WI: No War of Spanish Succession (1702)

What would have happened had Charles II not annulled the renunciations imposed on Maria Theresa and had not fixed the entire inheritance on the younger grandson of Louis XIV, Philip of Anjou?
 
If Charles II favors the Archduke Charles as sole heir France will go to war to support its claims to a piece of the Spanish inheritance, specifically the territories in Italy awarded to it by the Partition Treaty they had signed with England. England is fine with that as long as the French make no moves against the Spanish Netherlands which had been awarded to the Archduke. As it would be essentially France vs Spain and Austria (without the other OTL coalition partners) I think the French have a reasonable shot at prevailing. But if France gets greedy or does something stupid to antagonize England (like they did OTL by recognizing James III when James II died) England could jump into the war to turn the tide.
 
What would have happened had Charles II not annulled the renunciations imposed on Maria Theresa and had not fixed the entire inheritance on the younger grandson of Louis XIV, Philip of Anjou?

I have been thinking about his one for some time. But, as others wrote, it could not go smoothly. The third partition treaty was not accepted by Austria, so Louis XIV could not act according to its lines : sending troops in Italy while leaving the Netherlands to your enemy is just plain suicide. Occupying the Netherlands secures France's northern frontier, but it brushes off the British and is contrary to the spirit of the Treaty. The only working PoD is having the prince of Bavaria surviving Charles II, thus allowing for the second partition treaty.
 
But if the Duke of Bavaria is still governor of the Spanish Netherlands as OTL then he could guarantee their neutrality by seizing their strong points as he did OTL and making a deal with the French not to allow Austrian troops in. The English may well be ok with this as it would essentially be in line with the terms of the partition treaty, at least as long as Max Emmanuel doesn't appear to be overtly pro-French. Then the war would be limited to a series of French campaigns in Italy and maybe Southern Germany or Northern Spain against the Habsburgs. Overall the French would have to walk a fine line to keep the English out of the war, which may require greater restraint and discretion than they're capable of. But if they come into it from a position of weakness compared to OTL, ie Charles II leaves them nothing in his will and the Archduke Charles moves into Madrid swiftly they might think it worth while to hew close to the deal they worked out previously with England and focus on knocking out Austria and securing Spanish Italy.

I do agree that it's much easier to avoid a long protracted war if Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria lives to inherit the bulk of the Spanish Empire.
 
But if the Duke of Bavaria is still governor of the Spanish Netherlands as OTL then he could guarantee their neutrality by seizing their strong points as he did OTL and making a deal with the French not to allow Austrian troops in. The English may well be ok with this as it would essentially be in line with the terms of the partition treaty, at least as long as Max Emmanuel doesn't appear to be overtly pro-French. Then the war would be limited to a series of French campaigns in Italy and maybe Southern Germany or Northern Spain against the Habsburgs. Overall the French would have to walk a fine line to keep the English out of the war, which may require greater restraint and discretion than they're capable of. But if they come into it from a position of weakness compared to OTL, ie Charles II leaves them nothing in his will and the Archduke Charles moves into Madrid swiftly they might think it worth while to hew close to the deal they worked out previously with England and focus on knocking out Austria and securing Spanish Italy.

I do agree that it's much easier to avoid a long protracted war if Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria lives to inherit the bulk of the Spanish Empire.

That could work , but the Duke of Bavaria would be in a very difficult position : how could he refuse envoys of the king he proclaimed to follow ? It is a very difficult thing to say "Charles III is my king, but I won't let him ruling unless he accept to give half of Italy to another king, who is neither my overlord nor my parent".

In any case, when Louis XIV and maybe Anne would realize Charles III of Spain is the likely successor to his brother, the War of the Austrian Succession is brewing. Anglo-French alliance would be quite a thing, though.
 

Aphrodite

Banned
I'm not up on Western European history of the time so can't say about the how. The implications in the East are going to be huge as the Great Northern War is playing out at the same time. That will probably lead to a quick Swedish defeat, a stronger Poland and a Russia with access to the sea but not nearly as dominant as OTL
 
I think that Max Emanuel would only get involved if there was something in it for him, basically he'd behave like he did OTL, claiming that he had some right to a piece of the Spanish Netherlands per his marriage contract to Maria Antonia. He's never going to be happy with Charles on the Spanish throne, he really believed the Austrians were behind the death of his son, so he'll do whatever he can to throw a wrench in their plans especially if he sees an opportunity for himself to profit at the same time. The French would probably be fine paying lip service to the integrity of the Spanish Netherlands while giving him a nod and a wink when he suggests that he keep the Austrian army out if he be allowed to annex some piece of it. And technically he's not fighting the King of Spain if he's standing in the way of Austrian troops, and if Charles III tries to depose and replace him as governor he could threaten to defect outright to the French camp (even though actually doing so would probably drag England and the Netherlands into the war) so unless the Austrians want to risk calling his bluff they may just have to put up with it. Besides without sure support of Britain a campaign in the Spanish Netherlands is just one more front when the Habsburg forces are stretched thin as it is.

As for the Austrian succession I agree, if the Spanish Succession is not settled quickly it will become an issue and complicate the war a great deal further. And Aphrodite makes a great point about the Great Northern War. If England and the Netherlands are not fighting France they could possible get involved in that conflict.
 
Top