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Definition of the War of the Spanish Succession from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

the War of the Spanish Succession

 
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a war (1701-14) between Britain, Austria, the Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark on one side, and France and Spain on the other side. It started when the king of Spain died leaving no children, and Philip, the grandson of the king of France, became the next king of Spain. The Austrians believed that an Austrian had the right to be the king of Spain, and the British supported them because they did not want France to become too strong. This aim was mainly achieved. At the end of the war, although Britain recognized Philip as the king of Spain, it received large areas of Canada from the French, and Gibraltar and Minorca from the Spanish.