In 1698, after three wars, Louis XIV of France was tired of fighting.  The other European countries agreed to a peaceful partitioning of land in order to avoid future war.

The first partition treaty said that Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria would get Spain and the Spanish Netherlands after Charles II of Spain died.  The Archduke Charles would become the Holy Roman Empire, and the French Dauphine would get part of Italy.  Before this treaty could take place, Joseph Ferdinand died, so the treaty was void.

The second partition treaty said that Archduke Charles would get Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, and the Spanish Netherlands.  The Dauphine would keep his Italian holdings.  However, disaster struck again.  When Charles II of Spain died, he named the Dauphine as his heir.  Louis XIV had to decide whether to uphold the treaty or the will.  He chose the will.

The rest of the signers of the treaty rose up in arms and fought against France and Spain because they did not want the same dynastic house to rule both countries.  Louis XIV boasted that there would be no more Pyrenees since the two countries would be united.  Thus the War of Spanish Succession began.  The two partition treaties could not prevent the war because of the death of the two kings and the obstinate will of Louis XIV.

– Hannah S. Bowers