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In previous articles, I discussed places to find information on the rulers of England, France and Russia. In this series of articles, I will show you some places to find information on Spain, Germany and Denmark. First, we will look at the Spanish rulers and where to find information about Spain's rulers of the 18th century. Before I begin, you should note that there were two main houses that ruled Spain during the 18th century, the Spanish Habsburgs, and the House of Bourbon.

The Bourbon Rulers, took over when Charles II died in 1700. This take over by the French Bourbons caused England and Austria to go to war with France. This war, known as the War of the Spanish Succession was fought over who would rule Spain in Charles II's stead.

House of Habsburg

1665-1700 Charles II

The Spanish line of the Habsburgs ended in 1700 when Charles II of Spain died childless and brotherless. One of his sisters had married Louis XIV of France; another married Emperor Leopold I.

These rulers had each planned how the rich Spanish possessions should be divided. Charles left a will, however, that made Louis's younger grandson, Philip, heir to all his possessions. It was because of this will that the War of The Spanish Succession was fought.

House of Bourbon

1700-46 Philip V

The grandson of Louis XIV of France and great-grandson of Philip IV of Spain, Philip V gained his throne through the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14) and founded the Bourbon Dynasty in Spain. During his reign, Spain regained some of its international stature.

1746-59 Ferdinand VI

This king was left out of the politics of the Spanish Empire by his wife and mother. While being crown prince, his domineering stepmother had always excluded Ferdinand VI from policy making and kept him out of public affairs.

1759-88 Charles III

Charles III is considered to be the most popular king. He was the king of Spain and Naples Italy. However, he renounced his claim to the Naples thrown in favor of his third son. He did make some mistakes as king, which in the end lost some territory from the Spanish Empire.

1788-1808 Charles IV

Charles IV had the misfortune to reign during the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic wars. In 1808 a conspiracy headed by Charles' son, the future Ferdinand VII, attempted to overthrow the Chief Minister of France. A riot on March 17 of that year forced Charles to abdicate in favor of Ferdinand.

Websites to Visit

  • House of Habsburg
    Wikipedia entry on the House of Hapsburg.
  • House of Bourbon
    Wikipedia entry on the House of Bourbon.
  • Mad Monarchs Series 
    An interesting note about the Spanish monarchs is the fact that not all of them were benevolent, some were "mad". find out about the Kinky Kings of Spain at this web site, which is a part of the Mad Monarchs series.