Charles II of Spain

1661 - 1700

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Charles II of Spain (6 November 1661 – 1 November 1700) was King of Spain from 1665 to 1700. The last monarch from the House of Habsburg, which had ruled Spain since 1516, neither of his marriages produced children, and he died without a direct heir. He is now best remembered for his physical disabilities, and the War of the Spanish Succession that followed his death. For reasons that are still debated, Charles experienced extended periods of ill health throughout his life. As a consequence, who would inherit his throne was a prominent consideration in European politics from the moment he became king. Historian John Langdon-Davies wrote that "...from the day of his birth, they were waiting for his death". The two main candidates were the Austrian Habsburg Archduke Charles, and 16-year-old Philip of Anjou, grandson of Maria Theresa of Spain and Louis XIV of France. Acquisition of the Spanish Empire by either potentially threatened to alter the European balance of power in favour of France or Austria. Shortly before his death in November 1700, Charles named Philip his heir, but failure to resolve the issues arising through diplomacy led to war in 1701. Source: Wikipedia (en)


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