons as prisoners. Thus Louis let his shredding of the second partition treaty be followed by shredding the treaty of Rijswijk.

A monarch would probably have reacted with an immediate declaration of war, but the States General acted differently. They outwardly acted like they would accept the succession by Felipe V and they even recognized him officially on 22 February 1701. Internally they were determined to go to war after they had recovered their garrisons and taken measures to protect their trade.

Dutch FlagEnglish Flag

The Sea Powers negotiate with France

Now a conference was held between the Count d'Avaux and the Dutch, but the Dutch immediately demanded the admission of Alexander Stanhope as plenipotentiary of the King of England, which was granted. While totally ignoring the question whether they recognized Felipe V the Dutch and English representatives made their demands on 22 March 1701: 4)

Dutch Flag

The United Provinces manipulate public opinion

One can doubt whether Louis XIV was serious about these negotiations. For the Dutch a positive outcome would of course have been welcome, but they were probably just as cynical. After some time the conferences ended, but then the States General on 2 May 1701 declared they wanted to restart the negotiations on the old footing. This meant that they again demanded the admission of the English envoy. D'Avaux first reacted by stating that regardless of this admission the sea powers did have separate interests. On 10 May he then sent a memo to the states in which he stated that the King of France did not have any problems with Stanhope's presence.

The responses of D'Avaux were probably just what the Dutch had hoped for. They stated that D'Avaux had not clearly granted Stanhope's admission. D'Avaux repeated that Louis did not have any problem with it and the Dutch of course repeated their pretended point of view. This boiled down to the French trying to negotiate separately with the sea powers and was supported by D'Avaux's first response. D'Avaux had infringed on the 'Qui s'excuse s'accuse' 5) principle and the Dutch knew how to profit. On 13 May they addressed a public letter to King William enumerating the aggressive deeds of France and then added to these the bad fate of the French in the negotiations. In short: they cried out to England for help, stating that they had cut their dykes, but still refused to abandon their English allies.

English Flag

The Commons shift to declaring war

Already on 13 April 1701 the Commons had stated that they would support the king's efforts for the security of the United Provinces with grants for the army. Regardless of this declaration they forced William III to recognize Felipe V on 19 April. The address by the States General was of course just what William needed. On 27 May he reacted by stating that he would send the succors England was obliged to send with regard to the treaty of 1677.

It has been supposed that outside of parliament the letter by the States General led to the Kentish petition of 29 April, but in view of the dates that's not possible. The whole affair might however have influenced the Kentish petition as well as the Legion Memorial and petitions from Warwickshire and Cheshire. The Commons reacted to these by declaring them seditious.

The overall opinion about war had however strongly shifted towards the king's point of view. On 24 June parliament expressed this by stating that they would support William's defense of European liberties and his attempts to reduce the excessive power of the Bourbons. By the time Parliament was prorogued in June 1701 most of it was in favor of war. On a personal level King-Stadholder William had appointed Marlborough commander of the English forces in Holland on 31 May. On 28 June he would appoint him as special Ambassador to the United Provinces.

Dutch FlagEnglish FlagImperial Flag

The Grand Alliance of The Hague

Meanwhile Austrian troops commanded by Eugen were already fighting the French in Italy without war having been declared. Even while the negotiations with D'Avaux were still continuing the Dutch had started negotiations with Stanhope and the imperial ambassador Count Goesz. These negotiations centered on obtaining the satisfaction for the emperor with force. On 14 July 1701 William III arrived in The Hague in order to expedite these negotiations. He next inspected the impressive preparations that had been made for war. After this he returned to Paleis het Loo on 13 August 1701.

Meanwhile the negotiations with D'Avaux were complicated by the fact that towards the end of June Stanhope demanded that Count Goesz would be admitted to the negotiations. This seemed a strange demand because France and Austria were already at war. On the other hand it fitted into the pattern of the first Anglo-Dutch demands for a reasonable satisfaction for the emperor with regard to his rights to the Spanish Crown. It may have been a trick to break of the negotiations or an honest attempt to give them a more serious character, but the move forced the issue. In July D'Avaux declared that he could not consent to the admission of Count Goesz and went back to France in August. He left his secretary monsieur Barré, who became the resident of France later on.

