The Wars of Louis XIV in Treaties (Part III): The Secret Alliance of Dover (1 June 1670)
By: Randall Lesaffer
The diplomatic manoeuvres surrounding the War of Devolution and the Peace of Aachen [Aix-la-Chapelle] had shown the French King Louis XIV (1638–1715) to be strung between his hopes for a peaceful acquisition of the Spanish Netherlands and Franche-Comté through his partition agreement with Emperor Leopold I (1640–1705) and his willingness to overrun them by force.
This dilemma did not come to an end with the Peace of Aachen (2 May 1668, 11 CTS 11) but abated as the Spanish boy-king Charles II (1661–1700) continued to beat expectations for his early demise. However, the principal lesson that Louis XIV took from the events of 1667 and 1668 was that, in either of the two scenarios, the Dutch Republic stood in the way of France’s northward expansion.
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Image credit: Henriette of England holding a portrait of her husband, the Duke of Orléans, by Antoine Mathieu le Père, public domain via Wikimedia Commons.