Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/573

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552
[HISTORY
SPAIN


For twenty years the administration was really directed by his favourite the count of Olivares (q.v.) and duke of San Lucar, known as the " Conde Duque," the count- 1621-1665. duke. Olivares was far more able and honest than Lerma. But he could only keep his place by supplying his master with the means of dissipation and by conforming to his dynastic sentiments. The truce concluded in i6og with Holland ended in 1621, and was not renewed. The commercial classes, particulatly in Portugal, complained that it subjected them to Dutch competition. War was renewed, and the Dutch invaded Brazil. As their fleets made it dangerous to send troops by sea to Flanders, Spain had to secure a safe road overland. Therefore she endeavoured to obtain full control of the Valtel- lina, the valley leading from Lombardy to Tirol, and from thence to the German ecclesiastical states, which allowed a free passage to the Spanish troops. War with France ensued. The failure of the treaty of marriage with England (see Charles I. and Buckingham, First Duke of) led to war, for the English court was offended by the Spanish refusal to aid in the restoration of the count palatine, son-in-law of James I., to his dominions. In Flanders the town of Breda was taken after a famous siege. The French conducted their campaign badly. The Dutch were expelled from Bahia in Brazil, which they had seized. An English attack on Cadiz in 1625 was repulsed. His flatterers called the king Philip the Great. A few years later it began to be a standing jest that he was great in the sense that a pit is great: the more that is taken from it the greater it grows. By 1640 the feebleness of the monarchy was so notorious that it began to fall to pieces. In that year Portugal fell away without needing to strike a blow. Then followed the revolt of Naples (see Masaniello) and of the Catalans, who were bitterly angered by the excesses of the troops sent to operate against the French in Roussillon. They called in the French, and the Spanish government was compelled to neglect Portugal. Olivares, who was denounced by the nation as the cause of all its misfortunes, was dismissed, and the king made a brief effort to rule for himself. But he soon fell back under the control of less capable favourites than Olivares. In 1643 the prestige of the Spanish infantry was ruined by the battle of Rocroy. At the peace of Miinster, which ended the Thirty Years' War in 1648, Spain was cynically thrown over by the German Habsburgs for whom she had sacrificed so much. Aided by the disorders of the minority of Louis XIV., she struggled on till the peace of the Pyrenees in 1659, by which Roussillon was ceded to France. An attempt was now made to subdue Portugal, but the battle of Montesclaros in 1665 proved the futility of the effort. The news of the disaster was followed by the death of the king on the 17th of September 1665. Catalonia was saved by the reaction produced in it by the excesses of the French troops, and in Naples the revolt had collapsed. But Portugal was lost for ever, and the final judgment on the time may be passed in the words of Olivares, who complained that he could find " no men " in Spain. He meant no men fit for high command. The intellect and character of the nation had been rendered childish.

During the whole of the reign of Charles II. (1665- 1665-1700.' I 7 0O )> tne son °f the second marriage of Philip IV.

with his niece Mariana of Austria, the Spanish monarchy was an inert mass, which Louis XIV. treated as raw material to be cut into at his discretion, and was saved from dismemberment only by the intervention of England and Holland. The wars of 1667-68, ended by the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, those of 1672-78, ended by the peace of Nijmwegen, those of 1683-84, ended by the peace of Ratisbon, and the war of the League of Augsburg, 1689-96, were some of them fought wholly, and all of them partly, because the French king wished to obtain one or another portion of the dominions of the Spanish Habsburgs. But Spain took a subordinate and often a merely passive part in these wars. The king was imbecile. During his minority the government was directed by his mother and her successive favourites, the German Jesuit Nithard and the Granadine adventurer Fernando de Valenzuela. In 1677 the king's bastard brother,


the younger Don John of Austria, defeated the queen's faction, which was entirely Austrian in sentiment, and obtained power for a short time. By him the king was married in 1679 to Marie Louise of Orleans, in the interest of France. When she died in 1689, he was married by the Austrian party to Mariana of Neu- burg. At last the French party, which hoped to save their monarchy from partition by securing the support of France, persuaded the dying king to leave his kingdom by will to the duke of Anjou, the grandson of Louis XIV., and of Maria Teresa, daughter of Philip IV. by his first marriage. On the death of Charles II., on the 1st of November 1700, the duke of Anjou was proclaimed king.

The Bourbon Dynasty. — The decision of Louis XIV. to accept the inheritance left to his grandson by Charles II. led to a final struggle between him and the other powers of western war of Europe (see Spanish Succession, War of the), Spanish which was terminated in 17 13 by the peace of Succession, Utrecht. The part taken by Spain in the actual &00-I3. struggle was mainly a passive one, and it ended for her .with the loss of Gibraltar and the island of Minorca, which remained in the hands of England, and of all her dominions in Italy and Flanders. Another and a very serious consequence was that England secured the Asiento (q.v.), or contract, which gave her the monopoly of the slave trade with the Spanish colonies, as well as the right to establish " factories " — that is to say com- mercial agencies — in several Central and South American ports, and to send one cargo of manufactured goods yearly in a ship of 500 tons to New Carthagena. In internal affairs the years of the war were of capital importance in Spanish history. The general political and administrative uoo^l746. nullity of the Spaniards of this generation led to the assumption of all real power by the French or Italian servants and advisers of the king. Under their direction important financial and administrative reforms were begun. The opposition which these innovations produced encouraged the separatist tendencies of the eastern portion of the Peninsula. Philip V. was forced to reduce Aragon, Catalonia and Valencia by arms. Barcelona was only taken in 17 14, the year after the signing of the treaty of Utrecht. The local privileges of these once independent kingdoms, which had with rare exceptions been respected by the Austrian kings, were swept away. Their disappearance greatly promoted the work of national unification, and was a gain, since they had long ceased to serve any really useful purpose. The removal of internal custom-houses, and the opening of the trade with America, hitherto confined to Seville and to the dominions of the crown of Castile, to all Spaniards, were considerable boons. The main agents in introducing and promoting these changes were the French ambassadors, a very able French treasury official — Jean Orry, seigneur de Vignory (1652-1719) — and the lady known as the princess des Ursins {q.v.), the chief lady-in-waiting. Her maiden name was Anne Marie de la Tremoille, and she was the widow of Flavio Orsini, duke of Bracciano. Until 17 14 she was the power behind the throne in Spain. On the death of Philip V.'s first wife Maria Louisa Gabriella of Savoy, in 17 14, the king was married at once to Elizabeth Farnese of Parma, who expelled Mme des Ursins, obtained complete control Queen over her husband, and used her whole influence to Elizabeth drag Spain into a series of adventures in order to Farnese ana obtain Italian dominions for her sons. Her first agent was the Italian priest Alberoni (q.v.), whose favour lasted from 1714 to 1719. Alberoni could not, and perhaps did not, sincerely wish to prevent the queen and king from plunging into an attempt to recover Sardinia and Sicily, which provoked the armed inter- vention of France and England and led to the destruction of the rising Spanish navy off Cape Passaro (see Torrington, George Byng, Viscount). In 1731 Elizabeth secured the succession of her eldest son, Charles, afterwards Charles III. of Spain, to the duchy of Parma, by arrangement with England and the Empire. Apart from the Italian intrigues, the most important foreign affairs of the reign were connected with the relations of Spain with England. A feeble attempt to regain