Actions with regard to the commerce of the Indies did their part to heighten the tension: In August 1701 Felipe V sold the right of Asiento (the right to sell Negroe slaves in the Americas) to a French company. Thereby the slave traders from England and the United Provinces were excluded from the markets in the Spanish Americas. These traders were generally influential in their home country and naturally joined those people that advocated war against the Bourbons.

The negotiations between Count Goesz, Stanhope and the Dutch about an alliance had meanwhile continued and the new plenipotentiary Marlborough had joined in them. The negotiations centered on the goals of the war and the efforts of the allies. Because the Sea Powers were not willing to commit themselves to a war that would only finish when Felipe V was driven from all his Spanish possessions, these were not a simple matter of promising not to make peace separately. It was likewise necessary to regulate the efforts of each ally and the contents of the Dutch barrier rights beforehand. On 7 September 1701 England, the United Provinces and the emperor signed the treaty known as the Grand Alliance of The Hague. By this treaty of the Grand Alliance the signatories pledged to force Louis to accept their demands and regulated their efforts. The main contents of the treaty were:

With these principal aspects of their cooperation settled the signatories then started efforts to get more allies to adhere to the Grand Alliance. In this respect it should be noted that already in the previous year Austria had enlisted the help of Prussia that would formally accede to the Grand Alliance on 30 December 1701. In the treaty of Odense of 20 January 1701 the Sea Powers had also already enlisted the help of 12,000 Danish troops. England and the United Provinces would continue to use their financial prowess to hire more troops of several smaller German States and also to get their political commitment.

English Flag

The Commons are forced to ratify the Grand Alliance

Even then it was not sure that England would adhere to the treaty. Marlborough had signed for England, but if parliament did not agree to it (ratify), England would still not join the coalition. At this moment the coalition got lucky: James II died 16 September 1701 and Louis decided to force the English Parliament to go to war by recognizing the son of James II as the new king of England.

In order to fully understand the magnitude of this blunder one has to keep this in mind: At any time before 1701 the Whig elements would have been just as shocked as they were now and the (High) Tory elements would have cared a lot less. However, in spring 1701 the anti-Williamite elements had just worked on the Act of Settlement. This was directed against the crown and limited its power, but also settled what was left of it on the Hanoverians. By recognizing the pretender in fall Louis XIV therefore also attacked the politics of a limited executive in which the anti-Williamite elements of the Commons had invested their political prestige. The recognition of the pretender therefore damaged the prestige of William's enemies. These then had the choice between being humiliated in the public eye or reacting with fury. They naturally chose the latter 7).

The news hit parliament like a bomb. Louis XIV had recognized William III as king in the treaty of Rijswijk, and parliament itself had made a law about the succession of William. Directly after the news came in the Grand Alliance treaty was ratified and the French ambassador was evicted. Though not declaring war yet, England had joined the United Provinces and Austria in their alliance.

Imperial Flag

The Habsburgs

For Habsburg emperor Leopold I and especially his son Joseph and Prince Eugen there was no doubt that war should be started as soon as possible in order to gain at least part of the Spanish empire. At The Hague Austrian diplomats were working with the Dutch and English to form an alliance. In order to bring Prussia into it Leopold I had recognized Friedrich as 'king in Prussia' in exchange for a promise by treaty of 8,000 Prussian troops. Even before the seapowers joined the emperor started the war counting on them coming to his aid soon.

Hungary in 1701

The succession crisis prompted the emperor to remove most of his garrisons from Hungary. Rákóczi went to his castle at Saros and started to plot. At Saros he found Longueval, an Austrian officer of Liegois origin garrisoned in Epéries. Already planning a revolt Rákóczi asked him to convey a letter to Louis XIV asking for gunpowder and money. In stead of communicating to Louis XIV Longueval did however go to the emperor and revealed the plot. At first nothing happened, but at the end of May 1701 Rákóczi was arrested and confined to the citadel of Neustadt.

