1618-1648 1706-1748

The Duchy of Milan, 1648-1706

The Treaty of Westphalia 1648 did not terminate the most important war for Spain - the war against France (1635-1659. But the cession of the Habsburg possessions in the Alsace to France, by the Emperor, in 1648, interrupted the Spanish road; Spain's hold on the Spanish Netherlands was loosening, Milan's importance as the main Spanish stronghold along the Spanish Road diminishing.
38 years of uninterrupted warfare (1621-1659) had greatly overextended the revenues and resources of the Spanish Empire; after 1659, Spain fought considerably less wars, but had to maintain a high level of taxation, in order to service the debts accumulated during the previous era.
The Spanish administration in Milan (Lombardy) continued to pursue a conservative economic policy, based on privileges of the nobility, the clergy, the guilds etc., and supporting the Catholic church in her desire to control the population. After 1659, the Spanish governors attempted to reduce taxes and the state debt; progress was slow.
In 1700 King Carlos II. of Spain died without a son; Archduke Charles contested the succession of Bourbon Philip V. (War of Spanish Succession, 1701-1713/1714). An Austrian army invaded northern Italy. In 1706 the Austrians, commanded by Prince Eugene of Savoy, broke the French siege of Turin. Shortly after, Austrian troops entered Milan, ending Spanish rule there.

1626-1650, 1651-1675, 1676-1700, 1701-1725 from Storia di Milano
Storia di Milano : I governatori della Milano spagnola (The Spanish Governors of Milan), in Italian
History of Milan, from Milanoweb, from Ciao Milano
REFERENCE Alessandro Visconti, Storia di Milano, Milano : Ceschina 1937
Geoffrey Symcox, The political world of the absolutist state in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, pp.104-122, in : John A. Marino (ed.), Early Modern Italy (Short Oxford History of Italy), Oxford : UP 2002

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on February 13th 2004, last revised on November 10th 2004

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