The struggle for the Spanish empire was predictable: King Carlos II, and hence the Spanish line of the Habsburgs had no heirs. The military disputes between France and Austria-Habsburg began very soon after Carlos's death on 1 November 1700: both Louis XIV of France and Emperor Leopold I laid claim to the Spanish world empire with its large colonies in the New World.
Carlos II of Spain, copy of a painting by Juan Carreno de Miranda
Bavarian Palace Department, Munich
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