Rákóczi

Prussian Flag

Prussia

Friedrich I realized his prime ambition by crowning himself King of Prussia in Konigsberg (nowadays Kaliningrad) on 18 January 1701. The price he had to pay for his recognition by the emperor was sending 8,000 troops to aid Leopold in the war. Recognition by England and Holland would come prompt on 31 January and 5 February. Sweden, Denmark, Poland and Russia recognized him soon because of his neutrality in the northern war. Recognition by France would be one of his objectives in this war. As regards territorial matters he would primarily have liked to have Pommerania from Sweden, but this was impossible, and thus he aimed for getting part of Gelre from the Spanish Netherlands.

French Flag

The French options in 1701

Various authors have remarked that after accepting the will Louis XIV should have made a clear choice between going to war or appeasing the Sea Powers. Their reasoning is that the Sea Powers were preparing for war and getting stronger as time went by. We can safely assume that Louis XIV also contemplated the options available to him. It's therefore useful to study these options from a French perspective:

The first scenario was to try to repeat the 1672 'Blitzkrieg' invasion of the United Provinces. This meant marching to the heart of the United Provinces while bypassing the fortresses. Previously the Spanish Netherlands would have to be conquered first, but these were now open to French troops and this option could be studied. The strategic situation of 1701 was however quite different from that of 1672. In that year the Dutch had one of the smallest armies of Europe and the water level of the Rhine was extremely low. In 1701 it had a formidable army and there were no reasons to assume that the water level would be low. It's quite possible that Louis asked his generals whether it was possible to repeat his 'Guerre de Hollande', but I've no doubt that the answer would have been negative 8). We can therefore scrap it from the list of realistic choices.

The second scenario Louis could have chosen was to start a regular war in spring, let's say April 1701. Because Spain did not have an effective army the balance of forces would probably be about the same as in 1697. In order to reach the political goal of such a scenario (weakening the Sea Powers before they got stronger) this regular war would then have had to aim for a significant objective. A successful siege of Bergen op Zoom or Maastricht was such an objective, but required the concentration of most of the French forces in Flanders. This was not acceptable because these troops were needed to secure Italy. Therefore Louis could not expect to achieve a significant military against the Sea Powers.

What Louis could expect as a result of declaring war in spring was a very dissatisfied Spanish population. Considering the fact that Felipe arrived in Madrid on 19 February 1701 one could even assume that his authority would have evaporated immediately. For this we should consider that the Spanish elites chose Felipe V in order to avoid war. If Louis had declared war in spring and forced Felipe to join him, Felipe V would have immediately seemed a puppet who sacrificed Spanish interests to France. I suppose that in such circumstances, where authority was still uncertain, the chance that the population would doubt the legality of the government was simply too big 9). Therefore this scenario was not realistic too 10).

The third scenario was keeping the peace and preparing for war in fall 1701 or later. Whether this war would be declared by France or by the allies was not very relevant for this scenario. While contemplating this Louis would have considered how the balance of power would develop in the next few years. It was obvious that the Sea Powers could, to a certain extent, reinforce themselves immediately by hiring troops from other states. But, France could probably match this by increasing her army. The real question was what Spain could do. In 1701 Louis XIV planned for the Spanish Netherlands to raise their forces from 6,000 to about 44,000 and later on this did not prove unrealistic. A similar development took place in Spain proper and Spanish Italy. If Louis XIV wanted to go to war it was therefore preferable to delay it one or more years. As regards warfare Louis XIV no doubt chose this option and therefore aimed to keep the peace.

Keeping the peace could be attempted by making concessions to ensure the peace. A simple way to do this was by giving Milan (and perhaps the rest of Italy too) to the Austrian Habsburgs and giving the Dutch the de facto sovereignty over the Spanish Netherlands. The big risk of such a plan was that it would undermine Felipe's position as King of Spain, but this could be propped up by French arms. This was a way to ensure peace, but it could only have been an option if it fitted Louis' ideas of a permanent peace. His ambitions did however go a lot further than having part of the Spanish inheritance and in his view the Spanish Netherlands and Milan were simply far more desirable than having peace 11).

