Nine Years War
Also known as the War of the Grand Alliance, a conflict that resulted from French aggression in the Rhineland, and that subsequently became a power struggle between Louis XIV of France and William III of Britain. In 1688 when French armies invaded Cologne and the Palatinate, the members of the League of Augsburg took up arms. Meanwhile William had driven James II from the throne of England and in 1689 a Grand Alliance of England, the United Provinces, Austria, Spain, and Savoy was formed against France. The French withdrew from the Palatinate. James II, supported by French troops, was defeated in Ireland at the Battle of the Boyne. In 1690 the French navy won a victory off Beachy Head, but in 1692 was defeated at La Hogue, though their privateers continued to damage allied commerce. The French campaigns in north Italy and Catalonia were successful, but the war in the Spanish Netherlands became a stalemate as one lengthy siege succeeded another. William's one success was the retaking of Namur. The war was a severe defeat for France, despite a good military performance, because its financial resources were not equal to those of Britain and the United Provinces. Peace was finally concluded by the Treaty of Ryswick.