On This Day
1707 – A coalition of Britain, the Netherlands and Portugal is defeated by a Franco-Spanish army at Almansa (Spain) in the War of the Spanish Succession.
The War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) was a European conflict of the early 18th century, triggered by the death of the childless Charles II of Spain in November 1700, the last Habsburg monarch of Spain. His closest heirs were members of the Austrian Habsburg and French Bourbon families; acquisition of an undivided Spanish Empire by either threatened the European balance of power and thus involved the other leading powers. Related conflicts include Rákóczi’s War of Independence in Hungary, the Camisard revolt in Southern France, Queen Anne’s War in North America, and minor struggles in Colonial India. The 1700-1721 Great Northern War is viewed as connected but separate.
Charles bequeathed an undivided monarchy of Spain[b] to his grandnephew Philip, who was also grandson of Louis XIV of France. Philip was proclaimed King of Spain on 16 November 1700. Disputes over territorial and commercial rights led to war in 1701 between the Bourbons of France and Spain and the Grand Alliance, whose candidate was Charles, younger son of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor.[c]
By the end of 1706, the French had been forced back to their borders but the Allies could not break their lines, while lack of popular support in Spain meant they could not hold territory outside Catalonia. When his brother Emperor Joseph I died in 1711, Charles succeeded to the Austrian territories and became emperor. Since the war was fought to prevent union of Spain with either Austria or France, the new British government sought to end the conflict. The Allies and France agreed to the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, then the 1714 treaties of Rastatt and Baden.
Philip was recognised as the king of Spain, while renouncing his right to the French throne for himself and his descendants. Philip was awarded the bulk of the Spanish possessions outside Europe, but lost territories in Italy and the Netherlands to Charles and the House of Savoy. The Dutch regained their Barrier, France acknowledged the Protestant succession in Britain and ended support for the Jacobites. Longer-term, the war marked Britain’s rise as the leading European maritime and commercial power, and the decline of the Dutch Republic as a first-rank power. It also led to the creation of a centralised Spanish state, the weakening of Habsburg control over the Holy Roman Empire, and the rise of Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony.
Born On This Day
1892 – Maud Hart Lovelace, American author (d. 1980)
Maud Hart Lovelace (April 25, 1892 – March 11, 1980) was an American author best known for the Betsy-Tacy series.
Maud Palmer Hart was born in Mankato, Minnesota to Tom Hart, a shoe store owner, and his wife, Stella (née Palmer). Maud was the middle child; her sisters were Kathleen (Julia in the Betsy-Tacy books) and Helen (book character, Margaret). Maud reportedly started writing as soon as she could hold a pencil. She wrote in her high school’s essay contest during her junior and senior years.
She was baptized in a Baptist church but joined the Episcopal church as a teenager. She went on to the University of Minnesota but took a leave of absence to go to California to recover at her maternal grandmother’s home from an appendectomy. It was while in California that she made her first short story sale – to the Los Angeles Times Magazine. She returned to the university and worked for the Minnesota Daily, but did not graduate.
While spending a year in Europe in 1914, she met Paolo Conte, an Italian musician (who later inspired the character Marco in Betsy and the Great World). Hart married the writer Delos Lovelace when she was 25. Delos and Hart met in April 1917 and were married on Thanksgiving Day the same year. They lived apart until 1919, however, due to Delos’ military service in the First World War.
Later, the couple divided their time between Minneapolis and New York (including Yonkers and Mount Vernon) for several years. After 1928, they lived in New York permanently until their retirement in Claremont, California.
They had one daughter, Merian (later Merian Lovelace Kirchner; January 18, 1931—September 25, 1997), who was named for Delos’s friend Merian C. Cooper. (Delos had written the novelization of the film King Kong, directed by Cooper.)
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