Therefore Louis tried to keep the peace without making any concessions. In view of the hesitant reaction of the English parliament to Charles's will and the balance of forces this was a viable option too. This was the option Louis XIV chose to follow in order to keep the peace, but he would fail miserably in its execution.

France mishandles the will

Adhering to the will in such a way that war was avoided would prove too big a challenge to the character of the monarch. What was needed was a policy that placed the national interest above royal and baroque concerns about legality and honor. The policy executed had then immediately focused on just these when Louis XIV had forced the parliament of Paris to register an act that confirmed the rights of Felipe V to accede to the French throne in December previous. It not only antagonized the enemy, it also violated the separation of the crowns as decreed by the will. One could consider this act to be insignificant because it focused on an eventuality. However, for an observer who was concerned about the continued independence of Spain this act by Louis would have to be very alarming.

The next act by Louis was hardly consistent with keeping the peace. In early February French armies surprised the Dutch garrisons of the barrier towns and kept these troops interned for a while. The move was probably necessary to ascertain control of the Spanish Netherlands 12) and to prevent the Dutch from having a strategic advantage at the start of the campaign season. The effect of the action and the subsequent internment was that the Dutch recognized Felipe V in order to get their troops back. One could consider this action to be a smart move to achieve political goals. In fact the action was a blatant violation of the treaty of Rijswijk put a further strain on relations with the Sea Powers.

Meanwhile Louis sent Count d'Avaux to The Hague as his ambassador extraordinary. In itself this was a wise measure because communications were improved. However, the instructions of D'Avaux did not permit him to admit to any demands 13). The combination of Louis' acts and negotiating on such a basis was not a smart move. It could only serve to enable the Sea Powers to show their populations that Louis had duped them and continued to negotiate with bad faith 15).

When the treaty of the Grand Alliance had been signed war had become inevitable, but there was still some doubt about the exact support of England. James II then died on 16 September 1701 and the act that still baffles historians studying the era is the recognition of the pretender by Louis XIV. I think that the explanation is indeed impossible when one tries to explain it from the perspective of French power politics. However, there were no authorities that supported this perspective. The authorities that mattered in this affair were Louis XIV and Maintenon. We should therefore first think of the perspective of De Maintenon. De Maintenon was secretly married to the King of France and this meant that the European royals did not respect her. The subjects of her husband of course respected her in public, but anybody in her position would not really value that. For De Maintenon it would have boiled down to the fact that European Royals addressed each other as "mon cousin" and that she was formally excluded from this circle.

This of course gave the widow of James II a supreme advantage. By giving De Maintenon the impression that she did accept her in the circles of European Royals she helped De Maintenon to realize her ambitions. In a situation where her 'royal' status was publicly supported by the Stuarts the status of the Stuarts in turn became important for De Maintenon. She therefore pushed Louis again and again and finally Louis greeted the pretender in public 15). Afterwards Louis could very well declare that it was a matter of honor to give the son the same respect as the father and had nothing to do with actual support for the pretender. Under the circumstances William III appreciated it as something close to a declaration of war.

In short one can say that in 1701 Louis made one mistake after the other. Thereby he not only threw away his chances to keep the inheritance without going to war, but he also acted in such a clumsy way that he succeeded in uniting whole governments and their populations against him. In fact the resolve of the Sea Powers became so great that they would not need their master to unite them in a struggle against France.

French military alliances

Though a lot of Europeans were afraid of France, Louis succeeded in concluding significant alliances. One of the first alliances was concluded with the Duke of Mantua in March 1701. A treaty with Victor Amadeus of Savoy was signed on 6 April 1701 and ensured the free passage over the Alps as well as the support of 10,000 Piedmontese troops. In Italy the Duke of Mirandola also joined the French cause and in Milan the governor Prince de Vaudemont let French troops in. The alliance with Portugal was concluded on 18 June 1701 and engaged the King of Portugal to recognize Felipe V and assured mutual defense.

