War of Spanish Succession
a conflict, lasting from 1701 to 1713, in which a number of European states fought to prevent the Bourbon family from controlling Spain as well as France., was a major European conflict over the succession to Spanish throne. In 1701, Charles II died and had bequeathed all of his possessions to Philip, duc d'Anjou — a grandson of the French King Louis XIV — who thereby became Philip V of Spain. The war began slowly, as the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I of Habsburg fought to protect his own dynasty's claim to the Spanish inheritance. As Louis XIV began to expand his territories more aggressively, however, other European nations (chiefly England, Portugal and the Dutch Republic) entered on the Holy Roman Empire's side to check French expansion. Other states joined the coalition opposing France and Spain in an attempt to acquire new territories, or to protect existing dominions. The war was fought not only in Europe, but also in North America, where the conflict became known to the English colonists as Queen Anne's War, and by corsairs and privateers along the Spanish Main. Over the course of the fighting, some 400,000 people were killed.