Europe at War with France, 1689

Europe at War with France, 1689

May 1689; A "Grand Alliance" had been formed to counter the war of aggression launched by Louis XIV against the Palatinate states in Germany. The atrocities carried out by French troops on his direct orders have roused hatred for the "Sun King" throughout Europe. Yet instead of forcing the German states to surrender, the burning of their towns has hardened their resolve and the spirit of German nationalism was burning brightly.

Louis started his war with limited objectives: to secure his sister-in-law's claims of succession in the Palatinate, force the appointment of his ally, the Prince of Furstenberg, as Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, and to prevent William of Orange ousting James II of Great Britain.

However, he also had limited resources; the building of Versailles had emptied his treasury. It would have to be a short war. Louis, contemptuous of the Germans, was sure they would quickly capitulate. But the valiant defense of Phillipsberg delayed his offensive and his enemy, William of Orange, was welcomed in London and the Grand Alliance was formed.

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Map, Grand Alliance, 1689