In March 1701 Louis also concluded a secret treaty with the elector of Bavaria. By this he promised to choose the French side and received French subsidies. His brother the bishop elector of Cologne signed an alliance treaty with France on 13 February, receiving 15,000 francs a month. Further into the interior of Germany Louis concluded on 1 May 1701 a treaty with the two Dukes of Brunswick-Wolffenbuttel. By the treaty they would raise an army of 12,000 men to aid the French, but their real motivation was to get at their hated neighbor the elector of Hanover 16).

Spanish Flag

Spain

Very early in 1701 the council's (junta's) ambassador extraordinary traveling to Paris met Felipe, who was traveling to Madrid in Bordeaux. Velasco was the first grandee that met Felipe V and he saw himself confirmed in his dignity as gentleman of the bedchamber, and was sent onwards to Paris as Felipe's ambassador.

Felipe V arrived in Madrid on 19 February 1701, and according to Saint Simon this was to the utter joy of the inhabitants. The only Frenchmen (except for ambassador d'Harcourt) that would stay with him in Madrid were the marquis de Louville and Montviel. In order to help the inexperienced king to govern it was decided that all decisions that he normally took alone in the presence of the secretary of the despatches (by which all advices were brought to him) would now be taken with the president of Castillia (Manuel Arias) and Cardinal Porto Carrero present. The influence of Versailles would be assured by the duke of Harcourt, the ambassador that would confer about everything with Porto Carrero and would advice Felipe when Versailles thought this necessary. In order to weaken the party still attached to the Austrian Habsburgs the former queen was banished to Toledo, the inquisiteur-general was sent back to his bishopric.

In order to reform the government and the financial situation the number of gentlemen of the bedchamber was reduced from 42 to 6, pensions were withdrawn or cut and the number of servants and officials reduced. These were necessary measures but of course caused discontent among the victims. These measures were also not enough to redress the financial situation. The first step in reorganizing finance would be to get a clear view of financial state of the kingdom, and for this Mister Orry was sent from France to investigate it and finally propose measures. One of the measures taken to remedy the financial situation was selling the asiento to France for 200,000 Ecu's. A measure that infuriated the sea-powers.

The failure of the government to execute anything was just as big a problem. The councils and the administration simply failed to act upon the situation, e.g. in not answering letters or simply not executing orders. When it did take action the government, lacking in troops, also lacked the means to assure obedience. Felipe and Porto Carrero were not competent enough to change this, and the situation was aggravated when the Duc d'Harcourt, the only man capable of action fell ill. With Harcourt ill Felipe slipped back into his natural sloppy attitude of not doing anything and a kind of interregnum came about. To remedy this and replace or assist Harcourt Comte Marsin was sent (in July?) to Spain.

A wife for Felipe was found in Marie Louise, the second daughter of Prince Victor Amadeus of Savoy, a marriage Louis hoped would bind Savoy to the two crowns. The marriage took place by proxy in Turin on 11 September 1701, the final ceremonies taking place in Figueras on November 3. From the start it was expected that this 13 year old would soon dominate the timid prince! To remedy this the princess of Orsini (Princesse des Ursins) was appointed Lady of the Bedchamber to dominate Marie Louise in turn. Soon the princess Des Ursins would dominate the Spanish court. While in Catalonia to meet his wife Felipe convened the Cortes of Catalonia. At the conclusion of its session which ended in January it gave him some financial support.

Bavaria

Of course it was a bit sour for Max Emanuel to go from getting the whole Spanish Monarchy to getting nothing. On top of this he had fought for the empire against the Turks and Austria had not paid him the money it had promised to him for this help. What now mattered most to him were his rights as Vice-Roy of the Spanish Netherlands. Supposing this territory would not be lost by Felipe it was therefore a sensible choice to side with Versailles. Max Emanuel started by cooperating with Louis in chasing the Dutch from the Barrier fortresses. In a secret treaty of 9 March 1701 Max Emanuel then promised to support the Felipe's cause and was promised 40,000 ecu's a month to build up his armed forces. In return he would furnish 15,000 soldiers. The money enabled Max Emanuel to assemble an army of 24,000 men near Munich in August 1701 17).

Later that year another secret treaty with Versailles (7 November 1701?) guaranteed his rights and that of his heirs to the Southern Netherlands. (It is still unclear to me if these are their rights as viceroys or that this regards sovereignty). All this and the promises made to his brother Joseph Clemens Electoral Bishop of Cologne, led both these men to first let French troops into their territories and later to join the war on the French side.

Warfare

The Italian campaign in 1701

In Italy war had already started in 1701. In spring the emperor had an army of 30,000 in Tyrol commanded by Prinz Eugen, already the most famous general of Europe. On the French side were Victor Amadeus the duke of Savoy and Marshall Catinat later succeeded by Villeroy. The French and their allies were confident that they had blocked all roads into Italy, but Eugen marched along mountain trails and succeeded in entering Lombardy.

First he beat Catinat on 9 July 1701 at Carpi. Later, at Chiari he awaited the 100,000 strong army of Villeroy in a very advantageous position, surprising it and inflicting heavy losses. With the two crowns losing between 2,000 and 3,000 men killed and wounded, and Eugen losing 36 killed and 81 wounded, this was again prove of Eugen's genius. Unable or unwilling to make any further attempts to dislodge Eugenius, the French went into their winter-quarters, enabling Eugen to blockade the town of Mantua and let Guastella and Modena switch to the Austrian side.

Notes

1) 'The Stuart Age' Page 387 and 388 for these two paragraphs.
2) Moret Volume I Page 62 and following for this and the next paragraph.
3) This paragraph comes from Churchill. I still have to check it.
4) Moret Volume I Page 69 for this and the following paragraph.
5) The facts are based on Moret. I have inserted the 'Qui s'excuse s'accuse'. BTW: People that use this principle in order to accuse others are generally very dangerous. They often start with an obviously innocent remark which is in fact an insinuation. Reacting to it in a reasonable way then tends to unexpectedly give credit to it. One should try to recognize these remarks and not respond in a reasonable way.
6) According to Moret Volume I page 93 this last point, that constituted article 8 (and is seldom mentioned by other authors), was the heart of the treaty. It aimed to forbid any French ship to trade with the Indies. Also note that the points about conquests in the Indies and about the barrier in the Spanish Netherlands are concessions by the Austrian Habsburgs to the Sea Powers.
7) This connection between the act of settlement and the recognition is my own hypothesis, but may have been brought up before.
8) Opinion by me: In 1672 the Dutch army counted perhaps 20,000 soldiers, France was allied to England and two German states which sent sizable armies. The invaders were also aided by an extremely low level of the rivers and yet it had failed. In spring 1701 the Dutch army would probably count about 70,000 men guarding a nation that was united, prepared to fight and covered by strong fortresses. For political and technical reasons the only possible option for a blitzkrieg style invasion would have been to march to the great rivers over Dutch territory while bypassing either Bergen op Zoom, Den Bosch, Grave or Maastricht.
We can safely assume that France could have perhaps fielded and supplied 100,000 men against Holland. From this number we then have to subtract the troops that would have been needed to neutralize the fortresses that lay on its lines of communication. The invasion army would then have had to cross at least two of the great rivers in the face of a field army of about 45,000. Such an affair was something very different from crossing the Nebelbach or the Mehaigne and no sound general would attempt it. Those who still have doubts should study why the French succeeded in 1794: In 1794 the Dutch troops refused to fight and the rivers were frozen.
9) Opinion by me: I did not see any works that consider the effects a war initiated by France would have had in Spain.
10) Mind that this is about French options. The Sea Powers starting the war in spring 1701 would have been far less dangerous to the authority of Felipe V.
11) A variation on this theme was to make concessions to the Sea Powers alone.
12) The action took place on 9 February, while Felipe had not yet arrived in Madrid. The French feared that parts of the Spanish empire might not recognize Felipe V. The presence of the Dutch troops could have fuelled the ambitions of Max Emanuel, who governed the Spanish Netherlands.
13) Moret Volume I Page 78 for the instructions.
14) Moret Volume I Page 88 remarks that with such instructions it would have been wiser to let D'Avaux stay in Paris.
15) Saint Simon says he received him with all the honors previously accorded to James II.
16) Moret Volume I Page 125 and following about these alliances.
17) Moret Volume I Page 127 for this treaty with Bavaria.